WWE Night of Champions 2023 promises to be a historic night as a new World Heavyweight Champion will be crowned on the show at the Jeddah Superdome in Saudi Arabia.
The new version of the prestigious title belt was unveiled on a post-WrestleMania show of Monday Night Raw by Triple H. A tournament was held to determine the two finalists who will be competing at Saturday’s premium live event. NOC is scheduled to feature The Visionary battling The Phenomenal One for the shiny new piece of WWE jewelry.
The previous version of the World Heavyweight Championship was unified by Randy Orton in 2013. It was first introduced in the WWE by Eric Bischoff back in 2002. Incidentally, the man who is now in charge of creative at WWE was the first champion of the Big Gold Belt when he was handed over the title by the then-RAW GM.
The new version of the World Heavyweight Championship looks evidently different with the incorporation of the WWE logo at the center. Thus, WWE will be tasked to make this feel equally prestigious, as opposed to a consolation prize for not being able to beat Roman Reigns. So far, the company has done a good job at that with Seth Rollins and AJ Styles being the two men who are vying to become the first World Heavyweight Champion with the new belt.
With both men having a fair chance and compelling arguments to become champion, here are five reasons Seth Rollins should win at WWE Night Of Champions 2023 and five reasons AJ Styles should be World Heavyweight Champion.
10 Seth Rollins is tremendously over
Seth Rollins is perhaps the company’s biggest babyface right now. Some may even argue that Rollins trumps Cody Rhodes in that regard.
The reactions Rollins generates from the WWE fans who are in live attendance consistently reach deafening decibels. From the moment Seth’s entrance theme music plays, the crowd starts singing along to his tune and serenades The Visionary well after the music has stopped.
This is not solely a case of Rollins having catchy entrance music. He always generates a massive response from the audience and that has been the case for a good while now. Thus, it would make sense for WWE to put their newest top championship around the waist of someone the crowd automatically likes.
9 AJ Styles is a phenomenal wrestler
The branding is not incorrect. Every time AJ Styles calls himself phenomenal, every time you see him holding his gloves in position at the entrance ramp to reveal the “P1” logo, and every time you glance over at his ring boots, it is a reminder of the reality that AJ Styles truly is a phenomenal wrestler.
And he has proved himself on every stage he has set foot on. Styles is famous the world over for being a fantastic technician. Within the ring, there are very few who can rival his body of work over the years. Across promotions and against almost every opponent, AJ Styles has put on entertaining matches with his silky-smooth wrestling skills.
There are very few wrestlers in the world who can transition into counters with his precision and ease. Styles makes wrestling look supremely easy and that is not something one can say for too many of his contemporaries.
8 Seth Rollins is very consistent
Seth Rollins is an extremely consistent sports entertainer. It is probably his most underrated asset.
Rollins turns up for almost every live television taping, premium live event, house show, and other promotional activity. He is, quite simply put, always present. He barely gets injured either and is generally a very reliable opponent. There used to be chinks in his armor with John Cena’s broken nose and Finn Balor’s injury. However, those are things of the past. Rollins has become a much safer in-ring competitor following those unfortunate accidents.
Rollins in 2023, as he has been for the most part of the last few years dating back to pre-pandemic times, has consistently hit the mark with his wrestling, promos, and persona. He is supremely reliable which makes it easy for WWE to build the prestige of the World Heavyweight Championship around him.
7 AJ Styles can put on dream matches
People know AJ Styles is a big deal. Just have a look at Brock Lesnar’s match with the former Impact World Champion at Survivor Series and one will immediately realize how Styles is viewed by both WWE and Lesnar. There are very few instances of Lesnar genuinely selling wrestling moves for his opponent and the match against Styles features among those.
Thus, the possibility of Styles having dream matches is a tantalizing prospect for the WWE. The advantage with Styles is that he can be a high-flier who wrestles in the babyface mold or be a heel leveraging his striking as the go-to match template.
Styles can also use his experience to elevate wrestlers to make the Raw roster feel more rounded and legitimate, akin to what Cena did with the US Championship. There are plenty of wrestlers Styles can feud with and put on absolute classics. Damian Priest, Chad Gable, Matt Riddle, and Gunther are all opponents who will match well with Styles. Furthermore, there is a prospect of Styles battling Braun Strowman and Bronson Reed, with Styles once again showing that he could hold his own against much larger opponents.
And if nothing else, Styles vs Nakamura 2.0 is a story that needs no foundation work.
6 Seth Rollins will immediately bring prestige to the title
Seth Rollins is slowly transcending from being a wrestler to a mainstream superstar.
He is perhaps tracing the well-trodden path from WWE to Hollywood. The Rock has done it. His cousin Roman Reigns, the current Undisputed WWE Universal Champion is another case in point. Batista and John Cena have walked down this path as well.
Rollins may choose a lighter movie schedule like The Miz. The Visionary is arguably already recognized beyond WWE and that is evidenced by his association with the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Captain America franchise.
Thus, eyeballs and media space are guaranteed with Rollins becoming the World Heavyweight Champion. There is also the possibility of him carrying the title around during movie promotions and WWE has been known to leverage the exposure this will get their brand.
Having one of their consistent wrestlers as champion with the added benefit of mainstream exposure may be too mouth-watering a prospect for WWE to turn down.
5 AJ Styles can pair with Money in the Bank winner
Roman Reigns is so protected in WWE, making it almost certain that he won’t lose his title via a Money in the Bank contract cash-in.
