By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE Clash of Champions
Aired September 27, 2020 live on WWE Network and pay-per-view
Aired live from Orlando, Florida at Amway Center
Kickoff Show match result: Shinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro defeated Kalisto and Lince Dorado in 10:45 to retain the Smackdown Tag Titles.
A video package opened the main show…Pyro shot off on the stage and around the arena. The ThunderDome set was turned on… Michael Cole welcomed viewers to the show while gushing over ThunderDome and how it was created just for you (the fans)…
1. Jeff Hardy vs. AJ Styles vs. Sami Zayn in a Triple Threat ladder match for the Intercontinental Championship. Cole and Corey Graves were on commentary. Cole noted that Hardy’s Intercontinental Title and the belt that Sami Zayn previously held were both hanging above the ring.
Zayn performed an early springboard moonsault onto Styles at ringside. Zayn grabbed one of his knees, but he shook it off and put both men down at ringside before sliding a ladder into the ring. Hardy cut off Zayn before he could set up the ladder. Hardy backdropped Zayn onto the ladder that ended up leaning against the ropes.
A short time later, a ladder was stood on its top against the ropes. Hardy went to the ropes and dove toward Styles, who shoved Hardy into the upside down ladder. Styles whipped Zayn into a ladder that was leaning in a corner of the ring.
A short time later, Styles hit Zayn with a Pele Kick. Cole pointed out the welts on Zayn’s back from the ladder bumps. Styles set up a ladder and made a play for the belts, but Hardy climbed up the other side. Hardy and Styles fought. Styles dumped Hardy from the ladder to the ring. Styles reached the belts, but Hardy pulled him down from behind.
Zayn returned to the ring and made a play for the belts, but Styles cut him off. Zayn threw Styles onto a ladder in the corner with an exploder suplex. Styles rolled to ringside next to Hardy. Zayn made a slow climb for the belts, but Hardy returned to stop him.
All three men ended up at ringside. Hardy performed Poetry in Motion on Styles, then stood up and ate a Helluva Kick from Zayn. As Zayn was climbing a ladder in the middle of the ring, Styles threw a small ladder at Zayn. The small ladder hit the big ladder, and Zayn came up selling pain in one of his hands.
Styles climbed the ladder and was joined by Hardy on the other side. Both men tipped the ladder over into the corner where Zayn was seated. Styles tumbled to ringside. Zayn made a play for the belts. Styles went for a springboard move toward Zayn, but Hardy shoved the ladder the head of Styles. Hardy hit a Twist of Fate on Zayn.
Hardy climbed the ladder. Zayn tilted the ladder over. Hardy climbed the ladder on one side. Zayn pushed the ladder over, causing Hardy to take a tumble into the corner and then to ringside. It appeared the ladder hit Hardy on the way down. Styles took out Zayn for a moment, but Zayn regrouped and slammed Styles’ head into the ring post.
Zayn set up a ladder over the ring and the broadcast table. Styles roughed up Zayn, then climbed onto the broadcast table and performed a moonsault into a reverse DDT on Zayn. Styles tried to place Zayn on the ladder, but it slipped off the broadcast table. Styles called an audible by slamming Zayn onto the broadcast table.
Styles set up the ladder over the broadcast table and ring again. Hardy returned to hit Styles with the small ladder. Hardy removed the shirt that he’d been wearing, then climbed to the top of a ladder that was positioned next to the one Zayn was laid out on. Hardy performed a Swanton Bomb onto Zayn, which broke the ladder.
Styles set up a ladder in the ring and made a play for the belts, but Hardy tipped the ladder over, causing Styles to crash into a corner of the ring. A canned “this is awesome” chant was played. At ringside, Zayn pulled two pairs of handcuffs out of the jacket he wore to the ring. Graves pointed out that everything is legal.
Zayn hit Hardy with a ladder. Zayn took the handcuffs and hooked it on Hardy’s earlobe before cuffing it to a ladder. Inside the ring, Zayn attached the handcuffs to Styles wrist, but Styles stopped him from cuffing him to the ropes. Styles roughed up Zayn, who applied the other part of Hardy’s cuffs to his own wrist.
Hardy returned to the ring despite still being cuffed to the ladder. Zayn and Styles fought on a ladder. Hardy hit Styles with another ladder while Zayn freed himself from the handcuffs and attached the other side to the ladder. Zayn climbed up and pulled down both belts to win the match…
Sami Zayn defeated Jeff Hardy and AJ Styles in a Triple Threat ladder match in 26:35 to win the Intercontinental Title match.
After the match, Kayla Braxton walked onto the stage and tried to talk to Zayn about recapturing the title, but he cut her off and said the belt was his all along. Zayn announced himself as “still Intercontinental Champion”…
Powell’s POV: It’s strange to be one match deep and feel like we’ve already seen the match of the night. That was outstanding both in terms of the effort of all three men and for creativity. It’s rare that you’ll see me praise the use of handcuffs in a match, but it worked for Zayn’s character. This was really fun.
