By Jason Powell, Prowrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
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WWE Live Event
London, England at O2 Arena
Report by Dot Net reader Chris Treloar
Schools out for summer and the perfect excuse for me to take my eight year-old son to his first WWE live event. I certainly wasn’t in the minority with my thinking, as most attending were with children. We were four rows from the front and I took my son’s booster seat backpack to sit on – top tip there for any parents looking to buy a floor seat. Kids in the row in front of us couldn’t see a thing and resorted to playing games on a phone. I definitely recommend booking tiered seating if you’re taking kiddies.
The house show was a riot! I was at The O2 Arena for Smackdown earlier in the year and tonight’s event was so much more enjoyable. The three-plus hours flew by! I was slightly concerned my son might get bored, as he has done in the past with longer matches, but his beaming smile didn’t leave his face for longer than a heel entrance.
1. Bobby Roode defeated Jinder Mahal. Perfect entrance music to kick off a live show. I’m more than ready for a Roode heel turn when I see him on television, but my God I wish I could find someone that loves me as much as Roode loves his own music. And so he should! He mocked Jinder’s new meditation gimmick at the start of the match and eventually scored the win via a particularly Glorious DDT.
After the match, Mahal got on the mic and said he’d not come all this way to lose like that, so demanded someone came out from the back. The lights went out. Bray Wyatt answered his challenge. Even though he was advertised to appear I was still surprised to see Wyatt, and he was still in the Woken phase of his career. There wasn’t time to ring the bell, as in no time Bray Wyatt had hit Sister Abigail on the frightfully unlucky Maharaja.
2. Sasha Banks, Bayley, and Natalya defeated The Riott Squad. Bayley is so over. It’s so good that wrestling has progressed from fans choosing which of the divas was the prettiest to who is the most entertaining, and we really are spilt for choice! Also, Bayley’s theme music could just about be the best out there right now (don’t @ me). You could see from the start everyone was having fun, as Bayley had Banks on her back while Natty posed in front ala Shawn Michaels. Liv Morgan’s screams are something else. She really brought the place to life with her Harley Quinn-like mannerisms. The faces picked up the win via submission.
3. Cedric Alexander defeated Drew Gulak to retain the WWE Cruiserweight Title. I like that every champion defended their title. No title changes were expected but it made the matches that bit more special, along with the title belt graphic on the big screen. Poor Drew and Cedric – nobody stood for their entrances. I genuinely felt so bad for them, especially as they then put on a great match with several big spots. Cedric is a great champion and scored the clean pin. How times have changed where the high-flyers are now the toilet break matches while the women’s title is in the main event slot… (Rightly so, but only kinda because Ronda is SO green. More of that later.
3. The B Team defeated The Revival and Titus O’Neil and Apollo Crews in a Triple Threat to retain the Raw Tag Titles. In a change to the card, The Revival were included because Triple Threat tag matches are a flavor of the month. B Team really are over and work hard for the laughs. Curtis Axel has a touch of the Will Ferrell about him with his comedy timing. There was a nice bit where The Revival hugged to start the match then the B Team hugged for ages, then of course The Revival countered with their hug, and so it continued until Apollo and Titus shook hands and mentioned something about being Worldwide. Another funny moment was Dash Wilder trying to tag in the B Team as they’d each take it a turn to offer their hand before quickly moving it away. B Team picked up the clean win, much less of a fluke.
We watched something on the big screen with the lights out as Elias was snuck into the ring. He did his usual shtick then said he wouldn’t sing because recently every time he has, Bobby Lashley has interrupted. He started to leave as Bobby Lashley made his way to the ring with that big ol’ smile. He insisted the Elias sing and said everyone wanted to hear him sing the song he’d sung in the back, “Angels” by Robbie Williams. It’s a good song to sing at 1am on karaoke but none of the kids in the crowd knew it, my son included. I feel like I’ve done right by him. Anyway, Elias said he’d sing it as long as we and Bobby did too. Well, of course everything was going great until the chorus had finished and Elias attacked Lashley from behind. Elias said: “You think I need you to sing with me? I don’t need anybody, I’m the biggest musical act on the planet!” Lashley then blocked the next attack and set him up for the vertical suplex. I went to the toilet, popped by the merchandise stand, bought a hot dog, called the wife, and made it back in time for Elias hitting the canvas. Funny segment!
4. Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose defeated Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre. The heels were out first. I expected a stronger reaction for Drew being a Brit, but what kid cares about geography anyway? A big reaction for the two Shield members and great ringwork from the ever hard-working Rollins. He almost leapt to the roof of the O2 Arena when he received the hot tag. McIntrye gave me the biggest laugh of the night. He tagged in Ziggler, stood on the apron, and randomly shouted out “WRESTLING!”. Then the next time he tagged Ziggler in he gave a shout of “TAG-TEAM WRESTLING!” So random and yet it tickled me in every way. He’s really enjoying himself being back in the E. There was a frantic finish to end with Rolllins kicking out of the Zigzag to win with the Stomp.
Intermission. We bought an ice-cream without a spoon. After managing to eat half with a spoon we found the ice-cream seller and told him of our plight. He gave my son a new tub of ice-cream then proceeded to sell the half eaten tub. Win some, you lose some?! I felt it important I share that moment.
5. Finn Balor defeated Baron Corbin. We didn’t need the intermission and the match suffered for it, as it took the crowd a while to as the into the action. Finn was flying all over the place and won without hitting the Coupe de Grace – maybe he’s learning from the likes of Matt Hardy? After the match, Corbin attacked Balor and said they’d now have a No DQ match, bringing a chair in the ring with him.
6. Baron Corbin defeated Finn Balor. Balor blocked the first chair shot but couldn’t avoid the second. Or the third. Poor sod.
7. Ronda Rousey defeated Alexa Bliss to retain the Raw Women’s Championship. Alexa played up to the crowd in true heel style and was ducking under the ropes to evade Rousey. A short while later, Bliss faked an injury that took forever, to the point that you thought it may not be a work because Rousey is very messy, but then she attacked the champion from behind. She was on top for a while but it didn’t last long. Rousey won after a few ugly looking hip tosses and that armbar thing.
8. Roman Reigns defeated Braun Strowman via DQ in a WWE Universal Championship match. Reigns took ages to get to the ring, I believe in tribute to the wait we usually have for our London busses. Nice touch, Roman. That Strowman is a bloody big bloke, isn’t he? There was one Superman punch that made Reigns look like he was literally flying due to the height and hangtime he was able to produce. The big spot in the match was Reigns hitting a Samoan Drop on the Monster. That produced a two count, resulting in Reigns standing campily in the corner while questioning the official. The series of Superman Punches brought out Ziggler and McIntyre to attack Reigns, causing the DQ. There was no logic to the finish – why wouldn’t Strowman be angry at the two for costing him a title match?? I know, I know, but still… They roughed up Reigns until the good ol’ boys of Rollins and Ambrose ran down to make the save, eventually hitting the Shield-Bomb (should call it that) through the table on Drew McIntyre. “TABLE!” He loves it, bless him. The young crowd went home happy around 10.30pm, with barely anyone leaving early.
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