WWE Night of Champions 2011: Who Will Take Their Place as a Champion in Buffalo?

Kevin StonebargerCorrespondent IISeptember 18, 2011

WWE Night of Champions 2011: Who Will Take Their Place as a Champion in Buffalo?

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    It is a night of prestige, gold and glory as Night of Champions comes to us live on PPV from Buffalo, New York. Every title is on the line as challengers will look to satisfy their hunger for gold once and for all, while the champions shall try to remain on top of the mountain.

    We have John Cena challenging Alberto Del Rio for the WWE Title, Mark Henry looking to end his 15 year quest for World Title gold against Randy Orton, the US Title to be defended under Fatal 4 Way rules, former friends Rhode and DiBiase fight for the IC Title, Kelly Kelly and Beth Phoenix battling for the Divas Championship and the future of the division, as well as the Awesome Truth looking to fight off the conspiracies by taking the Tag Titles from Air Boom.

    And not only that, but the mega match of the card is not about titles as CM Punk does battle with Triple H in a No DQ match where the landscape of WWE could dramatically change.

    The card looks fantastic and shows a lot of promise to me, as every match has potential to be good. The direction of WWE will be determined with what will go down this Sunday.

    But who will win and take home gold in Buffalo? Well, this what I feel will do go down on PPV.

Divas Championship: Kelly Kelly(c) vs Beth Phoenix

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    The fate of the Divas Division is on the line as Kelly Kelly defends her butterfly-emblazoned title against the Glamazon, Beth Phoenix.

    For so long Divas have been nothing more than eye candy to the fans and WWE, their matches having no meaning and being nothing more than five-minute bathroom break disasters for fans. It was such a drastic downfall from the days of Lita and Trish Stratus tearing it up in the ring, with the likes of Mickie James, Victoria and Molly Holly helping them along the way. Fans cried for the return of wrestling in the division and not just having pretty models being on top.

    These fans were given hope. Beth Phoenix and Natalya joined forces as the Divas of Doom and began a crusade to end the "stinkfaces" and "booty poppin'" and bring credibility back to the division.

    Many fans are in full support of these two as they feel they are the salvation of the division. But Kelly Kelly feels these two are wrong, that she has earned her spot as champion and has managed to stay a step ahead of the two, but it all comes to a head at Night of Champions.

    This is a Summerslam rematch. Their last match was one of best Divas matches in recent memory and I have no doubt they will reproduce similar results again. But while Kelly has momentum, it's in Beth's hometown of Buffalo and with the crowd behind her, as well as her strength and presence, look for Beth to finally take the title.

    Prediction: Beth Phoenix (New Champion)

Tag Team Championship: Air Boom(c) vs Awesome Truth

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    The tag team resurgence looks to finally come to fruition. Miz and Truth look to fight the conspiracies as they attempt to take the Tag Titles from Air Boom.

    The tag team division used to be one of the crown jewels of the WWE, with teams like the Hart Foundation, LOD, Demolition, Hardy Boyz, Dudley Boyz and Edge and Christian making themselves into legendary tag teams. But in today's world, the division is just about dead, with WWE splitting teams way too early and giving the titles to people like Otunga and McGillicuttty.

    It was obvious that WWE no longer cared about tag teams. But now all that has changed in just a few short weeks.

    Kofi Kingston and Evan Bourne teamed up to take the titles from Otunga and McGillicutty, and christened themselves as Air Boom. With such high-flying skills and a connection with the crowd, they were the perfect face tag team.

    But every hero needs a villain and that goes to Awesome Truth. Miz and Truth have teamed up together in an attempt to defeat the conspiracies they believe are against them, employed by Triple H himself. And their first step in doing so is taking the Tag Title from Air Boom.

    Now this is the most anticipated Tag Team Title match I can remember in a long while. All four men are talented workers and are familiar with one another in the ring. If given enough time in the ring, this should be the match that could reinvigorate interest in the division. But as entertaining as Awesome Truth is, I can't see Air Boom losing their titles yet, so look for them to retain.

