WWE Live – Cardiff (5/11/2017) Review

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As with WWE shows, this one is much more family friendly, so don’t expect any risque content, but expect a second opinion in some sense as I was given a second ticket to see this show, and hell must have frozen over because I actually got someone to go with me! YAY! I have friends! HONEST, I DO! It was someone I met in the job I mentioned I’m taking a leave of absence from to focus on my studies. Turns out he’s a massive wrestling fan and I asked if he was free this Sunday to go with me, and he says he was! SWEET!

So this show, much like all WWE shows that take place in Cardiff, was held at the Motorpoint Arena. We actually got pretty good seats to see all the action, so thank you, Wicid!

*Make sure to check my ICW Fear & Loathing Cardiff (5/11/2017) Review to see how the first half of this day went*

Finn Balor defeated Samoa Joe

This was a pretty cool opening match, with the crowd more in favour of the leader of the Balor Club. Finn was his usual chiselled self, using bits of hard strikes with his high-risk, high-impact offence, while Joe was more of the brawler and heavy hitter, with bits of agile manoeuvres for a man of his build. In the end of this match up, Balor was able to get the pinfall victory after hitting the Coup De Grace. After the match he got on the mic to say he had been wrestling for around 15 years, and every time he goes back to Cardiff, whether in WWE or outside of it, they always get louder and more welcoming. He was so glad to be there for everyone, and say that they are all members of The Balor Club. He did his grand exit, similar to his entrance, where people mimicked his signature pose during the climactic moments of his theme music.

Both me and my friend commented on how insanely lean Balor is, and it still annoys me to this day how someone can have abs like he does. Seriously, the man much have been created from granite or some type of perfectly crafted material. But I’m not jealous, nope, not one bit…

Goldust, Heath Slater, Rhyno & Jason Jordan defeat Elias, Karl Anderson, Luke Gallows & Bo Dallas

We got a short commercial for the new WWE 2K18 video game where everything bar the titantron was pitch black. So naturally, when the ring lights came back on, the villainous Elias and his associates, The Club (Anderson and Gallows) and Bo Dallas were with him. With a guitar in hand, he got the crowd to happily thing the first part of Wonderwall, but quickly changed his tone when he said he would sing an altered version of the next verse by himself, putting everyone in a sour mood. As he tried to sing this more, the heroes all entered separately to the delight of everyone.

This was your standard tag team encounter which say the villains have moments of dirty shenanigans while the heroes fought back with everything they could. Me and my mate reminisced over the days of the past with Goldust and Rhyno being in WWE back round a decade ago, and them still being in WWE to this day. Also for how Goldust moves and competes the way he does despite being 48 years old. Seriously, the man moves around like he is still in his early to mid 30s. Its quite extraordinary. In the end, it was Kurt Angle’s baby boy JJ who got the win for his team after suplexing his competing and hitting a back drop/neckbreaker type manoeuvre for the pinfall victory.

Asuka defeated Mickie James

Another NXT Takeover match up saw the veteran Mickie James trying to defeated the undefeated streak of The Empress of Tomorrow, Asuka. This was as hard-hitting as you would expect, especially when it involved Asuka. Both me and my mate were happy to see Mickie James, he remembered seeing her back in 2006 when she first debuted in WWE and her whole iconic feud with WWE Hall of Famer Trish Stratus, and said she moves and looks the same as she did back then

Asuka was more playful in her offence to start, but slowly got more fierce when Mickie had a change in attitude when sneak attacking Asuka towards the middle of the match. Mickie was still able to show her much moved Mickie James gusto to the delight of someone who has adored her work since she first appeared in WWE (aka me). But in the end, Mickie James tapped out to the Asuka Lock for the undefeated Empress to carry on her reign of dominance.

Braun Strowman defeated Kane by disqualification

This match was quite a big one, literally as it featured the Big Red Machine, and the behemoth of a monster in Braun, who looks insanely massive. If you thought he was just on TV, he is even more intimidating live. The match didn’t actually last long as it seemed somewhat even, until Kane brought in a steel chair and attacked Braun, attacking Braun with it. He also set up a table (something ICW didn’t have, huh, there’s something), which he was unsuccessful in using. In fact, Braun used it against him as he slammed the Big Red Machine through it, leaving destruction in his wake, and everything incredibly happy to see someone slammed through a table.

