SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
WWE LIVE EVENT REPORT
OCTOBER 15, 2021
REPORT BY JAVIER MACHADO, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
(1) GUSTAVO vs. DUSTIN RHODES
First Gustavo, who I assume is a local talent, got a pretty big pop. It may have been ironic as he was the first wrestler out, though it seemed like he might have had all his family and friends there. Dustin got a respectful pop.
(2) WARDLOW vs. WILL AUSTIN
Wardlow got a mixed reaction. Austin got a “please don’t die” chant. KO finish.
(3) NYLA ROSE, DIAMANTE, EMI SAKURA vs. RED VELVET & TEAM
Diamanté was over with the hometown crowd. Nyla Rose had good heat.
(4) SHAKA & SEAN MALUTA vs. SANTANA & ORTIZ
Santana and Ortiz got a good pop.
-Tony Khan received a huge pop and the first standing ovation of the night. He mentioned Road Rager (which was the last time they were here) I didn’t hear the entire context, though. He played the role of hype man and hyped upcoming matches. He was super excited. The crowd gave him a “thank you Tony” chant.
(5) SANTANA GARRETT vs. TAY CONTI
Conti got a good reaction — equivalent to Santana & Ortiz and Dustin.
-An America Top Team video aired. Whenever Junior Dos Santos came on there was a high pitched squeal from the audience.
(6) BOBBY FISH vs. LEE MORIARTY
Fish was pretty over, but the reaction for him wasn’t sustained. The exploder into the ropes was a wild spot, but overall the crowd was less enthused than I thought they’d be.
(7) MINORU SUZUKI vs. BRYAN DANIELSON
The anticipation built throughout the night to this point. A big pop for Suzuki, but it felt like about 20-25% really knew who he was. The rest appreciated the work he’d done with Moxley. Danielson was the first huge pop of the night. The crowd was almost manic for this one — like they didn’t know what they wanted to chant/say/do (instead of settling in and watching the damn thing, but I can’t blame them for the excitement). By the time we got to the 15 min mark, I truly think we didn’t want the match to end. The “fight forever” chant was one of the few times it felt legitimate. One of the benefits of only 20-25% knowing Suzuki outside of the AEW confines is that the crowd that didn’t know him treated him like a heel. I had a huge grin throughout the entire match. My face was aching when it was over.
(8) MATT SYDAL vs. C.M. PUNK
There had been scattered C.M. Punk chants throughout the night to this point. Sydal came out to a respectful response. I felt bad for Sydal coming out after the previous match and was worried about the response to the match in general. Then Punk came out and the roof blew off the place. His and Bryan’s were about the same initially (though Bryan’s already had the crowd going thanks to Suzuki’s entrance). However, Punk’s lasted for his whole walk to the ring and I think he could still be there playing to the crowd and they’d still be cheering. The GTS had everyone jumping to their feet.
(9) RUBY SOHO vs. THE BUNNY
Bunny was out first, but the audience was still recovering from the Danielson-Punk one-two punch, so I don’t think anyone noticed. Ruby got a big reaction when her music hit and the crowd was actually happy to see her, but it died quickly after, the crowd needing to recover. A lot of people left for the bathroom and concessions. Post match though, the crowd reengaged with Penelope Ford attack, fiercely jeering Ford and the Bunny.
(10) AMERICA TOP TEAM vs. INNER CIRCLE
Jericho got a huge pop — right behind Punk and Danielson, equal to Khan. People knew most of the lyrics to Judas (bit of a mumble on the “December snow” and “made of stone” part). Dan Lambert had probably the third overall loudest reaction. We couldn’t hear him. All members of Top Team were booed except apparently Dos Santos. Sammy got the fifth biggest pop for the hot tag and each offensive move that followed. The crowd was really into this match and were glued to what the wrestlers did. The post match beat down didn’t get as much heat as the start of the match did, which I attribute partly to the finish and partly to exhaustion. Because of that, the Santana & Ortiz save felt like it could have had a little bigger reaction.
-Tony came out and thanked the crowd. I thought he was going someplace weird since he said something about making sure the crowd went home happy. I thought that it was in reference to Santana & Ortiz making the save and sending Top Team running. What he was referring to was giving Jericho the mic for the closing promo.
-I don’t remember who spoke about what, but they referenced Brodie Lee and there was a Brodie Lee chant. Jericho talked about wrestling without a crowd or with a limited crowd and how much that sucked, but how Miami was the first show with a full crowd. Tony put over Florida, saying how important it was to them during the bulk of the pandemic. Some of this is probably just buttering up the town, but the fact that they personalized it to the city, including talking about the history of previous shows they’ve had in the city and state and what it’s meant for the company went a long way to creating a loyal fan base that will keep coming back.