With the upswing we have seen in WWE PPVs this year, with each being better than the last, no matter how dreich Raw and SDLive might have been, but the start of Clash of Champions really floored me in how bad the matches were. It wasn’t at all what I expected from the WWE, but the women pulled things together and gave us one half of a fantastic PPV. The second half of the show was wonderful and more than worth the watch, but this entire review is the read!
Division Killing It!
As always the three cruiserweights in this match put on a clinic. They stepped between the ropes and killed it as a trio. We always talk about how it’s this person versus that person, but in reality, it’s them putting on a show for us and if one of them is off their mark, then the match will suffer as a whole. This match was more than the sum of its parts, and that’s when some of the best matches happen. Each and every month the Cruiserweight Division has shown the fans how great they are on whatever PPV might be happening, yet 205 Live has been getting no love, even to rumors of the show being canceled. It makes no sense to me.
As much as I love Gulak, I still think Dorado should have won this one. He’s part of Lucha House Party who appears on Raw in the Tag Team Division, and having the Cruiserweight Champion in that group could only help 205 Live. I get that they don’t want to bounce the CW Championship around too much, but I thought Dorado made a lot of sense as he’s a known entity who has been with 205 since the start.
I have to say I had a lovely flashback to Taka when Alexander hit the Michinoku driver on AJ or a long two. Everyone was in shock at what almost happened and really got into the match from there. The stands were mostly filled for this match makes it feel a bit better that AJ Styles was in a Kick-Off match. As was stated in the DD, hopefully they will work this Kick-Off match into this feud, or AJ’s next feud. It’s a perfect reason for a whiny heel to kvetch about.
I really thought the match would be a show stopper, something HBK would have been proud of, yet no. I could have napped through that match. I love the type of technical work that can be had between guys like Styles and Alexander, and this was one of the matches I was most looking forward to on the Clash card, but now I’m just glad it’s over so I can focus on the actual PPV and hope things only get better. One last thing, I rarely agree with both SAM and X, but I’m with them both on this one, weak and underwhelming.
The First Match…
Involving Strowman and Rollins. I have been mulling this one over since it came about. Between the questions about Strowman and Rollins, and Roode finally being heel, I’ve been excited about this match and wondered which would come first, the Tag Team Championship or the Universal Championship. Putting the Tag Team Championship first makes the most sense, and putting it at the start of the show was a great way to give Strowman and Rollins have some relaxation time between matches.
Of course there’s a miscommunication between Rollins and Strowman that cost them the straps. Corey even used the term miscommunication after the match was over! On the other hand, I love Roode and truly hope that this helps get him over. Between the fan reaction when he threw his arms up in the air, and how he’s working being a heel (as he should have been all along!), I’m excited to see where this new team goes, and how Roode is going to DESTROY Ziggler when they lose the straps and Ziggler is the one who doesn’t get the push from it. I truly expected Rollins and Strowman to lose this match, but I’m that much more thrilled that Roode was the one who got the three. I’m taking this as writing on the wall for his impending push. Fingers crossed.
Strowman is ready for Rollins, as expected, and sold it beautifully on mic. Strowman truly is a well-rounded WWE superstar and deserves the push he appears to be getting right now. Fingers crossed.
Killed it here! The Man did all these things and Sasha dyed her hair. That was possibly one of the most telling backstage interview/promo we’ve seen from Becky lately. She’s always great on mic, but this was perfect. She stood up for HER Man while talking up being THE Man!
Flee Like The Wimp You Are!
This match, like Styles vs Alexander, felt very off and was pretty horrible because of it. It really looked to me that Charlotte and Bayley were doing little but going through the paces and hitting their marks. Maybe it’s Charlotte being annoyed that she wasn’t winning the strap. Maybe it was Bayley who has been resting on her mediocrity since coming up to the main roster. Maybe the planets are truly not aligned for the superstars tonight. Whatever it is, this was the second match of the night that wasn’t worth the time we spent to watch it, and I want back every moment I lost to this milquetoast feud.
After the matches we’ve already seen on the Clash PPV I was almost worried about this next match. It could have been any match, just whichever was after the mess that seems to keep happening during this PPV, but I’m not overly thrilled with Revival and expect almost nothing from them. Technically they’re solid, but there’s nothing else beyond the moves from them, and that’s what hurts my being to its core.
The story within the match was really solid, as was the work Revival did on Woods’ knee. They actually showed a bit of personality in there, but if you cannot show anything in the ring with Woods and Big E, then there’s a serious charisma issue going on. “Proverbial pancake batter!” was a great comment from Dawson, but those are words, not charisma or emotion. I guess Dawson is better on mic than Orton, but that means little to nothing as Orton is a robot. Honestly their mic work wasn’t bad, but still not anything that screams top WWE superstar.
