Arena Reports EVENT REPORT - 3/29 WrestleMania Axxess in San Jose, Calif.: Full NXT house show on WrestleMania Sunday, plus Q&A with Bruno, autograph signings, Overall Review
Mar 29, 2015 - 3:08:30 PM
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WrestleMania Axxess Live Report
March 29, 2015
San Jose, Calif.
Report by VIP member Ted in Sacramento
This was my first time at Axxess and I didn't know what to expect. The huge WWE Superstore was available without paying a ticket and there was a big FedEx booth outside the Superstore so fans didn't have to carry anything they bought home unless the wanted to.
Lots of Superstars were available for signings, although with very long lines. Each station had either one or two Superstars/Divas, and it was interesting to note who WWE thought was big enough to have their own station and who they sent out in pairs. Probably ten different stations, most available to the public as part of your entry fee, although there was a way for VIP ticket holders to get quickly to the front of the line. Almost all of the autograph signings had very long lines. Also, there were lots of large free standing HDTVs showing the live feed of the WWE Network.
There wer elots of full-sized cut-outs of Superstars that people could and did get their picture with. Real signers:
-- Heath Slater and Zack Ryder
-- Vader and Hacksaw Jim Duggan
-- Jim Neidhart and Jimmy Hart
-- Afa and Sika (relatively short line)
-- Mark Henry
-- Shawn Michaels (VIPs only)
At 8:30 a.m. they started the NXT Show. They had a ring set up at one side of the convention hall. No seats, standing room only, but if you got their first or were persistent, you could be standing five feet from the NXT ring against the barrier, really feeling a part of the action.
Rich Brennan, Greg Hamilton, Jo Jo, and Christian came out to introduce the show and announced they would have eight matches.
(1) Simon Gotch (w/Aiden English) beat Sawyer Fulton (w/Angelo Dawkins) at 8:00. Slow match. Sawyer got in all the offense in the first half of the match, Simon got all of the offense in the second half of the match, and he and won with a sunset flip. (*1/2)
(2) Bayley & Mike Wallace beat Carmella & Colin Cassidy at 7:25 in a mixed tag match when Bayley pinned Carmella. Wallace did a good job selling for Cassidy, but every time the men got in, the crowd cheered for the women. Bayley pinned Carmella while Wallace was lying dazed outside the ring. He asked fans who won, and when they told him that his team won, he came up yelling, "I won!!" over and over again. Funny spot. Cassidy then took out Wallace and the remaining three raised hands center ring. The crowd was way into Bayley. (**)
Brad Maddox then came out for Q&A to zero pop. Good interaction with the fans. Big Show then came out for Q&A to a big pop. He was very personable, and didn't know if he was doing kayfabe heel or if he could be himself. He was very well-spoken and I am surprised he hasn't joined the podcast circuit.
(3) Bull Dempsey beat Marcus Louis at 6:25. During the first half, Marcus got in no offense and did some funny exaggerated selling. Dempsey did multiple atomic drops on Louis. Eventually Marcus got mad, and then he went on offense for a while. Bull pinned Marcus with an atomic drop, followed by sitting on his chest hard. Bull seemed to only have two moves - atomic drop (forward and reverse) and punches. (*)
(4) Baron Corbin beat C.J. Parker at 9:30. Beforehand, C.J. cut a great promo declaring he was 22-0 at WrestleMania..... Axxess. He declared himself Mr. WrestleMania Axxess. He seemed scared when Corbin was introduced, as if he didn't know who his opponent would be. Lots of C.J. stalling early. Good heel selling, like he was scared of Corbin. The ref did a great job interacting with both wrestlers to enforce the rules. When the ref scolded C.J., he said, "But, I am trying to win." Corbin came back at 7:30 and won two minutes later with a superkick. (***)
(5) NXT Women's champion Sasha Banks beat Becky Lynch and Charlotte at 7:00 in a three-way match to retain the Women's Title. Becky and Sasha double-teamed Charlotte early. Charlotte is over and comes across as a star, engaging the crowd in a very natural way. Lots of good action. For the finish, Sasha threw Becky out and rolled up Charlotte for the win to retain. I would have rated the match higher if they had protected Charlotte, who is ready for the main roster, as Becky could have taken the fall. (**1/2)
(6) Angelo Dawkins (w/Sawyer Fulton) beat Aiden English (w/Simon Gotch) at 8:30. All offense for English the first three minutes, then all offense was for Angelo the next four minutes. English made a comeback at 7:30, yelling, "Like a Man!" Dawkins won a minute later, reversing a roll-up. (**)
(7) Dylan Miley squashed Marcus Louis at 4:30. Dylan dominated throughout. (1/2*)
(8) Adrian Neville & Baron Corbin beat C.J. Parker & Mike Wallace at 7:45 in the main event. The crowd was very into the faces. Nice standing 270 moonsault by Neville onto Wallace. C.J. had a funny (in a good way) interaction with the ref where C.J. convinced the ref that a non-existent tag did not happen. Clearly the ref did not know the old rule of you cannot call what you do not see. Neville then beat C.J. a with a stunner. (***)
Another funny moment came with Wallace was in the ring, and some fans yelled for C.J. to get into the match. Fully in character C.J. explained the rules of tag team matches to the fans, that he had to wait for a tag. C.J. also scolded Wallace during the match when he wanted to tag in, but was not holding the tag rope. This was my first time seeing C.J. Parker in person. He has the makings of a great old fashioned heel. He sold well, seemed scared of the faces, and used the ref well to build his heel heat. The crowd ate it up.
I didn't know Axxess would basically include a full NXT house show. That was a big treat.
Afterward Bruno Sammartino came out for a Q&A session. It's nice to see WWE use him in any capacity.
- Best Match: Women's Title match and the Main Event.
- Worst Match: Louis vs. Miley.
- Biggest cheers: Charlotte, Bayley, Corbin, and Neville.
- Most heel heat: C.J. Parker and Aiden English.
- Time of the performance 2:40.
-- Los Matadores and El Torito
-- Jake "The Snake" Roberts
-- Molly Holly and Ivory
-- Bo Dallas
-- Goldust and The Boogeyman
-- Eva Marie and Alicia Fox
-- Dangerous Danny Davis and Nikolai Volkoff
-- Bret Hart (longest line of the day)
There was also a very long line for the photo opportunity inside Elimination Chamber. You could see it well, but you couldn't go inside it without waiting in the line. Given the lines you almost had to decide if you were there for autographs or photos with your favorite Superstar/Diva or where you there for matches and to see the memorabilia.
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