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This blog predates Jack Swagger's gimmick shift by a year. I named it after Hulk Hogan's entrance theme.

Archive for September 2014

Night of Champions Preview & Predictions – 09/21/2014

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Tonight, the WWE rolls into Nashville for Night of Champions and like SummerSlam, this is a Pay Per View that tends to be one of the most prestigious of the year, but from a fan’s perspective usually falls short of the mark.  Fans love title matches and seeing every title on the roster defended, so Night of Champions is usually really popular and I would assume than in the pre-WWE Network era, it was probably one of the higher grossing PPVs of the year outside of Wresltemania and the ever popular Royal Rumble.  The problem is that not much exciting every happens at Night of Champions.

Last year the show was overpowered by the beginning of the Daniel Bryan B-plus player storyline, which was actually pretty good at first, but wore on for too long in order to stretch it out to the big Wreslemania XXX payoff and beyond.  But that’s not an indictment of the Night of Champions Pay Per View.  Nor is the fact that the most exciting thing that happened at last year’s show (Daniel Bryan winning the WWE Championship for the second straight PPV in an upset) was immediately negated 24 hours later on Raw.  However, the rest of the card was pretty damn bad.  The other World TItle match was a non-finish to set up for a rematch at the next PPV, which to me is the biggest booking sin of all.  A Pay Per View World title match should always have a clear winner and a clear loser.  When it doesn’t, it makes fans regret buying the Pay Per View and thus less likely to buy the next one.  Now that we are in the $9.99 era, that sin is no longer as egregious, but it’s still kinda sucky and it was majorly sucky when it happened prior to the launch of the Network.

All that you need to know about the Night of Champions 2013 undercard is the The Miz vs. Fandango somehow managed to win a spot on the card.  It was completely not worth noting.

This year, however, the card looks to be pretty decent.  We have a huge Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena rematch for the WWE Championship and that match is probably going to suck, but it is definitely going to be worth watching for the outcome. And what I’m predicting is that either John Cena will win the Championship or lose by disqualification and completely destroy Lesnar, putting him out with an injury and allowing Seth Rollins to cash-in Money in the Bank on Lesnar tonight. And if Cena does win the title, I’m predicting that Rollins cashes in on him either tonight or tomorrow night on Raw. There is simply not a bigger way to launch Seth Rollins as the new WWE Champion than by absolutely wrecking John Cena’s record-tying 16th World Championship victory by cashing in Money in the Bank and making that historic reign last 24-hours or less.

Roman Reigns is booked to take on Seth Rollins one-on-one on the card, but I’m predicting that something fishy happens with that match due to the fact that I am pretty sure that Rollins will be cashing in Money in the Bank tonight and also the fact that the two just had a twenty minute match on Raw just six days ago. As such, I doubt they go out and wrestle each other for more than 10-12 minutes tonight. So, here are the possibilities, either Reigns beats Rollins pretty handily or by DQ or there is a bait and switch of some sort. Dean Ambrose is rumored to be returning from his film-making vacation tomorrow night or Raw, but it’s possible that Reigns could give his match to Ambrose. However, I think that hampers the chances of Rollins cashing-in his briefcase, which based on the way they’ve built the story is never going to happen as long as Ambrose is around. As such, the fact that Ambrose isn’t around but should be back soon makes me think it’s even more likely that Rollins cashes in tonight and Ambrose returns afterward, like the night after. The other way the bait and switch could go is that the Authority could pull Rollins out of the match and insert a monster heel in his place such as Kane or Bray Wyatt, or maybe even Harper & Rowan in a Handicap Match. Remember when Edge did the first Money in the Bank cash-in, he was booked in an Intercontinental Championship match with Ric Flair earlier in the night, but got himself disqualified in the opening minutes to save his strength and then obliterated John Cena after the Elimination Chamber. I’m thinking something very similar could happen tonight at Night of Champions. And immediately after writing this paragraph, I find out that Reigns vs. Rollins has been cancelled due to Reigns having an emergency surgery and having to miss the PPV. I expect they may fill that airtime with a Bray Wyatt – Big Show match or perhaps a Jack Swagger – Bo Dallas match as those are the two biggest ongoing rivalries to not already be given time on Night of Champions.

The second biggest match of the night the way the PPV has been promoted on Raw and Smackdown is Mark Henry vs. Rusev. And every part of me is pulling for Mark Henry. The veteran deserves another big win and after the lack of patriotic payoff on the Rusev – Swagger storyline, I feel that Rusev is primed to finally take a huge loss. Night of Champions, as I mentioned is one of the more prestigious Pay Per Views that WWE promotes each year and the way the program is set up for Henry getting to represent the United States after falling short in the Olympic Games years before, you have to pick Mark Henry in this one. That said, another cheapshot Rusev win would not surprise me, but I am definitely picking Mark Henry in this one.

