Preview: Night of Champions 2010

Night of Champions is actually one of my favorite PPVs that WWE puts on during the year.  Originally Vengeance, it got the Night of Champions tag added on in 2007 when the point of the show was that every match would be a title match, and at the time, even the Cruiserweight title was still relevant(ish).  It’s also hard to believe that Mick Foley was involved in the title match on the first edition.  Eventually, the Vengeance part was dropped and we got ourselves a new PPV form.  And here we are.

Let’s run down the card, yes?

Six-Pack Elimination Challenge for the WWE Championship
Sheamus(c) vs. Wade Barrett vs. Edge vs. Randy Orton vs. John Cena vs. Chris Jericho
Oh, look!  The gang’s all here.  This match was set up by the mysteriously non-existent Raw GM when pretty much everyone demanded a title shot against Sheamus.  The usage of the term “Six-Pack Challenge” is a throwback to 1999 when six competitors all had reason to compete for the vacant WWF Championship.  However, the referees were on “strike” due to getting beaten up a lot, so Stone Cold Steve Austin filled in as special enforcer.  If you’re looking for reasoning to this back story, it’s because using this match again 11 years later is trying to give the fans the inclination that Austin is the GM.

Another factor going into this match is that Chris Jericho has said that if he doesn’t win the title, he’ll be leaving the WWE.  Since announcing that, he’s lost and regained his spot and hasn’t really mentioned it since, so I’m not sure if it’s still on the table or not.  Randy Orton and John Cena are, of course, the heavy favorites for this one.  I’d say Sheamus is probably going to lose his belt, but the WWE has a huge man-crush on him, so I could see him winning.  I’d say the only one who absolutely has no chance of winning is Wade Barrett, and I could actually see the match starting with the other five all hitting their finishers on him and knocking him out of the match.

No Holds Barred Match for the World Heavyweight Championship
Kane(c) vs. the Undertaker
Several months ago, the WWE explained one of the Undertaker’s frequent injury leaves by saying that his brother Kane had found him backstage in a “vegetative state”.  While unfortunate for Taker, the move became a shot in the arm for Kane’s career, which had been stagnant for quite some time.  He began an investigation that eventually led him to defeat Rey Mysterio for the World title.  Then the Undertaker came back and revealed that it actually had been Kane.  Huh – didn’t see that one coming.

This storyline has gone into “boogeyman” mode in which Undertaker’s attack has left him weakened and Kane has stolen his ability to make the lights go out and run really quickly to and from the ring when no one can see.  So for the “first time ever”, Undertaker is the underdog in this match, having to fight without his eerie dominance.  Teleportation powers aside, it’s nice to see a humanizing of the Undertaker.  I still miss the days when he was telling people to stay out of his yard.  If this match follows history, Undertaker will defeat Kane.  Because that’s what always happens.  I’m hoping Kane can keep the title a little longer, but I won’t be holding my breath for it.

United States Championship Match
The Miz(c) vs. Daniel Bryan
Back in the first season of NXT, Daniel Bryan was the rookie who was held back by his asshole trainer, the Miz.  The two didn’t really like each other.  That didn’t have a chance to go anywhere due to Daniel Bryan getting released after the initial Nexus attack on Raw.  Fast-forward to Team WWE vs. Team Nexus at Summerslam when Miz was being courted to replace the Great Khali as the seventh member for Team WWE.  Miz made John Cena wait for the event itself for his decision, but by that time Cena had already recruited Bryan.  Miz didn’t take it well.

Since that point, there’s been a lot of fighting between Miz and Bryan, with Miz’s NXT  Season 2 rookie Alex Riley also getting involved.  More frequently than not, Bryan has been getting the best of the Miz, so I expect Miz will be retaining his title, likely by DQ or by interference from Riley.

The Big Show vs. CM Punk
Okay, so remember that thing about “every match is a title match”?  Turns out WWE has been reducing their title count, so a non-title match is needed to fill the card.  Big Show has been fighting against CM Punk and his Straight Edge Society for a while now, and mostly he’s been getting the upper hand.  And because of it, there’s a lot of dissension between Punk and his followers Luke Gallows and Joey Mercury (Serena was released).  This can go one of two ways.  The SES allows Punk to finally get the best of the Big Show, and they stay together, or Big Show beats back the interference and Punk moves on without his troops.  I’m betting on the former.

Lumberjill Match to Unify the WWE Women’s and Diva’s Championships
Melina(c -Diva’s) vs. Michelle McCool (c-Women’s)
It seems as if the WWE has decided that there aren’t enough women wrestlers on the roster to require two separate championships, so there’s a cross-brand match in which (in theory) the winning competitor brings the title to her brand.  Perhaps they’ll go back to the original stipulation in which (like the tag champions) the Women’s Champion can be on both shows.  I’d be okay with that.

Anyway, Michelle McCool technically isn’t even the Diva’s Champion – her BFF Layla is.  But since Layla’s win, both members have been claiming to be champion.  When GM Theodore Long demanded they make up their minds, the two began wearing a broken “Best Friends” style belt.  When they needed to pick which one would be defending here, McCool suckered Layla into getting the shot, so perhaps we’ll be looking for Layla to get some retribution.  I’d hate to see Lay-Cool break up, personally.  I’m expecting McCool to pick up the win, and both she and Layla will start carrying around both belts.

Intercontinental Championship Match – If Dolph Ziggler is disqualified or counted out, he forfeits the title
Dolph Ziggler(c) vs. Kofi Kingston
A little while ago, Dolph Ziggler finally won the IC title by defeating Kofi Kingston.  Since that point, a series of rematches have all ended in DQ or count out – most notably at Summerslam when Nexus attacked the two during their match.  Tired of Mr. Ziggles actions, GM Theodore Long announced that if Ziggler is counted out or DQed, the title will go to Kofi.  This is going to leave Ziggler having to defend the right way, but I can’t ignore that he still has Vickie Guerrero pining after his, so she may play a factor in the match.  Of course, she’s a bit huffy about Ziggler’s ties to her NXT rookie Kaitlyn, so this may get interesting before it’s all done.  I’m thinking Vickie pulls something that costs Ziggler the title, which creates a triangle on NXT.

WWE Tag Team Championship Match
The Hart Dynasty (Tyson Kidd & David Hart Smith)(c) vs. ???
In an odd bit of booking, WWE has not announced just who the champs will be facing.  The obvious choices would be the newfound teaming of Cody Rhodes and Drew McIntyre, who upset the champs on Smackdown this week.  A Raw choice would be the sometimes team of John Morrison and R-Truth, neither of whom having a match on the show.  My preference would to make it a gauntlet match in which each team competes one at a time with the winner of the match going on to face the next team.  Then you could shoehorn a bunch of makeshift tag teams in to get more people onto the show.  Possible teams could include any combination of Nexus, Goldust and Yoshi Tatsu, the Usos, Mark Henry and Evan Bourne, Santino Marella and Vladimir Kozlov, the Dude Busters, Curt Hawkins and Vance Archer, and so forth.  However, without a competitor named, it’s impossible for me to guess a winner.

Worth Buying?
Sure.  It’s a series of title matches, so you’ll end up seeing at least something important.  The Six-Pack Challenge will be entertaining as it’s got a lot of talent in it.  Kane vs. Undertaker actually has a new spin on the old feud, which is neat.  Ziggler vs. Kofi and Miz vs. Bryan will both be quality matches.  And if nothing else, the Lumberjill match will have a lot of eye candy.  Go for it.

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