Clash of Champions, despite not being one of the ‘big 4 shows’, is usually one of the higher stakes PPVs of the year. The show’s stipulation, for every RAW and SmackDown title to be defended on it, ensures a card chock-full of high-calibre matches. In previous years, the event has brought us some classics – including Kevin Owens Vs. Seth Rollins for the Universal Championship in 2016 as well as 2017’s Smackdown Tag Team Championship Fatal-4-Way featuring The Usos, The New Day, Gable & Benjamin and Rusev Day.
This year’s event looks to be no different, as we’re set to see a Triple Threat Ladder Match to determine the ‘true’ Intercontinental Champion between Jeff Hardy, AJ Styles and Sami Zayn; Zelina Vega hopes to pick up a shock win over Asuka in a pre-show match for the RAW Women’s Championship, and Roman Reigns will take on his own flesh and blood, Jey Uso, in a bout for the Universal Championship.
It all goes down tonight live from the WWE ThunderDome within the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida at 12 am BST – with the kick-off show starting at 11 pm. Here’s a quick rundown of the Clash of Champions card along with predictions for each:
Asuka (c) Vs. Zelina Vega (Pre-Show – RAW Women’s Championship)
Zelina Vega becoming an active wrestler again has been one of the few treats on RAW lately. We’ve always known Vega can compete (as evidenced by her tenure as an independent wrestler under her real name) but this is the first time she’s been able to prove this in WWE, aside from a few throwaway matches with Lana, Piper Niven and Candice LeRae. Picking up a surprise win over Mickie James on Monday in order to challenge Asuka, Vega looks to win her first championship tonight.
Will she do it? …Probably not. Asuka has been on a tear since becoming RAW Women’s Champion and there is practically no reason to believe she will be losing it anytime soon, especially on the kick-off show in a match so suddenly put together. Asuka will handily retain her title in a match that may be reminiscent of her early NXT work.
Note: As per Mike Johnson of PWInsider, this match has now been moved to the main show.
The Street Profits (c) Vs. Andrade & Angel Garza (WWE RAW Tag Team Championship)
What hasn’t been much of a treat on RAW, however, is the tag division. As much as the Street Profits were a fresh team for the Championship when they won them back in March, they’ve now held the belts for over 200 days and have only defended them five times – three of those against Angel Garza.
Andrade & Garza, whilst not being an entirely new team themselves, have had some interesting progression in the last few weeks. Amongst in-fighting, Zelina Vega has stopped managing the duo and began focusing on her singles career, leaving the two to fend for themselves. A win for Andrade & Garza would be something new at least and would freshen up the somewhat stale tag division.
Winners: Andrade & Angel Garza
Cesaro & Shinsuke Nakamura (c) Vs. Lucha House Party (WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship)
Unlike the RAW Tag Title match, the SmackDown side has more of a story behind it – though interestingly behind the challengers rather than the champions. It’s been teased several times that the Lucha House Party may soon be breaking up as tensions escalate between Kalisto and Lince Dorado.
Cesaro & Shinsuke still seem to be in the infancy of their tag title reign and another loss for Lucha House Party could be the final straw for the trio as a collective.
Winners: Cesaro & Shinsuke Nakamura
Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler (c) Vs. The Riott Squad (WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship)
Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler winning the Women’s Tag Team Championship has been an interesting experiment, to say the least. The makeshift team defeated Bayley & Sasha Banks for the titles in their first match together last month and have gone on to enter the highly-competitive RAW women’s tag team division of… three teams?
Thankfully, Ruby Riott & Liv Morgan’s reunion as the Riott Squad has been pretty entertaining. The duo became #1 contenders to the championship by defeating The IIconics, in turn forcing Peyton Royce & Billie Kay to disband as a team and have tried to rebuild The Riott Squad name from the ground up. Unfortunately for them, they face Jax & Baszler who are consistently two of the most dominant forces in the women’s division so I find it unlikely that the current champions will be dethroned anytime soon. Certainly not at Clash of Champions.
Winners: Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler
Note: As per John Pollock of POST Wrestling, this match may not take place as advertised.
