Wrestling Review: WWE Clash of Champions (2016)

A fortnight removed from SmackDown’s Backlash, WWE Raw comes to you live from Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana for Clash of Champions. After one of the most shocking moments in Raw history when Triple H helped Kevin Owens to win the Universal Championship, Owens will be going one on one with the former chosen one of the Authority, the Architect Seth Rollins. These two former ROH mainstays are guaranteed to tear down the house, but who knows how far Triple H may be lurking from the action, just waiting to make his presence felt. The New Day have been running rampant through the tag team division for 399 days, but The Club, that is Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson, are looking to dash the dreams of the New Day. Following a 0-3 start to the best of seven series, Cesaro has pulled the score back to be tied at three a piece against the Irish powerhouse Sheamus. The final match takes place at Clash of Champions, with the winner getting a Universal Title shot somewhere down the line, so it can be a certainty that these two will go all out to claim victory. One week after the Raw debut of the cruiserweights, Brian Kendrick earned the opportunity to go against newly minted Cruiserweight Champion T.J. Perkins int he first ever Cruiserweight title match in the WWE. Also on the card is Roman Reigns trying his luck one more time against the Bulgarian Brute, Rusev, for the United States Championship and Charlotte defending her Women’s title against both Bayley and Sasha Banks in a triple threat. Every Raw title is on the line at WWE Clash of Champions.

+ The New Day (Kofi Kingston & Big E) (w/ Xavier Woods) (c) vs. The Club (Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson) (WWE Raw Tag Team Championships): a great opening promo from the New Day and a blistering opening pace from The Club made for a great opening contest
+ Nia Jax vs. Alicia Fox: for a five minute pre-show match, this was surprisingly entertaining. Alicia Fox is a severely underappreciated talent, and Nia Jax is progressing in leaps and bounds. I’d be happy to see this feud continue, because both could use some more in-ring TV time
+ Rusev (w/ Lana) (c) vs. Roman Reigns (WWE United States Championship): it probably isn’t any surprise how this one went, and the crowd knew it from the beginning. Reigns is the most hated guy on the roster right now, and the crowd let him know through every move. This was a fine match, but nothing special

– Kevin Owens (c) vs. Seth Rollins (WWE Universal Championship): this was a good match, with a horrible ending and a dead crowd. It’s not fair to judge the match on the crowd reaction, and in that regard this was a servicable battle. There will definitely be more between these two down the line, and I hope they are better than this was, especially the frustrating ending
– Sami Zayn vs. Chris Jericho: something about this match never clicked for me, and in what was a running theme for the night, there were a handful of sloppy transitions which stunted the flow of things. An incredibly anticlimactic ending sucked what little life was left from the match
– Charlotte (w/ Dana Brooke) (c) vs. Bayley vs. Sasha Banks (WWE Raw Women’s Championship): it boggles my mind that Charlotte and Sasha are treated as wrestling prodigies when both are “above average” at best. Bayley was far and away the MVP of this match, despite being, arguably, the accessory to the story of Charlotte vs Sasha in the first place. Raw’s women’s division is being BTFO by everything on SmackDown, and I shudder to think what is going to happen in the future
– Cesaro (3) vs. Sheamus (3) (Match #7 in Best of Seven Series): it’s amazing how, after six televised matches, these two still are able to put on a good match that doesn’t feel like we’ve seen it all before. This was INCREDIBLY hard hitting, and one particularly nasty landing almost saw one of these two paralysed. A terrible ending completely ruined an otherwise phenomenal match
– T.J. Perkins (c) vs. Brian Kendrick (WWE Cruiserweight Championship): I’m not sure what happened, but this was a sloppy, uninspired match, with Perkins mostly at fault. Lots of awkward pauses, missed moves or miscommunications made for a strange match to watch, and unfortunately a bad way to start of Raw’s new championship

> following some arguably silly decision in the middle matches, the crowd seemed to lose all interest in the remainder of the show

Should you watch this event: No. Nearly every match was sloppy, or had moves missed entirely. Most matches had a frustrating ending, or went entirely against what the crowd wanted. This was a bad way to start the run of Raw exclusive events, but at least it can’t get any worse.

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