The WWE is doing something different with Night of Champions 2011. They are actually booking a card ahead of time. A handful of matches have been confirmed for the event which is definitely a mixed bag to say the least.
We all know after Monday’s RAW that John Cena vs. Alberto Del Rio will headline the event for the WWE championship. The match had been planned for SummerSlam 2011 before it got derailed by the CM Punk vs. John Cena feud. For what it’s worth it is a fresh match, which is a rarity these days for Cena.
What isn’t a rarity for Cena is seeing him in the WWE championship main-event. I don’t know what the number is, but I can’t even think of the last time John Cena wasn’t wrestling in a WWE championship main-event on pay per view. Probably those matches against The Big Show last year, but I could be wrong on that one. I can see if he was a big draw, but the numbers are reportedly down and I don’t think you need to look much further than Mr. You Can’t See Me as to why. It is an old dog that really needs to be put to rest, at least for a few shows.
Cm Punk will reportedly wrestle Kevin Nash at the pay per view. I am sorry but anyone who reported that Punk now had all of this power and say in booking his angles should write an immediate retraction. I can’t imagine that CM Punk wants any part of this match. Nash hasn’t had a great match in years and I really mean years. Punk is hot right now, red hot. The last thing the WWE needs right now is for the fans to see him as anything less than a superstar. Seeing him attempt to get a passable match of Nash could be a sight that works against Punk in the interim.
It is also one of these deals where perception is reality. We were all led to believe that CM Punk would be a top babyface and a new headliner in the company. What is his first match after his series with John Cena? A match against a 50-plus year old broken down pro wrestler that hasn’t even wrestled in the WWE in almost eight years while Cena is back wrestling for the WWE championship. Whether he wins or not is not the issue here. The WWE really needs to strike while the iron is hot with Punk and they are about to let this thing flame out if they don’t get him out of this feud pronto.
Update: Triple H announced on RAW that Triple H vs. CM Punk will be the match instead. Something tells me that we still get Nash vs. Punk…unfortunately.
Randy Orton will defend the WWE world heavyweight championship against Mark Henry. I know the groans about seeing so many Christian vs. Orton matches were getting louder, but believe me when I tell you that you will be begging to see another match after seeing this one. But hey, as WWE viewers we should be used to the annual penance of having to watch Mark Henry in a championship match. It happens once a year and thankfully, it is usually over pretty quick.
Dave Meltzer runs down a few other possible matches in a recent update. The rumored matches are Ezekiel Jackson vs. Cody Rhodes for the WWE intercontinental championship and Dolph Ziggler vs. either Alex Riley or John Morrison. No word on Christian, Daniel Bryan, or Sin Cara matches, which by all means should be somewhere on the bill. My hunch is that we will probably get a Rhodes vs. Ted DiBiase Jr. match, but anything is possible when it comes to SmackDown.
I don’t think there is anything to get real excited about here. While the tag team championship match has good potential, it is hardly anything that can elevate the show to a must-see. Cena vs. Del Rio and Henry vs. Orton are matches that I have zero interest in paying $50 to watch. Punk vs. Nash on the other hand has the potential to be so bad, that it may just grab some fans out of curiosity.
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