Your Average WWE Night of Champions Preview & Predictions
Night of Champions is this Sunday on the WWE Network, and every title must be defended. Night of Champions is always a sneaky good pay per view, and if the WWE invested more in certain mid card title storylines, it could eventually be one of the best shows of the year. Seth Rollins is pulling double duty and defending both the WWE and US titles, Charlotte looks to win gold for the first team and the New Day is going to be there. Oh, and Cesaro doesn’t have a match :(.
Pre Show – The Cosmic Wasteland vs. Neville & The Lucha Dragons
When it comes to pure character work, there are few better than Stardust. Then you remember he’s the son of Dusty Rhodes and he’s athletic as hell, and you wonder why the hell is he on the pre show. That’s an argument for another time, but for now, I’m glad The Ascension are paired with Stardust. They are the longest reigning tag champs in NXT history, and they deserved a better shot than they got when they debuted on Raw. The announce team immediately shit on them, and then they got beat up by the league of extraordinary grandpas. Why would we take them seriously after that? A pre show match isn’t exactly main eventing WrestleMania, but it’s something, and pairing them with a veteran who takes his character seriously like Stardust can only help them. You have a couple built in feuds with this match, as Stardust and Neville have been battling since before Summerslam, and Lucha Dragons and The Ascension have been rivals since NXT. Should be a fun way to get things started.
Prediction: I’m throwing a bone to Stardust and The Ascension. Cosmic Wasteland FTW.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Rusev
I shouldn’t hate a Dolph Ziggler/Rusev feud, but when it’s centered around who’s having sex with which blonde and has been done as poorly as this feuds been done, I’m going to hate it. Wrestling wise, this could be the match of the night, but this storyline is so terrible and dumb it’s going to be tough to enjoy. Plus, Lana is legitimately injured and won’t be at NOC, so I’m guessing Summer is going to flirt with both Rusev and Ziggler because WOMEN. The less said about this the better, but at least you know if they’re given enough time, this is going to be enjoyable from a wrestling aspect. I think Summer Rae eventually double crosses my poor sweet Rusev, but it won’t be while Lana’s on the shelf.
Prediction: Rusev. Bring back the Rusev face Bulgarian flag!
IC Title Match: Ryback (C) vs. Kevin Owens
I’m a little biased on this one, but with no real back story to this feud besides differing opinions on a self help book, I’m leaning heavily on Kevin Owens. You can’t put the entire blame on Ryback, but his IC title run has been terrible. Yes he’s feuded with Big Show and Miz and yes he’ been injured, but your IC champ should ideally be your workhorse. This isn’t a rant about how much better things were back in the day, but the IC title used to be something people got excited over. Who is going to be excited about Ryback vs. Big Show? HBK, Bret Hart, Mr. Perfect, HHH, The Rock; all those guys held the IC title and set the bar for in ring work and the psychology of their feuds. I know the writing team is shitty, but if you put the belt on a character as strong as Kevin Owens, great things will happen. Give me NXT champion Kevin Owens with the IC belt and have him feud with Neville, Stardust, Rusev, Cesaro and you have an immediate mid card resurgence. The Ryback IC title experiment didn’t work. It’s time to cut your losses.
Divas Championship Match: Nikki Bella (C) vs. Charlotte
This should be the ‘Shane Douglas’ dropping the NWA title belt moment of the Diva’s division. Charlotte beats Nikki Bella, drops the Divas Championship and proclaims that this is the Women’s division. It probably won’t happen, so I’ll take Charlotte winning the belt as a substitute. There’s really no reason to have Nikki Bella win here besides ‘she’s John Cena’s girlfriend’. She’s the longest reigning Diva’s champion; she’s the star of a reality show and she can take credit for the Diva’s Revolution. It’s time to move on to Charlotte and Sasha and Becky and whoever else wants to throw their hat in the ring. Get the belt on a legitimate athlete who can dominate opponents and have everyone try and take the title away from her. Get rid of the factions and let some of these ladies sink or swim on their own. Similar to the IC title, you need a champion who can defend against all different styles of wrestlers. While it’s not her fault, Nikki Bella has rarely been defending the title, which just makes things that much worse. It’s one thing to win a bunch of title matches and be the longest reigning Diva’s champion. It’s another to go months between title matches and then brag about how you’re the best. If the Raw before NOC is the season premiere, make NOC an event where title changes happen and it feels like a new season is beginning.
