The WWE Night of Champions concept was pretty simple. It was the night where every championship in WWE was on the line. Back in 2010, they weren’t overloaded with titles the way they are today, but there were still a lot of them. The main event was an Elimination Six-Pack Challenge for the WWE Title featuring six of Raw’s biggest stars. The second biggest match was Smackdown’s World Title feud between the “brothers” Kane, who was the World Champion, and The Undertaker. They had three PPVs close together since Hell in a Cell was two weeks later and then Bragging Rights was three weeks after that.
This show did 165,000 buys on pay-per-view. That was over 100,000 buys less than the year before, so that’s not a good sign for business. It only topped a few PPVs in 2010. In other words, it was not a great success for WWE.
The good thing was they were in Chicago for the show and they are some of WWE’s best fans, so it was a sold out show with a vocal crowd. This year was also my first full year writing the WWE Raw Deal reviews. I started in May 2009.
Here is the synopsis on WWE Network:
“On one of the most prestigious nights of the year, The Undertaker challenges Kane in No Holds Barred Match for World Championship. Sheamus defends the WWE Championship in 6-Pack Challenge Elimination Match against John Cena, Randy Orton, Edge, Chris Jericho, and Wade Barrett. Plus four more Championship Matches.” PG (V)
Here’s what the DVD looked like.
Check out the full list of my WWE PPV Review archive right here. Let’s get to the show.
WWE Night of Champions
Allstate Arena in Chicago, Illinois
September 19, 2010
The opening video package focused on what it meant to be a champion. They also featured the WWE Title and World Title matches as the main matchups on the show.
There was an impressive pyro display and it looked like a packed house in Chicago as usual. The announce team was by Michael Cole (from Raw), Jerry Lawler (from Raw) and Matt Striker (from Smackdown).
Vickie Guerrero made her entrance with the lovely Kaitlyn since this was during the time of NXT’s competition show. Vickie introduced the Intercontinental Champion and her boyfriend, the Intercontinental Champion Dolph Ziggler. Kofi Kingston made his entrance as the challenger. The announcers talked about how pretty Vickie looked, Cole said he was attracted to her and then mentioned that she was too old for Lawler. I agreed.
Intercontinental Championship: Dolph Ziggler vs. Kofi Kingston
Pre-match notes: Ziggler was the heel champion while Kingston was the face. These guys wrestled a lot in this era.
If Dolph Ziggler is counted out or disqualified then he will lose the title.
They battled on the mat, they exchanged some holds and Kofi went for a kick, but Ziggler backed away to avoid it. Kofi sent Ziggler out of the ring with a clothesline. Kaitlyn checked on Ziggler on the floor, so Vickie told Kaitlyn to go to the back. I don’t like that. Back in the ring, Kofi got a rollup for two. Kofi with a standing dropkick on Ziggler, but when he went for a running attack, Ziggler moved and Ziggler hit a running dropkick for two. Ziggler with a neckbreaker for a two count. Ziggler with a headscissors taking control, Kofi got out of that with a forearm and then Ziggler hit a kick to the face for two. Ziggler applied a body scissors. Ziggler with a Mr. Perfect-like forward neckbreaker for two. Ziggler with a Billy Gunn-like Fameasser for two. Ziggler applied a chinlock and then another version of a chinlock. Kofi came back with punches, Ziggler to the turnbuckle and an uppercut. Ziggler ran right into two rising boots from Kofi. Kingston jumped off the top with a cross body block with Ziggler jumping into it, which looked too silly. Kingston with a dropkick followed by a Thesz Press, punches to the head and a Boom Drop leg drop. Kofi went for Trouble in Paradise, Ziggler got out of it and went for a sleeper. Kofi avoided that enough to hit the SOS trip into a slam for a two count as Ziggler put his foot on the middle rope during the pin attempt. Kofi jumped off the apron with a cross body block on Ziggler on the floor. Kofi with a body slam on the floor and then back into the ring for two. Cole screamed about how Kofi should have left Ziggler on the floor to win by countout. Ziggler applied an aggressive sleeper, Kofi tried to fight it, then Ziggler took him down to the mat and Kofi managed to break free leading to a sleeper of his own briefly until Ziggler sent Kofi to the ropes. Ziggler told Vickie not to hit Kofi or else Dolph would get DQ’d and lose the title. Kingston went for Trouble in Paradise, Ziggler moved and Ziggler hit the Zig Zag for the pinfall win at 12:42.