Thus, whoever wins the Money in the Bank Ladder match will likely challenge for the World Heavyweight Championship. The winner may tease Roman and may even be leveraged to further The Bloodline story, but he will not be the one to eventually dethrone The Tribal Chief.
Having Seth as World Heavyweight Champion throws a similar conundrum. One would ideally like to book him as a strong, dominant champion, and consequently, the story of the briefcase will take a back seat for the first few months. While that is a story WWE can explore, there is perhaps an alternate plan this year.
It is evident that Edge is on his final lap and there is a huge opportunity for WWE to run his ‘ultimate opportunist’ gimmick with the Money in the Bank briefcase. And Styles will be the perfect opposition for the same.
He can hold the title till SummerSlam, elevating wrestlers like Gable, Riddle, and Nakamura, and having excellent matches with them before beating either Strowman or Reed at the premium live event only for Edge to cash in. Subsequently, Edge can be dethroned at WrestleMania by Rollins.
Having Edge hold the title adds prestige by association given he held the previous World Heavyweight Title with distinction on seven occasions. However, Edge beating Rollins does no good for either as opposed to the alternative suggested here.
4 Seth Rollins is a great wrestler
Seth Rollins is a fantastic professional wrestler and can confidently shake hands with the cream of the WWE crop.
A sure-fire Hall of Fame candidate, there are very few people on the WWE roster with whom Seth cannot put on a good wrestling match. The Visionary can put on entertaining matches with people who are not on the current roster.
He is also trusted with key matches by the WWE hierarchy. When Cody Rhodes made his return to the WWE, Rollins was tasked with battling him. And Rollins comfortably held his own against the returning star. He did not win the feud but still managed to elevate his status, and that is a rare skill.
It was Rollins who was trusted to work with an injured Cody at Hell in a Cell. That visual of Cody revealing a scarred body is very memorable and simultaneously horrifying. Rollins managed to work around it to deliver a great story-driven match.
When not using storylines, Rollins can be seen engaging in context-free entertainment as well. His feud with Logan Paul at WrestleMania is proof of the pudding that irrespective of opponents, Rollins is so good at wrestling, he will make sure the matches he is involved in are talking points. To add further credence, he extracted out of Omos the best match of the giant’s WWE career thus far.
3 AJ Styles will be available weekly
Triple H stated very categorically that he would like the World Heavyweight Champion to be available and defend his title more regularly than Roman Reigns.
This was perhaps the sole reason for introducing this new top belt. Reigns, with his stranglehold on the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship, has deprived WWE of the chance of having a top champion on weekly episodic television. Now, with Rollins being involved in the upcoming Captain America: New World Order movie, his weekly availability is under doubt.
Thus, WWE may decide to have AJ Styles become the new World Heavyweight Champion. Styles is a professional wrestler and is intent on keeping it that way. And, by all metrics, AJ is a perfectly believable champion who has plenty of upsides, as stated here. Furthermore, there is a story arc already suggested which WWE may be keen on exploring while Rollins is away filming.
2 Seth Rollins can become a megastar
Seth Rollins is already a superstar. Along with Cody Rhodes, he belongs in the top tier of WWE babyfaces.
However, one will agree that he is one rung below Roman Reigns in the WWE hierarchy. In fact, barely any regular member of the roster stands up to Roman’s presentation right now. The Tribal Chief feels on the level of John Cena, The Rock, and Stone Cold in his legitimacy. He is presented as a demigod and thus feels like a megastar. Quite simply put, whenever Roman appears on television, it feels like a big deal.
One assumes availability plays a role in this presentation. The fact that Roman is not present weekly adds the elusive charm to his character in that it becomes a big event every time he does turn up. Rollins, with his movie commitments now, will have a reduced schedule and while it may not match Roman’s sporadic appearances, there is a distinctly favorable opportunity for WWE to ape that same recipe.
Rollins also possesses all the tools. He is charismatic, a good wrestler, tremendous at creating personas, and is already a superstar. He will only need to lose that laughter though. And WWE can subsequently have two generation-transcending megastars in their midst.
This will further open possibilities for new stars to be created, which will inevitably happen when Roman and Rollins are beaten for their championships, instantly crowning a believable and legitimate superstar.
1 AJ Styles and his final main event run
Time passes everyone by. And it is clear that AJ Styles will not be around for too many more years. Certainly not as a main event player.
Thus, there lies an opportunity for WWE to add Styles as a member of the World Heavyweight Championship club. And this will help in elevating the prestige of the new title given AJ’s body of work across the world.
Styles is a decorated professional wrestler. Even at this stage in his career, AJ retains the ability to put on great matches. He even pulled off double duty on SmackDown to become the tournament finalist. That is also indicative of how WWE sees him.
AJ Styles has been viewed favorably since his 2016 WWE return. He was immediately pushed into the championship scene and even had a feud with John Cena which he won. Compare that to his contemporary Samoa Joe who had to come through NXT despite his lofty credentials outside WWE and there is enough evidence of Styles being treated like The Phenomenal One he is.
Furthermore, there are four good reasons already on this list that show exactly why Styles will be the perfect World Heavyweight Champion coming out of Night of Champions. With interesting future storylines, great wrestling matches establishing new stars, and one final run main event run to add that stardust of history to the championship, Styles makes for an undeniable choice as the champion.