Clash of Champions takes place at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina Sunday September 15th with the Kickoff starting at 6ET. The Spectrum Center has a capacity of around 18,000 and the card has 11 matches scheduled (including the matches on the Kickoff Show) and likely will have the 24/7 Championship make an appearance since the tradition of Clash of Champions is that every title in WWE will be defended. This is the final major event for WWE before NXT makes the move to USA Network on Wednesdays and SmackDown moves to Friday nights on FOX. Both Seth Rollins and Braun Strowman will be pulling double duty this night defending their RAW Tag Team Championships and then facing each other for Rollins' Universal Championship. Below is a preview of each match on the card with predictions of how each match will play out based upon recent booking. In the comments below share what you most want to see out of Clash of Champions and your predictions for the event.
WWE CRUISERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
Drew Gulak (c) vs. Humberto Carrillo vs. Lince Dorado
Lince Dorado has caught fire with the internet wrestling community because of his fantastic performances on 205 Live. Clips of his work are being shared on Twitter and Reddit more than any 205 Live competitor over the past week while his cohorts in Lucha House Party have been involved in other feuds. Carillo and Dorado had an amazing match a week ago on 205 Live which is likely the reason for all the buzz around Lince Dorado this week. Drew Gulak and his friend Riddick Moss attacked both men after Dorado picked up a big win over Carillo to set up this triple threat match for Gulak's Cruiserweight Championship. Humberto Carillo is electric to watch and a fantastic contrast to champion Drew Gulak who is the anchor and leader of the Cruiserweight Division in WWE. This match will be a joy to watch and fantastic on the Kickoff Show. It's unlikely Gulak loses here as he continues his reign as Cruiserweight Champion while Carillo and Lince Dorado get some time in the spotlight as they build themselves up in the eyes of the WWE Universe.
Drew Gulak via pinfall
WWE WOMEN'S TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross (c) vs. Fire & Desire (Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville)
The pairing of Nikki Cross & Alexa Bliss has been fantastic for both performers. The injury-prone Bliss has been able to stay healthy working slightly less in the ring by tagging with Cross. Cross, in turn, has been able to showcase her fantastic ability to wrestle and entertain the crowd with her fully-realized character while playing up the contrasts between her and Bliss. DeVille and Rose's stars continue to rise in WWE as their confidence grows in their time on SmackDown. The two are headed for great things but BlissCross is too entertaining as champions for them to split up now. The two teams had a fun match on the September 3rd episode of SmackDown with Fire & Desire getting the upset victory but BlissCross will get one back from them at Clash of Champions.
Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross via pinfall
WWE RAW TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
Braun Strowman and Seth Rollins (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode
Robert Roode's been somewhat directionless since losing the United States Championship to Randy Orton a year and a half ago. He was thrown together with Chad Gable into a tag team that the two did their best to make work but were mired in terrible storylines against AOP and The Revival in spite of many reports of the pair stealing the show every time they performed in house shows. Roode has a new tag team partner in the similarly directionless Dolph Ziggler. The two are both top-flight wrestlers capable of being in main event programs and they're facing another thrown together tag team of Seth Rollins and Braun Strowman. Roode has been able to make chicken salad out of a lot of chicken fodder that he's been given since being called up from NXT. Look to him and Ziggler to pull off the upset here and likely feud with The Viking Raiders after this event. This match will likely be used to set up more circumstances for Strowman and Rollins before they face each other for Rollins' Universal Title later in the evening.
Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode via pinfall
WWE US CHAMPIONSHIP
AJ Styles (c) vs. Cedric Alexander
Cedric Alexander has come quite a ways from wrestling in disguise as Gary El Janitor with Roman Reigns just two months ago. This is his first big singles feud and title match on a WWE PPV and it's against one of the top wrestlers in the world, AJ Styles. It's been reported that there are big plans for Alexander in the future, but they are long-term plans. An upset for Alexander would be tremendous here but it feels a little premature. This match has potential to steal the show if given enough time. Alexander's work in the Cruiserweight Classic and on 205 Live has shown that he has all the tools to be a huge star in WWE and he's finally getting his opportunity.
AJ Styles via pinfall
WWE SMACKDOWN WOMEN'S CHAMPIONSHIP
Bayley (c) vs. Charlotte
Bayley and Charlotte are facing off against each other in a singles match for the 8th time and it feels completely fresh because Bayley has turned heel. Bayley's turn has been welcomed by the fans as it became hard to believe that The Hugger could allow herself to be betrayed over and over again by everyone she ever trusted without changing a thing about herself. Bayley has been settling into her new attitude very well on Twitter as she finds her voice and grows on WWE programming. Bayley is the veteran of the Four Horsewomen in WWE but because of Vince McMahon's difficulty in building baby face characters, her momentum stalled when compared to that of her peers.
Charlotte has been on and off WWE programming for most of the summer due to issues with her father's health and some needed time off after having the best year of her career. Although Charlotte has been the most dominant force in the women's division in WWE that isn't named Ronda Rousey, Bayley has had her number on the main roster picking up five wins over Charlotte in televised singles matches while Charlotte has only defeated Bayley three times in singles matches since being called up from NXT. Charlotte has never been a very effective babyface but perhaps Bayley can sink to depths we never thought possible for her in this feud. If WWE wants to continue with evil Bayley, she should get another win over Charlotte here perhaps taking a page from Sasha Banks' book to show everyone how evil Bayley can truly be.
