Night of Champions is the one night of the year when fans are guaranteed to see every championship in WWE defended.
For most fans, that's a positive thing, as some of the midcard titles frequently go months without a pay-per-view defense. But it's also a double-edged sword.
While a show like Night of Champions ensures each title will be spotlighted on a larger stage, it also illustrates the persistent issues with the booking of some of the midcard championships.
Some of those issues became prevalent on tonight's edition of Smackdown.
First, United States Champion Antonio Cesaro addressed his outrage at the fact his challenger will be decided in a battle royale on the YouTube pre-show, and he's valid in his opinion.
Doing a match like that, much like they did earlier this year when Christian won and then challenged Cody Rhodes for the Intercontinental Championship, may help draw viewers into the pre-show, but why is the champ in a position where there is no clear-cut contender?
Cesaro's only opponent (of any note, anyway) since winning the title has been former champion Santino Marella. Fortunately, that angle seems to be in the past, and there may have been a hint dropped on Smackdown.
During the segment, Tyson Kidd came out to confront Cesaro, but the Swiss superstar disposed of the Canadian. Brodus Clay came out to make the save. So it seems highly likely we may see Clay vs. Cesaro at the pay-per-view, but that doesn't reek of a vastly appealing match.
The United States champion should have an ongoing rivalry that will help propel and fuel storylines, not be dealing with random contenders determined the nights of pay-per-views.
The second match with baffling development on Smackdown was the Intercontinental Championship bout. The Miz hasn't exactly been developing a big rivalry, but on Raw, we saw Rhodes lay him out and hoist the championship.
Miz and Rhodes have also had a common enemy as of late in Rey Mysterio, so WWE opted to take the three of them and toss in Sin Cara, who beat Miz in nontitle action Smackdown, for good measure and make a fatal-fourway.
It seems like Miz may take the backseat in this match to Rhodes and his ongoing issues with both masked luchadors, so that's not exactly the best way to highlight the champ.
All of this isn't meant to say or insinuate that the Intercontinental and United States Championship matches at the pay-per-view will be bad, but they truly feel like an afterthought when this should be the one night a year they are truly highlighted and presented in a serious manner.
Part of making fans care about the product at a deeper level requires WWE caring about the all levels of the product from the main event to the midcard and beyond.
- Randy Orton cut a promo before his match with Tensai insinuating that his match will follow the World Heavyweight Championship match at Night of Champions. If this is, in fact, going to be the case, it probably wasn't the best idea for Orton to let that cat out of the bag, as fans now have an additional 48 hours to whine and moan. The match with Tensai was pretty good, and Tensai was booked to look strong, which was surprising given that his appearances as of late have become very sporadic. After the match, Vickie Guerrero tried distracting Orton while Ziggler struck, but The Viper thwarted those plans and stood tall in the end.
- Kane and Daniel Bryan returned to anger management with Dr. Shelby for some fun wordplay involving stress balls - and whose was bigger. These segments continue to be entertaining, and hopefully Dr. Shelby is an employee who will be around to manage this team for at least a while. Kane also gained some momentum for their team by making quick work of Kofi Kingston in a match. After the match, the good doctor came out and game Kane a look, which led the Big Red Monster to re-entering the ring and hugging Kingston, much to Shelby's approval.