WWE Clash of Champions 2017 Review and Repercussions - Triple Threat POV | Smark Out Moment

WWE Clash of Champions 2017 Review and Repercussions - Triple Threat POV

Posted by Robert DeFelice Thursday, December 21, 2017
Welcome to another edition of Triple Threat from Smark Out Moment, where three of us get together to discuss three questions based on one big topic going down in the week of professional wrestling.

This week, Andy Sahadeo, Callum Wiggins, and Wes Keefer will be giving their thoughts on the fallout from WWE Clash of Champions 2017!

Team Blue ended the 2017 pay-per-view calendar on a very bland note, with enough perplexing happenings to make you scratch your head so hard that you leave marks. Let’s discuss…

Question 1: Dolph Ziggler Seems to have left WWE just two nights after capturing the United States Championship. Do you think this is a work? If not, where do we see him next?

SAHADEO: It has to be a work. Why would WWE queue up footage of his past wins only for him to just walk out at the end of his promo? It also lines up with his character who continuously feels disrespected by the system. I don’t think this is the end for him. In fact, I think this is setting up for something bigger.

Either Dolph comes back and elevates the title into WrestleMania season, or he vacates it and challenges AJ Styles at the Royal Rumble for the WWE Championship. Everybody seems to be so confused as to what actually happened on SmackDown, but think about it. For the first time in a long time, we’re all actually talking about Dolph Ziggler again. Dolph Ziggler has all eyes on him and WWE should be bold enough to capitalize on this and throw him in the main event scene. Either way, all of Dolph’s storylines at this point seem to be a last-ditch effort to keep him under contract. Can you blame them?

WIGGINS: Christmas would come early for me if Dolph Ziggler has actually walked out on WWE, but I'm not putting a great deal of faith in that actually being the case. As much as I rag on the creative team's lack of long-term planning, I doubt they would be short-sighted enough to give the United States Championship to Ziggler right before he quits. This just screams of another desperate attempt to change up his character and get him over, without really changing anything at the same time.

The promo before his departure was the same whining about how Ziggler is the best in the ring (which hasn't been true for years) and that he constantly goes unappreciated. It's been the same story for years now, whether he's a babyface or a heel. So, if nothing else, I hope this is an opportunity for him to disappear for a while, come back with a character that's actually different, and see how it goes from there. And at least that would free up the United States Championship to be held by a more compelling superstar right now (i.e. Bobby Roode)

KEEFER: It definitely was an unexpected turn of events. Ziggler’s promo was one of his best, even if he may end with him leaving WWE in the dust. I think this is not the end though. The truth is that Dolph could have actually relinquished the title just days after winning it. Hear me out on this as it is a little far-fetched, but WWE has already surprised us once.

Ziggler is instead looking toward the WWE Championship. He has felt betrayed and overlooked by WWE for continuing to refuse to push him properly. Sure he won the US title, but for him, it is still a loss. World Championship or bust for this amigo. He has turned heel and wants the proper treatment he deserves. My colleagues believe this is the end of Ziggler in WWE, but it is just the start of something big.

Question 2: It appears they’re going full steam with a Shane McMahon/Daniel Bryan feud. Are you excited for this or do you think Bryan deserves better?

WIGGINS: I can't say I'm too eager to see more general manager drama on SmackDown Live. I'd rather, you know, enjoy stories involving the actual wrestlers on the show. However, at least this is more intriguing and more difficult to predict than Raw's past GM turmoil.

In my eyes, if WWE has intended to make Shane McMahon the babyface in this feud, they've done a terrible job. He comes across as bitter, vengeful, aggressive - he's stacking the deck against Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn, much like his father and sister have done in the past. Meanwhile, Daniel Bryan, without explicitly siding with Owens and Zayn has tried to remain impartial, recognizing their undoubted star value for SmackDown Live.

Above all else, I hope this feud launches Owens and Zayn to the main event, and I think if they continue in this vein, they'll have no choice to turn them babyface in the process. Are they arrogant? Yes. Are they self-righteous? Yes. But in this scenario, they're the underdog indie guys, fighting to save their jobs. Hard to not get behind that.

