Clash Of Champions 2020
Date: September 27, 2020
Location: Amway Center, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, Samoa Joe
We’re back to the show that is all about titles, which should be the majority of shows but this one is special due to reasons of they need a theme. The big story at the last minute is two matches being changed for reasons that aren’t entirely clear but virus issues seem like a strong possibility. Let’s get to it.
Kickoff Show: Smackdown Tag Team Titles: Lucha House Party vs. Cesaro/Shinsuke Nakamura
Nakamura, now sleeveless, and Cesaro are defending and it’s Kalisto/Lince Dorado for the House Party. Cesaro takes Dorado down to start and then drops him with a single shot to the face. Back up and Dorado sends him into the corner for a knee to the face and the back to back splashes get two on Cesaro. Kalisto spins into a sleeper on Cesaro but it’s broken up in a hurry. Dorado comes in with a missile dropkick to knock Cesaro into the corner for the tag off to Nakamura as things slow down a bit.
Nakamura kicks him to the floor and then kicks him down back inside, followed by Good Vibrations in the corner. A knee to the chest gets two on Dorado and it’s back to Cesaro for a forearm to the face. Dorado manages a sunset bomb for two of his own, earning himself a big boot from Cesaro. Back up again and Dorado manages to kick Nakamura down, setting up the high crossbody for the breather.
Kalisto…is not tagged in as Cesaro knocks him off the apron. Some more knees in the corner have Dorado in trouble but he rolls over for the hot tag off to Kalisto. Everything breaks down and Kalisto hits a DDT for two on Cesaro. They all head outside with a double superkick dropping Nakamura. Back inside and a pair of moonsaults get two on Cesaro but Nakamura pulls Dorado outside. The reverse exploder sends Dorado over the barricade, leaving Kalisto to be swung into the knee from Nakamura to retain at 10:45.
Rating: C. This started slowly but picked up a lot of steam near the end. I was expecting some kind of an angle with the House Party but thankfully they kept it simple here and had the champs retain as they should. It wasn’t anything special, but it would have gotten a live crowd into the show, which is all you can ask for.
John Cena narrates the opening video, talking about how hard it is to become a champion but then how it is even harder when you realize that some people have trained just as hard as you have. We then shift into a regular hype video on the main events.
Intercontinental Title: AJ Styles vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Sami Zayn
Hardy is defending in a ladder match with both titles above the ring. We get a classic ladder match moment from all three during the entrances for a nice bonus. The bell rings and Sami informs them that his belt shouldn’t be up there, earning himself a shot to the face. It’s Jeff going for the ladder first but AJ baseball slides it into his ribs. Sami follows with an Arabian moonsault to AJ and it’s time to throw a ladder inside. Hardy is right there to backdrops Sami into the ladder against the ropes and then turns the ladder upside down.
Jeff dives at AJ but only hits the ladder in a bump he shouldn’t be taking. AJ whips Sami hard into the ladder in the corner, leaving AJ as the only person standing. That means AJ can go climbing but he has to come back down for a Pele on Sami (whose back is looking HORRIBLE early on). Jeff goes up to catch him but gets knocked down HARD, only to pop back up to pull AJ down again.
Everyone is down until Sami suplexes AJ into the ladder in the corner. They all head outside with AJ getting the better of things until he misses a charge into the barricade. Jeff hits Poetry In Motion to AJ against the barricade, only to get caught with Sami’s Helluva Kick. Sami goes up so AJ chucks a mini ladder at him, possibly breaking Sami’s hand in the process. Hardy and Styles go up but the ladder tips over into the corner, with Sami wisely covering up and having the ladder only graze his knees.
Sami goes up so AJ tries the Phenomenal Forearm but Jeff shoves the ladder over to knock AJ out of the air. Jeff hits a Twist of Fate on Sami and goes up but Sami is there to grab the ladder. The ladder is tipped over so Jeff starts crawling over the top, leaving him upside down on the end that is going into the air. The ladder goes over the ropes and Jeff crashes down to the floor in another very nasty landing. Sami bridges the ladder between the ring and the announcers’ table but AJ hits the moonsault reverse DDT to take him down.
Sami is put across the ladder and Hardy hits AJ in the face with another ladder. Jeff climbs a big ladder and Swantons through Sami through the ladder for your crazy spot of the match. Cole says this is part of Jeff’s redemption year but Graves asks what good is a redemption year if you can’t get out of bed.
