With so many championships at stake, was it 24 carat or a case of not all that glitters is gold for WWE at Clash Of Champions 2019? Our very own King of the Ring, Andy Spoors, looks back on the company’s latest PPV in Charlotte.
Title matches in wrestling are, by their very nature, special. The culmination of a Superstar’s rise through the ranks to earn his or her opportunity to be draped in gold. For the defending champion, the opportunity to prove they are indeed the best in their field and company. With so many championships now in WWE, is it possible to keep that special feeling if every match needs to keep the same feeling?
In short, probably not. But Clash Of Champions 2019 gave it a good shot with titles changing hands, great action and a surprise or two along the way. The preshow showcased the Cruiserweight division, as well as a quick paced match between US Champion AJ Styles and Cedric Alexander. The former may have come out the other side of the match as the victor, but Alexander’s stock has certainly risen after going toe to toe with one of the company’s most consistent performers in the shape of AJ Styles.
Interestingly, the only titles to change hands over the night were both men’s tag titles. It may be a coincidence or something more sinister, but with bookends nature of the PPV with Braun Strowman and Seth Rollins kicking off the show as well as headlining, it felt like a foregone conclusion that at least their tag titles would change hands. The somewhat thrown together team of Ziggler and Roode, the beneficiaries of a mix up between the Architect and the Monster Amongst Men.
We have mentioned before that the tag team division has long been neglected. The bloated roster placing out of sorts (and storylines) Superstars in a team to keep them relevant doesn’t cut it anymore. Give us a Revival or a New Day any day over pairs that struggle to find a rhythm or chemistry. Yes, happy accidents such as Cesaro and Shaemus can happen, but only if those involved really want to make it work.
Back to the action and although our plea for Bayley to shed the cartoon style entrance fell on deaf ears, the quick and ‘cheat to win’ finish got us someway there. The Raw women were afforded much more time and delivered in a big way. Both Becky and Sasha were visibly out to impress, the chemistry from NXT onwards evident throughout. Although the ending seemed chaotic (no bell ever officially signalled the finish) this played into the confusion and kept fans guessing which way this might go. Becky may have walked up the ramp with the belt in tow but this one feels far from over.
As expected, Kofi Kingston and Randy Orton put 10 years’ worth of emotion into their match. One thing to note, the commentators did a fantastic job of bringing a big match feel to proceedings, calling the bout ‘as important as Kofi’s match to win the belt at Wrestlemania’. It’s those touches that can push good matches to great and this match skirted close to greatness. One of only a few Superstars that never tries to pander to the crowd, Orton could be excused for being in the twilight of his career. With the showing here, he simply needs storylines he can believe in and put his own stamp on throughout.
Erick Rowan needed an old friend’s help, as Luke Harper made a surprise appearance after months on the sidelines to vanquish Roman Reigns. Rowan and Harper seem destined to team together for their careers and the pair’s penchant for Viking metal t-shirts such as Amon Amarth should win them some fans on these hallowed pages.
After their appearance at the start of the night, the frenetic pace that Rollins and Strowman hit during their Universal Championship bout was nothing short of impressive – Rollins gaining a clean win after four stomps and a Pedigree to finally keep the monster down. But as the champion celebrated his latest win and the camera poised to fade, rushonrock.com favourite, The Fiend, pounced. The ominous sight of Seth slumped at the feet of WWE’s most talked about Superstar sent Twitter into meltdown. All eyes now turn to creative, who need to find a way to avoid burnout on a character that should be used sparingly for as long as possible.
Clash of Champions served as an effective reset button. Feuds ended, feuds ignited. With Smackdown’s move to Fox now closer than ever, the stakes just got higher.
PPV Theme Song: Champion – Bishop Briggs
Besides the title, the UK artist brought a perfect blend of an anthemic hook and apt lyrics to provide the soundtrack for the night. Reminiscent of Dorothy’s Missile, Champion has certainly been one of the better efforts used on recent PPVs.
Rushonrock Prediction Results: