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Admittedly, this episode of Rantables was going to be the card for my epic roster’s first ever show, but I got really lazy/sidetracked by other projects, so that will be posted at a later date. With that said, let’s do picks for Night of Champions.

This show has had about the best total build across all matches as I’ve seen in a while. Every match has had time every week to build a little more on the story so far, and that’s something that WWE programming has been sorely lacking over the past while. What makes it so great is that it actually makes picking winners a challenge instead of one choice being incredibly obvious. It’s refreshing. With that said, let’s go to the card.

CM Punk vs. The Big Show

Ah, the Special Attraction non-title match, the first in Night of Champions history. Punk and Show have had a fun feud that’s managed to keep both guys over throughout. With the dissolution of the Straight Edge Society, Punk appears to be ready to fly solo once again. I honestly thought he was better that way. Show has been getting over like crazy thanks to his jolly antics and overall pleasant demeanor since moving to Smackdown. I enjoy his promos thoroughly. Punk is also stellar on the mic. Show won the last match against Punk in that 3-on-1 Handicap match at SUmmerslam, so it stands to reason that Punk will win this one. But picking against The Big Show is always difficult, since it’s difficult to picture ways in which he can legitimately lose a match. Punk can’t use the GTS on Show, and locking on the Anaconda Vice may be next to impossible. However, Punk has managed to pull off some crazy wins against bigger men, and I would bet that he’s going to use every part of the ring to his advantage. I’m picking CM Punk to win in what I would consider an upset. But this feud isn’t done yet.

Women’s and Diva’s Title Unification Lumberjill match – Melina (Diva’s Champion) vs. Michelle McCool (Women’s Champion)

Aside from the Tag Team Titles match that still hasn’t been booked as of my writing this very sentence, this match has had the least build up of the entire card. Still, it hasn’t been as awful as most of LayCool’s programs in recent months. The latest twist came last night on Smackdown, when Michelle rigged a game of chance so that she would be the half of LayCool to defend the Women’s Championship (and, I would think, become the unified Women’s Champion if she succeeds). This likely means the end of LayCool as we know it. Now, the question on my mind is this: will Layla betray Michelle and help Melina win the unified Women’s Championship, or will her plans backfire and Michelle win anyway? Technically, Michelle should never have been a part of this match, but the story played out that way. On an unrelated note, I really hope that Kaval ends his association with LayCool very soon, since there is no reason he needs to be hanging around them anymore. He has his guaranteed title shot and a spot on the Smackdown roster, so why is he still associating with the tie-for-third-most annoying personalities on WWE programming? I hope he kicks both of their heads in and goes out on his own. Of course, I’ve been hoping for that to happen since the first week he was on NXT…but I’ve gone on this tangent long enough. Michelle would be the more solid choice, as Melina is rather oft injured, which leaves the company scrambling for a replacement. On the other hand, if Michelle wins, we’ll never hear the end of it. The X Factor, of course, will be the ladies surrounding the ring. Whether they end up screwing Michelle out of the title remains to be seen. I think it will cost Michelle in the end, and Melina wins to become the NEW Unified Women’s Champion.

Tag Team Championship Match – The Hart Dynasty (c’s) vs. ???

It really isn’t going to matter who their opponents are, The Hart Dynasty will win and retain the Tag Team Championships. Unless they’re going to face Alberto Del Rio in some manner. WWE seems way too intent on pushing him up the ladder way too quickly. Even the best in the world had to work his way up from the bottom.

Intercontinental Championship Match – Dolph Ziggler (c) vs. Kofi Kingston

If Dolph gets disqualified or counted out, he will lose the Intercontinental Championship. Usually, when this type of stipulation is placed on a match, the champion will end up retaining the title. And I would not doubt that WWE is going to stray from tradition this time, either. Kofi has talked a big talk since returning to Smackdown, but he’s barely done anything to live up to his massive potential. Though that’s Creative’s fault for not pushing him up to the main event 9 months ago after his feud with Randy Orton. Maybe this time, they’ll push Kofi up. That being said, this should be a pretty good match despite Vickie Guerrero’s attempts to ruin it by existing. Dolph Ziggler wins and retains the Intercontinental Championship.

United States Championship Match – The Miz (c) vs. Bryan Danielson

Every fiber of my being wants Danielson to take the title away from Miz. Nobody deserves a push in WWE as much as Danielson does. But my gut tells me otherwise. This feud can’t end yet. It’s just getting started, really. With the addition of Alex Riley, AKA The Miz 2.0, it’s getting interesting. I’m not a bigl supporter of Miz or Riley, but at least they can talk most WWE wrestlers under the table. Danielson WILL win the US Championship, for sure. Just not on Sunday. It pains me to write this, but The Miz wins and retains the US Championship…for the moment.

World Heavyweight Championships No Holds Barred Match – Kane (c) vs. The Undertaker

Unless something amazing happens in the next two and a half months, this is my pick for feud of the year. Kane’s promos have been, by far, the best of his career, and the best in the company the past couple of months. I often forget that he’s talking about wrestling when he’s talking. It feels more like this story could fit into a graphic novel or a TV miniseries instead of WWE programming. And as good as Kane has been on the mic, Taker has been just as good at selling his time away. All the younger guys should take note: Taker’s performance is how good you should sell everything. It’s actually believable. Yes, Taker has 20 years of experience, but the earlier you learn to sell well, the better your career and fan following will be. If Taker’s sell of his injuries wasn’t so good, I would have a severely difficult time picking this match. Hell, even so, it’s still a difficult choice. I don’t believe this feud is quite done yet. With Hell in a Cell looming (pun oh so deliciously intended), what better way to finally close out this 13-year-long feud than with a Hell in a Cell match? Answer: there is no better way. Kane wins and retains the World Heavyweight Championship.

WWE Championship Six Pack Challenge Elimination Match – Sheamus (c) vs. John Cena vs. Edge vs. Chris Jericho vs. Wade Barrett vs. Randy Orton

I think we’re going to have to get used to not seeing Chris Jericho on WWE programming after Sunday night, because there’s no way he’s going to win the WWE Championship. We can also count Edge out, as he’s been in the background most of the length of this build. Cena’s out, as he’s actually becoming a little stale in my eyes, and he’s better as the hunter, not the hunted. And Wade Barrett will probably get a title run later down the line. So that brings us to the current champ and the guy who’s gotten such a ridiculously huge push the past month that it’s actually kind of annoying to watch. Orton is getting the Alberto Del Rio Push, only ten times more so. It’s downright wacky how hard Creative is pushing him. I’m mostly complaining because I’m not a Randy Orton fan. With such a monster push, it would be difficult to pick against Orton. But I have a feeling that Sheamus will somehow pull off the victory, only to have another certain Hunter interrupt his celebration. Sheamus wins to retain the WWE Championship.

I need to write up another one of my sampler episodes to cover all of the stuff I’ve not written about over the past…jeez, I guess it’s been almost three weeks. I’ll get on that after Night of Champions. Until then, stay crispy, everyone!

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