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WWE Clash of Champions 2016 predictions: Kevin Owens vs. Seth Rollins, more!

WWE returns to pay-per-view (PPV) -- if your cable provider is carrying the event, of course -- tomorrow night (Sun., Sept. 25, 2016) live from the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana with its Clash of Champions event starting at 7:00 p.m. ET with the Kickoff show leading right on into the main course at 8 p.m. ET on the WWE Network.

Set for the card: Kevin Owens defends the Universal championship against Seth Rollins, the Raw women’s title is on the line in a triple threat pitting Charlotte vs. Sasha Banks vs. Bayley, and so much more.

Luckily for you Cagesiders, our staff of learned wrestling blowhards is here to help figure out just how the event is going to play out with predictions for each match on the card.

Let's get to it.


Kevin Owens vs. Seth Rollins

Geno Mrosko: This has a lot more to do with Rollins settling his differences with Triple H and Stephanie McMahon, and is likely leading to the inevitable match with The Game. He doesn’t need the title for all that. Pick: Owens

Sean Rueter: While I'm still concerned with how his title win has marginalized KO (come at me, Mrosko!) I doubt they end his run here. I also doubt he beats Rollins cleanly, and expect Hunter to show up and factor into the finish. Hopefully, that will spin off a Seth vs. Haitch program and let Kev get a chance to find his footing as the man. Pick: Triple H/Kevin Owens

Kyle Decker: I don't predict an extremely long reign for KO, but I don't see him as a purely transitional champion either. With the Game looming on the horizon, he'll likely make his presence known to continue building that Triple H/Seth Rollins story, keeping the title on his new guy. Pick: Kevin Owens

Cain A. Knight: The story for this one is all over the place and isn't particularly compelling, but their match should be great because these guys are two of the very best wrestlers in the company. Owens retaining is the easy call, but it's not clear how. Maybe Foley gets involved and accidentally screws Rollins over? If that means I don't have to see Triple H hog the spotlight once again then sign me up. Pick: Kevin Owens

ReverendKain: Newly-minted babyface Seth Rollins has a longer hill to climb before he gets to the top of the mountain, probably involving going through HHH at some point. Pick: Kevin Owens

Jason Martin: In the ring, this should be absolutely awesome. A match I want to see and haven’t seen, between two of the real foundations of WWE’s future. The build hasn’t been as good as I hoped, but it hasn’t been the fault of the talent. Let’s keep Steph and Mick out of the proceedings here and let these guys try to tear the house down, because they can. I think they will. This will be better than the Backlash main event, and should be a tremendous bout. You don’t take the title off KO right now, especially if you’re trying to get Seth Rollins to that super-babyface role. You screw him over here. Shouldn’t be clean, and it won’t be. Kevin Owens wins one of the top matches of the year in WWE. PICK: KEVIN OWENS

Rusev vs. Roman Reigns

Geno Mrosko: Could see this going either way, especially considering they clearly see Reigns as a top star who must remain that. Having him do jobs for lesser titles doesn’t much help his cause, but I also can’t justify a win here. This one’s tough. When in doubt, think of Vince McMahon. Pick: Reigns

Sean Rueter: The goal here, I think, is to leave the belt where it is and move the Big Dog back to the Universal title picture. How you do that when it seems like they've already gone to the DQ and no contest well a bunch of times in this feud? Your guess is as good as mine. But I don't see Roman as U.S. champ any time soon. Which, given my track record, probably means he wins here. I gotta be me, though. Pick: Rusev

Kyle Decker: Man, I don't even know with Roman any more. Maybe he loses here and then goes and feuds with Owens. Maybe he becomes the US champion. I've got nothing. Let's go with Rusev. Pick: Rusev

Cain A. Knight: Vince probably still has huge plans lined up for Roman down the line, so having him hold on to the US Championship for a while seems like one way to keep the Big Dog busy in the upper card until the main event of WrestleMania beckons. Pick: Roman Reigns

ReverendKain: If they weren't putting the title on Roman here, they would have put him in the Universal Championship match instead of treading water with Rusev, right? Sorry Rusev, seems like four months is the number, not seven years. Pick: Roman Reigns

Jason Martin: The match that was given to us on the SummerSlam go-home show, and then wasn’t given to us in its actual spot in Brooklyn. I still want to see it in more of an unfettered environment. This is the one that should take advantage of the floor, the post, the dasher boards, the stairs, and anything else. I don’t think this is the time to take the strap off of Rusev, and I think they know that…but this is Roman Reigns. I can’t imagine Vince will let him lose another match right now. He’s coming off a win over Owens in the cage match. Putting the US Title on him is a natural way to create a temporary barrier between Reigns and the Universal Championship. More on feel than anything else, I go with Roman. PICK: ROMAN REIGNS

Charlotte vs. Sasha Banks vs. Bayley

Geno Mrosko: It still looks like they want to go with Charlotte vs. Dana Brooke while Sasha Banks and Bayley reignite their feud from NXT. The question is which program gets the title. You could argue the former need it more but putting it up for grabs in the latter could elevate women in WWE in a way nothing else has. Guess: Charlotte

