Night of Champions 2009
July 26th, 2009 – Wachovia Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – Attendance: 17,774
Unlike the 2008 Night of Champions, I remember a decent amount of stuff from 2009. I know that this was in the midst of the awesome CM Punk/Jeff Hardy rivalry that would last from Extreme Rules in June until SummerSlam in August. It also featured a WrestleMania rematch for the WWE Title just like 2008 did. Triple H, John Cena and Randy Orton met in a Triple Threat match at WrestleMania 24 and they would do so here again at Night of Champions. My uncle and cousin were at this show and they really enjoyed it, so hopefully, it holds up as a good show. Let's see if this can top the 2008 edition in the ongoing look at the history of Night of Champions.
As always, the opening video package is well done and mainly focuses on the two big Title matches, but does make mention and show other Champions which is a nice touch. We go straight to a title match already. Commentary team tonight features Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler.
WWE Unified Tag Team Championship
Chris Jericho and a Mystery Partner (c) vs. Legacy
For the second straight year, Cody Rhodes and Ted Dibiase are involved in a Tag Team Title match with a mystery partner. For those who don't know, Edge and Chris Jericho won the Unified Tag Team Titles, but Edge got injured so Jericho needed a new partner. We're taken to a short video of Edge discussing his injury before Jericho introduces his partner as Big Show. I remember being letdown at the time. In a precursor to WrestleMania 28, Big Show and Cody Rhodes start, as Show tosses him around the ring for a bit. After he dominates for a bit, Jericho comes in and works with Cody. I'd love an extended program between them, especially during Cody's 2012 IC Title run. You can tell Ted watched his dad growing up as he gets in some cheap shots on Jericho that turn the tide. This is tough for the crowd because both teams are heels. Jericho continues to get worked over, as I guess the hot tag will be to Big Show eventually. Dibiase hits a big powerslam and Legacy is looking rather impressive. Show makes a blind tag and he spears Ted Dibiase in half. His pin is broken up by Cody Rhodes, but he gets tossed out of the ring. Cody skins the cat and dropkicks Show. Dibiase runs right into the Codebreaker though and Show applies the Colossal Clutch on him, forcing him to tap.
Winners and Still WWE Unified Tag Team Champions: Chris Jericho and Big Show in 9:32
Despite being let down by the choice of Big Show and this match, I loved the Jeri-Show run. The Colossal Clutch looked brutal, but with both teams being heels, the crowd wasn't as into it as they could have been. **1/4
Josh Matthews is backstage and he introduces the World Heavyweight Champion, CM Punk. When Punk is asked about his match with Jeff Hardy tonight, he takes the microphone and heads out into the crowd. Punk torches the crowd for supporting someone like Jeff Hardy over him. Punk with a microphone is always golden.
Tommy Dreamer (c) vs. Christian
Josh Matthews and Todd Grisham are now on commentary for this ECW contest. So in 2005, Christian went to TNA and wasn't pinned on television for about two years. Then he came to ECW and pretty much dominated too, so he had a long stretch of nearly never losing. Early on, Tommy Dreamer clearly has Christian well scouted as he countered some of his key stuff. Christian causes Dreamer to hit his face on the apron and follows with a baseball slide. His dive to the outside misses its mark, but Dreamer actually hits a front flip off the apron. Did not expect that. They go back inside, and Christian smartly decides to work Tommy's back. Tommy counters the Killswitch, but gets caught in a sleeper hold, only to drop back and squash Christian. Christian's high risk attempts continue to fail as Tommy stops another of his dives and sets him up in a tree of (Joey Lawrence) woe. Baseball slide follows in and although his DDT is blocked, he still hits a Sky High. YOU BETTER RECOGNIZE! Captain Charisma reverses a pump handle into a reverse DDT for two. He goes up top again and his dropkick again fails. Tommy puts him in the Texas Cloverleaf and Striker says he learned it from training with Dean Malenko. I love little mentions like that on commentary. We get a series of pinfall attempts and reversals until a Christian dropkick finally connects. Killswitch is countered to the DDT which is reversed to the Killswitch and the title switches as well.
