WWE Night of Champions 2012 DVD Review

WWE Night of Champions. An event that was born in 2007 (still under the Vengeance title) and the only night when all WWE championships will be on the line. In the early events, it was only title matches, but much like Undertaker v Hulk Hogan at Survivor Series ’91 broke with tradition and featured a match that wasn’t fought as a tag-team elimination bout, the 2010 edition had a non-title match on the card as CM Punk took on Big Show.

The 2011 event when on further and actually had a non-title match as the main event of the evening (again featuring CM Punk as he took on Triple H).

Now, as the 2012 edition rolled around, it wasn’t a question of whether there would be a non-title bout, it was a question of where on the card it would be and who would be involved.

Still, the original mantra of having every title on the line is still being held to, so the odds of seeing at least one title change hands are very good and with the two top belts on the line, at the end of the night would fate favour the brave and make this evening a Night of Challengers or would the current top dogs walk out as the walked in and make this a…

wwe-night-of-champions-2012-dvd

Certificate: 15

Running Time: 169mins (excluding extras)

Discs: 1

Chapters

  • Fatal Four-Way Match for the Intercontinental Championship: The Miz v Rey Mysterio v Cody Rhodes v Sin Cara
  • Eve speaks to the Prime Time Players
  • WWE Tag Team Championship Match: Kofi Kingston & R-Truth v Daniel Bryan & Kane
  • Eve updates Booker T
  • WWE United States Championship Match: Antonio Cesaro v Zack Ryder
  • Alberto Del Rio conferences with David Otunga
  • Randy Orton v Dolph Ziggler
  • WWE Divas Championship Match: Layla v Eve
  • Daniel Bryan and Kane have a breakthrough
  • World Heavyweight Championship Match: Sheamus v Alberto Del Rio
  • WWE Championship Match: CM Punk v John Cena

Extras

  • Home Video Exclusive: Matt Striker interviews Booker T – Night of Champions (16th September, 2012)

Back in the day when WCW had a thriving Cruiserweight Division, the thrillseekers would more often than not open the PPV cards for the Atlanta-based organisation. The reason for this was simple; they knew that the majority of the CW wrestlers were beyond exciting in the ring and more importantly, WCW let them wrestle to their strengths. The result was the the opening match had the fans buzzing from the off and set a great tone for the rest of the show.

At NoC 2012, WWE decided to follow a similar tactic and featured a high-energy four-way to open the event as Miz defended his coveted IC Championship against two tough challengers and Sin Cara.

The bout started at an even pace, with each guy getting a chance to shine and Sin Cara getting to square of with Rey for the first time. Of course, as is the norm for these matches, they’re really glorified one-on-one matches for the most part as the not-needed-at-the-moment wrestlers invariably end up on the floor before recovering and replacing someone else who has just splatted at ringside. Hey, it’s a formula that works.

The bout is great, it doesn’t overstay its welcome and the finish was a nice piece of high-jinks.

Unfortunately for the next match on the card, the titles had seemed to be relegated to the background to make room for the Anger Management sessions for Kane and Daniel Bryan (who would eventually become known as Team Hell No). Due to this, while the match was enjoyable enough, you knew that there would be some friction before the end of the match, so any attempt at winning prior to that didn’t register.

Still, the AM skits have been dynamite and rejuvenated Kane for what be at least the ten or twelfth time in his long WWE career. As predicted, the finish, while actually quite funny, was down to the challengers not getting along. To be fair though, the run since this night for Team Hell No has been damn impressive and it’s going to make a lot of people sad when it finally has to come to an end.

I mentioned WCW from back in the day (mid-to-late 1990s) and if you’d told me back then that WWE would not only hire indy internet darlings, they would be pushed (eventually) and actually thrive in the Land of the Giants.

With the current NXT show giving the next round of hopefuls a platform to work in a televised environment on a regular basis, to get their characters over so that when they are finally called up to the main roster, there’s a great chance the character will be over, the fans will know who they are, there moves will be familiar and the chance of success rises.

