WWE presents its annual Night of Champions pay-per-view this Sunday, and the promotion has heavily-centered on the main-event matchup between WWE Champion CM Punk and John Cena.
Though the mood of the show was significantly affected by Jerry Lawler’s medical emergency on Monday’s RAW, the “go home” edition of WWE’s flagship ended with a promo that theoretically should have electrified interest in that main event. Whether the intense promo involving Cena, Punk and Bret Hart improves the buyrate remains to be seen, but it certainly should have done its job in making WWE diehards care about the match.
Full results, courtesy MARC MIDDLETON, follow:
The 2012 WWE Night of Champions pre-show kicks off with Scott Stanford and Matt Striker at ringside. They hype tonight’s show as we see fans settling into the arena. They talk about the pre-show battle royal and mention it’s a 16-man match. More hype for tonight’s matches.
– We get a look at the Sheamus and Alberto Del Rio feud. Josh Mathews is backstage with Booker T and asks him about the Brogue Kick. Booker talks about how he takes safety very seriously. Booker confirms that the kick is still banned.
– We get a vignette hyping WWE United States Champion Antonio Cesaro.
#1 Contender Battle Royal: Brodus Clay, Primo, Epico, Justin Gabriel, Tensai, Tyson Kidd, Michael McGillicutty, Zack Ryder to a big pop, Darren Young, Titus O’Neil, Jinder Mahal, JTG, Drew McIntyre, Ted DiBiase, Heath Slater, Santino Marella
The winner of this one will face WWE United States Champion Antonio Cesaro later tonight. Brodus Clay comes out first and he’s got both Naomi and Cameron with him. Primo and Epico are out next with Rosa Mendes accompanying them. The rest are Justin Gabriel, Tensai, Tyson Kidd, Michael McGillicutty, Zack Ryder to a big pop, Darren Young, Titus O’Neil, Jinder Mahal, JTG, Drew McIntyre, Ted DiBiase, Heath Slater and Santino Marella.
Slater gets eliminated as soon as the match starts. McGillicutty is out second. DiBiase is out next. Ryder hangs on as he’s double teamed. Primo with a sleeper on Clay. Clay eliminates Primo. Mahal is out next thanks to Tensai. Drew and Tensai go at it now. Clay tosses Epico out onto the others and Epico is eliminated. Tensai tosses Gabriel out onto everyone else and Gabriel is eliminated. Tensai eliminates Kidd next after they fight. Tensai powerbombs him onto the others. Tensai and Clay meet in the middle of the ring now. Santino runs up but they drop him. Tensai and Clay collide and trade blows in the middle of the ring. Clay fights him to the corner and hits a pair of clotheslines. Titus attacks Brodus from behind and Drew helps eliminate him. Brodus is eliminated.
Santino eliminates JTG next. Ryder dropkicks Drew and eliminates him. Santino pulls out the Cobra and hits Tensai with it. Santino then hits Young with it and covers him for a pin but there are no pins. Santino tries to pin Tensai next. Young and O’Neil eliminate Santino. Titus suplexes Young on top of Tensai. Ryder eliminates Titus and tangles with Yougn. Tensai comes over and eliminates them both but Ryder hangs on and comes back in. Ryder goes for the Ruff Ryder but Tensai catches him with a powerbomb. They fall over the ropes but Tensai’s feet hit the floor and Ryder hangs on for the win.
Winner and New #1 Contender: Zack Ryder
– Mathews interviews Ryder in the ring after the match and asks if he can go on to beat Cesaro. Ryder says WWWYKI and goes on to celebrate the win.
– We go to more promo videos.
– Josh Mathews is backstage for a CM Punk interview but Punk has refused him. We see Paul Heyman. Mathews asks for comment but he doesn’t get much. We get a vignette for Punk vs. John Cena.
– The 2012 WWE Night of Champions pay-per-view kicks off with a promo video that focuses on the WWE Title, CM Punk and John Cena.
– We go ringside to Michael Cole. Cole talks about what happened to Jerry Lawler and updaters on his condition. Cole says Lawler thanks the fans for their support. Cole announces Lawler will be going home tomorrow. We go to the ring and comes former WWE Champion JBL to join Cole on commentary.