Cole and Graves spoke at ringside and set up a replay of R-Truth’s appearance as a gold miner on the Kickoff Show…
Backstage, R-Truth was still dressed in his gold miner’s outfit and was walking apprehensively when he entered the referee’s locker room. One of the referees asked him what he was doing in their room. Truth blamed Little Jimmy and went to the hallway. Drew Gulak rolled up Truth from behind pinned him to win the WWE 24/7 Championship…
2. Asuka vs. Zelina Vega for the Raw Women’s Championship. The reunited Raw broadcast team of Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, and Samoa Joe were on commentary. Asuka pulled Vega by her arms so that she fell on her face to start. Asuka toyed with Vega by holding her hands up for a test of strength higher than Vega could reach.
Asuka used a Hip Attack to send Vega to ringside. Asuka followed, but Vega ended up pulling Asuka by the arm into the ring steps. Back inside the ring, Vega targeted the shoulder of Asuka from the ring steps spot. Vega picked up a few near falls, then showed frustration over not getting the pin.
Vega went for a kick. Asuka caught her leg, then Vega rolled Asuka into a pin for a near fall. Vega went for another pin, but Asuka countered into the Asuka Lock. Vega tapped out immediately.
Asuka beat Zelina Vega in 7:05 to retain the Raw Women’s Championship.
After the match, Asuka was interviewed. She put over Vega, yet also said that she wasn’t ready for Asuka. Vega got up and bowed at Asuka, who returned the favor only to have Vega kick her. Asuka took the mic and yelled in Japanese while Vega backed up the ramp…
Powell’s POV: A well worked match. The match was laid out in a way that made Vega look credible, but it was really tough to buy into the near falls. I assume the post match angle was done to give them a reason to have a rematch on Raw.
3. Bobby Lashley (w/MVP, Shelton Benjamin) vs. Apollo Crews for the U.S. Championship. A pre-taped Crews promo aired. He said he knew he was the underdog, but he would regain the title. He lied. Lashley put him in the Full Nelson and beat him again…
Bobby Lashley beat Apollo Crews in 8:15 to retain the U.S. Championship.
Powell’s POV: There was no need for this rematch. We get it, Crews can’t hang with Lashley and will always tap to his Full Nelson finisher. Move on.
An NXT Takeover 31 ad aired. The Raw broadcast team spoke about the Takeover event briefly…
4. “The Street Profits” Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford vs. Angel Garza and Andrade for the Raw Tag Titles. Footage aired of the Profits on Raw Talk. They still want the smoke. Ford was isolated by the challengers early on. Andrade held Ford from the floor while Garza hit him with a running knee.
A short time later, Garza caught Ford on the ropes. They fought for position, and Garza performed a Spanish Fly that led to a near fall. Andrade tagged in and knocked Dawkins off the apron, then turned and hit Ford with double knees in the corner before covering him for a two count.
Ford caught Andrade with a kick and then made the hot tag. Dawkins hit a Sky High slam on Andrade. Dawkins covered Andrade, who kicked out at two, but the referee made the three count anyway…
“The Street Profits” Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford defeated Angel Garza and Andrade in 8:15 to retain the Raw Tag Titles.
Powell’s POV: I’m not sure why they went with the aborted finish. I’m also unsure why the referees have been unable to convey their audible calls to the wrestlers so that they don’t kick out of pins. Update: Angel Garza suffered an apparent knee injury, which is why the referee counted the pin. My question regarding the apparent lack of communication between the referee and the wrestlers involved in the pin remains.
The WWE Draft was announced for October 9 on Smackdown and October 12 on Raw…
Drew Gulak was being interviewed backstage when R-Truth hit him from behind and pinned him. R-Truth regained the WWE 24/7 Title…
Smackdown Women’s Champion Bayley headed to the ring with her title belt and a chair. Bayley gloated over Nikki Cross being unable to compete and thus retaining her title. Bayley offered anyone a shot at her title. Bayley assumed no one wanted to take her up on it and then called for the referee to raise her arm. Asuka’s music played and she made her entrance…
5. Bayley vs. Asuka for the Smackdown Women’s Championship. Cole said the title was officially on the line. Both wrestlers fought to ringside. Asuka knocked Bayley down with a kick. Bayley grabbed a chair and hit Asuka with it for the DQ.
Asuka defeated Bayley by DQ in 3:45 in a Smackdown Women’s Championship match.
