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World Wrestling Entertainment have embarked on their annual WrestleMania Revenge tour in May instead of its traditional April slot and of course, I attended the live event at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle. I always love house shows as appose to TV tapings. The matches last longer and there are less promos as well plus I reckon the wrestlers do more interaction with the fans during live events too. Here’s a rundown of what happened on that day.
“Nev is mint!”
Prior to the event, me and a few mates went “hotel hunting”. We had people all over Newcastle at various hotels with mobile phones at the ready should someone make an appearance. Rumours began circulating that they were still in Glasgow. After a quick check on Twitter, that seemed to be the case. Zeb Coulter broke the news that we were all dreading. They WERE still in Glasgow. Bollocks! After that, we moved to plan B, meet them at the arena. You’ve gotta have hope, right? Well we turned up at the back of the arena and waited…….and waited…….and waited. Then I heard someone shout “LITTLE NATCH”. I looked up and here he came walking towards us, Charles Robinson. Awesome! I guess he was there to set up the ring since most refs are also a part of the production team. Charles was about to go out for a jog but he had a lot of time for us signing autographs and posing for photos. I asked him if he got this a lot to which he replied “only from the hardcore guys” as he winked. Cool guy. I bet all the refs are like that.
We waited for more guys to turn up but no one did. We decided to go for some food. Ten minutes after we left, a mate got a call. “We’re coming” he replied as he hung up. He looked at us and said “Adrian Neville is there”. We legged it back to the arena and there was the man gravity forgot. At this point around 30 people were there and he signed autographs & posted for photos with every one of those people. Such an awesome guy. I guess he returned to Newcastle straight after the Glasgow show and stopped over at this mam’s house. I remember seeing him at an indy show in Newcastle during his “Pac” days and to see him now competing in the WWE is such an sweet thing for him. I’m pleased for the guy, even if he is a Geordie! Not long after that, the coach arrived and we got to see all the stars. No one came to the gate to sign, only Brad Maddox and Justin Roberts. I guess everyone else had to go other their matches so it’s understandable. Huge pops for Roman Reigns, Bad News Barrett, Rob Van Dam and Paige.
The arena was about 90% full with a mixture of families and hardcore fans. There was a mother with her son sitting next to me who was telling me that it was her son’s first show. That’s awesome, I told her that he will have a whale of a time. Also he was a proper MILF too! Justin Roberts came out and announced that due to an injury Daniel Bryan won’t be able to appear and you’ll be able to visit the box office for a refund within the next 20 minutes. Randy Orton came out and cut a promo about how he was hoping to cash in his rematch clause and win back the WWE World Heavyweight Championship but instead, he wanted to face ‘the leader of the Shield’ Roman Reigns right now. Never knew the Shield had a leader. Oh well, the more you know huh. Reigns came out (huge pop), and both he and Orton had a match which went less than 30 seconds before Curtis Axel and Ryback interfered, which also led to Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose coming out to even the odds. Brad Maddox halted proceedings, announced that Ambrose & Rollins would face Axel and Ryback, that Orton and Reigns would face each other in a ‘Newcastle street fight’, and that the tag match would start right now. Big cheers for that announcement. Don’t believe anyone went for that refund.
Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins defeated RybAxel via pinfall
Rating: *** ½
A very good match which went on for 15 minutes or so. I love Dean Ambrose’s energy. It’s off the charts! I always preferred him as a heel but he works well as a face also. The Newcastle crowd were all over Ryback, continually mocking him with “Goldberg” chants or as some guys within my section were chanting “Let’s go Roid-Rage”, whatever were they suggesting? Remember when he was touted as the next big star? Those days seem so long ago! Both teams got equal time on the attack with Ambrose doing a superb job of playing the face in peril. Everyone talks about the direction Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns will take once the Shield breaks up but no one mentions Seth Rollins and that’s a shame because Rollins is an amazing talent. Rollins even works really hard on the house shows, and Ambrose did some hella cool Terry Funk bump spots. Rollins and Ambrose did their double spot resulting in the night’s only “This Is Awesome” chant. Great stuff.
Rusev /w/ Lana defeated Sin Cara via submission
Before the match, Lana cut a promo talking about how Rusev was proud to represent Russia and they dedicated this match to President Vladimir Putin. Is it just me or does anyone else find it funny how Rusev’s titon tron has random pictures of Putin? The camp factor is totally ironic. Tepid reaction for both guys. Nothing more than an extended squash although Cara did get some offence in before it was time for the CRUSH~! Lana got a few wolf whistles which was expected and that arse man! Ha ha, a few guys in my section were chanting “Rocky 4” which is a fun poke at the shades of Dolph Lundgren and Sharon Stone’s characters from said movie. I think Lana’s character is excellent. I don’t think she’s going to be one of those managers who helps their clients cheat to win. I look forward to seeing more of her development. That arse though 😀 Speaking about arses, Layla is up next!
