Night of Champions is sure to offer some surprises for WWE fans.
For one, there is sure to be some sort of tribute to Jerry Lawler. Who would be involved, though?
I outline a number of predictions for what could take place on the Sunday pay-per-view.
Read on for 12 bold predictions for WWE Night of Champions.
Logic says that Dolph Ziggler should beat Randy Orton in clean fashion on Sunday because Orton’s about to go away for a while to film The Marine 3.
But logic also said that Ziggler should have beat Chris Jericho 100 percent clean at SummerSlam, and that obviously didn’t happen. Instead, Ziggler beat Jericho in a Contract vs. Briefcase match on Raw.
So, while many expect Ziggler to win on Sunday (or in other words, for Orton to put him over), I just don’t see it happening.
Yeah, it makes the most sense. But the way the WWE books its top babyface almost never makes sense, and that certainly is true when it comes to the booking of Orton.
Instead of a Zig Zag putting Orton away at Night of Champions, history says it’ll be an RKO that’ll do in Ziggler.
Don’t worry, though—this is all setting up for something later in the night.
Anyone notice that Big Show has been completely absent from TV lately?
I almost forgot about Big Show because I'm not exactly a fan of his, but it's crazy to think that he just sort of disappeared from WWE TV without any explanation.
He hasn't appeared on Raw or SmackDown since the episode of Raw after SummerSlam when he squashed David Otunga, and I'm honestly not sure why.
Not that I miss Big Show at all, but I think there's something more to him being gone than creative having nothing for him.
I think he very well could make his "return" at Night of Champions, with some even speculating that he'll get involved in the WWE Championship match and/or possibly reveal that he's aligned with Paul Heyman as well.
While I wouldn't be shocked to see him make his presence felt when CM Punk faces John Cena, I'm leaning toward him making an impact in some other way.
The wrestling world was turned upside down during Monday’s Raw when Jerry Lawer suffered a heart attack midshow.
The unfortunate incident had many people expecting the worse, and there was fear across the country that Lawler wouldn’t make it through the night.
Thankfully, luck was on Lawler’s side, and though he’s not totally out of the woods just yet, the worst didn’t happen. Lawler has been a huge part of the WWE for two decades now, and his loss would have been a great one.
Lawler won’t be at Night of Champions on Sunday, but make no mistake about it: at least one (if not multiple) superstars will pay tribute to “The King” at the pay-per-view in some way, shape or form.
After all, it’s much deserved for someone who’s contributed so much to the wrestling business.
If someone like John Cena drops a fist from the middle rope, it’ll get a huge pop from the crowd and be a great sign of respect for Lawler.
It's been clear from the very beginning of this pairing between Kane and Daniel Bryan that creative has one goal in mind: to turn Daniel Bryan babyface.
While I, of course, prefer Bryan as a heel, the bottom line is that he's gotten so ridiculously over that it's simply becoming too difficult for the fans to react to him as a heel.
Technically, Bryan is still a heel, but for all intents and purposes, he's a babyface again. At Night of Champions, however, we will learn for sure that Bryan is back to his babyface roots.
Something—exactly what, I don't know—will happen that makes it clear that Bryan is no longer a heel.
Perhaps he begins really getting along with Kane, a babyface, or perhaps he stops getting angry with the fans who chant "Yes!" or "No!" and starts embracing them.
No matter what happens, though, Bryan will leave Night of Champions as a babyface and be booked like one going forward.
I’m sure you’ve all heard the rumor that Kaitlyn wasn’t actually supposed to win the No. 1 Contender’s battle royal that got her this Divas Championship match against Layla at Night of Champions.
I still have my doubts about that being true, but Eve consistently thrusting herself between Layla and Kaitlyn leads me to believe that it very well might be.
While we’ll probably never know for sure what’s happened, we’ll get a telltale sign if Eve is added to the Divas Championship match to make it a Triple Threat.
At this point, I’d be shocked if it didn’t happen.
It’s no secret that neither Kaitlyn nor Layla is a great worker, so throwing Eve into the mix will likely improve the match quality and add a much-needed heel to the bout as well.
My guess is that Eve becomes a “surprise” late addition to the match, plays the “nice” role she’s been faking as of late and then uses that to her advantage to get the win and win the Divas Championship for the second time.
The belt needs to be taken off of Layla, and if not Beth Phoenix or Natalya, Eve is the next best choice for Divas Champion.
Due to the unfortunate circumstances surrounding Jerry Lawler, he obviously won't be calling the action at Night of Champions.
But someone is going to have to be beside Michael Cole on Sunday, and I'm not crazy about him teaming up with Josh Mathews because they are both play-by-play guys and the WWE needs a commentator at the announce table.
I'd love to think that William Regal or perhaps even Matt Striker would step into that role, but both of those scenarios don't seem all that likely.
That's why a logical scenario could see Booker T going back to the announce table, possibly to reform a three-man announce team with Mathews and Cole like we used to get on SmackDown.
While some may not like Booker T as a commentator, he does indeed add some much-needed entertainment and knowledge to the show, so it makes sense to have him there.
