SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
WWE LIVE EVENT
JULY 10, 2017
LAREDO, TEX. AT LAREDO ENERGY ARENA
REPORT BY DYLON WELLS, PWTORCH CORRESPONDENT
The Laredo Energy Arena was around 85% and ready for an upcoming good show from WWE Smackdown!
(1) Shinsuke Nakamura beat Dolph Ziggler at 14:22. A surprising, and really good start to the show! The pacing to the eventual climax of back-and-forth near-falls was really well timed throughout including a 32 second handstand Headlock from Ziggler! Ziggler was working Nakamura’s leg throughout the match which prevented Nakamura few times to hit his signature offense with full force. After a 2 count from a Fame Asser and Superkick by Ziggler, he missed a Superkick which led Nakamura to miss a Kinshasa and Dolph attacked the leg a final time before getting hit with the Kinshasa out of nowhere for the 3 count!
(2) Rusev beat Sin Cara at 4:26. This started with a pre-match assault by Rusev on Cara after he jumped into the ring. Once the match started Rusev dominated for the most part with methodical strikes and crowd taunting. Cara eventually got an opening and took advantage after fighting out of Rusev’s bearhug. Cara eventually hit aerial offense such as a Tope Suicida and in-ring as well with his 3 springboard combo (cross body, back elbow, moonsault). Cara then ascended to the top and landed a Frog Splash for 2. Cara was looking to go up again for the Senton and Rusev moved out of the way. Rusev then got to lock in The Accolade and lie on his back for extra force which got the submission win.
(3) American Alpha beat Epico and Aiden English at 8:18. English before the match came out and cut a promo and said that he was “The True Voice of Order, no matter which side of the border.” Then he sing a tune which was mostly inaudible due to probably mic issues or the amount of heat that he was getting throughout. Alpha looks like they carried a good portion of the match since their opponents were a pretty random pairing but they did seem to get their niche down as time went on. Gable took some heat before getting the hot tag to Jordan which led him to clean house with Clotheslines and Running Shoulder Thrusts in the corner to both English and Epico. English eventually ate a Grand Amplitude for the 3 count!
(4) Jinder Mahal (with The Singh Brothers) beat Sami Zayn to retain the WWE Championship at 11:12. A few more minutes to this match may have had a better development but this was still pretty decent nonetheless. Mahal before the match cut a promo and addressed the boos and asked if that’s how you treat the WWE Champion. He then proceeded to speak of a little bit of Punjab before Zayn interrupted. The Singhs involvement throughout the match to get Jinder the advantage, distract Zayn, or lay in some offense on him behind the refs back worked out pretty good at the times it was executed. The ending did seem a little abrupt (perhaps due to the length) Sami moments ago got the near fall off the Blue Thunder Bomb and Jinder kept fighting back until he was set up for the Helluva Kick and right when Zayn was running for the kick a Singh pulled Jinder out of the ring. While the referee was distracted by that situation, Zayn was looking to go airborne out of the ring until he got tripped by the other Singh which led to Zayn’s back turned and Mahal ran back into the ring and grabbed Zayn and connected with the Khallas for the three count.
After the match, Zayn managed to grab the Singh brother who tripped him and hit the corner Exploder into a Helluva Kick.
(5) Naomi & Becky Lynch & Charlotte Flair beat Natalya & Tamina & Carmella at 13:43. Carmella was much more of a comical heel than I’ve seen before in this match which did work. Naomi did not get tagged in until around the 11 minute mark while Becky took most of the heat on her end. Naomi laid in various offense on Natalya with her usual repertoire. In the midst of the chaos throughout, it did seem that the ending was a bit abrupt but at a good time as well when Naomi hit the rear view on Natalya for the 3! This match had a good combination of comedy throughout with both teams.
(6) The Usos beat The Hype Bros and The New Day (Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods w/Big E) to retain the Smackdown Tag Team Championship at 9:46. A few more minutes would’ve not hurt this one especially since almost half of it involved dancing (in which Mojo got over really well with his intensity and fast pace during the unique movements). The action throughout was what you would normally except which wasn’t bad. Ryder got the hot tag and got to rough up Jey which his comeback sequence. A bit of chaos ensued which led to everyone else on the outside. Ryder was looking to fly out of the ring until Jimmy got blind tagged and rolled up Ryder from behind for the 3!
(7) A.J. Styles beat Kevin Owens and Baron Corbin to retain the United States Championship in 12:16. This was a back and forth encounter as expected with pretty convincing near-falls throughout the end. Eventually all 3 men were down at once when Corbin got taken and Owens ate a Pele Kick by AJ. The ending came after a few back and forth moves which eventually led to Corbin getting Cannonballed by Owens and then Owens turned into a Phenomenal Forearm by an idle AJ waiting on the apron for Owens to turn around which got the win to end the show on a happy note for the fans!
FINAL NOTES: A good show overall once again in Laredo without a seemingly dull moment!
Shinsuke Nakamura (by a slight margin)
The New Day
NOW CHECK OUT THIS RECENT REPORT: 7/9 WWE Smackdown in Hidaldo, Tex.: Styles defends against Owens and Corbin, Mahal vs. Sami, Nakamura, American Alpha