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Roundtable: Assessing Clash of Champions aftermath

(Photo courtesy of WWE.com)
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WWE’s decision to have New Day retain the titles was __________. 

Jason Hall: Questionable. Look, I enjoy New Day as much as anyone, but they really didn’t need to retain. New Day is clearly bigger than the division. Gallows and Anderson needed this victory to legitimize themselves as a top heel tag team. At some point New Day is going to have to drop the titles so why not now?

Travis Wakeman: Disappointing. For me, New Day has accomplished great things as a tag team, but it’s time for a new team to run with the titles. I just feel like creative doesn’t know what to do with the group if they’re not the champs just because being the champions is so much a part of their schtick. Also, I’m a huge old school fan of Demolition, my favorite team of all-time, so I don’t want to see their record title reign end. New Day has a pretty good chance to do it now. I felt this would be the night they lost them, but now it may not happen for some time.

Riley Kontek:  Not surprising, given the way that the WWE has buried Gallows and Anderson since their arrival to the WWE. The Japanese wrestling scene stars came to the company with all of the momentum in the world and had the fans firmly on their side. Being the lackeys of AJ Styles somewhat hurt them, given they took pinfalls when they competed together, but not badly. However, since feuding with New Day, they have been completely made to look of fools. They do cheesy segments, they never win the big one and they have lost fan support. You can’t put the titles on that.

Joseph Nardone: Fine. Their title run was at 399 days at the time. Maybe the company wanted a nice round number before having the trio lose the gold.

That being said, New Day has to lose the title at some point soon. Another tag team can use the more gold more than New Day. The unicorn loving group of friends are still so over that they can operate without being the champions.

It will be interesting to see — since the New Day cheated — if the people in charge of Raw make them defend it all over on Monday against The Club. I feel like that’s where this is headed, and that The New Day will then lose.That’s totally reckless speculation on my part.

Daniel DeMarco: The right one. I said it before, the titles have no place being on The Club at this point after how badly WWE has booked them the last two months. That said, we actually got to see a glimpse of how good The Club could be if they were just pushed as a traditional, dominant tag team. If someone had no context going into Clash of Champions, The Club looked pretty awesome. If WWE keeps that up and rids all the extra nonsense from before, The Club can reacquire that momentum from when they first debuted this year. For now though, New Day should have kept the titles. The titles are just fine on them for the foreseeable future.

 

Kevin Owens has required help to both win and retain the Universal Championship against Seth Rollins; is that a problem? 

JH: No. He’s a heel. What’s the difference? Plus, Rollins is getting over as a true sympathetic babyface without tweaking his character too much. It wasn’t a problem when he was doing the same as champion and it isn’t with Owens now.

TW: No, it’s quite typical of a heel. Look at all the great heel champions of all-time and you won’t find many (if any) that didn’t need an “assist” here and there. Owens is being built as the company’s top heel and the things the company is doing is helping solidify him as that. Weeks ago, I said that the alignment of Chris Jericho and Owens could go a long way and I feel that has worked wonders for both men. Keep doing what you’re doing with Owens, WWE.

RK: In a sense yes, because it says that every top heel the WWE has is one that has to be the sniveling, sneaky, can’t-do-it-themselves type. On the other hand, as Jim Ross would say, heels are supposed to win dirty; that’s why they are heels. Once in a while, I’d like to see Owens win his title without outside interference. It’s what legitimizes his reigns as champion. If this keeps happening, it will be a problem, though.

JN: Heels are supposed to cheat to win. It does two things: Makes them be bad in the first place, and keeps the babyface looking good in the process since he hasn’t lost clean.

The nitpick here would be about not “booking Kevin strong” or whatever, but heels have been cheating since the day wrestling has been born. We need to get over in the “how” the bad guys win, and just be happy that he is winning (if you’re an Owens fan, that is).

Plus, part of this specific Owens cheats run appears to be a play with Chris Jericho, which might lead to them feuding at some point, because it is unlikely the two will stay on the same page forever. Basically, hang in tight, and we will be rewarded with something at some point down the road. It nearly always works that way.

DD: It is a problem for fans of Kevin Owens, sure. Because it looks like Owens is just a filler champion in place to ultimately get Seth Rollins over as the next big champ. There was reason to worry about this given the fashion Owens won the title, and that worry persists with how messy the main event got. Obviously Owens is technically a heel, despite most of us fans adoring him, so there should be a cheap, cheating factor to his reign at least once in a while. But you don’t make it that convoluted. Especially this early on when you want to give Owens some credibility as champion. His first title defense should have been a cleaner win. I guess we will see the true extent of the problem in the near future with how WWE decides to take this, given we also now know Stephanie McMahon has been lying about her distance from Triple H.

 

What’s the biggest question you have going into Raw?

JH: What does Roman Reigns as U.S. Champion mean for his future? Is this a short-term way to make him look stronger by avoiding taking a pin or WWE giving up on him as the top guy?  Cena’s run is a completely different situation. He’s the top guy regardless of where he is on the card at this point in his career. With Reigns, it might be WWE waving the proverbial white flag.

TW: How will the conclusion of the Best of 7 series be handled? Is it just going to end like that? Are they going to have Cesaro and Sheamus have one more match? I half expect to see the two men show each other “mutual respect” and become a tag team. The “no contest” finish at Clash of Champions should leave a bitter taste in the mouths of fans, at least those who cared to see a finish. It will be interesting to see what direction it goes in next.

RK: Why did WWE take the US title of Rusev? I get it, the WWE continues to insist on giving Roman Reigns some relevance. I also get that they cannot have their two major heavyweight championships held by heels at all times. However, Rusev has been a fantastic heel champion and is far more interesting as the belt holder. Reigns has been given opportunity after opportunity. Perhaps the WWE sees him needing the John Cena pushback, but it’s just frustrating to see a guy who has a strong audience reaction like Rusev have to give up his title to a guy the audience could care less about.

JN: If the cruiserweights will get more than one segment or if the WWE will continue to barely use them.

I am imagining that the WWE will do a better job highlighting the division this week, but that’s not based off anything the company has shown over the course of the last week.

But, seriously, imagine if the division only gets one more segment (again) this week? It would be like dangling the promise of going on a date with {insert your super crush here}, but continuously pulling it away because the person doing the promising thinks you need more of the same stuff you hate each week.

DD: Where is WWE going with this whole soap opera of Triple and Stephanie McMahon picking Kevin Owens as the champion over Seth Rollins, and where is Mick Foley going to fit into this? Many probably did not see it, but a segment was aired off the PPV last night which showed us McMahon and Triple H were leaving the event together, thus, eliminating any illusions they have not been in contact. Unless something went over my head, McMahon knew about Triple H’s intentions all along, and has been lying to Rollins and Foley. Unfortunately, this means a lot more bad news than it does good. Because once again, we have to have a major storyline which centers around the Authority and how great and powerful they are, rather than the wrestlers. It seems to imply Owens is not going to be treated as a real champion, but a temporary placement until WWE thinks it is the right time to crown Rollins again. Foley comes out of this looking like a goof, unless he really starts taking charge from here on, now knowing he was lied to. And my question with regard to all that is: Can we be done with this kind of nonsense already? This Authority stuff was old months ago.

Roundtable: Assessing Clash of Champions aftermath

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