12/26 WWE in New York City, N.Y. (2nd Report): Nearly full MSG features special appearances by John Cena, Vince McMahon, ten NXT wrestlers, Rousey vs. Jax main events

Velveteen Dream (art credit Joel Tesch © PWTorch)


DECEMBER 26, 2018

If you attend a live event, please send results in the format of the following report to pwtorch@pwtorch.com. Thanks!

Personal Note: I grew up in Detroit, Michigan and saw/heard about Madison Square Garden via ABC’s Wide World of Sports and read about it via the Stanley Weston/Pro Wrestling Illustrated family of magazines. Once WWF went national and I had better access to wrestling, my fandom grew. I always wanted to go to the Mecca. Some favorite MSG matches I saw on Colosseum Home Video includes Hulk Hogan vs. Randy Savage series from late 1985/early 1986 and Savage & Adrian Adonis vs. Tito Santana & Bruno Sammartino from summer of 1986. This trip was on my bucket list and very happy that I went.

(1) Finn Balor defeated Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler when Balor pinned pinned Ziggler in a triple threat match. Similar to their Raw match. Good action. After the pin, Drew attacked both and cut a promo. This gave Ziggler and Balor time to recover and get revenge with a superkick and Coup de Grace, respectively.

(2) Apollo Crews won a 10 Man Battle Royal. Participants included Curt Hawkins, No Way Jose, Rhyno, Heath Slater, Titus O’Neil, Zach Ryder, Jinder Mahal, and The Ascension. Hawkins got eliminated by Crews using a pressslam out of the ring. I had to remember that Hawkins was the tenth person. Apollo eliminated Jinder with a kick that showed a ton of light.

(3) Elias beat Bobby Lashley in a Guitar on a Pole match. Short contest. Lashley gave us the glute pose (from the stage). Lio Rush interfered, but Elias brushed him off. After Elias got the guitar, he threatened both. Elias moved out of the way and Lashley speared Rush. Elias then bashed Lashley on the back with the guitar.

(4) Natalya & Ember Moon beat Riott Squad (Ruby Riott & Liv Morgan w/Sarah Logan). Nattie got a nice reception. Liv acted insane. Too bad Alexa Bliss borrowed the Harley Quinn look before Morgan because she’s doing it much better than Bliss. Not sure of the name of the referee, but he was the same height as the women. After watching Ember get beat up, Nattie got the hot tag and submitted Liv with a sharpshooter.

(5) Velveteen Dream & Pete Dunne & Matt Riddle & Ricochet & Aleister Black defeated Tommaso Ciampa & Johnny Gargano & Adam Cole & Kyle O’Reilly & Roderick Strong (w/Bobby Fish). The general audience in my area knew the NXT wrestlers. A lot of good action. Gargano and Ciampa teased a DIY spot on Black, but Dunne broke it up. Multiple dives to the floor. All got the signature moves. Ricochet, after hitting a 450, pinned Cole.

(6) Dean Ambrose beat Seth Rollins by escaping the steel cage. A lot of heat on Ambrose. Both used the cage as a weapon. Ambrose introduced a kendo stick. Rollins eventually got it and returned the favor. They fought twice at the top of the cage. Seth almost left through the door when Baron Corbin (wearing a black New York Knicks jacket) slammed the door on Seth’s head. Dean almost escaped for very believable ending. Ambrose eventually left out of the door. Rollins got a nice ovation.

(7) Bobby Roode & Chad Gable defeated The Revival and The Authors of Pain to retain the WWE Raw Tag Team Titles. Good initial fighting. It settled down when Gable was getting worked over. Drake Maverick was a good ringside pest. The champs won when Roode gave Dash a reverse neckbreaker and Gable did an immediate moonsault.

(8) Sasha Banks & Bailey beat Mickie James & Alicia Fox (w/Dana Brooke). Sasha sold, Bailey got the hot tag. Ending was Banks giving Foxy a backstabber and Bailey then hit her Bailey-to-Belly for the win.

