Tonight was the annual Clash of Champions event for WWE and it was once again inside the WWE Thunderdome at the Amway Center. It’s the one pay-per-view a year where every Championship in WWE is supposed to be on the line. On the Kickoff Show, we learned that the Women’s Tag Team Titles and Smackdown Women’s Title would not be defended due to participants not being medically cleared. With two title matches seemingly off the card, how would this show fare? Before I start with answering that question, here are the results of Clash of Champions:
-Kickoff Show: Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura defeated The Lucha House Party to retain the Smackdown Tag Team Championships
-Sami Zayn defeated Jeff Hardy and AJ Styles in a Ladder Match to win the WWE Intercontinental Championship
-Asuka defeated Zelina Vega to retain the Raw Women’s Championship
-Bobby Lashley defeated Apollo Crews to retain the WWE United States Championship
-The Street Profits defeated Andrade and Angel Garza to retain the Raw Tag Team Championships
-Asuka defeated Bayley by DQ(Bayley keeps the Smackdown Women’s Championship)
-Drew McIntyre defeated Randy Orton in the Ambulance Match to retain the WWE Championship
-Roman Reigns defeated Jey Uso to retain the WWE Universal Championship after Jimmy Uso threw in the towel.
The opening match of the night was the Ladder Match for the Intercontinental Championship. After Wrestlemania earlier this year, Sami Zayn stayed off WWE television for close to six months. During that time AJ Styles won a tournament to become champion, but eventually lost the title to Jeff Hardy. Zayn recently came back like Shawn Michaels did in 1994 with “his Intercontinental Championship.” From the start of the match, Sami Zayn took a lot of punishment from both Hardy and Styles. I don’t know if this was an all time great Ladder Match, but all three men took a ton of punishment and fought as hard as they possibly could. Sami Zayn eventually got creative and handcuffed both of his opponents to become the undisputed Intercontinental Champion.
One person’s title reign who has not been disputed is Asuka. Ever since Becky Lynch relinquished the title to her months ago she has had two title reigns and feuded with Bayley and Sasha Banks throughout the summer. Zelina Vega is a wildcard right now because we haven’t seen what she’s really capable of on Raw. Even though Asuka won the match we got see a small glimpse of how good Vega could be. The story wasn’t built up going into the match, but after they continued the story further. I hope they continue to give Vega time to develop and shine. I think her personality gives a huge advantage at a big future.
Roman Reigns recently said that storylines on Monday Night Raw don’t play out or have longevity, but I disagree wholeheartedly. Apollo Crews has been taking on The Hurt Business for several months now and that has had some twists and turns with Cedric Alexander turning heel. You have also had The Hurt Business involved with Raw Underground and recently took on RETRIBUTION. The Hurt business has a huge imprint on Raw and it continued tonight with Bobby Lashley defending the United States Championship against Crews. Apollo continues to struggle against The Hurt Business, so one has to wonder who will step up to Bobby Lashley next?
Earlier in the night, we saw Zelina Vega in competition and it was brought up that she is no longer managing Andrade and Angel Garza. These two have been facing off for the last five months, which that in itself shows a lack of depth in the WWE Tag Team Division. The match was really solid up until the very end. It appeared that Angel Garza was legitimately hurt and their was a botched three count that allowed The Street Profits to keep the Raw Tag Team Championships. If Garza is out for a lengthy time that’s going to present another huge problem because there won’t be any tag teams left. It might be time to to combine the Men’s Tag Team Titles and have them defended on both shows. That’s what the tag team division has come to in WWE, which is not something they should be proud of.
Bayley was originally supposed to defend the Smackdown Women’s Championship against Nikki Cross tonight, but she was not medically cleared to compete. Bayley issued an open challenge and it was answered by Raw Women’s Champion Asuka. The match ended rather quickly when Bayley got herself disqualified, but this was more about setting up Bayley verus Sasha Banks. I think this is the match that everyone is waiting to see and it could take place next month inside Hell in a Cell. In my opinion, Bayley versus Sasha Banks from Takeover Brooklyn in 2015 is still the greatest women’s wrestling that I’ve seen in my lifetime. Just imagine if they get inside cell.
Before we get to Hell in a Cell, the WWE Championship was defended in an Ambulance Match. Drew McIntyre has had a great year from winning the Royal Rumble, winning the championship at Wrestlemania and taking on anyone who has stepped up to him. He and Randy have had a fun feud over the last month, which has seen Orton take out the Big Show, Christian, Shawn Michaels, and Ric Flair. The story came full circle with Big Show, Christian, Shawn Michaels and Ric Flair all getting involved in the match. I am not sure if the story is over between the two of them, but if it was it was a great match.
The WWE Universal Championship scene has been a trainwreck at times this year. Strowman won it from Goldberg at Wrestlemania then entered into a feud with “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt. One week after Wyatt won the title he lost it to Roman Reigns who has not had a match since March. Then all of a sudden Jey Uso wins a number one contenders match and they faced off tonight. I always love the idea of a family feud in pro wrestling. Anytime it’s been done it has turned out great. The story in the match was great because Reigns acted more superior and was proving his point as being the Tribal Chief. Reigns finally is going into the direction that a lot of people have been wanting him to for a long time. The match got even more intense when Jimmy showed up and intervened For never having a big singles match I thought Jey Uso did very well and he should be proud of himself. There is a theory that Reigns will hold the title until Bray Wyatt comes around the challenge him again. I have my own theory about where the story of Reigns will end up. I think this superior Samoan storyline is going to lure The Rock out of Hollywood and back into a WWE ring for Wrestlemania. I could absolutely be wrong, but that’s where I think this is headed.
Despite the last minute changes to Clash of Champions, it was a very sold show. There were some great stories that were concluded and the important ones continued. This was probably one of the better WWE Pay-Per-Views in quite some time. It was the best since Wrestlemania this year. At the end of the night, I am going to give Clash of Champions an 8 out of 10. They have some momentum now and I hope they use it to give us a great Hell in a Cell pay-per-view next month.