By Donny Chedrick
WWE brought back the Clash of Champions pay-per-view Sunday night, and it could be labeled as an “OK” show. My predictions could also be listed as “OK,” as I went four-for-eight on the evening.
I had a few surprise picks by what most WWE fans would say, in which none of them paid off. Here are grades of each matchup from last Sunday:
Nia Jax defeats Alicia Fox: D+
Everyone got what was expected in this match: a squash. Everyone and their mother knew that Nia Jax would pick up a dominant victory, and that’s exactly what she did to Alicia Fox. This match gave what was intended, but at points was very sloppy and the grade reflects that.
Raw Tag Team Championship match: New Day (c) defeats The Club: B
This was a match that had high expectations going into the night, but when the New Day retained the title, it showed that WWE doesn’t care to put the titles on anyone else at the moment. There is a possibility that the tag team champions hold the belts until Dec. 13 at least, because that would break the all-time record for one title reign with the tag belts, previously held by Demolition. This match was exciting and was a good way to kick off the show; however, I’m not sure if WWE made the right choice here.
Chris Jericho defeats Sami Zayn: B+
This was a match I was curious to see how it would go, but in the end, it was Chris Jericho getting the victory via pinfall over Sami Zayn. It was a match that still helps Zayn, but just confuses WWE viewers at this point. Three months ago, Zayn defeated now WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens at Battleground, and now he loses to an aging Chris Jericho. As Y2J and KO are becoming a stronger pair together, this could be what Vince McMahon & Co. were eluding to all along with this feud. Technically, the match was solid, and it could be setting up for a great future feud or angle.
Sheamus vs. Cesaro ends in no-contest: A-
This one surprised a lot of people Sunday night, as it was match No. 7 in a best-of series between Cesaro and Sheamus. The WWE fans probably weren’t expecting much, but they got much more than that. This was one of the best matches of the night, which contained exciting moves, high-flying stunts, but unfortunately, it didn’t give us a distinctive winner.
WWE Cruiserweight Championship: TJ Perkins (c) defeats Brian Kendrick: C
I predicted this match to be a high-flying, death-defying affair between two cruiserweights, as it could have really given the fans something to be excited about with these two wrestlers. Although this match contained some of the fly-around moves, it didn’t have enough. The match also ended rather quickly, as these guys were only given just more than ten minutes in the ring. Perkins made Kendrick tap out, which followed with a betrayal and Kendrick furthering the feud by attacking the victor following the match. All in all, this gave the fans what they needed and kept them wanting more, which they will get in the future.
Raw Women’s Championship: Charlotte (c) w/ Dana Brooke defeats Bayley and Sasha Banks: B-
This match had a lot of hype surrounding it, and I predicted on the wild card, Bayley, winning. This didn’t come to be Sunday night, though, as the champion, Charlotte retained her title by beating the two other best women in the division, Sasha Banks and Bayley. However, a twist that WWE is looking to go with in the near future is a feud between champion and side kick, as it appears the company is working on a Charlotte vs Dana Brooke feud for the next few events. This will help build Charlotte’s championship resume but will also help build Dana Brooke’s credibility in the ring. Depending on what WWE is planning to do, this outcome was either very smart or very dumb. My guess is very smart, but only time will tell.
United States Championship: Roman Reigns defeats Rusev (c) w/ Lana: B
The only title change of the night came in this match, as Roman Reigns captured the United States belt after ousting Rusev. The match was better than just two big guys power-housing it in the ring, and the match showed more athleticism than what was expected. It also showed that the more WWE tries to push Roman Reigns, he still can’t get over with the crowd, not even if he faces an “American-hating Bulgarian.” Expect a solid rematch from these two coming up at Hell in a Cell.
WWE Universal Championship: Kevin Owens (c) defeats Seth Rollins: A-
At least the main event of the night didn’t disappoint, and in a match that carried us for over 25 minutes, Kevin Owens retained the belt. The match was high-quality, and I am looking forward to more bouts pitting Owens against Rollins in the future, but ultimately, Rollins’ eyes will be set on Stephanie McMahon and Triple H. The match ended oddly with Chris Jericho making an appearance once the referee was knocked out, followed by Stephanie McMahon and Mick Foley not sending out a new referee until Owens was set up for the victory. This created more tension between Rollins and McMahon, while Owens appears to be taking a back seat for the time being, unfortunately.
After each Raw and SmackDown Live have both displayed their first respective pay-per-views, SmackDown has the upper hand, as Backlash was an event that sent the fans home very satisfied. Clash of Champions sent the crowd home happy but didn’t quite deliver the same way as Backlash did a few weeks ago. Looking ahead, SmackDown features No Mercy on Oct. 9, and Raw comes back with Hell in a Cell on Oct.30.