By D.J. Diley
First out is William Regal, who is met with a roar of cheers and chants. He's for the 10 Bell salute for Dusty Rhodes, he says something along the lines of losing 'not just a hero, but a good friend.' Everyone is on their feet, and as soon as the salute is done, a "Thank you Dusty" chant is happening, just like before the show started. Regal bows and goes back stage...
-Note that I don't plan on writing as much as this first match's description for the rest of them...except maybe the main event.-
Enzo and Big Cass are out next to what I'd consider the second biggest pop of the night. People are going crazy, and saying the entire opening line with Enzo. Carmella talks, then Cass gets the mic and talks about how him and Big Cass came from hard times, and people in Pitt know about that... He turns it into a thank you to Dusty Rhodes before Alexa Bliss and the "Sweet Boys" come out. Carmella and Bliss go back and forth arguing, then Enzo starts off the match with... one of the two guys that look just like the Major Brothers. Blake and Murphy keep going back and forth, tagging in and out and beating down on Enzo... Enzo gets a good bit of a come back going, then points to Carmella, who is going crazy on the apron. A tag is made, and the same sequence from last week's NXT is going on, the three LouThez presses and then finally they go at it. She tags Enzo back in, who gets beat down again and gets a hot tag to Cass... He wipes them out, hitting a nasty big boot on one of them. Enzo and Cass both do the "Dusty Rhodes" Bionic Elbow after a little shuffling-punches. Another Dusty chant... Match ends with their finisher; Cass throwing Enzo ontop of future Jobber B. "How you doin'" chant to wrap it up!
Baron Corbin is out next to a chorus of boo's. Seriously... No one in this crowd likes him. Barcon has a real skinny-fat appearance in real life, he's not nearly as big as the camera tends to make him seem like... Disappointing. Usual, long ass, slow entrance followed by another big pop for Rhyno! They go back and forth in the ring for a good while. Pretty boring match over all, I really hope Baron gets better. Rhyno hits the usual corner shoulder blocks after getting a reversal in. He bounces off the ropes and is met with what looked like a variation of a blackhole slam? Rhyno ends up on the ground, trying to get up and getting hit by Baron's "running punch" while he's on his knees, it connects twice and then Rhyno gets up and predictibly hits a spine buster. He goes for the spear, is tossed into the ring post, and then gets hit by the End of Days for the ending. At least it wasn't twenty seconds... Either way, Baron gets up and goes after Rhyno, only to get shoved back and gored for a huge reaction from the fans! I will note that at one point, Baron did a strong irish whip to Rhyno that quite literally moved the entire ring closer to the stage... Rhyno hit that turnbuckle freakishly hard.
Next out is Jason Jordan... Everyone is chanting "Who are you?!" or "Shelton Benjamin" at him the entire entrance, he's visibly annoyed. Bull comes out next and the crowd loves him, despite chanting Doritos... Didn't see last night's episode, but read a little about it... His logo on the back of his pants look like a dorito's logo though. They lock up in the middle, and Bull knocks him down. Jordan rolls out of the ring and starts running, very heel-esque... Bull tries to run after him and while Jordan is doing what one would call a "Brisk jog," Bull can't keep up and after almost a full lap around, he's out of breath. Referee checks on him. They end up back in the ring and fight back and forth, eventually Bull throws Jordan off the ropes and then bounces off the opposite side and they keep barely missing each other about three times before Bull runs out of gas again... Jordan keeps running, then finally stops and points at Bull before running at him and being tossed out of the ring. Jordan's mat based wrestling wears Bull down for a good most of the match. Bull looks like he's going to get the win at one point, climbing to the top rope only to get knocked down and finished with what looked like a... Pump-handle over head suplex? Not sure what to call it, but it's extremely similiar to the Angle Slam, but with the pump-handle hold. Either way, everyone boo's him out of the arena.
Charlotte is out next to a decent pop, she looks much better in real life than she does on TV. Next come out...both Dana Brooke and Emma. Emma is out second and everyone is doing her old "dance", to which Dana leans over the ropes and screams at us "She doesn't do that anymore!" They both get in the ring to talk smack and get in Charlotte's face, saying that her tag team partner is a no show. A "walmart" chant starts up, directed at Emma... Eventually, Ba(e)yley comes out and everyone goes crazy for her. Hugs all around ring side before she gets in the ring and everyone goes at it at the same time. Not an extremely long match, but it was good for what it was worth. Bayley with the Bionic elbows half way through this match. Dana Brookes tries to tag out each time Charlotte gets in the ring and Bayley and Emma keep getting at it, adding fuel to both of these feuds pretty well. Eventually, the ending spot showed Charlotte and Bayley both locking in the figure four on either enemy and Charlotte putting a little bit of 'Flair' on her's to cause the tap out. Hugs all around, followed by Bayley talking to some kid that was sitting on one side of the entrance stage... she walked around and up the stage to hug her and give her her tassels and headbang. Cute.
Break time. 'Bout ten-twenty minutes of sitting there. I took the time to buy merch...
