|Night of Champions (2012)|
|Date||September 16, 2012|
|Next Event||Hell in a Cell|
Night of Champions was a professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event produced by WWE, which took place on September 16, 2012 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. It was presented by Lions Gate Entertainment's Dredd[ and was the fifth annual WWE Night of Champions event (sixth including Vengeance: Night of Champions) and the thirteenth in the WWE Vengeance/Night of Champions overall chronology. The theme to the Night of Champions event is that all sanctioned championships are defended on the card. The event managed to gain 189,000 buys. That is up from last year's event, which gained a 169,000 buyrate.
Event summary Edit
Antonio Cesaro vs Zack Ryder Edit
Before Night of Champions went live on pay-per-view on Sunday night, Zack Ryder shockingly outlasted 15 other Superstars to woo-woo-win an Over-the-Top-Rope Battle Royal on the live-streaming Pre-Show. The bout was shown exclusively on YouTube.com/WWE, Facebook and WWE.com, and the victory earned Ryder an opportunity at Antonio Cesaro’s United States Championship. It was another notch in the belt of the Superstar who always seems to have success on YouTube.
The usually overly confident Cesaro had little time to prepare for his opponent, and voiced his frustration in the ring prior to the encounter, calling the bout “unfair” in five languages with the sultry Aksana by his side. The Beantown faithful were firmly in the corner of the “Internet Champion,” but the Swiss Superstar was too powerful for Ryder, especially with Aksana as his championship insurance policy.
At Night of Champions, Cesaro showed his challenger exactly why he was banned from his former rugby league due to excessive violence. It was one power maneuver after another from the champion during the matchup, with Cesaro executing a series of devastating stomps, suplexes and strikes to the fan-favorite. In the battle’s most vicious moment, the versatile champion tossed his opponent in the air and nailed Ryder with a wicked European forearm uppercut to the jaw.
But true to his Swiss heritage, Cesaro’s game had some holes. Ryder was able to briefly take control, landing an impressive hurricanrana off the top rope. With the former rugby player prone on the mat, Ryder began to prepare for his patented Broski Boot. However, the x-factor of Aksana at ringside pulled Cesaro out of the way.
That was all that the champion needed to capitalize. Back in the ring, Cesaro snatched Ryder into the vulnerable position he often uses to capture his opponents. An instant later, the dangerous Swissman landed The Neutralizer and pinned Ryder to retain the United States Championship. With so many skills, both physical and intellectual, in Cesaro’s arsenal, there is no question that Cesaro is a dominant part of WWE’s future.
Randy Orton vs Dolph Ziggler Edit
The intense rivalry between Randy Orton and Dolph Ziggler hit its breaking point at Night of Champions, as The Viper defeated Mr. Money in the Bank. While Orton vs. Ziggler was the only match in which a title wasn’t up for grabs at the pay-per-view, it thrilled the WWE Universe at the sold-out TD Garden and watching around the world.
First, mouthy manager Vickie Guerrero introduced Ziggler and ordered the WWE Universe to “stand up and show your respect for the future World Heavyweight Champion.” Then, Orton entered the ring with a fierce determination.
These bitter rivals quickly locked up, showing just how evenly matched they were. When Orton took the upper hand, Ziggler refused to back down. Orton hit a monstrous powerslam, but The Showoff countered, and soon after hit The Viper with a dropkick off the top rope.
Vickie watched from ringside, clutching Ziggler’s Money in the Bank briefcase, and cheered him on as he dropped elbow after elbow on Orton. Then, in true Ziggler fashion, he showed off in the center of the ring, doing a handstand while punishing his opponent, keeping his head and neck locked up. Mr. Money in the Bank tried to wear down The Apex Predator, but Orton twice got to his feet, proving just how powerful he is.
The rivals’ match turned into a brawl, as the fight moved outside of the ring. Orton hit Ziggler with a DDT off the barricade and then beat the official’s 10-count back into the ring, dragging a dazed Ziggler with him. Orton went for the pin, but the clever Ziggler kept a foot on the ropes. The Viper coiled for the RKO, but Ziggler countered. When it appeared the bleached blond Superstar had the Sleeper Hold locked in en route to victory, Orton lifted his opponent into the air and finally hit him with a devastating RKO for the victory.
With near-fall after near-fall, it was obvious that Orton and Ziggler were evenly matched. The Showoff proved why he’s one of the key up-and-comers in WWE, almost “stealing the show” as his tights read. But the nine-time World Champion used his experience and athleticism to outsmart and outshine the resident showoff at Night of Champions.
Layla vs Eve Torres Edit
In a surprising turn of events, an ankle injury to No. 1 contender Kaitlyn opened the door for Eve to step in and challenge Divas Champion Layla at Night of Champions. When the dust settled, the talented, ambitious and motivated Eve had topped Layla to begin her third reign with the butterfly-emblazoned belt.
Early in the night, Kaitlyn was warming up for her title match against Layla when she was viciously attacked from behind by someone covering their face, rendering her unable to compete with a twisted ankle. Since every title must be defended at Night of Champions, SmackDown General Manager Booker T decided that due to her recent success in the Divas division, in addition to excelling in her role as his assistant, Eve would be Layla’s substitute challenger in a fortuitous — or suspicious — case of being in the right place at the right time.
However unusual the circumstances behind her impromptu title match may have been, Eve, for her part, did not let the opportunity slip by. Resisting a quick pin attempt from Layla, Eve utilized her extensive jiu-jitsu training to win a series of grappling exchanges and take control of the match.
When Layla caught Eve with a hard high kick, the champion offered a handshake as a sign of good sportsmanship, but Eve instead kicked the champion to the ground. Battering Layla around ringside, Eve repeatedly slammed her opponent into the ring, seizing momentum in the match and showing her aggressive side.
Layla escaped Eve’s leg scissors submission hold and flew off the ropes with a crossbody, but Eve saw it coming and got out of the way. Hitting a dazed Layla with a spinning neckbreaker, Eve then pinned the champion to win the Divas title.
While it’s unclear whether she swayed events in her favor or simply took advantage of a last-minute opportunity, there is no doubt that Eve is the new Divas Champion. Will her first title defense come against Layla when the former champion invokes her rematch clause? Or will ex–No. 1 contender Kaitlyn recover from her ankle injury to challenge for the title? Whether it’s Layla, Kaitlyn or another Diva, the stunning and dangerous Eve appears ready for all challengers to her newly won, third Divas title.
- Singles match for the WWE United States Championship: Antonio Cesaro (c) (with Aksana) defeated Zack Ryder
- Singles match: Randy Orton defeated Dolph Ziggler (with Vickie Guerrero)
- Singles Match for the WWE Divas Championship: Eve Torres defeated Layla (c)
Other on-screen talent Edit
- Ring announcer: Lilian Garcia