Roundtable: Clash Of Champions Preview

It feels like just last week that WWE presented their last major PPV but we are already back with Clash Of Champions this Sunday.

We asked the Hooked On Wrestling team to give us their predictions for the event which will see all major titles defended.

You can submit your predictions by entering our Clash Of Champions predictions contest. The form can be found here.

Let’s get to it!

WWE Championship: Drew McIntyre (c) vs. Randy Orton (Ambulance Match)

Credit: WWE

Paul Benson: The best thing about Drew McIntyre’s championship reign was the freshness and variety of opponents.

The best thing about Randy Orton this year is that he looked like an unstoppable, sadistic badass. This feud was a natural fit and had money written all over it. But in typical fashion, it has now been overdone to the degree where every week on Raw feels like a pointless re-run. It has stunted the momentum of both men. Something I previously thought impossible.

Orton to win, finally. Let’s get the belt off McIntyre without him having to eat a pinfall, then let him win it back when the time is right.

Ash Rose: It’s been a few years since we’ve seen an Ambulance Match, and at least this feud warrants the stipulation to a certain extent. Expect lots of selling from Drew of his broken jaw and I would imagine there would be some fun spots. Ultimately though I still see McIntyre holding on to the gold and possibly going one final round with Randy at Hell in a Cell.

Pradeep Kachhala: Orton wins – time for Drew to hand over and chase. A reward for a solid 2020 for Orton. Drew moves on to fighting Tyson Fury

James ‘Jester’ Dee: Has any ambulance match ever been anything more than decent? I feel like this feud should’ve ended at SummerSlam but it just keeps dragging on. I pick Drew for this one and let’s move him on to another challenger, eh?

Leanne Culverhouse: I might be in the minority here, but I LOVE Orton’s work at the moment. Equally I think McIntyre is a great champion and I don’t want him to drop the belt yet, but I’ve got a feeling this stipulation is there to facilitate the loss… it’s a tough call but I think Orton takes the win here.

Chris Napier: Ambulance matches are a very hit & miss affair but these two are both veterans and excellent brawlers so I expect they’ll avoid the worst pitfalls. I’d love for Drew to win here, but I can see Randy getting the belt we all kind of expected him to win at Summerslam. Drew might get a rematch, but the reign of Orton is coming.

Cameron Bennett: Edge’s recovery dependant, I’m gonna go with Randy. An ambulance match gives Drew an out as not losing by pinfall. I expect a Keith Lee heel turn to cost the big Scot the win and the title. 

DJ Stevie Cox: I’m convinced Drew is going to hold the title until WrestleMania, to give him his big moment.  That doesn’t mean he can’t lose it and win it back there but so far Drew has been a strong champion and I can’t see that finishing just yet.

Universal Championship: Roman Reigns (c) vs. Jey Uso

Credit: WWE

Paul Benson: I love this booking. A wonderful way to show the new evil side of Reigns is to watch him destroy his own cousin in as sadistic a manner as possible. Let’s do it! And afterwards, let’s have Otis cash in and have Reigns destroy him too. Go all in on bad Roman!

Ash Rose: The possibility that this is the first step in a story that leads us to Roman vs. Rock at WrestleMania is mouth-watering. WWE are telling the story of Reigns’ heel turn perfectly and I think this is the match where he fully switches to the dark side by demolishing his cousin and beginning the path to destruction of his family legacy.

Pradeep Kachhala: Reigns wins – Uso has a star making performance. Joins Reigns and Heyman the following Smackdown to build the Samoan stable. The Bloodline vs Hurt locker anyone?

James Dee: This match has been perfectly booked. A fresh challenger with a good connection to the champion. Reigns hasn’t fully turned heel yet but it’s coming and Jey is the sacrificial lamb being led to slaughter. Reigns is gonna beat Jey so bad that Jimmy Uso is going to be walking with a limp.

Leanne Culverhouse: The family dynamic at play here is a great thread to follow, but Jey doesn’t stand a chance. Roman wins.

Chris Napier: Roman is winning this. Cleanly and definitively. His return has been awesome, his new attitude is great and his cousin is going to bump like a maniac to put him over in his first defence. Jey is a real talent himself and I expect this match to be great fun. The real task will be getting it to feel like Jey really might just win because he won’t. Roman might get a wee scare, but he’ll wreck Jey and leave with the Universal title.

Cameron Bennett: Roman wins here, easy choice, the big prediction is The Big Dog gets new music. Please please please please….

DJ Stevie Cox: Jey’s going to get utterly smashed here isn’t he?  I mean, can it go any other way?

