Friday, September 16, 2011

WWE Night of Champions Preview; Rock & Cena Teaming at Survivor Series

Hello everyone. Time for another WWE PPV Preview. This Sunday is Night of Champions here in Buffalo. First off, let me remind you that I will be there live in the First Niagara Center with live updates on my Twitter, but MORE updates will be sent to I also enjoy going to WWE Live Events even if they are not the best (like the last RAW I went to in February). I'll be sure to share my insight into the crowd reactions and little things you'll probably miss on TV.

This PPV has had a pretty underwhelming build. The secondary title matches, the United States and Intercontinental, weren't even announced until the week of the PPV on their respective shows. No one really cares about the Divas Title Match, although the crowd should be into it more than normal. Beth Phoenix grew up about 45 minutes outside of Buffalo. So even though it isn't technically Buffalo, she's still considered the "hometown girl." The WWE Title Match doesn't have too much interest attached to it. It seems like just another John Cena WWE Title feud. And C.M. Punk/HHH has gone off the golden path it was one on. I think the WWE is making it a tad too complicated for the non-Internet fans. Hell, even an Internet fan like me is having some trouble following it. The best build in my opinion has been for the World Title Match. Mark Henry continues to look like an animal, and it gives Randy Orton fans serious doubt heading into their match this Sunday.

With that being said, lets jump into the Preview.

United States Championship: Dolph Ziggler (c) vs Alex Riley vs John Morrison vs Jack Swagger

This match is more about the story between Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger. Both men are fighting over the attention of Vickie Guerrero. Dolph already has Vickie as his manager, while Swagger is looking to acquire her services. Problem is, no one would care about a match between two heels fighting over the managerial services of perhaps the WWE's biggest heel heat getter. So what did the WWE do? Added two random faces to the match to get more people on the card. John Morrison has pretty much zero history with anyone involved in this match in the last few months, until he tagged with Alex Riley against Ziggler and Swagger last week. Alex Riley seemed to have a program going with Dolph Ziggler over the United States Title, but they ended abruptly and now the focus is on the two heels.

So who's winning here? There's pretty much zero reason for either Riley or Morrison to win. Morrison is stuck with nothing, and giving him the United States Title wouldn't do much. Alex Riley's heat is completely gone after his feud with the Miz. The story here is with Dolph and Jack. Ziggler has been the United States Champion since June, so why not change things up. A miscue between Vickie and Dolph allows Swagger to pick up the win and become the new United States Champion.

WINNER: Jack Swagger

Divas Championship: Kelly Kelly (c) vs Beth Phoenix

We all know the story here, as it has been the same for the last month. Beth Phoenix and Natalya have been frustrated watching the "Barbie-Doll Divas" like Kelly Kelly and Eve getting all the face time on WWE TV, while they are stuck in the back with nothing. Beth and Natalya are clearly the best wrestlers in the Divas Division, and they deserve a spot at the top. Sooner or late Beth deserves a chance with the Divas Title. The PPV is in Beth's hometown of Buffalo as I stated above. Usually the hometown wrestler always loves in their match, but I think things might be different this time. There's only so much more they can do with Beth and Natalya. Natalya could always step up and challenge Kelly next. Then, either Natalya or Beth could turn and start a feud there. But I don't think that happens. Beth wins here in front of the hometown crowd with the GlamSlam.

WINNER: Beth Phoenix

World Tag Team Championship: Air Boom (Kofi Kingston & Evan Bourne) vs Miz & R-Truth

Another match pretty much thrown together just to get guys on the card. The WWE couldn't leave Miz & R-Truth off the card, so they put them in a tag match instead. Kofi & Evan seem to be enjoying their time together as a tag team and have brought some new life to the tag division, which is never a bad thing. Miz & R-Truth have joined together to bring down the conspiracy that is supposedly out there in the WWE. They're really not on anyone's side, as they dislike HHH and C.M. Punk. But since they can't get to those guys right now, they are just going to randomly challenge the Tag Champs here. They've apparently been having some good matches on the house show circuit, so it'll be interesting to see how this translates to PPV. While Miz & R-Truth are hot, I can't see heels winning everywhere on the undercard like I do now. Plus, Miz & Truth can lose in some weird fashion and it can add to their conspiracy theory gimmick.


