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Clash of Champions 2019: The Good, The Bad and the Weird

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It’s that time of year again folks. That weird spell of PPV’s between SummerSlam and Survivor Series that have the potential to be excellent. Clash of Champions is an odd one as all belts are defended but this one had some very off opponents. For example, Seth Rollins and Braun Strowman are tag champions, taking on the team of Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler, neither of which is an established tag team, then facing each other in the main event for Seth’s Universal Title. Well, let’s stop stalling and get into the action.

The Good

Something a Little Bit Different

The brand may be dead but its title and superstars certainly aren’t. This Triple threat was an excellent proving match for the uninitiated to Humberto Carrillo and Lince Dorado. Both showed exceptional athleticism and feats of extreme flippy sh*t. They provided the excitement whilst Drew Gulak gave the pair a strong base to build off of and structure the match around. He would bring the pace down, sneakily turn the odds in his favour and even use his opponents as weapons. There were two instances where Lince Dorado was used as a weapon. It was certainly better than recent Cruiserweight Title pre show matches and offered up some fast-paced fun to warm up a crowd who barely cared at the start of the match.

Runaway Champ

Charlotte was on fire when she brought the fight to Bayley. She was all over the Hugger and was completely devastating in her approach. There was barely a moment to breathe as Bayley fell victim to everything Charlotte hit her with. It wasn’t pretty but it was probably one of the few times I’ve really enjoyed Charlotte’s work. What was even more surprising than that was Bayley’s way of winning. As she was mauled in the corner, she had removed a turnbuckle pad and threw Charlotte face first into the exposed turnbuckle. This resulted in a quick pin and Bayley sprinting out of there before Charlotte could reciprocate anything. It was a simple, cowardly move that cemented the shift in Bayley’s attitude towards how she acts in ring. This delusional borderline heel shift has been entertaining to watch and should only get better.

Top Guys Make History

Whilst RAW’s tag division may be deader than a mortuary guest-list, SmackDown’s just thrived with an excellent tag team contest. The Revival were back in top form against a team that made them look like dastardly, dominant heels. They took out Woods, worked over Big E, then went back to crippling Woods. The finish even saw them hit the Shatter Machine, then rip away the knee protection then finish him with a Figure Four just to be top dicks. It was a crowning moment for the Revival and a deserving team getting something they deserve, even if it was just part of a larger feud.

The Women’s Tag Titles Matter Again

So this PPV actually had a women’s tag title match and it was enjoyable to watch. It wasn’t anything too out of the ordinary when it comes to tag matches but the action was fast and the two teams clicked. Plus, Nikki Cross mimicked Mandy Rose’s dancing and it was both the funniest and nightmarish thing on the PPV so far. It was a nice little match that was slightly marred by a 24/7 Title run in. Though Bliss did nearly win that belt, then she could be the Goddess with another title.

The First Shot in the War

This was probably the best match on the show. It was fierce, furious and set the stage up well for another match in the near future. There were plenty of near falls, clever reversals and brutal new strikes from Sasha as this match got very, very physical. It was a war from start to finish with neither woman being a saint. It was violent and had the perfect kind of none finish as both women wanted to break the rules. Becky got DQ’ed and the pair fought around the arena until officials finally dragged the pair apart after Becky added a chair to the Disarm-her. Instead of reading my words on this match, I implore you to go watch it instead. It is one of the best women’s matches on WWE programming in a while.

Welcome Back Old Friend

He’s back! Luke Harper is finally back. He saved his brother in arms from a Super Spear and gave Rowan the victory. What a happy moment. The pair appear to be back in business together so maybe we’ll get to see them take some tag titles back, go to RAW, they need teams. Anyway, this “match” was a fun enough romp making full use of the no DQ stipulation. It was a mess of weapons spots, bodies going flying and Rowan looking like a tank. It was a nice showcase for Rowan who some consider quite limited in ring. Harper coming back though pushes this one into being a talking point.

