WWE Night of Champions 2012: Predictions for Most Important Matches on Card

Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistSeptember 14, 2012

DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA - JULY 08:  The Celtic Warrior Sheamus during the WWE Smackdown Live Tour at Westridge Park Tennis Stadium on July 08, 2011 in Durban, South Africa.  (Photo by Steve Haag/Gallo Images/Getty Images)
Gallo Images/Getty Images

Night of Champions features every WWE title being defended, but some matches on the card are far more important than others. As always, it comes down to which storylines will build the best in the weeks leading up to the pay-per-view.

With that in mind, let's take a look at the three matches that should rise above the rest on Sunday night and make predictions for which superstars will earn the marquee victories. The show has a good chance to exceed expectations.


CM Punk vs. John Cena

The WWE Championship opponents have built up some great chemistry over the past year ever since Punk was elevated to the main-event picture. Their closing segment on Monday night would be receiving a lot more praise if not for the scary incident involving Jerry Lawler.

Punk's title reign has been a lot more entertaining since his heel turn, giving him the edgy side that made him a fan favorite in the first place. Teaming him up with Paul Heyman simply took it to the next level.

Cena hasn't been the champ in nearly a year, something the WWE Universe wouldn't have predicted considering all of his turns as the top title holder in recent years. The drought will continue on Sunday as Punk retains after a long main-event match.

Prediction: CM Punk


Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio

Even though a lot of fans haven't been happy with the direction of this extended feud, it's still an important match. The winner serves as the main superstar on SmackDown, and the WWE has to do everything possible to get fans excited about the show again.

That's the main reason Del Rio shouldn't win. His gimmick has become stale in recent months as evidenced by the lack of crowd enthusiasm when he comes out or attempts to cut a promo. The creative team has to see it simply isn't working.

On the other hand, Sheamus has been on a dominant run ever since the Royal Rumble and has at least won over the younger portion of the audience. He should pick up a clean victory over Del Rio to end the feud, but don't be surprised if Dolph Ziggler is lurking with his briefcase.

Prediction: Sheamus


Randy Orton vs. Dolph Ziggler

It tells you a lot about the current state of the midcard championships when one of the biggest bouts on the Night of Champions card doesn't even involve a title holder. That will be the case when Ziggler looks for a crucial win over Orton.

Ziggler hasn't received the usual major push that comes with winning the Money in the Bank briefcase, which means he needs a victory over a top-tier superstar to jump-start a potential run as the world heavyweight champion.

Since Orton doesn't have a general direction right now and has built an indestructible character, a loss to Ziggler wouldn't have much of an impact on him. With that being said, the win would mean a lot for Ziggler, so expect him to come out on top.

Prediction: Dolph Ziggler