Calling the Shots is back! After a strong showing at Summerslam, let’s try to bring the ratio up even higher. Luckily, the unofficial name for Night of Champions is Night of Rematches, so the match-ups shouldn’t be too hard to call.
Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins
It’s interesting that, with Dean Ambrose’s short hiatus from active duty, Reigns finally steps back into the Shield Aftermath picture, once again being handed the spoils of Rollins’ and Ambrose’s hard work. What a charmed life this guy lives. This is actually the more difficult match to predict, as creative has been trying to strap the rockets to both of these guys ever since the Shield broke up. Both guys are on their way up to main-event status, so it’s tough to call whose going to go over when it’s all said and done. My guess is that Rollins will get his hand raised due to some kind of Authority interference, that way Rollins vs. Ambrose at Hell in a Cell still has some legs and Roman Reigns can still look like the tough-guy champion that he kinda isn’t.
What I think will happen: Rollins defeats Reigns and secures his position as a top-tier heel, most likely due to Authority interference.
What I hope happens: Ambrose somehow gets involved and this becomes a Shield Triple Threat.
Randy Orton vs. Chris Jericho
Boy did this one come out of nowhere. Talk about pulling names out of a hat. That being said, these guys should put on a pretty good match. Orton is growing more and more unappreciated as a top-heel these days, so here’s hoping that Jericho puts him over big time (as this is likely Jericho’s last match for the foreseeable future).
What I think will happen: Orton gets the win and builds a little momentum.
What I hope happens: Both guys put the effort in to put on a great match. It would be real easy for them to put in a C+ effort given that this is a non-title match at a PPV devoted to title matches.
The Usos vs. Gold/Stardust
I think that it is high time that we get a tag-team title change. The Usos, while colorful, have a tendency to run a similar match night after night, whereas Goldust and (especially) Stardust have been forced to innovate continuously. While I would have preferred that the Wyatt’s got the go-ahead on this one, I’m all for Goldust and Stardust regaining their tag-team championships.
What I think will happen: Goldust and Stardust get their belts back.
What I hope happens: Stardust keeps showing the WWE superstars that it’s ok to change up your move-sets once in a while. It is truly impressive that “Stardust” has a completely different ring dynamic than “Cody Rhodes.”
Nikki Bella vs. Paige vs. AJ Lee
My goodness is the Diva’s division a wasteland right now. Aj and Paige are stuck in this perpetual rematch hell because there is literally no one else for them to go up against. What is it going to take for the NXT Diva’s to get called up to the big leagues? The matchup itself isn’t all that appealing, as Paige and AJ have demonstrated a lack of chemistry in their previous matches, and Nikki Bella isn’t exactly a big draw. With rumors of AJ Lee’s supposed dismissal from WWE in the air, my guess is that Nikki Bella is here to pick up the belt to give her feud with Brie some heat. Otherwise, Paige will probably retain.
What I think will happen: Nikki Bella takes the win and the belt.
What I hope happens: Some of the truly talented NXT Divas finally get a look and a chance at the big game. Otherwise we are going to be seeing these four divas over and over again.
Dolph Ziggler vs. The Miz
This one is pretty open and shut: Ziggler retains. The people have demanded it for some time now, and the pop he got after the Summerslam win makes this a real easy decision for creative. The Miz has been making a name for himself as a heel since his return, but it’s not enough to demand another title trade.
What I think will happen: Ziggler retains his title.
What I hope happens: Ziggler leaves the Miz behind and starts feuding with Bray Wyatt. Because that would be AWE-some.
Sheamus vs. Cesaro
Let’s be frank: The U.S. belt is barely a title these days. The champion rarely puts the belt up, and changes are few and far between. So it’s barely a draw. That being said, it could serve to legitimize an up-and-coming talent by putting a little gold around their waist. I’d like to say that it would be a step-up for Cesaro, but as a former U.S. champ it’s really just a lateral move. However, if creative really wants to put Cesaro in the main-event picture (and they should), this would be a decent first step.
What I think will happen: Cesaro gets the U.S. belt around his waist.
What I hope happens: Cesaro reminds us why he should be the “next big thing” and puts on a powerlifting clinic.
Mark Henry vs. Rusev
This is just a miss waiting to happen. Rusev has been the low-point of the last few PPVs, and his win streak has been kept alive far longer that it should have. Swapping Mark Henry in isn’t really going to help either, as Big E Langston already showed us that Rusev doesn’t know how to wrestler super-heavyweights. Here’s hoping I’m wrong, but this’ll probably be the match that I tune out of.
What I think will happen: Rusev’s win streak will keep going until creative figures out a logical way to end it (besides giving it to a USA-themed wrestler like oh, I don’t know, Swagger?).
What I hope happens: Rumors have been floating around that a new babyface Nation of Domination is in the works, so my hope is that Mark Henry was put in here to get that moving after all. Actually, having some of the athletes that Rusev bowled over (like Big E and Kofi) band together to take him down makes a lot of sense and would be a decent end to his storyline while introducing the next big faction.
John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar
Now I might be in the minority on this one, but I was not blown away by the Summerslam main event. I don’t care how impressive it was on a physical level, watching 16 german suplexes is not my idea of a great match. So hopefully this one has some variety to it. The current storyline is really trying to sell the fact that Cena has absolutely no chance of defeating Brock Lesnar, which just makes it all the more obvious that he’s probably going to come on top in this one. However, I like to think that the winner of the match is irrelevant, as this will be the night that Rollins cashes in his MITB briefcase and steals the title from the winner so that he and Ambrose can have a Hell in a Cell match for the belt next month.
What I think will happen: Cena will defeat Lesnar, but will immediately lose the belt to Rollins due to his being too beaten-up to defend himself.
What I hope happens: Lesnar and Cena actually put on a match this time.
So that’s my picks for Night of Champions. While I have low expectations going in to Sunday night, here’s hoping that the talent really brings their a-game to pull this C+ PPV up to at least a B-level show.