Posted September 20th, 2014 by jshannon

Crystal Ball: Night of Champions 2014

Jay Shannon draws upon his predictive abilities to try and pick the winners and losers of an upcoming major wrestling event.

SummerSlam was filled with more surprises than could possibly be imagined. Night of Champions has the potential to follow suit. All the titles are up for grabs, as well as a few grudge matches. With my recent track record on picking winners, maybe I should make my picks (in my head) and then write down the opposite result. Nah! Smile.

Paige vs A.J. Lee vs Nikki Bella
Triple Threat for the Divas Title

Predictions: The bookers really dropped the ball on this one. It makes no sense, whatsoever, not to have Brie Bella in this match. It honestly cheapens a potential good match between Paige and A.J. to toss Nikki in the mix. Knowing the ridiculous booking that the WWE sometimes does, I would not be surprised to see Nikki walk out with the Butterfly Belt. That would set up the Sister vs Sister feud for the belt. Bad booking but pretty likely the route that this one will go.

Predicted Winner: Nikki Bella
Predicted Grade: 1.25 out of a possible 5

Mark Henry vs Rusev

WWE has been showing some weaknesses with Rusev, over the past few weeks. Sometimes a wrestler needs to lose to become stronger. It’s time for Rusev to fall. It would be good to build excitement with the crowd. Plus, the rematch would very likely bring a ton of attention to both men. Expect Mark to escape the Accolade, again, and plant Rusev with the World’s Strongest Slam. Lana may well try to distract Mark but the former Olympian will get the victory and the honor.

Predicted Winner: Mark Henry
Predicted Grade: 2.0

Dolph Ziggler vs The Miz
Intercontinental Title Match


Miz will certainly bring Damien Sandow (Miz-Dow) with him. Expect the Stunt Double (Damien) to get involved. I just don’t think Miz is going to take this one. Bad News Barrett should be returning soon and it would make more sense for him to battle Dolph. I could see a minor feud erupt between Damien and Miz, after Damien somehow costs Miz the match.

Predicted Winner: Dolph Ziggler
Predicted Score: 3.0

Sheamus vs Cesaro
United States Title Match


Sadly, the US title has lost most of its worth. Dean Ambrose barely defended it and Sheamus isn’t much better. The WWE seriously needs to decide if they want to push the strap or mothball it. If they want it to be recognizable as a legit title, put the belt on Cesaro and let him go on an anti-American campaign where he faces only Americans, to prove how weak the USA is. This will draw so much heat, which is always good for the ratings. Honestly, Creative should have had Sheamus facing Rusev. Maybe Sheamus will survive Cesaro, only to fall to Rusev. I doubt it, Sheamus drops the belt, on Sunday.

Predicted Winner (and New US Champ): Cesaro
Predicted Grade: 2.75

The Usos vs Dust2Dust (Gold and Star Dust)
Tag Team Title Match


IT’s normally not a good thing to keep a belt on a person or team for too long. Fans have, for the most part, short attention spans, as it relates to champions. Every time I make predictions, I keep saying that Gold and Star Dust will finally win the tag belts. With all the upcoming teams in NXT, as well as several good teams in WWE, Creative needs to keep the belts “fresh”. To do that, the odd Rhodes Brothers team really should gain the titles. A few weeks back, Creative had the perfect avenue for this, with Jey Uso being injured. Now he is supposedly fully healed. That throws a huge monkey wrench in this one. I still think the challengers are going to take this one.

Predicted Winners (and NEW Tag Team Champs): Dust2Dust
Predicted Grade: 3.5

Chris Jericho vs Randy Orton


Sunday is the final day on Jericho’s current contract. Having him win might be a nice exit present, but I don’t see it. Orton needs to build back up, if he plans to be kept in the title picture. The only way to do that would be with a decisive win over Y2J. Orton needs to dominate Jericho in this one, and I think he is going to.

Predicted Winner: Randy Orton
Predicted Grade: 3.0

Roman Reigns vs Seth Rollins

This match will most likely be cancelled, due to Roman Reigns’ emergency hernia surgery. Were it to have happened, I would have picked Seth to pull some kind of sneaky, underhanded move to take the win.

John Cena vs Brock Lesnar
WWE World Title Match


Most people, I think, expect Cena to pull a “Rocky”. They want him to come back from a hellacious beating to regain the title from the evil Brock Lesnar. Not going to happen. I’m thinking way beyond the end of the year as it relates to this one. Cena is going to put up a great fight, but will still fall to The Beast. Lesnar will continue to dominate through the end of the year. At Royal Rumble, Undertaker will return and take the Rumble. He will be on a Path of Redemption that ends with him taking the strap, one last time, from Lesnar at Wrestlemania 31. John will fade, just a tad, to let him finish his movie role and other assorted obligations. This match will not be nearly as lop-sided as that massacre at SummerSlam was. Cena might also do a “Starting Over” angle. He would begin by taking a secondary title, probably the US title. He would parlay that into a position in the tournament that would be held, following Undertaker’s retirement. Maybe I’m thinking just a little too deep for wrestling booking. I still think Lesnar is going to keep the belt and further his current image as the dominant force in (WWE) wrestling.

In Conclusion:

With the Roman/Seth match almost certainly getting pulled, I expect a match of two to be added, last minute. Bo Dallas vs Jack Swagger is the most likely candidate. I could also see them bringing in some of the NXT kids. I really think this show is going to be better-than-average. I have the evening off and will definitely be watching.


–Jay Shannon

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