This Sunday, the WWE presents the first RAW branded pay per view since the WWE Brand Split earlier this summer. This show brings back the old World Championship Wrestling name of the Clash of Champions, instead of using the WWE version Night of Champions to sell the pay per view. Even though the WWE is hyping the broadcast as “every RAW championship is on the line,” since they brought back the WCW branded name for the pay per view, they should have aired clips of some classic WCW Clash of the Champions moments in order for today’s fans to feel the importance and historical significance of the show. With that being said, it’s prediction time, so here we go.

ALICIA FOX vs. NIA JAX: KICKOFF MATCH
Since the brand split, the WWE has been treating Nia Jax with kid gloves. Like Braun Strowman, Jax has been fed enhancement talent after enhancement talent. Eventually, this will lead to some bigger matches for The Rock’s cousin. However, a battle with Alicia Fox is not that spotlight match. This is just a stepping stone, as Nia Jax slowly moves up the women’s division to bigger and better things. Like her battles with the female jobbers on RAW, I expect Alicia Fox to experience the same beating. This shouldn’t even be close. WINNER: NIA JAX


SAMI ZAYN vs. CHRIS JERICHO
The Zayn vs. Jericho rivalry has been built up very nicely. Since it doesn’t appear that the WWE has a direction on what to do with Sami Zayn, a feud with Chris Jericho is a perfect way to utilize his talent at the moment. You don’t want to push Zayn down the card to become a midcard talent. You will need Sami Zayn to be looked at as an upper tier guy. This way you can easily insert him into a main event feud when the time is right. The last thing the WWE needs to do is give him the half ass Ziggler push. This is way Chris Jericho is the perfect foil for Sami Zayn right now. Jericho is still look at like a main event level worker, so Zayn will get that main event rub. A win over Chris Jericho will keep Zayn strong without getting him lost in the shuffle. Since Chris Jericho is never hurt by doing a job, he has become the ”go to” guy when the WWE needs to put guys over, so they can reach the next level. I don’t see that strategy changing here. WINNER: SAMI ZAYN

T.J. PERKINS vs. BRIAN KENDRICKS: WWE CRUISERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
Admittedly, I haven’t watched any of the Cruiserweight Classic on the WWE Network. While I keep wanting to, I haven’t had any time. Thus, I’m not really familiar with T.J. Perkins. However, I do know that if you want to start off a new concept, you need to make someone fresh and new as the centerpiece. You do not want to have a guy in his late 30s be the focal point of your new, innovative division. Kendricks will be Perkins first stepping on the way to legitimizing the cruiserweights before he moves on to facing other younger talent that are fairly unknown to the WWE audience. Perkins and Kendericks should have a good match, as RAW tries to kick off their new division. Will it be successful? Only time will tell. WINNER: T.J. PERKINS


CESARO vs. SHEAMUS: MATCH SEVEN IN THEIR BEST OF SEVEN SERIES
This series put the WWE’s 50/50 booking philosophy firmly on display. Sheamus won the first three matches, and Cesaro won the next three. It comes as no surprise that this rivalry comes down to a seventh and deciding match. The winner receives a “championship” match. However, the WWE never announced for which championship. Looking at the two competitors, I believe that there is more upside to pushing Cesaro. We saw at the end of last year that the fans rejected a Sheamus main event run. I can’t see the WWE doing it again. The result really doesn’t matter, because the winner will job out in the championship match he earns anyways. WINNER: CESARO

THE NEW DAY vs. LUKE GALLOWS and KARL ANDERSON: WWE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
Here we go again. This has now become a running joke. Every month the New Day defend their tag team championships, every month I pick against them. Why stop now. Since coming over from New Japan, it’s been preordained that the former Bullet Club members would eventually capture the WWE World Tag Team Championship. Now should be the time. If not now, then when? Despite how popular the New Day are, they need to drop the titles. The New Day gimmick will survive without the tag team straps. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson, on the other hand, need to hold the tag team titles. Gallows and Anderson, with AJ Styles by their side, came into the federation with huge momentum after their stint in New Japan. If they don’t win the tag team championships, I fear that Gallows and Anderson may quickly become just another team then becoming the cornerstone tag team of the division on RAW. So for the, what seems like, millionth time in a row, I am picking the New Day to finally drop the WWE Tag Team championships. WINNER: LUKE GALLOWS and KARL ANDERSON