AJ goes up but Hardy turns the ladder over for the next big crash. The THIS IS AWESOME crowd noise is pumped in as Sami sends Jeff into the barricade a few times. With everything else not working, Sami whips out some handcuffs…and attaches Jeff’s EAR to the ladder. Sami isn’t done though and tries to handcuff AJ to the ropes but AJ fights up in time.
Somewhere in there Sami handcuffed himself to AJ though, leaving AJ to hammer away as he realizes what just happened. AJ loads Sami up in a fireman’s carry and climbs the ladder as Jeff, still earcuffed to the other ladder, is back in. Sami has a key and unhooks himself as Jeff rams a ladder into AJ. That means AJ can be cuffed to the ladder hinges, leaving Sami to climb up and win the titles at 26:42.
Rating: B. The handcuffs deal was creative and there were some big spots with a surprise ending, but at the same time I can’t quite feel right when you have people taking a bunch of bumps that they really don’t need to be taking. Jeff is a human wreck and now he’s doing these things that are just going to bang him up even more. I know he’s ok with them, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. This got hard to watch at times, but they didn’t have Jeff rip his ear off to win or something so….that’s a positive?
Post match Sami says he didn’t recapture anything because he is AND STILL Intercontinental Champion.
On the Kickoff Show, R-Truth, in a wig and hat, was panning for more gold because it’s a gold rush.
R-Truth, still in disguise, comes into the referee’s room and yells at Little Jimmy for giving them away. Drew Gulak sneaks in to win the title and runs off.
We get a clip from Jey Uso’s WWE Network Chronicle.
Raw Women’s Title: Asuka vs. Zelina Vega
Asuka is defending and takes her down with ease to start. A test of strength is teased but Asuka dances away as only she can. Vega gets creative by going after the arm, only to get headlocked for her efforts. An armdrag attempt doesn’t work whatsoever as Asuka reverses into a cross armbreaker. That sends Vega bailing to the ropes and she pulls Asuka down by the arm for a change.
Again Asuka is out of it in a hurry, this time with a hip attack to send Vega outside. Asuka gets pulled bad arm first into the steps though and an arm wringer gives Vega two back inside. The armbar goes on and Vega even flips forward to crank on the arm even more. Vega tries her own cross armbreaker but Asuka switches into a failed Asuka Lock attempt. That sends Vega to the apron, where she avoids another hip attack.
Back in and Vega snaps off a hurricanrana, setting up some running knees in the corner for two (Joe: “THAT WAS CLOSE! THAT WAS CLOSE!”). The Backstabber is blocked so Vega rolls over to kick her in the head for two more. Asuka has had it and tries the Asuka Lock but Vega reverses into a victory roll for two. Another rollup is countered into the Asuka Lock to retain the title at 7:08.
Rating: B-. This was WAY better than it had any right to be with Vega showing off a lot more than she usually gets to do in the ring. Vega took her time to start in on the arm and had Asuka in some trouble before getting beaten. Asuka gave her a lot here and this was a heck of a surprise. Nice job to both of them.
Post match Asuka calls Vega a firecracker and offers respect so Vega bows. Asuka bows back but Vega kicks her in the ribs, sending Asuka into her crazed screams as Vega bails.
US Title: Bobby Lashley vs. Apollo Crews
Lashley, is defending in a rematch from Payback where he took the title from Crews. MVP and Ricochet are here as bonuses. Lashley starts with the power but gets knocked to the floor, setting up a moonsault from the apron. Back in and Lashley runs him over, meaning it’s time for the beating in the corner. MVP yells from the floor, asking if Crews is feeling the hurt and if they are in business. A suplex gives Lashley two and MVP starts more trash talk.
Crews gets in a shot of his own though and hits a running elbow against the ropes. A dive to the floor takes Lashley down again and Crews hits the gorilla press into the standing moonsault for two back inside. Lashley is right back with a superplex for two of his own but the spinning Dominator is countered. Crews hits the standing shooting star into a frog splash for another near fall. Back up and Lashley hits the big spinebuster into the Hurt Lock for the tap to retain at 8:14.
Rating: C+. Another match where they were cranking up the energy before the right decision. There was little reason to have Lashley drop the title here as the Hurt Business seems to be moving on towards a bigger feud with Retribution. I liked what we got here though and that’s a nice thing to say about a match that didn’t feel like much coming in.
