It’s been a weird year for PPVs. Those that are supposed to be a big deal and ones that we should be looking forward to, have been somewhat less than stellar (I’m looking at you SummerSlam) Whereas shows that I tend to write off with a “Lets just get through this.” Have been really impressive this year, and many contained Match of the Year candidates. (Extreme Rules, Over the Limit) And surprise of surprises, it looks like come Sunday, Night of Champions may be following this bizarre trend. A few short weeks ago, I lamented the fact that NoC was at it’s very foundation a flawed concept, and while I stand by that, I can’t help but begrudgingly admit, that I’m more excited for this PPV than I probably should be.
First up we have the tag team titles. A few weeks ago, it felt as though this match was going to be on the card simply because it had to be, and that it was going to be nothing more than filler match, with stand in champions going against a generic opponent. But then team friendship happened. Back when AJ, CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, and Kane were all involved in an incredibly convoluted (though entertaining) storyline this past summer, the last two people I thought I wanted to see work together were Bryan and Kane. And then when the “anger issues” angle came continued past that, I bemoaned Bryan, once again, being wasted by the company. But strangely enough, this all seems to have fallen into place quite nicely, with the new “Team Friendship.” For the first time in what feels like forever, we have a tag team that is not made up of two random guys thrown together because someone had to wear the title, or because Teddy Long said so. Instead, Team Friendship is made up of two people who work well together, and have a history and a reason for working together. Now how long this might last I have no idea. The basic crux of the relationship between these guys is that it may fall apart in any given match. But right now, surprise of surprises, there’s a tag team that I care about seeing.
So I’m not exactly excited for the Diva’s Title match, but I am somewhat intrigued by the story that they’ve got going on right now, which is quite an unusual reaction to the Divas. First of all why are they having a face vs. face match? I’ve heard reports that NoC was supposed to feature Eve as the number one contender but a botch let Kaitlyn win the match. But even if that were the case how hard would it be to book another match where Eve wins the slot form Kaitlyn? And Eve is still a heel right? Why did she just get teamed with faces? And what is with her good sportsmanship angle right now? Questions about the Divas that are actually worth looking at? WWE better strike while that iron is hot.
And now for the WWE title. I’m not going to say that I wasn’t looking forward to this match already, because CM Punk. But the past few weeks have offered a new, and rather surprising reason to get invested in the match, John Cena. Save for the awesome fact that he’s now in league with Paul Heyman, Punk has worried me for the past few weeks with some fairly standard heel tactics on display. (Side plea: If Heel Punk is going to be forced upon us, please do not all him to be come a standard chicken heel that runs from every fight and bemoans unfair situations at every turn. He can be a heel if you insist, but keep him Punk) But on the other hand, Cena has stepped up his game. In the past month Cena has delivered two separate promos that have been his most impressive mic work since the very early days of his feud with The Rock (like pre WrestleMania 27 early) While Punk has done little more than demand respect these past few weeks, Cena has referenced the history between the characters, and brought to light some harsh truths, namely that the change CM Punk called for a year ago never really came about (save for one brief moment when Punk, Bryan, and Zack Ryder all had titles at the same time.) The thing is, Cena has all been able to present work on par with his opponent. And when he has an opponent like Punk, it means that Cena will be putting on some of his best work. Cena and Punk is really the closest thing that WWE has to Rock and Austin right now, and thanks to some good mic work, it feels like this feud has bigger dreams than to end at Night of Champions. So here’s hoping that these two guys put on another Match of the Year this Sunday, after all they were the ones who claimed the title last year.