By John Napolitano
World Wrestling Entertainment is currently in a state of disorder. The landscape is being remolded from the action-packed adventures of the summer to the stale surroundings of autumn. The Night of Champions Pay-Per-View, which takes place on September 21st, has the potential to stymie the humdrum antics of the fall and electrify the WWE Universe to its core. I contest that the the results of the Night of Champions Pay-Per-View in Nashville, Tennessee, will be indicative of the tone of the upcoming fall months.
I predict that the WWE Tag-Team Title matchup will kickoff the show. The current champions, The Usos, are exceptional at invigorating a crowd and kicking off the night right when given the chance to do so. Jimmy and Jey are squaring off against the newly turned heel team of Stardust and Goldust. As much as I would like to see Stardust return to his original identity as Cody Rhodes, I foresee the Rhodes brothers dethroning The Usos for the tag-team titles and prolonging their bizarre gimmick. The Usos have grown somewhat stale, and the fact that the team of Stardust and Goldust has been given a pay-per-view program to begin with tells me that we will see new champions on September 21st.
Winners: Stardust and Goldust
It seems logical that the United States Championship match will be used as a decrescendo following the electric opener, considering that there is not much interest in the program as a whole. Sheamus has served as ho-hum United States Champion ever since he earned the strap in May. Unless there is a heel turn in store for The Celtic Warrior, I do not see much reason in keeping the title on him. I predict that Cesaro will defeat Sheamus in what will be an unexpectedly enjoyable match. Hopefully, Cesaro can restore prominence to the championship as we traverse into the fall and winter months.
Nikki Bella, AJ Lee, and Paige should put on a fairly competent 8-minute contest come Night of Champions. The Divas division has certainly seen better days, but there is definitely a conscious effort to entertain and story tell, which is always welcomed. The outcome of this matchup will be hard to predict, but I would like to see Nikki Bella win the Divas Championship and battle over the title with her sister Brie into the fall. The angle between AJ Lee and Paige has become a little sour and I can only hope that they pursue different directions following Night of Champions.
Winner: Nikki Bella
Mark Henry and Rusev will likely do battle towards the middle of the event. Neither of these superstars are ring generals by any stretch of the imagination, and I shutter to think of a bout lasting longer than five minutes between these two behemoths. I do not see Henry as the man to snap Rusev’s undefeated streak. I predict that Rusev squashes The World’s Strongest Man in order to gain the undeniable legitimacy for which he is fighting. In my fantasy world, a babyface Ryback returns leading up to Survivor Series and ends the reign of Rusev once and for all.
The rivalry between the Intercontinental Champion Dolph Ziggler and The Miz is undoubtedly the hottest mid-card rivalry in WWE. The Miz has really shone through with the utilization of his stunt double Damien Mizdow, whereas Ziggler has not really been given the chance to run with the ball as champion. He comes across as mild-mannered and almost monotonous, which is not normal for The Showoff. I realize that we are still a week removed from Night of Champions, and this rivalry still has the potential to hit a homerun, but as of September 11th, I predict that Ziggler will retain his Intercontinental Championship in order to preserve the title’s prestige.
Winner: Dolph Ziggler
It is no secret that Chris Jericho is preparing to depart from WWE once again following Night of Champions. Coincidentally, his opponent the “Apex Predator” Randy Orton is in dire need of some momentum in order to maintain his top-tier status. Orton will come out as the victor against the legendary Jericho in what will be a great contest with the potential to surprise everyone and be a highlight of the card.
Winner: Randy Orton
In my opinion, Seth Rollins versus Roman Reigns will be the breakout match of the night. These two former S.H.I.E.L.D. members will undoubtedly tear the house down in Nashville, Tennessee, and do some great storytelling in the process. The crowd will surely reach a ferocious frenzy when these two bulls lock horns. Because Reigns is on the roll of a lifetime, I predict he wins due to interference on the part of The Authority. Hopefully, this will translate into a program with Triple H at some point this fall.
Winner: Roman Reigns via disqualification
Last but certainly not least, there is the WWE World Heavyweight Championship matchup between Brock Lesnar and John Cena. Cena was absolutely decimated during their last meeting at SummerSlam and claims that he is going into Night of Champions to not only win, but to “beat Brock Lesnar’s ass.” I predict that unlike SummerSlam, Cena will generate a majority of the offense throughout the bout, but Lesnar will pull out the victory at the last minute and retain the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
Winner: Brock Lesnar