Fatal 4 Way for the WWE Intercontinental Title: Rey Mysterio vs. Sin Cara vs. Cody Rhodes vs. The Miz
We go to the ring and out first comes WWE Intercontinental Champion The Miz. He cuts a promo and says he’s filing a formal complaint against Booker T. Out next comes Rey Mysterio followed by Cody Rhodes and then Sin Cara.
The match starts off and they send Cara to the floor to double team Rey. Cara springboards in and takes both Miz and Cody out. Rey and Cara double team Cody now and send him to the floor. Rey and Cara square up in the ring but Miz pulls Rey out and Cody attacks Cara from behind. Cody and Miz with kicks on Cara now. Miz holds Cara while Cody works him over. Cara counters them both but they catch him in mid-air. Cara counters again and sends Cody to the floor. Miz misses an elbow and Cara stomps on his hand. Cara with another high flying move that sends Miz to the floor. Cody runs in and meets Rey on the apron. Rey tosses him out with a headscissors. Rey and Cara face off again. Cara kicks Rey and Rey fires back with one. They run the ropes and Cara takes Rey down. Cara catches Rey on his shoulders but Rey counters and turns it into a pin for 2 as Cody breaks it up. Cody goes outside with Cara while Miz works on Rey. Cody brings Cara back in the ring and drops him on his face. Miz kicks Rey as Cody drops Cara for a 2 count. Cody dodges a kick from Miz and hits him with a right hand. Cody and Miz go at it now. Cody misses the Disaster Kick and Miz goes for the backbreaker combo. They counter each other and Miz dumps Cody to the floor. Rey rolls Miz up for 2 but Cara breaks it. Cara rolls Rey up for 2.
Rey and Cara go at it again now. Rey goes to the top but Cara kicks him in the head. Cara climbs up but Cody pulls him to the mat. Cody with the Disaster Kick on Cara for a close 2 count. Cody goes back to Rey on the top and works him over. Cody kicks Cara out of the ring and climbs up with Rey for a superplex. Miz breaks that up and powerbombs Cody as he superplexes Rey. Miz covers Cody for 2. Miz covers Rey for 2. Miz kicks Cody and Cara out before going back to work on Rey. Miz kicks Rey’s leg out and drops him with a DDT for 2. Rey slides out of the ring as Cara comes in with a missile dropkick on Miz. Cara leaps out and takes Miz down on the floor. Rey and Cody go at it outside. Rey sends Cody into the barrier. Rey goes to the apron and leaps out onto Cody with a senton. Cara corkscrews in and covers Miz for another close 2 count. Miz misses the clothesline in the corner and Rey dropkicks him in the back. Rey slingshots onto Miz for another 2 count as Cody breaks it up. Cody slams Rey on his face and covers for 2 as Cara breaks the pin.
Miz sends Cara into the ring post. Rey blocks Skull Crushing Finale. Rey goes for 619 and nails it on Miz. Rey dumps Cody to the floor and splashes Miz from the top. Cody breaks the pin and pulls Rey out. Cody runs in to steal the pin but Cara breaks it up. Cody beats Cara down now. Cody tries to take Cara’s mask off but Rey leaps in with a senton. Cody tosses Rey out of the ring on his face. Cara kicks Cody in the head and pulls out one of his masks. Cara goes to put it on Cody but Miz catches him with a Skull Crushing Finale for a close 2 count. Miz ends up with the mask on and can’t see. Cody goes for Cross Rhodes on Cara but Miz hits SCF on Cody for the win.
Winner: The Miz
– Titus O’Neil and Darren Young are backstage complaining to Eve Torres. Eve hears something and runs off. Kaitlyn is backstage with a trainer and she’s been attacked. She says someone attacked her and their face was covered. Apparently her ankle is injured.
– We get a look back at Kane and Daniel Bryan’s anger management classes.
