WWE Raw Tag Team Champions
Seth Rollins & BRAUN Strowman (c) vs Bobby Roode and Dolph Ziggler
The only title reigns which have a shorter life expectancy than a 24/7 Championship reign is the old cliché of “Tag Team Champions Who (in this case kinda) don’t like each other”. Given that they’re also fighting each other later that night, I’m fully expecting that the “As-yet-untitled Roode/Ziggler Project” to pick up the win here.
For a brief moment, it looked like Roode & Ziggler would be joining The OC – which I’d have been completely ok with (I’d love to see The OC become something ‘new’ and not just a Bullet Club re-tread) – and had they done, it would have even more confirmed that the titles are changing hands. There’s something about the Ziggler / Roode team that has potential too – Roode in particular has a fantastic history of great tag team wrestling and many a great time has been formed in seemingly innocuous ways.
The whole point of a tag team title reign like Braun/Rollins isn’t for them to *have* a reign, it’s for the reign to end and that it finishing be a story telling beat within the greater arc of the singles rivalry. Rollins & Strowman will be dropping the title sooner rather than later and I think it’s happening tonight.
Prediction: Roode & Ziggler Win
WWE Universal Title
Seth Rollins © vs BRAUN Strowman
The thing I keep coming back to on this match is – for all of his obvious talents – is BRAUN Strowman the kind of wrestler who you’d want to book in two high profile matches on a single night? Given that this match will (almost certainly) go on after the Tag Title defence (successful or otherwise) this is going to be a test for both, but the ‘Monster Amongst Men’ in particular
BRAUN is still freakishly early in his career admittedly, but at some point, if they have plans to make him a serious World Title contender, then Strowman has to win one of these opportunities and sooner rather than later. But I’m not convinced it’s happening this evening
Seth needs to build himself back up as a World Champ following the slight hot potatoey swap with Brock Lesnar, so a win over Braun will help. I’m fully expecting Seth to still be champion at the end of the evening – either with a win over Braun or some kind of draw to drag this rivalry on another month by The Fiend enters takes them to hell (in fact, that’s how they’ll possibly draw)
Result: Seth Rollins Retains
WWE World Title
Kofi Kingston © vs Randy Orton
If you go back and look at last month’s preview, I made it clear that I thought Kofi HAD to win this match – that for him to drop the title to the man who’d was rumoured to have halted his career (both in a real and storyline sense) would have been a loss it would have been hard for Kingston to come back from.
But this month I feel different
Since the draw last time, Orton appears to have aligned himself with The Revival and I’m predicting a double switch with The World and Tag titles going from New Day to “FTRKO”. Why? Because now we’ve got a story on our hands
Had Orton beaten him last time out, it would have given the idea that – despite his title win – that Orton was still (and always has been) a step above Kingston. But the draw last time painted them as equals and losing the title to Orton is now just the next chapter.
I’m expecting Orton to win here – probably with help from Dash and Dawson – and this all sets up Kofi getting the title back in a rewarding moment at Survivor Series.
Prediction: Randy Orton Wins
WWE Smackdown Women’s Title
Bayley © vs Charlotte
It’s often a mistake to bet against Charlotte Flair in a Title match where she’s the champion (she loves winning titles, not great at keeping them) but the smart money here is on the freshly turned heel Bayley to retain. Not only do I predict some more likely title changes later on in the evening and not only do I think it would be strange for the Smackdown Women’s Champion to lose her title just after a big turn, but the PPV itself is literally taking place in the city that Ms Flair was named after and WWE’s fondness for home town heroes to lose is an often documented fact of internet wrestling lore.
In fact, beating Charlotte IN Charlotte is the perfect way to get the crowd to turn on Bayley – helping to solidify the new heel role. I expect Sasha Banks (and potentially Becky Lynch) getting involved in this – although I’m not sure where this all leads to (outside of a Horsewomen Four Way Match for a title or two)
Expect shenanigans and Bayley keeping her title (and maybe eventually winning a surname to keep up with the other three) and HOPEFULLY Bayley actually adds some heelish traits to her character and isn’t just the same Bayley, but attacking good guys.
Prediction: Bayley Wins
WWE United States Championship
AJ Styles © vs Cedric Alexander
I’ve gone back and forward on this one and almost convinced myself that Cedric was going to get the upset win here and claim his first US Title. It makes a lot of sense; it’s not a high enough profile loss to damage AJ in anyway, the company are clearly behind Alexander at the moment and it’s a great boost for him. It also gets the title off Styles who could then move into a programme with either Strowman or Rollins. Because Alexander isn’t currently as close to Styles storyline wise at the moment either, there’s less pressure for Styles to chase the title back.
But, despite all of this, I think AJ is winning… because of Ricochet. I don’t see why you take the title off Ricochet so quickly, just to put it on Styles to then put it on Cedric so quickly. Surely any story role which they have in mind for Alexander would have been just as served by “The One and Only” but with now a longer US title reign behind him?
There’s also – potentially – quite a few title changes happening tonight and WWE isn’t known for doing too many changes on the same evening.
Alexander may well end up with the US belt eventually; it does make sense after all. But I don’t think it happens at The Clash. It might happen the next night on RAW though.
Prediction: AJ Styles Retains
WWE Intercontinental Championship
Shinsuke Nakamura © vs The Miz
I thought Nakamura was a lock to win this one until I realised something.
Fun Fact – The Miz has the second most combined days as Intercontinental Champion in history. According to the WWE, he stands at 599 days – over 50 ahead of Don Muraco in 3rd place (541) and just 20 days away from Pedro Morales (619). At some point, Miz will break Pedro’s record, I’m certain of it.
