Night of Champions 2011 was a professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by WWE that took place on September 18, 2011 at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo, New York. It was the 4th annual WWE Night of Champions event and the 11th in the WWE Vengeance overall timeline. Seven matches took place the event.
Night of Champions will feature professional wrestling matches involving different wrestlers from pre-existing scripted feuds, plots, and storylines that play out on WWE's television programs. Wrestlers will portray villains or heroes as they follow a series of events that build tension and culminated in a wrestling match or series of matches.
The main rivalry from Raw involves the Undisputed WWE Champion Alberto Del Rio defending his title against former champion John Cena. Last month at Summerslam, Cena had lost to CM Punk, who also had a claim to the WWE Championship. After the match, Money in the Bank winner Alberto Del Rio cashed in his contract after Punk was assaulted by Kevin Nash and won the Undisputed WWE Championship. On the August 22nd episode of Raw, Punk and Cena both faced each other on Monday Night Raw to see who would face Alberto Del Rio which Cena had won after some interference from Kevin Nash thus allowing Cena to get his rematch for the title.
Another rivalry from Raw involves the former champion CM Punk and the Chief Operating Officer Triple H in a No Disqualification match. As stated above, after Punk won the Undisputed WWE Championship, he was attacked by Kevin Nash who, the next day, stated that Triple H had sent him a message saying to "stick it" to the winner regardless who won, which gave Alberto Del Rio ample time to cash in his Money in the Bank contract and become WWE Champion. A vindictive CM Punk would take his aggression out of Nash, Triple H, and his wife Stephanie McMahon through constant verbal insults, especially to Triple H whom Punk believes instigated Nash's attack. On the August 29th episode of Raw, Punk and Nash were scheduled to be in a match at Night of Champions, but at the end of the show, Triple H had the match changed to feature CM Punk against himself. The following week on Raw, after discovering that it was Nash that used Triple H's cell phone to make the text, fired him and changed the stipulation to be no disqualification. Punk in turn added his own stipulation that if Triple H lost to Punk, Triple H would have to step down as the COO of the WWE.
The main rivalry from SmackDown involves Mark Henry against Randy Orton for the World Heavyweight Championship. On the August 19th episode of SmackDown, Henry won a 20 man battle royal to become number one contender for the World Heavyweight Championship. At SummerSlam, Orton defeated Christian in a no holds barred match to win the World Heavyweight Championship. Christian demanded a rematch and SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long granted him one in a steel cage match on the September 2nd episode of SmackDown, which Orton won to retain the title. After the match, Henry came down to the ring and attacked Orton. The following weeks would see Henry attacking Orton before their match at the event such as attacking Orton after his match with Cody Rhodes and Henry giving Orton a Worlds Strongest Slam when Orton was a guest on Edge's talk show The Cutting Edge on the September 16th episode of SmackDown. It was later announced that Orton would defend the title against Henry at Night of Champions.
The third rivalry from Raw was between The Miz and R-Truth (Awesome Truth) against Kofi Kingston and Evan Bourne (Air Boom) for the WWE Tag Team Championship. The Miz and R-Truth formed an alliance on the August 19th episode of Raw, when they attacked Santino Marella before his match. They then cut a promo agreeing that there was a conspiracy in the WWE keeping both of them out of the main event picture and declared that they would seize any opportunity that came their way in the future. On the August 29th episode of Raw, Miz lost to CM Punk by disqualification when Truth interfered. They later announced that they challenged Kofi Kingston and Evan Bourne (also known as Air Boom) to a match for the WWE Tag Team Championship at Night of Champions which Kingston and Bourne accepted. In singles matches over the following weeks, Miz defeated Kingston on the September 12th episode of Raw and Truth defeated Bourne on the September 16th episode of SmackDown.
The Divas rivalry heading into the event was between Kelly Kelly and Beth Phoenix over the WWE Divas Championship. At SummerSlam, Kelly retained the Divas Championship against Phoenix after Natalya tried to get involved and Eve (who was in Kelly's corner) stopped her. The two would continue to feud over the following weeks and Phoenix and Natalya (who formed an alliance called the Divas of Doom) would continue to mock Kelly and Eve by calling them "bimbos" after their matches. On the September 12th edition of Raw, Kelly defeated Vickie Guerrero in a non-title match. After the match, Phoenix tried to attack Kelly but Kelly saw her coming and kicked her to escape. It was later announced that Kelly would again defend her title against Phoenix at Night of Champions.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Dark Match: Daniel Bryan defeated Heath Slater
- Air Boom (Kofi Kingston & Evan Bourne) (c) defeated Awesome Truth (The Miz & R-Truth) via Disqualification to retain the WWE Tag Team Championship (10:02)
- Cody Rhodes (c) defeated Ted DiBiase to retain the WWE Intercontinental Championship (9:48)
- Dolph Ziggler (c) (w/ Vickie Guerrero) defeated Jack Swagger, Alex Riley and John Morrison to retain the WWE United States Championship (8:12)
- Mark Henry defeated Randy Orton (c) to win the World Heavyweight Championship (13:13)
- Kelly Kelly (c) (w/ Eve Torres) defeated Beth Phoenix (w/ Natalya) to retain the Divas Championship (6:24)
- John Cena defeated Alberto Del Rio (c) to win the WWE Championship (17:26)
- Triple H defeated CM Punk in a No Disqualification Match (24:01)
Other on-screen talent
- Night of Champions 2011 Official Website
- Night of Champions 2011 at CAGEMATCH.net
- Night of Champions 2011 at Online World of Wrestling
- Night of Champions 2011 on WWE Network
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