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WWE Live Event
Report by Dot Net reader Michael L. Hottle
Kayla Braxton was the host for the evening and Greg Hamilton was the ring announcer. Prior to starting the event, they presented a social media poll to the audience asking you to use the appropriate hashtag to vote for the following: Which match would you like to see in its entirety before tonight’s event? Bret vs Owen WM 10 – 15% Eddie vs Angle WM20 – 50% Bryan vs HHH WM30 – 35%.
Daniel Bryan opened the show appearing (pre-taped) on the small video wall asking if the crowd was ready to have a good time. Greg Hamilton announced the first contest. All times are approximate.
1. Heath Slater, Rhyno, Mojo Rawley beat. Breezango and Curt Hawkins in 7:12. There was a smattering of “He’s got kids.” chants for Slater chants prior to the bell. Lots of chant for Rhyno as the match built to his hot tag. Rhyno nailed the Gore for the win.
2. The Miz (w/Maryse) beat Kalisto in 10:18. The Miz arrived to great heel heat from the crowd. It later intensified when he began chastising the crowd by mockingly saying, “You’re from Fairfax, we’re from Hollywood, that means we’re better than you!” Miz began his, “Because I’m the Miz and I’m…” and was interrupted by Kalisto’s entrance. After the bell rang The Miz spent the majority of the time demanding Kalisto return to his corner b/c the audience demanded to hear his catch phrase. He probably killed five minutes doing that. There were a lot of lucha chants generated by Kalisto. The Miz had great heat throughout.
3. Apollo Crews over Dolph Ziggler in 7:28. Dolph jumped Crews during his entrance. You could hear a few kids shout out in support of Crews here and there throughout the match. Dolph had no reaction other than one time the fans chanted, “Get the chair! Get the chair!” He retrieved one from ringside then dropped it to gain heat. That was about the only booing he got all night. Later, he did retrieve the chair, the ref took it from him, and Crews scored the pin during the distraction. This was match very flat in terms of reaction for either person.
4. American Alpha beat The Usos in 8:56 to retain the Smackdown Tag Titles. There was little to no reaction for AA when they came out. The crowd didn’t seem to know who they were despite them being the tag champs. You’d think they’d never seen them before. There was an uprising every now and then in support of the Usos. The match was the typical heels working over Gable, cutting off the ring, Gable teasing tags to Jordan. Eventually, Jordan took the hot tag. The teams work back and forth teasing a few false finishes. Jordan scored the pin after the Steiner Brothers bulldog finisher off the top. The crowd acknowledged their victory but was still kind of flat. I hate to see this for them.
5. Bray Wyatt beat Luke Harpe in 12:26 to retain the WWE Championship. Of course everyone (expect me) did the phone light gimmick during Bray’s entrance. When Hamilton attempted to hand the lantern to ringside he teased multiple times that it was very hot seemingly burning his hand. There was surprisingly good support for Harper throughout the match. Often lots of “Harper! Harper!” chants when he was down. They wrestled a good television style/level match that was stiff for a house show which saw Harper get launched into the steel steps that Bray had erected vertically in the entrance way. Great back and forth match. Bray scored the pin following a Sister Abigail. You’d think he’d be so distraught he couldn’t bring himself to do that move anymore. I digress.
Intermission. WWE is coming to Washington, D.C. for RAW on July 24. Presale code: FAIRFAX
6. Alexa Bliss beat Becky Lynch, Tamina, Natalya, Mickie James,. Carmella (w/Ellsworth) to retain the Smackdown Women’s Championship in 6:14. James and Tamina worked as babyfaces. Lynch came out to a decent pop but not one that ever topped the big pops for the men. The match quickly became the lackluster four persons down, two in the ring, switch out battle. When Tamina was in the ring I heard someone say, “I don’t even know who this girl is.” The match was very quick. Seemed everyone got in their two, 30 second showcases in-ring and then they went home for the finish. Bliss scored the pin (Carmella?). The finish came abruptly. No real heat on her winning or at all.
7. Dean Ambrose beat Baron Corbin by DQ 16:16 in an Intercontinental Title match. Corbin used a chair for the DQ. Corbin destroyed Dean for the first half of the match playing to the crowd for heel heat. He’d throw the crowd a look and they’d boo the hell of out him. They teased multiple pinfalls ultimately building to the heat-garnering chair shots for the DQ. This too was a good television style/level match.
8. Randy Orton defeated AJ Styles in roughly 20:00. Orton was over huge despite his recent arson. AJ drew major mixed reactions at first. AJ worked the crowd getting in people’s faces for heat. One time he flicked a guy off at ringside that had been heckling him. When the crowd hated AJ, they really hated him. There were dueling AJ Styles/RKO chants. Near the end, AJ throws up too sweet sign and a lot of people started clapping. Later, a deep AJ Styles chant broke out against a high pitched Randy Orton chant. Orton scored the pin following AJ’s attempt at the flying forearm. AJ leapt to the ropes and kind of froze there perched like a frog as Orton grabbed the head and threw his legs out to the center of the ring. It looked like a Diamond Cutter more than the flashy RKO we’re used to (see photos). I surmised they’re building (practicing) for the day when we’ll see that great flying forearm jump into an amazing RKO. Orton hit all posts posing and celebrating. AJ disappeared without fanfare.
Top Face Pops: Orton, Ambrose, AJ, Becky. Good support for Luke Harper, Rhyno, and Kalisto.
Most Heel Heat: Corbin, AJ, Miz.
The crowd seemed to be very family oriented; lots of kids. The arena was almost 3/5 full; capacity says 10k. Overall, a good show. Match rankings: IC title, Orton vs. AJ, WWE Title, Tag Title, Miz vs. Kalisto, Women’s, Opener, Dolph/Crews.