The John Report: WWE Night of Champions Preview

John Canton: Welcome to the third monthly TJR staff PPV preview. This month we’re here to talk about Night of Champions. The entire TJR staff comes together in one massive column to tell you who we think are going to win the matches. We know it’s a long read, but thanks to the quick takes by up to 14 different writers it doesn’t take too long to sift through it all. All six titles in WWE are on the line at Night of Champions plus the Triple H vs. Punk match, as far as we know. Could more be added? Sure, but the seven match card seems highly likely too.

Let’s take a look at the standings after two months of PPV predictions. Each writer gets a point for every correctly predicted match while the WWE and World Title matches are worth two points.

4: Jacob “Thursday” Lindsey
5: Kenny “Superstars WWWYKI” Latham, Marc “Impact – sorry about that buddy” B.
6: Eric “Tough Enough” Keith, John “Raw Deal and too many things” Canton
7: Lonestar “aka NXT guy”, Christian “Smackdown” Michael
8: “Monday” Matty J. Douglas, Andrew “Headlines” Johnson
9: Laurence “Tuesday” Salford, Mike “Friday” Aires, Matt “ROH” Seagull
10: Thomas “Sunday” Briggs, Cody “Wednesday” Dodson

As you can see, I have some catching up to do. With Night of Champions coming this week, Hell in a Cell in two weeks and then Vengeance three weeks after that it’s time to make a comeback. Up for grabs for this PPV are 9 points thanks to seven matches, which includes the WWE Title and World Title matches (two points each for those). The predictions will be posted in the order that I think the matches will take place with the writer name going in the order that I received their predictions from the 14 writers. Mine will be last. Enjoy.

United States Title: Dolph Ziggler vs. Jack Swagger vs. Alex Riley vs. John Morrison

Lonestar: Oh look, a giant cluster of meh. It makes me sad to think that too, because I really like two of the wrestlers in this match but the WWE doesn’t seem to at the moment, so it’s hard for me to care what happens here. I see Swagger winning the title to further his terrible angle with Dolph Ziggler and Vickie. Winner: Jack Swagger

Kenny Latham: Ziggler has held the belt for a while, and I think it’s time he loses it. I think Morrison wins this. He’s getting a slight push, perhaps giving him the US Title will help elevate him a bit. Winner: John Morrison

Laurence Salford: The first match to predict here is also the most difficult. As there is no story here, aside from the Swagger/Vickie/Dolph triangle, any of these could win this match, and all of them need something to help give them a push. Morrison and Riley are currently floundering in mid-card babyface status, and Swagger hasn’t been relevant in months. Since you could put together a well thought out case here for any of them to win the title, I’m going for the one who needs it the most. Winner – Alex Riley

Matt Seagull: Boy, what the hell happened to that Alex Riley push? He was getting monster pops for a while. I guess that’s what happens when you stop beating up on Miz. Just another example of the creative team failing to capitalize on momentum. I mean, why bother pushing A-Ry when we have another failed Jack Swagger push coming up! I’m glad they’ve got something for Swagger to do, and the overriding storyline going into this match is Swagger’s attempt to join Vickie’s stable (of one), but we’ve got two babyfaces who are over that seem to just be floundering. We know the deal with Morrison, but I’m curious as to why A-Ry hasn’t been featured more. Anyway, I don’t expect either of them to win, so the smart money is on one of the heels. Swagger has been getting some big wins lately, making both A-Ry and Morrison tap out in the 8-man main event on Raw a couple weeks ago, so I’ll give him the nod here, furthering the tension between Vickie and Dolph. Winner: Jack Swagger

Christian Michael: I’m not really sure why they added Riley and Morrison to this match. The story is centered on Swagger and Ziggler. May I add it’s a dumb story. WWE should use Vickie Guerrero and build a stable of young heels around her that she can manage. We haven’t seen that since the days of Jimmy Hart and Bobby Heenan. As for the match, it should be entertaining provided Riley stay on the floor for most of it. I see things winding up with Swagger and Ziggler in a faceoff and somehow Vickie will “accidently” cost Ziggler the match. Predicted Winner and NEW United States Champion – Jack Swagger

Andrew Johnson: I hate when two heels feud, and this is the perfect reason why. Ziggler vs Swagger has the potential to be good and I’m interested to see it, but because they are both “bad guys” you have to shoe-horn in two other Superstars that have no place being there. John Morrison is overrated and I’m pretty sure I created Alex Riley in 1998 on my Nintendo 64. They could have at least made it elimination to make this match somewhat appealing, but I guess that would require more than five minutes for WWE creative to even think about this match. Winner: Jack Swagger

Eric Keith: The smart money is probably on Swagger. But, I’m not a smart man. Riley or Morrison? Morrison or Riley? Finkle or Einhorn? I’m going with JoMo, who inexplicably has been so invisible lately that he might as well have been fired with his ex-trollfriend. Winner: John Morrison

Cody Dodson: If you read my column this week, you know that I’m not exactly feeling great about this feud. I think the buildup has been weak and the addition of Riley and Morrison just feels tacked on to avoid a heel vs. heel match. However, I expect the match to be pretty good. It’s also fairly unpredictable, as I could really see any of these guys winning. With that said, let’s go off process of elimination. Alex Riley isn’t ready to be a champion yet, especially if he can’t take a finisher properly. John Morrison has felt like a pawn in the storyline and just there for filler. It comes down to one of the two main men in the feud. I don’t know how much longer this can go on for. I do think that it’s time for Dolph to go out on his own. He has the tools to be a star. Swagger, however, needs a mouthpiece. Vickie can do that for him, and I bet she’ll want to do that when he’s the champion. Winner: Jack Swagger

