WWE CLASH OF CHAMPIONS 2020 [Review]: A Tribe Called Reigns.

Shawn Puff
@ShawnPuffy

It’s been a while since we last reviewed a WWE Pay Per View event. This time it’s the Clash of the Champions, sponsored by WWE 2K Battlegrounds, which we reviewed and you can read about right here. We’re live from the Thunder Dome tonight (and, for the record, I have not yet virtually been in the Thunder Dome.)

This was also supposed to mark the return of The Sean & Shawn Show but Sean kind of just disappeared. I heard he got distracted by shrimp– and fair enough. So, you get stuck with me and yet another Smark Side Review! I can’t say that I was super excited for Clash because, well, it’s a WWE show and they have not been anything to write home about as of late. But, somebody has to write a review; so, why not me?

This show was cursed from the beginning. We found out earlier in the day that the SmackDown women’s championship and the Women’s tag team championships would not be defended due to COVID related issues. Awesome. I mean, if we’re going to get rid of two matches on this card, I can’t say that I’m disappointed in it being these two. Plus, we get the bonus of no Sam Roberts on the kickoff show. This night is turning out to be great already.

During the kickoff show, we get R-Truth running around dressed up like he’s a 49er, and not the Kaepernick kind either. Nope. R-Truth had on a gray wig and beard and flannel as if he were going to pan for gold. Despite Tozawa getting eaten by a shark… yes, that’s a real storyline… I’m sure something is going to happen with that 24/7 Championship tonight.

The Smackdown Tag Team Championship match was moved to the pre-show since the Women’s tag match was canceled. More disrespect for Cesaro and Nakamura. Please just let their contracts run out so they go somewhere where they’ll be used properly. On the other side of the ring was the Lucha House Party and I immediately realized why this match was the one moved to the kickoff show. Why is this even still a thing?

I’m waiting for the inevitable break up of this team so we can get the Lucha feud that absolutely nobody asked for. Obviously, Vince thinks it will be good shit. Anyway, the match. Nothing exciting here. Just your normal, pointless kickoff show match where we know the titles weren’t going to change hands. Blah! – 2/5

Can we talk about the fact that, between bad creative and the shows starting at 7:00 now, we DO NOT need a match on the kickoff show? Never mind it being a mediocre snooze fest like this. I should have kept watching Red Zone.

Next, we get the start of the actual show and it starts with the triple threat ladder match for the Intercontinental Championship. This match was amazing. We all know how much I loathe Jeff Hardy but, I’ll give credit where it’s due and he was part of the obvious match of the night. The ridiculous bumps that happened made me cringe and not because of how bad it was, which is usually why I cringe with WWE. Hardy’s Swanton onto Sami Zayn, through a ladder, from the top of another ladder was insane.

Then –and this is a spoiler, so be warned– Sami pulls out handcuffs and, in one of the most ingenious moves I’ve seen from WWE in a while, cuffs Hardy to a ladder on the outside, but not to his wrist, through the large piercing in his frickin’ earlobe. … You realized I marked out like a bitch right? … and then he cuffed himself to AJ Styles to stop Styles from getting to the title until he pulled a key out from under his tongue at just the right moment and cuffed Styles around the step of the ladder to enable him to secure the title. Holy shit. Well done, WWE. You’ve convinced me to watch the rest of the show.  – 4.25/5

Wow. How are you supposed to follow that? What a match. I’m happiest that Sami is finally getting some type of push and spotlight as a heel. He really deserves it. If you decide to watch one match tonight THIS is the one to watch.

OF COURSE!! R-Truth in a 24/7 segment. Great follow up. So, Lil’ Jimmy brings Truth into the referee’s locker room and you know it’s going to lead to something. Truth backs out of the room and Drew Gulak, who was stretching in the hallway for some odd reason, sees him and rolls him up for a quick pin to become the new 24/7 Champion. Who thought it was a good idea to bring Lil’ Jimmy back anyway?

Asuka would defend her RAW Women’s Championship against Zelina Vega next. Does anyone expect Vega to win here? Like, honestly? At least this was quick and painless. They did a good job of making Asuka look strong without totally burying Vega. They even made the Asuka-lock look strong again, which was great.

WWE also realized that literally, nobody is ready for Asuka, because they have nobody for her right now, so they set up a rematch with the post-match attack. Wait… did we just get two matches in a row that told good stories and made sense in how they played out?? Who is running the show here and what did they do to Vince??  – 2.5/5

Don’t get it twisted by my rating. I absolutely loved everything they did here, but the match itself was just average. Nothing surprising and nothing that elevated Vega to another level. I don’t even think it re-established Asuka as a force because Zelina Vega isn’t exactly placed as a top tier talent. It was just done right.

I have to admit, I kind of like the Hurt Business. I like that they’re using them to build up Apollo Crews. I even like Cedric as a heel. But that’s another story for another time. We’ve got Bobby Lashley and Apollo. We’ve got the United States Championship. We’ve got a feud that’s been built up and worked on for a while. We’ve got David versus Goliath. We’ve got a chance to really make Apollo with an upset of Lashley. We’ve got… a glorified squash match. Seriously?? Oh. There you are, Vince. Glad to see you’re safe.  – 1/5

I guess it could be worse. It could have ended in a fuck finish. All things in consideration, it was only a shit stain instead of an entire pile of it.

Because of how this played out it’s going to make me sound like I only like black groups, but I really like the Street Profits too. Outside of the shuckin’ and jivin’, they’re the real deal. But I thought that about them way back in NXT. Now they’re the longest reigning RAW Tag Team Champions, which kind of caught me by surprise, to be honest. The fact that Cole points that out leads me to believe that those belts are changing hands tonight.

