Let’s be honest. The buildup to most of the matches on the 2017 Clash of Champions is a bit lackluster. Smackdown Live made a huge jump back on track before Survivor Series with AJ Styles and Charlotte Flair jumping back to the top of their respective divisions, but since then the blue band has been in a rut.
At this Sunday’s Clash of Champions we’ll get to see many feuds finally come to a close in order to ramp up for the Royal Rumble in January. That is what this PPV is all about for both the WWE and Smackdown Women’s championships: tying up loose ends. However, since this is Clash Of Champions, I think the PPV cannot go without at least one shakeup: one title change. So which will it be?
WWE Championship: AJ Styles (c) vs. Jinder Mahal
Well, I mean I really hope not. In this case, WWE is shoddily wrapping up this lowly feud like a present that wasn’t on anyone’s Christmas list. AJ Styles vs. Jinder Mahal to me does not have the aura of a world title feud, nor does it really excite anyone. I don’t believe it’s necessarily either of their faults, but the writing certainly has not been there as of late.
Jinder Mahal’s promos get more similar every week. It is clear that AJ should be the one holding the WWE title going into WrestleMania this time around, and Jinder can go on to engage in another meaningful feud that will hopefully actually provide some coherent storytelling. There is no story in AJ vs. Jinder. AJ beat Jinder for the title and now Jinder is mad. That’s legitimately the extent of this feud. The story is simply not good enough to warrant a title change, and the change would likely do nothing for both parties involved. I do not foresee a title change here as WWE thankfully chose their prize pony in AJ Styles.
Smackdown Women’s Championship: Charlotte Flair (c) vs. Natalya
There is no way that Natalya is walking out of Clash of Champions with that title. Charlotte, like AJ Styles, won the title before Survivor Series to set up a more star-studded match with her RAW counterpart at the November PPV. Natalya is pretty good at what she does, and I do believe that it was a good call to put her over the stale Naomi to win the title back at SummerSlam earlier this year.
Natalya was an accomplished heel in her title run, but Charlotte is what Smackdown needs right now. Charlotte is the total package and has the charisma to carry the entire division to new heights with a lengthy title run. The only way I see her reign ending anytime soon is with a MITB cash in by way of Carmella. That would certainly make for a fun feud and some much needed attention on the women of Smackdown. As of now though, Charlotte retaining the title is a no brainer.
United States Championship: Baron Corbin (c) vs. Bobby Roode vs. Dolph Ziggler
Unfortunately for us, this feud sucks. I genuinely want every star involved in this match to do well, but the build to this match is utter garbage. Nobody in this match communicates that the want to be there, and I’ve seen no redeeming qualities from any of their promos. Bobby Roode, like Shinsuke Nakamura and so many other NXT call-ups, is in the middle of a rocky start. He currently seems to have no real dimensions to his character besides the fact that he’s “glorious.”
Dolph Ziggler is not presently relevant enough to be US champion. If this was a high profile feud with bigger stakes and implications, much like his rivalry with Miz last year, then I could see him winning. Given the way he got into this match (by inserting himself), that’s enough to see that WWE doesn’t view this match as a big moment for anyone.
Since Baron Corbin is just getting started in his title reign, it would be a shame to take the title away from him this early in such a throw away contest. Once again, if Baron were to have a good lengthy feud with an intriguing story, maybe I’d say otherwise. The US title will stay with Baron Corbin simply because the feud is not good enough to take it off him.
Smackdown Tag Team Championship: The Usos (c) vs. Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin vs. The New Day vs. Rusev & Aiden English
HERE is the match we’ve been waiting for. Now this is the match where we could see a title change occur. First, because of the sheer amount of teams it can make for a win in any direction. Second, there are a few teams who could benefit from the rub here.
