WWE Clash of Champions Review 09/22/2016
Hello Misfits! Tonight we witnessed Raws’s first exclusive PPV of the New Era and the first Clash of Champions. I ended up being 4-3-1 with my predictions. The build up for the matches on this card wasn’t that great on Raw’s weekly programming. However if you looked at this card without watching Raw every week, its very appealing to the eye. Smackdown’s first exclusive PPV Backlash, was super successful and was higher in quality than anyones expectations. I’m hoping Raw will do the same with their first exclusive PPV. I mean Clash of Champions, hands down has the better card on paper, but will they deliver the same way Backlash did? First off, this review is going to be similar to my Backlash review, where I’ll literally just be stating my opinion of each match, not including the play-by-play of what occurred in the match. Secondly, I didn’t watch the kick off, so I didn’t see Alicia Fox vs. Nia Jax, but I was right about my prediction of Nia Jax being victorious. Now on to my review.
WWE Clash of Champions
WWE Clash of Champions comes to us from the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana.
– The show opened a video package .
WWE Tag Team Championship
The New Day (C) def. The Club
in 6:45 via pinfall
Clash of Champions kicked off with The New Day defending their tag team titles against the very deserving Anderson and Gallows. The New Day cut a promo before the match, and per usual it was entertaining. Their act is getting stale to some fans but still very entertaining for loyal and child fans. The New Day told some fart jokes and talked about Booty-Os. The match was better than I expected going into it. It was a great match to open the show as it was action packed and had you at the edge of your seat. There were great exchanges, big moves and near falls. The pacing of this match was nearly perfect. It was the finish that threw me off. The New Day cheats out of desperation to get the victory. The babyface team had to resort to cheating to defeat the heel team. I guess in a way this makes Anderson and Gallows look strong and keeps the titles on The New Day but it also hurts The Club. The Club is becoming a dead act with their comedy skits and constant losing, mainly to the New Day. A victory here would have been a reboot for them. The Club since being drafted on Raw separate from AJ Styles have been booked poorly in my opinion. They should already be months into their reign. Im aware that the WWE might possibly want the New Day to beat Demolition for longest reigning tag team champions, but they’re hurting The Club in the process. The tag titles are merely minor props to the New Day’s overall shtick, and they’d still be just as over without them. The Club desperately needed to get the fans to believe in them again. and I feel like WWE dropped the ball here.
Rating – ***
– Todd Phillips interviews TJ Perkins backstage before his first WWE PPV match. Its about time they have Perkins on TV for the casual fans. He seems a bit overwhelmed on the mic, but it is a big night for him and basically his main roster debut as champion. Thats a lot of weight to carry on your shoulders.
TJ Perkins (C) def. Brian Kendrick
in 10:31 via submission
I was rooting for Brian Kendrick, but I knew it was too early for the Cruiserweight title to change hands and for Perkins to lose his first title defence. The changed the ropes for this match to purple which explained the extremely long WWE Network commercial prior to this match. I love all the effort they’re putting in to make the cruiserweights feel special and unique from the rest of the roster. Basically giving them their own identity. It also makes me wonder if they’re keeping them separate from the rest of the roster. For example, are we not going to see Gran Metalik take on the likes of Seth Rollins? We’ll have to wait and see. This was a really good technical match rather than highflying cruiserweight match. I think people forget to realize, being a cruiserweight really just defines you weight class but not your wrestling style. If you watched the the CWC, you’d be aware that the division was a combination of all kinds of styles. Not everyone is supposed to be high flyers, luchadors or doing floppy shit constantly. Cruiserweight wrestling doesn’t equal floppy shit, but its an element of it.
TJ Perkins entrance caught my attention, as it was a play off classic video games I played as a kid growing up (mainly Megaman but the entire vibe screamed throwback to me). I don’t if I liked it or not yet. It was cool to see but would have been great for a big event entrance, I’m not sure I want to see it each and every week. It felt very PG, something the kids could latch on too, I guess thats a good thing. Plus he needs to stop fucking dabbing. That shit stopped being cool ages ago. The match was really good and there was combination of high flying and submission moves. Kendrick looked like he almost had TJ Perkins, but Perkins got the victory with his knee bar. The two hugged afterwards but Kendrick hit Perkins with a headset. God, I love Kendrick. Perkins did great for his first showing, The end half of the match was great. The first half of the match felt like they were trying to piece things together. I’m still super optimistic about the division but it hasn’t had the greatest start on Raw.
