Changing of the Guard.

Night of Champions is this Sunday, every single title in the WWE will be defended. There is probably more pressure on champions to retain their title on this night than any other. Championships are a badge of honour, something that every superstar fights their entire career to obtain. Some get it, some never do. For many, this night is their one shot at glory and their dream. Let’s take a look at the card for Sunday night…

WWE Championship:

Randy Orton (Champion) versus Daniel Bryan

Winner: Daniel Bryan

Ever since Summerslam in August, Daniel Bryan has been a corporate whipping boy. He is just being brutalized so often that it is becoming commonplace, as common as Zack Ryder being a jobber. Okay, that wasn’t that funny but I think I made my point.

Bryan is the ultimate underdog, the exact opposite of Randy Orton. Bryan didn’t have the luxury of having a famous lineage to help his career along, he worked hard to obtain his level of success. I’m not saying that Randy didn’t work hard but it is a lot easier to break into the business when both your father and grandfather can help you along. Randy doesn’t appreciate that title, he didn’t earn it, he shouldn’t have it. Why would you want to work hard when you have the boss handing you everything you could want? He is a bully and a puppet for Triple H.

The main difference between Orton and Daniel is that Daniel can wrestle. I always respect that these guys get into the ring and risk their lives to provide me with countless hours of entertainment. However, that doesn’t mean that all of them are good at it. I find Randy very bland, very boring. Sure, he has had some great moments but, overall, is very vanilla. He isn’t what is best for the business. The WWE needs someone who is dynamic, someone who has an edge, someone who doesn’t have the personality of wallpaper. They NEED Daniel Bryan to win this Sunday.

World Heavyweight Championship:

Alberto Del Rio (Champion) versus Rob Van Dam

Winner: Alberto Del Rio

As much as this pains me, I really think that Alberto Del Rio is going to retain his title this Sunday. I do want Rob Van Dam to win with all my heart but I just don’t see that in the cards. It isn’t that he is only supposed to be in the WWE until early October, there is one other variable that is more important and working against him. That variable is Ricardo Rodriguez.

Sure, Ricardo has been behind RVD ever since Del Rio brutally beat him in the ring but how long can that last. Ricardo and Del Rio have been together ever since Alberto debuted in the WWE. He’s been there when he has had some of his biggest victories, I really don;t think a little beating is going to get in the way of that. I don’t see Night of Champions playing out well for the human highlight reel on Sunday. RVD as champion is a very intriguing idea. He shows up each week, competes, actually takes the time to put in an effort instead of showing up via satellite or not showing up at all. He is dynamic and entertaining, something that Del Rio is not.

It really didn’t make much sense to me, initially, that these men didn’t face each other on the go-home show but it all came together in the end. During his match with Ryback, RVD was mocked from the ramp by Alberto, who proceeded to call the number one contender a washed up loser. Let me tell you guys something, I’d rather watch that ‘washed up loser’ over Del Rio any day. The last time I saw Del Rio live I flipped him off, not the most classy moment of my life but I got my point across.

Handicap Elimination Match:

CM Punk versus Curtis Axel versus Paul Heyman

Winner: CM Punk

The work that is being put out by these three individuals is some of the best I have seen on WWE television in a long time. Each man is so brilliant int he part that they are playing, however big or small it is from week to week. On Raw, Heyman became more and more disheveled looking and anyone could see that the weight of what could happen at Night of Champions was really starting to get to him. He knows that when Punk eliminates Axel from the match, he will finally be able to get his hands on the walrus in a sanctioned match. That terrifies the living bejesus out of Paul.

The man tried to fake a knee injury for god sakes (like anyone believed he was hurt for a second!)!

CM Punk and Heyman have an undeniable bond between them, he believed in what CM Punk was when others tried to run him down. He was there when Punk held the title for 434 days and became the longest reigning champion of the last twenty-five years. That is no small potatoes. I’ve always maintained that Punk never has, and never will, needed a mouthpiece. He isn’t the type of guy to have someone in his corner. He is the true definition of an underdog, he goes it alone and does so quite often. Punk is no longer under Heyman’s thumb and that bothers Paul to no end. When he secure a win this Sunday, he will finally be free of Heyman.

Divas Championship Fatal Four Way Match:

AJ Lee (Champion) versus Natalya versus Brie Bella versus Naomi

Winner: Natalya

I always rip on the women’s division, I usually never have good things to say about them. I used to think that their product was boring and stale.

That has changed.

They are all dynamic and entertaining now but the one I want to win on Sunday is Natalya. I always felt that she was the most talented and the most underutilized woman in the locker room. Everyone in the WWE works hard but I feel, out of the women, that Natalya works the hardest. I remember seeing her in Calgary back in May when she jobbed on her birthday. No matter what, she always goes out there and does what is required, even if it means not being put over herself. As much as I don’t care for the term ‘diva’, Natalya embodies what it means to be a strong and determined female. She is a champion that can lead the change in how women’s wrestling is received by the fans.

Tag Team Turmoil Match (Kick-off Show):

Prime Time Players versus The Usos versus Tons of Funk versus Real Americans versus 3MB

Winner: The Usos

Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins have gone way too long without any formidable opponents and they need to face a team who will truly give them a run for their money. In the last year or so, the tag team division has made great strides and has really upped the quality of teams and matches. Tag team wrestling is extremely unique. You can’t just slap two people together and expect it to work, that has been proven a hundred times over. Each of the teams competing in this tag team turmoil match have that quality.

3MB I still can’t figure out but that is another post for another day.

The most entertaining matches that Rollins and Reigns have had with another team have been against The Usos. The Usos have been underutilized but the current wave they are riding is really working for them. They are being given their time to shine and they are being smart about everything that they are doing. They have an awesome entrance, great team dynamic (they should because they are related!), their moves are captivating, and they truly seem to be enjoying entertaining the fans. There is nothing better than watching someone who you know loves what they do. It pulls the audience in and keeps them there. All  of the tag teams are working really hard to make their division one to watch out for.

I’ve said it a billion times over the last few weeks and months but the quality of television that the WWE has been putting out has been so fantastic that I think my head will just explode. You may think that is an exaggeration but it isn’t. To me, there is no bigger thrill than being a fan of the WWE (whether you are there live or watching at home). THis coming Sunday there may be a revolution about to hit the WWE. CHampionships will change hands, people will realize a dream, and some people will have their dreams crushed.

Be sure to tune into Night of Champions this Sunday!

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