The one thing almost everyone agrees on, regarding last weekâ€™s WWE draft, is that it made predictions for this Sundayâ€™s Night of Champions that much harder. But Inside Pulse has the best predictions team youâ€™ll find on the internet, so not even a draft that sends HORNSWAGGLE TO ECW and/or three mystery names in three different matches can scare us. Every title is on the line, yes, including both sets of tag titles (When was the last time that happened), but the new Divaâ€™s title match may not take place after all. Still, here goes.
Triple H (C) vs. John Cena
Andrew Wheeler: Well now it all makes sense, doesnâ€™t it? Why would the WWE rush a big-money main event during an always slow summer? Oh, thatâ€™s right, theyâ€™re moving one of them! Makes perfect sense. Now, considering who got moved where, telegraphing whoâ€™s going to be world champion now has two schools of thought. On the one hand, if Cena goes over, Edge goes over and Henry goes over then thereâ€™s no issue whatsoever. However, knowing that such an occurrence would be too cookie-cutter and the WWE likes to shake things up for shaking things up sake, they might want to swerve us and give us a title reversal. If Hunter were to keep the belt, they would surely need to change the design considering itâ€™s the â€œCenaâ€ design. Maybe moving Hunter was a catalyst for changing the beltâ€™s look organically rather than just do a harsh switch while itâ€™s still on RAW. That would mean face champion Hunter going against heel challenger Edge on Smackdown and face champion Batista going againstâ€¦face Cena? Cena as champion on RAW gives the WWE a few more options, namely a Jericho feud or a Batista heel turn. The cynic in me believed that Hunter set this up to get back his win from Mania, but upon further inspection that clearly isnâ€™t the case. Since Cena had his injury and he had to go film that movie, his schedule has been pretty tight, which meant no house showsâ€¦thus no world title. Since heâ€™s been out of the picture, heâ€™s jobbed in all of his title challenges and was engaged in a go-nowhere feud with JBL. The fans need to be reminded that Cena is a main eventer (what an odd concept considering who weâ€™re talking about here) and going over Hunter is a surefire way to do that. I guess this oneâ€™s a toss-up, but Iâ€™ll selfishly say that John goes over for the sole reason that he belongs with that belt. See, now THATâ€™s thinking like Creative.
Winner – John Cena
Mark Neeley: I originally thought there was no way that HHH would do another job to Cena. I have decided that, with Edge winning, Trips must lose, however I’m still convinced that it’ll be another clean job. In that circumstance, I’m predicting either Cena wins in fluke fashion or we get the long-anticipated Cena heel turn and he’ll use evil heel tactics to steal the win. Another scenario I can possibly think of is for HHH to win along with Edge, leaving both of the champs on SD, and that way HHH gets the “circa 2004” trade back to RAW out of desperation to give them a title. I think there is also the *slight* possibility of a Punk MITB cash-in here here if HHH wins so he then could bring the title back to RAW, but that’s just a second guess to Cena getting the fluke win.
Winner – Cena (via fluke rollup)
Matthew Michaels: Iâ€™m going to keep things simple; Cena wins, since heâ€™s a much bigger draw as champion – and gets bigger reactions from the fans as such – and since HHH chasing Edge on Smackdown is a fun little twist to the world title picture.
Winner – John Cena
Raffi Shamir: I donâ€™t want Cena to get the title just now. Like I wrote before Wrestlemania, I want them to take it slow and build towards a Cena title win in Wrestlemania 25. Also, I donâ€™t think theyâ€™ll want to dilute Triple Hâ€™s transfer to Smackdown by having him lose the title so soon (Unless they plan on him beating Edge soon for the title). I know itâ€™s along shot (As much as betting ON Triple H to win can be a long shot) but I see him winning here. Letâ€™s not forget that a Cena win will also put him in a 2-0 position over Triple H, and we canâ€™t have that.
Winner – Triple H
World Heavyweight Championship
Edge (C) vs. Batista
Andrew Wheeler: The end is heeerrreeeâ€¦ No more Edge/Batista main events! Huzzah for the shopkeep! With Dave getting fresh opponents on RAW and Edge gearing up for a summer of jobbing to Hunter, this is the final chapter in one of those dull rivalries that have just sort of existed for the better part of two years. Now considering I have Hunter dropping his belt to Cena, it makes sense that Edge would have to win his belt to keep the title around his waste. See, this is why having the Draft when they had it was so illogical. On the other hand, say Cena wins and Dave wins and Kane wins, then all three titles are on RAW. Unification, anyone? If ever there was a time, it would be now. Too bad it wonâ€™t happen. Ah well. This is my most listless Roundtable ever considering almost everything is either a foregone conclusion or a potential for a huge (read: stupid) swerve.
