WWE Night of Champions 2015
September 20, 2015
Toyota Center – Houston, Texas
Watch: WWE Network

Every championship in WWE must be defended at WWE Night of Champions. That’s the promise. On a night with every title on the line, we’re bound to see at least one or two new champions, which makes this WWE Network event somewhat meaningful. Not only that, but current WON Hall of Fame contender and future WWE Hall of Famer Sting is challenging for a championship he has never before challenged for — the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Can Sting cement his legacy as a top star in wrestling history, or will Seth Rollins continue his Summer of Seth into autumn? We look at Sunday’s WWE Night of Champions right now!

Neville & The Lucha Dragons vs. Stardust & The Ascension

Sean Flynn (@spiffie6123): This match would be best kept to entrances, a handful of wacky flips, and Stardust stealing a pin. Anything else that happens in this match will only lower my enjoyment factor. Long heat segment on Neville? Down. Clubbering by Ascension? Down. Any offense not involving flying by Lucha Dragons? Dooooown. Remember the old saying: K.I.S.S. = Keep it Simple, Stardust

Prediction: Cosmic Wasteland

Joey O’Doherty (@AwesomeOJoe): It’s the pre-show match, sure, but Neville and The Lucha Dragons are a team I look forward to seeing. I’m a huge fan of Neville and I’m sure he and his partners will have some innovative offence. Hopefully The Ascension don’t bring the match quality down. I fully expect Stardust and his team of cosmic lackeys to get the win here after an entertaining match.

Prediction: Cosmic Wasteland

Ru Gunn (@doctordala): As much as I love SmackDown everyman protagonist Neville bouncing around and Red Arrowing everything, I feel that the bad guys alliance are only just getting started, and it wouldn’t be a good comic book rivalry if Stardust didn’t get one up on the Lucha Arrows team here.

Prediction: Cosmic Wasteland

Rob McCarron (@ShakeThemRopes): Neville flying around all over the Ascension, Stardust losing and kicking more partners to the curb, and the Lucha Dragons getting some time to showcase themselves… What’s not to like about this? Especially since it will be a nice, easy trios match before the main show even starts. This has all the makings for a fun time.

Prediction: Neville & The Lucha Dragons

WWE Intercontinental Title Match
Ryback (c) vs. Kevin Owens

Sean Flynn: I’m thinking this has some significant potential to surprise everyone with how good it is. Owens has a great mind for laying out matches to emphasize his opponent’s strengths, and Ryback will bring the manic energy to this. I’m afraid of what might happen if Owens wins the IC belt and the ancient blood curse that rests upon it. Ryback’s leg almost ate itself already during his reign. I think the rest of this card is going to get kind of weird, so here we can have a straightforward result that Owens will bitch about on Raw the next night.

Prediction: Ryback

Joey O’Doherty: Ryback has certainly looked good in recent weeks. Free from the shackles of The Big Show, “The Master of the Feed Me More” (whatever that is?) was able to work a good match with Seth Rollins a few weeks back and his short feud with Owens has been fresh to say the least. I expect Owens to get the best out of The Big Guy, yet I suspect a Ryback win, via disqualification as a result of maybe an Owens chair-shot, to keep this feud running to the next Network Special.

Prediction: Ryback

Ru Gunn: Kevin Owens has beaten far better men than Ryback, and reasonably should be able to claim a decisive victory here. I’d like it if he did; passing the championship on to someone with compelling humanity and promo skills. Having at least one belt safe with a favourite would make the uneasy Rollins outcome sit much more comfortably with me. While Owens is capable of having a gripping feud with almost anyone, Ryback might be one of the least interesting choices, and I would be loath to see this drag on.

Prediction: Kevin Owens

Rob McCarron: The Ryback just got the title, or so it seems. In reality, he’s had the belt since the end of May. He is, indeed, the longest reigning Intercontinental Champion since Big E’s title reign which began in 2013. So, yeah, maybe it is time for someone else to hold the title. This is a complete toss up match, but I see The Ryback holding strong.

Prediction: Ryback

Dolph Ziggler vs. Rusev

Sean Flynn: You don’t care about this match. Don’t even try to lie to me. I can see in your eyes that you know looking at this match for too long is Lovecraftian in its horror. Somehow two awful people will fight each other, and at the end the announcers will agree the woman is the evil one. Instead of watching this match, take a moment and donate to my efforts to help the Special Olympics, and maybe get me fired from the Raw Review if that’s your cup of soup. Ziggler wins when Summer somehow makes Rusev stop paying attention to the little guy trying to kick him in the face.

Prediction: Dolph Ziggler

Joey O’Doherty: While these two can put on a good match, I simply don’t care anymore. This angle went way beyond its sell-by-date after Summerslam, confusing me to no end in the process as to who is face and who is heel, and it’s just dragging down both performers by the week at this stage Rusev needs the win more going forward so I choose him.

