Clash of Champions is the one night of the year where all Championships are on the line, which means that even though AJ Styles has been pushing for a shot at the Universal Championship in recent weeks, he is contractually obligated to defend his United States Championship this weekend.
Styles puts the gold on the line against former Cruiserweight Champion Cedric Alexander, just weeks after Alexander was attacked by The OC backstage on Raw and just days after the high flyer was able to pin The Champion as part of a ten-man tag team match on Raw.
There are a number of combustible elements in play this weekend which could both help and hinder both superstars chances of leaving North Carolina as Champion.
#5 AJ Styles retains the United States Championship without any help
AJ Styles cost Cedric Alexander his place in the King of the Ring tournament when he and The O.C. attacked the former Champion backstage ahead of his match against Baron Corbin a few weeks ago on Raw.
Cedric Alexander has gone on to send a message to Styles in recent weeks, to the point that WWE has pushed him into this Championship match this weekend. The Phenomenal One has proved that he's one of the best in WWE at present many times, which means that he should easily be able to get past Cedric Alexander on his own this weekend.
Alexander isn't a superstar that should be underestimated, but since Styles is a former WWE Champion he should make light work of his latest challenger and should be looking ahead to a shot at the Universal Championship.