Brian Campbell breaks down every match at WWE Clash of Champions -- the first Raw-exclusive pay-per-view since the WWE's brand split. Senior stats analyst Sean Coyle offers ratings for each match; criteria for ratings is based on storytelling, in-ring execution, match psychology, timing and innovation -- worth up to one point each for a maximum of five points..
This recap will be updated on a match-by-match basis.
(c) - Indicates defending champion
WWE Universal championship: Kevin Owens def. Seth Rollins by pinfall (25:07)
To read a full recap of the Universal championship match between Kevin Owens and Seth Rollins, click here.
WWE United States championship: Roman Reigns def. Rusev (c) by pinfall (17:07)
He may no longer be "the guy" in WWE, but Reigns, at the very least, added a new piece of hardware to his budding "Roman Empire".
After teasing a push into the Universal title picture on Raw in recent weeks, WWE sent Reigns back into his rivalry with Rusev on Sunday as the three-time WWE champion ended matters via pinfall to begin his first reign as United States champion.
In an often slow and deliberate match that took a long time to heat up, Reigns rallied late by breaking free of Rusev's Accolade submission to land his patented spear for the victory.
Reigns, who sold back and rib injuries throughout as Rusev attempted to wear him down for that late submission attempt, saw an earlier spear attempt interrupted when Rusev's wife Lana stood on the apron and distracted him -- allowing Rusev to roll Reigns up for a near three-count. Lana went one step too far moments later.
After Reigns avoided an Accolade attempt and landed a spear, his pinfall was interrupted when Lana grabbed the leg of the referee and pulled him out of the ring. Instead of Rusev being instantly disqualified, allowing him to retain the title, the referee's discretion led to Lana being banished from ringside.
The sudden lack of distraction fueled Reigns, who landed a drive by kick on the ring apron before a second on the announce table leading up to the match's finish and his fifth title reign since joining the WWE's main roster.
WWE Raw women's championship: Charlotte (c) def. Bayley and Sasha Banks by pinfall (on Bayley) (15:28)
It was wild and often out of control, with high-risk spots and constant near falls, but let's face it; this women's championship match was nearly everything you would want from a triple-threat title match between three top stars.
Charlotte, who was at her physical and nasty best as a heel champion, retained her title by pinfall after a pair of boots to the face against Bayley; that Bayley inadvertently knocked Banks out of the ring during the first kick should further intensify their budding rivalry.
Bayley's on-screen friendship with Banks has slowly dissolved in recent weeks, thanks to Banks' competitiveness, and it took another step back early in the match when the two pushed each other in the center of the ring after exchanging unpleasantries. From there, the match went in many different directions -- nearly all of them exciting.
Charlotte performed what would ultimately be a candidate for top move of the night when she laid Banks and Bayley next to each other on the canvas and landed a breathtaking moonsault from the top rope onto both of them.
Both attempts from "The Boss" to lock on her Banks Statement submission were stifled by distractions from Dana Brooke, who aided Charlotte from ringside without setting back their on-screen relationship at all, which had been hot and cold in recent weeks.
Bayley, who honored the late Dusty Rhodes by wearing a polka dot pattern on part of her ring attire, paid further tribute when she got a near-fall by rolling Charlotte up with an inside cradle just seconds before the match ended.
Chris Jericho def. Sami Zayn by pinfall (15:22)
As far as stay-busy feuds are concerned between top-end superstars, Jericho and Zayn produced a fun match to kick off their fledgling rivalry.
There wasn't much of anything at stake on Sunday, aside from Zayn seeking retribution for Jericho smashing him in the face with a cell phone two weeks ago on Raw -- and there didn't have to be. Both wrestlers let the focus remain solely on the in-ring action, contributing a series of near falls that consistently raised the intensity.
A visibly worn down Jericho kicked out of a series of big moves late, including Zayn's Blue Thunder bomb -- leading announcer Corey Graves to say, "It doesn't get any closer than that without the bell ringing."
Jericho stayed true to his character in the closing seconds by using the veteran tactic of playing possum and appearing hurt, only to catch Zayn with his patented Codebreaker to cap off a gutsy win.
Three times Jericho avoided Zayn's Helluva Kick by slipping away and overcame Zayn's typical mix of high-flying moves, including his tornado DDT after diving through the second rope outside the ring and a textbook Tope Con Hilo dive onto the floor.