CHARLOTTE vs. SASHA BANKS vs. BAYLEY: WWE WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP
Two months ago, Charlotte was the Women’s Champion. Sasha Banks was getting ready to challenge Charlotte for the title at SummerSlam. Bayley was in NXT getting ready to face Asuka at the next NXT: Takeover event for the NXT Women’s Championship. Then came the brand split. To help create a memorable RAW following the draft, the WWE had Sasha Banks defeat Charlotte for the Women’s title instead of waiting for SummerSlam. An injury to Banks then turned the Women’s main event storyline upside down. Instead of ushering in the “Lady Boss” era, Banks dropped the title back to Charlotte at SummerSlam. Then, Bayley made her permanent WWE main roster debut on RAW inserting herself immediately into the title picture. However, Banks injury wasn’t as bad as first thought, so the WWE put her back in the championship storyline. The WWE was painted into a corner. They couldn’t just say “Sasha’s back, sorry Bayley.” Since Bayley just arrived on the main roster, it was too soon to have her job to the champion. After a controversial pinfall in a Triple Threat match that included Dana Brooke, Mick Foley turned Charlotte’s title defense at the Clash of Champions pay per view into a Triple Threat involving Bayley and Sasha Banks. It’s too soon to put the belt on Bayley. Sure, other women have come up to the main roster, and quickly won the Women’s championship. However, Bayley’s underdog story should rrequire her to chase the title, and not win the belt during her first opportunity. Charlotte had her big first run. Her second run should only be as a transitional champion. Since Sasha is healthy again, it’s time to put the belt on her, and let her run with it until WrestleMania. WINNER: SASHA BANKS

RUSEV vs. ROMAN REIGNS: WWE UNITED STATES CHAMPIONSHIP
When Rusev faced off against Roman Reigns on RAW shortly before SummerSlam, they had a really good match together. At SummerSlam, their match turned into a short brawl instead. Apparently, the brawl was used to extend the feud. Their feud has been a refreshing change for Roman Reigns. Sure, he is still getting booed out of the building. However, this is the type of push that Roman Reigns should have been given two years ago. Forget about strapping the rocket on his ass. Roman should have been brought up in stages, sort of like an old school WWF push. A perfect example was how the WWF pushed Randy Savage. He had a few feuds when he entered the WWF. Then, he was the centerpiece for the Intercontinental championship for over a year, until he finally won the WWF World championship. If the WWE tried this approach with Roman Reigns following the breakup of the Shield, maybe the fans wouldn’t have turned on Reigns as he was being shoved down the fans throats. The WWE seems to be working backwards with Reigns. He was the new face of the WWE. That failed, so now they moved him down to the United States title bracket. While it’s a step down for Reigns, this US title reign for Rusev has been a stepping stone to bigger and better things in his WWE career. Even though Rusev has been a terrific United States champion, the WWE still looks at Roman Reigns as the new “face that runs the place.” This US title feud is just a detour before putting Roman Reigns back in the top spot leading up until WrestleMania. However, just like at WrestleManias XXXI and XXXII, it will not work. However, the WWE will keep trying. That rehab begins on Sunday as Reigns captures the WWE United States championship. WINNER: ROMAN REIGNS


KEVIN OWENS vs. SETH ROLLINS: WWE UNIVERSAL CHAMPIONSHIP
It’s finally happening. Ever since the WWE reintroduced Seth Rollins following his devastating knee injury, the fans have been wanting Seth to turn babyface. Instead, the WWE kept using him as the number one heel on RAW. That all changed following Finn Balor’s injury that will keep him out of action for four to six months. Between Balor being injured, and Roman Reigns failing in his position as the brand’s top babyface, the WWE was backed into a corner. They were forced to turn Seth Rollins into a babyface. While turning Rollins face, the WWE put the RAW brand’s top title on Kevin Owens. It was a great move, because in one match, the WWE created a new babyface, and turn Kevin Owens into RAW’s top heel. Ever since the brand split, RAW and SmackDown have been greatly exposed for their lack of main event depth. Moving Owens from upper midcarder and into the main event helps to solidify their roster. At Clash of Champions, the WWE is presenting a Ring of Honor dream match by pitting Kevin Steen (Kevin Owens) against Tyler Black (Seth Rollins). One thing is certain, this is going to be a hell of a match. It will probably be the best match on the show, and deservedly so since it’s the main event. From a storyline standpoint, Seth Rollins should win the title and defend it with a run as the top babyface. It would complete his comeback story. However, there is just one problem. Kevin Owens just won the title. Not only that, but Owens has been RAW’s unofficial top star for months, and the company’s best heel for a while. Kevin Owens deserves to see if he can run with the ball before Vince McMahon takes it away from him. 2015 was Seth Rollins’ time to shine. Now, the spotlight belongs to Kevin Owens. WINNER: KEVIN OWENS

The Article First Appeared In 411mania.com