We’ve had one RAW following SummerSlam 2013, and yes, I’m prepared to make some absurdly early predictions about Night Of Champions 2013.
Divas Championship – AJ Lee (c) vs Nattie Neidhart
The feud between AJ Lee and Kaitlyn has been played out quite a bit, and I think if they were going to put the belt back on Kaitlyn, they would’ve already done it. The smart business move is to let the AJ vs Kaitlyn feud play out to its culmination AFTER taking the belt off of AJ, because at this point, that feud is sufficiently personal that fans are going to want to see what happens regardless of the “hardware” being on the line.
With Total Divas bringing Nattie Neidhart, The Bellas and a few others into the spotlight, why not push Nattie a bit more by giving her the credibility she deserves. Let her be the one to take the strap from AJ, who she trained in the first place, and then let that belt eventually become part of the feud between Nattie and whichever Bella Twin you’d like to involve in the mix. Nattie could also feud with Eva Marie at that point.
Intercontinental Championship – Curtis Axel (c) vs CM Punk
A huge step back for CM Punk, right? Only if you end up putting the strap on him at the end of the match.
No, I’m not saying you have CM Punk lose to Curtis Axel. You could easily have him defeat Axel – destroy him, even – and have him not win the belt. Have him hit Axel with two GTS’s after a decent match, then drag him out of the ring to the bottom of the ramp. Axel gets counted out, so he doesn’t lose the belt, and Punk can show that he’s obviously superior to the second generation athlete, and then he can get his hands on Paul Heyman.
United States Championship – Dean Ambrose (c) vs Kofi Kingston
The high-flying Kofi Kingston has been on a good run of entertaining matches since his return, and since he’s on the official poster for the event, hoisting a championship into the air, he may as well get a title shot against Ambrose. It would be a great match, and if they decide to have Ambrose narrowly escape with the championship still in his grasp, it’s not the end of the world.
The one thing which might derail this match would be if Seth Rollins weren’t able to compete in the tag match due to a leg injury he might’ve sustained on RAW. If that’s the case, the US Title should either switch hands before the pay per view or Ambrose should just get switched into the tag match, which is certainly a higher priority.
World Tag Team Championships – The Shield (c) vs Big Show & Mark Henry
It had been much speculated to be the next fight for the tag champions, and Big Show all but confirmed it on RAW before Brad Maddox put him into the 3-on-1 handicap match. I would assume nothing is changing in that regard, as Show & Henry are good opposition at this point, given their involvement with The Shield in the past few months. It’s a shame that WWE hasn’t sufficiently elevated the Prime Time Players or the Usos to the point where they could fit into this spot, because I have other options to go with for Mark Henry and Big Show.
Ladder Match for Money In The Bank Briefcase
Damien Sandow vs Cody Rhodes
This certainly isn’t a championship match, but it may as well be one. Because Cody Rhodes keeps beating Damien Sandow, one would think that perhaps Sandow’s pride would be sufficiently hurt, and he’d be willing to accept a challenge from Cody whereby the briefcase is on the line in a singles match between them. On RAW the announcers hyped Cody Rhodes up as potentially being the Number One Contender to the Heavyweight Championship, although other signs point to that not being the direction they will go.
World Heavyweight Championship – Alberto Del Rio (c) vs Rob Van Dam
I think they all but gave away the booking for this match on RAW. Why would WWE have Rob Van Dam align himself with Ricardo Rodriguez if they weren’t planning on having this be a match at the pay per view? I don’t like the pairing of RVD with Del Rio’s former ring announcer, but I do like the fact that Del Rio would be paired up with RVD for a title defense. I don’t envision RVD as anything more than a transitional champion at best, so the result of this match should depend heavily on the outcome of Sandow vs Rhodes. If the heelish Sandow emerges with the championship opportunity, you could expect that Rob Van Dam might take the strap from Alberto Del Rio. Don’t expect that scenario, though, as it will more than likely be Alberto Del Rio holding onto the belt until he can put over Cody Rhodes.
WWE Championship – Randy Orton (c) vs Daniel Bryan
I don’t like the potential for Orton vs Bryan at the upcoming pay per view, but I don’t see any alternatives. The likelihood of Bryan taking the belt from Randy are slim, as it would mean that the belt had changed hands three times in the span of about a month – going from Cena to Bryan to Orton to Bryan again – and that devalues either the WWE Championship OR Randy Orton, depending on how you look at it. But given the direction they seem to be going with the tag title match and the injuries across the roster and CM Punk having lost at SummerSlam, I fail to see another route they might go.
Be sure to tune in for the GuysNation Wrestling Podcast on Wednesday, as this article will be one of the things that Jon and Rob discuss in the fallout from SummerSlam!
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