Winner – Edge
Mark Neeley: This PPV is based around one of two things happening. Edge losing or HHH losing. I give them credit because for the first time in a great while, I’m actually torn between two important picks. My initial thought after the draft was that Edge did the job here. However, now I’m convinced that it won’t be the case. The whole brand of SD is pretty much based around the La Familia angle they have going right now, and I highly doubt Edge loses the belt here after the long chase of Undertaker, and ruins all of that. Along those lines, I wouldn’t be surprised if Chavo won the US belt from Hardy so they’ll both have the belts, similar to how JBL and his chief of staff did it when they were in control of the show, perhaps even setting up the look-a-likes to win the tag belts (this is a stretch, but just an idea). Aside from all of this, at some point they have to give Edge a respectable title reign before he just goes and jobs it back to a Batista or a Cena like numerous of his previous reigns, let alone this is actually just his FIRST title defense this time around. After DAVE is taken care of, it opens up new (and probably pretty good) feuds with the likes of recently-drafted Kennedey and HHH. As for Batista, well, he can go over and feud with Cena.
Winner â€“ Edge
Matthew Michaels: I have Cena beating HHH, so that means Edge beats DAVE, to even the title situation out. Iâ€™d say the result of whichever match goes on first will make the second one obvious, but what aboutâ€¦ Batista helping Cena win and turning on HHH to start a program on Raw to end the show? For that to make sense, a loss here is the way to go.
Winner – Edge
Raffi Shamir: Since I picked Triple H tom keep his title, I must bet against Edge here, so Raw will have its own main championship. I know many people hate Batista as champion, but I think heâ€™s netter with the title than without it. I can see him winning here, facing different challengers (Jericho, Kane, HBK, Punk) through the next year and then dropping the title to Cena at Wrestlemania, in one of the few money matches that havenâ€™t been done yet.
Winner – Batista
Kane (C) vs. Big Show vs. Mark Henry
Andrew Wheeler: Since the WWE has apparently either been booking on the fly or thought the Draft randomizer was real, they didnâ€™t realize that neither Kane nor the Big Show are on ECW. And having the ECW champion appearing only on RAW kinda hurts the credibility of ECW. Who am I kidding? ECW has no credibility. Big Showâ€™s a Smackdown guy, and being a Smackdown guy means that he wonâ€™t be able to work Monday and Tuesday nights, especially considering heâ€™s always been a bit of a primadonna. Who does that leave? Mark Henry. Ugh. By default he has to be the new ECW champion. Unless Punk somehow gets involved. That would be wacky, right? Then again, the true amount of wackiness would be if Edge retains and Hunter retains and Punk decides to go after one of those belts to bring it to RAW. Now THAT would make him a legit main eventer. Will they do it? No. What are we going to wind up with? World Champion Mark Henry. And to think some people thought the n-word had only a negative effect.
Winner – Mark Henry
Mark Neeley: Man, Henry being added to make it a triple threat just adds so much new depth to the match. I don’t see Kane extending his run or Big Show winning it again having any relevance. I guess they might as well put the belt on Henry unless they’re going to have him just come out and squash Nunzio and Tommy Dreamer every week. People, as if they care, would not expect it either as he was just added to the match after the supplemental draft. Whoever wins will end up feuding with Matt Hardy soon enough.
Winner â€“ Mizark
Matthew Michaels: With it looking like ECW and Smackdown staying paired up for the time being, ECWâ€™s Henry or SDâ€™s Show can both win this one. I think it makes more sense to put the belt on Henry, since he doesnâ€™t need to be as protected as Big Show, and can job to more of a variety of opponent when the time comes.
Winner – Mark Henry
Raffi Shamir: Originally I picked Big Show to win here. Iâ€™m going to stick with it, especially after reading the news that SD and ECW may continue to tour together.
Winner – Big Show
World Tag Team Championship match
Hardcore Holly & Cody Rhodes (C) vs. Ted DiBiase & ???
