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WWE Clash of Champions: Gold Rush: Another WWE Pay-Per-View

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WWE Clash of Champions 2020 Review

Clash of Champions is a deceptive title for a pay-per-view at best. It sounds like champions from each brand will be facing each other. Of course, that’s not the case. When you’re dealing with the WWE, nothing is ever straightforward or, frankly, logical.

The Clash of Champions event features the defense of every title in the company. Well, except for any of the NXT or NXT UK titles. And the Cruiserweight Championship was nowhere to be found. That being said, you can’t expect a title that rarely appears on its own show to pop up on a pay-per-view.

2020 was filled with matchups fans have seen before mixed in with some new ones. Still, it was an off-kilter pay-per-view that had standout matches along with a few oddball choices on the part of the WWE. It also didn’t help that COVID-19 reared its ugly head, again.

The strange part was for a pay-per-view the featured most titles on the line, no titles changed hands. Technically, Drew Gulak picked up the 24/7 Championship but R-Truth won it back a couple of segments later.

Pre-Show: Cesaro & Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Lucha House Party

Despite being the SmackDown Tag Team Champions, Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura have missed out on the last couple of pay-per-views. They are easily two of the most overlooked wrestlers in WWE. Both of them should have been heavyweight champions on the main roster by now.

The members of the Lucha House Party fall on that overlooked talent list, too, particularly Lince Dorado and Gran Metalik. Despite their skills, neither wrestler has ever held gold in WWE. Tonight certainly did not change that, keeping in mind that it was Kalisto and Lince Dorado challenging the champs.

Their match was relegated to the pre-show, which kept Cesaro and Nakamura off yet another pay-per-view. At least they came out on top, extending their title reign. But WWE needs to figure out what they’re doing with LHP because there is some serious talent being wasted on that team.

Intercontinental Triple Threat Ladder Match

The backstory of this match was almost as interesting as the match itself. Sami Zayn was the Intercontinental Champion when the COVID-19 lockdown hit. He remained in Canada for a few months, stripped of the championship. AJ Styles and then Jeff Hardy became champions in his absence.

Sami recently returned, declaring that he was the true Intercontinental Champion. All of this led to a Triple Threat Ladder match. Unsurprisingly, Jeff Hardy pulled off some insane stunts. That included a hellacious ladder bump that dumped him over the top rope to the ringside area.

Sami Zayn is the one and only Intercontinental Champion

What was a surprise was that Sami came out on top over Hardy and AJ Styles. Zayn looked great in the match, reminding everyone of how talented a performer he has always been. Now that he’s fully back in the game, it will be interesting to see where he goes from here.

Asuka vs Zelina Vega

After recently quitting as the manager of Andrade and Angel Garza, Zelina Vega returned to wrestling. She has rarely suited up for matches in the WWE but she was trained for it. Specifically, she was trained by Tommy Dreamer, and was an active in-ring competitor before joining NXT.

Asuka is still the Raw Women’s Champion

Her first match in her new singles career saw her defeat Mickie James to become the number one contender. The downside for her was she became the number one contender for Asuka’s Raw Women’s Championship. That’s not someone you want to shake the ring rust off against.

Asuka came out on top of what was a surprisingly solid match. Zelina looked good, though it still seemed early for her to be getting in the ring Asuka on a pay-per-view. She also attacked Asuka after the match, letting fans know this feud isn’t over, yet.

Bobby Lashley vs Apollo Crews

Four weeks ago at Payback, Apollo Crews lost the United States Championship to Bobby Lashley. It was a decent match, but not so good that fans needed to see it, again. This was, for all intents and purposes, the same match fans saw at Payback.

Regardless, Lashley and Crews put on a solid bout at Clash of Champions, as one would expect from two reliable, talented superstars. Lashley came out on top, retaining his championship and solidifying his position as the CEO of The Hurt Business.

Bobby Lashley shows his intensity at Clash of Champions

That being said, it’s time for this feud to come to an end. The Hurt Business is a four-man faction taking on Apollo Crews and Ricochet. Unless the duo at least becomes a trio with Mustafa Ali, there’s nothing interesting to be found in this matchup anymore. Lashley needs new competition.

The Street Profits vs. Andrade & Angel Garza

Ever since making the jump to the main roster, The Street Profits have proven to be a success on the main roster. They picked up the Raw Tag Team Championships on March 2nd, and have had an excellent run at the top of their division. But Andrade and Angel have been at their heels for a long time.

