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Mr. Tito's PHAT WWE Clash of the Champions 2016 Review with Match Ratings and Show Grade
By Mr. Tito
Sep 25, 2016 - 11:08:00 PM

Follow Mr. Tito on @titowrestling

Welcome back to the EXCELLENCE IN COLUMN WRITING exclusively here at / by yours truly, Mr. Tito. WWE Clash of the Champions happened tonight and I reviewed it on an INSTANT COLUMN basis, writing the column as the event unfolds and posting it conveniently after the show. Saves me time, gives you an instant take on the show, all of us can go to bed early.

By the way, for tomorrow... WWE is allowed to blame LOW RATINGS on something else. The Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton Debate #1, I predict, will get around 120 million viewers. Seriously. Between what Trump could say or if Hillary can stay upright, there's plenty of non-political reasons to watch this thing. All of the news networks are just counting money right now, particularly on the day-after commentary. I bet RAW gets around 2.3 million viewers or so. Once that debate ends, the 10pm hour might improve quickly. We'll see...

Mr. Tito's PHAT WWE Clash of the Champions Review

I did catch the kick-off show, at least the last 30 minutes... Nia Jax vs. Alicia Fox wasn't bad. Thought Fox had a few good comeback moments but obviously, Jax is a powerhouse and the match told that story. Time for Jax to move on. Do you know what we haven't seen yet? Sasha Banks vs. Nia Jax. Overall, the match wasn't bad and sold what it needed to sell. No complaints. [ **1/2 ]

THE HOT OPENER was New Day vs. Anderson/Gallows. A handful of people immediately messaged me about the "Champs coming out first". See, my campaign of "Make Wrestling Great Again" is starting to spread... Interesting beginning with Anderson and Gallows going on the immediate attack and the match looked to be ending early. Love that Liger Bomb! Lots of repeat "face in peril" situations as Anderson/Gallows dominated much of this match and shot down all advantages. Lots of near falls in this match. Trombone to Anderson's face by Woods and Kofi/Big E hit their finisher for the win. That was a fun opener. [ ***1/2 ] Yep, we're going to break Demolition's record. Just under 3 months to go... Of course, Demolition didn't have a split roster for their championship reign.

Up next, it's the Cruiserweights as TJ Perkins makes his WWE main roster debut... Yep, can't introduce the champion on RAW because not everyone has WWE Network. His opponent was Brian Kendrick. Cool entrance for TJ Perkins... Lots of mat wrestling to start, which is not what you'd expect from the "high flying" Cruiserweight division. Based on what I saw from the finals of the Cruiserweight Classic, Perkins likes a little bit of psychology in his matches. Kendrick, as the announcers remind us, is wrestling his 13th WWE Pay Per View. Odd botched move, maybe (??), on the outside by TJ Perkins and then Kendrick masked that by tying up Perkins with the ring apron. Looked weird. Later, Perkins appeared to be dropped on his head on the outside and Perkins was selling a neck injury for the rest of the match. Botched the neck breaker on Kendrick badly and that deflated the crowd quickly. This is the kind of thing that makes Vince McMahon feel justified for not having a Cruiserweight division despite everybody else telling him that it's a great idea. Some good back and forth, with lots of counters to end the match and TJ Perkins wins with his Kneebar... Love that submission hold, especially when he locks in the leg like a Figure 4. Had some sloppy moments but also had some nice stuff. They can work on improving... [ **3/4 ] Afterward, Brian Kendrick attacks the champion... So there's your rematch, tomorrow night on RAW!

I think it's pretty obvious why WWE ignored the UFC failed drug test for Brock Lesnar. Lots of marketing was already prepared for WWE 2K17 that would have to be undone.

Backstage, Cesaro cuts a babyface promo before his match, even making mention of the event venue's city. How Mick Foley of him to do that.

