Picking up where the Vengeance events left off, the Night Of Champions, a WWE pay-per-view special event, puts every major championship title on the line over one three hour period. It leads to some pretty exciting match-ups, as you essentially wind up with the best of the best, or at least you're supposed to. The results this time out are mixed, as they always seem to be, but at least with 2009's event the good does outweigh the bad. Here's a look at each bit, without any spoilers as to who walks away with the belts...
Broadcast from the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in front of a crowd 17,000 strong, things kick off with the WWE Unified Tag Team Championship Match where Chris Jericho And Big Show square off against Cody Rhodes And Ted Dibiase. While the crowd doesn't seem the least bit interested in this match for whatever reason (this seem typical throughout the event, though it's more obvious with this match than many of the others) the combatants all do a pretty good job. There are some great moves here and a fair bit of tensions that holds on until the end, but this isn't a match you'll be talking about much afterwards, it's pretty average.
Up next is the ECW Championship Match that finds Tommy Dreamer pitted against Christian. Despite the fact that you know pretty early on how all of this is going to go down, making it a pretty predictable bout, these two put some pretty serious effort into their brawl. Christian brings a bit of enthusiasm to the ring which is nice to see, but again, the crowd doesn't seem to care too much about any of this. Things pick up a bit for the Six-Pack Challenge Match For The United States Championship where Kofi Kingston gets in the ring with MVP, Jack Swagger, Primo Colon, Carlito and The Miz. The crowd finally starts getting amped up by the time that this match is over. We get a lot of good tag team action in here as various alliances are briefly formed but there's some really good one on one fighting here too. The ending actually came as a surprise, which is always nice to see.
The WWE Women's Championship Match sees Michelle McCool versus Melina for the title. This is an okay fight, but far from a classic. The pair shows some good moves and good form in the ring but it never really heats up the way you'd want it to, especially since there's a belt on the line here. The crowds enthusiasm wanes a bit here too, but things pick up a lot for the Triple-Threat Match For The WWE Championship where Randy Orton gets in the ring with John Cena and Triple H to defend his title. This is a strong match, it's just got a lot of good energy, some great work off the ropes, and some really strong brawling from all three opponents. The energy in the ring helps get the crowd pumped up again, which in turn seems to fuel the three fighters, particularly towards the big finish.
The girls get back in the spotlight again for the WWE Divas Championship Match which sees Maryse take on Mickie James. This is by far the worse match of the whole evening. There's very little energy here and while Maryse does try to bring things to a bit of a boil, her efforts are for naught. The crowd doesn't respond to any of it, they're quiet throughout, and the bout goes on for what seems like an eternity. Thankfully the WWE Intercontinental Championship Match which puts Rey Mysterio against up and comer Dolph Ziggler fixes things. After a pair of very dramatic entrances (where Mysterio shows some love to the young Luchadore mask clad fans in the audience) this one starts off a little slowly. It picks up in the middle and comes to really solid conclusion, letting Mysterio show off some off his trademark acrobatics and high flying jumps. He's one of the best in the business right now, the guy's just got a ton of energy and enthusiasm, and it's always a treat to see him in action.
The final headlining match was for the World Heavyweight Championship title and it brought obnoxious 'straight edge punk' CM Punk into the ring with a rather goofy looking Jeff Hardy, who really needs to leave the screwy goth make up alone. There's some good antagonizing here and some pretty cool work from the two of them. The ending is a bit of a surprise but pretty appropriate given the direction that CM Punk's character has taken and it finishes up a slightly better than average event quite nicely.
This pay-per-view event was broadcast in anamorphic 1.78.1 widescreen and that's how it's presented on this DVD, even if the picture is interlaced. The quality is pretty decent, not showing any annoying compression artifacts e during any of the matches and only showing some minor shimmering in some scenes. Color reproduction looks alright and skin tones are fine but the black levels can sometimes be a little less than perfectly defined.
Night Of Champions 2009 has a strong Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound mix. There are no alternate language dubs, subtitles or closed captioning options. The audio here is fine, there aren't any obvious problems to report. The dialogue is always easy enough to understand and there are no issues with hiss or distortion worth complaining about. The 5.1 track sounds nice and full, with some nice crowd noise coming from the rear channels but it remains front heavy for the most part. There's nothing reference quality here, but the sound is good. An alternate Spanish language dub is also included.
Aside from menus and match selection, the only extra on this disc is a bonus interview in which the loser of the World Heavyweight Championship match is interviewed by none other than Josh Matthews (2:59). It isn't all that in-depth and a fair bit of the run time is taken up by clips from the match which are already on the DVD, but hey, it's there if you want it.
There are better wrestling DVDs out there but there are also plenty worse ones available too. The matches here are better than average and it's nice to have the whole event here on one disc. The quality is nice and while there isn't a whole lot of extra content to note, the fights themselves are generally pretty decent making the WWE Night Of The Champions 2009 disc recommended for wrestling fans.
Ian lives in NYC with his wife where he writes for DVD Talk, runs Rock! Shock! Pop!. He likes NYC a lot, even if it is expensive and loud.