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15 Huge Takeaways From WWE Clash Of Champions

Now two months into the brand split, both RAW and SmackDown have put on their first brand exclusive PPVs. After Backlash provided us with AJ Styles winning his first WWE Championship, it was up to RAW to give us a big moment at Clash Of Champions. With the Cruiserweight title being defended for the first time and Kevin Owens defending his Universal Championship for the first time, there sure were opportunities to do it.

Now that Clash Of Champions is behind us, how will the WWE be affected going forward? Did RAW establish itself as WWE's dominant brand?

via wwe.com

You had to think that with Stephanie McMahon sticking around on TV as RAW's commissioner that Mick Foley would not be the front runner as he was as Commissioner Foley. Foley's playing second fiddle to Stephanie, much like anyone does in a story with the McMahons. You have to wonder why the WWE felt the need to have GMs if Stephanie and Shane were going to be the dominant faces of their shows anyway.

At least SmackDown has two faces running the show, which is a refreshing change of pace from WWE on-screen authority figures. On RAW, it's getting painful to see Foley merely answering to Stephanie and not really asserting any authority himself.

You would think that the commissioner would eventually fade into the background and let the GM run things, but it looks like RAW is going to remain all about Stephanie (and Triple H?).

Don't miss the #WWEClash of Champions #KickOff at 7/6c and #WWEClash of Champions TONIGHT at 8/7c on @wwenetwork!

A photo posted by WWE (@wwe) on

Much of the Clash Of Champions card was centered around some unresolved feuds from SummerSlam. It seems several of these feuds are going to continue beyond Clash Of Champions, such as Rollins and Stephanie/Triple H and the Women's Championship picture.

Considering what we got out of the ending to this PPV, when you look back at it as a whole, you could see several rematches coming in the next few weeks or possibly at RAW's Hell in a Cell PPV next month.

You could see some of these spilling into Survivor Series and it looks like the fall will be all about establishing Rollins as a big babyface for the RAW roster, especially with the absence of Finn Balor.

Can @thefoxxyone put an end to @niajaxwwe? #WWEClash

When this whole 'crazy Alicia Fox' gimmick was brought back for a feud with Nia Jax, some got the impression that it would result in somewhat of a mini push for Alicia Fox, a nine-year WWE veteran. Well, it turns out that wasn't the case. First Nia Jax dominated Fox on RAW a couple of weeks ago and on the Clash Of Champions kickoff show, she once again scored a decisive victory over Fox.

Clearly this feud was started to give Nia Jax her first credible victory over an actual female RAW Superstar. Now that Jax has established herself as a legitimate threat, could she possibly be a contender for the Women's Championship on RAW's next PPV?

A new #NewDay shirt? Who...who...who wants one? Get them at @WWEShop! @thetruekofi @wwebige @xavierwoodsphd

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The New Day made it a point to say that they are now at 399 days as WWE (RAW) Tag Team Champions. At first, The Club seemed like they could be a legitimate threat to beating New Day, but thanks to help from Francesca, New Day scored the win to reach the 400-day mark.

With Demolition's tag team title reign standing as the record at 478 days, it looks like Big E, Kofi and Xavier Woods have a real legitimate chance to pass them. With RAW's next PPV not coming until late October at Hell in a Cell, and a big-four in November (Survivor Series) The New Day would have to reach the December 12th RAW to pass Demolition. Would you like to see that happen? I sure would, as the WWE hasn't had tag champs this over in a long time.

I think the only team that could beat New Day and get a positive reaction are Enzo & Big Cass.

Can #GallowsAndAnderson take the #TagTeamTitles from #TheNewDay!? #WWEClash #WWE

The Club has yet to find solid footing since splitting from AJ Styles and I doubt that WWE has any big plans for them going forward. It's time for The New Day to start a new feud for the titles and unfortunately, it doesn't look like The Club will be a force in WWE.

@megatjp makes his first title defense as #CruiserweightChampion! He prepares to make history with @mr.briankendrick! #WWEClash

A photo posted by WWE (@wwe) on

When the WWE first announced that they were going to re-introduce a cruiserweight division, you knew they had to establish someone as the spark and the front-runner for the division. Back in the 90s, they did so with Taka Michinoku holding the Light Heavyweight Championship for a long period to start the division and the WWE's initial cruiserweight division was built heavily around Rey Myesterio.

It seems the next few months will be all about Perkins establishing himself as a credible champion and bringing prestige to the new Cruiserweight Championship. Don't expect too many title changes in this division in the next few months.

#Match7 in the #BestOf7 between @wwesheamus and @wwe._cesaro! Who takes the series?!

Sheamus and Cesaro have engaged in a best of seven series going back to SummerSlam for a shot at a title (what is that title supposed to be, WWE?). Sheamus and Cesaro definitely delivered their best match of the series in the seventh match, but the ending has left us baffled. Why would the WWE choose to drag this out further?

It makes you wonder if Sheamus was actually hurt in the match and it had to be stopped. There really isn't any other logical explanation as to why WWE would choose to either leave this series without winner or go to a rematch for the deciding battle.

#TheGiftOfJericho comes to #WWEClash... @chrisjerichofozzy

A photo posted by WWE (@wwe) on

Whenever Chris Jericho comes back to WWE, he always looks for a way to reinvent himself. He failed to do that in his last couple of WWE stints, but he sure has succeeded in this one. After the hilarious 'list' bit on RAW last week and building this whole 'Gift of Jericho' gimmick has been a new treat.

