Commissioner McMahon and General Manager Bryan have been at loggerheads in recent weeks, largely over Shane’s treatment of the show’s rogue duo Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens. The tension had been building steadily but looks set to boil over sooner rather than later after McMahon inserted himself as special referee in the tag team match involving the pair at the upcoming Clash of Champions event.
Over on Raw this week, there was disappointment for The Shield as they looked to capture the tag team titles from The Bar. Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose could only manage a disqualification win against the champs, which left the titles on the incumbents. There was at least better luck for their team-mate Roman Reigns, as he successfully defended his Intercontinental title against Jason Jordan in a solid match – with Samoa Joe continuing to make an enemy out of both.
Brit Paige, riding high since her recent return, picked up a win over Sasha Banks before, along with her team mates from The Absolution, taking out Alicia Fox later in the night after Fox had been downed by the undefeated Asuka.
Competition for the United States title on Smackdown remains high as champ Baron Corbin continues to tangle with Dolph Ziggler and Bobby Roode ahead of the trio’s triple threat match at Clash of Champions next weekend. It’s similarly tight in the brand’s tag team division as Rusev and Aiden English earned themselves a spot in the title bout at the pay-per-view by virtue of a victory over The New Day.
An intriguing development on Raw also saw the ‘debut’ of the Woken Matt Hardy. Hardy memorably developed the popular ‘Broken’ character during his time with rival wrestling organisation Impact, and looks set to take things one step further in WWE after his rivalry with Bray Wyatt reached an all-new level of strange this week.