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Points by Ben Simmons during Game 3 victory over Nets

Heel Turns: Titles on the line at Clash

Posted by Achilles Heel On September 22

Achilles HeelEvery RAW title will be on the line Sunday at Clash of Champions, WWE’s first RAW-branded “special event” since this summer’s brand split.

The main event features Seth Rollins challenging Kevin Owens for the WWE Universal Championship. Owens won the title when Triple H turned on Rollins, which allowed Rollins to transition into being RAW’s top good guy. It’s too early for a title change. Expect Owens to retain, possibly due to interference or a distraction by Triple H.

Roman Reigns, the guy whose failure as the top good guy necessitated the Rollins turn, is challenging Rusev for the United States Championship. The Greek God of Wrestling would keep the belt on Rusev, but a title change certainly is possible. The U.S. Championship does more to elevate Rusev than it would Reigns. If Reigns doesn’t win the title, though, where does he go next? If he gets getting booed, a heel turn would seem likely at some point.

Charlotte defends the RAW Women’s Championship in a triple threat match against Sasha Banks and Bayley. There are several directions WWE could go with this match, which makes it intriguing. Bayley could cost Sasha the title, with Charlotte pulling out the victory. This builds tension between Sasha and Bayley. It’s also possible that Sasha wins the title, with Bayley then requesting a championship match. Achilles Heel’s favorite finish would be for Bayley to win the championship, which would anger Sasha, setting up Sasha and Charlotte pursuing the underdog Bayley for the championship.

Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson should defeat The New Day for the RAW Tag Team Championship. New Day has held the titles for more than a year. Besides, what would Clash of Champions be without a few title changes?

The final title up for grabs is the newly created WWE Cruiserweight Championship. T.J. Perkins, who won the title by winning the outstanding Cruiserweight Classic, defends the title against Brian Kendrick, who won a four-way match on RAW to earn the championship match. Kendrick will play the heel, as he’s done so well for most of this summer’s cruiserweight competition. But, unless the plan all along was to have Kendrick as champion, it makes little sense to take the belt off of Perkins in his first title defense.

There are two non-title bouts, both of which have the potential to be excellent. Cesaro and Sheamus meet in the final match of their best-of-seven series. Sheamus jumped out to a 3-0 lead, but Cesaro has battled back to force the equivalent of a Game 7. A Cesaro win could propel him into a title program with Owens or the U.S. champion. But Sheamus could win without Cesaro, who has had a back injury, losing face.

Chris Jericho battles Sami Zayn in what should be a terrific match. The Greek God of Wrestling believes Zayn is going to be built up for a championship program with Owens. That should lead to a Zayn victory at the Clash, although it’s possible that Jericho wins here, setting up a Zayn victory in a rematch. In the kickoff show match, Nia Jax should obliterate Alicia Fox.

*****

TIME AND SPACE NEEDED: Although WWE has separate brands, it feels as if the “special events” are too close together. Even though the events feature different wrestlers, it’s still WWE, and you can’t promote two different pay-per-views at the same time. The result is that the promotion seems rushed.

*****

NEW RHODES TO TRAVEL: Cody Rhodes apparently will be appearing in TNA. His wife’s signing was announced earlier this week. Rhodes may debut this week on Impact Wrestling. (Heel Turns is being written before the show airs.)

The Wrestling Observer reports that Rhodes will be allowed to take outside bookings. Most TNA wrestlers have outside bookings these days, but it’s unusual to compete in TNA and Ring of Honor, which Rhodes is scheduled to do.

Achilles Heel is a Rhodes fan. He’s a terrific technical wrestler, and he’s made the most of every gimmick he’s been given – no matter how lame. Having said that, I don’t think Rhodes will be a game-changer for TNA. He will enhance their product and add a capable fresh face to the top of the card, but it’s not as if TNA’s ratings or attendance will skyrocket because of Rhodes’ presence.

*****

GLORY DAYS: TNA will present “Bound for Glory” on Oct. 2. It’s difficult to find the card in one place on TNA’s Web site, but the Greek God of Wrestling put it together for you right here. The main event features Lashley defending the TNA World Championship against Ethan Carter III. A title change is possible. The problem with TNA is you can almost guarantee multi-person interference during this match.

