Fall is here, the leaves are changing, the weather is cooling, and champions are clashing. We’ve already seen a good 75% of these championship clashes at some point in the past few months, but this is WWE, and beggers can’t be choosers. At least we know Nakamura is gonna show out in a legendary outfit, so there’s that to look forward to.
Raw Women’s Championship: Asuka vs Zelina Vega (Kickoff)
This is on the kickoff, because I guess no one in this company wants to promote good wrestling. Zelina beat Mickie James to become number one contender last week, marking the longtime manager’s first return to the ring in quite a while. I guess having your boy toys yell at each other all day is as good an incentive as any to start cracking skulls yourself.
Prediction: Asuka wins this one. It’s fun to see Vega competing again, but it’ll be a while before she feels like real title competition.
Universal Championship: Roman Reigns (c) vs Jey Uso
Fighting with My Family 2: Electric Boogaloo premieres this Sunday. After advocating for Uso to be including in the fatal fourway #1 contender match, Reigns has been playing buddy-buddy with his cousin on SmackDown, but it seems like that act is gonna disappear real quickly when the two finally step in the ring. Poor Jey is gonna have a rough time at the next family barbecue.
Prediction: Reigns is definitely taking this one, but the build has been great for Uso’s singles run.
WWE Championship: Drew McIntyre (c) vs Randy Orton (Ambulance Match)
Orton and McIntyre have taken turns sending each other to the hospital and brushing up on their photoshop skills, and now it’s time for the big payoff. Which tall beefy man will be driving a car in his undies come Sunday night? I can’t wait to find out.
Prediction: McIntyre retains. After narrowly beating Orton at SummerSlam, another victory feels possible, and there’s plenty of juice left in Drew’s championship reign.
Intercontinental Championship: Jeff Hardy (c) vs AJ Styles vs Sami Zayn
Sami Zayn is the one and future king, given that he never lost his Intercontinental Championship back in April. Styles and Hardy have been going back and forth lately, but Hardy’s Inspector Gadget knee is gonna have to work overtime in this triple threat.
Prediction: I’m going Zayn. After a surprise return, capitalizing on Sami’s momentum would work for him, while Styles and Hardy can see continue without the belt.
SmackDown Women’s Championship: Bayley (c) vs Nikki Cross
We saw this one over the summer, but now Nikki is dealing with her VFF pulling a Jekyll and Hyde, while Bayley recently tried to break her coworker’s neck on live tv twice, so there are some new factors in play. Without Banks in her corner, it might be harder for Bayley to pull her old heel tricks.
Prediction: Bayley’s story is with Sasha right now, I can’t see her losing the title.
Raw Tag Team Championships: The Street Profits (c) vs Andrade and Angel Garza
Why book a new storyline when you have the same match you’ve booked a dozen times to fall back on? Garza and Andrade have patched things up for the eighth time and won a triple threat tag match on Raw to challenge for the titles yet again, but the keepers of the smoke are coming in hot.
Prediction: At this point, Andrade and Garza picking up the titles sounds like a pipe dream- Profits for sure.
SmackDown Tag Team Championships: Artist Collective (c) vs Lucha House Party
Another round of the same tag teams wrestling for the fifth time. Lucha House Party has teased a breakup over the past few weeks, so that may keep them from getting gold here, if Dorado and Metalik can’t stay on the same page.
Prediction: Nakamura and Cesaro are taking the titles home to the champions lounge.
Women’s Tag Team Championships: Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler (c) vs The Riott Squad
Jax and Baszler are making only their second defense of the women’s tag titles, but that’s two more times than they’re usually defended in the same month, so we’re all a little surprised. The Riott Squad reunion has been great for Liv and Ruby, but can they ride that momentum to a title victory?
Prediction: Jax and Baszler can run for a while with the tag titles, they’re gonna retain.
United States Championship: Bobby Lashley (c) vs Apollo Crews
A Payback rematch keeps Crews entangled with The Hurt Business. Lashley won the US title from Apollo last month, and with Benjamin, MVP, and now Alexander on his side, Crews has a hard road ahead of him to regain his title.
Prediction: Lashley retains. The Hurt Business has been doing well on Raw, and keeping the US title in the group makes sense.