WWE 2012: Night of Champions Preview and Predictions

By Benjamin Woodward

On Sunday evening, World Wrestling Entertainment will return to Boston’s TD Garden for their annual Night of Champions pay-per-view event. This unique night on the wrestling calendar features a full seven-match card in which every championship in the company will be on the line. Here is a complete list of Sunday’s contests along with my prediction below.

Layla (C) vs. KaitlynDiva’s Championship

— This is really a tough one to predict as the Diva’s don’t exactly get a whole heck of a lot of television time, at least on Raw that is. I see this match being a bout between an established commodity and a relative unknown. Layla is solid on the mic, holds her own in the ring and can be used successfully as both a heel and a face. Kaitlyn, on the hand, hasn’t quite formed a distinctive persona. This one could go either way, but I’d expect them to keep the strap with Layla until a more intense female feud arises.

PredictionLayla – Confidence Level – 55%

Antonio Cesaro (C) vs. Pre-Show Battle Royal WinnerUnited States Championship

— Cesaro’s current feud has featured former U.S. champion Santino Marella’s “cobra” being obsessed with Cesaro’s lady friend Aksana, often costing Marella chances to regain his title. I’m not exactly a huge fan of Cesaro’s character. He’s a solid in-ring performer, but under his current gimmick, its going to be hard for him to pick up much heel heat through simply speaking a plethora of foreign languages. I’d expect Marella to pick up the victory in the pre-show battle royal to get the crowd ready for the night with a solid pop for one of the fan favorites. A couple of dark horses in the battle royal would be Tyson Kidd and Brodus Clay after their promo with Cesaro this week on Friday Night Smackdown. However, I don’t think that they’re ready to give up on Cesaro’s push just yet. The only way I see him dropping the belt Sunday is IF they decide to put him up against the undefeated Ryback.

PredictionAntonio Cesaro – Confidence Level – 80%

Kofi Kingston and R-Truth (C) vs. Daniel Bryan and KaneUnified Tag Team Championship

— I’m a big fan of the Prime Time Players and was a bit disappointed to see them dropped from their title match this past week on Raw. These two are very good in the ring and I believe have the necessary charisma to hold the belts. Maybe one day… Now, on to the match on tap… The Kane/Daniel Bryan anger management angle has been, well, different. Never before have I ever see two men forced to “hug it out” on live cable television. This story has been so unpredictable that I cannot even fathom a guess as to what will go down in their match against the tag champs on Sunday. However, if they want to continue with the originality of this angle, they’ll probably be giving the belts to Bryan and Kane, as opposed to the two beginning yet another brawl against one another.

PredictionDaniel Bryan and Kane – Confidence Level – 85%

The Miz (C) vs. Sin Cara vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Rey MysterioIntercontinental Championship

— Honestly, I get the sense that this match was really just thrown together at the last minute. With most of the company’s mid-level face guys already entrenched in storylines of their own, The Miz was left without a dance partner for Night of Champions. Sin Cara and Mysterio have already established a solid feud with Rhodes over Cody’s obsession with masks. It seems like these three were added to the IC title match to continue their own battles and because there wasn’t anymore room on the card for a separate bout. Thus meaning that none of them will likely walk out of the Garden as champion on Sunday.

PredictionThe Miz – Confidence Level – 95%

Dolph Ziggler (w/ Vickie Guerrero) vs. Randy OrtonSingles Match

— Buckle up, folks, because this one is going to be a barn-burner. While it is true that we’ve seen this match-up twice before (both matches were quite superb), Ziggler and Orton never fail to disappoint on the big stage. Both men are excellent in-ring performers as well as tremendous entertainers with the microphone in their hand, and in my opinion, both deserve to be in the World Heavyweight Championship discussion. The veteran Orton doesn’t need this match nearly as much as Ziggler does. Randy Orton will always be Randy Orton and will always be able to main event pay-per-views against just about anyone. Ziggler, on the other hand, needs this victory, and he needs it cleanly. He must prove that he can beat the best of the best before stepping up to the big-time when he eventually cashes in his Money in The Bank briefcase and immediately becomes a major player in the World title hunt.

PredictionDolph Ziggler – Confidence Level – 60%

Sheamus (C) vs. Alberto Del Rio (w/ Ricardo Rodriguez)World Heavyweight Championship

— This should be another great match between ADR and Sheamus with the World Championship on the line. The only problem is, we’ve seen it about 87 times. Well, that’s an exaggeration, but for the better part of the entire summer, fans have been force-fed Sheamus vs. Del Rio. These two do work quite well together, but enough is simply enough. It is time for both of these competitors to move on, and in order for that to happen, Sheamus must defeat Del Rio cleanly to remove any and all controversy from the feud. I think that will be the case on Sunday, with the Celtic Warrior retaining his crown.

PredictionSheamus – Confidence Level – 75%

CM Punk (c) vs. John CenaWWE Championship

— The show’s main event will feature West Newbury, MA native John Cena taking on long-reigning WWE Champion CM Punk. Cena and Punk have been feuding for quite some time now, and likely will continue to do so for at least the next couple of months leading up until the reintroduction of The Rock at the end of the year. Adding Paul Heyman as CM Punk’s manager is most certainly an interesting angle that has a lot of future potential. I think that this match could really go either way. John Cena will likely have the hometown Boston crowd behind him, but CM Punk will be looking for a signature victory on his 300-day championship reign. If Punk does indeed drop the strap on Sunday, his lengthy title reign will not have gone for naught. Punk has now reached the point where he can main event a pay-per-view against anyone on the roster and not look out of place. That is a major accomplishment, as the WWE now has the benefit of yet another mega-star alongside Cena, Randy Orton and The Undertaker.

PredictionCM Punk – Confidence Level – 51%

No matter which way you slice it, folks, this Sunday’s Night of Champions should be one heck of an event. The loaded lineup card should provide fans with a lot of solid wrestling action, as well as a  few unexpected surprises. In what would be the shocker of the night, Mr. Money in The Bank Dolph Ziggler may decide to cash in his World Heavyweight Championship match contract at some point during the evening. This might be possible if Sheamus is decimated by an angered ADR after their match or by a returning Wade Barrett.

Enjoy the show everyone, I’ll be back on Monday with a complete recap of the night’s events.

Thanks For Reading!

Follow: @_BWoodward

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