Champions will collide this Sunday! Check out our primer!
Clash of Champions, Clash of the Champions, Night of Champions — seems this PPV was called each in the lead-up to the event. We’re like 90 percent certain Clash of Champions is correct, but we’re taking over/under on how many times the announcers call it by a different name. We’re setting the bar at 2.5 — place your bets! On to the questions!
1) Is there too much weekly WWE programming?
Corey: I’m going to have to go with a yes. We have Raw, Smackdown, NXT, Main Event, along with Total Divas, Camp WWE, and a number of other shows. Now some may like all of that, but I personally think it’s an overload.
Josh: The hardest part of the WWE loading up on weekly content is that we as an audience haven’t quite figured out what’s must-watch. Raw, Smackdown and NXT collectively make up six hours of weekly television, that’s without the live run-over. A PPV plus the pre-show makes another four hours and with the ever other week PPV schedule you’re looking at alternating between six and 10 hours of WWE tv on a weekly basis. That doesn’t even include extra content like Talking Smack, Main Event, the CWC (or any other tournament coming soon) Holy Foley! … you get the idea. Sure it’s good to bank a ton of content so people feel like they’re getting their money’s worth from the network, but at it’s current rate it’s a little overwhelming.
2) How did you feel about the fatal-four-way match that determined the No. 1 contender for the Cruiserweight Championship?
Corey: After the brilliance of the CWC I was a little let down at the entire introduction of the division to Raw. We have a fatal-4-way for the new Cruiserweight Championship, but they didn’t even show the title or the champion, Mick Foley had to read off of a question card, and the match was only given 15 minutes. Don’t get me wrong, the match was pretty good but everything else surrounding the match was sloppy and on top of that the crowd was pretty dead as well which really shows you just how many WWE fans actually have the WWE Network, and if they do, how many people actually watched the CWC, which is also a little disappointing because the entire event was perfect!
Josh: So for as much as we lauded the CWC for the great tournament event that it was, I got the feeling the live Raw crowd had not watched a lick of it. There were pockets for sure that were trying to get into it, but every chant just died. I’m not sure a fatal-four-way was the best way to introduce these characters to the main audience. Long-time fans probably remember Brian Kendrick (Spanky!) but a reason to care was never properly established. Especially without the champion on the show with that sweet title belt. The match was good and this is definitely not a referendum on the cruiserweight division. It’ll take a little time but these dudes will be over quickly, especially once all the high spots get busted out.
TJ Perkins absence from Raw was definitely heavily felt.
3) Jack Swagger is our first superstar to switch brands – good move? And do you expect to see more of it?
Corey: I could definitely see a few more names jumping to Smackdown just due to the fact that Smackdown has a much smaller roster than Raw — and due to it being obvious that some of the newer talent on Smackdown’s roster, like Baron Corbin and Apollo Crews, need some time to develop with experienced wrestlers. As for Swagger, Smackdown is the one roster he can be on and maybe get a little bit of relevance back again so it’s definitely a good move for him!
Josh: Swagger falls into that category of missed opportunity. He’s had some ok runs, but never really ascended into that upper echelon of talent. Seriously go back and watch his run with the World Heavyweight Championship — it was not good. Switching brands is probably good for his career since there seems to be more opportunities for him to work with up and comers which is where his career is probably going to be at this point. As far as more brand switching I think we’ll see that regularly. A more sports oriented format may serve to freshen up the product in the future. Think having signing windows where superstars contracts come up and we follow a news-feed to see who goes where with a recap show on the network that breaks down all the movers and shakers. Wait … why am I suggesting more content for the network?
4) What’s the best match on the Clash of Champions card?
Corey: There’s actually a few good matches on this card but the one that will most likely take match of the night is either going to be Seth Rollins vs Kevin Owens or Bayley vs Sasha Banks vs Charlotte. Now if given enough time TJ Perkins vs The Brian Kendrick could potentially be a runner-up as well.
Josh: It’s super smarky of me, but the match that I’m most intrigued by is Sami Zayn vs Chris Jericho. These two make sense working a match together. It’s not the most well-developed feud, but it has the potential to steal the show. I’m always looking forward to the matches that surprise me.
5) Do any titles change hands on Sunday?
Corey: I have a really strong feeling New Day are going to be dropping the tag titles Sunday night. As for any other titles I don’t see them changing hands until at least Survivor Series.
Josh: Doubtful, like Corey I’ve felt the coming of a New Day tag title drop but so far nothing. There probably should be a title switch of some kind at Clash of Champions, but I’m just not sure where it works.
– I wish Fin Balor hadn’t gotten hurt because it could have lead to a Bullet Club reunion as Survivor Series with Balor as the Universal Champion, Styles as the WWE champion, Gallows and Anderson as tag champs vs a reunited Shield and a mystery partner for the elimination match.
– Hopefully the crowd picks up a little more for the cruiserweights as time goes on. I can understand why there really was trouble with the fatal-4-way having four new guys to the roster all having to find a way to stand out all within 15 minutes as well as attempting to get the crowd to invest.
– Rumor has it there is going to be a similar tournament to the CWC for the women’s division next year and if so I’m all for it!
– Speaking of my previous comment it does look like the Shield may have a reunion soon, but I’m not all that excited about it.
– I would have switched out either Rich Swann or Gran Metalik for Noam Dar in that fatal-four-way match. I think Dar has huge upside as a heel for the cruiserweight division. Kendrick trying to carry the villain role for the three other competitors just didn’t quite work.
– Love the way they’re building of Nia Jax. I predict she’ll capture the Raw women’s title soon after WrestleMania of next year.
– In NXT news: What has happened to Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas? His debut was super high profile and I can’t remember the last time he won a match. A really talented dude that is either going to be repackaged soon or released back to CMLL. The search for the next great Latin American WWE talent seems to continue.