Clash of Champions is built around the idea of every WWE title being defended on the card, yet there are two whole brands that have no representation on the pay-per-view: NXT and NXT UK.
Obviously, this is because the nomenclature suggests “main roster” titles are the only ones to be defended, with NXT more of a developmental system and not a true third brand on par with Raw and SmackDown—and 205 Live, if you count that sneaky little guy coming into the mix with the Cruiserweight Championship.
But that got me thinking about those belts pushed to the sidelines. What if NXT were represented in Clash of Champions 2019?
How would this play out? Which challengers would face the champions and what would the repercussions be for NXT’s expansion bump to two hours and the events leading to WarGames?
Keep in mind that I’ll be looking at this through a lens of my own likes and dislikes, but trying to filter all that with what I think WWE would do. It’s equal parts my creative juices and my guesswork of how it would go down without my influence.
In the first part of this thought exercise, let’s address the setup and NXT UK portion of the show.
Since Clash of Champions isn’t as big of an event as something like WrestleMania, there’s no way there would be room for SEVEN more title matches. Absolutely not.
Instead, this would need to be its own special, separate from WWE Clash of Champions, but put on during a similar time frame to keep up the trend.
My fantasy booking scenario would be that this would actually take place in the two hour premiere of NXT on September 18th aired with no commercial breaks, but even that would be hard to accomplish, as it’s a time crunch. Basically, this means there’s no feasible way this could happen without adding a special Saturday event onto the schedule at the last minute like Smackville was.
With that in mind, if the stars aligned, this would function the same way the regular Clash of Champions works in that all seven titles would be on the line and that’s it. There aren’t other gimmicks to account for, there isn’t a champion vs. champion setup (which would work better with the name, I think) or anything else.
The only questions would be determining who the challengers for those titles would be.
NXT UK Tag Team Championship
South Wales Subculture just won the NXT UK tag titles at TakeOver: Cardiff. There’s no way they—or anyone else on this list, for that matter—should be written off as champions by being dethroned to set up some other type of match. Essentially, we’re locked in with them.
The easy, but bland call to make is to just have a rematch. Grizzled Young Veterans could want to get their titles back and Gallus could argue that they weren’t pinned and deserve a shot. However, I’m not a fan of playing it easy like that and giving people something they’ve already seen. At least, not without something extra to spice it up.
With that in mind, I think there could be two possible scenarios that would make sense.
Option A) Flash Morgan Webster and Mark Andrews defend the titles against Gallus, Grizzled Young Veterans and a fourth team that would either be Moustache Mountain, The Hunt or Imperium.
Option B) Gallus and Grizzled Young Veterans had their chance, so one of the other three teams would need to get the title shot. If that’s the case, it makes more sense for Imperium to force their way into the match than for it to be babyface vs. babyface.
In the Fatal 4-Way setup, I’d keep the belts on Andrews and Webster by having them pin The Hunt or Gallus. If it were Imperium, though, in order to protect the stable, I’d have them lose by disqualification. That way, the belts stay on the champions, but only by Imperium’s mistake and not from actually having the group take a loss.
NXT UK Women’s Championship
I’m not at all a fan of Kay Lee Ray being the current women’s champion for NXT UK. I don’t think she’ll be a strong title-holder and I can’t imagine her taking the division in a positive direction.
Ideally, I’d be working with a setup where she wasn’t the champion, but that’s not something I think WWE would budge on, so I’m pigeonholed in that regard and have to figure out the next best case scenario.
Again, this could be an easy call with Toni Storm getting her rematch, but that’s uninspiring and might work better on a television episode, rather than this special event.
Instead, I’d go with either Piper Niven getting the title shot or Tegan Nox, depending on if I can erase what happened at the most recent tapings. Spoiler warning for the rest of this segment, as I’ll be addressing what will be airing soon.
It seems as though Nox either already got her title shot or will be feuding with Kay Lee Ray for the foreseeable future and will get a championship opportunity later down the line. If WWE is interested in putting the belt on her, I’m all for it, as I think she’s got a lot of positives to bring to the table and the only real question is her health.
With the ability to erase what happened at those tapings, I think I would replace it with a match where Nox defeated Ray by count-out or something so that she would earn a title shot here and be slotted into this match. If not, it could still work, or it could just go to Piper Niven and I’d be okay with that, too, and I’d be campaigning to see the title change hands.
On the off-chance I couldn’t convince WWE to let me switch to a new champion with Nox or Niven just yet, I wouldn’t want to waste either of them, so I’d go for either the Toni Storm rematch or I’d put Xia Brookside in there for an underdog story doomed to fail. At least in that way, Ray looks stronger by beating her first challenger.
United Kingdom Championship
WALTER has no real solid contenders after TakeOver. WWE made the mistake of having both Ilja Dragunov and Dave Mastiff lose their matches, so they don’t have as much momentum that could carry them into becoming the challengers that people would ever think could actually win the titles.
In a perfect world, I’d have prevented that from happening and would have given a win to one or the other to help set up this Clash of Champions event. It honestly doesn’t matter which one, as I don’t think either of them will actually beat WALTER, so you can pick or choose who you’d like. For my tastes, I think I’d go with Dragunov so more time could be spent building up Mastiff for the next TakeOver instead.