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WWE: Clash of Champions Recap


We are less than 24 hours removed from WWE’s last pay-per-view of 2017, Smackdown’s Clash of Champions. Going in, I believe everybody had extremely low expectations for this PPV, as it just seemed to be a filler show before the Royal Rumble. But the blue brand actually came through and put on a pretty solid PPV. From great story work, solid opening and closing matches, and a possible retirement, Clash of Champions over achieved. Here is a recap of last night’s PPV.

US Championship Match: Baron Corbin (c) vs Bobby Roode vs Dolph Ziggler

This match was a great opener for the show as it was able to draw the audience in for a PPV that had low expectations in the first place. Even earning a “this is awesome chant” the match was fast pace and a false finish galore, from Bobby Roode kicking out of Baron Corbin’s deep six, or Bobby kicking out of Dolph Ziggler’s DDT. It felt like the glorious Bobby Roode was going to win his first title on WWE’s main roster. But WWE pulled a major surprise and gave the title to the man with no gimmick, Dolph Ziggler, as Ziggler hit a beautiful Zig Zag while Baron was trying to hit End of Days on Roode. This is kind of a head scratcher because many people believe he will leave the company in 2018. Maybe one last title push? Grade: B+

Fatal 4-way Tag Team Championship Match: The Uso’s (c) vs The New Day vs Rusev and Aiden English vs Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin

I thought this match was going to be a mess from the beginning and we would just see the Uso’s and New Day once again steal the tag team spotlight, to further solidify they are two of the best tag teams in all of wrestling right now. But we got a pleasant surprise as they made Rusev and English look strong, along with a good performance from Chad Gable. It was apparent from the entrances of the match how over Rusev is to the WWE crowd, so it was nice to see WWE give him a little momentum during this match. It seemed like all four teams played an equal part in the match and it even looked the Rusev and English or Gable and Benjamin was going to win the tag titles. But the New Day was able to get the jo done once again to walk out of Boston Smackdown’s Tag Team Champions. This run the Uso’s have been on this year has been nothing short of phenomenal and it is easily their best work in the company. They are so fun to watch. Grade: B+

Women’s Lumberjack Match for the WWE Women’s Championship: Charlotte Flair (c) vs Natalya

This was easily going to be the least entertaining match of the night, only for the fact everyone already knew the outcome as Charlotte made Natalya tap in the middle of the ring to retain. The only story work that could’ve came from this match would have been the Riott squad destroying everybody involved in that match, and we didn’t even get that. The most entertaining part of the match was when Carmella almost cashed in her Money in the Bank during the match, only to have it squandered by the lumberjacks. After the match, Natalya cut a promo that many would be considered a hell turn. Talking to the WWE audience she said, “I’m turning my back on you”, but considering she is already a heel, this has me questioning her future in the WWE as she could possibly be turning her back and walking away? Either way, just keep her out of the title picture please. Grade: D-

The Bludgeon Brothers vs Breezango

There’s not much to say about this match, it was a squash. Bludgeon brothers made lightwork of Breezango to further solidify Harper and Rowan are in the best shape of their lives. Moving on. Grade: F

Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn vs Randy Orton and Shinsuke Nakamura with Special Guest Referees Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon

If Owens and Zayn would have lost they would have been fired from WWE. This match was more about story work and less about wrestling. With that said there were some cool spots, such as Kevin Owens performing a frog splash onto a table and roll up sequence which had Shane and Bryan alternating counts. The best part of the match was Daniel Bryan as he may have played the biggest role. There have been many rumors circulating that he may leave the WWE if they don’t let him wrestle anytime soon, and boy did they tease him wrestling again. From the stare down with Randy Orton, to the shoving match with Shane, we may see Daniel Bryan in the ring again. Daniel Bryan would end up dishing out a quick 1-2-3 on a Sami Zayn roll up to let Kevin and Sami keep their jobs. The biggest question is, was this Daniel Bryan’s heel turn? Grade: B+

WWE Championship Match: AJ Styles (c) vs Jinder Mahal

The main event saw the phenomenal AJ Styles take on The Modern-Day Maharaja and KSR’s favorite wrestler, Jinder Mahal, battle for WWE’s most coveted prize. Many people thought this would be Jinder’s swan song in the main event picture and in a sense, it was as AJ Styles made him tap with the calf crusher, but WWE did a really good job of keeping Jinder relevant in the match. This match was booked almost like the Brock Lesnar AJ Styles match at Survivor Series as Jinder used his physical advantage to dominate early. Only for AJ to use his athleticism to win the match and retain as champion. It is safe to say Jinder won’t be in the title picture anytime soon, but what started off as a terrible push, we have seen Jinder improve immensely to show he belongs in the WWE. Grade: A-

Article written by Brent Wainscott

Twitter: @BrentW_KSR