    Prediction: Air Boom

Intercontinental Championship: Cody Rhodes(c) vs Ted DiBiase

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    Former friends and Legacy mates collide as Cody Rhodes looks to retain his Intercontinental Title against his former protege, Ted DiBiase.

    The Intercontinental Championship was once the stepping stone for Superstars in WWE. With a long and rich lineage, the Intercontinental Title was the championship in which superstars could launch themselves to the main event level.

    But now the Intercontinental Title's prestige has been diminished greatly. Cody Rhodes looks to change that. The unstable, disfigured Rhodes has made it his personal mission to restore the prestige of the IC Title and he continues to insult the fans as he does so.

    But his instability and anger may come back to haunt him as Ted looks for revenge. Once a promising superstar with a bright future, Ted fell into obscurity until he picked up Cody Rhodes, who managed to get him back a sort of relevance. But constant losses and failures caused Rhodes to turn on DiBiase and humiliate him with a paper bag. Now Ted is back, dismantling Rhodes on Smackdown and looking for revenge in the form of the Intercontinental Championship.

    These two know each other very well and are both pretty good wrestlers, so we are in for a good match between these two at Night of Champions. But Ted cannot stand in the way of Rhodes' recent push, so look for the unstable second-generation superstar to retain.

    Prediction: Cody Rhodes

US Championship: Dolph Ziggler(c) vs Jack Swagger vs John Morrison vs Alex Riley

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    It will be pure bedlam and chaos as four men vie for the United States Championship in the form of Jack Swagger, Dolph Ziggler, John Morrison and Alex Riley.

    This all began when Riley called out Ziggler for not being a man and hiding behind his manager, Vickie Guerrero. Ziggler would not listen and continued to butt heads with Riley, yet soon enough Swagger got involved.

    Approaching Vickie, he invoked the idea of a stable to her and suggested he be her next client. Vickie loved the idea and tried to manage Swagger, but Ziggler would have no one but himself managed by Vickie. So the two would continually bicker and clash over Vickie until it finally imploded into fisticuffs on Raw.

    Riley has not stayed out of this since Swagger's inclusion and continues to fight both Ziggler and Swagger, switching between success and failure multiple times. Morrison managed to inject himself in the picture when he and Riley won a tag team match against Swagger and Ziggler when the US Champion walked out on Swagger, allowing him to be pinned.

    This resulted in Long announcing that Ziggler must defend against Morrison, Riley and Swagger in a Fatal 4 Way match.

    This match is most definitely going to be the sleeper match of the night when you look at the talent pool of the wrestlers involved. It will definitely be a high-octane, chaotic match as four men look to jolt their careers with a title win.

    So for my prediction I'm going to go with my gut feeling—as well as who I like best—and say that John Morrison walks out as the US Champion.

    Prediction: John Morrison (New Champion)

World Heavyweight Championship: Randy Orton(c) vs Mark Henry

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    Can anyone stop the monster known as Mark Henry as he looks to capture his first World Heavyweight Championship against Randy Orton?

    For 15 years, Mark Henry has fought to become the World Champion. From his first days in 96, to Sexual Chocolate in the Attitude Era, to facing Undertaker at Wrestlemania to being ECW Champion, Mark Henry has done all he can to win the big one...but to no avail.

    The World's Strongest Man was reduced to smiling and "showing personality" as other's smaller and weaker than him won such a prize. Well, Henry has had enough and he has been on a rampage in WWE, destroying the likes of Kane and Big Show. He will not stop until he is World Heavyweight Champion.

    But one man stands in his way and that's the Viper, Randy Orton. A third-generation superstar and nine-time world champion, Orton is one of the biggest stars of the company alongside Cena and Punk. Henry, though, has made sure to demolish Orton at every turn he can, but the Viper is convinced that he will soundly defeat Henry. That he is simply not good enough to win the title. But can even Orton defeat the menace known as Henry?

    In my opinion, he will. Why? Because he's Randy Orton. He's the Cena of Smackdown, except I like Cena, unlike Orton. He never loses clean and won't start now. Orton is too precious to WWE to be made to look weak and they won't have Orton lose his title so quickly like they made Christian.

