WWE Clash of Champions 2020 is facing the tough challenge of following in the footsteps of SummerSlam and Payback, which were jam-packed with surprises.
At last month’s SummerSlam, Roman Reigns returned out of nowhere to close out the memorable event, and just a week later, he won the Universal title on the same show that featured Randy Orton losing to Keith Lee in shockingly quick fashion. Whenever WWE programming hits a viewership rut—as both Raw and SmackDown have done in recent months—the creative team tends to throw big changes at the wall and see what sticks.
Whether it’s heel Reigns, RETRIBUTION or the implosion of Bayley and Sasha Banks’ longtime partnership, WWE certainly hasn’t been afraid to book some shockers in an effort to get fans talking and improve it viewership. Based on WWE’s recent trend of pulling off plenty of swerves, Clash of Champions should be no different.
Here are five huge surprises WWE could execute at Clash of Champions 2020.
Jeff Hardy Loses The Intercontinental Championship
Jeff Hardy just won the Intercontinental Championship last month and recently inked a new contract with WWE, two things that may go hand-in-hand and suggest that “The Charismatic Enigma” could be in for a lengthy reign as champion.
Hardy’s title victory over AJ Styles was a surprise in and of itself, and he will face yet another challenge at Clash of Champions when he faces both Styles and the recently returning Sami Zayn in a triple threat match for the belt. Given that Hardy is barely a month into his title reign, it would be a downright shocker if he lost the belt so suddenly, especially given that he will be putting his belt on the line in a ladder match, which is well known to be his specialty.
Hardy should have a longer reign as champion before losing the belt to an upper midcard heel, perhaps Zayn, down the road in singles action.
Sasha Banks Returns…Again
In an ideal world, Sasha Banks will be out for a lengthy period following her recent attack by Bayley, return in a few months and then reignite an even more intense feud with her former best friend on the road to WrestleMania 37.
The real question is: Can WWE really extend this rivalry for that long? That’s a tough question to answer. For that to work, WWE would likely have to keep Banks off TV until 2021, perhaps around Royal Rumble time, and that seems doubtful given that WWE is already without its two biggest and highest paid female stars in Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair, which means the company may not want to voluntarily keep Banks off TV that long as well.
Instead, WWE could rely on this stellar rivalry to carry SmackDown this fall, which would likely mean that Banks will return yet again in the near future, perhaps in time to set up a highly anticipated Hell in a Cell match at next month’s pay-per-view. Though that would be a sensible move given the intensity of their rivalry, it would also be a surprising one to see Banks come back so soon—mainly because Banks appeared to be written off TV for the second time in just a few weeks on last week’s SmackDown.
Alexa Bliss Officially Unites With Bray Wyatt
WWE is in a weird spot with Bray Wyatt and Alexa Bliss. While WWE is reportedly pushing Wyatt as a babyface now, Bliss—who has been teasing some sort of relationship with Wyatt—seems to be poised for a heel turn and the end of her partnership with Nikki Cross.
So, how does WWE turn Bliss heel while also uniting her with Wyatt? That seems to be the million dollar question, and fans could find out the answer at Clash of Champions when Cross takes on Bayley for the SmackDown Women’s Championship, if the bout actually takes place. That match provides WWE with the perfect opportunity for Bliss to turn on Cross and perhaps do so by joining forces with Wyatt, with the two popular stars creating a bizarre tweener duo that could be quite the entertaining act on the blue brand.
Given Bliss’s recent channeling of Wyatt—like when she hit Wyatt’s Sister Abigail finisher on Cross on SmackDown a couple of weeks ago—their pairing makes sense, but Wyatt’s apparent transition to a babyface role would make that move quite a surprising one.
Jimmy Uso Returns
When Jimmy Uso was injured at WrestleMania 36, his return timetable was set at six to nine months, which means he could return any day now if and when he meets the most optimistic expectations.
While Jimmy recently said he is targeting a January return date, this is pro wrestling, and WWE is known to try to throw fans off the scent of a potentially huge return no matter what it takes to do that. John Cena and Edge showing up out of nowhere within the Royal Rumble match are two of the most famous examples of surprise superstar returns while Braun Strowman’s 2017 return serves as a recent example of a WWE star’s injury being greatly exaggerated for dramatic effect.
At Clash of Champions, Jimmy’s brother Jey will challenge his cousin Roman Reigns for the Universal Championship in a match that is expected to be a lopsided affair in favor of “The Big Dog” and could potentially pave the way for Jimmy to make a shocking return to save his brother from a beatdown. Likewise, Jimmy’s addition to this now very personal familial rivalry between Reigns and Jey could add an interesting layer to what is turning out to be one of WWE’s best feuds, and it could be done in a way that prevents Jimmy from getting physical.
Randy Orton Loses Clean Again
Randy Orton has reportedly made a concerted effort to help create new stars, and he’s certainly gone a long way toward accomplishing that goal by losing cleanly to Drew McIntyre at SummerSlam and Keith Lee—in just six minutes, nonetheless—at Payback.
Veteran superstars putting over new talents is nothing new in pro wrestling, but what made Orton’s back-to-back marquee losses so surprising is that they came when he was red hot as a performer. Despite that pair of defeats, Orton, of course, is still sizzling as Raw’s greatest heel and has been primed for a WWE title reign for what seems like forever now, meaning that a third consecutive pay-per-view loss in just over a month would mark one of the most surprising PPV losing streaks for a major star in recent memory.
The outcome of Orton vs. McIntyre at Clash of Champions will reportedly be an indicator of WWE’s long-term direction for the WWE title at WrestleMania 37, so rest assured that yet another loss for “The Viper” would be nothing short of a jaw-dropping booking decision that leaves him with an uncertain short and long-term future in the main event picture.
Source: Forbes – Business