Heniff’s WWE Clash of Champions Review: Smackdown Ends 2017 w/ a “Meh”

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WWE Clash of Champions took place Sunday night at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. Smackdown’s last pay-per view of 2017 featured each of the brand’s champions fending off any opponents and enforcers to be able to walk out of Boston with their title(s) in tow. Beyond the championships, the two WWE careers of Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn are in the balance and depend on the refereeing of SmackDown general manager Daniel Bryan and SmackDown commissioner Shane McMahon.

WWE Clash of Champions Kickoff Match:

Mojo Rawley vs. Zack Ryder 

Mojo Rawley’s turn on his partner had been building for months, going back to last year when an impromptu leg injury to Ryder halted a title opportunity for the duo with the Usos. The former Hype Bros have been utilizing social media to help build up their feud trading insults that Ryder is washed-up and Rawley will be nothing without Long Island Iced Z in his corner.

Ryder comes right out of the gates with a dropkick and clotheslining Rawley over the top rope. The two look vehemently angry with each other throughout the match while working in stiffer shots at one another. Ryder doesn’t even stop to showboat before his Broski Boot finisher move.  Rawley continues to utilize his high power offense, albeit with a few more heelish tendencies and insults sprinkled in. Ultimately, Rawley takes the win after a brutal running forearm to the face that nearly knocks Ryder out cold.

I thought the Hype Bros were a good pair for each other and a popular face tag team on SmackDown, so I’m not sure what the future holds for either man. That being said, I hope both men can tap into some unseen killer instinct to help them thrive in solo competition in 2018.

Winner: Mojo Rawley             Time: 6:55       Rating: 1.5 stars

Baron Corbin (C) vs. Bobby Roode vs. Dolph Ziggler

The unlucky dog knocked out of the ringside area first is the Lone Wolf, so Roode and Ziggler are the first to square off in the ring. Boston is super over for Roode and is really pulling for a Roode victory tonight, but Corbin comes right back in and takes out Ziggler to go one-on-one with Roode for a number of minutes to make things more difficult.

Ziggler takes a lot of offense early on in the match, and the three of them were able to keep a steadily paced interesting match to get the crowd hooked for the rest of the show. There were a couple of exciting near-falls for Corbin and Roode, the latter being a split-second away from pinning Ziggler before Corbin pulling him out of the ring. In the end on a big surprise, Ziggler picks up the win taking advantage of an in-progress “End of Days” to turn it into a two-man Zig Zag to win his second United States championship.

Although the fans were pleasantly surprised to see Ziggler win, he just doesn’t get the crowd reaction he once did, despite still remaining one of the most charismatic and talented workers the company has employed in the last decade. Considering 2017 was a rather lackluster year for the Show Off, I hope a US title run is exactly what he needs to find a solid footing on SmackDown.

Winner: Dolph Ziggler            Time: 12:45     Rating: 2.5 stars

WWE Clash of Champions Review continues on the next page…

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About Author

Editorial Writer for "Hot Takes and Hot Tags" and WWE Pay Per-View reviews on ProWrestling.com. Follow me on Twitter at @john_heniff

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