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Kevin’s WWE Clash of Champions Review

September 16, 2019 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
Becky Lynch WWE Clash of Champions
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Kevin’s WWE Clash of Champions Review  

WWE Clash of Champions
September 15th, 2019 | Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina

WWE Cruiserweight Championship: Drew Gulak [c] vs. Humberto Carrillo vs. Lince Dorado
I wasn’t big on the idea of adding Lince Dorado to this match but there was still potential for something really good. They made good use of the triple threat concept with plenty of fun spots. I liked Lince taking to the skies, Humberto being explosive, and Drew looking to slow the pace. His methodical style made him a good foil for his opponents. I liked the double submission spot and Gulak flat out tossing one man into another. He got to play the powerhouse and it was a cool change of pace. As expected, Dorado was mostly there to eat the pin so Carrillo didn’t have to. He fell to a nice bridging German Suplex at the 10:05 mark. That was good but it was clear that something better would come if it was just Carrillo and Gulak one on one. Even with the good ideas they had for all three men, Dorado felt like an afterthought. [***]

WWE United States Championship: AJ Styles [c] vs. Cedric Alexander
AJ hasn’t been delivering as many bangers (see matches with Nakamura, Owens, Ricochet, etc.) as he should in the past few years. In 2019, he really only has the Seth outing at Money in the Bank. Cedric sported Hornets inspired gear in his hometown. He started hot with a Michinoku Driver and tope con hilo in the opening minute. AJ turned the tide by being way more vicious than he usually is. That’s perfect against a guy like Alexander. It’s a rare case where AJ is the bigger competitor. He put Alexander away with the Styles Clash in 4:55. I thought this was great. Too often we’ve seen AJ work 25+ minutes and have it drag on for days. Here, he got to go all out for five minutes and packed a lot of action into it. Cedric lost in a short match but didn’t look bad at all. [***¼]

Put AJ on the Kickoff Show more often.

Onto the main card.

WWE Raw Tag Team Championship: Braun Strowman and Seth Rollins [c] vs. Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode
Get the least interesting match on the card out of the way. You have Seth Rollins, who is good but kind of bland as the babyface champion, and three of the lamest dudes on the roster. I think Braun and Seth have actually worked out a couple of decent tag moves despite not being a team for long. The crowd popped for the few that we saw. Ziggler and Roode worked the heat segment on Rollins (obviously) and it was as mediocre as the singles matches Seth and Dolph had for the IC Title last year. Thankfully that section didn’t last long. Braun ran over everyone and cleaned house with his hot tag. The champions had a slight miscommunication but covered for it and Seth came close to retaining. A second mishap led to Seth falling to a Roode Implant DDT in 9:35. An acceptable tag match. Seth and Braun didn’t have to overexert themselves. The match was a lot like Roode & Ziggler’s career. It exited. [**]

WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship: Bayley [c] vs. Charlotte Flair
Hypocrite passive aggressive heel Bayley is masterful. These are the only two Horsewomen who have had a legitimate feud and never a great match together. Charlotte nearly squashed her with a big boot at the bell and that set the tone for the pace of this one. She overwhelmed Bayley and kept the pressure on her throughout. She targeted the knee and it looked like that was where we were headed. Instead, Bayley removed the turnbuckle cover and sent Charlotte into it to steal the match in a quick 3:45. Bayley then ran away as soon as the bell hit. Outstanding booking. [**¾]

WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championship: The New Day [c] vs. The Revival
Loads of potential here. The storyline here was Xavier Woods and his injury. He was hype on the Kickoff Show but was still clearly dinged up. He got taken out due to the injury in the opening minutes and that put Big E in major trouble. The Revival, experts at tag team wrestling, cut the ring in half and prevented him from making the tag. He got to make the tag and Woods did his thing. However, the twist came when Big E was taken out with a Shatter Machine on the outside. Now the Revival could isolate an already battered guy. They hit Woods with one but then possible made a crucial mistake. They opted to do more damage to Woods’ knee. He got put in a heel hook of sorts and fought valiantly, but had to tap at 10:02. That was a different kind of tag match and I liked it. They put a twist on the normal formula and the Revival came across as tag team MASTERS. It wouldn’t have made sense for New Day to compete with them in their state for 20 minutes or something. [***½]

WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship: Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross [c] vs. Fire and Desire
I AM HERE FOR THE FIRE AND DESIRE MASHUP THEME. It’s cheesy and I love it because of that. Mandy and Nikki had a fun early exchange based off of what Mandy said on Smackdown. R-Truth ran down during the match and was being chased by people for the 24/7 Title. It made sense given an Alexa/Truth segment before the match. Alexa nearly won the title during this run in. That scuffle led to Alexa playing the face in peril role. Nikki Cross’ hot tag was great. Leaving SAnitY proved to be a great thing for her. She’s way over in this storyline. She saved Alexa from a loss and then scored the win. After knocking Sonya off the apron, she hit Mandy with her finisher at the 8:06 mark. Mandy and Alexa had a startling lack of chemistry. However, everything involving Nikki Cross was gold. I had fun. [***]