Winner by pinfall: Dolph Ziggler
Analysis: *** It was a good match as usual from these guys. They wrestled a lot in their career, especially during this period. There were some slow parts to the match, but then the action picked up a lot and the fans were into it when Ziggler nearly won with the sleeper hold. The tension between Dolph and Vickie nearly led to Kofi winning, but Dolph avoided the kick and the Zig Zag ended it clean for Ziggler.
After the match, it looked like Vickie was upset about being told by Ziggler not to interfere, but then she raised his hand. Vickie posed with the title.
Edge was interviewed by Todd Grisham about his strategy in the Six-Pack Challenge. Edge told Todd to ask the other men how they expect to beat him. Edge said that they call him the Ultimate Opportunist for a reason and tonight he does it again when he walks out as the new WWE Champion.
CM Punk got a big ovation from the hometown crowd. Punk was a heel, but he usually got cheered in Chicago with Lawler saying he was surprised by this reception.
Punk did a promo saying he loved Chicago while naming different things he loved about it like the parks, museums, and history. Punk said what he despised is the inhabitants of Chicago while pointing at the fans saying they ruined his beautiful city. Punk complained about teamsters, politicians, police officers and the horrible Chicago White Sox. Punk complained about feeding children with fast food and pass out taking pills. Punk said that they make him sick. Punk said they are the scum of the Earth and the city should be burned to the ground. Punk said that he will be a straight edge utopia. Punk said that we all saw Big Show knock him out with his stupid fist, but he stands here defiant, confident and he runs from nobody. Punk said that tonight he is David, Big Show is Goliath and Punk’s slingshot is the “power of almighty straight edge.” End promo.
Analysis: That was a great promo turning heel on the fans that were cheering him moments earlier.
Big Show got a pretty big pop from the crowd. The fans popped for his Chokeslam sign in the ring.
Big Show vs. CM Punk
Pre-match notes: Big Show was the face while Punk was the heel.
Punk tried punches, then his quickness and a dropkick, but Show brushed it off. Show punched Punk in the back followed by a boot to the throat. Show chopped Punk out of the ring. Punk came back with a kick while on the apron and then a running knee to the jaw. Punk with a slingshot attack over the top onto Show on the floor, so it was like a senton splash. Punk with some kicks to the body, Show came back with a punch to the ribs and Punk hit a diving elbow. Show kicked out of pin attempts at one. Show with another punch to the ribs, so Punk kicked Show in the head. Punk jumped off the top rope, which led to Show hitting him with a tackle. When Punk staggered back to his feet, Show decked him with the KO Punch for the pinfall win at 4:43.
Winner by pinfall: Big Show
Analysis: *1/2 A short match to put over Big Show. Punk was on offense for most of it, but then it took two moves for Show to put him away. The fans were into it because of Punk’s pre-match promo that riled them up, so they were happy when Show found a way to win. It seemed like Big Show beat Punk a lot during this feud.
Chris Jericho was interviewed by Josh Mathews about the Six-Pack Challenge for the WWE Championship. Jericho said that the GM put him in the match for a reason because he knows Jericho’s track record in matches like this. Jericho bragged about past victories in multi-man matches and this is his type of match. Jericho said he’ll eliminate them all. Jericho said he guaranteed he’ll walk out of the Six-Pac Challenge as the new WWE Champion and the reason is not luck, it’s because he is “the best in the world at what I do.”
Analysis: With regards to that guarantee, my only comment is that heels lie.
They showed some members of the National Guard in attendance.
There was a video package about The Miz defending the US Championship against Daniel Bryan. It started back on NXT seven months earlier when Miz was Bryan’s mentor even though Bryan had been wrestling for twice as long as Miz while Miz claimed he was trying to help Bryan become a WWE Superstar. Bryan challenged Miz to a US Championship match, Miz accepted and it was on.
Analysis: I liked the rivalry. I think it was beneficial for both guys. People were legitimately mad that The Miz was the “mentor” of Bryan, so WWE played into that in the story.
The Miz made his entrance as the United States Champion and the Money in the Bank briefcase holder. Miz was joined by his NXT season two rookie Alex Riley. Daniel Bryan got a decent pop along with some generic music. Cole was biased on commentary with his support for Miz and criticism of Bryan.
