So the first Clash of Champions under the WWE umbrella is in the books and what a show it was to kick start the Raw exclusive Pay-Per-View era. OK so perhaps not, but one thing Clash of Champions wasn’t void of was a little bit of controversy.
Clash of Champions delivered, on paper, a much superior card to Smackdown Live’s first brand exclusive PPV. However, Backlash in terms of storyline progression managed to knock COC out of the park as it managed to tie up some loose ends along with beginning a few more narratives.
This is where Clash of Champions ultimately failed. Below will look at talking points from Clash of Champions and discuss several moments from Raw’s first brand exclusive Pay-Per-View of the new era.
Nia Jax defeated Alicia Fox
The New Day (Big E and Kofi Kingston) (c) (with Xavier Woods) defeated Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson (WWE Raw Tag Team Championship)
T.J. Perkins (c) defeated Brian Kendrick via submission (WWE Cruiserweight Championship)
Cesaro vs. Sheamus ended in a no contest (Final Match – Best of Seven Series)
Chris Jericho defeated Sami Zayn
Charlotte (c) (with Dana Brooke) defeated Bayley and Sasha Banks (WWE Raw Women’s Championship)
Roman Reigns defeated Rusev (c) (with Lana) (WWE United States Championship)
Kevin Owens (c) defeated Seth Rollins (WWE Universal Championship)
Are Gallows and Anderson Dead and Buried?
Gallows and Anderson suffered yet another defeat to The New Day, surely ending their quest to become Raw Tag Team Champions. The question now is, where do they go from here?
Coming over from Japan after being a part of the famous Bullet Club, they were initially presented as being hard hitting bruisers who wanted to dismantle all competition. It was not long until they were in doctors coats making testicle jokes and referring to The New Day as ‘The Old Day’.
Gallows and Anderson have gone from being one of the most feared tag teams on the planet, to AJ Styles’ lackeys, to doctors in the space of 6 months. Now after failing to gain the championships from The New Day, is there any coming back for the former Bullet Club members?
It’s not impossible, but it’s difficult not to agree that the initial pedigree and aura surrounding them has all but vanished and seeing them with gold around their waists right now is tough to picture.
WWE needs to find a way quickly to prevent them going down the route of so many of WWE’s current tag teams (See The Ascension, The Vaudevillians) and becoming complete jokes.
Did the Cruiserweights Deliver?
TJ Perkins defeated Brain Kendrick to remain WWE Cruiserweight Champion on his Raw and PPV debut. The two put on a good match, but were ultimately let down by a nonchalant live crowd. The crowd were dead throughout the majority of the match, maybe highlighting how a lack of character can affect the crowd’s attitude to a match.
There is particular concern for TJ Perkins’ character. As you know full well, the nice guy shtick can only go so far and eventually the crowd will more than likely turn on you.
One of the biggest cheers came when Kendrick planted a post-match head-butt on Perkins. This is a problem that WWE are going to have to address with the cruiserweights quickly, otherwise expect to see a trend of live crowds being disinterested in the cruiserweight action.
Feel free to check out a more detailed review of the concerns WWE may have with the Raw Cruiserweight Division: https://backbump.wordpress.com/2016/09/23/raw-cruiserweight-division-destined-for-failure/
Cesaro vs Sheamus – What Did the Non-Finish Accomplish?
Firstly, for two superstars who were completely thrown together to compete in this series, what a fantastic match Cesaro and Sheamus managed to put on.
They managed to create drama for a clash that most had next to no enthusiasm for coming into the bout. But by the end they managed to have audiences invested and desperate to see who was going to come out on top.
But in the end, none of them did. The match finished when Cesaro clotheslined Sheamus over the barricade and both men were rendered unable to compete.
The question is, what do they do now? We found out on Raw from Mick Foley that they will now compete as a tandem and attempt to capture the Raw Tag Team Champions as opposed to competing for individual Singles Championship.
For the sake of saving the discussion (perhaps for a future blog) this won’t be touched upon in too much detail. But in short, I am personally a big fan of this.