Sean Rueter: Feuds coming out of this should be Charlotte/Dana and Sasha/Bayley. There's a few ways to get there, and I'm choosing to fantasy book through hug-colored Kanye glasses. Failed interference by Brooke costs the Nature Girl the title, and after a touching moment where the real-world buds celebrate together, Sasha flips out and destroys the new champ to get back to her natural alignment and kick off a program that has never not been great. Pick: Bayley

Kyle Decker: While I would not be surprised if they put the title back on Sasha given the word was that the original plan was a long reign for the Boss, I think Charlotte will retain here. A triple threat is always a good way to keep the title on the champ while building up the story lines further. In ths case, it'll give them time to figure out what they want to do with Bayley and what they want to do with Sasha. Pick: Charlotte

Cain A. Knight: It's almost always foolish to bet against Charlotte, but I'm willing to roll the dice here. I think they are heading to a split between Charlotte and Dana, and Charlotte retaining here would probably not help them tell that story. I'm not exactly sure about what happened with Sasha's health issues and her short-lived championship reign back in August, but now that she is seemingly over all of that, maybe WWE will reset things back to where they were prior to SummerSlam. Then Sasha and Charlotte could settle this for good inside Hell in a Cell next month while Bayley is squashed by Nia Jax. Pick: Sasha Banks

ReverendKain: Sasha and Bayley are clearly playing second fiddle to Charlotte and Dana. Only question is, does WWE think Charlotte/Dana needs the title, or will they be content to push it to the side? I'm gonna play it conservatively here, but I don't like it. Pick: Charlotte

Jason Martin: Bayley’s the most over, Sasha never got what she deserved, but because both the fan favorites are in this match, logic holds that neither will come out the winner. Dana Brooke is likely to be the biggest reason for it. My head tells me Sasha Banks should come out on top, and in no way should Bayley go over this soon with that character. But, I buy into the idea that WWE wants to build to Charlotte vs. Dana Brooke. To do that, the Champ should lose the title thanks to the challenger. I think it goes a different way, and Dana actually HELPS her this time. Make her an asset, and THEN turn her. WWE changed Charlotte’s opponent for this bout twice, so the Champ retains. PICK: CHARLOTTE

The New Day vs. Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows

Geno Mrosko: It’s time for a title change. Pick: Anderson & Gallows

Sean Rueter: We've been here before. Will it be different this time? Maybe. I kind of doubt it though. Pick: New Day

Kyle Decker: I keep saying the Club is going to beat the New Day for the titles. One of these days that prediction will be correct. Pick: The Club

Cain A. Knight: It feels like the buildup to this match has been so disappointing that it would be a shame to swap the titles. But would the New Day really move on to a feud with Shining Stars if they were to retain? I don't really see that happening, but there are no other heel options. So I'll stick with Gallows and Anderson here even though it doesn't feel like the right time for New Day to lose. Pick: Gallows and Anderson

ReverendKain: They can't seriously be pushing New Day past Demolition's record, can they? That's the only way I can see a New Day win here. Way past time for a change, and Bullet Club runs everything else in 2016 pro wrestling anyway. Pick: The Club

Jason Martin: This feud has been absolutely dreadful. It’s actually harmed both acts, and it needs to end. It was time for the unicorn crew to drop those titles long ago, but the story as of late has been going after the record. It’s been mentioned on television, so that gives me pause. BUT, Big E’s return at SummerSlam was the only reason WWE couldn’t do the switch there. Heels need those titles, so that Enzo & Cass can be given more purpose. They’re the new big thing in the tag division. The New Day is over without them. For that reason, the titles change hands here. PICK: ANDERSON & GALLOWS

TJ Perkins vs. Brian Kendrick

Geno Mrosko: It’s really strange to go to this match right away, especially considering Kendrick was the one who got the best story in the Cruiserweight Classic. They didn’t give this enough time to marinate, which makes me wonder if they aren’t planning on running an angle of some sort to better promote the cruiserweights on Raw the next night. Pick: Perkins

Sean Rueter: Nice story, TJ. But a heel with some name recognition for everyone to chase is a better way to establish the division, so we're gonna go ahead and swim in that reality for a while. Pick: THE Brian Kendrick

Kyle Decker: Who's this TJ Perkins cat? Wouldn't know by watching Raw. I think he wins anyway. Pick: TJ Perkins

Cain A. Knight: I am very tempted to predict that Strowman will interrupt this match and squash both of these little guys. Anyway, I know nothing about Perkins because he was somehow left off of Raw this past week. If Perkins were to lose the championship in his debut on the main roster, wouldn't that pretty much admit the entire CWC was meaningless? At the very least it would bury Perkins right on the spot. I wouldn't be surprised if they do it, but there is also a chance that Vince has no recollection of who Brian Kendrick is and so he treats him like a jobber. I'll stick with the champ for now simply because he is the one currently holding the title. Pick: TJ Perkins

