Wrestling Recap: Clash of Champions: Gold Rush Results

Well, I’m glad I went to all that trouble to actually praise the WWE for managing to get all of their main roster belts on a pay-per-view for a change only for them to pull two matches at the very last minute; to be fair, I wasn’t especially hyped to see Bayley fight Nikki Cross again or to see Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax defend the WWE Women’s Championships but, still, it’s just another example of why the WWE should really be working a reduced schedule or not putting on live events every week and month with Coronavirus still very much a real thing. Seriously, just air classic matches and have a few interview segments week by week, maybe a few new matches here and there under controlled conditions, rather than putting everyone at risk week in and week out!

SmackDown Tag Team Championships: Shinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro (c) vs. The Lucha House Party

My prediction: The Lucha House Party by pin fall, new champions crowned
Actual winners: Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura by pin fall, championships retained

So I was expecting the recent tension between the members of the Lucha House Party to actually pay off here and result in a win; how often have we seen guys falling out or turning heel only to end up losing again and again regardless? I’ve never understood the point of doing a character turn if it doesn’t result in some kind of tangible success. Anyway, we didn’t really get that; instead, it was just a standard tag team match where Kalisto (who has been upsetting his team mates by claiming himself their leader) took the fall after Cesaro swung him into a Kinshasa. I guess we might still the Lucha’s fall apart in the coming weeks but I feel like it dilutes the story somewhat for them to patiently wait rather than pull the trigger when emotions are high.

Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match: Jeff Hardy (c) vs. Sami Zayn (c) vs. AJ Styles

My prediction: Sami Zayn by seizing the belt, new champion crowned
Actual winner: Sami Zayn by seizing the belt, new champion crowned

As expected, this was the show stealer of the night…which makes it all the more baffling that the WWE would shuffle the card to put this match on first as it sets an unrealistic tone for the rest of the night, in my opinion. I mean, you want the audience to be pumped up but surely this would have been better placed somewhere in the middle to liven things up right than hoping people stay hyped for a few hours after watching this spectacular contest.

Sami Zayn ended up absolutely battered from this match but Jeff Hardy really needs to stop and take a look in the mirror as he’s still recklessly throwing himself off ladders and putting himself at risk. I don’t know if the bookers are pushing him to do this, to be the “old” Jeff Hardy, or if he’s consciously deciding to do it to stay relevant or whatever but, as amazing as it is to se him hit a Swanton Bomb off a ladder and through a table, he really needs to slow it down and adjust his style at his age. Thankfully, my prediction paid off and Sami regained the title (after cleverly handcuffing himself to AJ Styles to keep him from winning) so I’m hoping this lets Jeff take a bit of a step back and think about grounding his style and allows Sami to have a bit more of the spotlight for a change.

Raw Women’s Championship: Asuka (c) vs. Zelina Vega

My prediction: Asuka by submission, championship retained
Actual winner: Asuka by submission, championship retained

I mean…were you seriously expecting any other kind of outcome? At less than ten minutes, Zelina Vega never had a realistic chance in this match; sure, she spent a bit of time in control or whatever, but once Asuka tied her up in the Asuka Lock that was all she wrote. What a waste of time; this should have just been a face vs. face rematch between Asuka and Mickie James. At least that would have made narrative sense and given them some time to build Zelina up into something resembling a credible challenger.

United States Championship: Bobby Lashley (c) vs. Apollo Crews

My prediction: Bobby Lashley by submission, championship retained
Actual winner: Bobby Lashley by submission, championship retained

Similar to the previous match, this was a contest that barely went ten minutes and ended in a result you could see coming a mile away; Retribution didn’t even make an appearance, compounding the matter, and I think I’m just done with seeing Apollo Crews fail over and over against the various members of the Hurt Business. Given that the Hurt Business are supposed to be targeting Retribution, it’s probably best for everyone to just part ways and move on (which would have made much more sense if MVP and Shelton Benjamin or Cedric Alexander had challenged and defeated the Street Profits for the Raw Tag Team Championships but what the hell do I know?)

