WWE Clash of Champions 2016 Preview and Predictions

wwe-clash-of-champions-2016

Russ Morgan, John Carbery, Brian Damage, Jamie Lithgow and Craig Wilson

Tonight the WWE Raw hosts its ‘Clash of Champions’ PPV event headlined by Universal Champion Kevin Owens putting his gold on the line against Seth Rollins. Elsewhere, The Club challenge New Day for the tag gold, Charlotte defends against Bayley and Sasha Banks, Roman Reigns faces US Champion Rusev and more. Today the team preview and predict the show.

Pre-Show Match: Nia Jax vs. Alicia Fox

Russ: No idea, toss of a coin and I go with Nia Jax

Winner: Nia Jax

John: Both are fairly useless, but I’d want Nia to win just because Alicia has been hanging around for years and never done anything of worth.

Winner: Nia Jax

Brian: I really like Alicia Fox and feel she is grossly underused. But with that said, there is no way she wins this match. Nia Jax is the WWE’s version of Awesome Kong or the way they planned to use her as Kharma. Less ability, but has the right look.

Winner: Nia Jax

Jamie: Didn’t I just watch Nia Jax absolutely demolish Alicia Fox on Raw? This will probably be more competitive, but Nia Jax will win this easily.

Winner: Nia Jax

Craig: I think I might be the only one here that doesn’t dislike Alicia Fox. That said, she’s being set up for an absolute destruction here. I’m no fan of Nia Jax but she’s going over and Fox is being massacred.

Winner: Nia Jax

Sami Zayn vs. Chris Jericho

Russ: This should be the match of the card. Heel Jericho is amazing and no one in a better place to put Zayn over. This should be match of the night. Really hard decision here….

Winner: Jericho

John: I really hope this is some kind of effort to get Sami back on track. He defeats Kevin Owen’s in the finale to their years long feud and is then demoted to the pre-show at Summerslam and then landing here on the under card against Jericho. Jericho doesn’t need the win, Sami does. Here’s hoping they’re serious about this being a “New Era” and Sami doesn’t have to suffer the same lopsided booking AJ Styles did in his series with Y2J.

Winner: Sami Zayn

Brian: Could be good and should be good. Chris Jericho has been must see on Raw for weeks now. Sami Zayn is always capable of putting on a 5-star match and while I don’t think this will be THAT good, it still will be solid. I look for Jericho to win here and keep the feud going.

Winner: Chris Jericho

Jamie: This week’s Raw was the first full episode I’ve seen since around June or July. Thus, as someone who is essentially a casual fan now; what happened to Sami Zayn?! It feels like WWE had one storyline for him (with Kevin Owens) but now that’s over they have run out of ideas.

Winner: I think Jericho will win by cheating

Craig: I’m looking forward to this, as an in-ring spectacle this should be good fun. The WWE have cooled a lot on Zayn but considering he has a win over the now Universal champion, it doesn’t take much to reheat him and a win over Owens’ best friend in the world would go a long way to doing that. Throw in a good match, Jericho seldom doesn’t have one, and it’s all good.

Winner: Zayn

Best of Seven Finals: Sheamus [3] vs. Cesaro [3]

Russ: I really want Cesaro, but I think Sheamus will win this and the feud to get a Universal title shot.

Winner: Sheamus

John: The first best of seven series I encountered as a fan was Booker T vs Chris Benoit back in WCW. I remember at the time thinking what they were fighting for was a paltry prize, a shot at Fit Finlay’s TV title. Now I look back and think “at least that was something”. This series has “creative has nothing for you” written all over it.

Winner: Who cares? But Cesaro if I’m pushed.

Brian: My heart wants to say Cesaro all the way here and that just may be the case. I just feel that the WWE has fumbled the ball so many times with the ‘Swiss Superman’ that it is very conceivable that he will lose to Sheamus. I hope and pray I am wrong, but I pick the Celtic Warrior.

Winner: Sheamus

Jamie: A best of seven wrestling series that’s tied at three heading into a pay per view?! As I’ve missed a lot of Raw, can anyone tell me what they are fighting for? Is it Terri’s managerial services?

Winner: Cesaro

Craig: Like Jamie, I’m not even sure what they are fighting for… This hasn’t done anything for me so far and I quite like both. You’d think Cesaro would win this but how many times before have we expected the WWE to pull the trigger and they haven’t. I genuinely have no idea anymore…

Winner: Cesaro.

WWE Raw Tag Team Title Match: Champions New Day vs. Gallows and Anderson

Russ: For me, this is the end of the New Days title reign, lets conclude this feud PLEASE!!! Let Gallows and Anderson win it and both teams move onto other things.

