Previous Night Of Champions WWE pay-per-view special events puts every major championship title on the line over one three hour period. For 2010, they break from that formula a bit by including a non-title match but otherwise stick to what's made these events interesting since the WWE started doing them back in 2008 (or we can go back further if you prefer, when it was called Vengeance). Like most WWE pay-per-views, this one works out a few of the ongoing storylines and feuds that had been brewing in the broadcast TV WWE matches over the months prior.
Hosted in Rosemont, Illinois at the Allstate Arena on September 19, 2010, the event turned out to be a pretty enjoyable one and while, as is always the case, some matches turned out to be better than others, there weren't really any stinkers in the bunch. The main plot point to this installment of the ongoing WWE storyline was the feud that was taking place between John Cena, Chris Jericho, Randy Orton, Edge, Wade Barrett and Sheamus over who would become the true WWE Champion. The build up to the final match, which would determine this, was strong throughout the episodes preceding this event so hopes were high, and thankfully it didn't disappoint. Here's a look:
Intercontinental Championship Match With Dolph Ziggler Vs. Kofi Kingston: After an okay bout at Summerslam 2010, these two are back and in better form than they were at that event. This match isn't as rushed and doesn't feel like as much of a storytelling device as it did at Summerslam. There's a lot of good energy here from both combatants and they seem far more evenly matched, with Dolph defending against Kofi with some interesting input from Vickie Guerrero.
Big Show Vs. CM Punk: The aforementioned non-title match brings these guys into the ring for a one on one showdown that seems out of place in the midst of the more important title bouts that bookends it. It's an okay match, though Show's detractors won't appreciate it as much as his fan base, and it's fun to see Punk get pummeled the way he deserves here, but it doesn't honestly add a whole lot to the night's festivities. Entertaining? Yes, definitely, but also equally disposable.
WWE United States Championship Match With Daniel Bryan Vs. The Miz: Following the events that unfolded in the first season of the WWE NXT series, this match impresses from start to finish. Not only is The Miz a good wrestler, but he's endlessly amusing and frequently hilarious so it was fun to watch him square off against cocky upstart Bryan. The belt in question doesn't seem to mean as much as it used to in the annals of WWE history, but they both give it a good shot regardless and this at least ties up the storyline for now.
Title Unification Lumberjill Match For The WWE Woman's Championship and WWE Diva's Championship Titles With Michelle McCool And Melina: With all of the Diva's, aside from our two combatants, outside the ring as 'lumberjills' and definitely pushing for Melina, the stakes were high and the pressure was on McCool to retain. The moves here are solid even if the storyline is goofy. There's some good suspense and you don't quite know who is going to win the match until it's over, lots of solid suspense here and a nice job by both ladies in terms of working the crowd and delivering some really palpable energy in the ring.
No Holds Barred World Heavyweight Championship Match With Kane Vs. The Undertaker: This match gets off to a surprising start when the Undertaker goes ballistic and attacks Kane on the way into the ring which just sets off a super intense brawl. We've seen these two fight time and time again so they needed to do more than just show up and fight to make it stand out and thankfully they accomplished that. Kane dominates for most of the match and things get pretty rough here, and it adds to the storyline as well. You'll definitely want to know where it all goes from here.
Tag Team Turmoil Tag Team Championship Match With Cody Rhodes And Drew MacIntyre Vs. The Hart Dynasty Vs. The Usos Vs Vladimir Kozlov & Santino Marella Vs Mark Henry & Evan Bourne: This one goes by way too quickly to be of too much substance but it's fun while it lasts, even if it doesn't give you the impression that there are going to be any lasting repercussions from what happens here. It plays out like a gauntlet match - two teams enter and the winner takes on the next team until all teams have had their shot. Last group standing gets the belt. It's fun and it's certainly very fast paced and even adds to some of the storylines a little bit but, as stated, it's very rushed and feels very forced.
Six Pack Elimination WWE Championship Match With John Cena, Chris Jericho, Randy Orton, Edge, Wade Barrett and Sheamus: Last but not least, that ongoing feud about who is the real WWE Champion gets its chance to play out in front of the crowd, all of whom have obviously been waiting for this superstar bout to take place, particularly because Jericho had put his career on the line for this one. The eliminations come quickly and there are some good surprises here for fans of any one of these six wrestlers, but you won't have too much trouble figuring out who is going to get the belt when the bell rings. Good work from all six guys, each a master at working the crowd and really strutting their stuff, with Randy Orton really surprising a lot of people here. This was a main event that definitely delivered and it ends the special on a strong high note.
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 2010 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, there's a brief clip (2:18) in which Kane reacts to the results of the match that he just got out of. Aside from that, there the usual WWE promos and ads that play before you get to the main menu.
WWE Night Of Champions 2010 of a solid selection of seven matches, with the stand out being the Kane/Undertaker match and the main event match, each of which are some of the best that the event has offered in some time. While it's not quite all killer and no filler, everything here is at least good, and quite a few moments really stand out as some of the best of the year so far. The quality of the DVD is about average for a WWE release, meaning it looks and sounds okay but is light on extras. Fans will want to check this one out, however, and the disc is recommended.
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.