But that isn’t why I’m predicting Miz to win. Not because of THAT fact.
I’m predicting that The Miz wins because at 8 reigns he is also second when it comes to most IC Titles of all time. Do you know who is first with 9 reigns? I’m sure you do. It’s Chris “Bit of Bubbly” Jericho and taking Jericho’s claim as the most successful IC Champ of all time away from him as quickly as they can seems TOTALLY like something that WWE would do.
I’m actually fully expecting that Miz wins here, then drops it back to Nakkers in the re-match the next week so that he can then break both records in the future – ideally as a heel.
Prediction: The Miz
WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championship
The New Day (Big E & Xavier Woods) © vs The Revival (Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder)
Kinda spoiled my prediction earlier on during the Kingston/Orton preview where I said that this was all leading to a big belt swap from New Day to FTRKO, and I’m standing by that here.
Of the two matches (this and the WWE Title match) I’m expecting this to be the ‘cleaner’ finish of the two and it’s also the more likely of the two title changes to happen. I’m not going to be the only one predicting this double title switch, and by having the Tag Titles change first raises some stakes in the later world title match.
By having The Revival win first, the audience will then be thinking that Orton is DEFINITELY winning making the later match more interesting. Dawson & Wilder are a great team (as are New Day) so this match also has the potential to be the best match on the night (I’d have said the same for Styles/Alexander, but for such a great wrestler, Styles has an oddly spotty PPV record with WWE) Anyway…
Prediction: The Revival Win
WWE Raw Women’s Championship
Becky Lynch © vs Sasha Banks
How do you lure Sasha Banks back from having seemingly quit the company? High profile position, check. Put her back with Bayley, check. Essentially create an all-female-Two-Woman-Power-Trip by having them be both singles champs AND do this by being the person to dethrone Becky Lynch? Is this “Man on the Moon Director” Milos Forman, Composer of the Ringkampf music Antonin Dvorak and footballer Pavel Nedved??? Because that’s three Checks right there.
I’d actually like to see a scenario where Banks helps Bayley beat Charlotte earlier in the night, then Bayley comes down in this match followed by Flair. As Flair goes to attack Bayley or Banks, something happens (a missed punch) and she ‘accidently’ hits Lynch and causes her to lose the title. This sets up Flair & Lynch vs Boss N Hug Power Trip, but with proper tension between Flair and Lynch as Lynch doesn’t know if she can trust Charlotte or not.
You can run these four for a long while and it all starts here with Sasha Banks ending Becky’s title reign.
Prediction: Sasha Banks Wins
No DQ Match
Roman Reigns vs Erick Rowan
I really hope that Daniel Bryan has been storyline removed from this angle (briefly) so that he doesn’t have to be at the PPV and can instead be somewhere else on Sunday. Say, Alexandra Palace to fight Pete Dunne. As someone who’ll be at Ally Pally this weekend, that is some top drawer fantasy booking from me there…
But it ain’t happening. No, this match finishes with D-Bry coming down to ringside to stop Rowan doing something heinous to Reigns, seemingly turning himself face in the process. But then, WHAM; IT WAS ALL A RUSE AND BRYAN HELPS ROWAN WIN. Sometimes wrestling is really predictable and it’s the better for it.
That finish gives Rowan a massive win over Reigns, protects Reigns by having the loss essentially 2 on 1 in a no DQ match and sets us up nicely for a Reigns vs Daniel Bryan match further down the line (again, likely at Survivor Series) which is what we’ve all really wanted all along anyways.
Prediction: Erick Rowan Wins
WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship
Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross © vs Sonya Deville & Mandy Rose
I’m predicting both men’s tag titles to change hands for clear storyline purposes, and quite the opposite here. There’s not been a massive build-up between these two teams and DeVille / Rose could well up being the perennial challengers to these titles. The team of Bliss & Cross are fun and don’t feel like they’re properly go going yet (one turning on the other is inevitable, but much further down the road than Rollins & Strowman combusting)
The WWE also picture Bliss – rightly – as a star and with the two women’s titles very much in the ‘Horsewomen’ tale currently, keeping Alexa in the women’s tag title scene is a sensible idea (similar how they’ve kept Daniel Bryan from the world title scene post-mania). It’s also great to see Nikki Cross seeming to have so much fun in this team too.
Another match that is likely to be on the pre-show, this should hopefully be a deserved, clean win for the champs and strengths their (ill-fated) friendship.
Prediction: Alexa & Nikki Win
WWE Cruiserweight Championship
Drew Gulak © vs Lince Dorado vs Humberto Carrillo
Assuming this is the pre-show, this should be fun. Dorado is under-rated, Humberto has been great on the last few weeks on 205 and Gulak has been quietly establishing himself as a great cruiserweight champion. The fact that it’s a triple threat means that a loss here hurts that bit less which is important for someone like Carrillo who I see getting another CW Title shot in the future.
I think the ending here was oddly given away in another match this week when KUSHIDA made his debut on 205 Live. If this is where he’s going to be in the WWE system (at least for now) then there’s no doubt they’ll put the purple belt on the Time Splitter in a big way.
I expect this will be him beating Gulak for the belt – possibly at Survivor Series – maybe even sooner. But for that to happen, the champ needs to keep his belt here. Fingers crossed we get a powerpoint presentation from Gulak over the next month or so about plot holes in Back to the Future too… #adisgracednuclearphysicist
Prediction: Drew Gulak Retains
Here are our WWE Clash of Champions 2019 Predictions, what are yours? Feel free to leave them in the comments below!