This Is What It’s Like When Worlds Collide – Clash of Champions 2017 – 12/17/2017

You damn right that’s a Powerman 5000 reference.  The TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts closes the annual PPV calendar yet again this year as is plays host to Clash of Champions.  They’ve got to be a little disappointed, as this was initially the spot where TLC was listed on the PPV schedule, but they threw a curveball and instead gave Beantown a card that seemingly features every single person they could find in the Smackdown locker room.  Seriously, I’m going to have to type a lot of names in this one.  So let’s get to it.

The Official Theme of Clash of Champions was pretty on the nose, as it is a song called “Champion” from The Roots.  It is not new, which makes it seem like a weird choice, and it was already used for the NBA Finals.  Feel free to listen to it as you read the greatest recap on the web.

Clash of Champions Kickoff Broadcast

Our kickoff show features one teaser match for the portion of the audience unwilling to part with $10 a month to actually have the WWE Network.  Seriously, why would you not?  It’s $10.

Former bros turned enemies Mojo Rawley and Zack Ryder will finally get an opportunity to settle their disagreements the old fashioned way, by beating the hell out of each other.  If you haven’t watched all the Twitter videos both have posted (primarily Mojo) to get this match hyped up, you owe it to yourself to go back and check those out.  If they gave these guys more TV time to get this match promoted it could have closed the show just based on the quality of the promo work here.

The match was good.  Mojo brought an intensity that we’ve never really seen from him in the ring before.  This heel run will either make him the star I’ve long expected him to be or prove that maybe I was kind of wrong.  I don’t think I am.  He’s far too charismatic even playing the asshole to not find his way up the card before much longer.  Zack Ryder got some offense in, but not much.  Mojo did “no sell” a clothesline, which looked like it might have pulled Ryder’s shoulder out of socket.  Two Broski Boots didn’t get the job done, but Mojo landed a Chop Block and then a Punch Version of the Broski Boot.

Mojo Rawley picks up the victory over his former tag team partner via pinfall.

Clash of Champions 2017

This is a solid card, I’m just going to hit that right up front.  Even without cramming all the additional factors to these matches, you would have gotten Roode-Corbin for the United States Title, The Usos vs anybody for the Tag Championship, Charlotte vs Natalya for the Women’s Championship and AJ Styles vs Jinder Mahal for the WWE Championship.  I’d have paid PPV pricing for that, fortunately I don’t have to.

Baron Corbin defends the United States Championship in a Triple Threat Match against The Glorious Bobby Roode and Dolph Ziggler

This match was awesome.  And if you ever wondered what could get a show going with the same level of excitement as The New Day’s entrance…..let that piano opening start for Bobby Roode and the crowd goes wild.  I really went into this one convinced that it was Bobby Roode’s to lose, and he most definitely did that.  As Baron Corbin appeared to be on his way to retaining by landing an End of Days, Ziggler simultaneously grabbed Corbin and used his own momentum to land a pretty brutal Zig Zag and Dolph Ziggler gets the clean pinfall over Baron Corbin to become United States Champion.  I was oddly ok with this outcome, and after this match, they can pair these three together in any random combination and I’m going to be pretty excited to see what they do.  Ziggler deserved it.  He’s been doing great work with what little time they’ve given him of late.

In a backstage segment, Baron Corbin showed his ass about the title loss.  He somehow feels like he was cheated, even though the match went completely clean.  He’ll probably get the belt back on Tuesday night.

The Usos successfully defend the Smackdown Tag Team Championship against the majority of the tag team division, Uce.

First, Rusev may be the most over dude in the company.  Second, why would you have even questioned the outcome of this one?  The Usos are the Charlotte Flair of the tag division.  They are just leaps and bounds in front of the roster right now, and I am growing sadder every day that we didn’t get to see The Usos take on The Shield at Survivor Series, because that would have been awesome.

They actually let Aiden English sing his way through the Twelve Days of Rusev, which wasn’t terrible, but when he attempted an encore, he was interrupted by American Alpha 2.0.  Nobody seems to care that Shelton Benjamin exists.

Each team got their moments in the spotlight, and they really let Aiden English highlight his technical prowess which was much appreciated, but this one really played out a lot more like a tornado tag match than anything, as one man from each team was legal at all times, so there were always four competitors going at once.  In the end, The Usos retain the championship gaining pinfall over Chad Gable, but make no doubt about it, the crowd in Boston most definitely wanted Rusev and Aiden English to get the win here.  They’ll get another opportunity, if Chad Gable didn’t kill them both with some really rough looking suplexes.

The match was fine, just entirely too many moving pieces given the level of talent here.  I’ve always been a supporter of both the idea of a number one contender, and a match to determine number one contenders.  This repeated booking is getting tired.  What is the harm in actually having a number one contender in a championship match, and having a second match with the new number one contendership at stake?  Quit putting so much filler in the broadcasts and book more matches.