Intercontinental Championship: Cody Rhodes (c) vs Ted DiBiase Jr.

Cody turned on Ted a few weeks ago, and now the WWE expects people to actually care about this match. They've done nothing with DiBiase over the last few months, so why should fans care about him now? It's not like anything has changed drastically. I would have much rather seen Daniel Bryan, Justin Gabriel, or hell even Sin Cara against Cody. There's no reason for Ted to win here, as Cody is the one with the brighter future. 

WINNER: Cody Rhodes

  World Heavyweight Championship: Randy Orton (c) vs Mark Henry

Well, the time is finally here. How serious is the WWE with their push of Mark Henry? Henry has been the most dominant force in the WWE over the summer, and now it is up to the WWE if they want to continue the push into the fall. I'll repeat it over and over: Outside of C.M. Punk, the Mark Henry push is the best thing going on WWE TV right now. Henry has looked like an absolute beast on TV, putting Kane and Big Show out of action and putting Sheamus through a barricade at SummerSlam. Henry's problem has always been that he can't work a full, watchable match in his career. The thing that he has going for him right now is that his matches are short and have an impact. But Henry needs to be able to wrestle a watchable WRESTLING match, where he doesn't have to put people through tables or barricades to keep people interested, and that could be a problem.

Randy Orton just won the World Title back at SummerSlam. He's the top face on Smackdown and is the man on that show. He had a great set of matches with Christian over the summer and now it's time to see if he can take the momentum from those matches and carry them into a feud with Henry. Orton is much more interesting now than he has been when he was on RAW. Orton with the right opponent can work a good match, as evident with Christian. Can he have the same chemistry with Henry? Doubtful. But it doesn't hurt to give it a shot.

Sooner rather than later, Mark Henry will be the World Champion. If he's not, it would be one of the biggest wasted pushes in WWE history. I advocated for an extended Mark Henry World Title reign in my piece over the weekend, and I still stand by it. But the WWE has 3 PPVs over the next month in a half, so it would be pointless to rush the change or put either one in another feud. Expect some kind of screwy finish here. Henry does something to get himself DQ'd, then puts Orton through a table afterward. Henry wins the Title at Hell in a Cell.

WINNER: Randy Orton Via Disqualification

WWE Championship: Alberto del Rio (c) vs John Cena

Destint finally arrived for Alberto del Rio at SummerSlam. He took advantage of his Money in the Bank contract, cashed in on C.M. Punk, and won the WWE Title. So what does somebody do when they win the WWE Title? Defend it right away against John Cena of course! I wonder if that stipulation is in John Cena's contract?

But nevertheless, another John Cena WWE Title feud. This seems just like any other John Cena WWE Title program. Heel Champion is afraid to face Cena. Cena calls out said Champion and calls him a coward, as well as uses a bunch of lame and corny jokes, Heel Champ and Cena fight at PPV. But there are 3 PPVs coming up in the next month and a half, so hot shotting the WWE Title to John Cena right away just doesn't seem like a good idea. Plus, the WWE has a tour of Mexico coming up in October, and you can bet your bottom dollar that Alberto del Rio is walking into that tour with the WWE Title. Sure he could lose and win it back there, but having too many title changes with all these PPVs coming up would be a bad idea. Especially if the title change happens on TV and not at one of the PPVs.

But as we all know, John Cena isn't losing clean here. He never does. So how does this match end? There's a ref bump. Cena puts Del Rio in the STF and has Del Rio tapping out but the referee is still down. Ricardo jumps on the ropes to distract Cena. Cena hits Ricardo with an Attitude Adjustment. But during this time, Del Rio comes to and clocks Cena with the WWE Title Belt, allowing him to pick up the win. The rematch happens at Hell in A Cell.

