I think this PPV, more than a lot of others, will have a lot of closure and new openings, so to speak, but I will talk more about this when discussing the individual matches. Personally, I am looking forward to this PPV very much, and I expect at least five of the (at least) seven matches to be entertaining and interesting.
1) The Big Show vs CM Punk
That statement, does not, however, apply to the first match I believe will take place on the night: CM Punk vs The Big Show. Regular readers will know i’ve been very down on this feud, not because of the competitors necessarily, but because of the lack of chemistry they have. I’ve also not been a fan of them wrestling, in a non-title match at Night of Champions. As for the match, with a veteran like Show in there, and a master like Punk, it wont be bad, but their lack of chemistry means that it wont be good either. The break up of the S.E.S. was hinted at on Smackdown, so I think this will be the main story of the night. Punk will tell Gallows and Mercury to stay backstage, but at some point, they’ll come out to help their leader and somehow cost him the match, leading to the beginning of the end for the S.E.S. If that happens, it could save some interest in this match, as it would have genuinely interesting implications. As I said, I can see a lot of feuds ending on Sunday, and this is one of them. I really can’t see how they could stretch it out any longer.
Winner: The Big Show
2) Intercontinental Championship Match: Dolph Ziggler (c) vs Kofi Kingston
This should be a pretty good match as these two have shown flashes of chemistry as they have fought recently. Usually, the sort of stipulation that Dolph has against him (i.e. if he is disqualified of counted-out, he loses the title) would point to a loss for him, but on this occasion, I don’t think so. This is another feud I see coming to an end, as it has been going on and losing steam for some time now. A clean Ziggler win would make him look very credible as a champion while ending any claim from Kingston to the title. Indeed, there would be little point, it seems to me, in putting the title back on Kofi. I also think Ziggler may not even allow Vickie Guerrero to be at ringside and may send her back or leave her behind from he start.
Winner: Dolph Ziggler
3) WWE Tag Team Championships Match: The Hart Dynasty (c) vs Drew McIntyre and Cody Rhodes (?)
We do know that, of course, the WWE Tag Team Championships will be defended on Sunday, but we’re yet to know officially who against. The best bets are obviously Drew McIntyre and Cody Rhodes, who gained a pinfall victory against the Harts in an excellent match on Smackdown. Despite the soaring status of McIntyre and Rhodes, I think this will go to the Harts – partly because they only just got the new belts, and partly because I can’t see WWE wanting to put Rhodes and McIntyre in a long-term tag team. That would seem like a backwards step for them. I think this is just a way for Rhodes and McIntyre (both major stars but between feuds) to make the PPV.
Winners: The Hart Dynasty
4) United States Championship Match: The Miz (c) vs Daniel Bryan
This is many ways one of the most intriguing match of the night. This feud has been brewing, really, since the start of the NXT concept seven months ago. Intriguing also because of Miz’s position in the company. Everything tells us that Bryan (a potential future main-eventer in his own right) should go over in this match: the length and heat of the feud culminating in Bryan finally succeeding, it could seriously hurt Bryan not to win, and the fact that with Miz as the current MITB holder, the US title has been reduced to mere arm-candy. However, a Miz loss doesn’t correlate with the next brand new WWE Champion, it stems his rise. There are two options then: Miz wins by some exraordinary act of cheating – or an act of a bitter Nexus – to add further fuel to the rivalry (and probably leading to a No-DQ match at HITC); or, Bryan does go over. I’m plumping right now for a Bryan victory. It just seems right. I’ll add extra credibility to this later on in the post. Nonetheless, this one could steal the show. I have no doubt it will be one of the longest matches of the night as WWE will want to show off both guys as having huge big-stage potential.
Winner: Daniel Bryan
5) World Heavyweight Championship Match: Kane (c) vs The Undertaker
In many ways this could, and probably should be Sunday’s main event, but for reasons i’ll explain later, I think the WWE Championship match will be the main event; and I think the two world title matches will be split up. This will be the first major test of ‘Taker’s ability to still ‘go’ in the ring, which is probably why it’s a No Holds Barred match (to keep away from the technicality a bit more). All I can say is i’m sure this will be an absolute war. I can see a lot of action involving the lights and a fight over their brotherly ‘dark powers’. Personally, i’d love to see Paul Bearer make a return, though i’m not sure that would be deemed credible for this feud. The past has almost always seen ‘Taker return from an injury or angle and, within weeks, be back at the top of the mountain. This feud, however, does seem legitimately different, and I don’t think it will be that easy for ‘Taker. In fact, what I want to see is Kane retaining the title – and I think there’s a decent chance of it happening. This is made problematic by the fact that Kane has consistently dominated his brother since he made his return, and wrestle-logic would usually point, then, to an Undertaker win. I think the iconoclasm of this feud wins over though, and Kane will win, but with ‘Taker coming back for another shot in what would be a mouth-watering HIAC main event.