Truly Some Mic Work
Bliss and Cross were really cute together, but it was Bliss who killed it in announcing that R-Truth is on the set and to find a ref. That was perfection, almost as perfect as Bliss looked there. Her hair pulled up like that only made her makeup look that much more on point. I know it’s not Cross’ character to be all made up, but I’d love to see what she’d look like done up like Bliss. I think she would either take her natural beauty to a whole new level and leave us all licking the floor where her boots stepped, or she’d look like a little girl playing in her mother’s makeup. I’d love to see it just to see how it would look, not saying Cross needs it, not at all, but neither does Bliss. I just love makeup and what it can do to either enhance or change how someone looks. Heck, I’d love to see what Bliss makeup would look like on me, but I don’t attend anything where I’d want to be that dressy.
I love watching Bliss and Cross work the ring. They seem to have a chemistry that many teams don’t manage after years together. They work together well which I hope means that they will feud together just as well. I honestly didn’t think I’d believe Bliss as a face, but it’s with Cross that this happened, and it’s believable. They work together as if they’ve been besties for much of their lives and it comes through
Screaming Sami – Sir Mitch
The trajectory of Naka’s career makes me so sad. What makes me sadder is he now seems resigned to his spot in the card playing a typical foreign heel not allowed to speak for himself due to having an accent and putting in the minimum amount of effort in mediocre matches in the mid-card — all the while happily collecting his paycheck every week. I don’t want to be this guy…but the artist formally known as The King Of Strong Style has without a doubt sold out! I’d love to see him back in NXT or NJPW and back to his old charismatic best, but that now seems unlikely.
The Miz did most of the heavy lifting in this one (never thought I’d say that) and its a testament to his professionalism and work ethic. Especially when you consider his wife Maryse is VERY pregnant and probably about to pop any day. If I were him…I’d be stressed out to the MAX!
All and all, this was a forgettable affair made worse by Sami Zayn screaming into a microphone throughout the match.
I truly Hate Mustard!
Wow, a bit of the selling in this match sucked! Both Becky and Sasha had moments where their selling was so middle school play that I couldn’t help but cringe! On the other hand, they hit moves on each other that were sick! They went to that ring and left it all out there. It very obviously helped that these two know each other so well. They know how to work that ring together and did so in a beautiful way. The story told in this match was one of the strongest of the PPV so far. In fact, it elevated the show in a huge way, being the match of the night so far, which is solid coming off the previous two matches that had been the matches of the night so far during the show.
I didn’t like that Sasha had blue hair, mostly blue ring gear, and lilac nails. I thought she was being all blueprint, but the nails made me think of purple Sasha more than who she is now. I know some will give me crap for such a small thing, but these women are known for giving every bit of themselves to the fans, especially at a PPV, and that’s the type of thing I notice because they give their all.
I’ve stated numerous times that we need to see more fights backstage as there is so much for them to work off back there, and they can be more creative in different ways. I get why they don’t do it as much because the fans in attendance cannot see the show they’re paying to see live if they cannot see the show they are paying to see live. That being said, these two did a great job of going through the stands, into concession, then back down the stairs and into the ring with the chairs. That final hold on Sasha was sick, and their work all over the arena goes back to what I said about them knowing each other so well and knowing what they can do together made this match so much more than the sum of these two women in the ring. They completely killed it, and if my prediction comes true, they will take HIAC to a whole new level. I went to that HIAC PPV in Boston, sat in nosebleed seats to see the first Women’s HIAC and have said over and over since then that one time is a novelty doing it more regularly truly means the women are respected in the ring as they should be. Not sure I’m not sure how I feel about that Sasha being in the second women’s HIAC, but I’m giddy to see Buddy Lynch in there instead of Charlotte.
Lastly, the smell of mustard is one of the worst things in the world to me. Of course Becky had to dump it on Sasha and I gagged at just the thought of it.
Can We Be Done? – Duke Dre
Going into this, I was expecting this match to go a completely different way, and I don’t mean the outcome, more the pacing and the overall vibe. I was expecting something similar to the way the Becky/Sasha match was laid out. Instead, what we got was a slow methodical match that lacked any type of flow or real sense of urgency which was disappointing considering the history between these two, especially after the high stakes of the match and how well the week to week build-up for this was.
Coming out of this I felt underwhelmed by this match, much like I did their match at Summerslam. After watching last night I came to the conclusion that Orton and Kofi just don’t have good ring chemistry together. It’s not a knock on either guy, because both are proven what they’re capable of in the ring. It’s just one of those things that happen in wrestling; sometimes styles don’t meld very well. There’s even a part of me that kind of hopes that Kofi going over clean last night signifies the conclusion of this feud, but considering HIAC is right around the corner I don’t think is ending here. I have to ask regarding a potential third straight match between Kofi and Orton, what valid claim does Orton have to get another match and what else could he possibly do to get inside of Kofi’s head that would provoke Kofi to the point of giving him another shot at the title?