Winner and New ECW Champion: Christian in 8:28
Two guys just went out and did their best with eight minutes. If my memory is right, this was Tommy's last WWE match and he went out in a good way. ***
Christian and Tommy Dreamer show each other respect before Tommy walks off and lets Christian celebrate. It's a commercial for 12 Rounds, which was a pretty bad movie. It's for the “extreme cut” which must be wrapped in barbed wire or something. Todd Grisham now interviews Jeri-Show and they talk about how they don't have to be good friends to work well. Jericho reaches for the microphone at one point and Show thinks he's going for a handshake and gets awkwardly left hanging.
WWE United States Championship Six Pack Challenge
Kofi Kingston (c) vs. Carlito vs. Jack Swagger vs. MVP vs. Primo vs. The Miz
I totally miss Jack Swagger's cocky character from his ECW and early Raw run. As soon as the bell rings, a brawl ensues but Carlito is sure to avoid Primo. Miz hits Primo with a neckbreaker that Michael Cole calls a backbreaker. Good going. Kofi and Carlito do an awesome little athletic sequence that ends with them crashing into each other. Miz and Swagger double team Primo in what has to be considered some sort of hate crime. Carlito goes for a springboard move but gets shoved outside and MVP hits Swagger with a nice belly to belly. Carlito does a pretty badass springboard anyway to take out MVP on the outside. Kofi flies around now and dropkicks Swagger. He follows with the Boom Drop but Miz breaks up the pin. He hits Swagger with the Awesome clothesline and goes up top, so Primo follows and it's time to set up a tower of doom. Kofi and Primo second rope suplex Miz while Swagger powerbombs both of them. Primo finally has his hands on Carlito and they cross body into each other. Kofi gets slammed hard by Swagger as Miz is dumped outside. MVP takes Swagger and himself out with a cross body. Kofi and the Colons have a bunch of near falls in a row and the Colons go to work together but it gets stopped. MVP knocks Swagger down and he's “BALLIN”. He hits the Playmaker right as Miz hits him with the Skull Crushing Finale. Primo stupidly believes in Carlito's teamwork and he eats a Backstabber. This allows Kofi to hit Trouble in Paradise from out of nowhere to retain.
Winner and Still WWE United States Champion: Kofi Kingston in 8:35
Yes, it was pretty much just spot followed by spot and so on, but dammit, it was fun. You expect something like that from these guys and it was an enjoyable match. ***1/4
Randy Orton gets interviewed in the back and cuts a very Randy Orton like promo on his match tonight.
WWE Women's Championship
Michelle McCool (c) vs. Melina
Todd Grisham and Jim Ross are on commentary for Smackdown and they should be the best combination of the night. After being the first Divas Champion, Michelle McCool became the first person to win both that and the Women's Title by beating Melina at the previous Pay-Per-View. Before the match even starts, McCool knocks Melina off the apron when she goes for her split. Melina doesn't take too kindly to this as she fires away on Michelle with kicks in the corner. She goes for a rope hung move but misses and crashes to the outside. That turns the tide as McCool applies a sick looking half Boston crab, or as I like to call it, a Maple Leaf. Melina breaks it by reaching the ropes. McCool hits a DDT on the guardrail and it doesn't look great, but it was a cool idea. McCool now misses and falls outside, so Melina wraps her legs around Michelle's head and slams it into the apron. These ladies are being creative. McCool gets stuck in 619 position and Melina drives her knees into her back. Now McCool gets set up on the second turnbuckle and Melina stomps on her. Melina barely connects with a sloppy spinning heel kick for two. McCool hits a belly to belly but Melina comes back with a West Coast Pop. The later version when Rey just sat on people. McCool turns the pin attempt around and keeps the gold.
