Each of the WWE’s pay-per-view events are supposed to have something that makes them stand out. Take the Royal Rumble’s 30-man battle royal or Survivor Series’ elimination tag team matches. At Night of Champions, the standout is that each champion is to defend their title belts.
For Seth Rollins, that means double trouble as he’s set to defend both of his title belts against iconic figures in Sting and John Cena. It also means Nikki Bella, poised to become the longest-reigning Divas Champion ever, could see her record run come to an end soon thereafter. But should either champion lose their gold? And what of the championship belts which don’t yet have a match on the card? Read on to find out.
WWE World Heavyweight Championship: Seth Rollins(c) vs. Sting
With Seth Rollins set to defend both of his championship belts at Night of Champions, it’s hard to envision a scenario in which he gets out of dodge with both titles intact. However, it’s hard to envision Rollins suffering such a catastrophic fall from grace that he’s left championship-less at show’s end. So, then, if Rollins is to lose one championship, which should it be?
Not the big one. Sure, there are many who feel Sting deserves one last major championship reign, and their arguments aren’t without basis. However, that shouldn’t come at the hands of Rollins. He’s been too good, too entertaining as champion to drop the strap to a 56-year-old. Losing this contest would also likely kickstart a rivalry with Triple H. Given that the two wouldn’t likely square off until WrestleMania 32, the WWE should learn from its mistakes with Randy Orton and The Game back in 2004 and prolong the partnership.
United States Championship: Seth Rollins(c) vs. John Cena
As you can likely surmise from the previous passage, if Rollins is to lose one title at Night of Championships, my vote is for the United States Title. Many shudder at the thought of John Cena hoisting any more gold at this stage of his illustrious career, but, hey, at least it keeps the WWE Championship off of him.
Along with that, few would argue that 2015 hasn’t been the best year of Cena’s career from an in-ring standpoint. The work he did with the belt, and through his open challenges, was among the most must-see aspects of every week’s RAW. In fact, the lone drawback was that Cena only lost the title to the WWE’s so-called top dog. If he were to wrestle the belt back from Rollins, it’d make it all the more special when he (hopefully) eventually drops it to an up-and-comer.
Divas Championship: Nikki Bella (c) vs Charlotte
Much has been made about the underwhelming results produced by the “Divas Revolution” thus far. A lasting moment was to spurn an infusion of new blood into a stale Divas division and, as the ladies of NXT prove and reaffirm constantly, show that the women of wrestling play second fiddle to nobody. As noted by Chris Jericho and several other veterans, the angle’s fallen flat because there’s been no character development or legitimate reasoning to the battles between Divas.
The WWE’s got an opportunity to flip the script at Night of Champions. If Charlotte wins the title then she’ll have “proof” that she’s genetically superior to the other Divas and Nikki Bella will still be able to stake her claim as the longest-reigning Divas Champion (take that, AJ!). While stable wars are often fun, using virtually the entirety of a division to create one is a bit wasteful. With Charlotte as Divas champ, we could begin to see some in-fighting amongst the trios of Divas and, in turn, much more interesting storylines.
Tag Team Championships: The New Day(c) vs. The Dudley Boyz
Here’s the first of our two presumptive title matches at Night of Champions. Since their return, The Dudleyz have appeared to be on a collision course with The New Day. The legendary team even boasts a victory over the current champs. While The Prime Time Players still stand between Bubba, D-Von and their chances at tag team glory, it’s foolish to think the WWE’s going any other route.
I wrote a longer piece on this subject earlier this month, but here I’ll give you the brief version. The Dudleyz should not reclaim the Tag Team Championships at their first opportunity. Of course, they’re worthy champions, but the instant payoff would lessen the significance of the moment. If The Dudleyz are rebuffed by The New Day and their cheating ways a time or two, it’d make all the sweeter when they finally reclaim what’s theirs. It would also do wonders for The New Day to hold a victory or two over The Dudleyz moving forward.
Intercontinental Championship: Ryback (c) vs. Kevin Owens
Here’s another potential matchup that looks to be on the horizon. And also another I touched on just a few days ago. While it’s not yet set in stone, Ryback and Kevin Owens appear to be on a collision course. And it’s one Owens should get the best of. It’s not that Ryback’s been a bad Intercontinental champ, or even that the WWE shouldn’t consider him regaining the strap at some point in the future, but he’s not strengthening the prestige of the belt the way the company had intended when they put it on Daniel Bryan.
Owens isn’t quite of that caliber yet, but with a clean victory over John Cena and other strong wins over guys like Cesaro and Dolph Ziggler, he definitely sits near the top of the mid-card. Since the WWE doesn’t want to insert him in the main event scene yet, why not let him earn his stripes and regain that “prize fighter label” with the Intercontinental gold?