United States Championship: The Miz (w/Alex Riley) vs. Daniel Bryan
Pre-match notes: The Miz was the heel while Bryan was the face. This was Bryan’s first full year on the main WWE roster.
Bryan went for a submission early on, but Miz slipped out of it and Miz bailed to the floor. They ran the ropes with Bryan hitting a jumping kick to the chest. Miz pulled on Bryan’s arm against the top rope. Miz wrenched the left arm against the ropes and whipped Bryan into the turnbuckle. The announcers bickered some more. Cole to Striker: “I wish you went away right now.” Miz grounded Bryan in a submission where he pulled back on the arms with Bryan turning it into a backslide pin, but Miz came back with a kick to the shoulder. Riley got in a cheap shot pulling on Bryan’s arm against the ropes when the referee didn’t see it. Bryan with forearms to the face, Miz picked him up and he hit a shoulderbreaker for a two count. Miz pulled back on the left arm against the bottom rope. Miz applied an armbar again as the fans chanted for Bryan. Miz charged, Bryan avoided it and Bryan sent Miz out of the ring. Bryan with a suicide dive onto Miz on the floor. Back in the ring, Bryan jumped off the top with a missile dropkick for two. Bryan with a running kick to the chest for two. Miz kicked Bryan into the turnbuckle, Bryan with a boot on a charging Miz and Bryan would hit the running knee/kick for two. That would become Bryan’s finisher a few years later. They exchanged punches with Bryan favoring the left arm, but then Bryan came back with repeated kicks and a running dropkick. Bryan kicked Miz in the head with a roundhouse kick for a two count. Bryan had Miz on the ropes, Miz shoved Bryan off so that Bryan was seated on the top rope and Miz hit a huge clothesline for a two count. Miz went back to working on the left arm with Bryan getting his foot on the bottom rope to break the hold. Miz went for the Skull Crushing Finale, Bryan slipped out of it and sat on top for two. Riley was on the apron, Bryan moved and Miz punched Riley. Bryan hooked the arms with his legs for a two count. Great nearfall there. Miz dumped Bryan out of the ring. Riley charged, Bryan avoided and sent Bryan into the ring post. Miz got an inside cradle on Bryan for two. Miz punched Bryan repeatedly, the referee made him back off and Bryan applied the LeBell Lock (known as the Yes Lock in the future). The fans were into it, Miz couldn’t get out of it and Miz tapped out. Bryan won the US Championship. It went 12:29.
Winner by pinfall AND NEW United States Champion: Daniel Bryan
Analysis: ***1/2 A very good match with Bryan putting on a tremendous performance as usual. The Miz worked hard to keep up with him and I liked the story of Miz working on the left arm throughout, but I would have liked to see Miz try some arm submissions. I know he’s not a big arm submission guy, but at least do something to capitalize on all the left arm work in the match. That’s the whole point of working on a body part, right? Anyway, I like how they got to the finish with Miz punching Bryan, then the referee made him move back and when Bryan got that separation, he locked in the LeBell Lock for the tapout win.
Daniel Bryan celebrated with the US Title while the announcers continued to bicker with Cole calling it a disgrace since Cole did not like Bryan. The fans cheered for Bryan, who was still selling the left arm injury. The Miz was nearly in tears about the loss.
Analysis: This was Bryan’s first title win in WWE. He would go on to win many more titles in WWE over the next decade. As for Miz, he would go on to cash in Money in the Bank two months later and become the WWE Champion for the first time.
A video aired featuring WWE superstars talking about injuries they had in their career, so they were telling fans “don’t try this at home.”
John Cena was interviewed by Josh Mathews with Cena in the purple/yellow gear at this point. Cena said this whole thing is percentages. He kept on ranting about numbers while mentioning the crowd may be hostile, which drew some boos. He said maybe we’ll find out Sheamus is made of 2% milk. Cena said nobody knows who is going to win, but you should never count him out.
Analysis: A lot of confidence shown by Cena, but not overconfidence because then that would be heelish.
The Lumberjills made their entrance to surround the ring. Michelle McCool was up first as the WWE Women’s Champion. Layla didn’t look thrilled about it. McCool was able to work her way into being in this match while Layla didn’t look thrilled about it. There was a good crowd reaction for Melina as the Divas Champion.