Mike Aires: It would seem Ziggler and Swagger are setting something up. This could mean one of them winning, OR they could both cost each other the match. I was going to originally go with my hometown hero Swagger, but I think they cause each other to lose, and John Morrison scoops up the win and the title. Winner – John Morrison

Marc B: This match was so hastily put together, it almost reeks of having the champ retain. However, since Dolph has been trying to get Vickie to believe that Swagger is a loser, I think the opposite will happen. Swagger wins, while Morrison does some crazy shenanigans, and Riley sees how the big boys get buried. Winner: Jack Swagger

Jacob Lindsey: The story for this match is Ziggler-Swagger. The other two guys are in there so neither Swagger nor Ziggler have to take the pin, setting up a rematch in two weeks…maybe. I’m sure Vickie will be involved with the finish, and I think it’s a vehicle to turn Swagger babyface. I’m gonna go with Swagger getting the belt here, maybe over Riley, to set up Dolph as the whiny heel who demands a rematch. WWE NEVER does that. Winner: Jack Swagger

Thomas Briggs: I’m not really sure where this match is headed. The inclusion of John Morrison, who hasn’t had a part at all in the storyline up to this match is a head-scratcher. I know who I’d like to see win, Jack Swagger. It would give him something more meaningful to do on Raw, and it would open up Ziggler (who I’m very high on) a bit. But what I want is rarely delivered by the WWE these days. I expect to see Alex Riley (by far the least talented individual in the match) win the title, and Ziggler and Swagger continue on with a feud of their own. Winner: Alex “Say it to my face!” Riley

Matty J. Douglas: This can be a fun match with an interesting dynamic having the two guys managed by Vickie in there. I’ve never been very high on Alex Riley but I could see him coming out on top in this one. I’d love to see Morrison get the win to escape the purgatory he’s been trapped in recently. Bottom line is I feel like Dolph is going to be losing the title at NOC to further cause a rift in the Vickie stable. To who? I don’t know, Let’s say… Moe. Ha ha. Winner: Alex Riley takes this one.

John Canton: I really like three of the four guys…then there’s Alex Riley. Ziggler needs to be elevated now. They need heels higher up on the card. He’s the best candidate. Swagger’s somebody that could benefit from the title, so my prediction is they move it onto him. All the momentum that John Morrison had earlier in the year is long gone. Riley’s average at everything although his SAY IT TO MY FACE music is really loud, so he has that going for him. It should be a good, formulaic ten minute match with a lot of nearfalls. Winner: Jack Swagger

Intercontinental Title: Cody Rhodes vs. Ted Dibiase

Lonestar: Holy fast builds Batman, this match probably wouldn’t happen if it weren’t for the Night of Champions PPV gimmick. I see Rhodes retaining his title. Winner: Cody Rhodes

Kenny Latham: Rhodes should squash DiBiase. Winner: Cody Rhodes

Laurence Salford: I assume that as the IC title had to be on the card, and there are no other available faces to fight Cody, Ted has been chosen and this once seemingly promising rivalry has been rushed. Still, at least he’s not fighting big Zeke. Winner – Cody Rhodes

Matt Seagull: When he won the title, Cody said he was going to restore prestige to the belt. Aside from wrestling the World Champion in non-title matches, Cody hasn’t really done much of anything with the belt. If this DiBiase match seems tacked on, it’s because it is tacked on. It’s as if they just remembered that the IC title has to be defended at Night of Champions. Every year, it seems they tack on a title match at the last second. There’s no way Dibiase wins the IC title. Not a chance in hell. If we had to give a lock of the night, this would be it. Bet the farm on Cody. Winner: Cody Rhodes

Christian Michael: This could be a really good match if given time. These two are both good worker. Ted really needs to shed this loser image he’s got because he’s a much better talent than that. Sadly for him, he won’t shed that image here as this will be Cody’s first PPV win as Champion. He needs to build from it and defend that title every week to rebuild it’s prestige. That should be the goal of Cody Rhodes carrying this title. Predicted Winner and STILL Intercontinental Champion- Cody Rhodes

Andrew Johnson: What’s Ted Dibiase’s gimmick again? Does he still have a trust fund? Where does Cody Rhodes buy all of those bags? Surplus stores? Wait, aren’t they friends? When did Ted go to Smackdown? Does the brand extension still matter when Raw is a Super Show? Is this a dream within a dream? TOO MANY QUESTIONS. Winner: Cody Rhodes

Eric Keith: Cody is on the fast (slow) track toward the main event. They’ve been testing Cody, but I hope they don’t rush it. Give him a long IC title reign first. A man with the last name RHODES brings credibility to the IC strap. Winner: Cody Rhodes

Cody Dodson: I’m really only going off of the spoiler info for this match. I haven’t seen Smackdown yet, but many of you will have by the time you read this. I’m sad to see these two broken up as I think Ted could have reached higher levels by staying with Cody longer. I don’t see people really caring about him as a face yet. For that reason, I think the belt stays firmly around the waist of the champ. Winner: Cody Rhodes

Mike Aires: Oh look, Rhodes and DiBiase in the ring together. One guy is awesome, and the other just keeps going in circles. Winner – Cody Rhodes

Marc B: Short and simple, I haven’t seen SD enough recently to judge this match, but it looks like they are going to move forward with a Cody Rhodes Main Event push. That being said, I think he retains here, anyway. Winner: Cody Rhodes

Jacob Lindsey: There’s really no reason for DiBiase to win this one. I like DiBiase. I would also like another fellow Mississippian to win the belt, so I can forget all about Ahmed Johnson, but I don’t think it’s happening here. It seems like the company is behind Rhodes right now, and I think the last two Orton-Rhodes matches were a preview of PPV main events in the future. Keep the belt on Rhodes, continue to build him up until it’s time to go for the World Championship. Winner: Cody Rhodes

