The SmarK Rant for WWE Night of Champions 2011
by Scott Keith on September 19, 2011

The SmarK Rant for WWE Night of Champions 2011

– I was watching this in the theater and didn’t want to be the asshole taking notes on my phone during the show, so I’ll do my best to reconstruct things from memory and Michael Bradley’s review on my blog.  The theater is a GREAT way to watch these PPVs and I hardily recommend it to anyone who would rather pay $15 than $50 and basically get a live show atmosphere as a result.  The HD signal looks awesome on the big screen and it really helped my perception of the show, I think.  One somewhat funny story before begin.  I was buying snacks in the lobby beforehand, and one of the mentally challenged fans who regularly attend these PPVs started talking trash to me.  I was understandably caught off-guard, but then noticed he was decked out in full John Cena gear and was pointing to my shirt.  Turns out he was mistaking my Sheldon Cooper shirt for an Alberto Del Rio one, although I don’t really see the resemblance.

– Live from Buffalo, NY.

– Your hosts are Michael Cole, Booker T and Jerry Lawler.

WWE tag titles:  Air Boom v. The Miz & R-Truth

Somewhat surprising choice for an opener, as I thought they’d go with the US title four-way, especially given the booking decisions.  Good heat for this, as they did the standard tag formula stuff with Evan Bourne getting beat up.  I thought they were going for an extended tag formula to really stretch out the opener, but instead went all wacky by reversing the usual heel spots.  First the champs did the tag behind the ref’s back and got away with it, then the heels got screwed by a false tag and a visual pinfall before Miz finally snapped and beat up the ref for the dumbest finish in a while.  I was digging it before the weak sauce finish.  **3/4

Intercontinental title:  Cody Rhodes v. Ted Dibiase

I like Cody but this particular storyline ain’t working.  Cody’s OK, but the Dibiase face turn is a bad idea and no one was particularly behind him in this match.  Plus he’s been booked as a loser who needs Cody’s life-coaching, and the end result was a so-so match with a pretty dead crowd.  Cody took most of the match, Dibiase made his lame comeback and pulled off the mask (which got a pretty good reaction from the theater, showing that the classics never die), and Rhodes rolled him up with a handful of tights to retain the title.  Booker on commentary was amusing, as they showed the replay with Cody clearly grabbing the tights, and Booker was like “Well, any way you look at it, a clean win for Cody.”  Dibiase needs a repackaging pronto.  **

Christian came out for a fairly pointless interview about how he deserves yet another shot at the title.  Crowd was actually getting behind his quest, and Sheamus interrupts to offer a deal where he helps Christian get the title back in exchange for the first shot.  And then he lays Christian out with the Conan kick.  Kind of a waste of time, although not as much as the endless commercials on a $55 PPV.  I should note that Christian would be better served concentrating on Daniel Bryan rather than Randy Orton, if you know what I mean.

US title:  Dolph Ziggler v. Jack Swagger v. Alex Riley v. John Morrison

Better than I anticipated going in, although I’m starting to really get behind Alex Riley.  He’s got The Look and does really good babyface comebacks and facials.  Lots of good near-falls here, including a good sequence with Swagger anklelocking Riley while Ziggler has Morrison in the sleeper.  Riley escapes the anklelock and hits the leaping DDT on Swagger for a really hot near-fall, but Morrison takes the doctorbomb and Ziggler steals the fall to retain.  Same finish we’ve seen a billion times, but the action was pretty good.  I think it’s weird that they were playing it like Swagger is some big threat who almost won the title despite losing for weeks on end.   Crowd was totally buying Riley’s challenge here, and they really should have pulled the trigger on him.  ***

Smackdown World title:  Randy Orton v. Mark Henry

Before the match I was thinking they should have dug into the library and watched Sting v. Vader from Bash 92, and damn if that isn’t what happened.  Orton tried all his big spots and Henry fought them all off, which is good because this Chapter One of several and he shouldn’t be doing the RKO and head kick in the very first match.  People were saying going in that Henry was going to lose because he was dominating Orton in the buildup, but when a heel dominates during the buildup and then kicks the shit out of someone to win the title, that’s called making a new star and it’s something they’ve been god-awful at.  Orton gets beat up, finally manages to hit one move (the draping DDT), but Henry kicks the leg out from under his leg, blocks the RKO with his FIFTEEN YEARS OF ANGER, and wins clean with the World’s Strongest Slam to the shock of the theater.  I was CHEERING for Mark Henry to win, that’s how good a job they’ve done with him.  This was much better than it had any right to be, and I’m glad Orton did the right thing and made him look great here.  ***1/4  However, as an addendum, if Orton wins the title back in two weeks at Hell in a Cell by hitting the RKO and head kick, they can fuck off and die.

