WWE's Night Of Champions: 7 Things To Watch For in The Intercontinental Bout
Times have been hard on the master of the Boom Boom as of late.
In the past few months, Kofi hasn't gotten many a quiet moment with the Intercontinental Championship.
After an extremely brutal rivalry with The Chosen One, Drew McIntyre, he was able to win the gold at the inaugural Over The Limit pay-per-view in May.
After being kept busy with NXT, Kofi came back to SmackDown and lost his championship to none other than this generation's piece of perfection, Dolph Ziggler.
After weeks of Kofi's anger rising because of the shenanigans pulled by Dolph and his girlfriend, Vickie Guerrero, the situation may finally hit a boiling point this Sunday.
Or we may be subjected to yet another external interference by Nexus. Nonetheless, like at SummerSlam, these two should put on a very exciting show.
In this, this writer's first slideshow, we shall go over 7 things to look for coming into Sunday. Some are obvious, some are not. But hopefully all will be equally as compelling and hopefully good conversation material.
That said, let's begin.
Kofi's Not at 100 Percent
Let's get this show on the road by focusing on what happened on tonight's SmackDown.
To put it simply, Kofi won't be at 100 percent coming into his match with Ziggler. The leader of the Boom Squad had a very slow but grueling match with the All-American American, Jack Swagger, on tonight's episode.
While he eventually pulled out the win against the former World champion, Swagger took a lot out of him.
The Ankle Lock, multiple submission maneuvers, and throat visits with the ropes left Kofi limping and gasping out of the ring.
Was this a smart move on Kofi's part to take a match two days before Night of Champions?
As was noted at the end of the match, "Kofi could have gained confidence from the win."
After the free extension given to him at SummerSlam, Dolph, with all of his athleticism, has been winning melees with Kofi through questionable means.
While Dolph has driven Kingston to the brink of a solid loss a few times over the past few months, even those seemed to err on the side of the shady when encountering Kofi's now well-known resolve.
On Aug. 27, Kofi won a title match with Dolph by count-out, but because of the promotion's rules, did not win the championship.
The same thing happened a week earlier when Kofi won by disqualification.
So in what Kofi has deemed a "leveling of the playing field," their match on Sunday has the added stipulation of the following:
- If Dolph is counted out, Kofi wins the title.
- If Dolph is disqualified, Kofi wins the title.
While it seems like this will properly lay out the playing field, will the new stipulations actually matter in the end?
Even with the stipulation being set, the referee doesn't have eyes in the back of his head.
All it takes is a nudge, an "accidental" eye-gouge, a "minor" distraction and three seconds for Kofi to lose the bout "cleanly."
Considering there was a single instance a few weeks ago with Dolph telling Vicki to back off when she offered help, Dolph could want to play this clean because of the stipulations.
The man who walks out to the words "I am perfection..." may have something to prove in lieu of his victories.
But then again, Alberto Del Rio was supposed to be an honest man.
The Sleeper Hold
In spite of all of the questionable wins that Dolph has gained over the former Intercontinental Champion, Dolph is an awesome competitor.
His move set is very precise and technical compared to Kofi's whimsical and high-flying signatures.
While his billed finisher is the Zig Zag, nothing will put Kofi to the test more than Dolph's sleeper hold.
This test is compounded by factors of 10 when coupled with the fact that Kofi received multiple submission holds as presents from Jack Swagger.
While it may take a couple of prolonged holds to ground the high-flyer, Dolph is again coming into this with the advantage of having that deadly submission.
Trouble In Paradise
There really is no question—if I may borrow a phrase—that Kofi is one of the most electrifying talents on the SmackDown roster.
There is a special place in this writer's heart for the high-flyers of the promotion, and Kofi's move set proves why.
Given Kofi's slight mean streak as of late, we can expect to see no less than spectacular from the West Ghana native this Sunday even if he's not 100 percent.
His Trouble in Paradise signature echoes throughout arenas, but that is far from his only devastating kick.
We all remember what happened at Money in the Bank, if Kofi had to jump off a ladder and into the announce table for the Intercontinental Championship, he would have done it already.
Kofi's pace is extremely fast, so expect to see him try and keep that pace up while trying to tire Dolph quickly.
We saw tonight that Kofi had to gain a second and third win to pull out the win against the former World Heavyweight Champion Jack Swagger—that's not something he can afford to count on come Sunday.
When the Nexus stable premiered in what seems like a year ago, much to the chagrin of the fans, they eventually stayed on RAW.
With NXT season 2's winner, Kaval's debut on SmackDown in the books, we have begun to see why.
However Nexus' exclusivity to RAW didn't prevent them from interfering with the last bout between Dolph and Kofi at SummerSlam.
Even though they couldn't evolve the reasoning for the attack because of the exclusivity, a pay-per-view event is again fair game for an attack.
This should be obvious. Even though the sounds of Vickie calling Edge her significant other are still ringing in my head, the fact of the matter is that Vickie has played a huge part in extending her boyfriend's Intercontinental Title reign.
Vickie has been the primary reason that Dolph has kept the Intercontinental Championship this long and we're two days away from seeing if the Queen of the Cougars has yet another trick up her sleeve to keep her "catch of the day" as the champion despite all of the stipulations.
As was said—it only takes one "minor" distraction and three seconds to keep Dolph as her boyfriend.