WWE London – Live: Is the UK Atmosphere The Best In The World?
By George Harvey
Recently, WWE returned to the O2 with a Live Event on November 6th. I attended this event with some friends of mine. Within five minutes I was hanging off the edge of my seat.
Firstly, WWE Hall of Famer, Ric Flair came out to the ring telling everybody about the superstars they’d see – making this the first time I’d ever seen the “Nature Boy” live. Secondly, the first match on the card was a Handicap Tables Match, pitting the New Day against the Dudley Boyz.
I never imagined I’d get to see the (legendary) Dudleys in their match speciality. Although the outcome was a slightly predictable, it was still thrilling to see Xavier Woods get 3-D’ed through a table. One lucky fan even got a special souvenir: Bubba Ray and D-Von invited him into the ring and gave him part of the broken table.
The next match was Cesaro vs The Miz. The action was exactly what you’d expect from two class athletes, but I also remember what happened before the match. Miz did his whole “when my hand goes up your mouth goes shut” routine and removed his sunglasses – looking like a butterfly on steroids as he waved for everyone to be quiet. Luckily, Cesaro got the better of him.
Sasha Banks vs the Bellas was next, although I can’t remember if it was Brie or Nikki she beat. What I do know is the guest time-keeper was British boxer, and Strictly Come Dancing contestant, Anthony Ogogo – who seemed to be a big DX fan.
Curtis Axel returned in the fourth match (without the Axelmania gimmick for obvious reasons). His opponent: Bo Dallas.
Dallas claimed he was about to start a new winning streak. But then got beat within minutes. He whinnied about it and demanded another opponent. Enter R-Truth, who thrashed Dallas in a dance-off and handed the “Inspirational One” his second loss of the evening.
The last match before half-time was Big Show vs Kane (no DQ). This was probably my favourite match of the night because it got extreme. Not only was there a steel chair and a kendo stick involved, but the ending saw Kane chockslam Big Show from the top rope, through a table! (Not bad for someone who supposedly had their soul “harvested”.)
After the break there was a Divas Championship Match between Charlotte and Paige. They obviously wanted to give the girl from England a big match so the London fans would be hyped up. But it was clear from the beginning that Paige wasn’t going to win, because: A) it would’ve ruined plans for Survivor Series; and B) when do titles ever change hands at Live Events? (Very rarely.)
Match number six was a new experience for me. I’ll make a shameful confession: I don’t watch NXT. So it was a unique opportunity to see NXT champion Finn Balor in action against Sheamus. Not only did he give “Mr. Money in the Bank” a run for his money, but he actually beat him. The match was so good it even got everyone chanting “This is Awesome!”
Another match that got this reaction was Dolph Ziggler vs Tyler Breeze. It was great to see these two finally lock up – and to see Tyler Breeze was more than just a pretty face. The two superstars were evenly matched throughout. But Tyler lost his focus after Summer Rae was ejected and quickly fell victim to the Zig Zag. (Show…Off!)
The last match of the evening was Dean Ambrose vs Kevin Owens for the Intercontinental Championship. This was the main event, but it was also the most predictable match. Again, when do titles ever change hands at Live Events? And when does Ownes ever not walk away from fight? As expected, he got himself intentionally disqualified and tried to leave. That’s when things really broke down.
Within minutes Owen and Ambrose were joined in the ring by the Dudleys, the New Day, Sheamus, Dolph Ziggler and Cesaro. A big fight ensued which lead to Owens being surrounded by all the faces (good guys). They each took turns hitting him with their finishers before raising their arms in victory. A fitting end to a brilliant night.
Overall, this Live Event was a lot better than the one I saw in 2009. And that’s saying something, considering the latter featured WWE Champion Triple H and the Undertaker beating Big Show in a Falls Count Anywhere Match. However, this time it wasn’t just the announcers talking and the wrestlers wrestling. There were advertisements for Connor’s Cure and 2K16, a referee over-selling Summer Rae’s ejection and even one fan who was thrown out by security for lunging at Kane.
One thing’s for sure. If a WWE Live Event comes to an arena near you it’s definitely worth checking out. Who says Raw and Smackdown have all the excitement?
Check more of George’s pieces at Georgeharvey2015.wordpress.com
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