WWE presented Clash of Champions from Charlotte, North Carolina, and the whole pay-per-view was decent from top to bottom. The long-list of championship matches was the theme of the pay-per-view, as every championship on the main-roster was defended last night.
The booking was decent, as the right individuals won. WWE has a very busy month coming up, with the Draft, SmackDown moving to FOX and Hell in a Cell. Clash of Champions was full of matches which reached their conclusion, while some rivalries will live to see another day at Hell in a Cell.
We look at how the event went through, who performed the best and how the Champions clashed at the pay-per-view.
WWE Cruiserweight Championship: Drew Gulak [c] vs Humberto Carillo vs Lince Dorado
The men of the 205 Live roster once again saw themselves in the opener for the evening, as the Cruiserweight title was on the line with two new challengers. Both the luchadors tried to take down the champion, but failed to do so on numerous occasions.
Gulak stuck to his mat-based technical wrestling while Carillo and Dorado tried to unleash their aerial offense.
Gulak rolled-up Carillo after he went for an Aztec Press to retain the title.
Result: Drew Gulak defeated Humberto Carillo and Lince Dorado to retain the title
Analysis: WWE desperately needs new faces in the 205 Live roster, as Gulak has ran through the majority of the babyfaces in the division. The match was decent enough for it was supposed to be, and the right individual won the match.
If 205 Live is eventually merged with NXT, the Cruiserweight Division will surely be revitalized. The audiences simply don’t care about the division anymore, and the title would be better off in the mid-card of NXT, which is soon to turn into a two-hour show.
WWE United States Championship Match: AJ Styles [c] vs Cedric Alexander
AJ Styles found himself on the pre-show of the pay-per-view, which is a surprising sight for the 2x WWE Champion. Styles and Alexander battled in a decent encounter, which was quite short but was an exciting match, nonetheless.
AJ eventually won with the Styles Clash on the former Cruiserweight Champion, and proceeded to beat him down with the help of his OC buddies.
Result: AJ Styles defeated Cedric Alexander to retain the US title
Analysis: WWE shoe-horned this match at the last moment to make sure the US title is on the card. Cedric has shone of late on RAW, and it was surprising to see him lose clean to Styles at the pay-per-view. A dusty finish could have kept the feud going, but it seems like Styles will start a search for a new opponent on RAW on Monday night.
WWE RAW Tag Team Championship Match: Seth Rollins & Braun Strowman [c] vs Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode
Seth Rollins and Braun Strowman fought alongside each other in the first match of the main show, before their confrontation in the main-event later. This match was a typical WWE tag-team match-up, as the babyfaces tried to hot-tag themselves to victory.
The ‘how can they co-exist’ question came up after Strowman inadvertently ran into Rollins, who was picked up by Roode for a Glorious DDT. New champs!
Result: Ziggler and Roode defeated Rollins and Strowman to become the new champions
Analysis: The match served the intended purpose, and WWE unsurprisingly had some shenanigans for Rollins and Strowman before their Universal Championship match-up. Roode and Ziggler winning the RAW Tag-Team Championships is a decent move for their faltering careers, but it is baffling to see a randomly thrown together team win the championships in a division of several long-time tag-teams.
Smackdown Women’s Championship: Bayley [c] vs Charlotte Flair
Bayley, with her newfound persona, battled Charlotte Flair in latter’s home state of North Carolina. Charlotte tried to take down Bayley early in the match with her towering presence. Bayley drove Flair into an exposed turnbuckle, which Bayley had herself uncovered. Bayley scored a quick pin fall victory after the turnbuckle incident, and continued her reign as the SmackDown Women’s Champion.
Result: Bayley defeated Charlotte Flair to retain the title
Analysis: The match was rather disappointing given the talent involved, and it only served the purpose of furthering Bayley’s heel arc. WWE’s slow burn of Bayley’s heel turn is quite good to see.
Charlotte and Bayley will undoubtedly fight again soon, and the Queen will look to get her total championship reigns into double digits.
SmackDown Tag Team Championship: The New Day[c] vs The Revival
The New Day battled with the Revival, who have aligned themselves with the Viper Randy Orton recently. The tag-team duo of the faction now termed as FT-RKO, destroyed Xavier Woods early in the match, leaving Big E, aka the Powerhouse of New Day, to fight all alone.
Woods eventually fought his way back into the match, and followed it up with a brilliant hot-tag. However, it was short-lived as The Revival turned their attention to Woods’ knee.
Revival delivered a Shatter Machine, and followed it up with a submission to damage the injured knee of Woods. Woods eventually tapped out, resulting in a third title reign for the Revival.
Result: The Revival defeated The New Day to be come the new champions
Analysis: Yet another match-up which felt like a match from a weekly show rather than a pay-per-view worthy encounter. Both the teams have great wrestling abilities, but this match felt short of a full-fledged battle.
Hopefully, the rivalry continues in the upcoming weeks, and we are treated to a proper wrestling match between these two exceptional tag-team units.
WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships: Nikki Cross and Alexa Bliss [c[ vs Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville
Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross’ weird partnership continued at the pay-per-view, where they faced long-time buddies Rose and Deville. The duo from SmackDown Live, who call themselves ‘Fire and Desire’, worked on Alexa Bliss initially in the match.
Cross found her way into the match and tried to end it with a double team finisher. Rose and Deville countered and delivered a finisher of their own, and Cross saved the match for her team.
Cross eventually delivered a Neckbreaker to Rose and secured the win.
Result: Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross defeated Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville to retain the titles
Analysis: This was the third tag-team encounter on the card, and it felt the same as the other two. The heels dominate, hot-tag on the babyface side and final flourish between the two sides.
