This Sunday night is the WWE Night of Champions PPV, which is taking place five weeks after WWE's impressive SummerSlam PPV from August. Due to the five week gap between the shows, the lineup for the show has been announced for several weeks in advance.
It's a show built around one major match: Brock Lesnar defending the WWE World Heavyweight Championship against John Cena. All five WWE titles are also on the line along with three matches that don't involve titles. An eight match card is a standard number for a WWE PPV these days.
Did you see the Night of Champions movie trailer that WWE put out? It's fantastic.
(Note: All graphics are from WWE.com. The banner is courtesy of my friend Steve Melo.
Intercontinental Title: Dolph Ziggler vs. The Miz
The feud has been fun in some ways, but they've also been trying too hard to make it silly too. It would be nice if the title was treated more seriously and that Miz did promos about how he wanted to be the champion instead of talking about his "moneymaker" (aka his face) all the time. The best part about this is that Ziggler is actually in a meaningful position again, which is great considering how awful he was booked for most of the last year.
Since Ziggler just won the title from Miz at SummerSlam it would be stupid to move it back to Miz five weeks later. I expected Damien Sandow in Miz' corner and R-Truth in Ziggler's corner, so look for a finish with everybody getting involved. In the end, Ziggler hits the Zig Zag to win after ten minutes. Miz will probably get a push up the ladder after the match too. He's done a good job as a heel.
Winner: Dolph Ziggler
United States Title: Sheamus vs. Cesaro
This is a match we've seen numerous times this year. They must really like working together because they work a similar style. It's as if they're in a competition to see who can throw the most painful looking forearm shots. Cesaro's been booked terribly for several months now. Even though he lost a lot of matches the last few months, he's back in a position to win a title. If they get 15 minutes it could seriously be the match of the night, but it's probably going 8-10 minutes.
Why go back to a match they already did at Payback in June? Because they realize that Sheamus isn't doing anything as US Champion. The title isn't helping him and he isn't helping the title. It's time to have a new champion that can hopefully look better than most guys holding this title have looked. Cesaro wins in some cheap way whether it's the tights or doing the eye poke without the ref seeing, which is a finish he's done recently.
Winner and New US Champion: Cesaro
Divas Title: Paige vs. Nikki Bella vs. AJ Lee
This is another title match where the former champion is getting the rematch except in this case it's not just AJ Lee challenging Paige, but there's Nikki Bella getting involved too. The obvious and most likely finish will be Brie coming down to ringside, distracting Nikki and that will lead to the finish with Paige retaining. It's still early in the Bella twins feud, so the next logical step involves the face Brie actually doing something other than crying for a change.
If Paige pins Nikki then it will allow WWE to continue the Paige vs. AJ feud since AJ wasn't pinned. Even though I really like Paige and AJ, their feud has become really boring. Enough with the skipping already. Move on.
Mark Henry vs. Rusev
They are really trying to make this a big feud huh? I'm not sure if it's there, but they got to main event Raw and Smackdown this week. In both instances, Henry got the advantage. Of course that brings the old "look strong on TV, lose on PPV" theory into play although I mention it less often because WWE has been going against it of late to throw me off.
It should be a physical match. Look at them. They two big dudes that are going to throw bombs and it may be fun to watch. Henry really hasn't wrestled much this year, though, so it will be interesting to see if he's able to have a decent match. It's not like Henry is a great in-ring performer although he did have solid matches during his 2011 push. In the end, Rusev should win this match in about eight minutes to continue his streak as a guy that hasn't been pinned or made to submit.
Tag Team Titles: The Usos vs. Stardust & Goldust
This is another one where logic has to come into play. It seemed like the Usos might lose to Harper & Rowan a few months back when they had a PPV match that they won, then they did another one that was 2/3 Falls and they won that too. Why would they retain? Probably so they could drop the titles to Goldust & Stardust, who turned heel about a month ago after an assault on Jey Uso's knee.
