This match carries a good deal of hype and the recent addition of the "elimination" style should make for an entertaining contest but the predictability factor rears its ugly head again.
Thankfully, several things prevent this match from being 100 percent predictable.
1. Chris Jericho has promised to win the WWE Title at Night of Champions...or walk away from the WWE.
2. The Miz has a Money In The Bank briefcase, whoever wins this match is going to be tender meat, and if he loses to Daniel Bryan the way I expect him to, he'll want to redeem himself. Quickly.
Right off the bat, you can forget about Y2J winning this thing. I love him and he truly is the best in the world at what he does and only a fool would tell you otherwise.
I don't buy into the whole "Y2J is leaving and not re-signing" garbage and I won't unless I hear it from Jericho himself. The man is notorious for ducking the IWC and who can honestly blame him?
I expect Jericho to lose this match and take a hiatus from WWE for some work with Fozzy and to return as a babyface. (Yes, IWC, time for you to take this info and go spam some hate threads about Jericho face turns now).
Edge is another guy you can easily chalk off as a non-viable candidate to win this match.
I look at the recent criticism of his work as nothing more than senseless IWC hate (just because he isn't as "big" and "crude" as they liked during the early days of the Rated R gimmick).
Instead, I commend the man for being able to stay relevant, important and impactful despite a Decade of Decadence and multiple career threatening injuries.
However, out of every single guy in this match, Edge has the least going for him. Barrett has the Nexus, Cena and Orton are the most over guys in the whole company, Sheamus is the little engine that sometimes could, and Jericho has the "win or quit" stip. Edge? He's got nothing.
This brings it down to John Cena, Randy Orton, Wade Barrett and Sheamus. Let's break it down:
1. Randy Orton is on the roll of a lifetime, even managing to beat John Cena clean in a tables match (discounting the chaotic but largely uneventful interference from everyone and their grandmother in the Main Event on RAW). Unfortunately, in pro wrestling, this usually means he's the least likely of the four to leave with the gold.
2. John Cena rarely, and I mean RARELY, loses cleanly. However, Cena seems to be taking a back burner to the spotlight lately.
3. Sheamus has NEVER EVER defeated anyone clean in a title defense. (If you count Zack Ryder, I'll RKO your dog) and is perhaps the least credible Champion in the entire WWE. This is a situation that begs to be rectified.
4. Wade Barrett is the single most talented guy in Nexus and the dark horse of this entire match. It's his first title challenge and most people are still unaware of what he's truly capable of.
Taking everything above into consideration, I expect the final three to come down to either Cena/Orton (take your pick, honestly), Wade Barrett and Sheamus.
I would not at all be surprised to see Edge eliminated first, although in a match with this many big stars and so many pushes going on at once, that could easily be changed.
This match is pretty challenging to call. I do see Jericho being eliminated late in the match, likely due to some kind of interference on the part of Nexus, to set up his eventual return to RAW and babyface turn.
Cena and Orton, as always, are wild cards. Expect them to make it to the end of the match, only to fall to a heel.
This is where it gets tricky. As interesting as it would be to see Wade Barrett take the gold, it would likely be compared to Sheamus's shockingly fast ascension to the top and I just don't think Barrett is ready for that, though stranger things have happened.
All things aside, it's impossible to predict who will go out in what order or what the final lineup will be but I've narrowed it down to what I feel are the three most likely scenarios:
1. Sheamus retains clean, picking the scraps of whoever is left at the end of the match after surviving and thus, finally shutting up the naysayers who cry foul about his shoddy track record in title defenses. WWE take notice: Sheamus is desperately in need of this to save his credibility. But I won't hold my breath.
2. Wade Barrett pulls off a shocker and manages to steal the Championship and bring it to the Nexus. This may seem unlikely but after seeing the rise of Nexus and Sheamus's jump to Main Event, don't discount anything.
3. The Miz pulls off the "Shocker of the Year" moment by cashing in Money In The Bank on whatever sap wins this match and walks out of Night Of Champions with a more prestigious title than he entered with. This may be the most unlikely of the scenarios but again, don't discount anything.
And, of course, honorable mentions go to Miz cashing in and being the first guy to fail in his efforts. This seems to be a popular theory amongst the IWC and I felt it was worth putting in this piece.
Lastly, do not expect a babyface to win this match. Cena seems to be taking a back burner to continue his work with Nexus and Randy Orton seems to be on the "Steve Austin" track, as each unsuccessful title challenge just appears to get him more and more over with the fans.