3/24 WWE in Trenton, N.J.: Strowman partner advertised, fired KO & Sami appear anyway, New Day get Styles to gyrate and twerk

Chad Gable (photo credit Brandon LeClair © PWTorch)


MARCH 24, 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.

Attendance, maybe 70 percent  full at the most

My girlfriend and I sat fourth row from ringside.  There were a lot of young kids in attendance, including a large group of girls sitting a couple rows in front of us wearing Bayley shirts with a big sign that said “Best 9th Birthday Ever!”

(1) Bobby Roode beat Jinder Mahal. Bobby got a nice “first babyface of the night” pop, and fans sang along to Glorious.  Jinder got lots of heel heat (including some embarrassing “USA” chants).  Bobby won with a Glorious DDT.

(2) Sin Cara & The Ascension beat Mike Kanellis & Mojo Rawley &  Primo of the Colóns. Some fans seemed surprised to see Mike Kanellis.  The guy in front of me told me he thought Kanellis was no longer with WWE since he’s been off TV for so long.  I didn’t realize The Ascension were babyface now.  Sin Cara pinned Primo with a Swanton.

(3) Usos beat The Bludgeon Brothers via DQ to retain the WWE Raw Tag Team Titles. Usos were very over.  Lots of cheers and goodwill towards them from the fans.  Eventually Rowan picked up the ringside steps and used them as a weapon, which made the ref call for the DQ.  After the match the Bludgeon Brothers beat down the Usos and left.

Next was arguably the most interesting and “newsworthy” segment of the night.  Byron Saxton was in the center of the ring about to do a merchandise promotion when out of the crowd ran Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn.  The two were wearing street clothes and received an initial massive pop that quickly turned to heel heat, boos, and chants of “You’re still fired!”  They scared Byron off, and Sami grabbed the mic and started to talk about the angle on Smackdown while KO filmed him on his cellphone.  The audience reaction was so loud that from where I was sitting it was hard to hear what Sami was saying.  Then Shinsuke Nakamura’s entrance theme played, which resulted in Sami and KO bolting from the ring and through the audience.  I was standing near the isle and was nearly bowled over by the two as they ran right past me, which I have to admit was actually a cool moment.  This house show was heavily advertised as having a match between Styles, Sami, and Kevin Owens.  Due to the angle on Smackdown, we knew that would likely not happen, so we were curious to see how WWE would give us an advertised Sami and KO appearance despite the angle.  Even though the two didn’t actually wrestle, the crowd was excited to see them and I felt were “satisfied” even though the advertised match never took place.

(4) Shinsuke Nakamura beat Baron Corbin. Shinsuke received the second biggest pop of the night here.  Crowd sang along to his music even after it stopped playing.  This was the first time I have seen Shinsuke in person and he exudes so much energy and charisma that I felt I had just drank a cup of coffee after watching his entrance.  The match was about what you would expect, with Nakamura relying on all his signature bits.  Nak won with the Kinshasa and then spent a lot of time slapping hands and taking pictures with all the fans around ringside, which was really cool to see.


(5) Tyler Breeze (w/Fandango) beat Tye Dillinger. Comedy match.  There was a brief “Fashion Files” segment that played prior to Tyler Breeze’s entrance, which I assume gets played at every Smackdown House Show.  Even though there were chants of “Ten!” for Dillinger, it seemed the crowd was more into the comedy antics of Breezango.  There was a spot where Dillinger, the babyface, tried calling a time out during the match.  That didn’t seem very babyface, and Breeze then proceeded to chase him around the ring.  Another spot had Breeze laying on the mat and slowly rolling out of the way of each of Dillinger’s attempts to do a move off the Top Turnbuckle.  Eventually Tyler Breeze won, and there was a post-match moment of Tye Dillinger joining in and dancing with Breezango.

(6) Naomi & Becky Lynch beat Natalia (w/Lana) & Carmela. Really nice reactions for the women.  I got the sense that most of the audience was really excited to see some women’s wrestling by this point in the show.  It was awesome seeing how passionate the younger fans are for the women too.  The Bayley fans in front of us were freaking out and Becky Lynch wished Happy Birthday to the girl holding up the sign.  We didn’t know why Lana was with Natalia, as they are portrayed as “frenemies” on Total Divas.  Becky and Natalia had some good chemistry in the ring.  Carmela played the chicken-heel role.  Ultimately Naomi landed the rearview on Carmela for the win.

Next they played an advertisement for an upcoming WWE show at MSG in July.  The only reason I mention this is because they advertised that Braun Stroman would be tag-teaming with Elias during that show, which could be foreshadowing what we might see coming up on WWE Television.

(7) A.J. Styles & The New Day beat Rusev & Aiden English & Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable. This seemed like a way to give us Styles, while at the same time keeping him out of the ring until the very end when he gets tagged in just to do a couple of his signature moves and get the pin.  This crowd was WAY into Styles.  Definitely the biggest pop of the night and seemed like the most over wrestler on the brand.  However, this crowd was also very into Rusev (who made his entrance first, sung to the ring by Aiden English).  Lots of “Rusev Day” chants  (my girlfriend was wearing a Rusev Day shirt and felt she had to split her allegiance between Rusev and A.J. in this match).  Clearly the fans looked at Rusev as a babyface even though he was being booked on the heel side.  WWE really needs to clear this up because fans want to cheer Rusev without feeling guilty for not supporting the babyface. In the end, Styles pinned English after the Phenomenal Forearm.

After the match, The New Day did their dances, twerks, and gyrations to an amused crowd.  They begged Styles to dance with them, and after much chanting and goading from the fans, Styles actually started to gyrate and twerk too.  It was funny, but a little unbecoming of the champ, who is a more serious act.

FINAL THOUGHTS: We don’t go to live events too often, so we had a great time here even though the matches were average and filled with lots of comedy spots.  The fans at large seemed to have a great time too and were sent home happy.  My girlfriend and I really enjoyed ourselves and the seats we had.  It was a lot of fun, and we would definitely do it again.

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.

NOW CHECK OUT THIS RECENT REPORT: 3/19 WWE in Cedar Lake, Tex.: Owens & Sami vs. Orton & Nakamura, Charlotte vs. Ruby Riott, Usos vs. Rusev Day and Benjamin & Gable

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