Drew Galloway will battle Aron Rex (Damien Sandow) for the Impact Grand Championship, which replaces the King of the Mountain title. (You have to wonder how CHIKARA feels about TNA creating a Grand Championship.) Consider this: Both finalists were tag team partners with Cody Rhodes in WWE. Could Rhodes play a role in the finish of this match?

Matt and Jeff Hardy, now known as Broken Matt Hardy and Brother Nero, will Decay (Abyss and Crazzy Steve) for the TNA Tag Team Championship in a falls-count-anywhere, no-disqualification match. The Greek God of Wrestling expects to see a title change in this match – unless Jeff breaks Matt’s spell over him and refuses to cooperate.

Maria defends the Knockouts Championship against Gail Kim. Kim should win the title, but Achilles Heel doesn’t think she will. There also will be a gauntlet match, with the winner guaranteed a title shot whenever he wants. This is like the Money in the Bank title match situation, with a gauntlet match instead of a ladder match to decide the winner.

*****

STARS COME OUT: Several title matches will highlight Ring of Honor’s All-Star Extravaganza VII pay-per-view in Lowell, Mass., on Fri., Sept. 30. Adam Cole defends the Ring of Honor World Championship against IWGP Intercontinental champion Michael Elgin. There will be a ladder match for the Ring of Honor World Tag Team Championship, with The Addiction (Christopher Daniels, Frank Kazarian) defending the titles against The Young Bucks (Matt and Nick Jackson) and The Motor City Machine Guns (Alex Shelley, Chris Sabin). Bobby Fish defends the Ring of Honor Television Championship against Donovan Dijak.

Ring of Honor is also creating a six-man tag team title. In a first-round match Mark and Jay Briscoe team up with Toru Yanu to battle ACH, Lio Rush and Jay White.

*****

BEWARE OF THE BEAST: Achilles Heel still doesn’t think it’s wise for Randy Orton to face Brock Lesnar on Saturday in Chicago. Orton just returned from a concussion sustained at SummerSlam when Lesnar repeatedly clubbed him in the head. Going to Suplex City is not a wise choice for Orton at this time.

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WORTH THE WEIGHT: It was encouraging to see the cruiserweights get a prime slot Monday night during RAW for the fatal four-way to determine the top challenger for T.J. Perkins’ Cruiserweight Championship. As I wrote last week, my fear is that WWE will bury the cruiserweights, making them a highlight reel rather than an important part of RAW worthy of storylines and character development. It’s early, but so far, so good.

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ALEXANDER DEBUT: The signing of Cedric Alexander was one of the best things to come out of the Cruiserweight Classic. After Alexander lost to Kota Ibushi in an amazing match, the fans chanted “Please sign, Cedric!” While an emotional Alexander looked toward the fans with gratitude, Triple H emerged from backstage, put his hand on Alexander’s shoulder, shook his hand and then gave the fans a thumbs-up. Alexander made his NXT television debut this week with an impressive victory.

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MEET ZIGGLER: Dolph Ziggler will appear at Adventureland Store in the Voorhees Town Center on Saturday from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Tickets are required for autographs and photographs with Ziggler.

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WWE COMES TO HERSHEY: The Smackdown stars will come to Hershey on Saturday (7:30 p.m.) for a show at Giant Center. One Smackdown star who won’t be in Hershey is Randy Orton. He’s schedule to wrestle Brock Lesnar in Chicago. Achilles Heel worries about the wisdom of Orton, who is coming off a concussion suffered at the hands of Lesnar, working a physical match with The Beast.

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1 Response

  1. Heel Turns: Troubling times for TNA | Philly Phanatics - THE online community for Philly sports fanatics Says:

    […] RULES: As the Greek God of Wrestling wrote in the most recent edition of Heel Turns, there’s barely time to breathe between WWE special events. There are just two weeks between […]

    Posted on October 1st, 2016 at 12:53 pm

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