WWE returns to pay-per-view (PPV) -- if your cable provider is carrying the event, of course -- tomorrow night (Sun., Dec. 17, 2017) live from the TD Garden Arena in Boston, Massachusetts 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 & Sami Zayn’s jobs are on the line against Shinsuke Nakamura & Randy Orton (with two special referees), Jinder Mahal challenges AJ Styles for the WWE championship, and 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.
Clash of Champions predictions
Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn vs. Shinsuke Nakamura & Randy Orton
Geno Mrosko: Fire ‘em, they’re already fired. Pick: Nakamura & Orton
Sean Rueter: Vince is pulling out all the stops for Mixed Match Challenge, so he wouldn’t want to see one of the participants get fired here, right? Or maybe pulling out all the stops means he’d rehire Sami if he got fired?
Pro wrestling Sports entertainment is so confusing. I’m really just watching to see if Daniel Bryan throws a punch. Pick: Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn
Kyle Decker: This feel like a match that’s going to end in confusion. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the show ends and we don’t know who won. Perhaps both referees count a different pin or something weird like that and they end the show arguing. What I don’t think is happening is Owens and Zayn losing outright with the firing stipulation. So I’m going to choose them for win. Pick: Owens and Zayn
Cain A. Knight: All four of these guys are good but this is basically a television main event with a bunch of added referee drama. I don't see the heels getting fired so I guess Owens is getting another one over on Shane O'Mac. Pick: Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn
Reverend Kain: This is a match where the outcome isn’t nearly as interesting as the myriad ways we get there. Like... what if Daniel Bryan disqualifies Orton or Nakamura and that’s how Owens and Zayn win? Especially if it comes after Shane waves off a DQ or three. I’d never expect a turn, but with how heavily they’re teasing Bryan being in league with Owens and Zayn we have to get something along those lines, right? Pick: Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn
AJ Styles vs. Jinder Mahal
Geno Mrosko: That he lost to Triple H in India shouldn’t necessarily deter anyone from thinking he could win the title back here. But Jinder Mahal’s fall has been so swift, winning the WWE title back wouldn’t change his trajectory, it would simply drag the championship down with him. Pick: Styles
Sean Rueter: While I can never completely rule out a “f*** you, that’s why” move, I’m fairly certain Jinder’s push has been hindered. Pick: AJ Styles
Kyle Decker: The tour of India is done and for all intents and purposes, it feels like Jinder’s ride at the top is over. Going into Mania season, may as well keep the title on the best wrestler in the world. Pick: AJ Styles
Cain A. Knight: The WWE Championship feud has not main evented the last 5 episodes of SmackDown television and so this feels like a mid-card match that WWE is just waiting to move on from. I don't really see much upside to taking the title off the Phenomenal One. Pick: AJ Styles
Reverend Kain: Yeah, no. Pick: AJ Styles
Charlotte vs. Natalya
Geno Mrosko: This match is a lot more about what’s going on around it. That’s by design, and gives away the fact they aren’t going to do a title change. Pick: Charlotte
Sean Rueter: Yeah, no. Interested to see how the stuff on the floor sets up possible secondary feuds, but I Natty had her victory lap for now and the Queen is gonna reign for a while. Pick: Charlotte Flair
Kyle Decker: I see no reason for them to change here. However, I can see the chaos creating a good opportunity for Carmella. Though, even if she cashes in, I don’t think she does it until after the match. Pick: Charlotte
Cain A. Knight: Now that the Riott Squad have taken over the top heel spot in the SmackDown women's division, Natalya feels like an afterthought. Pick: Charlotte Flair
Reverend Kain: The lumberjacks take their toll on both women, but in the end, the Queen remains. Pick: Charlotte Flair
The Usos vs. New Day vs. Rusev Day vs. Gable & Benjamin
Geno Mrosko: They have to do some kind of title change on this show, right? I’m going to assume they make it happen here, and I’ll be damned if they shouldn’t recognize a hot act getting over and start pushing them even harder. Pick: Rusev Day