Lumberjill Match – WWE Women’s Championship and Divas Championship Unification Match: Michelle McCool vs. Melina
Pre-match notes: Michelle McCool was the heel Women’s Champion while Melina was the babyface Divas Champion. I referred to Michelle as McTaker a lot in this era since she was dating (and eventually married) The Undertaker.
The Lumberjills were: Alicia Fox, Brie Bella, Eve Torres, Gail Kim, Jillian Hall, Kelly Kelly, Layla, Maryse, Natalya, Nikki Bella, Rosa Mendes and Tamina. My three favorites out of that group would be Natalya, Maryse and Layla.
During Melina’s entrance, McCool tried a dropkick, but Melina avoided it and then the match began. The women locked up and then went to the floor. McCool slapped Rosa for no reason. Melina with a headscissors into a back kick. Melina kicked the leg. Melina set up McCool against the ropes setting up for a big move, but then McCool pulled Melina’s hair to toss her off the top to the floor. That looked painful. The women on the floor didn’t put Melina back in the ring. McCool hit a running neckbreaker on Melina for two. McCool joked Melina against the ropes. McCool wrapped her legs around Melina’s head with a submission. McCool spoke to Melina, so they did the next spot with Melina countering a move into a facebuster into the mat. McCool with a belly to belly suplex for two. McCool tried to kick Natalya, so Natalya grabbed the foot, the referee was distracted and Melina got a rollup for two. It was longer than two if the referee was there. McCool left the ring, Natalya beat her up with punches and the other girls got involved by punching McCool. Not Layla, though. Rosa tried to punch Jillian, then Jillian just pushed her back and that stopped. That was bad. Anyway, back in the ring, Melina hit a flapjack followed by a spin kick to the head. Melina with a dropkick into the ropes. Melina with a running double knee attack against the ropes. Melina let out a scream, the fans cheered and then McCool slammed her by the head. McCool set up Melina on the top as they tried a move, but then they tumbled to the floor. I don’t know if that was planned although I think it was. The women went after McCool on the floor while Melina was the ring. The referee looked at the girls on the floor while Layla went after Melina with a kick. Melina ended up tossing Layla out of the ring. McCool took advantage of that with a boot to the face for the pinfall win at 6:34.
Winner by pinfall AND NEW Divas Champions & Women’s Champion Michelle McCool
Analysis: *3/4 It was fine for the time given. That length of time was pretty much the average for the women’s matches in this era. It was weird how the women weren’t getting involved when women were tossed out of the ring at times and other times they beat up McCool. In the end, it played into the finish since Melina had to deal with Layla (who acted like she was mad at McCool) and then McCool capitalized with a big boot to win. I would have had Melina kick out of the kick and then McCool hit the Faithbreaker to win. That way Melina looks tougher in defeat.
Michelle McCool celebrated with the Women’s and Divas Titles with Layla joining her in a celebratory hug. I would like to get hugged by Layla like that. Just saying. The babyface women were supportive of Melina while Michelle/Layla aka Laycool celebrated the win.
Analysis: The celebration showed that Layla wasn’t against Michelle after all. They fooled people into thinking there was an issue.
Wade Barrett was interviewed by Todd Grisham. It was Wade’s first chance to win the WWE Title in his career. Barrett said he heard what his opponents have been saying and he agrees they represent greatness, but they also represent status quo in WWE. Barrett said against five of WWE’s best superstars, he will prove that the winds of change are blowing, that he’s the future of WWE and he’s the next WWE Champion.
Analysis: I think at this point in his career, most people would assume that Barrett would win the WWE Title or World Title at some point. It didn’t happen.
There was a video package between the World Heavyweight Champion Kane against his “brother” The Undertaker. They showed some clips of the long history of the Undertaker/Kane story over the 13 years before this. Kane said instead of destroying Undertaker’s legend, Kane made it better. Kane said that Undertaker is the brother that he destroyed. Kane bragged about putting Undertaker in a “vegetative state” and he dedicated his life to being the dominant brother. Undertaker said he’s not dead yet and this is still his yard. The Undertaker mentioned when they fought, it always ended the same way (Undertaker won most of their matches) and Kane said it won’t be like that this time.
