I attended the Smack down Live – Cardiff ‘House show’ on 6th May. It was the 3rd time I’ve seen WWE live, and this time around I could definitely sense a much more professional set up. It all felt like a BIG event, almost televised. The huge screen playing the network promos and fan interaction was really good. It was all well lit and the sound was perfect. The only thing I’ll say about house shows is the amount of kids at these things is a bit annoying at times, I mean who are they to enjoy Wrestling right? lol (Please see definition of sarcasm.)
We were two rows from the front, great seats. The UK crowd impressed me with their understanding of the ‘One fall!’ shout when the announcer said it. First out, SHINSUKE NAKAMURA. He is amazing, what a start. Plus considering the amount of time Shinsuke has taken to finally wrestle on Raw, it felt awesome.
He was facing the ‘Show off’ Dolph Ziggler. Great start to the event. Both back and forth, this could have easily been a main event. I will explain on a podcast how I think the WWE has lost hell of an opportunity with Dolph Ziggler and it’ll be a while till he gets that heat back. Anyway, I digress.
- Nakamura def. Ziggler via pin
Next up, AMERICAN ALPHA v USO’s v THE COLONS in a triple threat match.
Ok, its worth noting that I’ve never felt less heat in my life than when the Colons came out. I’m sure these guys work hard, but the room was silent. American Alpha can move, and I’m sure my wife fancied Jason Jordan, I’m not convinced I didn’t fancy him a bit also. : /
- USO’s def. AA & The Colons.
Next up, ERIC ROWAN v LUKE HARPER. I feel like I’ve seen this match-up about 30 times, however the New Harper look and Rowan being gone for so long made me want to see it again. The bout went back and forth, both men can move for being such big guys. Rowan definitely looked the ‘bigger’ of the two. Neither one I’d like a slap off. Even though ‘The Champ’ would go over. Roar!
- Harper def. Rowan via pin.
A great point in the match is when Rowan (Heel) produced a red balloon out of his pocket, blew it up, and let it go. It was both comedy gold, and also eerie.
Next up, SIN CARA & BREEZANGO v THE ASCENTION & AIDEN ENGLISH. Firstly, who ever they have put in the Sin Cara outfit is not a small bloke, see picture. I heard from Bin Hamin on Smackdown rebellion he was a bit overweight, and boy was he right.
The highlight, and one of the more memorable moments of the night was how good a character and worker Aiden English is. I have a new found respect for him and would like to see him in a ‘mid card belt’ push soon. Good Heel. Heels over strong.
- Sin Cara & Breezango def. The Ascention & English
After the match, English got back in the ring and ‘gave it the big one’ and said “anyone back there thinks they can take me on to come out?” Out came Mojo Rawley. This guys energy is off the scales. He came out and destroyed him. I felt motivated.
Next! Last match before the interval.
KEVIN OWENS v SAMI ZAYNE (US Championship match)
When I saw Kevin Owens, this was the first time tonight I thought WOW, there is a superstar in front of me! Kevin Owens has got to be one of the best interactive superstars with the crowd in the industry. He was amazing. There was this kid behind me shouting ‘childish’ chants at him, and KO heared him, and boy did he comeback with non ‘ kiddy’ insults. He booted Zayne in the back about 5 times and every time he went back to that kid and yelled ‘ this is all your fault.’
- Owens Def. Zayne via pinfall.
After the break came ‘the UK Tournament boys.’ Me, being a massive ICW fan love seeing Trent Seven in action in WWE.
TYLER BATE & TRENT SEVEN & MANDREWS v PETE DUNN & JAMES DRAKE & JOSEPH CONNERS
Firstly, this is in Cardiff, and Mark Andrews is from Cardiff. You can put money on who is going to go over here.
My intention, and only intention here, was to start and ‘ICDUB’ chant. I tried, and nobody else joined me. I was hurt, upset, and a little annoyed. I did however start a ‘Moustache mountain’ chant. Trent Seven looked at me, I looked at him, we both knew in a different life, we would have made it. Anyway, I digress. A good, solid match, Pete Dunn is such a good heel, and Trent is such a good Face. Bate seemed a little caricatured for me, not a lot of emotion, feels like hes stuck in a character that needs more edge.
- Mark Andrews pins Pete Dunn for the win
Next up, NAOMI v BECKY LYNCH v NATALYA v CARMELLA (w/Ellsworth) v CHARLOTTE (Womens Championship match)
When Charlotte came out it was the second time of the night I felt in the presence of greatness, she just oozed class. My wife definitely fancied her.
The match was good, plenty of maneuvers from all superstars, the moonwalk off between Naomi and Carmella was good. The amount of extensions coming out of Flair was crazy, Hair everywhere.
- Naomi def. Natalya & Carmella & Charlotte to retain the Womens Title.
Now for the MAIN EVENT of the evening.
JINDER MAHAL v AJ STYLES v RANDY ORTON (WWE Championship match)
Jinder comes out first. The room boo’ed. I cheered! The reason is that all the kids were booing like crazy, not knowing the transformation or ‘probably 1 chance’ this guy has to make it. He is looking awesome. I’m stealing Oli Davis’s phrase ‘No Carbs Mahal’ for reference.
AJ Styles was looking great, Orton looked a little out of shape to be truthful. This is no slate on him, he is in much better shape than me, however he’s looked trimmer in the past. It may have something to do with him standing next to ‘No carbs.’
OK, This is my highlight of the evening, possibly the year… The match was underway, Orton and AJ in the ring, Mahal was lying outside the ring close to us.
There were a few ‘AJ Styles’ chants going around but nothing too strong. I start singing ‘LETS GO JINDER’ clap clap clapclapclap. The front row was four legend teenage boys who join in. Jinder turns around and says to us ‘You guys understand, they will all understand when Jinder is the champion!’ I marked out. Another Jinder section broke out behind us. This was it for me, I am now a massive Jinder Mahal fan. Another point to consider, Orton has seen it all in WWE, Styles has seen it all everywhere he’s been. Give Jinder the Strap, let him be the heel we know he can be given the chance and the story line. What better way to then build a Face than off a heel like him.
- Orton def. Mahal & AJ Styles to Retain
Well the night ended well and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. Hopefully you found my review worthy, it was my first one for WW and look forward to the next one. As always, thanks.
PS. Here I am on the WWE website for the event for proof I was there…