WWE Clash of Champions took a leave of absence in 2018, but it finally made its grand return in 2019!
And this year, the PPV tradition tied to this former WCW concept has returned. Like years past editions, every main roster brand championship will be defended in one evening. The titleholders currently holding the top prizes for Raw, SmackDown, and 205 Live will have to contend with worthy challengers during this gold-worthy event. What makes Clash of Champions 2019 even more monumental is the fact that the finals for this year’s King of the Ring tournament will take place on this evening. Simply put, this year’s September WWE event will certainly be one for the ages.
Let’s break down every championship bout that’s been announced for Clash of Champions and predict its victors.
Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross (c) vs. Fire & Desire (Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville) (WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship)
Predictions & Winners: The booking for this match was pretty simple and straight to the point – the champs get challenged by a new duo, who goes on to defeat them in a non-title match. Due to that result, the challengers will now receive a title shot for the next match with the titleholders. So far, the newly introduced Women’s Tag Team Championship scene started out hot and got a bit dull during its second set of champions. The current title holders are neither terrific nor terrible – they’re just passable at this point. The same sentiment applies to their challengers, to be quite honest. I figured the Kabuki Warriors would get a PPV title shot at this show.
Sadly, we’re not getting Asuka and Kairi Sane here. We’re getting Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross vs. Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville. This one should be a solid contest, but it probably won’t get a ton of time (which is a good thing, honestly). I usually know how these situations work out – since the champs were defeated by the new flavor of the month team during a non-title bout, chances are pretty high that the champs will bounce back and defeat the challengers during this rematch. Which means Bliss and Cross are definitely retaining. Besides, Rose and Deville are getting better but they’re just not as over as the current women’s tag champs right now.
Drew Gulak (c) vs. Humberto Carrillo vs. Lince Dorado (Triple Threat Match for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship)
Predictions & Winner: Humberto Carrillo’s 205 Live run has been fun to watch. I enjoyed his short tenure alongside Raul Mendoza back in NXT, so I was pretty pumped up when he made his way over to Tuesday nights. He’s proved his worth to the purple and orange brand thus far, so it makes sense that he’s been selected as the next “flavor of the month” challenger for the Cruiserweight Championship. But a certain rival of his has also been gaining some steam lately and that’s Lince Dorado. His claim to the #1 contenders spot also can’t be ignored, which is why he’s apart of this match.
Drew Gulak hasn’t exactly lit the world on fire with his title reign. He’s a great wrestler, no doubt. But ever since Buddy Murphy’s title reign came to a close, I haven’t been all that excited about the champions that came after him. Even though he’s not really doing much to make me care about his title reign, WWE tends to give relatively new CW champions a long run. Gulak seems like someone who’ll hold the title until the next major PPV (November’s Survivor Series immediately comes to mind). So I think he’ll prevail over the up and coming luchadors.
AJ Styles (c) vs. Cedric Alexander (WWE United States Championship)
Predictions & Winner: CEDRIC ALEXANDER IS GOING PLACES! Since getting called up to Raw, he’s found himself getting a surprisingly solid push by the powers that be. His matches with Drew McIntyre, Cesaro and Baron Corbin have been quite the treat. And watching him get one over on AJ Styles and earn himself a US Championship opportunity is awesome. I would love for this match to get a ton of time, but this card is too stacked for it to go 15-minutes or longer. I’m expecting something along the lines of AJ vs. Ricochet’s SummerSlam match – decent, but not fully living up to the high potential it exudes. I’m expecting AJ to retain here, but Cedric’s loss won’t hurt him too much.
Seth Rollins and Braun Strowman (c) vs. Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler (WWE Raw Tag Team Championship)
Predictions & Winners: Here’s a wrestling storyline as old as time – two unlikely bedfellows who’re currently feuding link up and manage to win the tag team titles. That plotline was pretty fun to follow during the build to John Cena vs. Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 23, but it’s not as interesting in its current state. While Seth Rollins and Braun Strowman are great in their own right, having them feud while holding the Raw tag team titles as a makeshift duo is pretty uninspired. The same can be said about their challengers (Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler), another random pairing that doesn’t elicit too much excitement from yours truly. Placing the Viking Raiders into this matchup instead would have been much preferred, but that sadly won’t be.
