By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE Clash of Champions Kickoff Show
Aired live on September 15, 2019 on WWE Network and social media
Charlotte, North Carolina at Spectrum Center
-Jonathan Coachman hosted the show from the usual Kickoff Show set on the main floor. Coachman was joined by the panel of Charly Caruso, Booker T, and David Otunga.
-The panel ran through the pay-per-view lineup. The U.S. Championship match between AJ Styles and Cedric Alexander was announced for the Kickoff Show, as was the WWE Cruiserweight Championship match.
-A video package focused on the Raw Women’s Championship match between Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks.
-The WWE Championship match was recapped in a video package.
-Kofi Kingston and Big E were interviewed from backstage. Caruso noted that Xavier Woods has been out of action for about a month. She asked for an update on his condition. The camera pulled back and Woods was standing next to Kington and Big E and will be defending the tag titles with Big E. Kingston cut a promo in which he said he felt great and vowed to retain his championship.
-A video package recapped the Roman Reigns’ whodunnit storyline to set up his match with Erick Rowan.
1. Drew Gulak vs. Humberto Carrillo vs. Lince Dorado for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship. The broadcast team was Vic Joseph, Dio Maddin, and Aiden English, and Greg Hamilton delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. Gulak performed a gut buster on Dorado and got a two count at 4:00. A short time later, Dorado ended up on the shoulders of Gulak at ringside, then Carrillo performed a cockscrew suicide dive onto Dorado.
At 7:00, Carrillo went for a moonsault off on Gulak, who put up his feet. Carrillo landed on his feet and applied a submission hold, but Dorado put Carrillo in a hold, which led to Gulak escaping. Gulak broke up the other submission attempt. At 9:30, Dorado performed a super huracanrana on Carrillo. Dorado tried to follow with a shooting star press, but Carrillo avoided it. Carrillo hit the Aztec Press, but Gulak took him out and stole the pin…
Drew Gulak defeated Humberto Carrillo and Lince Dorado in a Triple Threat in 10:05 to retain the WWE Cruiserweight Championship.
Powell’s POV: A quality opening match. It was nice to see some new blood in the title mix with Carrillo and Dorado getting a title shot rather than one of usual suspects. This sends the right message to WWE viewers who only see the cruiserweights on pay-per-view Sundays and might encourage them to watch 205 Live.
-Coachman set up a video package on the Smackdown Women’s Championship match…
-Sarah Schreiber interviewed Sasha Banks and Bayley on the backstage interview set. Schreiber said they don’t seem to be nervous despite having big matches. They mocked her for assuming they would be nervous and both prediction victory in their respective matches.
2. AJ Styles vs. Cedric Alexander for the U.S. Championship. The Raw broadcast team of Michael Cole, Corey Graves, and Renee Young were on commentary. Alexander received a nice hometown reaction. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson came to ringside with Styles, but they did not stick around. Mike Rome delivered in-ring introductions for the title match.
Alexander hit an immediate Michinoku Driver on Styles for a two count. Styles rolled to ringside and then Alexander hit him with a flip dive. Back in side the ring, Alexander threw a kick and got another near fall. Styles came back and performed a suplex or a brainbuster on the ring apron. Styles followed with a Styles Clash at ringside and then rolled him back inside the ring where he covered him for two and then picked him up.
A short time later, Styles applied the Calf Crusher, but Alexander reached the ropes to break it at 3:00. A short time later, Styles hit a Phenomenal Forearm and followed up with a Styles Clash in the middle of the ring and the scored the pin.
AJ Styles defeated Cedric Alexander in 4:55 to retain the U.S. Championship.
After the match, Gallows and Anderson headed to the ring and put the boots to Alexander. The OC made their hand sign in the middle of the ring and then left the ring…
Powell’s POV: I guess Alexander has no friends even in his hometown. I was surprised to see this match on the Kickoff Show and also surprised to see Alexander lose clean. I thought they might at least protect him by having Gallows and Anderson interfere, but that was a definitive win for Styles to the point that he had Alexander pinned earlier and opted to pick him up to dish out more punishment.
-The broadcast team spoke about Seth Rollins and Braun Strowman teaming to defend the Raw Tag Titles and then facing one another for the Universal Championship. Coachman noted that the Raw Tag Title match would open the main show. Rollins and Strowman were shown walking backstage to wrap up the Kickoff Show.
My review of the WWE Clash of Champions main show is available in a separate post on the main page.
The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Kenny Herzog discussing his journalism career, his new Outside Interference podcast, doing a feature story on CM Punk, pro wrestling in the pandemic, WWE talk on Retribution, The Hurt Business, Roman Reigns as a heel, and much more...