John: Welcome to the TJR preview of WWE Night of Champions To help me with this preview I’ve enlisted my buddy crazy David K., who writes at thejohnreport.net as well. We talk often and we’re good friends. David’s actually going to the show on Sunday, so he has a lot of interest in this one because he doesn’t want his money to go to waste. We’ll talk about every match, offer predictions and we’ll also have polls for every match to see who you think is going to win. It’s pretty simple, so let’s get to it.

Note: There’s a Smackdown spoiler in the first match talking about the tag title match. If you want to avoid it, scroll down until you see the graphic featuring the match involving Dolph Ziggler and Kofi Kingston.

Now you’re warned. Let’s get to it.

Tag Team Titles: The Hart Dynasty vs. Cody Rhodes & Drew McIntyre

John: Announced on Smackdown’s tapings on Tuesday in Detroit (I was gonna go, but didn’t have my bulletproof vest handy) is the tag title match between The Hart Dynasty defending against the team of Cody Rhodes and Drew McIntyre. Their name? The Dashing Chosen Ones. No that’s not official. I just came up with that. I’m happy that they were named the opponents although I wonder why it took so long to announce it.

David: You would think giving the belts a new look would have meant a bigger push for them, but unfortunately there’s just too many other storylines hogging up airtime that these guys get buried in the midst of things. Pound for pound, these guys are some of the best as far as young, raw talent goes and this match can be a lot of fun. But will the lack of build take away from its appeal?

John: The stupid thing is a couple weeks ago they had Cody/Drew vs. Truth/Morrison. They had a double DQ match. Then they totally forgot about it and simply put Cody/Drew over THD in a non-title match on Smackdown. I guess I’m supposed to forget the double DQ finish and I’m stupid for having a brain. I’m sorry for remembering, WWE. I love you.

David: Yeah, it’s almost like PPV’s are a third brand, and you’re not supposed to pay attention to the weekly shows to figure out what’s going on. You’re a Raw-fan, a Smackdown-fan, or a PPV-fan. You’ll get the info you need to know pre-match at the PPV, and it’s probably a ton better than wasting time figuring it all out on your own.

John: In terms of predictions, I think my fellow Canadians that I love, The Hart Dynasty, are keeping the belts here. I don’t know if Cody & Drew are a long term tag team, but if they were I think they’d work just fine.

David: You know I’m not a follower here, but it’s hard not to follow the “Canton Guide to WWE Logic” and see that Cody/Drew won on TV, so The Hart Dynasty (along with the very lovely Natalya) hold on to the belts here.

John: Speaking of lovely, since you’re going to be at the PPV are you going to sing along with Cody’s theme song? I would. Whoa whoa you’re only smoke and mirrors! BTW the lovely part was in reference to the song, not you. I love that song.

David: Unfortunately John, these vocal chords are only used for Kelly Kelly’s theme song…

John’s Pick: The Hart Dynasty
Dave’s Pick: The Hart Dynasty

Intercontinental Title: Dolph Ziggler vs. Kofi Kingston

David: The Intercontinental Title will be defended by Dolph Ziggler against Kofi Kingston where if Ziggler gets counted-out or DQ’ed, he loses the title. How do you see this bout turning out?

John: They have wrestled many times in the past couple of months. They’ve had shady endings, countouts, DQ’s and the matches have always been pretty solid. They have never been great matches, but always pretty good and acceptable. I expect something similar here. It should be in that 10-15 minute range with Ziggler likely retaining. Kofi lost the belt to him, so why put it back on him? The belt helps Ziggler more.

David: I guess that’s my issue with this match … going back to some of the things I’ve said about PPV’s before, why am I paying to see this match? Next week, the loser could win the title right back. I’ve seen this match how many times the past few weeks? It’s a good wrestling match, don’t get me wrong … but I despise the fact that this match could be plugged into any random Smackdown and get the same effects.

John: Exactly. It is Night of Champions, though, so they are trying to put all the belts on the show. It’s not like I have anything against either guy. I like both guys aside from the awful name Dolph Ziggler. It’s just too repetitive. Why not add a ladder stip or something to spice it up a little? Oh right because they just had a MITB PPV and they have a TLC PPV too.