Baron Corbin came out and he had a ton of heat. Since Braun Strowman wasn’t there, Corbin asked for a ten count. At nine, Vincent Kennedy McMahon came out! Huge pop for the Chairman. The referee restarted the ten count. Mr. McMahon declared Corbin the winner. Then Vince said he had another wrestler who wanted to fight Corbin and announced John Cena. John and Vince hugged each other.

(9) John Cena pinned Baron Corbin. Cena got the “Let’s Go Cena! / Cena Sucks” dueling chant and in the beginning it was 50/50. Soon went to 70 percent for Cena. Baron continued to work the house mic, yelling at New Yorkers. Cena eventually won with the Sixth Move of Doom. I have no idea what that was. Cena crossed his arms in front of his chest and used a back fist. The crowd liked it. Cena then took the house mic and thanked everyone. He said he was happy to be home with his WWE family.

(10) Ronda Rousey submitted Nia Jax (w/Tamina) to retain her Raw Title. Tamina interfered. Another good match between Ronda and Nia. Ronda eventually secured an armbar and Nia tapped.

Tamina entered the ring and jumped Rousey. The Riott Squad came out and joined the heels. Natalya and Ember Moon came to help Ronda. Then Dana Brooke (who RAN down!), Alicia Fox, and Mickie James. Finally Sasha Banks and Bailey. Ronda went to the top rope and dove onto the heels on the floor. Afterward, the faces raised Ronda’s arm as they walked to the back.


-The Garden was mostly full. The only area that was tarped off was behind the stage. There were scattered empty seats, but no huge pockets. Unfortunately I can’t guess attendance. The scoreboard video screen was incredible. Crystal clear picture. For some reason, Cena vs. Corbin wasn’t shown on the big screen. All other matches were up.

-Most cheers were Mr. McMahon, John Cena, Seth Rollins, and Ronda Rousey. Most heel heat was Baron Corbin by a country mile. Then Dean Ambrose and Drew McIntyre.

-The merchandise table was a little weak. There were more choices at my last house show. No Smackdown shirts. Only wrestlers in attendance, including NXT, had merchandise, although there were Hulk Hogan and Brock Lesnar shirts and Sting masks (for $5)!

-I didn’t see any unique signs. I gave fist bumps to kids wearing Cena shirts and championship belts. Told a boy I liked his Rollins sign. A guy was dressed as Undertaker. Saw a few Bullet Club shirts.

-My ticket face price was $171, with fees $196. Row 6, seat 5. I sat facing the hard camera. If this was a taping, I would’ve been on TV. I had a great view and don’t regret the cost.

-The guy sitting next to me was wearing a Velveteen Dream shirt. He saw me writing this report and asked if I worked for the Torch. He’s a recent subscriber. We had some fun exchanges.

-This was my first time at MSG and NYC. I came specifically to see this show. When WWE booked Barclays Center for WrestleMania weekend and Ring of Honor booked the Garden, who knows if WWE will ever return? So I decided to brave cold weather for this event. I’ve been here a few days and did several tourist things and will be doing more later this week.

If you attend a live event, please send results in the format of the following report to pwtorch@pwtorch.com. Thanks!

NOW CHECK OUT THIS REPORT: 12/26 WWE in New York City, N.Y. at MSG: Rousey vs. Jax headlines, Cena returns, Vince McMahon appears, ten NXT wrestlers participate, Dean vs. Seth

1 Comment on 12/26 WWE in New York City, N.Y. (2nd Report): Nearly full MSG features special appearances by John Cena, Vince McMahon, ten NXT wrestlers, Rousey vs. Jax main events

  1. I had an amazing time and got a fist bump from the BRO – it was very very much a different experience to see it live (only my 4th time in 20 years, always at MSG) – considering how awful the TV has been – but damn if these men and women (and refs, photogs, ring announce team etc) don’t work hard to entertain, and I really truly appreciated it. I saw so many of my favorites up close – and WOW were they freakin smokin hot (both genders)! I truly doubt this is the last we’ll see of WWE at MSG.

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