If the Usos retain it's probably going to be because The Ascension will be called up to the main roster very soon and when that happens they might be pushed right away so much so that they win the Tag Titles in the very near future. While that is a possibility, the idea of Goldust & Stardust winning the gold makes a lot of sense. I'm going with them in a match that gets 10-13 minutes.
Winners and New Tag Team Champions: Goldust & Stardust
Chris Jericho vs. Randy Orton
This is the most obvious match on the card. Jericho's not a guy that wins that much anymore even when WWE tries to say things like he's in the best shape of his life. He might be in good shape, but let's not get crazy here. They have this fascination with saying that all the time even though everybody watching at home knows it's a lie. Is this a PPV preview or a rant against the announcers? It can be both.
Back to the match, Orton winning is a lock. He lost to Roman Reigns at SummerSlam, so now he'll go over a pretty big name in Jericho so that WWE can say "the Viper is back" repeatedly in every one of his segments. We could even see a punt by Orton to send Jericho packing since he's going to promote his book and do his commitments with his band Fozzy as well. Orton wins clean in a match that will probably get about 15 minutes.
Winner: Randy Orton
Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins
I'm with every other wrestling fan out there that questions why WWE would do this match six days earlier at Raw when they had already announced it for Night of Champions. Their match on Raw felt flat because it was late in a bad show. Hopefully it's a better reaction on Sunday because they're hard workers that know what they're doing out there.
What will most likely happen for the finish will be Reigns will look like he'll have the win all set up just like he did on Monday, but then Kane will show up to attack him for the DQ finish. At that point it will either be Reigns is left lying while the announcers wonder if anybody can stop Rollins and Kane or Dean Ambrose comes back to save his former Shield buddy from the attack.
Since I don't think WWE wants Reigns losing, I'm going with Reigns winning by DQ and that Ambrose shows up to make the save. That way there's an anticipation going into Raw with fans getting excited to see Ambrose back.
Winner: Roman Reigns by DQ
WWE World Heavyweight Championship: Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena
It's going to be another clean win for Brock Lesnar. If it's anything else I'll be surprise. What I expect is a match more similar to their battle at Extreme Rules 2012 although at this point no stipulation has been announced. That could change on the Kickoff Show or before the match when they decide add a stipulation. They should have added a stipulation to it before the match to make it different from SummerSlam.
If there's a shady finish then perhaps that's their way of not making Cena super strong like usual. However, Lesnar winning in dominant fashion is the smart move. It's okay for Cena not to win. The man wins nearly feud he has, so if he happens to lose to a guy that is a strong WWE Champion it's not a big deal. Cena will be okay. Taking the title off Lesnar five weeks after he won it would be very foolish. We don't need another Cena title reign. Move on.
This will probably be a 20-25 minute match that is great to watch if you enjoy physical brawls in the main event. Don't be shocked if Cena comes close to winning a few times. It's going to be one of those "anybody can win" type of finishes with a lot of excitement built up for the finish. I'm looking forward to it.
Winner: Brock Lesnar
It's a very solid card with some potentially good matches from top to bottom. What will be interesting is to see if WWE gives one of the midcard matches a chance to "steal the show" by letting them go 20 minutes. Like we saw at Summerslam, it was a show where nearly every match was around the 10 minute mark at most aside from the last two matches. It could be like that again here, which is fine, but it wouldn't be a bad idea to let Sheamus/Cesaro or Ziggler/Miz get more time. The main event will probably be the best match and like I said, I'd be surprised if Lesnar didn't leave without the gold.
I'll be posting my review of Night of Champions on Monday morning. I have a family function on Sunday night, plus I'll be watching the NFL game, so I'll see the PPV either late Sunday night or early Monday AM. There will be a full recap of everything that happened with the results and analysis of everything on the show.
You can follow me on Twitter at @johnreport and I usually reply. If you want to send an email, send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org as well. Thanks for reading.
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