Thomas Briggs: A couple of years ago, I fully expected Ted Dibiase to be a headliner. He has the look, the skill, and the lineage. Funny, I didn’t have the same expectations for Cody Rhodes. Call it a “Vince McMahon moment”, I thought he was too skinny to be a serious contender. Boy was I wrong. While I think it’s great to see Dibiase make a little noise in the IC division, and it would be nice to see Rhodes freed up for a World Heavyweight Title match, I don’t see it happening just yet. Winner: Cody Rhodes

Matty J. Douglas: I don’t think DiBiase really has a shot in hell at coming out on top. His character is as generic as it comes, and his character before was a carbon copy or rip off of his father’s. He’s in some dire need of character development because there is something there. Just not at NOC. Winner: Cody Rhodes

John Canton: The pop that Dibiase got on Smackdown in Toronto when he attacked Rhodes was pretty huge. A lot bigger than I was expecting…that’s what she said. Anyway, it makes me think that this story will be solid as long as they give them time to develop it. I think the proper finish here is for Rhodes to win with a handful of tights or with his hand/feet on the ropes. That will add heat to the feud while giving Dibiase a rematch. Ultimately Dibiase will win the title as well as the feud while Rhodes gets elevated to the main event level. That might be a few wins away. For now Rhodes should go over. Winner: Cody Rhodes

Tag Team Titles: Air Boom (Kofi Kingston & Evan Bourne) vs. The Miz & R-Truth

Lonestar: Air Boom is a horrible name. There, I said it. But if it’s the beginning of a tag team revival I’ll deal with it. Keep the titles on a team for more than 3 weeks, please. Winners: Air Boom

Kenny Latham: Air Boom wins cleanly, I don’t see it any other way. Winners: Air Boom

Laurence Salford: At last! A tag team title match that I’m actually looking forward to! The revival of the tag division begins here with established wrestlers being paired together first, and then assumedly, debuting new wrestlers as actual teams. I am also going to go out on a slight limb and say that once the match is over, Air Boom will find themselves on the receiving end of a beat down from a debuting tag team. If they are serious about reviving the division, they need to make something newsworthy happen, and a sneak attack by Kings of Wrestling for example (ROH signed team waiting to debut) would be more than welcome. Winners – Air Boom

Matt Seagull: The most pleasant surprise of the past month has been the team of the Awesome Truth, Miz and R-Truth. Before CM Punk was shot into the World Title picture this summer, Miz and Truth were taking shots at the throne, so it really seems like they built a mega-team. Unfortunately, I have no faith that this is anything more than an attempt to get them onto the card where only titles are being defended. I made the same mistake in 2010 thinking they would put the tag titles on Miz and Chris Jericho when they faced The Hart Dynasty at Over the Limit. I’m not falling for it again. Winners: Air Boom

Christian Michael: This should be a fun match but there’s no heat behind it. This match is here to get Air Boom a win over two very credible wrestlers. I really hope WWE stays committed to rebuilding the Tag Team division but they need to bring in actual tag teams and not pair together two guys that have nothing to do. Predicted Winners and STILL Tag Team Champions- Air Boom

Andrew Johnson: The Miz/Truth tandem is both perplexing and fascinating. I think the token move would be to put the belts on them, but both they and Air Fart have a black guy on the team, so I guess token moves are out the door. Still, I like their “West Wing” promo so why the hell not. Winner: Miz & R-Truth

Eric Keith: This is the easiest match of the night to predict, since the ol’ WWE formula applies. Heels win singles matches, face team wins title match. Team “Get Got Awesome” don’t need the belts and were only put in this spot so they would be on the PPV. Winners: Air Boom

Cody Dodson: I expect this to be a pretty good match as you have four workers who are all very good (or at least decent in the case of R-Truth). As for the winner, this is one of the matches I am most divided on. We’ve seen that WWE likes to just throw titles around so I wouldn’t be surprised if the champs lost so soon. On the other hand, I think it would be beneficial to the characters of Miz and R-Truth for them to lose and descend into further madness with their conspiracy theories. I’m going to go with what would entertain me more. Winner: Air Boom

Mike Aires: Looking forward to this match. Love all 4 participants. Too early to kill the momentum of the tag champs. Plus if Miz and R win, the conspiracies will be over! Winner – Air Boom

Marc B: It’s a coin flip at this point, but the old 8-ball is sensing a title change. I think this feud can last another couple of weeks before Kofi/Bourne win the titles back. Winners: Miz/Truth

Jacob Lindsey: As of right now, I have hopes for the rebuilding of the tag division. Kofi and Bourne make a good, exciting team, and they could keep the belts for a while until a good heel team takes them. If only it could be Beer Money. Miz and R-Truth can lose and blame it on the conspiracy, but I don’t think they’ll be a team in the long-term, so there’s no point in them winning. I don’t think this feud will end here, I just don’t think the tag belts are changing hands. Winners: Air Boom

Thomas Briggs: Here’s another toss up. I like that the WWE is attempting to rebuild its tag division, and it would make sense to keep the belts on Air Boom (such a stupid name) in order to establish them, but Miz and R-Truth are so over with the crowd right now. Say what you will about the Miz, he does a fantastic job at generating heat, and he works hard to gain exposure for both himself and the WWE. He deserves every push that the WWE gives him. And what can you say about R-Truth? He’s hilarious. His heel-run has been highly entertaining, and he’s someone I couldn’t stand a year ago. Plus, both Miz and R-Truth are past WWE Championship contenders, so it would make sense that they’d be portrayed as the favorites here. Still, it’s easy to get the feeling that Air Boom is the only permanent tag team here; a win would both get them over with the fans, and help legitimize the tag team division. Winners: Air Boom

