In 2016, WWE renamed their Night of Champions PPV event Clash of Champions, seemingly an homage to the classic WCW TBS specials known as "Clash of the Champions." Night of Champions was held every year from 2007 until 2015. The newer Clash of Champions event started out as a Raw branded event in 2016, flipped to SmackDown in 2017, they didn't hold the show in 2018, and the first dual-branded show was last year.
With WWE holding their fourth Clash of Champions event this year, on Sunday night, we thought this was a good opportunity to go back and look at the best-of-the-best when it comes to the matches that have been part of the event so far. In doing so, we are also including the Night of Champions shows from pre-2016 since they are essentially part of the same lineage.
Then, if you're getting nostalgic, take a look at my list from last week where I ranked the best WCW Clash of the Champions matches of all time.
With that being said, here in chronological order are the six best matches in WWE Clash of Champions/Night of Champions history.
John Cena vs. CM Punk - Night of Champions 2012
Punk defended the WWE Heavyweight Championship against Cena over a year after their feud set the wrestling world on fire during the summer of 2011. This match is unique in that it ends in a double pinfall after Cena hit Punk with a bridging German Suplex off the top rope. After Cena was initially declared the winner, a second referee calls it a double pinfall (draw) with Punk retaining. Almost every single Punk/Cena match is excellent, and this is no different.prevnext
Randy Orton vs. Chris Jericho - Night of Champions 2014
A memorable finish in this one saw Orton hit an RKO on Jericho as he flew through the air from the top rope (pictured above). This followed Orton kicking out of a Codebreaker. A well-worked match by two veterans in a match that didn't have a whole lot of hype going in but delivered from bell to bell.prevnext
Sheamus vs. Cesaro - Night of Champions 2014
The future multi-time WWE Tag Team Champions duked it out here in a singles bout for the WWE United States Championship. Cesaro was really starting to get over with the crowd during this period with the Cesaro Section signs, and Sheamus was a great opponent for him. This was a stiff match, with a lot of great back and forth blows, and it was considered the show-stealing match of Night of Champions 2014, which was altogether a very good event.prevnext
John Cena vs. Seth Rollins - Night of Champions 2015
At Night of Champions 2015, Seth Rollins was forced to wrestle twice, in succession, to close out the event. Rollins had been crowned both the WWE Champion and U.S. Champion in a match against John Cena (Winner Take All) at SummerSlam the prior month.
At Night of Champions, he first defended the U.S. belt against Cena. After that, he defended the WWE Championship against Sting. The Sting match turned into a bit of a disaster, with Sting injuring his neck during the match (it was also his very last match). However, the Cena match was very good. Not quite as good as the bout they had at SummerSlam, but definitely worth a rewatch.prevnext
Cesaro vs. Sheamus - Clash of Champions 2016
Yep, these two make the list against, which is a testament to their great chemistry in the ring together. Cesaro and Sheamus started a Best of Seven series at SummerSlam the prior month, and Sheamus jumped out to a 3-0 series lead. However, Cesaro clawed his way back to forth a seventh and deciding match at the first edition of Clash of Champions. Another stiffly worked match, it ends following a clothesline over the ringside barrier with neither man able to continue.prevnext
The Usos vs. Aiden English & Rusev vs. Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin vs. The New Day - Clash of Champions 2017
We go back three years ago for the final match on our list. This was different from a traditional fatal four-way match in that one member of each team was forced to remain in the ring at all times. The Usos' heel run during 2017 was fantastic, really livening up their characters in a way that they were never able to do when they were wearing neon paint and playing babyfaces. This is an excellent match that was one of many that year that helped to cement their legacy as one of the great WWE tag teams of all time.prev