WWE will air its first Raw-only pay-per-view of the New Era, Clash of Champions, live from the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana. Five championships will be on the line including the first pay-per-view defenses of the Universal Championship and Cruiserweight Championship.
With SmackDown providing several memorable moments during its first standalone PPV, Raw could respond with its own big changes. Here’s a look at the entire card for Clash of Champions and predictions for each match.
Alicia Fox vs. Nia Jax
Nia Jax has been squashing every local opponent since being promoted to the main roster. When Raw was in Kansas City, one of those jobbers happened to be Alicia Fox’s friend, Ann Esposito, which led to “crazy” Foxy challenging the unbeatable newcommer.
Winner: Nia Jax
Squash match. Don’t expect much more than that.
WWE Cruiserweight Championship
TJ Perkins (c) vs. The Brian Kendrick
Raw’s cruiserweight division made its debut on Monday, despite the absence of champion TJ Perkins, who was there according to his Instagram pic of his sweet kicks. The Brian Kendrick defeated Rich Swann, Gran Metalik and Cedric Alexander to earn a shot at Perkins’ title at Clash of Champions.
Winner: TJ Perkins
Perkins needs to establish both himself and the Cruiserweight Championship with a lengthy title run. No surprise here. Expect both competitors to look strong throughout the match.
Best-of-Seven Series: Cesaro vs. Sheamus
WHO COULD HAVE SEEN THIS COMING? You mean to tell me that the best-of-seven series between Cesaro and Sheamus actually went to seven matches? Well it has and if you’re not still paying attention, the winner gets a shot at a championship, though it hasn’t been confirmed which championship.
At least I hope so. I’m anticipating a Cesaro main event push and dreading another Sheamus championship run. This has to be a win for the “Swiss Superman.”
Chris Jericho vs. Sami Zayn
Sami Zayn lacked a real feud for several weeks before making his way into an angle with Chris Jericho. Jericho had Zayn as a guest on “The Highlight Reel” before attacking him with the microphone.
Winner: Sami Zayn
Zayn really needs a win here. Sure, his last feud ended with him finally defeating new Universal Champion Kevin Owens, but he can only hold on to that accolade for so long. The “Underdog from the Underground” needs a win to stay relevant moving forward.
Women’s Championship: Charlotte (c) vs. Sasha Banks vs. Bayley
WWE Women’s Champion Charlotte will continue her feud with Sasha Banks. But now, fellow Four Horsewoman Bayley will be added to the mix. Bayley and Banks pinned one another in a triple threat No. 1 contender’s match against Dana Brooke.
Winner: Sasha Banks
I don’t know. It feels like Charlotte’s title reign will drag on another month or so. Banks and Bayley could end up focusing their attention on each other instead of the title. But then again, there’s a chance that Nia Jax will finally challenge for the title and that can’t come against super heel Charlotte. Instead, she could face Banks, whose reign was only reportedly cut short due to an injury, while the former champion takes more grief out on her lackey, Dana Brooke.
Tag Team Championship: The New Day vs. The Club
New Day have held the title for more than a full year. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson have been booked as a major threat at times, but lack a championship win to prove their legitimacy. Could that victory happen on Sunday?
Winner: Gallows and Anderson
At this point, New Day has become a bigger entity than the Tag Team Championship or division. Gallows and Anderson, however, need a title run to stay relevant after months or questionable booking. Besides, it makes more sense for a heel team to hold the titles with babyface duo Enzo and Cass on the horizon.
United States Championship: Rusev (c) (w/Lana) vs. Roman Reigns
Rusev and Lana finally returned from their real-life honeymoon, which followed their second of two weddings. The United States Champion immediately returned his attention to Roman Reigns by costing him a spot in the Clash of Champions main event. Reigns isn’t a good guy or bad guy, rather a vengeful guy leading up to this match.
I just… I just don’t see Roman Reigns winning the United States Championship. Regardless of whether his next world title reign is delayed a few months, it doesn’t seem likely that WWE would concede defeat and make its golden boy a midcard champion. Then again, it did so with John Cena, but that was a completely different scenario. Cena was already bulletproof as the face of the company for a decade when he first won the United States Championship. Reigns is too early in his golden boy push to be relegated to the U.S. title. That said, it is one more thing to add to his resume, so it isn’t impossible.
Universal Championship: Kevin Owens (c) vs. Seth Rollins
Owens is the longest reigning Universal Champion after having won the title several weeks ago. He defeated Seth Rollins last in the Fatal 4-Way elimination match with help from Triple H, who we haven’t seen on Raw since. Rollins vowed to get his revenge and claim the championship in the rematch at Clash of Champions.
Winner: Kevin Owens
Like Perkins, Owens needs to establish both the new title and himself as its champion before dropping it. While Rollins is a very realistic candidate to win the title, especially given his status as a former champion, he’s going to have to wait until that happens. Plus, Rollins just became a babyface. There needs to be a longer road than the one he’s had now. Rollins needs to provide a more sympathetic character to be a babyface champion. Surely, another Triple H run-in helping Owens and screwing over Rollins will help both characters meet these needs moving forward.