Whilst writing this column, it’s occurred to me that literally every single title in the WWE is currently in the possession of a heel… Randy Orton, Alberto Del Rio, AJ Lee, Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns and Curtis Axel. Being a bad guy is seemingly the way forward in WWE right now. Someone should tell Zack Ryder.
Anyways… The Night of Champions PPV is almost upon us, which means that every WWE performer who is fortunate enough to hold one of the aforementioned title belts will finds themselves in action. Unless their name happens to be Dean Ambrose. Poor, old Dean.
So can the babyfaces help tip the balance in their favour and bring some gold over to the side of righteousness? Well, not in the case of the IC Title because that’s not on the line. But I’d be very surprised if we don’t see at least one title change on the night. And I’m sure Ambrose will find himself being a late addition to the card… Dolph Ziggler, The Miz, Fandango and Kofi Kingston all have pretty empty schedules if he’s despereate for a scrap.
Here lie’eth my predictions…
3MB v Tons of Funk v Prime Time Players v The Usos v The Real Americans
Have you ever noticed how much of the Internet Wrestling Community likes to write “Usos” as “Uso’s”…? That seriously bugs the crap out of me. Apostrophes aren’t to be tossed around whenever you feel like it! They’re to be nurtured and respected, and only executed in times of desperate need! Sure, there are probably bigger things in the world to worry about right now – but this is definitely in the top 10.
The Prime Time Players have been scoring plenty of wins on TV of late so they’re the obvious tip for the win here and the subsequent appearance on the main PPV. I guess The Usos have an outside chance too – but the other guys involved are just there to make the tag division look more competitive than it actually is.
On a side note – how incredible was Cesaro’s giant swing on Santino Marella during this week’s RAW?! I hope he does his best to incorporate that into every match he has from here on out because it’s crazy fun to watch and it’s stand-out spot that’s certain to help get him over with the wrestling masses.
Pick: Prime Time Players
TAG TEAM TITLES
Prime Time Players(?) vs The Shield
Soooo… assuming I’m right with my Prime Time Players pick above, this will be the tag title match at Night of Champions.
The Shield have found themselves playing the new role of HHH’s henchmen of late, and it’s a role that I believe doesn’t really suit them at all. These guys were meant to be out-of-control rebels who were anti-corporate in a big way… Now they’re HHH’s bitches? HHH being the ultimate corporate figure no less! Go figure.
The Shield can obviously continue to play the role of HHH’s lackies without the tag titles, so I’m siding with The Prime Time Players to pick up the semi-upset victory here. Call me a cynic if you please, but I think that Vince will be well aware that an openly gay wrestler holding a WWE title will likely draw some very positive press for the company. Strike whilst the iron is hot!
Pick: Prime Time Players your new tag team champions
CM Punk v Curtis Axel and Curtis Heyman
I don’t think the best way to build someone up to a PPV match against CM Punk is to have them lose in consecutive matches to perennial midcarder Kofi Kingston (once by clean pinfall no less!), but I must learn to quit trying to make sense of WWE booking.
The fact that the IC strap isn’t on the line for this one is a hint to the fact that Punk should reign victorious – as he is, of course, a superstar with far too much grandeur to be carrying a stinky, midcard title.
So I see Axel being eliminated from the match (as this is being fought under elimination rules) and then CM Punk will have a long spell to torment and beat on Paul Heyman in the centre of the ring to the delight of the Detroit crowd.
I think this will signal the end of the Punk v Heyman feud (for now at least) and I’m intrigued to see what Punk does next as there are no obvious feuds for him (assuming Lesnar isn’t back until 2014). Could he partner up with Daniel Bryan in his battle with HHH and Orton? That would certainly be interesting, says I…
Pick: CM Punk
AJ Lee v Natalya v Natural Breasts Bella v Someone else
AJ has more personality and charisma than the rest of the divas roster put together and multiplied by 7203, thus I feel to take the title off her right now would be mighty pointless. She’s genuinely restoring meaning to a title that has been meaningless for the best part of a decade.
Many believe that WWE will shift the title on to one of the other women involved here in order for the belt to feature on their Total Divas reality show … But I hope they’re wrong for the sake of talent. It would be a big step backwards for the division.
I know a lot of folk like to point to the fact that Natalya can wrestle (and I tend to agree) but the reality is she has about as much personality as a dead cat. If someone has to take the strap from AJ, I guess she would be my pick, but I’m hoolding out for AJ to retain. She’s already dropping pipe-bombs… Why not have her further resemble Punk by giving her a 12 month title reign? I’d be all for it.
Pick: AJ to retain
WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE
Alberto Del Rio v Rob Van Dam
Poor Christian. I don’t believe anyone felt that he had a genuine had a chance of dethroning Del Rio at Summerslam last month. And I have similar feelings about RVD’s chances here.
RVD has been brought back to plug the gap left by Chris Jericho – that gap being the popular and capable veteran who’s job is mostly to out over the new breed of upper card talent.
With that said, I think it’s a great decision by WWE to acknowledge the popularity of RVD since his return. He’s been bumped from the pre-show bout to the World Title number 1 contender in the space of just one month, and he’s been totally drawing the crowd reactions to deserve that. But I just can’t envision him leaving Night of Champions with the belt.
Alberto Del Rio isn’t having an enjoyable run as champ. His feud with Christian felt last minute (because it was) and this feud with RVD is a tad lacking in heat with Ricardo Rodriguez awkwardly crowbarred into it (as if a weed-smoking dude like RVD would wanna hang with a Mexican butler). ADR’s match with R-Truth on RAW this week was met with such indifference by the Canadian crowd that they started chanted “Undertaker” and “Thank you Savage” among other things. That’s not a good sign when your champ is in the ring.
All of this led me to believe that perhaps it was the right time to present us with a new champ in the shape of Damien Sandow… But after The Intellectual Saviour was pinned by Santino Marella inside 2 minutes on Smackdown, I put those thoughts straight back to bed.
So it’s ADR to retain for me. Seeing as Ricardo is “banned” from ringside, I see him showing up regardless like a bumbling dork and causing a DQ finish.
Pick: RVD wins by DQ, Alberto Del Rio retains
Daniel Bryan v Randy Orton
The wrestling aficionados amongst us will be well aware that this, being WWE’s most dominant storyline, will be stretched out through a few more PPVs yet.
Bryan’s pursuit of the WWE Title won’t end here because, quite frankly, it’s good for business (yep, I used a Vinnie Mac and a HHH catchphrase within one, single sentence. Bonus points?). Viewers will continue to tune in to watch the chase in the hope of witnessing the moment when Daniel Bryan gets the upperhand and claims back the gold – which I think could be late as the Survivor Series.
So Orton will retain here – but you shouldn’t expect it to be any sort of clean victory, as today’s Randy Orton is far too dastardly. HHH and one or more of the McMahons will likely get involved, and considering The Big Show’s role on WWE TV of late, I’d expect him to somehow play a part in the outcome of this one. It’s going to be an epidemic of run-ins!
Pick: Randy Orton retains
I’m not massively excited to be about Night of Champions as there isn’t much on the card for even the most fervent of grapple fans to get excited about. But WWE has a tendency to deliver a great PPV when one usually least expects it. Let’s hope this is one of those occasions.
Leave your own picks below jabronis. I love it when you do – it gives me a warm feeling in my cockle area.
Over and out.