11/10 WWE in Belfast, N. Ireland: Owens vs. Ambrose main event, Flair, show-closing brawl


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WWE Live show results
November 10, 2015
Belfast, N. Ireland
Report by VIP subscriber John Service

(1) WWE tag champions New Day beat Prime Time Players and the Dudley Boyz in a three-way elimination tag match. The first match of the evening was a highly enjoyable way to kick off the show. Both the Dudleyz and New Day received a strong reaction from the Belfast crowd, with the fans in the SSE Arena fully getting involved with the “New Day Sucks!” chants. This in stark contrast to when WWE weren’t here just six months ago, where no one cared for the New Day act.

In terms of match quality, this was a pretty decent tag match. As yiu would expect from a house show match, there was lots of stalling for cheers in this match,with New Day using these pauses in in-ring action to stoke up the “New Day Sucks!” chants. The Dudleys ended up taking it very was during this match, only tagging on a couple of occasions for a few brief minutes. This left the Prime Time Players and New Day to do the most of the bumping in this match.

The two deciding pinfall came very abruptly in this match, with the Prime Time Players being the first team eliminated. This elimination came when Xavier Woods reversed an attempted powerslam by Titus O’Neill, leaving Titus open for the “Big Ending” by Big E. The Dudleys were then eliminated just a few minutes later when New Day scored a surprise roll-up for the win. Overall an enjoyable opening match that got the crowd excited for the rest of the show, although there was a delayed reaction from the crowd as they seemed confused regarding how quickly the deciding pinfall came after the first.

In the post-match, the Dudleys gave Xavier Woods a double powerbomb through the table.

(2) Zack Ryder beat The Miz. Unquestionably the “filler” match for the show, as both the Miz and Zack Ryder came out to virtually no reaction from the Belfast crowd. Prior to the match, Miz atangonized the audience by repeatedly asking them to shut up while he removed his sunglasses. Once the match got started this was your typical WWE house show match. Ryder got the surprise victory by reversing a second attempt at the “Skull Crushing Finale” into the “Rough Ryder.” It’s crazy to think how far Miz has fallen down the card that he went from the main event of WrestleMania to losing to a lower-level wrestler like Ryder in just four-and-a-half years.

(3) Sheamus beat Cesaro. This was originally scheduled to be a singles match between Sheamus and NXT champion Finn Bálor, but the line-up changed at the last minute due to Seth Rollins’s torn ACL injury. In the end, the change of Sheamus’s opponent actually worked out for the better, as Sheamus and Cesaro had a stellar match.

Prior to the start of this match, Sheamus took the mic and cut a promo on how Belfast was the “tenth best city in Ireland” in an attempt to kill off any patriotic cheers that he may have received from the Irish crowd. During the opening minutes of this match, Cesaro made use of his superior wrestling ability to press the early advantage. The momentum of the match was quickly reversed, though, and Sheamus dominated much of this match, with Cesaro only getting one or two segments of prolonged offence.

The match ended in a somewhat controversial fashion. The pinfall was the result of Sheamus distracting the referee by teasing the use of his “Money In the Bank” briefcase as a weapon on Cesaro. The referee quickly stopped this from happening and began to argue with Cesaro, creating enough of a distraction for Sheamus to hit the “Brogue Kick” for the win. All-in-all this was fantastic. The match would not have looked out of place on an NJPW card due to some hard-hitting blows from bot -men and some incredibly believable selling.

(4) Charlotte beat Alicia Fox and Paige in a triple-threat match to retain the Divas Title. Unsurprisingly with Ric Flair as the “special guest host” of the show, there were lots of “Woo” chants for the champion here. Paige surprisingly got the biggest reaction of all three participants in this match. Once the bell rang, this was a surprisingly solid three-way championship match for a house show. Paige and Fox spent the vast majority of this match teaming up against the babyface Charlotte, using double team moves to wear the champion down. As the match progressed, the heels duo of Fox and Paige inevitably turned on each other, allowing Charlotte to mount a quick comeback by hitting a spear on Paige and then putting the “Figure-Eight” on Alicia for the submission victory.

