Let’s start with Night of Champions. The main event Sunday is a rematch between WWE World Heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar and former champion John Cena. The storyline concerns whether Cena will be able to bounce back after the physical beating he absorbed from Lesnar while losing the championship at SummerSlam.
Cena delivered one of his most effective promos last week on RAW. He stressed how much he enjoys being John Cena, which is why he resisted Paul Heyman’s offer to tell the fans to shut up. Cena has something to prove against Lesnar. He must withstand the beating Lesnar is going to try to dish out, and then must overcome the punishment to win the title. The Greek god of wrestling is certain Cena will fare better in this rematch than at SummerSlam, but somehow he won’t recapture the title – unless Lesnar is going to be MIA until WrestleMania.
Aside from the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match, the most intriguing matches at Night of Champions don’t involve championships. Seth Rollins takes on Roman Reigns in a battle of former Shield members, and Randy Orton clashes with Chris Jericho.
It was a bit surprising to see Reigns beat Rollins clean on RAW. Another clean win for Reigns on Sunday doesn’t make sense. Either Rollins is going to get payback with a win Sunday or the match will include the return of Dean Ambrose, the other Shield member.
Orton and Jericho are both seasoned pros. They should produce a terrific match. If Jericho is about to take another hiatus to concentrate on his musical career with Fozzy, it would make sense to have Orton win.
There are four more title bouts at Night of Champions. Sheamus defends the U.S. Heavyweight Championship against Cesaro; Dolph Ziggler defends the Intercontinental Championship against former champion The Miz; Jimmy and Jey Uso defend the tag team championship against the bizarre team of Goldust and Stardust; and Paige puts the Divas Championship on the line in a triple threat match involving A.J. Lee and Nikki Bella .
Title changes are possible in all the matches in the preceding paragraph, but the most likely title change is the tag team championship. The Usos have had a good run as champions, most notably with some terrific matches against the Wyatt Family’s Luke Harper and Erick Rowan. But the time might be right for the Rhodes brothers to win this battle of brothers.
Cesaro and The Miz have a relatively equal shot at retaining their titles. Miz could beat Ziggler with some sort of chicanery involving Damien Mizdow, The Miz’s “stunt double.” There isn’t as much of a storyline involved, but Cesaro has an equally decent chance of winning the U.S. Championship. Achilles Heel only sees one of these two titles changing hands.
The Divas title could also change hands. Achilles Heel envisions a scenario in which Nikki steals a victory, leaving “frenemies” A.J. Lee and Paige competing with each other to regain the Divas title.
In a battle of powerhouses, Mark Henry squares off with Rusev. Whether this takes one match or two, Rusev needs to come out on top so he can take the next step up the ladder. Achilles Heel wouldn’t be surprised if Big Show, Henry’s tag team partner, plays a role in this match.
Night of Champions should feature some tremendous in-ring action. The Lesnar-Cena main event, Orton vs. Jericho and Rollins vs. Reigns should all be very good. There is potential for the undercard also to be good, so Night of Champions has a lot of potential.
TOP TRIOS: There are some very intriguing first-round matches at CHIKARA’s King of Trios – one of the Greek god of wrestling’s favorite events – which takes place Friday through Sunday at the Palmer Center in Easton.
The Spectral Envoy (Frightmare, Hallowicked and UltraMantis Black) open defense of their King of Trios title – there wasn’t a King of Trios last year while CHIKARA was on hiatus – against The Flood (Volgar, Jimmy Jacobs and former CHIKARA grand champion Eddie Kingston). In another first-round match, The Golden Trio (Icarus, Dasher Hatfield and “Mr. Touchdown” Mark Angelosetti) battle LAX (Homicide, Hernandez and Chavo Guerrero, Jr.). Achilles Heel could envision three of these four teams (except The Flood) winning King of Trios, but two of them will be eliminated in the first round.
In addition to the tournament semifinals, Saturday’s show (7 p.m.) will feature two elimination matches. One elimination match consists of Chuck Taylor, Tigre Uno, Rich Swann and Shynron. The other elimination match features A.R. Fox, The Great Sanada, Orlando Christopher and Amasis.
There will be an interactive fan conclave on Saturday (2 p.m.) and a potluck cookout on Sunday (1 p.m.).
TAG TEAM EXTRAVAGANZA: TNA’s television tapings at Bethlehem wrap up Friday night with the tag team championships on the line in a Full Metal Mayhem match. This is the final match in a series featuring Matt and Jeff Hardy, Bully Ray and Devon and The Wolves (Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards).
Anyone who saw these teams in action during Wednesday’s Impact Wrestling should be looking forward to Friday’s match.
UNCERTAIN FUTURE: TNA doesn’t have any United States events scheduled after Friday’s matches in Bethlehem. Bound for Glory will be Oct. 12 in Tokyo, and there is a British tour set scheduled for January, but there aren’t any U.S. dates on the horizon.
Achilles Heel gets the feeling TNA is taping as many editions of Impact Wrestling as it can this week in Bethlehem so it can bide some time as it continues television negotiations, which will have a major effect on the company’s future.
GET INTO THE RING: Ring of Honor will hold a tryout camp on Oct. 18-19 at the Ring of Honor Dojo in Bristol (Bucks County). Instructors include the recently dethroned Ring of Honor world champion, Michael Elgin, Ring of honor TV champion Jay Lethal, Roderick Strong and head trainer Delirious.
The camp is limited to 35 applicants. The registration fee is $300. For more information, click here.