David: Well, all complaining aside, I expect Ziggler to keep the belt. Too many ways for him to lose it not to keep it on him. Build the heel by pushing him into a corner, then having him find the tiny window out of it.

John: Yep, Dolph keeps the belt. Also, he’s going to cheat on Vickie with her next rookie Kaitlyn in the near future too. It’s obvious they’re going in that direction unless they change it now. BTW, are you singing Dolph’s song too?

David: No, but I may bleach my hair and introduce myself as Dave Ziggler, his cousin.

John: It’s a better name than Dolph!

David: Unless you’re a 7 foot Swede …

John’s Pick: Dolph Ziggler
Dave’s Pick: Dolph Ziggler

Divas and Women’s Title Unification Lumberjill Match: Melina vs. Michelle McCool or Layla

John: Holy shit that’s a long title for a match. They are unifying the Women’s and Divas titles because they realize (finally) that the women’s division sucks as much as it ever has. Not because of the women necessarily, but because of the booking. The match is Divas Champion Melina, who wasn’t even on Raw, wrestling either Michelle or Layla. We find out on Smackdown who it is apparently unless they change their mind again. I think I spent more time writing that intro than they have spent caring about the women’s division in 2010.

David: I think they put very careful thought into the intricate storylines between these women, making sure that you not only believe everything they’re saying through their words … but their actions as well. Oh wait, no, my bad. McTaker threw a fit that she can’t wear half a belt, so they need to trash the other piece of garbage for her collection.

John: I would be surprised if this match gets more than 5 minutes. They just don’t care. That’s why NXT season 3 is amazing because they don’t care about the women at all, yet they put that trainwreck of a show on. It hurts my head thinking of the “logic” they use for these angles. Do we have to pick a winner? I’ll go Melina I guess.

David: Well, WWE/TNA both killed any chance of quality female performers on the National level, which is unfortunate not only for the wrestling business, but for females in general. Want to make sure there’s a place for these quality, athletic, talented performers? Check out shimmerwrestling.blogspot.com and see where these women get the best place to shine. Sorry about the plug, but I hate the Divas who wrestle on TV. I’m going McCool to win in a dumb fashion.

John: Oh and start using Natalya in the Women’s Division. You employ her. Use her. Thanks. Canadians = better. Fact. There are exceptions, but up here it’s a general rule.

David: Gail Kim, Trish Stratus, Natalya, hard to argue with.

John’s Pick: Melina
David’s Pick: Michelle McCool

Big Show vs. CM Punk

David: And here’s the homecoming match between CM Punk and Knucklehead Big Show. You mark for Canadians, I mark for Chicagoans. Sure, he’s a Cub fan, and that’s unfortunate for somebody who’s supposed to be Straight-Edge, but the man is the most talented Superstar Smackdown-wise, and is only getting better show by show

John: Some people are asking why is this match on the card if it’s not for a belt. You know what I think? Fuck that thinking. It’s CM Punk. He should be on every PPV because he’s great. Simple as that. He’s as good as any performer in the company. Don’t complain about this. Complain if it was Mark Henry or The Great Khali, but not CM Punk. Are we understood, complainers? It’s CM F’N Punk. Appreciate the man. With liquor.

David: He should bring a belt to the ring, like a Purity Belt, or something like that, to mock everything. Make it like the Million Dollar Belt, or something to that effect. That would be amazing.

John: The thing is he would make people care about the belt. That’s why CM Punk is so great. I guess we should talk about the match instead of making this a CM Punk love-fest huh?

David: Okay, fine. Match: Show gets offense in, Punk battles back, Crowd rallies behind heel, Show dominates, either pins, or Punk steals the win.

John: If Punk doesn’t win they’re idiots. He has to win this match. He has to move up the card. They need him to because he’s been misused for much of the year. I am going with a cheap Punk win too. Maybe using a weapon after the SES boys distract him. As for the crowd, they’re going to pop huge for Punk right?

David: Only cause Show is not a guy anybody’s getting behind these days. If it was against Jericho/Edge/Orton, things might be different. But yes, Punk gets the loudest pop of the night. Oh, and make sure to catch when he rips the Bears or Sox here, cause you know us Chicagoans and our sports.

John: I think Orton or Cena gets the biggest pop of the night, but Punk will probably get cheered by a lot of the crowd because Chicago’s got some of the best fans in wrestling like New York and Toronto does. It should be fun for that alone.

