WWE Night Of Champions 2014 airs this Sunday, September 21, live on the WWE Network. It’s the SECOND BIGGEST PARTY OF THE SUMMER. Biggest party of the early Autumn? “One of several unremarkable parties happening between SummerSlam and the Royal Rumble?” There we go. Here’s what we think will happen on the show. We are experts.
Your complete WWE Night Of Champions 2014 card:
1. WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match: Brock Lesnar (c) vs. John Cena
2. WWE United States Championship Match: Sheamus (c) vs. Cesaro
3. WWE Intercontinental Championship Match: Dolph Ziggler (c) vs. The Miz
4. Triple Threat Match for the Divas Championship: Paige (c) vs. AJ Lee vs. Nikki Bella
5. Mark Henry vs. Rusev
6. WWE Tag Team Championship Match: The Usos (c) vs. Gold and Stardust
7. Chris Jericho vs. Randy Orton
8. Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins
And now, our staff predictions:
WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match: Brock Lesnar (c) vs. John Cena
What Should Happen: Honestly? A repeat of SummerSlam.
It sounds like I’m being a John Cena hater, but the only way for WWE to break out of this funk and truly convince us that “anything can happen” is by building up Cena as the most unstoppable man in his most tired comeback story, then LOSE. It doesn’t have to be another massacre. It can be more competitive and play off what Cena learned in the SummerSlam encounter, but the “100%” Brock Lesnar that ended The Undertaker’s streak and nerfed Cena at SummerSlam needs to be maintained.
Having Cena get a “visual pin” or have the match won and only lose by cheating will be a copout. He has to lose again. If he doesn’t … well, not a lot happens, and that’s the problem.
What Will Happen: If I type “Cena wins” here, do I look like an asshole? It’s okay to say yes.
I’m going to be optimistic for once and say Lesnar retains. He hasn’t wrestled anybody OTHER than Cena, and it feels like that should happen before his title reign ends. Right? Passing the torch to a guy like Roman Reigns requires a commitment.
David D. – So it seems like Brock is going to end up dropping the belt at WrestleMania to Roman Reigns or The Rock or Sting or Bob Backlund and it still doesn’t make sense for him to lose after his Summerslam match. It would make sense for this match to be closer with Lesnar winning after Heyman interference. However, I’d love to see Lesnar beat Cena like at Summerslam and make him tap this time. Then Cena can come back and kill people and be a nice challenger for whoever beats Lesnar. However, it’s a Cena match. So I think Cena Attitudinally Adjusts Lesnar onto Heyman onto Tommy Dreamer onto The Rock onto a Jimmy Johns sandwich and wins.
Austin Heiberg – Tough one, but I’ll say Lesnar. We still need to see him defend against a non-Cena opponent.
Nathan Birch – I know all sense tends to leave Vince’s head when the possibility of John Cena losing is raised, particularly losing twice in a row, but I dunno, I’m still clinging onto a scrap of faith. It won’t be anywhere remotely as satisfying as the SummerSlam mauling — Brock will probably have to cheat to win, but win he shall.
Jessica Hudnall – If anything, Lesnar should truck Cena even more ferociously this time around. Just smash his face into a jelly and throw Jorts Jefferson into the trash.
Ashley Burns – I was shocked – shocked, I say – that Cena let Lesnar beat him for the title last time. I know that the WWE’s repetitive and predictable history would suggest that Cena gets his belt back so he can say stupid things to the crowd and smile like they’re reacting the way that his brain imagines them reacting, but I’m taking Brock to retain.
WWE United States Championship Match: Sheamus (c) vs. Cesaro
What Should Happen: Cesaro’s going around in circles. He started off winning the United States Championship and being the foreign heel who mocks America by representing it. He left that behind, built some momentum, and that momentum curbed by Brock Lesnar (or SOMETHING), and now he’s back to getting the US title and mocking America by representing it. I dunno. Regardless, he should win. Sheamus is a loaf of white bread.
What Will Happen: What’s the point of a Night of Champions without a few title changes? If Lesnar retains and Ziggler beats a guy who always loses, that leaves the US title change as a “things are happening!” talking point. Cesaro takes it, and we convince ourselves that he’s gonna do something with it.
David D. – It’s been almost two years since they had their underrated classic on RAW and it’s a shame we haven’t seen them really get a chance to make it up since. I think this is Cesaro’s chance to get his momentum back while Sheamus goes to maybe play Darth Vader or something.
Austin Heiberg – I got Cesaro. Sheamus has done a fat pile of nothing with the title, it’s time for something new.
Nathan Birch – This is still happening? Sheamus is never losing the US Title. I’m pretty sure he’ll be buried with it and his 101 Jew Jokes ‘n’ Japes book.
