WWE Night of Champions 2012 Predictions: Match-by-Match Breakdown
There are a handful of things that are guaranteed to happen at Night of Champions 2012.
Every championship will be defended. The Brogue Kick will be illegal. Vickie Guerrero will screech like a howler monkey.
The unpredictability of everything else is a big part of why we watch the show.
Will CM Punk continue his lengthy WWE Championship reign? Will Alberto Del Rio finally fulfill his destiny?
Attempting to mindread WWE's bookers can help us to answer those questions and foresee the event's winners and losers.
There will be two title changes, interference aplenty and hopefully the last chapter in the Alberto Del Rio and Sheamus rivalry.
Here are all the projected winners and the logic behind the predictions.
Kaitlyn vs. Layla
As many know by now, Kaitlyn is not who WWE wanted to win the No. 1 contender's battle royal.
Bryan Alvarez writes on F4WOnline.com, "the entire reason for the Kaitlyn push of late was a screw-up in the women's number-one contender battle royal last week. Eve was supposed to win but missed the apron on a clothesline spot and landed on the floor."
While WWE has clearly rolled with the punches in regard to this slip-up, it's highly unlikely that they'll end this situation with Kaitlyn winning.
Eve has been hanging around the Divas title picture. That should continue at Night of Champions, with her involvement setting up a future feud with Layla.
WWE can then go back to their initial plan.
Winner and still champion: Layla
Team Friendship vs. R-Truth and Kofi Kingston
Daniel Bryan and Kane are hot.
The odd couple has been one of the highlights of Raw in recent weeks.
Fan response to their anger-management segments have been fantastic, and WWE has taken advantage of their momentum by teaming up Bryan and Kane.
To keep the focus on Bryan and Kane for the near future, WWE seems ready to put the tag titles on them.
Incumbent champions R-Truth and Kofi Kingston haven't truly gelled as a team. Evan Bourne and Kingston were a much better fit.
Bourne's suspensions and foot injury forced WWE's hand, resulting in tossing Truth and Kingston together.
Of all the champions heading into this pay-per-view, Truth and Kingston seem to have the most tenuous hold on their titles.
Their reign will be right around 140 days at Night of Champions. We haven't seen a team hold the belts for more than 150 days since 2008.
Winner and new champions: Daniel Bryan and Kane
Randy Orton vs. Dolph Ziggler
Dolph Ziggler may send Randy Orton off with a loss much the way he did to Chris Jericho.
According to an Orton tweet, the Viper is set to begin shooting 12 Rounds: Reloaded soon. Like Jericho, Orton could lose on his way out the door to help elevate Ziggler.
Having Ziggler win makes him look like a more legitimate contender for the World Heavyweight Championship that he seems destined to wear in the near future.
Expect the win from The Show Off to be assisted by a certain blue briefcase or Vickie Guerrero. Orton is at the stage in his career where clean losses don't come around all that often.
After tapping out to Alberto Del Rio recently, Orton is unlikely to get beaten fairly until he gets back from movie making.
Winner: Dolph Ziggler
Antonio Cesaro vs. Battle Royal Winner
United States champ Antonio Cesaro is one of the best in-ring performers in the WWE today. WWE fans just haven't bought into him yet.
He is in a perfect spot right now, holding a secondary title as we get to know him, but WWE isn't famous for being patient.
Whoever comes out on top of the pre-show battle royal should get the benefit of the company's desire to get the cheap excitement of a title change.
The US title gets passed around so often; would it be all that surprising if Cesaro's unknown opponent walks out with it on Sunday?
WWE should keep the title on Cesaro, but their trigger-happy booking could get us a new champ.
Winner and new champion: Battle royal winner
Alberto Del Rio vs. Sheamus
Everything is set up against Sheamus.
Alberto Del Rio is getting the latest of his countless title shots. Sheamus isn't allowed to use his Brogue Kick finisher. And a possible lawsuit looms over the champ's head.
Sounds like the perfect recipe for the resilient hero to fight through all the obstacles and somehow retain the belt.
All these issues only makes Sheamus look like a stronger champion when he retains.
Dolph Ziggler is waiting in the shadows with his Money in the Bank briefcase in hand. Whether he cashes in on Night of Champions or later on, it makes the most sense in terms of heel and face status to have Sheamus be his victim.
Winner and still champion: Sheamus
John Cena vs. CM Punk
John Cena has won 12 World titles with WWE already. It's hard to bet against him.
If their feud is to continue until, say, Royal Rumble 2013, a CM Punk cheap win makes the most sense storyline wise.
After all the champ's talk of wanting respect and to be called the best in the world, he must win. A Cena win is prematurely reaching the climax.
Their rivalry is likely to get more personal before it ends.
As Punk grows more villainous, this feud has to get more violent. That could very well mean a Hell in a Cell match in a few weeks between the two.
As for Night of Champions, this is the chance for WWE to truly send Punk's villainy to new heights.
If he relies on interference from Paul Heyman, does something underhanded to win and hurts Cena particularly badly, Punk will be the clear top heel in the company. He becomes the unstoppable bad guy that Cena has to stop.
Winner and still champion: CM Punk