WWE presents Clash of Champoions this Sunday, the only pay-per-view where every main roster title is guaranteed to be on the line (though, shouldn’t that really be every PPV?) That means we’ve got a staggering ten title matches, and one non-title grudge match between Roman Reigns and his attacker, Erick Rowan. It all goes down this Sunday, September 15 from Charlotte, North Carolina.
Drew Gulak (c) vs. Humberto Carrillo vs. Lince Dorado for the Cruiserweight Championship
Humberto Carrillo earned a championship opportunity by being the last man standing for his team in the gargantuan 10-man elimination tag team match over on 205 Live a few weeks ago, the best show you’re probably not watching. That didn’t sit well with Lince Dorado, who challenged Carrillo to a match for his spot. Upon his victory, General Manager Drake Maverick added the Golden Lynx to the match at Clash, creating a triple threat situation for the incumbent champion, Drew Gulak.
Brian: I love 205 Live and everything they’re doing, but the championship picture is cloudy. It always seems like there’s one (or two) contender(s) who can put on a killer match that doesn’t mean a lot past that. With KUSHIDA as a new part of the roster, I could easily see Gulak retain over Dorado and Carillo and have a killer match with the Japanese sensation at Hell in a Cell or Survivor Series.
Winner: Drew Gulak
Jay: I used all the money I saved for my high school prom on an Xbox 360. I told my would-be date that I really needed to play the first Gears of War and that I didn’t want to deal with the whole “rent a suit” thing. Obviously I invited her to come over to play but told her up-front that we weren’t going to do co-op cause I hate co-op. She went to prom with some other guy and we stopped talking. And now, as I go to buy Gears 5, I ponder if there is an alternate timeline where I did go to prom with her and we lived happily ever after. A timeline where I’ve moved past such things like Gears of War and other social follies that being single predicates. Why am I talking about this openly to thousands of strangers? I figure it is more interesting than anything happening on 205 Live.
Winner: The COG
Jason: That was unnecessarily mean, right? Anyway, they added Lince to give Humberto an out for not winning this one. Drew’s retaining and evidently taking that belt to NXT where it will presumably be unified with the North American Championship and swept under the rug for another decade or so until the WWE wants to resurrect the term “Cruiserweight” again.
Winner: Goo Drulak
AJ Styles (c) vs. Cedric Alexander for the United States Championship
AJ Styles and his OC brethren has been raising hell on Monday Night Raw since reforming the Club, but Cedric Alexander has risen as an unlikely thorn in the side of the Phenomenal One. And this past week, he scored a victory over the United States Champion (albeit via disqualification as a result of another OC beatdown), putting him at the top of the pack as the number one contender to Styles’ championship.
Brian: OC AJ Styles is the best AJ Styles. He and Cedric are going to tear the roof off the place with their athleticism. With Cedric hitting the Lumbar Check and pinning Styles on a…ahem…”phenomenal” main event this past week, things are looking up for Alexander. I’m not sure that it’s time to get the title off of AJ, however. I expect some shenanigans and continuance of this feud.
Winner: AJ Styles
Jay: Styles. He’s going to keep the US title as he works to elevate the mid-card on Raw till it’s time for him to step back up to the big belt. Alexander is going to be a big beneficiary of this match though.
Winner: AJ Styles
Jason: This should be a good one, and I believe it’s Ced’s first ever singles match on the main card of a PPV (Something Ali still can’t say). While it would be cool to see him earn a title on his first go at it, it’s not bloody likely. The OC has been pretty considerably defanged in recent weeks, and Styles is the only thing keeping them relevant. Ced should look good in defeat, but he’s not winning this one.
Winner: The Phenomenal One
Shinsuke Nakamura (c) vs. The Miz for the Intercontinental Championship
Shinsuke Nakamura has hitched his wagon to Sami Zayn as of late, who has acted as the King of Strong Style’s mouthpiece so Nakamura can focus on creating. The Miz just so happened to be in the right (wrong?) place at the right (wrong?) time, hosting both men on an episode of Miz TV that ultimately led to the A-Lister getting a shot to tie the record and become a nine time Intercontinental Champion.
Brian: I am not a proponent of calling anyone who enters WWE “ruined” or “wasted.” Usually it comes from self-righteous indie fans who are just mad that they aren’t the only ones who can find some obscure way to watch wrestling. Someone took their toy and they’re having a sad about it. That being said…Shinsuke Nakamura certainly hasn’t lived up to the high potential hyped up in his NXT run. As Intercontinental Champion, Nakamura has been treading water with little to show for his efforts. A feud with The Miz isn’t helping Nak’s milquetoast run. Maybe his partnership with Sami Zayn will produce some excitement.
Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura, I guess
Jay: Can we talk about Brian’s use of “milquetoast?” Brian, that is a wonderful word used in a wonderful sentence. Well done, my friend. And Brian’s right. I could give a sh*t about the feud, but the match will exceed expectations. I am going to keep an open mind, because all three participants in this feud are highly creative and this will likely be a sleeper hit. Shinsuke will win to prolong the story.
Jason: I think the Shin+Sam show is dead on arrival, and they’re making a big deal about Miz being close to breaking Chris Jericho’s record number of IC title reigns, and given the man’s currently the face of the closest thing they’ve had to competition in nearly 20 years, this seems like the kind of petty move WWE absolutely loves. I’m not really feeling The Miz these days, but then again, I’m not really feeling Shinsuke much either. This is the bathroom break match of the night.
Winner: The Miz, who will celebrate with a little bit of the bu…nah, too easy.
The New Day (c) vs. The Revival for the SmackDown Tag Team Championship
The Revival have…ahem…revived their stature on the card as of late by aligning with Randy Orton, as all three men have a common enemy in the New Day. While The Viper is going for Kofi’s WWE Championship later on in the night, Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder will have their hands full as they try to dethrone the world-famous six time champs, Xavier Woods and Big E.
Brian: I love this rivalry and how it has incorporated itself into the WWE Championship title picture as well. The New Day is everything The Revival despises and everything the crowd loves. Woods and Big E have shown that they can put on amazing tag team matches and this one won’t disappoint. I’m not sure which way things go here, but I forsee a bad night for The New Day before Kofi’s bout with Randy Orton.
Winner: The Revival
Jay: The Revival is going to take it. The Revival have earned all the heat thus far and The New Day are due a receipt.
Winner: The Revival
Jason: The Revival aint winning a damn thing. You know it. I know it. They’re going to be stooges for Randy until this Kofi feud is done then ride the bottom of the card until they can head off to greener pastures. Maybe they pop up on NXT to have a banger with someone down there, but they are the walking dead at this point. See you (top) guys on Wednesday nights!
Winner: The New Day
Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross (c) vs. Fire and Desire for the Women’s Tag Team Championship
Alexa Bliss has shocked the world by actually being a good friend to Nikki Cross, but now another blonde-haired, self-obsessed egomaniac is taking shots at her. Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville — Fire and Desire — have been eyeing the Women’s Tag Team Championships since their creation earlier this year, and this Sunday they finally get an opportunity to win them.
Brian: This is the wrong match. I’m looking forward to it (I could do without the “Oh, Nikki’s ugly” BS), and Fire and Desire are built to be champs. However, this is not the time. Nikki and Bliss need more time to establish their new personas and facing a team like The Kabuki Warriors might give them a chance to beat a team that won’t be hurt (any more than they already are) by the loss. Fire and Desire have to win to stay relevant.
Winner: Fire and Desire
Jay: The bully always loses in a bully type angle. Mandy, being the bully here, will likely have to take the fall. Thus Bliss and Nikki will retain but I do suspect that F&D will have a strong showing.
Winner: Bliss and Cross
Jason: I really don’t get WWE’s obsession with Alexa Bliss, but she’s one of three women you can count on to get screen time at any given show she’s. As such, unless those rumors of her moving to SmackDown are true, I fully expect Sparkle and Scream to take this one over the younger squad that creative can’t even keep a consistent story for. I love Sonya, and think she and Mandy should get those tag belts at some point before the WWE fully gives up on it, but I just don’t see it happening any time soon.
Winner: Alexa and Neckeh
Seth Rollins and Braun Strowman (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode for the Raw Tag Team Championship
Seth Rollins and Braun Strowman will square off against one another for the Universal Championship to (presumably) close out the show, but first, they must work together to defend their Raw Tag Team Championships. Their opponents: Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode, a makeshift team that surprised everybody when they won a tag team turmoil gauntlet to earn this opportunity.
Jay: Ziggler and Roode. Both are too valuable to have been as inactive as they have been. Plus, the “double champion” angle rarely lasts longer than a few weeks. And, most importantly: the Rollins/Strowman issue has to have a final ending as The Fiend is looming for Hell in a Cell and his character is not equipped for a multi-man feud at the moment.
Winner: Ziggler and Roode
Brian: I’m feeling very “meta” right now in my predictions. Jay is dead on about the “double-champ” thing. Shenanigans/accidental problems between the tag champs have been hinted and that creates a great environment for two faces to fight. This one will be rife with shenanigans (I love that word) and Zigs/Roode pick up the W.
