Monday, September 16, 2013
WWE Night of Champions Results
Daniel Bryan def. WWE Champion Randy Orton
Finally given a fair chance in a match that Triple H vowed would have no interference, Bryan defeated the Superstar who was hand-selected as the “face of WWE” to once again win the WWE Title. Repeatedly told that he was too small, too unorthodox and too alternative to be a WWE Champion, WWE’s “Yes!” Man proved his corporate doubters wrong in the place where champions are truly born — the ring.
If Bryan’s insides were burning with contempt for Orton and WWE brass, he didn’t let his anger overwhelm him. Beginning the bout at a measured, confident pace, the submission specialist targeted the WWE Champion with wrenching armlocks and blistering strikes. The rabid “Yes! Yes! Yes” chants from the WWE Universe may have caused a less experienced Superstar to speed up and tire himself out early, but Bryan was clearly working with a game plan.
Still, the deliberate stride seemed to benefit The Viper early on. Always clinical in his approach to the mat game, Orton slowly picked apart his challenger with sinister stomps and an ugly clothesline that undoubtedly earned Bryan a trip to the dentist. For a moment, it seemed as though Bryan may have lost his nerve. As Orton gripped his opponent by the beard and cracked him with a headbutt, the spirited Superstar’s fire was nowhere to be found. And then something clicked.
Suddenly moving in fast-forward, Bryan outsmarted the champion with a backflip off the top rope before connecting with a hurricanrana, a missile dropkick and a gutsy dive to the outside. The momentum was decidedly in Bryan’s favor before The Viper connected with a DDT from the apron to the arena floor.
Calling upon some deep reserve of willpower, Bryan pulled himself back into the ring only to face more punishment at the hands of WWE’s Apex Predator. Narrowly avoiding an RKO, Bryan connected with a dropkick, which knocked the champion into the official who tumbled out of the ring, unconscious.
With a new referee now in the ring, the battle continued with both Superstars showing obvious signs of wear. A tightly cinched in “Yes!” Lock seemed to spell the end for the WWE Champion until, somewhat impossibly, Orton grabbed the bottom rope to break the hold.
The momentum shifted repeatedly from there until both combatants found themselves struggling for position on the top rope. Bryan managed to hook The Viper in the tree of woe and teed off with a series of kicks that may well have rearranged Orton’s internal organs. He then scored with a unique superplex that sent the champion flying while Bryan remained atop the turnbuckle. Launching himself across the entire length of the ring with a spectacular flying headbutt, the fan favorite came within a millisecond of winning the title.
As champion and challenger continued their physical chess game, the original referee returned to the match. At that point, Bryan dodged an attempted RKO, scored with a roundhouse kick to the side of the head and then launched his knee directly into Orton’s forehead. Just as he had defeated John Cena at SummerSlam, the wildly popular Superstar beat The Viper to once again become WWE Champion.
As an ecstatic WWE Universe in Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena cheered their hero on with chants of “Yes! Yes! Yes!” it became clear that all was right in WWE. No puppet masters. No corporate maneuvering. No outside interlopers. Just one man proving (again) that he had what it takes to be a champion. Maybe that’s what’s best for business.
Paul Heyman & Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel def. CM Punk (No Disqualification Handicap Elimination Match)
The Handicap Elimination Match had gained a No Disqualification stipulation, and the rules dictated that Punk must first face off with Intercontinental Champion Axel. No easy task, but the former WWE Champion had the benefit of facing a worn down adversary. Earlier in the evening, the third-generation competitor was forced to defend his title in a physical bout against Kofi Kingston.
Punk briefly got his hands on Heyman before the Extreme mastermind was able to escape out of the squared circle thanks to low blow from the Intercontinental Champion. Axel nailed a vicious kendo stick shot to Punk’s clavicle, allowing the son of Mr. Perfect to score a near fall and prepare a table in a corner of the ring. As the talented titleholder unleashed an offense reminiscent of both his father and grandfather – Larry “The Axe” Hennig” – the wily adviser at ringside continued to shout, “I believe in you!” at his protégé.
Attempts by both men to execute a suplex through the table were unsuccessful, which led into a familiar offensive sequence by Punk, including a high knee and intense clothesline. With Axel on the floor at ringside, the Chicago native dove through the ropes onto his rival, but was met with the cold, hard steel of a chair.
Back in the ring, each competitor traded shots with the kendo stick. In what was beginning to resemble a match featuring one of Heyman’s original “Guys,” The Sandman, Punk finally nailed a vicious enough strike to take complete control. The Voice of the Voiceless hoisted the exhausted Axel onto his shoulders and sent him to the mat with a rattling GTS. Punk locked in the Anaconda Vise for the submission, and kept the hold applied after the bell to guarantee no further involvement from Axel.
With a grin, Punk slowly turned around to face Heyman, who stood peering into the ring as if his life was flashing before his eyes. Following a brief chase through the crowd, Punk finally got Heyman right where he wanted him: in the center of the ring. There was no more Curtis Axel. No more Brock Lesnar. It was just Punk and Paul. Creation and creator.
The first blows with a kendo stick weren’t enough for the former WWE Champion. Punk handcuffed his former mentor as Heyman pleaded for it all to end. “You did this to yourself!” insisted Punk, as he administered a sadistic barrage including stiff kendo stick hits to the New York native’s ankle and inner thigh. Heyman took no pages out of ECW Original Tommy Dreamer’s playbook. Instead of asking if he may have another, the once proud sage only screamed a desperate, “Are you crazy!?”
Perhaps Punk was crazy with redemption. Grabbing the loudmouth by the lips and nostrils, The Best in the World asked, “I broke your heart? I’ll break your face.” Aiming at Heyman’s skull with a kendo stick as if he was about to finish off the cowardly Judas once and for all, Punk suddenly sensed a looming figure behind him. Turning to face the intruder, Punk was shockingly plowed through the aforementioned table by the hulking Ryback.
Splinters strewn across the canvas, Ryback dragged the incapacitated Heyman on top of the wounded Punk for the shocking pinfall. The bruiser lifted the lifeless victor onto his shoulders and carried him from the arena while the match’s victim rose to his feet and walked out of the ring. Yes, CM Punk did get his hands on Paul Heyman. But it was the evil genius that somehow weaseled his way out of Detroit with a victory.
Is the sadistic monster from Sin City the newest “Paul Heyman Guy”? If Ryback is the latest recruit to receive Heyman’s tutelage, he might be the most impressive creature yet for sports-entertainment’s Dr. Frankenstein. He will be following in the footsteps of Lesnar, Big Show and ECW’s chokeslam innovator 911. Because as valuable a creator can be, it is the creations that cause destruction.
Rob Van Dam def. World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio (Disqualification)
Divas Champion AJ Lee won a Fatal 4-Way Match
The Prime Time Players def. The Usos, Tons of Funk, The Real Americans and 3MB (Tag Team Turmoil No. 1 Contender’s Match)
United States Champion Dean Ambrose def. Dolph Ziggler
The Miz def. Fandango
Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel def. Kofi Kingston
WWE Tag Team Champions The Shield def. The Prime Time Players
Credit: Ryan Murphy & Zach Linder @ www.wwe.com/shows/nightofchampions