The 7th and final match between Sheamus and Cesaro is up next. Say what you will, if you have nothing for wrestlers, just utilize a storyline or match set-up from the past for something to do. At the very least, Cesaro and Sheamus have had a defined purpose on WWE shows that others don't have and both should work together to help each other in the long-run. Good babyface pops for Cesaro here... Gee, RAW needs a strong babyface... Hmmm... One thing I do appreciate about this series is the extended psychology of the back injury that Cesaro is selling dating back from Match #2 of this series. I think of the two wrestlers, Cesaro would do fine if he just accumulated wins... Sheamus is in need of a booking overhaul and a new look. Fans were completely out of it when Sheamus had the advantage but were poping when Cesaro took control. Yup, it's obvious. Whoa! Cesaro hit a 619, what the hell? The replay made it look even more amusing! You just KNOW that Cesaro will have to do that in EVERY match from now on. Great sequence with Sheamus missing his kick, getting rolled up, Cesaro taking Sheamus for a spin, and locking in the Sharpshooter. Then, Cesaro makes a DUMB move by diving through the ropes head first. That could have been career ending or lethal. The payoff of the "Best of 7" series now has the fans eating out of their hands... Good job, WWE, on this storyline! It's becoming a nice heavyweight slugfest and now both are battling excessively on the outside. Both are selling injury now and the WWE doctors rush to both wrestlers. Referee stops the match... I'm 100% OK with this ending. Because this 7th match was DAMN GOOD, [ ****1/4 ], the WWE can push something extreme like a 30 minute Iron Man Match or even 2 out of 3 falls to decide the finish. It's working...

Sami Zayn vs. Chris Jericho is next... I'm still amazed at how GOOD Chris Jericho still is after all of these years. That mid 2000s break has preserved him along with the Fozzy tours that kept him away from the ring. Match was very tight and polished despite some actual high flying moves hit. VERY tough act to follow from the previous match but eventually, Jericho and Zayn had some interest in his match. Jericho won with the Codebreaker... Honestly don't have too much to say about the match. Solid. [ ***1/4 ]

I think the WWE marketing personnel who came up with the KFC cross-promotional crap with Miz/Dolph Ziggler playing a Chicken and the Colonel needs fired. Seriously. That KFC commercial takes a huge dump on the business particularly as Miz and Ziggler are actually feuding.

Backstage, Mick Foley and Stephanie McMahon are with Kevin Owens. They are praising him for headlining the first RAW specific Pay Per View. Owens cuts a good promo on Mick Foley... It's amusing that it takes Daniel Bryan and Mick Foley to act as authority figures for wrestlers to finally stick up to management.

Triple Threat for the Women's Title is our next bout between Bayley, Sasha Banks, and Charlotte (c). Proper respect to the Women's Division with Charlotte coming out last... I love the style and swagger of Sasha's entrance, by the way. What I don't like about this match, besides it being a Triple Threat, is that the WWE is giving this away at a lower level Pay Per View and not something bigger. Sasha sells an injury and yet comes back immediately for the next Pay Per View. Don't like that psychology either. Oh, this is No Disqualification? Then where is the logic of Sasha and Bayley not bringing a friend to the ring if Dana Brooke is allowed to attack people at ringside? Much more mat wrestling and striking this time around for Sasha/Charlotte, which is wise following that SummerSlam hot mess of a match. For whatever reason, Bayley sold injury at ringside for a long time to make it mostly Sasha vs. Charlotte. Hmmm... Why make it a Triple Threat? Match got better by the minute with more interactions between the 3 but the booking is heavily designed against Bayley which suggests that the Triple Threat booking change was last minute. Ending had Charlotte pushing Bayley into Sasha and then Charlotte delivering a hard kick to Bayley's head for the 1, 2, and 3. Bayley loses again and was only added for someone to lose. [ **3/4 ] Didn't feel like a true Triple Threat and the psychology of Dana Brooke (I figured Nia Jax would replace her in this match, miss) being allowed to interfere was STUPID. Why would Bayley/Sasha not bring along a friend to protect themselves at ringside?

