2/10 WWE in Saginaw, Mich.: Rousey vs. Jax, Drew vs. Elias, Corbin vs. Braun, Gable & Roode vs. Revival, EC3 vs. Dean


Zack Ryder (art credit Travis Beaven)

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WWE LIVE EVENT REPORT
FEBRUARY 10, 2019
SAGINAW, MICH. AT DOW EVENT CENTER
REPORT BY GREG LATOUR, PWTORCH CORRESPONDENT


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


ATTENDANCE: The Dow Event Center is a minor league hockey arena and it has a capacity of 7,600 for concerts and 5,500 for hockey games. Of the sell-able tickets, I would say about 70 percent we’re full. The floor was completely full, the lower bowl had just scattered seats empty, and the upper bowl was just about full on the end, with fewer people sitting on the sides.

The show starts with the standard “Then, Now, Forever” video package.

(1) Nikki Cross & Alicia Fox & Mickie James defeated Natalya & Dana Brooke & Bayley at 7:51. Natalya comes out to a big pop, I assume she got the 1st babyface of the night pop but the crowd stuck with her throughout the match. Fox wasn’t wearing a hat of any kind, which of course has been an on screen gimmick for a while now. Cross didn’t get much of a reaction when she came out but the enthusiasm for her grew as she did her pre-match antics of whipping her jacket around over her head and running the ropes. Fox and Natalya start the match with some good mat wrestling, trading holds and control early. Natalya takes control for a short time and tags in Dana Brooke. Brooke quickly loses control, Nikki and Alicia isolate Dana with some quick tags back and forth, doing solo moves to Dana. Dana tries for the hot tag with Natalya but she’s pulled off the apron by Mickie, who has never entered the match or even stood on the apron in a position where she can be tagged into the match. Bayley chases her away after jumping down from the apron. Bayley gets back on the apron just in time to be tagged in by an exhausted Dana. Bayley clotheslines Nikki who roles out of the ring and gives Alicia the Bayley to belly slam for the three count.

Dean Ambrose’s music hits to a very nice pop, he heads down to the ring and is handed a microphone. He tells the crowd that on Raw last week, it was a total fluke that EC3 beat him and he’s going to prove tonight that EC3 is not in his league.

(2) EC3 beat Dean Ambrose at 11:26. Dean offers EC3 a handshake before the match, EC3 doesn’t trust him and looks around to the crowd to get a reaction. The crowd convinces EC3 to trust Ambrose but just as he fully extends his arm, Dean attempts to kick EC3. EC3 catches the kick and spins Ambrose around and they trade some very hard chops. They lock up and do some very good mat wrestling and some excellent chain wrestling. There was a very cool spot in the chain that went from EC3 on control with a hammerlock to Dean turning it around into a seated hammerlock and then EC3 turned that around into a neck breaker. It was very fluid, looked natural the whole time. They worked the corners well, playing to the crowd and giving each other some more very nasty chops. EC3 was taking most of the bumps, when he reversed an irish whip into a russian leg sweep for a near fall. After a few more minutes of back and forth action, EC3 wins with a small package. Dean worked as a heel this entire match but the crowd was firmly behind him.

Dean stays in the ring and says that the ref was obviously cheating because that was a fast count and the whole crowd saw it. He says hes not leaving the ring until the ref comes back out and restarts the match. He says he’s just going to lay in the ring and do snow angels until that happens. He starts doing to snow angel motion while lying in the center of the ring.

Ryder & Hawkins come out, as they are walking to the ring, Hawkins tells Dean that he has lost 260 matches in a row and Ryder is going to help end that streak. Hawkins tells Dean that if he wants to feel better, he needs to pick himself up by his boot straps and keep trying. Hawkins turns around to put his cane down and Dean throws Ryder over the top rope. As Hawkins turns around, Dean kicks him in the gut and gives him the Dirty Deeds, to a monster pop. Dean leaves the ring, grabs a microphone and says “I’ve always wanted to do this, THIS TAG TEAM MATCH IS SCHEDULED FOR 1 FALL!” as he exits up the ramp.

(3) The Ascension beat Zack Ryder & Curt Hawkins at 7:09. Ryder throws Viktor out of the ring pretty quick and does a splash onto to both members of the Ascension. Viktor takes control of the match shortly after that and the Ascension does some quick tags back and forth to isolate Ryder. Hawkins gets the hot tag, takes control for a short time but eventually Konnor and Viktor hit Hawkins with a tandem running elbow and leg sweep combo for the pin.

Bobby Lashley & Lio Rush make their way to the ring. Both are working the crowd really well as heels, getting a good amount of boos and jeers. Rush starts talking about how the big man, Bobby Lashley is the best in the company. He says since Seth Rollins couldn’t be bothered to show up tonight, Bobby doesn’t have to defend his Intercontinental Title. Finn Balor’s music hits to a huge pop, he comes out wearing his red trunks, red boots, red kick pads and black leather jacket with a red Balor logo on the back. Balor says that he’s willing to fight Bobby for the IC Title. But Bobby says that Balor was lucky to beat Lio last week on Raw and he doesn’t deserve a title shot. Bobby than says if Balor is so tough, he would agree to handicap match against him and Rush. At this point, someone comes out form the back with no music, I assume it’s an agent or producer but I’m not sure who it is, he doesn’t announce himself. He just says, he’s the only one allowed to make the matches tonight and yes this will be a handicap match but it will also be for the Intercontinental Championship. This of course gets a big reaction from the crowd.

(4) Bobby Lashley & Lio Rush beat Finn Balor to retain the Intercontinental Championship at 9:27. Finn takes control of Rush early, getting some good offense on him and really playing to the crowd. Rush tags in Lashley and Finn gets some good offense on him as well. Balor climbs to the top rope for a Coup de Gras but Lio pushes him off and back into the ring. Lashley starts to get a good deal of offense on Balor, he gets Finn up into a powerbomb position but Finn reverses it by flipping Bobby over the top rope and to the outside. Balor is going to do his signature flip over the top onto Bobby who has just gotten up but Lio interferes, which allows Bobby to get back in the ring and knock Finn down. The crowd starts chanting “Let’s Go Balor” and “Balor Club.” Rush climbs to the top and does a good looking frog splash but Finn rolls out of the way. Finn then isolates Rush in the corner and goes for the Coup de Gras again but Lashley has tagged in when Finn’s back was turned. Lashley walks the apron, throws Finn off the top rope and lands a stiff looking clothesline for the win.

Lashley tries to attack Finn after the match but Finn quickly throws Bobby to the outside. Finn knocks down Lio and finally delivers the Coup de Gras to a big pop from the crowd. The crowd first chants “Lashley Sucks” and then “Balor Club” as Finn walks up the ramp to his music playing. Lio and Bobby did a great job of selling and working the crowd as they walked to the back.

(5) Ronda Rousey beat Nia Jax (w/Tamina) at 8:01 to retain the WWE Raw Women’s Championship. Nia comes out to a decent amount of heat but she doesn’t interact with the crowd at all, just gets straight into the ring. Rousey’s music hits and there is a monster pop for her, she comes to ring giving high fives to everyone at ringside and smiling. Tamina tries to attack Ronda before the match starts but Ronda quickly reverses and throws Tamina through the middle and top rope to outside. Ronda has some good looking offense, gives an excellent arm drag and a cool looking step-up punch on Nia. Nia rolls out of the ring to gather herself, the crowd starts chanting “Ronda.” When Nia gets back in the ring she starts to take control of the match. To me, it seemed like somebody missed a spot or a cue here, Nia had put Ronda into a position where she was leaning onto the second rope, Ronda looked around but Tamina was on the other side of the ring. Nia got Ronda up, did a couple of offensive moves and then put Ronda back into that same position on leaning on the 2nd rope, this time, Tamina was there to land a few punches and choke Ronda while Nia distracted the referee. Nia put Ronda into a couple different rest holds here, a bear hug and a side headlock. Nia tried to go back to the bear hug but Ronda reverses it into a triangle, then flips around and applies a rear naked choke to Nia, it was very cool looking. Ronda tried another step-up punch but slides off of Nia’s knee on the step part and it looks rather awkward. Tamina hops up on the apron and distracts Ronda, allowing Nia to give her a Samoan drop. Ronda kicks out at 2 for a big pop from the crowd. Nia whips Ronda off the ropes, Ronda goes for looks like could be another step-up punch but turns it into an arm drag, follows Nia to the mat and applies her armbar finisher, it was excellent looking. Nia taps out quickly, the crowd gives a big reaction

