Tonight I had the opportunity to check out my first WWE House Show in over a decade. I’ve been to plenty of TV tapings and PPVs in the past 10 years, but it’s been a long time since I went to a WWE live event where the cameras weren’t rolling. That’s not to say tonight’s show at the Nassau Coliseum was without anything newsworthy, as this weekend marked the return of Randy Orton to the WWE Tour. Also, I personally learned a lot about just how far Seth Rollins has come as a heel character in the eyes of the more family-friendly audience that a house show tends to bring out, and I also bore witness to Sami Zayn and Adrian Neville winning over the non-NXT viewer by simply having an awesome opening match.
Here are my 10 Thoughts on WWE Live at Nassau Coliseum 12/27/14:
Note: You can also check out my live Tweets that I posted from the event right here @PulseWrestling.
1. I attended the show with my wife, and Mrs. CB was in the market for a new WWE T-Shirt. It didn’t take her long to pick out the black and pink Dolph Ziggler shirt from the rest of the lot as she is a Ziggler fan and wasn’t really interested in Cena or Usos gear. No, she didn’t want BRIE MODE, either.
2. We settled into our seats in Section 217, which was in the lower level of the Coliseum (not floor seats, more Loge) and was pretty much in the center (the ring was across from us and the wrestlers entered from our left). This was not a sellout by any means, but there was a decent-sized crowd for a house show and the fans were into most of the matches.
3. At the beginning of the night, Tony Chimel announced that due to an injury suffered at MSG on Friday night, Randy Orton would not be competing. The main event match was then announced as John Cena in a 2-on-1 Street Fight against Seth Rollins and Corporate Kane. More on that later, but everyone seemed bummed out about Orton not wrestling.
4. In the first match of the night, Adrian Neville battled Sami Zayn (c) for the NXT Championship. I loved that the NXT title was put on the line here, and despite Neville and Zayn not being recognized by many people in this particular audience, it didn’t take long for them to get the crowd to warm up to them. Neville’s high-flying offense was a thing of beauty to watch in person, and Zayn’s sheer energy and wrestling ability really won over the crowd. By the end of the match, the crowd was loving Sami as the baby face champion, and the Hellova Kick to Neville ended it to give Zayn the 1-2-3 pin.
5. Fandango vs. Ryback was up next, and while Fandango still falls flat, the crowd absolutely erupted for the Big Guy. The “Feed Me More!” chants were pretty resounding, and Ryback made short work of Fandango.
6. Curtis Axel vs. Jack Swagger was next. There isn’t much to say about this match other than to reiterate how miscast Swagger is as a baby face. Even with “WE THE PEOPLE!”, Swagger is just very boring to watch. Having Axel as his opponent didn’t really help much, either. Axel does land a sweet looking drop kick, but he also went for it about four times. Ugh. Swagger won with the
Angle Patriot Lock
7. The Miz and Damien Mizdow made their way out, and the crowd ate up their entire act. Miz cut a heel promo on the New York Islanders and the fact that Nassau Coliseum is being torn down next year (which is half-true as the Coliseum is being renovated into a smaller arena and despite the Islanders moving to the Barclays Center, they will be playing 7 home games at the new arena in Long Island as well). The Usos came out to combat Miz on the mic (not their strong suit, but they were fine), and then Miz and Mizdow retained the Tag Titles when Damien Mizdow landed a Skull Crushing Finale for the pin and the win. Mizdow was way over, The Usos were way over, and The Miz, well, he was there.
8. Dolph Ziggler (c) vs. Luke Harper for the Intercontinental Championship was the last match before Intermission. The fans absolutely loved seeing Dolph, and he and Harper continue to have great chemistry in their matches together. There were several believable near falls before Ziggler finally won with a combination Fameasser / Zig-Zag, and this match earned the first and only “THIS IS AWESOME!” chants of the night. Well-deserved.
9. After Intermission, Paige was introduced as the special guest referee for the upcoming Divas tag team match. Paige looked great in her referee’s (half-)shirt, and the match itself featured Emma and Alicia Fox vs. Nikki and Brie Bella. Paige screwed over the Bella Twins with a quick-count, helping Alicia Fox score the pin. Nothing epic here, and Paige was the best part of this thing.
I’m going to skip over Big Show vs. Erick Rowan, as there’s nothing to really report.
10. For the main event match, Corporate Kane came out first, followed by Seth Rollins. John Cena’s music hit, and the energy in the arena definitely picked up. Love him or hate him, Cena always makes an impressionable entrance. After the standard “Let’s Go Cena / Cena Sucks!” chants, Rollins got on the mic and trash talked the fans for even thinking about John Cena when the future of WWE is in the ring. Rollins called the fans the worst he’s ever been around because they don’t see what’s in front of them, and then he mocked Cena for having to be in a Handicapped Street Fight Match. Interestingly enough, there was no Cena promo and what Rollins showed me here is how he can truly carry not just a match but the story behind it as well. His mic work was awesome and he can definitely be WWE’s top heel if he isn’t already (he kind of already is considering Brock Lesnar is rarely around).
After Steel Steps and Tables and Chairs got involved in the match, Cena was about to lose when suddenly Randy Orton’s music hit. The injury report from the beginning of the night was a SWERVE for the live audience, as Orton ran down to the ring, hit an RKO OUTTA NOWHERE on Rollins and then fed Kane to Cena. Cena won the match with an AA to Kane, and the crowd was sent home happy as Orton and Cena stood tall to close the show.
Ultimately, this was a solid house show with a solid opener, a great IC title match and a satisfying show-closer. There was a little bit of filler, but that’s what happens when the full WWE roster is split off into two touring crews. I would give this show a B+ considering my expectations and how the WWE superstars and Divas who performed pretty much met them.
That’s all from me — CB.
Tags: adrian neville, alicia fox, Bella Twins, big show, Brie Bella, Corporate Kane, Curtis Axel, Damian Mizdow, Dolph Ziggler, emma, Erick Rowan, Fandango, jack swagger, john cena, kane, Luke Harper, Nikki Bella, NXT, Paige, randy orton, ryback, sami zayn, seth rollins, The Miz, the usos, WWE