The John Report - WWE Clash of Champions: Gold Rush 2020 Review

Welcome to the WWE Clash of Champions review on TJRWrestling. It’s the annual WWE September PPV where all Raw and Smackdown titles are on the line…or at least they were supposed to be on the line.
There were some changes to the card. Two women’s matches originally scheduled for the show did not happen. Here’s the explanation from WWE:

Bayley will address the SmackDown Women's Championship situation tonight on WWE Clash of Champions with her opponent unable to compete.
Nikki Cross, who was scheduled to challenge for the title, is not medically cleared.
Additionally, Shayna Baszler & Nia Jax are not medically cleared and will not defend the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship against The Riott Squad tonight. The situation surrounding the titles will be addressed tomorrow night on Raw.

It could be Covid-19 related, but that’s not known right now. It doesn’t mean those individuals have Covid-19 either. There’s the contact tracing aspect and other things involved too. They just weren’t cleared for this show, so that’s why they are off the card. Hopefully they are all doing okay.

Here's the Kickoff Show match.
Smackdown Tag Team Championships: Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Lucha House Party (Kalisto and Lince Dorado) (w/Gran Metalik) 
Cesaro with a body slam on Dorado. After Dorado ran the ropes, Cesaro took him down with an STO trip. Dorado sent Cesaro to the turnbuckle and hit a jumping kick. Kalisto hit a splash on Dorado's shoulders and then Dorado hit a splash leading to a two count. Kalisto jumped on Cesaro's back with a sleeper hold, which led to Cesaro driving Kalisto into the turnbuckle. Kalisto with a headscissors, Dorado back in and he hit a missile dropkick leading to Nakamura tagging in. Nakamura charged in, Dorado got a boot up and Nakamura kicked Dorado off the ropes to the floor. Nakamura hit a running knee while Dorado was on the apron. Cesaro worked over Dorado with punches along with a clothesline for two. Nakamura back in with kicks to the chest leading to a two count. Cesaro worked over Dorado with a headlock. Dorado countered a move off the ropes with a Sunset Bomb for two, but then Cesaro came back with a big kick to the face for two. Nakamura with a running knee that missed, Dorado with a kick and then a cross body block off the top. Cesaro kicked Kalisto off the apron to prevent the tag. Nakamura was back in with a running knee to the gut of Dorado and then a Cesaro gutwrench suplex with Nakamura hitting a knee off the ropes for two. Nakamura with repeated knees to the ribs. Cesaro with an uppercut on Dorado, but Dorado broke free and brought in Kalisto. There was a cross body block off the top by Kalisto, who followed up with an incredible twisting DDT for a two count with Nakamura saving his partner. Dorado hit a Backstabber double knees to the back of Nakamura. Kalisto kicked Cesaro out of the ring, Cesaro caught Kalisto on a dive, so Dorado hit a suicide dive and Kalisto hit a Tornado DDT on Cesaro. Kalisto kicked Nakamura to knock him down. Kalisto with a moonsault off the bottom rope, Dorado with a moonsault off the middle rope and Kalisto with a moonsault off the top on Cesaro for a two count. Kalisto got another rollup on Cesaro for two. Nakamura pulled Dorado off the apron and suplexed over the barricade. Cesaro lifted Kalisto, who got a hurricanrana into a pin attempt for two. Nakamura got the blind tag, Cesaro with an uppercut and the swing by Cesaro into the Kinshasa knee by Nakamura got the pinfall win at 10:45.
Winners by pinfall: Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura
Analysis: **3/4 It was the usual good match between the teams although also it was nothing different than what they usually do. It was hard to really get into it even though I like Cesaro/Nakamura a lot as champions. I just want them to have some fresh opponents, so maybe we'll get that when the WWE Draft takes place next month. There were issues between the LHP guys in the past, but there was no sign of that here.

That was the only Kickoff Show. It's onto the main show.

WWE Clash of Champions
From WWE ThunderDome at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida
Sunday, September 27, 2020

The opening video package was narrated by John Cena (you can’t see him…while talking) talking about the importance of being a champion and how it’s a night that is an all out gold rush.
The pyro went off at the WWE ThunderDome with ladders all around the building because that match is up first. The crowd was ready to go on the ThunderDome screens. The Smackdown announce team of Michael Cole and Corey Graves were calling the first match.
The two versions of the Intercontinental Title were hanging above the ring for the opening ladder match. AJ Styles was up first, Sami Zayn (who claimed he was still the champion) was up next for his first PPV match since WrestleMania and then Jeff Hardy as the current champion was last. They had a triple threat match on Smackdown that was won by Zayn.

Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match: Jeff Hardy vs. Sami Zayn vs. AJ Styles
Hardy whipped Zayn into Styles against the turnbuckle. Hardy hit a bulldog/clothesline combo. Hardy grabbed a ladder, which led to Styles hitting a dropkick into the ribs of Hardy. Styles jumped over the top with a forearm on Hardy. Zayn kicked Styles and then hit a moonsault off the top onto Styles on the floor. Zayn slammed a ladder across the back of both guys. A ladder was set up against the ropes, so Hardy gave Zayn a back body drop across the ladder. Hardy went for a diving attack on Styles, who moved and Hardy went diving onto a ladder that was against the ropes. Styles whipped Zayn into a ladder that was against the ropes with Zayn bounced off the ladder two times with a rough landing. Styles set up a ladder, he did a slow climb with Zayn there to take him down, but Styles stopped Zayn with a Pele Kick. Styles climbed the ladder, Hardy went up the ladder with Styles and Styles managed to slam Hardy off the ladder. Hardy managed to get back up to pull Styles back down to the mat. Hardy with the atomic drop, double leg drop and the basement dropkick. After about a minute of selling, Zayn sent Hardy out of the ring and climbed the ladder, but Styles pulled Zayn down. Zayn gave Styles an Exploder Suplex on Styles onto the ladder. Zayn did a very slow climb, so Hardy was back up and stopped the climb. Zayn sent Hardy out of the ring and whipped him into the barricade. Styles got back into it by sending Zayn into the steps and sent Hardy into a ladder. Styles went for a running attack, nobody was there, so Jeff jumped off the steps with a running body attack on Styles. Zayn showed up out of nowhere for the Helluva Kick to send Zayn over the apron to their floor. Zayn did the slowest climb ever as Styles launched a mini-ladder at Zayn, who was selling a hand injury.
Styles tried to climb the ladder, he was selling and Hardy went up the other side of the ladder. Hardy tilted the ladder over to send both guys into the ropes while bouncing over the top to the floor. Zayn tried a climb, Styles went for a Phenomenal Forearm off the top and Jeff shoved the ladder into Styles. When Zayn tried a climb, Jeff knocked him down and hit a Twist of Fate neckbreaker. Hardy climbed up the ladder again, Zayn tipped it over backward and Hardy climbed over the other side, which led to an insane bump with Zayn flipping the ladder over the top to the floor while Jeff bumped out of the ring with the ladder. Zayn’s back was full of red marks and bruises to show the kind of shots he had been taking. Styles sent Zayn face first into the announce table. Zayn came back by sending Styles into the ring post. Zayn got in some kicks to stun Zayn, Styles jumped off the announce table and turned it into a reverse DDT. Hardy got back into it with a ladder to the face of Styles. Zayn continued to lay on a ladder bridged from the ring to the apron. Hardy grabbed another ladder, then he went up t the very top and Hardy hit a Swanton Bomb off the top of the ladder onto Zayn through the ladder! Damn! That was amazing. Cole and Graves did an excellent job of reacting to that high impact move.

Hardy set up a ladder on the apron, but Styles stopped his plans with a ladder shot and Styles went into the ring with a ladder. Styles did the slow climb for an unsuccessful climb because Hardy shoved the ladder over to send Styles into the turnbuckle. Zayn managed to get back up to whip Hardy into the barricade two times in a row. Zayn got his hands on a bag or jacket at ringside and he drove the million time promo is going to say it. Zayn whipped the ladder into Hardy. Zayn grabbed one of the handcuffs, put it through Hardy’s ear lobe piercing and he handcuffed Hardy to the ladder. Zayn cuffed AJ’s left hand to the bottom rope or at least he tried to because Styles fought back up. Styles sent Zayn into a ladder that was set up and then he hit a superplex. After Styles hit that move, he realized he was handcuffed to Zayn, who was smiling about it. Hardy was back up with a ladder that was handcuffed to his right earlobe. Styles had Zayn on his shoulder and was climbing the ladder. Zayn slipped off of Styles and had a key to free himself. Zayn cuffed Styles to the ladder, so Styles couldn’t move. Zayn climbed up the ladder and he retrieved both IC Titles at the same time to win the Intercontinental Title! Yes! It was a long match at 26:35.
Winner AND NEW Intercontinental Champion: Sami Zayn
Analysis: ****1/4 This was an outstanding match! I loved it. Great effort by all three guys and plenty of memorable moments along the way. Jeff Hardy is absolutely insane to be doing the things he does in his early 40s and coming off a major knee injury within the last year. The brilliance of the booking of this match really stood out because Zayn won the match since Hardy was cuffed to a ladder and also cuffed Styles to another ladder in the ring. They did some big spots throughout the match including Jeff, who did some insane spots like that Swanton Bomb through a table and that other bump Hardy did where he was taking Sami in the process. By booking this match this way, Zayn looks like the smartest wrestler on Smackdown or Raw or whatever WWE show you want. This was one of my favorite matches of the year so far in WWE. I highly recommend it if you like Ladder Matches and you can’t go wrong with three veterans as talented as these guys.
The replay showed that Zayn had the key to the handcuffs in his mouth at some point towards the end of the match. A referee was able to free Hardy from his right earlobe that was used to tell the story of Undertaker.
Sami Zayn was interviewed on the stage by Kayla Braxton. Zayn said that the IC Title was his all along, he didn’t recapture anything. Zayn announced himself as the winner of the match.

