Welcome to KB’s Old School (and New School) Reviews. I’ve been reviewing wrestling shows for over ten years now and have reviewed over 5,000 shows. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I’ll be posting a new review here on Wrestlingrumors.net. It could be anything from modern WWE to old school to indies to anything in between. Note that I rate using letters instead of stars and I don’t rate matches under three minutes as really, how good or bad can something that short be?
Clash of Champions 2017
Date: December 17, 2017
Location: TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton
It’s the final pay per view of the year and this time the focus is on champions. Well, at least some of it is as the rest of the focus has been on Kevin Owens/Sami Zayn vs. Shane McMahon, who has put together Randy Orton/Shinsuke Nakamura to fight for him. Let’s get to it.
Kickoff Show: Mojo Rawley vs. Zack Ryder
They were partners who kept losing so Rawley turned on him. Rawley has new music as well. Ryder dropkicks him at the bell and we start in a hurry. They head outside with Ryder slugging away until Rawley rams him back first into the barricade. A spinebuster plants Ryder again and a running splash in the corner gets two.
We hit the chinlock for a bit before Ryder gets shoved off the ropes and outside again. Back from a break with Ryder caught in another chinlock. A big boot gets two more but Ryder is back up with some forearms in the corner. Mojo gets serious and chop blocks the knee, setting up the running right hand for the pin at 7:12.
Rating: C-. Fairly entertaining glorified squash here and that’s all it could have been. Ryder was always going to lose this and that’s the right idea with Rawley potentially becoming a midcard act as a result of the split. It served its purpose and if Rawley gets something out of it, even better.
The opening video is split between looking at the title matches and the tag match. This show’s name is going to be its undoing.
US Title: Bobby Roode vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Baron Corbin
Corbin is defending. They circle around to start until Corbin is sent outside, leaving the challengers to trade rollups. Ziggler sends Roode outside as well and it’s Corbin with a hard clothesline to take Bobby down. Dolph takes some right hands as well and it’s Corbin standing tall early on.
Back in and Roode is whipped hard into the corer as we’re firmly in the two in/one out triple threat formula. After a good stomping on Roode, Ziggler comes back in and takes one of his own. At least the champ is consistent. It’s Roode coming back in with a Blockbuster for two on Corbin. Ziggler runs in for a Fameasser on Roode, forcing Corbin to dive back in for a save.
Roode hits a swinging Rock Bottom but walks into Deep Six. With everyone else down, Roode goes up for some reason, only to get caught on the bad end of a Tower of Doom. Ziggler throws Corbin outside but the superkick is countered into Roode’s spinebuster. The jumping DDT gives Ziggler two though and everyone is down again. A charging Corbin is low bridged and Ziggler eats the Glorious DDT but Corbin pulls Roode out at two. Back in and Corbin loads up End of Days, only to have Ziggler grab the Zig Zag for the pin at 12:03.
Rating: C+. I….what? Like seriously what? Ziggler was there to take the fall and winds up winning the title? Was this just for the sake of shutting him up on Twitter? The match was every triple threat match you’ve seen with a nice sequence in the middle, but my goodness Ziggler winning does nothing for anyone.
Daniel Bryan thinks his referee shirt is a little big when Shane McMahon comes in to say his, which of course is customized, fits fine. Shane wants to know what’s up with Bryan as of late as he just added himself to the match out of nowhere. They’re both going to be in the ring tonight and more discussions will be had later on.
Corbin is livid and promises to get the title back.
Tag Team Titles: New Day vs. Shelton Benjamin/Chad Gable vs. Rusev/Aiden English vs. Usos
The Usos are defending and it’s one fall to a finish. Before the match, English sings the Twelve Days of Rusev so the Usos sing about having all twelve days on lock. There are four in the ring at a time here so it’s Gable, English, Kofi and Jimmy starting things off. Four straight rollups lead to a quadruple tag as everything breaks down. Of course a bunch of them wind up on the floor with Jey diving onto Big E. and English.
Benjamin runs the corner to superplex Jimmy down with Big E. having to make a save. New Day takes over inside and loads up some Unicorn Stampedes, only to have Rusev come back in and run everyone over. Cue the RUSEV DAY chants, meaning WWE will destroy him in short order. Gable and English put on holds at the same time with a staredown thrown in.
English of course wins by singing, because that’s what a good man does. A hard suplex drops Jey and we settle down to Gable and Benjamin working Kofi over in the corner. Byron won’t shut up about English’s singing and Graves keeps berating him, meaning advantage Graves. English has to make a save and gets in a shoving match with Gable. Double hot tags bring in Jimmy and Big E. as this is WAY messier than it needs to be.
