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    Sunday, September 25, 2016

    The Smark Henry RAW Review (9/25/16): Special Clash of Champions Predictions Edition

    RAW hosts their first exclusive pay-per-view this coming Sunday, Clash of Champions, where every title on the red brand will be defended. Despite a lackluster and confusing build-up to most of the matches featured on the show, the card in itself looks very solid on paper, though it will take a lot to top Backlash, SmackDown Live's inaugural PPV event.

    Kickoff: Alicia Fox vs. Nia Jax

    Since arriving on RAW, there has been no stopping the freight train that is Nia Jax. She now faces her first real challenge in the form of Alicia Fox at the Kickoff, however there is no real threat to be seen here. Alicia may be a former champion, but accolades mean nothing to someone who’s been as dominant as Jax has. For all we know, she could have a personal checklist and Alicia will end up being the first box ticked.

    Prediction: Nia Jax wins in less than five minutes.

    WWE Cruiserweight Championship: T.J Perkins © vs. Brian Kendrick

    The pride of the Philippines will have one hell of a debut, as he looks to retain his newly-won Cruiserweight title all while making a great first impression. However, that’ll be no easy task as he faces Brian Kendrick. Kendrick may be a former WWE Superstar and tag champ, but all he is now is an established name designed to get Perkins over. The champion has a lot of weight on his shoulders heading into this match, but expect him to excel—much like he did in the Cruiserweight Classic when he won it.

    Prediction: TJ Perkins retains the WWE Cruiserweight Championship.

    Raw Tag Team Championship: The New Day ©  vs. Gallows and Anderson

    Is it safe to say that Gallows and Anderson have been directionless ever since losing their leader AJ Styles to SmackDown Live? The main difference with losing each other is, while Styles has been heeling it up to maximum effect, Gallows and Anderson are left to work with material involving pee and old men. There is absolutely no reason for New Day to lose here, because they still shine even when saddled with opponents that bring them down instead of complement them. New Day has beaten every team that RAW has to offer so far, so it might be time to give them a fresh rivalry. Maybe a team that has a certified G with a partner who’s seven-foot tall, perhaps?

    Prediction: The New Day retains the Raw Tag Team Championship in a contest that’ll be given too much time.

    Raw Women’s Championship: Charlotte © vs. Bayley vs. Sasha Banks

    Three of NXT's best female graduates look to replicate some of the magic during their time in developmental this Sunday. Though the RAW Women's Championship displayed symptoms of hot-potatoing recently, here's to hoping this won't be the case during this Triple Threat match. Bayley has lost within the past two episodes of Raw, minimizing the possibility of her walking out with the gold, so this may be all about furthering Charlotte vs. Sasha. History is most likely to repeat itself as the last time Charlotte and Sasha were in a Triple Threat, it was the Queen who walked out as champion. Makes me wonder why Bayley was even included here if she’s merely the expendable one, cannon fodder for the champ.

    Prediction: Charlotte wins, after a roll-up on Bayley.

    Cesaro vs. Sheamus

    This match is more along the lines of the Creative department not having plans for them, so they were lumped together with the best-of-seven series to buy more time for ideas. The in-ring work has been superb but the storyline leaves a lot to be desired. Cesaro, who struggled with a 3-0 deficit, managed to tie the series 3-3, which forces a seventh match. Obviously, a win for the Swiss Superman will take place here, capping off quite an underwhelming underdog story. The winner will also get a championship opportunity as promised by Raw GM Mick Foley, but there has been little thought put into this series that they can’t even specify which title shot they’ll be handed with! How are we supposed to care when they’re merely in mid-card limbo?

    Prediction: Cesaro, with a Neutralizer or whatever move that’ll make the crowd care.

    Chris Jericho vs. Sami Zayn

    Fortunately, this is not a Kevin Owens-on-a-pole match, though it sure can be justified if it has that stipulation. Owens’ former buddy Sami Zayn will square off against Chris Jericho, the Universal Champion’s current pal. Both out of the Universal title contendership, a feud that could only be seen as a detour for both men ended up being some riveting stuff. This could potentially be the show-stealing match at Clash of Champions, and knowing Jericho, he’s not afraid to take big losses every so often. Sami Zayn needs the win here, to show that he could hang with the best of what RAW has to offer—the Gift of Jericho—and possibly get a shot at the Universal title.

    Prediction: Sami Zayn wins with a Helluva Kick, after taking advantage of Jericho’s gloating.

    WWE United States Championship: Rusev ©  vs. Roman Reigns

    This feud lacked oomph from the very beginning, thanks in part to Rusev getting his ass handed to him almost every time they faced off. What gives this rivalry and match even less credence is Reigns' disinterest in capturing the United States title itself as their SummerSlam match ended up being a brawl. Now, with Reigns instead having laser-focus on the Universal title, a win will be chalked up to Rusev. Though, despite being the champion, he'll still be regarded as the afterthought of this whole scenario. In the eyes of management, Roman is surely beyond this title.

    Prediction: Rusev wins by disqualification, after Roman hits him with a steel chair.

    WWE Universal Championship: KEVIN OWENS ©  vs. SETH ROLLINS

    Rollins has been trying to get his hands on the red-strapped title since SummerSlam, and now he'll get his third overall opportunity when he takes on the Prizefighter. The two will undoubtedly put on a great main event, however, the X-factor in all of this will be Triple H. If there's a fitting match for The Game to stick his big nose in yet again, this would have to be it. While The Game’s intentions are very clear that he’s gunning for —and will potentially put over—Rollins, interference from him will devalue Owens’ reign even more as it’ll look like he can’t get the job done on his own. WWE will obviously end up putting a main storyline forward over RAW’s top prize, as the Universal title is barely a year old while Triple H has been a WWE Superstar for 21. The Kevin Owens Show will go on, though, yet again under dubious circumstances.

    Prediction: Kevin Owens wins, with interference from Triple H

    Clash of Champions brings a lot to offer in terms of the talent involved, even if most of the feuds lack in compelling stories. What do you think of these predictions? Are you excited for RAW’s first exclusive PPV offering in nine years? Feel free to leave your comments below!


    Miguel Asistio (@MTGMAis also known as the best writer in the world—at least according to his CM Punk-inspired delusions of grandeur. In the real world, he's been a proud fan of the WWE since its Ruthless Aggression days. He also enjoys reading comic books and playing fighting games when not trying to make his dream of being a successful novelist come true.

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    Item Reviewed: The Smark Henry RAW Review (9/25/16): Special Clash of Champions Predictions Edition Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Romeo Moran
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