5/10 WWE in Aix-en-Provence, France: Seth & Reigns & Braun vs. McIntyre & Corbin & Lashley, plus EC3, Ricochet, Aleister, Beth Phoenix, Riott, Mojo, Crews, Balor, Elias

Beth Phoenix (art credit Grant Gould (c) PWTorch)


MAY 10, 2019

(1) Beth Phoenix & Natalya beat The Riott Squad (Ruby Riott & Liv Morgan). Nice to see Beth wrestling again. The crowd was firmly behind the faces (as it would be the case for most of the night). Lots of the usual shenanigans from the Riott Squad. The “Divas of Doom” won when they both performed a sharpshooter on the heels in the middle of the ring leading to a quick tapout.

(2) Apollo Crews beat Mojo Rawley. Quick short match, with Mojo actually getting a lot of heat and the crowd supporting Apollo. Nice athleticism from both of them. Apollo won with a standing moonsault on Mojo.

The Revival blindsided Apollo while he was celebrating. They did a quick speech explaining they hated the country, hated being here, and that they were sick of being disrespected by everyone (and especially “this company”) so they were not giving us the pleasure to see the Revival perform tonight. Aleister Black music interrupted them, following shortly by Ricochet. Both got a nice pop.

(3) Blackochet (Ricochet & Aleister Black) beat The Revival. There was a “hug contest” bit at the beginning of the match where Dawson and Wilder were hugging together to boos from the crowd, and Aleister and Ricochet imitated them to cheers (I guess they were playing on the uncomfortable “back shaving” storyline from Raw). Match went fairly long, with the faces mostly dominating. Blackochet won after a Black Mass from Aleister on Wilder.

Elias then did his usual routine in the middle of the ring, adding a couple of French words. Same as when he is performing on Raw – the “Who wanna walk with Elias?” and “WWE stands for…” bits were very over with the crowd. He asked us to sing along with him and then interrupted us, saying in French “c’était très mauvais, c’était pourri” (“this was very bad, this sucks” – his French was actually fairly decent), cementing his heel status. Balor’s music then interrupted to a strong pop.

(4) Finn Balor beat Elias to retain the Intercontinental championship. Short, intense match. Balor was over with the crowd but Elias had some supporters as well. Balor won with the Coup de Grace from the top rope.

(5) Titus O’Neil beat EC3. The most quiet match of the night, placed right after the intermission. EC3 came out to mostly silence and it was unclear as if he was supposed to be the heel of the face. Titus then came to a mildly warm reception. EC3 bailed out of the match early to confirm his heel position. Titus won quickly and overpowered EC3 most of the match.

Byron Saxton and Mike Rome then went into the ring to promote Money in the Bank coming soon. The crowd started chanting loudly “We Want Becky,” anticipating what was coming next. Mike Rome then announced a Triple Threat match for the WWE Raw Women’s Championship.

(6) Becky Lynch beat Lacey Evans and Tamina to retain the WWE Raw Women’s Championship. Becky got one of the biggest pop of the night, if not the biggest. She is so over with the crowd. We were red-hot for her during the entire match, including some “Becky 2 Belts” chants. Becky mostly fought against both heels one by one. At some Tamina positioned Lacey for a Samoan drop. Becky pushed Lacey onto the mat and then put Tamina into the Disarm Her for a quick tapout.

Afterwards, both heels attacked Becky. She was saved by Becky and Natalya, who were in turn attacked by the Riott Squad. Becky then did a double bulldog on Liv and Ruby, clearing them out of the ring. All three faced then celebrated.

Mike Rome then announced a six-man tag team match for the main event. Corbin entered first to massive heat. The guy knows how to be hated. Lashley then came out for a quieter reaction, and then finally McIntyre to complete the heel trio. Drew actually got the most positive reaction and he looked like the biggest star of the three.

Strowman then came out to a strong reaction. Seth then came out to the biggest pop of the night, closely followed by Roman who got a very huge reaction as well (on par with Becky, I would say).

(7) Roman Reings & Seth Rollins & Braun Strowman beat Bobby Lashley & Baron Corbin & Drew McIntyre. Good, long crowd-pleasing main event. Rollins started first against Corbin who got a lot of heat from the crowd. He went out to steal the Universal Championship belt from Mike Rome so Seth jumped him outside the ring. Rollins then tagged Roman in, and Corbin did the same with McIntyre for a big face-off. Rollins was then tagged back in and was isolated by the heels. He then hot-tagged Strowman for a strong reaction. Strowman cleared house and did his shoulder tackle run around the ring. He then got isolated for quite a while by the heel, building for the hot tag. Corbin did a series of quick pinfall, but only managed to score a one-count, prompting a “one” chant from the crowd initiated by Roman and Seth.

Strowman eventually hot-tagged Rollins who did his high flying move including a suicide dive on Corbin and McIntyre. He then called for the Curb Stomp on Corbin inside the ring but was distracted by McIntyre. Corbin countered with a powerful-looking backbreaker. Rollins managed to tag in Roman for the last hot-tag of the match. He cleared the ring and initiated the finishing sequence. He Superman punched Lashley, but McIntyre broke up the pin. Strowman then slammed McIntyre. Corbin shoved Strowman oustide the ring, Rollins hit the Curb Stomp on Corbin. Lashley tried to catch Rollins, but Reigns hit him with two Superman Punches for the win. The faces then celebrated in the ring.

FINAL THOUGHTS: This was a strong show. I usually go once a year to see them during their France tour in Paris. It was my first time outside the capital city and I was afraid the crowd would be less involved, but it was actually almost the contrary. As usual here, the crowd was very much pro-babyface and anti-heel most of the night (only Elias, McIntyre, and Lacey got some positive reaction to a certain extent). People were hot all night and chants went strongly for most maches. Seth and Roman looked like they were having a lot of the fun during the main event and leading the “one” chant.

Of note, during last year’s tour, the main event was also a six-man tag team match, where Roman & Braun & Lashley (face at the time) beat Owens & Sami Zayn & Samoa Joe. Balor beat Corbin, Rollins beat Mahal to retain the Intercontinental Championship, and Elias lost to Bobby Roode.

RECOMMENDED: 5/10 WWE in Helsinki, Finland: Bryan & Rowan defend tag titles, New Day vs. KO & Sami, Joe vs. Matt, plus IIconics, Charlotte, how Finns fans react differently

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