Welcome to the CLNS Clash of Champions Review. Here you will get my thoughts on all the matches that took place at Clash of Champions 2017 and my outlook for Smackdown Live going into the Royal Rumble.
Mojo Rawley vs. Zack Ryder
As I said in my predictions this match was just stuck on the pre-show to fill time. The overall story was not something that the fans were invested in. It’s clear the WWE knew this but didn’t have anything else so this was what we got. Overall it was a pretty standard match with Mojo coming out on top. I hope they both fade into minor roles now but unfortunately I think the WWE has plans for Mojo, that is as long as Gronk is coming too.
Winner: Mojo Rawley over Zach Ryder
United States Championship – Baron Corbin (c) vs. Bobby Roode vs. Dolph Ziggler
This was a great match from beginning to end, great pace, nice timing and nailed all of their spots. The only thing that perplexed me was the finish. You see the fact that Dolph Ziggler won this match makes no sense. While the WWE usually has a plan it truly feels like they did this for shock value. There were reports that came out before the show that there would be no title changes on the card so I believe this was a response to that. In my opinion Dolph doesn’t deserve this win, it hurts Corbin and now what does Roode say? He didn’t get pinned so he deserves another shot, boring standard WWE. I get this may be Dolph’s last run with the WWE but with him half out the door I see no reason for him to be champ. Let’s hope WWE has a quick fix in place because this angle has been an atrocity and it’s starting to really hurt the new talent.
Winner and new United States Champion: Dolph Ziggler
Smackdown Tag Team Championship – The Usos (c) vs. Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin vs. The New Day vs. Rusev & Aiden English
This is by far and away the match of the night! The Smackdown Live tag division has been turning everything into gold and this was more of the same. Incredible spots throughout the entire match with each superstar getting their time to shine. The finish was spot on as the Usos retained but the true story here is Rusev. Rusev Day is in full effect as he had by far the biggest reaction of the night. Not only were they chanting Rusev day but even Aiden English’s rendition of the 12 days of Rusev got huge applause. This match was truly the bright spot of the night an without it I think this PPV would’ve gone from a three to a one. Rusev and English should be the next tag team champions however I feel that will go to the Bludgeon Brothers.
Winner and still Smackdown Tag Team Champions: The Usos
Women’s Championship – Charlotte Flair (c) vs. Natalya (Lumberjack Match)
Wow what a debacle. This match could have been so much more than just getting all of the Women’s faces on TV. Charlotte deserves better, Natalya deserves better and the Women’s division deserves better. I understand you have a lot of talent in this division but they don’t need to all be at ringside. This match was sloppy, with bad work, no real storytelling and a really bad finish. The worst part of it all was that I put zero blame on the Women and all of the blame on creative. These two can work their butts off and to see Charlotte and Natalya be put in that situation was not enjoyable. I truly hope we get a Women’s Royal Rumble this year to help salvage for this match but I don’t know where we go from here.
Winner and Still Smackdown Women’s Champion: Charlotte
The Bludgeon Brothers vs. Breezango
Ill be honest this was exactly what I expected, a five minute squash match. The only thing I didn’t understand was the placement on the card. When you do decide this will be the cool off shouldn’t you put it between the two main events? Not in the WWE. Not only did it kill the crowd but the performers were given no time to work. With Breezango being so over it actually made the crowd angry. I understand they are a comedy act but at some point even the funny guys need some wins to stay relevant. On the flip side the Bludgeon Brothers looked ok and are most likely on track for a big push.
Winners: The Bludgeon Brothers
Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn vs. Randy Orton & Shinsuke Nakamura (Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan are both Referees)
While I knew that the stipulation of having two referees’s was going to influence the match and how they worked I didn’t think it would be this much. Watching from home it just looked like everyone was trying to do a spot with the Referee’s and the match felt sloppy. The teams did what they could to work around the spots but again I have to chalk this up to bad creative. The performers can only do so much with what they are given and to me they did a lot with a little. Poor direction and bad spots are not the talents fault when they have no say in the direction of their character and no control over the big spots in the match. The finish was by far the most intriguing part as now we have to wonder if Daniel Bryan was doing the right thing or if its a heel turn (good luck with that).
Winners: Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn
WWE Championship – AJ Styles (c) vs. Jinder Mahal
It finally looks like it may happen, we may get AJ Styles going into Wrestlemania as WWE Champion. Now I know we are still months away but as of right now I truly feel like thats the way it is heading. After another match last night where carried Jinder through, it has to be said, AJ styles is the BEST WRESTLER ALIVE. Period. I don’t want to hear about Cena, Orton, Omega, Balor or anyone else. AJ Styles continually elevates talent to a place they can’t get on their own. That was probably Jinder’s best match since becoming champion and I give all the credit to AJ. Not even Nakamura had good matches with Mahal yet when AJ wrestles him it just seemed like everything clicked. AJ styles vs Shinsuke Nakamura is what we all want at Wrestlemania, now lets see if the WWE Listens.
Winner and still WWE Champion: AJ Styles
Match of the Night: Smackdown Tag Team Championship Fatal 4 way
Stay here on CLNS for all your WWE coverage through the holidays and into 2018.