Andrew Wheeler: Sorry DH Smith, your potential badass Third Generation faction has been killedâ€¦again. First it was the New Hart Foundation of you, TJ, Natalia and one of the other Hart kids. Then it was going to be all that and Ted Jr. Then TJ got canned and Natalia wound up on Smackdown. Fear not, youâ€™ll be withâ€¦oh waitâ€¦you got busted for Wellness. Bravo, dumbass. Now youâ€™re no longer going to be ???. So whoâ€™s it going to be to fill in? Howâ€™s this forâ€¦gaspâ€¦logic? What about Lance Cade? Heâ€™s a new main event-esque guy, a young gun and Jerichoâ€™s protÃ©gÃ©. Put him with Jericho and Teddy Jr. in a heel stable and throw in Cody Rhodes and maybe weâ€™ve got something going here. It doesnâ€™t matter who they put in that mystery role because Holly and Rhodes are going to drop the belts because theyâ€™re dull, theyâ€™re stale and frankly I forgot they were even champions. Ted and ??? can now feud with Cryme Time or whatever else makeshift face team they put Paul London in.
Winner – Ted Dibiase and Punctuation (Lance Cade)
Mark Neeley: Unless they plan on continuing the feud, which by no means do they need to, this is an obvious win for DiBiase and the big MYSTERY partner. They would be stupid to keep the tag straps on Bob and Rhodes, who, at this point are about as exciting as The Basham Brothers.
Winners – Ted DiBiase & Mystery Partner
Matthew Michaels: My original thought was DiBiaseâ€™s partner would be another son-of-a-wrestler like Harry Smith or Carlitoâ€¦ both who are now on Smackdown. Other 2nd or 3rd generation superstars include Orton (hurt), Chavo (ECW) and who else? Deuce (Snuka, Jr.)? Nah. And it canâ€™t be Cody, right? Iâ€™m gonna say Cody turns on Holly, and forms a team with DiBiase and his partner (going out on a limb here)â€¦ Afa, Jr.?
Winners – DiBiase & partner
Raffi Shamir: Whomever Dibiaseâ€™s partner is, theyâ€™re going to win here. The buildup mandates it. I can see them pairing him with a repackaged Deuce, and then have Rhodes turn on Holly to start the rumored â€œSecond Generationâ€ stable.
Winners – Dibiase and co.
WWE Tag Team Championship match
John Morrison & The Miz (C) vs. Finlay & Hornswoggle
Andrew Wheeler: Really? Really? If Miz and Morrison lose to Finlay and Hornswoggle, itâ€™s grounds for us finding Creative and beating them with sacks of oranges. Miz and Morrison are the hottest act in wrestling, while Finlay and his bastard kid are dull and worn out their welcome. Considering all four of these guys are on ECW, whoever wins is going to have to drop the belts once ECW becomes part of RAW, so why kill Miz and Morrisonâ€™s momentum now? Unless the WWE is going to hotshot the belts from Finlay and Hornswoggle to Hawkins and Ryder, but why would they do that? Oh yeahâ€¦
Winner – John Morrison and The Miz
Mark Neeley: Morrison & The Miz have a good thing going as far as I’m concerned and I hope they don’t feel like they have to break them up now, just like they just did, well, Cade & Murdoch, Deuce ‘n Domino, the list goes on. The only exception I have to my pick is if they possibly jobbed the titles to Finlay and the midget who would then get beat by the Edge look-a-likes to give them all of the titles, but I doubt it. Aside from that, it would be a disappointing end to their title reign, even with how pointless the tag titles are in this company.
Winners – John Morrison & The Miz
Matthew Michaels: Oh I donâ€™t really care. Keep the belts on Miz & Morrison until itâ€™s time to break up the team, I say.
Winners – Miz & Morrison
Raffi Shamir: God no. Anything but Finlay and Hornswoggle beating Miz and Morrison. I love Miz and Morrison, theyâ€™re the only reason to watch ECW. Not only are they good on the stick, they more than back it up in the ring. Keep the titles on them and only have them lose to a formidable duo, not the one theyâ€™re facing tonight.
Winners – Miz and Morrison
United States Championship match
Matt Hardy (C) vs. Chavo Guerrero
Andrew Wheeler: â€¦Chavo with the gold as a part of La Familia makes sense if Hawkins and Ryder have the tag gold since the entire Family would be golden. World Champion, tag champions and US champion all under one banner? Sounds like a hell of a feat. Plus, freeing Matt from the US Title means he can go on to the ECW Title. Yep, Iâ€™d buy it.