This was a good match. Garza and Andrade are an amazing pairing as well. I just wish WWE had more tag teams or just got over the brand split and combined the tag titles because it’s literally been 1,784 times that these two teams have faced each other. It’s hard to be invested into something that you’ve seen over and over and over again and I’ve developed fatigue already. Garza injured himself when he hit that ridiculous Spanish fly from the top so the ref had to end the match early.

The finish really looked sloppy because we had a kick out but the ref counted through it. The commentators didn’t know what was going on. The Street Profits celebrated even though the replay showed there was a kick out so it looked heelish. I know it was on the fly and it wasn’t supposed to end like this but wtf??  – 3/5

An injury sets up an ending that totally ruined an otherwise good match. MAYBE they did it to save face and give Andrade and Garza a legit gripe so they can get a rematch and win the titles like they were supposed to. I don’t know. Me, I didn’t like it.

Gulak is in the back with Kayla being interviewed as the new 24/7 Champion. He talks about having to be alert and ready all the time as the champion. I mean, this couldn’t have been set up anymore for him to lose the title right here. Sure enough, R-Truth sneaks up behind with a ref and nails Gulak in the head with his panning pan as he was dedicating his win to Akira Tozawa who got eaten by a Shark last week. I can’t believe they’re doubling down on that one. R-Truth is now the 24/7 Champion for the 40th time or something like that.

Bayley comes out to the ring, even though Nikki Cross isn’t medically cleared to wrestle. Damn COVID. Bayley got in the ring and gave a promo and made a half-ass open challenge which she promptly closed. However, before the referee could give her the forfeit victory, Asuka came out to answer the challenge and we have an impromptu SmackDown Women’s Championship match between Asuka and Bayley. Are we about to see Asuka Two Belts? How do you say two in Japanese? Really?

Bayley hits Asuka with a chair to get disqualified. Weak. But while Bayley celebrated, Sasha came from the “crowd” and walloped Bayley with a chair of her own. Sasha is wearing a neck brace and Bayley easily gets control of the situation. How does this make any sense? OK. Sasha fights back and ends up wrecking Bayley with a kendo stick before Bayley gets the hell out of dodge.  – 1.5/5

They had the opportunity to pull a swerve, albeit one that would have made absolutely zero sense, but they didn’t do it. Yeah, the post-match stuff was kind of cool, but even that was tempered because Sasha was in a neck brace. They should have held off a little bit longer before going there. They slow burn literally FOREVER to get to the turn and now they want to blow through the angle.

I honestly thought Orton was going to take the title off of McIntyre at SummerSlam so I’m surprised that we’re even at this point and I’m even more surprised that he didn’t walk out of this one as champ. This was a brutal brawl. I can’t stress that enough. It was a great way to put a decisive end to this feud and establish McIntyre as the chosen one. We got cameos from all the legends that Orton took out during this angle, Big Show, Christian, Shawn Michaels, & even Ric Flair driving the ambulance.

This has been one of the most interesting feuds this company has done in a long time. Orton should have won though. The guy is the real face of this company. He’s been the man since the pandemic. He had a wild feud with Edge and followed it up with this. My biggest complaint with this match was the actual ending. Drew could not have missed more with the punt kick that ended this one. It was actually pretty damn ugly, to be honest. Ugh. – 4/5

Not Bret Hart versus Shawn Michaels, that’s for sure, but it was a really good match and it told a great story and was the perfect way to bring an end to this feud. They wrapped up all the loose ends and addressed everything that happened throughout. Even though the final punt kick was ugly as all hell, it made sense and I’ll take that all day.

I don’t really know why we have Jey Uso in the main event match. I get that it’s a storyline. I get that it builds Roman Reigns as a heel. I hope it’s the beginning of the lead to Roman versus the Rock at Mania. That would be the way I would go with this thing. I honestly love what they’re doing with Reigns. So, you want to boo him? Ok. We’ll give you a reason to boo him. It’s great. For the first time since the breakup of the Shield, I’m behind Roman Reigns. It was weird to me that Paul Heyman didn’t introduce Roman as the Special Counsel to the Tribal Chief, first off. I don’t know.

Jey just doesn’t look like he belongs here at all. For what it is, this was a good match. We once again had a match that told a great story. Roman is now this monster heel that will destroy his own family to retain his spot as the breadwinner and the Tribal Chief of the Anoa’i family. It allows for any other member of the family to be brought in to either be behind Reigns or as an opponent for him.

Why didn’t they do this before? Roman hit a nut shot and then got all evil and wouldn’t pin Jey because he wanted him to call him the Tribal Chief. Heyman even looked concerned at how determined Reigns was to destroy his cousin or have him tell everyone he was the head of the table instead of just ending the match and getting the victory. Jey wouldn’t do it. Heyman even tried doing it for Jey to get Reigns to end the match. In the end, Jimmy came out and tossed in the towel to stop the beating.  – 4/5

I frickin loved this. Honestly. This was great. This was the best main event at a WWE show since Mania and that was more of a cinematic adventure than a wrestling match anyway. I’m looking forward to seeing where this goes and what’s next for the Universal Champion. Shit, I might even tune in for SmackDown this week.

Overall = 3/5 Bibles

Every once in awhile WWE surprises me with something that’s really good. To be fair and honest, their pay per view events have had spots of brilliance and this one was no different. It started great with a wild ladder match and ended with two great title matches. For the first time in a while, Asuka, the WWE Championship, and the Universal Championship looked strong and relevant. The middle of the show was kind of meh though. Overall, this wasn’t a bad show. It was slightly better than average with a great opener and two really good main events. If only they could put on shows like this consistently, WWE would be watchable regularly again.

-Shawn Puff

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