Gutteridge's "Man vs. Machine" WWE Night of Champions Predictions: Will the HHH regime reign supreme? Will all the heel champions hold on to their titles?
By Darren Gutteridge
Can Dot Net contributor Darren Gutteridge predict the outcomes of pay-per-view matches with more accuracy than the WWE '13 video game simulator? Let's find out.
I can’t say I’m hyped going into this PPV. I won’t be ordering on Sunday because it’s clear that the storyline that WWE is going with (HHH ruling the roost with Orton as “his” champion) only really works if Orton is champion. Outside of that, most of the matches feel inconsequential, and the upshot of the other marquee match, Punk vs. Axel and Heyman, is the promise to see an untrained 48 year old man curl up in the foetal position as Punk kicks him. That’s not enough for me to part with £15.
A rampant SummerSlam prediction saw me beat WWE ’13 7 picks to 3, to take my lead to 6-1.
Pre-Show – Tag Team Turmoil Match: Right off the bat, I’m going to discard Tons of Funk, 3MB and The Real Americans. 3MB are a joke, Tons of Funk haven’t done anything of note for a long time, and while a Real Americans vs. The Shield match would be really cool, a heel vs. heel match is very unlikely.
The obvious option here is The Usos. They have previous with The Shield, and they never really resolved that feud with a definitive match. However, The Shield’s win over The Usos on Smackdown will already have fans doubting the Usos can win - a doubt compounded by their previous losses. So, since it seems WWE have been waiting for a moment to elevate them since SummerSlam, I’m going for the Prime Time Players.
Prediction: The Prime Time Players win Tag Team Turmoil
WWE ’13: Heath Slater (representing 3MB) won a 10 man Battle Royal
Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns vs. Titus O’Neil and Darren Young for the WWE Tag Team Titles: However, I don’t have the PTP down to win the title match. The Shield are integral to the HHH regime storyline, so making them look weak with a title match loss doesn’t make sense right now. I see all roads leading to a PPV (I’m thinking Survivor Series) wherein Orton, Rollins, Reigns and Ambrose all lose their titles on the same night, as Daniel Bryan and his merry men topple the corporation. I don’t think this will be as good a match as The Usos and the Shield are capable of, but it should work just fine as a buffer match.
Prediction: The Shield defeat the Prime Time Players to retain the WWE Tag Team Titles
WWE ’13: The Shield retained against 3MB (Slater and McIntyre), so it’ll go down as a title retain prediction
AJ Lee vs. Natalya vs. Brie Bella vs. Naomi in a Fatal Four Way for the Divas Title: The booking here has been ass backwards. AJ cuts a rallying promo against the air head women on Total Divas, and then gets ransacked by the same ladies. Yet, she is meant to be the heel? I understand the need to advertise Total Divas, but there must have been a better idea bandied about surely? I expect the match to be ridiculously short for a Fatal Four Way, and involve AJ taking advantage of infighting between the cast mates to retain her title.
Prediction: AJ Lee defeats Natalya, Brie Bella and Naomi to retain the Divas Title
WWE ’13: Naomi defeats AJ, Natalya and Brie to win the Divas Title
Dean Ambrose vs. Dolph Ziggler for the United States Championship: I would have liked to have seen a more concrete build here. While they have had run ins with each other, Ziggler has been losing a lot lately, and Ambrose has been preoccupied with matters involving Bryan and Big Show. I hope the pull back on the feud (Ziggler was alongside Show in his opposition of HHH early on, so could have been included more heavily in the storyline) isn’t a reflection that Ziggler is truly being punished.
That would be a shame, as it looked like Ziggler was about to really make something happen when he won the title back in April. It’s hard to believe how far, and how quickly, he has fallen since that fateful Raw after Wrestlemania. All of this shouldn’t impact match quality, and I have this down as the dark horse to steal the show. The outcome, however, is not in question.
Prediction: Dean Ambrose defeats Dolph Ziggler to retain the United States Championship
WWE ’13: Ziggler defeats Ambrose to win the US Championship
CM Punk vs. Curtis Axel and Paul Heyman in an Elimination Handicap match: Here is an easy way around the problem of not having Axel’s Intercontinental title being defended on the PPV where all titles are meant to be defended – have the stipulation be that if Punk pins Heyman first, the match becomes a one on one for the title. Punk won’t want that, so he’ll avoid it and pin Axel first, or if it did go down, Punk’s obsession with hurting Heyman could cost him the one on one match as it did at SummerSlam against Lesnar. Now that wasn’t too hard was it?
As I said above, I’m all for seeing the comeuppance of Heyman. It feels a little soon, but with mainly heel wins on the show, it’s also the best bet WWE has for a crowd pleasing match outcome. The attack will either be brief but brutal, or long but relatively safe for Heyman. The match will also be either quick and painless or unnecessarily long, and I’ll go for the former – Punk takes out Axel relatively quickly, and then kicks the living piss out of Heyman.
Prediction: CM Punk defeats Curtis Axel and Paul Heyman
WWE ’13: Punk defeats Axel and Heyman
Alberto Del Rio vs. Rob Van Dam for the World Heavyweight Championship: It has only just struck me that all the title holders at present are heels. It would be absurd, and a little underhanded, for WWE to have an all title match PPV in which no titles switch hands. There is a chance a title change goes down in the Divas match (Natalya would be my secondary pick), but I think there is too much stock in AJ, whereas there is little to no stock in Del Rio at the moment. RVD has been getting good reactions since coming back, so having him as a babyface champion positioned well away from the HHH regime storyline could create an effective escape for fans, similar to the Punk vs. Heyman storyline. The switch would also bring Sandow’s MITB case more into play. The match will depend on both men having an “on” night, but has potential to be an exciting mid main event or opener.
Prediction: Rob Van Dam defeats Alberto Del Rio to win the World Heavyweight Championship
WWE ’13: RVD defeats Del Rio to win the World Heavyweight Championship
Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan for the WWE Title: Everyone knows shenanigans are going to go down here. It is important to the storyline that Bryan is somehow screwed out of the title. At the forefront of most people’s minds will be a Big Show heel turn. Yawn. It’s been done so many times that I can’t see it being met with anything but apathy. I would hope WWE take the other option of having Bryan win the match, only for HHH to restart it and hit Bryan with something to allow Orton to win. It’s also quite obvious, but it solidifies the new status quo, and won’t leave people as bored as they would be following Big Show heel turn No. 145.
There are some interesting possibilities if Bryan wins though. HHH will be determined to get his title back, so they could book something similar to Ric Flair’s run of retirement matches – Bryan continually overcomes huge odds to keep his title. I’m not picking this route, however, because of my idea about this feud running to Survivor Series, with the title finally going back to Bryan there.
Both men have hit a rich vein of form in the ring, and should carry that through to NoC. The near falls won’t be believable with everyone watching the entrance ramp, but everything up to the screwy finish should be fun to watch. This should be both entertaining and newsworthy, two things WWE need it to be going into the new NFL season.
Prediction: Randy Orton defeats Daniel Bryan to retain the WWE Title
WWE ’13: Orton defeats Bryan to retain
Thanks for reading. If you had any comments or thoughts on the show or this preview, add me on Twitter via @Dazatheg, where I will be live tweeting the show.
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