Analysis: I am excited about this reign for Zayn. I picked Hardy to win, but I noted that I wouldn’t be upset with any of them winning. Zayn’s very entertaining in the heel role.
There was a clip shown of R-Truth backstage with the 24/7 Title. Truth had a grew wig and beard on. Truth left the ring, Gulak did the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! and got the successful rollup. Drew ran away with the title.
Winner by pinfall and new WWE 24/7 Title: Drew Gulak
The Raw announce team of Tom Phillips, Samoa Joe and Byron Saxton were up to call the first Raw match.

Raw Women's Championship: Asuka vs. Zelina Vega
This was originally on the Kickoff Show and then moved to the main show. Slow pace early with the women trading wrist locks and headlocks. Asuka with a running shoulder tackle leading to an armbar, but Vega was able to get to the bottom rope to break free. They battled on the turnbuckle, Vega shoved Asuka down and Asuka was favoring her left arm. Asuka sent Vega to the apron leading to the running hip attack to knock Vega off the apron to the floor. Asuka was on the floor as well, so Vega sent Asuka's left arm into the steel steps. Vega sent Asuka's left arm into the middle turnbuckle. Asuka charged right into an armbar takedown by Vega. Vega continued to work on the arm, then she fought out of an Asuka Lock attempt and Asuka got out of an armbar. Vega got out of another Asuka Lock attempt. Vega avoided a charge and pulled back on the arms against the ropes. Vega with a headscissors off the ropes leading to double knees in the corner for two. Vega was shocked that weak looking move didn't get the win. Asuka held onto the ropes to avoid a Backstabber and Vega hit a rolling kick to the head for two. That actually looked pretty good. Asuka caught Vega's foot and went for a move, but Vega rolled through for two. Vega tried another pin attempt, but Asuka caught her with the Asuka Lock submission and Vega tapped out at 7:05.
Winner by submission: Asuka
Analysis: **1/2 A basic match with a lot of counters from both women and then the dominant champion found a way to slap on her finisher for the win. Vega did get a few decent nearfalls and some of her offense looked okay, but there was no doubt that Asuka was going to win here. It was the expected result.
Post match, Asuka was interviewed in the ring by Charly Caruso. Asuka said that Asuka was dangerous, but she was not ready for Asuka. When Asuka wanted a handshake, Vega bowed her head as a sign of respect and kicked Asuka in the ribs. Vega slammed Asuka down by the head. Vega left. Asuka grabbed the microphone and did some Japanese ranting.

Analysis: I have no idea what Asuka said there. It likely means there will be another match between them, probably on Raw.