Bayley via pinfall
WWE INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP
Shinsuke Nakamura (c) vs. The Miz
The Miz has been Intercontinental Champion 8 times in his career, second to current AEW Champion Chris Jericho. Should The Miz win the Intercontinental Title and hold it for 20 days, he will hold the record for most combined days as Intercontinental Champion (beating Pedro Morales) and certainly go down in history as the greatest Intercontinental Champion of all time. With the 20th Anniversary of SmackDown coming up in 19 days and WWE celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Intercontinental Title, it feels all too poetic for Miz to get the win here. The direction of Shinsuke Nakamura after his recent pairing with Sami Zayn is a bit more curious. Nakamura debuted in NXT against Sami Zayn in what was his greatest match in WWE. It feels like the two are destined to meet again to try to recapture the magic they had in that first meeting. Nakamura's run as a heel has been less than stellar in WWE, perhaps him turning on Zayn after a loss here could reinvigorate both Superstars' standing on SmackDown as it transitions to FOX.
The Miz via pinfall
WWE SMACKDOWN TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
The New Day (c) vs. The Revival
In a stark contrast to the RAW Tag Team Championship match, here are two legit tag teams that have worked together for years clashing in what could be a main event if WWE cared about tag team wrestling. The Revival have been aligning themselves with whoever is at the top of WWE's evil food chain all summer: Drew McIntyre, Shane McMahon, and now Randy Orton. The Revival are Yang to The New Day's Yin, both continue to make whatever feud they get involved in feel important and entertaining. This match should be a blast but if feels like the bad guys are going to reign supreme for most of Clash of Champions so The Revival will get the edge in this match and become SmackDown Tag Team Champions for the first time.
The Revival via pinfall
NO DQ MATCH
Roman Reigns vs. Rowan
In one of the most convoluted storylines in recent memory, Erick Rowan has seemingly defied his tag team partner and recent mouthpiece, Daniel Bryan, by attacking Roman Reigns with backstage shelving units and attempted vehicular manslaughter. This resulted in:
- A brief reveal of Samoa Joe having an honorable side as he tended to the fallen Reigns
- Buddy Murphy getting the spotlight for a bit losing to Reigns but defeating Daniel Bryan
- The Erick Rowan look-alike
At first it seemed like this was all a set-up for a long Daniel Bryan vs. Roman Reigns feud and that still might happen. It's possible the feud between Roman & Bryan has been put on hold until SmackDown makes the move to FOX but with Vince McMahon reportedly tearing up the SmackDown scripts week after week, re-writing them on the day of the show and SmackDown changing its head writer twice in the past 5 months, it's anyone's guess as to what may happen after Clash of Champions.
Rowan has performed mostly in tag team action but has the distinction of being The Rock's final opponent at WrestleMania 32. Reigns is slightly smaller than The Rock, but he works great with big men like Braun Strowman, The Undertaker, and The Big Show. Reigns will likely give Rowan the best match of his career but something feels like there's going to be a screwy finish here. Something has to come back to Daniel Bryan somewhere and it may very well be involved with the finish of this match.
Roman Reigns via pinfall
Kofi Kingston (c) vs. Randy Orton
Kofi Kingston and Randy Orton's ten year feud continues at Clash of Champions after the two fought to a double count out at SummerSlam. Kofi and Randy have continued to attack each other in what has been the most real feud in the men's division. Kofi still has yet to exorcise his demon, Randy Orton, by defeating him in a big match on a big show. This past Tuesday on SmackDown, Kingston got to reenact one of the biggest moments of his career by giving Randy Orton a Boom Drop through a table in the crowd at Madison Square Garden. Kingston is the second longest reigning WWE Champion in the past 3 years but with The New Day distracted by the antics of Orton's new allies, The Revival, Kofi's reign is in more danger than ever. Orton has been a harsh ending to the happy story of Daniel Bryan in the past and he may be the harsh ending to Kofi Kingston's reign as WWE Champion.
Randy Orton via pinfall
WWE RAW WOMEN'S CHAMPIONSHIP
Becky Lynch (c) vs. Sasha Banks
After a nearly five month absence from WWE programming, Sasha Banks returned with a new look and a refreshed spirit. The Boss is a welcome challenger to Lynch whose championship reign has been stuck with challengers that have not been on her level on the mic or in the ring. This is a program that could go all the way to Survivor Series if they play it right. The key to this feud is Banks being able to hurt Lynch and get sympathy for the seemingly indestructible champ. Although Banks is small in stature, her ability to do the little things like manipulating fingers and joints while allowing the camera to get a great shot of the pain she's inflicting on her opponent make her look like a menacing threat that is not to be taken lightly. Becky's fire and ability to overcome the odds should be on full display here but in this first meeting since Banks' return it's unlikely we'll get a clean win. When things don't go Banks' way, look for her to get disqualified by using a foreign object or help from Bayley to set up a rematch between her and Lynch at Hell In A Cell in October.
Becky Lynch via DQ
WWE UNIVERSAL CHAMPIONSHIP
Seth Rollins (c) vs. Braun Strowman
It started with a look from Strowman at the Universal Title while Seth Rollins held the championship as they stood together in the ring on RAW one month ago after clearing house against an attack from The OC. The unlikely pairing of the two as a tag team has been successful in that they've captured the RAW Tag Team Championships but their pairing hasn't generated the interest of previous unlikely pairings that have gone on to feud. It's already been announced that the winner of this match will face Bray Wyatt's new alter ego, The Fiend, for the Universal Title at Hell In A Cell. Seth Rollins will pick up the win here and go on to face The Fiend, but what's next for Braun Strowman after losing yet another title opportunity? Hopefully WWE can find a meaningful program for the giant who has captured the hearts of WWE fans with his feats of strength outside the ring.
Seth Rollins via pinfall