WWE Night of Champions Preview: Triple H vs CM Punk Could Be Match of the Year

This Sunday the fourth edition of the Night of Champions PPV takes place in Buffalo, New York with all the company gold on the line and a No DQ grudge match between Triple H and CM Punk that could tear down the house!

This Sunday the fourth edition of the Night of Champions PPV takes place in Buffalo, New York with all the company gold on the line. I have previewed all of the matches (at time of press) and looked at each bout in terms of its build, likely match quality and who should be booked to win in order to continue storyline and title momentum in the coming months. Fatal Four Way Match for the United States Title: Dolph Ziggler (C) vs Jack Swagger vs Alex Riley vs John Morrison The Build: This match was booked on Raw this past Monday after Dolph and Swagger had lost a tag bout to Riley and Morrison. The heat between Dolph and Swagger has been going on for a while though as both men have been competing for the affections and support of their manager Vickie Guerrero. Match Quality: I've always been a big fan of multi-man matches and four competitors is just about the right number so that the match doesn't look obviously contrived in its set-up. Plus with three great workers in there who have great chemistry with one another and who will be able to convincingly sell Riley's power moves this should be a really fun battle. Who Should Win: Dolph becoming distracted in an argument with Vickie whilst Swagger gets the pinfall to become champion seems like the obvious manner to continue this rivalry which I assume has long term plans to turn Dolph face. Divas Title: Kelly Kelly vs Beth Phoenix The Build: This is the only SummerSlam rematch on the card with Kelly defeating Phoenix on the big show via a fluky pinfall. Since then the Divas of Doom have tried to play mind games with the Divas champion but Kelly has struck back in recent weeks with a pinfall victory over Natalya and a quick kick to take down her upcoming challenger before fleeting from the ring on the past edition of Raw. Match Quality: Bout is taking place in Beth's home town which might make the atmosphere more heated than usual for a Divas clash. In their last PPV bout, Kelly brought her A-game and managed to maintain a decent match quality with her opponent so hopefully she will be on form this weekend too. Who Should Win: Hometown heroes rarely win though the title switch seems kind of a no brainer here as the Divas of Doom are going to lose any kind of heat if they keep losing to the barbie doll. A Beth win here could set up a slow burning rivalry with a jealous Natalya later down the line. Tag Team Titles: Air Boom (C) vs R-Truth and Miz The Build: Pretty non-existent. Two weeks ago Truth and Miz decided to challenge the recently crowned champions in the midst of a lame comedy routine and this past week on Raw Miz defeated Kofi Kingston in a warm up match. There has been no real talk about what defending or winning the titles might mean to either team and it feels like the match has been thrown together simply because Truth and Miz need something to do on PPV. Match Quality: Should be a very good bout. Bourne will most likely be the fall guy for a lengthy beatdown from the heel challengers during which Miz and Truth will both be able to succesfully rile up the crowd in time for Kofi's hot tag which will then hopefully see the match pick up pace towards a highly charged and unpredictable finish. Who Should Win: Kofi and Bourne succesfully defending their titles against two opponents who thought that the champions were beneath him would be the first step to developing the rivalry as Miz and Truth can become angry and vengeful in their quest for the gold and blame complacency on their failure to topple Air Boom the first time round. A lengthy series between these two teams would certainly go a long way to repairing the damage inflicted upon the tag titles over the past couple of years. Intercontinental Title: Cody Rhodes (C) vs Ted Dibiase The Build: Rhodes was trying to revive his friends career in the position of his mentor but he then proceeded to attack Dibiase when his protege failed to defeat Randy Orton. This match has only just been added to the card so I assume that a final go home angle will take place this week on Smackdown. Match Quality: I find Dibiase to be a very colourless in ring competitor but at least in the role of face I won't have to suffer through one of his monotonous beat-downs. In his rare outing as a face Dibiase did steal the show once in a match against Randy Orton where he kept trying to restrain himself from attacking his team leader and if he can exhibit a similar level of passion here then this match might be a decent spectacle. Who Should Win: The IC Title is currently a meaningless championship but I still think it is much better in the hands of Cody Rhodes who can at least stir some emotion from the crowd. World Heavyweight Championship: Randy Orton (C) vs Mark Henry The Build: On paper this is a match that no-one in the world would want to see but pitch perfect booking of a ruthless heel steam-rolling through increasingly tough babyface opposition before turning his attention to the ultimate dominant babyface means that Randy Orton vs Mark Henry has miraculously emerged into something of an intriguing encounter. In the past two shows Henry has physically beaten down his upcoming opponent which plays nicely into a match where the crowd is going to be even more anxious about how Orton is going to find the tools to cope with this seemingly insurmountable giant. Match Quality: Mark Henry has shown real presence between the ropes as of late and this coupled with the genuine intrigue as to how Orton is going to be able to deliver his trademark moves on his giant opponent should make for an interesting match-up. Who Should Win: If the WWE were smart here and really interested in making a new star then they'd book Mark Henry to topple Orton and defend against a variety of babyface opposition in the build up to Wrestlemania. Then however Daniel Bryan as already planned could cash in his money in the bank briefcase in a match against the World Champion on the grandest stage of them all and become the man to finally end Mark