United States Championship: Bobby Lashley (w/Montel Vontavious Porter) vs. Apollo Crews (w/Ricochet)
Shelton Benjamin walked out with Lashley and MVP, but then he went to the back before the match. Lashley used his power early on with a running shoulder tackle. Crews avoided a shot to the face with a kick to the face and a clothesline that sent Lashley over the top to the floor. Crews hit a moonsault off the apron onto a standing Lashley on the floor and Crews sent Lashley into the barricade. Crews sent Lashley into the top turnbuckle and a jumping kick to the head. Crews jumped off the top with a cross body block for two. Lashley sent Crews shoulder first into the turnbuckle followed by a flatliner for two. Lashley hit a suplex for another two count. They left the ring with Lashley trying a slam on the floor, but Crews managed to shove Lashley face first into the ring post and both guys got back in before the ten count. Crews took control with shoulder tackles to the ribs and then a corner splash. Crews with a running elbow that knocked Lashley out of the ring again. Crews jumped off the apron with a cross body block on a standing Lashley on the floor. Crews went up top, he jumped off, Lashley avoided and Crews did a press slam. Crews with a standing moonsault for a two count. Lashley got back into it with a superplex off the ropes with Bobby standing on the middle ropes to deliver the move. Lashley picked up Crews on the shoulders, he went for the slam, Crews landed on his feet and hit a Standing Shooting Star Press. Crews went up top and hit a Frog Splash for two. Great nearfall right there. Lashley got back up, bounced off the ropes and hit a huge one-armed spinebuster. That was really cool. Lashley slapped on the Hurt Lock (Full Nelson) for the submission at 8:15.
Winner by submission: Bobby Lashley
Analysis: **3/4 This was pretty good with Crews getting plenty of offense, which was nice to see because I was worried he might get destroyed in the match. Crews was fired up in this match and Lashley gave him a lot, which was cool to see. That nearfall after the Frog Splash by Crews was terrific in terms of being dramatic. At least Crews was able to keep it competitive before Lashley finished him off. That lifting spinebuster that Lashley does is one of the most impressive looking moves in all of WWE. Lashley winning by submission was the expected result.
A commercial aired for NXT Takeover 31 on Sunday, October 4 (that’s next Sunday) on WWE Network.

Raw Tag Team Championships: The Street Profits (Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins) vs. Andrade and Angel Garza
It was noted by Phillips that it was 208 days for the Street Profits as the Raw Tag Team Champions. Garza grounded Dawkins with an armbar, Andrade tagged in and grabbed a headlock. Dawkins with a shoulder tackle leading to a whip into the ropes and a dropkick. Ford tagged in with dropkicks for both opponents. Ford did two leapfrogs on Andrade, Garza held Andrade to save his partner and Garza with a kick to the ribs. Andrade was the legal man again with a dropkick off the middle ropes for a two count. Garza with a running knee to the face of Ford (while Andrade held Ford by the apron). Ford fought out of an armbar with a belly to back suplex. Dawkins got the tag against Andrade with two clotheslines, a jumping elbow and a slam that sent Garza stomach first into the mat. Dawkins with an Exploder Suplex on Andrade, then a spinning splash and Andrade came back with a running dropkick to stop the momentum. Andrade with a running double knee attack, but Dawkins moved and Garza made the blind tag. Dawkins with a spinebuster on Andrade. Ford and Garza were legal as they battled on the turnbuckle and Garza hit the Spanish Fly slam off the top rope for a two count. That was a great nearfall. It looked like Ford wasn’t going to make the full rotation on the bump, but he did and it looked fine when they landed. Ford with a punch to the face of Garza to create some space. Andrade pulled Dawkins off the apron to prevent a tag. Garza rollup on Ford got two. Garza with a rising knee to send Ford into the corner where the heels were. Andrade with the running double knees on Ford for a two count. Ford countered a DDT attempt with a jumping kick to the head and Dawkins hit a spinebuster on Andrade for two…but wait that’s the end of the match as referee Rod Zapata counted three. The referee counted the pinfall even though it looked like Andrade kicked out. The match went 8:10.
The replay clearly showed that Andrade got his shoulder up before the three count. The announcers mentioned it on commentary as well.

Winners by pinfall: The Street Profits (Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins)
The Street Profits left with their titles. Meanwhile, there were medical personnel checking out Garza at ringside, so it looks like he suffered a legit injury and that’s why the match ended when it did.
Analysis: **1/2 This was the usual solid match between these guys although it doesn’t feel fresh since they have wrestled eachother so many times. The finish was obviously messed up because Andrade clearly kicked out, yet they said that the result was official. I assume the champs were going to retain here although I had predicted a title change. Since Garza got hurt, the referee (or someone in the back) must have decided it was best to just end the match there. I think it would have been better if they told the wrestlers to come up with a different finish because that would be better than what they did.
There’s a new Broken Skull Sessions episode hosted by Steve Austin that went on WWE Network on Sunday with Kurt Angle as the guest. They are two of my all-time favorites, so I will check that out soon.
A commercial aired for the WWE Draft taking place for Raw and Smackdown. It begins on Smackdown on October 9 and on Raw on October 12. Anybody from any show could be moved. There was no mention of NXT being a part of it.

