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[2020-09-27-WWE-Clash of Champions] Roman Reigns vs Jey Uso

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Roman Reigns defends the WWE Universal Title

This was everything it needed to be.

One of the greatest main event matches they've done as a total package. 

Everything was executed perfectly. The entrances. The looks. The intensity. Roman being shirtless. The violence. The brutality. The amazing nearfalls. The commentary team. Everything made for an amazing match to solidify Roman Reigns as THE TRIBAL CHIEF OF THE WORLD WRESTLING FEDERATION.

A thousand stars out of five.

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The video package highlighting this feud before the entrances was really great. Got me pretty pumped for the match. Sadly the match itself was really damn yawn-inducing. 20-something minutes of Reigns talking trash in cringe fashion -- at first I thought it felt natural, but by the end with all the "CALL ME DA TRIBAL CHIEF" stuff, geeeeez. He dominated pretty much all of the match too, and his actual work doing that wasn't any interesting either. Just very generic & forgettable. Certainly not a match of my liking. There were a few positives though, such as I did like Reigns jawing Lil Naitch, and that one comeback bit by Jey was pretty nice w/ that Superkick & that finish splash of his. *1/2

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Man, this might just be the most divisive match of the year. Some people are going to see this as a storytelling classic and others are going to see it as soap opera bullshit. I think it all depends on your opinion of trash talking in matches. I'm a fan as I think that it's an easy way to add character and it's a good distraction from the reality that all these matches are happening in a soulless empty arena. Reign's work when he's battering Uso might not be some of his most interesting, but he looked like a megastar and his facial expressions and mannerisms are top notch. Uso put in a solid effort as an outmatched babyface who's able to score a few hope spots. The drama with Jimmy Uso being conflicted about throwing in the towel had me hooked, and Reign's final assault was brutal and effective. A great way to establish Reigns as a top heel champion. 

★★★¾

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Heel Roman ditching the vest and going full thirst trap feels like it should've been a thing for at least a few years now. This is actually my first time seeing any WWE since Wrestlemania, let alone Roman working heel. He's a natural at it and I think we all knew that because, you know, it's not difficult to notice and never really has been. The whole thing they've got going on with the fans on big computer screens around ringside certainly makes for a better atmosphere, and this kind of deserved to be worked in front of some form of a crowd rather than an empty arena to dead silence (best part about the empty arenas was the shit-talking and crowd noise sure didn't seem to hinder them in that respect). Your big dumb melodramatic WWE main events will never really be my thing but I thought this was a strong enough take on that particular thing. Roman pretty much ruled, as even when he's doing stuff I'd typically roll my eyes at he's a decent enough actor - graded on the pro-wrestler curve - for it to be okay. I really loved him big dogging (pun PROBABLY intended) Charles Robinson and threatening to have him put in the bin if he interrupts this very personal family beatdown on his cousin one more time. "Tell me I'm the tribal chief. Tell me I'm the head of the table." All of his little touches were on point as usual, like how he'd sell surprise at being caught with a stinger of a hook, how he'd rejig his jaw throughout the match, how he'd sell his lower back after hitting that standing legdrop thing just to delay a second before making the pin, and all of his facial expressions convey the emotions he's trying to (I assume) without being hammy about it. The sinister laugh after the low blow kickout was a wee bit hokey I suppose, but the spot itself was really cool. Also loved how insecure he became as the match went on. It was structured with him obviously working the majority of it from above, and if there were any moments where it looked like Jey might cause an upset it was through short bursts of big offence. So he dominated and looked every bit the chief he wanted us to know he was. But after all this time, after being given the keys to the kingdom, even after beating cancer and coming back like he'd never been away, there had to have been a very real sense of fuck you to everybody who booed him every night for the last six years. The curtain's been drawn back now and everybody knows the script, so WWE's woeful booking is the sort of thing Daniel Bryan or Sami Zayn fans would fling their shit at. With Roman, when he was booked worse than just about any babyface ever, *he* took all that shit and nowhere near as many people made the same excuses for him. Now he gets to fling it all back and to hell with everybody else, but deep down that rejection maybe still eats at him. Is he really The Man? He sure needed to hear it from somebody and it was Jey Uso's shitty luck that it needed to be him on the night. The Big Dog, the Tribal Chief, the Head of the Table. That dude is the business. 

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The match was built really well. I know this because I heard about it without watching it, that’s usually a good sign. I dug them taking their promos and heritage into the match as well. I loved how Jey Uso was basically mamed for the most part, only getting limited time to really shine and get some offence in. That hierarchy play is perfectly in tune with the Tribal talk. Roman’s swagger and dominance was very compelling. Jey was very sympathetic and every hope spot led me wanting more and more. BUT like most WWE matches, they trip over their own feet with some small but irritating things. It went too long. This could’ve done with some tightening up. Perhaps it was a matter of Roman dragging it out for respect reasons but you can cut it down and get the same story but better. I have to mention the talking. I get it and it kinda works in the feud but this is something that sounds better on paper than in reality. It was kinda embarrassing and way too cute at times. Roman himself looked awkward because it seems like he didn’t know where to look while he was doing his “I’m the Tribal Leader”. The finish again made sense but I don’t really care for the melodramatic finish with Jimmy coming down and throwing in the towel. These things just gnaw at me and gave me a rather cold feeling towards the match despite all of the good. But I do want to see more of this so job done I guess. ***1/4

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I know some adore this match for it's storytelling, but it didn't land for me. The work was fine but there was way too much melodrama with the talking dialogue instead of being subtle in execuiting the same story to gain same effect. Show me and tell less. 

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