WWE Tag Team Title Match: Kane and Daniel Bryan vs. Kofi Kingston and R-Truth
Daniel Bryan is out first followed by his partner Kane. The WWE Tag Team Champions Kofi Kingston and R-Truth are out next. The match starts off with lots of back and forth. The champs end up taking control of Bryan. Truth comes in and shows off and Bryan turns it around. Kane tags in and clotheslines Truth. Kane takes Truth to the corner and beats him down now.
Bryan comes back in and unloads on Truth with kicks for a pin attempt. Kane with another tag and big dropkick to Truth. More tags between Kane and Bryan. Kane whips Bryan into the corner but he lands hard as Truth moves. Bryan gets upset and shoves Kane. They have words and Kane shoves him. The fans chant for them to hug it out but they keep shoving. Bryan mushes Kane in the face. Bryan stops him from getting upset and wants to hug it out.
They hug and in comes Truth. Bryan takes him down. They go on and in comes Kofi with offense. Kofi with the Boom Drop on Bryan. He readies for Trouble in Paradise but Kane pulls Bryan out of the ring for the save. Kane and Bryan argue some more at ringside. Kofi baseball slide kicks Kane and then leaps out onto Bryan. Kofi springboards in but Bryan catches him in the No Lock. Truth breaks it up for the save. Truth leaps out onto the floor for Kane but he moves. Kane slams Truth into the apron. Bryan dropkicks Kofi in the corner. Kane tags himself in and this upsets Bryan. Kane goes to the top but Kofi meets him. Bryan grabs Kane’s leg so Kofi hits the mat without Kane. Kane shoves Bryan off. Bryan runs over and pushes Kane off the top. Kane splashes Kofi for the win and the tag titles.
Winners and New WWE Tag Team Champions: Kane and Daniel Bryan
– After the match, Kane and Bryan celebrate before meeting in the middle of the ring. They have words and raise their titles up after yelling about which of them is the champions. They come face to face and Kane makes the ring explode. Kane storms off and we go to replays.
– Teddy Long and Booker T are talking about the tag title match when Eve Torres comes in. She says Kaitlyn twisted her ankle and the trainers say she cannot compete tonight. They wonder who’s going to compete against Layla. Booker says she earned a shot and has been doing a good job as his assistant. Booker says this will be a reward for Eve. Eve thanks him and walks off. Booker tells Teddy he will holla at him in a minute and walks off, leaving Teddy look confused.
– We go ringside to Cole and JBL. They talk about partnering with the Susan G. Komen Foundation to fight breast cancer. The middle rope will be pink throughout October.
WWE United States Title Match: Zack Ryder vs. Antonio Cesaro
We go to the ring and out comes Aksana with WWE United States Champion Antonio Cesaro. Aksana says Cesaro is going to describe this match in five different languages and he says it’s un-fair. Out comes his opponent Zack Ryder.
– David Otunga is backstage with Alberto Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez. Ricardo comes in without his neck brace and they yell at him to put it back on. Ricardo says he’s feeling better but they insist he wear it. They call him stupid and walk off.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Randy Orton
Vickie Guerrero comes out to introduce Dolph Ziggler. Out he comes with the Money in the Bank briefcase. Out next comes his opponent Randy Orton to a big pop.
The bell rings and they lock up. Back and forth to start but Orton takes Ziggler down first. Orton stomps away as Vickie screams from ringside. Orton with a knee to the face and an uppercut. Orton with more offense until Ziggler drop toe holds him into the ropes. Ziggler with a dropkick and a 2 count. They trade shots on their feet now. Ziggler with a kick to the face and a neckbreaker for 2. More back and forth and pin attempts. Orton takes Ziggler to the top for a superplex but Ziggler fights him, sending Orton down to the mat.
Ziggler connects with a missile dropkick from the top for 2. They get up and trade shots again. Ziggler leaps up and drops Orton’s neck over the top rope and covers for 2. Ziggler stomps on Orton now. Ziggler drops a series of elbows and shows off a little before dropping the last elbow. 2 count by Ziggler. Ziggler goes back to a headlock.
