I am frustrated and exasperated right now. The WWE is coming to the Philippines and I even bought tickets to go with my wrestling fans. Then, last week, I was informed that my vacation leave, which I applied for a whole month ago, was cancelled because of some emergency at work (which shouldn’t be my problem because it’s with another department) and I now have to go to office on the night the WWE’s show in the Philippines is happening!
I did manage to find someone to buy my ticket but that still doesn’t make it any less disappointing. Sorry, I just had to get that off my chest before I go into the review of Clash of Champions. I will have to say that, even though this is kind of a big pay-per-view as lots of things happened and titles did change hands, it didn’t really get my hyped up any more than I was to see the WWE Superstars in the Philippines. I will say that it was a very good show.
Since all the titles are on the line on Clash of Champions, I’m glad that there were a couple that changed hands during the night. It was a shocker that both the tag team titles from RAW and Smackdown were lost to the challengers. The RAW Tag Team bout was kind of a let down. The idea of Seth Rollins and Braun Strowman carrying the tag straps coming into Clash of Champions even though they will be fighting for the WWE Universal Championship later tonight was a novel one. I half expected them to win as they faced off against Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler, a team that the WWE cobbled together at the last minute. In retrospect, it would’ve been tiring if they stayed a team after their WWE Universal Championship bout. The ending, where Braun Strowman accidentally knocking Dolph Ziggler into Seth Rollins, was predictable but I fully expected each of them to blame the other for their loss, which didn’t happen. It was a good match overall but no real highlights to speak of.
The match for the Smackdown tag gold was a different story. The action throughout the match told a good in-ring story. The Revival used classic tag team and double team attacks to wear down the New Day. They basically focused on the injured Xavier Woods for the majority of the time. Even when Big E got in, The Revival still got the upper hand! The finish came right after the heels hit the Shatter Machine on Big E on the outside. They hit a Shatter Machine on Woods but wanted the New Day member to suffer so Dawson locked in a grapevine leg submission on Woods’ injured leg, forcing him to tap out. The Revival looked like the better team but The New Day still looked strong. A really good match.
Moving on to the Women side of the evening, I will say they put on good matches overall. The worst one, if you can call it that, was Bayley vs. Charlotte for the Smackdown Women’s Championship. It took me a while to adjust to the new normal of Bayley being the heel and Charlotte the face. They still retained their base personalities for the most part and The Hugger was still high-fiving little kids during the entrance! The match just had Charlotte pretty much dominate Bayley for the majority of the match until champion finally leaned into her new bad girl attitude by removing the padding from the bottom turnbuckle and smashing The Queen’s face into it while the referee wasn’t looking. Bayley got the pinfall victory to retain and did one of the more heelish things you can do as a WWE champion: take the belt and scamper out of the ring. It was disappointing that Bayley didn’t get any offense but I loved that she finally showed her evil side and using a dirty tactic to win.
The match for the Women’s Tag Team match was a hoot. While not the most technical or did it have the baddest looking bumps, it made up for it with pure charisma from Alexa Bliss and a surprisingly strong performance from Mandy Rose. A lot of fans throw a lot of shade towards Mandy Rose because they just think of her as a pretty face without any wrestling skills. She does have a lot of room for improvement but she performed a couple of impressive feats of strength throughout the match. Alexa Bliss’ charisma was still the best thing of the match. There was even a bit where R-Truth ran into the ring with his 24/7 Championship and The Goddess rolling him up for a 2-count. I know a lot of fans would call this part crap but it was a funny interlude in my opinion.
The finish was, unfortunately, very uninspired. Nikki Cross simply gets the tag, cleans house and nails her draping neckbreaker to retain. While the entire match does come off as disposable because of the 24/7 antics and the simplistic ending, it was a very watchable match but, yes, it could’ve been much better and much worse.