Ronda signs loads of autographs for the people at ringside and takes selfies with people as she slowly makes her way to the back.

Intermission

During the intermission it is announced that the nights main event will be Baron Corbin vs Braun Strowman in a Saginaw street fight.

The ring announcer says “Please Welcome Elias” to a big pop from the crowd. Elias says “who wants to walk with Elias?” and adds “you all know that WWE stands for…” The crowd responds “Walk With Elias.”  He plays about 45 seconds of a blues type riff but doesn’t sing. He says he loves coming to Saginaw because the people here know good music. He says that is usually a solo act but for one night only he has a special surprise for the audience, he’s going to do a duet tonight. No Way Jose’s music plays, not much a pop here but some people we’re having fun with it. Jose barely gets to the bottom of the ramp when he is attacked by Drew McIntyre. McIntyre says that this party is over because it makes him sick to see it. Drew tells the crowd, “It’s so cold in Saginaw that I could use my nipples as offensive weapons,” that gets a good laugh from the crowd, Drew then says, this crowd could only live in such a cold place because they are all animals, this gets a lot of boos from the crowd. Drew says he came out here looking for a fight and Elias should just take his guitar and go to the back. Elias says that he will fight McIntyre right here in Sagniaw.

(6) Drew McIntyre defeated Elias at 9:30. The two quickly start brawling and throwing wild punches at each other. Then they roll outside to the floor. Elias takes a cardboard sign from a fan at ringside, leans it up against the bottom turnbuckle and throws Drew’s head into, getting a nice pop from the crowd. Elias takes the two pieces of the broken sign, hands them back to the fan and loudly yells, “sorry about that,” which gets a good reaction from the crowd as well. Drew controls most of the match but Elias does get the crowd behind him and makes a comeback. He gives Drew his drift away finisher but Drew kicks out of it at the very last second. Drew sets Elias up on the top rope in the corner, Elias does an excellent looking reversal and hits a sunset flip onto Drew. Elias runs the ropes and gives a jumping knee to Drew. As Elias turns to run the ropes again, Drew gets up, Elias hits the ropes and turns around, Drew hits the Claymore Kick immediately for the pin.

Drew rolls out and leaves the arena quickly while Elias gathers himself in the ring. He gets up, kind of shrugs his shoulder and thanks the fans. He gets a nice cheer from the fans as he sells a hurt neck and head.

Before I try to describe what happened in this next match, let me just say that there’s no way my words can do this next match justice. It was an incredible match