This wasn’t the first time the two teams have faced each other. But it was the first time since Zelina Vega abandoned Andrade and Garza. While they didn’t come out on top at Clash of Champions, it might have been the best match they’ve wrestled as a duo. Unfortunately, Garza was injured during the match.

The Street Profits continue their title reign

The Street Profits retained after a questionable call by the ref. He counted the pin but Andrade’s shoulder was clearly up. Considering the huge referee botch in the recent match between Asuka and Mickie James on Raw, another botch wouldn’t be surprising. But it’s more likely that it was due to Garza’s injury.

On can’t help but wonder if Garza’s injury changed the booking of the match on the fly. The Street Profits seemed surprised by the win. It’s entirely possible that the match was originally booked for Andrade and Garza to pick up the belts.

Bayley vs. ?????

This match was supposed to be the third shot for Nikki Cross at ending Bayley’s nearly year long reign as the SmackDown Women’s Champion. But she wasn’t cleared to wrestle due to COVID-19. Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax had the same issue, which was why the Women’s Tag Team Championships weren’t defended.

Asuka gave Bayley a run for her championship

Bayley thought she had the night off. Instead, Asuka came down to the ring for an impromptu match. It ended in a DQ when Bayley hit Asuka with a chair. Then, Sasha Banks stepped in for the save, laying a retaliatory beating on her now former best friends and continuing their burgeoning feud.

No wrestling fan would complain about someone as talented as Asuka wrestling two matches in one evening. She did it at SummerSlam and it was awesome. But that wasn’t the problem. It was short notice but there had to be another woman backstage looking for a match on a pay-per-view.

Sasha Banks made her return at Clash of Champions

Both Liv Morgan and Ruby Riott suddenly found themselves with empty dance cards. The Riott Squad were set to face Baszler and Jax for the Women’s Tag Team Championships. One would have to imagine that either wrestler would have been happy to still have a spot on Clash of Champions.

Drew McIntyre vs. Randy Orton

As always, there have been rumors going around that Vince wanted to switch things up. WWE creative changes on a dime these days. Despite being a fan favorite champion, it wouldn’t have been a shock to see Drew McIntyre drop his WWE Championship to Randy Orton.

Instead, McIntyre retained in a brutal and competitive ambulance match. Despite the fact that they have faced off more than a few times in different contexts, it was still a solid match. The appearances of Big Show, Christian, Shawn Michaels, and Ric Flair on Drew’s side didn’t hurt things.

Drew McIntyre has hopefully put Randy Orton behind him

As far as ambulance matches go, this was actually a good one. Having the legends show up to help out actually made sense. Drew was selling an injury, and nowhere near 100% because of it. He needed the help. But it also brought Orton’s story in this full circle as his past sins came back to haunt him.

This is hopefully the end of this feud, though. It’s gone as far as it can go. This is the right time for McIntyre to move on to a new challenger. And it’s also the right time for Randy Orton and Edge to start building to their next confrontation.

This match ended with Drew McIntyre punting Randy Orton in the head and slamming the ambulance doors for the win. It was, rather unexpectedly, the perfect way to bring this feud to a close. That’s assuming WWE can leave it alone at this point and quit while they’re ahead.

Roman Reigns vs. Jey Uso

For the last week or so, WWE has been running a promo video narrated by Paul Heyman about the Anoa’i family and his association with them. That relationship was cemented at Clash of Champions as Heyman escorted his most recent champion client to the ring.

This new heel version of Reigns has been a breath of fresh air for the wrestler. WWE needed to make this move with Reigns years ago. Roman even dropped the tactical vest, which is great. He’s absolutely owning the ring these days, and in a way, fans can actually get behind. Their boos actually make sense, now.

Roman Reigns defeats his cousin at Clash of Champions

Reigns defended his Universal Championship against his cousin, Jey Uso. This match represented the first time Jey has had a singles title shot at a heavyweight championship. While Jey is a great wrestler, no one watching expected him to win. It just wouldn’t have made sense from a storyline perspective.

What would make sense is the formation of a new faction headed by Reigns. It could feature The Usos, Naomi and Tamina with Heyman as their special advisor. Tamina would make an excellent bodyguard-type character for Roman. It could be on the way since Jimmy reappeared at Clash of Champions.

Jey looked amazing in the match, as did Roman. They put on a great bout, in part because it’s one fans haven’t seen before. But the family angle also brought in so much emotion that it was hard not to get invested in it. Jey versus Roman was the perfect match to close out the show.

Ian is a freelance writer based out of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan who writes about pop culture. That includes movies, TV series, comic books, and wrestling. He's a full time freelance writer, sleeps way too little, and buys way too many toys.

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