Powell's WWE Night of Champions preview and predictions: Will Daniel Bryan avoid the obvious screwjob to win the WWE Title? Will C.M. Punk get his hands on Paul Heyman?
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By Jason Powell
Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan for the WWE Championship: WWE never bothered to answer the obvious question of why fans should believe this will be a fair fight. Thus, even if Bryan wins the title, they left money on the table by not convincing viewers that there was a strong chance he would win. My buddy Brian Fritz of BetweenTheRopes.com told me this week that Bryan winning the title here is logical because there's really no way to explain why he would receive future title shots, which we all assume he will. I certainly agree that it's the most logical route, but there are simply too many gaps in the top storyline lately to make me believe that creative is making logic a real priority. My guess is Bryan gets screwed here with something involving a reluctant Big Show, and then Shawn Michaels pops up on television and somehow forces his best friend to give his best pupil another shot.
Randy Orton retains the WWE Championship.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Rob Van Dam for the World Heavyweight Championship. I'm praying that Ricardo Rodriguez turns on his numero uno amigo to regain his spot as Del Rio's man servant. There's zero chemistry between RVD and Ricardo, and Ricardo's personal ring introduction works great for Del Rio, yet is somehow a letdown for RVD compared to his great entrance theme playing. I don't see an obvious future challenger waiting in the wings, so I assume whatever happens here leads to a rematch next month. In fact, I think both of the title feuds carry over to Battleground and wrap up at Hell in a Cell.
Alberto Del Rio retains (hopefully with help from Ricardo Rodriguez).
C.M. Punk vs. Curtis Axel and Paul Heyman in a handicap elimination match. There are a couple ways of looking at the finish. Either a new Heyman guy steps up and saves Heyman or the best talker in the business takes a beating from the second best talker in the business and then steps aside until WrestleMania season (or whenever Brock Lesnar returns). For the good of the product and my personal entertainment, here's hoping we see a new Paul Heyman Guy debut. I've been pining for Luke Gallows ever since his TNA deal expired. I would also accept free agent Matt Morgan, NXT wrestler Corey Graves stepping in as Heyman's replacement for Punk, Kassius Ohno, a heel Kofi Kingston, or even Big Show if it will make him stop blubbering. Heyman has been delivering the best work of his career. Sure, Punk is a logical adversary for Triple H's corporate games, but WWE needs Heyman and a second strong storyline. Heyman is advertised for upcoming shows and I'm going with my heart with this pick.
Paul Heyman and Curtis Axel beat C.M. Punk when a new Paul Heyman Guy debuts.
A.J. Lee vs. Natalya vs. Naomi vs. Brie Bella. There's a story to be told with Natalya eventually capturing the Divas Championship, but they really haven't told that story on regular WWE television or on Total Divas. It was odd seeing Brie team with Natalya and Naomi on Monday. I assume that when push comes to shove, her selfish heel side emerges and she inadvertently does something that leads to A.J. keeping the butterfly belt.
A.J. Lee retains.
Dean Ambrose vs. Dolph Ziggler for the U.S. Championship: I suspect that either the U.S. Title or the Tag Titles will fall when the time comes for Triple H's group to start spiraling downward. Initially, it appeared Dolph was going to be a big part of this storyline since he along with Big Show were the two wrestlers who looked the most bothered by being forces to be subservient to Triple H. Here's hoping he gets back to that point because WWE creative has really done a poor job with Ziggler since the double turn with Del Rio. A title change would put him back in the spotlight and may even explain why he dropped the match to Bray Wyatt out of nowhere since creative may see that as being something he could absorb if they had him set up to win this title. However, I think they like the way Hunter's group has all the gold and they won't give that up so quickly.
Dean Ambrose retains the U.S. Championship.
Tons of Funk vs. The Prime Time Players vs. The Uso Brothers vs. The Real Americans vs. 3MB in a Tag Team Turmoil match for a shot at the WWE Tag Titles. I know how the other teams feel, as I am at a total disadvantage because I have to make this prediction without knowing which members of 3MB will participate in the match. Life just isn't fair sometimes. In all seriousness, with heel tag champs, I think we can safely eliminate the heel teams from contention. That leaves Tons of Funk, The Players, and The Uso Brothers I would love to see the Uso Brothers get another shot at the straps, but I suspect the Players get the win here.
The Prime Time Players earn the tag title shot.
Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns vs. The Prime Time Players for the WWE Tag Titles. Regardless of which team wins the turmoil match, I go back to the visual of Hunter's boys all carrying the gold. Even if you despise this storyline, you have to admit that it feels a little premature to start showing cracks in the foundation. That said, it also seems a little odd to have all the heels win. Maybe I need to reconsider that C.M. Punk pick. A babyface has to win somewhere on this show, right? The problem is that if I pick the wrong babyface act to win, then I'm off on two picks. So I'll play it safe by predicting that all the heels will win even though I don't think that will actually happen.
Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns win the WWE Tag Titles.
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