WWE Divas Champion, Paige & The Funkadactyls (Cameron & Naomi) defeated Tamina Snuka, Layla and Rosa Mendes via pinfall
Paige got a great reception as expect. Again, like Adrian Neville, I remember seeing her on the indy circuit a few years ago and here she is in the WWE as the Divas Champion. Amazing. I love how Layla is with Fandango now. I actually feared for her future but the former Johnny Curtis has proved her a lifeline plus with her background as a dancer makes sense for the partnership. Rosa Mendes is, in my eyes, a much underrated performer. Wasn’t she supposed to form some sort of partnership with Alberto Del Rio? Hope something comes her way. Not exactly sterling stuff, but not a total shambles either. No-one really stood out. After the match, The Funkadactyls tried to get Paige to dance with them , which she did for two seconds. Mark my words guys, in 10 years time, Paige is going to be mentioned in the same breath as Trish Stratus and Lita as the greatest Diva of all time. Special talent.
NXT Champion Adrian Neville defeated Bo Dallas via pinfall
Rating: *** ½
Bo Dallas’ character is bound to be an absolute hit. The BOlieve slogan will get its own t-shirt BOlieve me (see what I did there?). His entrance music sounds like Lex Luger’s Narcissist theme which absolutely suits the character. Adrian got a massive reaction mainly because he’s the hometown boy. Dallas worked a basic match, working over Neville 75% of the time. Neville did an insane top rope quebrada onto Dallas that almost missed, but Neville popped right back up. Bo pointed out Adrian’s mam in the crowd which lead to a “Neville’s Mar” chant. She looked well chuffed about it! The Red Arrow is a thing of beauty. Neville hugged his family after the match.
Steel Cage Match
Big Show defeated Kane via escape the cage.
I suppose seeing the Steel Cage in all of its glory is an impressive site but the match was pretty boring. The first time Kane and Big Show fought one another was at King of the Ring 1999. That makes me feel very old! Show took a choke slam from the top rope which he probably shouldn’t have to take anymore. Kane tried to chokeslam the two referees but Brad Maddox put a stop to it but received a chokeslam from the big red machine instead.
A interval followed this match. Never left my seat if I’m honest but I did hear that both Daniel Bryan T-shirts had sold out. I’ll get one in London.
Our next contest is a “fans choice match” between Mark Henry and Fandango. The choices were a normal match or a dance off. Gee, I wonder which one it will be. The results are in and it’s a dance off! What a surprise!
Mark Henry defeated Fandango /w/ Layla
Nothing more than a comedy segment. Pretty odd watching Mark Henry dance to “Billie Jean”. Vince McMahon sure as hell has a fetish for dancing fat guys, huh? He even had a sparkly glove on too as he strutted his stuff. Fandango attacked him but Mark put him away with the World’s Strongest Slam. He brought a young girl into the ring to dance with him.
WWE Intercontinental Championship
WWE Intercontinental Champion Bad News Barrett defended the title against Jack Swagger /w/ Zeb Coulter, Rob Van Dam & Big E in a fatal four way match
Rating: *** ½
Zeb Coulter cut an awesome promo before the match ripping into England and Newcastle. “You guys can’t even beat Sunderland”, well said Zeb! Seriously, he’s quickly becoming one of my favourite guys on the mic right now! Barrett delivered his usual dose of “bad news” telling his opponents that he doesn’t lose in England! Van Dam hit a legdrop off the railing onto Swagger. Van Dam, Swagger and Big E were involved in a powerbomb/superplex spot that always gets a good reaction. A cool, easy spot that you hardly ever see was when Big E sunset flipped Swagger, but Van Dam slingshot Big E’s head into Swagger’s crotch. Ouch! Decent match, probably not up to PPV levels though.
Randy Orton vs. Roman Reigns
About 15-20 minutes, Orton carried it most of the way to the second best match behind the tag opener. You could really see the cut on Reigns’ face from the Glasgow show. Orton used the kendo stick half-a-dozen times to ooohs, and sporadic table chants. The table came out eventually, which Reigns set in the corner. Reigns hit the apron dropkick, the superman punch, and went for the spear but Orton threw him into the table instead. RybAxel interfered again, and Rollins and Ambrose came out once more. Rollins hit a high cross taking out Axel and Ryback, but got RKOed for his troubles. Reigns hit the superman punch once more, and hit the spear for the win. Afterward, all members of the Shield celebrated in the ring as the show came to an end. If I was you guys, I will pencil Roman Reigns in the WrestleMania 31 main event right now. It’s bound to happen!
Best match: Randy Orton vs. Roman Reigns
Worst match: Big Show vs. Kane
Highlight of the night: The reception Adrian Neville received. It’s going to be a matter of time before he’s brought up to the main roster.
Top 5 stars
1. Roman Reigns
2. Adrian Neville
3. Dean Ambrose
4. Bad News Barrett
Overall show rating (out of 10): 6
Lack of major star power hurt the show but it was enjoyable. I think the crowd was disappointed about Daniel Bryan not being on the show (he was falsely advertised the last time) but WWE made up for it with the various match stipulations and the British talents.