Night of Champions wasn’t particularly brilliant. As the one night to have all championships on the line, it did not live up to the hype. However, it did lay the foundations for some good feuds in the upcoming Hell in a Cell PPV.
Here are my predictions of how the card may look.
John Cena vs Brock Lesnar
(Hell in a Cell for World Heavyweight Championship)
This seemed like a no brainer. While this will be Cena and Lesnar’s fourth PPV, this functions as a closure of a trilogy, with the standard ending – a victory for Cena.
This match won’t end totally cleanly. Or rather, the match can end cleanly, but instead of just writing off. Something important has to happen afterwards on the night. If the Cena/Lesnar feud ends, it can’t finish with Lesnar passed out in the middle of the ring. A new feud needs to begin before cutting to credits.
In an ideal world, that night will function as the beginning of a new feud for Lesnar with Randy Orton. It doesn’t seem that outlandish for Orton, being on the premises with Evolution (who are congratulating Lesnar for his win), turning babyface by shockingly beating the hell out of worn out Lesnar. Orton needs to turn babyface, and they can have a month or two to themselves, before a Triple Threat match between Cena, Lesnar and Orton is built.
However, I became slightly unsure about this potential shock ending during the post-NOC Raw. Closing on Cena vs Orton, says that that Triple Threat match is already being built. This means that it’s possible that HIAC could instead house the Triple Threat match. I think it’s coming eventually, and I think Randy Orton surprisingly turning his back on Evolution at HIAC would be a great way for it to happen.
Unfortunately, Cena will have closed three PPVs looking weak, and two other superstars will gain from it, which is highly unlikely.
Who should win?: Brock Lesnar
Who will win?: John Cena
Seth Rollins vs Dean Ambrose
(Hell in a Cell for the MITB Briefcase)
After Night of Champions, I was unusually hesitant about this one. I thought HIAC would have been the moment where the tangle between all three ex-Shield members began, and that the absence of Reigns would simply delay this plot. That it might take until Survivor Series for the last one-on-one match between Ambrose and Rollins before Reigns becomes fully part of a Triple Threat feud.
We get it. Ambrose and Rollins don’t like each other, but for weeks and weeks, however entertaining, it’s simply been Seth Rollins being a run of the mill dick, and Ambrose pummeling him at any possible opportunity. Ambrose is out for revenge, but Rollins needs something to really be vengeful against Ambrose for. I’m going to say that this is for the contract.
I would like to think that Seth Rollins’ messy invasion at the end of Night of Champions was a reminder of the case’s importance, drawing maximum attention to it, therefore making it part of the feud.
Ambrose and Rollins can’t seem to keep a match inside a ring (the idea of a Lumberjack match is that there is no way out, which turned out not to be the case at Summerslam), or avoid any interference from Kane. If this match happens in the cell, it will be a brilliant opportunity to prove their worth without the novelty of big pops.
This, unlike Cena/Lesnar, does not have to function as a finale, especially as an amazing match waiting to happen between the two (or perhaps three if Reigns fancies joining in) at TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs.
Who should win?: Dean Ambrose
Who will win?: Dean Ambrose
Dolph Ziggler vs Bray Wyatt (w/ Luke Harper and Erick Rowan)
(For Intercontinental Championship)
Another much-needed revival. Ziggler won that Intercontinental Championship cleanly. There was no R-Truth on premises. It is a relatively safe guess that the affiliations of the entire Miz feud are over. It is time for something entirely new, as he is alone. He needs a new rival, and the general consensus is that Bray Wyatt is, or at least should be, next.
It’s disappointing that Wyatt has had a significant step down, especially considering a rivalry against WWE darling Cena, but for the time being, this is the highest ranked vacancy for a feud. It’s either this, or nothing. Wyatt really needs this.
We know just how brilliant some of Ziggler’s matches have been recently, especially on Raw against Bad News Barrett. Wyatt and Ziggler need a match like that, but as the ‘character’ of Wyatt is so important, will WWE Creative let Wyatt have a clean and entertaining match? They can, but probably won’t.
He should also win cleanly. As we have seen in the past, for example in his brilliant victory of Daniel Bryan at Royal Rumble 2014, he can work great matches without cheating. Unfortunately, I imagine that WWE will use dirtiness to revive Wyatt’s evil nature, even though it isn’t needed. I imagine that this will be an intervention by Harper and Rowan, and although Wyatt loses, is satisfied with the unconscious Ziggler. After all, Wyatt doesn’t seem to be after championships.
Who should win?: Bray Wyatt
Who will win?: Dolph Ziggler (by disqualification, after intervention by Harper and Rowan)
Sheamus vs Cesaro
(Falls Count Anywhere For US Championship)
I really wanted this to be Sheamus vs Bray Wyatt, as Wyatt needs a more serious figure to be in a feud with. However, Sheamus vs Cesaro was the biggest surprise of Night of Champions, and the fact that they had another face-off on Raw, says that they are going to be at each other’s throats for at least a few more weeks. This was brilliant, bringing much needed attention to a lower ranked belt, and providing a revival for Cesaro’s career.
Sheamus has defeated Cesaro twice in two nights. HIAC will bring a big win for Cesaro.
As for the ‘Falls Count Anywhere’ stipulation, I feel that as Hell in a Cell is all about confining wrestlers to the ring, that at least one match that doesn’t take place in the sell, will venture a long way from the ring. It’s a current habit by WWE, especially with ex-Shield members, but if they are staying in the cell, then this will be the match to have the FCA rule.
Who should win?: Cesaro
Who will win?: Cesaro
Goldust and Stardust vs The Usos
(For the Tag Team Championship)
In short, a rematch that can provide closure to the current feud between the two teams. I would have liked the Wyatts to get involved, and to win, but I think that it will take one more PPV for them to participate for the Tag Team title again.
I don’t want The Usos to win, primarily for the welfare of Luke Harper and Erick Rowan. If The Usos win, there is minimal chance of a Wyatt Family tag-team revival, as that feud is definitely over. I would prefer that the Dust Brothers keep hold of the Tag Team Championship, to give the Wyatts a different champion figure to battle against.
Who should win?: Goldust and Stardust
Who will win?: The Usos
Brie Bella vs Nikki Bella
If only for there to be a championship not to be on the line. This has been teased forever, and while nobody really wants to see this for its content, they still want to see it… if only so it’s over and done with. A PPV battle could bring this as spectacular a closure as this is going to get, and considering the fixation with this on RAW, I don’t imagine WWE will let this go quietly.
I think that Brie Bella will win this match, functioning somewhat as a revival for her, only for the feud to continue for a while longer. I imagine that this will be a total mess that would result in AJ Lee and Paige appearing, potentially leading to a tag team tangle another day: AJ Lee/A Bella vs Paige/The Other Bella?
Who should win?: Brie Bella
Who will win?: Brie Bella
Rusev vs Big Show
We get it. Rusev is a beast, having managed to defeat Mark Henry twice. Now it’s time for a singles match against the final boss. Henry’s connections with Big Show will lead to this match.
Big Show winning is not good for the long-term career of Rusev, as this match functions once again as a superstar who just won’t disappear, burying newer talent. However, the fact that Rusev has been portrayed as invincible over the last few months, say that there is nobody better to end that run, than a seven-foot monster.
Who should win?: Big Show
Who will win?: Big Show