Analysis: That was expected. Right now we don’t know if that means they are drafting from the beginning or just moving some people between the two shows.
Drew Gulak, the 24/7 Champion, was interviewed by Kayla Braxton. Drew said he seized the moment to win the title. Drew dedicated his 24/7 Title win to a former rival Akira Tozawa, who was “eaten by a shark” last week on Raw. R-Truth showed up in a disguise, hit Drew in the head with some bowl and covered Gulak for the pinfall win.
Winner by pinfall AND NEW 24/7 Champion: R-Truth
Analysis: At least it wasn’t a ROLLUP OF DEATH~! finish.
Bayley made her entrance as the Smackdown Women’s Champion with a steel chair in hand. Bayley was in her wrestling gear. Bayley sarcastically said she was looking forward to Nikki Cross trying to beat her. Bayley said she even got new gear for Nikki while noting that Nikki would have lost either way. Bayley said she is going to give an opportunity of a lifetime to anybody for a shot at the Smackdown Women’s Title. There was no immediate response, so Bayley told the referee to raise her arm as the winner. That led to Asuka’s music hitting and she went down to the ring for her second match of the night.

Smackdown Women’s Championship: Bayley vs. Asuka
It’s a championship match even though Asuka is not on Smackdown. Asuka with a running shoulder tackle, then a running hip attack and a German Suplex as Bayley bailed to the floor. Asuka brought Bayley back in the ring, then a running hip attack and Asuka got an armbar. Asuka slapped on the Asuka Lock, but Bayley got to the bottom rope. Bayley wrenched Asuka’s left arm against the bottom rope. Bayley with a belly to back suplex for two. Bayley wrenched the arm of Asuka and drove it to the mat. Bayley trash-talked Cole on commentary, which I always enjoy, but there was Asuka with the double knees to the face to block a move off the ropes. Bayley sent Asuka face first into the ring apron. Bayley charged with a baseball slide, Asuka moved and Asuka hit a kick to the head. Asuka with German Suplex on the floor. Bayley hit Asuka in the ribs with the steel chair, so there’s a DQ finish at 3:45.
Winner by disqualification: Asuka (Bayley retains the title)
Analysis: *1/2 A quick match with a cheap finish to get out of having one of the women lose the match and keep the title on Bayley. This was not the original plan obviously due to the Nikki Cross situation, but my expectation was that Bayley would leave with the title.

Bayley hit Asuka with the steel chair again. Bayley celebrated with the Smackdown Women’s Title and a smile on her face. Sasha Banks showed up at ringside with a steel chair to the back of Bayley. The crowd was cheering for Banks, who attacked Bayley with punches. Banks was still wearing a neckbrace to sell the attack from several weeks ago. Bayley sent Banks into the ring and Bayley brought in a steel chair/kendo stick to attack. Banks kicked Bayley to knock her down, then Banks got the kendo stick and hit Bayley repeatedly in the back. Banks grabbed a steel chair, Bayley bailed to the floor and Banks was holding her neckbrace. Bayley had a worried look on her face with Cole noting that Bayley looked scared to death as she got away.
Analysis: It was good as a segment to show that Banks was getting stronger, but she’s still selling the neck injury, so she’s not 100% yet. Bayley did a nice job as the cowardly heel backing away while also selling by having a shocked look on her face. Everything is set up for Banks to return to action for Hell in a Cell next month and I can see them doing Banks vs. Bayley as the main event of that show as well. It’s a hot feud that people will be excited to see.

The video package aired for Drew McIntyre defending the WWE Title against Randy Orton in an Ambulance Match. I thought this might main event, but they are going on second last instead. The story is that Randy punted Drew in the jaw three times to “break” his jaw and then Drew got revenge with three Claymore Kicks. Each guy took trips in the ambulance to sell the attacks, so that’s why this is an Ambulance Match.
Randy Orton made his entrance for his second WWE Title match against Drew McIntyre, who defeated Orton at SummerSlam. There was an ambulance beside the ramp by the entrance, so Orton walked over to it and put his hand on it. Drew McIntyre was up next as the WWE Champion looking very focused.