Bobby Lashley (c) Vs. Apollo Crews (WWE United States Championship)
The Hurt Business has been another positive of RAW as of late, with Cedric Alexander’s heel turn creating a new dynamic within the group. It’s unfortunate, however, that they’re still feuding with Apollo Crews – the same feud they were in when the group originally came together three months ago.
At the very least, they have been mixing up who faces Crews from the faction, bouncing from Benjamin to MVP to Alexander to now Lashley. RAW last Monday might be a good indicator of where Lashey & The Hurt Business are headed next though, as they defeated the newly-debuted RETRIBUTION via DQ. I would predict Mace, T-Bar and Slapjack interfere and cause a no contest, allowing Lashley to retain the belt and building to a feud between the two factions.
Winner: No Contest, RETRIBUTION interfere
Jeff Hardy (c) Vs. AJ Styles Vs. Sami Zayn (Ladder Match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship)
SmackDown’s Intercontinental Championship scene has been one of the highlights of WWE overall since AJ Styles won the belt in late May. AJ put on a number of phenomenal matches against Daniel Bryan, Drew Gulak and Gran Metalik before losing the title to Jeff Hardy.
Now the championship picture has become even more intriguing, as Sami Zayn has staked his claim as the ‘true’ Intercontinental Champion as he never lost the title nor vacated it willingly. The Ladder Match stipulation favours Zayn’s more opportunistic style so I’d expect Zayn to sneak out a win at Clash of Champions and go into a singles feud with AJ. As for Jeff, Roman could always do with another high-flying face to contend with.
Winner: Sami Zayn
Bayley (c) Vs. Nikki Cross (WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship)
Just over a year ago, Bayley turned heel and what a character shift it’s been. The former hugger has quickly become one of the most must-see competitors in all of WWE, even eclipsing best friend Sasha Banks – betraying and brutally attacking her just a few weeks ago.
Meanwhile, Nikki Cross has also seen a lot of progression over the summer. After Alexa Bliss was seemingly possessed by ‘The Fiend’ Bray Wyatt and ended her alliance with the Scotswoman, Cross has been focusing on her singles career and became #1 contender – beating out her former tag partner, Tamina and Lacey Evans.
There are so many possibilities with this match: Alexa could interfere, Sasha could interfere…maybe even both? Regardless, the end-game for Bayley seems to be facing Sasha on a much bigger stage down the line so it’s almost a given that she’ll retain.
Note: As per John Pollock of POST Wrestling, this match may not take place as advertised.
Drew McIntyre (c) Vs. Randy Orton (Ambulance Match for the WWE Championship)
Speaking of character shifts, Randy Orton has certainly had one since his feud with Edge spanning WrestleMania and Backlash. The Viper has evolved into an offspring of his ‘Legend Killer’ persona and has readopted his devastating Punt Kick manoeuvre. He looked unstoppable…until he ran in Drew McIntyre.
McIntyre has been on a roll since defeating Brock Lesnar for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania and managed to defeat Orton already at SummerSlam. Orton managed to sliver his way back into #1 contendership, however, after defeating Seth Rollins and Keith Lee in a Triple Threat match.
Lee has also been embroiled in this feud after he confronted Orton in his RAW debut, following his loss of the NXT Championship to Karrion Kross. There’s a distinct possibility that Lee could be added to the match, or at the very least get involved. Nonetheless, I’d expect Drew to retain here as there seems to be more to this feud beyond Clash of Champions, especially with Hell In A Cell and Survivor Series on their way very soon.
Winner: Drew McIntyre
Roman Reigns (c) Vs. Jey Uso (WWE Universal Championship)
I still haven’t entirely processed that we actually have Roman Reigns as a heel world champion, but that’s 2020 for you. What’s even stranger is that Jey Uso will be his first challenger and, as much as this sounds like it’s from a Universe Mode save that someone’s simulated for too long, this looks to be one of the highest anticipated matches from Clash of Champions as a whole.
Jey Uso has been giving some of the best promos of his career over the last few weeks and WWE even brought in members of the Anoa’i family to build the feud on Smackdown this past Friday.
As much as the story for this match has been excellent, the result is perhaps the most apparent of everything on the card. Jey Uso is not beating Roman Reigns for the Universal Championship. It’s just not happening. The two will go out and put on a fantastic match, but Roman Reigns will come out the victor.
Winner: Roman Reigns