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Hulk Holland's Midweek Meltdown: WWE 'Night of Champions' preview

To buy, or not to buy? That is the question.

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Everyone has heard of a cool-down match. But what about a cool-down pay-per-view (PPV)?

WWE's Night of Champions (NOC) event -- as well as the performers scheduled to compete during it -- have the unenviable task of trying to follow-up SummerSlam, one of the organization's "big four" PPV shows, alongside WrestleMania, Survivor Series and Royal Rumble.

Pretty tall order.

Fans who just plopped down $50 (and sometimes more) to watch the end-of-summer bonanza may not be in such a hurry to re-open their wallets, especially knowing that Survivor Series is in the not-too-distant future. That could explain why NOC is such a gimmicky PPV, with all the championship titles being up for grabs.

Well, usually.

Curtis Axel holds the Intercontinental belt strap, but it's not on the line when he tangles with CM Punk this Sunday night (Sept. 22, 2013) at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan. Instead, Lil' Perfect will try to keep Big Pepsi from getting his hands on Paul Heyman following their bitter break-up earlier this year.


Punk is a great performer, no doubt about it. Heyman? As good as any non-wrestling personality in the business. But their "divorce" doesn't have any meat to it. If we had a better supporting cast, like Brock Lesnar, it might feel a little more special, but this feud does not compel me to send DirecTV any extra coin.

And that comes after the Alberto Del Rio vs. Rob Van Dam Heavyweight Championship match.

I've always been a fan of the "Mexican Aristocrat," but his title run this year hasn't felt very special. That means that even if "RVD" does pull off the win, I probably won't be aghast. To be honest, their entire program feels hurried into place, a problem compounded by the nonsensical pairing of Van Dam and Ricardo Rodriguez. It's almost like this angle has been set up as one big, inside joke that nobody else gets.

As far as I'm concerned, Tuxedo>T-shirt.

In words I can't believe I'm typing, one of the more compelling matches is the fatal four-way for the Divas championship, currently held by AJ Lee. I'm not sure if that has to do with the champ's scathing promo from a few weeks back, or my newfound obsession with the Total Divas reality show.

Don't judge me!

Though it's probably not a good sign when you're trying to decide whether or not to purchase a PPV and a Divas match is actually part of the decision-making process (shudders). The good news is, we have a strong opening and hopefully an even stronger closing.


Kicking things off will be a tag team turmoil match designed to name a number one contender to the titles held by two-thirds of The Shield. And when has Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins turned in a bad match, besides never? Besides, any contest that features 3MB getting squashed by Antonio Cesaro is okay in my book.

And then there was one. Well, barring any new matches announced on Smackdown! (Where is Big Show?)

When I look at the NOC card as a whole, the first question that comes to mind is, "Do I want to spend the money to see a great match between Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton?" Unfortunately, the answer is "No," because I'm convinced this program is just getting started.

For now, it's just not enough.

If Sunday night was the conclusion, or if the remainder of the card featured stronger matches, then perhaps, but this feels like nothing more than chapter two in the Corporate Shield Handbook. And if history is any indication, we're bound to get at least one of these NOC contests again on RAW the following night.

Damn rematches!

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