The final WWE pay-per-view of the year had a title rematch and a tag match with huge stipulations. Did it deliver? Matthew Roberts finds out.
The WWE’s 2017 on pay-per-view ended with Smackdown’s Clash of the Champions, a show that seemed to offer little of any great interest on paper. Truth be told it didn’t really deliver much in execution either. Whilst by no means a terrible show, very little lingered in the memory afterwards and precious little made any great difference to the landscape of the promotion.
If few were salivating at the prospect of Jinder Mahal attempting to get the Title back that he had lost to AJ Styles in the UK in Manchester there was at least the welcoming fact that that particular match had been the best of Mahal’s career thanks to the peerless Styles. If this one didn’t quite live up to that previous encounter (and didn’t have “surprise” happy ending this time around) it was still a very good effort . Credit to Mahal for “hanging” in there but at its heart this was just another example of Styles being the best worker in the WWE.
The undercard offered nothing up to those standards but did have entertainment value in places. If the three way match for the United States Title had been, well, rather perfunctory and dull and if Dolph Ziggler’s win here ultimately proved to be a waste of time, at least the match between him, Baron Corbin and Robert Roode was an action packed opener that was perhaps better than it had any right to be. The Smackdown Tag Team Championship four way was also something that could never be described as dull. It rarely dragged and featured the requisite big spots that wowed the crowd. Quietly, the SD tag division has been on one hell of a run recently.
The match that pitted Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens against the supposed “Dream Team” of Randy Orton and Shinsuke Nakamura was disappointing to this viewer. The dual referee stipulation with Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan was supposed to turn up the suspense and intrigue but essentially did neither. The match was OK, but felt more like a TV match or a random House Show main event than something worthy of a ppv. Still it was approximately one hundred times better than the mess that was the Smackdown Women’s Championship match between Charlotte and Natalya. The Lumberjack stipulation added nothing different from the norm and the match highlighted how boring Natalya can be (sorry folks, I’m not a fan) and how ill-suited Charlotte is to a babyface role. That an indifferent match was followed by an interminable promo from Natalya was just the icing on the cake. The only other match was a squash match as the Bludgeon Brothers, well, bludgeoned Breezango.
Overall Clash of the Champions was a less than satisfactory effort. Whilst there were some good matches in parts nothing was remotely “must see” and very few storylines were progressed either. Most things just seemed to “exist”. Take an hour off and this might have been an entertaining episode of Smackdown. As a PPV it fell well short.
The only extra is the spirited, but again far from essential, Mojo Rawley vs Zack Ryder match.
Format reviewed: DVD
Thank you to our partners, WWEDVD.co.uk and Fetch for providing our review copies. Clash of the Champions 2017 is out on DVD 5 February 2018. You can buy your copy from WWEDVD.co.uk now by clicking here