By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder
So we’ve got no Roman Reigns for this show, huh? Meh. I can live with that. Reigns wasn’t really a major element in this show’s drawing power. Come to think of it, this match only has one thing going for it in in that respect: The John Cena/Brock Lesnar rematch. However, Reigns’ injury does create an interesting opportunity. He was originally set to face Seth Rollins, right? Seems like a heck of a chance to bring Dean Ambrose back, doesn’t it?
In any event, let’s look at what we’ve got here…
WWE UNITED STATES TITLE MATCH:
Sheamus (c) vs. Cesaro
At this point, why not just give the belt to Cesaro? Sheamus’ run with the title hasn’t made him more relevant, and it certainly hasn’t done anything for the title. So I say we just give it to Cesaro. The upside, of course, is that this could be a pretty good match. Make no mistake about it, both these guys can go. And I legitimately feel bad for both of them, because they’re both worthy of being higher on the card than this. They just seem to be stuck in limbo. But who knows? Maybe another US Title run will elevate Cesaro ever so slightly.
Rob’s Prediction: Cesaro
WWE INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE MATCH:
Dolph Ziggler (c) vs. The Miz
I been a fan of what these guys have been doing since Summerslam, what with the “private” photo leak angle, and then adding R-Truth to the mix. It seems cheap. Why not play up the diversity in their credentials? At one point, Ziggler set a record for amateur wrestling victories at Kent State University, and was scouted by WWE. In contrast, Miz went the reality TV route. It’s great storytelling material. But unfortunately we got bad attempts at humor. I see Ziggler retaining here, hopefully continuing what should be a pretty lengthy reign with the IC Title. Ziggler could help re-establish that title as the worker’s title, and how freakin’ cool would that be?
Rob’s Prediction: Dolph Ziggler
WINNER: The Miz
TRIPLE THREAT MATCH FOR WWE DIVAS TITLE:
Paige (c) vs. AJ Lee vs. Nikki Bella
They’re going to make Nikki the champion. They just are. They’re going to take the title away from two genuinely talented women, and give it to the mannequin that looks and talks like a Kardashian. Am I mean? Maybe. But I’m also right, aren’t I? I suppose theoretically they could have Brie come out and cost her the title. But having Nikki win the title would tie into Total Divas quite nicely, as would the inevitable Brie vs. Nikki match for the belt. I’ll say this much for Total Divas, it’s prompted WWE to make their women’s division a priority. They’re doing it all wrong, but at least it’s a priority.
Rob’s Prediction: Nikki Bella
WINNER: AJ Lee
WWE TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH:
The Usos (c) vs. Goldust & Stardust
I like that the Usos have helped make the tag belts matter a little more. They’ve held them since March, and consistently defended them against credible opponents. What I don’t like is that they made Goldust & Stardust (as opposed to “Gold & Stardust, which sounds ridiculous) go heel for this program. I can only assume the reason is because WWE doesn’t want them getting more cheers than the Usos. Fair enough, I suppose. But it just seems forced. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see them go babyface again the next night on Raw. The Usos will keep the belts here, of course, and hopefully keep them until an upstart team from NXT comes up to challenge them. It’s going to be The Ascension, right? That’s what I keep hearing…
Rob’s Prediction: The Usos
WINNERS: Goldust & Stardust
Mark Henry vs. Rusev
Imagine my surprise when the “Mark Henry rallies America” segment main evented Raw this past week. Supposedly they had Cena, Heyman, and Lesnar in the middle of the show to combat Monday Night Football. But one would’ve thought they’d choose to end the show with Reigns and Rollins. But no, instead we got more America vs. Russia. I’ll say this for Rusev: I buy him now. He’s no longer just a big brute who’s incapable of emoting. With his massive size, his athleticism, and Lana’s help, he’s become a genuine player. And no doubt he’ll continue to be one after he goes through Mark Henry at Night of Champions. Hopefully they keep this one short and sweet, though. I’m not expecting much in terms of quality.
Rob’s Prediction: Rusev
Chris Jericho vs. Randy Orton
Here’s a throw together match if I’ve ever seen one. How did this one start, again? Orton attacked Jericho two weeks ago because “It’s the season premiere!” Yeah, nothing lazy about that. I’ll be interested to see if these two go at it again next month at Hell in a Cell, or if Jericho is tapped to be Brock Lesnar’s next challenger (more on that in a bit). Either way, I suspect Jericho will come out on top here. He’s lost to Bray Wyatt in two big matches. I’d say he’s due for a win.
Rob’s Prediction: Chris Jericho
WINNER: Randy Orton
WWE HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH:
Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Paul Heyman
This should be the match we thought we were getting at Summerslam. The successor to the match we saw at Extreme Rules 2012. After the squash at Summerslam, Cena deserves to come out fighting in this one. And I’m sure they’ll give us something good. But make no mistake about it, Cena should lose again. There are rumors circulating about WWE putting the belt back on Cena, which I don’t see the logic in at all. The Brock Lesnar of 2014 should be the Brock Lesnar we should have gotten when he first came back. The monster no one can stop. The “Beast Incarnate” who holds the WWE Championship hostage, until a newcomer joins the fray and finally beats him. Until Wrestlemania XXXI, Lesnar should be undefeated. And it’s the job of guys like John Cena, The Big Show, Chris Jericho, or whoever they decide to put in front of Lesnar, to tell that story. Because it’s a good story. It’s a compelling and timeless story, really. And what we should see at Night of Champions is the next chapter of that story.
Rob’s Prediction: Brock Lesnar
WINNER: John Cena (by DQ)
Images from WWE.com.
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