Rating – ***
– Cesaro cut a promo backstage with one of the new interview girls. The Swiss Superman vows that he’s going to make the biggest comeback in sports history with his victory tonight. They show a quick run down of all their matches and the results before the match starts. I really appreciate that the graphics used for the run down of the series looked like they had some effort put into them.
Best of 7 Series Finals
Cesaro  vs. Sheamus 
in 16:36 ends in a No Contest
This match had the potential of being a match of the year candidate, but was a victim of a horrible finish. It’s really an ongoing trend throughout this event, where the matches are solid but the finishes are lacklustre. I’m not even the biggest Sheamus fan, I actually find him quite useless, but I do appreciate that he takes the same kind of beating he dishes out. When Sheamus gets hit, it looks real because he lets his opponent stiff him hard. I appreciate that. There is no doubt that Sheamus is athletic and a good in ring talent, but he usually does nothing for me overall. Tonight he did. Cesaro to me is pound and pound one the best wrestlers on this planet today. Imagine Cesaro up against anyone, I don’t think he could have a bad match. If there is one way he connects with the fans, its in the ring where he always over delivers. I mean, Cesaro did a suicide dive and “Sasha Banks’d” himself, looking like he could have broken his neck. Sasha’s my girl, but she’s the queen of over delivering where it looks like she’s gonna force an early retirement on herself and Cesaro is the same way.
I have enjoyed the series as a whole, even though I think it was only thrown together because they had nothing better for either guy to do on Raw. I loved the comeback scenerio, where Sheamus was up 3-0 and Cesaro had to work his way to take this series to the finals. The match was everything you could want in the match. It was hard-hitting, action packed and full of drama. Of course I was rooting for Cesaro, but considering how Cesaro’s career has been thus far, it wouldn’t be shocking but disappointing if Sheamus won. Instead, this extremely good match ended in a no contest when Cesaro clotheslined Sheamus over the barricade, and doctors ruled that both of them weren’t fit to continue to compete. I don’t know if this is there way to continue this feud or have the rematch on Raw, but I think it was complete bullshit. I loved this match and felt that it was the best in the series, and it really felt as if they were about to deliver an epic conclusion until that finish. I really thought that this was excellent and that they were going to hit the perfect climax point for the end of the series. Imagine the match was continued or Sheamus ran back to the ring. Imagine the story that tells after these guys have been fighting each other basically since the brand extension started. I feel like the rest of the match loses credibility because it never had a proper drawn out conclusion.
Rating – ****3/4
Chris Jericho def. Sami Zayn
in 15:22 by pinball
Sami Zayn finally gets a new rivalry in the brand extension era, and it still have ties to Kevin Owens as he’s wrestling Kevin Owens new best friend, Chris Jericho. I expected nothing less but a good match between talented ultimate underdog Zayn and the Ayatollah of Rock n Rolla Chris Jericho. Zayn dominated early, but the match went back and forth. Zayn bombed his moonsault off the barricade, and Jericho with his veteran instincts had to sell his knee as thats the only place he really got hit. The end came with some near falls from signature moves but after a codebreaker, Jericho picked up the victory. Once again, the match itself was very solid and I wasn’t expect anything less. There were some poorly executed spots and Jericho continues to use his formula to keep up with the younger talent but the match kept me entertained. My biggest concern, was that the final booking was puzzling. I’m not against Jericho going over by any means, but Zayn needed the victory more than Jericho at this point of his career. If they really have no clue what to do with guys like Cesaro and Zayn, this furthers my theory that those two guys should have been on Smackdown. I feel like the two were just feeling each other but if they were to get another match between the two it could be a lot better.
Rating – ***
– Mick Foley and Stephanie McMahon approach Kevin Owens backstage and kiss his ass. Owens sees through your butt kissing and tears them down while proclaiming that he’s the best.
