I happily confess that I’m rather fond of the Night of Champions concept. Despite the array of title belts unarguably losing much of their prestige in the modern wrestling era (particularly the IC, US and tag belts), there’s still fun to be had in witnessing title changes, says I. And with 7 titles matches on the card, the odds dictate that we should witness at least a couple. Hooray for maths!
With CM Punk also battling HHH in what is sure to be one of many clashes between the two over the coming months (It’s Austin v McMahon repackaged for the new generation), I believe we have a rather salivating PPV afoot.
At my house, we often have something similar to Night of Champions called Night of Lesbians where we all sit around and watch… Well actually, this is kind of irrelevant when I think about it. Here lie my predictions:
TAG TITLES: Air Boom v The Miz and R-Truth
WWE seems determined to make the WWE tag titles mean something again (although I’m sure we’ve been led to believe that before… several times) and have given Air Boom plenty of TV exposure in the last few weeks in an attempt to garnish the titles with importance.
With The Miz and R-Truth picking up singles victories on TV over Bourne and Kofi this week, WWE booking rule #4 dictates that the champs will score the pinfall at the PPV. There can be no doubt about it.
I like The Miz and R-Truth as a team (despite that godawful “Ninja, please” pun on RAW) and I have a feeling they’re about to become part of a storyline much bigger than the tag team titles – which, to me, are pretty much beneath them anyway.
The tag titles should be held by entertaining midcarders – and Air Boom fit that description perfectly. So I hope they have a sustained run with the belts, whilst The Miz and R-Truth can set their sites on feuds that are more within a main event climate.
Pick: Air Boom
US TITLE: Dolph Ziggler v John Morrison v Jack Swagger v Alex Riley
I virtually guarantee a title change happening here. I can see one of two scenarios occurring:
– Jack Swagger wins the belt and thus his feud with Ziggler for Vickie’s services continues – with Vickie siding with the new man with the gold
– Riley is able to pick up the victory via capitalising on a clash between Ziggler and Swagger.
One things for sure though – John Morrison won’t be winning. He’ll be sitting in the doghouse for a few more weeks yet. Oh yes.
I think Riley is still perhaps a bit too green to be wearing the US title around his waist. If he does ever hold the strap – I’d like to see it come at the culmination of a feud with an established champion, not a victory from a thrown together fatal 4 way.
So I’m siding with Swagger for the win. It’ll provide a much needed boost for his flagging career. I can’t believe I’m writing that just 18 months after he was world champion. Poor Jacky.
Pick: Jack Swagger
DIVA’S TITLE: Kelly Kelly v Beth Phoenix
Surely Beth has to win on the night. WWE has emphasised the point through its output in recent weeks that “the Diva’s Division needs saving” (and Hell yes it does) … But if things continue to stay the same, then what sort of story are they trying to tell?
Personally, I’d book Beth to win and then have her dominate the division (with Natalya by her side) for the next 10-12 months – then upon Karma’s return we’d have a potential diva showdown that fans might actually have an iota of interest about for once.
Pick: Beth Phoenix
IC TITLE: Cody Rhodes v Ted DiBiase
Similar to the tag titles, I feel that WWE are looking to establish the IC strap as a meaningful title once again. Taking the title from Ezekiel was the right decision (because he’s a loathsome bore), and Cody Rhodes was an obvious choice to have a sustained run with the once prestigious prize. I’ve really enjoyed his work over the last few months… Even if I do long to see him perform is a polka dot singlet.
I think the feud between Rhodes and DiBiase has been a little rushed – so hopefully it will play out longer and beyond the PPV becasue, with their, history, there’s a good story to tell here. As DiBiase is still trying to shake the “jobber” tag that’s haunted him for the last few months, I foresee Cody maintaining his good form here and beating his former pal. DiBiase may well get his revenge at a later date though.
Pick: Cody Rhodes
WWE HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE: Randy Orton v Mark Henry
I’m seriously having trouble wrapping my head around the notion that Mark Henry is in a WWE main event in 2011. How on earth did this happen? I’m not gonna deny that he has booked strongly on TV of late and will commend WWE for building him up as a monster, but… It’s Mark freaking Henry!
