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Clash of Champions 2017: When angles are more important than matches

With every title on the line and an intriguing main event angle, the card may cause major changes to SmackDown Live.

Clash of Champions is the final WWE pay per view of 2017. With every title on the line and an intriguing main event angle, the card may cause major changes to SmackDown Live. Will WWE end the year on a strong note or will Clash just be a filler before the WWE begins the Road to WrestleMania?

Pre Show Notes

  • Rene Young, Sam Roberts, and David Otunga host the kickoff show.
  • Kayla Braxton is in the social media lounge with The New Day. Little of note aside from Big E with a literal shout out to AJ Lee.
  • Recaps of the entire card along with a basic AJ promo and a Naomi promo that turns into a shouting match with all the lumberjacks.
  • Charlotte interviewed at the desk before Nattie interrupts. Nowhere near as bad as I feared.
  • Pre show match was Mojo Rawley beating Zack Ryder in a surprisingly entertaining match. Mojo is much better as a heel and the video package before the match showing Mojo eliminate the number one contender for the World Title to win the geek battle royal at WrestleMania was pretty funny.

Main Card

United States Title Match (Triple Threat): Baron Corbin (C) Vs Bobby Roode Vs Dolph Ziggler

Good idea getting this one out of the way. Funny sign in the crowd during Corbin’s entrance: The Atari Jaguar of SmackDown. Corey Graves spends the early part of the match talking about how proud Corbin is of being the U.S. Champ then within five minuets says it is just another trophy to him. He also states that Ziggler may be the “greatest in ring performer of all time.” Have people stopped pretending he is a good commentator yet? Ziggler wins a fun match after pinning Corbin with the Zig Zag.

Backstage segment with Bryan and Shane. Shane comes off as a heel.

Dasha Fuentes interviews Corbin backstage. She asks if he wastes opportunities, and he throws a trash can.

SmackDown Tag Team Title Match (Fatal 4-Way): The Usos (C) Vs Aiden English and Rusev Vs Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable Vs  The New Day

Shouldn’t this be the match with two refs?  Format of the match was confusing and kind of killed the hot crowd. Even the commentators did not understand the rules.  Amazing strength from Gable as he completes a Chaos Theory on Big E. Match started fun, but turned into nonsense. Usos win after a pin on Gable. Rusev was easily the most over guy in the match and deserves a singles run.

SmackDown Women’s Title Match (Lumberjack Match): Charlotte Flair (C) Vs Natalya

Match is tailor made for a Carmella cash in. Unsurprisingly, the story of the match is all about the Charlotte having to fight off all the lumberjacks. The lumberjacks begin brawling with each other. Carmella teases a cash in but gets caught in the melee. Charlotte wins with Figure Eight. Charlotte and Natalya have done parts of a good match over the last two months and unfortunately couldn’t bring it all together.

In ring interview after the match in which Nattie says she is turning her back on everyone.

Dasha tried to get a backstage interview with Jinder but is stopped by the Singhs who promise they will not interfere.

Breezango Vs Bludgeon Brothers

No stipulation for this match. Crowd does not care and the Bludgeon Brothers win in a squash.

Steenerico are backstage and walk out after Dasha asks what will happen if they lose.

Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn Vs Randy Orton & Shinsuke Nakamura (Daniel Bryan & Shane McMahon Special Guest Referees; if Owens & Zayn lose they are fired)

Funny video game sign in the crowd during Nak’s entrance: Final Fantasy 8 sucks. Of the six competitors in the ring, four have ROH experience. You can immediately see the difference between Shane and Bryan. During the first lock up, Bryan steps back and lets the wrestlers have the focus while Shane is practically in the lock up. Pretty sure that wasn’t part of the booking. Bryan and Shane agree to split the ring in half to avoid confusion which leads to the story of the match. Steenerico get the advantage on Orton and try to keep him in Bryan’s side of the ring. It doesn’t always work but it’s a good idea in theory. Steenerico win after a fast count by Bryan. Bryan was entirely justified since Shane refused to make a three count earlier. Every time it looked like the match would take it to the next level the booking kicked in.

World Title Match: AJ Styles (C) Vs Jinder Mahal

AJ’s strategy early seems to be to go after the left leg of Mahal, but Mahal takes control quickly. Mahal targets AJ’s ribs. Layout of the match was fine, but Mahal is horrible. Singh’s go back on their word and interfere as AJ goes for the pin. AJ takes them both out and almost gets pinned after the Khallas. That was close. The leg work from earlier in the match pays off and Mahal taps to the Calf Crusher. It takes a special kind of suck to have a boring match with AJ Styles.

Final Thoughts

The card looked weak on paper but after the first two matches it seemed like Clash of Champions would exceed  expectations. Then the overbooking kicked in. Every match seemed to focus more on story than the actual match and the card suffered for it. The Daniel Bryan stuff is interesting and AJ should be the champ, but an overall average show.


Clash of Champions 2017
Is it good?
Looks like they are building to Bryan-Shane at Mania. Steenerico should continue to be fun and AJ-Rusev would be awesome but the rest of the Blue Brand is thin.
Matches were fun
The Daniel Bryan storyline is interesting
Awful commentary from Saxton, Graves, and Phillips
Fun matches were ruined by overbooking
Shane McMahon continues to be a part of the top storyline

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