SmackDown Women’s Championship: Bayley (c) vs. Nikki Cross

Credit: WWE

Paul Benson: Presumably this is merely a backdrop to Sasha Banks coming back to start the meat of the feud between the former Golden Role Models. And why not. Alexa Bliss may make an appearance too but that would surely feel like overbooking. Bayley to win obviously. That feud needs a belt.

Ash Rose: As much as I love Nikki this is clearly a place holder before we finally get to Bayley vs. Sasha for the gold – which WWE could rush into for Hell in a Cell or (please) wait until WrestleMania. Either way I don’t see Bayley’s record run ending here and hopefully Cross’ time come again.

Pradeep Kachhala: Bayley because Sasha needs to be the one to beat her for the title.

James Dee: Nikki Cross is amazing but Bayley is keeping her title until Sasha Banks comes a-calling. However don’t write off the match entirely, Bayley has been doing the best work of her career lately and Cross is some minor seasoning away from being a superstar. Hopefully this will be the match to prove that to any remaining doubters.

Leanne Culverhouse: I’m really looking forward to this match. Nikki is brilliant and Bayley has really grown in the heel role. As much as I’d hate another match to end due to interference I think Alexa Bliss will distract Nikki for Bayley to win. I also expect an appearance by Sasha Banks to continue the former best friends fallout.

Chris Napier: I adore Nikki Cross. Not just because she’s Scottish but because I think she’s much underrated in the ring and her character work is excellent. However, the story here is Bayley vs. Sasha Banks and Bayley will be holding onto her title at least until the Boss challenges her. Bayley to retain.

Cameron Bennett: Bayley wins and gets beaten down by Sasha afterwards. However, this won’t be a clean victory Alexa Bliss will cause the defeat. 

DJ Stevie Cox: I can see things going Nikki’s way the whole match, until her best friend gets reminded of Bray Wyatt and costs her the match.  Bayley to win.

Intercontinental Championship: Jeff Hardy (c) vs. AJ Styles vs. Sami Zayn (Ladder Match)

Credit: WWE

Paul Benson: I am SALIVATING about this match. The term ‘dream match’ is bandied about too much nowadays but the thought of these three fighting over the ‘worker’s title’ with a ladder involved truly is the stuff of dreams. My expectations are absolutely sky high. Who to win? All of us watching. But the match? I have a sneaky suspicion Zayn will be walking away with the gold.

Ash Rose: Three Superstars who perfected this match across three different promotions, this match has the potential to steal the show. Except some jaw-dropping spot from Hardy, a masterclass in ringwork from Styles and a sneaky win for the ‘real’ Intercontinental Champion Sami Zayn. If only they would get rid of that eyesore of a belt.

Pradeep Kachhala: Zayn just because he could be great as a heel, cowardly IC champ and Styles needs to move back to contending for the world title.

James Dee: This match is going to be the most memorable of the night. These three can go and putting them in the best gimmick match (don’t @ me) sounds like technical chaos and controlled carnage in the best way possible. As for the result we all win here, but in a more accurate way, I think Zayn takes the victory to validate his title reign.

Leanne Culverhouse: Ahh, the classic ‘who’s the real champion’ storyline, this time with added AJ Styles. Hardy retains but this has the potential to be a show stealer if given the right time.

Chris Napier: I am very excited by this match. If it ends up being one-tenth as good as it’s component parts suggest it might be, we could have a match of the year contender on our hands. As to a winner, I think that Styles & Hardy don’t need the IC title, while a win over two such megastars would do the very entertaining Zayn a world of good. Sami to win.

Cameron Bennett: Our rightful king and true Intercontinental champion Sami Zayn will once again be denied his crown due to Brother Nero winning here. Long live Sami Zayn, the Champion who was promised. 

DJ Stevie Cox: This should be an awesome stunt show of a match.  It’s a shame it’s not happening a few years ago but it should be a blast.   I think they’ll go with AJ for the win but I can see Sami possibly sneaking a win out here too.

United States Championship: Bobby Lashley (c) vs. Apollo Crews

Credit: WWE

Paul Benson: The Hurt Business have been really good these last few weeks. The inclusion of Cedric Alexander and the solidifying of the black and gold colour scheme has really put the icing on the cake on them as a stable. Good stuff. Lashley is winning this for sure and rightly so. If RETRIBUTION decide to pull their finger out and start working Sundays, this is where they are likely to show their faces, well, masks anyway.

