By Jason Powell
Kevin Owens vs. Seth Rollins for the WWE Universal Championship: This match looks great on paper. For longtime fans, it’s Kevin Steen facing Tyler Black on the big WWE stage. It’s an internet dream match. So why does it feel so blah? The build to the match featured Owens telling Rollins that he has sucked since returning from knee surgery, Rollins bickering with Stephanie McMahon and then performing cross body blocks from high places. WWE dropped the ball from a creative standpoint. The buildup has been terrible. Fortunately, it has the potential to be great once the bell rings. Well, at least until Triple H interferes.
Kevin Owens retains the WWE Universal Championship.
Rusev vs. Roman Reigns for the U.S. Championship: The most interesting thing about the match is whether the Russian/Bulgarian heel will get more cheers in the midwest than Vince McMahon’s chosen one. Reigns winning the U.S. Championship would keep him out of the Universal Title picture. Reigns just beat the Universal Champion in a cage match, so I don’t think he’s leaving that title picture. Is Vince’s latest plan to get Reigns over to have him win the U.S. and WWE Universal Championships? God help us all if that plays out.
Rusev retains the U.S. Championship.
Charlotte vs. Sasha Banks vs. Bayley in a Triple Threat for the Raw Women’s Championship: Let’s review how we got here. Bayley was named Charlotte’s challenger at Clash of Champions. Sasha returned and she was named Charlotte’s challenger. Then they had a No. 1 contenders match with Sasha and Bayley. Oh, and Mick Foley got excited about Dana Brooke slapping Charlotte, so he added her to the No. 1 contenders match even though she did nothing more than slap someone to earn a spot in said match. Sasha won the Triple Threat to become No. 1 contender. Then it was determined a full week later that Sasha and Bayley both had their shoulders down in the Triple Threat. Rather than rule that the referee’s decision is final, it was decided that both women would get title shots, excluding the fact that the third person in the Triple Threat match technically should have been named the winner since she was the only person who wasn’t pinned. Add to this the failure to make Owens vs. Rollins feel important, the ongoing flop that is the Reigns babyface push, the awful build to the tag title match, and the fact that we never even saw the new cruiserweight champion on Raw. It’s not just the third hour that makes Raw suck. Once again, I’m looking forward to the actual match, but it has nothing to do with the creative build.
Charlotte retains the Raw Women’s Championship.
New Day vs. Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows for the Raw Tag Team Championship: In an alternate universe, Anderson and Gallows kicked the crap out of New Day and left them lying in a no nonsense angle. New Day were so upset that they dropped the comedy and mean business heading into this showdown match. That match matters. In this universe, we got OLD FARTS, retirement homes, and Old Day. Sadly, I’m pretty this means our universe the wacky alternate universe. Don’t believe me? Watch the debate tomorrow night.
New Day retain the WWE Tag Team Championship.
Cesaro vs. Sheamus in the final match of the best of seven series: WWE is still using the words “championship opportunity” to describe what the winner of this series will win. If it’s a Universal Championship match, then Cesaro should win the match and go on to challenge Kevin Owens. If it’s a U.S. Title match, the outcome of this match is a little less clear in that it could end up being a Sheamus win to set him up as a challenger to Reigns if he wins the championship. Or maybe Mick Foley books them in a tag title match? Nah.
Cesaro wins the best of seven.
TJ Perkins vs. Brian Kendrick for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship: Perkins didn’t even appear on Raw. Are they moving the title to Kendrick because he best known cruiserweight wrestler amongst the WWE casual fans? My guess is that they are using the best known cruiserweight to help establish the new babyface champion.
TJ Perkins retains the WWE Cruiserweight Title.
Sami Zayn vs. Chris Jericho: I don’t feel confident about the outcome of this match. They could keep the program going by having Jericho cheat to win. They could also have Zayn win the match and then have Jericho do something to him afterward or on Raw to extend the program. Coin flipped. Heads.
Sami Zayn wins.
Alicia Fox vs. Nia Jax: The destruction continues. Jax has been great on Raw as the dominant heel. There’s no reason to change course now.
Nia Jax wins.
Powell’s Bold Predictions for WWE Clash of Champions
-Despite the atrocious build to these matches, Clash of Champions will deliver because of the in-ring work as long as the wrestlers are not bogged down by bad finishes. This is a good lineup. It’s just a shame it received terrible creative support.
-The over/under on Michael Cole endorsing cheating by the heels by either calling it intelligent strategy or just nodding along with heel color commentator Corey Graves is 6.5.
-The over/under on Booker T laughing uproariously for no good reason on the Kickoff Show is 8.5.
-The over/under on online blogs telling the fans they are wrong to boo the hard working Roman Reigns is 43.5. Hey, gang, how about letting the fans decide for themselves and save your scorn for the guy who isn’t listening to his audience?
-Whether you win or lose your big fantasy game this week, no one outside the league wants to hear your talk about it.