Anyways, let’s get into the actual match itself. This foursome will probably deliver a decent to good tag-team affair – Rollins and Ziggler can always be counted on to put on a good show, while Strowman’s big man act and Roode’s throwback wrestling style is fun to watch at times. Since it seems like Strowman and Rollins won’t be much of a lasting duo once this show ends, I think they’ll drop the straps here and give Ziggler/Roode something to do before they drop it to a more legitimate tag team. Taking the tag team titles off the two men competing for the Universal Championship and having them focus their energies there makes the most sense. And that’s what I think will happen here.
Becky Lynch (c) vs. Sasha Banks (WWE Raw Women’s Championship)
Predictions & Winner: Due to a depleted women’s division thanks to Ronda Rousey’s hiatus, Raw Women’s Champion Becky Lynch hasn’t had a whole lot of top-ranking ladies to compete against. While her matches against Lacey Evans and Natalya were solid affairs, everyone knew there was no chance Lynch was in any danger of losing her title. Now that the new and completely blue Sasha Banks has finally returned from her mysterious vacation, Lynch has a viable challenger that’s hot on her heels.
It’s been a good while since we’ve seen these match up with each other. I remember enjoying their one-time war back in NXT and am greatly excited by this main roster matchup. Banks is in full heel mode and that’s when she’s at her most interesting. And Lynch is still prospering as “The Man.” These two dynamics combine to present an entertaining situation that could go either way. Lynch has enjoyed a good run with the Raw Women’s Championship since winning it at this year’s WrestleMania. I think it’s about time she drops it to someone who’s just as hot as her (or even hotter). And that person just so happens to be the returning Banks. Lynch’s title reign will come to a close here.
Bayley (c) vs Charlotte Flair (WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship)
Predictions & Winner: Bayley’s been on quite the roll lately. Her SmackDown Women’s Championship reign has placed her in a prominent position over on the Blue Brand. She’s legitimized her title run with big wins over Alexa Bliss and Ember Moon. Since it’s pretty slim pickings when it comes to choosing top challengers who can give Bayley a run for her money, I’m not surprised that WWE has gone back to the Charlotte Flair well. And to be honest, I have no issue with this development. Bayley and Charlotte have competed in a few worthwhile bouts over the years, so I’m actually looking forward to seeing what both women can produce this time around.
Every time Charlotte gets a title opportunity, there’s always a high chance that she’ll end up winning. Her chances at winning seem to increase when she’s put across the ring from Bayley, too. But I foresee Bayley holding onto her title here. She’s been built up wonderfully since May’s Money in the Bank and I don’t think WWE wants to end her run on top just yet. As a matter of fact, Bayley looks like she’ll be running strong right up until SD’s debut on Fox at least. So I’m siding with Bayley here – a huge title win over Charlotte here will do further wonders for her current run, which I think WWE is going to do. Afterward, I can totally see Bayley locking up with Asuka, Kairi Sane, and even a retooled Liv Morgan.
The New Day (Big E and Xavier Woods) (c) vs. The Revival (Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder) (WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship)
Predictions & Winners: Here’s a case of the Wildcard rule actually resulting in something good for once. Raw’s throwback duo of The Revival is going head to head with SmackDown’s tag team champions Big E and Xavier Woods. This matchup would have made more sense as a Survivor Series brand warfare bout if The Revival were still Raw tag team champs. But that just wasn’t meant to be, unfortunately.
Anyways, I’ve enjoyed all of the encounters that have taken place between both duos thus far. Now that they’re being placed on a PPV, I’m expecting them to get the proper time needed to produce a MOTY candidate. I’m hoping for tag team greatness here and the chances are high of those wish being fulfilled. I don’t see the blue brand’s tag titles switching to a Raw tag team, so The New Day are my winning picks.