(7) Bobby Roode & Chad Gable defeated The Revival at 22:44 to retain the Raw Tag Team Championship. The Revival really heel it up on their way to the ring, refusing to shake hands or give high fives, they took a kids marker, who wanted an autograph and tossed it. They were great. The match starts with Gable vs Dawson. They have a nice sequence of mat wrestling, which ends in a neutral back out. The crowd gives them a nice response. They have an excellent chain sequence, Dawson hits a fisherman’s suplex, back to some chain wrestling and Gable lands good looking drop toe hold. Both men take in their respective partners. Roode ad Wilder start to do some chain wrestling and the pace picks up, with both men landing some moves. Gable tags back in and slows the pace down with a side headlock and some rest holds on the mat. Some chaos ensues, Roode and Gable are left standing in the ring while The Revival sell on the outside. Gable hits the ropes and Roode lifts him over for a splash onto The Revival, big big pop from the crowd. The Revival retreat to their corner again. Roode now gets isolated as the Revival tag quickly in and out, hitting some nice double team moves. Roode finally gets a hot tag to Gable. Gable gives an atomic drop to Dawson, gives Wilder a German suplex, gives Dawson another German suplex, this time with a bridge pin for a near fall. The Revival take back control and give a double stun gun to Gable across the top rope. The Revival isolate Gable now, they give him a double lifting suplex, not entirely sure how to describe it but it’s a very cool looking move. Gable picks up Dawson and gives him a back body drop, he goes to make the tag to Roode but Wilder runs around the ring and pulls Roode off the apron. The Revival give Gable a double team knee and then a double team leg drop off the top rope. The crowd is chanting “Glorious.” At last, Gable makes the tag, Roode gives Wilder a big side walk slam for a near fall. The Revival get a quick tag sequence with a DDT on Roode for another near fall. The Revival hit the doomsday device for yet another near fall but Gable breaks it up. The crowd is chanting “This is awesome!” with a lot of people standing up and clapping. Roode gets Dawson into a reverse DDT position, at the same time Gable lands a moonsault  on him, gets the three count and retain the titles.

(8) Braun Strowman defeated Baron Corbin at 14:05 in a Saginaw Street Fight. Baron is announced as being Saginaw’s favorite son, to a lot of boos of course. That was funny to me, I’m not sure why. Braun comes out to a huge pop and dominates early, throws Baron to the outside. Braun plays to the crowd, they chant “get these hands” as Braun holds his arms out, opens and closes his fists. Baron gets a kendo stick and beats Braun with it a few times, but then Braun catches the kendo stick and breaks it over his knee. Baron goes to the outside again, gets another kendo stick but the results are the same, Braun catches a swing and breaks it over his knee. Braun clotheslines Baron, the fans chant for tables. Braun goes under the ring and tries to slide a table into the ring but Corbin jumps him from behind and he slides the table back under the ring to a loud “BOOO” from the crowd. Baron grabs the ring bell and uses it as a weapon against Braun on the outside. Baron picks up the ring steps and hits Braun with them a few times on the ramp. Braun reverses and gives Baron a suplex. Braun sets up the ring steps in an upright position on the ramp and tries to whip Baron into them but he reverses a d sends Braun into them. The ring steps must have moved a good 8-10 feet, Braun hit them so hard. Back in the ring Baron does his baseball slide out of the ring, run back in and clothesline spot for a near fall. Braun lands a running lariat and a big boot. the fans chant for tables again, Braun goes and gets one, he sets up in the corner. As he does that though, Baron gets a steel chair and hits Braun with it. Corbin then spears Strowman through the table in the corner but can only get a two count. Baron goes to the outside and gets another table. He sets it up in the ring. Baron jumps off the second rope but Braun catches him on his shoulder, powerslam through the table for the three count.

That was the end of the show. Strowman was selling on his way out but also played to the crowd, took some selfies, and signed autographs for people on the way out. We had a lot of fun at this house show. I would recommend any wrestling fan to attend a house if its near them. Raw and Smackdown are typically at the big arena in Detroit and that is only about 15 minutes from my house. This show was just over an hour drive, in good weather, but the tickets are cheaper, there is a lot more wrestling than most televised events, the wrestlers don’t have to follow TV storylines so it gives them a little more freedom before, during, and after their matches. The presentation of the whole show was very professional. It didn’t come off as second class at all and there are no commercial breaks to sit through. After a match, the next match or promo starts really quickly.


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


RECOMMENDED: 2/10 NXT in Kingston, R.I.: Gargano vs. Velveteen, Riddle vs. Dijakovic, Belair vs. Purrazzo, plus Ricochet, Duke & Shaffir, War Raiders

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