Chris Jericho vs. Randy Orton has been put together pretty much as an afterthought and rumor is that Orton is frustrated and looking to take time off. However, I don’t think that’s the case. If Orton is taking his leave for a while, then obviously Jericho is a big favorite to go over Orton and then job to somebody else before going back out on tour with Fozzy again. But if Orton isn’t leaving, I think he’s the clear favorite and since I don’t buy into those particular rumors, Orton is my official pick in this one. I think Orton should be teaming with Kane against the Usos and the team of Big Show & Mark Henry in the Tag Team Title picture moving forward. Fans, I think are very down on Orton as a singles wrestler right now as a result of his lackluster and lengthy Main Event run from SummerSlam last year up to Wrestlemania XXX this year and since he obviously is pretty well out of the title picture now, I think it would be a great move to slide him over into tag team action primarily for the next four to five months until the road to Wrestlemania 31 and let him get earn some of his heat back that way. And Orton and Kane are both great veterans that I think people would enjoy seeing team up. Rated RKO was a huge success 8 years ago and Team Hell No was also a great success 2 years ago. While I wouldn’t expect that kind of success from and Orton-Kane team-up, the two guys have a great track record of making such team-ups work and it could be very well received.

In the mid-card singles title matches, I’m predicting that both Sheamus and Ziggler retain their titles over Cesaro and The Miz respectively. Cesaro has been screwed out of all the momentum he had after Wrestlemania by not going over Sheamus back at Payback in their first meeting and by just generally being misused and underused pretty much every week on Raw and Smackdown since, so I don’t see why they would move the title off of Sheamus in favor of Cesaro now. I would be thrilled as a Cesaro supporter if he did win the title tonight, but the way things are going, I would be pretty surprised. And Miz is just plain terrible as a performer. WWE still seems to believe in him, but that’s just because WWE never has been able to tell the difference between people getting booed because they are good at being a heel and people getting booed because they suck at their jobs. Ziggler is super-over with the crowd and has been for a long time, so I think WWE is kind of obligated to ride the hot hand and keep the title on Ziggler until they find some hot new heel to push and put over Ziggler for the belt. But as we’ve already seen what The Miz can do and it is genuinely awful, I see no reason to keep piling mid-card title reigns on his lost cause.

The Diva’s match is hard to pick and I can see any of the three of them walking out with the title. It all depends on if they plan on Nikki Bella vs. Brie Bella being a title program going forward, which I think they probably do in order to make it worth a Pay Per View spot after having multiple divas matches on the last couple of Pay Per Views and I don’t see that trend continuing, so I’m going to pick Nikki thinking that the next few Pay Per Views will feature her defending the title against Brie rathing that having AJ and Paige continue to fight over the title while also having a second Diva’s program (Nikki vs. Brie) upstage them every on the upcoming PPVs like Stephanie vs. Brie did at SummerSlam and even at Payback when Brie quit. I don’t think WWE is sold on Paige being able to carry the Diva’s division as champion even though she and AJ are easily the two most popular competitors right now. I think that WWE is going to make the mistake of pushing Bella vs. Bella even harder even though fans obviously aren’t into it because Stephanie is obviously into it and the success of that sibling twin on twin rivalry is the only thing that can possibly justify her match with Brie being promoted as the back-up Main Event for SummerSlam. It’s just not going to happen and I think WWE would be wise to cut bait here and just have Brie cost Nikki the match rather than keep pushing them the way they have been and make the fans turn on both of them. But I’m sure the sister vs. sister thing is a huge part of their plans for Total Divas and they won’t want to make Stephanie’s SummerSlam win seem less important by having the rivalry that came out of it get canned, so I have to pick Nikki to win the title tonight.

Lastly, The Usos are defending the tag team titles against Goldust & Stardust and I’m predicting new champions here. Goldust has been amazing since his return last year and now Cody has taken things to a whole other level since becoming Stardust and now the tandem have turned heel and are primed for a huge push. Plus, the Usos have carried the titles for several months now and I think they’re ripe for the pickings. I’m going to be happy with either outcome. I’m hoping for a match on par with the tremendous Battleground match The Usos had with Harper & Rowan, but while I like both of these teams, I think together they have a good chance of falling flat in this match.

Prediction Recap

– Goldust & Stardust defeat The Usos (C) to win the WWE Tag Team Championship

– Nikki Bella defeats Paige (C) and AJ Lee in a Triple Threat Match to win the Diva’s Championship

– Dolph Ziggler (C) defeats The Miz to retain the Intercontinental Championship

– Sheamus (C) defeats Cesaro to retain the United States Championship

– Randy Orton defeats Chris Jericho

– Mark Henry defeats Rusev

– John Cena defeats Brock Lesnar (C) to win the WWE Championship

– Seth Rollins defeats John Cena (C) to win the WWE Championship

Written by I Am a Real American

September 21, 2014 at 7:29 pm

Posted in Night of Champions, WWE