WWE // 2008 // 170 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Franck Tabouring (Retired) // August 13th, 2008
Stand up and be a champion!
It's a night of defenders. It's a night of challengers. It's a night of champions.
Once again, the stars of Raw, Smackdown, and ECW face each other in what is one of the most exciting WWE pay-per-views of the year. On this night, every match is a title match, and everything is on the line. Before we get into the individual matches, let's first take a brief look at the general lineup of the show: John Morrison and The Miz take on Finlay and Hornswoogle; Matt Hardy challenges Chavo Guerrero; and Kane faces Big Show and Mark Henry. Additionally, Hardcore Holly and Cody Rhodes compete against Ted DiBiase and an unknown partner; Mickie James goes head to head with Katie Lea Burchill; Chris Jericho takes on Kofi Kingston; and Edge faces Batista. In the main event, Triple H defends his title against John Cena.
Here's the complete lineup of the PPV:
* John Morrison and The Miz vs. Finlay and Hornswoggle in a WWE Tag Team
As long as Finley is in the ring trying to win the titles from Morrison and The Miz, this opener is quite entertaining and fast-paced, but as soon as Hornswoggle gets in on the action, the match just turns into a ridiculous joke. I mean, he's not exactly the kind of contestant you would want to see in a pay-per-view lineup anyway. Luckily though, Finley gets to fight most of the 9 minutes, which clearly saves this first battle of the night from slipping into disaster -- but considering the lack of suspense and bold moves, this match is still by no means a winner.
* Matt Hardy vs. Chavo Guerrero in a United States Championship Match
In this second faceoff, current U.S. champion Matt Hardy faces Chavo Guerrero. Both Chavo and Matt are very flexible athletes, and they prove it yet again in the ring during this decent battle. While Chavo focuses largely on slowing down his opponent via a bunch of submission maneuvers, Hardy aims for the bigger, faster moves, which obviously boosts the general pace of the match. At 9 minutes, it's certainly not too long, delivering better wrestling action than the previous fight.
* Kane vs. Big Show vs. Mark Henry in a ECW Championship Match
Three of WWE's strongest men go head to head in this ECW title match, a 9-minute battle filled with big blows and some impressive moves. Because this is not an elimination match, whoever gets the first pinfall wins the title; this rule clearly boosts the suspense of the competition. The pace slows down a bit after the first few minutes, but the second part of this monster battle boasts some surprises that make it almost as enjoyable and entertaining as the preceding U.S. title match. It's not the best match we've seen from these three giants, but it's certainly a decent enough fight for a PPV.
* Hardcore Holly and Cody Rhodes vs. Ted Dibiase and ? in a World Tag Team
Because I don't want to spoil it for those who haven't seen Night of the Champions yet, all I can say about this match is that it involves a pretty big surprise.
* Chris Jericho vs. Kofi Kingston in an Intercontinental Championship
This is exactly the kind of match you would want to see at a WWE PPV. The battle between current Intercontinental champion Chris Jericho and Kofi Kingston starts off strong and manages to maintain a steady pace throughout, offering a solid dose of strong athleticism filled with daring moves. Now part of the Raw roster, Kingston certainly proves he's got what it takes to establish a remarkable wrestling career. At 11 minutes, both men deliver the most entertaining show of the evening so far.
* Mickie Jones vs. Katie Lea Burchill in a Women's Championship Match
At 7 minutes only, this is a pretty short match, but unfortunately it's not as fast-paced and exciting as you may expect. We've seen some solid wrestling action from the divas at past pay-per-views, but this title match is not one of their best. Mickie Jones proves she's a flexible athlete who attempts some risky moves, but Katie Lea Burchill doesn't match her opponent's experience and stamina quite yet. This battle is not a complete disaster, but it's not particularly memorable either.
* Batista vs. Edge in a World Heavyweight Title Match
I am so glad to see Edge finally fight somebody other than the Undertaker. Don't get me wrong, they sure delivered some solid matches, but the action ended up getting a little too repetitive over the past weeks. This time, the rated-R superstar and current WWE World Heavyweight champion has to face Batista, who's more than ready to compete for the prestigious title. At 17 minutes, this match offers some decent wrestling action, complete with some impressive moves and several surprises. In fact, some of these surprises are pretty big and eventually very entertaining. It's a good match to set the mood for the following main event.
* Triple H current vs. John Cena in a WWE Championship Match
Clocking in at about 19 minutes, this main event is much shorter than most finales at WWE pay-per-views, but then again, this one's also a whole lot better than most. Triple H and John Cena prove they are indeed two of the very best athletes in the business right now, showing off both their technical skills as well as their endurance in the ring. Submissions are rather scarce this time, which clearly speeds up the match early on. Besides a couple of strong blows, the two wrestlers offer their spectators a horde of fancy, bold stunts, including several signature moves. This is what a championship match is all about. In fact, this is exactly the kind of match the WWE needs more often.
For a sports event that was broadcast live on television, this disc features a satisfying image and sound quality. From interviews backstage and in the ring to the cheering of the fans and the voice-over commentary, the audio transfer is well-balanced throughout. I mean, this is wrestling, and the technical aspect of the disc offers us exactly what we'd expect.
A quick word about the special features: I pretty much hated all of them on the previous WWE PPV discs I reviewed, and I am sad to announce this one is no exception. Besides a rather boring 2-minute interview with Triple H after the show, the only other extra is Jim Ross' farewell address from a recent episode of Raw.
Night of Champions is a whole lot better than last month's One Night Stand.. Most of the matches boast plenty of suspense, showcasing the wrestlers' talents and even offering viewers some highly entertaining surprises.
Review content copyright © 2008 Franck Tabouring; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2013 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (Spanish)
Running Time: 170 Minutes
Release Year: 2008
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Interview with Triple H
* Jim Ross' Farewell Address
* Official Site