Wrestling Review: WWE Clash of Champions (2017)

The WWE SmackDown Live brand storms into the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts as it presents Clash of Champions, a night where every single SmackDown Live championship will be defended and one pair’s future in the company will be on the line. AJ Styles will defend his WWE Championship against Jinder Mahal, while Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair will attempt to retain against Natalya, in a Lumberjack match which will see all other women on the roster at ringside. The United States Championship will be on the line as Baron Corbin defends against bother Dolph Ziggler and Bobby Roode, whilst the Usos will defend the tag team championships against three teams: The New Day, Benjamin & Gable and the unlikely duet of Aiden English and Rusev. But the main event will see Randy Orton teaming up with Shinsuke Nakamura to face the team of Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens, with both General Manager Daniel Bryan and Commissioner Shane McMahon acting as special guest referees – if Owens and Zayn lose the match, they will be fired from the WWE.

+ The Usos (Jey & Jimmy Uso) (c) vs The New Day (Big E & Kofi Kingston)(w/ Xavier Woods) vs Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable vs Rusev & Aiden English (Fatal 4-Way Tag Team Match for the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championships): this had the potential to be a bit awkward, but holy shit if it didn’t end up being awesome at the same time. Chad Gable was the absolute MVP of this match, but every single competitor was on their game
+ Baron Corbin (c) vs Bobby Roode vs Dolph Ziggler (Triple Threat Match for the WWE United States Championship): I am still baffled as to how Ziggler was added to this match, after doing nothing for weeks, and even more so as to why he seemed to be playing a good-guy. Nonetheless, this was significantly better than I thought it was going to be, with several good multi-man moments
+ Mojo Rawley vs Zack Ryder: this kickoff match had a reasonably involved story behind it, but it was essentially a grudge match between former partners. Mojo debuted some new bad-guy music and Ryder had a new version of his theme song (and this new version is not nearly as good). This was a surprisingly intense match, which the crowd was pleasantly involved in

– AJ Styles (c) vs Jinder Mahal (w/ The Singh Brothers) (WWE Championship): I am very surprised this match was last, as I would have thought the specal referee tag match would have been “bigger”. This going on last seemed to be a poor decision, as this match was incredibly boring. Even the crowd lost all their steam once this turned into a slug of Jinder domination before Styles would hit a big move, before that formula would repeat. This match felt like it dragged on for ten minutes more than it should have
– Randy Orton & Shinsuke Nakamura vs Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn (Special Guest Referees Shane McMahon & Daniel Bryan): the two referees in the ring at once was a bit of a mess, but I can’t be sure how much of that was pre-planned mess. This match was only tangentially about the competitors, with Shane and Bryan taking most of the spotlight. If that sort of theater is what you like, this was fine, but if you prefer good wrestling this was not a good match
– Breezango (Fandango & Tyler Breeze) vs The Bludgeon Brothers (Harper & Rowan): a match over six months in the making, this was a huge disappointing waste. I am always amazed that the WWE finds a new way to make me sad
– Charlotte Flair (c) vs Natalya (Lumberjack Match for the WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship): with all of the other women at ringside (for the record, 6 bad guys and only one good guy), this had the potential to be a big ‘overcome the odds’ situation, but unfortunately the women on the outside were mostly inconsequential. Charlotte and Natalya have god chemistry together, but I was really hoping this would be something more

> Aiden English and Rusev may have been the most popular people all night. Their pre-match promo was incredible

Should you watch this event: The WWE seems to have a problem with it’s big matches; seemingly every show I say that the undercard was good but the main matches fail to deliver. Maybe I just expect too much, or maybe the WWE hypes them up too much, but this show was that situation verbatim. This was just a standard Smackdown PPV, nothing more, nothing less.

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