WWE United Kingdom Championship

Pete Dunne retained against Mark Andrews

This was one of my favourite matches of the night. Mainly because I have watched both pete Dunne and Mark Andrews for a few years before they appeared for WWE, and seeing both compete in bingo halls and much smaller venues, which they still do now in all fairness. But seeing them come from that, it competing in a capacity building of around 7,500 people is so surreal. I can’t imagine how they much feel about it. Especially Mark since Cardiff is his hometown. Despite this, I only heard a small few sections of ‘Mandrews’ chants, not enough love for the hometown boy. At least it was generic ‘WALES!’ chants. Still, Pete didn’t get much love, so I guess it’s a matter of the two just not being showcased enough on WWE programming. But that can be said for the whole UK Division in all honesty. Hopefully that UK show pans out, whether it’s with ITV like some rumours are to be believed, or if it’s solely on the WWE Network, or even somewhere else.

The match itself between these two was as much as you’d expect between a Mark Andrews/Pete Dunne match, brilliant. Granted, it wasn’t they best outing, but not bad by any means. Maybe they didn’t want to out perform the rest of the matches on the card so they had to tone down the chemistry somewhat, because if you know Mark & Pete, YOU KNOW they make magic whenever they are in the ring. And they HAVE chemistry. They created a wrestling company together (Attack! Pro Wrestling). They have a CLOTHING BRAND together (Defend Indy Wrestling). Still, Pete was more tactical with picking apart mark by hurting his limbs and joints, along with brutal strikes and heavy grapples. Mark was very high-risk, high-reward in his offence, using the top rope and agility to his advantage. However it was not the Welshman’s night as Pete Dunne was able to his The Bitter End to retain his championship.

WWE Cruiserweight Championshio

Enzo Amore retained against Kalisto

My mate commented on how he has a mate back home who is exactly like Enzo… not sure I’d get along with him if that’s the case. Or maybe I would, who knows. I know people who act similarly to Enzo also and they are actually quite decent. Maybe it’s just Enzo who needs a change in attitude or something.

Honestly there’s not much to say from this match, just Kalisto showing his usual impressive lucha-libre offence while Enzo would act more conniving with his offence, using some dirty moves and taunting the Cardiff crowd whenever he could. He retained his championship in the end, which most weren’t to happy about.

Next was a quick intermission, where I refused to buy anything for the facts I didn’t have much money, and the ques being insanely long. So instead I ended up taking to a steward who ended up being my old Foundation Course Animation Lecturer who has been working as a steward for five to ten years. She told me she since left her teaching job and has left it behind her. Strange how much things can change when times flies by.

Bayley & Sasha Banks defeated Alexa Bliss & Nia Jax

This was a match my friend was excited to see, and that reason had a name… Alexa Bliss. I myself was more existed to see Bayley’s wacky-wavy inflatable arm flailing tube men, which always bring a smile to my face. Nia Jax also seemed even more intimidating since the time I saw her in Takeover London. Maybe cause I could see her better possibly?

But even still this was a nice little match up which saw Alexa being the cold, Goddess that she is while Nia would be more heavy and hard-hitting with hers. Bayley had the crowd’s support most out of anyone as well as had that kickstarting offence she usually does. Whereas The Boss, Sasha was also hard hitting with her knees and legs most of all. In the end, she got the Raw Womens Champion (Bliss) to tap out to the Bank Statement.

WWE Intercontinental Championship

The Miz (with The Miztourage: Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas) defeated Matt Hardy

One of my mate’s favourite matches, mainly cause involved Matt Hardy, better now know for the phrase, ‘DELETE!’ ‘DELETE!’ ‘DELETE!’. But of course, not copyrighted or what have you. He was a delight to watch with his upgraded ‘almost Broken’ gimmick, even hearing his weird vocal gestures which both me and my mate had a laugh with.

The Miz was his usual brash self, but it’s hard not to like him for being so darn dastardly. Bo was back out from earlier competing in the eight man tag match, while Axel was also out but in a neck brace, apparently selling an ‘injury’ he suffered on a previous Raw. I don’t really watch Monday Night Raw anymore on account of how long it is, so I don’t know if this injury is legit. I haven’t heard anything about it so I’ll assume it’s not for now. They did try to interfere a few points during the match, but they were kicked out from ringside towards the end for trying to disturb the peace. It did look like Matt was going to win his first Intercontinental Championship, however The Miz’s stooges came back out to quickly distract the lone Hardy enough for Miz to hit his Skull Crushing Finale and get the pinfall victory. After the match, as Matt was getting up and leaving for the back, he seemed to be limping. He even had to have a ref or two to help him to the back, so he may have hurt his leg possibly? Or he could be selling damage to it throughout the match.

