Night of Champions Preview & Predictions!

The Katz Files – Arnie Katz
Night of Champions: Preview & Predictions!
The Kingfish Arnie Katz gets you ready for WWE’s pay per view event!.

Night of Champions, WWE’s late-July pay per view, is the transition show that leads to one of WWE’s second-biggest event of the year, >I>SummerSlam. The company has found it hard to put together hot-weather attractions and is experimenting this year with some new approaches.

This PPV is a distant cousin of the old WCW Clash of Champions concept. Skeptics to the contrary notwithstanding, but putting almost all the titles on the line in matches that feature legitimate contenders looks like a potential winner. It sure looks like a strong card with plenty of in-ring action.

Let’s look at the scheduled matches and delves into what fans might expect from Night of Champions.

Maryse vs. Mickie James
Divas Championship
The Story: It’s a matter of timing. Mickie James has pinned the champion several times since Maryse joined RAW, It’s her bad timing that none of them has come in a singles match for Maryse’s title. Until now. Mickie James feels she has Maryse’s number – something a lot of guys would like to be able to say 00 but – but a feeling can’t become a fact until Mickie does it in this match.

My Prediction: The best reason for a Mickie James win would be to have the announcers remind us of the title change for the rest of the show. The longer the card goes before this match, the more likely Maryse is to retain her title. Since I think this will be the first or second contest, my pick is Mickie James.

Predicted Grade: B-

Kofi Kingston vs. The Big Show vs. The Miz vs. Carlito vs. MVP vs. Jack Swagger
United States Championship
The Story: The odds are stacked heavily against Kofi Kingston as he tried to retain the US Championship in this field of voracious challengers. The only other babyface in the match, MVP, is as eager to take the title as any of the heels. Kofi Kingston has done some miraculous things in the ring, but even magic may not be enough

My Prediction: There’s no sense giving the belt to Big Show, because then they’d have to do something hokey down the road to get it off him. Kofi is pretty likely to lose the belt, even though he may well not suffer the pin. If I was booking, I’d put the strap back on MVP, but a Jack Swagger win would set up him versus MVP, which might be even better. The All-American American will be the new US Champion.

Predicted Grade: B+

Christian vs. Tommy Dreamer
ECW Championship match
The Story: Tommy Dreamer waited a long time for a title reign and he is making the most of it in ECW. Christian and he are long-time friends, but friendship generally gets put on the back burner when there is fame and glory on the menu. Capt. Charisma wants the title almost as much as Dreamer and he has the tools to make it happen. Still, Dreamer has confounded the experts for months, so the issue is far from decided.

My Prediction: This could turn into more of a vehicle for Kozlov than for either of the actual combatants. It will be a long, hard-fought match until Kozlov comes to the ring and decks both of them. The referee will call it a No Contest.

Predicted Grade: A-

Rey Mysterio vs. Dolph Ziggler
Intercontinental Championship
The Story: Apparently satisfied that everyone knows his name, Ziggler now wants to grab some gold, specifically Mysterio’s Intercontinental Championship. The challenger is brash, but he is also skilled and quite a bit larger than the Masked Marvel. Will the wily veteran defeat he eager youngster? We’ll have to wait for the PPV to learn the answer.

My Prediction: Sooner or later, WWE has got to find out whether or not Ziggler is worth anything. A run with a minor title is a logical way to do that, so I look for a major upset here. Mysterio probably gets his rematch at SummerSlam.

Predicted Grade: B

Chris Jericho & Mystery Partner vs. Legacy
Unified Tag Team Championship Match
The Story: Chris Jericho and Edge have defeated Legacy, but Edge is sidelined with an injury. That means Jericho will have to defend the gold with a new sidekick. That could be all Legacy needs to finally regain the title they lost before DiBiase’s injury.

My Prediction: The mystery partner will turn out to be Chris Masters. The champions will lose the belts due to their lack of experience as partners.

Predicted Grade: B+

CM Punk vs. Jeff Hardy
World Heavyweight Championship
The Story: The World Heavyweight title is at stake, but this is also an intensely personal confrontation. CM Punk took the strap from Jeff Hardy moments after the Charismatic Enigma had finally regained the prize. Now Jeff has another chance to reclaim what he lost.

My Prediction: CM Punk will turn back the challenge of the former champion. This might be the hottest match on the card.

Predicted Grade: A

Randy Orton vs. John Cena vs. Triple H
WWE Championship
Triple Threat Rules
The Story: Their motives are different, but all three participants in this match have shown a willingness to do anything necessary to get the title. Randy Orton has the belt, but both Triple H and John Cena want to get back to the top spot. In addition, there’s the long-standing feud between Orton and the McMahon family. It’s going to be a wild, wild main event.

My Prediction: This looks like the right time for Randy Orton to drop the title, but the question is: to whom? I think it’s going to be a Triple H-vs.-Cena main event at SummerSlam, and it won’t make all that much difference which of the two will actually tote the gold into the ring for that one. All things being equal, I’ll bank on a victory for the Only True Son-in-Law, Triple H.

Predicted Grade: A

Predicted Grade for Night of Champions: B+

That’s it for today. I’ll be back on Monday with another installment of the Internet’s fastest-rising daily wrestling column. I’ll have the recap and analysis of Night of Champions and you’ll be able to laugh at my predictions.

— Arnie Katz
Executive Editor
[email protected]
(7/24/09)