Winner – Chavo Guerrero
Mark Neeley: Pretty simple formula here assuming Edge retains the title, which I think he will. Matt has been drafted to ECW, he’ll most likely be going for that belt soon. Chavo wins this and brings the US title back to Edge and the family so they’ll hold all of the show’s singles goldin ultra-heel fashion. The US belt will have just been a stepping stone to give him a push after he returned. There will be plenty of fresh mid-card competition for the belt now, with Carlito, Benjamin, Murdoch, etc.
Winner – Chavo Guerrero
Matthew Michaels: Matt keeps it.
Winner – Matt Hardy
Raffi Shamir: Since I picked Edge to lose his gold, I think La Familia needs something to replace it. While the US title is hardly a substitute, itâ€™s the best way to keep interest in the stable and bring the championship back to Smackdown. As for Hardy â€“ I can only hope that heâ€™ll challenge for the ECW championship soon, perhaps in a series of matches against Morrison.
Winner – Chavo Guerrero
WWE Women’s Championship match
Mickie James (C) vs. Katie Lea Burchill
Andrew Wheeler: So Mickieâ€™s now Cenaâ€™s girlfriend? Okayâ€¦sure. Her and Katie Lea have legs, and with no other strong face to challenge Ms. Burchill, it makes sense to have Mickie get a count-out win or something to continue the feud and allow Burchill to maintain her claim that Mickie never pinned her. Katie Lea & Paul v. Mickie and Cena means Paul gets one hell of a rub, FYI.
Winner – Mickie James
Mark Neeley: Since they haven’t really been going anywhere with the Burchills at all, I don’t see a point in Mickie dropping it. She’ll be one of the few who retains their title on this show.
Winner – Mickie James
Matthew Michaels: I like Katie.
Winner – Burchill
Raffi Shamir: Katie Lee Who? Sorry, but she hasnâ€™t really done anything to make her interesting or championship worthy just yet. Perhaps if she attacks Mickie after she loses to prolong the feud and add some interest, leading to a rematch, this might work.
Winner – Mickie James
WWE Divas Championship
Natalya Neidhart v. ???
Andrew Wheeler: And Punctuation, fresh off his tag win with Ted Dibiase, moves on to become the next Divas champion. This will probably be Michelle McCool and weâ€™ll get a nice little match to boot. While giving it to Natalya makes sense storyline wise, getting to say that McCool is the first ever Divas champion is something they can hang around her neck for years to come.
Winner – ??? Michelle McCool
Matthew Michaels: Iâ€™m guessing sheâ€™s face McCool, and win in time to be paired up with her cousin,
Harry DH Smith.
Winner – Natalya
Raffi Shamir: I think Maria would be a good contender here and having her in that match would actually make her transfer to Smackdown stick out among the rest of the meaningless transfers in the draft. But I donâ€™t see her winning.
Winner – Natalya
WWE Intercontinental Championship
Chris Jericho v. ???
Andrew Wheeler: After picking up the tag and Divaâ€™s championship, ??? goes on to face Chris Jericho. Well itâ€™s gotta be HBK if it happens, but with no build-up, my guess is Shawn comes to the ring in a jaunty eye patch and is not allowed to compete. So that means either Jericho wins by forfeit and beats down Michaels or we get a replacement guy to defend Shawnâ€™s honor, like maybe a not used Jeff Hardy?
Winner – Chris Jericho
Matthew Michaels: I donâ€™t even know if this match will happen. If itâ€™s against HBK, I think Jericho keeps the belt, maybe by DQ. That programâ€™s long from over. Maybe one of the new Raw wrestlers will challenge him and WIN with help from Michaels. Hmmâ€¦ Okay, letâ€™s go with that. Who will it be? How about C â€¦ M â€¦ PUNK. Yeah.
Winner – Not-Jericho
Mark Neeley: I’m predicting it could be three challengers: Punk, Mysterio, or Kofi. The first two are more likely and it seems like they would want to put Punk on this card, so I’ll go with that.
Winner – CM Punk
Raffi Shamir: It wonâ€™t be HBK. Thatâ€™s too easy and too soon. If I were a betting man, Iâ€™d put my money on either CM Punk or Kofi Kingston, with Punk being top pick (Though I still think heâ€™s hasnâ€™t done anything yet in WWE to show what made him such a huge hit in ROH and I still call him overrated). HBK may turn up to help the challenger win and brawl with Y2J, but not more.
Winner – CM Punk
Thatâ€™s what we think. Check Pulse Wrestling later tonight for live coverage of WWE Night of Champions.
Tags: ECW, Night of Champions, Pay Per View, Raw, Smackdown, WWE