SummerSlam was a great event, and it set the stage for what could be just as strong a show—WWE’s Night of Champions.
The next pay-per-view on the WWE calendar is under a month away, but many seeds were planted on SummerSlam and the subsequent edition of Raw.
It’s an amazing time to be a wrestling fan, as the WWE’s product has been getting more and more exciting.
The gimmick of the event is that all of the championships in the company will be defended, which puts creative in a strange position since a lot of the more interesting rivalries aren’t over gold.
Considering all of this, the following are predictions for how WWE will utilize its top stars at the Night of Champions pay-per-view.
Daniel Bryan is at somewhat of a crossroads right now.
He has a rematch for the WWE Championship due to him, but he also has to get revenge on Triple H for his betrayal.
If Bryan faces The Game (which he absolutely should), then it’d make no sense for him to be WWE champion.
There’d also be no point in going after Orton before dealing with the McMahons, because they’d just screw Bryan again.
The American Dragon will have to go through Triple H at Night of Champions before he can continue his quest for the WWE Championship.
This also wouldn't be the first time a non-championship match would headline Night of Champions; Triple H faced CM Punk in the main event of the show in 2011.
But where would that leave Randy Orton?
The only star on the roster big enough to conceivably defeat the new corporate champion is CM Punk.
Punk has a vendetta against Paul Heyman, but since Brock Lesnar is effectively out of their storyline, Heyman has no one to protect him.
Well, he’s got Curtis Axel, but it’s extremely unlikely that The Second City Saint will challenge Axel for his Intercontinental gold at Night of Champions.
Heyman and the McMahons are the two biggest heel non-wrestlers on programming, so an alliance between them seems likely.
That alliance will give Punk a reason to go after Orton and give The Viper a strong opponent while Bryan is busy with Triple H.
Cody Rhodes defeated Damien Sandow in one of the stronger undercard matches at SummerSlam.
The two would clash again on Raw and again, the second generation Rhodes was successful.
It’s obvious that their feud isn’t over, and the only reasonable way for it to end is for Sandow to put his briefcase on the line.
Since the briefcase is essentially a guaranteed World Championship, it wouldn’t be incongruous for that match to happen at Night of Champions.
Cody Rhodes has looked fantastic throughout his program with Sandow, but expect The Intellectual Savior of the Masses to have the last laugh.
Christian was unfortunately unable to recapture the World Heavyweight Championship at SummerSlam, and that puts him in an awkward spot.
It looks like Rob Van Dam is in line for a feud with Alberto Del Rio, so a rematch is unlikely.
At the same time, it’d be strange for Captain Charisma to pursue a midcard title since he’s all about getting that "one more match."
If The Peeps are lucky, Del Rio will defend his title in a Triple Threat or Fatal 4-Way match. If not, September 15 will be a day off for Christian.
The Shield winning the Tag Team and United States Championships was meant to represent its dominant presence in the WWE.
Since the trio has been adorned with gold, though, they’ve been considerably less effective.
Big Show announced that he and Mark Henry will be challenging Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins for the Tag Team gold—and they’ll probably win.
Just as they all won titles on the same night, the members of The Shield will lose the titles on the same night. Whoever faces Ambrose will snag the United States Championship off him.
The Shield work better as a renegade unit rather than a group of competitors, so consider the faction's impending title losses a process of shedding dead weight.