A show that snuck up on all of us, December 17th’s “Clash of Champions” is looking to be a reasonably decent PPV, albeit with some weird builds and booking decisions. Per usual, we break down what we’re excited about and our predictions for the evening.
Join us, won’t you?
Mojo Rawley vs. Zack Ryder
Sandra: Despite a drawn-out breakup for the tag team, and being doomed to lower and mid-card, this match could be useful. I’m also pretty sure that Rawley will pick up the win; this could enable the WWE to build a little more story around this feud. Also, I believe they are pushing Rawley at this point.
Katie: I forgot that this feud was even a thing – that’s how much time and attention WWE has devoted to it. For some reason, fans keep hoping that Ryder will have another good run, but the knee injury he suffered last December effectively ended his career. Rawley wins.
Hunter: DOOOOOONNNNNN”T CAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRREEEEEEEEEEEEE. Let Ryder win something.
Bludgeon Brothers vs. Breezango
Sandra: Unfortunately, there is no doubt in my mind that the Bludgeon Brothers will take the win here. Why unfortunately? Because I am waiting for Breezango to be taken a little more seriously again. Yes, I love the Fashion Police, but I would like to see them win a bit more instead of jobbing for a newly formed tag team.
Katie: The Bludgeon Brothers will win just because they need to. Despite being a cohesive unit with a fleshed-out look and gimmick, the latest incarnation of Harper and Rowan has fallen flat. That sucks, because Harper is a great wrestler who could be doing so much more. Meanwhile, Breezango can eat a loss without any real harm done to them.
Hunter: A comedy duo vs. a group of monsters. Why? Bludgeon Bros Bludgeon And Bash.
Charlotte Flair vs. Natalya in a Lumberjack Match for the SmackDown Women’s Championship
Sandra: I think this match might turn out a little different than most reporters believe. Most opinions seem to lean towards Charlotte retaining. However, I think Clash of Champions will be the night for Carmella to cash in and get the title.
Katie: Given the lumberjack stipulation of this match, I agree that Carmella will cash-in her Money in the Bank contract and emerge as the new SmackDown Women’s Champion. However, I’m reluctant to predict that Charlotte will retain the title first. The lumberjacks – consisting of The Riott Squad and The Welcoming Committee – will likely focus all their attention on Charlotte, which will only aid Natalya. Further, Carmella betraying a victorious Nattie to take the title for herself seems like a far more likely and exciting scenario than Carmella getting a win over Charlotte however bruised and beaten she may be. So, I’m making the bold prediction that WWE will throw Nattie a bone in her long losing streak against Charlotte – only to have her lose the championship to Princess ‘Mella.
Hunter: This build has made it more of a SlumberJack match. Natalya wins in the chaos, which is what happens typically in events like this. Or Charlotte wins, and we establish Ruby Riott was the next contender. I don’t think we get that Carmella cash-in yet. Though a cash-in during lumberjack chaos WOULD be unique…
The Usos vs. Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable vs. The New Day vs. Rusev & Aiden English for the SmackDown Tag Team Championship
Sandra: Believe it or not, this is one of the matches I look forward to the most. Unfortunately, I also believe Benjamin and Gable will take the titles.
Listen, what the WWE should do (if they have a brain cell left in the creative department) is let Rusev & Aiden English take the title. The pair has some momentum now. If they lose this one, that energy is doomed to die down. Use it and don’t disappoint me, please! You can do something great with the Rusev Day gimmick.
Katie: I can’t stand Aiden English and wish he would disappear, so it doesn’t bother me that he and Rusev definitely won’t win this match. As for the other teams, The New Day winning wouldn’t make sense, and while The Usos could retain, Benjamin and Gable just turned heel and are in the midst of a push, so I think they’ll win.
Hunter: Katie could not be more wrong. Aiden English is amazing. He’s been great since his first solo run in NXT. Give him and Rusev dem belts ASAP. This match should open the show and should be wild and crazy.
Baron Corbin vs. Bobby Roode vs. Dolph Ziggler for the United States Championship
Sandra: Corbin retains. However, I don’t think it will be a pin on Roode. I think the pin will come on Ziggler. I think it is the only reason he is in this match. Both Roode and even Ziggler are more worthy than Corbin, but there you go.
Katie: Completely agree with Sandra here. It’s way too soon to take the title off Corbin, but he can’t pin Roode. Poor Ziggler.
Hunter: GLORIOUS!!!!!!!!!!!! Make Bobby Roode the champ so he can put that belt underneath one of those beautiful robes. Corbin and Ziggler are treading water and have no direction. Ziggy’s “angsty young vet” routine is as tired as his hair.
AJ Styles vs. Jinder Mahal for the WWE Championship
Sandra: I will keep this one short and powerful. Styles retains. If Jinder picks up the title again, it will be the end for a lot of SmackDown viewers.
Katie: Unless WWE has a death wish, there’s no conceivable way Mahal wins this one.
Hunter: AJ pulls another fantastic match out of his gloves, and Jinder returns to the low-to-no card. Next challenger? If house shows are any indication, it will be Baron Corbin.
Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn vs. Shinsuke Nakamura & Randy Orton with Special Guest Referees Shane McMahon & Daniel Bryan
Sandra: I’m going for Owens and Zayn for this one. They have been building them quite a bit, so making them lose now would make no sense. Unfortunately, it will mean Nakamura’s rating goes down even more.
Katie: Unfortunately for the men wrestling this match, the story here isn’t about them – it’s about the tension between SmackDown General Manager Daniel Bryan and Commissioner Shane McMahon. And indeed, WWE is hinting that Bryan will turn heel and link up with Owens and Zayn, and because of that, I’ll think they’ll win.
Hunter: Unless they’re going with some “Cena joins Nexus” type angle, Daniel Bryan turns on Shane. The Canadian duo win and Orton will probably take the pin. Or maybe something completely different happens. Kevin turns on Sami? Nakamura just murders everyone? Who knows, it is the only other match other than the tag title match I care about.
What are your predictions? Share them in the comments below.