It’s been a fun week in WWE programming, but I think there are more questions than answers after the events from this week.
If you were wondering where Big E. Langston went off to, he’s busy beating up low tier mid-carders like R-Truth on WWE Main Event. Antonio Cesaro lost to Kofi Kingston in a match which should have been aired on SmackDown. This week purely focused on Triple H abusing power, Daniel Bryan having the last laugh, and Big Show showing signs of rebellion against his handlers.
One also has to ask where Dolph Ziggler and Damien Sandow go from here? Ziggles is back to a comfortable spot in the mid-card while Sandow continues to embarrassing lose. The similarity is Ziggler was one a losing streak which rivaled Barrett’s then cashed in to win the World Title. Perhaps WWE is playing down Sandow with losses, to serve as surprise when he cashes in.
Seems like the insanity between Miz and Fandango gets more airtime than the average main eventer. It’s funny, got to admit that.
Getting right to the preview for WWE Night of Champions, the Diva title is beginning to have some new life. AJ Lee verbally bashes the Divas part of the Total Divas cast, yet her antics still have us wondering if we really want to listen to her. Granted, Total Divas is a train wreck of a show, however when Natalya has consistently defeated AJ in matches, it makes you wonder where WWE is going with this angle. The title match puts AJ defending against Natalya, Brie Bella, and Naomi, who are all on the show. Likely we will see some “drama” as the cast members will start beating each other up. I have some faith this could be a good match, however I would not be surprised if it turned into a train wreck as well.
United States Championship: Dolph Ziggler vs. Dean Ambrose
The win is going to Ambrose. I hate saying it, I really do, but there is no purpose to have a sudden title switch here. There really is not much of a feud between these two, just Ambrose running in per orders of Triple H to beat up Ziggy. While putting a title back on Ziggler would be nice for the future-WWE/World champion, I feel this would only further set him back. Putting the mid-card title only takes him two steps back and zero steps forward. Keep the title on Ambrose.
World Heavyweight Championship: Rob van Dam challenges Alberto del Rio
This could be a great match. We know these guys can put on a show. The question is, Cui Bono? Who benefits? Rob Van Dam as World Champion opens the door for Sandow to cash in. It also opens the door for some new heels to challenge for the championship. Having Del Rio retain will either come with some event to continue the feud, such as Ricardo turning on RVD mid-match or just ends the feud and sends Mr. High Flyer back to mid-carding. The last time RVD held a major title was after defeating John Cena at the second ECW One Night Stand, promptly losing both ECW and WWE belts shortly after getting busted. Maybe WWE finally forgave and forgot?
Tag Team Turmoil
So, Rollins and Reigns will defend the straps on the PPV card, but the pre-show will feature a match determining which team.
The Usos: Big favorite to win. Constantly entertaining, consistent performance, probably best team WWE has right now. Big favorite, but not THE favorite.
Tons of Funk: Nope. Rick Steiner and Judy Bagwell have a better chance.
3MB: Barry Horowitz, “Iron” Mike Sharpe, and Duane Gill are knocking for their comeback.
The Real Americans: If a team of babyfaces were holding the titles, my money would be on them. Cesaro and Swagger are a solid team, but interest in their gimmick is fading and Zeb Colter needs more than talk to save them. Putting the belts on these talents stars should be on WWE’s checklist for 2014.
The Prime Time Players: Here are your winners and contenders. Pink elephant in the room. Since Darren Young came out, all of a sudden the PTP goes full-fledged face-turn. This should have happened regardless. You can say the crowd cheered to favor and support Young. However, their first match after the reveal was against a heel-team, further pushing the face turn. Understand this, Young and O’Neal are a good team. What shocked me most, is seeing Young pull off a number of big time wrestling moves and suplexes in his past few matches, giving thought to whether we have just never seen his true wrestling ability. I won’t deny, since his debut, I constantly ragged on him and bashed him because I never saw any in-ring talent nor mic skills. Since the face-turn, Young has surprised, and yes, even impressed me. Titus O’Neal is solid and may very well be the next Ron Simmons. I want that man to be a WWE or World Champ one day. He has the look, the skills on the mic, the wrestling know-how, and all around “it-factor” to be top of the food chain. Back to the tag, Young and O’Neal will likely win the gauntlet match, but I do not see The Shield losing titles anytime soon, as long as they are still paired with Triple H under his Corporation.
CM Punk vs. Curtis Axel and Paul Heyman
Heyman has been running scared, certain he will meet his end at the hands of Punk. Past few weeks, Axel has done nothing but lose, and all I can say is take the Intercontinental Title and chuck it into a river. Seems the belt is a curse, just go ask Wade Barrett and The Miz. Belt or not, this proves Axel is not a big player yet, and can hardly be perceived as competition against Punk. You see Axel, yeah, he’s decent, but you look at Punk. A guy who wrestles WWE Legends. A guy who went nearly 30 minutes with The Undertaker at WrestleMania 29. A guy who had not one but two matches with The Rock. He goes up against Brock Lesnar. Axel is nothing to Punk. This is all about Punk ripping off Heyman’s head and mounting it on his wall. I expect someone to come in to save Heyman, maybe Brock will return, or we get someone else. Unless of course, the big surprise is Punk easily dispatching Axel and beats up Heyman for five minutes straight.
This is Night of Champions yet the Intercontinental Title is not even on the line!
Daniel Bryan challenges Randy Orton for the WWE Championship
Count out. Disqualification. Interference. No Contest. These are the many ways the match will end. Do not get your hopes up. A feud like this, Corporation vs. The Underdog does not get wrapped up between two pay-per-views. This will go on, and I said it before, all the way to WrestleMania 30. Orton will somehow sneak away with the title, but it will be a close one. Bryan will do what he always does, out-perform everyone, and Orton, giving him credit, will up his game to keep up. They had a few matches over the summer during the whole breakup of Team Hell No, and those were good bouts. Triple H and Stephanie will do what they can to keep their chosen champion unscathed. The Shield, Big Show, and who knows who else they have waiting on-deck at their disposal.
To order or not to order?
Big question. Up to this point, the only matches which have earned the hype are Punk/Heyman and Bryan/Orton. There has been little focus on anything else, which is bothersome since RVD and Del Rio could really put on a clinic. Unless some last-minute matches are announced, I certainly hope WWE is ready to give Bryan and Orton 60 minutes to do their thing.