John’s Pick: CM Punk
David’s Pick: CM Punk

United States Title: The Miz vs. Daniel Bryan

John: It’s US Title time. The Miz defends his belt, which is rare, against the great Daniel Bryan. This is my most anticipated match on the card and it’s a feud that I think could be the feud of the year if it’s booked well. Are you excited for it too?

David: Beyond excited. This match is interesting on every level, from the storyline level to the athletic level of these guys. The most interesting part of this to me, is this is really Developmental vs. Independants. Miz went through “Tough Enough”, Deep South, Ohio Valley, ECW (I considered to be developmental), and made it to the big time after all that. Bryan obviously has a resume too long to list here of companies he’s performed with, and has travelled worlds over to make sure he’s on the top of his game. This really will show which one WWE has more faith in, and truly will be a fascinating match.

John: I would absolutely love if they got 15-20 minutes, but I think it will be in the 10-15 minute range. They have booked Daniel Bryan strong in the past month after booking him terribly during his NXT run. Fans believe he can win now. Miz is nearly at that main event level and he absolutely deserves it. What Miz needs, though, is a defining match that he can hang his hat on. It’s the right opponent here. Bryan can have good matches with anybody. He’s an elite worker. Miz is elite in terms of drawing heat. The perfect mix. It’s really important that they don’t screw up the booking here. It’s big for both guys in a lot of ways.

David: The best part is that MiTB that Miz holds. That gives this match a level of uncertainty in the outcome. Bryan’s been strong, and Miz can go to that next level, but at the same time, Miz could retain here and hold both until a later showing. I love everything about this match, and hats off to the guys and whoever is allowing this to happen. Hold on, I just marked a bit, gotta clean up.

John: Haha it’s okay to mark out! The booking for this has been great and the guys in the match totally deserve to have a show stealing match. Will they? I dunno. Originally when this was booked I had Bryan win. Now, after he looked so strong on Raw, I have my doubts. Miz needs to drop this belt and move up the card thanks to MITB. Still, I’m going with Miz getting it here and Bryan wins it at Hell in a Cell in late October. Why are there two October PPVs again? Oh right I shouldn’t ruin the greatness of this match. I pick Miz here although it could be a Bryan DQ. I’ll just go Miz. Who ya got?

David: I’m going Bryan on a show with a lot of heels winning. Gotta give Chicago a taste of the good guy prevailing. I see Miz spiraling out of control the next few weeks, leading to violent lashes at tag-team partners and such.

John: Plus, they could have Bryan win here and then Miz can cash MITB later in the show as his way of cheering himself up. There are a lot of options. That’s why we LOVE this match and this booking. Why can’t they all be like this? Then the product would be so much more enjoyable. Instead look at what we have next…

John’s Pick: The Miz
David’s Pick: Daniel Bryan

World Title: Kane vs. The Undertaker

David: We have the first ever meeting between the Big Red Machine and the Undertaker! Wait, this isn’t 1998, my bad.

John: Haha. They should bring Paul Bearer back. Of course he’s way thinner, so I doubt that will happen. To their credit I think Kane has been cutting some incredible promos on Smackdown in the last month or two. I just don’t care about seeing them wrestle again…this time in a No Holds Barred match.

David: I want Kane with a mask back. I think he was at his best then, and this latest rendition just has been incredibly lame. I think it’s all the weird facial expressions he tries to do to scare 7 year olds and well, Andrew Johnson when he’s tuning in. Don’t worry Andy, the bad man will go away, and the TV will change from red to all those pretty colors in just a second.

John: Putting the mask back on doesn’t do much. He is good at promos right now and his facial expressions, as well as his laugh, are great. I just don’t care for him in the ring work that much. At least they are doing a No Holds Barred match, which will allow them to walk around the ring and fall into stuff as a way to make the time go.

David: Yeah, what’s the difference between No DQ and No Holds Barred? Can you interfere in one or the other? Are weapons okay in both? Is Pluto still a planet? These questions don’t effect my feeling towards this match dud. Kane, I love the last effort into retirement, but you should’ve picked somebody other than Taker.

