Your guide to the WWE Night of Champions in Buffalo
blog by BuffaloDotCom • September 17, 2011 @ 8:00am
Night of Champions is a fairly new WWE event—it’s only been around since 2008, and this is just the fourth Night of Champions pay-per-view. The three previous events took place in Dallas, Philadelphia and Rosemont, Ill. The event here in Buffalo is set to be one of the most exciting yet as the card stands to be an incredible show of talent and—as stated—every WWE championship will be on the line.
Buffalo, however, is no stranger to WWE championship matches. We have had some great and historic bouts take place here over the years and now, with Sunday’s event ready to unfold, we may be able to say that yet another title changed hands here in the Queen City.
The WWE Tag Team Champions Evan Bourne and Kofi Kingston (also known as the team of Air Boom) will face reality star-turned-WWE Superstar The Miz alongside his partner, Ron Killings, a.k.a The Truth. Bourne and Kingston are amazing to watch every time they hit the ring—a pair of high flyers who execute incredible acrobatic and death-defying moves from the top rope. They will indeed give Buffalo a great show. The Miz and The Truth are in for a match they won’t forget.
In the past, Buffalo has seen the legendary team The Acolytes (John Bradshaw Layfield and Ron Simmons) win the WWE World Tag Team championship from the “Team Extreme” Hardy Boyz in July 1995. In 2005, a newly-formed Legion of Doom with Road Warrior Animal and his new partner, Heidenreich, won the WWE Tag Team championship from MNM (John Morrison and Joey Mercury).
Morrison is the only one of that foursome still with the WWE, and he will be involved in another match at Night of Champions on Sunday. A fatal four-way match between Morrison, newcomer Alex Riley, current US Champion Dolph Ziggler and The All-American, Jack Swagger. These four will no doubt put on an exciting match, and all four men will be competing for the title: whoever scores the pin fall wins.
The only time the US title has ever changed hands in Buffalo was in 1999, when Hall of Famer Rowdy Roddy Piper defeated the best there is, the best there was and the best there ever will be—Brett “The Hitman” Hart. I was, in fact, at this match and knew that this was a brawl that would be remembered in wrestling history.
When it comes to titles, the biggest moment in Buffalo wrestling history had to come in 1987 when The Honky Tonk Man defeated Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat for the Intercontinental title. Honky Tonk Man then went on to have the longest Intercontinental title championship reign ever, lasting 454 days. I was at that match, in seats on the floor and I remember screaming my lungs out as my hero Ricky Steamboat lost his title.
Just last year, I met The Honky Tonk Man in Toronto at a convention and told him of my experience. He was the nicest guy and talked to us for so long, in such a casual manner, and was comfortable enough to say that he wasn’t going to apologize for beating Ricky because it was really that match that helped him become an icon.
The Intercontinental title is not yet on the card for Buffalo, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we see Cody Rhodes have a match against one time partner Ted Dibiase Jr. for his belt.
Local girl Beth Phoenix—she is from right here in Buffalo, as this article by Buffalo.com’s SJ Velasquez outlines in detail—will face Kelly Kelly for the Divas championship. Let’s hope our hometown girl does better this time than she did in May 2010, when she lost the Women’s championship to Layla.
Prior to that night, the Woman’s title was held by Gail Kim after she defeated Jazz on an episode of Monday Night Raw here in Buffalo in 2003. The Women’s Championship had been unified with the Divas championship at a previous Night of Champions event, leaving only one title for the ladies of the WWE to compete over.
Punk has stated on TV that he is fed up with the WWE and the way it is run. Triple H is the current COO of WWE, and Punk has taken liberties by insulting him, his work and even his wife, Stephanie McMahon, daughter of WWE owner Vince McMahon.
Punk has been known to insult people a lot here in Buffalo however, as he has had an online feud with Buffalo Bill Shawne Merriman through Twitter. Punk tweeted, “Watching Shawne Merriman of the Buffalo Bills hit on our divas and strike out. Reminds me of the Bills in the Super Bowl.” Punk declared himself the winner of the Twitter feud, but this time his mouth has put him in a match where anything can happen.
The World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton will defend his title against the 16-year WWE veteran Mark Henry, also known as The World’s Strongest Man. Henry won the Arnold Classic World Strongest Man competition in 2002, and its easy to see why. Henry has been on a path of destruction on his way to his Buffalo title bout, dominating everything in his path. How Orton will survive—let alone keep his title—is a difficult question to answer. The WWE World Heavyweight Championship has never traded hands in Buffalo. Lets see if this Sunday truly makes history.
The WWE Championship has changed hands here in Buffalo at a pay-per-view. In December 2008, Jeff Hardy won the title for the first time, defeating Toronto native Edge. Hardy has since left the WWE and had some problems with the law, while Edge has had to retire due to neck injuries and can be seen lately on the TV show Haven on the SyFy network.
The WWE championship will be defended this Sunday by current champion Alberto Del Rio, as he takes on the man who’s worn that title 10 times already—John Cena. Cena and Del Rio have very different styles and backgrounds and it should be interesting to see how they mesh in the ring.
Cena, from Boston, a brawler-type wrestler, often criticized by the fans for having a small move set, is more of the poster child for the WWE, having starred in movies, TV shows and has also granted over 200 Wishes with the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Del Rio’s background is of the fabled Mexican Lucha Libre, wrestling in the past under a mask and the name Dos Caras Jr. He’s wrestled all over the world and was even an MMA fighter with a record of nine wins and five losses. Will this help him keep his title against a man who’s made a career out of being a champion? We’ll see here in Buffalo this Sunday.
I will attend the event this Sunday and I’ve given more focus on each of the matches on TheBOOMPage.com as well as Bleacher Report.com. Look for a follow-up article after the event going over the highlights, the atmosphere and the BOOM of the show.
John Kindelan is a popular wrestling blogger and a lifelong enthusiast of the sport inside the squared circle. You can check out more of John Kindelan’s wrestling articles at Bleacher Report.com. You can also visit his website, The BOOM Page, to check out more thoughts on the WWE, comic books and pop culture.