Welcome to The Wrestling Kennection's LIVE Clash Of Champions 2017 PPV Coverage!!!
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Singles Match Zack Ryder vs. Mojo Rawley
RESULT: Mojo Rawley wins via pinfall; Rawley pinned Ryder following a running corner forearm smash.
THOUGHTS: A short, concise match which did exactly what it needed to by having Rawley dominate Ryder. Zack showed some fire himself, but this was Mojo's show, and the Boston crowd went along for the ride, recognizing Mojo's new level of aggression as a heel. Knowing WWE, they will probably try to get one or more match out of the Rawley-Ryder rivalry (alliteration!) before having Mojo move onto bigger and better things, but this match was a good start towards that notion in any case.
WK KING OF PPV Ken - 2 pts (LOCK) Nick - 2 pts (LOCK) Julie - 1 pt Greg -0 pts
Triple Threat Match WWE United States Championship "Lone Wolf" Baron Corbin (c) vs. "The Glorious" Bobby Roode vs. "The Show Off" Doplh Ziggler
RESULT: NEWWW Champion Dolph Ziggler wins via pinfall; As Corbin was going for End of Days on Roode, Ziggler hit the Zig Zag on Corbin mid-move for the three count.
THOUGHTS: Well, colored me surprised. I'm guessing the rumors of Ziggler's departure have been greatly exaggerated. Anyway, a fun, fast-paced opener that didn't totally fall prey to the typical WWE Triple Threat format; Corbin would keep tabs on Ziggler on the outside as he beat Roode down on the inside, Ziggler and Roode kept Corbin isolated on the outside, and Roode was savvy enough near the end of the match to keep Corbin from capitalizing on a prone Ziggler after a Glorious DDT.
Ziggler's victory does have me curious as to the overall direction of the feud; does it remain a three-way dance with Corbin and Roode chasing him, or does he end up in an one-on-one feud with either man?
WK KING OF PPV Ken - 2 pts Nick - 2 pts Julie - 2 pts Greg -1 pt
Fatal 4-Way Tag Team Match Smackdown Tag Team Championship The Usos (c) vs. The New Day vs. American Alpha 2.0 vs. Rusev & Aiden English
RESULT: The Usos win via pinfall; Jey Uso pinned Chad Gable following a Superkick-Samoan Splash combo for the three count.
THOUGHTS: The "four men in the ring at once, only tag out to your partner" format was an interesting twist to the usual lunacy of blind tags and misdirection you see in multi-team matches, meaning it played out more like a traditional tag match (only with twice the rest holds). That made the first half of the match rather awkward, particularly during the heel teams' heat (Alpha 2.0, Rusev & English) when one man would have their back turned during a pinfall attempt rather than keep their focus on the other teams.
Once the second half kicked in though, the pace really picked up, particularly with big spots from Big E, Rusev (who the crowd was crazy about on this most auspicious of Rusev Days), and Gable (who was nuts with the Chaos Theory suplexes and some sick strength powering up both Rusev AND Big E), all before the Usos capitalized on Gable's last Chaos Theory attempt to hit their trademark combo and retain the titles.
WK KING OF PPV Ken - 2 pts Nick - 3 pts Julie - 2 pts Greg -1 pt
Lumber-Jill Match Smackdown Women's Championship Charlotte Flair (c) vs. Natalya
RESULT: Charlotte Flair wins via submission; Flair reversed the Sharpshooter into the Figure Eight Leglock for the tap-out victory
THOUGHTS: A middle-of-the-road match with the typical "lumber-jills attacking the face, laying off the heel" format, helping Natalya soften up Charlotte throughout the match. Then there was the also-typical "chaotic" finish with the lumber-jills beating each other into submission (and a little MITB tease by Carmella), and Nattie nearly taking advantage of the situation before Charlotte countered and picked up the win, leading to a post-match meltdown and seeming walk out by Natalya.
Post-match intrigue aside, this was a run-of-the-mill (rimshot) "limber-jill" match.
WK KING OF PPV Ken - 3 pts Nick - 4 pts Julie - 3 pts Greg -3 pts (LOCK)
Tag Team Match "The Fashion Police" Breezango vs. The Bludgeon Brothers
RESULT: The Bludgeon Brothers win via pinfall; Rowan pinned Fandango following a double crucifix slam.
THOUGHTS: Squish squash go the Fashion Police. Pretty much went the way everyone expected, and a good match to have go on after the "hoopla" of the Women's Title match. Rowan and Harper begin to establish themselves as the next "big threat" for the Usos' tag straps.
WK KING OF PPV Ken - 4 pts Nick - 5 pts Julie - 5 pts (LOCK) Greg -4 pts
Tag Team Match (Special Referees: Shane McMahon & Daniel Bryan) Shinsuke Nakamura & Randy Orton vs. Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn
(If Owens & Zayn lose, they are fired from WWE)
RESULT: Owens & Zayn win via pinfall; Zayn rolled up Orton for a fast three-count from Daniel Bryan.
THOUGHTS: This match was a mixed bag for me; on the one hand, I knew that having Shane and Bryan involved was going to lead to a screwy finish, so a lot of the chaos surrounding the two refs I expected and didn't mind so much as the match progressed. They let things devolve into a street fight scenario, which I felt was a better environment for the stipulation rather than a typical tag team format.
What irked me was the finish with the fast count on the behalf of Daniel Bryan, following the deliberate stopped count by Shane during Zayn's would-be winning pin attempt on Orton. I know with WM 34 a few months away, WWE is smart to further tease the tension between Shane and Bryan, but to go about it in their typical 50-50 style of booking with putting both men in a bad light leaves things a little too opaque for my tastes.
WK KING OF PPV Ken - 5 pts Nick - 6 pts Julie - 6 pts Greg -5 pts
Singles Match WWE World Championship "The Phenomenal" AJ Styles vs. "The Modern-Day Maharaja" Jinder Mahal w/The Singh Brothers
RESULT: AJ Styles wins via submission; Styles countered Mahal's Styles Clash attempt into the Calf Crusher for the tap-out victory.
THOUGHTS: Before anything else, I've made my stance clear on Jinder Mahal. his 6 months with the WWE Title, and the fact that it was a lack of motivated opponents, inappropriate promos, lack of in-ring acumen, blase marketing opportunities, and a lack of foresight and proper buildup to begin with that made his reign one of the worst in recent memory.
That said, this was the best I've seen Mahal from an in-ring standpoint; while you could thank Styles for a large part of that with his fantastic selling, credit is due to Mahal for looking every bit an imposing threat both physically and technically, keeping Styles grounded throughout the match by targeting the midsection and taking away a lot of Styles' vaunted aerial offense through simple counters and powering him to the mat. Mahal knows he's limited compared to Styles, so he works with what he knows and it showed here. Good showing by Mahal, but an even better showing by Styles, who sold his ass off and got a squeaky clean win (with the Calf Crusher, good to remind the crowd it can be a match ender too) to finally hinder Jinder from the main event picture (hopefully for good).
WK KING OF PPV Ken - 6 pts Nick - 7 pts (WINNER) Julie - 6 pts Greg -5 pts