5/10 WWE in Belfast, N. Ireland: Seth vs. Roode vs. Elias vs. Balor, Jax vs. Bliss vs. Bayley, Lashley & Strowman vs. KO & Sami, Reigns vs. Joe

Bobby Roode (art credit Grant Gould © PWTorch)


MAY 10, 2017

(1) WWE RAW Tag Team Championships Match: The Deleters of World (Bray Wyatt & Matt Hardy) (c) defeated The Revival (Dash Wilder & Scott Dawson) to retain the WWE RAW Tag Team Championships

The opening match was a solid, albeit unspectacular opening tag match. The match kicked off with Matt Hardy leading the fans in a chant of “Delete! Delete! Delete” to get them invested in the match.

After the chants subsided, the match got properly underway. During the opening minutes of the match neither team was able to take control. Eventually the Revival were able to get the upper hand, with Dash and Dawson isolating Bray Wyatt in their corner of the ring, and making use fo frequent tags to wear down Wyatt. While this was happening Hardy was standing on the ring apron, urging the Belfast audience to help will Brag Wyatt to make the “hot” tag to Matt.

Once Matt received the tag from Bray, momentum swung in favour of the babyface team. This led into the finishing sequence which saw Matt and Bray deliver a double “Sister Abigail” to one of the Revival to pick up the victory. Overall an enjoyable if somewhat forgettable match, that was roughly on par with what you’d see in a typical episode of Raw.

(2) WWE United Kingdom Championship Match: Tucker defeated Joseph Connors via pinfall

The second match on this card saw two roster members of WWE’s UK division square-off as Tucker took on the Englishman Joseph Connors.Tucker is a local wrestler who primarily competes for the Belfast-based Pro-Wrestling Ulster (PWU) promotion, as well as sporadically appearing for Dublin promotion OTT Wrestling. Joseph Connors is an English wrestler who is best known for his work in What Culture Pro-Wrestling (WCPW).

Their match here at the SSE Arena Belfast was another solid bout. Before the match Tucker came out to some modest cheers from the Belfast fans, while Joseph Connors received no response from the crowd when he walked down to the ringside area. Tucker played the role of the babyface in this match, making use of his aerial-based offence to try and neautralize the more mat-based style of Connors.

In the end Tucker won with a really nice-looking superkick to get the pinfall victory. Despite Tucker being the hometown hero, I thought Joseph Connors was the real star of this match. Connors did an effective job in this match, using rest holds and mat-based moves to get himself a good amount or heat with the Belfast crowd. Tucker meanwhile will no doubt make for an excellent utility player should WWE decide to run a full-time touring brand here in the UK.

(3) Ten-Man Tag Team Match: Apollo Crews, Konnor, No Way Jose, Titus O’Neal & Viktor defeated Akam, Baron Corbin, Curt Hawkins, Jinder Mahal & Rezar

Before this match, WWE played a pre-recorded promo where Kevin Owens tried to sell the fans on the idea that Sami hadn’t be seen all day, and therefore couldn’t be his tag partner against Strowman and Lashley later on in the show (playing into the angle at Backlash where Sami abandoned KO during their PPV match)

Getting back to this match, there was a strong pop from the Belfast fans for No Way Jose, indicating the younger WWE (and some millennials) are at least into the No Way Jose’s energetic conga line entrance.

Titus O’Neal and Curt Hawkins kicked this match off of their respective teams. The heel team spent the majority of this match in control, isolating Apollo Crews and wearing him down so he couldn’t tag in any of his teammates. Crews eventually made the hot tag to No Way Jose. Jose cleaned house using his array-of punches to get his team back into the match.

The finishing sequence of this match saw Curt Hawkins tag into the match and showboat to his teammates in the heel team. This showboating allowed The Ascension and Titus Worldwide to run around the ringside area to their opponents corner, and pulled the heels off the ring apron. No Way Jose was then able to capitalise on this distraction, nailing Hawkins with a pop-up elbow smash to get the win for his team.

(4) Triple Threat WWE Raw Women’s Championship Match: Nia Jax (c) defeated Alexa Bliss and Bayley to retain the WWE Raw Women’s Championship

Biggest reaction of the night (so far) went to Bayley. The B

This match was your typical WWE-style multi-person match, where each superstar getting periods of offence, and then spending another period out of the ring selling some kind of injury. During the first few minutes of the match, the two babyfaces went after Alexa Bliss. This led to Alexa repeatedly retreating from the ring.