Orton fights to his feet and breaks the headlock with a backdrop. Orton charges but Ziggler gets an elbow up. Ziggler clotheslines Orton for another 2 count. Orton fights out of another hold and they trade shots again. Orton with a dropkick. Ziggler with a DDT out of nowhere for 2. Ziggler goes to the top but Orton knocks him of his feet. Orton hits Ziggler with right hands while he’s on the top. Orton climbs up for a superplex and nails it. Orton covers for 2.
They both get up and go at it again trading shots. Orton fires way with rights and a headbutt but Ziggler comes right back. The brawl continues as the fans get into it. Orton with clotheslines. Ziggler blocks a shot and hits the big leg drop for a very close 2 count. Ziggler goes for the sleeper but Orton takes him to the apron for the DDT. Ziggler escapes to the floor and Orton follows. Orton drops Ziggler on the floor. Orton takes Ziggler to the fan barrier and hits the draping DDT from there instead of in the ring on the second rope.
Orton brings Ziggler back in for a 2 count. Orton waits for Ziggler to get up and signals for the RKO. Ziggler blocks it and rolls Orton up for a close 2 count. Ziggler goes for the sleeper again and locks it. Orton rolls out and catches Ziggler with a big RKO for the win.
Winner: Randy Orton
– Cole and JBL hype the new Judge Dredd movie.
WWE Divas Title Match: Eve Torres vs. Layla
We go to the ring and out first comes WWE Divas Champion Layla. Her opponent Eve Torres is out next.
They lock up and Layla gets the quick roll up. Eve comes back with a headlock takedown. They go to the mat and Layla applies a head scissors. Back to their feet and Layla arm drags Eve across the ring. They lock up again and Eve works on Layla’s arm and Layla does the same. More back and forth with them trading holds.
Eve gets busted in the mouth and takes a minute to regroup. They come back and go to shake hands but Eve hits her with a cheap shot. Eve tosses Layla out of the ring and follows her. Eve slams Layla’s head on the floor and slams her into the apron. Eve with another shot into the apron before rolling her in at the 8 count. Eve works on Layla’s ribs now as the referee backs her off. Eve grabs Layla by her hair and throws her into the corner. Eve with a knee to the back of the head as the referee backs her off again. Eve goes to the top with a headlock, picking Layla up off her feet with it.
Eve with a 2 count before going to a leg scissors. Eve turns it into a head scissors and uses that to slam Layla on her face. Eve grabs the ropes for leverage and the hold is finally broken. Layla counters a neckbreaker and drops Eve with a DDT. Layla makes a comeback and dropkicks Eve in the face. Layla with a clothesline and a face slam. Layla springboards out of the corner with a crossbody but Eve moves. Eve with a big neckbreaker for the win and the title.
Winner and New WWE Divas Champion: Eve Torres
– After the match, Eve celebrates with the title as we go to replays. We see Layla crying on the mat as JBL says there’s no crying in wrestling.
– Lilian Garcia is in the ring talking about how WWE is proud to partner with the Susan G. Komen Foundation to fight breast cancer. She points out a group of women in the crowd who are breast cancer survivors. Visit komen.org/wwe for more information.
– Daniel Bryan and Kane are backstage with Dr. Shelby arguing about who’s the tag team champion. AJ Lee walks up screaming and she can’t believe how far they’ve came and still can’t get along. Daniel Bryan acknowledges his appreciation for being able to win the belts with Kane. Kane leaves, making it seem like he’ll refuse to say congratulations back to Bryan, but he then returns, dumps a cooler of iced Gatorade on everyone and walks off, screaming that he’s “going to Disneyland.”
World Heavyweight Title Match: Alberto Del Rio vs. Sheamus
Back in the arena and in comes Alberto Del Rio driving a $200,00 Ferrari. There’s no introduction from Ricardo Rodriguez but we see David Otunga at ringside and he’s wearing his neckbrace. Ricardo holds the ropes for Del Rio as he enters the ring. Out next comes the World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus.