Matty J. Douglas: I don’t think Miz and Truth will win, and I do not want them to. They are a team that will have run it’s course in a matter of months and putting the title on those teams only diminishes the work of real tag teams like the Usos, and hurts the credibility of the division and tag team wrestling itself. Strong enough opinion? Air Boom (I really don’t like the name) have the possibility for longevity so I’d keep belts on them. Winners: Air Boom

John Canton: I saw these four have a tag title match at a house show last Saturday and it was a very entertaining match for about 13 minutes. It ended with an Evan Bourne SSP onto R-Truth. I expect to see something similar here. The champs are the more permanent team. Give them some wins. Get them some opponents too. Winners: Kingston & Bourne

Divas Title: Kelly Kelly vs. Beth Phoenix

Lonestar: Will it mean anything anymore if Beth beats Kelly? The WWE lost their chance at improving the division when Kelly won their previous PPV match and then made the Divas of Doom look like fools for the next month. I think perhaps in outlining the feud as essentially models vs actual wrestlers, Beth and Natalya may have set themselves up for failure because we all know which way the WWE swings. I so hope to be wrong though. Winner: Kelly Kelly

Kenny Latham: Beth is in her hometown, she’ll play the face and will dominate in a 3 minute laugher. New champ finally. Winner: Beth Phoenix

Laurence Salford: To everyone’s surprise, Beth didn’t win at Summerslam, but despite that slight blip, I’m going with the Glamazon again, as the “match” between Vickie and Kelly on Raw was the worst thing ever. Winner – Beth Phoenix

Matt Seagull: This match is going to be…you know what, who the hell cares? I appreciate the effort going into building Beth and Natalya as monster heels, but the only part of the women’s division that I care about is off taking Lamaze classes. Call me when Kharma comes back. Winner: Beth Phoenix, I guess

Christian Michael: It was a mild shock that Kelly beat Beth at SummerSlam. What I’ll say now if she wins again then you know WWE isn’t serious about their Divas division and probably never will be. Predicted Winner and NEW Divas Champion- Beth Phoenix

Andrew Johnson: One of these women is an unstoppable Diva-wrecking machine, and the other is Beth Phoenix. Winner: Kelly Kelly

Eric Keith: Ok, NOW the future Beth Brooks will beat Barbie Blank for the butterfly belt. See what I did there? The match will probably be better than most Divas’ matches, but that’s like saying that a stank turd nugget is better than some flaming diarrhea. It’s all the shits when you cut the crap. Winner: Beth Phoenix

Cody Dodson: I really don’t have anything to say about this match. It’s time. Just do it already. Let Beth and Natalya go on a tear through the division until Kharma comes back. Winner: Beth Phoenix

Mike Aires: I predicted Beth to win the last time, and got K2’d in the head. I will not be denied a second time. Get Beth the title, and let her and Natalya reign over Barbie land. Winner – Beth Phoenix

Marc B: Beth Phoenix is the winner here, or I riot, quietly, with a box of wheat thins. Winner: Beth Phoenix

Jacob Lindsey: Beth Phoenix needs to win in her hometown. And by “win,” I mean HULKSMASH Kelly’s face. Not that I have anything against Kelly—I love her…body…and face. I just want Phoenix to win. Winner: Beth Phoenix

Thomas Briggs: Who should win? Beth Phoenix. But I said the same thing last month, and Kelly Kelly pulled off a win. That was a shocker though, and it can’t happen every month. So I’m going with Beth once again. Hopefully the match itself will resemble Summerslam’s in that it wasn’t all that interesting, but at least it wasn’t awful (that’s what happens when you book a Beth Phoenix rather than a Bella twin!). Winner: Beth Phoenix

Matty J. Douglas: Kelly Kelly wins, I riot! And by riot I mean possibly say “really” in a very sarcastic tone. Winner: Beth Phoenix

John Canton: Last month I was sure Beth was going to win the Divas title. This month? I’m sure of it again! Uh oh that could be trouble. It’s in her hometown of Buffalo, she’ll likely get a good pop and the title will change hands because it needs to in order for this “Divas Of Doom” storyline to continue. I’m a Divas of Doom kind of guy. Winner: Beth Phoenix

World Title: Randy Orton vs. Mark Henry

Lonestar: This program with Orton is Henry’s best and probably final chance to get a major title reign. If it doesn’t happen soon it probably won’t ever happen at all. To be brutally honest though, I don’t want him to win it. It’s not that I’m a big fan of Randy Orton, I’ve just never been interested in Mark Henry and put him one step below The Great Khali as a plodding, boring wrestler with little to give to the business. Orton on the other hand just came off of a very successive run against Christian and I think that the WWE should and will continue his run by barely getting the win over Henry. The feud isn’t over, but Randy will leave Night of Champions as the champion. Winner: Randy Orton

Kenny Latham: I think this will have a DQ Finish. I think Mark Henry gets himself DQ’d but brutalizes Randy after the match is over. Winner: Randy Orton

Laurence Salford: This is possibly the only Mark Henry match that I have ever been actually fairly excited about. His match with Sheamus at Summerslam was good, and convinces me that Mark is aware of his limitations as a wrestler, and is actually telling stories in the ring that work around this. The only problem is, I am used to Orton matches being one of the wrestling highlights of a PPV, and so will be a slight adjustment. Since we have three PPV’s coming up, I can see this rivalry getting intense here, with a brutal post match attack from the World’s Strongest Man, after a surprise RKO finish, leading to a more personal HIAC feud. Winner – Randy Orton