Up next, Rusev vs Roman Reigns... Gee, guess which Champion came out first? Rusev, the United States Champion, comes out first because we cannot take that precious spotlight away from Roman Reigns. Oh no... Roman's entrance kills me because it's pushing the "Roman Empire" and the catchphrase "Believe That" so hard... Yet none of it is catching on. Nobody likes this force-fed guy to be their #1 superhero. Lots of boos during that great entrance, too. And then fans cheer for any move that Rusev does to Roman. Good God! And this is Indianapolis, not exactly trolling country for wrestling events. Reigns just looks so tired and winded in his matches and that's bad because Rusev is heavier and yet far more energetic. I'm seeing more energy in the Chicago Bears than Roman Reigns and the Bears, as I type this, are getting dominated by a rookie led Dallas Cowboys team 24-3 (3rd quarter, 11:13 remaining). Reigns's poor conditioning is made worse by Michael Cole (Vince in his ear) praising Reigns as the best thing ever. Rusev is trying to push Roman to care, but it's just not working. Brawling on the outside because we have that in every Reigns match... This is a pure carry job by Rusev, as Reigns is just waiting for moments to hit his trademark moves. Fine distraction by Lana, Rusev hits the kick for a 2 count only, and then tries for the Accolade submission. Of course Roman counters that, hits the spear. Lana interferes with the count and instead of the referee calling for Disqualification, he just throws Lana out of the arena. Alrighty then... Back and forth, several Drive By moves (hate that crap), and eventually Rusev takes the advantage and locks in the Accolade finisher... But of course, Roman Reigns powers out of that and Michael Cole is baffled: "That was absolutely incredible!". Spear is hit for the 1, 2, 3 for a NEW United States Champion. I could be upset at this, but Roman being U.S. Champion keeps him away from the WWE Universal Title for the moment... But he'll still win those non-title matches here and there, don't worry. [ **3/4 ], Rusev was seriously wrestling a broomstick out there tonight. He tried but Roman just went through the motions until it was his time to shine with trademark crap. What a joke. Hopefully, Rusev gets pushed to the top because he's greatly improved this year as an in-ring performer.... Unlike Roman.

Backstage, some bantering between Seth Rollins and Stephanie/Mick Foley. I honestly don't know what was said because I was switching from my iPhone to my Blu-Ray player to watch the Main Event on my big screen.

People can hate on Kevin Dunn, WWE Executive Producer... But damn these hype promos look great tonight before each match.

Well, at least the WWE Universal Champion comes out second... Seth Rollins vs. Kevin Owens (c) is the Main Event. Seth Rollins entrance makes it seem like the Zodiac Killer is coming out for a match (targets on the screen). For Kevin Owens, the excessive amount of the color red in his entrance almost makes his WWE Universal Title disappear... Heading into this match, I was hoping that Seth Rollins would shut many people up with his performance. These ridiculous accusations of Rollins being a "dangerous wrestler" need to stop. Cena and Balor's injuries were freak accidents and even Sting admits that he took those powerbombs to the turnbuckles wrong. Plus, Sting was 56 when that match happened. Match is starting off slowly and it was mostly Kevin Owens dominating. Funny how Seth is sort of in the babyface role and his offense has suddenly reduced! Those turnbuckles clicking as Rollins back hits makes me cringe... "Architech? You don't even have a foundation!", shouts Owens. Seth Rollins mounts a comeback BUT zero reaction... Uh oh. But hey, when everyone is silent, start to hype the use of the announcers' table for a big spot! I think fans are just unsure of what Seth Rollins is at this point... Rollins sells the knee injury but yet he can still jump off the ropes, no problem... Love the call after the Frog Splash by Cory Graves: "Seth Rollins's ribs could be broken in half after that splash". And now, they are near the announcer's table as we continue to paint by numbers. Uh oh, as Kevin Rollins is about to jump on Seth Rollins during the announcer table spot, he does 2 crotch chops and tells the referee "suck it". Intended? Chris Jericho appears to provide distraction and Kevin Owens hits an almost botched Powerbomb. Jericho gets knocked off by Rollins and then Seth Rollins does the crotch chop with "suck it" before a Pedigree. Jericho puts Owens's foot on the ropes for 2 count only. Referee Bump when Owens tried his Pop-up Powerbomb. Jericho was fended off and Rollins hit a nice Pedigree counter when Owens tried another Pop-up Powerbomb. Referee remains out. Now Jericho attacks and Rollins fends him off and goes back after Owens. Referee is unable to get up but Stephanie McMahon orders a new referee to join the match. As Rollins tries to re-enter the ring, Kevin Owens hits the Pop-up Powerbomb to retain. [ ***1/4 ] Match lacked energy or chemistry in spots. I bet they could do better in a rematch. Too much overbooking at the end and NO TRIPLE H.

LAST WORD: How about that Sheamus/Cesaro match-up? Otherwise, the show had some solid match-ups but nothing that really stood out. Cruiserweight Division is off to a rough start while the Women's Division, despite the talent in the ring, didn't deliver. I thought that the Tag Team Title match, however, did great. The RAW lovefest for Roman Reigns has to end... Just let Roman be US Champion for a while and get that man in better condition. You cannot suck wind during matches particularly when a larger guy, Rusev, is running circles around you. Show gets a B- from me.


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