Sunday, LIVE on the WWE Network, comes Night of Champions. This year’s event features a loaded card headlined by John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar in a SummerSlam rematch for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Every other championship is on the line as well, and chances are we’ll see at least a few titles change hands. So who do we think is going to win? Read on to find out…
(also, check out our predictions from last year’s Night of Champions pay-per-view, featuring Daniel Bryan challenging for the WWE Championship!)
Divas Championship: Paige vs. Nikki Bella vs. AJ Lee
Brian: It seems strange that Nikki has been feuding with his sister Brie yet they’re not having a match on this show. The obvious thing would be that Brie gets involved here and costs her sis the title leading to a match. It looks like a pretty simple scenario and hopefully it’s kept to that with Paige retaining.
Michael: Well talk about mixing your apples and oranges (storyline-wise). I’ve no interest in seeing Nikki as champion, but that’s exactly what will come Sunday. WWE is invested in a Nikki/Brie feud (while nobody else in the world is), so it’ll be for the Diva’s championship. My hope? That this all goes away by 2015. Poor Paige and AJ Lee.
Josh: Despite the terrible display of acting that’s been brewing out between both the Bella Twins and AJ & Paige I think we got the makings of a solid triple threat divas championship match. I think eventually Brie Bella and Stephanie McMahon will get involved in this match and cost Nikki Bella. AJ and Paige the feud of skips, I don’t know where they’re going with the AJ/Paige program, but I think at the end of the day Paige will retain the WWE Divas Championship and beat AJ Lee.
James: I think will start with the most obvious fact we expect to occur in this match which is the involvement of Brie Bella as she likely screws her sister out of the title. I see Brie trying to do just that and instead causing her to win the match by Nikki avoiding a blow and it landing on AJ Lee causing her to be pinned.
Not only would you have Nikki being the champion, you would get Paige mad at AJ for losing and costing her the title. AJ is mad at Stephanie for involving Nikki in her rematch and the Bella twins have a feud for the title. Everyone gets a story angle out of it and things continue on so it all seems to make sense. This is not what I personally like for an outcome, but I could easily see them adding the title to the Bella feud. If you don’t like it, you can blame Jerry Springer. He wasn’tt as successful as Dr. Shelby now was he?
United States Championship: Sheamus vs. Cesaro
Brian: This should be one hell of a physical bout between the two brutes. I expect quite the slobberknocker as both like to work snug and have been itching to show off what they can do in the ring with one another. I’ll take Cesaro to win and become the new U.S. Champion but them to continue this feud for months to come.
Michael: Cesaro’s momentum has cooled more than a tire fire in Alaska. But WWE must have something in mind to put these two together (again). I’m hoping that Cesaro waslk out with the belt, and I’m hoping that Sheamus goes through a heel transformation, but you can pay the bills on “hope.” Still, that’s my prediction.
Josh: I was fortunate to see this match in person at WWE Payback. Anytime Sheamus and Cesaro are in the ring together they always put on a tremendous performance. The question that needs to be asked is where do both guys go after Night of Champions? Sheamus hasn’t done anything for the US Title and I think Cesaro will defeat him to become the brand new WWE United States Champion.
James: Safe to say this might be the most hard-hitting match of the night next to John Cena and Brock Lesnar. Sheamus and Cesaro — to use the industry term — like to work “stiff” and that is not a secret. I want to have faith in Cesaro who has been utterly wasted coming out of what seemed to be a launching pad for him coming out of Wrestlemania. This is not to suggest that the U.S Title restores anyone to any degree but hey, it’s a start. Rumors suggest that Cesaro is one of the guys that Vince McMahon and Paul Lévesque are at odds over his merits as a performer. Vince is rumored to not be a fan of Cesaro for whatever reason. So, if Cesaro wins maybe he has also won the approval of the only person that counts: Vince McMahon. He did lose clean to RVD on the pre-show of Summerslam so I am not holding my breath or betting on this one.
The Fight for America: Mark Henry vs. Rusev
Brian: So if Rusev wins to we all become Russian? Or Bulgarian? Does he get to pick a piece of the country for himself like the Louisiana Purchase? (history lesson kids) WWE has done a great job in protecting Rusev and trying to make this matchup mean something. Henry will hold his own here but it won’t be enough against Rusev who should get a higher profile opponent next. Maybe John Cena?
Michael: Remember that time WWE promised us a flag match but really it was the exact same as all the other matches? That’s how I feel about this feud… wash, rinse, repeat. Henry is just the latest “American” to challenge Rusev, but otherwise, every storyline they book Rusev in looks just like the previous one. Unfortunately, Henry is not the “real” American, and Rusev (and his gorgeous arm candy) goes on to fight another day.
Josh: I think this will be a solid big man match like the matches Rusev had with Big E earlier this year. I think Rusev will make quick work of Henry and the wave of domination continues with him moving on to either go for the US Championship if Sheamus is still champion or probably go against Big Show.