John: Hey No DQ and No Holds Barred is also the same as a Chicago Street Fight! I’m sure the fans would have thought more of it. Or not. I dunno. It’s not that it’s a really bad feud. It’s just that it’s been done too much and their matches against eachother have been average at best while being brutally bad at worst. Now Kane’s in his early 40s, Undertaker’s 45 with 467 different injuries and I just think the outcome is going to be bad. With that said, I’ll go with a Kane win here. Undertaker wins the feud probably at Hell in a Cell in late October. And I don’t think Kane is retiring as rumored.

David: What would be worse, doing this feud again, or bringing back the American Badass?

John: I didn’t mind the American Badass because it allowed Undertaker to actually cut promos without sounding like Frankenstein. It’s more realistic than the guy that works at the funeral parlor that wears MMA gloves, ya know?

David: Yeah, plus I loved his entrances well, at least when I was 14 and Limp Bizkit was cool. So I’ve got Kane winning here moving this feud to HiaC, how do you see this playing out?

John: I already said that. Kane wins here and Undertaker eventually wins it at Hell in a Cell. I think you were put in a vegetative state while we talked about this. Are you still here?

David: Sorry, I’m trying to become a better WWE fan and forget things. So next we’re doing the Divas match, right? Or is it Hornswoggle? Or is it … wait … nevermind, I’m good.

John: That’s a vintage WWE fan. You forget things quickly. Vince loves you. That’s why he will welcome you with open arms to Night of Champions, my friend.

John’s Pick: Kane
Dave’s Pick: Kane

WWE Title Six Pack Elimination Match: Sheamus vs. John Cena vs. Randy Orton vs. Edge vs. Chris Jericho vs. Wade Barrett

John: The main event is a Six Pack Elimination Challenge. Hey, remember two years ago when they did those Scramble matches and Brian Kendrick was in a World Title match? Those were the days. Anyway, the match features the champion Sheamus defending against Randy Orton, John Cena, Wade Barrett, Chris Jericho and Edge. All six guys start. If you get eliminated you go to the back.

David: That’s a whole lot of Main Event guys well, and Wade Barrett and Sheamus. But the rest of the crop is top notch talent that should NOT walk out of this with the title. If they want to give any validity to Barrett winning NXT (which I don’t think they do), they’ll put him or Sheamus over, with a future title match between the pair. Anything else would be a let down, as this match is really about pushing the younger talent, and not putting over some old guy. Jericho staying to the end would be great, but I fear he’ll be eliminated sooner rather than later. The interesting note would be who gets eliminated first. I’ve got Edge leaving ringside first, mostly because of all the comedy antics he’s had on Raw.

John: Yeah Edge has no chance here. It’s a shame, but like I wrote in the Raw Deal I think he’s going to be moving to Smackdown in a few weeks. They are booking him weak to lead to the GM trading him, I assume. And I quote.

David: Edge is a great talent, no doubt, but I hope some Jericho rubbed off on him and he’s going to put over some younger talent SD side. He’s one of the top guys in the company, and needs to help groom the next breed of Superstars.

John: Agreed. I think he gets pinned by Orton here, though, as a way to cap that feud off because that’s how WWE books. I agree that Jericho’s not winning either. I do think he has re-signed, but I don’t think it means a win here. He could be on Smackdown too, possibly as a babyface. A Jericho vs. Punk feud? Yes please. That brings us down to four guys. Any chance Barrett wins?

David: My eliminations are as follows Edge-Jericho-Orton-Barrett/Sheamus-Cena, with whoever doesn’t get eliminated 4th winning it. 50-50 shot in my opinion between the Irish Creme fella and Barrett.

John: The way it’s booked sees Orton as the favorite going in. However, he’s been booked so strong that I think he’s in for a screwjob. I’m torn on what to pick, to be honest. Most of the week I’ve been thinking Sheamus. Now I don’t know. I think they are desperate for ratings against the NFL on Mondays (doing Orton vs. Cena on Raw shows that), so it seems to me like Cena or Orton is winning here. Then again, maybe I’m thinking too much. Am I?

David: When pondering the thinking of the inner circle of the WWE, look no further than the libido of Vincent K. McMahon. Who’s the tallest guy in the match with the biggest muscles?

John: Well, that’s true to an extent. I dunno who to pick. I think it’s too obvious to pick Orton, but I have too many heels winning. I am going Orton although I’m not confident in the pick at all. I think it’s him or Sheamus.