Tramp Stamp title:  Kelly Kelly  v. Beth Phoenix

This was a really weird deal, as Kelly was booed out of the building against hometown hero Phoenix, but they went out and worked the exact same match as they always do, with Kelly the plucky babyface and Phoenix the heel.  It was pretty good for a Divas match, with Kelly’s usual athletic stuff and a big superplex spot, but Kelly does the fluke rollup win to retain (as predicted by yours truly) and the crowd shits all over it.  This was fine as a match, but this storyline is on a treadmill.  **

RAW World title:  Alberto Del Rio v. John Cena

People were pretty outraged by this judging by my inbox, but really anyone who expected something other than “John Cena chases the title held by some jerk” hasn’t been watching the show for the past 6 years or so.  Best match of the show, with a really big match feel to it at least judging by the reactions of the theater.  Cena steals Del Rio’s car, which is grand theft auto in my books (and Michael Cole’s) but apparently it’s OK for Cena to do it.   The crowd was doing the duelling chant thing for a while before getting bored with it or something.  Seemed like a standard house show main event for a while and then got really good with the near-falls and big reversals, most of which went Cena’s way.  Big directorial gaffe as they nearly miss the FU during a replay spot, and Cena hits his big spots, beats up Ricardo, makes ADR tap to win the title back, then presumably goes home and fucks Del Rio’s wife, takes over his house, and kicks his puppy for good measure.  But don’t worry, in two weeks Alberto will invoke his rematch clause and get his ass kicked again in the Cell.  ***1/2


They kind of booked themselves into a corner with this one, as HHH couldn’t lose for a variety of HHH-related reasons, and they had to keep both guys as babyfaces, so we got the garbagest brawl to ever garbage (in a good way) and then Vince Russo overdrive kicks in with R-Truth, the Miz, Johnny Ace, two referees and the OH MY GOD HE DOESN’T WORK HERE Kevin Nash all getting involved before HHH hits the inevitable three Pedigrees and gets the win.  I have no fucking idea what is supposed to be going on in this storyline, but stuff blowed up real good so everyone seemed mostly happy.  Lots of people hated it, lots of people loved it, so I’ll go somewhere in the middle and call it ***1/2 because they were shooting for ****+ before everyone started running in.  Or hobbling in.  And as usual, HHH comes out on top.

The Pulse:

I certainly got my $15 worth out of it, but others might disagree and more power to them.  They actually put someone new over Randy Orton, and that’s more than we usually get, so I’m taking what I can get.  Besides, I counted six decent-good matches and no bad ones, so that’s an easy thumbs up from me.


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  • Wally Kovacs

    In terms of coherent story telling, the Miz/R-Truth match, and the ensuing run in later in the show makes perfect sense. Going back to Wrestlemania for the Miz, he’s been repeatedly on the wrong end of ref/GM/etc decisions. There was the “ref catches Alex Riley with the belt and reverses the decision” spot, the “ref finds Alex Riley’s phone” spot. Etc. Combine that with R-Truth since his heel turn, and both guys made sense to attack HHH (as for attacking Punk, it mostly made sense, as Punk was probably reached the point where he’s a face now, and would refuse their help in winning the match … although I have no idea why Truth pulled Punk out to stop him from winning … I don’t see how they benefit from HHH NOT being fired.)

    As for the stuff with the ref/Ace/Nash, it was pretty straight forward, they even showed Johnny sending a text to Nash on camera, and the ‘plan’ as far as Johnny/Nash were concerned played out on camera (with the sledge ruining the plan) without any announcers actually spelling it out. So, if nothing else, the writers have felt that the audience is smart enough to pick up on visual clues without the announcers explaining everything, and that continuity and character motivation can make sense (for the most part).

    Sure, HHH won, but the finish not only protected Punk, but also let him kick out of a Pedigree, and gave both guys visual 3 counts, yada, yada, yada. It does bring up the question … how can a seemingly exonerated COOHHH be ‘menaced’ by his enemies if he continues to outrank them. Had HHH lost, then he’d be ‘just’ a wrestler again, and be able to fight to save the company from Johnny and his cronies, and maybe end up in a ‘mutual enemies’ situation with Punk. Now, Punk either has nothing to do, or he continues to be a thirteenth wheel in the HHH/Nash/Ace/R-Truth/Miz/Christian/Refs/Steph/Vince/AnonGM angle

  • Victor

    “Before the match I was thinking they should have dug into the library and watched Sting v. Vader from Bash 92, and damn if that isn’t what happened.”

