The upcoming episode of WWE Raw will present the aftermath of the inaugural Clash of Champions pay per view. During the show, the main event pitted champion Kevin Owens against challenger Seth Rollins, in which Rollins came up on the short end, possibly injuring himself as well. While the plot may thicken between those two combatants, leading to some involvement from Triple H, other feuds seemed to be extinguished during the event.
One feud that was likely to resume was the U.S. Championship tension between newly-crowned champion Roman Reigns and former champion Rusev. Due to the traditional rematch clause, a showdown was expected between the two again. The next exclusive event will be Hell in a Cell, which will air live on the WWE Network on October 30.
This should be a solid midcard feud, as it could give Reigns an opportunity to gain some respect from the fans by filling the workhorse role that midcard champions are usually positioned to have. Moreover, Rusev is a strong enough heel to garner some default babyface pops for Reigns, as shown in the weeks leading up to SummerSlam, and the short time the feud was reignited to set up the match at Clash of Champions. Potentially, the match was set up for Raw to draw fans in, but it has a very steep uphill climb.
The other title rematch that is scheduled pits champions the New Day defending their championship against challengers Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows. Honestly, the logic behind the New Day defending their championships in a rematch from the pay per view makes absolutely no sense at all. The New Day defeated Anderson and Gallows, which should put them at the back of the line, trying to reclaim the No. 1 contender spot again.
Moreover, this is not the first time they have lost a tag team title match as challengers, as they were defeated in a fatal four-way match – along with the Vaudevillians and Enzo & Cass – at the Money in the Bank pay per view. A disqualification victory at SummerSlam by Anderson and Gallows earned a title shot. However, why should they receive yet another title shot after losing at Clash of Champions? Very poor logic.
The Creative team from WWE Raw is in a sink-or-swim position right now. Specifically, due to record numbers expected for the first head-to-head presidential debate between Republican nominee Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. The projected numbers for the first debate are more than 100 million viewers.
Unfortunately, WWE does not have a great level of star power to stack the deck enough to compete with both Monday Night Football, and especially the presidential debate. Interestingly, WWE executives may be aware that this is a losing battle, based on a recent tweet posted on their account. The post took viewers back in time to the heated WWE vs. ECW rivalry between Jerry “The King” Lawler and Paul Heyman, nearly 20 years ago. Keeping up with the spirit of debate season, WWE wrote, “Now THIS is what an extremely heated debate looks and sounds like.”
For WWE Raw to have any shade of hope in maintaining a fraction of viewers throughout the evening, they are going to have to pull an Eric Bischoff-style booking decision of promoting Hogan vs Goldberg on live television to elicit as many fans to hang on as possible. If not, we may be on the verge of watching a show that will receive record lows.
Hopefully, WWE does not feel defeated enough to give up on booking a show that could be potentially entertaining. However, since the show has been lackluster even when stiff competition is not present, it is not looking good for tonight.
[Featured Image by David Goldman/AP Images]