David: But that’s good because it’s good to be uncertain, it’ll make you watch or at least kinda care.

John: It’s true. Not being obvious is good. I remember Fatal Fourway a few months ago. I did not think Sheamus. They could surprise again. Who ya got?

David: I’ve got Barrett, only because I’ll look like a genius if I’m right. He doesn’t deserve it at all, but neither did Sheamus. I’m looking forward to it, but it’s #3 in a night full of interesting developments.

John’s Pick: Randy Orton
David’s Pick: Wade Barrett

THE BIG FINISH
Note: This is blatantly stolen from Pardon the Interruption. We love that show. Consider it an honor.

1. Who needs to be on this PPV that currently isn’t?
David: I’ve said Christian over and over again, but I’m going on a limb here and saying Matt Hardy. Rey’s probably needing the time off, and Hardy’s made this stuff interesting out of the ring.
John: I agree with Christian of course, but I have to say my boy Alberto Del Rio. Love that guy. As for Hardy, I don’t know if he’ll be employed by Sunday.

2. NXT guys are coming in gimmick-less good or bad?
John: Bad. They are the same heels as every other heel in the company. Gimmicks are good.
David: I want another Undertaker and I’m never gonna get it, lol.

3. When will The Miz cash in Money in the Bank?
David: If he loses to Bryan, after the Main Event. If not, by next pay-per-view.
John: I say after the Hell in a Cell PPV. Whoever wins the match as the babyface, whether it’s Cena or Orton, will be the guy that Miz beats for the belt to set up a new feud.

4. Should the US/IC Titles be unified?
John: Yes. By WrestleMania all belts will be. I think having Bryan as US champ going against Zigglers as IC champ would be a good feud. Have Bryan unify the belts and keep the classic IC title.
David: No. That’s just that many less chances that a younger guy will get over. They should be booked better, not pushed together.

5. When Smackdown goes Syfy in October some people are moving. Should they split up Orton and Cena?
David: Only if Orton feuds with Taker because I want a not so scared Orton taking on Taker.
John: They should, but they won’t because they care about Raw more. They won’t move Cena. Orton going thee would work for him, but I think it’s unlikely

6. This month I (John) am working on a WWE roster evaluation. Who would be your top 3 performers in the company and 3 worst?
David: In order: Jericho, Punk, Miz … Mark Henry. I don’t know about the worst, that’s hard.
John: I’m not giving it away, but I’ll say Mark Henry is in one list and CM Punk is in another list. You’ll have to wait to see for the full evaluation. I don’t know when. Maybe late September or early October. I am such a shill.
David: Okay, I’ve got it: Jericho, Punk, Miz … Eve, Alicia Fox, Layla.
John: That works although in my case I separate the men from the women. You’ll see it soon, fella.

FINAL THOUGHTS
John: Dave’s not here man. He will be at the PPV on Sunday, though. I think it should be a decent PPV depending on what matches get time. If they give Bryan/Miz the time it deserves it could be one of the best matches of the year. The main event should be in the 20+ minute range, which should make it a passable match. It’s better than a one fall match, that’s for sure.

The worry with this PPV is I don’t think it’s going to do very well in terms of PPV buys. Their numbers are down all across the board and going against a huge Indianapolis Colts vs. New York Giants NFL game on Sunday night won’t help. That’s going to have 20 million viewers right there. WWE PPVs are getting under 200,000 buys right now, which is a low number. I don’t think either main event match is captivating enough to generate a lot of interest from the average fan. This PPV could be hurting in terms of dollar figures. At least the live crowd in Chicago should make it fun. They usually do.

We’ll have live coverage of Night of Champions at thejohnreport.net written by Andrew Johnson, who posted a column today about Matt Hardy, which is a very direct article that raises some good points. I’ll try to have a short recap with thoughts posted on Monday at some point, but I’ll be unable to see it live due to watching the Colts vs. Giants game on Sunday night.

We’ll be back in for the Hell in a Cell preview in a couple of weeks. In the meantime keep checking out thejohnreport.net for daily coverage of everything going on in WWE and the wrestling business.

Thanks for reading,
John Canton john@thejohnreport.net or Twitter.com/johnreport
David K. Twitter.com/DaveTheAwesome