www.baltimoresun.com/sports/pro-wrestling/ring-posts-blog/bal-wwe-night-of-champions-capped-off-by-polarizing-finish-in-cm-punk-john-cena-match-20120917,0,3907888.story

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WWE Night of Champions capped off by polarizing finish in CM Punk-John Cena match

By Arda Ocal

7:36 AM EDT, September 17, 2012

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Whether you loved it, or you hated it, it definitely had you talking.

It certainly wasn't the first time you have seen it – in fact, it probably wasn't the first time you have seen a version of it (for example, Pedro Morales winning the WWWF title for the first time against Ivan Koloff in 1971. But the ending of the match between CM Punk and John Cena can be classified as one thing – necessary.

After a terrific back-and-forth affair that had the crowd invested, especially with both men kicking out of the other's finishing move and not submitting to their signature submissions, John Cena delivered a German Suplex that left both mens' shoulders on the mat, and referee Chad Patton counting to three. Cena celebrated with the title before he was informed that the match was ruled a draw and CM Punk in fact retained the title.

This finish was logical and necessary for multiple reasons. For one, CM Punk remains champion. He has been a terrific, versatile champion and this keeps him hot without a loss. John Cena doesn't lose either, especially on the first day of his campaign, sporting new merch to raise cancer awareness. This rivalry continues, and there was minimal Paul Heyman involvement, allowing for it to occur later if necessary. This is a finish designed to keep you wanting more, and that's the best-case scenario at the moment. On a side note, I was personally glued to Heyman and his every move. He is truly a mastermind with his expressions and reactions to what's happening in the ring, and as an invested stakeholder to the action.

** Sheamus convincingly defeated Alberto Del Rio to retain the world heavyweight championship. Before the match, Booker T reinstated the Brogue Kick (the sarcastic part of me was wondering why he didn't announce this mid-match, because that's more his style). After this loss, there truly is no reason for Del Rio to challenge again in the near future. I feel a new challenger is necessary.

** After Kaitlyn got ambushed backstage by a mystery assailant (my money is on Rikishi ... not really), Eve took her place and won the Divas title from Layla. The crowd wasn't into this match.

** Randy Orrton pinned Dolph Ziggler in another example of Ziggler's main-event talent. He is the best on the roster to maximize his exposure, especially in a loss. Every outing increases his stock and it's only a matter of time before he is in the main event. I just question the impatience of some and am happy to wait for that moment to arrive.

** Antonio Cesaro retained his U.S. championship against Zack Ryder, who won a pre-show battle royal to earn the spot. It was at least something for Ryder to chew on, but in all honestly I wonder if it's time for an evolution in the Zack Ryder character. The Boston crowd was certainly happy to see him. With more title defenses, Cesaro will bring more legitimacy back to the US title.

** Kane and Daniel Bryan (who some are calling “Team Friendship”) defeated R Truth and Kofi Kingston to claim the tag team titles. Kane and Bryan are an “odd couple” who are injecting life into the tag team division. In fact, I haven't been this excited to see a tag team in years. There are so many options and angles to take with this team, which makes it fun to watch. On a side note, the “hug” produced one of the loudest cheers of the night.

** In the opener, The Miz retained the Intercontinental title in a fatal fourway against Sin Cara, Rey Mysterio and Cody Rhodes. A blinded Miz (from Sin Cara's second mask) hit the Skull Crushing Finale on Rhodes for the win. It was shades of WrestleMania 7 ... sort of.

** All in all, a so-so pay-per-view with some bright spots, particularly the main event and Bryan/Kane.

Arda Ocal is an on-air personality with theScore Television Network. Follow him on Twitter here.