Tonight is the final WWE PPV of 2017, here is the Pulse Wrestling crew’s full match by match preview with predictions!
AJ Styles (c) vs. Jinder Mahal
Spain: The Jinder Mahal experience has not been a fun one. From dull matches with same old finishes to snore-inducing promos with identical content (occasionally spiced up with some good ol’ racism), I would call it a clusterfuck but at least part of that word implies some modicum of entertainment. Enter AJ Styles, seemingly incapable of not being one half of a good match, loved by the fans and with a plethora of dream and what-if matches still in the tank. Bottom line: if WWE wasn’t confident in Jinder Mahal facing Brock Lesnar, then he has no business wearing that Championship.
Winner (and still WWE Champion): AJ Styles
Sam Keola: This is a tough call. AJ is hot right now, but it’s a do or die moment for Jinder. His first run wasn’t awful really. He did the best with what he was given. This feud could be prolonged further with a 2nd Jinder reign and the matches could establish him better, but until they treat them like big time main events that won’t happen. I want to say Jinder, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they keep the belt on AJ. I’ll go with what I think they should do, strap Jinder.
JT – once again it falls to AJ Styles to try to get a good match out of Jinder Mahal. The veiniest man in WWE has spent an inexplicably long time in the title picture considering his mediocre performances, but I guess being ripped is more important than wrestling psychology…
Winner: AJ Styles
Michael – It would not make sense to put the belt back on Mahal. Let’s move along some other programs. Mahal could insert himself in the US title picture or maybe feud with Tye Dillinger or something. Let Styles be Styles.
Winner: AJ Styles
Jake Ziegler – I basically thought Jinder would have the title when they want to India, and now that that’s over what would be the point? I see AJ holding it leading up to a big WrestleMania match.
Winner: AJ Styles
Harrak: Styles as champ is the formula to print money and great matches. Styles retains.
Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn vs. Randy Orton & Shinsuke Nakamura (both Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan will be special guest referees for the match, Owens and Zayn will be “fired from all of WWE” if they lose)
Spain: Probably the match I’m most looking forward tonight. Really, the result doesn’t matter so much compared to how the match and the aftermath are handled. Owens and Zayn could actually be fired briefly, pushing past the “like you’d really do it” expectation of the audience. Sure, they’d come back inside of two weeks, but that fortnight would be terrific groundwork for this story’s climax. Far more likely, however, is some miscommunication on the part of Shane and Bryan. I’m hoping like hell that Shane cements himself as the heel here, because Bryan is just too beloved (and has made way too much sense up until now) to reliably be the villain. In the confusion, Zayn and Owens steal the win, ushering in Act Three.
Winners (and still employed by WWE): Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn
Sam Keola: Owens and Zayn will win by some ambiguous Daniel Bryan moves. I feel they should make a solid push and turn Bryan heel, but I doubt it will happen. This will be a stepping stone for a Bryan/Shane feud where I suspect Shane will go heel.
JT – if this isn’t the match of the night I’ll be very surprised given the talent of three quarters of the people involved. I can see the Yep movement losing, getting fired and then ‘occupying’ WWE for a while…
Winners: Nakamura & Orton
Michael – This is supposed to be the Clash of the Champions, but there are no champions in this match. This will be a meaningless match that Owens and Zayn will try to save, and if Nakamura is feeling feisty, then they might just do it. But Orton is still a blight on the match. As is Shane. Speaking of which, this seems more like an excuse to set up the rumored Shane versus Bryan feud, so we will get some silly non-finish with Bryan and Shane both counting the shoulders of someone.
Winners: No one
Jake Ziegler – No chance Owens & Zayn get fired, so I expect some shenanigans here to get them the win.
Winners: Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn
Harrak: While Owens & Zayn trying to get rehired would make for funny TV, I don’t feel that’s the direction they’re going. Zayn & Owens for the win.
SmackDown Women’s Championship
Charlotte Flair (c) vs. Natalya
Spain: Get ready for shenanigans. With the explosive element that is the Riott (urgh) Squad at ringside, it will be a crime if shit and fan do not eventually and messily become one. The Riott Squad shouldn’t give a damn who holds the title if it’s not them, and I can see either a DQ or the match just being thrown out when tensions get too high. Add to that that the Squad are going to want some payback on the Women’s Division after this Thursday, as well as Naomi’s quest for vengeance, the possibility of a return from Becky Lynch and the fact that Carmella might actually remember that she’s Miss Money in the Bank, so much can go wrong that it’ll be a damn shame if it doesn’t.
Winner (and still SmackDown Women’s Champion): Charlotte Flair retains, but either through DQ or a total breakdown of Women’s Division civilisation.
Sam Keola: Charlotte retains
JT – I expect a lot of interference in this match from the various factions currently battling for… whatever it is they’re battling for. Is there a women’s trios title in WWE that I wasn’t aware of?
Michael – While I am personally tired of this match-up, these two have great chemistry. And looking at the card, I think this could be the match of the night. But there is still no reason Natalya should get the belt back.
Jake Ziegler – There’s much more for Charlotte to do as Champion.
Winner: Charlotte Flair
Harrak: Flair is already a dynasty. She retains.
