WWE NIGHT OF CHAMPIONS 2015: Bout-by-bout preview and predictions

Jim Munro
WWE NIGHT OF CHAMPIONS 2015: Bout-by-bout preview and predictions

Five WWE titles will be up for grabs on Sunday when the Night Of Champions explodes into life - and no doubt more controversy - at the Toyota Center in Houston.

Double champ Seth Rollins has the most to lose. Vigilante Sting will be attempting to wrestle the WWE World Heavyweight Championship from Rollins' grasp, while John Cena has eyes on the Architect's second belt, the United States Championship.

After both main events at SummerSlam last month ended in bizarre circumstances,  I hope it's not too naive to wish for at least one clear cut result from the headliners here.

Also on an impressive card, Kevin Owens is hoping to cement his successful step up from NXT by taking Ryback's Intercontinental crown, there's a Tag Team showdown featuring holders The New Day and the Dudley Boyz and we could see a new WWE Divas champion as record-holding Nikki Bella is in Charlotte's sights.

Here is Yahoo Sport's exclusive preview and predictions for the ninth WWE Night of Champions in Texas from WWE expert 'Big Jim' Munro.

Lucha Dragons in the ring of WWE SummerSlam 2015
Lucha Dragons in the ring of WWE SummerSlam 2015

 Kickoff Six-Man Tag Team Match: Neville & Lucha Dragons v Cosmic Wasteland

Acrobatic Geordie boy Neville joins forces with Luchas Kalisto and Sin Cara to combat the spaced out weirdness of Stardust, who is assisted by bulky Ascension pair Konnor and Victor under the intriguing new banner, Cosmic Wasteland. Think of it as a circus where the trapeze artists are taking on the strongmen while Stardust acts the clown. 

Prediction:  A flying start to the evening with Cosmic Wasteland hammering home their new brand name with a victory.   

WWE Tag Team Championship: The New Day (holders) v The Dudley Boyz

Somehow the New Day trio of Big E, Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods have turned their initially uninspiring collaboration into a thing of beauty. Their ring entrances are bringing audiences to their feet - to either dance or yell abuse - and their ability to both annoy but entertain at the same time makes them worthy champions. It's 10 years since the newly reunited Dudley Boyz fought for a Tag Team title and although there won't be a safe table in the building with them around, I can't see them breaking New Day's party spirit.

Prediction: New Day to rock. 

Dolph Ziggler v Rusev (with Summer Rae)

A pointless rematch from SummerSlam. This feud has concentrated more on the warring women outside the ropes than the combatants trading blows in the ring. But with Ziggy's valet Lana now a long-term absentee after breaking a wrist in training, we may be treated to more grappling skills from the two men than we have enjoyed recently. They both deserve better than this.

Prediction: Dolph Ziggler is due a win.

Dolph Ziggler and Alexander Rusev have a rematch after their Summer Slam clash
Dolph Ziggler and Alexander Rusev have a rematch after their Summer Slam clash

WWE Intercontinental Championship: Ryback (holder) v Kevin Owens

Ryback has been a solid champion since making his first ppv title defence at SummerSlam and has won over a once-critical WWE crowd. For me though, the prospect of a beligerent Kevin Owens ripping that belt away from The Big Guy and launching his own snarling sovereignty is one that excites. The former NXT champ has been a human dynamo since taking his first step into the WWE ring against John Cena earlier this year and he has some surprisingly agile skills to burn. 

Prediction:  Kevin Owens to topple the champ. Please.

WWE Divas Championship Match: Nikki Bella (holder) v Charlotte

Now that Nikki Bella has eclipsed AJ Lee's record as longest reigning WWE Divas champ we could do with a shake up. The Diva's Revolution was a long time in coming and the arrival of some NXT stars livened up the roster. But soon after being unveiled the girls were formed into gangs and all sense of individual rivals vying for the WWE Divas title got lost in the mire. After a farcical outcome to the title match between these two on last Monday's RAW, chief brand officer of the WWE Stephanie McMahon has stipulated that there will be a result in this bout in Houston, even if Nikki Bella is counted out or DQ'd. The title is very much up for grabs.

Prediction: A win for Charlotte to herald a new era for the Divas division. 

Six-Man Tag Team Match: Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose and Guest v The Wyatt Family

New arrival Braun Strowman looks like a Terminator modelled on the head of the Wyatt family, Bray. The man behind the black sheep mask has added size and power to the unpredictable eccentricity of existing Wyatt pair Bray and Luke Harper. Squaring up to them in the ring, the Reigns-Ambrose partnership is a throwback to the best of their days together in The Shield... but the fun part of this contest is in trying to identify who their guest gladiator will be. As I write there is no place in the evening's entertainment for 12-time world champion Randy Orton and he would be a perfect fit having done the job previously. But if his feud with Sheamus eruupts on this week's Smackdown, resulting in a late addition to Sunday evening's bill, Cesaro - also without a match - could swing into action.

Prediction: An apparent win for Reigns-Ambrose-Mystery Guest before lights out and confusion all round sees the Wyatts triumph. 

Roman Reigns will team up with Dean Ambrose and Guest
Roman Reigns will team up with Dean Ambrose and Guest

WWE United States Championship: Seth Rollins (holder) v John Cena

Two title defences in one night for Seth Rollins includes this rematch from SummerSlam. Cena was dethroned that night after a controversial intervention by TV host Jon Stewart. We're accustomed to seeing Cena spout his 'Never Give Up' mantra and his battles with Rollins never fail to entertain as both give their all. Cena's persistence and resilience should see him grind his way to victory, despite some possible intervention by an Authority figure.

Prediction: John Cena to regain the title he lost last month.

WWE World Heavyweight Championship: Seth Rollins (holder) v Sting

Sting has won world titles across the WCW, NWA and TNA franchises and has been every bit the Vigilante leading up to his first ever WWE world title showdown, kidnapping the statue of double champion Seth Rollins and crushing the evidence in a refuse truck. But the Architect Rollins is unquestionably 'the man' in WWE right now and it would be a major surprise to see him relinquish his top prize to the 56-year-old wrestling icon - though he should expect a scare along the way.

Prediction: Seth Rollins to retain his title against Sting - though most likely from some sort of outside intervention leading to the bout being abandoned. Also, beware the threat of  Mr Money In The Bank, Sheamus.  

 

Let us know YOUR predictions in the comments section below. You can read Jim Munro's report from the 2015 WWE Night Of Champions on Monday morning and follow him on Twitter @JimMunro and on You Tube @BadLadDad