SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
The following report was originally published five years ago this week…
WWE European Tour results
May 15, 2014
Report by Daniel Ross, PWTorch reader
This was my first live event in the U.K. since 2009. The reason I stopped going was the fact that I’d seen every almost every member of the roster several times. I decided to go this time for two reasons – the newer younger stars and Daniel Bryan! So, 50 percent isn’t too bad.
Let me say I have been a Bryan fan for many years long before WWE and, although I was upset he wasn’t there, I’m glad he didn’t try to work through and make his injury worse. However, this is two years in a row he has been advertised in Newcastle and twice he has not appeared, many people were very unhappy and refunds were offered.
There were around 9,000 in attendance I’d guess, more older men then children. The show opened with Justin Roberts telling us Daniel Bryan wasn’t there. Randy Orton came out talking about a title re-match and then challenged Roman Reigns to come out and face him since Bryan wasn’t here. Reigns came out to a great reception as the first face of the night! His face was messed up pretty badly from the previous night in Glasgow. After a short scuffle, Rybaxel came out followed by Ambrose and Rollins to make the save. This set up a main event Street Fight between Orton and Reigns and the first match:
(1) The Shield (Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose) beat Ryback & Curtis Axel. Very good opener. Rollins and Ambrose worked a competitive match and the crowd were in to every moment. A double suicide dive and Rollins’s top-rope work were particularly impressive. Rollins pinned Ryback after his finisher, I think. The Shield won anyway.
(2) Rusev (w/Lana) beat Sin Cara. Both guys came out to little reaction. Short dull match with little of interest happening. The match was stopped by Charles Robinson after Rusev pummeled Sin Cara and he couldn’t get up.
(3) Divas champion Paige & The Funkadactyls beat Tamina Snuka & Rosa Mendes & Layla in a six-Divas tag match. The heels all came out to small reactions. It’s disappointing that most people don’t remember that Layla is one of our own. Next, the Funkadactyls came out to a nice pop. This may not be a popular opinion but as someone who watches and enjoys Total Divas for what it is, a bit of fun, I felt more of a connection with Cameron and Naomi then I did anyone else on the card and feel like I know them better then any Diva ever. So for that reason the show must be doing something right. Paige came out to a huge pop from her home country. She seemed genuinely happy to be home. Short match, everyone did their spots, and Paige got the pin.
A video package played hyping a Show vs. Kane in a cage match later tonight. No one seemed to care about the match, but the cage was a novelty to most.
(4) NXT champion Adrian Neville beat Bo Dallas to retain the NXT Title. Dallas was out first. His act is very annoying live, as he has a face you just want to punch. So he might get somewhere. He’s not as charismatic as his brother, Bray Wyatt, by any stretch but he’s good. Neville came out to a huge reaction. We love our own here in Newcastle and he was clearly glad to be amongst his people. I was on the second row right behind his mom and sister and they could not have been prouder of him. As a fellow Geordie I never expected to here a wrestler announced from Newcastle; it was a proud moment for almost everyone in the arena. Nice match. Mom gasped for every move and there was a nice sequence with Bo bringing Adrian over to his mom and her trying to help him. Security humorously told mom she wasn’t allowed to wrestle. Neville won with his finish and then hugged his family. Some of which were crying they were so proud of him. It’s nice to see he hasn’t lost his accent, either. It’s a shame he wasn’t given some mic time but still a special occasion.
(5) Big Show beat Kane in a steel cage match. Massive respect for both men, but this match was terrible. Big Show is no replacement for Daniel Bryan. The cage was so flimsy they couldn’t really do anything. Show used the WMD on Kane to escape through the cage door for the win. Afterward, Kane attacked Raw GM Brad Maddox after to no reaction.
After a short intermission they did the Fandango vs. Mark Henry dance contest. Not much to say really. There was some Fandango’ing. Fandango danced to no reaction except some more Fandango’ing then Henry did a Michael Jackson dance to a good reaction. It was fun, but it’s hard to believe this is the same Mark Henry who was World Champion in 2011.
(6) IC champion Bad News Barrett beat Big E., Rob Van Dam, and Jack Swagger (w/Zeb Colter) in a four-way match to retain the Intercontinental Title. I loved Zeb’s mic work at the start. Typical local sports stuff, but it worked for some cheap heat. Although everyone was still more than happy to chant along to ‘WE THE PEOPLE.’ RVD was out next to a nice Legends pop. This is a good spot for RVD. His body can’t keep up with a full main event position, and his in-ring work is basically five moves, so using him with younger talent for a few months at a time is a nice way to use him. Big E. was next to no reaction. I feel like that experiment is over. Finally, Barrett came out to one of the loudest pops of the night! Lots of vocal male fans had his shirt and happily welcomed back a Brit as champion. Everyone did their spots in a typical multi-man match. Zeb was great until he was sent to the back for interfering. Barrett interacted with his fellow Brits throughout and won with his finisher to a huge response. Good match.
(7) Roman Reigns beat Randy Orton in a Street Fight. The main event was a good little match. It’s easy to get a reaction with weapons and this match had a Singapore cane and a table so the crowd was eating it up. Reigns is a beast with a bright future and is improving in the ring. This tour will be a good learning experience for him. After a Superman Punch, Rybaxel interfered and did the beat down until the rest of Shield came down and cleared the ring. Reigns then hit the spear and got the pin.
Afterward, The Shield celebrated to send the crowd home happy. Of note, Ambrose never breaks character; it’s believable that he could well be demented in some way. Hopefully he won’t be forgotten about post-Shield break-up.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Overall, it was nice to see the younger guys shine on a card that lacked an established main event talent. Having been lucky enough to see nearly every main-eventer in the last ten years, the card was missing that special something only these men can bring. Bryan was that man who was needed tonight and he was missed; there is no getting around that, but WWE does have a few guys that could lead them though the next decade. Luckily for us Brits a few of them are our own.
Biggest Pops: Roman Reigns, Adrian Neville, Paige, RVD, and Ambrose & Rollins.
Most Heat: Kane for kayfabe injuring Daniel Bryan, Randy Orton, Jack Swagger, Bo Dallas. and Curtis Axel.