WWE Clash of Champions 2016 review: Grading every match

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TJ Perkins vs Brian Kendrick at Clash of Champions 2016
TJ Perkins vs Brian Kendrick at Clash of Champions 2016 /

Brian Kendrick vs TJ Perkins Cruiserweight Championship

The new Cruiserweight division had their first match on Raw this past week and put on a great display. At Clash of Champions, they got their first championship match on the bigger stage. TJ Perkins made his first title defense with former WWE star Brian Kendrick coming in to challenge him.

This wasn’t the match of the night by any means, but it was certainly good. It didn’t outdo the fourway match from Raw either. There was likely some nerves going into this one for the champion as it was his first time competing in front of such a large crowd. Kendrick already had that advantage coming into the event, having been on WWE programming in the past.

There were some great near finishes in this one, which had viewers wondering if Perkins was going to drop the title quick after becoming the first-ever champion. He ultimately prevailed and it was thanks to a submission finisher. A bit before that, Kendrick nearly locked in his own hold to make Perkins submit. That sort of back and forth action had the fans anticipating each potential finish.

The story here was the champion trying to give respect to his opponent before and after the match. Kendrick feigned accepting a handshake after the loss, only to headbutt down the champ. That will likely set up a future match between these two, and it could be even better than this first encounter.

Grade: B