Daniel Bryan made The Miz tap to the LeBell Lock to win the United States Championship at Night of Champions. (Photo via WWE.com)
For match results and minute-by-minute analysis check out Geno's live thread here. For my thoughts on tonight's lackluster pay-per-view keep it here!
- CM Punk - It's tough to choose between the Punker and Chris Jericho when it comes to the top heel in the WWE but I may have to give the nod to Punk after his insanely over-the-top heel promo he cut on the inhabitants of Chicago. The man generates heat like no one else in the company.
More thoughts and analysis after the jump!
- United States Champion The Miz vs. Daniel Bryan - At its core, professional wrestling matches are all about telling stories in the ring. This match was a perfect example of excellent story telling between two very talented workers (albeit in their own ways). Miz working over the left shoulder of Daniel Bryan made perfect sense since it severely impacted the effectiveness of the LeBell Lock. Bryan's selling of the arm was top notch as was the multitude of ways Miz attacked it. I don't think that this match will be a MOTY candidate but these two guys have a ton to be proud of as they had the crowd eating out of their hands with all of the near falls. The ending was pretty cool as it showed that, much like DDP's Diamond Cutter, the LeBell Lock can be applied from a multitude of positions. Good for the WWE for putting the belt around Bryan's waist after such a short time. Hopefully he can run with the ball for a while. My only problem with the match was that Bryan wasn't able to sneak Cattle Mutilation in...fantastic submission move.
- The Kane/Undertaker Video Recap - The WWE is money when it comes to their production values. The recap of their past was ten flavors of awesome.
- Jacob Goodnight~! - Usually Striker gets love for dropping nuggets of knowledge on PPV broadcasts but I must say that I popped when Michael Cole namedropped Jacob Goodnight during the Kane/Taker match. Absolutely brilliant stuff. If you haven't seen See No Evil then Netflix it. It's a trip.
- Alberto Del Rio's Vignette - Absolutely brilliant. This guy is a golden god. The WWE Universe is Alberto's oyster.
- Intercontinental Champion Dolph Ziggler vs. Kofi Kingston - In a lot of ways this match was like their SummerSlam match except this time they actually had a finish. For those of you that don't remember or blocked it from memory these two had their match end in a no contest after The Nexus attacked to "make a statement." I'm hoping that this is the end of the program as Kofi is probably too good for the Intercontinental belt while Dolph needs the title after his extended chase. I think these two work pretty well together but tonight's match was kind of bleh. Commenter RoyalB hit the nail on the head - both of their finishers stink so there was about zero excitement for the end of the match. Roddy Piper is the only man that can truly pull off the sleeper as a finisher. I will say that the post-match interaction between Ziggler and Vicki Guerrero was intriguing as it potentially opened the door to a love triangle between Smackdown's power couple and NXT rookie Kaitlyn. If I were in Dolph's position I'd be all over Kaitlyn. She is this season's Daniel Bryan/Kaval for me!
- CM Punk vs. The Big Show - Kind of a tough match to get behind. It's been a long time since Big Show has been in a match that I have truly enjoyed. I hope that this is the end of their feud so CM Punk can move on to a program with someone he can actually wrestle with. The story these two told was good enough but the flash KO punch that Big Show uses as his finisher is kind of VERY LAME. If the WWE really wanted to work the internet they should have him feud with Kaval.
- World Heavyweight Champion Kane vs. The Undertaker - I really wanted to like this match and went in with an extremely open mind but it just wasn't that good. We've seen this same exact match a dozen times before and it hasn't gotten any better. I really hate the WWE Main Event Style~! of punch, kick, punch, walk around, big move, punch, kick, punch, STOMP, STOMP, STOMP, punch, kick, punch, punch...WHY DON'T THEY BRUISE AFTER ALL THE PUNCHING????? Don't get me wrong, Kane and Undertaker are still able to put on entertaining matches -- just not with each other. I'm hoping their Hell In A Cell match will make up for tonight's tilt but I doubt it. The promos have been awesome but this match certainly did not live up the the hype.
- Championship Matches that make no sense and lack buildup - Tag Team Turmoil announced the day of the card? Child please. I threw my weight behind the team of Mark Henry and Evan Bourne but, alas, it wasn't to be. The actual wrestling wasn't that bad but this did more harm to the WWE Tag Team Titles than good. I really, REALLY miss good tag team wrestling. I can't believe the Hart Dynasty was clowned with such ease.
- The Main Event - Matches such as this one are always tough to get behind because more often than not they turn out to be clusterfucks. Jericho got clowned very early and then the remaining competitors took turns beating each other up until they all eliminated each other in a pretty rapid succession. The belt is back around Stone Cold Randy Orton's face. Awesome. I can't believe that the PPV ended 20 minutes early with Randy Orton mugging for the camera. If we've learned anything about Orton it's the fact that he would be just about the last person to waltz around the ring and celebrating with the fans. Bad ending to a pretty terrible pay-per-view.
- Vicki Guerrero's Outfit - I'm no fashion critic but I do know that the leather pants and backless shirt did her no favors. Yikes.
- The Lumberjills Match - Wow. I'm not going to lie...my eye wandered towards the Manning Bowl during this match. The best part of this match was Maryse.
- "If this were a boxing match then this would be over." - Thanks Michael Cole. Good thing this wasn't a boxing match. Really weird thing to say and it came just moments after he won me over with the Jacob Goodnight namedrop.
- Undertaker's Entrance and Exit - Which took longer?