Rusev & Aiden English have been massively fun and impressive as of late, and they’re my favorite option to take the title off the Usos right now. Rusev Day is a hit and I think it can only snowball and gain more traction over time. Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin gave some pretty cringe-worthy promos on the last few episodes of SmackDown, but their in ring work is solid. WWE could also put the titles on them so that an “upcoming” team can get some of the spotlight and and become legitimate. .
WWE could also give the titles back to the New Day, as we all know that WWE is trying to stick New Day with the most tag title reigns of all time. Though it is equally as possible that WWE lets the belts stay on the Usos for a little while given that they’re the most consistently spectacular tag team in the company right now.
It may be wishful thinking, but I think there will only be one title change at Clash of Champions. The most likely is the Smackdown Tag Championships, but not only because of the odds that are stacked against the Usos, but because there are many routes WWE could go with the tag titles moving forward. Every other title has no place changing hands this Sunday because the feuds and competitors surrounding most of them are nowhere near their A game. Let’s just hope that most of these mediocre rivalries come to an end in time for the road to WrestleMania.
King: Plotting The Return Of Randy Orton To WWE
Chris King is back with his look at the best scenario to bring Randy Orton back to WWE, and the perfect opponent for his first big match back.
Chris King is back with his look at the best scenario to bring Randy Orton back to WWE, and the perfect opponent for his first big match back.
I wanted to bring everyone’s attention to a superstar that’s being overshadowed right now, ‘The Viper’ Randy Orton. After RKBRO lost the Raw Tag Team Championships to The Uso’s, Orton vanished from the company. There was speculation about his serious back injury and, it wasn’t until The Viper’s wife herself posted a candid picture of Orton after successful surgery.
While the focus in WWE right now is either on The Bloodline, Bray Wyatt and Uncle Howdy, or the returning Cody Rhodes, I felt this was a good time to start plotting The Viper’s return to WWE.
Randy Orton’s Return to WWE
On the Raw-After-Mania ‘The American Nightmare’ opens the show after a tough battle over Roman Reigns to win the WWE Championship. Rhodes with tears in his eyes is giving an emotional promo about his family’s legacy, and how much this title means to him. The WWE Universe is chanting “You Deserve It,” and out comes Finn Balor flanked by The Judgement Day.
‘The Prince’ starts by congratulating the new champion for dethroning ‘The Tribal Chief’ but, now he wants his title shot. Rhodes being the resilient hero accepts Balor’s challenge for the main event. The American Nightmare and The Prince are putting on a clinic of a match, delivering multiple finishers but unable to put the other away. Judgement Day starts to interfere when Orton’s music blares throughout the arena. Orton takes out the heels and helps his former protege. Rhodes capitalizes and hits Crossroads for the 1.2.3.
The former Legacy members are celebrating and embracing with a hug as Rhodes goes to raise his newly-won title. In the blink of an eye, The Viper strikes and takes out Rhodes with an RKO Outta Nowhere! The champion is knocked out as Orton hoists the title above his head while trash-talking his now rival. Orton violently throws Rhodes out of the ring and delivers a nasty-looking draping DDT onto the floor.
The Build–And Culmination–of Randy Orton vs. Cody Rhodes
Orton stares giving 2009 vibes as Rhodes’ head raises, so The Viper runs and delivers a punt kick. WWE officials come out and break things up and the champion is stretchered out of the arena. The show closes with Orton grinning over the destruction he has caused to his former protege. Over the next few months, Orton and Rhodes enter into an extremely personal rivalry over the coveted prize. We finally make it to SummerSlam where both men agree to raise the stakes and do war inside HELL IN A CELL!!!!
This is how I would book The Viper’s return to WWE. If you feel like this should be written differently, I’d love to hear your thoughts!
AJ’s Phenomenal Opinion: Bray Wyatt
So everyone loves Bray’s return right? Right? Well the McDonald’s Sprite spicy opinions of AJ…may feel differently.
Well, just because my work schedule changed, doesn’t mean I’m not going to drop some opinions of mine, of which, I haven’t done too bad with. I got Three out of Five for my returns right a few months back and this is going to be about the last entry on that previous list. I knew for a fact that Bray Wyatt would return to the WWE in some way shape or form and time for some… controversy.
