Following the events of last night’s episode of WWE Smackdown, WWE.com has released the their updated card for tomorrow night’s Night of Champions pay-per-view. The full advertised card at the time of this writing is as follows:
WWE Champion Randy Orton v. Daniel Bryan (WWE Championship match)
Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel and Paul Heyman v. CM Punk (non-title handicap elimination match)
World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio v. Rob Van Dam (World Heavyweight Championship match)
Divas Champion AJ Lee v. Natalya v. Brie Bella v. Naomi (Fatal Four Way for the Divas Championship)
The Prime Time Players v. Tons of Funk v. The Real Americans v. The Usos v. 3MB (Tag Team Turmoil match, the winner will meet Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns for the WWE Tag Team Championships later in the evening)
United States Champion Dean Ambrose v. Dolph Ziggler (United States Championship match)
Predictions for the card are as follows:
WWE Championship match: Randy Orton v. Daniel Bryan
As great as it would be for Daniel Bryan to recapture his belt, it seems too early in the storyline for Bryan to get the gold back. Daniel Bryan will lose thanks to a bit of outside interference, possibly from The Shield, Big Show, or both.
Curtis Axel and Paul Heyman v. CM Punk:
CM Punk has been trying to get his revenge on Paul Heyman since Heyman’s attack at the Money in the Bank pay-per-view last July. Just two pay-per-views later, Punk seems on the verge of finally getting his hands on his former friend and confidant. CM Punk will come up short in this exchange, however, thanks to either an assist from Brock Lesnar or from the debut of a new “Paul Heyman Guy.”
World Heavyweight Championship match: Alberto Del Rio v. Rob Van Dam
Rob Van Dam has been on something of a roll since his return to WWE at July’s Money in the Bank pay-per-view. Van Dam has proven that, to some extent, he still has a lot left in the tank even after all these years. RVD is both talented and over, and would make a great transitional champ between ADR and Damien Sandow. Rob Van Dam will capture the WHC from Alberto Del Rio, but may not hold it for long after.
Divas Championship match: AJ Lee v. Natalya v. Brie Bella v. Naomi
AJ Lee has been one of the most prominent Divas Champions in recent years, becoming one of the first women since the days of stars like Trish Stratus and Lita to have her own t-shirt released in the WWE Shop. In spite of this success, AJ Lee seems in line to drop the title to a member of this trio of Total Divas stars. It’s likely that Brie Bella will walk out of Night of Champions at the new Divas Champion.
Tag Team Turmoil match: The Prime Time Players v. The Usos v. The Real Americans v. Tons of Funk v. 3MB
The Prime Time Players emerge as the only group in this bout who are in a position to challenge The Shield for the belts right now. The Usos are coming off a long program with The Shield, so they’re unlikely to win, and Tons of Funk are not necessarily a championship calibre team at the moment. All the other teams in the mix are heels at the moment, making it incredibly unlikely that they’ll be the ones to face The Shield.
Regardless of who actually wins this bout, Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins will retain their titles tonight.
United States championship match: Dean Ambrose v. Dolph Ziggler
A US title win would seem like a step back for former World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler. Expect Ambrose to retain the belt after a DQ via help from his Shield teammate, Rollins and Reigns.
At first glance, this seems like a typical “B-Show” card. This looks more like a transitional event, rather than one in which the storylines are to be resolved. While there look to be a few quality matches on the card, the odds of having a majority of these matches end in DQ or interference make this pay-per-view an event worth skipping out on.