With WWE's Night of Champions Pay Per View almost upon us, I want to take the time to open up the book and start handicapping the odds each superstar has to walk away with a title on September 19th.
First up is the Six-Pack Challenge. Sheamus will be defending the WWE Title against former champions in John Cena, Randy Orton, Edge and the upstart Wade Barrett. Each slide will have my painstakingly scientifically-calculated odds and how I came to those conclusions.
Continue on and start placing your fake bets!
Revision as of 9/14/10
With the airing of Raw, I felt an update needed to be made, seeing as how we sometimes see Vegas shifting the odds of the likely outcomes of other events. Below are my previous odds, and the updates for each character's chances of winning the WWE Championship will be made in italics with each slide.
John Cena 20-1
Wade Barrett 10-1
Mystery Opponent 7-1
Randy Orton 5-1
It is a six-pack challenge, so somebody needs to fill that last spot. Why are the odds better for somebody who we don't know as opposed to two former world champs? Because we don't know, that's why. It could be somebody really damn big, or (knowing WWE) they could just fill it with any name on the Wheel O' Superstars (patent pending). Nonetheless, the mystery element is a wild card and an unpredictable ending could create buzz leading into Raw, the Smackdown move and the upcoming slate of Pay Per Views.
Previous Odds for a Mystery Opponent: 7 to 1
While WWE could have introduced a wild card at Night of Champions, they decided to put Y2J back into the fold with a win over the Hart Dynasty. His uncertain status seems to indicate he'll be on hiatus for some time and no championship for Jericho.
The Rated-R Superstar has been stuck in the ruttiest of ruts lately, and with his current program (or lack thereof), he won't be getting out of it any time soon. Even if he were to come out victorious, there isn't any main event-worthy face on the roster he hasn't already feuded with several times before. Time to wait until his much-speculated move to Smackdown until we see gold on Mr. Copeland's waist.
Previous Odds: 15 to 1
If nothing else, Monday Night Raw showed us that WWE has nothing planned for Edge until his rumored move to Smackdown. Perhaps that will be Smackdown's biggest move after their move to SyFy.
Despite his many tenures as a world-class champion, Cena gets the long odds when it comes to walking away from this hornet's nest as champion. The fact is, his involvement is primarily filler, and in my estimation, he's there as a vehicle for the continuing Nexus storyline. Having him take the strap won't advance his character any further, and if WWE wanted him to have the championship to help promote "Legendary", then he already would be wearing it. You don't use the gold as promotional material after the guy's movie is already out.
Previous Odds: 20 to 1
Cena getting reversed with his finisher on Raw doesn't help his case to win. Being solely targeted by Nexus when they pulled their run-in means we'll probably be subjected to a continuation in the Cena v. Nexus storyline.
The Viper is waiting in the bushes for the ideal time to strike and has been gaining fans as well as attaining a god-like following in the IWC. Why aren't his odds the best on the list? Firstly, if he were to win, it would instigate yet another feud with Sheamus and we all know how the first one turned out. He's poised to win gold as a tweener-face, but it's still too soon. If WWE wants to make Orton the company's franchise, a win at WrestleMania would be the best place to set his reign up as the beginning of a new era. Until then, he's going to mow down every individual in his path.
Previous Odds: 5 to 1
Why did Randy Orton drop? He won the last match before the Pay-Per-View first of all, secondly he ended the program on both his feet. After years of watching WWE programming, the guy with momentum following the last show before a PPV will more often than not leave empty-handed at the end of the night. RKO is high as a kite, but with his popularity rising, I think WWE wants to see how long they can go before giving him a nice, long run with the title.
The leader or Nexus may have good heat and is building legitimacy as a top-level heel, but WWE seems to be learning the lessons of Drew McIntyre and Sheamus and is building Barrett up down the road instead of giving him the insta-push treatment.
Previous Odds: 10 to 1
Sure, Nexus having the pointless run-in as their only appearance doesn't help the group's momentum, or that of their leader, but the WWE's predictability shows that a loser of the night's run-in mostly coincides with gold. He still appears headed for a program away from the championship, but WWE could surprise us for once.
Let's face it, nobody in this match can be the odds-on favorite, Sheamus may just pull this one off. Fact is, the WWE needs to have him pull of a clean win, or at least as clean a win as this match can allow. He and the WWE gain nothing by dropping the title at this point. The living Notre Dame mascot needs his title reign to turn around by making him into the dominant heel on Raw as opposed to his current "I'm lucky I haven't lost this title yet" program he's had since regaining the title. Much like JBL's long reign back in 2004/05, Sheamus could be that heel everyone wants to see get dethroned by the time WrestleMania rolls around. He, more than anybody else, has the most to gain and the most to lose in this match. Wade Barrett, Nexus and John Cena have their feud going on, Edge is in limbo until Smackdown moves to SyFy, been there, done that with Orton, and then we have no idea who else is in this match. Just by default, Sheamus has the inside track in this match.
Previous Odds: 3 to 1
The Celtic Warrior is poised to win now more than ever. His match ended with no real victory, and no real loss. Also, the fan reaction seemed to be far more negative than I've heard before, so he could be gaining some good heat as opposed to stale boos from the crowd. Also, WWE needs a reason to keep him relevant for the anticipated return of Triple H, and with Hunter being in the front-running as the Raw GM, what better way to mess with Sheamus than to harass the WWE Champion at every opportunity. It could build to a program where Sheamus just eggs the GM on by saying he's suffered every indignity handed to him and survived.
This match promises some pretty good surprises, but the fact that its populated by six superstars pretty much guarantees unpredictability. We may not know for certain who will win, but it could prove to be an exciting match nonetheless. The odds are just as good that WWE will fail miserably and we'll be saddled with a stinker match, and the pick-a-plot dartboard will be the deciding factor when it comes to who emerges from this match as the victor. Until then, place your bets if you feel lucky.
Sure, the odds have changed, but lady luck will make no favorites. By the time the bell rings, the odds even up for everyone.