Tag Team Championship Match: New Day (C) vs. Dudley Boyz
Disregard everything I just said about NOC being a place where things change, because I want this version of the New Day to last forever and ever. They’ve been the best part of WWE TV for a few months now, and the only reason they should ever lose the tag belts is to win them back again so they can announce themselves as the ‘3x tag champs’ during their entrance. There’s honestly just so much to love about this group. When’s the last time you saw guys enjoy themselves THIS much? I know it’s an act and they’re playing characters, but they’re having some genuine fun out there. Big E dancing, Xavier on the trombone, and the severely underrated in ring skills of both Big E and Kofi make them so much fun to watch. The Dudleyz are great, and they’ve never been the most athletic guys in the ring, so even though they’re older, their in ring style has matured like a fine wine. The Dudleyz are on a multi year deal, so it’s a possibility they win the titles here, as they haven’t lost since coming back. While I’ll be in a deep depression if that happens, WWE knows New Day is the best thing going right now and they wouldn’t dare take them out of the title picture.
Prediction: Dudleyz. A lot of trees are going to be sad Sunday night.
Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns & ? vs. The Wyatt Family
There’s two storylines going into this match. One is Braun Strowman being this unbeatable monster, and two is who will Ambrose & Reigns find to even the odds. If Seth Rollins pulls triple duty and reunites The Shield for one night I’m going to lose my mind (there’s a negative 1,000% chance of that happening, but whenever it’s a possibility you have to mention it). I hope hope hope hope hope it’s someone new, but my money is on Kane. It wouldn’t make much sense besides digging up the old storyline where Bray beat Kane and dragged him to the back in his debut match, and the WWE loves bringing back old guys instead of using the spot to elevate a young guy. It would have to be a guy who can match power with Strowman, and I can’t think of anyone in NXT who would fit that bill. Baron Corbin’s picture was thrown in a fake graphic by fans, but I don’t think this spot works for him. While I don’t want it to be Kane, I also don’t have a great pick for anyone else. If you go back and look at Wyatt’s feuds besides Kane, you have Jericho, Daniel Bryan, The Undertaker, John Cena, Ambrose and Reigns. Two of those guys are already in the match, and the other four are impossible. Jericho has the best chance, but that’s basically the same thing as bringing Kane back. Does Jericho need to add a notch in his belt by helping Reigns and Ambrose beat the monstrous Strowman? No matter who they bring back, I hope the Wyatt Family wins here. It’s ok if Strowman shows a little weakness or gets knocked down a few times, but he shouldn’t be conquered yet. If the WWE is really going to make Reigns the new Cena, he’ll probably be the guy to eventually take out Strowman, but for now, let me enjoy Bray Wyatt winning matches.
US & WWE Championship Matches: John Cena vs. Seth Rollins (C) & Sting vs. Seth Rollins (C)
I’m lumping these two together because I already know what’s going to happen. If you don’t think Cena is beating Rollins and Rollins is beating Sting so Cena can challenge and win both belts from Rollins I don’t know what to tell ya. You obviously haven’t been paying attention the last decade. Rule #1 about facing John Cena is that if you lose, it’s over, but if you win, you’re only setting yourself up for a loss down the road. Rollins won at Summerslam AND took the US belt off Cena, so Cena is going to get his revenge in grand fashion. He’s going to beat Rollins Sunday night. It will probably be clean, hell he might even make him tap out. Then Rollins will beat Sting in the main event, and the next night on Raw Cena will cut a promo about how he beat the WWE Champion and deserves to fight him again, this time with belts on the line (again). Rollins will come out and say no, but The Authority, who let me remind you, are on Seth Rollins’ side, will grant the match anyway. My only hope is that the match is at Hell in a Cell or any other smaller pay per view so when Rollins loses it’s not that bad. I could be completely wrong, or just like every other time, John Cena will come out on top and I’ll cry myself to sleep.
Prediction: Rollins loses to THE CHAMP and beats Sting.