Plus, it could play up his storyline with Sheamus and some other WWE stars, with the explanation that he wants to view the action all night so he can keep a close eye on what's going on.
The feud between Sheamus and Alberto Del Rio has been going on since shortly after WrestleMania 28 in April, when ADR returned and thrust himself into the World title picture.
As we are all well aware of, this hasn’t exactly been the most must-see feud ever. In fact, it’s been borderline atrocious at times and pretty horrible overall.
But I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and after more than five months of agony, I fully expect Night of Champions to be the conclusion of the rivalry between Del Rio and Sheamus.
I’ve predicted that this feud would end multiple times before, and obviously, I was wrong every single time. But I feel much more confident this time around.
There’s just no possible way that the WWE can continue this feud any longer without putting us to sleep.
My original pick for the winner of the pre-show battle royal to determine the No. 1 contender for the United States Championship was Sin Cara, but that changed when I read the SmackDown spoilers.
Now, it’s Zack Ryder.
I was gonna go with Ryback, but I don’t see Antonio Cesaro losing at Night of Champions, and there’s no way he’s going to go over Ryback. That’s why Ryder is my pick, even though he seems unlikely.
My logic is that Cesaro is going to beat whoever he faces anyway, so the winner of the No. 1 Contender’s battle royal doesn’t mean much. Therefore, having Ryder win it will please his fans, and it will protect some other midcard faces who are more of a priority at the moment.
Ryder gets a rare win and a spot on PPV while Cesaro gets to beat someone in rather easy fashion and look impressive in the process.
I don’t know that the WWE also thinks this way, but with most of the WWE’s other midcard faces already booked on the show, Ryder is one of the few options left.
That being said, I could see Brodus Clay winning the battle royal as well.
As we learned on Monday, it will be the unorthodox duo of Kane and Daniel Bryan teaming up at Night of Champions to challenge Kofi Kingston and R-Truth for the WWE Tag Team Championship.
Just earlier that night, however, the expectation was that it would be the No. 1 contenders at the time, the Prime Time Players, taking on Truth and Kingston instead.
It seems highly likely that the main reason that Kane and Bryan “replaced” Darren Young and Titus O’Neil is that they’re so ridiculously over. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that that the PTPers will now just be pushed to the side.
In fact, I think that the long-term plans are really for Kane and Bryan to feud with Young and O’Neil over the WWE Tag Team Championship for a while, so don’t just expect them to disappear.
While I think Kane and Bryan will beat the rather stale duo of Kingston and Truth to win the tag team titles at Night of Champions, I look for the Prime Time Players to make their presence felt during the match.
They’ll probably try to screw Kane and Bryan out of a tag team title win, fail at it and actually wind up helping them pick up the victory over Truth and Kingston.
Kofi Kingston and R-Truth have been together as a tag team since February and have held the WWE Tag Team Championship since late April.
I want the WWE to keep them together to help revitalize the tag team division, but with a handful of other teams currently together, creative likely thinks it can afford to lose one of them.
That team? Kingston and Truth.
While they've done fine as a tag team, they just never really clicked for me, and as a big Kingston fan, I've wanted to see him move on to something else for quite a while now.
With the Kane/Bryan duo, the Usos, the Prime Time Players, Epico/Primo and Kidd/Gabriel teaming up, I wouldn't be surprised to see the WWE pull the trigger on a Truth/Kingston split sometime soon.
The makings of that split might very well happen this Sunday, when Kingston and Truth lose the tag team titles to Kane and Bryan, which results in animosity between the two.
I'd love to see Kingston at least start to go heel on his partner, but Truth seems much more likely.
CM Punk has successfully defended his WWE Championship on every pay-per-view since WWE TLC in December 2011, and he’s done so cleanly on each occasion.
While Punk has won the right way throughout his title reign, that was because he was a babyface. Now, however, he’s a full-blown heel, which almost guarantees that he’s going to start doing shady things to win.
After all, heels rarely win cleanly these days. So, it’s essentially a given that—after going 10 months without cheating to pick up a victory—that’s exactly what he’ll do at Night of Champions.
How will he do it? Will the help of his ally, Paul Heyman.
The WWE clearly wants Punk to be the company’s top heel, and there isn’t a much better way to ensure that than to have the easy-to-hate Heyman screw John Cena out of the WWE Championship in front of his hometown crowd.
Don’t be surprised if that’s exactly what happens.
Sheamus has had a lengthy reign as World Heavyweight Champion, but it’s been marred by an awful never-ending feud with Alberto Del Rio.
I noted earlier in this slideshow that I expect that rivalry to finally come to a conclusion at Night of Champions.
Why? Because I think Dolph Ziggler will cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase, defeat Sheamus and become the new World Heavyweight Champion.
It’s the right time to do it.
Sheamus needs a new feud, Ziggler deserves the title and Randy Orton is apparently going to start filming The Marine 3 in the near future, which means that he won’t be in the title picture for a while and his feud with Ziggler should at least be put on hold.
When you combine all those factors, it should make you think that the possibility of Ziggler finally cashing in will be pretty high on Sunday—high enough that I expect him to do just that.
Drake Oz is a WWE Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter!