Kevin Owens and Seth Rollins are going to war at WWE Clash of Champions on Sunday. The Universal Championship is up for grabs in this one, as the former face of Monday Night Raw is vying for control of the flagship program against the newly anointed chosen one.
In other words, Rollins wants to be the big kid on the playground once again.
But this is much more than just a guy who is trying to reclaim his title glory. This is about the man who shined as Raw's top heel suddenly finding himself in a new position. Rollins is quickly becoming the new top babyface on Monday nights.
This is precisely what many fans were hoping for.
Rollins is so entertaining, and that's why it's hard to hate him. It's obvious he's enjoying himself, and he's getting more comfortable as time goes on. Rollins is good at what he does, and he's always done it with a sinister gleam in his eye.
But he's done it so much that fans have seen past it and now appreciate him for the entertainer that he is.
Of course, the only way to turn the top heel is to replace him, and that's exactly what has happened with Owens. KO has taken his character to a much larger scale, and aligning with Triple H has done nothing but help his cause.
Though Hunter has been quiet since helping Owens win the title, it's guilt by association for the champ.
Owens is entertaining as well but in a different way. He's adept at being a heel and can still elicit a negative response despite how many fans respect him. There just doesn't seem to be as much desire to love Owens as there is for Rollins. Fans are content with seeing KO wear the black hat, and that's perfect for this scenario.
He has momentum on his side, and that's part of the reason why he will win at Clash of Champions.
Owens just has not had enough time to explore his potential as the new diabolical face of the red brand. He's one of the best in WWE, and taking the championship from him now would rob him of the new spot he's achieved through his hard work.
It's not a slight against Rollins, as The Architect has indeed earned that spot as well, but he's already established. Owens is still enjoying his rise to power, and the fact is that there are big things ahead for Rollins after this match is over.
WWE needs to address the situation with The Game.
Triple H has still not revealed why he turned his back on his former protege. Rollins was left in shock and awe at Hunter's actions, and he's been harboring a grudge ever since. Very few Superstars have ever talked smack about Triple H and not received a receipt; it's only a matter of time until the boss comes back.
That moment could well occur at Clash of Champions.
If Triple H gets involved in this match, then it's likely a guaranteed win for Owens. The Game will target Rollins, and that will lead to chaos in the ring. KO would retain the title, while Rollins and Triple H would begin a new rivalry.
But will Triple H show his face on Sunday?
He is the X-factor of this bout. If Triple H does make his presence known at Clash of Champions, then it would begin another chapter in the Rollins story. The heat between the two men would ultimately lead to a match, and that could mean a blockbuster main event at Hell in a Cell on October 30.
However, no matter how it ends, Rollins vs. Owens should steal the show.
The two men will bring everything they have because they have too much pride in their craft to do anything less. Fans will be invested because of the respect level that exists between both men, and the match will end with a tremendous ovation.
All of this will lift the WWE Universal Championship to a new level.
Finn Balor had no time to add much shine to the title, so it's up to Rollins and Owens to do that now. WWE must build the belt one match at a time, and this match will go a long way toward establishing Raw's championship as a true and well-respected major title.
Rollins and Owens represent the new guard of Vince McMahon's company. They have the responsibility of carrying WWE through the New Era, and they're adding to their own legacies every time they work. This match will be part of that process, and it should be the match of the night on Sunday.
Tom Clark can regularly be seen on Bleacher Report. His podcast, Tom Clark's Main Event, is available on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Android, Windows Phone and online here.