Bliss and Cross are doing great work with the tag-titles, but a thin Women’s Tag-Team division means they don’t have any credible challengers left.
Rose and Deville are slowly becoming excellent performers in the ring, and hopefully they’ll find success soon.
WWE Intercontinental Championship Match: Shinsuke Nakamura [c] vs The Miz
The latest installment in Nakamura’s IC title reign was a match-up against arguably the greatest IC champion of all time, The Miz. Supported by his new ally Sami Zayn, Nakamura unleashed his fury of strikes. Miz survived the assault before delivering a Skull Crushing Finale. Zayn’s distraction meant that referee couldn’t make the count, and Nakamura capitalized on this to win the match with a Kinshasa.
Result: Shinsuke Nakamura defeated The Miz to retain the IC title.
Analysis: Nakamura’s run as the IC champion hasn’t set the world on fire, and this was a good opportunity to put the title back on Miz’s shoulders. Hopefully, Zayn will find his way into the IC title scene soon, which will make it more interesting.
RAW Women’s Championship Match: Becky Lynch [c] vs Sasha Banks
The match-up which had the best buildup in the lead to Clash of Champions did not disappoint at all. Lynch and Banks took their highly personal rivalry into the ring and displayed their large range of moves throughout the match.
Banks introduced a Steel Chair into the match and delivered a shining wizard with the help of it. Lynch accidentally swung the chair at the referee, which eventually led to a disqualification victory for Banks.
Banks and Lynch brawled all over the arena after the match, with Lynch locking Banks in a Dis-Arm-Her through the Steel Chair.
Result: Sasha Banks won the match via disqualification.
Analysis: The match was perfect by all means except for the disappointing finish. It is understandable that WWE had to go this route, as both the competitors deserve a victory and shouldn’t be at the receiving end of a pinfall or a submission loss.
This feud and the post-match brawl suggest a match at Hell in a Cell is definitely going to take place. Banks previously main-evented HIAC in 2016 in a match against Charlotte Flair, and it seems like a repeat of that match is on the cards (this time with Lynch).
WWE Championship Match: Kofi Kingston [c] vs Randy Orton
The two competitors wrestled in yet another installment of this deeply personal and decade long rivalry. Kingston and Orton stepped foot into the ring after weeks of gruesome attacks.
Like many Orton matches, this one started out slowly with Orton taking lead with his slow and methodical pace.
The champion upped the ante with a Boom Drop, and tried to finish the match with a Trouble in Paradise. Randy Orton dodged the finisher, and went for the draping DDT. Kingston delivered an SOS for a near fall, and Orton came back with the draping DDT followed by the RKO.
Kingston barely survived after putting his foot on the bottom rope.
Randy Orton went for the Punt Kick, but was countered with a Trouble in Paradise. Kingston retained the WWE Championship yet again!
Result: Kofi Kingston defeated Randy Orton to retain the WWE Championship
Analysis: This was a good match which could’ve been better if it went few minutes shorter. Orton’s slow pace makes his matches a snore fest at times, but Kingston’s energy made sure the match had the intensity.
Kingston has now defeated Kevin Owens, Samoa Joe and Randy Orton clean for the championship. He is surely one of the best booked champions in recent memory, and it would be interesting to see who challenges him for the belt next. Could the Beast return to SmackDown soon?
No Disqualification Match: Roman Reigns vs Erick Rowan
It is quite a surprise to see Erick Rowan of all people in the second last match of the night. Both the competitors battled in tough conditions throughout the arena, and made good use of the No DQ rules. Rowan’s limited wrestling abilities restricted him to the usual power moves.
Roman hit Rowan with the jib camera, extracting revenge for Rowan’s attack last week on smackDown Live, and prepared himself for a massive spear down the ramp. However, his spear was intercepted by a returning Luke Harper, who helped Rowan secure a pin-fall victory over Roman Reigns!
Result: Erick Rowan defeated Roman Reigns
Analysis: This was a solid match between the two competitors, and Harper’s surprise return was quite a delightful sight. It was rumored recently that Harper will not appear on WWE television any further, but it seems like the company and Harper have put aside their differences.
It will be interesting to see what the next course of action is. Does Roman team up with Bryan to take on Harper and Rowan? Does Bryan align himself with the former Wyatt Family members and start his own Bryan Family? Several possibilities lie ahead with Harper’s return.
WWE Universal Championship Match: Seth Rollins[c] vs Braun Strowman
Seth Rollins defended his title against his tag-team partner from earlier in the night, Braun Strowman. If the WWE Championship match was slow and methodical, its RAW counterpart got going from the first minute itself.
Rollins tried to take down the Monster Among Men, but as the Architect realized, it wasn’t quite easy. Rollins tried to Superplex Strowman off the top rope, which was countered by Strowman who delivered a splash from the top rope!
Rollins retaliated to deliver three straight stomps, which couldn’t keep the Monster down. Strowman went for the Running Powerslam, but Rollins countered with a Pedigree followed by a Stomp to retain the title.
Post-match, The Fiend attacked Seth Rollins to set-up their match at Hell in a Cell.
Result: Seth Rollins defeated Braun Strowman to retain the Universal title.
Analysis: A fun and engaging battle between the two top babyfaces on RAW, which ended with Rollins overcoming the Monster. Braun Strowman suffers yet another loss in a Universal Championship Match, which is rather disappointing. However, WWE was never going to take the belt off Rollins within a month of his victory, and Strowman will hopefully be rewarded in the future.
The Fiend’s appearance was dark and thrilling, and the fans’ popping for him is quite great to see. A crowd which has been sitting in their seats for close to five hours, going crazy over the Fiend is great sign for the company. It seems like Bray Wyatt is ‘Best for Business’.