Posted in: Mr. Tito
MR. TITO STRIKES BACK - WWE Night of Champions Preview and Predictions - Who Will Win?
By Mr. Tito
Sep 15, 2015 - 11:33:22 PM

Follow Mr. Tito on @titowrestling

On March 26th, 2001, AOL/Time Warner owned World Championship Wrestling (WCW) held its last show ever. It was a Monday and they aired their famous WCW Monday Nitro one last time on the TNT cable network. The show was dubbed "The Night of Champions" as the final WCW show put EVERY singles and tag team titles on the line.

Fast forward over 14 years later, WWE holds an annual event named Night of Champions which holds the same exact concept of putting EVERY singles and tag team title on the line.

And 14 years later, it feels like WCW all over again...

The main problem with World Championship Wrestling (WCW) following its amazing rise to fame from 1995-1998 was its complete inability to create main event stars. The last brand new main eventer that the promotion created was Bill Goldberg and after the Georgia Dome Nitro where Goldberg won the WCW Title against Hulk Hogan, WCW Nitro went downhill. WCW had a roster thick with veterans and purposely neglected any up and coming wrestler. One by one, many of WCW's promising wrestlers jumped to WWE and by March 2001, WCW's roster was picked clean of any potential stars. In addition to relying on free agents, WCW struggled to create new stars through its developmental system the "Power Plant". After Goldberg, WCW was only able to produce midcarders at best that WWE quickly disposed of following the 2001 acquisition.

Outside of the Ohio Valley Wrestling's "Class of 2002" developmental call-ups, WWE is struggling to produce the next Main Event level stars. John Cena has been the top babyface wrestler since 2005 and remains the top merchandise seller and houseshow draw. Brock Lesnar is a former UFC Heavyweight Champion whom the WWE has paid $3 to $5 million per year as a Pay Per View special attraction. Several Pay Per Views have boomed because of his appearance (notably against Cena and HHH) and RAW ratings tend to spike a bit when he appears. As you've observed, I've listed actual drawing facts for both John Cena and Brock Lesnar that cannot be refuted.

At WWE Night of Champions 2015, we get to see current WWE Title and United States Title holder, Seth Rollins, defend BOTH titles on the same event. For the US Title, he'll wrestle John Cena again because Cena used his "rematch" clause. Meanwhile, for the WWE Title, Seth Rollins defends against a guy wrestling his second WWE match after losing his first, Sting. Rollins has struggled to draw as WWE Champion since Wrestlemania 31, though I'd argue that it's not all his fault (looking at you, WWE Corporate for the Curb Stomp and WWE Creative). Before Wrestlemania 31, RAW was holding at or around 4 million viewers per show. Since Wrestlemania 31, notably after the RAW after that Wrestlemania, RAW has trended towards 3.5 million and now at a risk of pushing 3.0 million with NFL Football now back.

Ratings wise, WWE RAW is now under a 3.0 which is precisely where WCW Nitro began to show during the Summer of 2000 when the Vince Russo/Eric Bischoff dual comeback and title reboot was failing to draw. In other words, the ratings that were considered "bad" for WCW Nitro during mid-2000 are considered "normal" for the WWE Monday Night RAW during mid-2015.

Nothing, outside of John Cena, Brock Lesnar, and just the overall nostalgia by older fans of being wrestling fans is drawing. WWE is failing at creating new main event stars. There were several guys that could have been great, notably CM Punk and Daniel Bryan, but backstage politics and unfavorable creative differences destroyed both of them. WWE has tried repeatedly with Randy Orton and Sheamus and yet neither guy can draw on their own. Sheamus, by the way, is the current Money in the Bank briefcase holder. Vince McMahon LOVES and I repeat LOVES Roman Reigns. Despite WWE Title shot after WWE Title shot, the guy is not getting over. He's not getting over in the midcard with a simple feud with Bray Wyatt nor is anything with teaming up with Dean Ambrose rubbing off on him. Reigns is YEARS away from being a main eventer as he lacks the personality and ability to carry matches (can't do the Superman Punch or Spear for every move), but Vince is willing to "Diesel" him. Or maybe "Del Rio" him... "Sheamus" him... "Miz" him... In other words, give him a World Title reigns and try to mold him into a champion that he's not.

The Internet, and me to an extent, loves Dean Ambrose... But let's be honest, is he really that over? He gets decent pops but can you point to me where he has drawn? For example, I can point to Steve Austin in 1996 as having the #1 selling WWE t-shirt with "Austin 3:16" on it. That was when Austin was a midcarder! I'm not seeing any indicator of that for Ambrose or Roman Reigns for that matter. The question begs are the members of the Shield actually over enough to be main eventers? Remember my initial June 3rd, 2014 column about Seth Rollins turning on the Shield and how the internet ripped me for calling the Shield break-up as a bad move? Hell, I even wrote a follow-up to calm down the heat... But my point was that the WWE needed BABYFACES to complement and eventually replace John Cena. Hot off the heels of the Evolution feud, the Shield were VERY over as babyfaces together. WWE could have kept the Shield together for another year to build the 3 up as an entity and have each go after singles titles (hell, WWE has 3 singles titles to go after!). While Seth Rollins has benefited the most from the turn, we're here in 2015 and all 3 Shield members are NOT drawing on their own. All 3 are damaged goods for the moment.

