12/30 WWE in Tampa, Fla.: Styles vs. Cena vs. Mahal, Mojo vs. Ryder, Charlotte defends in four-way, Riot Squad vs. Naomi & Becky Lynch

Jimmy Uso (photo credit Brandon LeClair © PWTorch)

SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...

WWE LIVE EVENT REPORT
DECEMBER 30, 2017
TAMPA, FLA. AT AMALIE ARENA
REPORT BY JEREMY REEVES, PWTORCH CORRESPONDENT

I arrived about 15 minutes late with the first match under way.

(1) Usos defeated Rusev & English and New Day (Kofi & Woods) and Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable to retain WWE Smackdown Tag Titles. Got in just as the match started it wasn’t the same kind of fatal-four way tag. This time only two people were in the ring at a time. There was a funny moment where Rusev/Gable & English/Benjiman kept rapid blind-tagging each other out. Literally went on for 30 seconds before the Usos recovered and went on a super kick rampage, ending it with a splash.

(2) Mojo Rawley defeated Zack Ryder. During Mojos entrance he started doing some weird kind of football calisthenics in the ring and Ryder cut him off with a short promo telling him how stupid he looked. Ryder got a decent pop while going for the Broski Boot but Mojo slipped to the outside. Ryder then somehow hit the Broski Boot thru the ropes to Mojo outside the ring leaning against the ringpost for a cool spot. Mojo recovered eventually after yelling saying Ryder had no killer instinct and finished him off.

(3) Riott Squad (Sarah Logan & Liv Morgan w/Ruby Riott) defeated Naomi & Becky Lynch. Short match with Logan scoring a roll up on Naomi after Ruby distracted her. Becky and Naomi got great pops as well. Little heat on Riot Squad. I feel like the whole faction is a flop.

(4) Bobby Roode & Randy Orton & Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Baron Corbin & Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn. Decent basic match with Nakamura and Randy both receiving hot tags. A lot of comedy with the heel team tagging out every time Nakamura did his taunt towards them. RKO out of no where to finish it. The face team signed autographs and took lots of pictures after their victory.

INTERMISSION

A “Fashion Files” segment aired, which I think is the same one they’ve been playing at all the shows on this tour with The Ascenion talking up Breezango to fight Bludgeon Brothers

(4) Bludgeon Brothers defeated Breezango. BB didn’t enter with their sledge hammers, strangely. A little comedy to start with Breezango trying to slap each others chest to toughen up. Tyler slapped Fandango and injured him for a funny moment before the match started. A little more offense from Breezango than before but still a squash.

(5) Charlotte defeated Natayla and Tamina and Carmella to retain the WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship. I don’t fully understand Tamina’s wrestling attire, but that’s just me. Lana strutted around ringside and the crowd chanted “We want Lana.” Nattie tapped to the Figure-Eight.

(6) A.J. Styles defeated Jinder Mahal and John Cena to retain the WWE Championship. The Singh Brothers cut a promo calling Jinder the next US Champion with out even referencing the match that was about to go on. Cena looked confused. Lots of “USA” chants. Jinder’s heat seems to have changed from “we don’t actually like you” heat to natural heel heat. Jinder spent a lot of time out of the match. A lot of “Cena/Styles” dynamic and dueling chants. Cena hit Mahal with an AA and ref counted two and was coming down for three and the Singh Brothers pulled the ref out of the ring. The arena thought there was a title change and Cena played the shock well. A “Styles Clash” to Singh Brothers. Mahal gave Cena an Irish whip through a table in the corner and turned around to eat a Phenomenal Forearm from Styles for the pin and the win. Mahal scurried to the back and Cena and Styles had a stare down and talked then Cena raised Styles hand in victory.

I haven’t been to a wrestling show since WrestleMania 24 in Orlando. I had great seats here sitting with my friends and my roommate and his son teaching both of them the ins and outs of an event. Not as many crowd chants as I hoped for. No “Too Sweets,” no “John Cena sucks” during his entrance. But all in all a great event

Loudest Pops
(1) Styles/Cena
(2) Nakamura/Randy
(3) Becky Lynch

Loudest Heat
(1) Owens/Sami
(2) Mahal
(3) Gable/Benjamin

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 THIS RECENT REPORT: 12/29 WWE in Albany, N.Y. (2nd report): Crowd reactions for Cena and Reigns, Woken Matt vs. Bray, Enzo, Rhyno, Asuka, Goldust, The Bar, Revival

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