All the while Jericho, who is doing some of the best work of his career at age 45, perfectly embodied the heel you love to hate, including constant trash talk when he had Zayn down on the canvas. There should be more to come here in the next few weeks.
For a seven-match series that played out predictably, lacking any semblance of buzz entering Sunday, Cesaro and Sheamus left everything they had in the ring in No. 7. And a little bit more outside of it.
In what was hands down the best match of their series, which began last month at SummerSlam, the two hard-nosed workers battled to a no contest after ringside doctors told the referee that both couldn't continue. The match ended with both wrestlers laid out on the floor after Cesaro clotheslined Sheamus over the ringside barrier and neither could get up quickly enough.
It was difficult to tell which injuries were real and which were part of the storyline after a match that featured a series of hard bumps, including a wild suicide dive from Cesaro that saw him inadvertently land on the side of his head on the floor outside the ring.
After the match, Cesaro held what appeared to be an injured left shoulder, pleading with the referee to continue and arguing that he'd fought with one arm in the past. He then rolled into the ring and motioned for Sheamus to come back as he was forcibly led backstage by doctors and referees.
It's uncertain where their rivalry goes from here after Cesaro rallied from a 3-0 deficit to force Sunday's match, but for a rivalry that never quite got over during the last four weeks, both wrestlers continued to prove how well they work together and how physical they're willing to get with each other
While Sunday's result failed to provide closure, at least it was unpredictable -- an element that's otherwise been lacking in this series
WWE cruiserweight championship: TJ Perkins (c) def. Brian Kendrick (10:31)
If Perkins' first cruiserweight title defense against Kendrick is any indication of what WWE fans can expect from the company's newest division, buckle up for what is to come.
Not only did Perkins and Kendrick combine to create the kind of innovative and high-flying moves the cruiserweights are known for, they told one heck of a story in the process.
Perkins overcame constant attacks on his neck from Kendrick to submit the veteran via knee bar -- but what followed after the match bodes well for the future of their rivalry and the kind of storytelling we can hope to see from the cruiserweights going forward.
Kendrick, who has done well to establish a true heel persona, beginning with his early matches in the Cruiserweight classic and continuing with his main roster return on Monday's episode of Raw. His in-ring style and actions carried that further along; Kendrick even pulled the ring apron over Perkins' head outside the ring before raining down blows.
He'd ultimately shake Perkins' hand and hug him after the match, and Perkins mouthed "thank you" into his ear. But as the two separated, Kendrick landed a vicious head butt to knock him down before walking away.
- WWE (@WWE) September 26, 2016
The crowd chanted for both equally throughout the match. Each got in their submissions in, as Kendrick used variations of a strait jacket submission to soften Perkins' neck. Multiple attempts at a Captain's Hook submission choke proved unsuccessful for Kendrick, as did his finishing move, Sliced Bread, after Perkins barely kicked out before the referee's three-count.
Perkins, who debuted a new 8-bit video game-inspired theme song in his main roster debut, put forth the wildest spot of the match as well when he landed a hurricanrana from the top rope that sent both spilling out onto the floor. He'd ultimately pick up the win too, but the fiery aftermath points to a continued clash in the future.
WWE Raw tag team championships: The New Day (c) def. Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson by pinfall (6:45)
In a physical and fast-paced match to open the Clash of Champions pay-per-view telecast, The New Day extended their tag team title reign to at least 400 days -- second-longest in WWE history (trailing only Demolition) -- by dipping back into their heel bag of tricks from 2015.
Xavier Woods, who sat out for The New Day, waited until the referee was distracted to make his presence felt after chaos broke out late in the match. With Karl Anderson hung up on the ropes, Woods used his infamous trombone, Francesca II, to nail Anderson to the side of the head and knock him out.
Anderson and Gallows had set a vicious tone off the opening bell, with Gallows taking out both Big E and Woods outside the ring while Anderson nearly secured an early pin on Kingston in the match's opening moments with a running Liger Bomb.
The Club continued their onslaught throughout, and further established their nastier feel of late with a series of power moves. Anderson nearly earned a three-count against Kofi following a spinebuster, before Gallows tagged in and did the same with a choke slam.
Ultimately, the turning point of the match came moments later when Kingston escaped Gallows and Anderson's finishing move, The Magic Killer, before action involving all four wrestlers spilled out onto the floor, leading to the finish that saw The Club fall short once again.