James: Mark Henry is not the guy to bring an end to Rusev. He is a guy to give him a credible test and he will do that. I could even see this feud continuing to the next special event at Hell in the Cell. Why this angle closed the show on Raw is a mystery to me. It makes this angle and match seem bigger than it actually is. Rusev will crush and I am rooting for him until America allows our Canadians back in the country to wrestle.
WWE Tag Team Championship: The Usos vs. Gold & Stardust
Brian: For a while, we wanted to see the brothers back in the ring, putting on great matches like they did late last year into 2014. But then they were just being used to put others over, only to be reincarnated into their current formation and turned heel. It all seems very strange. These guys have a stage here to turn it loose and have a really strong match. The Usos have held the title for a while now so I can seem them losing them here. The gold guys get the gold?
Michael: It seems like they’re finally doing what they should’ve done a year ago. No, not making Cody Rhodes some kind of bizarre alter-ego crazy person… but giving Cody and Dustin one final run together before setting up a ‘Mania feud. These guys win, no doubt. And Goldust is earning his Hall of Fame honors. Who would’ve thought 5 years ago that “the bizarre one” could become a highlight on WWE TV again?
Josh: Just observing this card this has the makings to be a tremendous “wrestling” pay-per-view. I thought the two strong points in the 2013 fall season of the WWE was The Usos and The Rhodes Brothers. On a pay-per-view stage where The Usos and The Dust Brothers tend to shine amongst the rest, the could put on one of the best WWE Tag Team Championship matches of the year. I think Goldust and Stardust will win the belts and the feud with The Usos will and should continue.
James: Seems the Usos have been primed with “good guy” excuses for why they will lose this match. They also seem primed to lose the championships after a fairly length run with the belts by modern standards. While I am happy to see Goldust and Cody have some success, I could do without the goofy Stardust character. I do not see these guys as heels either to me. In any case you can say new Tag Team Champions after this one I have a feeling.
Intercontinental Championship: Dolph Ziggler vs. The Miz
Brian: These two have great chemistry in the ring together and have had really good matches together. The trick is getting them away from the silliness like what has happened recently on Raw. Who knows if Mizdow and Truth will be at ringside or get involved but hopefully they won’t or it doesn’t turn into a joke match. I think this could be the final match in their rivalry for the time being — maybe — with Ziggler retaining the title.
Michael: Eh… Ziggler. That’s the safe pick. I’d love to see The Miz regain his Intercontinental glory (and man, did he lost that title real fast after winning it), but there’s no point in extending this fued. Plus, Ziggler is finally gaining back his momentum as a singles star. So what do you do with Mr. Hollywood and his stunt-double? Mizdow & Miz join the tag team division and, hopefully one day soon, gain tag-team glory. Or anything, really, as long as you keep Miz on my television.
Josh: I been loving the stunt double pairing of The Miz/Damien Mizdow and Dolph Ziggler/R-Ziggler which has been one of the few bright spots on some disappointing versions of WWE Raw. I think Ziggler will retain the WWE Intercontinental Championship. What would make things interesting is if both stunt doubles turn and attack both Ziggler and Miz and you can have a couple of fatal four way pay-per-view title matches.
James: Randy Savage taking on Ricky Steamboat at Wrestlemania III, Shawn Michaels against Razor Ramon in the first ever ladder match at Wrestlemania X or Triple H against the Rock in a ladder match at Summerslam. This is none of those feuds and this Miz and Ziggler feud has just become an insulting joke with stunt doubles and all. The Intercontinental title isn’t what it once was and feuds like this our part of the reason why. I would hope Ziggler keeps the title and this feud can end already. I did not need to see a rematch for the Cleveland, Ohio city championship.
Chris Jericho vs. Randy Orton
Brian: This was barely even mentioned on Raw this past Monday and you have to go back two weeks to find out why they’re even having a match. Remember when Orton beat up Jericho in the trainer’s room and did more damage to his knee? Well, it didn’t seem like Jericho had a bad knee on Raw this week but I have a feeling it will be acting up on this show. It looks like this will be Jericho’s final match before taking another hiatus but maybe he’ll be on Raw too. Regardless, Orton should enact some dirty tactics to score a win.
Michael: Talk about a SHOEHORNED rivalry. Why should fans care? This was given 5 minutes on last-week’s raw, and was mentioned (in passing) by Orton this past Monday. Sure, two legends, who are both good workers, going at it should at least be a little fun, but from a fan’s perspective, this is about as significant as my pinky finger. Orton needs the momentum and Jericho is on his way out (again), so Orton wins.