WWE Championship Ambulance Match: Drew McIntyre vs. Randy Orton
The winner of the match will be the first man to place their opponent in the back of the ambulance and slam the doors shut.
McIntyre worked over Orton with chops along with a punch to the face that rocked Orton. There was a whip into the ropes, Orton went for the RKO, McIntyre to the apron, Orton kicked the rope for a low blow (legal in a match like this) and Orton hit a draping DDT with Drew selling the jaw injury. Orton was setting up against the ropes, but then Big Show showed up out of nowhere and grabbed Orton’s foot to stop him. Show gave Orton a Chokeslam through the announce table. Show was on the receiving end of The Punt from Orton earlier in the summer. McIntyre took advantage of that by sending Orton into the barricade at ringside. McIntyre sent Orton face first into the steel steps and also stepped on Orton’s hand. McIntyre whipped Orton into the barricade by the entrance area. McIntyre worked over Orton with more punches to the face. McIntyre put Orton on his shoulders and he sent Orton face first into the doors of the ambulance. McIntyre found a red steel chair on the side of the ambulance. Joe: “What kind of ambulance is this?” A WWE ambulance, I guess. McIntyre hit Orton in the back with the steel chair. Orton grabbed a crutch that was also in the back of the ambulance and he hit McIntyre in the ribs and knee with it. Orton drove the edge of the steel chair into the jaw of McIntyre. Orton opened both ambulance doors, then McIntyre went into the ambulance with him and they were both in the back of the ambulance. Orton kicked McIntyre away and a punch to the jaw. Orton with an uppercut. Orton sent McIntyre face first into the side of the ambulance. They went to the front of the ambulance with Orton trying to slam the door on Drew’s head, but Drew hit a headbutt that rocked Orton (Drew uses his hand to make the slap sound) and Orton had some saliva coming out of his mouth to sell it. McIntyre charged with a Claymore Kick, Orton moved and Drew kicked the door off its hinges. Drew was favoring his right leg after that. They fought towards the front of the ambulance with McIntyre sending Orton into the front of the ambulance.
The wrestlers walked to the backstage area with McIntyre beating on Orton with punches. Orton managed to come back wit ha whip that sent McIntyre into the wall. Christian showed up and he beat up Orton with some punches. Christian tossed Orton into some table that had some trays of food on it. Christian was another man that Orton attacked earlier in the summer. The referee made Christian get out of there, so he left.
The wrestlers went back towards the ambulance with McIntyre sending Orton onto the hood of the ambulance. They stood up and Orton gouged the eyes of McIntyre. Orton sent the back of McIntyre’s head into the windshield. Orton, out of instinct, tried to cover McIntyre there, but there are no pinfalls in this match. They went over to the roof of the ambulance. You could see the cuts in Drew’s back after the bump on the windshield. They fought on the roof of the ambulance with Orton hitting a knee to the jaw. Orton stomped on the hand to knock McIntyre off the roof to the floor. Orton turned around on the ambulance and Shawn Michaels was standing there with the Sweet Chin Music superkick to Orton’s face. Michaels shoved Orton off the side of the ambulance, so there was likely some padding there. The replay showed it from another angle. We couldn’t see what Orton landed on, but it was likely some sort of padding structure.
McIntyre was selling the right knee injury as they were both down by the ambulance. McIntyre put Orton up on his shoulders, then Orton elbowed his way out of that and Orton hit an RKO on the floor. McIntyre was selling it by grabbing his jaw again. Orton put McIntyre in the back of the ambulance, he closed one door, but McIntyre managed to block it and Drew gouged Randy’s eye. McIntyre stepped back, then he charged and hit the Claymore Kick right outside the ambulance. McIntyre opened the door, he put Orton in it and he closed one of the doors, but then he stopped. McIntyre put Orton’s head so it was hanging off the edge of the ambulance and McIntyre hit the running Punt on Orton the way Orton has done many times in his career. McIntyre slammed the ambulance doors shut as his music played to show that he was the winner of the match at 21:34.
Winner: Drew McIntyre
Analysis: ***1/4 It was a decisive win for Drew McIntyre that will likely be the end of this rivalry, but it wouldn’t shock me if WWE went back to it. I don’t want to say it was a clean win because the attacks from Big Show, Christian and Shawn Michaels certainly weakened Orton, so it’s something Orton can mention as a reason why he lost. It’s also payback for the storyline that existed with Orton taking out people with The Punt, so it was a fitting end to have McIntyre put Orton to put him away. As a match, it was okay although it dragged a bit and going over 20 minutes felt a bit long. There’s just not as much drama in a match like that compared to a match with nearfalls that has the false finishes that make a match more exciting. I give credit to Drew and Randy for working hard to put on a good match. I liked the SummerSlam match more, but as a story, this was a fitting end to this rivalry for now. I picked Orton to win the WWE Title. It doesn't mean I wanted it to happen because I have enjoyed how well WWE has booked McIntyre as the WWE Champion. I'm glad Drew's reign will continue.