Winner: Ziggler and Roode
Jason: I don’t like either of these pairings, but it makes zero sense to have the champs hold onto the belts before their actual match later in the night. Or they’re going to win then Braun cost them the titles on Raw? That….actually may happen…Hmm. No, gonna go with my gut here and say they give the straps to Ziggles and the Smiling Bathrobe.
Roman Reigns vs. Erick Rowan (No Disqualification)
After weeks of attacks against the Big Dog, the assailant was finally revealed to be Erick Rowan, apparently defying Daniel Bryan’s orders and acting rogue. Rowan says he’s done being controlled and bossed around, and is his own man now. What better way to show that to the world than to try to take down the franchise of WWE?
Jay: Roman is going to look strong but this angle is leading to something – I guess? Maybe? It’s very strange. I mean Roman, in the context of the story, has been the victim of attempted murder and seems mildly upset at worst about it. Think about it for a moment. Someone tried to kill you and have a suspect(s) and would your response be to go up to that party and be like “yo, what gives?” This whole affair is very strange and will likely lead to a strong showing for Rowan only to take a Spear from The Big Dog and D-Bry will show up to make himself the apparent challenger for Roman.
Winner: Roman Reigns
Brian: I just realized why they gave Erick Rowan his first name back. It’s so the announcers don’t get “Rowan” and “Roman” mixed up constantly. God, he’s terrible. Why is he on his own? He has some good things going, but really needs a mouthpiece. I don’t get the split from D-Bry. Roman goes over looking STRONG.
Winner: Roman Reigns
Jason: Pfft, really?
Winner: Big Dog
Bayley (c) vs. Charlotte Flair for the SmackDown Women’s Championship
Bayley has started acting remarkably out of character as of late, following her best friend Sasha Banks’ lead in assaulting the Raw Women’s Champion, Becky Lynch and the Hugger’s challenger, Charlotte Flair. Bayley says it’s all about staying loyal to her best friend and elevating the division, but the rest of WWE’s female Superstars seem unconvinced. Will Bayley snap this Sunday?
Jay: Bayley via DQ or chicanery. She got beat on Raw by Charlotte and basic booking conventions dictate that she, therefore, will retain at the PPV. It also would derail whatever momentum Bayley has with the recent turn. I expect Charlotte to come within inches of winning only for Bayley to go berserk with a chair or something.
Winner: Bayley will keep the belt
Brian: Good luck to anyone not in the Four Horsewomen to get near these titles until after WrestleMania. Bayley has to go full on chickensh*t/slippery heel in this one to combat Charlotte’s rage-monster heel-ish persona and get the crowd to back the Queen. Whatever happens, Bayley has to keep this and I forsee a Boss ‘n’ Hug Championship party on Raw.
Winner: Bayley retains
Jason: It’s a hat-trick from the AiPT! judges, because Bayley’s taking this one. Sasha’s heel run is essentially the A-story in the company right now, so her and Bayley holding both belts like an inverted version of Benoit and Guerero at Mania XX seems pretty likely. I’m sure it’ll be a heelish win, but Bayey’s keeping that belt. Now ditch the tube men! I want full on evil Bayley.
Winner: Hug life
Becky Lynch (c) vs. Sasha Banks for the Raw Women’s Championship
Sasha’s found her roots as the single-minded, egomaniacal Legit Boss as of late, attacking Natalya and setting her sights on Becky Lynch’s Raw Women’s Championship. With her new attitude and her best friend by her side, can anything stop Sasha Banks?
Jay: This is the hardest match to pick. On one hand, it does make sense for Sasha to take it and solidify her new character. On the other hand, this feud easily has a multi-month feud potential and it would make sense for Sasha to win it now to prolong the feud. There is also a third hand that forces us to consider the potential for a Four Horsewomen feud that would see Becky align with Charlotte against Sasha and Bayley — having Bayley as the SD champ and Becky as the Raw champ would add a nicer dynamic. And then since Goro is booking this, there is a fourth hand that slaps us to remind us that Becky is on the cover for WWE 2K20 that is coming out next month. I don’t know. I think Goro will favor Becky.
Winner: Becky Lynch
Brian: Again, if you’re a woman not named Becky, Charlotte, Sasha, or Bayley, find yourself a tag team partner and go attack Nikki and Bliss. These titles are going to be locked up until post-Mania. The good money here is on Boss ‘n’ Hug ruling the women’s divisions on both brands until Survivor Series when I think they will refuse to face each other. I don’t know. Either way, this sets up Charlotte and Becky to chase the belts into the Rumble and beyond. Long term booking FTW, yo!