Matt Seagull: Believe it or not, I’m looking forward to this match. Probably because it was well-built. Henry has been a monster since getting drafted to Smackdown, and they actually waited with him before they pulled the trigger. So this looks like a superclash of the unstoppable force (Orton) meeting the immovable object (Henry). I’m sure people are going to think this match will suck. But I saw Triple H get a passable match out of The Great Khali at Summerslam. And while Orton is no Triple H, Henry is certainly no Great Khali. I think Henry gets the belt eventually, and although I can see them hot-shotting it over to Mizark this Sunday, I think this feud has enough legs to it to be drawn out another month. Henry will certainly be the champion heading into Survivor Series (I’m going to be there, by the way), but Orton will hold onto it here. I’m thinking the match ends in a DQ. Winner: Randy Orton

Christian Michael: Ol’ Mizark has been on the role of his career since moving to SmackDown. After being in WWE for 15 years what’s the harm of giving him a short title run especially when you consider there’s another PPV in two weeks? The things is this is WWE and it has been their M.O. since the 80s to build up these unstoppable monster heels and then have the super babyface Champion beat them. Tough one to predict but I’ll say Vinnie Mac throws Mizark a bone and let’s him roll with the gold even if it is until Hell in a Cell. Predicted Winner and NEW World Heavyweight Champion- Mark Henry

Andrew Johnson: God I want it to be Mark Henry so bad. Every time I watch him wrestle I forget that he fathered a hand and think of the Rhino from Spider-Man wrecking shop. I don’t know if this is rational or just me being a mark for Mark, but I’m going with the long-shot. Winner: Mark Henry

Eric Keith: I’m happy Mark got this match cuz he deserves it, but I probably won’t watch it cuz his matches suck. Contradictions rule! I don’t think this feud will last 8 years like Orton/Christian, but it won’t be a one monther like Cena/Truth. Mark won’t be winning the title (ever) but they will set up a match for the next PPV. BTW, I think Mark should re-think his “my heart don’t run on Kool-Aid” comment. If his heart DID run on Kool-Aid, he would (die) be on a constant, unstoppable sugar-high. Plus, if he had a HIAC match next month and entered the ring by busting through the Cell wall and screaming “OH YEAHHHH” I would literally die of laughter. Winner: Randy Orton

Cody Dodson: Mark Henry has been on a huge roll lately. The question is does it culminate with him winning the World Heavyweight Championship? I think WWE will reward him for his loyalty and give him the title for a few weeks. I’m not 100% sure that it happens here, though. I think Orton gets the victory, which makes Mizark go completely nuts. He makes it his mission to prove that he can beat Orton and does it next month. For now, he’ll have to wait. Plus, I have a lot of heels winning on this card. Winner: Randy Orton

Mike Aires: In my column this week, I talked about how great Mark Henry as champ could be, as it would really give the title some significance, and make everyone chase a dominating force. He would be a great champion. Too bad for him. Winner – Randy Orton

Marc B: This is the most intriguing match on the card. Dare they give Mark Henry a title run? I say they dare, and allow him to hold the belt till HIAC, so it means that much more when Randy finally beats him. Winner: Mark Henry

Jacob Lindsey: Mark Henry has been on a roll, but Randy Orton JUST won the belt back from Christian. I don’t know what the finish will be, but I don’t see Henry walking away as champion. However, Orton needs an opponent for Hell in a Cell, and there’s no reason for Henry to get a rematch if he loses. But I guess that didn’t stop Christian. I still don’t see him leaving Buffalo with the belt. I’ve been wrong…a lot…but I don’t think I am here. Winner: Randy Orton

Thomas Briggs: Here’s where we get into the really interesting territory. Both Randy Orton and Mark Henry have been booked tremendously over the last few months. Orton is coming off a series of matches against Christian that are perhaps the finest of his career, and Mark Henry has destroyed everything in his path since turning heel. What we have here is a case of the old immovable object vs. the unstoppable force. Can Orton lose clean? Not in today’s WWE. By that same token, it would be foolish to have Henry lose clean as well. The WWE has invested so much in Henry’s push that it would seem unfathomable to simply stop his momentum now, just as he’s reached headliner level. Whatever happens, there’s no way that this feud doesn’t carry on to October’s Hell in a Cell PPV. A babyface stuffed into a cell with a monster heel? Yes please. As for this match, flipping the proverbial coin, I’ll say that Orton retains. Winner: Randy Orton

Matty J. Douglas: I think it’s Mark Henry’s time. If I had to rank WWE superstars in order of my interest in them over the summer, Mark Henry would be #3 only behind Punk and Triple H. That’s higher than both the WWE and World champions, and Cena. Mark is on a roll, he’s connected with the audience and he seems to have his heart in it more than ever. Kool-Aid jokes aside, he’s busted his ass for the WWE and I really want them to let him carry the title for a while. He deserves it. Winner: Mark Henry

John Canton: I have really enjoyed the way that Mark Henry has been built up on the road to this World Title match. Does that mean I think this is going to be a good match? Not necessarily. It also doesn’t mean that I think Henry will be the World Champion after the match either. I think it’s too soon for that to happen. A DQ finish is possible, but to me the best thing to do would be for Orton to win with a flash pin whether it’s a rollup (can you roll up Henry?) or something that is a counter. It doesn’t make Henry look weak to lose that way. It puts Orton over as being a smart wrestler. I think Orton leaves as champion with the rematch coming at Hell in a Cell in two weeks where it’s possible that Henry does in fact leave as World Champion. Not yet, though. Winner: Randy Orton

CM Punk vs. Triple H (No Disqualification Match – if HHH loses he is no longer COO)

Lonestar: Sure Nash probably can’t wrestle worth a crap this late in the game but making him the reason for Punk’s title loss and then quickly firing him really knocked the wind of out of Punk’s sails. Now we’ve got the far superior match of Punk vs Triple H but sadly an opponent for Punk that he can’t vastly out-talk and won’t be able to cooperate with on the mic, which was so horribly evident last Monday on Raw. Wanna know why Punk and Cena had amazing promos together during their feud? It was because they actually like each other and worked together during promos, whereas it’s pretty clear that Trips and Punk don’t. Because of their attitudes toward each other we got a repetitive and fairly shoot argument in which Triple H didn’t give Punk aaaaaannnnnything. And for all the people that said Triple H won the argument, I’d like to point out that spouting off corporate BS doesn’t make you right, it makes you a tool. What were his examples of non-body builders that made it big? HBK, Rey Mysterio, Mic Foley, and Bret Hart? Each one of them had to fight and scratch their way up past the steroid freaks and all 20 of their chances to break through the glass ceiling before they deservedly became big names.

