WWE’s yearly presentation of Clash of Champions took place last night with every title on the main roster (including the 24/7 title) being defended on the show.
It was the third PPV to take place from the state of the art ThunderDome and had quality matches on the card with great storylines to back them up.
The Women’s Tag Team encounter was scrapped at the last moment under mysterious circumstances, which could be either of Shayna Baszler or Nia Jax contracting the COVID-19.
Apart from that, every other title was defended with just one title change taking place. The show overall was great at points, but the Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match and the Universal Championship were the absolute high points of the show.
We take a look at how the show went down, and give our thoughts and analysis.
Kickoff Show | SmackDown Tag Team Championship: Shinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro (c) vs. Lucha House Party
The match was moved to the kickoff show, with the heels defending the titles against Kalisto and Lince Dorado. Kalisto and Dorado have had their differences ever since the former US Champion returned to SmackDown, which made this pairing quite a surprising one.
The babyfaces had the upper-hand with their fast-paced Lucha style before Nakamura assumed control and worked over Dorado. Kalisto finally secured the hot-tag and ran wild, with a series of near falls before Nakamura finally delivered the Kinshasa to Kalisto, who was being swung by Cesaro.
Result: Shinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro def. Lucha House Party to retain their titles.
Analysis: This was a solid match at the start of the show, but was nothing extraordinary. Both the teams have fantastic workers who showed their worth in the ring, and the result was quite predictable.
With LHP done, Cesaro and Nakamura have no possible challengers left in the division, unless Heavy Machinery decides to drop the MITB storyline and venture back into the tag division.
Ladder Match | Intercontinental Championship: Jeff Hardy (c) vs. Sami Zayn vs. AJ Styles
The three stars immediately introduced ladders into the match and ran wild, with Jeff Hardy dropping onto a ladder as Styles moved out of the way.
Styles had great control in the early part of the match and even dropped Hardy from top of the ladder. Styles threw a ladder onto Zayn who was trying to climb the ladder and grab the titles.
Zayn and Hardy tussled before Zayn cuffed a ladder to Hardy’s earlobe. Styles and Zayn ended up handcuffing themselves before Zayn broke it and climbed the ladder to retrieve the titles after cuffing Styles onto the ladder.
Result: Sami Zayn becomes the Undisputed Intercontinental Champion
Analysis: The highest possible grade for this match is hardly a surprise given the talents of the superstars involved. Hardy and Styles are 43 and are in the twilight of their careers while Zayn has slowed down significantly since his injuries, but they still managed to deliver a fantastic match with several innovative spots.
Zayn winning was the perfect move and will be interesting to see where he goes on from here.
Raw Women’s Championship: Asuka (c) vs. Zelina Vega
Zelina Vega in her first title opportunity in WWE squared off against one of the finest talents on the roster, as she hoped to kick off her singles run on a high.
Vega went right after Asuka’s arm and kept targetting it throughout the match. Vega applied an armbar but the Empress reversed it into an Asuka Lock. Asuka was forced to break it due to her arm injury, but later avoided a series of nearfalls and applied the Asuka Lock once again to retain the title.
Result: Asuka def. Zelina Vega to retain the title
Analysis: This was a solid match, despite it being Vega’s first-ever title shot in the company. Vega is a fine talent and displayed it during the match, which will surely set her up for more opportunities in the future. However, WWE should try to keep her as the manager of Andrade and Garza while letting her venture into singles at the same time.
United States Championship: Bobby Lashley (c) vs. Apollo Crews
Apollo Crews used his fast-paced offense to take charge early in the match, as he neutralized Lashley’s power-based maneuvers. Lashley took control and tried to shove the challenger into the ring post which backfired and allowed Crews to deliver several impressive moves including a press slam.
A mistake from Crews was enough for Lashley to take advantage and apply the deadly Hurt Lock.
Result: Bobby Lashley def. Apollo Crews to retain the title
Analysis: This was a decent encounter but once again, it was something that has happened numerous times over the course of the last few months. A stipulation could have greatly helped this match, as the standard singles encounter has got quite repetitive.