Should Jericho Be Defeating Zayn At This Stage In His Career?
Chris Jericho has managed to reinvent himself into a goofball, annoying yet loveable moron and is managing to do some of the best work of his career.
He defeated Sami Zayn at Clash of Champions to prove that not only is his trash talking as good as ever, but can he back it up in the ring.
However it does beg the question, what does this do for Zayn?
After defeating the now WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens at WWE Battleground, he has since been bumped to the Pre-Show at Summerslam and has now eaten this loss Sunday Night.
Although he does have an underdog character, he cannot afford to keep losing the way he does. Crowd reaction for him has already been sucked dry since he first arrived on the main roster. WWE are taking a similar approach with Bayley. Rather than play into an underdog style of character, they’re instead just making them lose and hoping that this garners sympathy from the crowd.
At the moment, it only serves in making Zayn look weak. Rather than a loveable loser, he is instead just looking like a loser. Let’s just hope he manages to ultimately come out of this program with Jericho the overall winner.
Charlotte- Best Heel on RAW?
3 of the 4 members of The Four Horsewomen managed to put on a stellar contest at Clash of Champions that was arguably match of the night. Bayley and Sasha managed to come off as two warriors desperate to take the title from the current ‘Queen’ of WWE, Charlotte.
I put Queen in brackets then, but that moniker sure as hell belongs to Charlotte right now. Not only is her in ring work superb, but she carries herself like a superstar. She manages to look like a dominant force in every match she has despite losing to both Sasha and Bayley in recent times.
The promo she cut on Raw following Clash of Champions was typically grating and obnoxious. Some fans genuinely hate her mic work and not in a good heel ‘heat’ kind of way. But I think it’s the fact that her mic work isn’t 100% there which makes her promos particularly irritating.
She can be so pretentious and obnoxious that fans couldn’t wait to see Sasha slap her in the face, which is exactly what you want from a top heel. Other than perhaps The Miz over on Smackdown Live, Charlotte is arguably the best heel in the company.
Was Reigns Winning The Title A Good Decision?
Roman Reigns lifting the United States title is something that nobody could have claimed to have predicted. It appears as though his suspension has had quite the impact on his career.
Sure he is still winning a championship, but he has spent the past 2 years fighting for the top prize, all of a sudden it seems he has now been dropped into the mid-card.
It does make sense somewhat, as there was clearly no chance of him getting over as a main eventer and WWE would also have liked to keep him looking as strong as possible.
After a clean losses to Rollins and Balor, WWE needed to do something to maintain his credibility. Too many losses would of hurt him and the last few years spent pushing him would have been all for nothing.
Where does this leave Rusev? Unfortunately, without US Title he is once again in limbo. Putting him into chase mode is ineffective as it is obvious to everybody that he isn’t going to conquer Reigns and win the belt.
It will be interesting to see where the feud moves from here.
Owens vs Rollins – Could It Have Been More?
The main event saw Kevin Owens defending his Universal Championship vs Seth Rollins in what could have been so much more.
Although a good match, it was affected by all the shenanigans surrounding the contest. They were probably saving a more brutal, wrestling heavy contest for an event such as Hell In A Cell. But this match didn’t need half the overbooking in which it suffered.
Chris Jericho, although being Kevin Owen’s BFF, really had no need getting involved. It was quite an extreme length to go too, just to avoid Rollins suffering a clean defeat. Stephanie McMahon coming out at the end and seemingly costing Rollins the tie was kind of awkward and kind of left a sour note coming out of the PPV.
You can have heels win main events without making the audience feel like they have come away so disappointed, and Sunday just made you feel as if you’d been robbed of a great main event.
Owens booking as champion has been mediocre at best and Sunday only helped ensure his tag of a ‘Lucky Champion’. Look at Styles on Smackdown. He had to beat John Cena and then overcome Ambrose to claim the title. A little bit of cheating against Ambrose sure, but it was still only him.
Owens at the moment just looks like he’s been undeservedly handed the belt and nothing more.
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