Prediction: Rusev

Ru Gunn: Cementing its runaway claim to “worst feud of the year”, I don’t expect this match to be any more inspiring than any other interaction between the two in their interminable love rectangle. As the unpleasantness towards the female members of this feud shows no sign of improving, I’ll use this space to share some domestic violence resources: UK & USA . Also, some statistics highlighting the reasons why media ought not to create flippant portrayals of intimate-partner abuse for entertainment without providing support for individuals affected by these issues.

Prediction: No Contest

Rob McCarron: I believe this program is in a holding pattern until Lana comes back, but that doesn’t tell me who will win this match. The fans are starting to turn on Dolph, side with Rusev, and forget about Lana. Will that continue in Atlanta? I don’t know, I expect that crowd to be big into Dolph, actually. I’ll go with Dolph, due to weirdness from Summer, and hope that holds.

Prediction: Dolph Ziggler

Roman Reigns & Dean Ambrose & Mystery Partner vs. The Wyatt Family

Sean Flynn: Giving someone the rub as the third member of a Quasi-Shield team is not something that should be taken lightly. Introducing someone who can be seen as a physical threat to Brown Stroganoff is imperative. The only person who would make sense here, live up to the hype, and be an equal to Brian Stromboli would be Samoa Joe. So I say that happens. Joe and Strom Thurmond keep each other occupied while Bray and Harper use chicanery to get a pin.

Prediction: The Wyatt Family

Joey O’Doherty:  Roman Reigns made a great point on Raw that he has bested Bray on 2 consecutive Pay Per Views, which leads me to believe that by WWE logic, Bray and his merry men will be victorious on Sunday. My interest in this match revolves around the mystery partner. If it’s someone interesting, like a Finn Balor, Samoa Joe or any pleasant surprise, I’ll be more invested in watching what transpires. However if it’s a Randy Orton or Jimmy Uso, I will be more interested in my Twitter feed than watching a match that will most likely be redone on the following Raw anyway.

Prediction: The Wyatt Family

Ru Gunn: I noticed Cole pointedly referred to this match as a “six person tag match” rather than “six man”, keeping my dream alive that the third participant on the Shield side may still be little Joelle Reigns. All the other potentials that the internet are muttering about are too tedious to mention, and would require dramatic stretching of kayfabe to make even tenuous sense. Even with the ace in the hole of Joelle’s deadly finisher, “The Teapot”, I think somebody ends dangling limply from Braun’s tree-trunk grip while he contorts his expression into an unnerving smirk.

Prediction: The Wyatt Family

Rob McCarron: Daniel Bryan.

Prediction: Roman Reigns & Dean Ambrose & Daniel Bryan

WWE Tag Team Title Match
The New Day (c) vs. The Dudley Boyz

Sean Flynn: The New Day are the best thing in wrestling right now. They’re the best thing that’s happened in years. I am assuming this match will be endless noise and chaos and people interfering and all the traditional Dudley spots including Xavier going through a table, probably with his trombone. But the belts aren’t going anywhere. New Day is only surpassed by a Titus O’Neil tag on the hotness scale right now.

Prediction: The New Day

Joey O’Doherty: I’m happy once I’m seeing New Day, so I know I will be happy watching this match. Hooray.

My head tells me those damn Dudleys will get the win, yet my heart says New Day. But as with The Owens/Ryback match, I feel this feud will continue well beyond this match, so do I dare to say another non finish on a WWE PPV? The New Day win as The Dudleys put one of the trio through a table.

Prediction: The New Day

Ru Gunn: A guaranteed feel-good spot on this card, even if only briefly: I hope the New Day’s entrance is more grandiose and over the top than ever before. The Dudleys’ main character trait (apart from irrational hatred of furniture) seems to be their poor impulse control– while the New Day literally have a PhD student for a strategist– so I agree with Joey that the Dudleys’ irresistible compulsion for table-breaking will score a DQ victory for the champs here.

Prediction: The New Day

Rob McCarron: Count me as one who is excited to see the Dudley Boyz in action on a WWE Pay-Per-View again. Bubba Ray was a highlight, possibly the biggest one, of this year’s Royal Rumble. The Dudleys are a main attraction for the WWE Network special from Madison Square Garden next month, so they may be going into that as the tag champs. Can WWE stretch this feud out to TLC in December? The road to finding out begins Sunday.

Prediction: The Dudley Boyz

WWE Divas Title Match
Nikki Bella (c) vs. Charlotte

Sean Flynn: To change the title here would be like screwing up the New Year’s Eve ball drop in Times Square and then asking people to get excited for it to happen at 3:30 PM on January 5th. They had the moment, they let the moment pass in the least satisfying possible way. At this point I say build up to a new moment as Nikki reaches the 1 year mark as champ. Sadly basic storytelling seems to have not come over with the ladies from NXT, so Charlotte wins in front of an apathetic crowd.

