By Jason Powell, Prowrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
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WWE Live Event
London, England at SSE Arena
Report by Dot Net reader Chris Treloar (Y2 from the PencilNeckGeeks podcast (@pencilneckgeeks_ on Instagram)
I’m in trouble. I’ve set the bar too high and I don’t mean Sheamus and Cesaro. I took my son to only his second event and we sat three rows from the front, two seats from the aisle. Honestly, I couldn’t believe it when we landed these seats as they were bought only a month ago for £70 each, while our neighbours on the aisle paid £450 for theirs as part of the WWE Superfan deal. I didn’t have the heart to say how much we had paid for a very similar view, plus my son was able to get to the barrier with ease, high-fiving many of the superstars. I was expecting a more grown up audience this evening, it’s a school night dammit, but there were plenty of parents in attendance.
The original card only had a handful of matches that actually took place as you’re about to find out.
1. Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Jeff Hardy to retain the U.S. Championship. Great way to open the night, Hardy is so good with the fans. I was glad to see he didn’t take any big bumps as too often in the past he’d be death defying at a house show. A fun moment in the match was when each wrestler mimicked each other’s taunts, with Hardy dancing like Nakamura before doing the “C’MON” shout. Nakamura attempted a low blow, but Hardy dodged it and the U.S. Champion tried to pretend he was doing the ‘Delete’ gesture instead.
2. Trent Severn defeated Zac Gibson. Great heat as ever from Gibson. Baw Gawd UK wrestling is so hot right now. Hey, America, come see how good we look!
3. Naomi beat Mandy Rose (w/Sonya Deville) by DQ. Mandy Roes’s shorts are particularly short. So was the original match, as after a couple of minutes Sonya tripped Naomi for the DQ.
4. Naomi and Asuka defeated Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville. Asuka ran out to even up the match, then the ghost of Teddy Long made this a tag-team match playa.
5. Andrade Almas defeated Shelton Benjamin. Benjamin is a face now? He sure acted that way, but might’ve just stepped in last minute. Rey Mysterio was scheduled to appear and WWE tried to shift tickets with the prospect of seeing him, but he was not to be seen – nor Randy Orton. Andrade won with his finisher.
6. “The Bar” Sheamus and Cesaro defeated The Usos and New Day in a Triple Threat to retain the Smackdown Tag Titles. My favourite match of the night. No pancakes this time, but New Day are so funny, even the referee couldn’t keep a straight face! Big E was hilarious throughout as he and the rest of New Day would dance to theirs and everyone else’s theme music. The vision of him twerking on the ropes will haunt my dreams forever. Kofi resurrected the worm and Cesaro couldn’t hide his enjoyment, but eventually The Bar picked up the win when Cesaro caught Jimmy Uso with a roll-up as he was about to go to the outside.
7. Rusev and Lana defeated R-Truth and Carmela. There was no dancing but plenty of wrestling. Same shtick from Mixed Match Challenge, with Rusev this time not doing the splits. He caught R-Truth in a roll-up when Truth was too busy dancing.
8. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson defeated “Sanity” Alexander Wolfe and Killian Dain (w/Eric Young). No Nikki Cross, but it’s always good to see Eric Young, who was being a pest at ringside.
9. Becky Lynch defeated Charlotte to retain the Smackdown Women’s Championship. Charlotte was great with the fans, but this was not a very memorable match.
10. AJ Styles defeated Samoa Joe and Daniel Bryan in a Triple Threat match to retain the WWE Championship. An entertaining match with the champ hitting all his signature moves including the Phenomenal Forearm on Joe to seal the victory. At the end of the match, Styles paid tribute to Bryan and Joe, saying how both their careers started in London.
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