Coming off the heels of Summerslam WWE has booked a Six Pack Challenge match for the WWE championship at their Night of Champions pay per view. Our most recent poll on Wrestleview asked who would walk out of Night of Champions with the WWE Championship. The results to that poll were posted earlier this week along with a brief column on the possible outcomes of that match, but much more can be said for the NOC main event. The outcomes and possibilities for the future are various and intriguing.
Chris Jericho’s place in the match is up in the air at this point. He may be done with the company and participate, perhaps he will have a mach with John Morison at NOC, or maybe he will find a way to get back in the match. Weeks back Jericho stated that he would leave the company if he did not win at NOC. While Jericho’s promise added a whole new dimension to the match, it may be too much. The way it is a multi-man match has a lot going on without having all kinds of added stipulations on top of it. You have Wade Barrett finally getting his title shot and the possibility that Miz will cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase that night. Having Jericho retire that night would be an afterthought. Sure, you could have Jericho win the match only to fall to Miz moments later, thus casting him out of the company and giving Miz a big rub. However, that only serves to overshadow Barrett’s shot at the belt and any plans that night for Nexus.
Looking back at Jericho’s feud with John Cena in 2005 shows Jericho went out the right way that time. WWE could have built Jericho’s firing by Eric Bischoff that year as a big pay per view affair but they didn’t. They didn’t because there was already a lot going on at Summerslam that year without adding the significance of a top star being fired. Instead they ran the angle the next night on Raw and it was perfect. The night belonged to that story. Should Jericho be on his way out he deserves a decent sendoff, especially given his incredible run the last two years.
Sheamus has become a heel much like Kane has been in the past where he can be inserted into the main event but he can also wrestle anywhere else on the card. The Sheamus character definitely has some kinks that need to be worked out but he does have dimensions that keep him trying to prove himself. His match at TLC with John Cena where he won his first WWE Title had a finish that straddled that line between luck and fluke. It was the perfect way to protect Cena and give Sheamus the title. Yet Sheamus needed to prove himself as a legit champion and he was never able to do that his first reign. His second reign has been bit longer but he is in the same circumstances in that he seems to be trying to prove himself to himself. He won his second title after Nexus interference and he has only kept onto that championship through interference and disqualifications. This is all very natural for a heel champion but the Sheamus character seems to have this aura about him that he wants to prove himself even though he doesn’t show it. A win at NOC would certainly provide that legitimacy. Sheamus could than have that championship win and go on to face either Randy Orton or a returning Triple H. A win at NOC would make his defeat for the championship more significant. However, getting the title off of him in this match is also a good way to give him that legitimacy. Multi-man matches always provide the opportunity for the champions to lose the belt without getting pinned or getting pinned after some sort of screw job or mishap. While it would not give Sheamus a win, he would have that vindication. He could say that he could have won had it not been for so and so. Still, NOC looks to be the ground where Sheamus will drop the championship. Even though he has been champion since June Sheamus has been a supporting player his entire reign and there are far too many other interesting outcomes than him winning.
There was a time when Edge was considered the next Shawn Michaels. He was supposed to break into the main event scene and be a big star; the future of the WWE. That never happened. Edge has had his share of success but has never become what we all thought he would be. In fact, 2010 may be his worst year yet. He came back to a huge baby face push going to Wrestlemania but it sort of fell flat. He quickly turned heel but that too has fell flat and not gone anywhere. Now Edge sort of lies out in a limbo between baby face and heel. He really isn’t a tweener, he’s just kind of there. Even though he just had a significant amount of time off last year he could almost use another hiatus. His whole character needs revamping. No longer a go-to main event talent, Edge is just there and has to be booked just so he has something to do. Perhaps Edge will find that niche, but even in his late thirties, he still seems to be looking for it. A win at NOC is probably the worst outcome for the match.
At Night of Champions Wade Barrett will finally get his shot at the WWE Title. A match with John Cena at Summerslam may have felt more appropriate back in midsummer but the big tag match was even better and Barrett gets his shot in a match that can give him the title without coming across like a fluke. The NOC match has the potential to be like the Sheamus-Cena match at TLC where you have Barrett with the chance to take the title and still protect the other guys in the match, yet that may not be necessary since WWE has done a good job of building up Barrett as a main event talent. A run with the title feels inevitable. There remains one obstacle: Miz. Barrett seems destined to take the championship but Miz seems so close to taking it for himself. Should he do so, Barrett is out of the picture and may never get back in. WWE needs to strike when they can, and they know this, on anyone. Both Barrett and Miz are pretty hot right now and unless one of them is kicked over to Smackdown, which may be necessary, Barrett may end up taking a backseat to Miz.
NOC is the first match in a long time that John Cena is not expected to win. It’s hard to believe that Cena is simply not a favorite going into this match. The only outcome less interesting than a Cena win would be and Edge win. Cena is the top guy in the company right now but he really does not need the championship at the moment. There is really nothing he can do with it unless they put it on him just to put Miz over or drop it to Barrett at the next pay per view. Cena should stay in the title hunt, but actually having the title around his waist again is likely months away, perhaps around Wrestlemania.
In the last couple of years Randy Orton became one of the best heels wrestling. His turn to baby face earlier this year was unexpected but inevitable considering most really good heels eventually start getting cheered after a while. Orton has become the anti-hero that actually works in the PG era. He is the anti-Cena, which is a refreshing change to the baby face ranks. Back in 2007 when Cena went out with an injury, Triple H and Shawn Michaels were the ones to pick up ball and run but it had been done before. For the first time in a long time, WWE has two top baby faces that are completely different from each other that can take over should one of them have to sit on the sidelines for one reason or another. Rehashing storylines form the past is not always popular but WWE may have the chance to do a modern day Mega Powers with Cena and Orton. It’s perfect because Cena and Orton would make a great alliance at first but their ideologies would eventually pit them against one another. An example that comes to mind is Superman and Batman. You have two men you believe to be fighting for the same reasons, but they really aren’t and they would eventually turn against each other. Another example may be Dexter and Miguel from Showtime’s Dexter. There you had two men taking out the bad guys for different reasons that eventually led to their showdown. Should WWE unify the top championships at Wrestlemania, Orton and Cena would probably be the two of the best choices for that match. An Orton win at NOC is really a tossup. To keep the Orton baby face character going strong he will soon either need a change of scenery (ala Smackdown), or a run as champion against the likes of Barrett and Miz. With Hell in a Cell looming, a final showdown with Sheamus feels natural and a title on the line would make sense since that is that they have been fighting over for the past two months. However, if Orton loses at NOC, there is no reason to put him in another title match.
Of all the participants in the WWE Title match at Night of Champions, the two most likely are Orton and Barrett to walk out. That is unless Miz does cash in his title shot at the end of the night. With so many possible outcomes one would think WWE can’t lose in this scenario. Let’s hope that is the case as more seems to be riding on this match more than any other WWE Title match this year.