It's one thing to predict the winners and losers at WWE's Clash of Champions 2016, but how about taking a guess at the match order on that card?
WWE has announced 7 different matches for Clash of Champions 2016, excluding the pre-show match of Nia Jax versus Alicia Fox.
Here is my subjective view of how important each of these 7 segments rank on the Clash of Champions 2016 card, ordered from most important to least important.
- Kevin Owens vs Seth Rollins
- Rusev vs Roman Reigns
- Charlotte vs Sasha vs Bayley
- Cesaro vs Sheamus
- Sami Zayn vs Chris Jericho
- New Day vs The Club
- TJ Perkins vs Brian Kendrick
It is important to come up with a list like this to get an idea of which matches are going to be placed in the key spots on the card or take up the most time, and which matches might end up in the cool-down spots or be given the least amount of time.
The main event of this card is obvious. After that, the US Championship and Women’s Championship matches seem more important than all the remaining matches.
I’m dropping the tag team championship match pretty far down the list because the build to this match completely bombed. Meanwhile, there is a do-or-die Match 7 between Cesaro and Sheamus, and Chris Jericho is consistently treated as an important star, so I don’t have too many qualms with slotting the tag team match underneath them.
The cruiserweights are all alone in last place here with nobody near them. I still don’t even know who TJ Perkins is or what he looks like, and I mostly remember Brian Kendrick as an unimportant lower card guy from the past. I can’t just erase that memory based on one win in a match on Raw.
I have looked at the timing of 7-segment WWE events from the last few years, and segments 4 and 5 seem to get the most time (after the main event, of course), while segments 2 and 6 generally receive the least amount of time. I am not going to pretend like I have a ton of data backing this up though, so there is going to be a significant amount of guesswork and uncertainty involved in these predictions.
The opening match of the night is usually one of the high work rate medium-level attractions of the show that will not get a dedicated video package beforehand to hype it up. There are 4 possible matches that I think could start this show, and they are the bottom 4 matches on the previous list. I am ruling out the top 3 matches because they are among the most important matches on the card and lend themselves very well to the dedicated video package treatment.
I would normally exclude the least important match on the card (Perkins vs Kendrick) from consideration here but I think WWE should actually start this show with the cruiserweights. These guys will certainly bring the high work rate, and it would be one easy way to make them feel important. They do have a shot at it, but my best guess is that WWE will probably use them as a cool-down match later in the night.
It’s not guaranteed, but I could see WWE giving one of those dedicated video packages for the final match between Cesaro and Sheamus, so I’ll cross them off the list too even though they would be a reasonable option to open the card.
That leaves the tag team match and Zayn versus Jericho, neither of which really warrant a video package ahead of time. New Day is always a good candidate to open the card due to their typical pre-match promo which could get the crowd fired up, but I think WWE will probably use the tag team match at a different point on the card, to break up a potential string of too many consecutive one-on-one matches.
So I am choosing Zayn and Jericho for the opening match. A good argument could be made for any of these 4 matches, and it’s not easy at all to find a clear best choice.
Segments 4 and 5 usually receive more time than Segments 2, 3, and 6, so I am going to give Segments 4 and 5 to Reigns and Charlotte, in some order.
I am also going to throw the Cruiserweights into the death slot right before the main event, even though I hope I’m wrong about that. I don’t really see too many other options for a cool-down match, unless WWE decides to add a Shining Stars match or a Braun Strowman squash to the event, which is certainly possible.
That gives me the following card:
Segment 1: Sami Zayn vs Chris Jericho
Segment 4: Reigns OR Charlotte
Segment 5: Reigns OR Charlotte
Segment 6: TJ Perkins vs Brian Kendrick
Segment 7: Kevin Owens vs Seth Rollins
Segment 2 usually receives less time than Segment 3, so I will slot the tag team match into Segment 2, with Cesaro’s miraculous comeback attempt going into Segment 3.
The only thing left to do is deciding between Reigns and Charlotte for Segments 4 and 5. I think there is a chance that Cesaro’s match and Roman’s match might end up with similar styles, so maybe WWE will break that up by slotting the women in between those segments.
So here is my final prediction for the match order at Clash of Champions 2016, along with guesses on the bell-to-bell match times. These 7 matches look meaty enough to fill out a 3-hour card, so I don’t think this event will end up stretching for time like Backlash 2016 did.
Segment 1: Sami Zayn vs Chris Jericho (12 minutes)
Segment 2: New Day vs The Club (10)
Segment 3: Cesaro vs Sheamus (14)
Segment 4: Charlotte vs Sasha vs Bayley (15)
Segment 5: Rusev vs Roman Reigns (16)
Segment 6: TJ Perkins vs Brian Kendrick (9)
Segment 7: Kevin Owens vs Seth Rollins (20)
That's my prediction for the match order at Clash of Champions 2016. What's yours?