Jericho's work has been so good that he got himself some cheers from the Indianapolis crowd (stop cheering ever heel, people!). Jericho and Zayn put on a good match and Jericho did everything he could to work the crowd over to Zayn's side. Even though Zayn didn't get the win, Jericho made sure to look Zayn look strong and defiant as the underdog babyface.

via wwe.com

So why would Jericho get the big PPV win over a younger star needing a big win like Zayn? Well, it's obvious Chris Jericho is soon going to be inserted into the Universal Championship scene. With the way Jericho has kept budding up to Owens, it's quite obvious Jericho will soon show his true colors and reveal he just wanted to get close to Owens to work his way to the title.

Original plans for RAW with Finn Balor as champion called for Balor, Seth Rollins and Y2J to face each other in a triple threat Hell in a Cell match at HIAC next month. With the seeds planted at Clash Of Champions, I expect that we'll see Owens vs. Rollins vs. Jericho at HIAC next month. As hilarious as this friendship is between Owens and Jericho, Y2J is a heel and he'll weasel his way into a title shot.

via inquisitr.com

Now that we've sat through a whole RAW PPV and a whole SmackDown PPV with the announce teams, it's safe to say Corey Graves is far and away the best color commentator of either show. With competition like Byron Saxton, JBL and David Otunga, that may not be saying much, but Graves is genuinely enjoyable on commentary. While he's not quite as comedic as some of the heel commentators of the past, he sounds natural at the announce table. He's not trying to force banter and he's sharp on the mic. It doesn't sound like he's being fed line after line by the higher ups backstage.

I hope come Royal Rumble time, that WWE will let Mauro Ranallo and Corey Graves call the match on their own.

Or will @charlottewwe remain on top of the Women's Division on #Raw and retain her title? #WWEClash #WWE

Charlotte, Sasha Banks and Bayley put on a very great triple threat match, which was a huge make up for a disappointing SummerSlam match between Charlotte and Sasha. However, with Sasha's previous title reign having lasted only a month, and making her return from injury earlier than expected, why was the title kept on Charlotte? How much more does Charlotte have to be established as champion? It's very unclear as to where the WWE goes from here with Charlotte.

Oh, and why did Charlotte win with a mere big boot to Sasha and Bayley? Weak finish if you ask me.

Also, what's happened with the teased split between Charlotte and Dana Brooke? Dana showed no signs of friction with Charlotte, as has been teased all month. She did everything she could to help Charlotte win the match and they walked off happily together.

Overall, this match left us with a lot of unanswered questions.

@rusevig and @TheLanaWWE are no strangers to battle. They face #RomanReigns NEXT on #WWEClash! #WWE #RAW #USTitle

A photo posted by WWE (@wwe) on

It was quite clear from the onset of this match that nobody is really invested into this Rusev/Reigns feud. The crowd wasn't really into this match, aside from the occasional 'let's go Roman' and 'Roman sucks' chants.

We can say all we want that Reigns needs a completely different character to get himself over in the company, but it doesn't look like the WWE is wavering on anything. He's now United States champion so perhaps the WWE is hoping they could salvage Reigns with a title run that doesn't involve a world title.

The match almost made you wish they pulled what they did at SummerSlam and just have no match altogether.

And the new #USTitle Champion... #RomanReigns! #WWEClash #WWE #Raw

So it was a feud nobody cared about, but presumably it's finally over. Reigns is now the United States champion, but what Reigns haters can salvage from this is that with Reigns now being US champ, it means he won't be hunting for the Universal title any time soon.

This is where Reigns should have been pushed last year, as he should have proven himself with a midcard title before being inserted into the main event picture as a world champion. From here, Reigns will be able to grow as a champion and hopefully WWE takes this opportunity to make some changes in Reigns' character if they don't plan on turning him heel.

Either way, it's a lot easier to swallow Roman Reigns as the US Champion than the Universal Champion.

@wwerollins is out to prove that @stephaniemcmahon and #MickFoley bet on the wrong guy. #WWEClash

A photo posted by WWE (@wwe) on

Back we come to the Rollins/babyface run which seems to be coming. Clearly though, from how the crowd was taking to Rollins, the WWE has to book Rollins' character differently to really set him up as a top babyface.

For a guy that was screwed out of the WWE Universal Championship and was being given his shot at redemption at Clash Of Champions, it sure didn't seem like Seth Rollins had much of the crowd on his side in his match with Kevin Owens. Perhaps it's because KO has been doing amazing work or that WWE is still being ambiguous as to whether we're supposed to cheer Rollins.

Rollins is a sympathetic figure at this point, having been screwed out of the title, but he still hasn't quite acted as a babyface. Perhaps we'll get more answers soon, but everything will have to become clear soon, especially since it seems we're going to be getting Rollins vs. Triple H at some point.

via sportsblog.com

Okay, so we got an ending that saw Kevin Owens retain his Universal Championship with a ton of help from his best friend Chris Jericho and an ambiguous assist from Stephanie McMahon. It's very curious as to why Triple H wasn't involved in the finish considering the whole story seemed to revolve around what Triple H's intentions were and just why he decided to crown Kevin Owens Universal Champion.

The match did more to garner sympathy for Rollins as a challenger to Owens but the direction is still very unclear. You wonder if Rollins will continue to turn his attention to Stephanie and when Triple H is going to return to television.

Either way, the ending left us somewhat dissatisfied, with Stephanie helping a referee to the ring just in time for Owens to hit his Pop-Up Powerbomb and pick up the win.

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