Below is the final card for tonight’s Night of Champions PPV (Sunday 9/16/12) airing live from the TD Garden in John Cena’s hometown area of Boston, Mass., which is headlined by Cena vs. WWE Champion CM Punk and features title defenses for every championship currently active in WWE. The final card also includes Kane and Daniel Bryan challenging R-Boom for the WWE Tag Team Titles and Alberto Del Rio vs. Sheamus for the World Heavyweight Championship with Sheamus’ Brogue Kick still banned from being used. The complete lineup is below, along with my snapshot thoughts:
Night of Champions PPV Pre-Show Match:
Battle Royal to name No. 1 Contender to U.S. Champion Antonio Cesaro
CB’s Slant: I like the idea of a pre-show battle royal to determine the challenger for Antonio Cesaro later on in the night at the actual PPV. It’s a nice little hook to try and get folks who watch the pre-show to order the PPV, or at least check out the results online and talk about it with their friends. As for the match itself, I’m sure it will be filled with various lower card superstars like Zack Ryder, Santino Marella and the usual cast of characters like Brodus Clay. However, something tells me that this might also be an excuse to not only get Ryback on the PPV, but to give him a little bit of a step up in competition as well. Maybe Ryback will even dump Brodus over the ropes to win the whole thing, too.
Night of Champions PPV Final Card:
Divas Champion Layla vs. Kaitlyn
CB’s Slant: Ah, yes. This is the only night of the year where the Divas are actually guaranteed to be featured in an actual championship match, which I am sure frequent Pulse Wrestling commenter “Cynical Bastard” appreciates (see the comments section here to see what I am referring to). As for the match itself, I have a feeling this will end up being more about Eve’s meddling than the match itself. I think Eve sees Kaitlyn as the weaker link and will manipulate the match so that Kaitlyn wins her first Divas Championship. Eve will then end her recent run of fake celebrating by laying out Kaitlyn, setting up their match for a throwaway episode of Saturday Morning Slam, or something.
United States Champion Antonio Cesaro vs. Pre-Show Battle Royal Winner (CB says Ryback)
CB’s Slant: Since I am calling Ryback to win the pre-show battle royal, it may be obvious to say that Cesaro would then drop the U.S. title to someone who has seemed unstoppable. However, I think Cesaro will retain the belt thanks to outside interference or via countout. You know what I would love, actually? To see ALL of the jobbers Ryback has laid out come back to interfere to let Cesaro slip away, and then Ryback just destroys them one more time for good measure. Hey, it’s better than a dance off, right?
Winner: No contest (or irrelevant outcome), but Cesaro retains the US title either way
Intercontinental Champion The Miz vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Sin Cara vs. Cody Rhodes
CB’s Slant: The Miz seems to be slowly being built back up, and with his recent interactions with Cody Rhodes and his guest spot on Raw commentary, are they perhaps testing a face turn for Miz? Either way…
Winner: The Miz
Randy Orton vs. Dolph Ziggler
CB’s Slant: The only non-title match on the main card is a pretty good one if you ask me. I think Randy Orton and Dolph Ziggler have good chemistry in the ring together, and Orton just might be the established star that Ziggler needs to work with to get truly elevated to the next level himself. Unlike Blair A. Douglas, and like James Sawyer, I think Dolph is on the cusp of stardom, and that’s why I give him the nod here to take down The Viper.
Winner: Dolph Ziggler
WWE Tag Team Champions R-Truth & Kofi Kingston vs. Kane & Daniel Bryan
CB’s Slant: This is one of my favorite matches on the card. You have two tag teams that may have started as makeshift factions but both units have done a pretty good job becoming entertaining and fun to watch. I actually did feel bad for The Prime Time Players getting bumped out of this match, but I have a feeling that they will make their presence felt here and cost R-Boom the titles. It’s not like Kane and Daniel Bryan really need their help, but I think this will end with Team Anger Management winning and then turning on The PTP’ers while they are still at ring-side. Of course, that will prompt Dr. Shelby to come out and try to calm them down … but will that work this time?
Winners: Team Anger Management
World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio
CB’s Slant: Yes, the Brogue Kick is banned, but as Mike Gojira pointed out to Kelly Floyd, “OH NOES! HOW CAN SHEAMUS WIN WITH ONLY THREE OTHER FINISHERS IN HIS ARSENAL?!”. My thoughts exactly, Mike. Celtic Cloverleaf anyone?
WWE Champion CM Punk vs. John Cena
CB’s Slant: This is THE MATCH that everyone who bought tickets in Boston or orders Night of Champions tonight is paying to see. John Cena made a great case last Monday night as to why CM Punk preached about change last year but was really only in it for himself, and the picture he painted certainly cast Punk clearly as the heel in this fight. That’s not to say that the feisty Boston crowd will agree with Cena or even back him in this match, since they have a history of going against their hometown homeboy. In fact, one can make a case that the crowd reaction is something that can really turn this contest into something truly special because no matter what side they choose the energy level will be off the charts.
When all is said and done, I just don’t think it is the right time for CM Punk to lose the WWE Championship. After all, Punk has just reestablished himself as a heel and he’s also just aligned himself with none other than the lightning rod known as Paul Heyman. I am sure these two will have something up their sleeves to make sure that CM Punk leaves the TD Garden as the WWE Champion, and rather than speculate what that could be I am simply going to tune in and see how it all unfolds with no expectations other than Heyman and Punk finding Super Cena’s Kryptonite … hopefully.
Winner: CM Punk
That’s all from me — CB.
What do you think will happen at Night of Champions and what do you think of the final card? Sound off in the comments section below!