In the present day, you have CM Punk and Daniel Bryan wowing the fans and holding multiple championships in WWE over the years. The Shield have been a revelation and the fans have “got” them straight away, Damian Sandow was over from the second he appears on TV, while the latest guy to show up is Big E. Langston; a powerhouse of a man who holds all manner of powerlifting records (as an interesting aside, a few of the ones he doesn’t have are currently held by Mark Henry and have been since 1995). Langston is a charismatic SOB, with amazing intensity, a forceful personality and an already over finisher. I predict big things for him in 2013.

Now, you’re probably wondering why I’m rambling on about the current crop of “from the indies” wrestlers on the roster. Well the reason for that is because another one from those ranks is in the next match on the PPV; Antonio Cesaro.

After a slightly shaky start, he really started to hit his stride when Aksana was kicked to the kerb. (although she is still hanging around at this point in time). Since then, the Swiss maestro has educated the fans in five languages and stunned everyone with his freakish strength and brutal European Uppercuts. The fact that he has hit his finisher by genuinely dead-lifting both Brodus Clay and (more impressively) The Great Khali is a testament to his power and the faith WWE have in him.

As the United States Champion, Cesaro was crowing after each victory that no American wrestler could defeat him for the championship title. Earlier in the night, a Battle Royal was held and the winner would receive a shot at the champ. That man would be Zack Ryder (a former US Champion in his own right).

The match itself was fairly brief and was really just an exercise in extending the champ’s winning ways until (I believe anyway) Jack Swagger makes his triumphant return to win the strap for Old Glory.

Match number four had the potential to steal the show as Dolph Ziggler took on Randy Orton. For some reason, for the last few years, the Money in the Bank winner has been treated like a complete jobber once he has the case in his grasp. Daniel Bryan, Miz, CM Punk (both times), Alberto and now Dolph have all been treated poorly at best and then expected to be accepted as championship material when they eventually win the title.

When you compare it Rob Van Dam, Edge and even Mr. Kennedy’s treatment, it seems ridiculous that WWE has stuck to this formula over and over again. It ends up frustrating the fans and this continued here tonight as despite putting on a hell of a performance (as he normally does), Ziggler was clearly second-fiddle to Orton.

It’s a no-brainer, which makes it even more baffling that Vince McMahon keeps doing it. I mean, you can lose a match and come out a bigger star than you went in (Jeff Hardy v Undertaker and John Morrison v Edge are excellent examples of how to put someone over while keeping the star a star). The problem is that if you keep having your next big thing lose, then he will rightly be perceived as a loser until his inevitable release.

Rant over.

After some earlier shenanigans, Kaitlin was mysteriously assaulted backstage, so a suitable replacement would be required. That someone would be Eve; the assistant to the General Manager on Smackdown. Abusing power will never go away in pro-wrestling.

Interestingly, the Divas Match was given the exact same time as the US Championship Match and the women did a lot to justify their six-minutes of fame. It also has to be said that the evolution of Eve after this night was truly magical and the woman deserves props for that alone.

With the undercard pretty much done and some more backstage shenanigans with Team Hell No raising a laugh, it was time to move on to “Theriouth Bithneth” as Dusty Rhodes would say as the World and WWE titles were on the line.

First up was the fighting Irishman who had a fantastic 2012. From winning the Rumble to opening WrestleMania and winning the World Heavyweight Championship in only 18secs to having a string of astounding matches with a host of foes (his clubberings with Wade Barrett were epic), Sheamus was on top of the world.

The only problem was that a snooty Mexican rich man wanted what he has and would do anything to get it. Accompanied by the vastly underrated Ricardo Rodriguez and David Otunga (who has become an essential backstage character), Alberto Del Rio was heading to the ring to recapture what he considers his destiny. Unfortunately, standing in his way was a 6’4”, 260lb Irishman with a  penchant for kicking people into next week.

