WWE held the Clash of Champion PPV last night. Every title was on the line, as well as a No DQ match. An interesting card for sure, but did it deliver? Let’s delve in and find out.
Drew Gulak (C) vs Lince Dorado vs Humberto Carrillo – WWE Cruiserweight Championship
Result- Gulak pins Dorado-retains championship.
Grade – D+
Thoughts – At points, this was a very good match. Carrillo has all the talent in the world but has the personality of a dead fish. Dorado is brilliant but is stuck with the useless Lucha House Party. Gulak is amazing but has run through pretty much everyone of note in the Cruiserweight Division.
There were some great sequences in this match, but its hard to care when you have two bland babyfaces who no-one cares about. The finish was sloppy too. Carrillo hit an Aztec Press (An Arabian Moonsault) on Dorado, Gulak threw him into the post and rolled up Dorado for the win. There was an awkward moment when Dorado’s shoulders weren’t on the mat, but eventually, Gulak held him down for the pin and the victory. There’s no one really left for him to face (Carrillo looks likely to be his next challenger) and until he gets a decent challenger, everyone will continue to ignore the 205 Live brand.
AJ Styles (C) vs Cedric Alexander – United States Championship
Result- Styles pins Alexander – retains championship
Grade – C
Thoughts – A surprise choice for the pre-show, but a welcome one, as these two had a great match. Cedric started like a man possessed, coming close a couple of times, before the crafty veteran Styles took control, hitting a brutal looking Styles Clash on the floor. He could’ve won there but chose to inflict more punishment on Alexander. Cedric would have a brief comeback, before falling to a Styles Clash. Styles, Gallows and Anderson beat Cedric down afterwards, leaving him battered and broken.
Although a short match, it was a great showcase for Cedric. The guy has a lot of talent but has never really shone in my eyes. Putting him in a feud against Styles is a great move, because Styles remains one of the best in the world. Cedric may have lost here, but Styles made him look like a legitimate contender to his belt here.
Seth Rollins and Braun Strowman (C) vs Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler – RAW Tag Team Championships
Result- Roode pins Rollins, Roode and Ziggler become new Tag Champions
Grade – C
Thoughts – Robert Roode was on a WWE PPV in 2019. Let that sink in for a moment. Isn’t wrestling weird? Of all the people WWE could have chosen, they chose Robert Roode. Why? Who knows? Anyway, there were three other people in this match who weren’t Roode, one of whom is the Universal Champion.
This was a fine match, nothing special. The main question commentary focused on was could Strowman and Rollins co-exist long enough to defend the Tag Team Championships? What’s surprising here is Roode pinned the UNIVERSAL CHAMPION clean. Does this mean that Roode could become a challenger for Seth’s title? I think I might explode if that happens. This match happened so Rollins and Strowman could build tension before their title match later in the evening. Roode and Ziggler probably won’t hold the belts for long (I’ll be shocked if they don’t lose them to the Viking Raiders soon), but they could have fun with it.
Bayley (C) vs Charlotte – Smackdown Women’s title
Result- Bayley drives Charlotte into a metal turnbuckle – retains belt
Grade – C
Thoughts – An odd match. Bayley spent most of it getting pummelled by Charlotte, and the finish was out of nowhere. It does further Bayley’s heel persona, being cowardly and doing whatever it takes to win but it just felt a bit strange.
This is your Smackdown Women’s Champion for crying out loud. At least make her look slightly dominant instead of a cowardly champion for a while before she busts out the cheap wins. Bayley needs to convince people she could be a dominant heel champion. A cheap win won’t do that here. She’s a work in progress, but still has a long way to go before she convinces me she is a great heel champion.
The New Day (Big E and Xavier Woods) (C) vs The Revival (Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder) – Smackdown Tag Team Championships
Result – Dawson submits Woods – Revival become new Tag Team Champions
Grade – C+
Thoughts – The match of the night so far. Two of the best tag teams on the planet put on a clinic here. Woods is the best hot tag in WWE today, but ultimately fell to the ring psychology of Dawson and Wilder.
Big E was an absolute star in this match. The guy has got big things in his future. He has everything WWE look for in a wrestler. Unfortunately, even he couldn’t overcome the old school ring presence of The Revival. They looked vicious in this match, repeatedly targeting Woods’ already injured knee as they looked to decimate the New Day. Ultimately, a vicious Shatter Machine on the floor to Big E took him out of the equation, which left Woods at The Revival’s mercy. A Shatter Machine and an Indian Death Lock got the win for The Revival here, in what was a fantastic tag team match.
Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross (C) vs Fire and Desire (Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville) – WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship match
Result – Cross pins Rose – Champions retain
Grade – C
Thoughts – The rubbish with the 24/7 belt aside, this was a good match. Fire and Desire are very quickly improving as a team, and Cross and Bliss are just incredible together. They had a very good match, one which made Nikki Cross look like a star.
She was the most popular one in the match. She got a huge pop when she appeared, and an even bigger one when she pinned Rose to get the win. I’ll admit, I didn’t think the Bliss/Cross team would work, but it has done wonders for both women and they are very worthy champions.
Shinsuke Nakamura (C) vs The Miz – Intercontinental Championship
Result – Nakamura pins Miz – retains championship
Grade – D
Thoughts – No disrespect to these men, but this should’ve been on the pre-show. It was good, but nothing more than that. This felt more like a Smackdown match than a PPV match if I’m being brutally honest. The match was stolen by an hilarious Sami Zayn on the outside, who needs more time on-screen in my opinion.
The problem Miz has is that he’s just an awful good guy. Being beaten on successive PPVs by Shane McMahon has ruined any illusion of him being a top-level babyface. If you’re losing to a 49-year old part-timer TWICE, you’re failing. Hopefully, things change soon, or Miz will be lost in the shuffle forever.
Becky Lynch (C) vs Sasha Banks – RAW Women’s Championship
Result – Becky gets DQ’d for hitting the Referee with a chair, retains her title.
Grade – C+
Thoughts – A fantastic match. These women left it all in the ring in a well-paced, brutal match. Becky targeted the arm of Sasha, and Sasha targeted the back and knees of Becky. Simple, honest storytelling made this match great. The inevitable rematch will be even more amazing, especially if its inside Hell in a Cell.
Although the finish was a bit strange (The ref got hit with a chair, was unconscious for ages, but somehow still managed to throw the match out), it did make sense. Sasha can rightfully request a rematch – which everyone wants – and it should be inside Hell in a Cell, which adds even more drama to the occasion. This feud will continue, and will no doubt be incredible to see.
Kofi Kingston (C) vs Randy Orton- WWE Championship
Result – Kofi pins Orton- retains championship
Grade – C+
Thoughts – This was a million times better than their Summerslam match. This was the perfect match to follow Banks/Lynch, because Orton revels in being a proper old-school bastard, and knows how to wind a crowd up. Kofi is a brilliant babyface who knows how to bring a crowd over to his side. Simple psychology = a fantastic match.
This was back and forth, with both men coming close several times. Orton looked more motivated here than he has in a long time. Maybe that’s because he’s in his element as a heel taking on a proper babyface like Kofi. This feud has contained some of Orton’s best work in years.
The finish to this ruled. Kofi put his foot on the rope to avoid getting pinned after an RKO, Orton went for a punt kick and Kofi reversed it into a Trouble in Paradise for the pin. A great ending to a great match.
Roman Reigns vs Eric Rowan-No DQ match
Result – Rowan pins Roman after an assist from Luke Harper
Grade – D+
Thoughts – This wasn’t great. It just felt like they were holding back, which is strange in a No DQ match. Both men are capable of better (Well Roman is, unsure about Rowan tbh) and it all just felt a bit flat. It wasn’t until the finish that things picked up, when Luke Harper returned.
What’s even worse is this was probably Rowan’s best ever singles match. It speaks volumes about how good Rowan is that this was probably his best ever match. The crowd were a bit dead until Luke Harper returned, which got a huge pop from the crowd, and from me at home.
Harper is awesome, so anytime he’s on my screen is a big plus for me. I would have preferred him as a singles competitor, but this will do for now.
Seth Rollins (C) vs Braun Strowman- WWE Universal Title
Result – Rollins pins Strowman-retains championship
Grade – B
Thoughts – I loved this match. It was exactly what you wanted from a PPV main event. It was fast-paced, brutal action and a good result. What happened afterwards was even better, but I’ll get to that in a moment.
Seth did everything in his power to make Braun look like an absolute beast here. He sold like a madman for him and looked in genuine peril multiple times. To his credit, Braun was incredible too. He even managed to do a splash from the top rope, which looked brutal for both men. In the end, it took three Curb Stomps, a Pedigree and then another stomp to finally put The Monster Amongst Men down in an absolute war.
It’s what happened afterwards which will set the wrestling world alight. As Seth was recovering on the stage, The Fiend appeared, hit a Sister Abigail and then choked Seth out as the PPV went off the air. Bray Wyatt had already laid a challenge down for whoever was Universal Champion at Hell in a Cell, so it looks like we’re getting The Fiend vs Seth Rollins at HIAC, which should be amazing.
You can find the author of this article on Twitter @Bannister007. Thanks for reading!