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   July 29, 2014



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





Well, it's good to be back folks. Whether you missed me or not, I'm back in the saddle, just in time to unwrap my feelings on Night of Champions.

Tonight we're being presented with a bit of a headscratcher with the main event of John Cena vs. CM Punk. Now given that the bout is in Cena's home state, one would assume he picks up the victory (since he and Punk seem to be immune to WWE's policy of humiliating a wrestler in their stomping grounds). Yet after Monday with Cena getting the upper hand, and factoring in Paul Heyman, you have to go with Punk taking this one rather sneakily.

And I'm all for that. Punk deserves to keep the belt. Cena being back in the title picture will certainly draw some extra under 18 year-old buys, but you don't need him to be the title holder at this point, especially with Punk on the verge of a one-year celebration as being champ. That promo opportunity is way too epic an opportunity for WWE to pass up, and I think they'll run with it.

On the other side, we have Sheamus defending his World title against one Alberto Del Rio. This one seems ripe for Dolph Ziggler to cash in and take the belt away; the only question is from whom? I'm going to bank on it being Del Rio (who wins with shenanigans) and a face turn coming soon thereafter, as early as Friday's Smackdown when Ziggler officially sends Vickie Guerrero packing.

Elsewhere on the card we have the Intercontinental Title up for grabs amongst The Miz, Cody Rhodes, Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara. Miz certainly deserves the gold, but Cody's been somewhat derailed since he lost the belt. I expect him to win it back tonight, perhaps with the cool "stolen victory" play-out.

The United States Championship is also up for grabs as Antonio Cesaro puts the gold on the line against the winner of a pre-show battle royal. This seems like the perfect spot for a returning Superstar to come in and be elevated right away - maybe Evan Bourne, depending on where he sits on the suspended/injury list. In all likelihood though, WWE will put Santino Marella in the Battle, win, and then lose to Cesaro.

Elsewhere, take Ziggler to take out Randy Orton, Anger Management to beat Kofi and R-Truth and Layla and Kaitlyn to be out-spotlighted by the soon to be Eve Gracie.


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NIGHT OF CHAMPIONS HISTORY