Nia was eliminated early in this match after she starcked both Alexa and Bayley against the turnbuckle for a running body splash. Both ladies were able to get out of the way however, and Nia’s shoulder collided with ringpost sending. This led to Alexa and Bayley facing off n the ring, with Alexa getting the majority of the offense in. Bayley did however briefly mount a comeback, and got a nearfall that was interrupted by Nia Jax who miraculously recovered in time to break up the pinfall attempt.

Once Nia was back in the match, she quickly dominated the match, pinning Alexa (I believe) with a sudden Samoan Drop as Alexa ran the ropes. Overall this was your typical two-star WWE women’s match where nothing looked particularly sloppy, but there was nothing to really invest in at the same time.

(5) Tag Team Match: Bobby Lashley & Braun Strowman defeated Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn

This was an incredibly fun match, and was easily the best match of the night up to this point.During the opening minutes of this match Kevin and Sami played to the Belfast crowd. This included one spot where KO grabbed a live microphone and threatened to walk out if the crowd didn’t stop chanting for Bobby Lashley. This of course had the opposite effect, and fans chants for Lashley only increased.

Once the action got underwqy, Lashley dominate much of the early portions of this match. Momentum eventually swing the wag of the heel dup of Owens and Zayn however, when Sami blocked an attempt to tag in Strowman by going after Lashley’s headband, and then gouging his eyes This allowed KO and Sami to get a foothold in the match. The heels quickly took control of the match, isolating Lashley from Strowman while the Belfast fans anticipation for the inevitable hot tag to Braun.

When the tag was made, the reaction from the fans in attendance was thunderous as Strowman immediately took out both of his opponents. Towards the end of the match, It looked like Kevin Owens and Zayn were about to mount a late comeback when Strowman went for a running splash into the turnbuckle and ended up colliding with the ringpost. However Lashley intercepted Sami Zayn and delivered his delayed suplex finishing hold. As this was happening, Owens attempted to hit his running cannonball in the corner on Strowman. Braun however used the ring ropes to pull himself back onto his feet and caught KO to deliver his running powerslam finisher for the three count.

In my opinion this was really enjoyable tag match that allowed all four wrestlers to showcase their talents. Strowman is incredibly over with the fans, and the reception he got tonight was in stark contrast to the decidedly mixed reception Reigns received during his match (we’ll get to that in a minute).

(6) Roman Reigns defeated Samoa Joe

This was another excellent match. Samoa Joe came out first to a reasonably strong reaction to the crowd. When Roman Reigns made his entrance however the SSE Arena erupted into a mix of boos and cheers as Reigns took what felt like an eternity to walk down to the ring

Once the match got underway, it largely followed the formula Joe and Roman used in the main event of Backlash. After initially bull-rushing Reigns before the opening bell, Samoa Joe attempted to wear down his opponent using a series of rest holds that got a pretty decent amount of boos from fans. When Roman did eventually make it back to his feet, and began to mount a comeback.

As the match progressed, Joe attempted to apply his “Coquina Clutch submission hold. Roman Reigns managed to block the submission by running towards the ropes and throwing Samoa Joe into a position that resulted in him lying face down on the bottom rope. Reign then hit his signature sequence of a “Drive-By Kick” followed by a Superman Punch in the middle of the ring for a two-count.

The finish of this match saw Samoa Joe grab a steel chair from under the ring. After threatening to use it, the referee pulled the chair out of Joe’s hands. This distraction allowed Roman to nail Joe with the spear, and get a pinball victory.

(7) Tag Team Match: Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre defeated Breezango (Fandango & Tyler Breeze)

This was the first match after a short intermission and was Drew McIntyre’s first match in Belfast since he appeared on an OTT Wrestling show just before signing with WWE last year. Ziggler and McIntyre entered the ring separately, with Drew getting a decent reception from the Belfast crowd.

The match itself was a completely throwaway affair. The heel duo of Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre picked up the victory here, using a Russian Leg Sweep/Claymore Kick combo to get the pinfall win.

(8) Six-Woman Tag Team Match: Ember Moon, Natalya & Sasha Banks defeated The Riott Squad (Liv Morgan, Ruby Riott & Sarah Logan)

Another forgettable multi-person tag match, this bout saw the babyface trio of Ember Moon, Natalya and Sasha Banks take on the Riott Squad. Of the three babyfaces, Sasha Banks was clearly the most over with the fans, with lots of chants (particularly from younger fans) or “Let’s Go Sasha!” throughout this match. The babyfaces picked up a submission victory in this match after Natalya applied her “Sharpshooter” submission hold for the win on one of the Riott Squad.

