WWE Night of Champions 2013 DVD Review

imageIt’s hard to argue against the last few months being the Summer of Daniel Bryan. Audiences all over the world chanting YES! in union every single night, Bryan on fire in the ring, and a real changing of the guard with the triumph over John Cena at SummerSlam. Of course nothing is ever that simple in WWE, and with Randy Orton cashing in his Money in the Bank briefcase at the end of that PPV, Bryan’s hot run came to a screeching halt.

Bryan has been fighting against adversity this year, never quite being seen as ‘the man’ and yet always providing the best matches on television and pay-per-view. His win at SummerSlam was well deserved and it’s hard to argue against him being the hottest act in the company at that point. However COO Triple H clearly didn’t see it that way, turning against Bryan and rewarding Orton with the belt. With Orton crowned the ‘face of the WWE,’ Bryan once again had the deck stacked against him. The yearly Night of Champions PPV gave Bryan another shot at the title, alongside all the other titles being put on the line.

DVD Extra: Night of Champions Kick-Off Show

Tag Team Turmoil-Winner Earns a Tag Team Championship Match
The Usos vs. Prime Time Players vs. Tons of Funk vs. Real Americans vs. 3MB

It’s nice to see that the WWE tag team division is taking shape a little more positively compared to recent years. Arguably tag team wrestling has been seen as a dying art form, so to see real teams together fighting over the belts is gratifying. Gone are the days of the Hart Foundation, Rockers, Legion of Doom et al, but those like the Real Americans and The Usos are doing their best to bring back cohesive units and real tag team moves. A nice pre-PPV match here with the PTP picking up the win. They’ve certainly been on a roll since Darren Young’s coming-out, and have caught on with the WWE Universe well.

PPV Card

Triple H Addresses the WWE Universe

Not a big fan of verbal opening segments on a PPV – leave those to Raw! – yet this is a solid way of pushing Triple H further as the heel, but trying to make him look a little less biased. Curtis Axel was going to get away without defending his IC Title by taking part in the 2 on 1 handicap match with Paul Heyman against CM Punk, but Triple H is having none of it. It’s always a pleasure to see Heyman on the mic and he’s arguably the best in the business right now.

Intercontinental Championship Match – Kofi Kingston vs. Curtis Axel (c)

It’s hard to know how well Axel is doing really as it’s often the Paul Heyman Show, but at least the young upstart is getting his opportunity finally. Kingston is going nowhere but always manages to give at least a high octane entertaining performance in each match. These two gel well together and provide a decent opener to the PPV that no one was expecting. The future could be bright for both men but only time will tell. It’s nice to see the IC title with some focus on it.

Fatal Four Way – Divas Championship – Natalya vs. Naomi vs. Brie Bella vs. AJ Lee (c)

With AJ recently dropping her own ‘pipe bomb’ on the stars of Total Divas, WWE managed to intertwine their reality series with ongoing stories on Raw and Smackdown. Here we reach the crescendo with AJ’s title reign threatened by three of the Total Divas. AJ’s crazy chick character is by far the best in the division and she often carries others to their best matches. Here we have a bit of a mess, with all four stars failing to click, resulting in a disappointing match overall. AJ is unsurprisingly the highlight, though it’s always nice to see Natalya get the chance to actually wrestle properly. Naomi and Brie still have a long way to go.

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World Heavyweight Championship Match – Rob Van Dam vs. Alberto Del Rio (c)

RVD never fails to light up a crowd, especially since his return to WWE. His enthusiasm and general willingness to throw himself around for the pleasure of an audience always makes for a decent match. Del Rio, back to his heelish ways, provides a great foil here for the fan favourite, and both men work very well together. RVD plays a good face in peril to the dastardly Del Rio and his cross arm breaker. The ending sours the enjoyable spots beforehand, but overall another solid outing for two men at the top of their game.

Singles Match – The Miz vs. Fandango

No title on the line here. Simply two men with a rivalry, albeit a slightly pointless one. Fandango, while perfect in his sleazy role, is often far less popular than his music or his dance partner Summer Rae. His opponent The Miz is struggling as a good guy and needs to turn back to his bad ways pretty damn quickly. The words ‘toilet break’ come to mind here.

No DQ Elimination Handicap Match – CM Punk vs. Curtis Axel & Paul Heyman

Another non-title match (let’s ignore the PPV title for a while!) but much more on the line for CM Punk as he finally gets a real chance of getting his hands on the heartless Heyman. Working with Punk makes Axel look like a million dollars, and the crowd is really into Punk getting his hands on Heyman. Thankfully they don’t have Heyman run away forever, and the inclusion of Ryback at the end makes this an enjoyable and intriguing match that delivers on the night and gives the storyline some legs for future PPVs as well.

United States Championship Match – Dolph Ziggler vs. Dean Ambrose (c)

Ambrose’s US title run has been a little disappointing as the focus clearly hasn’t been on the belt but rather his part in The Shield. On the other side, Ziggler’s star isn’t shining quite so brightly anymore for whatever reason, so both men have a lot to prove. This is a decent enough match which suffers slightly from any real feud between the two, but as a stand alone bout it’s certainly worth a watch. These are two superstars with a lot to prove and hopefully one day they’ll get the chance to revisit this match higher up the card.

WWE Tag Team Championship Match – Prime Time Players vs. The Shield – Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns (c)

I’m not quite sure the PTP are at the stage where you’d want to see them twice in one night, but here they are again, this time getting their title shot they earned in the pre-show. Rollins and Reigns are an incredible team and work so well together, so it’s always a given that their matches will be solid. Reigns especially is an absolute beast just waiting to break out of the group and dominate the industry, but his time will come. The titles need a proper feud rather than just random matches, but as with all performances from The Shield, this is amongst the best on the PPV.

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WWE Championship Match – Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton (c)

The audience are rabid for the ‘face of the WWE‘ to get his face kicked in, and Bryan is more than happy to oblige. Both men are at their best and provide an intensity and fire like no other. It’s just a combination that works on many levels and gives us another main event that delivers. While not quite on the level of Bryan/Cena, it’s yet another fantastic wrestling clinic from the man they call Goat Face, but Orton certainly does his part too. You may feel frustrated and confused by the end, but only time will tell where the fallout leads us.

Night of Champions 2013 is a fairly solid PPV overall with a couple of memorable matches, yet as usual it’s a transitional event which provides more set-up for future feuds. It’s worth picking up to fill the gaps in your collection, but don’t go in with your expectations too high.

As usual, the Blu-ray has a couple of additional extras:

Monday Night RAW 19th August 2013
The Coronation of Randy Orton

Monday Night RAW 26th August 2013
CM Punk vs. Curtis Axel
AJ Lee Drops a Pipe Bombshell

Monday Night RAW 9th September 2013
The Cutting Edge with Daniel Bryan
Daniel Bryan vs. Dean Ambrose

Night of Champions 2013 is available now on DVD and Blu-ray from HERE.

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