Analysis: The “vegetative state” story was when Kane swore that he would destroy whoever attacked The Undertaker. It turned out that it was Kane, so the story was that Undertaker may have been weaker going into this match. Some of the promos from Kane were good, but it was also a bit silly too.
The Undertaker made his entrance first to a big ovation as usual. Kane entered as the World Heavyweight Champion. The Undertaker went after Kane on the ramp.
No Holds Barred Match for the WWE Championship: Kane vs. The Undertaker
Pre-match notes: Kane was the heel World Champion on Smackdown while The Undertaker was a face. Kane won the title about three months earlier.
They got into a brawl on the ramp as the bell rang to start the match. Taker beat on Kane with punches as they brawled on the stage. There were some pillars all around the staging area, so Taker threw Undertaker into one of them. Kane came back with kicks to the legs. Taker came back with punches to work over Kane on the ramp. Kane with kicks to keep Taker down. Taker came back with a whip into the barricade followed by punches. They got closer to the ring with Kane whipping Taker into the steel steps. Kane bat on Taker with punches and a whip into the steel ring post. Kane grabbed the World Heavyweight Title, he hit Taker in the ribs with it and connected with more punches and kicks. They finally got into the ring with Kane hitting a top rope clothesline. Kane with a leg drop for the first nearfall of the match. Kane worked over Taker with clotheslines, a corner splash and a running dropkick. Kane delivered an elbow smash to the chest that led to Taker bumping to the floor. Kane tossed Taker into the announce table and Kane tossed the thin announce table cover into Taker, so Taker bumped. Taker got some momentum back by whipping Kane into the steel steps. Taker hit his vintage leg drop on the ring apron with both guys bumping to the floor. Kane got up first, but Taker met him with a clothesline over the barricade. Kane jumped over the barricade to tackle Kane at ringside. Kane came back with a chair to the ribs. Taker walked into the crowd, so they got into a fight there with Taker connecting with some punches. Kane with a running knee against Taker’s head against the barricade. Back at ringside, Kane jumped off the barricade and punched Taker to knock him down.
They were back in the ring with the crowd pretty quiet as Kane worked over Taker with punches and kicks. Kane punched Taker repeatedly while against the turnbuckle. They exchanged punches with the fans cheering for all of Taker’s punches, Kane with a knee to the gut and Taker ran the ropes leading to a leaping clothesline. Taker with a running splash against the turnbuckle. Taker sent Kane into the top turnbuckle for Snake Eyes, then a boot to the face and a leg drop for two. Taker hit a Chokeslam to a big pop. Taker picked up Kane, but Kane countered it into a Tombstone and covered Taker for the clean win. It went 18:29.
Winner by pinfall: Kane
Analysis: ** It was an average brawling match. Most Undertaker/Kane matches aren’t great, but they are heavy in story and that’s what people like about them. It was a lot of punching and standing around, so it wasn’t that exciting to watch. There were some parts of the match where the crowd was dead. I think going nearly 20 minutes was a mistake. The longer it went, the more boring it was. When Undertaker made his comeback, it did it get better, but that was it after about ten minutes of Kane punching him repeatedly. Kane beating Undertaker clean was a huge shock because normally Taker didn’t lose clean, but that’s what happened here. For a No Holds Barred match, they didn’t use a lot of weapons.
Kane was shown celebrating with the World Heavyweight Title while The Undertaker was down the in the ring. The feud would continue at the Hell in a Cell 2010 PPV in a Hell in a Cell match in the main event spot. Taker was selling a lot after the match since he took his time leaving the ring.
Analysis: It was the first time Kane beat Undertaker in a feud. The main reason for it is because of Kane’s attack that put Undertaker in a “vegetative state” so Undertaker sold like he wasn’t 100% healthy at this point. Since Undertaker was slowing down as a regular wrestler, it made sense to put over Kane, who was younger and had more years left.
Randy Orton was asked by Todd Grisham if he had anything to say to the other wrestlers in the WWE Championship. The fans were chanting “Randy” at the sight of Orton on the screen. Orton thought about it, took his time and said: “No.” What an interview.
Tag Team Turmoil Match for the WWE Tag Team Championships
There were five teams. Two team start. Once eliminated, you are gone and the winners and move on until the last team become the Tag Team Champions.
