Monday, 22 April 2013

Review :: WWE Live Event at Sheffield Arena 21st April 2013



Every year the WWE rolls up on the shores of the UK. Nine times out of ten it is the Smackdown brand that makes itself at home in Sheffield. This time was no different. 
This was my fifth time of seeing the WWE live in Sheffield. I went last year and found it to be a little bellow par. So needless to say, I didn't have the highest of hopes for this event.

I made my way through the hoards of children in John Cena t-shirts to find my seat, praying I wasn't sitting next to a hyperactive 6 year old that would cry when he realised that his hero wouldn't be there.
The show started with Lillian Garcia asking everyone to stand while she 'sang' God Save The Queen. Very few people listened and even fewer stood. 
It was announced the first match would be an eight man tag team match. The mood quickly was lifted as Santino Marella's music hit. I must admit, he was a good way to start the show. A good giggle is always a good way to start off a show. 
Then 3MB's music hit. Of course everyone booed - they're heels, right? Wrong. Apparently tonight Jinder Mahal and Drew McIntyre are playing the roles of faces. 
Then out came Alex Riley, who hasn't even been on TV for months, but seemed to get a half decent pop from the crowd. This 'thrown together' team would face Primo & Epico & The Prime Time Players. After a good few giggles from Santino, the match ended with the Cobra. Very predictable, but quite an enjoyable match, made even better by a sudden interruption from The Shield, who destroyed the victors and vowed to win their match against Sheamus & The New Age Outlaws.
Next was Fandango vs Ted DiBiase. There was very little 'Fandangoing' from the crowd, which was a disappointment and that match was quite short. It was clear the match was mainly put on for the crowd to hear a man pronounce his name on a microphone. Still enjoyable though.

Next Hornswoggle was introduced as the special guest announcer for the Diva's match. Natalya got a good pop from the crowd and Alicia Fox got a very indifferent response. It's hard to tell who's a face and who's a heel in the Diva's division these days so can you blame people? 
The match was pretty decent, with Natalya getting lots of chanting from the crowd. Nattie won the match with the Sharpshooter and had a little post match celebration with Hornswoggle.

Next came the snooze match of the night. The Great Khali vs Mark Henry. Neither man is known to be a good 'mover' so this match was inevitably slow. There really is nothing to report on this match except Mark Henry won with the Worlds Strongest Slam.

Next was the match that was billed as the main event, but had been bumped down the card, possibly because there was no longer the World Heavy Weight title on the line. Alberto Del Rio vs Jack Swagger in a no DQ match. The segment started with Zeb Colter giving his usual racist speech before Riccardo introduced Alberto. Del Rio got a pretty decent pop and the match wasn't half as bad as I imagined it would be. There was a kendo stick, chair and a table - everything you'd expect, really. Del Rio won via a cross arm breaker.

After the interval came the match for the Intercontinental Championship  Wade Barrett put his title on the line against a personal favourite of mine, Justin Gabriel.  This was a perfect example of how a home crowd can suddenly make you a face. Wade got the crowd hyped up while Justin, despite being the 'face' in this situation seemed to mainly get boos. Justin gave some decent high flying moments which were much needed on the card, but inevitably Wade won with a huge upper cut.

Next was The Big Show vs Randy Orton.  This match could have been a good one, but Big Show spent at least ten minutes refusing to get into the ring and start the fight, instead deciding to have arguments with children on the first few rows. Eventually when the match started it was a back and forth affair. When Big Show hit the choke slam there was a huge intake of breath from the 8 year olds in the arena, but of course Randy kicked out and eventually hit the RKO from 'outta nowhere' and got the win. Randy took his time to circle the ring and sign autographs and slap hands with fans in the front row, making sure he didn't leave anyone out.

Next was the main event and the one  I was looking most forward to. Sheamus & New Age Outlaws vs The Shield. First to enter the ring were the Outlaws, to disappointingly little crowd reaction. I'm guessing most of the crowd were kids there with their parents who weren't around to see the Outlaws the first time around, which was even referenced by Billy Gunn himself. Sheamus got a bigger reaction and The Shield got a mass of boos as they appeared close to where I was sitting before making their way to the ring. It felt odd cheering for both sides but I couldn't help it.
The match was good, but short. My attempts at starting a 'You still got it' chant fell flat on their arse, but it was genuinely nice to see the Outlaws back in action and not really missing a beat. 
The match ended when The Shield got disqualified for using a chair.  The Outlaws and Sheamus celebrated their victory by picking out a small lad from the front row with ginger hair and got him in the ring. His name was Olly, and he was all kinds of adorable. I think the Outlaws and Sheamus really made that boys night and it was a really nice end to the evenings events.

Roll on November...

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