Rusev and Bray Wyatt struggle to beat top stars and win consistently in big matches... Wade Barrett can't stay healthy. The one guy whom I believe could have been "the guy" has been repeatedly attacked by the WWE Creative Team and Vince McMahon... Cesaro! That guy has talent on loan from God and yet WWE doesn't see it. Dolph Ziggler is an in-ring stud but same thing... WWE Creative is not interested. WWE repeatedly pushed Alberto Del Rio and what did they get out of him? Oh yeah, he's no longer employed by the WWE because of an incident backstage. Tried to push Ryback several times, didn't pan out...

Year after year, failed push after failed push... WWE is completely unable to recreate any new main event superstars.

It is EXACTLY what killed WCW in the end... in less than 3 years, WWE might have a real risk of no longer employing Brock Lesnar or John Cena. Brock Lesnar signed a 3 year, $9 million deal. By the end of that deal, Lesnar will about to become 41 years of age. Ditto for John Cena as he'll actually be 41 years old when Lesnar's deal is up during 2018. Brock Lesnar might actually be preserved and could continue his career but the wear & tear is mounting on John Cena. If nobody is able to replace either guy as a top level drawing main event superstar, WWE could be doomed. And gee, what else could also be up in about 3 years? That Comcast/NBC/Universal deal could be up (no official date given, reportedly 3-5 years).

That's what ticks me off about TNA Wrestling's failures or the latest wrestling promotion attempt by Jeff Jarrett called "Global Force Wrestling". Neither entity will ever rise up and challenge the WWE. Nobody will... Because the WWE is a well financed corporation and has over-saturated the market with wrestling, nobody is interested in creating a rival promotion. That, and Paul Heyman is bankrolled by the WWE now... It's time to face facts on Jarrett, too...

My brother-in-law is pretty convinced that the WWE is purposely keeping its entire roster mediocre besides John Cena and Brock Lesnar. He insists that the WWE knows that they have John Cena for life, as Hollywood hasn't shown much interest in him... But he continues on that Vince McMahon doesn't want to create a big superstar and have Hollywood steal them just as they did with the Rock. With nobody but John Cena being able to consistently win, with Cena maintaining a "Hulk Hogan" like dominance over many of them, that could make sense... Lots of "50/50" booking occurring where wrestlers are constantly trading wins, as Scott Keith puts it.

For me, I just think that there is a LACK of creative minds backstage. WWE no longer employs Pat Patterson or Jim Ross who were guys who could properly assess talent and actually persuade Vince McMahon on certain wrestlers. Mick Foley is a fine example... Vince wanted nothing to do with Foley in 1996 but Jim Ross fought for him and kept on fighting for him. Then, when Foley began to push many of the wrestlers to their best matches and proved to have an amazing personality, Vince McMahon fell in love... Jim Ross was also the guy who brought in Triple H and Steve Austin as free agent signings and developed the Rock, Kurt Angle, Brock Lesnar, Randy Orton, John Cena, Batista, etc. There is NOBODY like Jim Ross although it is my opinion that Triple H is getting better, with time, at developing wrestlers. Look at the Divas division.

Thus, this "Night of Champions" is sort of a joke... There is a real chance that the WWE Champion that walks away from this event could be (a) Seth Rollins, (b) Sting, or (c) Sheamus. Think about... Seth Rollins lost 500,000 RAW viewers for 2015, Sting is a 56 year old veteran who was last WCW Champion before many current WWE fans were born, and Sheamus has had multiple opportunities to succeed and he hasn't. Meanwhile, Vince McMahon is back on the Roman Reigns bandwagon and we might be likely to see a sequel to 2015's MEGA PUSH. Don't be surprised if Reigns wins back-to-back Royal Rumbles and is finally crowned WWE Champion at Wrestlemania 32. I wouldn't doubt it, too, that Vince thinks that a Sheamus vs. Roman Reigns feud over the WWE Title is a great idea and we might see that immediately after WWE Night of Champions.

Ugh... Again, in case you haven't noticed it on WWE Network yet from past years, GET OVER FIRST and then BECOME CHAMPION NEXT. Simple, simple formula...



Pre-show Match: Ascension/Stardust vs. Lucha Dragons/Neville
Don't care about this match, whatsoever. Should just give us Neville vs. Stardust in a one on one match but WWE wants to mix it up with 2 tag teams that nobody cares about.

WHAT SHOULD HAPPEN / WHAT WILL HAPPEN: Stardust & Ascension win. In order to have that Neville vs. Stardust match, you have to have heat generated by Stardust's team getting one over Neville's team. Quite possibly, they'll have Stardust pin Neville in this match...