Back to this particular match. Unpredictability is still a part of Punk’s main event run and I’m not really sure who will show up or what will happen in this one to twist the storyline further. Kevin Nash might not even be fired, though if he’s not he’s using twitter to kayfabe. My gut says Triple H will get his hand raised in the end. Winner: Triple H

Kenny Latham: HHH wins with Nash and Mr. YOU’RE OUT OF LINE’s assistance. This program goes until Survivor Series, hopefully. Winner: Triple H

Laurence Salford: This is the match I am looking forward to the most. Not only am I a big HHH fan, but as he rarely wrestles anymore, I’ll savour this one even more. The match will more than likely be the best of the night, and as this match contains the main thrust of the current WWE storyline creative efforts, it will more than likely finish up the card. Everyone who I have heard comment about this match is predicting a HHH heel turn, but I just can’t see it. Although HHH has just taken over as COO, I’m predicting a big swerve here. Punk’s victory as a result of interference by Nash leads to the immediate cliffhanger reveal of the new COO, to the Raw GM chime sound. Smart money would be on Steph, with outside bets on Johnny Ace, JBL, Michael Cole, Pat Patterson and Steve Blackman. Winner – CM Punk

Matt Seagull: Does anybody else find it ironic that the most well-built match at Night of Champions isn’t even for a championship? Unless you count Triple H putting this COO position on the line. Anyway, when the Punk/Nash match was changed mid-show to Punk/HHH, I smelled a rat. I didn’t think this match would actually happen. This is a match that deserves Wrestlemania-like build. But I guess it serves me right to think that the writing team is committed to any kind of long-term planning (what’s the Vegas odds on Daniel Bryan not making it to Wrestlemania with the MITB briefcase?). Still though, with the benefit of five weeks build between Summerslam and Night of Champions, they managed to make it a nice selling point, and personally I think it should be the main event. Even though it’s No DQ, I still smell a rat. I don’t think Nash is really fired, despite the future endeavor mention on Nash interferes, Hunter wins, and the fix is in for Punk. You have to hand it to Trips. He’s been a babyface since 2006. He’s overdue for a heel turn, especially given his new power position. This isn’t over, not by a long shot, but Hunter wins round 1. Winner: Triple H

Christian Michael: No DQ stipulation is in there so someone can help Triple H win this match. But who? Kevin Nash? Johnny Ace? Stephanie? I could call the ultimate swerve and that is one of them costing Triple H the match but I can’t see them dropping him as COO already unless he wants to return to the ring fulltime and I can’t see that happening either. This is really the only match on the card I’m interested in seeing and it’s because I want to see what the swerve is but I’m not interested enough to drop $44.95 just to see one match. I think any way you slice it, someone is helping Triple H win in what should be a very physical match. Predicted Winner- Triple H

Andrew Johnson: I have no idea. Really this one is beyond me. I feel like they could do something unexpected and take the COO position off of Hunter and maybe the Raw GM will be brought back into continuity. The other side of me is thinking that Kevin Nash coming back is too obvious a move, and that the only thing worse than seeing him standing next to Triple H while they crotch chop at a fallen CM Punk is if X-Pac were there. Oh my God. I feel like I just saw through the looking glass. Winner: Triple H

Eric Keith: What title is this for? Common sense says that Trips is gonna pull this one off after some Nashenanigans. But, it isn’t farfetched that WWE plays this one straighter and has Nash come out and actually COST Triple H the match. That way Laurenitis (ugh) gets to be in charge and with Nash they will have a “Use for the Useless”. I want that T-shirt! It could even lead to that barnburner HIAC rematch between the Cliquers that everyone has been clamoring for. What? No one even wanted to see that the first time? Good point. Winner: Triple H

Cody Dodson: The most intriguing match by far on the Night Of Champions card is the only one that doesn’t actually involve a championship. I think this match is rushed beyond belief and I don’t really buy the whole “You made this personal” thing. Sure, Punk has made his fair share of comments, but they’re just that: Comments. It wasn’t worth going to this feud just yet. With that said, there’s no way that Trips is not going to be COO at the end of the night. I’m going to echo what I know Canton is going to predict, and that’s Nash coming back for the EPIC SWERVE THAT NOBODY SEES COMINGZ!!! and screwing Punk. Whether Triple H turns heel immediately or tries to play it off remains to be seen. I think for this story to work, Punk needs to have been right all along. Winner: Triple H

Mike Aires: The odds of someone NOT interfering in this match are probably 1000 to 1…and I still wouldn’t take that bet. Winner – HHH

Marc B: I never thought this match would have a clean ending, and the No DQ stipulation has ensured that belief. I think Nash comes down to interfere, but it backfires. Winner: CM Punk

Jacob Lindsey: I think this is the main event. Nash will probably run-in and cost Punk the match. I don’t think the Triple H heel turn happens on Sunday. It will either happen in the next two weeks, or at Hell in a Cell. If it happens at Hell in a Cell, Punk can go for vengeance at Vengeance. A lot of people are saying the trigger has been pulled too early on this feud. I don’t necessarily agree. It makes perfect sense—Punk has been making a fool out of Triple H week after week. Why wouldn’t they want to fight each other? Winner: Triple H

