By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
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WWE Live Event
Uniondale, New York at Nassau Coliseum
Report by Dot Net Member Don Murphy
Before the show, they gave us a choice for a match to air on the big screen. Royal Rumble 1992, Royal Rumble 2010 or the women’s Royal Rumble 2018. The winner was Rumble 92. Rigged or not, I’m not sure what that says about the current product, when most of the audience wasn’t alive in 92 Must have been a lot of cool dads telling their kids, THIS is when it was fun.
The show opened with Miz TV. Miz informed us that he had just gotten off the phone with Shane McMahon and learned that AJ Styles “had the flu” and isn’t here tonight. In his place, John Cena will meet Daniel Bryan in a steel cage match main event for the WWE Championship. The Miz then started to interview himself, but was interrupted by Mustafa Ali. After some back and forth, this led to…
1. Mustafa Ali defeated The Miz via pinfall in 5:00. A fairly basic match. The crowd was into this being the opener. A decent round of cheers for Ali. Something to watch on TV. Miz kept referring to him simply as “Ali”, so they may shorten his name, even though the ring announcer announced his full name at the end.
2. R-Truth and Carmella defeated Andrade Almas and Zelina Vega in 8:00. Truth got the pin on Almas with a small package. The crowd was dead when Almas and Vega came out, which points to how poorly they’ve been booked. No disrespect to Truth and Carmella, but Almas and Vega continue to be wasted by doing meaningless jobs. Nevertheless, the match was fun for what it was and the crowd gave a nice pop for the dance break. After the match, Truth and Carmella brought some kids in the ring to dance.
3. Luke Gallows, Karl Anderson and Shelton Benjamin defeated The Colons and Aiden English in 5:00.This match answered the question: “Are these guys still with the company?” Gallows and Anderson hit the Magic Killer on one of the Colons for the win.
After the match, Sanity came out and challenged Gallows and Anderson to a match, which led to…
4. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson defeated “Sanity” Eric Young and Killian Dain in 4:00. Gallows and Anderson won with the Magic Killer on Dain for the win. It’s fine they’re doing something with Gallows and Anderson, but Sanity is another example of a wasted act.
5. Rey Mysterio defeated Randy Orton in about 4:00. Mysterio went over with the 619 and Frog Splash. I didn’t see the match as my kids needed refreshments. Elias was right…kids are annoying. I kid. I kid.
6. Sheamus and Cesaro defeated The Usos and “New Day” Kofi Kingston and Big E in 11:00 in a Triple Threat to retain the Smackdown Tag Titles. The best match on the show so far, even though the outcome was predictable.
7. Jeff Hardy defeated Samoa Joe via pinfall in 6:00. Jeff hit the Twist of Fate and a splash for the win. There’s definitely a “phoning it in” feel to this show.
8. Daniel Bryan defeated John Cena in a steel cage in 20:00 to retain the WWE Championship. This was great. Most of the audience are kids so Cena was very over while Bryan was hated. Bryan cut a great anti Long Island promo before the match. A lot of great near falls and cage escapes. Bryan low blowed Cena and hit him with the title to escape through the door. Following the match, Bryan went for another shot with the belt, but Cena ducked and hit an Attitude Adjustment to make the kids happy.
9. Naomi and Lana defeated Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville in 9:00. This was brutal and the crowd was dead. The IIconics served as special guest ring announcers. The finish came when Peyton Royce and Billy Kay were on the apron. Naomi shoved Deville into them, knocking all of them out of the ring, then hit the Rear View on Rose for the pin.
10. Rusev defeated Shinsuke Nakamura in 9:00 to retain the U.S. Championship. Rusev hit the Macha kick for the pin. A far cry from their match on Smackdown this past week. The crowd was dead for most of it.
11. Asuka defeated Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch to retain the Smackdown Women’s Championship in 13:00.
Notes: Byron Saxton was the host of the show and served as ring announcer. Not being on commentary doesn’t make him less of a dork. For the first time in my recent memory of coming to shows here, 75% of the upper bowl was tarped off.
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