Either way, me and my friend definitely enjoyed this one and hope the Broken one has a speedy recovery IF he is actually hurt.

Main Event – 6 Man Tag Team Match

Triple H and The Shield (Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose) defeated Bray Wyatt and The Bar (Sheamus & Cesaro)

This was the match everyone was waiting to see, mainly cause it had the rare appearance of Triple H not only appearing at a WWE live event, but also competing in one. Well this could technically be the second time I’ve seen Triple H live, since I actually saw him live earlier the same day at a different independent show I saw earlier that afternoon. (Make sure to read my ICW Review to know what that was like).

Anyway, Bray made his creepy entrance, which it was great to see the arena blacked out and all these phone lights just filling the place as per usual with his entrance. The Bar came out with their usual gusto, while I noticed many people from where I was sitting looking over one of the corridors near us. Originally I thought there was a weird incident happening, but nope I realised, the Shield will be entering from there, which they did. It was definitely cool to see Rollins and Ambrose enter from the crowd ala their usual Shield entrance. Of course they were ‘missing a partner’, hence why they had a single black vest to hold out. This of course brought out THE GAME! The second time I would see him live this day. (GO TO YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOWS PEOPLE!) He eventually put on the vest to the delight of everyone and the match was underway.

For the majority of the match honestly it was all pro Shield and Game. I mean the villains did have some offence in there with all of their separate power housing and ground and pound. The heroes had much more fired and intensity. There were a few favourite spots of mine. One was a reharse of a moment being sent around social media where Rollins and Ambrose dived onto Wyatt and the Barr from the ring to the outside. Trips also attempted this, but just before the dive, he just casually strolled out of the ring for a good chuckle from most of us. Another was towards the end of the match that involved the ref of all people. Basically The Bar were doing some dirty shenanigans, cause of course they were, and the ref was not having it. Cesaro belittled him, but the ref full on got in the Swiss Superman’s face and yelled him into a corner. He even climbed the turnbuckle to yell over him as Cesaro was covering himself from the genuine spit this ref was exchanging. All the other wrestler’s jaw’s were on the floor and near everyone in the arena was cheering for this ref as he looked like a cartoon character who has steam blowing out of his red hot face. I was practically on the floor over this. But yeah, this match was very enjoyable. It ended when the heroes got the victory over the villains and all were happy this was the case.

After the match, The 2/3 Shield members got on the mic to talk about why Triple H was chosen as their partner. ‘You all want to know the reason WHY we chose you as our partner?’ And I exclaim to my mate, ‘It’s so you could sell more tickets for this show!’… I mean I wasn’t wrong was I? But still they talked about their history and how it felt right to have done it. Triple H then responded equally as sincere to his fellow partners, and even got a rare cuss word thrown in there to make his words that much more meaningful. Cause there really isn’t wrong with a cuss word thrown into something. Depending on the context of the situation, it can really make something more important, much like it did here.

But either way, that was the show, and the end of one of the better days I had in the past few weeks. For myself, firstly coming from the ICW show where Triple H appeared in, and then coming to this show with a really good mate who I got to know during our time working together, it really put into perspective how you shouldn’t let the dark times keep you down. Sure we can all be going through sad times, and because the world is the way it is, there will be many more to come. But just so things don’t stay this depressing, or get any worse, just know that you have to experience the sad times to really appreciate the glad times. And this day, was very much one of those glad times.

On the opinion of my friend, I asked him stuff about the show, and other than enjoying the Main Event most of all and the Hardy and Miz match, this was the first time he went to see WWE live since he was a little boy. So to him this brought back some good memories from his childhood. Granted he still watches some wrestling when he isn’t swamped down with his real life job, so it’s not like he’s been out of the loop. But I could see he was having a good time. We both were. And honestly, I never really got the hype about going to see a wrestling show live with someone I know in my for reals life before. Mainly cause I’m a shut-in loner who doesn’t socialise with people outside of my own family. But I really got it here. I prefer my own company most of the time, but taking someone along to see the big stage wrestling really meant more than I ever expected.

Thank you to Wicid for giving me that extra ticket, both me and my mate really appreciated it. And that is also me done for a while. So until next time, the best thing to take from all this, is just do something that will make you smile. Don’t focus on the bad times, just be happy and surround yourself with other people when you need a good pick-me-up. Or maybe even to anyone out there who knows of someone who is going through a rough time, just check on them to see how they’re doing. A quick text or message on social media to see if everything is alright will make that person’s day so much better, I guarantee it.

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