A Fiendish Finish

Nothing finishes a PPV like a great closing scene. The main event was fun enough, Braun and Seth put on a great match between them with Braun doing a Splash and looking like a total monster. Seth had to use 4 Stomps and a Pedigree to put the monster among men away for a three count. The real magic came after the match as Seth was celebrating. All seemed fine then the lights went out and that all too familiar sound hit. The Fiend appeared and hit Seth with Sister Abagail. The lights went back out then all of a sudden, he was back, struggling to make up his mind on what to do with Seth then rammed the hurt glove right down his throat. It was a powerful end and a nice way to set up the next big feud for the Universal Title. He’ll see you in hell Seth.

The Bad

Cedric Squashed

This is a tough one to rate. I love Styles being a dominant heel, humiliating Cedric for the loss he suffered at MSG. However, why build Cedric up if this is all it leads to, a pre-show match where he gets a flurry in at the start then gets murdered. He looked impressive at the start but a reversal and Styles Clash on the floor all but took him out of it. He then was brutally tortured by Styles until the Phenomenal One decided to put him out of his misery. It wasn’t terrible just felt like a waste of momentum and a big champion pin last week. Also, what the hell is AJ Styles doing on the pre-show?

Predictability at its Worst

So, is it okay to give up on RAW’s tag team division now? This match was dull and predictable from the start. Rollins would have to lose here to set up tension for the main event. Of course, that finish was set up by Strowman being clumsy and launching Roode into Seth. It was all so easy to piece together. I’d have been okay with it had this been a proper tag team and not just Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler, two people no one cares about. I genuinely can’t take them seriously as a team. There were teams that could have been used for this instead of throwing together to low tier heels. I’m happy Roode may be prominently featured again but not like this and not with such a boring tag partner.

Stupid

My god did this match go on way too long. It was way too slow most of the time and just way too methodical. I get that Orton is smooth and clinical and takes his time but this match had moments where he was violent and reckless and it was fun. When he was being peak heel Orton was when this match was enjoyable. Outside of that it was just a generic match. It sucks because I wanted this to be good, so Kofi has a memorable match in his reign but the only good thing from this is that the feud is over. It wasn’t fun to watch and honestly, this had zero payoff to a feud that had been going relatively strong. The throwback to the Punt Kick was a nice touch mind you. I will never buy the Trouble in Paradise as a finisher though, sorry. It’s nice to see a champion booked strong but there needs to be some spice added to the reign or it’s going to burn out very soon. Maybe the draft and FOX can save it. Also, side note, I love both Orton and Kofi so it makes me sad to be writing this.

The Weird

Street Profits Do What?

Why are the Street Profits hype men? The two are former NXT Tag team champions and are more than capable in the ring so why, especially when RAW needs a tag team booster, are they just hype men. It all felt forced. Then you throw in King Booker and you seem like you’re tripping. It was such an odd little scene that I can’t properly hate it but I just can’t help but wonder if the Street Profits will actually do anything in the near future?

So, there you have it, Clash of Champions reviewed for your reading pleasure. It was a pretty fun show and offered up some nice shocks and heart-warming moments as we got nice returns and big story beats. The Fiend, Banks/Becky and the Revival stole the show with Miz and Nakamura being a great match too. It wasn’t perfect and I wish I hadn’t wasted my time watching Orton/Kofi but hey you take the good with the bad. RAW is tonight and it will be interesting to see what’s next, especially in the Universal Title scene. Both tag titles changed hands so the tag divisions should have some interest and we know Charlotte will be pissed come SmackDown. I hope WWE takes the good it’s done here and rolls with it.

all images via WWE.com

John is a UK based wrestling obsessive who still wants to believe the Bullet Club is fine. He is always tearing the business apart and first realised wrestling was for him when he saw Mankind fall from the top of the cell at King of the Ring 1998.

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