A running Umaga Attack and a Warrior Splash gives us a double two. The Usos clean house with superkicks until Shelton powerbombs Jimmy and Gable grabs a Texas Cloverleaf. Rusev makes a save with a superkick to the back of the head and grabs the Accolade on Gable. Big E. makes the save but eats the jumping superkick. There’s the Accolade on Big E. until Gable makes a very delayed save of his own. Chad starts suplexing everyone, including Rolling Chaos Theory on Big E. The Usos make a blind tag though and it’s the superkick into the Superfly Splash to retain at 11:56.
Rating: B-. The action was good but egads this was messy. There was too much going on and a lot of that is due to the four in the ring at once. Hopefully they don’t keep that up if they do something like this again in the future. The Usos retaining is acceptable but the titles could use some fresh blood pretty soon. Hopefully that means Rusev/English, at least before Rusev Day loses its steam.
We recap the Women’s Title match. Charlotte beat Natalya to take the title but the debuting Riott Squad interfered in the rematch. The solution was a lumberjack match, including the Riott Squad at ringside.
Women’s Title: Charlotte vs. Natalya
Charlotte is defending and the lumberjacks get individual entrances to fill in time. Oh and we get Big Match Intros in case you didn’t get the idea yet. Charlotte wastes no time in kicking Natalya outside where Naomi gets in a shot of her own. Back in and a neckbreaker gives Charlotte two as Graves says he has 20/13 vision, making him better than Saxton. Normally this would be annoying but Saxton is so worthless that it’s actually fine.
Natalya knocks the champ outside and the beatdown is on with the Squad getting annoying at the other lumberjacks trying to get in their own shots. Back in and we hit the chinlock, followed by a basement dropkick to keep Charlotte in trouble. Natalya gets sent outside and, of course, is tossed back in unscathed. Charlotte makes a comeback but decides to dive onto Ruby Riott instead.
We get the required lumberjack brawl until Naomi dives onto everyone. Back in and Natalya grabs a Sharpshooter until Charlotte gets over to the ropes. That’s not cool with the lumberjacks, who pull Charlotte outside to keep up the beating. In the melee, Carmella grabs the Money in the Bank briefcase but the Squad breaks it up. Charlotte moonsaults outside onto the pile but gets posted by Natalya. Back in and Charlotte reverses the Sharpshooter into the Figure Eight to retain at 12:33.
Rating: D+. As usual, Smackdown seems to have no idea how to book this division without throwing everyone into the match at once. All the people running around got old in a hurry and there was no way around it. On top of that we still don’t have the Money in the Bank cash-in out of the way, despite having the most perfect of a moment imaginable at the CHAMPIONS pay per view. This was more annoying than anything else and that’s not good. On a side note though, this felt like it was planting some seeds for a women’s Rumble and that could be interesting.
Post match Natalya says Charlotte used her family’s name to cut corners and talks about giving everything to the division in the last ten years. Now the WWE and the women want to turn their backs on her. Well she’ll turn her back on all of them. Ok Nattie. You do that and see if we can make people care about you even less. I mean, I doubt it, but maybe your cats will be interested. Just don’t talk again. Like ever. I’d rather listen to your cats being swung around by their tails.
Long video hyping up the Network because THIS SHOW IS WAY TOO SHORT IF YOU DIDN’T GET THE IDEA YET!
The Singh Brothers won’t allow any interviews with Jinder Mahal. They do however note that he heard what AJ said “on the Clash of Champions Kickoff Show”. As opposed to the Barney Miller marathon kickoff show?
1. Who listens to this and thinks humans talk like this?
2. What do I have to do to get a Barney Miller marathon?
Anyway they tease that they won’t get involved in the title match.
Breezango vs. Bludgeon Brothers
Breeze now has short tights. Harper punches Breeze in the jaw to start and it’s quickly off to Rowan. Tyler gets in an enziguri, only to have Harper smash Breeze with a big boot (which the camera missed). Breeze is dropped face first onto the apron and a double powerbomb plants Fandango. The double spinebuster ends Fandango at 1:58. I know the Brothers need to be established but they couldn’t have done this to the Hype Bros? Or jobbers or something? Or can we just have Breezango win something for once?
Post match the Brothers promise more destruction.
Zayn and Owens like Bryan playing fair and promise that the YEP Movement will rage on. They walk away from a question of what if they lose.
We recap the tag match, which I can’t believe isn’t the main event. Owens beat up Vince McMahon so it turned into the Shane McMahon Avenging Hour. Zayn joined forces with Owens and turned into the double big bad, setting up a tag match between Owens/Zayn vs. Randy Orton/Shinsuke Nakamura. Shane and Daniel Bryan are both going to be refereeing and if Owens/Zayn lose, they’re fired. The bosses are rather divided on what to do about Owens and Zayn, meaning there’s some tension around here.
Sami Zayn/Kevin Owens vs. Randy Orton/Shinsuke Nakamura
Both referees are in the ring at once as Orton headlocks Sami to start. Orton clotheslines Sami down and let’s have an argument over the counts. Shane yells at Sami for punching in the corner while Bryan just stands back. Nakamura comes in and reverses a wristlock into one of his own. It’s off to Owens who hammers away in the corner, only to have Shane pull him off.