Winners: The Club

John: This feud is all over the place. Gallows and Anderson have been under served by the booking committee and have under delivered between the ropes it must be said. The New Day are perennial champs and the most complete tag act in the game and even though they’ve become somewhat stale I can’t see a reason right now to take the belts off of them, but in McMahon logic that usually means they will.

Winners: The New Day

Brian: Could this finally be the day that New Day loses the tag team belts? Gallows and Anderson are a solid tag team and deserve a run with the belts. I just don’t see it. New Day are a money making merchandising machine. Not that New Day needs the tag titles to continue making money, I do think it helps.

Winners: The New Day

Jamie: Is this still a thing? Surely if Gallows and Anderson were going to win the titles they would have done so by now?

Winners: The New Day

Craig: I’m in two minds here. I don’t terribly won’t to see another instalment of this but it’s a must-win, really, for The Club. The WWE’s booking of this pair has been odd. Typically, turning them into a comedy act of sort. The doctors and testicles stuff hasn’t made me laugh but I’m sure as hell Vinnie Mac has chuckled away. That said, it’s now that The New Day lose the gold. Right? RIGHT?

Winners: and new tag team champions The Club.

Winners: WWE Cruiserweight Title Match: Champion TJ Perkins vs. The Brian Kendrick

Russ: Looking forward to this one. Brian Kendrick looks like he will be a pretty cool heel. I can’t see TJ Perkins losing his first defence of his title. I expect this to be a good quality match.

Winner: TJ Perkins

John: TJ Perkins is a very good wrestler and has a lot of weight on his shoulders going into Clash of Champions. He was clearly third pick to be Champ after Ibushi and Sabre Jr but out of him and Gran Metalik he was probably the best choice if only due to his ability to speak English. Perkins is as new as his shiny purple belt to many WWE viewers so he needs to really blow some minds in this first match. Thankfully he’s going to be in there with the most versatile wrestler in his weight class The Brian Kendrick. Kendrick has that veteran magic that so few cultivate to the level he has, based on his performance in the CWC it seems he can adapt to any style of performer and I think he’ll be the perfect foil for TJP. Perkins needs to win this match and look strong in the process to get himself and the title over so I hope it goes well for all.

Winner TJ Perkins

Brian: I’m glad to see Kendrick get the title shot here. He has always been an exceptional talent. This is TJ Perkins time, however and I see a solid back and forth match with Perkins getting the victory via submission.

Winner: TJ Perkins

Jamie: Here we go, the only reason I might watch this show. I don’t want to complain because I’m pleased to see Cruiserweight wrestling return to WWE. However, is it just me or does it seem like they’ve just burnt through a long term story by throwing Brian Kendrick into the first Cruiserweight Title match? This guy’s whole story on the CWC was working his ass off to get back to WWE. Kendrick’s redemption could play out over months, but no; title shot at the first time of asking. That said, I get why he is in this match. He’s experienced within WWE and will help make Perkins look even more amazing than he already is.

Winner: TJ Perkins

Craig: Like others, I’m excited about this. The CWC was ace and TJ Perkins was a surprising, but deserving, winner of the tournament. I, too, have enjoyed Kendrick’s return to the WWE having been away for so long. But his place here is to give Perkins a rub. Expect Kendrick to be the heel and it’ll only make us enjoy Perkins more.

Winner: TJ Perkins

WWE US Title Match: Champion Rusev vs. Roman Reigns

Russ: I think Rusev has elevated the US Title to something of its old worth. Would love to see him go over Reigns clean. Giving the belt to Reigns makes no sense to me.

Winner: Rusev

John: Maybe they’ll actually have a match this time? Roman Reigns is in a tricky spot. If WWE put him anywhere near the main event he proves toxic with audiences the world over, if they demote him too far down the card he’ll turn into another Ryback or Vladimir Kozlov i.e. a big guy who languishes in the mid card who you can’t really push seriously against anyone barring a major improvement in their skills. Rusev is currently teetering just next to that spot and could really do with a big win over Roman. If Rusev had received the kind of favourable booking that Reigns did during his forced main event run I honestly think he’d have been able to swim through those choppy waters better than his opponent, so I’m hoping Rusev takes it here.

Winner: Rusev

Brian: Rusev has done a lot to resurrect his career after the debacle involving the Dolph Ziggler/Lana storyline. He has represented the US championship exceptionally well. With that said, this show is called Clash of Champions and somebody has to lose a title so I pick Rusev.

Winner: and new US Champion Roman Reigns

Jamie: I honestly can’t say I’m particularly interested. Given what happened on Raw I assume Reigns will get his revenge.

Winner, and new US Champion: Roman Reigns

Craig: Fans of Rusev should be worried about just how dominant Rusev has been on Raw when it comes to this feud. In the world of WWE booking that surely suggests that it is Reigns that is going over here. I’m sure that’ll go down well with the fans in attendance…

Winner: and new US Champion Roman Reigns.

