Oh, there’s a PPV this Sunday? Excuse me for not noticing. In the intermediary between Survivor Series and WrestleMania season, we are left with a PPV that has little hype and even more little excitement, but I do have an obligation to give my thoughts on the show, so I’ll do just that. The PPV is called Clash of Champions, where every title on Smackdown will be on the line. However, if that’s the selling point for the PPV, then you might as well make this one another co-branded PPV, since Smackdown is home to only four championships, and all the titles are pretty much defended on every Smackdown exclusive show anyway. With that said, let’s see what the blue brand has in store for us Sunday.
Baron Corbin (C) vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Bobby Roode – United States Championship
This match is about as heat-less as Alaska in the dead of winter. I have no idea why the hell Dolph Ziggler was included in this match. He adds nothing to it, it was completely random, and he did nothing to earn the shot. I assume his inclusion is just WWE’s way of reminding us that he still does, in fact, exist, but that’s the only reason. WWE took a page out of 1997 and gave us two straight weeks with two straight sub-5 minute matches on Smackdown that both ended in a disqualification, which is just about the laziest way to book a triple threat. The match was presumably going to be a singles match with Corbin and Roode, and I suspect that their rivalry will continue into the next year. For that, the only way to settle this is to have Corbin retain here. Then, we’ll have the singles program develop into something more…..interesting I guess? Whatever, this match doesn’t interest me in the slightest and WWE had done a reprehensible job in trying to make anyone care.
Winner: Baron Corbin
The Usos (C) vs. The New Day vs. Rusev and Aiden English vs. Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin – Smackdown Tag Team Championship
The Usos have been the standard bearer for the tag team division in 2017, and on a relatively thin card, this is their chance to put an emphatic exclamation point on their coming out party this year. They have run Smackdown LIVE’s tag team division with an iron fist for the majority of this year, and they have made a habit of consistently running off the list of teams that they have done away with since the start of the year. Now, they are going to get the other premier teams on the brand, with the inclusion of newly formed team in Rusev and Aiden English and show everyone why they are the top dogs. The only other team in this match that has a conceivable chance of defeating The Usos in this match are the team of Gable and Benjamin because they are the only team that has yet to beat The Usos and has the least momentum. I have no reason to believe their time will come this Sunday, but a title run for them may be in the works soon. For now, though, The Usos remain the favorites.
Winner: The Usos
Charlotte (C) vs. Natayla – Smackdown Women’s Championship (Lumberjack Match)
I’ll be honest, I really haven’t been paying that much attention to the women of Smackdown since Survivor Series ended, but I don’t think I recall seeing Natalya once in the build to this match. If that’s not true, please let me know, because my disinterest in the Smackdown Women’s Championship picture is pretty stone cold at this point. I understand that Smackdown’s women division came under siege with the newly brought up NXT talents, and you can believe that they will make their presence felt in the Lumberjack match this Sunday. I don’t see the logic behind putting the title back on Natalya, so I say that Charlotte will overcome interference from the outside and any obstacles in her way and retain the Smackdown Women’s Championship.
Randy Orton and Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn – If Owens and Zayn Loses, They Are Fired From WWE (Special Referees: Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon)
With not one, but two special guest referees, a firing angle and Shane McMahon, this match couldn’t scream “overbooked” any louder. I think we can all safely agree that the shenanigans in this match are going to be at a premium, and this isn’t going to be about Orton, Nakamura, Owens or Zayn. Nope, this won’t be about the superstars. This match is entirely going to be about the impending feud between Shane and Daniel that’s starting to brew. There’s been heavy speculation on which one of the two is going to turn heel in this match. If you ask me, it shouldn’t be Daniel Bryan. As a heel, Daniel is entertaining and funny, but not menacing. Shane as a heel makes complete sense given the family legacy and his history. At the same time, it bothers me to no end that in late 2017, Shane McMahon is still the center of attention in feuds featuring Smackdown’s top stars. I mean, he was the sole survivor of Team Smackdown at Survivor Series, a core figure between AJ Styles and Kevin Owens, was given a singles match against AJ at WrestleMania this year, and now he’s going to throw his weight around yet again.
Shane’s more sensible as a heel in every sense of the word, and obviously, the feud is going to come down between a battle of morals. Shane McMahon believes that Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn ought to be finished for their lack of professionalism, Owens’ assault on his father and their interference in the Smackdown vs. RAW match at Survivor Series. Daniel Bryan sees the duo as two bad, but talented superstars that will serve as a great asset to SmackdownMaybe there’s a teist in the match. Perhaps Shane McMahon turns heel against Bryan and inadvertenly gives Owens and Zayn the victory. I don’t know what happens, but you can bet it will be overbooked, it may be given much more time than required, and it may damn well be the main event. Owens and Zayn doesn’t lose, because if they’re fired, we all know they’d be back a month later anyway.