Orton comes back in and completely misses a right hand but gets two anyway, triggering another argument. Eventually they agree to cover half of the ring each and we seem to have peace at the moment. Owens superkicks Orton to take over, allowing Zayn to chop away in the corner. Orton breaks a chinlock (he would know about them) and drops Sami ribs first across the top.
It’s back to Owens for a chinlock of his own until a belly to back suplex gets Orton to freedom. Nakamura comes in for the hard strikes and some Good Vibrations. We hit a triangle choke on Owens but he powers out in a bit of a surprise. Sami comes in for two off the Blue Thunder Bomb as everything breaks down. Orton’s throat is snapped across the top rope but he’s able to crotch Sami into a superplex.
Owens pulls Orton outside so the brawl can continue, including the overactive referees. The villains start loading up the announcers’ table and a splash drives him through. Orton is back up though and the hanging DDT gets two on Sami with Shane freaking out over the kickout. There’s an RKO to Owens but Zayn rolls Randy up for two as Shane just stops counting. Bryan snaps so Sami rolls Orton up again with Bryan fast counting the pin at 21:00.
Rating: C+. The match was a mess due to all the people involved but egads this better be a Shane heel turn. I like the ending, but I have a bad feeling about what it’s going to lead to. If nothing else it basically guarantees more Shane dominating TV, even if it’s not all that interesting anymore. Shane was a full on heel here, even if that is likely to change nothing because Shane is the cool guy or whatever their logic is.
A lot of staring ensues.
We recap the World Title match with a cool video about the history of the title and some great champions. AJ hopes to be such a champion one day and started the process when he won the title in England. Tonight is Mahal’s rematch.
Smackdown World Title: AJ Styles vs. Jinder Mahal
AJ is defending and the Singh Brothers are here. Mahal powers him into the corner to start until AJ kicks him in the knee for a breather. They head outside with AJ sending the knee into the barricade and grabbing a leglock back inside. Mahal fights up and drops him ribs first across the top rope for another trip to the floor. A piece of the barricade padding is ripped off and AJ goes crashing through it as the fans are just dying here.
Mahal gets dropped onto the announcers’ table and we hit the reverse chinlock with a knee in the back. It’s off to a bodyscissors as this match is somehow getting even more boring, completely defying my expectations. Mahal stays on the ribs with an abdominal stretch, followed by a middle rope right hand to the jaw. AJ dropkicks the second attempt out of the air but it’s too early for the Phenomenal Forearm.
Some right hands in the corner are countered into an electric chair, followed by the seated forearm. The fireman’s carry backbreaker gets two on Mahal, followed by a northern lights suplex for the same. There’s the Pele but the tornado DDT is countered, allowing Mahal to kick him in the face for two more. With nothing else working, Mahal loads up a super Khallas but AJ breaks it up without much effort.
The springboard 450 connects, only to bang up the ribs. The Singh Brothers try to pull Mahal outside but get beaten up for their efforts, including a Styles Clash on the floor. Back in and the Khallas gets two so Mahal tries a Styles Clash. Since that would probably result in a bad case of death, AJ reverses into the Calf Crusher to retain at 22:57.
Rating: B. Much like in Manchester, AJ carries Mahal to a good match. NOW GET THE HECK OVER MAHAL AND GET HIM OUT OF THE MAIN EVENT FOREVER AND EVER AND EVER! I’ve been sick of the guy for months now and hopefully he drops down to the midcard (where he would be perfectly fine and should have been all this time) while someone interesting and/or talented gets the spot that they deserve.
Overall Rating: C-. While not the worst show ever, it certainly was one of the least important ever. The problem again comes down to the fact that the idea of a pay per view focusing on the titles doesn’t need to exist when every pay per view is like this. Maybe if you have a dual branded version it could work but this didn’t stand up very well on its own.
As has been obvious for weeks though, the bigger problem is how little this show needed to exist. Smackdown just doesn’t have the lineup for a stand alone pay per view at the moment as they ran a six match card here with almost nothing feeling like it belonged on pay per view. The main event was good but nothing that blew away the TV match from England and the tag match was a plot device. As for the rest….yeah it existed and ate up pay per view time, which is about the extent of its positives.
The show was far from terrible, but it wasn’t very interesting and didn’t need to exist. Granted we’re heading into the Rumble though and that’s going to guarantee things pick up in a hurry. In other words, this was the throw away December pay per view which only exists because they need a show in December. At least the boring stretch is out of the way though and things can start looking forward.
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books. Get the latest and greatest in professional wrestling news by signing up for our daily email newsletter. Just look below for “GET EXCLUSIVE UPDATES” to sign up. Thank you for reading!