ReverendKain: Words can't quite express how stoked I am to see my man TJ Perkins defending the WWE Cruiserweight Championship on PPV. So I'm already inclined to vote with my mark card, but Kendrick's story is one of desperation, so he's not winning right out the gate. Pick: TJ Perkins

Jason Martin: If WWE wants to put Perkins through an entire gimmicked tournament, only to take the title off him after never showing him LIVE on television beforehand, they’re dumber than I thought. Kendrick should be there for one reason…to get the new guys over. The same role he had in NXT is where he’s most useful here. Perkins getting the win, retaining the title on the first PPV to feature the Cruiserweight Division is a big deal. It accomplishes nothing to put Kendrick over, and considering I’m pretty heel heavy in my predictions for this show, you go with TJ. PICK: TJ PERKINS

Cesaro vs. Sheamus

Geno Mrosko: It’s obvious they’ve always been working toward the big come-from-behind win but I’m going to root for chaos and hope Sheamus wins clean with a Brogue Kick in the first 20 seconds. Pick: Sheamus

Sean Rueter: You don't go through all this to put the heel over in the end. And if the promised "championship opportunity" is a Universal title shot, KO vs. the King of Swing would be an awesome program WWE would feel completely justified in booking as secondary to a Trips/Rollins feud. Pick: Cesaro

Kyle Decker: The Swiss Superman will finish up his "historic" comeback. Pick: Cesaro

Cain A. Knight: I've been wondering for a month who would win this 7th match, and I'm still having a tough time figuring it out. Cesaro should probably win, but he does have that back injury excuse, and having Sheamus lose four matches in a row to a dude with an injured back would be a very bad look for the Celtic Warrior. I could totally see Vince teasing the miraculous Cesaro comeback just to crush him (and his fans) when it matters most. I'll just fall back on an old reliable algorithm; Cesaro never wins singles matches on PPV. Pick: Sheamus

ReverendKain: There doesn't seem to be much of a point in Cesaro coming from behind three in a row only to choke in the finals, and Cesaro/Owens seems like a fine match to make off that "championship opportunity". Pick: Cesaro

Jason Martin: What’s to be gained by putting over Sheamus? This has been an entertaining series, but Cesaro v. Kevin Owens makes sense, as would Cesaro v. Roman Reigns in some ways. Sheamus will be the same guy with a win as he will with a loss. Cesaro wins, gets a title shot, and the fans might get some enjoyment out of it. Best of Seven is made for the babyface triumph. That shouldn’t change. I expect this to be a solid finish to the series. PICK: CESARO

Sami Zayn vs. Chris Jericho

Geno Mrosko: I’m not sure what they’re doing with this here but there’s more they can do with a Jericho victory. Pick: Jericho

Sean Rueter: Both men should go on to battle the champ in the near future. They probably should hold off on going back to the Sami vs. Owens well again so soon, though, and that's harder if he wins here. Prepare the internet for complaining! Pick: Chris Jericho

Kyle Decker: I think that Jericho/Owens is going to be a future program, especially because Jericho has been on fire as of late and already has a relationship with KO. While it makes the most sense for Zayn to go over here since he's the younger guy, I think Jericho goes over to position him for a future title feud. Pick: Chris Jericho

Cain A. Knight: These two guys reliably deliver high quality matches and this one should be no different. I think they are heading to a match between Jericho and Owens very soon, and so Jericho probably won't lose to Zayn here. Pick: Chris Jericho

ReverendKain: I got a bad feeling about this. Pick: Chris Jericho

Jason Martin: I can’t wait for this match. It should be technically beautiful, filled with good storytelling, and it will be an opportunity for a master craftsman in Jericho to try and help out a promising newcomer. Zayn is ready for this kind of push, and I think we can get a second match out of the angle. Because of that, you put the heel over first, then let Sami triumph in the blowoff. Jericho is the bigger star, but this is a good opportunity to give Sami Zayn a boost. To do it, you cheat him. He’s the underdog from the underground, remember? Nothing is better that effing over an underdog. PICK: CHRIS JERICHO

Nia Jax vs. Alicia Fox

Geno Mrosko: You already know. Pick: Jax

Sean Rueter: The spiritual training Alicia's been doing with Jinder Mahal will allow her to... still get killed. Pick: Nia Jax

Kyle Decker: Sorry, Alicia. You shouldn't have hit Nia in the face with a box. Pick: Nia Jax

Cain A. Knight: I don't understand why Nia Jax and Braun Strowman aren't teaming up for a tag team squash match on the Kickoff show. The only way Alicia wins this is if Nia gets herself disqualified for taking the inevitable annihilation too far. Pick: Nia Jax

ReverendKain: Nia has to lose eventually, but it ain't gonna be to Foxy. Pick: Nia Jax

Jason Martin: This has been interesting, but the outcome is clear. Nia Jax wins, although they may give Alicia two minutes of rope-a-dope style offense. She’s going to eventually run into a nasty clothesline or avalanche cutoff, and then she’ll be demolished and left laying. PICK: NIA JAX

Those are our picks, Cagesiders.

What are yours?

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