When the main event of WWE Clash of Champions 2017 was revealed to be AJ Styles defending the WWE Championship against Jinder Mahal, hopes of a good show were not raised in the slightest. They were smashed down by a semi truck, in fact. As for the rest of the card, it had more filler than a Subway sandwich.
The main event saw Styles pick up a decisive victory over Mahal to remove him from the WWE title picture, hopefully permanently. Even The Great Khali’s matches were more entertaining, and that man resembled an OAP trying to walk without a zimmerframe. Anyway, Styles was solid as ever, but even his brilliance couldn’t get anything good out of Mahal. In my opinion, there’s not a performer on this planet better between those ropes than The Phenomenal One, and he really should just keep Smackdown’s main title until he decides to retire.
Styles had to overcome interference from The Singh Brothers once again to prevail. But what was more impressive was Styles managing to stay awake while Mahal was on offense because everyone else in the arena was fast asleep. You may think I’m being a little harsh on Mahal, but I’m sorry, if countless headlocks and rest holds is your thing, then you need to re-evaluate quite frankly.
The main subplot on the night was the teased implosion of authority figures Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan. You know, the two guys who promised us Smackdown would be different to Raw where it was all about the authority figures. Yeah, talk about hypocritical. I’m sure they’d make Chris Jericho’s list, that is if they’re not on it already. Anyway, back to the actual match which saw BFFs Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn take on Randy Orton and Shinsuke Nakamura with both Shane and Bryan acting as special guest referees.
Sadly the drama did not live up to expectations, and the match was a dire affair. The only remotely exciting thing to happen was Bryan’s fast count at the end to gift the heels the win. Two months later, and the sublte Bryan heel turn is still in effect. If it doesn’t lead to a WrestleMania showdown with Shane McMahon, I will be bitterly disappointed.
Elsewhere on the card, Harper & Rowan decimated Breezeango in less than two minutes. To call it terrible would be an understatement. This is what happens when you get over in WWE without the office wanting you to. Just ask Zack Ryder, good luck finding him though.
The Women’s Championship Lumberjill was long and boring, just like watching an Jose Mourinho team on a Sunday afternoon. I still don’t get why they don’t turn Charlotte heel, she’s so natural at being hated. It’s like Piers Morgan trying to be likeable, it just doesn’t work. Her and Natalya do have good chemistry, but the outcome was never in doubt. Speaking of Natalya, is there a worse actor in the world than her? She’s got less charisma than a cardboard box, otherwise known as her uncle Bret Hart.
The Fatal Four match for the Smackdown Tag Team Titles was disjointed in places, but highly entertaining in others. Everyone had ample time to shine, but none more so than Chad Gable, who was the MVP of the match no doubt. He might just be the Shawn Michaels of American Alpha after all. Enjoyable stuff, but with the talent on show it was impossible to be anything but.
The show opened with a lively Triple Threat encounter which saw Dolph Ziggler take home the United States Championship only to forfeit it two nights later, then return at the Royal Rumble only to be eliminated in seconds by Finn Balor. Yeah, the creative team don’t like The Showoff. Baron Corbin and Bobby Roode put in good performances too, but this was all about Ziggler. The crowd were into it right from the start, which is always good of course. They did rather sprint through some spots, but that’s to be expected in multi-person matches where everyone wants to get their stuff in. All round good stuff here.
Overall, if you were thinking Clash of Champions looked bad on paper but would over deliver on the night, you’d be sadly mistaken. Was it a terrible show? No, it’s not December to Dismember bad, but it’s still not good. It lacked creativeness. I’d hire Vince Russo back for the December period in WWE as he’s guaranteed to liven things up. There are only two matches worth anyone’s time on the card, but it really isn’t worth your time or money to go out and buy this DVD.