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WWE Clash of Champions 2017: Zack Ryder vs. Mojo Rawley full match preview

Kickoff Match

Mojo Rawley vs. Zack Ryder

One of the more drawn out tag team break-ups finally happened in November, so now we have a pre-show match for December’s pay-per-view (PPV).

The Road to Clash of Champions

The Hype Bros achieved their greatest success at the same time they suffered their worst setback. Last December, Rawley and Ryder won a battle royal for the right to face then-tag champs The Wyatts. But in that match, Zack blew out his knee and was gone for six months.

Rawley did alright in his absence - he became the fourth Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal winner and got to go over future WWE champ Jinder Mahal with the help of his friend Rob Gronkowski, anyway.

When Ryder finally returned in June, the Bros learned their #1 contender status had expired. They were booked for a match against the then (and now) titleholders, Jimmy and Jey Uso, with a chance to earn a new championship match on the line. They came up short, and the writing was on the wall.

It still took five months for the break-up to finally happen. But after two straight weeks of losses to Bludgeon Brothers, Mojo’d had enough.

That assault was followed by a lot of trash talk, and a pretty good explanation, from The Hype Man:

Iced Z’s comeback - a shot at Mojo’s admittedly ridiculous shirt - was pretty indicative of how the veteran is handling this. But he did issue the challenge for this match...

and then got verbally eviscerated by Rawley again. And when Zack got cute again, he got this...

What’s at stake?

A lot.

Both guys could use a win. Their fortunes were on the upswing at the time of Ryder’s injury, and represented another shot at the top of a division for the former U.S. and Intercontinental champion’s roller coaster career. But he’s yet to recover since returning this Summer. And despite some success as a singles star in his now-former partner’s absence, Mojo’s been just as adrift.

With the WrestleMania season right around the corner, TV and PPV time will be at a premium for full-time undercarders. It’s “just” a Kickoff match, but it might also be Ryder and Rawley’s only chance to make an impression.

Heat and stakes? This one has it all scripted fight fans.

And it’s free if you pull up Cageside Seats (or any of WWE’s online partners like YouTube) at 7PM Eastern on Sunday, Dec. 17!

Poll

Who will win?

This poll is closed

  • 20%
    Zack Ryder
    (41 votes)
  • 79%
    Mojo Rawley
    (163 votes)
204 votes total Vote Now