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WWE LIVE EVENT REPORT
SATURDAY, MARCH 16, 2019
REPORT BY KEVIN CATTANI, PWTORCH CORRESPONDENT
ATTENDANCE: Around 2,500 in attendance, with lots of young girls.
(1) Samoa Joe defeated R-Truth (w/Carmella) to retain the U.S. Title in 10:00. After some stalling and cheap heat by Joe, Truth brought the action with a baseball slide between the middle and bottom rope. Joe had most of the offense. After a successful Five Knuckle Shuffle, Truth attempted an axe kick which Joe turned into the Coquina clutch. Truth tapped out.
(2) Jeff Hardy pinned Andrade in 12:00. Pre-match, Jeff worked the crowd and then threw a shirt into the crowd, so Andrade responded in kind only to “throw” his shirt to Kayla Braxton for cheap heat. After a solid back and forth, Andrade hit his finisher with Jeff kicking out. After another couple moves, Jeff reversed a move into the Twist of Fate for the win. He then threw his arm wraps to various sections of the crowd.
(3) Nikki Cross beat Sonya Deville. In a total clash of styles, Nikki did some slapstick gags to get the crowd going and bring the action early. After an off-apron double axe handle by Nikki, Lacey Evans interrupted. In the commotion, Nikki got Sonya back into the ring. Standing the interruption no longer, Nikki slidekicked into Lacey. Sonya pursued Nikki outside and threw her back in the ring. Nikki hit her with a punch and went for the cover. Lacey broke up the pin and Charles Robinson called the match for Nikki.
At that point, Carmella came in for the save and cleared the ring. After some pandering to the crowd by Carmella and Nikki, Robinson restarted the match as a tag match.
(3b) Carmella & Nikki Cross beat Sonya Deville & Lacey Evans in 10:00. After some heel offense on Nikki, Carmella got the hot tag. Following a clearing of both heels, Carmella hit a bronco buster on Sonya. After a quick tag by Carmella, Nikki hit her finisher on Sonya for the win.
(4) Rowan beat Mustafa Ali in 8:00. Total David v. Goliath. Rowan interacted with the crowd a fair bit at the start of the match. Rowan controlled the first half of the match, getting all the offense. Following a couple feeble comeback attempts, Rowan took the offense outside. Once back inside, Rowan went for a cover that Ali kicked out of. Ali turned the tides after the kick out. Ali landed a back-to-back middle rope dive and top rope flip on a dazed Rowan. Once the action came back inside, Ali missed a top rope cross-body, which Rowan reversed into his finisher for the win. After leaving the ring, Rowan came back to dish out more punishment. One kick later, Kevin Owens made a run-in to clear Rowan. He then helped Ali up, raised his arm and then left the ring to let Ali have his moment.
(5) Becky Lynch beat Charlotte. Charlotte entered first and addressed the crowd and declared herself “Ms. WrestleMania.” She dissed Ronda and Becky, which led to Becky’s music hitting. The match was back and forth for the first half. After some outside action, Charlotte took control and proceeded to work the knee pretty heavily with strikes, rope assists, and a Boston crab. After working for a rope break, Becky took over the offense. Charlotte then reversed a middle rope move to take the momentum back. The match then went back and forth with various missed pin attempts by both women. Becky finally won with a Disarmer in the middle of the ring.
(6) Big E & Kofi Kingston beat Alexander Wolfe & Eric Young (w/Killian Dane) in 15:00. After five minutes of pancake shenanigans from both sides, Wolfe and Big E started the match. Sanity controlled the first half of the match with Kofi taking most of the punishment. Young punched Big E off the apron right before Kofi could make the hot tag. Kofi eventually made the tag and Big E cleared the ring. Big E took a brutal double team move which brought Kofi back in. He did an over-the-top dive onto an awaiting Killian and Eric Young. Back in the ring, Big E slammed Wolfe into the mat. A hot tag to Kofi followed with a setup for the New Day double team move with Kofi then securing the pin on Wolff.
(7) Asuka pinned Mandy Rose to retain the Smackdown Women’s Title in 10:00. Asuka controlled the early goings. After about two or three minutes, Sonya Deville emerged from the back to patrol the outside. The match was relatively back and forth. Mandy controlled the middle of the match. Asuka reestablished control. Following foiled interference by Sonya, Asuka knocked Mandy out and covered for the pin.
(8) Randy Orton beat A.J. Styles in 20:00. The match started with crowd pandering from both competitors. The first five or six mins were back and forth. Randy then initiated a test of strength on the smaller Styles, which he then faked to gain the offensive upper hand. A.J. made a small comeback, which Randy then stymied with a missed RKO attempt. Randy took and maintained control for the next few minutes. After more 50/50, A.J. tried to initiate a rolling knee bar, which Randy stopped with a boot to the chest. After another exchange, A.J. performed another rolling knee bar that he turned into a calf-crusher. Randy eventually got out of the move and following another set of offensive strikes, worked into his middle rope DDT. Following another failed RKO, A.J. hit Randy with a Pelé kick. As A.J. went to capitalize, FINALLY, Randy hit an RKO Outta Nowhere. A.J. got his foot on the lower rope to break the pin attempt. Randy then took A.J. over to the corner for an attempted superplex. A.J. snuck out the bottom and landed some offense. Randy then threw A.J. over top rope. An elbow to Randy’s face led to A.J. attempting a Phenomenal forearm, which he abandoned upon seeing an awaiting RKO attempt. After another elbow to the face on Orton, A.J. hit a successful phenomenal forearm for the pin, sending the crowd home happy.
FINAL THOUGHTS: All of the babyfaces spent a lot of time with the ringside fans before and after the matches – which I loved! Lots of selfies and autographs… Becky, Nikki, Jeff Hardy, Charlotte, Kofi, Asuka and A.J. got huge pops… Random Thoughts: Randy is a biiiiig boy in person. It was funny to see some performers pose to the “hard cam” side only, while others worked the ring more. Kayla did a great job announcing/pushing merch/getting the crowd back up when necessary. Sanity is a lot of fun in person and it’s a shame they’re not used more on the televised products. Speaking of Sanity… Nikki was reaaaalllly over…