Henry's path of dominance. These events wouldn't bury Orton because Orton is too popular to be buried and needs some time away from the title picture regardless and by becoming the only man to successfully slay the giant Daniel Bryan would win his first world title whilst also having a wrestlemania moment and by defeating a dominant heel he would also be depicted as a true babyface star in the eyes of the fans. WWE Title: Alberto Del Rio (C) vs John Cena The Build: Very poor. Cena has been up to his usual tricks of burying his upcoming opponent and making corny jokes whilst Del Rio has gone from cleanly pinning opponents to running away scared from his title challenger at every available opportunity. It didn't help of course that Del Rio was absent for a number of shows as he tried to sort out some visa related issues but it really wouldn't have hurt Cena to actually put over the strengths of his rival instead of labelling him as an average competitor who he has absolutely no doubts about beating. Match Quality: Should be a very entertaining contest especially with Del Rio likely to use every trick up his sleeve in order to outwit his opponent. I'm expecting Ricardo Rodriguez to be heavily involved in the action and I'm looking forward to see how both men try and avoid and counter each others finishing manoeuvres. Who Should Win: Given that this is Del Rio's first PPV title defence it is kind of a no brainer that he should at least hold the title for a few more months so hopefully he will be booked to defeat Cena here. A relatively clean defence would also do the rivalry no harm as Cena would then be forced to humbly admit that he underrated a very formidable opponent. No Disqualification Grudge Match: CM Punk vs Triple H (If Triple H loses then he will be stripped of his duties as Chief Operating Officer) The Build: This was of course supposed to be building towards Kevin Nash versus CM punk until a knee injury thwarted those plans and so we instead we get this bout a bit earlier than expected. I said initially that this sort of match should ideally endure a slow build towards a big event befitting of its stars but if that means that I have to listen to both individuals drone on about politics for months of end then I'm quite happy for them to physically resolve their issues at an earlier date. The story of this rivalry is that it has been downright sensational when focused on capturing the strongly expressed feelings of hatred that they feel for one another and almost unwatchable when the two superstars have been scripted in dull, inaccessible political debates. Watching Punk gradually emasculate Hunter by playing with his tie and mocking his high profile relationship with his wife and the COO finally losing his cool and deciding to return to ring action in order to teach the out of control and disrespectful rebel a lesson has been the result of some heated and ultra intense television. And whilst it has usually taken ten minutes of a long winded segment to build towards these great moments, we have at least been left going into this match with the awesome final image of Hunter getting Punk's attention with a verbal beat-down and Punk responding with an unexpected microphone blast to his boss's head. One man needs to win to continue his quest for change and the other man must win to maintain his pride. The stakes are high in this one. Match Quality: Triple H is to gimmick matches what Daniel Bryan is to technical wrestling as evidenced by his legendarily gruelling bouts against the likes of Mick Foley, Stone Cold Steve Austin and Shawn Michaels and with Punk no alien to a hardcore environment either this has all the makings of a match of the year candidate. Who Should Win: CM Punk defeating a superstar the calibre of Triple H would solidify his status as a megastar and confirm that he is in the same elite company of superstars such as John Cena and Randy Orton. Given that this feud is part of a wider, convoluted storyline however I think it is a given especially considering the no disqualification rules that we are going to see some sort of interference in order to further this angle. Whether or not this means that Triple H will be screwed out of the match so that he loses his positioning as COO or Punk is screwed out of the match because of a wider political company issue the match it seems will definitely be influenced in some way by an outer force. Regardless of the match ending, what really does need to happen going forward is for one of these men to turn heel because a feud with two faces is a confusing dynamic for the crowd who are too used to clearly knowing who they are supposed to cheer and who they are supposed to boo. This doesn't mean that faces and heels need to be booked or scripted as cartoon characters, but the pantomime nature of wrestling dictates that the roles do still need to be clearly established especially when one of the men is on the cusp of becoming an established main event prospect. So there we have it and I now leave the debate to you. Are you excited for Night of Champions and if so which matches are you looking forward to? Who should win? How should they win? And will this event be able to continue the momentum of WWE's solid PPV run. Please leave any thoughts in the comments box below and stay tuned for my Night of Champions Review this coming Monday. Thanks for reading.
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"Growing up, Laurent was such an ardent fan of wrestling superstar Stone Cold Steve Austin that he actually attempted to send the Texas Rattlesnake a letter demanding that he defeat arch-nemesis The Rock at Wrestlemania 15. Oh hell yeah, it was all still very real to him back then dammit. As an aspiring writer of multiple genres and platforms, he has also recently co-authored a non-fiction movie e-book entitled 'Egos, Cliches, Flops and Lost Films: Examining the powerful madness of the movies' which is written in a similarly light hearted and informative style to his wrestling articles and which can be browsed and purchased by following the link below - http://www.amazon.com/Egos-Cliches-Flops-Films-ebook/dp/B0088YNTBC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1339093928&sr=8-1"

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