The best Women’s match was for the RAW Women’s Championship with Becky Lynch defending against a returning Sasha Banks. These are my two favorite performers in the WWE right now and seeing them compete against each other and pulling off a match with some really good spots was a joy for me to watch. Lots of back-and-forth and both Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks sold each other’s offense incredibly well. The finish was a screwball end with The Man attempting to strike The Boss with the chair but Sasha ducked at the last minute and Becky hit the referee, causing a disqualification. Things didn’t end there, though, as the two rivals continued to battle throughout the arena! I normally detest screwball finishes like this but this does have storyline implications as we’ll probably see Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks go at it again in Hell in a Cell next month! I can’t wait!
While technically not having a screwjob finish since it was under no disqualifications, the match between Roman Reigns and Erick Rowan did feel like one to me. This was basically a monster brawl as the two powerhouses struck each other with whatever they had available. There was a lack of creativity as the both of them just seemed to lumber around, hitting each other. I found it disappointing because, as much as I dislike Roman Reigns, he has shown himself to be a good in-ring performer. I guess pairing him with Rowan just brought the entire mood down. The biggest moment came at the end when Luke Harper made his return! Reigns looked like he was going for a spear but Harper jumped out and knocked The Big Dog with a big boot! Reigns was rolled into the ring and Rowan locked in his iron claw slam for the pinfall victory. The match felt overly long and missing some really exciting spots. It was great to see Luke Harper back with Erick Rowan, though.
This leaves us with the weakest of the matches from Clash of Champions and, strangely enough, they were for the Intercontinental, World Heavyweight and Universal Championships, the 3 most prestigious titles in the WWE! Thankfully, while they weren’t all that great, they weren’t terrible as well. Pairing Sami Zayn with Shinusuke Nakamura makes no sense whatsoever but it does facilitate Zayn distracting The Miz so that his new buddy Nakamura to get the victory. It was entertaining that Sami Zayn was just belting insults at The Miz and praising The Artist while using a microphone for everyone to hear. Too bad they cut the mic off pretty early. I would’ve wanted it throughout the entire match!
The match between Kofi Kingston and Randy Orton for the World Heavyweight Championship was a letdown, though. The match went on for too long with very little really happening in between for the most part. Things never really picked up and I blame Randy Orton here as a lot of his matches tend to be slow moving and methodical. It wouldn’t be so bad if Kofi Kingston put in a few big blast of offense but it looked like both of them were exhausted by the end of the match, making the action look lethargic during the ending moments. Not a bad match but I hope the WWE gives Kingston someone who gels with his style a bit better next time.
The biggest disappointment was the one for the WWE Universal Championship but I will admit, I have a persona bias here. I really wanted Braun Strowman to win. It was unlikely for an unstoppable monster like Strowman to win but I really thought the WWE would pull off a swerve and have Seth Rollins drop the belt to the more popular Monster Among Men. It did feel like your typical Bruan Strowman match with the big man dominating until he runs into the steel ring post. It happens every match of his, after all. The minute The Monster Among Men kicked out of 3 curb stomps, I was sure Seth Rollins was going to retain and I was right.
The finish actually came after the kickout. Rollins went for a 4th stomp but Strowman reversed it into a powerslam attempt. The big man’s knees gave out, however, allowing Rollins to connect with a Pedigree and another stomp to finally get the pinfall victory over Strowman. After the match, while Seth was celebrating on the stage, the lights went out and Bray Wyatt’s The Fiend appeared. The Fiend attacked Rollins with Sister Abigail, which is probably the start of the new feud. While there were a lot of big spots here and the match was short enough so that it didn’t overstay its welcome, my personal bias does make me feel disappointed that we didn’t crown a new WWE Universal Champion in Braun Strowman. Can’t help the way I feel.
Despite me saying that there were disappointing matches, none of them were actually terrible. All the matches of Clash of Champions were, at the very least, good. I wasn’t disappointed in the least with the pay-per-view.
It does make me want to see them live later in the week… but that’s not going to happen, isn’t it? Stupid work!
What did you think of this year’s Clash of Champions show? Let me know in the comments section below!