Winner and Still WWE Women's Champion: Michelle McCool in 6:12
A harder hitting match than most Divas matches I've seen. I have to give them credit for being creative and trying a lot of things they don't normally do. It wasn't the crispiest match but they tried. **3/4
Randy Orton (c) vs. John Cena vs. Triple H
These are three of the biggest names of the 2000's and they've had two Triple Threat matches, but neither was able to main event their respective Pay-Per-Views which is interesting. Randy Orton wants no part of this to start so he goes outside but HHH and Cena corner him. He runs back inside and the same thing happens. They take turn pounding away on him and he tries to leave, but that obviously fails. Cena hits the Five Knuckle Shuffle sequence and goes for the Attitude Adjustment but HHH knocks him outside. Orton nails him from behind and starts to work a methodical pace to slow things down. Orton connects with a powerslam that didn't look anywhere near as good as it has in the past three or so years. Cena stops his rally with a double top rope Fameasser. Orton's like “I CAN DO DOUBLE MOVES TOO” as he tries a double rope hung DDT but HHH and Cena counter. They're left in the ring and it's one like it was last year. Slug fest time and the crowd is behind The Game. Shoulder blocks from Cena but HHH stops them with the high knee and then the facebuster to the knee. FU countered into Pedigree, countered into SFTU that gets blocks and then HHH reverses the AA into a Spinebuster. Nice callback to their match last year. Pedigree on Cena but Orton pulls HHH out during his pin. Things spill to the announce table and HHH 's Pedigree attempt is countered into an STFU on the table. Back inside, Cena and Orton exchange shots until they go up top. HHH interrupts this and and ends up getting slingshot into Orton, who gets crotched on the top. STF applied on HHH and there's too many acronyms in this match. Orton gets up and tries to punt Cena but he moves and rolls him up for two. Orton gets up and starts to stomp and drop knees on his challengers. Cena is up and tries Five Knuckle Shuffle but HHH sends him outside. HHH goes all The Rock and puts Orton in a sloppy Sharpshooter. Cena enters and puts Orton in the STF at the same and he taps. Mike Chioda can't make a call because they don't know who he's tapping to. Cody Rhodes and Ted Dibiase hit the ring and beat on HHH and Cena. Cena goes to hit Cody with the AA, but Orton nails him with the RKO and retains.
Winner and Still WWE Champion: Randy Orton in 22:19
That was good, but I personally prefer their WrestleMania XXIV bout. There was nothing wrong with it, but there was also nothing special with it. ***
The future married couple, The Miz and Maryse, flirt backstage. She disses him when he goes for a kiss because he didn't win the United States Championship. He calls her a tease and I could not take my eyes off of her and her cleavage.
WWE Divas Championship
Maryse (c) vs. Mickie James
Good lord, Maryse is hot. She throws her jacket at Mickie before the bell but it's Mickie who is the aggressor as the match starts. Maryse does everything to avoid Mickie in the early goings. She does manage to knock James outside with a loud kick and the count reaches eight before Mickie gets back in. Maryse applies a camel clutch of sorts and its much prettier than when Iron Sheik, Muhammad Hassan or Rusev does it. She lets it go and tosses Mickie outside again but James hits a Lou Thez Press and RIGHT HANDS! RIGHT HANDS! THE RATTLESNAKE STRIKES! Sorry, that move gets me carried away. James misses a high risk move and Maryse fires away with right hands. Mickie builds momentum and hits a neckbreaker for two. She goes to top but Maryse slams her off. Maryse's DDT is countered and Mickie hits the Mick-DT to end it.
Winner and New Divas Champion: Mickie James in 8:36
Disappointing. Maryse was never great in the ring, but Mickie was always good. This seemed like it got too much time as it dragged a bit. *1/4
Josh Matthews interviews Cody Rhodes and Ted Dibiase, who are proud that while they lost, they cost John Cena and Triple H the match. We actually get a video package for this Intercontinental Title match, which is a rarity.
