Welcome to another edition of WWE Heat Index, wherein we discuss the interest level for the various feuds heading into the pay-per-view events. This time around, we’re focusing on Clash of Champions 2019 coming this Sunday night.
The way this works is a pretty simple three-way breakdown of Hot, Lukewarm and Cold. If you like something and you’re very interested in how WWE is setting up the program, it’s Hot (aka Good). If you’re a bit on the fence about it and see some problems, but it’s not awful, then it’s just Okay or Lukewarm. The ones that are the most problematic that you have no interest in are Cold (aka Bad).
Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments section to let everyone know what your thermometer reads for each feud as I tell you what my thoughts are below!
Without further ado, let’s get started!
Universal Championship Match: Seth Rollins (c) vs. Braun Strowman = Hot / Lukewarm
Hot in the sense that I like that they’re doing something a little different (even though it’s been done before) and Lukewarm because it’s frustrating how they put Braun Strowman in these situations where he’s doomed to fail.
Will Bray Wyatt interfere and cause a disqualification or no-contest to protect both Rollins and Strowman? Will AJ Styles and The O.C. keep involving themselves in this, too? Will Rollins flat out beat Strowman instead?
I don’t think The Monster Among Men has much of a chance at winning this championship, but I’ll also give them the benefit of the doubt in that I didn’t think these two would be holding the tag titles going into this event, so maybe I’m dead wrong.
Prediction: Seth Rollins retains.
WWE Championship Match: Kofi Kingston (c) vs. Randy Orton = Hot / Lukewarm
I would be SO much more into this feud if I didn’t think they were just stretching it out for the sake of getting to Hell in a Cell and that this was more than just stepping stone.
The storyline makes sense and it has mostly just intensified, albeit not at the same level I was hoping it would have. I did expect more, to be honest. But I’m still into it.
I’m nervous they’ll have a title change happen so that Kingston has to be up against the odds in the cage and that there will be a heel to face Seth Rollins at Survivor Series, but I’m also trying to remain confident that they’ll keep the title on Kingston because there’s been no reason to take it off him yet.
Prediction: Kofi Kingston retains, even if he doesn’t technically win the match and loses by count-out or disqualification.
Raw Women’s Championship Match: Becky Lynch (c) vs. Sasha Banks = Hot
This could be the best match of the night, or it could be hyped up and turn into a total crapfest. It has the potential to go either way, but I’ll try to remain optimistic.
Sasha Banks is more interesting now than she’s been in years. That’s a major positive, at the very least. She’s also a perfect opponent for Becky Lynch to stop her from going stale.
Here’s the kicker: does Lynch drop the title despite being on the cover of WWE 2K20 with the sales coming up in October, in order to keep the momentum on Banks? Or will The Man stay champion because of that, meaning The Boss has to take a hit here?
I’m very, very intrigued about that, more than almost anything else on this card.
Prediction: Becky Lynch wins.
SmackDown Women’s Championship Match: Bayley (c) vs. Charlotte Flair = Hot
This entirely depends on WWE’s plans for Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks. If the idea is to keep the belt on Lynch, I feel like Bayley will retain here so they can have a match against each other at Survivor Series.
However, if Banks is going to win the Raw Women’s Championship, I’m changing my bet to Charlotte Flair winning the match and being a hometown hero to really kickstart a new babyface run and to set up a Banks vs. Flair match for Survivor Series. Becky and Bayley can always be the heads of Team Raw and Team SmackDown, remember?
Like with the Raw Women’s Championship match, this whole “if/then” scenario is really making me scratch my head, so I’m Hot for it.
Prediction: Bayley wins.
United States Championship Match: AJ Styles (c) vs. Cedric Alexander = Lukewarm
WWE has to try harder. They’re in direct competition with another company that is going to try to show them up in every way. They can’t phone things in by waiting until the go-home show to have someone pin the champion to be announced 12 hours later (why the delay? You knew this would be scheduled in advance!) to become the No. 1 contender just because you didn’t want to do any more work than that.
This week on Raw, we saw Styles and Alexander fight in two different matches. That already means their Clash of Champions encounter will be a rematch. There’s less intrigue, as I know what they have to offer. Granted, both are talented and I’m sure it’ll be a good match, but there’s no hook for me.
It’s certainly not “maybe Alexander wins the title” because he clearly isn’t the focal point seeing as how Styles has feuded more with Strowman and Rollins over the past month.
Try harder, WWE. You have the talent and you have plenty of time to work things out. I could have planned a better path for the entire Clash of Champions card 3 months ago or 3 weeks ago in the span of an hour. Stop getting in your own way and turning what should be something great into something that’s just okay.
Prediction: AJ Styles wins.
Intercontinental Championship Match: Shinsuke Nakamura (c) vs. The Miz = Hot / Lukewarm
This isn’t a full Hot, but it’s close. What hurts it is that I don’t think the match itself will be great, but I do think we’re getting a title change.
Chris Jericho currently has the record for the most Intercontinental Championship reigns and WWE specifically mentioned the other day how The Miz would tie that record if he were to win the belt again.
I think that’s as good a sign as any that he’ll have his hands around that title soon enough so that WWE can somewhat erase Jericho’s presence out of spite of his position in AEW. It’s petty, but they’ve done similar things before.