McIntyre was handed the WWE Title and his hand was raised as the winner of the match. The ThunderDome crowd was happy about it. Orton slapped the back of the ambulance and Orton celebrated with the title. There was a shot of the driver of the ambulance and it was Ric Flair slowly driving the ambulance.
Analysis: That means four of the men that Orton attacked in the last few months came back to haunt Orton and cost him the match with Ric Flair ending it by driving the ambulance with Orton in it.
Drew McIntyre celebrated with the WWE Title. He has held the championship since early April at WrestleMania.
Analysis: I kept waiting for Retribution to show up to attack him, but there was no sign of them.
A commercial aired about WWE 2K Battlegrounds video game, which is available now.

There was a commercial for WWE Hell in a Cell on Sunday, October 25. It is four weeks away. There was some noticeable laughter from “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt, so it’s possible he could be in a featured match at that show.
A video package aired to set up the WWE Universal Championship match with Roman Reigns set to defend against cousin Jey Uso. They showed clips and images of how close they were growing up, but Roman made it clear to Jey that he can’t beat him because Roman needs the Universal Title to provide for the family. Some of the clips they used were from the WWE Chronicle special about Jey Uso on WWE Network. I watched that on Saturday and it was really good. I highly recommend that.
Jey Uso made his entrance for the main event with a red lei around his neck. Jey is one of the most decorated tag team wrestlers in WWE history and now he’s in the main event of Clash of Champions with the Universal Title on the line. Cole said that Jey is a huge underdog while Graves said in his own eyes, Jey doesn’t feel like an underdog.
Roman Reigns made his entrance to his classic theme song, so no new song yet. Reigns walked out shirtless, which is the first time he has wrestled shirtless on the main roster. Reigns has an impressive physique, which Graves pointed out by saying Roman was in the best shape of his life. Reigns had a huge Samoan tribal tattoo on his right arm and the right side of his chest. Reigns had his Special Counsel Paul Heyman by his side as Reigns walked out to the ring with the Universal Championship. Reigns took his time walking out to the ring.

Analysis: Reigns noted recently that he was going to wrestle shirtless, so this was his first match with the new look. Reigns had been wrestling in a Shield vest for the past eight years, so I think it’s smart to have Reigns changing his look.

WWE Universal Championship: Roman Reigns (w/Paul Heyman) vs. Jey Uso
They locked up in the center of the ring with Reigns sending Jey into the turnbuckle and staring at him. When they locked up again, Reigns tossed Jey across the ring to show off his power. There was another lockup with Reigns sending Jey under the bottom rope to the floor. Jey took a bit of a break on the floor, then he came back with punches and after Jey ran the ropes, Reigns hit a jumping clothesline for two. Reigns choked Jey across the middle rope and kept saying “I told you” to him. Reigns worked over Jey with punches while telling him he should just listen to the Tribal Chief (Roman’s name for himself). Reigns choked Jey across the top rope and hit an uppercut punch to send Jey to the floor. Reigns worked over Jey with punches, then he broke the count sent Jey into the announce table. Reigns took over with a chinlock in the ring. Jey bounced off the ropes with a kick to the ribs, then an uppercut and a Samoan Drop for two. Reigns was up against the turnbuckle, then Jey did the “Uce” yell, he charged and Reigns decked him with a Superman Punch that led to Jey rolling out of the ring to the floor. Reigns went to the floor, they exchanged forearms and then Reigns hit an uppercut punch to knock Jey down. They were back in the ring where Reigns talked trash telling Jey he should have laid down because now Reigns is giving him the ass whooping. Jey came back with a chop, Roman no sold it and decked Jey with another punch. Reigns with a running clothesline on Jey against the turnbuckle and another corner clothesline. Jey got two boots up, then punches and he shoved Roman’s left shoulder into the turnbuckle/ring post area. Jey with a running clothesline that sent Reigns over the top to the floor. Jey with a suicide dive that sent Reigns into the barricade. Back in the ring, Jey with a kick that sent Reigns out of the ring and Jey hit another suicide dive this time with a forearm that knocked Reigns down. Back in the ring, Jey went up top and hit a cross body block for two. Jey with a superkick for two for the nearfall with Cole saying he thought he had him. Jey went up top, he jumped off the top, Reigns moved and Reigns charged with a leaping leg drop to the chest for a two count (similar to a Zack Ryder move). It was a leg lariat that Reigns normally doesn’t do, so it was a new move for him. Reigns charged for a Spear, Jey got a rollup for two and Jey hit a superkick. Jey went up top and hit an Uso Splash for a two count. After Jey hit the splash, Jey was grabbing his groin. When Reigns kicked out of the pin, Reigns put his left arm towards the groin, so it was a kickout that was a low blow. The referee never saw it while Jey was selling it. I didn’t notice it live, but it was pointed out by the announcers on the replay. Reigns was smiling about it on the mat.

