It’s been six years since WWE have visited the Granite City and hopefully it won’t be another six before they return.
Daniel Bryan welcomed fans to the event via a video on screen – my hopes for the manager of SmackDown to be there were crushed, but the ‘Yes! Yes! Yes’ chant finally started to get the crowd excited.
With a line up like this, it was sure to be a great show.
The Intercontinental Championship match between Dolph Ziggler and The Miz kicked off the show. Being the first of four matches with the title on the line, it was a great starting match. Miz worked the crowd, countering chants of ‘Let’s Go Ziggler’. Maryse was sent behind stage after she was caught slapping Ziggler (for a second time) but soon returned, distracting Ziggler but nearly causing a collision with The Miz. Ziggler retained his title.
The Usos, Rhyno (cue ECW chant) and Heath Slater, and ‘Breezedango’ made up the teams for the Triple Threat Tag Team Match. Most of the match was Heath Slater being punished by the other teams until Slater blind tagged Rhyno in and within minutes and a Gore later, the bell rang at the three count.
Only three highlights for the next match: Jack Swagger vs. Curt Hawkins. 1) Hawkins forgot where he was and referred to the crowd as ‘Ireland’. 2) After telling us we needed to ‘Face The Facts’, he countered the “What?” chant with “Stupid people say what?” and of course, received a “What?” back. 3) Swagger’s Patriot Lock had Hawkins tapping out in seconds.
Greg Hamilton asked the crowd what had been missing from the event so far – of course, a Women’s match which we were getting two of. Definitely an upgrade from the one women’s match I saw in Glasgow a few years ago. Nikki Bella had kids running for the barrirer whilst Naomi followed to face Carmella and Natalya. A short but well anticipated match ended with Nikki Bella’s Rack Attack 2.0.
After interrupting Kalisto’s athletic enterance, Baron Corbin beat into Kalisto. It wasn’t long until Corbin hit End of Days for the three count.
Next up was the six man match between Randy Orton, Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper (this was my second time seeing Randy Orton but he continues to amaze!) against Kane and American Alpha. I was definitely excited for the Wyatt’s enterance as being able to turn my phone light on to mimic fireflies was definitely something crossed off the bucket list. The Wyatt’s and Orton definitely had the upperhand when it came to the crowd – they loved every moment and every move. Orton hit an RKO, followed by Sister Abigail from Wyatt but it was Kane who turned the match around, getting Harper in a chokeslam and ending the match.
After the interval and a few promos for their tour merch later, one match that I had totally forgotten about was up next. As The Hype Bros walked down, I was indeed hyped to see Zack Ryder. The Ascension were their challengers. The Hype Bros won over the crowd with the Hype Ryder and a three count.
The second women’s match saw Becky Lynch and Alexa Bliss fighting for the championship in preparation for the next nights taping of SmackDown in Glasgow. Both women worked the crowd, with Alexa Bliss living up to her self-titled ‘Villan of WWE’. Becky won the match with the Dis-Armer, sending kids running to the barrier and Alexa hastily walk away from the ring.
The final and main event was AJ Styles defending the WWE World Championship against Dean Ambrose. One of the most action-packed and fun-filled matches of the night even rolled over the barrier where Styles and Ambrose continued to fight. Styles even pulled away at a turnbuckle before he requested for the referee to count him out, sending it flying. Whilst collecting his belt from Greg Hamilton, Ambrose grabbed Styles, returning him to the ring. Styles got the victory after bashing Ambrose’s head into the turnbuckle and after with the title. Ambrose countered with Dirty Deeds before the night was over.