Charlotte w/ Dana Brooke (C) def. Sasha Banks & Bayley
in 15:28 via pinfall
What a spectacular Women’s’ match from three out of four, “Four Horsewomen” of the WWE. I mean there were some flaws but overall they put on a great match where I truly invested the entire time. I think we could have done without Dana Brooke out there but WWE still thinks the off and on relationship between Dana and Charlotte is going to lead to a money match. I still personally think Dana, although she’s improved, has reached nowhere near the skill level as the other three girls featured in this match. I love the natural chemistry between all three women involved in this match. There were also some similarities in pacing, story telling and spots to the Wrestlemania 32 triple threat but thats not a bad things, since that match was great. I enjoyed Bayley and Sasha working together. I enjoyed Charlotte trying to keep Sasha out of the match by continuously knocking her back to the outside when she tried getting back into the ring. I’m glad Sasha didnt do anything during this match that looked like she was going to kill herself.
The one really interesting point I have about this match is that, I didnt realize how badly I didn’t want Bayley to win this match. I found myself rooting for Banks, totally fine with Charlotte retaining but in panic anytime it looked like Bayley was going to win. I don’t know why but I just felt like it wasnt the right time for her to win it and honestly, she hasn’t been made to feel special yet on the main roster. Thus far, besides being a supporting cast member to the Dana/Charlotte and Charlotte/Sasha feuds, she hasn’t done anything significant on the main roster to feel important. I doubt she would have even been a part of this match if it wasnt for her history and popularity on NXT. Bayley has no story and is just a wheel on the wagon which is filled with the other feuds. Plus, Bayley took the fall following a big boot to the face which was very anticlimactic. Dana helped Charlotte win, which was expected so the finish wasnt as horrible as some of the other matches on the show, but it makes you question whats next? Charlotte is still champion and I can’t see them moving forward with storyline with Charlotte still as champion, unless they want to stall all the other feuds and continue to build up slowly. I don’t want to see Dana face Charlotte for the title, so when is she going to screw Charlotte out of the title? When does Sasha get her one on one rematch? How are they going develop Bayley further? When does Nia Jax set her focus on the Women’s divisions top prize?
Rating – ***1/2
United States Champion
Roman Reigns def. Rusev w/ Lana (C)
in 17:07 via pinfall
The pre match promo was really put together well, but portrayed Roman more as the heel than it did Rusev. However, this is the WWE, so boo the evil foreigner with the hot wife. This match was good but not great. I mean the beginning half felt really slow and to be honest I zoned out throughout it. When the match picked up, they never slowed down again. The end half had be invested and on the edge of my seat. I personally wanted Reigns to be victorious as I felt like it was just the natural way to progress this feud. Rusev marries his gorgeous finance, had two weddings, extremely long honeymoon and Roman Reigns has been this pain in his ass the entire time. It would be a storybook ending for Rusev to retain, but storybook endings don’t progress storylines. Therefore, the celebration ruining, greedy evil samoan had to be victorious for the charming Bulgarian prince to continue his downfall when he should be on top of the world. Wait…I forgot that Reigns is supposed to be the good guy here. LOL Anyway, the ending was great and I love that Lana got involved just to be kicked out from ringside. Rusev ate a spear and Roman Reigns was out new US Champion. Its crazy to see Reigns go from main eventing Wrestlemania winning the WWE Championship to be winning the US Title by the end of the year. Regardless, I’m happy for Roman and I hope this reboots his career. Hopefully, similar to Cena he can change peoples perception of him while being United States Champion. I think its just common sense that his rivalry with Rusev continues, and I’m not complaining because Rusev deserves to still be in the title picture. This second US Title rejuvenated his career following some lame storylines. Reigns vs. Rusev in a Hell in a Cell is something I could get behind.
Ratings – ***
– Mick Foley and Stephanie McMahon kiss Rollins ass next and Rollins treats them like a bunch of stupid idiots.