KEEFER: If Daniel Bryan was cleared to compete, it would be different. Instead, we get two authority figures who will butt heads and trade verbal insults and try to overrule the other’s power. It is still a draw though. Bryan has taken the spotlight over the last few weeks with his sudden increase of air time. This feud is still surrounding Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens, which will take away from the initial rivalry of McMahon and Bryan. Nonetheless, it will be interesting to watch and there will be tons of undermining.

SAHADEO: If this ultimately culminates with Daniel Bryan returning to the ring, then it would be worth it. Not everyone noticed but both Shinsuke Nakamura and Randy Orton, two bonafide athletes, were essentially treated as pawns and afterthoughts at Clash of Champions due to the whole General Manager drama.

That’s the problem with GM feuds is that it makes the actual competitors look meaningless. If they truly want to make this feud something special, let Daniel Bryan wrestle Shane McMahon at WrestleMania. The other problem that poses is the health risk. With Bryan now a new father, it worries me to no end that if he gets back into the ring and hurts himself, what would his wife and daughter do? Sometimes family should take precedent, but Bryan has been overly eager to return to the ring, so it begs to be seen where his career goes next.

Question 3: Who should challenge AJ Styles at Royal Rumble for the WWE Championship?

KEEFER: The issue lies with the fact that there are limited people who are worthy of a title shot right now. SmackDown has some star power, but they are preoccupied. Roode is roped up in the US title picture. Zayn and Owens are mixed in with Bryan vs McMahon, although either of them would be a fine choice. Randy Orton is currently looking for a path and could be a predictable option. Running down the roster, only Shinsuke Nakamura makes sense.

Whoever does challenge Styles is most likely going to suffer a loss and can anyone on SmackDown really suffer a big loss at the moment?

SAHADEO: After watching Talking Smack, I was confused by this question myself. Who can we have to challenge Styles for the WWE Title? Styles said Jinder is done in the WWE Title picture and rightfully so (6 months of Jinder is enough), but who else on SmackDown is worthy?

I personally feel like Sami Zayn should be next in line. Kevin Owens obviously is more protected by WWE than Sami Zayn is so Zayn would be perfect as a holdover feud for Styles until he begins his WrestleMania program against Shinsuke Nakamura. WWE won’t pull the trigger with Zayn as they would with Owens, which makes Zayn the perfect candidate.

If Owens were to challenge for the title, that would split fans down the middle in regards to who they want to win the title, forcing WWE to put the title on Owens which would probably be very lackluster with little build. Styles just needs a Rumble feud to hold him over and Sami Zayn is the only Superstar (besides Owens) who can hang with Styles and still look good while taking a loss.

WIGGINS: There's no easy or clear answer to this, but there are several compelling options for AJ Styles at Royal Rumble. I think we can safely rule out Jinder Mahal getting a rematch, and Shinsuke Nakamura is waiting until WrestleMania. In the meantime, one of Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn (or potentially both) would be the most logical fit - they are main eventers, supposedly heels and would put on great matches with the Phenomenal One.

Randy Orton is another alternative, as we've barely scratched the surface of what they can do in a singles match. Rusev has dropped down the pecking order somewhat, but he is undoubtedly one of the most over people on SmackDown right now. And they could always "pull a Jinder" and thrust a lower-card guy into the main event immediately, like Mojo Rawley or Tye Dillinger.

My personal preference, even though there is next to no chance of this happening, is choosing one of the New Day members. They only need two members to pursue the tag team championships. After making such a huge impact in that division and selling so much merchandise, one of the trio (likely Kofi Kingston or Big E) would make a worthy and intriguing challenger for the WWE Championship.

Those are our thoughts on the issue, but where do you stand?
Let us know your answers to these questions in the comments below!

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THIS POST WRITTEN BY: ROBERT DEFELICE

Robert DeFelice is a journalist and marketing student. You can follow him on Twitter, Instagram as well as his apparel website Time Killer Apparel and his pro wrestling blog PandemoniuMania.

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