Thomas Briggs: Everyone knows how much of a CM Punk fan I am. Yet I’m not happy with how he has been booked since Summerslam. Sure, his storyline with Triple H has been given more attention than the WWE Championship feud between Cena and Del Rio, and Triple H is an amazing opponent to go over, assuming he eventually does. But the WWE has missed several opportunities with this storyline. Firstly, Kevin Nash has been misused. If he’s physically unable to perform, I understand. But his promos have been god-awful and the idea that he texted himself is so stupid that I’d rather not think about it. Secondly, Triple H not going full-heel only hurts CM Punk. What we want to see is a modern Austin vs. McMahon, hell-raiser vs. evil billionaire. Instead, we have Triple H trying to do what’s best for the company, and CM Punk coming across as a whiny trouble-maker. Because of the lack of direction in the storyline, part of the crowd is going to be behind Triple H and not CM Punk at Night of the Champions. That’s just plain stupid booking. It’s obvious that the WWE wants Punk to rise to the next level of stardom, but how is that going to happen when you’re not encouraging your audience to support him?

Punk either needs to go over here, or Triple H needs to turn fully-heel. Unfortunately, I see neither happening. My honest prediction is that Nash will interfere here, somehow giving Triple H the win, yet Triple H wont be on board, setting up a triple-threat match at Hell in a Cell. Winner: Triple H

Matty J. Douglas: This has been interesting to say the least. I’m expecting a good match with Triple H coming out on top via Nash interference. The question is will Trips be heel by the end of the contest? Winner: Triple H

John Canton: I think this will be the longest match on the show, the best match of the show and also the last match of the show. Will Kevin Nash show up? Yes he will. I think something will happen where Punk is in control, Nash shows up, cheapshots him with some kind of weapon and Triple H uses that opportunity to finish Punk off with a Pedigree or perhaps a sledgehammer shot. Then, to end the show we find out that Triple H was with Nash all along, which would lead to Triple H turning heel officially. Either that or you end it wondering if Triple H was with Nash and that goes into Raw nicely by having a cliffhanger that way. Even though people will bitch about it, I have Triple H winning here. It makes more sense for the story. It’s not like Triple H is going to be removed as COO so soon after they put him in that role. Relax Punk fans, it’s only the start of the feud. He’ll win the feud. He has to. Right? Winner: Triple H

WWE Title: Alberto Del Rio vs. John Cena

Lonestar: Isn’t it amazing how quickly the WWE went back to the regularly scheduled Cena/Del Rio program they were planning? It really boggles the mind, though if you ask me Del Rio has needed the championship to solidify himself as a main event player for a while now. I was starting to wonder if they were ever going to pull the trigger on him so, despite being a Punk mark, I accept the fact that we’ve gotten here. Now, will Cena take the title back this Sunday? I should hope not, but so many times in these prediction contests I confuse what I think should happen and will happen. This is the WWE after all and quick title switches seem to be all the rage these days. On the other hand, there’s this PPV two weeks after Night of Champions (I know, crazy, right!) called Hell in a Cell and chances are we’re going to be seeing this matchup again there, probably in a HIAC match. The easiest way to make that happen is for Del Rio to retain this weekend and for Cena to chase him right into the cage. Of course, now that I think about it that would mean Cena getting pinned………I don’t see that happening either. I guess I’ll say Cena wins……but doesn’t get the title because of something or other. Winner: John Cena

Kenny Latham: Alberto will win with some cheap interference from the best WWE talent on Twitter, Ricardo Rodriguez @RRWWE. Winner: Alberto Del Rio

Laurence Salford: I’ve found it hard to really care about this match up, and am not massively looking forward to it. I quite like Del Rios overall heel persona, but since there isn’t any real story behind this match up, I feels like a bit of an afterthought. It feels like the Cena/R-Truth feud of a few months back, where there wasn’t really anything in the feud, but both the characters were good. That being said, I’d imagine the match is ok, a solid 20 minutes, with the finish likely being fairly dirty, probably involving some sort of distraction or weapon. Since Del Rio’s finisher is a submission, and Cena hasn’t tapped out to anyone for a very long time, I fully expect Ricardo to blast Cena with the title, and a cheeky Del Rio roll up to be good for the win. Winner – Alberto Del Rio

Matt Seagull: Months ago I said this was the big money match for WWE. My, how they screwed the pooch on this one. It certainly didn’t help that Del Rio was out of the country for a week, but as soon as Cena started spouting nonsense about Del Rio not defending his title minutes after he just defended it, I checked out of this feud. This could have been huge. The top dog (Cena) against the next big thing heel (Del Rio). This could have been 2011’s version of Rock/Lesnar, or Hogan/Undertaker if you want to go even farther back than that! Also, a few months back when WWE was considering dropping Night of Champions, I made the suggestion of not doing a themed show but rolling the dice on a UFC style PPV with it simply being called “Cena vs. Del Rio.” But here we are…it’s another lackluster WWE title build. I think the match will be good, but I think there’s no heat to it. I mean, how many times can we watch Cena go for the belt? If they know what’s good for them, Del Rio will retain. But I have absolutely no confidence in this pick. I wouldn’t be surprised if it gets hot-shotted back to Cena. Winner: Alberto Del Rio

Christian Michael: What a shock. Cena finds himself in a PPV Championship Match. Don’t see those every day. I’ve been reading that WWE has wanted to do this match for a while and they finally do and the build has been boring. I like Del Rio and against the right guy Cena can be interesting but I could care less about this match especially when I figure there will be more matches between them. I think it’s too soon to take the belt off Del Rio and Hell will freeze over before Cena loses three straight PPV matches so cue Ricardo Rodriguez to cause the DQ and save Del Rio’s Championship. Predicted Winner via Disqualification- John Cena.

