After every pay-per-view, WWE recalibrates and starts to immediately build to the next event. Following Survivor Series, the next SmackDown-branded event will be Clash of Champions 2017 set for December 17th at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.
Per usual at the end of a pay-per-view, I like to try to give my extended projections for which matches I think we’ll be getting on the next card, what makes the most sense, what missteps WWE may take and so forth before it’s all been fully fleshed out and announced while also recapping what we do know for sure is being set up.
This also allows everyone else to leave their comments below to sound off on which directions they think WWE will go so we can trace back to this point and say we were right all along, or that we wish they would have done something different, so on and so forth.
Some of these answers will undoubtedly be revealed come this Tuesday, so let’s try to get this out as early as possible and in the meantime, gaze into our crystal balls in an attempt to predict what WWE has in store for us for Clash of Champions 2017.
WWE Championship Match: AJ Styles (c) vs. Jinder Mahal
This seems like the one and only guarantee and the easiest prediction to make.
After dropping the WWE Championship to AJ Styles, Jinder Mahal is, of course, rightfully entitled to a rematch that he has yet to capitalize on.
Just because there wasn’t any interference on his behalf to screw over Styles in his match against Brock Lesnar doesn’t mean the feud won’t continue, and they actually went out of their way to explain this, with Mahal cutting a quick promo about how he was rooting for Styles but would eventually take back his title.
Of course, this match could happen on just a regular episode of SmackDown, or they could justify a match at Starrcade being the blowoff of the feud, but the easier call to make is to simply have their title match take place at the pay-per-view.
If they don’t do that, WWE will have to put in the effort to set up an entirely different opponent for Styles (or Mahal, if he were to win the title back), which is too much to do in too little of a time frame without it feeling rushed.
SmackDown Women’s Championship Match: Charlotte Flair (c) vs. Natalya
Another relatively easy call to make is to have Natalya’s rematch against Charlotte Flair follow suit, being stretched out to Clash of Champions as it is only a few weeks away.
However, I don’t feel as confident in that happening as I do with the Styles/Mahal match.
In fact, I wouldn’t be shocked at all if we see Charlotte and Nattie take care of their rematch on SmackDown or Starrcade in order to get it out of the way so The Queen can move on to somebody else.
That other person could be a variety of options, but I would lean more toward it being Paige than anybody else.
Sure, Carmella could cash in her Money in the Bank to dethrone Charlotte, or someone like Tamina could step up to the challenge, but I’m keeping my eye on Paige to return very soon.
If it happens to be on the blue brand instead of Raw, she’ll either be starting a feud with someone like Becky Lynch or Naomi, or she’ll go straight to fighting Charlotte for the title.
Secondary Women’s Match
Based off what happens with Charlotte Flair and the SmackDown Women’s Championship, I fully anticipate a second match for the women’s division taking place, but guessing who is involved is completely dependent upon plans we’re unaware of right now.
If Paige fights Charlotte, I would lean towards Natalya and Becky squaring off, or possibly a tag team match with Becky and Naomi against Natalya and Tamina.
On the other hand, if Natalya is still fighting Charlotte at the time and Paige gets a new feud with someone else, that will be Becky or Naomi.
Then again, Paige may not even make her return at all, but I still think we’ll get two women’s matches, so the next best option at that point is for Charlotte and Natalya to fight for the title and for Becky and Naomi to fight Tamina and Carmella as a symbolic split of the babyfaces and heels from Team SmackDown.
That final option is the most logical, but the least interesting, so I’m hoping for something more bombastic.
Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn vs. ???
This is throwing me for a loop. My gut is telling me one thing, but my brain is telling me another.
Without knowing the circumstances surrounding the situation, I would be thinking Owens and Zayn will find themselves facing Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan, but I certainly don’t trust that prediction at all.
Bryan said he needed to speak to Shane about “cohesion” this week after Survivor Series, which feels like a discussion about how they don’t consult each other enough and how there is tension. However, that could just be what puts them down the rabbit hole of Bryan realizing he still has Shane’s back and wanting to stand alongside him against Owens and Zayn.
On paper, it makes a ton of sense. Owens and Zayn are feuding with the authority of SmackDown, so why wouldn’t McMahon and Bryan be the two to fight them? Who else is going to? Nobody else has that power and is feuding with those two.
Plus, we know Bryan has ties to Owens and Zayn from working together outside of WWE, so they probably do want to get in the ring together.
However, this is Daniel Bryan we’re talking about—a guy that hasn’t been cleared to compete as far as we’re aware.
What makes that situation any different? The Kurt Angle return to the ring makes it feel a little more likely than ever before, but that’s no certainty to place your bets on, so this may be the hardest thing to try to predict for this card.
United States Championship Match: Baron Corbin (c) vs. Randy Orton or Bobby Roode
The Lone Wolf is going to take his win from Survivor Series and let it go to his head, which will create an opportunity for him to boast about how he was one of the only people to get a point for SmackDown at the show.
This will lead to someone calling him out on his arrogance and starting a new feud for the United States Championship, but I can’t quite decide if that person will be Randy Orton or Bobby Roode.