The final WWE pay-per-view of 2017 sees SmackDown Live take center stage Sunday with Clash of Champions.
With every championship on the blue brand set to be defended, there is the potential for the landscape to change significantly on Tuesday nights heading into WrestleMania season.
However, not every result and outcome will leave fans satisfied about the future of SmackDown Live.
There are some title matches as well as some non-title bouts that will fail to capture the imagination and anger WWE fans.
Here’s a look at the top candidates as the show at TD Garden in Boston approaches.
Breezango vs. The Bludgeon Brothers
It is one of the more successful stories on WWE SmackDown Live this year.
And that’s what makes Breezango’s scheduled match against The Bludgeon Brothers one of the strangest decisions on the entire Clash of Champions card.
WWE has succeeded in making Tyler Breeze and Fandango an act that fans should care about. They have thrived in their Fashion Files segments, and fans have bought into the duo as a credible act.
But in recent weeks, it’s clear WWE has little idea how to write a proper and credible payoff for the angle. In pitting the duo against the recently repackaged Luke Harper and Erick Rowan, it makes little sense.
This would have been an ideal opportunity for WWE to write off The Hype Bros as a tag team. It’s clear Harper and Rowan will not be taking a loss here, but having them go over against one of the more popular tag teams on the blue brand is a huge mistake. And fans will not like it.
Baron Corbin vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Bobby Roode
It’s fair to say that since debuting on SmackDown Live, Bobby Roode’s elevation to the main roster hasn’t quite gone as WWE fans would have hoped.
The Glorious One is yet to truly make his mark on the blue brand, and while Sunday’s United States Championship match against Dolph Ziggler and Baron Corbin seems like the ideal opportunity to change all that, the odds of it actually happening seem slim.
While Roode is the logical choice to win the match and earn his first title on the main roster, it seems more likely that Corbin will retain the belt Sunday.
But it’s vital that if Roode comes up short, he is not the one to take the decisive pinfall. He needs some momentum heading into 2018, and another defeat here would be far from the ideal way to round off a year that started with so much promise.
Roode should be the champion come Sunday night, but don’t bank on WWE agreeing.
Shinsuke Nakamura and Randy Orton vs. Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens
No matter what happens in Sunday’s main event, someone is bound to end up disappointed.
Clearly, either Daniel Bryan or Shane McMahon are going to turn heel in the Clash of Champions bout when they are both refereeing.
The smart money is on McMahon turning, clearly because WWE’s track record of turning Bryan heel has proved to be a serious failure.
When Bryan was at the peak of his momentum a few years ago, WWE opted to try and make him a member of The Wyatt Family. The angle backfired disastrously, largely due to Bryan’s overwhelming popularity with WWE fans, and the same applies this Sunday.
If Bryan screws over Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens and sides with McMahon, fans will be outraged. If he turns heel to defend the duo, it will be equally as unpopular.
No matter what happens in Sunday’s main event, WWE fans will not be happy.
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