Final Picks and Predictions for Every Match on WWE Clash of Champions 2019 Card
Every championship on WWE's main roster will be on the line when Clash of Champions 2019 lands Sunday on WWE Network.
This card will feature Seth Rollins and Braun Strowman pulling double duty as partners and opponents, The Boss seeking to take down The Man, the final of the King of the Ring tournament and more.
Who will walk out of Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, with gold around their waist, and which champions will fall short of retaining their titles?
Before the event kicks off at 6 p.m. ET, let's break down the card with one last round of predictions for WWE Clash of Champions 2019.
Cruiserweight Champion Drew Gulak vs. Lince Dorado vs. Humberto Carrillo
Humberto Carrillo has been on a bit of a hot streak the past few months, while Lince Dorado scored a pinfall over Drew Gulak on the most recent episode of 205 Live.
Both have illustrated that they have the tools to win, but neither has shown he is capable of leading a brand in terms of character, promos and presence.
Gulak, however, has those skills, and there is no reason to take the title off him, particularly in favor of these two. They bring nothing to the table that would equal or surpass The University City Stretcher's title reign.
There has also been more of a feud between Carrillo and Dorado leading into this Triple Threat match than anything involving Gulak, which may continue. If Gulak is able to exploit those issues, he will take advantage and keep his championship before moving on to bigger things.
The only way the title change hands is if Gulak is poised to move to another brand to become a focal point of NXT, Raw or SmackDown, but there is also no indication that the Cruiserweight Championship couldn't go with him in any of those scenarios.
Final Pick: Gulak retains the title.
United States Champion AJ Styles vs. Cedric Alexander
It's hard to bet on someone in Cedric Alexander's shoes when he was nowhere near the United States Championship hunt until the go-home episode of Raw.
For the most part, WWE threw him out as AJ Styles' opponent for Clash of Champions at the last minute by having him pin the champion to justify why he's the No. 1 contender.
There wasn't much of a build beyond that. Nor is there a ton of momentum on his side, despite how talented he is.
Meanwhile, Styles can get past this obstacle through experience and talent alone, as well as possibly some help, with Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson interfering to stack the odds in his favor.
It wouldn't be absurd for Alexander to score an upset and win the title, but it's more of a reach than for WWE to keep the belt on Styles, who is the bigger star.
Final Pick: Styles retains the title.
Women's Tag Team Champions Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross vs. Fire and Desire
Virtually no effort was put into giving the Women's Tag Team Championships any steam, which likely means this is only on the card because the gimmick of the event is that all the titles are on the line.
This match has been done before, with Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross beating Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville. In fact, Cross even beat Rose on the latest edition of SmackDown to balance out their loss that made Fire and Desire the No. 1 contenders to begin with.
This will be a filler match that should not include a title change. Bliss and Cross are more likely to do something with the titles going forward.
On them, the championship has been more of a focal point than it was when The IIconics held the belts. If Rose and Deville were to become champions, it will go back to being lost in the shuffle again, as they don't seem to get as much screen time as Bliss and Cross.
Final Pick: Bliss and Cross retain the titles.
Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura vs. The Miz
The Intercontinental Championship match is a tricky one to call because there are too many events coming up soon after Clash of Champions that could influence this particular match's outcome.
The Miz is an eight-time champion, and if he were to win it again, he would tie for the record Chris Jericho holds. With Y2J being in All Elite Wrestling, WWE may be tempted to have The Miz match or even surpass that record soon to take that accolade away from Jericho's history books.
But while that would seem like a guarantee The A-Lister will beat Shinsuke Nakamura, it isn't a certainty to take place at Clash of Champions.
Instead, WWE may want to hold off on that to have a title change happen when SmackDown debuts on Fox. That would be exciting and something that hooks in any new viewers who are checking out the program for the first time.
That booking philosophy would follow suit with how pretty much all special episodes of Raw and SmackDown tend to feature title changes. In fact, The Miz won the Intercontinental Championship on both Raw 25 and Raw 1000.
There's also Hell in a Cell and the upcoming Saudi Arabia event that could have title changes, so nothing is set in stone. However, since The Miz is a bigger star than Nakamura and seeking that record, the gold will be going in his direction sooner rather than later, so it's worth giving him an edge in this match and seeing whether WWE pulls the trigger now or waits another few weeks.
Final Pick: The Miz wins the title.
SmackDown Tag Team Champions The New Day vs. The Revival
This year, The Revival have had several title reigns, but there has still not been any confirmation that this has convinced them to sign new contracts with WWE.
If becoming champions on Raw weren't enticing enough, it's doubtful the same straps, but in blue, would change their minds any more.
With that out as a bargaining chip and the idea that The New Day are more popular stars to have represent SmackDown's tag team division come Survivor Series, there's no need to have the titles change hands at Clash of Champions.
The Revival have had their fun attacking The New Day over the past few weeks. Now it's time for Big E and Xavier Woods to give them some payback.
Final Pick: The New Day retains the titles.
WWE Champion Kofi Kingston vs. Randy Orton
With only three weeks between Clash of Champions and Hell in a Cell, it's clear Kofi Kingston and Randy Orton will fight yet again inside the demonic structure, likely to wrap up their feud.
The only part of that equation that is up in the air is which one of the two will walk into the cage as champion, as there's a justification for both.
On one hand, The Viper capturing the title presents a bigger challenge for Kingston to overcome and potentially win it back. However, there is no longer an automatic rematch clause, and if Orton wins, that proves his argument that Kingston can't beat him correct.
Had Kingston won at SummerSlam, there would be more wiggle room for Orton to win to set up a rubber match. Instead, this needs to see Kingston retain in some fashion, even if he technically loses the match because of disqualification or count-out, or they both fight to a draw.