As my favorite ratings winner of 83 Weeks once said, Controversy Creates Cash and boy HOWDY… Do I have something to get off my chest here so sit back, order some Chairshot Merch and lets get on with Adam’s… Rants for a bit.
Bray coming in and making a return to the WWE was an inevitability. Death, Taxes and I guess WWE Returns are always guaranteed anymore and maybe we could get some new creativity with a supernatural gimmick. Bray has always had that supernatural to him ever since he had the Wyatt Family in Erik Rowan, the late Luke Harper and in the end, Braun Strowman. The Wyatt’s had a control like no other and were beloved for a moment in the WWE.
Bray did a lot to make sure things were in motion but for some reason any massive feud he had, he failed. Following a bunch of injuries to the rest of his family and even releases later on, he seemed to at least get some traction going for him. WWE Champion, somehow got Randy Orton with him, Universal Championships and got those big match wins that eluded him in the Wyatt Family beginnings. Let me also say this as well, I actually liked the Firefly Funhouse Match with Cena as a “This is Your Life” match of sorts. I was tickled and entertained… Then much like Bray in character, something changed.
Dark and Terrible Lurk with Fiends
We had a lot to figure out during the Pandemic. Like A WHOLE HELL OF A LOT. Through it all though, WWE figured it out but the person that helped these types of ideas, soured them drastically. Lets go back to the WWE Championship run in 2017. Randy Orton won the Royal Rumble that year and he wouldn’t betray Bray, right? Well he does and Mania for the two is set, Orton against Wyatt for the WWE Championship and it was… terrible. Random images of maggots and decay (Not the IMPACT Stable) popping up into the ring as the match goes on and Randy still wins. Through head game attempts, Bray comes up short in the big match moment. That’s odd but maybe it will be a bigger pictu– and Jinder Mahal wins the Championship. Okay.
Wyatt returns as this Mister Rogers character and has a darkness inside of him with The Fiend. Now we had this amazing theory or maybe that’s what happened but the story was, anyone The Fiend fought, they revert back to their best selves. The Miz returned to be the A Lister, the guy who grabs a microphone that you love to hate. Finn Balor doesn’t have the Demon Gimmick anymore because after his loss, he’s the Prince again. The cocky guy that walks around because he is the best, he gives no care in the world. Seth Rollins, who he took the WWE Universal Championship from, went from a dorky sweetheart back to the asshole taking every opportunity that he could get because he’s that much of a weasel and when he lost… He lost to Goldberg. The one guy that has been the same since 1997. Drums, Pyro Bath, Spear, Jackhammer, “Who’s Next?” and during that time, he sucked at points. One of those Rollins matches was in a Hell In A Cell match, the red cage with the red lighting. Match ending with a Stoppage from the referee… INSIDE OF A HELL IN A CELL (I think Sean Waltman said it best… Why did the match stop? It’s supposed to be Hell?) and it’s one of the rare times that I agreed with wrestling’s favorite Uncle… That was Negative Stars for a match.
After Goldberg, he didn’t have a commanding presence. He recruited Alexa Bliss who was already over whether she was a Heel or Face and made everything so unbelievably… boring. Alexa had to carry that idiotic demon gimmick and doll, not having anything really supernatural. Just some wrestling and Brock Lesnar cleaning up everything faster than a Chop Shop in main events and segments. He tried to return and make his grand return, beating the Universal Champion Braun Strowman at Summerslam just to falter a literal week later to Roman Reigns, who proceeded to never look back from that win. Bray gets fired after and no more supernatural ideas. Undertaker isn’t around really and retires, Kane is a mayor. Paul Bearer is no longer with us and everything is just… normal.