We get formal ring introductions now as Ricardo handles it for Del Rio. JBL puts over Del Rio and Ricardo on commentary. Booker T’s music hits and out he comes to the stage. The SmackDown General Manager says his investigation is over and the Brogue Kick is re-instated. Sheamus likes this news but everyone else is having a fit. The bell rings and Sheamus delivers a Brogue Kick but Del Rio moves and it hits Otunga on the apron. Sheamus and Del Rio go at it now.
Referees tend to Otunga at ringside as Sheamus and Del Rio trade shots in the corner. More back and forth. Del Rio ends up on the floor and Sheamus hits the battering ram from the apron. Sheamus brings it back in the ring and goes up top but Del Rio meets him with right hands. Del Rio climbs up and ends up throwing Sheamus into the front of the announce table. They come back in the ring and Del Rio works Sheamus over. Del Rio with a 2 count before throwing Sheamus shoulder first into the corner. Del Rio continues working on the arm of Sheamus. Del Rio comes in off the top with a big right hand for a 2 count.
More back and forth action. Del Rio with an armbreaker on the ropes as the referee makes him break it. Del Rio goes back to the top but Sheamus catches him on the way down with an ax handle. Sheamus unloads now. Del Rio misses an armbreaker and Sheamus hits a high knee. Sheamus slams Del Rio for a 2 count. Sheamus dumps Del Rio to the apron and they brawl there. Sheamus gets the upperhand and hits a bunch of big forearm shots on the apron. Sheamus goes for White Noise but it’s blocked. Del Rio with a Backstabber for a 2 count. Del Rio goes for the armbreaker but Sheamus counters with White Noise. Sheamus calls for the Brogue Kick but misses it and stumbles in the corner shoulder first. Del Rio kicks him in the head and covers for 2. Del Rio mocks Sheamus and talks trash in his face. Sheamus hits him with right hands but Del Rio comes back with a kick. Del Rio has the armbeaker blocked again. Del Rio ducks the Brogue Kick and hits the armbreaker but Sheamus rolls through and goes for the Cloverleaf. Del Rio fights out and dumps Sheamus to the apron but his arm gets stuck in the ropes. Del Rio attacks Sheamus’ arm while its hung in the rope as the referee backs him off. Sheamus goes for White Noise but Del Rio drops him on his arm. Del Rio with the cross armbreaker in the middle of the ring. Sheamus rolls through and powerbombs Del Rio.
Sheamus calls for the Brogue but Del Rio ducks and trips him up. Del Rio applies the cross armbreaker again. Sheamus reaches for the ropes and finally breaks the hold. Del Rio misses the big kick in the corner and Sheamus nails a Brogue Kick out of nowhere for the win.
– After the match, Sheamus celebrates as Del Rio and Ricardo leave together.
– We get a promo for the National Guard and see some troops in the crowd.
WWE Title Match: John Cena vs. CM Punk
Paul Heyman is in the ring and introduces himself to some heat from the crowd. Heyman says he’s here to witness history. He has the best seat in the house to see CM Punk in his 302nd consecutive day as WWE Champion. Heyman says he’s here to pay respect to the title and the champion. To pay homage to someone that publicly calls himself a Paul Heyman guy. Out comes WWE Champion CM Punk/ Heyman applauds him from the ring and then they shake hands as Punk makes his entrance. John Cena’s music hits next and out he comes to a mixed reaction from the hometown crowd. Cena is wearing his new pink and black gear to support the fight against breast cancer.
Justin Roberts does formal ring introductions but Punk keeps the title raised high. Punk holds the WWE Title belt in the air for several minutes as Cena looks on and Heyman smiles from ringside. Punk goes to the corner and gives the belt a long kiss before finally handing it off to the referee. Cena’s dad ends up getting the t-shirt he throws at ringside. They lock up and go to the corner. Cena takes Punk down with a headlock but Punk counters and they get back to their feet. They lock up again and Punk goes to the headlock. Punk stalls some more before locking back up. Cena with a fisherman suplex. Punk fights out of a hold and drops Cena with a back elbow.
