Rob’s Predictions/Results: WWE Night of Champions 2012
By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder
Between CM Punk’s heel turn, an apparent re-emphasis on the importance of championships, and storylines having a bit more breathing room due to the extra hour being added to Raw, WWE programming has been on the upswing in recent weeks. Compelling television obviously paves the way for potentially compelling payoffs on pay per view. For the most part, Night of Champions looks pretty good.
So who’s walking out of Boston with gold, and who’s walking out empty handed?
Not much to say about this one yet. Friday on Smackdown we saw Antonio Cesaro in the ring with Brodus Clay and Tyson Kidd, both of whom would make great opponents. Personally, I’d love to see Kidd get the shot. It seems like they’re trying to move him into the same kind of “power of positivity” role that Evan Bourne used to have. In any event, the battle royal definitely adds a cool element of uncertainty to the match. Also, the Antonio Cesaro character is starting to grow on me. I’m not completely sold on him yet, but he’s getting there. For this reason above all, I’m convinced he’ll walk out with the title.
Rob’s Prediction: Antonio Cesaro
BATTLE ROYAL WINNER: Zack Ryder
TITLE MATCH WINNER: Antonio Cesaro
I don’t care. I’m sorry, I just don’t. I like Kaitlyn a lot, and if she gets a few more years under her belt I think she can have even greater success in WWE. But the whole “rookie winning streak” thing just isn’t doing it for me. And I DO NOT buy Layla as the champion. When we saw Kaitlyn and Beth Phoenix wrestling on Smackdown this past Friday, with Layla watching on the monitor backstage, it looked like they were two carnivores fighting over who’d get to devour this piece of meat. I respect Layla for what she went through to come back, and her ring skills have improved vastly since we first met her. But from a personality standpoint, she’s way too white meat for my taste. That being said, we’ll have to endure at least another month of her as champion, as I don’t think it’s Kaitlyn’s time quite yet.
Rob’s Prediction: Layla El
WINNER: Eve Torres (The match was changed during the show.)
I like this match, and I like what we’ve been seeing lately from the Miz as the Intercontinental Champion. It’s also pretty cool that they’ve incorporated Cody Rhodes and Sin Cara into this Mysterio/Miz program. Miz’s interactions with Rhodes have been interesting, and the tag team of Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara might lead to bigger things down the road for those two. This match could be the dark horse to steal the whole show. The winner is a tough call, though. Part of me actually wants to say Sin Cara. Putting the belt on him might make for some interesting tension with Mysterio, especially if they want to enter the tag ranks together. But I’m going to with Miz, as I’m just not ready to see the belt come off him. He’s taken the baton from Cody Rhodes in terms of rejuvenating the Intercontinental Championship. I hope to see those two work together in a high profile match for the belt in the near future.
Rob’s Prediction: The Miz
WINNER: The Miz
Well sheesh, now they HAVE to put the belts on Kane and Bryan. This anger management story has been a surprise hit for WWE, and they’ve surprisingly been able to avoid ruining it. I like that Kane and Bryan actually have a reason to be tag team partners, as opposed to Kofi and Truth, who, and I’m just going to say it…were put together because they’re both black guys with dreadlocks. Heck, Kane and Bryan even have a built-in manager in this Dr. Shelby character. I think the dynamic between those three will make for an interesting dynamic that we haven’t necessarily seen before. The anger management storyline has definitely made this the most meaningful tag team title match put together in some time, as opposed to some of the obligatory ones we usually get.
Rob’ Prediction: Kane & Daniel Bryan
WINNERS: Kane & Daniel Bryan
If John Cena and CM Punk don’t steal the show, these two will. Orton and Ziggler have proven that on any given night, they can steal the show. They’ve got great chemistry together, and with any luck they’ll be able to create something memorable at Night of Champions. As for the winner, I’m going to go with Ziggler. WWE is rightfully being cautious with how they’re booking Orton right now. They can’t deny his status as a major attraction, but they’ve been fairly conservative with how many big wins they’ve given him. At this point, Orton has nothing to lose by putting Ziggler over. Heck, if nothing else it’ll give him a fierce rivalry to revisit when Ziggler does cash in at Money in the Bank briefcase and win the title. Speaking of which, Night of Champions wouldn’t be a bad night to do that, would it?
Rob’s Prediction: Dolph Ziggler
WINNER: Randy Orton
Even though he’s a great hand in the ring, Alberto Del Rio has never done much for me on the mic. His vocal presence is very hollow, as is the character himself. He’s a really rich guy who has a bad temper, I get it. But beyond that, I’ve never seen much in him from a character standpoint. I’m not even sure I fully understand him. From that vantage point, Ricardo Rodriguez is a better character than Alberto Del Rio. I’m wondering if WWE is seeing that too, and that’s why Del Rio hasn’t been victorious in any of the title matches he’s had with Sheamus this year. Last year he traded the belt with John Cena a bunch of times, and it was downright miserable television. It was the most boring WWE Title program I’ve seen in years. Likewise, very little of this program with Sheamus has resonated with me. I remember Sheamus getting slammed with the car door, and I’ll probably remember this thing with the Brogue Kick. But the whole “banned finisher” thing could have been done with any other heel. Heck, he could have pulled it off with David Otunga! I dig Sheamus as champion, but I’m ready for him to move on to somebody else. Let him beat Del Rio with the cloverleaf and let’s call it a blow off.
Rob’s Prediction: Sheamus
What’s great about this match is how it’s something of an inversion of the classic match these two had in Chicago last year. Punk won the title from Cena in his hometown, now Cena’s going to try to do the same. But the ironic thing there is that Boston will probably give Cena the same reaction he got in Chicago.
I always like seeing these two wrestle. They’re such natural rivals because their characters are polar opposites. Like Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels, or Steve Austin and the Rock, they have personalities that conflict in a very natural way. Cena seems to be at his best when he’s standing up for something, whether it’s the honor of the company, a cause he believes in, or even himself. Punk on the other hand, is at his best when he’s antagonizing someone or something, usually an authority figure like John Laurinaitis or Triple H. It also helps him to have at least a shred of truth to whatever he’s saying. And this whole “Cena’s been stealing my spotlight” thing has a lot more than a shred of truth to it.
The finish of this match is pretty easy to call. Paul Heyman comes down and does something to cost Cena the match. This leads to champ and challenger meeting up again next month inside Hell in a Cell. I’m expecting a show stealer from these two, and given their history, I’m sure they won’t let me down.
Rob’s Prediction: CM Punk
WINNER: CM Punk
All images courtesy of WWE.com.