WWE Intercontinental Championship: Shinsuke Nakamura [c] vs. The Miz
One of the greatest wrestlers of our generation. Also, Shinsuke Nakamura. Sami Zayn being with Shinsuke is great. The heat he got for doing commentary on the mic was wild. Zayn was hilarious there with digs like, “A decent arm drag at best.” Subtle but good. Miz tossed the microphone up the ramp to quite things down. The match was solid but unspectacular. Nakamura survived the Figure Four (in Charlotte) and Zayn interfered to lead to a Nakamura near fall. He set up Kinshasa but Miz sidestepped him and hit the Skull Crushing Finale only for Sami to distract the referee. Classic old school wrasslin. Kinshasa wrapped it up for Nakamura soon after in 9:32. A perfectly acceptable match and not much more. It felt kind of hollow. [**½]

WWE Raw Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch [c] vs. Sasha Banks
An early slot for the main event. Like Charlotte earlier, Becky came out aggressively. They did the “we both nearly get our finisher early” spot but it made sense here since they’re submissions. Might as well wear down your opponent. Plus, angry Becky only tried her as a counter to Sasha’s. I love how Sasha just seems way more comfortable as a heel. It’s where she thrives. She nailed the little mannerisms needed throughout this one. There were times when her gloating was perfect and others where it cost her. The Bank Statement close call where she caught a Becky forearm was expertly done by both ladies. All of the submission close calls were great. The fans bit on them and were way into this. Sasha using a classic Eddie Guerrero trope was awesome because it worked as a babyface when she first won the title but had a totally different feeling here. Becky accidentally hit the referee with the chair and then got some payback on Sasha with it. Sasha escaped through the crowd where Becky gave chase. They ended up in the backstage area fighting by fans. They made it all the way back to the ring where commentary said Becky got disqualified but the ref was still down so I don’t know how he could know that. He announced it at 17:58 so that’s the time I’m using. Becky put Sasha in the Dis-Arm-Her in a chair until officials broke it up. Great stuff here. They had an awesome match that told a complete story and built perfectly to set up Hell in a Cell. Remember Angle/Austin at SummerSlam 2001 ending in a DQ and being great? This was like that. [****]

WWE Championship: Kofi Kingston [c] vs. Randy Orton
For such a bitter rivalry, I was disappointed that it opened with collar and elbow tie up style stuff. That gave me the sense that this would lack the intensity it needed. And I was right. That was easily the biggest problem here. It was pretty boring and never felt like the war we needed. Sasha/Becky came across like a war between two people pissed at each other but also trying to prove who was better. This just seemed like two guys wrestling a house show match after intermission. The finishing stretch was okay but this went on for far too long and had little to no life. A massive disappointment considering who was involved and how the feud has been built. Kofi retained by avoiding the Punt and hitting Trouble in Paradise after 20:52. Big drag though the ending was cool. [**]

No Disqualifications Match: Roman Reigns vs. Rowan
Roman and Rowan went at it before the bell and started this fight in the aisle. They had the kind of big brute battle that works best for them. Just mauling each other with big blows and weapons in and out of the ring. Rowan took the upper hand when he used steel steps to his advantage. Rowan being in control was kind of dull. Even with this being a No DQ match and with the use of weapons, there wasn’t a whole lot to this. Roman geared up for the Spear down the aisle only to get taken out by a returning Luke Harper. He and Rowan teamed up to beat on Roman in the ring. Rowan hit a second Iron Claw to win in 17:23. Another match that felt like it went too long. That seemed to go thirty minutes. [**¼]

WWE Universal Championship: Seth Rollins [c] vs. Braun Strowman
Other than his match with AJ Styles, I’d say Seth has worked best in 2019 against big men. His stuff with Brock was great when it came to the actual matches. While I wouldn’t call this great, it was good. They played it in a similar fashion to the Seth/Brock matches but on a smaller scale. It felt like something Paul Heyman had his fingerprints all over. They kept it relatively short at 10:44 and did well to cover up Braun’s shortcomings. I’m wrapping this review up because I’m tired and ready for bed. Seth retained after a Pedigree and Curb Stomp. It was pretty good overall. [***¼]

The final score: review Average
The 411
It’s telling that this was one of the lesser WWE pay-per-views this year. It was still above average but they’ve set a high bar in 2019. There’s only one match I’d consider great (Sasha/Becky) and only one that I think is rough to get through (Kofi/Orton). Everything else ranges from average to good and that’s fine. Not every show can be a home run.