After the break, Zack Ryder came out followed by Mojo. The Vaudevillians followed to come out to pretty much the exact match we saw last night on NXT... Best and most noted spots were a double atomic drop to Aiden, one Manhattan and one Atomic... then one to his partner, who bounced off of the manhattan drop and into his partner. The top rope Rough-Ryder and Spine buster combination was pretty snazzy in real life though. But Zack proved why he'll never be much by making a huge mistake... Mojo, who was acting silly the entire match, went for the pin... and then Zack Ryder threw him off and tried to take the pin before realizing that Mojo WAS the legal man. So he pulled him back over them... It was confusing, and not very entertaining.
Next was the NXT Women's championship match with Becky Lynch vs. Sasha Banks. Everyone eats up both of their entrances, but Sasha definitely is the fan favorite here, despite her persona. Good, back and forth match with several repeated spots from their previous match, but all approved upon. Sasha hits the double knees in the corner early in the match, and it was even more gnarly in real life than it looks on television. "Sasha's rachet" chants feud back and forth like usual, followed by people humming Becky's theme song... Becky does the Dusty Elbows at one point, and is then reversed and put in the corner for a second attempt at the double knees... She reverses, tosses Sasha down and climbs up to hit a huge dropkick off the top rope. Two count. Plenty more back and forth, technical wrestling everywhere. Sasha is tossed across the ring by that huge pump-handle over head suplex that Becky always does. Reversals out of pins lead into Becky rolling into a armbar and Sasha barely reaching the ropes with her foot. Eventually, Sasha gets a reversal and hits the straight-jacket backstabber into the bankroll for the win.
The main event is announced and we're greeted by Prince Pretty himself, who's entrance, despite being down a multi-ramp trail doesn't fail to impress. Followed up by the typical laying int he corner until the next person hits the ring... Samoa Joe comes out and the crowd loses it, everyone is on their feet and yelling "Joe, Joe, Joe!" Tyler Breeze backs away from him every time he comes out... Everyone thought that was it until the next song hits, the lights go out and Finn Balor hits the stage. I was awe-struck, as was the dude beside me who was losing his mind. (And in the same Balor t shirt...) He comes down the ring and leans against the ropes by Joe before crawling back as Joe gets closer. Everyone in the crowd is doing his taunt with the music, and it's... magnificent. He does the "Wolfpac" taunt to everyone in the crowd that does it to him. "Finn" chants everywhere, and the music dies down as Finn gets in the ring and everyone is clapping away. Mark out moment of the night, I'm cheering for Finn and holding up the wolfpac and he points at me. Finally... the NXT World Champion is announced, and this match is declared for his title, Kevin Owens comes out and everyone is losing their mind. Including me... I never thought I'd get to see three wrestler, especially not in the same building. And Tyler Breeze is very good himself, credit where credit is due! They all face off in the ring until the bell rings and Owens climbs out of the ring and runs over to Tyler's corner, pounds on the apron and tells him "You got this, buddy!" Owens stays outside while the two team up on Tyler, Finn follows Tyler out and fights him on the opposite side of the ring from me. Owens cheap shots Joe, then runs outside and is followed out of the ring and into the barricade corner infront of me. They trade punches back and forth for what seemed like minutes, and everyone is chanting for someone else. Joe finally gets him into the corner and does the repeated punches out there to him until they work back into the ring. Joe and Balor get knocked down and Breeze and Kevin look at each other and then turn and beat them down some more. Owens is instructing Breeze what to do, and they toss Joe off the ropes and drop him. They move on to Balor and Kevin yells out "Double clothesline! It always works" and they lay him out. He keeps instructing him and they're helping each other out, until Breeze and Owens turn around and Breeze goes for a high-five... They drag the two to the middle of the ring and Owens yells "Suplex him!" And he grabs Finn and lifts him up, Tyler is just staring at him shaking his head... Then he tries and fails, he can't get Joe up. Kevin suplexes Balor then realizes what's going on and runs over to kick Joe and they double suplex, they get back up and Kevin is trying to figure out why Tyler couldn't lift Joe up... Owen pretends he's going to and then turns and walks away to stomp on Joe some more. Eventually they turn on each other and the match breaks down again with Joe and Owens fighting each other in one corner and Balor and Breeze in the opposite. Joe reverses Owens and hits that back enziguri out of the corner he likes to do. Joe ends up catching Tyler in the Coquina clutch and choking him, Finn Balor climbs to the top rope and double stomps them both. Breeze gets up and hits the super model kick on both of them, and goes for the pin on both of them back and forth while Owens is recovering and circling outside. Finn Balor gets up and reversed Breeze to throw him into the corner and knock him down. Owens comes in and gets beat back in front of a seated Breeze in the corner... Balor does the running drop kick to Owens into Breeze and then climbs to the top rope to try for the Double Stomp. Joe catches him, knocks him down and lifts him up to run across the ring for a Muscle Buster. Joe gets up and is instantly met by a Beauty Mark. As soon as Breeze turns around, Owens is waiting and he runs right into a pop-up power-bomb for the end of the match. It was an amazing sequence. I was a little awe-struck. "Fight Owens Fight" chants run through the arena as Owens leaves up the ramp, and yelling a "Thank you" back to the crowd... Joe and Balor get up and roll back into the ring to go face to face, pushing each other... before they both throw up the "Wolfpac" and hug it out to end the show. Joe leaves first, then Balor's music hits and everyone cheers Finn his entire way up the ramp, ending with a bow to the crowd!