The Hart Dynasty (David Hart Smith & Tyson Kidd) w/Natalya vs. The Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso) w/Tamina
The Hart Dynasty were the champions. To keep the titles, they had to beat four teams. Kidd got a nearfall on Jey, then Jimmy tagged in and missed a corner attack. Smith with a boot to the face on the Uso on the apron and a belly to bely suplex. Jimmy saved Jey by pulling him out of the ring, so Kidd went up top and hit a springboard moonsault on both guys on the floor. Back in the ring, Kidd got a two count. Tamina with a distraction. One of the Usos sent Smith out of the ring and Tamina was distracting the referee. Kidd was kicked in the head by one of the Usos leading to Kidd getting pinned, so the champs were out.
The Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso) w/Tamina vs. Santino & Vladimir Kozlov
Santino was on fire with a hiptoss to a huge ovation followed by a running headbutt for two as the pin was broken up. Kozlov tackled one of the Usos out of the ring. Tamina was on the ring apron doing the Cobra with Santino. That led to Jey hitting a Samoan Drop on Santino to pin him. Kozlov never tagged in.
The Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso) w/Tamina vs. Mark Henry & Evan Bourne
Bourne was aggressive with kicks to the leg, a flying headscissors and then Jimmy cut him down with an elbow smash. Bourne broke free to bring in Henry with clotheslines and punches. Henry with a headbutt. Henry shoved Jey off the apron. Henry hit the World’s Strongest Slam on Jimmy. Bourne went up top and hit the Air Bourne SSP for the pinfall win.
Mark Henry & Evan Bourne vs. Drew McIntyre & “Dashing” Cody Rhodes
McIntyre was aggressive as he stomped on Bourne and Cody followed up with a suplex. McIntyre with a clothesline. McIntyre with an armbar on Bourne, who broke free with an armdrag. Cody was back in to prevent a tag and he got a two count on Bourne. Cody stomped on Bourne. McIntyre back in with a gutbuster slamming Bourne’s ribs into the knee. McIntyre elbowed Bourne out of the ring while Cody stomped on Bourne on the floor. Bourne broke free with knees to get out of a suplex attempt. Henry got the hot tag against Rhodes with punches and a headbutt to McIntyre too. Henry hit a running corner splash followed by a press slam. Bourne tagged in, he went on Henry’s shoulders and McIntyre kicked Henry to stop that. Bourne with a spin kick on McIntyre. Rhodes got a hold of Bourne and hit the Cross Rhodes neckbreaker for the pinfall win at 11:42.
Winners by pinfall AND NEW WWE Tag Team Champions: Drew McIntyre & Cody Rhodes
Analysis: **1/2 There were four pinfalls in under twelve minutes, so it was very fast-paced. The positive of that is there’s a lot of action, but it’s tough to get into the falls when they are so quick. It would have been nice if the Hart Dynasty were in the match longer since they were the champions and instead they were out of the match early. The Usos had a solid showing in the match. Cody and Drew winning was a bit random since they weren’t a regular team, but it was a way to put over a new team of young wrestlers.
McIntyre and Rhodes celebrated the title win. That meant they could appear on either brand.
Analysis: It was not a great time for tag teams in WWE although The Hart Dynasty and The Usos were good. McIntyre and Rhodes were a heel team comprised of two singles wrestlers that weren’t doing anything else, so they got the win here.
There was a video about Alberto Del Rio, who had already debuted. He got a big push as soon as he arrived.
The video package aired for the main event six-pack challenge match. It basically showed highlights of all six guys in the match with clips of them in action as well as some promos. It ended with a question: “Who will be champion?”
Sheamus was interviewed by Josh Mathews with Sheamus holding the WWE Championship on his left shoulder. Sheamus was asked if he was concerned, but Sheamus quickly denied that. Sheamus said no matter the stipulation, he wins them all. Sheamus claimed that an elimination match suits him. Sheamus claimed that tonight will end with a Brogue Kick to somebody’s skull and leaving with two things – a smile on his face and the WWE Title on his shoulder.
Analysis: Sheamus was always a solid promo guy. I wouldn’t say the best in the company or anything, but always a guy that carried himself with confidence even at this point early in his career.