Raw Tag Team Titles: Andrade/Angel Garza vs. Street Profits
The Profits are defending. Andrade cranks on Dawkins’ arm to start but it’s quickly off to Ford. Garza grabs Andrade from the apron to cut Ford off, meaning Garza can TAKE OFF HIS PANTS. A running kick to the face gets two on Ford as Joe is VERY impressed by Garza and Andrade’s teamwork. Ford fights his way up with a belly to back suplex and the hot tag brings in Dawkins to clean house. Garza gets splashed in the corner but Andrade cuts Dawkins off with a dropkick.
A blind tag brings in Garza, meaning he can break up the Cash Out. Ford and Garza go up top with a super Spanish Fly giving Garza his own two. The running knees in the corner give Andrade two more but a jumping enziguri gets Ford out of trouble. The hot tag bring sin Dawkins for the spinebuster (now the Anointment) to Andrade…for the pin at 8:17. Andrade’s shoulder was WAY up at two and no one seemed to expect that as the finish.
Rating: C. Let me guess: that means we get ANOTHER match between these guys. The fact that there just aren’t any more teams available to challenge for the titles should tell you a lot about what the titles mean at this point. The Profits don’t need the belts at this point so find someone new to lose the titles to already.
Drew Gulak talks about always being prepared and gets jumped by R-Truth, who wins the title back.
Here’s Bayley with the chair to laugh about Nikki Cross not being here, even though she would have lost anyway. It’s open challenge time.
Smackdown Women’s Title: Asuka vs. Bayley
Only Bayley is defending as Asuka suplexes her down to start. It’s too early for the Asuka Lock as Bayley makes the rope and grabs her own belly to back suplex. Bayley yells at Cole for saying her name and then dives into a Codebreaker. They head outside with Asuka hitting another German suplex but Bayley hits her with the chair for the DQ at 3:38.
Rating: D+. Yeah that’s fine. I’m not sure what else they could have done here as Asuka was a safe pick to make people’s eyes go up at the possibility of a title change before doing the quick DQ to get Bayley out of there. They were in a bad place with Cross’ condition so this was as good of an idea as they could have gone with at the moment.
Post match here’s Sasha Banks in a neck brace to jump Bayley. A kick sends Banks away but Bayley spends too long setting up a chair, allowing Banks to get in some kendo stick shots. A scared looking Bayley runs off.
We recap Drew McIntyre vs. Randy Orton for the Raw World Title. McIntyre escaped with a win at Summerslam but Orton kicked him in the head three times. McIntyre did the same to him, meaning they were even on putting the other in an ambulance. Therefore, it was time for an ambulance match for the title.
Raw World Title: Drew McIntyre vs. Randy Orton
Drew is defending and you win by putting your opponent in an ambulance. They slug it out to start but Orton kicks the rope for a low blow. There’s the hanging DDT to plant the champ and it’s time for the Punt….but Big Show of all people shows up to grab Orton’s leg. The chokeslam sends Orton through the announcers’ table and Show leaves. McIntyre drops Orton face first onto the barricade and it’s time to head up to the ambulance.
For some reason there are crutches and chairs inside (the chair even has a red cross) but McIntyre takes too long and gets crutched in the ribs. Orton drives the chair into McIntyre’s bad jaw before trying to put him inside. McIntyre fights out in a hurry though, meaning it’s time to fight around to the side of the ambulance. The driver’s side door is opened up but McIntyre blasts him with the Glasgow Kiss. The Claymore only hits the door, sending it flying off the hinges.
They fight backstage and Drew chops him against a wall, only to be sent into another wall for his efforts. It’s time to go to catering next, where Christian jumps Orton and pounds him down next to the tables. With Christian gone, they head back to the ambulance and Orton gets in a rake to the eyes. Orton sends him through the windshield and they wind up on top of the ambulance. A shot to the face puts McIntyre, with his bloody back, down again and Orton knocks him down to the floor to make it worse.
Orton stands on top of the ambulance but it’s Shawn Michaels running in to superkick him down through part of the set. McIntyre picks him up for the toss into the ambulance but Orton slips out and hits the RKO on the floor. That’s enough to put McIntyre inside for one door shut….and then Orton pauses for a bit. McIntyre shoves him away and goes to the eye, setting up the Claymore. That’s not enough though as McIntyre adds his own Punt to finish Orton at 21:33.
Rating: B. I was worried when Big Show got involved but the ending worked out well. If nothing else, at least they didn’t have Ric Flair come out and shockingly side with Orton so at least they’re doing a bit of thinking. Odds are this goes to the Cell though, because winning two matches isn’t enough to end a feud these days. Good stuff here though, with some rare longer form storytelling from WWE.
Post match, Ric Flair drives the ambulance away.