United States Champion
Baron Corbin (c) vs. Bobby Roode vs. Dolph Ziggler
Spain: I always like it when there’s more heels in a match than faces. I’ve hated Ziggler’s character (and not in any positive way) for ages, but he can still go like crazy in the ring. Corbin can put on a damn entertaining match, and Bobby Roode is…well, you know where I was going with that. I reckon in this situation we’re looking at our US Champ stealing a win from someone else’s finisher: probably the whole reason Ziggler was added to the match, allowing Roode and Corbin to clash later without either of them having to eat the loss. Poor Dolph.
Winner (and still United States Champion): Baron Corbin
Sam Keola: I think everything would be best served by strapping Ziggler and allowing the Roode/Zig feud to carry on over the belt. Ziggler will probably eat the pin fall though and prolong the Roode/Corbin feud over the title. They’ll no doubt have Corbin retain against my better judgment.
JT – I’ve never been shy about my contempt for charisma vacuum Baron Corbin, and I long ago stopped caring what Dolph Ziggler was doing (despite his in ring talent). On the other hand, I’ve been relatively impressed with Roode since his WWE debut, particularly after Spain informed me that he is freaking 40 years old. Can he drag a decent match out of Corbin? Is Ziggler just running down the clock until retirement? Who knows….
Winner: Baron Corbin, because Vince still loves big men
Michael – You know, one of these titles should change hands at least. And I will bet it is this one. I’m not sure why Ziggler is in this match, but could this finally be a match he wins? I’m leaning towards Roode, but I think the faces still need a challenge to chase.
Winner: Surprise, surprise, Dolph Ziggler (new champion)
Jake Ziegler – Ziggler is death and Corbin has done nothing with the title. I’d like to see it changed up.
Winner: Bobby Roode
Harrak: WOW I don’t care and that’s sad. Roode wins…?
SmackDown Tag Team Championsship
The Usos (c) vs. The New Day vs. Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable vs. Rusev & Aiden English
Spain: This is going to be another fun one; with these teams it couldn’t not be. Rusev and English would be a fair guess as darkhorse favourites, but they’d have to have a lot of material and some improvement to justify holding the straps. Benjamin and Gable actually strikes me as more of an outside move than Rusev and English; they’ll certainly have some great Championship runs, but not just yet. The New Day, as deserved as it is, would be something of a step back, particularly after their symbolic step back from the title chase. I feel like the Usos have put in enough stellar work to deserve at least one more big victory, and might even hold onto those belts until the motherfuckin’ Bludgeon Brothers come a-knockin’.
Winners (and still SmackDown Tag Team Champions): The Usos
Sam Keola: Rusev and English are on a roll. If the rumors of Vince wanting New Day to be the most decorated are true they have to stop trading off with the Usos. Rusev & English will be the transition holders.
JT – can you spell clusterf**k? I can’t.
Winners: Rusev & English, because that would be fun
Michael – The New Day doesn’t need the belt. Rusev and English aren’t a stable enough team yet. Benjamin and Gable could use the bump of the belts, especially if they want to push them as heels, and the Usos are the best in the division. Flipping coins and I’ll say the belts change hands when Gable pins Kofi.
Winners: Benjamin and Gable (new champions)
Jake Ziegler – It’s been what, like 2 months? Time to switch the titles again.
Winners: Rusev & Aiden English (please??)
Harrak: Good Lord this is a lot of teams. It’s probably going to be the Usos but Rusev & English would be fun.
Breezango vs. The Bludgeon Brothers
Spain: One of the easier ones to guess. I do hope that Breezango at least has a hope spot or some token offence: if nothing else, they absolutely deserve it. Sure, the Bludgeon Brothers need to stay practically invincible until they step up to Championship level, but there’d be no harm in them being on the receiving end of some moves. At the end of the day, it’ll still be a dominating victory.
Winners (and quite possibly murderers): The Bludgeon Brothers
Sam Keola: Bludgeon Brothers
JT – should be a good old-fashioned squash, which is absolutely fine considering the teams involved. Should be amusing for five minutes or so.
Winners: Bludgeon Brothers
Michael – Breezango bores me. And the newly repackaged Bludgeon Brothers (although it isn’t really much of a repackage, is it?) look like the dominating team everyone loves having in wrestling. Some early comedy from Breezango and then the bludgeoning begins.
Winners: The Bludgeon Brothers
Jake Ziegler – Seems like a mismatch, so B2 have been killing jobbers and Breezango have been doing comedy skits with The Ascension.
Winners: The Bludgeon Brothers
Harrak: Bludgeon Bros.
Zack Ryder vs. Mojo Rawley
Spain: I really feel like they heeled up the wrong dude. Imagine Zack Ryder as a funny heel alongside Dolph Ziggler, whilst Mojo can go on with his explosive offence and hype shtick, which people really like! Anyway, by the rules of fresh heel turns everywhere, Rawley is going to beat his old face partner: written in stone.
Winner: Mojo Rawley
Sam Keola: Bludgeon Brothers
JT – hahahahaha. Does anyone really care about this match? Mojo as a heel is laughable and Ryder is unfortunately destined to be a popular jobber.
Winner: Mojo Rawley, future Impact Wrestling Heavyweight Championship contender.
Michael – Oh Lord, who really cares? Let’s say Rawley wins because the WWE still hopes they can get more Gronk appearances in the future.
Jake Ziegler – They obviously don’t give a crap about Ryder. SAD.
Winner: Mojo Rawley
Harrak: Poor Zack. Mojo wins.
Tags: Clash of Champions 2017, rasslin roundtable