Another WWE pay-per-view is just around the corner and we have a card where all the titles are on the line. We’ll be seeing certain stars pulling double duty, while some fresh faces are finally getting their big pay-per-view break, so it should make for an interesting night of action when Clash of Champions comes to Flair country.
Honestly this event feels like it has something going for it, WWE have somehow managed to string together some fresh match-ups that actually leave us feeling pretty intrigued. Having put their undying need for nostalgia acts aside for a month, it has given them time to focus on the guys and girls that are actually in high demand.
We’re going to run down each match and provide our insight on who we think will be walking away with the win. Make sure you drop your own predictions down in the comments below.
Pre-Show 1: Drew Gulak (c) vs Humberto Carrillo vs Lince Dorado – Cruiserweight Championship
The pre-show’s line-up has yet to be confirmed by WWE, but it’s safe to assume that the Cruiserweight title triple threat will end up featured on the WWE Network. It’s nice to see some new challengers stepping up to the plate, both Humberto and Lince are truly underappreciated talents who finally have the chance to shine on the big stage.
205 Live seems to be simmering after experiencing it’s biggest surge of momentum, it’s time for the high-fliers to win back the hearts of the masses with this potential barn-burner.
Like last month’s title fight, I don’t see the Cruiserweight title leaving Drew Gulak’s side anytime soon. He’s been one of the most consistent performers on the roster who deserves to have a meaningful reign with the belt. Maybe once 205 Live writers manage to build up someone as a beloved babyface, then we might have our worthy successor. I’m thinking a Chad Gable or newcomer Kushida.
Prediction: Drew Gulak
Pre-Show 2: Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross (c) vs Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville
As much as I’m sure people would argue, the Women’s Tag Titles have fallen into the pre-show fodder. Bliss and Cross have injected a little bit of life into the infant titles, but unfortunately isn’t really enough to make their new feud with Rose and Deville seem worthy of being on the main show.
Mandy and Sonya have been tailor-made for the Women’s Tag titles since breaking away from Absolution a few years back. Rose definitely has the attention of someone backstage, as they keep seeming to edge on pushing her but changing their minds at the last minute. Perhaps now is the time for her and Sonya to get some gold to their name.
The odd-couple team of Alexa and Nikki might be running its course, so Clash of Champions would make for the ideal time to take the titles off them and keep them from becoming completely irrelevant.
Prediction: Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville
1. Roman Reigns vs Erick Rowan
Oh boy, why is this match happening?
What started out developing into a somewhat promising feud between Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan has quickly morphed into a strange whodunnit featuring an Erick Rowan doppelganger. The former Wyatt Family member was later revealed as the perpetrator of Roman’s backstage assault and then went on to betray Daniel Bryan and go out for himself. This has led to a No Disqualification bout between Roman and Rowan at Clash of Champions.
I’m still baffled that we’re seeing this over another Reigns/Bryan match. Not that this inevitable car crash won’t be a fun palette cleanser, but it seems shoddy and a waste of one of the more interesting storylines from SmackDown Live.
I’d like to say that this match is a precursor to something better, but it wouldn’t shock me if this feud was dropped and Roman moves on to bigger things in time for the big move to USA. In terms of a winner, I think it’s a bit of a no-brainer.
Prediction: Roman Reigns
2. AJ Styles (c) vs Cedric Alexander – United States Championship
So remember I was talking about those fresh matches that left me feeling intrigued, this is one of them. Getting to see a promising up-and-coming talent go toe-to-toe with one of the best wrestlers in the world today is what keeps me coming back to WWE. The former Cruiserweight champion gets his first taste of main roster gold in a match where the odds are pretty much stacked against him.
AJ Styles is having a fantastic run in the mid-card alongside the reformed OC and is flirting with the Universal title picture. Whether this means he’s being poised to move up the card after putting over a younger talent, I couldn’t say for sure, but something tells me we won’t be seeing Alexander being thrusted towards championship glory just yet.
Regardless of the result, I think this match has more than enough potential to steal the show. Keep your eyes on this one.
Prediction: AJ Styles
3. Shinsuke Nakamura (c) vs The Miz – Intercontinental Championship
Shinsuke Nakamura’s reign as Intercontinental Champion has been a mixed bag of good and bad. This is the best Shin’s looked since losing his feud with AJ Styles, and with Sami Zayn now acting as his mouthpiece, things couldn’t look brighter for ‘The King of Strong Style’. Although at the same time, it still feels like WWE aren’t quite getting what makes Nakamura so popular. They seem to force him into being this caricature version of himself and letting guys like The Miz undermine him.
Not that The Miz doesn’t deserve to once again be in the Intercontinental title picture, after taking a little time away from in-ring competition, it’s great to see him lined up with what’s bound to be a good match. My issue with this is that it seems to be set-up to be a lose-lose for both competitors. If Miz walks away with the win, then Nakamura once again looks like a bit of a chump, while Miz can’t move on to bigger things.
The only ideal way to end this match would be with Zayn getting involved and setting up Nak’s victory. It would get their new partnership over with the crowd and get the fans behind Miz once again.