Afterward, Bayley held up her title belt at ringside. Sasha Banks hit Bayley from behind with a chair. Banks sold neck pain and was wearing a neck brace. Bayley eventually kicked Banks. Bayley threw Banks inside the ring. Bayley grabbed a chair and a kendo stick from underneath the ring and side them into the ring. Banks kicked Bayley’s knee, then grabbed the kendo stick and worked over Bayley with it. Banks tried to hit Bayley with a chair, but Bayley rolled to ringside…
Powell’s POV: There wasn’t much to the match obviously. I’m guessing they didn’t want to pull two title matches from the show billed as the one night of the year when every title is defended, so they went with a quick match that led to a DQ. The post match with Banks getting the better of Bayley helped softened the blow and they wisely had Bayley escape before Banks could get her full revenge.
The Raw broadcast team set up a video package on the WWE Championship match…
6. Drew McIntyre vs. Randy Orton in an Ambulance Match for the WWE Championship. Mike Rome delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. McIntyre stuffed an early RKO attempt. Orton caught McIntyre with a low blow as he was climbing between the ropes. Orton followed up with a draping DDT.
Orton backed up for a punt kick when a hand reached out and grabbed his leg. Big Show revealed himself and then pulled Orton to ringside and chokeslammed him through the broadcast table. Saxton said the sins of Orton’s past were coming back to haunt him.
McIntyre dragged Orton to the entrance way and then hoisted Orton onto his shoulders. McIntyre tossed Orton head-first into the back of the ambulance. McIntyre opened a side door of the ambulance and threw crutches and a red chair out. McIntyre worked over Orton with the chair. Orton grabbed a crutch and hit McIntyre with it. Orton jabbed the chair into McIntyre’s injured jaw.
Orton opened the back doors of the ambulance and tried to shove McIntyre inside. Both men fought and ended up inside the ambulance while the broadcast team reminded viewers that the only way to win was for one man to shut the doors of the ambulance while his opponent is inside.
Orton brought McIntyre to the driver’s side of the ambulance and wanted to close the door, but McIntyre fought free and then staggered Orton with a headbutt. McIntyre went for a Claymore Kick, but Orton moved and the kick knocked the driver’s side door off the ambulance. McIntyre and Orton fought their way into the backstage area. Orton whipped McIntyre into a wall near catering tables.
Christian attacked Orton and threw him at one of the catering tables. Saxton said this is the benefit of the match not having disqualifications. McIntyre recovered and went back to working over Orton. McIntyre dragged Orton through the curtain and tossed him onto the hood of the ambulance.
McIntyre joined Orton on the hood of the ambulance. Orton gouged the eye of McIntyre and then slammed him onto the windshield, which broke. McIntyre crawled onto the roof of the ambulance and Orton followed. McIntyre had some abrasions on his back, presumably from the windshield. Orton delivered a knee to the injured jaw of McIntyre.
McIntyre ended up hanging from a bar on top of the ambulance while his body dangled over the back end. Orton stood on McIntyre’s hand, causing him to let go of the bar and fall to the ground behind the ambulance.
Shawn Michaels popped up behind Orton and hit him with Sweet Chin Music. Orton stumbled on top of the ambulance, so Michaels gave him a shove, causing Orton to fall to the ground. McIntyre got to his feet and pounded on his knee while selling knee pain. Phillips said McIntyre damaged his knee when he delivered the Claymore Kick to the door of the ambulance.
McIntyre hoisted up Orton and approached the back of the ambulance. Orton slipped away and dropped McIntyre with an RKO on the floor. Orton shoved McIntyre inside the ambulance. Orton shut the first door, then smiled. Orton grabbed the other door and started to close it, but McIntyre stopped him and gouged Orton’s eye.
McIntyre escaped the ambulance and put Orton down with a Claymore Kick. McIntyre shoved Orton inside the back of the ambulance. McIntyre could have closed the door, but he opted to pull Orton’s head out instead. McIntyre delivered a punt kick to Orton’s head, then shoved him inside and closed the doors to win the match.
Drew McIntyre defeated Randy Orton in 21:35 in an Ambulance Match to retain the WWE Championship.
After the match, the referee slapped the back of the ambulance, then walked over to the driver’s side where Ric Flair was behind the wheel. The siren sounded and Flair drove off…
Powell’s POV: The surprise appearances of Big Show, Christian, Shawn Michaels, and Ric Flair were fun. They also gave Orton a big out for losing if they want to do one more match between him and McIntyre at Hell in a Cell. A case can be made that McIntyre looked weak for needing the help of the legends, but I doubt the average viewer is thinking about that. It’s a case that Orton can make on Raw and then McIntyre can silence him by winning the Hell in a Cell match if that’s the direction they want to take.
