It’s been a while since WWE has rolled around my neck of the woods. With this event about a half hour away from me, I decided to try and get some tickets. This was my first ever live event and I will say this: it was phenomenal for me. Lots of fun, excitement, cheering, buying merch, and more!
Little bit of backstory: The event took place in the Westchester County Center, an arena from about the 1930s that seats roughly 5,000 people. A 5,000 seat arena means you’re practically guaranteed a great view which I certainly was. A recommendation if you go to this arena; try to get seats in the balcony or the floor. They’re pretty much the best seats there.
All right, now the doors open at 4:30 pm for the show at 6 pm. Got to the arena at about 5 and it was starting to get a bit crowded. When you walked in, they had a green screen where you can take a picture holding a WWE Title. Skipped that and went to look at the merchandise stand which was ridiculously packed. Skipped that and just went to buy some food and drinks. Waited and waited and finally, Tony Chimel, I believe, who came out and asked us to stand for the National Anthem. After that, the opening match began:
10 Man Battle Royale; Winner faces Alberto Del Rio Later On
Out first was 3MB followed by the rest of the participants: Antonio Cesaro, Wade Barrett, Kofi Kingston, R-Truth, the Miz, Kane, and finally Daniel Bryan. Kofi, Bryan, and Kane got big reactions especially Daniel Bryan and the “YES!” chants. The usual brawl broke out and the first man to be eliminated was R-Truth. After Truth, Kofi eliminated Cesaro who went back and eliminated Kofi as revenge. Soon after, the trio of 3MB was eliminated leaving Bryan, Kane, and Barrett left.
Bryan took the opportunity to try and eliminate Kane which failed. The result was hilarity: The crowd booed Bryan for what he did, Bryan started chanting “NO!”, and finally tried to hug Kane. The people in my section kept saying “Don’t hug!” meanwhile I was pretty much the only person screaming “Hug it out!” The two hugged in the middle of the ring followed by Kane throwing Bryan out of the ring. Barrett took the opportunity to throw Kane out thereby winning the match.
A Message From Paul Heyman:
Up next was Westchester’s own Paul Heyman who came out to speak. I honestly don’t remember much except for a few choice words and moments so bear with me. Heyman came out to universal boos of course (I booed and cheered; call me a hybrid).
There was a mini ECW chant that broke out, but that died kinda quick. Heyman mentioned that as someone who grew up in Westchester, he was irritated at the reaction he was receiving. It was because of us (New Yorkers) that Wrestlemania was being held in New Jersey (Cue the boos; hell I booed New Jersey).
Heyman says that HHH will be the first inductee in the WWE 2014 Hall of Fame class because Brock Lesnar was going to end his career at Wrestlemania. More boos at the mention of Lesnar, but I cheered because Lesnar is awesome. Then Heyman says that Undertaker will be 20 and 1 at Wrestlemania since CM Punk will end the Streak.
A huge dueling “Undertaker!! CM Punk!!” chant breaks out from the crowd and I mean huge. I don’t remember what Heyman said next, but he ended with saying that if he keeps getting boos then he will leave. Of course, he got booed and then left.
Up first was Tamina who got some boos, but mostly little reaction. She kept interacting with fans at ringside by screaming at them and even ripped part of a fan’s sign at one point. Out next was the lovely Divas Champ Kaitlyn to some cheers, but still little reaction. The bell rung and Tamina took the time to get to the top turnbuckle to get a reaction (boos of course). Kaitlyn went to another turnbuckle to get a reaction (cheers of course). The two battled for a bit with Kaitlyn getting the upperhand and Tamina leaving.
Kaitlyn chased her down, brought her back into the ring, but a Tamina got the upperhand. Superkick, Samoan drop, reverse DDT, the usual moves occurred between the two. Tamina went for the Superfly Splash which she missed allowing Kaitlyn to hit the spear for the win. The crowd wasn’t really into this match just like they are during divas matches you see on TV.
Antonio Cesaro vs Kofi Kingston for the US Title:
Our United States Champion, Antonio Cesaro, came out first to boos. Cesaro said he is our United States Champ and he will go behind the curtain again and when he returns he should be met with standing ovation. Of course he came out again to boos from the crowd (I saw 2 guys get up and applause him though). Cesaro says that he’s been US Champ for 220+ days, I think, and decides to give us some Swedish culture. He does the yodeling shtick which got some laughs from me. He even yodeled later on in the match when he had the upperhand.
Out next was Kofi who the crowd absolutely loved and I mean loved. Kofi was definitely one of the most over guys that night. The match got underway with Kofi getting the upperhand. Kofi even got to hit a suicide dive through the ropes at one point. Cesaro then overpowered Kofi who responded with his comeback later in the match.
The Boom Drop then a missed Trouble in Paradise, but followed up with an SOS for a 2 count. I remember one spot where Cesaro just used his back/upper neck area to lift Kofi over the ropes (guy is ridiculously strong). Kofi hit his crossbody, but eventually got caught with a Neutralizer for a Cesaro win.
After the match, SHIELD appeared and starting beating down Kofi. They delivered the triple powerbomb of Justice followed by Ambrose grabbing a mic and ranting about Justice and the Shield‘s Wrestlemania match.
Wade Barrett vs Alberto Del Rio in a Champion vs Champion match:
I originally thought this match was for Del Rio’s title; guess I was wrong. Barrett came out a little reaction, but the usual boos. Del Rio came out to a huge pop and was extremely over. Barrett and Del Rio fought for a bit with Barrett even going after Ricardo at one point only to catch a baseball slide from Del Rio. Del Rio hit 9 forearm shots to Barrett’s back when he was tied in the ropes followed by a back cracker. While calling for the cross armbreaker, Jack Swagger ran in and started attacking Del Rio.
