3/18 WWE in Oklahoma City, Okla.: Bray vs. Woken Matt, Sasha & Asuka vs. Rose & Deville, plus Balor, Strowman, Reigns, Seth, Cena, Miz, Elias

The Miz (photo credit Wade Keller)

MARCH 18, 2018

Please send results of live events you attend to pwtorch@pwtorch.com. Thank you! Also, please include any photos you take of either the arena setting, entrance stage, and clear pictures of wrestlers on way to ring or inside the ring.

So this is the first house show I have been able to attend, from start to finish, in years. I’ve always attended televised shows when they come into Oklahoma City and sometimes Tulsa, but when WWE Live “house shows” are in town, they almost always end up on a Sunday and in the past I always had some drill weekend or out of state training going on. Something else that was interesting is that due to it being a long while since I’ve been to a WWE live event, I felt more interested in going then I usually would be. Knowing with it being untelevised I don’t expect anything storyline wise to happen, it was nice because going into it, it felt like this was a local wrestling show just with a much larger audience and well actually widely recognized characters.

So with that said, attendance was pretty average for what I would expect an untelevised WWE house show in OKC to pull in. It was definitely  not a sell out crowd. The entire third level was curtained off and their was empty chairs everywhere, including some of the floor seats in the front row!

(1) Sasha Banks & Asuka defeated Absolution’s Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville (w/Paige). Sasha came out first to a great pop, and Asuka following with of course a much larger pop. This being my first time to see Asuka live I was very excited. Then Absolution came out to a very muted reaction. It wasn’t until Paige began doing to great heel work in and out of the ring that the boos/cheers increased. The match overall was pretty good quality and left you almost wanting more. Sasha and Asuka did a great jobs building up the tag. Ultimately I walked away from this match excited to see more out of Absolution. They worked the entire match building heat, going to easy cheats and just working the crowd.  This match is why people argue for a Women’s Tag Division, which we all know with work like this it will come sometime long down the road. The Match ended with Asuka getting Sonya Deville to tap out to the arm bar.

(2) Bray Wyatt pinned “Woken” Matt Hardy. This match overall was pretty okay and is what we’ve come to expect from them. The highlight of the match was Bray Wyatt teasing and taunting two drunks in the second row, during pretty much the whole match. Other  then that, I heard many people talk after the match to be skeptical and also excited to see what takes place Monday between the two. I think many of the, for lack of a better word, “woken” fans of the WWE Universe were interested to see if WWE does what WWE does and that is take something awesome and make it lame.

(3) Cedric Alexander pinned Drew Gulak. I wish I could give a lot of detail about this match, but I didn’t take any notes during this match. And that isn’t for reasons you would first think of. So from memory I remember this match had the almost non-existent pops of the night. No one was looking forward to this match, and no one really cared. That was until these two really started going at it. This was probably one of the best wrestling matches if not the best. The only note I took was after the match had ended and it says, “Amazing showing from Cruiserweight Division, drew in a uninterested crowd and ended with thunderous cheering from a rather conservatively small crowd. EXCELLENT!” That pretty much said it all!

(4) Finn Balor & Seth Rollins & Braun Strowman defeated The Bar & Kane. This match was really what I was looking forward to, mainly because it had my boy Balor in it. But really because I was interested in seeing Braun operates as a teammate to Rollins and Balor. This was a decently done match. It began with The Bar and Kane taking out Balor and Rollins, and then all three gaining up on Strowman. After that, Strowman spent a majority of the time outside of the ring leaving Balor and Rollins to fight. The match ended with Stroman, Rollins, and Balor landing finished on each of the three and Stroman gaining the pinfall over Sheamus. Good match with tons of pops. The best was after the match when Balor and Rollins started to imitate Strowman on stage and he then mocked them mocking him in a gesture of friendship. It was fun and made for a huge crowd reaction.

At this time they announce what match from the WWE Network was voted on to watch while everyone takes a assumed restroom break.

(5) Titus O’Neal & Apollo & Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson defeated The Miztourage & The Revival. This match was a lot of fun to watch, and I was excited to see The Revival in action live.  However, I only caught the tail end of this match due to a beer break! (Can I get a “Hell Yeah!”?)

(6) Alexa Bliss pinned Bailey to retain the Raw Women’s Championship match. Bliss had help from Mickie James to retain the Raw Women’s Championship. This had to be one of my favorite matches of the night. Bailey came out to a huge pop, much more than I expected. Bliss had major heat. Bailey definitely shined in this match. Bliss would often distract the ref inside the ring, while Bailey would be attacked outside the ring by Mickie James.  It ultimately ended with Bliss getting a sudden roll-up on Bailey to retain. But after the match had ended, Mickie James began to attack Bailey in the ring with Alexa Bliss soon following.

Nia Jax’s music hit and out came one angry Women. Bliss grabbed a mic and explained that it wasn’t her in the video last week on Raw and that it was obviously photo shopped, “something I expect to hear Monday on Raw.” Then Nia began to seem to “accept”  Bliss’s story and continued to hug Bliss. That is until Bliss attempted to stop hugging and Nia began to give a bear hug and transition into a side slam. This encounter was more enjoyable to watch then I expected. I’m personally okay with the steps taken leading to this point and I’m ready to Nia get a push a many, at least I hope!

(7) The Miz (w/Bo Dallas, Curtis Axel) defeated Roman Reigns and John Cena and Elias in Fatal Four-way to retain the Intercontinental Championship. Elias did his thing and pulled in probably the most heat of the night. Me, personally, I’m entertained by his hole persona, so I was often laughing when most were booing. Then the Miz entered to large boos. Then Cena with huge pops, and after that Roman Reigns entered. The match was okay, involved some spots with a chair and a table. But it ended with the Miz Gaining pinfall over Elias after throwing Cena into a table the Miztourage stopping Reigns from breaking the count.

Now on the subject of Roman Reigns, it was kind of hilarious. So he entered to tons of children cheering which lasted for about six seconds or so until audible adult booing began. The boos began quietly and quickly became thunderous. It actually had me laughing. This kid right in front of us started the match cheering. By the end he was chanting “Roman Sucks,” while his dad was like the only guys cheering Roman on in our area.  Now I decided to ask a couple people after the show why they boo Roman Reigns and got some interesting answers.

So for many the answer was an unintelligible – he can’t wrestle or something to that extent. But the answers that made the most since where some said they don’t approve of how he has been pushed in the company over other stars. I wanted to know why they had a problem with him and not John Cena, Seth Rollins, Randy Orton, and so on – each of whom where all stars that had a push, and the one word I kept hearing was natural. Many responded by saying their pushes had a more natural storyline and the characters seemed more genuine and not fake. The one response I loved the most said he thinks Roman is doing better lately and he is willing to give him a chance, but he doesn’t like the way WWE books him. He said they make the booking so obvious. So, for example, the match we saw tonight here in OKC, Roman introduced weapons to the match and people cheered, but they weren’t cheering for Roman; they where cheering for the weapons. Every move he made in the match was to try to set him up to be cheered, instead of just having a good match he resorted to cheap stuff.

Please send results of live events you attend to pwtorch@pwtorch.com. Thank you! Also, please include any photos you take of either the arena setting, entrance stage, and clear pictures of wrestlers on way to ring or inside the ring.

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