Sunday night, Raw presented Clash of Champions, its first brand-exclusive event. Headlined by Kevin Owens vs. Seth Rollins and featuring five championship battles, it was a show that piqued the interest of fans, if only because it would have an impact on the future of WWE's most storied brand.
Which path would Roman Reigns find himself on in the wake of the show? Would Triple H appear? Was Owens vs. Rollins as awesome as everyone expected?
Twitter was abuzz for all of the top matches, stars and moments that unfolded in Indianapolis.
Women's Championship Match Breeds Polarity
Sunday night, Charlotte successfully defended her Women's Championship against Bayley and Sasha Banks in a Triple Threat match. The match itself was one that bred polarity among fans and analysts.
Some, like historian Kris Zellner and female competitors Becky Lynch and Natalya, applauded the match:
Others, such as David Bixenspan and Bleacher Report's Jonathan Snowden, were not. Rather than simply denouncing the notion that it was a good match, though, they provided insight:
B/R's Ryan Dilbert summed up the subjectivity of wrestling in a few short words:
Charlotte's pinfall over Bayley was not without controversy as Dana Brooke found herself at the center of the finish, insinuating that her story takes precedence over the women actually involved in Sunday's championship clash.
Wrestling Inc pointed out Brooke's similarities to a Superstar of years past:
Charlotte increased her undefeated streak to 12-0, an impressive run by any Superstar.
That Finish, Though
The main event of Clash of Champions saw Kevin Owens retain his WWE Universal Championship over Seth Rollins. The finish of the match, while catapulting the storyline forward, angered the Twitterverse and led to some very NSFW responses.
Repeat, some Tweets are NSFW:
WWE Creative Humor found a fun way to justify the referee, who had been bumped on a Popup Powerbomb escape from Rollins:
Owens, the winner, was unfazed by the screwiness of the decision, nor did he seem to care:
WWE has a long history of overbooked finishes. This was no different, though it was clunky and uncoordinated. There was no Triple H, and the involvement of Chris Jericho did little to inspire excitement in fans.
At some point, WWE Creative will have to evolve past the tired tropes of authority figures and their motivations and put the focus on the men doing battle between the ropes.
A Clunker of a Show
The 2016 Clash of Champions was greeted by less-than-enthusiastic responses by the keyboard warriors of Twitter.
B/R's MMA analyst and pro wrestling fan Steven Rondina assigned the show an unfavorable grade:
Dilbert criticized the overall poor nature of the night's finishes:
B/R's Eric Ball focused on what the show was missing, primarily the hottest act in professional wrestling:
A boring show that felt too much like a bloated episode of Monday Night Raw rather than an event deserving of pay-per-view status, Clash of Champions was a misstep from a brand on a hot streak following last week's broadcast.
Definitely not a suitable followup to SmackDown's Backlash presentation.