Hello everyone and welcome to Planet Kayfabe. Today I'm doing a quick rundown of the Smackdown branded WWE Clash of Champions PPV that took place at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts yesterday. In my preview I predicted there would be no title changes and the WWE ended up giving us one and it turned out to be a bit of a surprise, but was it a good surprise? Let's get started. Before a crowd of Bostonians riding a high after Ben Roethlisberger was rap.... uhh ripped (yeah, let's go with that instead) from his #1 seed playoff hopes, here's Clash of Champions.
Hear that? Why the f*** is he not doing this on television? Once again another example of WWE keeping their talent chained down cutting the same homogenized, boring, buzz word peppered promos every week when deep down they are capable of cutting promos like THIS!
I'm also not shocked Mojo won and he should have won. When I was watching the NoDQ Panel video and Big Vito went off about some nonsense about Zack Ryder is a "proven commodity" and being in the WWE system for 10 years and he's going to go over the newly turned Mojo for that reason I nearly spit my coffee all over my monitor. To me this was the easiest pick of the night and look even in WWE common sense prevailed. Now that we know what Mojo is capable of, hopefully WWE took notice and let this guy cut promos like this on television.
I get it, they're PG. Well, this was a PG promo. I get it, they're publicly traded and have sponsors. Well, they've been publicly traded since 2001. Why is this NOW becoming an excuse have every promo and segment micromanaged and scripted to the letter?
DOLPH ZIGGLER BECOMES UNITED STATES CHAMPION:
I didn't know I wanted this until I saw the result. We've seen what seems like a hundred start-and-stop Dolph Ziggler pushes over the years so, I proceed with caution here and not get my hopes up too much. The match was fine, but how they book him going forward pretty much depends on how I feel about Dolph winning in the long run, though. If he loses this title next month, then you'll hear me go -- what the f***. I may not be the biggest Baron Corbin fan, but they put the damn belt on him. At least do something with the guy. Instead he, in a triple threat is pinned by Dolph Ziggler who had the worst odds to victory and was inserted in this feud as the 3rd wheel between Corbin and Roode. Well... he won. Here's one more chance for Dolph. I hope they do something with him because I think most fans stopped caring about him a long time ago. It's been a while since I've seen any of those "PUSH ZIGGLER" signs in the crowd. So, maybe it's too late and maybe I'm being too optimistic. So, if you're one of those "why are you always negative" types, I refer you to this portion of the show. Dolph Ziggler who has been pushed aside for years who had no business winning this match actually won this match and mu reaction was being ok with it. However, I have no reason to think that suddenly WWE is going to start taking Ziggler more seriously, but again... even if WWE does start taking him seriously it might still be too late, but again, again... it's not like he's main eventing WrestleMania here, it's the f***ing US Championship.
Nattie Freaks Out:
I actually enjoyed this a bit more than the match. Of course because this is WWE they send someone in to interview the loser in a championship match. Natalya is asked what went wrong, because that's why these interviewers are paid the big bucks, and she takes the mic and freaks out on the crowd and ends up crying in the process.
She lays into the crowd and talks about how for 10 years she's had great matches. The funny thing is, she's been around for a long time but this past year she's probably been pushed the most. When she was hired, WWE was still riding a high of hiring models that they'd hope could work enough to keep fans' attention for 5 minutes once in a while and she was always the worker of the bunch. The one who had to carry these models and make them look good so they could become stars, while she did all the heavy lifting.
There's also the bit Aaron Rift mentioned on his post-PPV live stream that Lana said on Total Divas that Nattie couldn't cut a promo. She's hardly an "A" promo but she's not bad, especially as a bratty heel. I think that's funny coming from Lana, though since Nattie could work circles around her on one leg and blindfolded.
AJ Styles Retains The WWE Championship:
I told you that you had nothing to worry about. Once again AJ carries Jinder to the best match he'll ever had. That'snot saying it was a great match, though. The crowd was pretty dead for this and early on there was an ironic dueling chant with a few people chanting "let's go, Jinder!" from people who probably never watched a Jinder match back more than once. There was also some old geek in the front row with his "this guy loves Jinder Mahal" shirt who was all giddy, full of glee and clapping like a seal when Jinder was posing in the ring. I can't want to see the look on his face when he sees a vagina for the first time.
