Liam Hoofe with his predictions for this Sunday’s WWE Clash of Champions Event…
WWE will give us its final pay-per-view event of the year this Sunday night when WWE SmackDown presents ‘Clash of Champions.’ The event, an old WCW favourite, will see every one of SmackDown’s titles defended and will be a big indication of who will be heading into WrestleMania season with gold around their waist. The company has been fairly consistent with their events this year so can Clash of Champions see out 2017 quite nicely? Let’s take a look at each match and predict who is walking away victorious Sunday night.
Pre-Show: Zack Ryder Vs Mojo Rawley
Zack Ryder and Mojo Rawley have done very little to build this feud since the duo broke up on SmackDown a few weeks back. With it being the only match on the pre-show, though, it will likely get a good 8-10 minutes and should be fine. Of the two stars, Rawley is clearly the one who is going to be elevated up to the mid-card and this will just be his first step.
Prediction: Mojo Rawley Wins
Natalya Vs Charlotte Flair (Lumberjack Match)
The result of this match feels like a no-brainer. Charlotte is definitely going to beat Natalya on Sunday night but the real focus here will be on the women’s division outside the ring. The Riott Squad have made their presence known since debuting on SmackDown after Survivor Series and you can definitely expect this match to have plenty of shenanigans. Is there a chance Carmella cashes in her briefcase amid all the chaos that is taking place outside the ring? Possibly. Either way, Charlotte beats Natalya.
Prediction: Charlotte Flair Retains
The Bludgeon Brothers Vs The Fashion Police
So The Bludgeon Brothers were finally revealed as the criminals of The Fashion Files. The Fashion Police are going to be on the end of a beating Sunday night. This match’s sole purpose is to make The Bludgeon Brothers look strong. Don’t expect this one to go very long.
Prediction: The Bludgeon Brothers Win
Baron Corbin Vs Bobby Roode Vs Dolph Ziggler
I’m still trying to work out why Dolph Ziggler was added to this bout. Regardless of the reason, there is no way he is walking away with the belt Sunday Night. It is a possibility, though, that he is in there just to eat the pinfall, prolonging the one-on-one bout between Corbin and Roode until next month.
Roode seems the most likely candidate to be heading into WrestleMania as the US champion, and I don’t see Corbin being his opponent at the show, so the company will want him out of the way after the Rumble. Let’s not forget, there was also a new title belt rumoured a few weeks back, and a big, glorious unveiling next Tuesday night would be a nice occasion. Ziggler is likely to eat the pinfall, giving Corbin plenty of reason to be angry and demand his rematch straight away.
Prediction: Bobby Roode Wins
The Usos Vs The New Day Vs Shelton Benjamin and Chad Gable Vs Rusev and Aiden English
This match is likely to be the match of the night on Sunday. The Usos and The New Day have been delivering excellent matches for the last few months and the other four men who have been added are certainly no slouches in the ring. Aiden English and Rusev have been awesome as a team and I would love to see them win the tag gold on Sunday (coincidentally, the 12th day of Rusev) but The Usos deserve to carry the belts into WrestleMania.
Prediction: The Usos Retain
Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn Vs Randy Orton and Shinsuke Nakamura (Special Guest Referees: Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan)
This bout has been front and centre on SmackDown for the last few weeks and if there weren’t so many potential screwy finishes on offer here, I would predict it would be the match of the night. Instead, we can expect a solid wrestling match that breaks down into chaos for the last 5/10 minutes. Owens and Zayn are definitely going to win this match, as there is no chance they want to just end this whole thing so abruptly, but the question is, will Daniel Bryan help them to victory?
I’m going to go out on a limb here and predict that the WWE decide to pull another heel turn on Sunday night and that it will be Randy Orton. Rumours were circulating a few months ago that Shane will be facing Orton at this year’s WrestleMania, so it would make sense if Orton were to cost his team the match here. The Bryan storyline is a nice distraction but realistically, it doesn’t seem likely that Bryan will end up turning heel, or for that matter, getting back into a wrestling ring, so where can they really go with it? Having Orton screw his team would be a shock and would set things up nicely for a match with Shane at Mania.
Jinder Mahal Vs AJ Styles (WWE Championship)
Surely, there is only one person who can win this match? The Jinder experiment looks to be over and done with, and this match is nothing more than a contract stipulation. Jinder has elevated himself up the card nicely, and he should be able to maintain a mid-card status after this bout, but would anybody benefit from a Jinder victory here? I still have my concerns that Jinder will face Cena for the belt at Mania but I’m putting faith in the WWE to give us Shinsuke Vs AJ instead. AJ is winning this one.
Prediction: AJ Styles Retains
What do you think will happen at Clash of Champions? Let us know in the comments below, and let Liam know on Twitter @liamhoofe