These predictions were made with no help from the betting lines because I’m not a cheater. In other words, I’m guessing just like you are. Join me for live coverage of WWE Clash fo Champions beginning with the Kickoff Show at 6CT/7ET. Dot Net Members will have exclusive access to the audio review that Jake Barnett and I will record after the show. Join us on the ad-free version of Prowrestling.net to gain access to over nine years of audio content via the Dot Net Members’ Signup Page.
WWE is limping to the finish of their 2017 pay-per-view schedule with a show that feels mostly phoned in by creative. The only intrigue is for whether Vince McMahon will stubbornly put the WWE Championship back on Jinder Mahal and whatever they intend to do in the big tag team match. The rest of the show received a half-hearted build with too much focus on comedy and not enough on making the matches and feuds feel important. It doesn’t mean this will be a bad show, as the in-ring work could carry it to a passable level.
AJ Styles vs. Jinder Mahal for the WWE Championship: For those who don’t think there’s any chance of Mahal regaining the championship, keep in mind that Vince McMahon is reportedly interested in launching another football league. In other words, the man doesn’t admit defeat easily. That said, the signs point toward Styles retaining. After all, Mahal took the loss to Triple H at the India house show recently and it feels like the company has pulled back on his push to some extent. I’m all for Jinder losing here and eventually settling in as a U.S. Champion. Mahal was elevated by his title reign and while he may not work as the top champion, there’s no reason to think he can’t be a solid secondary champion. Meanwhile, Styles is the face of the brand and there are some attractive title defense possibilities for him at WrestleMania.
AJ Styles retains the WWE Championship.
Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn vs. Randy Orton and Shinsuke Nakamura with Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan as special referees (Owens and Zayn will be fired if they lose): How much fun would it be if Owens and Zayn lost the match and returned as a masked tag team? I hear they both know that El Generico guy and could get some tips from him about working under a hood. As fun as that sounds, my guess is that Owens and Zayn go over, but the question is how they get there. Brian Fritz of BetweenTheRopes.com joined me for Dot Net Weekly and predicted a double pin with each referee counting a pin for each team simultaneously. And while I suspect Brian is right, I hope they have something bigger and better in mind. I’ve ruled out the idea of Bryan turning heel because they were beating viewers over the head with that possibility on the go-home show and it’s probably the last thing they would do if he was turning heel. My guess is they go with a finish that keeps Bryan and Shane slotted as babyfaces even if they continue to disagree.
Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn win.
The Usos vs. New Day vs. Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin vs. Rusev and Aiden English in a four-way for the Smackdown Tag Titles: Rusev and English are the only team with momentum coming into the match based on their recent television wins. Everyone else traded wins and losses. I don’t see a reason to take the tag titles away from the Usos at this point. That said, the four-way format gives creative a chance to have them drop the titles without actually losing. This match has sleeper potential. Despite the comedic build, the wrestlers involved could make it a lot of fun.
The Usos retain the Smackdown Tag Titles.
Charlotte Flair vs. Natalya in a lumberjack match for the Smackdown Women’s Championship: The Money in the Bank contract is still in play. I don’t know if creative is trying to lull viewers into not thinking about Carmella and her contract. If so then mission accomplished. I’ll be shocked if we don’t see Charlotte perform a moonsault onto a group of brawling lumberjacks. I will also be surprised if she drops the title back to Natalya. I don’t see a successful Carmella cash-in, but it seems more likely than Natalya regaining the title.
Charlotte retains the Smackdown Women’s Championship.
Baron Corbin vs. Bobby Roode vs. Dolph Ziggler in a Triple Threat for the U.S. Championship: Another match that should be better in quality than the creative build was. Is Ziggler in the match so he can take the pin rather than Corbin? Or is Ziggler i the match so he can take the pin rather than Roode? Brian Fritz also mentioned the idea of Roode winning the U.S. Title and serving as a transitional champion that leads to Mahal taking the title. I don’t have a strong feeling about the match, but we’ll go with Brian’s idea since I like the idea of getting the U.S. Title on Mahal sooner rather than later.
Bobby Roode wins the U.S. Championship.
The Bludgeon Brothers vs. Tyler Breeze and Fandango: Let the Road Warriors style destruction continue.
The Bludgeon Brothers win.
Mojo Rawley vs. Zack Ryder (Kickoff Show): It no longer feels like a lock that the babyfaces go over in the pre-show matches. With this feud just starting, Rawley should come out of this on top. There’s always a chance they put over Ryder and have Rawley destroy him afterward, but my guess is they keep it simple.
Mojo Rawley wins.
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