World Heavyweight Championship
The story: Mark Henry is on the tear of his career, ripping through suckers like a fat kid on Halloween. But this is actually not the first time Henry has gone on a warpath, taking out Kane and Big Show in the process. In 2007, at the very first Night of Champions event, Mark Henry won the ECW Heavyweight title by defeating…you guessed it, Kane and Big Show in a triple threat match. But this time around Randy Orton is standing in his way to the top, and that might be a weight too heavy for the World's Strongest Man to lift. They are playing off this angle that Mark Henry is fighting for his first real World title win in fifteen long years, and the spot with Edge on Smackdown this past Friday actually seemed pretty emotional for good ole' Sexual Chocolate. I have never been a Mark Henry fan, but I have been quite impressed in the last few months. For the first time Henry isn't just dominant, he's charismatic and believable in his role. But Randy Orton is the star of Friday Night Smackdown. This title match really is anyone's guess…
The prediction: This may be a long shot, but gun to head I'm picking Mark Henry to walk out of Night of Champions with the World Heavyweight title. Many have said that while he has been believable in his role lately, they're still not convinced he'll be believable as a champion. To that I say: there's only one way to find out. They still have Hell in a Cell and Vengeance lined up before the big Survivor Series at Madison Square Garden. That's two big opportunities for Henry to impress, or for them to change their mind and strap the title back on Randy Orton before showtime. The upside to a dominant heel taking control of the World Heavyweight title is of course the opportunity for new faces to challenge for it. Sheamus has been on fire and is deserving of another shot, but that's probably not going to happen with Randy Orton as champion.
No Disqualification – If Triple H loses, he must resign as COO
Many have stated their dissatisfaction with this feud, saying that they haven't given it enough time and that it all seems incredible rushed. I respectfully disagree. Remember that while Triple H and CM Punk have only been directly feuding for a month, this whole angle was going on since before Money in the Bank. Even when John Cena's WWE title was at stake, this feud was CM Punk against the WWE authority. And that authority shifted from Vince McMahon to Triple H the night after Punk won the WWE title in Chicago. CM Punk may have challenged John Cena at SummerSlam, but the Game was involved every step of the way. Tonight's main event match is the physical confrontation after nearly two months of word battles. They are arguably two of the best talkers in the history of the business, and have sold Night of Champions with their mic work alone, but who isn't excited to see it finally come to blows? One thing I hope we can avoid is a predictable ending. With both Vince McMahon and Kevin Nash reportedly lurking backstage, the lazy thing to do is have Nash, Johnny Ace, and VKM come out and cost one of them the match. I want to see a classic with a clean ending first. Grant me that, and then let Sergeant Laryngitis and the Weak-Knee Crew get involved…
Another popular complaint is that Triple H will likely “bury” CM Punk and make him “do the job”. This is clearly my opinion, but I do not think Triple H has returned to the WWE to stroke his own ego. The thirteen time World Champion and son-in-law of the CEO of the company doesn't need to be around. He could stay backstage and reap millions of dollars without making a single promo or ever lacing up his boots again. His return has been good for business, and no matter what happens tonight, the end will be just that…good for business. Remember that the win or loss is not ultimately what matters, but rather the story that is told through them. Punk laid down for Alberto del Rio at SummerSlam, and while many were unhappy about it, it has been better in the long run for Punk. To not be champion has given him the ability to continue his conspiracy theory against the authority, leading up to this match tonight, and what will surely continue into Survivor Series. Even if Triple H does get the win tonight like many are expecting, it's not the end of CM Punk, but likely just the beginning.
Tonight we will see the return of Triple H. Not the suit-wearing lapdog of WWE headquarters, but the sledgehammer-wielding, Pedigree-giving Cerebral Assassin that has given us some of the greatest moments in the history of professional wrestling. His last match was praised as one of the greatest of all time, so try to keep that in mind while you rally behind CM Punk tonight. Will the “voice of the voiceless” stick it to the man and dethrone Triple H as the Chief Operating Officer of the WWE? Will evolution pass by the Game in the form of CM Punk? One thing's for sure…this No Disqualification match will be one for the ages, and I am ready for Night of Champions!
As always, your feedback is greatly appreciated. MikeKillam@gmail.com or @killeReview on the Twitters.
Air-BoomAlberto del RioBeth PhoenixCM PunkCody RhodesJohn CenaKelly KellyMark HenryRandy Ortonted dibiaseTriple HWWEWWE DivasWWE Night of ChampionsHave a news tip?Attended an event and want to send a live report?