The first Raw pay-per-view since the brand split was held on Sunday evening as WWE presented Clash of Champions from Indianapolis with all five of its titles on the line.
Unfortunately, only one changed hands in a night that left a lot to be desired and raised questions about how WWE can move forward attempting to book intriguing single-brand monthly events when its roster has been split into two and effectively watered down.
It is also interesting to note that this was the first-ever Clash of Champions held under the WWE umbrella. The event, which was originally a WCW television series that ended in 1997, had been brought back as a pay-per-view named Night of Champions from 2010-15 before this most recent change.
But enough of that. Let’s move on to the event itself. Check out the full results from the show below.
Tag Team Championship — The New Day (c) def. Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson via pinfall to retain their title: The action was fast-paced right out of the gate with Gallows & Anderson acting as the aggressors early. Eventually, New Day was able to take out Gallows by throwing him into the stairs outside the right, allowing Xavier Woods to get in a shot with Francesca (his trombone) before Kofi Kingston and Big E hit the Midnight Hour and earned the pinfall.
Cruiserweight Championship — T.J. Perkins (c) def. Brian Kendrick via submission to retain his title: In the first defense of the new cruiserweight title, Perkins and Kendrick struggled to keep the crowd — many of which were probably unfamiliar with them considering the division was introduced to a national audience just one week ago — engaged throughout. Perkins eventually submitted Kendrick via his signature leglock to retain his title. After the match, Kendrick acted like he was congratulating Perkins only to blindside him and draw boos from the crowd. Considering how exciting WWE’s Cruiserweight Classic was over the last few months, this was certainly a lackluster pay-per-view debut for the division.
Best of Seven Series (Match 7) — Cesaro vs. Sheamus ruled a no contest: The match went as one would expect in the early going with Cesaro and Sheamus utilizing their standard skill sets … until Cesaro pulled Rey Mysterio’s 6-1-9 out of nowhere to the delight of the crowd. A springboard uppercut was equally impressive but led to a two-count, and Cesaro also got nowhere following a Cesaro Swing and sharpshooter. A short while later, Cesaro dove through the ring ropes and landed on his head outside the ring; for a second, it looked like he legitimately might have suffered a concussion, but the match continued. Sheamus hit his finisher, a Brogue Kick, but only got a two; Cesaro countered with his Neutralizer finisher but similarly got a two. Action eventually moved outside the ring with Cesaro clotheslining Sheamus over the ring barricade. Trainers rushed to both men and shook their heads as a signal to stop to the match, a decision that was obviously part of the storyline. Suffice to say, the crowd was not pleased with WWE actually backing out of booking a finish to a best-of-seven series.
Chris Jericho def. Sami Zayn via pinfall: A showcase match for Zayn, who was given every opportunity to shine in the ring with a veteran, long-time fan favorite and former undisputed champion. Zayn looked to have the match won after hitting his Blue Thunder Bomb, but Jericho kicked out, hit his Code Breaker finisher and earned the 1-2-3. Jericho’s last return to WWE consisted of him doing the job for a number of young talents; this time around, he’s the one showing them who’s boss. It is always nice to get a clean finish in a match, and the duo of Jericho and Zayn certainly delivered an entertaining showdown.
Women’s Championship — Charlotte (c) def. Bayley (via pinfall) and Sasha Banks to retain her title: Charlotte flexed her dominance at the onset of the match, but things eventually evened out. Banks and Bayley both had their moments, though Charlotte flexed her muscle and used her size advantage to regain momentum. A double moonsault hit by Charlotte was a highlight, but she was unable to capitalize despite following it up with Natural Selection. Business picked up from there and Banks eventually locked in the Bank Statement three times (twice on Charlotte), though none were good enough for the victory. An inside cradle by Bayley nearly got Charlotte, but she eventually booted Bayley into Banks, knocking the latter out of the ring and pinning the former to retain her title.
United States Championship — Roman Reigns def. Rusev (c) to win the title: It’s a simplistic way of looking at it, but this match was boring. We’ve seen it too many times already and nothing particularly unique happened. WWE failed to get Reigns over as a main event performer, so they decided to try and knock him down a peg rather than transition him to a new character — or at least a heel version of his current character. Reigns has been in some damn good matches as of late, so there was no real excuse for this one being slow and plodding. The match pace picked up once Lana got involved and eventually forced away from ringside. Ultimately, Reigns hit his spear at just the right time to earn the pinfall and win the title. It’s the third different title he’s won in WWE (world heavyweight, tag team) and his first mid-level belt with the company.
Universal Championship — Kevin Owens (c) def. Seth Rollins via pinfall: The best match of the evening. Unfortunately, while it certainly was good, it was not memorable, which speaks to the event as a whole. Towards the end of the match, Owens followed a gutbuster from the top rope with a frog splash but only earned a two count. When that didn’t work, Owens attempted to throw his body from the top of one announce table to another (which had Rollins laying on top of it), but the running senton failed and Owens collapsed the table to the ground. (Oh, and there were a couple DeGeneration X-style crotch chops thrown in for good measure.) Once Rollins got the upper hand, Jericho ran down to the ring in an attempt to distract him. Rollins was able to hit a Pedigree on Owens anyway, but Jericho placed Owens’ foot on the bottom rope to break the count.
Rollins jumped over Owens during the champion’s Pop-Up Powerbomb attempt but knocked out the ref by doing so, meaning a pinfall following second Pedigree by Rollins did not get counted. It was at that point that Jericho interfered, but Rollins dispatched of him with a suicide dive through the ropes — and then he did the same to Owens on the other side of the ring. By the time a new referee made his way into the ring, Rollins was caught off guard and Owens was able to nail the Pop-Up Powerbomb and retain his title.