I write this WWE Clash Of Champions preview with a major disclaimer: this is all based on the assumption that Vince McMahon has a clear, thought out story for everything in place and he’s not going to change his mind because… well, because. I’ll direct you towards the main event of SmackDown this past Tuesday—Kevin Owens, our modern day Steve Austin. He has the Stunner, even has a McMahon as a primary target, but what’s his character missing? A set of nuts. And when did he lose said nuts? Over the course of a commercial break. They thought that was the right way to portray a bad ass, anti-authority character. There you go, DTA indeed. Especially Vince McMahon. Now let’s look at the Clash of Champions where all will be rectified!
Universal Championship Match: Seth Rollins (c) vs. Braun Strowman
The winner here gets to enter Satan’s steel with The Fiend in Bray Wyatt. Can any of us imagine it being Braun? I can’t and I bet you Braun can’t either.
If Vince is putting Bray that high up that quickly then it only makes sense to put him up against an opponent who matches his stature and contrasts his presence. Having Braun in there will contrast Bray’s presence but not in the way intended for either guy. Braun’s too much of a “I’m gonna eat the rest of the dinner rolls and you’re not gonna say a damn thing about it” big man to act like a frightened fool. Seth however, will provide the right amount of frazzled yet still have the determination of beating this freak’s ass. Seth retains, providing an intriguing match-up for what it WWE’s hottest (and mostly unseen) act.
WWE Championship Match: Kofi Kingston (c) vs. Randy Orton
Over ten years of history should make this a paint-by-numbers win for Kofi. This a story that should tell itself and (Vince disclaimer notwithstanding) it will. Kofi gets the better of Randy, maybe gains some respect from The Viper and maybe down the road, leads to an unlikely alliance between the two against a greater foe.
Raw Women’s Championship Match: Becky Lynch (c) vs. Sasha Banks
Becky versus Sasha certainly packs the most punch as far as marquee match-ups goes for Clash and I think it will do the same with the result. Sasha will saunter out with the win and the belt, putting Becky once more in the chase position as we get set for WWE’s new season starting up here in October. Becky has been advertised on FOX ads for SmackDown and even tweeted some shade at Bayley because of it. Plus you had that whole telegraphed heel turn a few weeks back on RAW so I’m leaning towards The Man moving to the blue brand once again to kick the hugs out of Bayley.
SmackDown Women’s Championship Match: Bayley (c) vs. Charlotte Flair
For the former to happen, Bayley has to retain and if Becky bounces over to FOX then USA Network will need a leading lady on RAW. Only woman that is currently comparable to Lynch as far as name power goes is Charlotte and she’s even a rung below Becks (it’s okay, everybody is). Charlotte says SmackDown is her brand, but she can easily make that happen on RAW.
Roman Reigns vs. Erick Rowan (No disqualification)
What a tangled web WWE weaves and they did that with this whole sacrilege of storytelling. Rowan’s the heel sure, but it took some rocky ass ground to get there and not everyone came out looking in the right (or the wrong for that matter). Luckily, they can just spear, Superman punch and stroll away from the situation. Just turn this whole sha-bang into a focus on Bryan vs. Reigns, because that was the original intention all along right?
Intercontinental Championship Match: Shinsuke Nakamura (c) vs. The Miz
This is a stop-gap feud for Nakamura who found some new life being paired up with Sami Zayn. Miz is kind of teflon at this point in his spot with being so media versatile so a loss won’t effect him either way.
Women’s Tag Team Championship Match: Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross (c) vs. Fire and Desire
Real lazy, old-man storytelling that goes into this one. Wow, another “catty, shallow” character ripping on another female based on their looks? Sounds exactly like WWE’s ongoing MO for the past 20 something years. Really archaic and contradictory to the whole “Women’s Revolution” WWE is so quick to pat themselves on the back on, but Vince is 74 and there is not enough estrogen in the writing room to get a well-told, sensible storyline involving women across, so we’re left with something as half-baked as this. At least Bliss & Cross will win, silver lining I guess? (Shrug emoji, followed by facepalm).
United States Championship Match: AJ Styles (c) vs. Cedric Alexander
Can’t say I’m off base in saying this is the top candidate for match of the night. AJ thrills while Cedric chills (down the back of spines) with his Lumbar Check finisher. I think AJ retains through OC assistance, but this feud carries on as Alexander continues to chase the belt and The OC, maybe with a few other allies he picks up.
Raw Tag Team Championship Match: Seth Rollins and Braun Strowman (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode
Dolph and Robert win this one earlier in the night as descension flows between Strowman and Seth as they work towards their main event later in the evening. I think it would be way more interesting if the two retained and kind of go “buddy cop film” together post Universal Title Match, but Dolph and Roode have been done dirty too often to not get a gold watch and some sort of direction here.
Smackdown Tag Team Championship Match: The New Day (c) vs. The Revival
This match was a thing? I had no idea before going through the card and what’s so damn crazy about that it is it involves two of the top teams in the WWE. I think WWE not making me aware of it indicates two major problems: they aren’t doing their job at making feuds feel important and there’s too many damn titles. This is also an indication that I’m absent-minded so therefore, I’ll shoulder 30% of the blame but no more than that. Hell with it, I say The Revival wins.