Review for WWE Clash of Champions 2017
Clash of Champions is the last PPV of the year for WWE and leave it to Smackdown Live! to end the year with a whimper rather than a bang. This is a shame, but really this PPV could have been called Clash of Stipulations as every match apart from two had some kind of stipulation and this translated to poor booking rather than real reasons to have them. Three of the matches featured multiple participants and this felt like just an excuse for Smackdown to showcase their roster rather than show just why the matches and the Superstars involved mattered. Again, this is a shame as the matches featured could have easily been highlights, but I spent much of this PPV with my head in my hands.
For the Triple Threat for US Championship we had Baron Corbin defend against Dolph Ziggler and the Glorious Bobby Roode. I was really surprised by this match. I am not a huge fan of any of the competitors, but I can at least appreciate how good they all are in the ring and this was a great showing from everyone. The ending was slightly predictable, but I still enjoyed it.
The tag match was fantastic full of some great moments. Another multi-competitor stipulation as a Fatal 4-Way for WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championship between The Usos, The New Day, Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin and Rusev and Aiden English. I do wish it had been elimination, but all four teams had moments to shine and I have to say that I am loving the whole change to Rusev which has been great the past few months. The Usos were dominant and amazing as always and this was a great way to showcase the tag division.
The awfully booked Lumberjack Match for WWE Smackdown Women's Championship between Charlotte and Natalya was such a pointless match that I’m not sure who this was supposed to help. To be honest this felt like they were using the Lumberjack stipulation so that they could introduce and show off the rest of the Smackdown Women’s division as really if they are not in the title scene they are almost forgotten about. The ending of the match was odd and if Natalya was really retiring maybe they could have put that as part of the match stipulation.
The Bludgeon Brothers destroying Breezango was pointless. I understand they were trying to make the team of Rowan and Harper look dominant and it does, it just doesn’t do anything.
My head hurts with this Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn vs. Randy Orton and Shinsuke Nakamura match. I understand what they were trying to do, but this match made no sense whatsoever. I have no idea who I am supposed to be rooting for? Am I supposed to liking the anti-authority Owens and Zayn (especially as they had their careers on the line?) or Orton and Nakamura battling against the smug heels? This was another match where Nakamura looked utterly lost and I do hope that they get him a feud with someone who can work his style soon.
The match itself had its moments and it’s always worth watching Nakamura’s entrance and I think I enjoyed certain spots, but it just felt awkward at times. The whole two referees with Shane and Daniel Bryan was a nice, if confusing, dynamic, but I’m still not sure what I am supposed to make of this match?
Finally, we have the rematch that no one wanted between WWE Champion AJ Styles against former champion Jinder Mahal. This match achieved the impossible of making a Jinder Mahal match watchable. I was glad that it did not end with Mahal getting the title back, but most of the match actually showed why he was for a period of 2017 considered to be a credible WWE Champion. Styles was fantastic as always and this was a great way to end the PPV, it is just a shame that most of the rest was forgettable.
Also included is the Kickoff Match between Zack Ryder and Mojo Rawley which was fine, but far too short. I do wish that WWE would include more from the Kickoff Show as it is often an entertaining part of the whole build to the PPV with the Superstars giving their predictions and those involved commenting. The after show (or at least highlights) would also be a nice addition and make buying the DVD a lot more worthwhile.
Clash of Champions 2017 could have been a great PPV, but instead it just seemed to get bogged down with stipulations that meant very little. The tag match was a highlight and clearly match of the night and the main event was enjoyable, but the rest of the PPV felt forced and just thrown together and this was a shame.