Overall this was a decent, albeit brief Divas match that went about five minutes or so, and helped showcase Charlotte in front of a more casual WWE audience.

(5) Kane beat Big Show in a Street Fight. It was giant-vs-giant here as Kane took on Big Show in what was perhaps the most pedestrianly-paced “Street Fight” I have ever seen. At the start of this match, Big Show refused to enter the ring, waving away both the referee and the fans inside the SSE Arena. This caused Kane to climb out of the ring, and properly start the match.

Once it got properly started, it was your usual WWE “No Disqualification” match. Both Kane and Big Show made limited use of the usual assortment of weapons including kendo sticks, steel chairs, etc. The finish if this match came around the 10-minute mark when Kane tossed Big Show from the top turnbuckle through a table that was set up in the middle of the ring, allowing Kane to score the pinfall.

Overall, this was a fairly forgettable match to send us into intermission. I also found it interesting to see how badly WWE have damaged the Big Show’s character over the years. Over the course of this current U.K. tour, Big Show has turned (due to Rollins’s injury) from heel to face and back again in just a week. This has resulted in fans being largely confused over whether Big Show is a face or a heel, and there were several young children in my section of the stands rooting loudly for Big Show against Kane.

(6) Curtis Axel beat Bo Dallas. Axel emerged victorious in this battle of the jobbers. This match literally went seconds with Bo taking the pinfall. Following the conclusion of this match, Bo cut a promo saying that this loss was a fluke and calling out any roster member from the back, resulting in the next match…

(7) R-Truth beat Bo Dallas. R-Truth came out to his usual “What’s Up!” entrance and quickly engaged in a back-and-forth on the mic with Dallas that resulted in a dance-off. This dance-off turned out to be a ruse by Dallas that led to him sneak-attacking R-Truth from behind. Despite this sneak attack, Dallas ended up taking the pinfall here after Truth hit his STO finisher.

(8) Dolph Ziggler beat Tyler Breeze. Another really entertaining match. Tyler Breeze dominatedDolph for much of this match using the advantage of having Summer Rae at ringside to distract the referee. In the end, the ref sent Summer to the back after she was caught attempting to get into the ring. Then in a thrilling sequence of moves, Ziggler and Breeze traded pin attempts before Ziggler hit Tyler Breeze with the Superkick to score the pinfall.

(9) Dean Ambrose beat IC champion Kevin Owens via DQ; Owens retained the Intercontinental Title. The main event was short, but very sweet. As soon as the opening bell rang, Owens immediately exited the ring, drawing Ambrose out for a quick ringside brawl. Once the action spilled back into the ring, Owens and Ambrose quickly began to ramp up the pace of the match as they headed towards the finish of this match. The match ended when Owens got disqualified for hitting a prone Dean Ambros e with a steel chair.

After the conclusion of the match, Owens continued to beat down Dean Ambrose leading to a procession of run-ins including New Day, the Dudleyz, Sheamus, and Dolph Ziggler, with the heels and babyface conveniently forming a five-on-five pairing, I could possibly see these two teams facing off at Survivor Series in a few weeks time.

OVERALL: This is my fourth time attending a WWE house show at the SSE Arena in recent memory, and I would honestly at this is the best one yet. The workrate of the wrestlers is significantly up from when I first went in 2012, and this has also helped the overall match quality to rise on these house shows. With such a talented roster, I believe WWE could potentially herald in another boom period in the not-to-distant future (provided they can get the creative to align with the in-ring product, of course).

In terms of attendance, the SSE Arena hold approximately 11,000 people and I would estimate it was close to 95 percent full, which is similar to the post-WrestleMania tour in April/May of this year. WWE also announced a return date of April 20, 2016.

BIGGEST POPS OF THE NIGHT (in no order)

– Cesaro
– New Day
– Dean Ambrose

WORST REACTIONS Of THE NIGHT

– Zack Ryder
– The Miz
– Curtis Axel

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