Clash of Champions 2020
I really enjoyed this Clash of Champions showcase overall. I’m settling into the non-crowd era where the screens are up in the background and the arena is super-quiet; its weird – but so is wrestling. And thus is life.
The usual caveat of my now very part-time interest in wrestling applies: I watched this not really knowing much about the feuds – you don’t need to if you’ve ever watching wrestling, the PPV events package up the backstory of any feud in a crisply edited reel ahead of each match. So I felt good to go, watching every match on the card as a championship title was cool I thought.
And certainly, the ladder match (Sami Zayn, Jeff Hardy, AJ Styles) delivered big time. Best ladder match I’ve seen in a while. It was a great tone-setter really – it was the early highlight of this DVD and made up for a couple of slightly lesser matches in the wake.
Bobby Lashly v. Apollo Crews for example, couldn’t quite care about that one though it was in no way a botch.
In fact, if Clash has a real problem it’s that it’s big matches – its penultimate showing, the ambulance match between Drew McIntyre and Randy Orton and then the actual main event, Roman Reigns against his cousin Jey Uso in what was essentially billed as a family feud, were overbooked and undercooked – in that order.
So, the ambulance match is always going to be absurd – good. And Randy is a big match player time and again – he takes the pain and also administers it. Drew, too, is solid in this area. But then you have all these legends that have had previous beef with Randy pop up and weaken him, lightening the load of Drew, who wins in the end but basically is made to look like he needed help; was struggling. That’s never a good way for a feud like this to go.
And similarly with Jey and Roman it was booked to just make Reigns so dominant and then for a towel to be thrown in. Both matches had good points to them and had big, star players who could walk the walk and talk the talk but given they equated for over a quarter of the screen time it somewhat undid the solid work of the undercard.
There was a scramble earlier on with medical clearances meaning the women’s match had to be re-jigged but Asuka pulled double duty and was a great workhorse. The Street Profits (Motez Ford and Angelo Dawkins) defeated Andrade and Angel Garza in a pretty decent Raw Tag Team Championship match.
Look, I’m in no way calling this a classic but I’m hard put to remember a WWE DVD from the last half decade where it pretty much always felt solid. That’s something, right?
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