WWE Universal Championship
Kevin Owens (C) def. Seth Rollins
in 25:07 via pinfall
This was a match I was really looking forward too. I mean Rollins and Owens pretty much secure my number one and number two spots as favourite wrestlers on the “New Era”. This match was poorly built up too but the video package before the match created more anticipation for the match than anything that happened on Raw the past three weeks. However, it was focused a lot more on Hunter Hearst Hemsley and Stephanie McMahon, which I guess furthered expectations of a Triple H appearance tonight. The match started off slow, picked up in the middle, overbooked near the end and leaving you wanting more at the end. The crotch chops were great and these two did a great job of selling us that they were both out there trying to prove they were the better competitor. The only complaint I have is that Rollins spent time early on selling a knee injury, mid way through the match was moving around like nothing ever happened to his knee early on and would go back to it randomly in the end half. I mean Rollins was selling a knee injury and then after dropping 200+ pound Owens on that same knee for a backbreakers and what not,
The crowd was very quiet until Owens crashed through the broadcast table. That’s what happens when the babyface hasn’t truly connected with the fans yet. Keep in mind that Rollins is only a babyface because he didn’t get the interference help from Hunter that he was hoping to get. It’s not like the fans have been given a real reason to rally behind his character’s quest to regain the championship. I mean he still acts like a dick and still walks around as if he’s entitled for everything. It’s hard to get behind a guy who still acts, talks and walks like a heel. I understand the slow turn and the tweener stage but it hurt the story of this match. Triple H interfering in the main event was expected but it wouldn’t have been my ideal way for this match to end. I would have had the match end clean, but storyline wise it made sense that Triple H would interfere. It also would have felt like a bigger deal if Triple H interfered. Instead, we got Chris Jericho come out to support his best friend. Honestly, it was a pretty lame finish, that was only acceptable because Jericho yelling stuff was fucking hilarious. The stupidity of Jericho yelling at the referee and Rollins that Kevin Owens is his best friend had me laughing out loud. A referee bump, a pedigree followed by no count, a failed interference by Jericho, and a pop up power bomb later, Owens retained his title. Stephanie brought out another referee, and it seemed almost as if she brought it out at the more convenient time. I feel like if Rollins got clearly screwed out of the title by Terra Ryzing or Stephanie McMahon, it would have been more of a reason for the fans to get behind him. Other than that, the match was good, the story was good, the finish was lame but Jericho comedic timing made it acceptable. I’d watch it again just to get to the point where Chris Jericho is singing “We Are the Champion my friend!” at the ending.
Rating – ***1/2
I thought Clash of Champions was highly enjoyable but failed to be great by poorly booked finishes. Not a lot got resolved and most of the matches left you feeling like you had more questions than you got answers. I mean where does the women’s division go from here? Do Cesaro and Sheamus fight again? Is Rollins going to get another title shot? Where was Hunter Hearst Hemsley? Why did Stephanie make that sexy bitchy face once Rollins lost? Why did Zayn lose? Have I fully given up on Gallows and Anderson? Are we going to acknowledge the fact that The New Day had to cheat to win? Are we supposed to be suspecting a Jericho/Owens feud? Are the cruiserweight kind of just there to exist?
There are so many more questions I could add and it makes Clash of Champions feel more like a exaggerated version of Raw instead of a blow off of rivalries or major plot twists to on going stories. Its because of this and all the odd booking decisions in winners and finishes that allowed Smackdown’s Backlash to edge out Raw’s Clash of Champions as a better show. Its almost similar to the weekly programming where Smackdown’s simplicity in booking just makes it a better show than Raw’s overbooking (an extended amount of filler) each and every week. Backlash did a good job of having the right people win and also setting the stage going forward, everything felt as if there was a purpose and was the logical next step for the show. Backlash provided more answers rather than leaving us with more questions. Clash of Champions, had potential, it had good matches but overall just ended up feeling average with nothing really memorable happening. I don’t see myself in 2026 saying, he lets watch Clash of Champions 2016, thats show was fucking lit.
Final Rating – 6.5/10
What were your final thoughts on Clash of Champions? What final grade would you give the event? Where would you rate it on a scale of ten? Do you agree with my review? Leave your comments, opinions and thoughts below in the comments section.