WWE Intercontinental Championship
Rey Mysterio (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler w/ Maria Kanellis
First Maryse and now Maria? I can't handle this. The Intercontinental Title received a bit of a revival during this time as Rey Mysterio was hot off of a great feud with Chris Jericho and until about the end of 2009, IC Title matches were show stealers. Fun fact, Dolph Ziggler went to high school in Lakewood, Ohio, which is not far from where I currently live. Both guys get early near falls and seem to be trying to feel each other out. Dolph uses a headlock but is very aggressive. They cut to Maria a few times and she is so hot. They botch a head scissors spot from Rey but make up for it with an awesome buckle bomb from Dolph. He whips Rey into the corner hard and gets his third or fourth near fall already. He does his headstand headlock but the crowd doesn't react to it. The jerks. Another head scissors sends Dolph shoulder first into the post and he follows with the West Coast Pop and a springboard cross body for two. Dolph gets sent outside and Rey connects with another West Coast Pop off the apron. Back inside, Rey counters a Tiger Bomb into a hurricanrana but misses the 619. Dolph applies the Masterlock, because NOBODY UNDER SIX FEET HAS EVER BROKEN HIS MASTERLOCK. Rey breaks it, ruining that, but Dolph puts it back on. He's working a more methodical pace than he does now. Rey counters into a pin and both men get near falls. Dolph hits an odd jawbreaker and gets another near fall. Lots of those in this match. Rey tries a high risk move but Dolph dropkicks him in mid-air for two near falls. He charges at Rey in the corner but misses and hits the corner oddly. Rey sets up for a top rope hurricanrana, but Dolph gets him on his shoulders and hits a second rope gut buster for the closest near fall yet. Dolph goes for a slam but it's countered and he ends up in 619 position. Rey connects and, following a splash, gets the three.
Winner and Still WWE Intercontinental Champion: Rey Mysterio in 14:20
This is the match that really made Dolph Ziggler stick out to me. It was the first time that I thought he had something. Really good stuff and they would best it the following month at SummerSlam. The only issue was that the crowd was rather dead due to Dolph still being a relative unknown. ***3/4
The build up promo for the main event focuses on how CM Punk hurt his eye against Jeff Hardy at the Bash and then kicked the referee, which caused people to say he got disqualified on purpose. Then it turned to CM Punk targeting Jeff's troubled lifestyle and I have to say, this was the perfect feud for CM Punk. It was one of my all time favorites.
World Heavyweight Championship
CM Punk (c) vs. Jeff Hardy
I just want to point out how awesome it is that these two got to main event a Pay-Per-View that featured Randy Orton, Triple H and John Cena in the same match. Some basic stuff starts the match until Punk goes for the early GTS. Jeff counters and tries the Twist of Fate but that's stopped too. Hardy gets knocked outside so Punk goes for a suicide dive and misses. A nice bit of storytelling because he went all Hardy with the risky move and it backfired. And of course, Jeff tries a dive outside and misses too. Punk is all about taking a countout victory but Jeff is in right before ten. Punk applies a bow and arrow to wear down Jeff. Punk sets up for a second rope suplex but Jeff reverses and hits a sitout inverted suplex. Jeff starts to get his offense going with a 90's inverted atomic drop, leg drop and dropkick. However, when he tries Whisper in the Winds, Punk knocks him down. Punk hits his awesome knee strike in the corner, but Jeff blocks the bulldog and hits Whisper in the Winds for two. He tries the Swanton Bomb but Punk sits up and Jeff crashes and burns. Punk hits a nice backbreaker and locks on a badass looking dragon sleeper. Like, it seriously looks like it hurts a lot. Punk slaps Hardy around but gets hit with the Twist of Fate from out of nowhere. The shirt is off and Jeff goes up top. His Swanton Bomb is stopped by Punk's knees and that gets the Champion a near fall. Punk hits the Go to Sleep but somehow Jeff kicks out. Punk covers twice more but can't get it and he's in disbelief. Punk takes his belt and goes to walk off, but Jeff stops him and brings him back inside. A Twist of Fate and Swanton Bomb later and we have a new Champion.
Winner and New World Heavyweight Championship: Jeff Hardy in 14:56
I really love this feud and I really enjoy their matches. The best match of the night and a surprise result since Jeff was on his way out. ****
Overall: 8/10. Great. I don't remember this show being this good but man I really had fun with this. The only matches that weren't good was the opener and the Divas Title match. The Women's Title match was really good, the WWE Title match was solid and the United States Championship bout was fun. The last two matches made the show though as they're both great and you should go out and watch them.