Shinsuke Nakamura (c) vs. The Miz (WWE Intercontinental Championship)
Predictions & Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura’s been quietly having a decent Intercontinental Championship run. He defeated Finn Bálor for the title in a good match and has gone on to have some equally entertaining matches against Apollo Crews and Ali. The added presence of Sami Zayn as his manager of sorts has done a lot more to make him somewhat relevant again as well. Since Nakamura and Zayn recently stomped out The Miz on his own talk show, The Miz has chosen to exact his revenge by challenging Nakamura to an IC title match.
I can actually see this championship contest turning out way better than expected. Nakamura seems to up his game a bit more when a title belt is adorning his waist. And from time to time, The Miz puts on a surprisingly awesome performance (this happens a lot when he’s in full good guy mode, by the way). I’m sure Zayn will be close by and nag The Miz to death. All those repeated distractions will cause the ref to send Zayn to the back, which will probably lead to a distraction finish that benefits the current champion. So yeah, Nakamura’s definitely retaining his IC title.
Roman Reigns vs. Erick Rowan (No Disqualification Match)
Predictions & Winner: So worst WWE storyline of the year goes to…THIS! Roman Reigns’ mystery attacker has been revealed to be Erick Rowan, Daniel Bryan’s fellow eco-warrior. The events leading up to this “major” reveal have been equal parts strange and not all that intriguing. I figured this beef would somehow lead to another marquee bout between Reigns and Bryan, two guys who’ve developed surprisingly good chemistry in the ring. But sadly, this lame-duck feud has led to a grudge match between “The Big Dog” and the ginormous eco giant. Yay…
So out of all the matches on this special champions vs. challengers card, this is the only one not being contended for a prize. We’re getting a grudge match here that I’m actually dreading sitting through. Getting a good match out of Rowan is going to be quite a challenge for Reigns. This one’s super easy to predict, folks – the “Big Dog” of the Blue Brand is going over here, thereby ending one of the lamest WWE feuds in recent memory.
Kofi Kingston (c) vs. Randy Orton (WWE Championship)
Predictions & Winner: So I wasn’t the only one disappointed in both guy’s match at last month’s SummerSlam, right? It reeked of “see ya at the next PPV!” thanks to the lame-duck ending. And what made it even worse was the fact that that finish was a complete ripoff of the one we got from AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe at last year’s SummerSlam. The feud itself has been cool though, especially with the addition of stable warfare between The New Day and Randy Orton & The Revival. So I still find myself getting pumped up for this rematch that will probably bring this whole championship beef to a close.
I called a Kofi Kingston victory at the last PPV and his match resulted in a double count-out. I’m sticking to my guns here though and siding with Kofi once again. I’m guessing WWE chose to stretch this feud out for an extra month since it seems like Kofi doesn’t have many credible challengers to take on. Randy Orton is as legit as they come – a championship win over him will do even more to legitimize Kofi’s title run. That just so happens to be the result I’m calling for here.
Seth Rollins (c) vs Braun Strowman (WWE Universal Championship)
Predictions & Winner: Once Seth Rollins and Braun Strowman drop the Raw tag team titles earlier in the evening, their anger towards each other will spill out during this Universal Championship bout. I’m guessing that both men will up the intensity here due to the increasing animosity between them during the build to this match. The added loss of tag team titles will set Rollins and Strowman off even more and cause them to blast each other much harder than usual.
Setting up Strowman as Rollins’ next opponent makes sense here – he’s the most logical man to nab the #1 contenders spot for the title at this point. And a newly crowned Rollins as Universal Champion means he needs a new set of viable challenges to take on to solidify his reign. Strowman is the perfect giant for Rollins to try and vanquish. And if you ask me, I think that’s exactly how this match turns out. Strowman will do everything in his power to squash Rollins like a bug, but Rollins will tap into the same killer instinct he seems to develop when he’s taking on much bigger men and eke out the win. Rollins just recaptured the big red belt, so it wouldn’t make a whole much sense for him to drop it a month later. It’ll be sad to see Strowman lose yet another Universal title match, but them’s the breaks…