Sheamus made his entrance as the WWE Champion to boos from the crowd. John Cena was next to a thunderous ovation full of cheers and boos. It was the typical loud reaction as usual. Edge was next as a heel although he wasn’t being booed that much like during his best days a heel. Chris Jericho was up next as one of the top heels in the company at the time. Jericho was doing some of his best work at this point in his career as an arrogant heel. Wade Barrett was up next wearing a Nexus shirt. There wasn’t much of a reaction for Barrett on his way into the ring. Randy Orton got a big ovation as soon as his music hit with Lawler shouting “whoa” when he heard that initial pop. Cole said that Orton was on the biggest roll of anybody in WWE at the time. Big pop for Orton doing his signature pose on the middle turnbuckle. All six guys waited in the ring as Justin Roberts did the introductions for each man.
Analysis: The order doesn’t matter that much, but I’m a bit surprised by Cena going so early. Orton going last was because he was gaining a lot of momentum as a face. Sheamus entered first and then he was introduced last.
Six-Pack Elimination Challenge for the WWE Championship: Sheamus vs. John Cena vs. Edge vs. Randy Orton vs. Wade Barrett vs. Chris Jericho
Pre-match notes: Sheamus was the heel WWE Champion while Barrett, Edge and Jericho were also heels. Cena and Orton were faces. Everybody in the match had been a WWE World Champion except for Barrett. Sheamus won the WWE Championship three months earlier at the Fatal 4-Way pay-per-view. It was mentioned by Michael Cole that the men in this match had a combined 32 championship reigns.
It’s pinfall or submission. No countouts or disqualifications.
Barrett missed a charge on Orton and hit the turnbuckle. Orton whipped Sheamus into the barricade. Edge was sent out of the ring. Cena with a clothesline on Orton, Jericho tossed Cena out of the ring and got a two count on Orton. Cena faced off with Jericho with Cena hitting a bulldog and Orton hit an RKO on Jericho to pin him. That was quick! The crowd loved it.
Chris Jericho was eliminated by Randy Orton at 1:25.
Jericho took his time leaving the ring while Cena was shocked that they eliminated Jericho so quickly. Jericho was sad about being eliminated so early as he walked to the back.
The four guys surrounded Barrett in the middle of the ring as they took turns beating on Barrett. Sheamus and Edge hit a double clothesline on Barrett out of the ring. Cena and Orton dumped Edge and Sheamus out of the ring. That led to Cena facing off with Orton as the fans popped big for that, but Barrett was back in again. Edge and Sheamus with a double team elbow on Barrett. Cena and Orton each hit dropkicks to clear the ring. Cena did not do dropkicks that often. Orton went for an RKO on Cena, John shoved him off and Orton sent him to the apron. Cena went for the AA, Orton slipped out and Edge got involved on the apron. Barrett took out all three guys, but then Sheamus was there with a clothesline on Barrett. Back in the ring, Sheamus got a two count on Cena. Sheamus worked over Cena with a forearm to the chest. Sheamus left the ring, beat up on three guys on the floor a bit and then a knee for Cena back in the ring. Cena whipped Sheamus into the turnbuckle, Cena charged and Sheamus stopped him with a back elbow. Sheamus went for the High Cross finisher, Cena fought out of it with punches and Edge tripped up Cena on the top rope with Cena holding his knee as he landed. Edge and Sheamus gave Cena a superplex off the top rope with Edge getting a two count. Edge and Sheamus whipped Barrett into the barricade followed by Edge/Sheamus sending Orton back into the ring. Sheamus with forearms to Orton for a two count. Sheamus delivered forearms to the chest of Orton. Edge left the ring to stomp on Barrett and Cena. Sheamus whipped Edge across the ring so Edge hit a shoulder tackle on Orton against the turnbuckle. They tried it again, but Orton hit clotheslines on Edge and Sheamus followed by a powerslam on Edge. Sheamus came back with a double axehandle on Sheamus to knock Orton down again. Sheamus punched Barrett off the apron. Edge battled Sheamus with a sitout neckbreaker. Edge set up for a Spear, but Sheamus avoided it and hit a backbreaker. Edge bounced off the ropes with a Spear on Sheamus. Edge hit a Spear on Orton when Cena moved. Cena countered Edge and hit the Attitude Adjustment on Edge to pin him.
Edge was eliminated by John Cena at 15:01.