Wyatt’s Six (Reasons I Tune Out)
In 2022, Vince retires seemingly from everything and Triple H is at the helm, could he bring balance to everything? He makes a bunch of returns that people love seeing. Johnny Gargano, Dakota Kai, Tegan Nox, Bronson Reed, Dexter Lumus just to name a few and of course, the big one that everyone wanted. Bray Wyatt.
Bray makes this heartfelt return and everything seems great. We get him as him, he makes this weird build to a Wyatt 6, assuming we think it’s the Firefly Funhouse and he’s just talking, building. Alright well who is going to be these six figures because they are more than just puppets this time around. A masked man named Uncle Howdy that people think is Vincent Marseglia or maybe a bearded Bo Dallas who is Bray’s real life brother and he……… pops in and out to confuse people. Okay… (1)
Alexa might return to the 6 because of all the segments and gets darker and a heel. Alright that is perfectly fine but, WHY IS VINCENT DALLAS HERE AGAIN TO JUST INTERFERE WITH RANDOM THINGS? Okay… fine. (2) Alexa has a Women’s Championship match against Bianca Belair, that will make sense of thi– it’s a clean finish… Why is it clean? No Howdy, No Wyatt just a random VHS tape like I’m watching The Ring about her being dark after the match. Okay…… (3)
Oh Wyatt finally gets a feud for his return. I almost forgot about that! Who will be this first victim? LA Knight.
Maybe this will be good. They are both great on the microphone, maybe Bray has new moves that he can do and I know all too well how good LA Knight is, I have been an Eli Drake/Shaun Ricker fan for years. This could be a great match that they have, they announced it for the Royal Rumble so it’s going to be big and it’s a… Pitch Black Match presented by Mountain Dew.
The Royal Rumble is upon us, the Men’s Rumble starts the show and we all have adrenaline in our soul for it and now is this weird Pitch Black Match and it’s not a cinematic match. It’s in the ring, No Count Outs and No Disqualifications. LA Knight comes out in his iconic Yellow Attire and Wyatt is talking… with a mask on. The lights turn off and the ropes are glowing a neon greenish-yellow… with an announce table spot that… has Nickelodeon Slime inside of it when they break it? Okay fine… I knew the match was going to be dumb and gimmicky from the Mountain Dew Sponsorship. Bray wins, yay. LA Knight comes back with a Kendo Stick and… we get invulnerable Bray again… they don’t hurt. Lets go to this crash pad and Bo Marseglia shows up from somewhere and just elbow drops him from maybe fifteen to twenty feet with pyro and the Firefly Funhouse Puppets appear at the top, to watch a fire… And there is number six…
Actual Thoughts on Current Bray Wyatt, Post Rumble
I absolutely hate it.
This was awful. You build whatever insignificant thought process of the Wyatt 6 has going for it when Uncle Howdy does the best Cap’n Shane O elbow drop for a hellfire effect. At least the pyro was better than the AEW Explosion Match I guess…
Regardless, how does LA Knight come out of all of this moving forward? He lost an idiotic gimmick match and looks presumed dead. This just makes me think that whoever in whatever interview said Bray Wyatt is a creative mastermind needs to put whatever they have down before we hear about their T.O.D. posted somewhere. This Pitch Black Match is somehow worse than that Rollins Hell in a Cell Match and that takes talent. At least a good amount of alcohol lulled that from my brain but this made me remember that and enjoy the thought of that match happening with its finish. The best way I can picture how this was pitched was Burnt Dogshit, wrapped in a Kerosine Blanket with… sorry had to look at what I wrote, not putting that on websites but… people saw a Creative Quesadilla and when we got the actual product, it gave Salmonella poisoning and E Coli at the same time.
I really don’t want to see another Bray Wyatt match… again. Whoever gave him creative, take it away immediately. As much steam as Bray Wyatt gets in promos or possible matches in the past, the only steaming he gets at the end, is steaming piles of shit. You can say, he’s getting paid millions where I’m a little troll on the internet with typing power and I really don’t care but to me, Triple H… you finally got your first failing grade with something in your leadership role in WWE.
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