BUFFALO, N.Y. — For the 12th time in his storied career, John Cena can proclaim these words — The Champ is here.
Entering Night of Champions as a challenger to the underhanded Alberto Del Rio, the West Newbury, Mass. native toppled The Mexican Aristocrat to capture a record 10th WWE Championship and once again position himself atop the brutal food chain of WWE.
“Tonight was a very important victory for me,” Cena told WWE.com exclusively after the bout. “I take nothing away from Alberto Del Rio’s talent, but I can’t stand anybody who has a sense of entitlement. Whether it’s one time or ten times, I needed this one tonight.”
It was a triumph many WWE fans viewed as inevitable. Since cashing in his Money in the Bank briefcase on a prone CM Punk to win the WWE Title at SummerSlam, Del Rio has been a champion with a tenuous grasp on his cherished prize. Acutely aware of the target that was placed on his back as soon as he grabbed the title, the Mexican Superstar attempted to dismiss the champion’s burden with his trademark bluster and bravado. But the snob’s cowardice soon showed itself as he recruited thugs to attack Cena and sacrificed his manservant, Ricardo Rodriguez, to the fury of an Attitude Adjustment on more than one occasion.
After weeks of sidestepping the rampaging bull that is John Cena, Del Rio, quite literally, walked into Buffalo’s First Niagara Center for this WWE Title defense. Clearly rattled during his entrance, the champion audibly complained about the whereabouts of his trademark custom car before a confident Cena roared down the aisle behind the wheel of Del Rio’s own Ferrari. It was a clever bit of intimidation from the dominant Superstar that sent a clear message to the titleholder — Del Rio wasn’t the only competitor who could wield a little horsepower.
Now stripped of his material excess, the Mexican Superstar soon had nothing to rely on but his mat prowess after his personal ring announcer was ejected from the building early in the match. Of course, despite his rampant dishonesty, Del Rio is no slouch when it comes to trading blows. Battering his opponent with a mix of devastating strikes and Greco-Roman takedowns, the perfectly coifed competitor looked close to shocking the WWE Universe just as he had done when he won in the biggest Royal Rumble in WWE history.
It would be foolish to ever count out John Cena, though. Soon rallying some deep-seated strength, the powerhouse countered Del Rio’s vicious arm breaker by heaving him off the mat with pure might and slamming him right back where he found him. Knocked for a loop, The Mexican Aristocrat wandered right into an Attitude Adjustment, which left him open for the dreaded STF. Despite a desperate bit of interference from Ricardo Rodriguez, Cena was able to dismiss the flunky before forcefully applying his wrenching submission maneuver to claim a hard-fought 10th WWE Title.