(9) Fatal-4-Way WWE Intercontinental a Championship Match: Seth Rollins (c) defeated Bobby Roode and Elias and Finn Bálor to retain the WWE Intercontinental Championship

Before this match, Elias cut an in-ring promo where he did his usual schtick of running down the host town. This got over huge with the Belfast fans, and he received one of this biggest reactions of the evening for his “Walk With Elias!” bit. Aside from Elias, the remaining three competitors also were extremely over with fans, particularly Finn Bálor and Seth Rollins.

Once the opening bell rung, the main event was wrestled at 90mph. Initially the wrestlers paired off with Elias attacking Seth, while Bálor went back-and-forth with Roode. As the match progressed however things began  to break down. The coolest move sequence of the match (and also the show) saw Seth throw all three of his challengers out of the ring. He then did a running suicide dive through the middle rope to Elias, and then Bobby Roode. As Rollins reentered the ring, he was nailed with a “Slingblade” by Bálor, who slid back into the ring in time to intercept the WWE Intercontinental Champion. This got sa huge cheer from the fans.

The finishing sequence of this match saw Bálor deliver his “Coup de Grace” top-rope double-foot stomp manoeuvre to Elias. As Bàlor got to his feet, Bobby Roode nailed him with his implant buster finishing hold. Once Roode had hit his finisher, Seth Rollins then hit Bobby with the “Kings Landing” – his Rainmaket-style jumping knee – followed by a “Blackout Kick” to retain his WWE Intercontinental Championship.

Overall this was an excellent four-way championship match that sent the fans home happy. The breathless pace of the match makes me believe that WWE were possibly running short on time, as previous WWE house show main events I’ve attended normally go around 20-25 minutes. While the frantic pace made for an enjoyable match, I personally would have preferred a longer, more satisfying match as opposed to the shorter one we got to see. Despite this criticism, this was an extremely enjoyable match nonetheless.

Overall Impressions

Having attended every WWE house show at the SSE Arena over the last five years, I am somewhat disappointed to say this was easily the worst one I can remember. Despite featuring three excellent matches – Stowman/Lashley vs. Owens/Zayn, Reigns vs. Joe and the IC Title match. – I felt this show was overly-long (it ran for 3hrs 15 mins whereas previous shows I’ve attended were between 2.5-3hrs) , and the bulk of the matches on the card were made up of forgettable tag or multi-person matches.

This was also a show that highlighted the staleness of the current WWE match structure. For example, the RAW Women’s Title, the tag match involving Braun Strowman and Reigns/Joe all featured a spot in the match where someone collided with the same ring-post. That’s three consecutive matches that featured the exact same spot! I also felt it was a huge mistake not to have Dolph and Drew completely squad Breezango in their tag match.

Attendence-wise the SSE Arena Belfast typically holds around 7,000 people. I would estimate the arena was maybe 90% full with the bulk of fans in attendance belonging to young families. This is down slightly compared to the same tour last year which was close to sold-out. Last year WWE ran the same venue on a Saturday night, so this drop in attendance could be partially attributed to it being a school night.

In terms of T-shirts being worn, this was probably the first time I’ve noticed that a lot of fans weren’t wearing any WWE or wrestling-related apparel. Of those wearing WWE apparel, the majority of them were wearing either a Finn Bálor or John Cena short. There was also a significant number of fans wearing the Braun Strowman “Get These Hands” T-shirt design. I also was surprised to see around five people had bought Money In the Bank replica briefcases at the merchandise stall.

Show Notes

  • As I entered the floor area of the arena WWE were playing a video highlighting the career of Bobby Lashley.
  • They also played a video promoting the Greatest Royal Rumble Network special, and also the positive experience the WWE superstars had during their stay.
  • There was also a poll before the show where WWE asked fans to tweet which of three WrestleMania 34 matches they wanted to see a highlights package of. The winner was the mixed tag match featuring the teams of Stephanie McMahon/Triple H and Ronda Rousey/KurtAngle.


  • Finn Bálor
  • Seth Rollins
  • Elias
  • Bayley


  • Roman Reigns
  • Joseph Connors
  • Nia Jax

NOW CHECK OUT THIS RECENT REPORT: 5/10 WWE in Mannheim, Germany: Styles & Anderson & Gallows vs. Nakamura & The Bar, Bryan & Tye vs. Miz & Cass, Hardy vs. Rusev, Charlotte vs. Carmella

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