The match of the night will be WWE Raw battling the NFL.
With the NFL season kicking off, WWE's go-home show for Night of Champions has stiffer competition than Daniel Bryan has faced the last few weeks. The energy is sure to buzz from the fans in Toronto, a returning Hall of Famer and another match with Cody Rhodes' job on the line will be how WWE combats the challenge.
The biggest, most exciting news surrounding Monday's Raw involved a man who won't be wrestling at Night of Champions.
Edge makes his way back to WWE reportedly in part to hype his appearances on Haven. Returning to his hometown is sure to produce a monstrous pop. Fans should also expect him to be weaved into the top storylines.
Will he give Bryan a pep talk or be another victim of Triple H's regime?
In addition to the Rated-R Superstar, Triple H, Stephanie and Vince McMahon are scheduled to appear, per PWTorch.com. Triple H's presence is no surprise, but it will be interesting what role Mr. McMahon plays.
His son-in-law has grabbed the reins of the company and McMahon has mostly stepped aside and allowed it. There's bound to be some tension as the two power-hungry authority figures struggle to coexist.
A Second Chance For Cody Rhodes?
Last week, Rhodes shook off the daze Randy Orton's RKO gave him just in time to hear Triple H fire him on the air. Security escorted Rhodes out of the building and much of the talk after that episode of Raw was about him and his future.
That continues this Monday as Rhodes' brother steps in the ring with The Viper in an attempt to get Cody's job back.
Goldust had been playing up the firing angle on Twitter.
Fans tuning into that medium over the weekend saw Goldust continue to plead with and pester Triple H about the situation. Eventually, Brad Maddox booked a match where Goldust could earn his brother's job back with an upset win.
The former Team Rhodes Scholars member would still have to apologize if that were to happen.
This bout is an exciting move as it both brings Goldust back for a special appearance and keeps Rhodes' firing fresh in the audience's mind. With this much attention on Rhodes even when he's not around, expect his return to be one with major impact.
Night of Champions Hype
With WWE's next pay-per-view only a few days away and the card only featuring four matches so far, expect the rest of the show to get filled out.
Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose don't have official challengers for their championships, but Monday's Raw will change that.
Ambrose has twice now attacked Dolph Ziggler before his matches with Ryback. That has Ziggler vs. Ambrose for the U.S. title looking like a lock. What about Reigns and Rollins' titles then?
The Prime Time Players have won a handful of matches of late so that could be WWE's choice here, but the Wyatt Family looms as potential rivals as well. Erick Rowan and Luke Harper defeated Titus O'Neil and Darren Young on last Wednesday's WWE Main Event.
Chances are that fans will see a No. 1 contender's match between those teams unless Big Show and Mark Henry are back in the hunt.
As for the scheduled matches on the card, Bryan has ended the last few Mondays and Fridays getting clocked in the face and laid out in the ring. It's not likely he gets much revenge just yet as WWE seems to be taking the long and patient route with this angle.
With The Shield, Triple H, Orton and a reluctant Big Show against him, Bryan doesn't stand much chance of avoiding physical punishment yet again.
Paul Heyman will likely fare far better in that department, at least for now.
Having CM Punk pound on Heyman on TV devalues seeing that happen on pay-per-view this Sunday. Instant gratification gets replaced with the delayed version as Punk may try to break Heyman's face, but will fail for the moment.
That's a climax waiting for fans at Night of Champions.
Hobbled Warriors Returning
The return of Edge and Goldust is bigger news, but two Superstars that missed out on last week's action are likely to be in the mix as well.
Mark Henry injured his hamstring the weekend before last Monday's Raw and fans of "The World's Strongest Man" had to be worried that he'd torn it. Fortunately, good news has come out about the injury. F4WOnline.com, via WrestleZone.com, reports that Henry "underwent an MRI and was subsequently cleared to return to the ring."
So if WWE wants to have Henry and Big Show challenge The Shield as originally planned, Henry is ready.
What's been happening with Big Show recently, though, hints that the company has other plans for the giant. Ironclad contract or not, Big Show has become Triple H's puppet, knocking out whoever the COO desires him to.
After recovering from his concussion two weeks ago, Christian is apparently ready to go as well. As reported by PWMania.com, Christian is advertised to appear on the Sept. 9th episode of Raw. With the Night of Champions still so open, expect Christian to slide onto the card.
Rumors, courtesy of WrestleZone.com, put Christian against Bray Wyatt at the pay-per-view.
If Christian comes for a match on Monday, don't be surprised if Wyatt and his band of bearded brothers come charging in at him at some point.
Dissecting the Five-Point Preview
As always, the Raw preview on WWE.com offers foreshadowing and insight to what we can expect to see on Monday.
Aside from hyping the Orton vs. Goldust match and Edge's return, a few questions from the article stand out. It's no surprise to see Triple H as the focus of two of them.
Mitch Passero on the preview asks, "Is another Superstar heading for the chopping block? What is the COO's next move as he attempts to grow WWE?"
A benefit of Triple H's dictatorial ways is that another Superstar in need of some time off could follow Rhodes' temporary path out of the company. It seems unlikely that WWE would so quickly go to the Superstar-firing well, though.
Repeating the angle would water down the power it had for Rhodes.
The other most intriguing question from Passaro's preview pertains to the world title bout between Rob Van Dam and Alberto Del Rio.
The time seems right for RVD to capitalize and capture his first World Heavyweight Title. Just how hard is Del Rio willing to fight to keep what is his at Night of Champions?
Is this a hint or misdirection? Emphasizing Van Dam's chances to win could just be WWE's way of suckering in the audience. The smart money is on Del Rio to retain.
Expect him to do something underhanded to Van Dam on Monday to gain an advantage going into Sunday.
That story and everything else scheduled for this packed episode needs to be mighty compelling to keep fans from flipping over to see how Michael Vick and Robert Griffin III are faring.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!