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WWE LIVE EVENT REPORT
AUGUST 7, 2021
FT. MYERS, FL. AT HERTZ ARENA
REPORT BY ALEX MCDONALD, PWTORCH CORRESPONDENT
Note: I was sitting third row, two seats from the entrance ramp. The section I was in was families and lots of kids. The view was great and the kids were into the whole show, which was great to see.
Finn Balor vs. Sami Zayn
(1) Finn Balor beat Sami Zayn in 11:00. They stalled for a bit while everyone got to their seats. The action was solid. Balor was very over, surprisingly so. Sami actually got more cheers than I thought he would.
(2) Nikki A.S.H beat Charlotte Flair and Rhea Ripley to retain the Raw Women’s Championship in 13:00. This was a typical triple threat. Charlotte was the only one anyone cared about. Nikki was not over here at all. The kids only cared about her when she was giving high-fives around the ring. Rhea got a mild reaction, but she wasn’t as over as I thought she would be. Parts of this were really sloppy – mostly spots involving Nikki and Charlotte. Charlotte gave Rhea an awesome tornado DDT that looked close to disaster, but was safe. The finish was creative. Charlotte had Ripley in the Figure Eight, Nikki slid in and leveraged Charlotte’s shoulders to the mat for the three-count.
(3) Big E beat Seth Rollins in 14:00. Both wrestlers got a good reaction. Rollins was the most over heel of the night besides Sasha Banks. They did a lot of comedy spots in the beginning with both of them gyrating back and forth to get reactions from the crowd. Rollins went back to the gyrations every time he took Big E down. Big E got the win with a Big Ending.
-Big E stayed in the ring after the match to thank the crowd and he introduced the New Day. All three of them jumped up and down in the ring and hugged. They got a big pop all together. Everyone was into the New Day chant throughout the Big E and New Day matches.
M.V.P. took the mic before the match and cut a promo on the Fort Myers fans. I think they were making sure everyone knew who the heels were because Bobby Lashley got a lot of cheers when he made his entrance. M.V.P. mentioned his injured knee and how lucky we were to be able to watch him wrestle.
(4) The New Day beat Bobby Lashley & M.V.P in 14:00. This was a very strange match. Kingston and Woods isolated M.V.P. for the early portion after Woods took out M.V.P.’s knee with a chop block. It came off very heelish. Lashley eventually got tagged in and dominated. He was taken out of the ring and Kingston hit M.V.P. with a Trouble in Paradise for the win.
-After the match Lashley beat down both members of New Day and put Kingston in the Hurt Lock. Lashley left with the title held high to some boos.
-At this point Byron Saxton tried to sell some merchandise and sent the show to intermission.
-Rick Boogs made his entrance after the intermission and was shockingly, very popular. I couldn’t believe it. He played Shinsuke Nakamura to the ring. There was a group of young (late teens, early twenties) guys in the crowd swaying back and forth and singing Nakamura’s theme. Other than this, he got little to no reaction.
(5) Apollo Crews [c] (w/ Azeez) beat Kevin Owens vs. Shinsuke Nakamura (w/ Rick Boogs) in 11:00 to retain the WWE Intercontinental Championship. This was pretty good. No one in the crowd was into any of the wrestlers though. Boogs was the most over guy involved in this. I really liked this match as most of it was Nakamura and Owens which is something we don’t get to see on TV every week. Azeez took out Nakamura and distracted Owens for Crews to get the roll-up for the win.
(6) Drew McIntyre beat Shanky (w/ Jinder Mahal) in 10:00. McIntyre got a huge reaction. Everyone loved him. I was really happy to see that. He deserves it for all the hard work over the last year. Before the match started Mahal asked McIntyre to apologize and we wouldn’t have the match tonight. McIntyre played to the crowd who boo’ed loudly when he asked if he should apologize. McIntyre tossed the mic and the match started. Shanky got in a ton of offense, for no apparent reason. McIntyre hit a Claymore out of nowhere for the win.
*The best part of this match was the kid in the row ahead of me. He was probably 8 or 9. He told his mom during the match that he wished Drew would have apologized so this “feud could be over already” and Drew could wrestle someone else. I could not stop laughing.*
(7) Bianca Belair [c] beat Sasha Banks to retain the WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship in 12:00. Banks got a huge pop. I mean huge. Bianca was also hugely over. The stark contrast between this and the Raw Women’s Division match was very telling. I don’t know if the crowd was behind or just more on the casual side, but based on the cheers of adults and kids alike, I don’t know if anyone knew Sasha turned heel. Either that, or she’s just popular here and they don’t care. This was a basic match. It looked like Banks is trying to shake off the ring rust and they’re working on some things for Summerslam. They did a double count-out finish, then Sonya Deville came out and restarted the match. Belair won with a roll-up using her hair.
(8) John Cena & The Mysterios (Dominik & Rey) beat Roman Reigns & The Usos (Jey & Jimmy) in 12:00. The Usos got a big reaction with a lot of people singing their theme song. The crowd boo’ed Reigns like crazy. I was the only person in a Reigns shirt in my section. The Mysterios got a solid pop, but nothing on the level of Cena. I have seen Cena in this arena four or five times and this was the loudest reaction he’s gotten by a mile. One of those times includes his original title run in late 2005. This match was exactly what you would expect. Dominik was in the ring getting destroyed for about eight minutes. They milked the hot tag, and milked the hot tag, and then milked it some more. When Dominik finally tagged in Cena the place exploded. Cena went through his move-set on Jimmy before Reigns hit him with a Superman punch. Reigns hit both Mysterios with weak looking Superman punches also. Cena recovered and hit an AA on Reigns, who rolled out of the ring and walked up the ramp. Cena hit an AA on Jimmy for the win.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Really good for a house show. All the matches had good action and the wrestlers worked hard for the most part. They were all clearly having fun being back on the road, which was cool to see. I expected Cena to get a good reaction, but I wasn’t prepared for that. The Reigns character in person was awesome. The subtle things he does are just cool to watch. He’s truly in his element in this character and is clearly enjoying it.