Reigns charged and hit a Spear with no cover. Reigns told Jey to acknowledge him as the Tribal Chief. Jey wouldn’t do it so Reigns sent him into the ropes and hit another Spear. The referee Charles Robinson talked to Reigns to finish it, but Reigns was not ready. Reigns held up Jey’s face towards the camera and told him to tell the whole world that Roman is the Tribal Chief. Jey said “not today, Uce” so Roman was frustrated by it. Heyman was telling Reigns that he was his Tribal Chief. Reigns told Paul that he needs Jey to acknowledge Roman, not Paul. Reigns beat on his cousin Jey with repeated punches to the head, then Charles Robinson tried to calm Roman down and Roman told him to shut his mouth because this is family business. Reigns continued to beat on Jey with punches. Reigns worked over Jey with forearms to the back of the head. Jimmy Uso showed up with a knee brace and he had a white towel with him. Jimmy is out of action with a Torn ACL after tearing up his knee at WrestleMania. Jimmy should be back in action early next year. Jey didn’t want his brother Jimmy to throw in the towel, so Jimmy didn’t do it right away even though he wanted to do it. Reigns continued to beat on Jey with punches, so Jimmy threw in the white towel and the referee called for the bell at 22:56.
Winner: Roman Reigns
Analysis: ***3/4 I loved this as a story.  It was competitive, hard-hitting and intense match for the Universal Title that had some good moments for sure, but it also became more about the story. The first ten minutes were very slow with Reigns controlling most of it, but when Jey got the offense going and the pace picked up, it was a lot of fun to watch. The ending was different obviously because it was about telling the story of how intense and evil Reigns is in this new “Tribal Chief” persona. I liked the low blow kickout spot leading to the smile by Reigns because I can’t remember seeing that kind of kickout spot in WWE before. It set up the multiple Spears and then Reigns repeatedly beat on Jey to end the match. It was what it needed to be as a match that got heat on Reigns for relentlessly attacking his own cousin and not letting up until Jimmy put an end to it for his brother. It worked really well. If there was a crowd, I have no doubt that they would be booing Reigns for his actions and I’m sure WWE would have filmed close-ups of fans looking shocked at what they. This is the kind of old school drama I like to see.
Jimmy said to Roman that they are family and asked what the hell is wrong with him? Roman didn’t say anything. Jimmy: “You're the Tribal Chief, man. Is that what you want? Just leave him alone.” Jimmy told Roman to chill while Jimmy held brother Jey in his arms.
Heyman grabbed a red lei that Jey wore down to the ring and he put it around Roman’s neck. Jimmy continued to check on Jey while Reigns was announced as the Universal Champion. Graves said if Roman Reigns was willing to do this to his own family, what is he capable of doing to everybody else? That's been the whole point of the match. Reigns continued to look at Jimmy and Jey with a blank stare as the fans booed and that was the end of the show.

Analysis: Great way to get some heat on Reigns for attacking Jey the way he did and with Jimmy there to give Roman what he wanted by calling him the “Tribal Chief” repeatedly. It’s all about feeding the ego of the heel champion Reigns. Really good stuff here.
This event had a runtime of 2:58:25 on WWE Network. Right at three hours. That’s fine with me.

Five Stars of the Show

  1. Sami Zayn
  2. Jeff Hardy
  3. AJ Styles
  4. Roman Reigns
  5. Jey Uso


Final Thoughts
I’m going with a 7 out of 10 for this show.
The ladder match was by far the standout of the show and it was one of the best WWE matches this year. What an incredible performance from Sami Zayn, Jeff Hardy and AJ Styles in that ladder match. I expected greatness from it and I think they exceeded those expectations. I loved the drama surrounding the Roman Regins/Jey Uso match. We knew the result going on with Reigns as the obvious winner, but I think they did an awesome job of telling a story and making fans hate Roman more through his actions. The last two title matches were pretty good, so at least the show ended on a strong note. Everything else was just average stuff and could have been built a lot better.
I think it was an above average PPV thanks to a few matches really standing out.

My WWE PPV Rankings for 2020 looks like this so far:
Royal Rumble – 8
SummerSlam – 7.75
Payback – 7.25
Clash of Champions – 7
Money in the Bank – 6.75
WrestleMania 36 - 6.25
Backlash – 6
Elimination Chamber – 6
The Horror Show at Extreme Rules – 5.75
Super Showdown – 3

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