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Which Was Worse: WWE Night of Champions 2011 Main Event, NOC 2012 Main Event or NOC 2013 Main Event?
Posted by Justin Watry on 08.19.2014

At last check, 50.77% of you thought Smackdown would be better off on Thursdays for WWE. Not Fridays. While a move may be coming (hopefully not coming) this Fall, my stance remains the same. The folks crying and whining to get off the 'death slot' known as Friday night on television are not likely to follow the Blue Brand regardless. What night it airs on Sy-Fy is not the problem for Smackdown. Yeah, it was cool watching Smackdown debut on Thursdays in 1999, but that era is long gone. Enough rambling! Moving to this week...

With WWE Summerslam 2014 officially in the books, it is time to move on to their next pay-per-view/special event. Of course, that means the greatness known as Night of Champions is next. When I say greatness, what I really mean is "WWE suddenly cares about all of their titles again!" until the very second the show goes off the air. Since my past few columns have been positive, we can flip the script for a change...

Just a friendly reminder: I do not use the comments section nor do I up/down vote anything. Sorry!

Which Was Worse: NOC 2011 Main Event OR NOC 2012 Main Event...OR NOC 2013 Main Event?

Because this is a triple threat debate, I will try to keep things basic and not get too long winded.

Build for Night of Champions 2011 main event: Triple H vs. CM Punk - Oh, boy. Put put down torches folks. As the sane fans will remember, this match was never meant to be. WWE was building to Kevin Nash (cost CM Punk the title at Summerslam 2011) vs. CM Punk at Night of Champions. That was the plan. That was announced. That was set. No ifs, ands, or buts. However, just 13 days before the event, Nash was pulled due to a medical issue (Google it), and HHH stepped in. Honestly, I am not sure what WWE was to do here. Who else was there to fight Punk at the PPV? We can fantasy book all day long; Triple H made the most sense and was the biggest star available to take Nash's spot last minute. From there, WWE continued the "worked shoot" nonsense with 'Paul' and 'Phil' going back and forth on the mic trying to create interest with short notice. I do not care for breaking the fourth wall or any of that nonsense, so while the internet fans may drool all over this kind of thing, it is not for me. Before we even go to the opening bell (and eventual finish), HHH and Punk did not have my full intrigue. Again though, on such late notice, I have always given the company a pass on this whole mess. Others were not so forgiving. Shocking, I know...

Build for Night of Champions 2012 main event: John Cena vs. CM Punk (WWE Champion) - Fresh off his heel turn at RAW 1000 in July, CM Punk was the reigning and defending WWE Champion. To further his case to be considered the best, he aligned himself with Paul Heyman in a shocking moment. To nobody's surprise, John Cena was in the thick of the main event picture battling for the WWE Championship. His Money in the Bank briefcase cash in was ruined thanks to Big Show. His title match at Summerslam was a triple threat with Show and saw him juuuuust miss out on claiming the gold. This was set to be Cena vs. Punk with no nonsense, no bull, no shenanigans - just a one on one battle for the championship with ONE winner. Oops!

Build for Night of Champions 2013 main event: Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton (WWE Champion) - Seems just like yesterday, huh? Daniel Bryan had cleanly defeated John Cena at Summerslam for the WWE Championship with Triple H serving as the special guest referee. While the match was excellent, the ever growing suspicion was that Money in the Bank winner Randy Orton would cash in after the match. That fear/expectation was proven to be correct BUT with a twist. Triple H turned heel and laid out Bryan with a pedigree to allow Mr. RKO to easily pin him for the gold. Bryan's dream had become a nightmare. At Night of Champions, it would be a fair fight. Daniel Bryan taking on Randy Orton for the belt without Triple H as ref, without Cena in the picture, without The Authority messing it up, without any excuses. How little did we know at the time.