WINNER: Alberto del Rio

No Disqualification: C.M. Punk vs Triple H

As we all know by now, this was suppose to be C.M. Punk vs Kevin Nash. While Nash probably could have gotten a respectable match out of Nash, it will not be nearly as good as Punk/HHH will be, especially with the No DQ stipulation. Punk is the best in the business right now, and HHH showed at Wrestlemania that he can have a great match even with an extended period of time off. This match is also probably going on last, even if it's not for a Championship. There's just too much on the line in this match for it not to close the show, plus any match that follows it won't match the heat this one will garner. Even John Cena's match.

As I've said before, I still think this feud is happening a month too fast. Punk should have come back at or right after SummerSlam. Night of Champons should have been Cena/Punk 2, with the Nash interference and Del Rio cash in happening here. You have Punk/Nash at Hell in A Cell, maybe a rematch at Vengeance. Then at Survivor Series, you do Punk/HHH with a hot New York City crowd. You can do that even with Rock and Cena now teaming. I will do my best to make sure the Buffalo crowd will be hot for this one, but even at its best it won't match a great New York City crowd.

But of course, the WWE rushed this match after Nash failed his physical. It still seemed good on paper when the match was announced, but now the match just seems all jumbled, and they are probably losing some people with all of the inside lingo HHH and Punk are using. Talking about getting over and backstage politics might lose your non-Internet fan. I've even had some trouble just keeping up with everything. If Triple H loses he is out as COO, but what does Punk's character really gain in that? For all he knows, John Laurinaitis or Stephanie McMahon would be put in charge, and Punk would be dealing with the same problems he's dealing with now.

So who's winning? I really can't see Triple H getting off TV so quickly. The only scenario I could see playing out would be Punk winning, then having it be revealed that Triple H was the RAW Anonymous GM all along. That's why the e-mails stopped when HHH became COO, he didn't need to send them anymore. But I don't think that happens. I hate when the WWE does the obvious, but I see it happening here. Punk hits the GTS on HHH and goes for the pin when Kevin Nash comes through the crowd, hits the Jackknife Powerbomb on Punk, and puts HHH on top of Punk for the cover win. HHH looks at Nash in disbelief questioning why he did what he did, still playing up the fact that the two aren't in cahoots. Punk loses some heat with this, but I just can't see Punk winning here. I'd like it to happen but I don't see it happening. Punk gets Nash at Hell in A Cell.

WINNER: Triple H

Thoughts on Rock & Cena Teaming At Survivor Series
The Rock posted a promotional poster on his Facebook page today for Survivor Series, hyping the fact that him and Cena will be teaming together at Survivor Series. WWE confirmed this, saying it will be a traditional 5-on-5 Survivor Series match.

First let me say that I love traditional Survivor Series matches, so this is a plus. On to the actual Rock/Cena team, I don't really have a problem with it. As I said in my "If I Booked the WWE This Fall" article, I would start the build between Rock/Cena this fall. And this would do that. Rock should be on a couple RAWs before Survivor Series, so the build starts in early November. Another positive is that in a 5-on-5 match, more guys will interact with Rock and get the rub of working with him. I would go with Punk/HHH 2 at Survivor Series, have the World Title be defended, then put the WWE Champion in this match, whether it'd be Cena or Del Rio. Here's my 5-on-5 match:

The Rock, John Cena, John Morrison, Sheamus, Daniel Bryan vs Alberto del Rio, Miz, R-Truth, Christian, Wade Barrett

That's a good mix of young guys, keeps C.M. Punk and HHH in their own program, and allows Randy Orton to defend the World Title against Mark Henry, if the feud goes that long.

That's all from me in this preview. Don't forger, I'll be doing live updates on Night of Champions on as well as on my Twitter.

Until next time,
Justin C
Follow Me On Twitter @JCWonka

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