The main focus is on Seth Rollins and Braun Strowman, the Raw Tag Team Champions, who will defend their titles before facing off for Rollins’ Universal Championship!
There are nine matches at this event, coming from the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, N.C. The pre-show saw Drew Gulak retain his title in a triple threat against Lince Dorado and Humberto Carrillo. The second match on the pre-show saw one of my favorites, hometown Charlotte boy Cedric Alexander unfortunately get treated like a jobber against AJ Styles in a match for the United States Championship.
WWE Clash of Champions 2019
Raw Tag Team Championship: Seth Rollins and Braun Strowman (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode – If it wasn’t for ol’ Bobby Roo, I think I would just skip this match. But whenever I get the chance to hear Roode’s entrance theme, I am happy. I use it as my morning alarm so I start my day reminding myself how glorious I actually am. Strowman could get me interested again now that Brock Lesnar isn’t around to job him out, but Rollins and Ziggler have just become overexposed. But they’re still capable of good action in the ring. This match doesn’t get much time to get going, though, with Strowman accidentally causing Rollins to go head first into a turnbuckle, which led to a Glorious DDT from Roode on Rollins for the win and the titles. I get to hear Roode’s entrance theme twice, so we’re starting off this show really well.
SmackDown! Live Women’s Championship: Bayley (c) vs. Charlotte Flair – These two have gone at it before, but now that Bayley has a bit of a new attitude, thanks to her returning BFF Sasha Banks, it’s an interesting dichotomy. Both Charlotte and Bayley are intrinsically heel at this point. You’d think since Charlotte has more experience being the bad guy, she’d have the advantage here. But Bayley uses her brain and undoes a turnbuckle, tripping Charlotte and causing her to hit her head, leading to a quick and easy pin. Bayley hightails it to the dressing room after the ref counts the 3 as Charlotte is left wondering what the hell happened. It may have been shorter than I wanted, but a Bayley win is always appreciated.
SmackDown! Live Tag Team Championship: Big E and Xavier Woods (c) vs. The Revival – Woods has an injured knee, which gives Wilder and Dawson a target for some old school heel tag team focus. Once Woods gets in the match, it’s all about torturing Woods. Wilder and Dawson take out Big E and systematically destroy Woods, knocking him out with a Shatter Machine and then put him in a submission hold to force him to tap out and embarrass the six time tag team champions. What a great short match that showed some great psychology and a sensible story throughout the match. The Revival brag about their win on the ramp after the match to establish some more heel heat.
The women’s tag team champions get an interview in the back that leads to some 24/7 shenanigans.
Women’s Tag Team Championship: Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross (c) vs. Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose – Bliss is decked out as Harley Quinn… at least I assume that’s what the red and black outfit is supposed to signify. The match is quickly interrupted by a group of superstars chasing 24/7 Champion R-Truth down the ramp and into the ring, where Bliss almost wins the title with a roll-up, but the interlude is brief, as Truth leads everyone through the crowd and the match continues. Rose and Deville don’t really have any presence or what seems to be workable charisma, but Cross and Bliss have it in spades, and it carries the match. Bliss gets knocked out early, giving Cross the spotlight for the end of the match, where she takes out Deville before pinning Rose to retain the belts.
Intercontinental Championship Match: Shinsuke Nakamura (c) vs. The Miz – Before the match, Sami Zayn comes out to complain about getting chokeslammed by the Undertaker at Madison Square Garden and then introduce the champion. I think Sami has found his niche as an obnoxious mouthpiece. Now that Miz is more or less a face, Zayn can fill the void. Unfortunately, my WWE Network decided to go on the fritz halfway through the match and I missed the ending. Nakamura retains, from what I understand.
Raw Women’s Championship Match: Becky Lynch (c) vs. Sasha Banks – After going home for five months after she and Bayley lost the tag team titles at WRESTLEMANIA, Banks is back with a vengeance. With Lynch’s momentum lagging without Ronda Rousey or Charlotte Flair to elevate her, having Banks around can only mean good things. Unlike the SmackDown! Live Women’s Championship Match, this one is more of a contest and a much better match. Lynch had more fire in this match than she’s had in a while, and Banks continued to look like she was going to be broken in half. What a great match, and well-deserving of the crowd’s “THIS IS AWESOME” chant. The ref gets hit in the back with a chair, turning the match into some gaga as Lynch and Banks brawl in the crowd and just beat the hell out of each other. Great action, great emotion as the women go all over the arena with the referee unconscious on the mat. Lead announcer Michael Cole says the match is over and Lynch has been disqualified for knocking out the ref with the chair, but we never get an announcement and Lynch begins to slam Banks’ face into a chair and then puts the Dis-Arm-Her on Banks through the chair. Easily the best match of the night so far.
WWE Championship Match: Kofi Kingston (c) vs. Randy Orton – This is a rematch from their SUMMERSLAM match, where Orton got under Kingston’s skin by taunting his family and causing a bullshit finish. I don’t know if the crowd was burnt out by the previous match or if the feud between Kingston and Orton just isn’t resonating with the crowd, but the crowd just didn’t seem to give a damn about this match. It’s a shame, because Kingston and Orton had a pretty good match. It probably went a little long for what they were trying to do, though, and Kingston manages to shock Orton with an SOS to get the win and retain. Some more crowd reaction would have helped.
No Disqualification Match: Roman Reigns vs. Erik Rowan – Yeah, it’s another match that didn’t have the crowd’s interest at all. This is growing out of the “who was trying to take Reigns out” story running through both Raw and SmackDown! Live. Some judicious use of weapons got a little bit of reaction, but whenever Rowan was in control, the crowd went to sleep. I think everyone was just waiting on the reveal of Daniel Bryan to set up a feud with Reigns. This is another match that went was too long and meandering, with Reigns and Rowan attacking each other with camera equipment at the top of the stage. I imagine hitting your opponent with a camera rig will be a new feature for WWE2K21. The crowd woke up for a returning Luke Harper hitting Reigns as he charged down the ramp for a super spear, leading to Rowan getting a victory over Reigns. It’s good to see Harper back. Maybe he’ll be revealed as the guy who tried to hit Reigns with a car.
Universal Championship Match: Seth Rollins (c) vs. Braun Strowman – Rollins has been getting a lot of David vs. Goliath stories as he’s at the top of the Raw roster, though I think the mystique of Strowman has been tarnished significantly over the last couple of years. He’s had more than a few opportunities at the red brand belt and hasn’t managed to win it yet. The crowd definitely was looking for something big to happen, as boos permeated through as Rollins hit a series of stomps on Strowman and cheered with each successive kickout. But the final stomp, which was preceded by a Pedigree, was enough to finally put Strowman away. I can’t believe they haven’t given this guy the belt yet, but Rollins is clearly the man at the company.
With Rollins celebrating at the top of the stage, the lights go out and the Fiend – Bray Wyatt’s new character – appeared to take Rollins out in yet another wildly creepy scene. I love the new Wyatt. That was a damn good way to end the show.
Final Thoughts: Fun show with a hot ending, even if the main event was a little tepid. The Lynch-Bnks match was the definite highlight, though I didn’t hate anything that happened.