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WWE Special Review

WWE Clash of Champions

September 25th, 2016
Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Indianapolis, IN

Pre-Show notes:
I joined about halfway through, just in time to hear Booker T on the pre-show panel call TJ Perkins, “TJ Parker”. No one called him out on it. I guess it could have been worse. He could have called the Cruiserweight Title, the Shucky Ducky Quack Quack Championship.

Pre-Show Match:
Nia Jax vs. Alicia Fox

It wasn’t a total squash as Fox got in some believable offense, but pretty close. It was actually a pretty hot little match and Jax looked like a million bucks. I am reminded how solid of a worker Alicia Fox is, and she sold like a champ here. The crowd was into it too, which didn’t hurt.
**
Official start of the first RAW exclusive PPV since the brand split complete with video package and pyro.
Michael Cole, Corey Graves & Byron Saxton introduce the show.

Match 1:
RAW Tag Team Championship
Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows vs. RAW Tag Team Champions The New Day
I’m ready for new tag champs and for the New Day to become 3 separate days completely (except Tuesday. Nobody cares about that day). They’ve had quite the run. But, this would not happen tonight as New Day get the win to retain the tag titles after Big E & Kofi hit the Midnight Hour finisher on Anderson. It was an action packed exciting match, and I thought it was the best that The Club have looked thus far, but it wasn’t to be. I liked the match, but wanted the opposite ending. We’ll see how it plays out, but I hope this isn’t the end for The Club in the tag team title hunt.
**1/2

Match 2:
WWE Cruiserweight Championship
The Brian Kendrick vs. WWE Cruiserweight Champion TJ Perkins
Tom Phillips interviews the new Cruiserweight Champion in the backstage area, and good lord is his hairstyle bad. Lawler & Renee Young poked fun of it during the pre-show & I have to agree.
The ring ropes and turnbuckle logos are purple and its a nice touch. Perkins has a video game like theme song and video. It ain’t good. Perkins does a little dab when he walks out on the stage. I think he should do the cabbage patch and the lawnmower for maximum effect. The end had Perkins locking in the Kneebar submission and making Kendrick tapout. Perkins retains. Not long enough to get into classic territory, but pretty good. These guys can do it in their sleep. Post-match had Kendrick shaking Perkins hand and then hugging him, following up with a headbutt, seemingly signifying that this isn’t over. If our culture ever embraces that greeting, I’m moving to Canada. I do like it better than the double kiss on the cheek, however.

A really cool commercial airs for the new WWE game, 2K17 using the song, “Downtown” by Petula Clark.

Match 3:
Best of 7 Series Final
Cesaro vs. Sheamus
Hey look it’s Cesaro! On a Pay-Per View?! And not on the Pre-Show?!
There was a spot when Cesaro did a suicide dive onto Sheamus through the ropes to the outside and landed right on the top of his head! I thought he died for a second. He’s either fine or his ghost fought Sheamus the rest of the match. It was a brutal, hard hitting match that was more than just a greatest hits of the last six matches between them. They made it different. The finish had Cesaro & Sheamus both lying on the outside in the front row and the referee called for the bell. No official word, but I’m guessing it’s a draw? Which means yet another match in this never ending series, I’m guessing. I liked this match a lot but I’m ready to move on.
***1/2

Match 4:
Sami Zayn vs. Chris Jericho
I like Jericho. I like Zayn. I just wasn’t feeling this in the opening moments since this was so thrown together in the wee hours to make the PPV card. If I were at a house show and saw this, I’d be stoked. I’ll be damned if they didn’t get me popping during the closing moments though. Really good match, and another ***1/2
Another “This is Awesome” chant broke out too, and I’m so done with that. I think an electric shocking device should be installed under the seats in the arena, triggered to go off once “this is awe…” leaves their mouths, until this tired chant dies a slow death and the fans are reconditioned to emotionally react the correct way (let’s pretend I know what is right, and this isn’t a subjective art form). It will probably be expensive to implement, but I’ll contribute. I’ll just crack open my piggy bank.

Match 5:
RAW Women’s Championship
Bayley vs. Sasha Banks vs. RAW Women’s Champion Charlotte
So if Charlotte, Sasha, Bayley & Lynch are the 4 Horsewomen, does that make Dana Brooke J.J. Dillon?
Charlotte wins and retains the women’s title due to some interference by Dana Brooke. A typical good match between these three. They are capable of better as there were a few spots that were convoluted and obvious, but overall it was entertaining and I agree with the finish. Charlotte is on fire right now so I say let her keep it for awhile to build to a big loss down the road.
***

Match 6:
United States Championship
Roman Reigns vs. United States Champion Rusev w/Lana
Right when the match was getting going and Reigns had Rusev covered, Lana pulled the ref out of the ring to interrupt the count (Sherri Martel would be proud) and the ref throws Lana out of the match. Reigns hits the spear on Rusev to win the US Title. As much as I like Rusev as the US Champ, this could be good as it keeps Reigns out of the main event picture for a bit, and allows him to get a reboot of sorts. He better not win the Rumble though, I swear to god! Both guys worked hard here, and the crowd was actually popping for Reigns. Let’s see if that holds up.

Match 7/Main Event:
WWE Universal Championship
Seth Rollins vs. WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens
Rollins was over big as a babyface here. His style in this match reflected this as well. Great match, as expected with these two. A Chris Jericho interference and ref bump later, Owens hits the pop up powerbomb on Rollins to retain the Universal Title. The crowd was hot throughout this match, and were eating everything up until the finish. It seemed to deflate them a bit. It did me as well. I am glad that Owens retained, and I am aware that the ending advances the storyline with Stephanie/HHH/Rollins, but it was just a little off and contrived. I still give it ****

Overall, I liked this show a lot. I didn’t love it. It didn’t blow my skirt up. This show did not give me it’s letter jacket, and we are not going steady. I am just not ready to be a one show man quite yet. Anyway, although not great, this was a very good show with every match ranging from pretty good to really good. It was solid, and didn’t seem to suffer from having only half the roster (or 2/3 of it). Both brand specific PPV’s have exceeded expectations, and that alone should be enough to consider it a success. This time of year is usually when we fall into a seasonal slump, but with the brand exclusive PPVs creating a touch of newsworthy curiosity, it appears that we as fans have weathered that storm…for now, at least. Let’s see if the Smackdown brand’s October outing, “No Mercy” in two weeks can keep the positive momentum going. Check back here for my thoughts on that show.

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