Street Profits going all Lion King. Is it because of the new movie or because of the newest lawsuit against the Boy Scout of America? I have to wonder if McMahon even knows about the Boy Scouts lawsuit. Now, I love Street Profits backstage, they are killing it on mic, but I loved seeing them with King Booker! King Booker is one of my favorite KoTR winners, and one of my favorite incarnations of Booker T in wrestling. Great little promo, but when are we going to get Street Profits in the ring on Raw or SDLive? I called for them to drop their NXT Tag Team Championships so they could be in the ring on the main roster, so get them in the ring! Maybe with Xavier Woods again ‘injured’ they could go after Revival. I know they’re one of the newest teams on the main roster, but not THE newest and THE newest just won the Raw Tag Team Championships from Rollins and Strowman! Just a thought. Actually, if Street Profits stay on Raw after the Draft they could be a great team of faces to work against Ziggler and Roode, giving Roode a well-spoken team to go totally heel on. Roode is finally heel, so they need to get that mic in his hand!
Who Is That Skinny Man?
I stated in my prediction of this match that someone would get involved, whether Bryan or someone else. Before the actual PPV started, while in the Dignified Discussion, I had a great discussion with Lewis about who would be getting involved in this match as Rowan needed to win it while Reigns truly didn’t need the win here. Lewis thought it would either be Bryan, Harper, Rusev, or even Sheamus. I honestly thought it would be perfect for the WWE to bring an almost unknown up from the Performance Center. It’s hard for the WWE to surprise us with a new superstar when we see them in NXT all the time, but I know there have to be superstars at the PC who are ready to jump over NXT and onto the main roster. I thought it would make a lot of sense, but in the end, Lewis was right and I’m all good with that.
Rowan has always been my favorite of the pair, even though I know Harper is the better wrestler. That being said, if someone had shown me Harper’s new physique without his head, I wouldn’t have known it was Harper. He looks fantastic! I’m in awe of how much weight he’s lost and how great he looks. I’m thrilled that he’s not sitting out his contract the way Meltzer and a number of other dirt sheetz and newz sites reported. (I hope you, our beloved readers, would tell us if you felt we were going at all trashy here at WR.)
This is how you book a match to make both superstars look like absolute rock stars in the ring. Anyone who says Strowman got buried last night needs to turn and walk away from wrestling, because that was possibly one of the best-booked matches, for both superstars involved, I’ve seen in a main event in, possibly, years. Now there were great matches on this show, Becky and Sasha had a MOTY candidate match that left many of us already excited for them (hopefully) facing off at HIAC on October 6, but this match was a masterpiece of Creative, booking, and two of the best on the Raw roster.
This is one of those rare matches where I have to simply say, go watch the match because there is nothing I can say that will do this match justice. After it was over my daughter Ellie messaged me and asked me if the match she’d just watched was truly as fantastic as she thought it was (she’d had a few drinks and knew I hadn’t). I told her it was even better. I’ve also told Natalie (one of the newest Dignified Discussion regulars) that she should try to watch this match before Raw starts, if at all possible because it’s that fantastic.
I’m not sure how I feel about The Fiend getting involved after the match the way he did. I want to see more between Strowman who more than proved in this match that he’s a top guy who deserves to be in the ring with Rollins at HIAC. I get that they want to strike while the iron is white-hot with Wyatt, but not by brushing Strowman aside. It might not be the direction they’re thinking, and three or four HIAC matches at one PPV wouldn’t work, but I’d love to see Strowman vs Wyatt vs Rollins for the Universal Championship in a HIAC. Just a thought as I don’t want Strowman to be done at the top as he’s more than deserving and gave such a beautiful performance here.
As I said, four HIAC matches at the HIAC PPV would be too much, but I would love to see Sasha versus Becky for the Raw Women’s Championship, as I’m expecting will happen. Then there’s the SmackDown Women’s Championship which would also be great in HIAC, especially if they did a three-way dance with Charlotte versus Ember Moon vs Bayley. Then there are the men. I’ll be shocked if Clash was the blow-off for Kofi and Orton, though it should be. I have a gut feeling that they are pushing forward with it and it could end up in a HIAC. Lastly, there’s the Universal Championship is really heating up, so Strowman vs Wyatt vs Rollins could be epic! Just my thoughts on the matter.
I have to say that this was a strange one for me as it really wasn’t very good, other than the Cruiserweight Championship Match, until the Women’s Tag Team Championship. When things started picking up they went totally wild, but it took the women to really get that ball rolling. I’m not surprised, but am very proud to be a woman seeing all this growth within the WWE. Actually, after Clash was over I climbed into bed with my phone and watched Sasha’s debut in NXT. I was shocked to find that Rowan debuted in the match following Sasha’s debut. They have both grown by leaps and bounds since then, and I think it’s a great place to start rewatching the best of NXT chronologically. I’ve put WWE, WCW, and ECW on hold as I dive fully into NXT and soaking it all in, watching many of our favorites grow and change through the years. It’s eye-opening, the way some of the matches in this PPV were.