Wednesday, April 24, 2024

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Clash of Champions in Review: Flair and Jax dominate the Clash

So that ol’ Backlash event saw the Blue Team crowning their new Champion, but now it’s time for the RAW side to prove why they are still the flagship show at the Clash of Champions! I’m Alex and as always will be carrying the Red flag through the review, so let’s get straight to it!

During the kick-off show, we catch Sasha Banks backstage with backstage interviewer Charly Caruso (Isn’t she meant to be on Smackdown?) who immediately lets us know that she’s out for revenge for Charlotte’s attempt to injure her. She also clarifies that tonight isn’t about Bayley, but it’s about ‘The Boss’. It’s not long until she’s cut off by Dana Brooke who warns that the most relevant emotion she should be feeling is fear; fear that she’s gonna be back on the injury list. Sasha bites back quick and lets know that she’ll put her on the injured list if she’s gets involved in the triple threat match.

But before the title match, it’s squash time… I mean it’s time for ‘The Force of Greatness’ Nia Jax to take on ‘The Foxy Floridian’ Alicia Fox.

Alicia comes out the gates strong, being the first person since Nia’s debut on the main roster to make her drop down to one knee with a series of strikes. Nia is quick to regain control, tossing Alicia around the ring by her weave, heck by any limb possible.

Midway through the match, Alicia manages to turn things around and does another first – she manages to knock Jax down to the mat with a crossbody! She doesn’t get the fall, but goes for her signature Scissors Kick… 1.. 2… kickout! Still not enough to put down Jax, who manages to plough down Alicia one more time and drives her into the mat with another overhead Samoan Drop for an easy pin victory. Nia makes quick work of the veteran, another one bites the dust.

Kick-off show over, it’s time for the main show! Time for three of the WWE’s strongest, most popular, most talented female Superstars to take centre stage!

Jojo leads the match announcements, introducing ‘The Hugger’ Bayley, ‘The Boss’ Sasha Banks and ‘The Nature Girl’ Charlotte who is accompanied by her protege Dana Brooke.

Charlotte and Sasha are quick to start things off, brawling to the outside and overlooking Bayley initially. It’s not long until the BFFs turn on each other, giving us shades of the NXT division of 2014 that we all know and love. All three women seem to be evenly matched, for the most part – Charlotte taking on the role of the main heel by working on Sasha’s back, Sasha being the sympathetic face, meanwhile Bayley plays the sneaky opportunist getting involved when the others don’t expect it.

No disqualification rules means that Dana Brooke is also on hand to even the odds, trying to take out Bayley and Sasha whenever they try to get involved. Charlotte’s heel heat is amazing as she starts to take over the match, taking out the Super-faces with a beautifully placed moonsault. The end of the match sees Sasha cinching in a Bank Statement on Bayley, only to get stamped out by Charlotte and tossed into the barricade. The Nature Girl manages to throw Bayley into Sasha, who falls out the ring and she’s able to hit a Big Boot on Bayley to pick up the victory and retain her RAW Women’s Championship. The mentor and protege duo celebrate as the fallen challengers look on in disappointment – the record streak for Charlotte continues!

Elsewhere on the card, we saw United States Champion Rusev attempting to defend his title and his wife Lana’s honour, against current controversial Superstar Roman Reigns. For the first time in what feels like forever, Lana gets physical! After Reigns hits a spear on her husband, she pulls the referee out of the ring who quickly ejects her from the ring! Unfortunately, her distraction was in vain as the Bulgarian Brute fell victim to another spear and Roman Reigns becomes the new US Champion.

Thoughts:: I’ll start with the kick-off match first – it was nice to see Nia Jax do more, but I still feel she’s still got a long way to go to be a good ‘monster’ heel. She’s started to do more offence and work stiff lately, but I’m really not seeing a lot of powermoves. There’s a lot of throwing, screaming and running into people… but it’s about time we saw more. We’ve seen her do Powerbombs, Samoan drops, heck even the Jackhammer, but I’m gonna need to see more regular power moves if she’s really this threat. As for Alicia, well you all saw my prediction the other day, it was so obvious she wasn’t going to win and was Nia’s first filler feud. I’ll admit that this was very refreshing to see, but knowing that it’s just led to Fox being buried doesn’t really excite me anymore. I kind of feel like we’ve bitten into a chocolate bar and it tastes like chicken… it seemed exciting, got a taste, but I’m a bit blehhhh with this feud now.

Before I get to the triple threat, I’ll comment on Lana too because y’all know I love our managers! It’s about time she did something again, it’s been so disappointing to see how they’ve used Lana since 2015 and that dreadful feud with Summer Rae. With Maryse upping the ante with The Miz on SmackDown, it’s about time that Lana did the same. I think everyone agree that they wouldn’t just stand there if their partner was in trouble, so Lana actually doing something gets a certified ‘yaaaassss’ from me.

So onto the (women’s) MAAIIIIN EVENT… three of the Horsewomen, super popular… and super ‘seen this before’ going on here. It’s such a shame because these women are amazing in their own right, but the WWE have pressed this combination of women down our throats so much lately that it seems like we’re kind of over it. The SD division isn’t as popular, but feels so fresh, whereas RAW is giving me Orton VS Cena vibes between Charlotte and Sasha at this point. The fact that Dana was supposed to be the ‘ex-factor’ in this match and did absolutely nothing to progress her tension with Charlotte was a bit annoying too.

The match, however, was pretty strong. It wasn’t a spotfest, they didn’t do a ‘Tower of Doom’ spot and they did a great job of building up Charlotte as the powerful dominant heel between the two plucky faces that the crowd love. What I did find annoying though was how I just wasn’t getting anything too fresh from it… sure they had Sasha’s back injury and Dana involved… but still nothing groundbreaking for me to remember this match.

What I do find interesting was that Bayley out popped Sasha at this event, so is it time for The Boss to go back to the devilish character that she was before? Well we will probably find out on RAW!

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