Clash of Champions 2020 was a professional wrestling pay-per-view and WWE Network event produced by WWE for their Raw and SmackDown brand divisions. It took place on September 27, 2020 at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida.

The event was originally scheduled to take place on September 20, 2020 in the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, but on March 9, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy banned all large public gatherings and live public events from March 16 onward. As such, the event was moved to Orlando's Amway Center and featured WWE's ThunderDome virtual fan viewing experience.

Production

Background

Clash of Champions is a recurring pay-per-view (PPV) event established by WWE in 2016. Like its predecessor Night of Champions, the concept of the show is that every WWE championship across the Raw and SmackDown brand divisions are defended—Raw's WWE Championship, SmackDown's Universal Championship, the Raw Women's Championship, the SmackDown Women's Championship, Raw's United States Championship, SmackDown's Intercontinental Championship, the Raw Tag Team Championship, the SmackDown Tag Team Championship, the Women's Tag Team Championship, and the 24/7 Championship. The 2019 event had also featured the 205 Live brand and its Cruiserweight Championship, but that brand and title were merged under the NXT umbrella in late 2019.

Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic

Clash of Champions was originally scheduled to be held at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey on September 20, 2020, but on March 9, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy banned all large public gatherings and live public events from March 16 onward. As a result of the pandemic, WWE had presented the majority of its programming from the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida since mid-March with no fans in attendance, although in late May, the promotion began using Performance Center trainees to serve as the live audience, which was further expanded to friends and family members of the wrestlers in mid-June. On August 17, WWE announced that all future shows and pay-per-views would be held at the Amway Center, a larger venue also located in Orlando, for the "foreseeable future", beginning with the August 21 episode of SmackDown. Furthermore, the shows now feature a new fan viewing experience called "ThunderDome", which utilizes drones, lasers, pyro, smoke, and projections. Approximately one thousand LED boards were installed in the Amway Center to allow fans to virtually attend the events for free and be seen on the rows and rows of LED boards. Arena audio is also mixed with that of the virtual fans so that chants from the fans can be heard. Clash of Champions was also pushed back from its original date of September 20 to September 27.

Storylines

The show included matches that resulted from scripted storylines, where wrestlers portrayed heroes, villains, or less distinguishable characters in scripted events that build tension and culminate in a wrestling match or series of matches. Results were predetermined by WWE's writers on the Raw and SmackDown brands, while storylines are produced on WWE's weekly television shows, Monday Night Raw and Friday Night SmackDown.

At SummerSlam, Drew McIntyre defeated Randy Orton to retain the WWE Championship. The following night on Raw, McIntyre bragged about defeating Orton with a 'wrestling move', however, he knew Orton wanted a rematch. As McIntyre made his exit, Orton attacked McIntyre and delivered two Punts to McIntyre in the gorilla position. Later, Orton was confronted by former NXT wrestler Keith Lee, who made his Raw debut. Lee, on behalf of McIntyre, challenged Orton to a match. The two faced each other that night, however, the match ended in a disqualification win for Orton after McIntyre attacked Orton. After the ensuing brawl, Orton delivered a third Punt to McIntyre taking him out. Lee then defeated Orton at Payback. The following night on Raw, three singles matches were set up with the winners of each facing each other in a triple threat match that night to determine the number one contender against McIntyre for the title at Clash of Champions. Orton, Lee, and Seth Rollins won their respective singles matches and in the ensuing triple threat match, Orton won to secure another shot at WWE Championship at Clash of Champions.

At Payback, Big E and Matt Riddle won their respective matches against Sheamus and King Corbin, while in the main event, Roman Reigns won the Universal Championship in a no holds barred triple threat match. On the following SmackDown, a fatal four-way match between Big E, Riddle, Corbin, and Sheamus was scheduled to determine the number one contender against Reigns for the Universal Championship at Clash of Champions. However, Big E was unable to compete due to Sheamus attacking him before the match. Big E was subsequently replaced by Jey Uso, who won the ensuing match to earn the title match at Clash of Champions.

On the September 11 episode of SmackDown, Nikki Cross defeated Alexa Bliss, Lacey Evans, and Tamina in a fatal four-way match to earn a SmackDown Women's Championship match against Bayley at Clash of Champions.

At Payback, Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler won the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship, while during the Kickoff pre-show, The Riott Squad (Ruby Riott and Liv Morgan) defeated The IIconics (Peyton Royce and Billie Kay). The following night on Raw, The Riott Squad faced The IIconics in a rematch with the added stipulation that the winning team would earn a shot at the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship while the losing team would disband. The Riott Squad won the match and the title opportunity, while The IIconics had to disband as a team. On the September 14 episode of Raw, it was announced that Jax and Baszler will defend the title against The Riott Squad at Clash of Champions.

On the September 11 episode of SmackDown, Lucha House Party's Kalisto and Gran Metalik (accompanied by their fellow team member Lince Dorado) defeated SmackDown Tag Team Champions Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura in a non-title match. The following week, Cesaro and Nakamura were scheduled to defend the title against Lucha House Party at Clash of Champions.

In May 2020, Sami Zayn was stripped of the Intercontinental Championship after refraining from competing during the COVID-19 pandemic. A tournament to determine a new champion was then won by AJ Styles on the June 12 episode of SmackDown. Jeff Hardy then defeated Styles to win the title on the August 21 episode; prior to the match, Styles attacked Hardy's leg which led to medical personnel placing a leg brace on Hardy's injured leg. The following week, Styles interrupted Hardy, feeling that Hardy had cheated in their match as Hardy kicked Styles with his leg that had the knee brace. As Hardy was leaving, however, Zayn returned with his own title belt, claiming that he was the true champion as he was never defeated, and attacked Hardy as Styles watched on and taunted Hardy afterwards. Over the next few weeks, all three would bicker and state their claim on who was the real champion. The rivalry eventually reached a boiling point on the September 18 episode when an enraged Hardy announced that he would defend the Intercontinental Championship against Styles and Zayn in a triple threat ladder match at Clash of Champions.

Match preview

Drew McIntyre vs. Randy Orton Preview
Roman Reigns v Jey Uso Preview
Bayley v Nikki Cross Preview
Asuka v Zelina Vega Preview
Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler v The Riott Squad Preview
Cesaro & Shinsuke Nakamura v Lucha House Party Preview
Jeff Hardy v AJ Styles v Sami Zayn Preview
The Street Profits v Andrade & Angel Garza Preview
Bobby Lashley v Apollo Crews Preview

Results

Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
(c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.

Other on-screen talent

Commentators
Pre-show Panel
Interviewers
Ring announcer
Referees

See also

DVD release

  • Amazon.jpg [ Clash of Champions 2020 on DVD]

External links

Clash of Champions 2020 previews

Drew McIntyre v Randy OrtonRoman Reigns v Jey UsoBayley v Nikki CrossAsuka v Zelina VegaNia Jax & Shayna Baszler v The Riott SquadCesaro & Shinsuke Nakamura v Lucha House PartyJeff Hardy v AJ Styles v Sami ZaynThe Street Profits v Andrade & Angel GarzaBobby Lashley v Apollo Crews

Clash of Champions
2016201720192020
2020 World Wrestling Entertainment pay-per-views

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