All and all, I loved this show. It might've been the best thing I've spent money on to date. I wish I was front seat instead of row 2, but... I had a blast and I couldn't be happier with my night. The only things I was disappointed in were; Jason Jordan being in the arena... And Hideo and Sami both being injured, as I'm a huge fan of both of them. The announcers came back on the microphone after the show ended and announced that they WILL be back soon. I -will- be there. :)
by Matt Carlina
Show was at Stage AE, a concert venue that sits between Heinz Fiekd and PNC Park on Pittsburgh's North Shore. Sold-out obviously. Seating capacity is approx. 2,000. Crowd was great, got stronger as the night went on. Final 2 matches were far and away the best, I'd call it a tie for match of the night.
Regal started the show. Crowd tried to chant "Regal" but he shushed us. He made some VERY brief remarks. Maybe a sentence or 2, and he seemed to choke up as he asked for 10-bell salute to Dusty. Crowd was SILENT for this.
Enzo/Cass/Carmella v Blake/Murphy/Bliss
Enzo promo played off Dusty's "Hard Times" promo before the match. Enzo/Cass/Carmella got the win.
Bull Dempsey v Jason Jordan
Bull's "out of shape" gimmick in full effect. They actually did a criss-cross with Bull getting winded from it. Jordan won.
Rhyno v Baron Corbin
No love from fans for Corbin, and he was going along with it. Corbin won.
Emma/Dana Brooke v Charlotte/Bayley
Charlotte entered, then Dana and Emma, who got on mic and implied they'd taken out Bayley backstage. Bayley came out, and the match was on. Bayley's right hand was heavily wrapped, perhaps a cast. She was very careful with it. Charlotte/Bayley got win with stereo figure 4s.
Mojo Rawley/Zack Ryder v Vaudevillains
Crowd loved Ryder, HATED Mojo. Unlike Corbin, Mojo wasn't really looking for it. Crowd really heated up here. There were cocaine and drug-related chants directed at Mojo. I saw Greg Hamilton and the lone WWE cameraman cracking up at ringside. Mojo was entertaining, but crowd just loved to boo him.
Sasha Banks v Becky Lynch for women's championship
Started slow and built up great. Crowd was wild by the end. Becky got her arm submission on Sasha, and crowd was buying it. Sasha got to ropes and got her own submission shortly after. They shook hands after the match, and both girls got nice ovations.
Kevin Owens v Tyler Breeze v Finn Balor v Samoa Joe
Big ovations for each entrance, but Owens' was HUGE. I think a lot of people weren't expecting him. KO and Breeze teamed up in very entertaining fashion early. Crowd was CRAZY for this match, on its feet for almost all of it. I was second row, and could barely make out some chants because they were coming from everywhere. At one point crowd sang "Fight Owens Fight" to Cena's entrance music. That was fun. Everyone hit their finisher at the end, with KO hitting the Pop-up powerbomb on Breeze to win it. Afterward, Balor and Joe teased dissension but did the "2 sweet" instead.
One more note, there had to be at least half a dozen Bionic Elbows during the night. Crowd responded with "Dusty" chants. KO had polka dots drawn on his shirt. Enzo had "hard times" written on his wrist tape. Reminders of Dusty were frequent, but didn't overwhelm the show. Felt like a nice balance to me.
Submitted By James Peklicz
Sold out crowd tonight in Pittsburgh. Crowd was extremely vocal all night, especially over the final 2 matches. Night started with William Regal coming out to massive "Regal" chants, which he quickly tried to downplay, as he announced the passing of Dusty Rhodes, with a graphic on video board and a 10-bell salute. "Thank you Dusty" chant. There were probably 5 or 6 different talents who used bionic elbows tonight as well.
- Big Cass, Enzo Amore & Carmella defeated Tag Team Champions Blake, Murphy & Alexa Bliss via pinfall
- Jason Jordan defeated Bull Dempsey via pinfall
- Charlotte and Bayley defeated Emma and Dana Breeze via submission after dual Figure-Four Leglocks
- Baron Corbin defeated Rhyno via pinfall
- Zack Ryder and Mojo Rawley defeated The Vaudevillains via pinfall
- Women's Champion Sasha Banks defeated Becky Lynch via Submission to retain the title. Absolutely stellar match.
- NXT Champion Kevin Owens defeated Tyler Breeze, Samoa Joe and Finn Balor in a Fatal Four-Way Match to retain the title after Owens pinned Breeze. Another fantastic match.