WWE Clash of Champions: AJ Styles wins, Owens and Zayn keep their jobs

By Wade Sheridan  |  Dec. 18, 2017 at 7:44 AM
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Dec. 18 (UPI) -- Every Smackdown Live title was on the line Sunday at WWE's latest pay-per-view event, Clash of Champions.

WWE Champion AJ Styles defended his title against Jinder Mahal in the main event, a rematch between the two rivals after The Phenomenal One defeated The Modern Day Maharaja for the gold in November.

Mahal, desperate to get his championship back, took the fight to his opponent and slammed Styles on top of a barricade and onto an announce table in an effort to injure his ribs.

Styles, who was visibly hurt, was still able to deliver an impressive 450 Splash onto Mahal later in the match before The Singh Brothers interfered and tried to pulled Mahal out of harm's way.

Styles would dispatch of the henchmen outside the ring before he was nailed with the Khallas by Mahal for a close two count. Mahal, looking to embarrass his rival with is own move, then attempted to deliver a Styles Clash before the champion reversed it into his Calf Crusher submission maneuver.

Mahal, who attempted to reach the ropes to break the hold, eventually tapped out to the Calf Crusher, leaving Styles the WWE Champion.

Also at Clash of Champions, best friends Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn fought to keep their careers against Randy Orton and Shinsuke Nakamura in a Tag Team Match with special guest referee, commissioner Shane McMahon.

General manager Daniel Bryan made himself the second guest referee for the match on Tuesday as he wanted the bout to be called fairly due to McMahon wanting Owens and Zayn fired.

Bryan and McMahon, despite always being friendly with each other backstage, clashed throughout the match as they decided how to properly officiate the action inside the ring.

After Owens would take Nakamura out of the equation with a Frog Splash onto a table, Orton would deliver an RKO to Zayn that surely would have resulted in a three count victory. As McMahon counted to three, Owens pushed Bryan into his boss to break up and the count which led to an argument between the two.

Zayn and Orton then went at each other with a series of pinning attempts that ended with Zayn about to win the match before McMahon refused to count to three, a moment that displayed his true intentions to not call the match fairly which angered Bryan.

Bryan, in retaliation, then delivered a fast three count the next time Zayn pinned Orton in order to give the best friends the victory and the chance to stay employed by the WWE.

Other moments from Clash of Champions included Mojo Rawley defeating Zack Ryder in the Kickoff Match; Dolph Ziggler defeating Baron Corbin and Bobby Roode in a Triple Threat Match to become the new United States Champion; The Usos defeating The New Day, Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin and Rusev and Aiden English in a Fatal 4-Way Match to retain their Smackdown Tag Team Championships; The Bludgeon Brothers defeating Breezango; and Charlotte Flair defeating Natalya in a Lumberjack Match to retain her Smackdown Women's Championship.

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