Prediction: Charlotte

Joey O’Doherty: The ending of this match on the previous Raw has left a sour taste in my mouth, and now these women will enter a rematch this Sunday with most of the momentum gone after Monday’s lacklustre finish. The moment is gone for me and the trigger should have been pulled on Raw. However it wasn’t and here we are with little or no interest. Good job WWE. I say keep the belt on Nikki and build to the next PPV, but with WWE apparently very high on Charlotte, I see the former Mrs. Bram taking the gold now that AJ Lees record is no more.

Prediction: Charlotte

Ru Gunn: Having had Charlotte, the whole Divas’ division, and indeed the entire concept of title matches undermined by the tired, lazy finish to what ought to have been a tense, historical match on RAW has not increased my hype for this match. If WWE wanted to pass the title on to Charlotte but wanted Nikki to erase AJ first, then a Charlotte win here would be a very transparent way to indicate that motive. I hope for a solid match with no interference or hair-pulling.

Prediction: Charlotte

Rob McCarron: We’re getting the next evolution of this Divas Revolution, as a singles frontrunner will be crowned, and the eventual dissolution of the trios teams will begin. There is no possible result other than Charlotte winning. (Except, of course, for all the other possible results)

Prediction: Charlotte

WWE United States Title Match
Seth Rollins (c) vs. John Cena

Sean Flynn: Seth is not leaving NoC with both titles. That seems pretty obvious. The question is which belt, if not both, will he be dropping? It seems like a no-brainer that if he’s not going to be a double champion there’s no reason for him to have the US title. Plus Cena lost last month, and if he loses twice kids might not buy his shirts or something. Cena wins, takes back the US title, and tries to recapture the magic of the Open Challenge. Bonus prediction: No magic is recaptured. LOLCENAWINS~!

Prediction: John Cena

Joey O’Doherty: After last month’s effort, these two had a great match that was spoilt by the screwy finish. With Jon Stewart not booked, and if no-one else interferes, Rollins and Cena could have a much more serious Match of the Month contender when they meet on Sunday. My prediction is that Cena goes over, seeing how he lost to Rollins already and he aint losing two in a row. It will fuel the flames of the Seth vs HHH narrative and it gives Cena back the US title, a position that suits him best at this point in time.

Prediction: John Cena

Ru Gunn: The mystery of the two Rollins matches is not “will they end clean”, but predicting the quantity and variety of shenanigans. I feel bitterly robbed of what was shaping up to be a really enjoyable match between these gents at Summerslam, so a proper bout with no celebrity involvement would be very welcome here, even if Cena has to win. Heel or no, Rollins is capable of wrestling intense and lengthy impressive matches, and I feel cheated if he’s not in the ring long enough for his hair to dry all fluffy.

Prediction: John Cena

Rob McCarron: Please bring back the US Title Open Challenges. The best part of Raw needs to return, and I’m anxiously hoping it does.

Prediction: John Cena

WWE World Heavyweight Title Match
Seth Rollins (c) vs. Sting

Sean Flynn: Does Sting get a moment with the title so that they can include that in his eventual WWE HoF package? Will Bret Hart overrule a ref and call for the bell when Seth submits and then let Sting yell in Spanish? The most satisfying possible ending for me would be Ric Flair coming out to ringside, getting ready to help Sting, then turning on him one last time. I’m filibustering because I have no idea what the hell will happen. So we’ll go with the “feel good” ending. Sting wins somehow, escapes the show with the belt, and loses it tomorrow night on Raw. To Daniel Bryan. Why? WHO CARES? STORIES ARE BEING TOLD! BOOM~!

Prediction: Sting

Joey O’Doherty: I’m out of my mind, right? WCW’s Sting as WWE Champion in 2015. I’m most likely wrong, but hear me out. One week ago, I thought Sting winning would be the wildest thing ever. One week later, that’s still true. It’s WWE, though, and I’m trying to book this as if I have the mind of modern day Vince McMahon. A Sting win will further the HHH vs Rollins story arch slightly, while giving Rollins a new program with Kane. Sting can win the title and at least get some curious eyes on the product. It’s not what I’d like to see, but it’s what I predict.

Prediction: Sting

Ru Gunn: Being that the much-hyped main event on RAW this past Monday was barely a minute’s worth of Sting before interference threw out the match, I don’t have great confidence that Sting can work an adequate showing here. Best case scenario is he realises how awfully rude he’s been and has commissioned a replacement statue for our champ, to start the match off with a bit of sportsmanship. After that: Authority interference? A Kane run-in? Rollins trips over his lace and Sting gets a rollup? Sheamus cashes in? Nothing would surprise here.

Prediction: Seth Rollins

Rob McCarron: All these people thinking Sting wins the World Heavyweight Championship… I suppose it could happen, but that means Sheamus walks out of Raw at the latest as the new World Champion. I don’t know if the Summer of Seth is over quite yet.

Prediction: Seth Rollins

Special thanks to Rukkus for providing the following infographic: