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Triple H, Henry, Cena victorious at Night of Champions
By MATT BISHOP - SLAM! Wrestling


Mark Henry, new World heavyweight champion after Night of Champions. Photos by Mike Mastrandrea



The stakes were high at WWE Night of Champions. Mark Henry was gunning for his first World Heavyweight Championship, Alberto Del Rio looked to make his first successful pay-per-view title defense, and most importantly, Triple H looked to remain WWE COO in his match with the rebellious CM Punk. Who would come out on top during a wild night in Buffalo?

On a night with six title matches, it was the card's lone non-title bout that headlined the show as Triple H put his position as WWE's Chief Operating Officer on the line in a one-fall, no disqualification bout with former WWE Champion CM Punk.

CM Punk entered the ring with his new shirt, black with a picture of a WWE ice cream bar with his likeness on it. Triple H came to the ring with his signature water-spitting entrance only to have Punk attack him before he could even turn around. It was on from there as the two proceeded to brawl around the ringside area. Within 90 seconds they spill over the English announce table. Triple H goes for a Pedigree but Punk counters with a GTS attempt but Triple H escapes and Punk heads into the ring where the brawling continues.

They don't last long in the ring, though, as the brawling spills back out to the floor and then into the crowd. The two go back and forth as they go through the crowd and back up to the set, where Triple H hit a big slingshot that sent Punk into an LED board. Triple H goes for the Pedigree but Punk backdrops him over the same LED board and then comes down on him. Then he throws two sandbags at him.

They head back to the ring and Punk grabs a chair from under it. He wedges it between the ropes in the corner but Triple H takes over and chucks Punk into the chair and he flies to the outside. Now Triple H comes in with a huge chop block. He puts Punk in the ring and his legs around the post and smashes the knee with a chair against the post. Triple H goes over and starts clearing out the Spanish announce table. He grabs a monitor and goes to hit Punk with it but eats a kick instead and ends up sprawled out on the table. Punk goes back into the ring, heads to the top rope and crushes Triple H and the table with an elbow drop. Both men down now.

Both men crawl into the ring and The Miz and R-Truth come running to the ring and start beating up both men. They put the boots to them and then Miz hits Triple H with a Skull-Crushing Finale and Punk gets a Paydirt. They put Punk on top of Triple H for the cover and referee Scott Armstrong looks at them and finally makes the count and Triple H kicks out at two. Now Miz gets in Armstrong's face and shoves him. Miz takes a swing at him but Armstrong blocks it and socks him. Truth hits Armstrong from behind and then Miz and Truth beat him down. Now here comes John Laurinaitis. As he walks to the ring, Triple H and Punk get up and beat up Miz and Truth and then Triple H hits Punk with the Pedigree. A new referee comes down but Laurinaitis stops him and tells him to check on Armstrong. While Triple H yells at Laurinaitis, Punk hits GTS but Truth breaks up the count, pulling Punk outside. Punk responds with a GTS on him.


Triple H hits the Pedigree on CM Punk.
Punk goes to the top and comes down but Triple H kicks him and hits the Pedigree. Into the cover but Punk kicks out at two. Now Laurinaitis is on his phone and is texting someone, apparently. And out through the crowd comes Kevin Nash. He socks Punk and Triple H. He puts Triple H into the corner and starts drilling him. He pulls him out and goes for the Jackknife but Punk stops him and he wants a piece of Nash. Nash, though, fends him off and knees him in the gut and hits the Jackknife on him.

Nash goes to the outside and drills Triple H. He clears off the announce table but turns around right into a shot from Triple H's trusty sledgehammer. Triple H gets back in the ring as Punk staggers to his feet. Boot, Pedigree, fin.

Winner via pinfall and STILL WWE Chief Operating Officer: Triple H

Match Rating: 8/10

The next WWE pay-per-view is Hell in a Cell on Oct. 2.

Following a video package, Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler and Booker T welcome us to tonight's show, a seven-match affair from First Niagara Center in Buffalo, N.Y.

Match #1 - WWE Tag Team Championship - (c) Kofi Kingston (Ghana, West Africa) & Evan Bourne (St. Louis, Mo.) vs. The Miz (Cleveland, Ohio) & R-Truth (Charlotte, NC)


R-Truth vents.
Big start for Bourne and Kingston, as they force Miz and Truth to the outside and then hit stereo crossbodies onto the floor. In the ring, though, Truth hits a cheap shot and they take over. Truth working a headlock on Bourne but he hits a Northern Lights Suplex to get out of it. Both men down now but Bourne has a long way to go to get to his corner. Truth gets the tag to Miz but Miz rushes in and barely cuts Bourne off from making the tag to Kingston.

Miz goes for the Skull-Crushing Finale but Bourne rolls through it and leaps to the tag from Kingston. Kingston is rolling. He hits the Boom Drop and calls for the Trouble in Paradise but Truth distracts him. Miz comes charging but Kingston avoids and hits the SOS for a near fall. Truth again gets involved and snaps Kingston's neck on the rope and Miz hits a new move, some sort of inverted DDT but Kingston kicks out of the hold at two. Then Truth takes the referee as Miz has Kingston, but Kingston tries to get the tag but doesn't get close, so Bourne just slaps his hands together and when the referee turns around, he allows it and he comes in. Miz complains until Bourne rolls him up for two.

Bourne with kicks on both men and he goes up for the Shooting Star Press but Miz rolls out and Bourne lands on his feet. Miz hits a DDT but Kingston breaks up the pin. The referee sends Kingston to the outside and Miz and Truth make a legal tag but the referee doesn't allow it because he didn't see it. Truth is incensed and Miz hits Bourne with the Skull-Crushing Finale. He's got the cover for about seven seconds before the referee finally gets done with Truth and Bourne kicks out at one. Miz blows his stack and hits the referee and that's it.

Winners via disqualification and STILL WWE Tag Tag Champions: Kofi Kingston and Evan Bourne

Match Rating: 7/10

After the match, Miz and Truth continue attacking the referee while yelling out about the conspiracy.

Match #2 - WWE Intercontinental Championship - (c) Cody Rhodes (Marietta, Ga.) vs. Ted DiBiase (West Palm Beach, Fla.)

Rhodes with a kick to the stomach but DiBiase responds with a nice dropkick. Rhodes slaps DiBiase and then later hits the Beautiful Disaster and goes to work. Rhodes with a shoulder lock. Rhodes all over DiBiase, humiliating him with slaps to the back of the head. He locks in an abdominal stretch with an elbow in the side. He lets that go and hits a dropkick of his own.

DiBiase gets going with an inverted atomic drop and then a slap. A running knee gets a two count. DiBiase charges Rhodes and eats a boot but grabs him coming out with a sit out spinebuster for two. Both men slow to their feet and Rhodes tries for the Beautiful Disaster again but DiBiase dropkicks him out of it.

DiBiase sets Rhodes up on the top turnbuckle and follows him up but Rhodes headbutts DiBiase down. DiBiase comes back and throws Rhodes off and then he rips the mask off. DiBiase goes to hit Rhodes with it but Rhodes ducks under and rolls him up for the fall.

Winner via pinfall and STILL Intercontinental Champion: Cody Rhodes

Match Rating: 5.5/10

The former two-time World Heavyweight Champion Christian is out. He's out to ask for one more match to become the World Heavyweight Champion. He officially challenges the winner of tonight's match between Randy Orton and Mark Henry to a match immediately when their match is done. He gets the crowd to chant "one more match" with him until he is interrupted by Sheamus. Sheamus calls him a complainer and Christian says this doesn't concern him. Sheamus says it does.

Sheamus says if he helps Christian get one more match and he wins the title, he has to promise him his first title defense will be against him. Sheamus then gets the crowd to chant one more match. He goes around the ring like a cheerleader and then gives Christian a Brogue Kick. Awesome.

Match #3 - Fatal Four-Way Match for the WWE United States Championship - (c) Dolph Ziggler (Hollywood, Fla.) vs. John Morrison (Los Angeles, Calif.) vs. Alex Riley (Washington, DC) vs. Jack Swagger (Perry, Okla.)

Riley hits the TKO on Swagger but Vickie Guerrero puts Swagger's foot on the bottom rope. While he's yelling at her, Ziggler attacks. Then Ziggler starts yelling at Guerrero, who saved him the title. He gets hit by a kick from Morrison but quickly overtakes Morrison. That doesn't last long, though, as Morrison loads Ziggler onto the top rope. Morrison gets hung up in the tree of woe and Riley comes flying in, jumping to the top, but Morrison pulls himself up and suplexes Riley. Then Swagger comes running up and throws Ziggler off the top.

Morrison sets Riley up for Starship Pain but he gets his knees up. Then Ziggler puts Morrison in the sleeper but Swaggers comes in and puts Riley in the ankle lock. Morrison slides out of the ring and escapes and Riley sends Swagger flying right into Ziggler. Riley hits Swagger with the implant DDT but Swagger kicks out at the last moment. After a brief moment, Swagger rolls and catches Riley in the ankle lock. Morrison comes in and goes for a kick but Swagger ducks it and goes after Morrison, hitting him with the gut-wrench power bomb. Before he can make the cover, Ziggler comes flying in and shoves him out of the way and steals the pin.