A two on one assault until Miz came and evened the odds. Miz started fighting to no avail as he got whupped and dumped out the ring. Then the arena got dark….”BREAK THE WALLS DOWN!” rang out and Chris Jericho came to clear the ring. Huge “Y2J!! chants came out for Jericho. Then some familiar dance music was heard and out came FAN….DAN….GOOOOOO with a different dance partner.
Jericho jumped out of the ring and went after Fandango quickly. Meanwhile in the ring, Miz was fighting Barrett and Del Rio with Swagger. Eventually the heels got sent running while he faces posed in the ring. Vickie Guerrero came out to universal boos as expected. She makes an official 6 man tag match: Jericho, Del Rio, and Miz vs Barrett, Swagger, and Fandango.
Chris Jericho, Alberto Del Rio, and The Miz vs Wade Barrett, Jack Swagger, and Fandango
Besides the main event, this was definitely the hottest match of the night. Del Rio and Jericho got massive pops and cheers from the crowd the whole match (Si and Y2J was all you could hear). Fandango did some posing in the beginning before Jericho took the fight to him. Swagger got tagged in and and fought with Jericho before Miz was tagged in. The two of them fought for a bit before Swagger got control after Barrett dropped Miz from the ring apron.
Barrett held control before Miz hit his backbreaker into a neckbreaker combo and both men tagged out. In came Jericho and Fandango with Jericho keeping control, hitting the Lionsault, and locking in the Walls of Jericho. That got broken up, Swagger got tagged in and kept Jericho from getting to his corner. Fandango came in, attacked Jericho, danced over him, then went up for his diving leg drop.
Jericho shook the ropes and both men tagged in their partners: Del Rio and Swagger. Del Rio hit his finishing sequence and locked in the cross arm breaker. Fandango broke it up only for Jericho to run in and hit the CodeBreaker on him. Del Rio hit his step-up corner enzuigiri on Swagger then Barrett and Miz got tagged in. Winds of Change by Barrett followed by a missed Bullhammer. Miz locked in the Figure 4 leglock for the win. An uber fun and ridiculously over match for the crowd. Fandango was damn hilarious since he danced, wiggled his butt, and was just goofy throughout the whole match.
Tony Chimel came out and mentioned that they’re selling programs, a special “I was there” t-shirt, and signed promo photos from Sheamus, Ryback, and Cena at the merchandise stands. There was going to be a 15 minute intermission before the next match. I left, bought a Chris Jericho shirt, and came back just in time to catch the next match start.
3MB vs Big Show in a 3 on 1 Handicap Match:
This match was more hilarity than anything else. Show dominated most of the match and had some fun at 3MB’s expense. Later on, Drew’s deadly Yakuza kick was what brought Big Show down to his knees. Big Show got kept down until he eventually came back later on. He knocked out Drew with the KO Punch then squashed both Jinder and Slater in the corner followed by taking them down with a double clothesline. One double chokeslam later and Big Show was the winner.
Mark Henry vs Ryback in an Over the Top Rope Battle Royale:
Mark “Somebody gon get their ass kicked” Henry came out first to some boos (Screw that; I cheered for him). Ryback came out to a massive reaction from the crowd; they loved him. “Feed me more!” was all you could hear and I even cheered it. A couple of “Goldberg” chants broke out, but they died quickly. The match started off slow with Henry stalling followed by both men being evenly matched. It didn’t really get any better from there. More slow paced action, fighting on the outside, and a Meathook Clothesline to take down Henry. Ryback went for the ShellShock which Henry countered. Henry went for the WSS which Ryback countered and it ended with Henry getting dumped out after getting countered by Ryback on the ropes.
Orton, Sheamus, and Cena came out to the ring first and goddamn, they were over. Cena was the most over guy there and the arena shook with cheers for him. The usual “Let’s go Cena! Cena sucks!” chants broke out and they were massive chants as well. Shield came from the crowd as usual, under where I was sitting actually. Interestingly, they use a chair to hop over the guard rail; I always thought they just hopped it. The match didn’t even start and all 6 men started brawling in the ring.
The ring cleared of everyone, but Seth Rollins and Sheamus. Sheamus went for his 10 chest punches, but Dean Ambrose broke that up. Sheamus started getting triple teamed as the match started. Roman Reigns and Rollins kept the pressure on Sheamus early in the match. Sheamus got a break after a top rope shoulder block followed by Orton getting tagged in as did Rollins. Powerslam to both Rollins and Ambrose by Orton followed by the hangman’s DDT to Rollins.
Orton went for the RKO, but got distracted allowing Rollins to hit a hard kick to Orton. Cena and Ambrose got tagged in and Cena hit his finishing sequence. He attempted the AA, but Reigns stopped him with a spear. RKO to Reigns followed by a diving leg drop from Rollins. A Brogue kick takes out Rollins and a dropkick sends Sheamus out of the ring. Cena with the STF and Ambrose goes to tap, but Reigns breaks it up with a steel chair.
Shield, collectively, beat down Cena and go for the triple powerbomb of justice. Sheamus takes out Reigns with a Brogue, Rollins takes the RKO, and Ambrose takes the AA to send the crowd home happy.
An overall fantastic event that was well worth the time and money. I had a blast, picked up some merchandise (program, Jericho/Rock/”I was there” shirts), and it was just a great experience that I will definitely do again in the future. Funny story: I was wearing an NWO shirt, some lady noticed my shirt and said “NWO for life, my brother.” The most over guys were: Cena, Orton, Sheamus, Ryback, Kofi, and Del Rio. The heels didn’t get huge boos except for Shield, Heyman, and Vickie. In closing, I recommend going to a live event when you can and just enjoy the experience.
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