Ash Rose: I already feel like I’ve seen this match one time too many, and unfortunately the momentum is fully with Lashley right now. Crews seems to have gone somewhat cold again since losing the strap, while Bobby is at the forefront of the current storyline with Retribution and his part in the Hurt Business. Champ retains.

Pradeep Kachhala: Lashley just because Crews has taken a back step since losing the title. Maybe a Retribution interference though.

James Dee: The Hurt Business is one of the best things on Raw at the moment and although this feud has been going on for a while I think we just need to move past it and possibly onto RETRIBUTION. Lashley takes the victory but expect RETRIBUTION-y shenanigans.

Leanne Culverhouse: You know, I’m not bored of this set up which means they must be doing something right. Crews has had a character resurgence and Lashley is positioned perfectly with the Hurt Business. I expect Retribution to get involved here, so Crews picks up a DQ Win.

Chris Napier: It is the year 2033. In the ashes of civilisation, Bobby Lashley & Apollo Crews are competing for the United States title for the thousandth time, witnessed by an audience of two cockroaches and Vince McMahon’s radiation soaked libido.I’m so over this feud. Lashley wins.

Cameron Bennett: Big Bobby L gives Apollo an L courtesy of Ricochet joining The Hurt Business. 

DJ Stevie Cox: The Hurt Business are looking great as a unit.  I can see all sorts of trickery in order to make sure Bobby comes out with the strap but I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that Apollo might just squeak out a surprise win and keep things boiling over.

Raw Tag Team Championship: The Street Profits (c) vs. Andrade & Angel Garza

Credit: WWE

Paul Benson: The Raw tag team division truly is in a sorry, sorry state. This is basically it. The Street Profits have been nothing champions for far too long and their reign has done nothing at all in terms of quality storylines or entertainment.

Hopefully Andrade and Angel Garza win. A change is needed and maybe now they are on their own.

Ash Rose: Where have all the actual tag teams gone on Raw? It’s why we find ourselves back to this pairing after already feeling like we’ve seen it a hundred times before! I think we’ll see the final meltdown between Garza and Andrade here and Street Profits retain the titles.

Pradeep Kachhala: Profits – I like them and they do a lot for a decent tag team roster.

James Dee: Raw has Tag Team Championships? Profits retain because reasons. Now get Andrade back in the top tier with a nice program against McIntyre.

Leanne Culverhouse: AGAIN? The Tag Team division in general is woeful but Raw’s is extremely tired. Surely the titles have to change here, but where does the division go next?

Chris Napier: The Street Profits have been good champs, but it feels like it’s time for a change. The potential story of Andrade & Garza being better without Zelina at their side is interesting while Montez & Angelo wouldn’t be harmed by the loss.

Cameron Bennett: Score another win for the bad guys. Garza and Andrade finally pick up the win here. 

DJ Stevie Cox: I liked the Street Profits in NXT, I don’t think they are very good interviews but okay, they have energy. I absolutely LOVED Andrade with Vega, they were such a good team when they came up I was expecting big things. Garza’s new but he was good as well as he came up yet to me since they’ve been on the big show they have just felt stale. The booking has been awful, Andrade and Garza are friends, then not, then friends, then not….  confusing, trashy booking.  

Street Profits have been given garbage after garbage, it’s just made me not care.  Both teams are great and I hope it’s going to be an epic confrontation but why do we need it again and again? Andrade and Garza win.  Just because.

SmackDown Tag Team Championship: Cesaro & Shinsuke Nakamura (c) vs Lucha House Party

Credit: WWE

Paul Benson: And Smackdown’s division is scarcely better. The only difference is these two teams actually being established and good. But what is below them? The champs will retain here as the Luchas are seemingly going through a break up story here. Which will help that tag division no end!

Ash Rose: WWE seem to have some stock in Lucha House Party and I have sneaky suspicion we may see a title change in this match. The loss wouldn’t hurt the ‘team’ of Nakamura and Cesaro and would mean an actual tag team would hold the gold (well, silver). Away win!

Pradeep Kachhala: Hard to pick here but let’s say the champs retain and we see the House Party get broken up like a Covid marshall just knocked on the door.

James Dee: Lucha House Party seem like they are on the road to splitsville but for now they should do some “good lucha things” with Nakasaro aka Swing of Strong Style. The Champs are going to win this and Lucha House Party are going to break up, look out for a betrayal from, I dunno, Lince? That sounds about right.

Chris Napier: The tag division has become very thin of late, hasn’t it? The Lucha lads have shown some internal dissent of late, so I don’t think they’re taking the titles of Nakamura & Cesaro.