    I am so glad I wasn’t the only one thinking that.

  • Cynical Bastard

    You got your $15 worth out of it? That’s funny for a couple reasons. First because I don’t know how you only get charged $15 for a PPV, and secondly because that show was so awful I feel like they should have paid people to sit through it. Worst WWE PPV I’ve seen in awhile, and that’s saying a lot.

  • Cynical Bastard

    I’ll retract the first half of my comment, I didn’t read your opening paragraph where you said you watched it at a theater. I still say you got screwed out of your money.

  • Kevy Kev

    @Cynical…it is absolutely amazing that you skipped over the first paragraph, wrote, and then read the first paragraph. My God.

  • Don Becker

    Bit Mark Henry? The guy we’ve been told for 15 years is just another midcarder? The guy who did 10 seconds jobs to Matt Hardy? Now, in his, 40’s, he gets his big push? Something is seriously wrong here. If they wanted to push a big fat guy, there are younger guys who could have got the push. Unless, someone has had a “karma” moment, and is trying to make up for Mae Young giving birth to a hand, 12 years later.

  • owangotang

    Good rant. I too was happy to see Henry win because I saw the parallel between he and Vader, on of my favorite heels of all time. I don’t think Orton/Henry I really mirrored a Sting/Vader match though because Orton still got too much offense in. Yes the RKO was blocked and that was great but Orton was taking Henry down with punches in the beginning and a dropkick later. That shouldn’t have happened, it should have been a bigger deal when Henry finally was knocked down. It’s a minor gripe but a legit difference between the Orton/Henry and Vader/Sting matches.

  • LBD “Nytetrayn”

    Had me a little confused as to how Truth and Miz were involved with the main event, at least until I read the comments– it sounded like everyone came out for Hunter at first.

    I wish I could have seen this, but the theater where I usually go, Empress Walk, only carries the big ones now. :(

    I could still sort of relate to seeing the “mentally challenged” fan in attendance, though.

  • JJ

    Unsurprisingly, Super Cena and Wonder Kelly won again.

    In one fell swoop, the WWE creative team has just dented the credibility of ADR and Beth Phoenix/Divas of Doom. These heels are much more technically sound than those babyfaces ever will be.

    And as for HHH/Punk, I predict that they’ll become unwilling allies against Kevin Nash/John Laurinaitis. That’s the most logical progression of the story.

  • CB

    I don’t know, I think the PPV was pretty good. Not Money In The Bank good, but still pretty good. I loved that Mark Henry won the title from Orton and that he was actually booked as a MONSTER HEEL who WANTS to take on all comers, rather than the cowardly heel (ADR, Christian) that we seem to get 99 times out of 100.

    As for Beth / Kelly, I think Hell In A Cell will be Beth’s time to take the title, perhaps they’ll even do a ladies match inside the HIAC structure to boot.

    Cena winning the belt back again make me think two things: 1. He’ll now have the title the rest of the year and into 2012 leading to WrestleMania; and 2. Because of Money in the Bank matches, the Royal Rumble and the Elimination Chamber, we get so many #1 contenders that the main belts and main storylines never have a chance to grow anymore, because Creative doesn’t know how to wait anymore when it comes to being patient with one person holding the title a long time.

    Not that I want it to be Cena, but you get the drift.

    The main storyline has been TNA CENTRAL, and I still have no clue why they couldn’t simply turn Punk FULL HEEL again. The crowd would still cheer him relentlessly anyway, in fact much of the crowd that he caters to would prefer it that way, instead of the stuff we’ve been saddled with the past few weeks.

    Scott, you say Beth/Kelly is on a treadmill, I say the main event is too.

  • Redsox4life

    Once again, Redsox4life is STILL complaining about something and is STILL name dropping TNA to get his already outdated agenda. Get a life, DORK!

    – Mr. E.L.

  • Kyle Sparks

    @ owangotang – Disagree. Actually go back and watch Sting/Vader from Bash 92 again. Sting puts Vader down with punches and clotheslines a couple times, and even hits him with a samoan drop, if I recall correctly. The idea was that it was literally taking EVERYTHING Sting had to even come close to putting a dent in Vader’s armor, and he just calmly would hit an avalanche or a bodyblock and immediately be right back in control. Orton crawling and struggling to his feet and going for the last gasp RKO (even if deep down he knew it wouldn’t work) was all he could do. I thought the two paralleled quite nicely.

