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    Tuesday, September 29, 2020

    The Smark Henry Pay-Per-Review: Clash of Champions 2020

    Roman Reigns and Jey Uso at WWE Clash of Champions

    WWE—or the main roster, at least—will never be known as a bastion of great and nuanced storytelling. Vince McMahon's fickle and micromanaging mind will always make sure of that. Any new thread that's spun will always be received with bated breath and more than a little pessimism, simply because the ability of the company to bungle whatever good thing they've got going on is pretty much iconic at this point. Overexposure, terrible logic, sudden changes; you name it, it's likely going to happen.

    That's why when a story is able to hook us in, we're in. There's always going to be the possibility of one wrong move ruining the whole thing lurking around the corner, but every now and then the broken clock does tell it right. We don't know what it is or who's pouring in all the effort, but when it happens, it can be pretty magical.

    Right now, it's this tale starring Roman Reigns and the Usos (as of Clash of Champions, it's no longer just Jey). SmackDown has been hitting it out of the park over the past month, and whoever's running it knows exactly what they're doing so far. That Clash of Champions main event was one of the more brilliantly-executed story-heavy matches I've seen in some time.

    It's no technical or spot-filled marvel, but it never needed to be. This was WWE's moment-making at its finest. It was all Roman Reigns, and rightfully so; all you had to do was make him the brutal star he was apparently destined to be this whole time, sprinkle in a few windows where it seems like Jey Uso might have had a chance, and top it all off with a terrifying finish that rounded up the entire family. It wasn't a war—it was only the first skirmish and a humbling defeat, setting up the stage for even worse clashes that maybe deserve, say, a Hell in a Cell. (You know that's where it's headed, anyway.)

    That said, if the storytelling shone through on this show, it was also because the rest of it didn't leave a bad taste in anyone's mouth by the time the main event rolled around. The WWE Championship match between Drew McIntyre and Randy Orton was solid, with its own satisfying narrative beats; the Intercontinental Championship ladder match was also entertaining; everything else wasn't offensive. RETRIBUTION didn't show up either, and while their absence is also illogical, they didn't ruin anything for anybody.

    For now, it seems as though WWE will rest its hopes on the fiery Reigns/Usos feud, and rightfully so. The Tribal Chief and the so-called "head of the table" gets to prove his worth as a breadwinner. The only thing I hope is that even as the company lays in a lot of effort in this angle drawing people in, it doesn't neglect the others—especially the guy who's supposed to be the most prestigious champion.

    Clash of Champions 2020 Rating: B+

    Match of the Night

    I'd say the main event was the most must-watch match of the evening, but if you're looking for a match that stole the show before Reigns and Uso did, I'd recommend catching the SmackDown Tag Team Championship match for free on the kickoff. You can tell that there's a bit of a chip on their shoulder at having been relegated to the kickoff, so both teams pull out all the stops in the limited time they're given. The best part? No Lucha House Party drama tonight.

    Photo from WWE
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    Item Reviewed: The Smark Henry Pay-Per-Review: Clash of Champions 2020 Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Romeo Moran
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