Final Pick: Kingston retains the title.
No Disqualification Match: Roman Reigns vs. Erick Rowan
Who would have thought Erick Rowan would not only get back his first name but also his credibility by fighting Roman Reigns of all people?
Normally, Rowan would be fed to Reigns and nobody would think twice about it. But he looks as though he poses a threat.
As absurd as this storyline has been, WWE at least managed to make it believable that Rowan has what it takes to brutalize Reigns enough to take him out of commission. He may possibly win this No Disqualification match because he will be free to use weaponry and stage equipment for his benefit like he's done in recent weeks.
There's also a chance Daniel Bryan interferes in some fashion, which could result in Reigns succumbing to a two-on-one assault. It wouldn't make sense given Rowan slammed Bryan through a table recently, but WWE has never been above going against logic, especially if it protects someone and sets up a future match.
If the game plan is Reigns vs. Bryan at Hell in a Cell or a Triple Threat that also involves Rowan, look for Reigns to lose this match. But given how this feud has revolved around The Big Dog being beaten down, WWE may panic and want to give him a win so his credibility isn't diminished.
Final Pick: Reigns wins.
SmackDown Women's Champion Bayley vs. Charlotte Flair
Charlotte Flair may have a hometown advantage in Spectrum Center, or that may be exactly why she's doomed to lose.
Traditional booking philosophy has two extremes for someone in their local area, which is to either give them a triumphant victory to pop the crowd or to have them beaten in order to get massive heat on their opponent for robbing the audience of that joy.
Bayley's recent heel turn has breathed new life into her after having grown stagnant as the same babyface character she's portrayed her entire career. There is no need to take the title from her and stop that momentum.
Beating Flair in Charlotte could reinforce how Bayley is someone to boo now and even institute a full-on babyface turn for The Queen following a sympathetic loss.
This match's outcome is directly in sync with the Raw Women's Championship, as both have implications for November's Survivor Series champion vs. champion match.
A win for Bayley forecasts Becky Lynch retaining, while Flair becoming champion would help set up Sasha Banks coming out on top. That way, there can be one heel and one babyface against each other.
Those options are equally valid, but Bayley's fresh character change may be what keeps her belt around her waist, as she could finally use some dishonorable methods to win and upset the crowd.
Final Pick: Bayley retains the title.
Raw Women's Champion Becky Lynch vs. Sasha Banks
It's hard to look past the potential of WWE giving Sasha Banks the Raw Women's Championship. She's made waves since her return, and the buzz will dwindle drastically if she were to lose this match.
But putting the belt on The Boss creates a major marketing problem with the release of WWE 2K20, which is set for October 22.
With Becky Lynch as the cover star, it wouldn't make sense for her to drop the title a month before the game hits shelves. Her loss of status on the roster could have a negative influence on the game's perceived value.
As interesting as Banks as champion would make for television, it could be too risky of a business move for WWE to consider, as diminishing the sales of this year's game may not be worth the positives of having a new champion.
Instead, The Man should hold that belt until at least the holidays are through, putting her in a position at Survivor Series as Raw women's champion to fight SmackDown's heel, Bayley, to pay off their recent interactions from this Lynch vs. Banks feud.
There's a slight chance Lynch drops the title here, only to win it back at Hell in a Cell on October 6—which would follow Banks' pattern of dropping four titles in her first defense, but it's simpler and easier to not have to do two changes in a month and to just keep it on The Man.
Final Pick: Lynch retains the title.
Braun Strowman and Seth Rollins vs. Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode
There is no way Braun Strowman and Seth Rollins keep the Raw Tag Team Championships heading into Hell in a Cell given the only reason they were given the titles was to set up their match at Clash of Champions.
Whether they're defeated by Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode or they drop the belts to another team like The O.C. on the Raw following this event, the result will be that they have to lose the titles in order to move on.
It makes more sense for them to lose to Ziggler and Roode earlier in the night, though, as that can come about through some miscommunication that raises the stakes for their Universal Championship match.
After all, if they fight in the main event as co-champions, they will be in a better mood after having retained the titles. WWE doesn't want that. The money is in a scenario wherein they are more bitter toward each other for having lost the titles.
For the sake of tension and getting the belts on a new team that can feud with The Viking Raiders and even possibly represent Raw in the champion vs. champion match at Survivor Series, the gold needs to change hands.
Final Pick: Roode and Ziggler win the titles.
Universal Champion Seth Rollins vs. Braun Strowman
Poor Strowman has never been able to capture the Universal Championship, and the same thing will happen at Clash of Champions.
WWE went through all the effort of putting the title on Rollins at WrestleMania and trying to build him up for the past few months. His loss to Brock Lesnar was quickly turned around to reset the status quo and reaffirm The Beast Slayer as the top guy on Raw.
It's illogical that the game plan would then be to have him drop the championship to Strowman, particularly now we know Bray Wyatt has staked claim to the No. 1 contender's spot for Hell in a Cell.
Between the two options, The Fiend has more momentum to overcome Rollins than The Monster Among Men, and it wouldn't make sense to put the belt on Strowman just to have him lose it three weeks later to Wyatt.
The O.C. has been heavily involved in this storyline and may interfere, as could Wyatt, which may make this a no-contest to protect Strowman from taking a loss. Or if WWE wants to get the point across that Rollins is worth his salt, he may score a clean pin over his tag team partner.
In any case, the safe bet is for the title to stay with Rollins rather than to assume Strowman's track record of close but no cigar will play out any differently.
Final Pick: Rollins retains the title.
Anthony Mango is the owner of the wrestling website Smark Out Moment and the host of the podcast show Smack Talk on YouTube, iTunes and Stitcher. You can follow him on Facebook and elsewhere for more.