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WWE LIVE EVENT REPORT
MAY 10, 2019
REPORT BY AKI HONKANEN (@Numbbie), PWTORCH CORRESPONDENT
Attendance: The Helsinki Ice Hall has a capacity of 8200. The upper deck was not tarped off as there were some sparse audience member watching from up high. The floor was sold out and the lower bowl was about two-third full. So I’d say that there was around 3,000 people in audience.
Tickets: Prices ranged from $30 to $110 general admission. There was also $450 VIP meet & greet tickets. (My ticket was free and I sat where the hard camera would be if there would have been one. I was satisfied.
Merchandise: Roman, Mysterio, Shield, Kofi, New Day, Daniel Bryan and Becky Lynch were the ones that caught my eye the most on the shelf and on people in attendance.
(1) R-Truth & Carmella defeated Andrade & Zelina Vega. This was supposed be a singles match, but was turned into a intergender tag match. Truth and Carmella came out to start the show. Wazzups were had. Truth warmed up the crowd with interaction. Lot of comedy. Truth rolled up Andrade for the win after Andrade had tried the same with feet on the ropes.
After the match, we were just about to get a dance break, but Lars came out and destroyed R-Truth.
(2) Xavier Woods defeated Sami Zayn. Sami came out, people chanted “Welcome back.” (Zayn used to have a Finnish flag on his trunks when it represented all the countries he had wrestled in.) Sami took some heat before Woods came out. The bell rang and Zayn tried to rush Woods twice, but was stopped by toots from the trombone. Sami took the mic and started blasting when Woods rolled him up to the pin. One move match.
Matt Hardy came out for a U.S. Title match against Samoa Joe. (This was supposed to be Hardy vs. Lars) Hardy was attacked on the ramp by Joe who took the mic and said: “Unfortunately Matt isn’t able to compete tonight” and left.
At this point we’ve had a comedy match with a long intro and two matches not happening. Crowd seemed rather annoyed.
(3) Charlotte Flair defeated Naomi. Charlotte came out and said that she didn’t lose at WrestleMania. Fans chanted “Becky.” First actual and good match of the night. My friend, who doesn’t watch wrestling, told me that this was the most entertaining match. Charlotte won with another roll up with foot on the ropes.
(4) Daniel Bryan & Rowan defeated Rusev & Shinsuke Nakamura and The Usos to retain the Smackdown Tag Team Championships. The Usos came out first. Rusev, Nakamura, and Lana came out next. Rusev explained that Finland sucks whereas Sweden and Norway rule. He was greeted with a loud “Suomi” chant (Finland). Bryan and Rowan posed in he corner for the entire entrance music and started to play it again. This was my pick as match of the night. The Usos hit a splash on Rusev, but Bryan stole the pin on Rusev. Rowan and Bryan beat down the Usos afterwards, but the babyfaces made a comeback.
(5) The Iconics defeated Asuka & Kairi Sane to retain the Women’s Tag Team Championships. The Iconics did their thing during the entrance. Kairi went for the elbow, but was pushed down. The Iconics both rolled up Kairi. That was the fourth roll up of the night.
(6) Samoa Joe defeated Matt Hardy to retain the U.S. Championship. Matt Hardy limped out and called out Joe. The crowd was into this match with a good “Let’s go Hardy” / “Let’s go Joe” dueling chant. Joe choked Matt out.
(7) Kofi Kingston defeated Kevin Owens via DQ to retain the WWE Championship. Owens came out followed by Kofi with Woods. Owen stalled a lot. Good start to a match, but after a while Sami Zayn ran down and attacked Woods and then started a beat down on Kofi with Owens.
(8) The New Day (Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods) defeated Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn. As Owens and Zayn were going to leave, Kofi challenged them both to a no DQ tag team match. Chairs and ringside brawling. Owens was put through a table and then Kofi pinned Zayn after a Trouble in Paradise. Kofi gave a short thankful speech about winning the WWE Title in the end as the show ended.
-This was the first WWE show in Finland in ten years.
-Matt Hardy was the only returning wrestler from that show.
-Kofi, Matt, and R-Truth are the only wrestlers that were in the company when Raw and Smackdown were last available in Finland.
-There is no WWE programming on TV in Finland. The only way to watch is YouTube and the WWE Network. (Hulu isn’t a thing here.)
– “Does Triple H still wrestle? I wonder if we see The Undertaker” type of comments were heard from the older fans who were there for nostalgia.
– Three audience groups. There were 30 to 50 male who used to watch, 15-30 male who follow the current program online, and then kids and families.
-All the wrestlers got a pop when they came out. Lot to do with people generally being happy to see them for the first time in their lives.
Biggest Pops of the Night:
++++ The Table (also got a IKEA chant)
++Asuka and Kairi
++Rowan (and his Turisas shirt)
Most Heel Heat:
KO and The Iconics
FINAL NOTES: Finland is a very tough crowd for wrestling. We react to moves and then we’ll be silent. There are lot of silent spot as we are not used to being rowdy all the time. Hope spots and cheering for a wrestler to get out a hold sounds really awkward when it comes out of Finnish fans.
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