Andrew Johnson: The past few weeks on Raw Cena seems to have cracked a bit mentally. I think this downward spiral of self-doubt and insanity will continue, and by Survivor Series he’ll be calling Alberto “Eddie Guerrero” and rapping about ice-cream bars. Winner: Alberto Del Rio

Eric Keith: Am I the only one who’s not even remotely interested in this match? I say Del Rio wins to prove that he is deserving of being the Champion. If I were ADR, I’d run Cena over with one of my rental cars and then, as he’s lying in agony and pain, I’d read him all the specs about the car. Hell, the worst that can happen is a DQ right? This IS the WWE, where getting run down by a vehicle is just part of the deal. Winner: Alberto Del Rio

Cody Dodson: I’m not even 100% sure that this will be the main event, honestly. It sure doesn’t feel like it. This is tough. It’s hard to bet against John Cena in a title match. However, I don’t think they want to take the title off of Alberto just yet. They’ve been talking about giving him a title reign for too long. With Hell in a Cell coming up so soon after this, we don’t necessarily need a feel good moment for Cena or any of the normal crap. Alberto wins this, probably cheaply. Winner: Alberto Del Rio

Mike Aires: If Cena wins the title back this damn quick, I’m going to Ryu uppercut my TV through the ceiling. Winner – Alberto Del Rio

Marc B: Yawn. I don’t care. The build to this match has been boring, save for the hilarious work of Ricardo Rodriguez. I think it’s status quo time, fellas. Winner: John Cena

Jacob Lindsey: One of the reasons I think Punk-Triple H is the main event is that this match will probably have a screwy finish—count-out or DQ so Del Rio can escape with the belt, leading to a rematch at Hell in a Cell, where he can’t. Another is that WWE will want the “shock” of Nash running in (and Triple H’s reaction/response) as the selling point for Raw. There’s no reason for Cena to win here. Winner: Alberto Del Rio

Thomas Briggs: I soooo want to write “who cares?” here, because the WWE has done nothing to get me pumped up about this match. And that’s tragic, as Cena’s been great as of late and Alberto Del Rio is always fun to watch. Yet there’s not much more to this story than “cowardly heel vs. heroic face”. You get the feeling that more Cena vs. Punk is waiting in the wings. I think Del Rio deserves better, don’t you? Despite not being booked strong (although he did go over several contenders immediately after winning the title), Del Rio has to pick up a win here. He’ll go at least another month as champ. And hopefully, during that time, WWE will portray him as a deserving one. Winner: Alberto Del Rio

Matty J. Douglas: Does anyone really care? I’m sure people do, but there isn’t a match on the card I’m less interested in than this one, and that’s weird for me. I just find both guys so disingenuous, so phony, that I could care less who walks out with the title. The heart I talked about seeing in Mark Henry recently, neither of these guys show that kind of honest and genuine emotion to me, so I don’t invest and I don’t care. Also because I know Cena will be in the main event of the next PPV regardless of the outcome. If you care great, but this match does nothing for me. Winner: Alberto Del Rio

John Canton: I saw this match at the house show too. I wasn’t that impressed by it. I think there’s a bit of a contrast in styles, so I’m not sure how good this will be. I think with the Hell in a Cell PPV happening in two weeks that they will have a more basic match here with the extra curricular stuff still to come. I think it’s too soon to take the title off Del Rio, who has barely had a chance to shine as champion. I usually pick Cena to win at PPVs because that’s how it is, but in this case I’m going with Del Rio thanks to some kind of cheap victory. If Cena does win it will be via disqualification though. My opinion is it’s better for Del Rio to win cheaply than it is for Cena win by DQ, so I’ll go with ADR here due to WWE wanting to keep the title on him as they do TVs in Mexico in October. Winner: Alberto Del Rio


That’s all for the matches. Let’s break down how we picked them.

US Title
Ziggler – 0 writers
Swagger – Lonestar, Seagull, Michael, Johnson, Dodson, Marc, Lindsey, Canton
Riley – Salford, Briggs, Douglas
Morrison – Latham, Keith, Aires

IC Title
Rhodes – 14 writers
Dibiase – 0 writers

Tag Titles
Bourne/Kingston – 12 writers
Miz/Truth – Johnson, Marc

Divas Title
Kelly – Lonestar, Johnson
Phoenix – 12 writers

World Title
Orton – 10 writers
Henry – Michael, Johnson, Douglas, Marc

Punk vs. Triple H
Punk – Salford, Marc
Triple H – 12 writers

WWE Title
Del Rio – 11 writers
Cena – Lonestar, Michael, Marc

It looks like a lot of unanimous choices aside from the US Title match, which has a mix between three guys.

If you made it through this whole thing we thank you. We’ll do this again in two weeks for Hell in a Cell. Feel free to contribute thoughts and ideas in the comment section below or if you want to do privately email me at

I won’t be writing about Night of Champions live, but I’ll see it on Sunday night after the NFL game most likely and then write something about it on Monday afternoon prior to Raw. TJR writer Christian Michael might be covering it live for us on although he’s not sure about that yet. If not, we’ll open up a discussion post for people to talk about it.

Also worth mentioning is that TJR writer Andrew Johnson will be covering “The Best And Worst Of WWE Night Of Champions” at With Leather. It’s expected to be posted this Monday, so go and give him page views, positive comments, and lots of love. The guy that writes there thinks that TJR is about toilets. Damn right it is. We’re all about the hidden messages.

Thanks for reading. Enjoy WWE Night of Champions.