Clash of Champions is upon us, an event that is squeezed in between two of the most prominent pay-per-views of the wrestling calendar, Royal Rumble and Survivor Series.
It may be slightly lost in the midst of Rumble build-up, but the card is still a rather intriguing one, with a couple of matches certain to wet the appetite.
Every belt is up for grabs, as is the Solent Championship which you can find here.
KEVIN OWENS & SAMI ZAYN VS SHINSUKE NAKAMURA & RANDY ORTON (SHANE MCMAHON & DANIEL BRYAN AS SPECIAL GUEST REFEREES) (IF OWENS & ZAYN LOSE THEY WILL BE FIRED FROM ALL OF WWE)
Phew, what a long tagline for essentially a tag team match. Despite the fact that the event is billed as every title being on the line, this match will probably headline Sunday’s card. With several complications, Owens and Zayn have the odds stacked against them as they look to remain employed by Vince McMahon.
“The bottom line is, we are the absolute BEST, not just on #SDLive, but in the entire @WWE! YEP! YEP! YEP! YEP! YEP!” – @FightOwensFight #WWEClash @SamiZayn @WWEDanielBryan @RandyOrton @ShinsukeN pic.twitter.com/s2fFx2fjlL
— WWE (@WWE) December 13, 2017
On last week’s Smackdown, we saw Shane announce himself as Special Guest Referee for the bout. This seemed to all but confirm the Canadian’s departure from WWE, but Daniel Bryan shockingly revealed himself as an extra referee in the match, an element which has intrigued the WWE Universe as the began to wonder how the Commissioner and General Manager will work together as officials.
Zayn and Owens began the ‘YEP’ movement this week on Smackdown and almost seemed to convince Daniel Bryan to join the cult. Sadly, it means Nakamura and Orton’s involvement in this feud has been overshadowed by the authority figures.
MY VERDICT: Zayn and Owens won’t be leaving WWE anytime soon. However, how they get the win is fiercely up for debate. Will Bryan turn on Shane to join Owens and Zayn? Or will Shane do the biggest swerve and give his arch enemies the win?
AJ STYLES VS JINDER MAHAL
AJ Styles has held the newly designed WWE Championship since November, where he began his second tenure with the belt. The win over Jinder Mahal in Manchester, England was a shock to many, as they saw Mahal holding the belt for longer as WWE continued to experiment with the Indian market.
— WWE (@WWE) December 13, 2017
Jinder recently lost to Triple H in front of his ‘hometown’ in India; therefore I cannot see an outcome where Mahal walks away with the title. Sadly, the feud has come to an end, despite the best efforts of the Singh Brothers who put in good work during Smackdown this week. They attempted to rally behind Styles before AJ caught them out and stamped over them as Jinder looked on in horror. MY VERDICT: AJ styles will retain the WWE Championship during a back-and-forth match.
CHARLOTTE FLAIR VS NATALYA (LUMBERJACK MATCH)
Another feud on Smackdown which has run its course for now. Charlotte and Natalya have had some good matches this year, but as with AJ and Jinder, we have seen all we need to from these two ladies.
— Charlotte Flair (@MsCharlotteWWE) December 12, 2017
The lumberjack element allows for some new feuds on the outside of the ring during the match, although I personally think a six women tag match would have been better than having the ladies as lumberjacks.
As I said, it will be a good match again, but we don’t need to see it again.
MY VERDICT: Charlotte will retain her Smackdown Women’s Championship over Natalya.
BARON CORBIN VS DOLPH ZIGGLER VS BOBBY ROODE
An intriguing matchup as Ziggler got thrown into this feud without any real warning. Roode and Corbin got involved in some ruckus in a lumberjack match a few weeks ago, with Roode playing babyface.
— WWE (@WWE) December 14, 2017
Corbin has done well with the belt since claiming it from AJ Styles as he moved up the roster. A genuine heel, he makes the belt feel more prestigious as he comes out with it every Tuesday. Ziggler hasn’t been involved in a proper storyline for a while and was thrown into this feud, presumably to protect the other two guys involved.
MY VERDICT: I think Baron will retain his US Championship, pinning Dolph Ziggler thus keeping Bobby Roode protected from a pinfall loss.
THE USOS VS THE NEW DAY VS BENJAMIN & GABLE VS RUSEV & AIDEN ENGLISH
This is a complete muddle, with almost half the active tag teams on the roster involved in this match. The Usos and New Day have a mutual admiration for each other after The Usos turned back face. Therefore Rusev and English have been introduced to the fold as late as last week.
— WWE (@WWE) December 13, 2017
Gable and Benjamin have been tweening between heel and face since their debut on Smackdown, and their inclusion will mean we see Shelton do some outrageous spots once again.
MY VERDICT: The Usos are going in as favorites but I think The New Day will pick up the victory. Getting a pinfall victory on Aiden English would protect everyone else involved. WWE are building The New Day up to be the best tag team of all time, and a match like this is great to pick up short reigns.
BREEZANGO VS THE BLUDGEON BROTHERS
Breezango has seen the Fashion Files fall from grace recently, as it was shunned onto wwe.com. The Bludgeon Brothers have almost stolen their screen time, as Harper and Rowan got reinvented to form this destructive duo.
After dropping their forenames, the former Wyatt Family members joined together once again to destroy all opposition in their path as of late, including a forced break-up of the Hype Bros.
Guys…if you didn’t see fashion files check it out… but also…. Sunday… 2b…bludgeons…. 😳 case closed….
— Prince Pretty (@MmmGorgeous) December 13, 2017
MY VERDICT: The Bludgeon Brothers are on a fierce win streak at the moment, and I expect that to continue with a victory over Tyler Breeze and Fandango.
MOJO RAWLEY VS ZACK RYDER
As previously mentioned, the former tag team broke up; with Rawley turning on Zack Ryder after another loss on Smackdown last month.
— Zack Ryder (@ZackRyder) December 13, 2017
This match may be on the pre-show when Sunday comes around, but expect the story to carry on for a while whilst plans are put in place for a proper feud.
MY VERDICT: This hasn’t had much TV time since they parted ways, but I expect Mojo Rawley to win as he begins to revitalize his career as a heel.
If you liked this article, feel free to check out the Solent WWE Podcast, where me and the boys preview Clash Of Champions and give out the Solent WWE Awards 2017.