Jessica Hudnall – King of Swing! King of Swing! Seriously, Sheamus has been so much paperweight with the belt, hopefully Cesaro gets to do rad stuff (I say this because I’m an idiot that doesn’t pay attention to what happens to second-tier champions)
Ashley Burns – I don’t really care for either of these guys, but I know that people really like Cesaro (I think?) so I’m picking him to win the belt.
WWE Intercontinental Championship Match: Dolph Ziggler (c) vs. The Miz
What Should Happen: A referee with a stunt double. The return of the WeeLC announce team and a massive group pantomime.
What Will Happen: Ziggler retains. The Miz isn’t going to accomplish anything with the Intercontinental Championship besides one funny sight gag of him wearing the belt and Sandow wearing a toy version.
David D. – Ziggler wins and Miz goes on to show up on RAW so we can have a reason to be entertained by Damien Sandow.
Austin Heiberg – There’s been a little too much back-and-forth here, so I think Ziggler retains and buttons up the Miz rivalry.
Nathan Birch – I’m not sure why Dolph won the title in the first place, since Miz is an infinitely more entertaining character right now. The most obvious outcome is R-Truth turning on Ziggler to reform a decrepit 2014 version of Awesome Truth, but that would require remembering things from the past and stuff, so I guess Dolph will win.
Jessica Hudnall – If this was Damien Mizdow, I’d back him 1000% Sadly, the chance of seeing Mizdow with a replica belt knocks that down to me wanting a title change to 98%. Still, let’s go Miz (That seems so weird to type).
Ashley Burns – I’ll pick anyone against The Miz. If he’s wrestling the Brooklyn Brawler, I’ll take the obvious loss just so I don’t have to pick the stupid Miz.
Triple Threat Match for the Divas Championship: Paige (c) vs. AJ Lee vs. Nikki Bella
What Should Happen: Jerry Springer gets off the stretcher and makes a dramatic return, sliding into the ring and blasting Nikki Bella with a chairshot to the head. Paige crawls over for the pin and the entire crowd counts ONE, TWO, THREE in unison. Massive cheers.
What Will Happen: Brie interferes and accidentally causes Nikki to win, or helps her on purpose because they’re scumbag sisters and she really IS the evil one. They might as well do it. It’s time for ‘Total Divas’ to have the Divas Championship, and for the Paige vs. AJ feud to evolve beyond hotshot title changes. Maybe Charlotte can bring the Women’s Championship to Raw, and the good wrestlers can worry about that?
David D. – This match is giving me the most anxiety. I’m afraid Nikki is going to win and consolidate the Divas title into her feud with Brie and we can get Donahue to show up on RAW next. But in my heart of hearts, Brie interferes and lets Paige and AJ have a match. Paige retains.
Austin Heiberg – Call me crazy, but I think Nikki wins this one. As much as I’d like Paige to retain, The Authority is in a good position to add another accolade here. This will NOT be a clean finish.
Nathan Birch – At this point Nikki would make a far better heel champ than Paige with her confused faux-AJ act, and really, Nikki as champ is where all the interesting stories lie. You can do the rematch with Paige. You can do Nikki, who’s basically the female John Cena, against AJ, who’s basically the female CM Punk. And of course, you can do Brie/Nikki (if you must). If you keep it on Paige there’s really nowhere to go expect more AJ matches. So yes, Nikki Bella, Divas champion, is the smart, just and proper direction.
Jessica Hudnall – Nikki winning makes sense in terms of story, because THE AUTHORITY, but I think Paige retains and then there are weird belt makeouts.
Ashley Burns – Brie Bella will interfere in some capacity to stop Nikki from winning, so I’ll assume that it will be when Nikki has Paige wrapped up for the sure 3-count, and AJ Lee slips in to steal the win and take the belt back.
Mark Henry vs. Rusev
What Should Happen: Mark Henry wins decisively, “proving” that the United States is better than Russia. Rusev then does something other than stand on the stage and frown while Lana points at Vladimir Putin for the first time since his main roster debut. You might’ve figured it out by now, but a running theme of these predictions is “MAKE RAW CHANGE, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, I DON’T CARE HOW.”
What Will Happen: They already did the “Mark Henry breaks out of the Accolade” gag on Raw, so I guess Rusev gets a strong win. The end of Rusev’s story is Cena, and hey, even if it buries Rusev 30 feet underground it keeps John away from the WWE Championship for a few weeks.
David D. – Rusev wins. Obviously. I’d really love it if the Three Anegroes faction shows up, plays a video of Ferguson and Henry says “f*ck it” and decides he doesn’t want to defend America anymore. I can dream.
Austin Heiberg – Well, if there was ever a time to end Rusev’s streak, it would’ve been SummerSlam. But here we are in September, and he’s still going strong. Rusev gets the win and will continue to do so until circumstances force him into a match with John Cena.
Nathan Birch – If you think anybody other than John Cena is going to redeem Lady Liberty’s sullied dignity, you’re fooling yourself.
