12/17 Powell’s WWE Clash of Champions Kickoff Show coverage: Mojo Rawley vs. Zack Ryder

By Jason Powell

WWE Clash of Champions 2017 Kickoff Show
Aired live on WWE Network and social media
Boston, Massachusetts at TD Garden

The Kickoff Show team of Renee Young, Sam Roberts, and the returning David Otunga checked in from their usual set on the floor. After the hosts ran through the card, Kayla Braxton checked in from the social media lounge, where she will eventually ask New Day the very worst of the fan submitted questions…

A video package focussed on AJ Styles vs. Jinder Mahal for the WWE Championship… Backstage, Styles was interviewed and said he knew the Singh Brothers wouldn’t turn against Mahal. He said he would beat Mahal on his own, but he had to be ready for anything from the Singh Brothers or Great Khali interfering. “I gotta be phenomenal,” he said…

A video package previewed the Triple Threat for the U.S. Championship… The panel discussed the U.S. Title match. Otunga predicted a Corbin win, while Roberts picked Roode to win… The panel discussed the Breezango vs. Bludgeon Brothers match. The panelists predicted a Bludgeon Brothers win…

Backstage, Naomi was interviewed about the idea that she is Charlotte’s only help amongst the lumberjacks. Carmella, Lana, and Tamina showed up and said that there won’t be any problems as long as Naomi doesn’t cross them. The Riott Squad showed and up and suddenly all of the women started yelling at one another while referees stood between them…

The Smackdown Women’s Championship match was spotlighted in a video package… Charlotte joined the broadcast team and said she wasn’t campaigning to get lumberjacks on her side. Natalya crashed the set. She mocked Charlotte by asking if she and her father were having a good cry before she loses her title. Natalya left and then Charlotte blew off her comments by saying she loves her confidence…

New Day joined Braxton in the social media lounge. They were asked if they will be selling New Day pancake mix. Xavier Woods said that if the people want it then they will get it. They were asked whether becoming five-time champions would be the best Christmas present. Big E yelled about debuting five years ago to the day on the main roster. They were also asked about their game plan. They asked why they would give away their strategy before the match. Kingston cracked that they could ask them anything and this is what they chose…

The panel discussed the Smackdown Tag Title four-way match. Roberts predicted a Rusev and Aiden English win, while Otunga went with the Usos to retain… A video package recalled the Zack Ryder and Mojo Rawley split…

1. Mojo Rawley vs. Zack Ryder. Tom Phillips, Corey Graves, and Byron Saxton were on commentary for the match. Mojo got down on the stage and got into a football stance before running to the ring. Ryder caught a charging Rawley with his knees in the corner. However, Rawley pushed Ryder off the ropes and down to ringside and then shoulder blocked him into the barricade heading into a break. [C]

Mojo continued to dominate the offense and connected with a boot to the face. He taunted Ryder by asking him where his killer instinct was. Ryder fired back. Rawley grabbed him by the throat, but Rawley punched his way free. Ryder performed a Broski Boot and covered Rawley, who put his foot on the ropes. Mojo chop blocked the knee of Ryder and followed up with a running punch to the head before covering him for the win…

Mojo Rawley beat Zack Ryder in 6:55.

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Powell’s POV: Rawley did a good job of being the taunting and athletically arrogant heel, but it was all focussed on his opponent and he didn’t really make an effort to get heat from the crowd. The Rawley turn going into this match made it a little more interesting than a typical Kickoff Show match.

The panel ran through the pay-per-view lineup… A lengthy video package chronicled the Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn drama that led to their match against Randy Orton and Shinsuke Nakamura with Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan as special referees… The panel discussed the match and Bryan’s role. Young discussed the U.S. Title match as the participants were shown backstage to wrap up the Kickoff Show…

Join me in a separate post on the main page for live coverage of the WWE Clash of Champions event.


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