Natalya challenges Charlotte Flair for the Smackdown Women’s Championship in a Lumberjack Match

“You don’t think Natalya is juggling a lot, Byron?  She’s on Total Divas, she’s got like twelve thousand cats.” – I love you, Corey Graves.

I thought it was weird that Liv Morgan ended up on Smackdown with Carmella, as she essentially adopted the Carmella character on NXT when Ms. Money In The Bank got called up.  It appears she’s here to be the Alexa Bliss of Smackdown, as she seemed to be channeling her own internal Harley Quinn.

Natalya’s wrestling isn’t the best in the company, but everything else she does in the ring is great.  Her taunting rivals Kevin Owens, and that’s about where the bar is set.  “You like that, Charlotte?  You’re pathetic.”

The majority of the match was spent with Natalya throwing Charlotte to the outside, where she continuously got beat down by the Riott Squad, Tamina, Carmella and Lana.  While there is a story here about Naomi valiantly coming to her rescue, she certainly made no effort to help during numerous beatdowns, so save that shit.  I’m not going to fluff this up by telling you Naomi played a hero because she didn’t.  She just stood at ringside and did nothing for the majority of the match.

Remember that moonsault I promised would happen through the rest of the women’s division?  Yep!

Natalya managed to dodge this beauty of a moonsault, but when she tried to capitalize, she was quickly locked in, and Charlotte Flair retains the WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship via submission as Natalya tapped out to the Figure 8.

Following the match, Natalya had an in-ring interview, where it seemed like she may have retired?  I’m not entirely sure.  She’s going to become a cat trainer.  It had the JBL post loss to Rey Mysterio vibe about it.  Then she stood at ringside and cried.  What the hell just happened?  If that’s really what happened I hope the Boston crowd feels shitty about how they acted in her sendoff.

The Fashion Police challenge The Bludgeon Brothers for the honor of the Fashion Police Office

The Bludgeon Brothers pretty well slaughtered The Fashion Police.  I’m not taking it well.

Randy Orton and Shinsuke Nakamura vs Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn with both Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon as Co-Special Guest Referees

Jesus that’s a mouthful.  Anyway, as you probably anticipated, Orton and Nak carried the majority of the offense in this one, followed by infighting between the two referees.  Eventually, Shane McMahon would attempt to count a pinfall and have KO push Daniel Bryan into him.  Soon thereafter, Sami Zayn would attempt to get a victory only to have Shane blatantly stop counting at two.  Daniel Bryan could not allow this injustice, and Sami Zayn would get a pinfall on Randy Orton as Daniel Bryan administered an extremely fast count.  I was pleased that Nakamura got as much match time as he did, as they’ve held back his truly remarkable arsenal.  I really wanted to see him hit the exploder on Owens, but didn’t get it.

Jinder Mahal vs AJ Styles for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship

The Singh Brothers, in spite of promising that Jinder didn’t need their help, accompanied him to the ring.  I’m not exactly sure why but they laid out a giant Persian rug in the ring during his entrance.  Actually, I know exactly why that was done.  I don’t know what sort of longevity Mahal has at the top, or even in WWE, as an in ring performer, but I think he would make for a fantastic commentator.  When he’s not in character, he’s incredibly well spoken, and his losing his job and working his ass off to get back, he’s proven his passion for the industry.   Both of those translate well to the desk.

The match itself wasn’t bad, and quite long for a Jinder Mahal match.  Jinder worked AJ’s ribs throughout the match to keep him from being able to fly, while AJ worked the leg of Mahal to add to the effectiveness of the Calf Crusher.  A Styles Clash to a Singh Brother on the outside was among the highlights here, but as the match came to a close, Jinder Mahal attempted a Styles Clash, but AJ reversed it into the Calf Crusher.  Jinder attempted to climb for the rope, but AJ pulled him back into the center of the ring and Jinder had no choice.  AJ Styles retains the WWE Championship via submission with the Calf Crusher.  

Final Thoughts

It was a good PPV.  Honestly, it was one of the better of the year.  Having been at No Mercy, which was lackluster, and going to Houston for Survivor Series which was completely ruined by the still unexplained close to the show, my expectations were rather low.

The match of the evening was easily The United States Championship match, with Dolph Ziggler picking up the win feeling like a swerve.  I don’t know that anybody expected him to come out on top here, either anticipating Corbin to retain or the beginning of a Glorious title reign.

Few too many people involved in the tag championship match, but it was still a good one, and the crowd was insanely into it.  They need to figure out how to get us to The Usos vs Ambrose and Rollins.  I want to see that match more than I ever knew.

Best part of the evening:  TALKING SMACK IS BACK!!!!  And Sam Roberts joins Renee Young for the program.

And our overall Giphy Grade: