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Roundtable: Clash of Champions 2016

(Courtesy of WWE.com)
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Can a strong title run (after a presumable win) be enough to revive The Club?

Jason Hall: Yes. It’s never too late to salvage talented Superstars who have been booked poorly. New Day has done an excellent job elevating the tag titles this past year. Whoever defeats them will get instant credibility. Gallows and Anderson will be back on track with a win Sunday.

Daniel DeMarco: Nope. Vince McMahon in all his professional wrestling booking wisdom has managed to completely waste one of the best talents of WWE’s tag team division. McMahon signed Anderson and Gallows just at the right time earlier this year, when the tag team division was truly hurting. He got a great tag team from maybe the hottest faction in wrestling — The Bullet Club — and brought them across the Pacific. All the potential was there for Anderson and Gallows to eventually take the tag team titles from New Day and be a long-time dominant team to run the division. Now after months of bad booking and awful material to work with, The Club is only a notch or two above zero credibility. Getting the titles is not going to work here. Building The Club back up is going to require a slow, consistently good run. In other words, something WWE and McMahon seem to be incapable of nowadays.

Riley Kontek: There is no doubt that The Club has been buried. Ever since they split with AJ Styles, they’ve been used horribly. This is a team they could have put the belts on for an extended period of time like their rivals The New Day; instead they have been squandered. A title win would be big for the duo but they have a lot of damage to repair.

Travis Wakeman: Well, look what a title run did for New Day. Yes, they had some strong work right before winning the titles but having the titles made that team what it is. Remember how bad they were when they were introduced? I didn’t think the group would last a month. The reason why fans likely feel like The Club has been buried (aside from the fact they’re called The Club) is because they were such a dominant team in Japan. They’ve been anything but that in WWE. Anderson and Gallows are both great workers and they’ve done their best with these “doctor” segments. I feel like a title run could revive them, if they were able to make several successful title defenses.

Joseph Nardone: I don’t think The Club has been buried at all. Not even in the slightest. They’ve had the chance to cut backstage and in the ring promos, are featured on each episode of Raw, and are as much a fixture on that brand as the champions.

I don’t think they need reviving. A win would be great obviously, but a loss wouldn’t kill them either. New Day will eventually lose, and it will probably be to The Club, but the WWE is smart enough to pick the right moment. If that moment isn’t Sunday, so be it.

But to think they’ve been buried when The Club has had more TV time than Ted Danson on a weekly basis is patently absurd to me. I rebel against this question.

There’s no way Sheamus wins the best-of-seven series… is there?

WWE

(Courtesy of WWE.com)

JH: Yeah. I mean, I assume Cesaro is winning, but has WWE ever really given up on pushing Sheamus? There’s always a chance for Sheamus to win any feud at any given time. He’s like the cockroach of WWE. No matter what, he’ll keep surviving. At least in terms of relevance.

DD: Please, no. The reasonable, logical answer to this should be a solid no, with Cesaro standing obviously as the one who should go over. He’s the wrestler with a ton more potential of the two. This is a notion I considered such a given that I had not even considered the alternative before reading this question. Now having read it though, the worse-case scenario does not seem quite as impossible as before. I sit here shaking my head. There’s actually a chance Sheamus could end up winning this. Anyone who thinks it is out of the realm of possibilities when Vince McMahon is still running the show does not have a grasp of just how random and uncertain things have long been said to be behind the scenes in WWE.

RK: I don’t think so. This is a feud to help put Cesaro over. Sheamus has had his chance to get over and he’s failed. Cesaro is still somewhat over and the WWE needs a major babyface to bolster their midcard. Sheamus has a chance but this is Cesaro’s feud to win.

TW: Probably not, because the storyline seems to be setting up the “great comeback” Cesaro has made after being down 3-0. You can already hear JBL saying that no NBA team has ever done that. Plus, the winner gets a title shot, right? I can’t recall if they ever mentioned what that title would be for, but it would be a great angle to push Cesaro into as a challenger if he came back to win this series being down 3-0 despite the “bad back” he’s dealt with the entire series.

JN: None. Zero. I have a better chance of convincing Rachel Leigh Cook to marry me than Sheamus does at winning this best-of-seven series.

Honestly, if our “Celtic Warrior” friend wins this thing, what would the point be? Not that there’s a point to this if our beloved “Swiss Superman” wins, either.

Sincerely, this entire feud was a giant waste of my time — hell, maybe even yours — and pales in comparison to the epic best-of-series Booker T had with Chris Benoit back in WCW, which elevated both of those guys to new levels.

How many title changes will we see Sunday?

new day

(Courtesy of WWE.com)

JH: Two. Definitely one, maybe two. I say The Club is guaranteed and possibly Sasha Banks in the Women’s Championship triple threat. I think it’s a tossup, but I’m picking Sasha to retain. Really it could go either way but what’s the point of having Nia Jax squash everyone just to never challenge a babyface champion? Plus, Sasha’s reign was presumably cut short due to injury, so she’d probably still have it right now anyway.

DD: I expect Roman Reigns to be your new U.S. Champion, and nothing else. TJ Perkins is not going to lose the cruiserweight title in his WWE main roster debut. With how badly The Club has been booked in recent months, I see nothing to gain at this point by taking the titles off New Day; not while New Day are still riding high. I think the women’s title match was specifically booked as a triple threat in order to keep the title on Charlotte without making Sasha Banks looking weak. You would not want to see Banks lose to Charlotte again in a one-on-one contest, so you throw Bayley in there and that means the odds are stacked against Banks, providing reason for her to be able to lose and not take much of a hit. Bayley as an underdog character can lose in these big matches and be fine, but it looks like WWE will wait for Charlotte vs. Banks again to switch the title back. Kevin Owens is not going to lose the title so quickly, especially when there is absolutely no answers for what exactly happened the night he won the title, with regards to Triple H. Owens has to keep the title, and Seth Rollins has to keep chasing in order for that storyline to have any sort of payoff in the future.

It is going to be a dominant night for current champions at Clash of Champions (side note: why is it called Clash of Champions when no champions are clashing?).

RK: I think the only title that changes is unfortunately the United States Championship. Rusev is a great champion and should continue to hold the belt, but the WWE is insistent on continuing to over push Roman Reigns. Other than that, expect the titles to stay put.

TW: Just one, with the tag team titles changing hands. New Day has to lose them eventually, don’t they? It’s way too early to take the universal title off Kevin Owens. Though the women’s triple threat is interesting, I see them having Sasha and Bayley compete for that top role for awhile and as a result, Charlotte will win that match. I can’t envision a scenario where Brian Kendrick wins the cruiserweight title after TJ Perkins was so good in the CWC. The tricky match to pick is Roman Reigns vs. Rusev. To me, it does nothing to have Reigns win that belt for him or the title and while it’s hard to imagine Rusev getting a clean win over him, I think he finds a way to beat him.

The Club becomes the new tag team champions, all other titles stay with their current owners

JN: One. Just one. It will be the Tag Team Championship. The supposedly buried Club will defeat out unicorn-loving WWE Tag Team Champions (read that as if Xavier Woods said it).

Outside of that, I can’t imagine Owens already losing the gold or the Women’s Championship being taken off of Charlotte in a match where the odds are stacked against a heel.

Also, Rusev is the best.

Roundtable: Clash of Champions 2016

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