Raw Tag Team Championships: The Street Profits (c) vs. Andrade and Angel Garza

My prediction: The Street Profits by pin fall, championships retained
Actual winners: The Street Profits by pin fall, championships retained

Speaking of which, and of feuds that apparently can’t ever end, this match immediately followed and, once again, resulted in a bullshit, out of nowhere finish where the referee counted to three despite the fact that Andrade clearly kicked out. No doubt this will either be used to justify a rematch tonight on Raw and/or to tie into Andrade and Angel Garza falling out (again). But, as I said, this really should have been a victory for the Hurt Business so that MVP’s little crew could have some meaningful gold for their feud with Retribution.

SmackDown Women’s Championship: Bayley (c) vs. Nikki Cross Asuka

My prediction: Bayley by no contest/disqualification, championship retained
Actual winner: Bayley by disqualification, championship retained

So, because Nikki Cross wasn’t medically cleared, her match got scrubbed from the card but that didn’t mean that Bayley was absent from the show. She popped out to cut a pretty standard heel Bayley promo and issue and open challenge to any woman in the back so, naturally, Asuka answered the call to arms. Not Naomi or Alexa Bliss or Sasha Banks or any other woman. Asuka. Fantastic. Still, it was all academic as Bayley used a chair to get herself disqualified and then got attacked and chased away by Sasha. So…why wasn’t it Sasha who just came out and attacked her for a regular pull-apart brawl rather than a match?

WWE Championship Ambulance Match: Drew McIntyre (c) vs. Randy Orton

My prediction: Drew McIntyre, championship retained
Actual winner: Drew McIntyre, championship retained

I’m not really a big fan of ambulance matches or “get the guy in something” style matches as it becomes more about the thing the guys have to be locked into than the match, if that makes sense, and kind of destroys the suspension of disbelief.

One thing I liked about this match, though, was that all of Randy Orton’s victims (The Big Show, Christian, Shawn Michaels, and Ric Flair) all showed up to exact a measure of revenge against him for putting them on the shelf with the Punt, which was pretty exciting. In the end, Drew McIntyre definitively took Orton out with not just a Claymore but a Punt of his own so that’s surely got to be it for these guys now, yes? The only question is, since Otis grabbed the damn Money in the Bank briefcase instead of Aleister Black, who is there to challenge McIntyre going forward?

Universal Championship: Roman Reigns (c) vs. Jey Uso

My prediction: Roman Reigns by pin fall, championship retained
Actual winner: Roman Reigns by stoppage, championship retained

Finally, years after the Shield broke up, Roman Reigns shook up his attire tonight by losing that damn vest. By all means, wear it to the ring, but he needs to take that damn thing off and show his physique to the world, especially now that he’s being pushed as the “Tribal Chief” (which…seems a little uncomfortable to me).

Surprisingly, this wasn’t a simple squash match for Reigns, which I slightly disagree with. I think the overall, long term story of Reigns being this ass-kicking bad-ass is far more compelling and much more of a priority than pushing Jey Uso’s never-say-die attitude. Jey even looked like he might steal the win one a couple of occasions, which just pissed Reigns off so much that he beat the absolute piss out of his cousin, desperate to make him acknowledge him as the Tribal Chief. In the end, Jimmy Uso threw in the towel on his brother’s behalf and Reigns stood tall as the dominating victor. I am kind of assuming we’ll see both Usos go after Reigns following this match, which I’m equally not interested in seeing but, again, who else is there to challenge Reigns?

What did you think of Clash of Champions: Gold Rush? How many of your predictions came true? Who do you think will step up to challenge McIntyre and Reigns? Do you think the WWE needs to start scaling back their live television and putting their employees at risk? Whatever you think, feel free to drop a comment below.

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