An ad aired for the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view that will be held on Sunday, October 25…
Cole and Graves set up a video package on the WWE Universal Championship match…
7. Roman Reigns (w/Paul Heyman) vs. Jey Uso for the WWE Universal Championship. Uso wore a red lei around his neck during his entrance. A jacked Reigns was shirt-less and vest-less and wore black pants and black boots. Greg Hamilton delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. Heyman did not interrupt Hamilton, who was allowed to introduce Reigns.
Uso wore a large white sleeve on right arm. Reigns charged at Uso, who went up and over, then did a dance. Reigns shot him a look of disbelief and disdain, then tossed him under the bottom rope to ringside. Back inside the ring, Reigns caught Uso with a leaping clothesline that led to a two count.
Reigns put Uso down, then barked that Uso should have listened to the Tribal Chief. Moments later, Reigns punched Uso, who tumbled off the apron to the floor. Reigns continued to dominate Uso. Cole said it looked like Uso was in over his head.
Uso rallied and caught Reigns with a punch and a Samoan Drop that led to a two count. Graves wondered if Reigns had underestimated his cousin. Uso went to the corner and fired up, then charged into a Superman Punch from Reigns.
Reigns went to the floor where he traded punches with Uso. Reigns knocked Uso down with a big uppercut. Reigns did his best Drew McIntyre by flexing his jaw. Reigns put Uso back inside the ring and covered him for a two count. The broadcast team called it tough love. Graves questioned if this hurt Reigns more than it was hurting Uso.
Reigns looked at Uso and said this was the ass whooping that he was talking about. Reigns said Uso should have taken the payday and laid down. Reigns worked over Uso with punches. Reigns said Uso is trying to level up, but he lives at this level. Uso threw a chop at Reigns, who knocked him right back down to the mat with another uppercut. “You don’t pay attention,” Reigns said.
Uso ducked an uppercut and fired back with a couple of punches. Uso shoved Reigns face-first into the corner. Uso clotheslined Reigns over the top rope. Reigns landed on his feet. Uso performed a suicide dive onto Reigns, then threw him back inside the ring. Uso caught Reigns with a spin kick. Reigns went to ringside. Uso performed another dive onto Reigns on the floor.
Back in the ring, Uso performed a cross body block for a near fall. Uso got up and blasted Reigns with a kick and then covered him, but Reigns kicked out at the last moment. Reigns rallied and went for a spear, but Uso leapt over him and rolled him into a pin for a near fall.
Uso caught Reigns with a superkick. Uso performed a top rope splash and got a good near fall. Uso came up holding his groin. The replay showed that when Reigns kicked out, he thrust his arm up in a way where it was essentially a low blow.
Reigns got to his feet first and then speared Uso. Reigns looked down at his cousin and then jawed at him again about taking the payday and laying down. Reigns asked if Uso was ready, then said he wasn’t ready yet. Reigns said Uso brought the Tribal Chief all the way out there.
Reigns told Jey to call him the Tribal Chief. Uso said no. Reigns ran Uso into the ropes and then speared him again. Reigns grabbed Uso by the face and looked into the camera and told him to tell the whole world that he’s the Tribal Chief. “Not tonight, Uce,” Uso replied.
Heyman told Reigns that he is his Tribal Chief. Reigns told Heyman that Uso needed to acknowledge him. Reigns barked at Jey, then threw repeated punches at his head. Reigns barked at the referee, then went back to throwing punches at Uso while saying, “Acknowledge me.”
Reigns told the referee that he’s been whooping Jey’s ass like this his entire life. Reigns made Uso look into the camera again while telling him that his children, Roman’s nephews were watching.
Jimmy Uso limped out to ringside holding a white towel and told his brother that he didn’t need to prove anything. Reigns told Jimmy to tell his brother to say that he’s the head of the table. Jimmy wanted to throw in the towel, but Jey told him not to do it. Reigns asked if Jimmy was really going to listen to him. Reigns threw punches at Jey again. Jimmy threw in the towel to end the match.
Roman Reigns defeated Jey Uso in 22:55 to retain the WWE Universal Championship.
Afterward, Jimmy entered the ring and covered Jey. Jimmy told Reigns that they are family. Jimmy said Reigns is the chief, then told him to chill. Reigns spoke with Heyman for a moment. Heyman brought Reigns the red lei that Uso wore to the ring and placed it around his neck. Reigns was introduced as the winner. Graves questioned if Reigns was able to do this to his own family member, what would he be capable of doing to everyone else…
Powell’s POV: A strong match in terms of storytelling. I continue to wonder if the Usos will eventually fall in line and form a faction with Reigns. Either way, I really liked the match and the remorseless Reigns characters. Overall, the two men’s world title matches and the ladder match delivered and carried this to being a passable event.
Let me know what you thought of the show by voting in our post show polls available on the main page. Dot Net Members will hear the same night audio review of this event co-hosted by Jake Barnett and I. Join us on our ad-free website via PWMembership.net.
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...