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WWE Live Event
Report by Dot Net reader Adam Malin
This was just my second WWE show in 10 years. I attended the NXT show at the Gold Coast last December and there were some clear cut differences between the brands.
Firstly, this show on Saturday night featured just the talents on Raw with some big absences…No Seth Rollins, of course no Brock Lesnar, and unforgivably no John Cena…..there is no excuse good enough in my eyes that Cena to the best of my knowledge didn’t attend any of the Australian shows….he and WWE let the Australian fans down!
This particular show was in stark contrast to the NXT show in December. WWE would love to have this crowd week in and week out in America as it was a respectful crowd with energy who for the most part cheered the baby faces and booed the heels with one exception which I will get to later. This was very much a family orientated crowd. The NXT crowd last December was full of what I would call smart fans and annoyingly the crowd was almost a character in itself with so many in the crowd consistently trying the whole night to get themselves over…more NXT comparisons later.
Kurt Angle received almost the ovation of the night when he came out to announce the battle royal
1. Jason Jordan won a battle royal to determine who would challenge for Miz’s Intercontinental Title later in the night. Elias, Dean Ambrose, Jason Jordon, R Truth, Golddust, The Miztourage, and Apollo Crews were the participants. This match was poor with mostly low card participants with the exception of Dean Ambrose and to a lesser extent Elias.. Goldust received a nice pop. The Miztourage were entertaining heels. This crowd didn’t really know Jordan so they were rather shocked when he won this battle royal after eliminating Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas. Ambrose was the most over…..for large parts of this match the talents literally just stood in the corners noticeably doing nothing….maximize your minutes guys!!
2. Neville beat Enzo Amore and Akira Tozawa in a Triple Threat to retain the WWE Cruiserweight Championship. A pleasing step up from the lackluster battle royal with these three putting on a good match. Enzo received one of the loudest pops of the night. He is absolutely over on the mic. It’s just a shame he can’t really wrestle, which was very clear in this match as he spent most of this match outside the ring. Akira was good, but Neville is clearly the star and it showed with him pinning Akira to retain his title.
3. Matt Hardy and Jeff Hardy beat Sheamus and Cesaro. The Hardy Boy may have received the loudest cheers of the night. As much as it pains me to say as I like The Hardy, they just weren’t very good in the ring. When the match starts with Cesaro putting Matt in a fairly long chin lock, you know something is wrong.. Matt is a touch too slow and his timing was off with several sequences. I felt sorry for Jeff as it looks like he can still go. For their part, Sheamus and Cessaro were great and played the heals perfectly. The Hardys won this one with a very rough looking Swanton Bomb by Jeff, who landed pretty much on his head!
4. Finn Balor beat Bray Wyatt. Bray’s entrance was a sight to see live with the arena lit up with cell phones. Good intensity by these two with Balor winning with his finisher the Coup De Grace. This match was a step up in class with what had come before it. Seeing him live, I am just not convinced that Finn Balor is a top top guy….he is good without being great.
5. Alexa Bliss beat Nia Jax, Mickie James, Sasha Banks, and Emma in a five-way to retain the Raw Women’s Championship. All of these women with the exception of Jax received very good responses, especially the hometown girl Emma. Jax was featured prominently throughout this match with cameos from the other four women. Bliss spent a lot of time outside the ring. Being that Emma is from Australia, she was featured nicely as well, although she took the pinfall from Bliss. This was a really entertaining match, but Sasha was clearly just going through the motions. Mickie James performed with good energy and was noticeably good in the ring.
6. Jason Jordan defeated The Miz by DQ in an Intercontinental Title match. Hugely entertaining match due to The Miz being close to the best heel on Raw these days and he was his usual excellent self on the mic while getting the crowd all over him. Lots of interference from The Miztourage. For his part, Jordan was fairly good and he had managed to get a lot more of the crowd behind him then in the earlier battle royal. Miz retained his title with a fairly clean win in the end after The Miztourage got ejected. The Miz is a star and should be higher up on the card then he is on WWE television.
7. Dean Ambrose, Jason Jordan, and R-Truth beat The Miz, Bo Dallas, and Curtis Axel. This match was totally forgettable with Ambrose pinning Axel. Ambrose should have been in a high profile singles match as the crowd loved him….total waste of a major star here.
8. Roman Reigns defeated Braun Strowman in street fight. Reigns was absolutely booed mercilessly by the vast majority of the crowd during his entrance and the first five minutes, but I would say he had won a large part of the crowd over by the end. Strowman is huge in person! He surprisingly didn’t receive much of a response apart from the boos a heel would normally get. Strowman was very engaged, talking trash to the crowd throughout this match, which I haven’t seen to this degree from him before. It worked, as the crowd booed him more and more as the match went on. These are the only two guys who went above and beyond with the use of the steel steps and tables. There were some really good false finishes both ways, but it was not surprising that Reigns pinned Strowman after a spear through the table.
Random Thoughts: Overall it was an entertaining show, but thoroughly predictable for a fan who is invested in the product. I would have liked to have seen matches where it wasn’t so obvious who would win. I was surprised that there was hardly any talking on the mic from any of the talent aside from The Miz. I know it’s a house show on the other side of the world, but apart from Reigns and Strowman I said to my friend it felt to me the talents were giving us about 70 percent of what they are capable of. I will close by saying that although this was an enjoyable show, the NXT show was far better and across the board better (apart from the annoying crowd). NXT was a show that felt like everyone had a point to prove where as this WWE show felt like a lot of the talent was just going through the motions and giving just enough to please the masses. I don’t want just enough.