Sean Rueter: Having a hard time really getting into the spirit of Rusev Day when no one will tell Chad why these other teams are in the match. Luckily, this box of pancakes is cheering me up. I’m hoping Jimmy and Jey are headed toward a WrestleMania season feud The Shield bros, and I can’t decide if they need the belts for that or not. Probably not, but I’m thinking they drop them later. Pick: The Usos
Kyle Decker: It would be sacrilegious to pick against Rusev Day on Rusev Day. Pick: Rusev Day
Cain A. Knight: Rusev Day has defeated both New Day and Usos in recent weeks, so I don't expect their momentum to continue here. New Day doesn't feel like the winner either because they already called a truce with the Usos a while back and it would be strange to reignite that feud. It seems like the Usos have a pretty good chance to retain here. Either way there are a lot of great wrestlers here so this should be the match of the night. Pick: The Usos
Reverend Kain: Despite the excellent work my colleagues put into determining that champions actually have great chances of retaining in multi-challenger title matches, I’m going with the switch here. I don’t think it’ll work, but I think they kinda have to try, and doing it now gives you time to correct before Mania, so let’s roll the dice on Chad Gable again, shall we? Pick: Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin
Baron Corbin vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Bobby Roode
Geno Mrosko: Something tells me they’re going to do an angle where Roode has the match won but Ziggler keeps him from it and Corbin retains, so everyone can feel like shit when it’s over. Pick: Corbin
Sean Rueter: This is one-half of a two match parlay I’m betting (not really) to set up a mid-card feud for the ages (I’ll tell you about the second half in a sec). Pick: Bobby Roode
Kyle Decker: Ziggler was likely just added to push the Corbin/Roode feud a bit longer. Corbin can retain, but the Glorious One doesn’t need to lose and they can stretch this a bit longer. Pick: Baron Corbin
Cain A. Knight: Dolph Ziggler was thrown into this one out of nowhere, so for the sake of chaos I'm rooting for him to win it too. But alas, he's just not quite as tall as Baron Corbin. Pick: Baron Corbin
Reverend Kain: Part of me wishes I cared more, but the rest of me is the part that has to watch and liveblog the product. In any case... Pick: Baron Corbin
Breezango vs. The Bludgeon Brothers
Geno Mrosko: They absolutely have to pay off the Fashion Files “2B” story with the Fashion Police taking down the perps, right? RIGHT?!? Pick: Breezango
Sean Rueter: Did Harper and Rowan abduct Fandango and do anal probes on him? This is also confusing to me. Pretty sure they’re gonna do more painful stuff than anal probes here, though. Pick: Bludgeon Brothers
Kyle Decker: Love me Breezango, but they didn’t even get their set up to this match on TV. Both Fandango and Breeze are really talented but right now, they’re the comic relief on SDLive and are just going to serve as the Brothers of Bludgeoning’s first legit win. Pick: Bludgeon Brothers
Cain A. Knight: I'd prefer to see a double-length episode of Fashion Files than watch Bludgeon Brothers steamroll Breezango. Oh well. Pick: Bludgeon Brothers
Reverend Kain: Harper and Rowan beat reigning Chikara Grand Champion Juan Francisco de Coronado and one half of reigning AIW Tag Team Champions To Infinity and Beyond Colin Delaney like they were nobodies on Tuesday. What chance do Breezango have after that?! Pick: Bludgeon Brothers
Mojo Rawley vs. Zack Ryder
Geno Mrosko: I am hugely fearful they’ll put Ryder over here because it’s the pre-show and all that, but Rawley clearly has more potential to be an actually interesting character who just needed to get away from the dead weight. He should do it here. Pick: Rawley
Sean Rueter: Actually kind of think Zackie baby might steal a win and catch a post-match beating, but I’m predicting this the other way to get the Glorious Hype feud for the red, white and blue belt started (BAY-BEE). Pick: Mojo Rawley
Kyle Decker: It’s a shame that this was designated for the pre-show. After a 6 month break up, they can’t find their way on the main show. Mojo is the one who will likely come out of this with a push, so he should probably pick up the win here. (Though they’ll probably rematch this on SmackDown on Tuesday so who really knows?) Pick: Mojo Rawley
Cain A. Knight: Whenever a team breaks up it's usually pretty clear which performer is going to receive the bigger singles push, and Zack Ryder is not that guy. Pick: Mojo Rawley
Reverend Kain: The hype is real, my friends. Pick: Mojo Rawley
That’s how we see the card playing out.