12/30 WWE in Albany, N.Y.: Cena vs. Reigns, The Bar vs. Sheamus & Jordan, Kane sings with Elias, fans chant for Paige, Strowman advertised but absent

John Cena (photo credit Wade Keller © PWTorch)


DECEMBER 29, 2017

I attend shows frequently and this was one of the best house shows I have seen in a long time. The downside was that Braun Strowman was scheduled to appear but wasn’t there. I believe he was supposed to face Kane, who was there, but he was used in a gimmick.

The arena was full on the lower level and floor, apart from the one-third of the arena that was blacked off on and behind the stage. I had a $40 ticket that I got for $18 on Stub Hub. A fair amount of Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins shirts. The big seller at the mercy table seemed to be the four autographed photos at $20 each – John Cena, Rollins, Roman, and Finn Balor. Although Cena sold out at one of the booths, I seemed to see a lot more people with Seth photos. He is very over in this part of the woods.

The show ran just under three hours with about a 15 minute intermission.

(1) Heath Slater & Rhyno & Goldust & Titus O’Neal & Apollo Crews beat The Revival & Miztourage & Curt Hawkins. Not a lot of memorable moments in this. A great popcorn match. Everyone got a spot in.

(2) Enzo beat Kalisto. Enzo his schtick but, until intermission, the audio was indecipherable in my area. Possibly for the best. He defeated Kalisto in a standard Enzo match. You know what I mean by that.

(3) Sasha Banks & Bayley defeated Sonya DeVille & Mandy Rose. Fine. Nothing special here. Lots of chants for Paige but, she wasn’t on the bill.

There was an ad for an upcoming NXT show in Albany and the room went dark. When the lights came on, Elias was in the ring. (He’s my favorite, by the way. I think he’s terrific). He did his normal gimmick. He asked for backup singers and Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson came out. They all sang horribly and Kane came out (who, as I said, was marked to face Strowman). Anderson and Gallows ran outside of the ring and Kane stood behind Elias as he talked uncomfortably (as I said, I don’t know exactly what was going on due to the audio issues in-house), but I DO know that Kane sang with Elias before he eventually just chokeslammed him after some outside tomfoolery with Anderson and Gallows. Elias is over. Very over.

(4) Matt Hardy pinned Bray Wyatt. Bray’s intro is very much over. The arena was actually visible solely from the “fireflies.” He took on the popular Matt Hardy. Lots of kids here. The “Woken” gimmick was over their heads. Old farts like myself enjoyed it. Some “delete chants,” but not long-lasting. Hardy pinned Bray.

(5) Jason Jordan & Seth Rollins beat Sheamus & Cesaro in a cage. Match of the night. Rollins is very much over and surprisingly, so was Jordan. And he backed it up. The match was quite good. All of the “greatest hits” of a steel cage match were performed, but I dug the ending. First, Rollins climbed over, as Jordan got pulled back in. After a while, Seth climbed backed up and dove from the  top of the cage on top of Caesaro and Sheamus. Then the same thing essentially happened again, but with Jordan touching ground outside. I actually thought that Caesaro and Sheamus might win this by Jordan NOT coming back in to help like Seth did. It would put some heat on Jordan. And then I remembered that I was at a house show. Well, Jordan waited outside and both Caesaro and Sheamus started climbing over. Jordan acted like he wasn’t sure what to do. They both climbed down opposite sides, and Jordan went under Sheamus while he was climbing down and kept him on his shoulders outside of the ring to give Seth enough time to climb the cage and jump to the ground to win the match. Very good match. Jordan went over very well and he impressed me.


(6) Asuka & Dana Brooke beat Alexa Bliss & Nia Jax when Asuka made Bliss tapout. They announced a special guest referee in Mickie James.

(7) Samoa Joe pinned Finn Balor. Great match from two exceptional performers. Joe got the pin, but Finn walked back to an ovation and great fanfare.

I thought we were going to get Stowman vs. Kane, but was surprised (and a bit relieved, since it was two-and-a-half hours in and surrounded by kids. VERY family-heavy tonight) to see that the main event was next.

(8) Roman Reigns pinned John Cena. This was quite a main event for a house show at this stage of Cena’s career. I am sure that sold tickets. And it was a good match. Lots of back-and-forths and VERY close near- falls. Obviously Roman won. Clean win. Pinfall. After Roman’s initial post-match reaction, Cena gave him the nod, handshake, hug, and held his arms up. Still trying to get him over, yes. People didn’t care. They filed right on out…

FINAL THOUGHTS: Very fun show. I enjoyed.

If you attend a live event for any pro wrestling event, please send a report like the one above to pwtorch@pwtorch.com.

NOW CHECK OUT THE PREVIOUS REPORT: 12/29 WWE in Hershey, Pa.: Styles vs. Mahal, Charlotte vs. Natalya vs. Carmella vs. Lana, plus Shinsuke, Riott Squad, New Day, Rusev


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