Barrett went after Cena with punches and kicks. Barrett set up for Wasteland, Cena got out of that, Cena went for the AA, Barrett got out of it and hit a DDT for a two count. Barrett stomped on the guys on the floor and then back in the ring with punches, but Cena came back with two shoulder tackles followed by the spinning slam. Cena did the Five Knuckle Shuffle into the fist rope. Cena went for Attitude Adjustment, Sheamus back in, Cena sent him into Sheamus for the STF and Sheamus nearly tapped out. Sheamus grabbed the rope to break although I don’t know why there’s a rope break in a match with no countouts or disqualifications. The other members of The Nexus (Justin Gabriel, Heath Slater, David Otunga & Michael Tarver) went to ringside to go after Cena, John fought them off and Barrett went back in with the Wasteland slam for the pinfall.
John Cena was eliminated by Wade Barrett at 18:58.
Analysis: Barrett eliminating Cena is pretty big, but it’s not like it was clean. Cena was protected as usual in this era because there were the other Nexus guys at ringside causing a distraction.
The fans were booing loudly as The Nexus guys were stomping on Orton on the floor. Orton was rolled into the ring. The fans were firmly behind Orton as the other four Nexus guys went on the apron. Cena hit Tarver and Otunga with a steel chair to the back. Huge pop for that. Orton dropped Gabriel and Slater with RKO’s for each guy. Orton with a backbreaker on Barrett. Orton was setting up for the RKO and Orton hit the RKO to a HUGE pop for the pinfall to eliminate Barrett.
Wade Barrett was eliminated by Randy Orton at 20:32.
Orton and Sheamus were the last two men, Orton was slow to get back up and he turned around right into a Brogue Kick by Sheamus. That only got a two count with Orton getting his left shoulder up to another HUGE pop. There were not a lot of guys that kicked out of that move. Sheamus went for the High Cross, Orton got out of it and Orton hit the RKO for the pinfall win! Another big ovation for that. The match went 21:28.
Sheamus was eliminated by Randy Orton at 21:28.
Winner by pinfall AND NEW WWE Champion: Randy Orton
Analysis: ***3/4 It was a pretty good main event match. The first few minutes were strong, the middle got a little dull and then the finish was strong with the multiple eliminations. The last four eliminations took place in the last six minutes, so there was a lot of action towards the end of the match. The weird thing about a match like this is that they didn’t use weapons much at all even though they were legal. I understand wanting to do the match without using a lot of chairs or tables, but from a realistic point of view, why would they go over 20 minutes without any weapons being used? It’s a bit strange to me. Anyway, Orton was terrific in the match with the crowd going wild for everything he did. As I noted in the review, Cena was protected with how he lost the match, which WWE fans were used to in this era just based on how they usually booked him. Anyway, it felt like the right time to put the title back on Orton because how much the crowd was behind him.
Randy Orton celebrated with the WWE Championship much to the delight of the Chicago crowd. With that win, Orton became a seven-time World Champion in WWE. Orton posed with the WWE Championship on the ropes with the fans cheering him some more. They showed replays of the key spots of the match.
Orton continued his celebration while showing a bit more enthusiasm than usual. Orton kept on doing poses on the turnbuckles. They showed the final RKO again. Orton posed some more and that was it.
This event had a runtime of 2:43:27 on WWE Network.
Show rating (out of 10): 6.75
It was just an average PPV with a very good main event. This wasn’t necessarily a hot period for WWE as a company, but I had forgotten how popular Randy Orton was during this face run of his career. Orton has been known as a top heel for most of his career. However, the fans in Chicago LOVED him and it was absolutely the right call to get the WWE Title in an elimination match where he earned it.
Other than the main event, I really enjoyed the Bryan/Miz match with Bryan picking up the biggest win of his career at that point. Everything else was solid at least although nothing else really blew me away or anything like that.
1. Randy Orton
2. Daniel Bryan
4. John Cena
Best Match: Six-Pack Elimination Challenge for the WWE Championship: Sheamus vs. John Cena vs. Edge vs. Randy Orton vs. Wade Barrett vs. Chris Jericho (***3/4 out of 5)
Worst Match: Big Show vs. CM Punk (*1/2)
Most Memorable Moment: Randy Orton’s final RKO on Sheamus for the pinfall win to capture the WWE Championship.
That’s all for me. Check out the full list of my WWE PPV Review archive right here. Thanks for reading.
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