Night of Champions (2011)
|Night of Champions (2011)|
Promotional poster featuring Randy Orton
|Tagline(s)||It's a Night You Will Never Forget|
|"Magika" by Two Steps From Hell|
|Date||September 18, 2011|
|Venue||First Niagara Center|
|City||Buffalo, New York|
|Night of Champions chronology|
Night of Champions (2011) was a professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by WWE and presented by WowWee's Light Strike that took place on September 18, 2011 at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo, New York. It was the fourth annual WWE Night of Champions event and the eleventh in the WWE Vengeance/Night of Champions overall chronology.
Seven matches took place at the event, six of which were broadcast live on pay-per-view. The event featured multiple main events as Triple H defeating CM Punk, John Cena defeating Alberto Del Rio for the WWE Championship, and Mark Henry defeating Randy Orton for the World Heavyweight Championship.
The event garnered 161,000 buys, down from 165,000 buys the previous year.
Night of Champions featured professional wrestling matches involving different wrestlers from pre-existing scripted feuds, plots, and storylines that played out on WWE's television programs. Wrestlers portrayed villains or heroes as they followed a series of events that built tension and culminated in a wrestling match or series of matches.
The main rivalry from Raw involved the WWE Champion Alberto Del Rio defending his title against former champion John Cena. The previous month at SummerSlam, Cena had lost to CM Punk, who also had a claim to the WWE Championship. After the match, Money in the Bank winner Alberto Del Rio cashed in his contract after Punk was assaulted by Kevin Nash and won the WWE Championship. On the August 22 episode of Raw, Punk and Cena faced each other to determine Del Rio's opponent, with Cena winning and gaining the right to a rematch after some interference from Nash.
Another rivalry from Raw involved the former champion CM Punk and the Chief Operating Officer of WWE Triple H in a No Disqualification match. After Punk became the WWE Champion, he was attacked by Kevin Nash who, the next day, stated that Triple H had sent him a message telling him to take out the winner regardless of who it was, which gave Alberto Del Rio ample time to cash in his Money in the Bank contract and become WWE Champion. A vindictive CM Punk would take his aggression out of Nash, Triple H, and his wife Stephanie McMahon through constant verbal insults, especially to Triple H whom Punk believes instigated Nash's attack. On the August 29 episode of Raw, Punk and Nash were scheduled to be in a match at Night of Champions, but at the end of the show, Triple H had the match changed to feature CM Punk against himself. The following week on Raw, Triple H, after discovering that it was Nash that used his cell phone to make the text, fired him and changed the stipulation to be no disqualification. Punk in turn added his own stipulation that if Triple H lost to Punk, Triple H would have to resign as the COO of WWE.
Night of Champions 2011 received mixed to positive reviews by the critics, with Dave Meltzer saying that the WWE had put on two awesome pay-per-view's, Money in the Bank (2011) and SummerSlam (2011) and Night of Champions could not follow them, and when the WWE seemed to take the good way, they turned back to the same, but that Night of Champions was an entertaining event. The Sun's Rob McNichol praised the match between John Cena and Alberto Del Rio, stating that Alberto proved to be a true champion, pulling off a valiant effort against Cena, but was too much to overcome, but also criticized the end, and awarded the match a 8.5 out of 10. McNichol also praised the Randy Orton vs Mark Henry match, saying that pulling Mark Henry to the main event status is a thing that the WWE had to do a long time ago, and adding that the match was better than expected, with Randy trying to take the man off his feet, and Henry dominating Orton from the beginning to the end, and awarded the match a 8 out of 10. He gave a positive review to the No Disqualification match between CM Punk and Triple H, stating that the match turned into a good brawl in the first fifteen minutes, but with all the interferences it seemed more a TNA match than a WWE main event match, but that the final sequences, with Punk kicking out cleanly to the pedigree made that a very entertaining match at all, awarding it a great 9.5 out of 10. Overall, he gave the event a 9.0 out of 10.
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- Night of Champions opening
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