6) Women’s/Divas Championship Unification Match: Melina (Divas Champion) vs Michelle McCool (Co-Women’s Champion)
I want to say, before anything else, that the winner of this match had better keep the Women’s Championship as opposed to the Divas Championship. It would simply be ridiculous and disrespectful to keep the Divas Championship over the Women’s. Now, there are two very clear but distinct possible ending for this match, and both end with the split of LayCool. The one i’m falling on the side of is this: Michelle McCool, without the help of Layla, will lose the title(s) to Melina, meaning that Layla, who originally won the belt, will have lost it, without getting pinned, because of Michelle McCool’s greed and selfishness – leading to the end of LayCool, a Layla face-turn, a red-hot feud between Layla and Michelle (considering their history) and a Layla-Kaval relationship. The main reason I find this most likely is because Melina wont be losing a title so soon after winning it. The other option is for Michelle to win and keep the title for herself, and i’m sure you can work it out from there. I suppose, conceivably, Michelle could win and let Layla share, but that would seem like a bit of a back-track from Smackdown; or it could be a LayCool rouse, and Layla will help Michelle in the match. As I say though, the best option (in my opinion) and the one that would create the best drame would be the first one.
7) WWE Championship 6-Pack Challenge: Sheamus (c) vs John Cena vs Randy Orton vs Chris Jericho vs Edge vs Wade Barrett
There’s no denying the star-power in this match, and if everyone delivers, it could be one for the ages. As for who will win, I think this match, with it’s five-fold jeopardy, allows the biggest chance of a title change – though that’s not to say it will change hands. I feel I can go ahead and rule out Edge and John Cena. Other than some sort of swerve, either of thos men winning doesn’t make too much sense to me. I also feel I can rule out, though less surely, Randy Orton. I have no doubt that Orton will be champions sometime soon, but this match provides the sort of environment where even the most dominant can be quelled. I actually think, funnily enough because of his dominance, he will be the first to be eliminated, and it will be done with everyone hitting their finisher on him, lets say a Codebreaker into a Brogue Kick, into a Spear, into an Attitude Adjustment into a Wasteland. That way he can go down without looking weak. So now we’re down to three: Sheamus, Wade Barrett and Chris Jericho. I think Sheamus will be in the final show-down, so who would meet him? This depends on whether they sell or drop the Chris Jericho quitting WWE if he doesn’t win angle (in fact, an awful lot depends on that), but I can see it being Jericho against Sheamus in a mini Title vs Career match. For Sheamus to win, either Jericho is taking a break from WWE, or they will gloss over the angle, otherwise, Jericho will win. But there is yet another x-factor (so to speak) here. Earlier, I siad I believed Miz will lose his US Championship match on Sunday. So how does he keep his credibility? By cashing in his MITB briefcase of course! After a gruelling match like this, it would be the perfect time! This is important because it means Chris could win the title ‘for a cup of coffee’ (aka ‘a very short time’ to those that don’t recognise that terminology), stay in the WWE, but not necessarily have to be champion. Sheamus, however, would be the most note-worthy person for Miz to cash in on. Remember when he first won the briefcase and became Sheamus’s ‘celebrity stalker’? It has since been quietly forgotten about, but now could be the time for Miz to remember. This is very difficult to call, but I do believe Jericho will be taking some time off (and wouldn’t appreciate a cup of coffee reign to keep him in the company), so I think Sheamus will win the match clean and be presented as a strong champion, only for his stalking nemesis to take advantage after a bitter Jericho, having to quit, attacks Sheamus after the match with a Codebreaker and maybe a chair. And it is that sort of finish which earns this match the main event status.
Winner: Sheamus, but New WWE Champion: The Miz
This is shaping up to be a very good PPV, as long as the most important matches – the World Title matches, the US title match and the Divas Unification match – delivers and we have a good and shocking end.