Leanne Culverhouse: Is Cesaro the most under-utilised talent on the main roster? I’m glad to see him and ‘Ol’ Nakkers’ doing well though, and expect them to retain here.

Cameron Bennett: Lince Dorado on Instagram said ‘goodbye’. Is that to his WWE career or to his mask? Heel turn and jump to Legado Del Fantasma. 
What? I like heel turns!  Nakasaro wins

DJ Stevie Cox: There are a few social media rumours bouncing around about Lince Dorado, so it will be interesting to see if anything comes of that.  Nakamura and Cesaro are always in the “deserve better” bucket for me, even though they have the titles.  I don’t see the styles meshing very well, however, given just how good Nackers and Cesaro are they could have a good match in a swimming pool.  I think they’ll keep their belts.

Women’s Tag Team Championship: Shayna Baszler & Nia Jax (c) vs. The Riott Squad

Credit: WWE

Paul Benson: Well the champs are retaining here and it is going to be an absolute squash show. What more is there to say? Put the mortgage money on it.

Ash Rose: WWE do love the odd pairing tag champs and I don’t think The Riott Squad are the ones that are going to stop this indestructible pair. Then again, who will? WWE really need some actual tag teams across the board.

Pradeep Kachhala: Baszler and Jax – This will be squash city!

James Dee: I don’t know if anyone else has seen the new She-Ra show on Netflix but Baszler and Jax aka Jax of Spades remind me of Catra and Scorpia which makes me like them more than I probably should. I’m glad Morgan and Riott are back together but I don’t think they take this unless WWE wants to break Jax of Spades up after a brief title reign.

Leanne Culverhouse: I’m not sure how happy I am that Shayna Baszler is stuck in a tag team, but I am very glad that Liv and Ruby are getting a shot at the titles, but I think the ‘Odd Couple’ of Jax and Baszler retain.

Chris Napier: It would have made a lot more sense for the face team to have benefitted from dissent between the long term tag champs and then have to face some monstrous opposition. Oh well. I’d love to see the Riott Squad pull of an underdog win and then have a long reign where they continue to hold onto their belts against all comers. Actually, that would free Baszler & Jax up to go after Asuka, so it’s a win-win. Riott Squad to win.

Cameron Bennett: Shayna and Nia can’t coexist for much longer can they? I’m pulling for the Riott Squad and Ruby getting her much deserved first piece of WWE gold. But I don’t hold out much hope.

DJ Stevie Cox: I expect Baszler to be the fish out of water here.  What do I mean by that?  Well alongside Asuka I think she’s the most proficient wrestler in the division today. To me she has the aura of a Chyna, the technical prowess of a Bret Hart and I wouldn’t want to meet her down a dark alleyway, she is terrifying!  She literally has everything you want in a wrestler.  So she’s in a tag team being, in my humble opinion, wasted when she could be having amazing matches much higher up the card. Jax and Baszler for the win.

Raw Women’s Championship: Asuka (c) vs. Zelina Vega (Pre-show)

Credit: WWE

Paul Benson: Credit for a fresh challenger here. Zelina Vega is a more accomplished wrestler than you would know unless you are familiar with her pre-WWE work. I expect a good match here and in time she will make an excellent champ. This is simply a speed bump for Asuka though. Something for her to do on a PPV that requires her title to be on the line.

Ash Rose: Why oh why this is on the Kick-off Show I have no idea and probably gives you the indication that there’s going to be no title switch in this one. Zelina is somehow a contender to an Asuka character that’s been treading water with that belt, and here’s hoping she moves on to Shayna pretty quickly after this one.

Pradeep Kachhala: Too early for Vega. It would be the shock of the night if she beats Asuka.

James Dee: Vega is a great wrestler in her own right but there’s no way she’s beating Asuka right? This will either be a complete squash or Vega will prove something to Asuka. Either way Asuka wins.

Leanne Culverhouse: ASUKA IS ON THE POSTER AND THIS MATCH IS ON THE PRESHOW. FURIOUS. Asuka wins.

Chris Napier: This could be an excellent match because Asuka is great and Zelina has generally concealed how good she is behind being a manager all these years. However, I don’t think the time is quite right for Zelina to dethrone the Empress of Tomorrow, so Asuka retains.

Cameron Bennett: I think Asuka wins here, however I will never underestimate Vince’s passion for ruining my favourite things in exchange for his latest pet project. 

DJ Stevie Cox: Zelina is a pretty awesome wrestler.  Asuka is one of the best in the division.  This makes for a wonderful match if they let them go and don’t introduce Vega’s lackies into the mix – which they probably will….  but let’s hope not.  Asuka for the win.

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