Winner: Sasha Banks
Jason: Sasha’s the one to watch and Becky’s stronger chasing the title, so why wouldn’t you make the switch? I don’t expect it to be clean, and perhaps Bayley plays the deciding factor here, but I think (a) this match headlines and (b) Sasha wins. If (a) doesn’t happen then Becky will probably retain, but I’ve been swinging wildly with these predictions, so why not?
Winner: The Boss
Kofi Kingston (c) vs. Randy Orton for the WWE Championship
Kofi has the chance to exact revenge against Randy Orton, who has been treating the New Day member like it’s 2009. Kofi’s been happy to play that game however, paying homage to his own attack against the Viper all those years ago this past week with a Boom Drop through a press table in the crowd. But what will the Apex Predator have up his sleeve this Sunday?
Jay: Kofi will retain. This feud has been centered on Kofi being held down by Randy, making it idiotic to have Randy go over. I do expect this feud to carry over into HIAC, as the two would have a fantastic match and it would provide Kofi with a banner win to solidify his status as a main-event player.
Winner: Kofi Kingston
Brian: I still don’t see Kofi losing the title. Unless they’re trying to recreate some of the pre-Mania magic with Kofi being an underdog fighting from below again, Randy doesn’t win. Also, Randy doesn’t need to win. He’s Randall Keith Orton. Kofi, however, needs to become permanently a main-event possibility. A win here will mean that he passes Jinder Mahal on the “days as WWE Champ” list. Let’s get there, huh? Then we can get a fresh feud for the Fox era.
Winner: Kofi Kingston
Jason: This is harder to call than you may think, but common sense would suggest Kofi keeps the belt. I dunno if WWE not mentioning it has made everyone forget, but Kofi’s beaten the Viper in their last, like, dozen or so matches and has spent the last month getting his ass kicked like Sting falling into stupid babyface traps back in WCW. I’m not sure who is the man to take the strap off of Kofi, but I think they’re waiting for a more exciting idea than just “put the belt on Randy for the 15th time.”
Winner: Kofi Kingston
Seth Rollins (c) vs. Braun Strowman for the Universal Championship
Tag team partners will collide for the Universal Championship, as both Seth Rollins and Braun Strowman will pull double duty at this PPV. Shortly after attempting to defend their Raw Tag Team Championships against Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode, they will face off for Raw‘s top prize. Rollins is a Kingslayer and a Beastslayer, but can he take down a Monster?
Jay: Rollins is going to take it. The story here isn’t necessarily Rollins vs. Strowman — it’s about who will take on The Fiend at Hell in a Cell. The creative powers that be are clearly investing in Bray Wyatt right now and are aiming to make him look as fearsome as possible, and a juxtaposition with Strowman simply won’t achieve that goal right now. Hence, Rollins will take out Strowman and call himself The Beastslayer and The Monsterslayer en route to becoming a Fiendslayer. I mean, we’ve all forgotten, he’s also called The Kingslayer and The Interestslayer.
Winner: Seth Rollins
Brian: AJ Styles is playing the best heel because he is dead right about his major thesis: BRAUN is getting a title shot because he looked at a belt. The Fiend is getting a title shot because he said he was. Even I can do this math and it adds up to poor planning. BRAUN absolutely should hold the Universal Title for as long as he goddamn pleases. Buuuuut, he needs to take it from someone like Brock or Joe or Drew McIntyre. Him beating Seth doesn’t add to his character. He’s a long term guy who will get there. That being said, Seth needs to hold the title to cement him as “The Guy” for the forseeable future. Enter The Fiend. Great character, amazing portrayal at SummerSlam, love it. He cannot lose next month, not so early in his inception. But why does he want/need the Universal Title? I don’t get where this is going and I don’t like it. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that The Fiend causes a no-contest ending leading to a triple threat at Hell in a Cell.
Winner: Rollins retains
Jason: Man, do I not care. I’m not really feeling either guy at the moment. I mean on social media, Braun seems like a cool guy, and Seth’s personal life has been one upping itself constantly over the past few months, but neither guys’ character speaks to me at the moment. I think Brian’s no-contest idea has a lot of legs, and seems like a smart way to protect everyone involved and get to the already advertised main event of Hell in a Cell. Which means, of course, the WWE is going to f--k it up. I think Seth wins with like a rollup or something, then gets wrecked by Braun after a handshake fake out. Then we just get a straight rematch at Hell in a Cell and I care even less.