I think it’s a harsh reminder to WWE and its fans how much the company has failed to make new headline stars over the last decade. The fact that they’re pushing a 15 year old veteran for the 20th time who hasn’t had a memorable match in his entire career is beyond depressing. I guess that’s part of the reason that RAW and Smackdown have been recently merged. – because after Henry and Christian, who could Orton battle next?!
So it’s Orton for the win. Henry will never, ever be champion. And should I ever be proven wrong then, here and now for all to hear, I promise to name my first born child Sexual Chocolate.
Pick: Randy Orton
WWE WORLD TITLE: John Cena v Alberto Del Rio
So just 2 months after WWE seemed primed for a facelift following Vince’s removal from TV and CM Punk’s scenery shaking promo, we somehow find ourselves back on incredibly familiar territory with John Cena battling a heel for the world title. Cena can rant all he likes that “isn’t a face or a heel” but all that does it make him sound like an idiot who’s ignorant to the business. Alberto Del Rio is the heel here, and Cena is 100% the face. There’s simply no other conceivable way of interpreting the feud. If Cena genuinely can’t see that, then I suggest he’s taken one too many chair shots to the cranium. Or maybe he’s been wearing his baseball caps too tight.
I enjoy Alberto Del Rio for the most part. He’s a very able wrestler and he clearly has great fun portraying his obnoxious TV character… But I can’t help but shake the feeling that he has a rather cartoonish persona. His character would probably be more at home in the flamboyant WWF of the early 90s, battling the likes of Hacksaw Jim Duggan and Tatanka. You catch my drift?
Being in a feud with Cena doesn’t help matters for Del Rio, as Cena’s act is as tired as them come. What we have here is essentially Hulk Hogan v The Million Dollar Man for 2011. Like I said, I do enjoy Del Rio – I’d just like WWE to put more bite into his character and make him more visceral and real.
Cena won’t win the belt back on this night, I think Del Rio will hold the strap for a large portion of what’s left of 2011 in order to establish him as a true main eventer. But, with that said, we all know better than to write off Super Cena – so it could go either way. *sigh*
Pick: Alberto Del Rio
CM Punk v HHH
To me, this is the main event on the night and I’m sure WWE will feel the same, and select to end the broadcast with the clash. You gotta believe that the start of the next night’s RAW will kick-off with the aftermath of whatever goes down in this one, so it would be the logical thing to do. And I’m all for logic, me.
Most folk will agree that Kevin Nash will have a big say in who comes out the winner here. The “fired” storyline seems to be a hoax, and I gather the majority (as well as myself) are fully expecting a run-in (or rather a slow walk-in) from the alleged big, sexy one.
But WWE loves swerve angles… So will it be as simple as Nash coming down to assist his buddy HHH (Good God Almighty! They were friends all along!) or could be a double swerve and Nash assists Punk in getting HHH fired from the COO role (Good God Almighty! It was a set-up all along!).
I’m leaning in favour of the former scenario, as the latter requires massive leaps of logic that leave even too bigger nonsensical chasms for WWE’s often bizarre tales. Why would Nash cost Punk the title and powerbomb him several times if they were in cahoots the whole time? So I wouldn’t be able to buy the fact that Punk and Nash are on the same page. No sirree.
The no-DQ stipulation is obviously there for a reason – so in the unlikely scenario that Nash doesn’t interfere, expect another big name to have an impact on the match.
Regardless of the potential Nash interference, it’s worth considering HHH has only been in the COO role for a few short weeks. I don’t see the point of ousting him so early, which is the implication should he lose.
So I see HHH emerging victorious – but this will be the first fight in a feud that will run and run. Please note that isn’t a complaint. This has all the ingredients to be one of WWE’s greatest ever rivalries and I, for one, am looking forward to the rest of it with great gusto..
Well those are my picks, jabronis. Please add your own below as always, I love it when you do.
And a final heads up to all you UK viewers out there – the Night of Champions is free to watch on your televisual devices if you are a Sky Sports subscriber. How ridiculously fortunate we are.
Over and out.