Wyatt Family (Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper, Braun Strowman) vs. Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, and a Mystery Partner
I always love the mystery partner hype... I know, it is overplayed and done to death by certain promotions. But when done right, such as Ricky Steamboat appearing in WCW during 1989 or Hulk Hogan as the 3rd man for the NWO in 1996 (yes, I'm showing my age), it's amazing... Of course, things can go wrong too (see Shockmaster from 1993 in WCW). Hopefully, it's someone brand new. I don't know if I could stomach or care about Randy Orton being the 3rd man. However, a return by Daniel Bryan would be a nice fit although psychologically, there is a major size deficit with Bryan against the HOSS Wyatt family. The Erick Rowan selection just isn't interesting enough for me... My guess is that they'll use Samoa Joe.

WHAT SHOULD HAPPEN: Mystery partner is a big deal and helps Reigns/Ambrose get a big win. Maybe create a NEW version of the Shield.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN: Too much size from the Wyatt family and I have a feeling that WWE will push Braun Strowman further in this match. He'll probably choke Ambrose out.


Dolph Ziggler vs. Rusev
Too much going against Ziggler with Lana out. WWE will want to put the heat on Rusev for Lana's eventual return. And I actually agree with that although WWE seems to be lacking in direction for Rusev and Ziggler long-term.

WHAT SHOULD HAPPEN: Dolph Ziggler gets a convincing win and then goes on to rack up multiple wins. He deserves a push as he's an amazing worker.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN: Rusev wins to get heat in preparation for Lana's eventual return. Yay.


Intercontinental Title: Ryback (c) vs. Kevin Owens
I've followed RAW on Hulu closely for the past few weeks... What have I missed here? When did this feud develop? Smackdown? Maybe it was something that was cut from the 90 minute Hulu broadcast. Seems to random to have this match but at the same time, Ryback isn't doing well as champion. In addition to an injury, he's so damaged as a character that he's lacking heat to draw as champion. Just give the title to Owens and let him dominate midcarders for a while. Let him prove that he can draw as a champion of some capacity.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN / WHAT SHOULD HAPPEN: Ryback isn't working. Kevin Owens wins.


Tag Titles: Dudley Boys vs. New Day (c)
All WWE has to do is observe how the New Age Outlaws trolled other teams as WWE Tag Team Champions, even the Legion of Doom Road Warriors. Here we are in 2015 and the New Day faces a team up there with the Road Warriors in the Dudley Boyz. Have Dudleys getting close to a victory with a 3D hit but with the referee distracted, Xavier Woods uses the Trombone instrument as a foreign object. That simple.

WHAT SHOULD HAPPEN: New Day retains.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN: Dudley Boyz win. Hey, there are WWE Network subscriptions to sell to older fans. However, there is money in New Day chasing and then overcoming the Dudley Boyz to regain the WWE Titles. Make no mistake about it, the New Day is becoming a great entity for the WWE. I'm proud to say that I was wrong on them...


Divas Title: Nikki Bella (c) vs. Charlotte
OK, the AJ Lee streak is over, time to move on. People hate on Nikki but they fail to realize how BAD the Divas Division was 1 year ago. We didn't have Charlotte, Becky Lynch, or Sasha Banks back then and Tamina Snuka was dealing with an injury. AJ Lee injured her neck during that period of time and eventually retired. Paige has been a nice addition but is she setting the world on fire? Not yet... But she's good. For anyone on the internet to claim that Nikki is the "worst Divas Champion of all time", I guess you missed her sister Brie's reign. Kelly Kelly anyone? And I'll take Nikki Bella, who has improved in the ring, over Maryse, Jillian Hall, or Alicia Fox as well. Maybe even Paige... Now that the streak is over and WWE trolled Charlotte on RAW from their match, WWE can move on with business.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN / WHAT SHOULD HAPPEN: Charlotte wins the Divas Title cleanly. New era hopefully begins.


United States Title: John Cena vs. Seth Rollins (c)
I thought that if you held 2 singles titles, you had to give up the lesser of the titles? Oh my, that is just tradition speaking... Anyway, I heard somewhere that WWE has a large inventory of US Title John Cena tshirts to get through and that's good enough for my prediction.

WHAT SHOULD HAPPEN: Seth Rollins retains US Title and walks out of Night of Champions with just that title in hand...

WHAT WILL HAPPEN: John Cena reacquires US Title to resume his open challenge storyline.


WWE Title: Sting vs. Seth Rollins (c)
I have to be honest, I don't like any of the 3 possible outcomes from this match. (a) If Seth Rollins retains, we get a longer WWE Title reign for him that means more Authority bickering in the spotlight. Just great. (b) Sting wins and he's the 56 year old WWE Champion whom many younger fans just aren't finding appealing. (c) Sheamus cashes in the Money in the Bank and have yet another reign for him. Just great.

WHAT SHOULD HAPPEN: I don't want Sting or Sheamus as champions, so Seth Rollins retains.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN: The Authority pulls a fast one on Seth Rollins and has Sheamus win the WWE Title to effectively turn on Seth Rollins. Let the Rollins vs. HHH feud begin. Joy joy joy.

Ugh... Dark clouds surround the WWE right now and it's NFL Football season.


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