  • Scott Keith


    “As for the stuff with the ref/Ace/Nash, it was pretty straight forward, they even showed Johnny sending a text to Nash on camera, and the ‘plan’ as far as Johnny/Nash were concerned played out on camera (with the sledge ruining the plan) without any announcers actually spelling it out. So, if nothing else, the writers have felt that the audience is smart enough to pick up on visual clues without the announcers explaining everything, and that continuity and character motivation can make sense (for the most part).”

    I just want a main event with two guys who dislike each other for a straightforward reason and want to fight and settle it. CM Punk insults HHH’s wife, HHH wants revenge, that’s all you need for motivation. The rest is just needless bullshit.

  • Blair A. Douglas

    Nash in a cell? Eeeek.

    How does everyone care so much about the Divas title?

    Mark Henry as World Champion? HOLY F$%&#BALLS that’s hilarious.

    Punk definitely should have won the main event, no question. I’m not sure how much it matters if they had like 5 people run in and attack EVERYONE anyway, so I don’t see it as a big deal, but as long as HHH and Punk were BOTH being jumped, then I feel like they could have given Punk the win.

    Is anyone else grudgingly entertained by the buddy-cop conspiracy-hunters that are Miz and Truth? THEY WILL UNCOVER THE CONSPIRACY!!! Miz and Truth are both comedic upper-mid-carders at their ABSOLUTE BEST, so I find it rather funny. I could see Punk befriending them to UNCOVER THE CONSPIRACY.

  • Guy from the theater

    I’m the guy from the theater, and I am not mentally challenged. Also, I wasn’t making fun of your shirt, I was making fun of the fact that you are a fat ugly loser.

  • owangotang

    @ Kyle: I suppose Orton/Henry paralleled Sting/Vader from Bash 92 as much as could be expected but I still think Orton got too much offense in. There was nothing desperate about how Orton began the match, he was simply beating up Henry. Also Vader was never questioned about not being able to win the big one like Mark was. That whole sub-story was enough to differentiate this match from Bash 92. It wasn’t just “Can Orton survive?” it was also “Can Henry actually win?”. No one questioned whether or not Vader could win.

  • CB

    When Nash and Booker came face to face last night, I can only think: That’s 2/5 of the original MAIN EVENT MAFIA! :)

  • nwa88

    I like to watch my sister take a bath.

  • flair4dagold

    I like to watch my brother take a bath.

  • toptenguy

    What’s a bath? I’m canadian.

  • thefuj


  • johnnyc

    Ric Flair and The Rock never got cheers when they took baths.

  • Thomas Daniels

    I liked that Miz and Truth came in to make Punk win, then later when Punk was about to win, Truth broke up the pin. That was awesome.

  • FDSwayze

    My favorite part wasn’t when all of the fans opened their mouths while WWE took a big crap in it. No…my favorite part is when those same fans smiled and asked for seconds. THAT was awesome.

  • Pingback: Monday Night Raw Warm Up for 9/19/2011 » MyLatestDistraction()

  • Alexander_Had

    Two words: clusterf**k. Clusterf**k.

  • battlebowl92

    garbage brawl in a September ppv… Shawn/UT from Ground Zero (97) it aint

  • Redsox4life

    Okay elvy, I’m pretty sure you were banned from here, so why are you still making lameass insults here? You’re claiming I don’t have a life. 1: Yes I do have a life unlike your sad, pathetic self, 2: I’m not the one posting stupid comments about how you like to watch people take baths and 3: When you’re insulting somebody, stop stealing lines from Two And A Half Men and watch something that’s actually funny, YOU DORK! Okay I’m done, you can go back to following skanky porn stars on Twitter.

  • adedapo tobi

    i tobiboy i am a under 23 youth champion wrestler and if u have interest in me call this number 07086788725 08096616767 and i am also a wwe fans. but my world to the best in word is that is going to become wwe champion he should keep on and to all wwe sunperstar

  • sideshowbob

    Idea – How about posting a Scott Keith article that is a site exclusive and doesn’t get linked to from other sites sometime just to see if the trolls come here on their own or just follow his links? Wouldn’t even need to be something new, just posted on this site alone.. I get the impression he’s the one feeding them after midnight. Every other article on this site can have decent back n forth comments but this one writer…

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