Night of Champions 2011 bout/aftermath: Triple H vs. CM Punk - A cluster was expected. Triple H had his job on the line. CM Punk was fresh off his face turn, and the crowds were rallying behind him more and more since his pipebomb prom in June. Even against a legend like Triple H, fans wanted CM Punk to win. As wild as the brawl was, you knew interference was coming. You knew this was going to end in a mess. While a bunch of guys did run in, none of it ended up making sense. R-Truth and The Miz wanted HHH gone as COO but would keep interrupting pin fall attempts both ways. Why not try and help Punk? The Big Johnny (I am not spelling his name) stuff felt tacked on with him out there. Then there was Kevin Nash taking out both men, when he was originally supposed to be the man facing CM Punk. Did he text himself to do that too?!?! Ha. Either way, HHH hit a pedigree on Punk and pinned him to keep his job as WWE COO. Yet, he was relieved of that role weeks later anyways and then off television after a decent feud with Kevin Nash. On the flip side, CM Punk would go on to lose at two PPV events in October 2011 before winning the WWE Title from Alberto Del Rio at Survivor Series 2011 and enjoy a year plus reign. Yep!

Night of Champions 2012 bout/aftermath: John Cena vs. CM Punk (WWE Champion) - Can not go wrong with John Cena taking on CM Punk. The two have had many excellent bouts and even earned my vote for 2013 Match of the Year for a RAW main event. Yes, for the first time ever, I voted for a television bout to be my MOTY! That is how great these two are together. Night of Champions was no different. CM Punk as the heel vowing to keep his title at any cost. Cena as the always scrappy face vowing to overcome the odds. Since most fans expected Punk to hold the belt for at least a year (a few months later) or even to Royal Rumble 2013 to face The Rock (exactly what happened), WWE still had to have him get through Cena. How did the company do that? Of course, a funky finish at Night of Champions! Sure, why not? Both men pinned each other, thus nobody lost...and nobody won. Rules stipulate the champion retains in that instance. *sigh* Nice heel tactic for Punk to stay another day as champion but non-finishes for main events on pay-per-view really need to be saved for a rare occasion. This felt underwhelming and just seemed like a cheap way for Punk to chug along to his inevitable showdown with Rocky in January 2013 without Cena losing clean. Whatever.

Night of Champions 2013 bout/aftermath: Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton (WWE Champion) - Like the previous matches, there was really nothing wrong with this match. It had a clear-cut heel versus a clear-cut face for the top prize in the industry. It was well wrestled. It kept the crowd entertained, and it was more than worthy of headlining a pay-per-view for the paying customers. Plus, the hype going in was fairly well done coming off the WWE Summerslam screw job ending. However, like the previous matches, the finish left a lot to be desired. Sure, Daniel Bryan "won" his title back from Randy Orton clean as a whistle, but it was made abundantly clear that the referee was not on the up and up. Fans live in the arena gave a "Yay?" kind of reaction to confirm that everyone at home was suspecting: Bryan was not keeping that belt for long. As suspected, the next night, the ref story line reared its ugly head and the strap was declared vacant. Bryan and Orton follow Night of Champions up with a non-finish title match on PPV at Battleground, before their Heck on a Deck clash, which saw Shawn Michaels randomly return as special referee (get it?) and screw Bryan out of the gold. Again. Orton left the feud as WWE Champ, but as bad as this all was in Fall 2013, history tells us it really set in motion the WrestleMania XXX payoff.

Overall: Leave a vote and discuss below in the comment section! Not so much the actual match quality but more for the outcome: Which was worse?

Self-Promoting Finale

Follow me on Twitter: @JustinWatry

I may do another reader feedback edition of Jay's Ways (NoDQ website) later this week, so feel free to state an opinion, ask a question, leave a piece of feedback, or whatever below in the comment section. I will TRY to reply in a few days in that Jay's Ways column. As always, no cuss words or insults will garner a response.

Finally, next Monday night, look for my NEW 411mania column concept. Should be fun!


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