|Night of Champions (2011)|
|Date||September 18, 2011|
|Venue||First Niagara Center|
|City||Buffalo, New York|
|Next Event||Hell in a Cell|
Night of Champions (2011) was a professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) 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 fifth annual Night of Champions event, and the first WWE event to be held following the dissolution of the original brand extension.
Event summary Edit
Dolph Ziggler vs Alex Riley vs John Morrison vs Jack Swagger Edit
United States Champion Dolph Zigger, Jack Swagger, Alex Riley and John Morrison, four of the finest athletes in WWE, squared off in a high-octane thriller that could have seen any one of the Superstars emerge victorious. But it was Dolph Ziggler’s quick thinking that allowed him to retain the title — much to the delight of Vickie Guerrero.
Certainly, there were some question to where the self-proclaimed “Goddess of Guidance’s” allegiances would lie with Jack Swagger — who has been vying to be managed by Vickie, also being in the contest.
There was never any doubt that this match would be the one of the most athletic coming from the First Niagara Center. Riley, Ziggler and Swagger are all former Division-I collegiate athletes and Morrison is a master of parkour, blending his amazing agility with focus and determination, using the environment to his advantage. Each Superstar was focused to use his individual talents to not only claim the coveted U.S. Title, but to also earn the right to show the WWE Universe that his name belongs in the history books alongside former U.S. Champions like WWE Hall of Famers Harley Race and Ricky Steamboat, to name a few.
For Alex Riley, Night of Champions was an opportunity to prove that he is ready to be a champion. The former NXT Rookie and protégé of The Miz, has certainly forged his own path in recent months. The same can be said for John Morrison, who also shares a history with The Miz. The Guru of Greatness involved himself in the chase for the U.S. Title, adding further prestige to a career that already includes the World Tag Team and Intercontinental Titles.
While Riley and Morrison were looking primarily to acquire the title, Jack Swagger and champion Dolph Ziggler were both also vying for the exclusive management services of Vickie Guerrero. Since it was unclear if she would remain in Ziggler’s corner or fulfill Swagger’s wish and bring him under her wing.
The four Superstars wasted no time going after each other as soon as the opening bell sounded. They were each well aware that in a Fatal 4-Way Match, the contest could end at any moment, whether or not the champion submits or is pinned. The four athletic competitors risked everything to maintain an edge over each other.
Although Vickie Guerrero assisted and distracted both Swagger and Ziggler at different points in the match, it was Ziggler thinking on his feet that allowed him to secure victory. Pushing The All-American American away from John Morrison following Swagger’s patented Gutwrench Powerbomb, Ziggler jumped on the opportunity to secure the pinfall for himself.
Later, in a post-match interview, an ecstatic Vickie claimed every WWE Superstar wants her managerial services, and suggested that she is the reason that Ziggler is a winner and that is why Swagger and the rest of the roster is vying for her guidance.
Certainly, the chase for the United States Championship isn’t over for Riley, Morrison and Swagger. And based on Vickie’s comments, the contention for her guidance may also be far from resolved.
Kelly Kelly vs Beth Phoenix Edit
Kelly Kelly defeated Beth Phoenix at Night of Champions to retain the Divas Championship, proving once again she’s not just a pretty face, but a fierce opponent. It was her second consecutive pay-per-view victory and successful title defense against The Glamazon, which was no small task.
“Competing against Beth in her hometown was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my entire life. As soon as I walked through that curtain, I knew the WWE Universe would be on Beth’s side. So I just had to block everybody out. I was in this to win it,” Kelly Kelly told WWE.com after the match.
With her big victory on a night where every championship was on the line, Kelly Kelly was out to show that she’s not the “cute, perky blond bimbo” whose days were numbered, as Beth has described.
“I tuned everybody out and showed a side of me no one has ever seen before. I wanted to show people I am not giving up. I proved I am not just a pretty face,” the Divas Champion said.
During the hard-fought match, Beth took her opponent down with an extraordinary suplex off the top rope and nearly pinned her, but Kelly Kelly kicked out just before the three-count. Beth’s hometown crowd was behind her as she almost Glam Slammed her way to a win, but Kelly Kelly reversed the finisher and rolled up The Glamazon for the victory.
“After this match tonight, I hope I’ve proved some people wrong. We’re trying to step up in the Divas division, show that we’re not just pretty faces. I felt like I proved that tonight,” Kelly Kelly said. “I am proving it for all the models out there, who do believe in a dream. This is my dream to be Divas Champion, and I am proving it.”
Earlier this summer, The Glamazon and Natalya made it clear they were determined to change the very face of the Divas division, wiping out its “Cinderellas” and capturing the title for themselves. Despite her impressive stature and unparalleled strength in the ring, Beth couldn’t claim the butterfly-emblazoned title in front of her hometown crowd at Night of Champions, thanks to Kelly Kelly.
With two impressive victories over Beth, has Kelly Kelly finally proven to not only her fellow Divas, but the WWE Universe, that she is worthy of continuing her title reign? Or will Beth and Natalya continue their quest not only for the Divas Championship, but to change the face of the division?
“The sky is the limit for me,” Kelly Kelly said with confidence. “I am holding on to my Divas Championship. Whoever wants to step up next, I’ll prove them wrong, too. I plan to keep this as long as I can.”
- Fatal-4-Way match for the WWE United States Championship: Dolph Ziggler (c) (with Vickie Guerrero) defeated Alex Riley, Jack Swagger and John Morrison
- Singles match for the WWE Divas Championship: Kelly Kelly (c) (with Eve Torres) defeated Beth Phoenix (with Natalya)