Punk with a headlock takedown now. Cena fights out and hits a big backdrop on Punk. Punk ducks him in the corner and comes back with a dropkick to the head. Punk with a 2 count. Punk whips Cena into the corner and he goes down hard. Punk climbs up and shows off for the crowd. Cena takes advantage and gets Punk on his shoulders but Punk turns it into a DDT for a 2 count. Punk takes Cena back down with another headlock. Cena fights out with a shoulder but Punk takes him down again with a bridge submission as Heyman taunts Cena.
Cena fights out and rolls to the floor selling an injury. Punk runs the ropes and dives out onto Cena. Punk gets up in front of Cena’s father and laughs at him. Punk rolls Cena back in the ring but stops to taunt the crowd. Cena takes advantage and dropkicks him. Cena comes out on the floor and knocks Punk over the barrier, right in front of his father. Cena suplexes Punk over from the barrier onto the mat and they land hard. Cena brings it back in the ring and goes for the Attitude Adjustment but Punk slides out and kicks him in the head. Punk takes Cena to the mat with another submission. Cena fights out with Punk on his back. Punk drops down and takes Cena back to his knees with elbows to the head. Punk dances around and jabs at Cena.
Pujnk goes back to the top and comes down with a shot to the face. Punk goes for GTS but Cena slides out. Cena comes back with two shoulders. Punk blocks the back drop with a neckbreaker. Cena comes back again with a clothesline and a 2 count. Cena calls for the Five Knuckle Shuffle but Punk puts his boot up. Punk with a kick and another neckbreaker for a 2 count. Punk springboards in but Cena catches him and rolls through. Cena stands up and goes for the AA but Punk grabs the top rope. Punk drops to the floor in front of Heyman and the announce table. Cena runs the ropes and dives through the middle rope, taking Punk out on the floor. Heyman looks shocked. Cena brings it back in the ring with a back drop. Punk blocks the Five Knuckle Shuffle again. Punk goes for the Anaconda Vice band gets it locked.
Cena breaks free and applies the STF. Punk breaks that and applies a crossface submission on Cena. Cena counters with a back drop and both go down again. Cena strikes first as they get up. They trade shots in the middle of the ring now. They start brawling but Punk drops Cena with a kick to the jaw. Punk with the high knee in the corner and a clothesline. Punk goes to the top and nails the big elbow drop for a 2 count. Punk calls for GTS as the crowd boos. Cena counters GTS and turns it into the STF. Punk makes it to the ropes and breaks the hold. They get up and Punk nails GTS for a close 2 count. Punk with stomps now. Punk hits another clothesline and covers for another 2 count.
Punk slaps Cena and goes for GTS. Cena counters with the AA but it’s blocked. More back and forth. Cena nails the Five Knuckle Shuffle and the AA but Punk kicks out at 2. Punk goes to the floor holding his head as the referee begins to count. Cena brings Punk back in and goes to the top. Punk dodges the leg drop and hits a roundhouse kick to the head. Punk covers for another pin attempt. Punk with several slaps to the face now. Punk with a knee to the head and another 2 count. Punk goes back to the top but misses a moonsault. Cena scoops Punk for the AA but he slides out. Punk hits GTS again but Cena kicks out at 2. Punk waits for Cena to get up and nails a Rock Bottom but Cena kicks out at 2. Cole plays up how he resorted to taking a move from The Rock.
Cena hits an AA out of nowhere but Punk kicks out at 2 again. Cena takes Punk to the top as the crowd chants “this is awesome.” Punk knocks Cena to the mat but he runs back up. Cena hits a German suplex from the top rope and holds the pin for the win and the WWE Title.
Winner and New WWE Champion: John Cena
– After the match, Cena goes to ringside and celebrates with some National Guard troops and someone else it looks like he knows. Cena hits the ring to continue the celebration. Justin Roberts comes on the mic and it’s announced that both of their shoulders were on the mat so the match is a draw.
Draw, Still WWE Champion: CM Punk
– Cena argues with the referee and turns around to a belt shot to the face from Punk. WWE Champion CM Punk holds up the belt above Cena and yells out respect as Paul Heyman looks on from the apron. We go to replays of the pin. Heyman and Punk leave up the ramp as Punk yells about being the best in the world. Night of Champions goes off the air with Punk and Heyman smiling from the stage.