"It's all on the line"
WWE Night of Champions; a personal favourite Pay-Per-View of mine, just because you get to see every championship defended in one single night and you're forever guessing, "Oh well he can't lose the title otherwise that'll be five title changes in one night, they'll never do that", or "Well if she wins, that makes it 6 heels who have won, surely they'd never do that".
Those sort of questions always pop into our heads when Night of Champions comes around.
Now many aren't a fan of the gimmick PPV's that WWE put on for us but Night of Champions will be entering its fourth edition in little over four weeks time making it one of the oldest gimmick PPV's around. Normally we've seen Night of Champions take place in June or July but this year they've opted for September and there are number of factors for why they have done this.
But also a lot of pressure is being put on this PPV to deliver too.
Now I'm from England so my knowledge is limited but all the chatter I hear about the (American) football season starting or whatever it is, generally causes a dip in Monday Night Raw's ratings because of the sheer competition. So the reason I can only assume that Night of Champions, one of WWE's most successful PPV's outside the "Big Four", has been moved to September is in order to start the autumn (fall) season off strongly for WWE and keep their viewers on board through the season.
Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong there.
It's no secret that WWE's PPV buyrates have slumped and we're yet to see whether SummerSlam continues or discontinues that trend as of yet. Whether it does or it doesn't, its mixed bag of performances means that Night of Champions is not a "must buy" to many WWE fans right now.
One thing I have found confusing is the timing between certain PPV's.
We got a respectable, standard four week build-up to SummerSlam, it wasn't a lot but it was enough. Now, we have a five week build-up to Night of Champions, quickly followed by a two week gap between that and Hell in a Cell which is on October 3rd. That I do find puzzling.
WWE's PPV's are not cheap to buy it's hard to find the cash to splash every four weeks, now WWE are being kind by giving us an extra week to earn our pocket money but then slam the brakes on with a two week gap meaning a lot of people will be very reluctant to buy two PPV's within two weeks, what would that up to, $80-$90? About £30 in England anyway.
So a lot of pressure is being put on Night of Champions, it HAS to deliver.
If Night of Champions is a failure or it just continues the trend of average PPV's then Hell in a Cell has no chance, sure the Hell in a Cell gimmick is a big draw but it's never so attractive when you've just forked out a lot of money for a dissapointing PPV 14 days prior to that.
On the other hand if it is a success then the big draw that is Hell in a Cell could profit hugely as fans would have enjoyed Night of Champions and then would have the mouthwatering prospect of two or three Hell in a Cell matches in the same night.
As you can see from the picture above in 2008 (and 2007) eight championships were being contested for. 2009 was the same but with the Tag Titles unified there were two Women's Titles. However this year, we face the prospect of just six championship matches.
With ECW now gone we've already lost one match and if SummerSlam is anything to go by, we could be in for a unification of the Divas/Women's Title cutting it down to just six. Six PPV matches to fill three hours, plus the Divas & Tag Title matches are never usually that long! That probably leaves four matches in two and a half hours.
Which is why I think we'll get an extra match or two on top of all the championship matches, surely. Logically we're going to see Sheamus vs Orton and possibly Cena in a Triple Threat Match for the WWE Title.
Kane v Taker is a dead cert.
Miz v Daniel Bryan for the US Title looks all but set in stone.
My prediction for the tag titles is Hart Dynasty vs Edge & Jericho possibly? Or Hart Dynasty vs two members of Nexus.
And the IC title looks to be Ziggler v Kofi or someone replacing Kofi if he has to "earn" his title shot.
A sad thing to see is so much wasted talent is being left out to dry. At SummerSlam we saw no Evan Bourne, no Jack Swagger, no Christian, no Cody Rhodes, no Ted Di Biase, no Drew McIntyre... all capable of putting on a very good match.
And at Night of Champions it seems that many of them will miss out again because none of those men have any current connection with The Nexus really so a match with them is unlikely and unrealistic.
With only five male titles to compete for what will happen to people like John Morrison & R-Truth both decent wrestlers but where could they fit onto the Night of Champions card?
We'll leave that to creative to sort out.
But Night of Champions has great potential, with a five week build-up there's plenty of time for some hot feuds to really start-up, I'd love to see Miz vs Bryan on PPV and we could well get that. I'd like to see WWE announce the PPV bouts much much earlier, it's something they've not done a lot lately but I think the better feuds are ones where you know who's competing in the PPV bout far ahead. It doesn't work for every match but for most it does.
At SummerSlam the Handicap Match was announced quite late on, the IC Title Match was announced two days before the PPV! Melina vs Fox was announced six days before and guess what? All three matches were no more than average. Whilst we knew well in advance of the two world title matches and the seven on seven match and for the most part, they were very good.
Back to my point though, Night of Champions will set the tone for the back end of 2010, if that succeeds then the seeds are planted for a strong period of time for WWE, which could have a chain reaction to as far as Wrestlemania 27. Otherwise it could be a long hard slog in a desperate fight for every PPV buy they can muster.
Just 13 weeks seperate September 19th and December 19th and within that five WWE PPV's will occur.
On Monday 20th December 2010 the answer to whether Night of Champions will become clear for all to see.