Ah, but in the lead up to the match, Alberto had a cunning plan; get the Brogue Kick banned… and it worked to, so Sheamus improvised and introduced his version of the Texas Cloverleaf as well as bringing White Noise to the fore.

Of course, it was all for nought as Booker T’s review into the move conveniently reached a conclusion just before the opening bell… and the Brogue Kick was legal again. The fans lapped it up as Otunga, Ricardo and Alberto went mental; they’re sure-fire route to victory up in smoke. This geed up the fans from the opening bell and the match was a great back-and-forth contest with both men taking their chance to shine over the course of the bout.

A special credit must go to Sheamus’ selling of his arm as the match wore on. Each time the champ got some momentum, ADR would go straight back to the arm. It’s simple storytelling at its best. The selling of the arm and Alberto’s desperation would also lead to a great out-of-nowhere finish that the arena faithful lapped up in their droves.

Match of the night so far by a mile.

Of course, the potential for that accolade to switch was huge as the longest-reigning champion of the current era clashed with John Cena in a revival of their feud from the Summer of 2011. Cena couldn’t defeat Punk then and even with a Money in the Bank contract in his back pocket, it appears he couldn’t defeat him in 2012.

The big talking point was that Punk was (on this date) on his 302nd day as WWE Champion. A lot of the talk was whether he could make it to a full year. In semi-recent history, only Diesel in 1995(who was technically a week short of a full year) and John Cena in 2006 have been top dog for a full 12mths. Of course, if Punk was going to make it to a full year, the talk would inevitably turn to whether the Chicago native would then go on to top Cena’s 380 days as champion… but we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

Both guys worked like Trojans from bell-to-bell and Cena again stuck the proverbial finger to those who say he is always carried. I genuinely find it ridiculous that someone like Cena, who has a laundry list of top-notch bouts with a variety of foes, needs to be carried.

Another point to mention in the evolution of CM Punk during his reign was the surprising and unannounced partnership with Paul Heyman. Possibly one of the most natural antagonists ever, Heyman added another wrinkle to the champ’s persona and another way to have the fans boo Punk (by becoming “The Voice of the Voice of the Voiceless”)/

A physically draining encounter, both men earned their plaudits as the pace built perfectly in the closing 5-8mins with near falls aplenty and big bombs landed by both men. In the end, the result may not have been decisive, but it kept the feud alive, kept both men in a position of strength and allowed each man to have bragging rights going forward.

Extras

The only extra on the DVD is a short interview with Booker T, which is the norm for PPV releases. It’s nothing to write home about and is not something that will warrant repeat viewing.

That the Battle Royal from the pre-show isn’t on here is actually a bit of a disgrace.

Overview

A really good show, with star turns from Punk, Cena, Sheamus, Alberto, Orton, Ziggler, Team Hell No, Cesaro and Eve. Paul Heyman, Ricardo Rodriguez and Otunga deserve praise for their ringside work also and the commentary team did an excellent job, especially JBL in putting over the wrestlers, the titles and the importance of the main matches.

The two main events and Orton / Ziggler are worth the price of the DVD alone, but when you add in the Team Hell No skits and great announcing, you end up with a release that if you can find for around £10-12, is well worth adding to your collection.

Oh, and before I go, a mention must also go to the wonderful job of promoting Susan G. Komen for the Cure, a breast cancer awareness charity that does fantastic work in the field of cancer cures and prevention. Normally the fans don’t like “outsiders” pushing their agenda on wresting shows, but the WWE fans in Boston were a credit.

Blu-Ray owners also get -:

Monday Night Raw (August 13th, 2012)

John Cena confronts Paul Heyman

Miz TV with Booker T.

WWE Tag Team Championship: Daniel Bryan & Kane v R-Truth & Kofi Kingston

John Cena & Sheamus v CM Punk & Alberto Del Rio

SmackDown (August 17th, 2012)

Edge returns to WWE

Points: 8/10

Buy It:

UK: DVD / Blu-ray

USA: DVD

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