Sam Roberts before the show / Corey Graves during the show:
This guy sounds every bit as annoying as he looks, but what makes it even worse is when he said stupid shit like Mojo Rawley turning on Zack Ryder was like Shawn Michaels turning on Mary Jannetty. This sounds almost like a WWE force fed line, though, but I'm still not letting the guy off the hook. WWE loves hyperbole. Every tag team breaking up is Shawn and Marty and every "upset" is Kid going over Razor. So dumb. I get they have to put over the turn, but this company knows no other way to do it other than coming up with the biggest and most ridiculous comparison possible?
As for Corey Graves and speaking more WWE hyperbole, he said Dolph Ziggler may be the greatest in-ring performer in WWE history.... WHAT?! Since when? If Corey feels that way, then he's probably the only person in the world who has ever said Dolph f***ing Ziggler is the best wrestler of all time. Great, call Corey. By the way, there's still time to vote for the NoDQ announcer of the year and Graves is currently winning with 49% of the vote. What a terrible era for commentary this is. If this were 15-20-25-30 years ago Corey wouldn't last a f***ing month at ringside. What a joke.
The show was loaded with clusterf***s. The Lumberjack match. The tag title match. The match with Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn's careers on the line. There was a lot to follow which may have been overwhelming for some fans. In the tag match it was hard to tell who was good and who was bad. Rusev got perhaps the pop of the night other that when AJ retained his title. The Usos who typically ooze with heel charisma were over to a degree as babyfaces, but I don't love their babyface act. They just kind of came out like a couple cool guys wearing Boston Bruins colors and got a decent pop. The Lumberjacks had 6 heels against 1 babyface in Naomi and that cluster paid off with Charlotte hitting her top rope Moonsault on everyone. While it wasn't all bad, it felt like it was a bit over booked at times and sometimes keeping it simple is the best way to go, which brings me to...
Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan as referees and heels are justified in the end:
This match was all about the two guest referees. We know with WWE making the ridiculous stipulation that if Kevin and Sami lose they are fired from all of WWE that it pretty much guaranteed that they were winning. The only question is how we would get there.
In story line, Bryan made himself the referee to ensure fairness and protect the integrity of Smackdown and... that's what he did. However, Shane McMahon, the babyface who clearly sided with fellow babyfaces Randy Orton and Shinsuke Nakamura had his own interest in mind which was a total heel move.
During the match Bryan was shoved into Shane while he was making a 3 count. Commentary barely played this up and acted like Bryan tripped or purposely broke it up himself when it was clear that Kevin Owens pushed him into Shane. Bryan made his intentions clear on Smackdown and came through on the PPV. He wanted to ensure fairness in the match. Towards the end there was a point where Sami Zayn got the roll up on Orton and Shane went for the count but refused to count to 3... again HEEL MOVE. Shane and Bryan argued and Zayn rolled up Orton to which Bryan fast counted feeling that the match was already tainted anyway and Kevin and Sami deserved to win in the first place when Shane broke his own count.
If this was supposed to be a double turn, I'd say well done, but it's not. This match was about the friction between Shane and Bryan, but even though Bryan made the count in favor of the bad guys, do you blame him? He wasn't there to pick sides. He wanted to be a fair official. Shane was the one out there officiating for his own agenda. Unless Shane is turning and Kevin and Sami become babyfaces, which I doubt, I wonder how they're going to explain this. It's interesting but also confusing, especially if they expect that people are actually going to take Shane's side over Bryan's on this. I mean, unless you're a fan who is just blinded by your total hate for Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn I don't see how even the most casual fan can watch this and not feel Shane had it coming.
There's my thoughts on WWE Clash of Champions. If you missed it, you didn't miss too much. It has been a pretty solid year for WWE pay-per-view events and this was was just your average throw-away minor event, which is pretty much what I thought it would be, so I can't say I was too let down. Other that Ziggler, everyone who I thought and personally would have booked going over went over. The Shane/Bryan stuff didn't come to an end and will continue on Smackdown anyway. Natalya's post match promo came off as a retirement speech but it's not. Maybe she will just be off TV a bit to charge her batteries a bit.
Thanks for reading this edition of Planet Kayfabe. Tonight Raw comes from Providence, Rhode Island and I'll be there in person. No autographs, please.
Follow me on Twitter @PlanetKayfabe and leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the even. I'm Paul Matthews for NoDQ. Take care, everyone. Thanks for joining me.