WWE Raw Women’s Title Match: Champion Charlotte vs. Sasha Banks vs. Bayley

Russ: Hmmm, I think Charlotte will retain short-term with a Sasha and Bayley program heating up for the end of the year.

Winner: Charlotte

John: Its broken my heart a little every time the NXT women have failed to live up to their own standards on the main roster. They’ve been given all the TV time they need and still haven’t delivered a classic match worthy of their reputations. Maybe the missing piece was Bayley all along? Hopefully that’s the case. I’d love to see these three tear the house down and I hope that’s what happens. I can’t see the title switching in a three way though.

Winner: Charlotte

Brian: This could be the match stealer of the night. Charlotte in my opinion has been a great heel champion that generates great heat. Sasha and Bayley will be the workhorses in this match. I see Sasha and Bayley cancelling each other out and Charlotte will retain.

Winner: Charlotte

Jamie: One of the many reasons NXT is so good is because you get to see matches like this over a year before they happen on the main roster. I can’t explain why, but I just feel like this title needs to stay with Charlotte until at least the next big PPV.

Winner: Charlotte

Craig: Jeez, seems a lot of consensus so far on Charlotte going over. I’m still waiting on this trio having the sort of standard of match that they did in NXT. Could this be the one? Quite possibly. I’d like to see either Sasha or Bayley win this one, I really would, but don’t think that’s likely.

Winner: Charlotte

WWE Universal Title Match: Champion Kevin Owens vs. Seth Rollins

Russ: I’m digging Owens as champion. I’m not buying into face Rollins right now, but it is early days. I don’t think Rollins will lose clean, but Owens will retain going forward.

Winner: Kevin Owens

John: Owen’s really needs a win here. While certain parts of the internet lit up in celebration of his title win for my money he’s an unproven commodity as champ. Weeks before his win on Raw he was part of a comedy tag team with Jericho and before that he was losing to Sami Zayn in their feud. Before that he was making up the numbers in yet another forgettable Intercontinental Championship feud. Added to this is the way he was handed the title by his NXT dad HHH. Basically I don’t have much confidence in him as champion. He’s a good in ring wrestler but I usually find his matches to be overkill. He doesn’t seem happy unless he’s going through about ten finishing sequences before the bell and eventually so many big moves are no sold that everything ends up feeling worth less than it could have been. Rollins on the other hand is one of the WWE’s ace players. If he’s to be their top babyface in place of Finn Balor then I think he’ll be perfectly positioned. Rollin’s is an incredible face and WWE would be foolish not to give him a run on top as a good guy. However, I don’t see him winning the Universal Title on this night, but I don’t see it being a clean loss either. I fear Owen’s has just inherited his opponents “weak main event heel” role that he suffered through his first title reign with.

Winner: Kevin Owen’s with a lot of help.

Brian: This could be another solid match. Look for Triple H to get involved once again somehow and causing Seth Rollins to lose.

Winner: Kevin Owens

Jamie: A good match that will probably be ruined by outside interference, probably from Triple H.

Winner: Kevin Owens

Craig: I’m with those that have suggested Owens retains but with outside interference. After all, not only is that how heels win titles but in a lot of cases it is how they retain them. With Owens, the WWE have something unique. I hope they see that and give him more of a run at the top. Not only does he deserve it but he can do a lot with it.

Winner: Kevin Owens

Overall:

Russ: Not a bad quality card in honesty. I expect this to end some of the ongoing feuds. Will catch on rerun.

John: I don’t really have much invested in this PPV beyond hoping the Cruiserweights have a good showing which hopefully prevents Vince from souring on them straight away. It’s actually a better line up than Smackdown’s recent Backlash PPV talent wise but it’s been booked much more poorly in my opinion. While Smackdown has limited players they’re booked better and I think we’re starting to see a tortoise and the hare scenario play out, it’ll be interesting come WrestleMania to see which brand is on top.

Brian: Not really excited for much about this show. It could be good, but is a definitely not a “OMG I have to see this show” type of card.

Jamie: I doubt I’ll bother with this show. As an aside, this kind of themed show seems to lend itself to a joint PPV. They could have the champions from Raw and the champions from Smackdown, you know, clash…

Craig: Owing only to us having a company holiday on Monday, I’ll be staying up till 4am in the morning to watch this. It has the potential to be good but how many times have we said that in the past? Still, on card, as others have suggested, it’s a better line-up than the recent Smackdown PPV which was ace. Raw has to beat Smackdown at something eventually, doesn’t it?

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2 thoughts on “WWE Clash of Champions 2016 Preview and Predictions

  1. Pingback: This Week in Wrestling 2016 week 40 | Ring the Damn Bell

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