    Now, as much as I want Henry to win the big one and despite how good his chances are, the unfortunate reality is Super Orton will RKO Henry's momentum to hell. I sure hope I'm wrong.

    Prediction: Randy Orton

WWE Championship: Alberto Del Rio(c) vs John Cena

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    Alberto Del Rio's destiny as WWE Champion shall be challenged as he defends the title against the polarizing face of WWE, John Cena.

    At Summerslam, Del Rio cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase after Kevin Nash Jacknifed then-WWE Champion CM Punk after his match, allowing Del Rio to capitalize and win the championship. He finally realized the destiny that he had preached about for a year since his debut in WWE. And after rubbing it in our face and defeating Mysterio the following night, it seemed like there was nothing that could be done about it.

    Enter John Cena. The 11-time WWE Champion has made it perfectly clear he despises how Del Rio won the WWE Title: cashing in a briefcase and getting lucky. He feels Del Rio is not a true champion and has devalued the prestige of the belt.

    Cena is coming to kick Del Rio's ass and has tried to get his hands on Del Rio on multiple occasions, but the Mexican Aristocrat has dodged him at every turn, implying that he is a coward to John Cena. But Del Rio will have nowhere to run at Night of Champions as he must face Cena one-on-one.

    Now, this storyline has not been the best in the world. A lack of thought by Creative, as well as Del Rio's visa issues caused this feud to lose steam real quick. I'm surprised this match is not as hyped as it is or put up front because it has John Cena in it, and when Cena is in a title match, it usually has a good amount of hype to it. Still, I'm pretty sure it will be a good match between the two regardless.

    And considering how much WWE wants Del Rio as champion with how much he's been pushed, as well as the upcoming Mexican tour, I got to go with Del Rio to retain against Cena, in a dirty way no doubt.

    Prediction: Alberto Del Rio

No Disqualification Match: CM Punk vs Triple H

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    It's no longer about business now, it's extremely personal as The Game, Triple H, faces the Voice of the Voiceless, CM Punk.

    The domino effect that led to all of this began when CM Punk gave the promo shoot of a lifetime, venting real-life frustrations and bashing the McMahon family. CM Punk would then go on to win the WWE Championship at Money in the Bank and left WWE with it.

    This would lead to Triple H replacing McMahon as COO of WWE. Then came Summerslam, where CM Punk was attacked by Kevin Nash after his title match, resulting in losing his title to Del Rio right after. Nash then claimed he got a text message from Triple H's cell even though HHH said he had no involvement, and soon it began tumbling down.

    Nash and Punk's personal vendetta against one another kept getting raised with screw-overs and pipe bombs, while the lies from Nash continued to pile up onto Triple H. Punk continually insulted HHH, his wife and manhood without backing off. Soon, Triple H had had enough, and after cancelling Punk/Nash, put himself against "The Best in the World" at Night of Champions.

    Soon the situation with Nash exploded, as he was revealed to have set up the whole text message controversy and was promptly fired by Triple H. With Nash gone, Triple H and Punk continued their war of words and in order to settle it, it was made a No DQ by HHH. But Punk had Triple H agree to the stipulation that if he lost, he would have to resign as COO.

    The explosive build-up came to its climax this past Monday on Raw. When CM Punk was about to give out another pipe-bomb, his mic was cut off abruptly...not once, but twice. HHH wanted to hear what Punk had to say so he gave him a microphone, but Punk blasted HHH right in the head with a literal pipe-bomb.

    It is safe to say that in this match we will see a brutality that only this level of personal animosity could give.

    Ironically, this match, where there are no titles but only a personal grudge, is the most hyped, built-up and anticipated match on a PPV where all titles are on the line. This match is what the world is waiting to see and it couldn't be any bigger than this.

    I don't have any idea what will happen. CM Punk could win, Triple H could win, Kevin Nash could come out and screw one of them over or Shawn Michaels could get involved—the possibilities are endless. And with the stipulation of HHH resigning if he loses and Punk on the roll of a lifetime, this is the match that could change the landscape of WWE forever.

    So, as a huge fan of CM Punk, I will go with "The Cult of Personality" to pick up the win and establish himself—finally—as a huge star for the company.

    Prediction: CM Punk