Josh: Obviously coming into this Sunday’s pay-per-view a lot of people have not been enjoying the storylines heading into the show, but looking at the card and especially with this match you can’t say there will be any bad matches. I think Jericho’s current run has been kind of disappointing, but I’ve been enjoying the matches he been putting on. This is a nice opportunity for Orton to regain some steam that he’s lost since WrestleMania and Orton needs to make a major statement. This should be a great match and Randy Orton will defeat Chris Jericho.
James: Pointless match to end what has been perhaps the worst short run of Chris Jericho in the WWE. He failed to get “over” Bray Wyatt even though that is not all his fault but it was the point of him being here. Now he finishes up with a match with Randy Orton that was based on a random attack for no real reason. Orton mentioned something Jericho said in passing in an interview segment that honestly no one remembers. Well, I did so maybe a few do but this is the worst excuse for a Jericho match since he spilled coffee on Kane.
I have no doubt that the match will be great with two above average veterans in the ring. I just have no emotional investment in it at all just like I am starting not to have in Chris Jericho wrestling to be honest. He has not been the same this time and I am not sure if it is him or me but something has changed.
Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins
Brian: It’s deja vu all over again! We just saw the first meeting between the former Shield members on Monday which saw Reigns get the clean win. So let’s do it again. The good thing is they should have another really strong match together. I can see Dean Ambrose making a return here with a possible DQ finish after he attacks Rollins. I just don’t see Rollins winning here unless by DQ because Reigns should not get pinned. And maybe Rollins will be busy later in the show.
Michael: I actually know who wins this match… because I just watched it on RAW. My prediction? A DQ finish with the return of Dean Ambrose. The solution? Hell in a Cell.
Josh: I understand why they decided to put this match on the go-home show to Night of Champions. I don’t think we’ll have this long drawn out match, but it will be good until Kane comes out and then Dean Ambrose will make his return and cost Reigns the match. I think Seth Rollins will win by DQ, but after Night of Champions one of the feature Hell in a Cell match will feature all members of The Shield.
James: Can anyone give me a logical explanation as to why WWE gave this match away for free on Raw? Maybe this match will answer that question but some how I doubt that. What we could see is Dean Ambrose re-emerge after a month away making a movie. Perhaps an Ambrose attack costs Reigns the match and everyone is allowed to stay strong. I still am baffled as to why the first time in the WWE we get to see Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins hook-up it happens on Raw and not the special event. Guess $9.99 is not getting you as much as you might think. If Ambrose is not around, I can’t see Rollins winning and beating Reigns. at least not without some help. Perhaps Triple H gets involved and we finally get that Reigns and Triple H match we originally were rumored to be getting at Summerslam. More likely we see corporate Kane which everyone loves.
WWE World Heavyweight Championship: Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena
Brian: You would think this would be pretty cut and dry following the beating that Lesnar put on Cena at Summerslam. Well, it might not be. There’s easily a scenario where Cena steps up, throws caution to the wind and wills himself to a victory. If that were to happen, maybe Rollins takes advantage of a tired Cena and cashes in his briefcase and takes the title. That would open up a lot of potential things. But it’s tough to have Lesnar lose here considering he ended The Undertaker’s streak at WrestleMania. I think Cena makes it close but the “Beast Incarnate” holds on to the gold.
Michael: I have no idea. I know WWE recently signed Brock Lesnar to a few more dates, and that (logically) killing Brock’s momentum with a loss to Cena THIS SOON is leaving money on the table. BUT… and this is a big one… Vince McMahon loves being in the John Cena business. It’s just his thing. And his preference for muscle-bound make-a-wish hustlers means sometimes booking logic goes out the window. I still think Lesnar wins. But if I’m wrong, expect Rollins to cash-in.
Josh: I think that John Cena will win the World Heavyweight Champion for the 16th time. I don’t think it’s the right business decision, but observing these last five weeks of WWE television Vince McMahon has a stranglehold on the company and wants Cena to be presented strong for some whatever reason. I haven’t been convinced that Lesnar is going to keep the title until WrestleMania 31. I think Cena wins and then Lesnar will lay out him and Rollins will cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase and win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
James: Brock Lesnar has a new contract that affords the WWE more dates to use him between now and Wrestlemania 31. This is as clear a sign to me as any that Brock will retain here in this match. The common belief is this match will have someone interfere and cost Cena the title. Allow me to present another fact into the equation that John Cena and Seth Rollins are scheduled to work a house show in Toronto two weeks later. Does that mean Cena wins the title or Seth cashes in on Cena? Possibilities for sure but the safe bet is Brock retains and has a harder time in doing so than the last time. If Lesnar were to dominate Cena a second time in a row this would be the most unlikely and shocking outcome to see I believe.
Brock Lesnar remains championship and I believe Paul Heyman continues his attempts to recruit John Cena to be his client. I think most agree with myself and feel Brock will win and keep the championship until Wrestlemania 31. I expect a much different match the second time around but still the same result with Lesnar retaining.
Do you think our staff got the picks right? Let us know in the comments below!