The second showdown of Clash of Champions came in hot on the heels of the ladder match between Sami Zayn, AJ Styles, and Jeff Hardy (with Sami being victorious in winning the two Intercontinental Championship titles). While everyone was recovering from seeing Jeff Hardy being handcuffed to a ladder by HIS EAR, it was hard to imagine how the following title match of the night would hope to follow. Seriously. HIS EAR TO A LADDER. With HANDCUFFS. While the audience recovered from watching AJ Styles nearly pierce Sami Zayn through the heart with his ladder-spear, R-Truth (dressed as an old man) lost his 24/7 championship title to Drew Gulag in a back-stage beatdown in a if-you-blink-you'll-miss-it moment. The next official match in the WWE ThunderDome inside Orlando's Amway Center was between Zelina Vega and defending champ Asuka. Having earned her spot against Asuka by defeating Mickie James earlier in the week, Vega stood alone having ditched her sidekicks Angel Garza and Andrade and her role as their manager.
Interested in furthering her own wrestling career rather than someone else's, Vega managed to land the first hit on Asuka but the first attempted pin of the match went to the defending champ. The two women went blow for blow in the first few minutes of the fight, obviously feeling one another out and testing the waters in terms of strengths and weaknesses in their opponents. Asuka did keep control early on with commentators mentioning Asuka's last of respect for Vega, especially considering that the champ believes her rival has cut corners in her WWE wrestling career.
The women moved to the top turnbuckle where Vega finally managed to shift some momentum in her favor if only a small moment in the match. Asuka countered the barrage by knocking Vega out of the ring. Vega was ready and answered in kind by attacking Asuka's injured arm, flinging her into the stairs and then throwing her back into the ring. Asuka did seem to shake off any issues her arm may have caused, but Vega's targeting of the injured limb was relentless. Looking for any opening in an attack, Vega took complete advantage of Asuka's overconfidence and did manage to put the champ into a pin and a quickly followed armbar.
Vega's aerial attacks did manage to get her back into contention for the title against Asuka, especially with Asuka looking more sloppy as the match went on. Vega's bombardment of attacks did seem to effectively neutralize Asuka, especially with her endless bombardment against the champ's injured left arm. Asuka's raw power threw Vega out of an attempted pin and managed to get the challenger to tap out, with Asuka retaining the title. In her post-fight interview, Asuka astutely called Vega a fire-cracker who albeit dangerous, was not ready to ultimately face her. Even with cheap shots fired at Asuka after the match, Vega left in the area holding her shoulder with a new injury and new enemy in perhaps the most talented wrestler in the WWE's entire roster. Although she did manage to pop off some good hits, in the end, Asuka was able to do what she does best and win by submission.