Winner via pinfall and STILL WWE United States Champion: Dolph Ziggler

Match Rating: 7/10

Match #4 - World Heavyweight Championship - (c) Randy Orton (St. Louis, Mo.) vs. Mark Henry (Silsbee, Texas)

WHAT YOU THINK
What did you think of WWE Night of Champions?
It was great - 17%
It was okay - 23%
It sucked - 16%
Didn't see it - 44%
Orton goes after Henry's knees right from the get-go and actually has him off his feet about 30 seconds into the match. Henry, though, takes a knee to the head and pops right up and is not happy. He charges but Orton sidesteps and Henry goes flying to the outside. Henry comes back in and takes over after Orton attempts an RKO. He goes for the World's Strongest Slam but Orton slips up on the uptake. Orton ends up in the corner on the top rope and Henry just swats him to the floor.

Henry follows to the outside and runs Orton into the ring apron. Then he puts Orton just inside the ring and bends him around the ring post. Henry is all over Orton now. Orton, though, fires up and tries to mount a comeback. Henry misses the World's Strongest Splash and Orton mounts Henry in the corner with punches. The comeback doesn't last long, though, as Henry counters the draping DDT and hits the World's Strongest Slam but Orton kicks out at two.

Henry goes for a Vader Bomb but Orton gets a boot up, hits a chop block and then a DDT. He starts slithering but Henry rolls to the apron. Orton grabs him and hits the draping DDT, planting Henry into the canvas. Into the cover but Henry gets his hand on the bottom rope. Orton takes too long to capitalize, though, and Henry catches him coming in and then takes his leg out with a kick. Orton pulls himself up on Henry and Henry just stares at him, shaking his head. Orton goes for the RKO but Henry shoves him off and grabs him coming in and hits the World's Strongest Slam. The referee down to count. 1-2-3! New champion!

Winner via pinfall and NEW World Heavyweight Champion: Mark Henry

Match Rating: 15/10

Dreams do come true.

Match #5 - WWE Divas Championship - (c) Kelly Kelly (Jacksonville, Fla.) vs. Beth Phoenix (Buffalo, NY)

Kelly with a 'rana early on but Phoenix takes over, even putting Kelly over her knee and spanking her at one point. Then she slingshots her into the bottom rope. Kelly tries some rollup attempts but Phoenix kicks out. She goes for the K2 but Phoenix counters with a huge clothesline. Phoenix loads Kelly onto the top rope and hits a huge superplex. Both women down. Phoenix finally makes the cover but Kelly kicks out. Phoenix goes for a power bomb but Kelly flips out and rolls through and gets the pin.

Winner via pinfall and STILL WWE Divas Champion: Kelly Kelly

Match Rating: 5/10


John Cena lifts Alberto Del Rio.
Match #6 - WWE Championship - (c) Alberto Del Rio (San Luis Potosi, Mexico) vs. John Cena (West Newbury, Mass.)

Referee Charles Robinson boots Ricardo Rodriguez from ringside very early on for tripping Cena.

Del Rio comes off the crowd with a double ax handle as the crowd gets after it with dueling chants. Del Rio with a big boot to the head and now he goes to work on Cena's left arm. Now he puts on a chinlock with a knee square in the lower back. Cena tries to get going but Del Rio clips him with a clothesline to keep him at bay. Del Rio gets Cena on the middle rope and goes for the slide by but Cena moves and Del Rio goes flying to the floor. Del Rio hops up on the apron and Cena greets him with a suplex and now both men are down.

Now Cena starts to get going. He hits the Five Knuckle Shuffle and goes for the Attitude Adjustment but Del Rio slips it and hits a backcracker for two. Cena with a dropkick and he goes to the top but Del Rio hops up and hits a kick to the head. Tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for Del Rio. Del Rio puts Cena in the tree of woe and charges but Cena pulls up and Del Rio goes shoulder-first into the post. Cena follows with the leg drop from the top for two.

Del Rio gets going, though, and hits a back splash off the top for two. Del Rio goes for the armbar but he can't fully get it. Cena lifts Del Rio up and slams him down, breaking the hold. He follows with the AA but Rodriguez runs down. Cena runs him into the post and then locks in the STF on Del Rio. He taps.

Winner via submission and NEW WWE Champion: John Cena

Match Rating: 6/10

Match #7 - No Disqualification Match - CM Punk (Chicago, Ill.) vs. Triple H (Greenwich, Conn.)

Winner via pinfall and STILL WWE Chief Operating Officer: Triple H

Match Rating: 8/10

Event Rating: 7.5/10

RELATED LINKS

  • WWE Night of Champions Photo Gallery
  • Buffalo fans left satisfied, wanting more
  • Countdown to WWE Night of the Champions

    Matt Bishop can be reached at bishop20@msu.edu. Please include your name and hometown. Click here to follow Matt on Twitter. Should be a good one!.