WWE's latest pay-per-view, Clash of Champions, takes place this Sunday inside the WWE Thunderdome. And thanks to the "Gold Rush" tagline, all nine of the championships on the Raw and SmackDown rosters will be defended throughout the night. Roman Reigns is heavily favored to squash Jey Uso, Drew McIntyre is in jeopardy of finally dropping the WWE Championship to Randy Orton, Jeff Hardy is gearing up for another Ladder Match as Intercontinental Champion and Bayley is on the verge of holding her SmackDown Women's Championship for a full calendar year.
A lot of championships could potentially change hands throughout the night, so we've once again assembled our team of pro wrestling writers to discuss the biggest questions heading into the show. You can check out their predictions in the list below!
Which champions do you think will retain on Sunday? Let us know down in the comments!
What Happens in the Reigns vs. Uso Match?
Connor Casey: I love how oblivious Jey is to Roman's new persona, and I expect that to carry over into the match. Uso will go in with his normal swagger, only for Roman to beat the bejeezus out of him. If this thing goes longer than 10 minutes it's only because Reigns decides to take his time in dismantling his cousin.
Ryan Droste: Obviously, Reigns retains here. The interesting thing will be to see how long the match actually goes. Does Roman give his cousin enough time to try to make him into a serious singles competitor moving forward? Doing so may be at odds with how dominant Reigns should look right now, but that factor will make this an intriguing watch.
Evan Valentine: Do we even see Reigns losing for the next year or so with his new found personality? Reigns 100% takes this one, though I wouldn't be surprised if we see some fiendish interference as the match ends!
Nick Valdez: I think the match itself is going to be like five minutes at the most, but then Reigns will seek to make an example out of Jey and just clobber him for another ten minutes until maybe Heyman pleads with him to stop. This will probably be that final catalyst to bring about Reigns' real change.
Matt Aguilar: Reigns will end up the victor for sure, but I don't see a total squash match happening. I think it will go for a bit and then at some point Jey will do something to completely irk Reigns and that will instigate a thorough pummeling to end the match.prevnext
Are You Still Onboard With The McIntyre vs. Orton Feud?
Connor: Man this thing has lost a lot of steam. I loved the build they had towards their SummerSlam match and it wound up delivering exactly as I expected it to. But now it feels like they've eased off the gas a little. Orton doesn't feel as dangerous as he did a month ago, McIntyre is starting to pull plays out of the "dumb babyface" playbook and they kept teasing poor Keith Lee's involvement in the feud only to pull the rug out from under him on Raw. This just doesn't have the same "oomph" as before, even with that stipulation.
Ryan: Not really. It feels like it should have been over at this point to me, and the Keith Lee involvement has just been awkward. Not a great way to use Lee right after you bring him up to Raw if this is how it was going to be booked.
Evan: I don't see a world where Orton wins the belt this time around versus the first match, as I just can't see this feud moving forward past Sunday.
Nick: I'm over it! Orton should not have taken that double loss to McIntyre and Lee in such a short time, and now he's got nowhere near as much luster on him as before. Just give Orton the title and move on so we can all do something else please.
Matt: I wasn't ever really on board to be fair, but Orton continued to surprise me with some great matches. That said, I thought it was over and didn't see a need to reignite it again. The only person this feud continuing on helps is Orton, and frankly he doesn't need it, so I'll be glad to see both move on.prevnext
Does Sasha Banks Cost Bayley Her Championship?
Connor: I'm actually going to say yes. Hear me out — it would be a major statement for these two to have a pay-per-view feud that doesn't require one of the Women's Championships at the center of it. Plus Banks has already promised to take the championship away from Bayley, so why not outsmart her and cause her to end her record-breaking reign against someone else? Plus with everything going on with Alexa Bliss means Nikki Cross could have a ready-made feud as champion, giving SmackDown Women's Division two big storylines going forward rather than just one.
Ryan: It would seem like yes, because how do you put Cross in this situation yet again only to lose...yet again? I'll say yes.
Evan: This seems like a foregone conclusion at this point. Considering the build-up that was given to the friendship, and destruction of said friendship between Sasha Banks and Bayley, that I imagine would come to its natural conclusion.
Nick: I don't see why not. If they're not going to force them to fight at Clash of Champions as the two title holders (like I dreamed), then they don't need any of the titles at all. Their feud can work on story alone, and it'll free up another title for the rest of the Women's Division to fight over.
Matt: Yeah, I think that's the next step in this feud, especially after that impassioned promo Sasha delivered on SmackDown. That's the best way to get at Bayley and make her really feel some of the pain she's caused to Sasha, and I can't wait for the next Sasha promo once Bayley doesn't have a title.prevnext
Does the Ladder Match Steal the Show?
Connor: Given the people involved, and what else is on the card, it kind of has to.
Evan: It's certainly what I'm looking forward to the most! I also have a sneaking suspicion that this is the match where Retribution is going to sneak in for whatever reason.
Nick: I kind of forgot this was on the card, so I'm not expecting too much. I hope it does as any match stealing the show would probably benefit the pay-per-view in the long run.
Matt: It's going to be difficult for it not to, just because of the talent involved, and anytime Hardy is in a ladder match it's money. My bet is on yes.prevnext
At This Point, Should WWE Consider Merging the Tag Titles?
Connor: Please do. The number of actual teams has diminished greatly in the past month (we just lost The Viking Raiders for who knows how long), Raw's tag division is lifeless and SmackDown's is nothing to write home about. Heck, even NXT's division is unremarkable at this point. Sasha and Bayley proved this summer that having one set of tag champions across three shows can work, and it feels points to have three sets of champions running around right now.
Ryan: Yes! I have literally been saying this for years. There is not enough depth in WWE's tag team division to have two sets of titles. Since there's only one set of women's tag titles and it works fine, do the same for the men. It would simultaneously make them mean more, as well.
Evan: I'm with Connor on this one. I think having so many belts across the board tends to take some of the wind out of the sails of winning these. One way to do it in combining the belts would be to have one with the Smackdown logo and the other with the Raw.
Nick: I don't understand why they don't considering how well that's worked for the Women's Division so far. If you're going to have the same tag teams fighting every week anyway, you might as well shuffle them as much as you can each week. Not like Raw and SmackDown are taking place in different cities anymore.
Matt: Yeah, I think merging them freshens up the matchups and allows cool cross-brand opportunities without it feeling forced (looking at you Wild Card rule). Granted, it also lessens the opportunities for Championship gold in the Tag Division, but I think the benefits outweigh the negatives.prevnext
Does Retribution Play Any Role in This Show?
Connor: I predict this show will not witness the wrath of T-BAR.
Ryan: Probably, but nobody will care.
Evan: For good or for ill, I'd bet money on it.
Nick: More MACE please.
Matt: I mean, they have to, right? They've gone this far with it, I don't see them pulling back on it this quickly. Also, these stellar NXT stars deserve better...prevnext
Hell in a Cell is Up Next — What's the Main Event?
Connor: Kofi Kingston's recent comments about Roman Reigns got me excited, so let's see Reigns vs. Kingston for the Universal title.
Ryan: Sasha vs. Bayley.
Evan: I think Reigns is going to be involved, but I think that instead of Kingston, we'll see The Fiend facing off against him in a cell.0comments
Nick: Honestly, it doesn't matter because Reigns is going to dominate. He's earned a strong year (at the least) with the title, so I expect to at least see him in the main event for every pay-per-view going forward.
Matt: At this point I think the natural main event is Sasha vs Bayley (round 1, because you know we're getting like 3 of these before the final conclusion), though I could see Reigns in the main event there too.prev