Written By: Mark Armstrong
Running Time: 168 Minutes
Number Of Discs: 1
Studio: Fremantle Home Entertainment
Released: February 5 2018
(Thanks to Fetch Publicity for arranging this review.)
WWE’s final PPV event of 2017 was largely focused on the storyline feud between Shane McMahon and the combo of Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn, which in turn led to increased tension between Shane and Daniel Bryan. The rest of the build-up for this show made Clash Of Champions feel like a skippable event, though the action on the night was far from poor.
The opening Triple Threat match for the United States Championship between Baron Corbin, Bobby Roode and Dolph Ziggler exceeds expectations with some dramatic false finishes and a surprising outcome. The subsequent Fatal Four Way match for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships can’t compare to the battles over the summer and autumn between The Usos and The New Day, but it’s still a fine encounter, and one that is worth checking out.
The first singles match of the main card pits Charlotte against Natalya for the SmackDown Women’s Championship, but even this features lots of extra bodies with it being a Lumberjack match. The action is okay, though nowhere near as good as the NXT clash between these two back in 2014 (when Charlotte had less experience and Natalya had a lower profile than the two ladies have now), and Natalya’s post-match promo was ultimately never followed up on, strangely. The Bludgeon Brothers vs. Breezango is too short to properly rank, though it serves its purpose of establishing Harper and Rowan as SmackDown’s newest wrecking crew.
Of greater note is the doubles match pitting Owens and Zayn against Randy Orton and Shinsuke Nakamura, with Shane and the supposedly-impartial Bryan as referees. This is more of an angle than a match, though it has a few notable spots; crucially, it moves the story along that Bryan is trying to prevent Shane’s ego from causing him to screw over Kevin and Sami, which ultimately causes Daniel to quite literally take matters into his own hands. The storyline is still ongoing as I write this, though it’s still unknown as to whether it’ll be McMahon or Bryan that turns heel (one of them has to, surely).
Finally, we have AJ Styles defending the WWE Championship against Jinder Mahal. From a wrestling standpoint, it’s probably Jinder’s best match ever in WWE, but it lacks much in the way of drama and crowd noise, largely because few believed that The Modern-Day Maharaja was going to regain the title here that Styles defeated him for in Manchester a month prior. It’s a serviceable main event, and it ends the show on a positive note, but it’s not a classic match whatsoever. For Jinder, this officially ended his main event run; his slide down the card since December 17 has been almost as surprising as his rapid climb up the ranks last spring.
Clash Of Champions (which also has a Mojo Rawley vs. Zack Ryder match from the Kick-Off Show as a DVD extra) is a better all-round show than Battleground and Backlash, so it’s definitely not the poorest SmackDown PPV of the year. It may be the least significant, though, since the card was clearly a stop-gap between the blue brand’s autumn adventures and Royal Rumble; the Shane-Bryan-Owens-Zayn plotline is the only one to truly progress here. So, Clash Of Champions is entertaining enough, but you’re unlikely to remember much of it when all is said and done.
Overall Rating: 6.5/10 – Okay