We recap Jey Uso vs. Roman Reigns. It’s a battle of the family, as they are cousins and part of one of the most important wrestling families of all time. Reigns is the big star and Jey wants to know why he can’t be the guy. When someone talks about him, all they ask is which twin is he. Now Jey wants to be the new chief of the tribe and Reigns is not cool with that. Either this same video or a similar version was aired on Smackdown and it is still excellent with a great look at the family.
Smackdown World Title: Jey Uso vs. Roman Reigns
Reigns, now shirtless and with Paul Heyman, is defending. Reigns glares him down and drives it into the corner for another sneer. Uso gets shoved away and says he’s trying to get this too. A jump over Reigns in the corner doesn’t get Jey very far as Reigns shoves him outside. Reigns: “How are you going to be the chief if you can’t even stay on the island?” Back in and the jumping clothesline has Jey down for two and Reigns chokes on the rope. Reigns says Jey should have listened to the tribal chief and it’s time to send Jey outside again.
They trade shots to the face and Jey goes onto the announcers’ table. Reigns says he loves him and they head back inside, with Jey getting in a few shots to the face. A Samoan drop gives Jey two but Reigns is right back with the big Superman Punch. It’s already back to the floor for a slugout with Reigns getting the better of it in a hurry. Back in and Reigns says Jey should have laid down and taken the payday but now he has to take this beating. More hard shots to the face have Jey down again. Reigns: “You’re trying to level up but I live at this level.”
Some corner clotheslines rock Jey again but Reigns runs into a shot to the face. Jey sends him shoulder first into the post and it’s a suicide dive to the floor. The jumping enziguri sends Reigns right back to the floor and it’s another suicide dive to keep the comeback going. Reigns hits a high crossbody into a low superkick for two more and they’re both down. The Superfly Splash doesn’t work and Reigns busts out a Rough Ryder of all things for two more.
The spear is countered into a crucifix for two and it’s a superkick into the Superfly Splash for the big near fall. Reigns seems to have hit him low on the kickout though and the fans find this awesome. The spear cuts Jey in half but Reigns doesn’t cover. Reigns says he isn’t ready yet because Jey brought the chief all the way out. He demands that Jey acknowledge him as the tribal chief so Reigns can end this. Jey says no so Reigns spears him again for no cover. Reigns makes him look into the corner and tell the people who the chief is.
That’s still a no so Heyman shouts that Reigns is his tribal chief. Reigns says he needs to heat it from Uso and unloads on him. The referee tries to break it up so Reigns threatens to knock him out and make him lose his job. Reigns demands Jey acknowledge him and knocks Uso silly with shots to the head. Jey is sent face first into the mat and Reigns hammers at the back of his head.
Cue Jimmy Uso to say he’s throwing in the towel. Reigns says Jimmy can come in and acknowledge him and this will all end. Jey says don’t do it so Reigns pulls him back in and drops hard right hands. Jimmy throws in the towel (even Heyman is telling him to do it) for the stoppage at 22:58.
Rating: A. And that’s your winner for “match that should have been a squash and turned amazing because they played it perfectly”. I absolutely loved this and got sucked into the entire thing, as Jimmy coming out was the perfect way to end it. Reigns looks like the most heartless killer in a long time and it’s going to take something special to get the title off of him. I didn’t quite buy Jey as having even a prayer of a chance, but that’s the biggest criticism I can think of in an outstanding display from everyone involved.
Post match Jimmy holds Jey and says Reigns is the tribal chief if that’s what he wants. Heyman puts the lei that Jey wore around Roman’s neck and looks terrified.
Overall Rating: A-. This was a heck of a show that went WAY beyond what it should have been able to accomplish. The only bad thing was Bayley vs. Asuka, which wasn’t even a scheduled match and didn’t break four minutes. The two big matches over delivered and there were some surprises along the way. If there is a drawback, it would probably be the complete lack of impact this show seemed to have (I had to be reminded that any title changed hands only a few hours into the show) so the Champions part was hardly the most important. Other than that though, heck of a show and one of WWE’s best in a good while.
Sami Zayn b. AJ Styles and Jeff Hardy – Zayn pulled down the titles
Asuka b. Zelina Vega – Asuka Lock
Bobby Lashley b. Apollo Crews – Hurt Lock
Street Profits b. Andrade/Angel Garza – Anointment to Andrade
Asuka b. Bayley via DQ when Bayley used a chair
Drew McIntyre b. Randy Orton – McIntyre put Orton in an ambulance
Roman Reigns b. Jey Uso – Jimmy Uso threw in the towel
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