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   July 29, 2014



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COMMENT





Countdown to WWE Night of Champions
By JON WALDMAN -- SLAM! Wrestling





It's kind of a misnomer to call tonight's PPV the "Night of Champions", especially when you look back to its origins.

Back in the day, you see, Night of Champions was indeed the event where each and every WWE championship was up for grabs. In recent years, however, this has dissipated, and tonight we are two titles short of a full gamut.

Still, the WWE Championship does come into play more than any other tonight as it rightfully should. The title is on the line between Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan, in a match which most are saying is a foregone conclusion. The general feeling is that Bryan will 'win' tonight by DQ, possibly with Big Show getting involved to play up his insertion into the main event storyline of HHH, Randy Orton and the Corporation vs. Bryan. The play, depending on your perspective, has either worked well or is starting to feel very McMahon-Helmsley era-ish. It's too soon for Bryan to get the payoff with the WWE Championship win, I think we can all agree on, so look for Orton to come out with the victory.

The World Heavyweight Championship program is also newer, with Rob Van Dam hunting for Alberto Del Rio's gold. The only sure bet at this point is that Damien Sandow, so far removed from the title picture, is extremely unlikely to cash in. More likely is the speculated return to heeldom by Ricardo Rodriguez, which would make pretty good sense.

The other men's singles title up for grabs is the U.S. Championship, which pits champ Dean Ambrose against Dolph Ziggler. Now this match could be entertaining and potentially the show stealer; but it comes down to whether or not Ambrose and Ziggler can put on a good show together. Ziggler's face turn has all but tanked so it wouldn't shock me if he loses here and starts to return to his heel roots.


The last major title match to talk about is AJ Lee facing a trio of Total Divas: Natalya, Brie Bella and Trini... er, I mean Naomi. The logistics here would be for AJ's crew to face the Total Divas at Survivor Series, but there's a big question mark as to whether the angle can go that long (though the show will be continuing on that far, or at least re-starting in time for the Series promo to start). I really like how the angle has been built up, and we may end up seeing some in-fighting from the Total Divas to distract until the Series.

WHAT YOU THINK
Which team will emerge for the title shot at WWE Night of Champions after the Tag Team Turmoil match?
Prime Time Players - 52%
The Usos - 29%
Real Americans - 11%
3MB - 5%
Tons of Funk - 3%
Now I haven't talked about CM Punk vs. Paul Heyman/Curtis Axel yet, and really at this point it's better to take the Intercontinental Championship off Axel and put it on... well, anyone really. Punk is just about ready to get his hands on Heyman, but I suspect there's a new Superstar coming under Paul's guidance. Honestly, had it not been for the stuff going on in NXT I would've pegged Kassius Ohno as the call-up to play off the history with Punk, but there are some legitimate big men down in developmental that could get the rub. The other possibility would be Heyman aligning with the Wyatts, and the possibility of Bray and Punk going at it on the stick is an amazing proposal.

The final match is a Tag Team Turmoil match to determine the number one contenders for the Tag belts, and I think it's fruitless to consider anyone but the Prime Time Players as the winners.

Enjoy the show!


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NIGHT OF CHAMPIONS HISTORY


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