Prediction: Shinsuke Nakamura
4. Bayley (c) vs Charlotte Flair – SmackDown Women’s Championship
Naturally Charlotte is going to be one of the most over competitors on the card. Entering home-turf is a sure-fire way to get yourself a championship win, but at the same time, this could do absolute wonders for the newly-villainous Bayley. We’re quite possibly about to witness the best night of women’s wrestling, between this title fight and the clash between ‘The Boss’ and ‘The Man’ should make for some excellent sports entertainment.
This match feels like somewhat of an afterthought, but I’m sure the two Horsewomen will knock it out of the park. I think at this point it would be silly to put the title back on Charlotte Flair, now that we’ve got some fresh blood making waves in the title picture. Regardless, I’m quite looking forward to watching this one.
5. The New Day (c) vs The Revival – SmackDown Tag Team Championships
A match that’s come around via the Kofi/Orton feud, The Revival have their first opportunity at taking the SmackDown Live Tag titles. Honestly, out of all the matches on the card, this is the one that I’m struggling with the most. It seems a little too much like an exhibition for it to feel important, which is a shame considering how much fun this match could be.
The Revival keep finding themselves on the cusp of being taken seriously, but always seem to get dropped just as they’re developing some heat. I would love to see Dash and Dawson have another title run, but I think this is going to the current champs. There’s no reason for New Day to have or lose the Tag titles right now, and The Revival are being used as mere pawns in the Kofi/Orton title feud, they’ll find themselves fighting for screen time again sooner than we think.
Prediction: The New Day
6. Seth Rollins & Braun Strowman (c) vs Robert Roode & Dolph Ziggler – Raw Tag Team Championships
An interesting addition to the card, putting the two men that will be vying for the Universal Championship in the show’s main event in a Tag Title defense is something that is very rarely pulled off these days. Rollins and Strowman have been a volatile tag team since beating The OC for the titles last month, with their main event fight looming, will they manage to make it through their first defense?
Rollins and Braun will be going head-to-head with the fresh tag team of Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler (or Roodolph if you want to flog that joke). Some might see it as a testament to how little creative has going for the two ring-veterans, but at least they’re making it onto a pay-per-view.
I think the team of Roode and Ziggler might have some legs to it, so why not put the titles on them, even if it is just a transitional reign. Rollins and Strowman need something to build some hype for their big title match, so it would be cool to see their tensions boil over into the match and they explode into a massive ringside brawl.
Prediction: Robert Roode & Dolph Ziggler
7. Becky Lynch (c) vs Sasha Banks – Raw Women’s Championship
‘The Boss’ is back and has her sights set on ‘The Man’ Becky Lynch. As I mentioned earlier, the Horsewomen have a huge opportunity to collectively steal the show at Clash of Champions. With Banks and Lynch’s history, we’re in store for a pretty incredible title match. Lynch’s momentum is slowly coming to a halt, so perhaps a heel Banks could help bring out the best of her once again in front of a hot crowd.
Sasha has managed to restore her star power in the space of a few weeks and should certainly be rewarded for that. I think Becky’s time at the top of the Women’s division is reaching its natural conclusion, Sasha deserves a meaningful run with the belt and a feud with Lynch would keep her in the conversation for one of the best female athletes of all time.
Give this another month or so and we could easily see this feud headline a pay-per-view in the near future. Evolution 2 anyone?
Prediction: Sasha Banks
8. Kofi Kingston (c) vs Randy Orton – WWE Championship
Kofi and Orton’s personal feud has escalated massively since SummerSlam. After a thrilling repeat of their legendary 2009 segment, where Kingston hit Orton with a huge Boom Drop through a table, fans are ready to see the two tear each other apart. This match is either going to make or break Kofi’s title reign and with both The New Day and The Revival occupied with each other in a match of their own, this is their time to culminate a decade-long feud.
It’s honestly hard to pick a winner here, I’d like to think that Kofi has a little more in him with the WWE Championship, but this is the most relevant Orton has been in a long while, perhaps it’s time for him to take back the title for the 14th time?
I think there’s potentially one more rematch in this feud, perhaps in a Hell in a Cell if they wanted to take things even further? So maybe this is the perfect time for Kofi to re-enter the title chase and battle a vile Viper in one of his signature matches.
Prediction: Randy Orton
9. Seth Rollins (c) vs Braun Strowman – WWE Universal Championship
Depending on the result of the Raw Tag Team title match, this could make for a really intriguing main event. Seth Rollins is walking into this match as the underdog, but after pulling off two victories over Brock Lesnar in the past six months, we could easily see him matching up to Strowman.
Seth’s title reign has had its ups and downs, but I don’t think Braun is the right guy to dethrone ‘The Beastslayer’, especially when he couldn’t even take it from Brock last year. Regardless, this should be a really fun clash of styles, with Braun playing the overpowering monster against Rollins’ valiant high-flier.
I hope they absolutely nail this match, putting Braun back on the map for a potential future shot down the line, while re-establishing Seth as one of the best performers on the roster today.
Prediction: Seth Rollins
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