WWE Clash of Champions Review September 26, 2016 By: Mike Tedesco of Wrestleview.com
The “first ever” RAW branded PPV event is in the books now. The 19 PPV WWE schedule is in full effect and there is no turning back now. They’re committed, at least for the time being.
Much like the “Smackdown Live only” PPV event Backlash, there was not a lot of buzz or excitement heading into this one. All day on my Twitter and Facebook feeds, I was constantly seeing messages saying something along the lines of “Clash of Champions is tonight? Meh.” The RAW heading into this event was definitely a decent, packed show, but the ratings certainly weren’t positive despite how the show was put together. How did the PPV itself come off? Let’s find out.
The Clash of Champions main event was certainly a good one, but after a whole card full of a plethora of suicide dives and finisher kick-outs, the crowd just wasn’t all that jacked to watch yet another match with more of the same. I think the matches on the show preceding it had a lot to do with it, but I also feel that Seth Rollins just hasn’t connected with the crowd on a top babyface level yet. The guy just turned face a few weeks ago and just isn’t established. They tried to flash fire it on Monday with him doing the cross-body off the commentary table and then later on a cross-body off the top of the cage, but it hasn’t clicked yet. I think the crowd still considers him to be a heel, so when you have two perceived heels facing off against one another, it hurts the reaction to the match. That’s not to say the match wasn’t very good. It certainly was. The relationship between Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho (who interfered in the match) is still one of the best things going in WWE right now. Still, the commentators were awful (as they were all night) at conveying the important points of the story. There was a ref bump toward the end and Rollins had Owens down for twenty seconds with a Pedigree, but no other referee was sent out. Then when Rollins was in trouble, Stephanie McMahon sent a new referee down. Then it was Powerbomb, over. It was kind of anticlimactic and the commentary team did a terrible job of trying to convey the story that Stephanie may have inadvertently been favoring Owens there by sending a referee out when Rollins’ momentum was down. I hope they can get it right tomorrow on RAW. To sum it up, this was a good match with an anticlimactic ending.
The only title change we saw on the show was Roman Reigns defeating Rusev in a decent, physical match to become the United States Champion. The crowd was not on Reigns’ side once again, but they still pop whenever he does something big. It’s very weird. I think this was actually a great move to give him the title. It keeps him out of the main event picture so they can possibly refocus their game plan to get him over. I still contend that the United States Championship should be like the old TV Title being defended every week. Bring back the Open Challenge aspect to it and let Reigns get over with his wrestling. Say what you want about the guy (I sure have said a lot over the past two years), but he has been involved in some damn good matches this year. Let him get over with the wrestling, maybe tweak the character a bit by going back at the boo-birds, and I believe they can turn this ship around. However, is the damage done as far as him being the #1 face of the company? Time will tell.