Raw Tag Team Championship: The Street Profits (c) vs. Andrade and Angel Garza
Angelo Dawkins and Andrade kicked things off as Andrade isolated Dawkins before he hit a dropkick and brought in Ford. Ford started his attack but Garza and Andrade showed some partnership and survived.
Dawkins got a hot tag and ran wild before Garza took advantage and hit a Spanish Fly on Ford. Ford was attacked several times before another hot tag to Dawkins, followed by a Spinebuster on Andrade resulted in a win. The finish was botched as Andrade kicked out, but the referee forcefully called off the match due to Garza suffering an injury.
Result: The Street Profits def. Andrade and Angel Garza to retain the titles.
Analysis: Similar to Lashley-Crews, this match suffered due to repetition, as there was nothing fresh to look forward to in this match. It was decent but nothing spectacular, with the injury to Garza resulting in a botched finish. One noticeable difference throughout the match was the increased chemistry between the two Latinos, ever since Vega left them to pursue singles action.
SmackDown Women’s Championship: Bayley (c) vs. Asuka
With Nikki Cross ruled out of the match, Bayley cut a promo and asked to be declared the winner by forfeit. Asuka interrupted and a title match was announced between the two stars. Asuka was on top until Bayley used a chair on the RAW Women’s Champion to end the match in DQ and retain her title.
Sasha Banks attacked Bayley, and the Role Model retaliated with an attack of her own on the Boss who was still in blueprint. The segment ended with Banks standing tall, after several kendo stick shots to Bayley.
Result: Asuka def. Bayley by DQ
Analysis: This was a filler match, thrown together at the last moment. Asuka continued to show her dominance at the top in WWE currently. The major takeaway from this match was the post-match attack where Banks returned to take out Bayley.
The duo will surely compete in Hell in a Cell next month, and with the story and significance of the feud, they could easily be the main event of the PPV.
Ambulance Match | WWE Championship: Drew McIntyre (c) vs. Randy Orton
McIntyre unloaded on his challenger at the start with plenty of strikes, but a low-blow from Orton brought him back into the match. Big Show appeared out of nowhere and Chokeslammed Orton on to the announce table, allowing McIntyre to take control.
McIntyre hit a Claymore and broke the door of the ambulance. The action moved to the backstage area where Orton was attacked by Christian. The duo returned near the ambulance, and Orton dropped McIntyre onto the windshield.
Orton was attacked by Shawn Michaels on top of the ambulance with a Sweet Chin Music and pushed him down into a free fall. McIntyre hit him with a Claymore followed by a Punt Kick of his own and put him to the Ambulance to win. Ric Flair drove off the Ambulance to end the segment.
Result: Drew McIntyre def. Randy Orton to retain the title
Analysis: Yet another match from the RAW brand which wasn’t a fresh matchup, this one had an interesting stipulation and it was used quite well.
The callbacks of all the stars returning to take revenge on Orton was fantastic storytelling and allowed Orton to look strong even in defeat. McIntyre continues his run as one of the strongest babyfaces in recent times and will look for new opponents on RAW.
WWE Universal Championship: Roman Reigns (c) vs. Jey Uso
Reigns and Uso teed off, with Reigns using his power to keep his cousin down. Reigns dropped Uso with a Samoan Drop for two-count and hit him with a Superman Punch.
Reigns continued to batter him with blows and taunted him before the challenger made a comeback hitting a Suicide Dive followed by a Superkick for a near fall. Uso countered a Spear and delivered another Superkick followed by a splash but couldn’t take down the Tribal Chief, who hit a low-blow during his kick out.
Reigns hit a spear, and instead of pinning, demanded that Jey refer to him as the Tribal Chief. Jey refused and it resulted in Reigns punishing him with several more punches until Jimmy Uso returned and threw in the towel to save his twin.
Result: Roman Reigns def. Jey Uso by forfeit to retain the title.
Analysis: This match deserves more than just A+ as it is one of the finest pieces of storytelling the company has done in a long, long time. Kofi Kingston’s amazing run last year was great, but this rivalry somehow eclipses that.
Reigns as a heel is a dream come true for every single fan of wrestling, and he proved exactly why fans have begged for a heel turn for five years.