Jessica Hudnall – My brain keeps going back and forth on this. On one hand, MARK HENRY, AND AMERICA! On the other, bro, it’s Rusev against an African-American guy, and I’ve sort of got a brain. I’ll say Rusev wins because why not.
Ashley Burns – Oh my, I have to think really hard about this… yep, I can’t remember a match in recent years that I’ve cared less about. I’ll take Mark Henry just because.
WWE Tag Team Championship Match: The Usos (c) vs. Gold and Stardust
What Should Happen: Goldust and Stardust (sorry, “Gold” and Stardust) win the tag team championships, melt them down and combine them to form a Cosmic Key. They return to that dark room with the Sensual Seduction lights and insert it into their ship, allowing them to travel into outer space and defend against the Lucha Dragons or whatever.
There’s probably more for the Usos to do — all they’ve really done is beat the Wyatt Family over and over and make the Rhodes Brothers mad for a month — but I like the Dusts more than them, so “what should happen” is the thing I like most. Wrestling predictions!
What Will Happen: My gut says the Usos retain. Best case scenario, the Rhodes title match loss is the catalyst to finally position them against one another, and do that Cody vs. Dustin feud we’ve been wanting for a year and will ask for for another.
David D. – I just don’t know what the Usos do without the belts. I think they retain and we get this feud going on to TLC and give these guys a ladder match.
Austin Heiberg – The Uso injury will probably come into play here, right? Pretty even matchup, but I’ll go with the DUST BRUSTERS™.
Nathan Birch – On Raw the Usos’ injured knees were, miraculously, completely healed, which means, uh, something for Night of Champions. I’m not sure what. I’m guessing this heel Rhodes thing is working better than they thought, so they’re going to run them against the Usos for a few PPVs, which means they didn’t want them to look like bums losing to crippled opponents. Or maybe it’s the complete opposite! Maybe the Usos are losing and they want them to go down looking strong. I’m leaning towards the former explanation.
Jessica Hudnall – Jon Uso might be the best part about Total Divas, but he’s not as great as Stardust being some kind of insane space-raptor. Los Hermanos Dustos take the titles here.
Ashley Burns – I love the Usos, but the tag belts should change hands every PPV for the sake of keeping things fresh and creating better rivalries, unless a super team is involved. The Usos need to lose, because part of being a great tag champ is losing and winning it back.
Chris Jericho vs. Randy Orton
What Should Happen: Jericho’s gone after this, right? Then bring back the Legend Killer. A lot of guys have gotten old since Orton stopped being fresh-faced, so maybe it’s time for him to hoist the black flag or whatever and start permanently erasing the Jerichos and Rob Van Dams of the world.
What Will Happen: A lot of people are picking Orton to win and punt Jericho out of action, but I’m gonna pick Jericho. It feels like he’ll get a Codebreaker out of nowhere and a meaningless win, THEN get taken out. Maybe the Authority will arrive as a group and take him out, since they haven’t done anything threatening besides f*ck with the Bellas since March.
David D. – David D. goes to check and see if his cinnamon rolls are ready, sees that they’re still sort of dough-y and maybe not ready, shrugs and takes them out of the oven anyway. Then he has a glass of milk. When he gets back this match will be over and Orton will have kicked Jericho in the brain until he’s a Fozzy singer again.
Austin Heiberg – They should have released Jericho back into the wild when he got destroyed at SummerSlam. Orton wins via skull-punt, say bye to Cool Dad for a while.
Nathan Birch – Orton’s doing absolutely nothing, so maybe Jericho actually gets to out on a high note for once?
Jessica Hudnall – Awww, do I hafta? Ugh, I’ll say Orton via chinlock because I don’t have any spare cares for this match.
Ashley Burns – I haven’t been paying close enough attention to know how nasty this feud has been, but I assume that Jericho has been saying really funny things while everyone cheers, and Orton has responded by breathing heavily and mumbling something about how he’s the greatest, while everyone yawns. So Jericho, please.
Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins
What Should Happen: DEAN AMBROSE.
What Will Happen: DEAN AMBROSE, I’M SERIOUS.
David D. – I don’t think this match happens. I think we get a brawl and Dean Ambrose comes back from the grave they buried Ric Flair alive at and continues that feud. I’m sad at how little I’m excited to see Roman Reigns at all anymore.
Austin Heiberg – Another chance for an Authority power play. I think Rollins gets a little help here and steals it.
Nathan Birch – I’m hoping this spills backstage and Ambrose bursts through a wall, Shockmaster-style, revealing that Rollins’ attack actually gave him eeerie powers over cinder blocks. Then, uh, Roman Reigns wins or something.
Jessica Hudnall – Unless Ambrose crawls out of the Money in the Bank briefcase to help the Handsome Prince, I’m thinking Rollins wins after extensive assistance from the corporate demon Kane (So he’s Lawful Evil?)
Ashley Burns – Needs more Dean Ambrose, bros. I’ll take Roman Reigns for the W.