I don’t know about all of you, but for me, this is one of my most eagerly anticipated WWE pay-per-views in a long time. Not only am I excited to see how crazy the crowd in Cardiff, Wales is going to be, but there are some huge matches on the card that I’m looking forward to.
Roman Reigns vs Drew McIntyre. Gunther vs Sheamus. Matt Riddle vs Seth Rollins.
If this is a legitimate event that isn’t going to be treated like nothing more than a glorified house show, as many WWE shows outside of North America have been over the last several years, we could be in for something special here. I don’t want to waste any more time, so I have to ask…
Are you ready?
Because I’m ready.
So, if I’m ready, and if you’re ready, then there’s only one thing left to do. As always, I need all of you to say it with me…
LESS DEW EET!!!
(0:00) I’m more tired than a big-dicked bat after waking up at 8:30am for this, but I’m used to that type of thing. I spent most of my life living in Hawaii, where I would have to wake up at 5am to watch college football on Saturdays.
(0:05) After the usual opening video package that was incredibly well done, we’re starting things off with a six-woman tag match. Bianca Belair, Alexa Bliss, and Asuka team up to take on Bayley, Dakota Kai, and Iyo Sky.
(0:09) Bayley, Dakota, and Iyo have color matched ring gear. Such a small touch, but an important touch nonetheless.
(0:11) The crowd is super hot right off the bat, singing for Bayley, who has to heel it up and tell them to stop.
(0:14) These fans simply will not stop singing for Bayley. You can see it on her face that she’s loving every second of it, but she is desperately trying to remain a heel while doing so.
(0:16) Asuka has a flurry of offense on Bayley, and you can hear a small, but still noticeable, smattering of boos.
(0:19) The strategy for the heel squad is to make sure Bianca Belair doesn’t enter the match. Makes sense. It wasn’t that long ago, though, that Asuka would’ve been in Bianca’s role there.
(0:24) When Asuka goes on a mission to deliver her strikes, she is so dangerous. I mean that in a good way.
(0:25) Even with the match building to a Bianca hot tag, she finally gets in the match and hears a small amount of boos. Why? Because she entered the match to fight Bayley. The Wales crowd loves them some Bayley.
(0:28) Bianca folds Dakota in half on a powerbomb. Sheesh.
(0:29) After some triple-team offense, Bayley pins Bianca to pick up the win. Fun opener that was worked at a really good pace. Some awkward moments here and there, but nothing crazy enough to really hurt the match. I’ll go ahead and give it 3.25 stars.
(0:36) Bret “The Hitman” Hart is shown sitting in the front row, but lol @ the woman sitting behind him, ducking her face down into her shirt and covering herself up as if she’s on the run from the law and doesn’t want to be seen. Either that, or Bret smells like raw moose asshole.
(0:37) Here. We. Go. It is time for the Intercontinental Title match, with Gunther defending against Sheamus.
(0:39) YES! Giovanni Vinci is with Ludwig Kaiser for Gunther’s entrance! Imperium is back!
(0:41) Vinci, Kaiser, Holland, and Butch are brawling all over the place, all while Gunther and Sheamus stare each other down in the middle of the ring.
(0:42) Literally less than a minute into the match, and Sheamus’ chest is already several shades of red. As I type that, Gunther’s ribs have a few red patches, as well.
(0:45) It feels weird to hear Sheamus getting a big face reaction.
(0:45) A “WAL-TER” chant from the crowd, and Michael Cole acknowledges it on commentary, saying that the crowd in Wales remembers Gunther’s past.
(0:47) Sheamus’ chest looks like a Jackson Pollock painting.
(0:50) My God, this match has been everything I hoped it would be so far. They’re beating the shit out of each other.
(0:53) Sheamus is one of the hardest-hitters in WWE history, but Gunther’s strikes make Sheamus look like The Miz. It’s insane.
(0:55) Our first “this is awesome” chant of the night. It sure is.
(0:57) The second “this is awesome” chant. The crowd is very excited about this.
(1:00) Gunther kicks out of a Celtic Cross at 2.99, and the crowd loses their mind. They’re red-hot for the match, and it’s a beautiful thing to witness.
(1:01) A vicious lariat picks up the win for Gunther. The champion retains in a masterclass of brutality. 4.25 stars, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see some ratings go even higher than that.
(1:03) Sheamus picks up a well-deserved standing ovation from the crowd after the match.
(1:07) Time for the Smackdown Women’s Title match, with Liv Morgan defending against Shayna Baszler. A very tough spot for these two women after the previous match. It will be interesting to see how the crowd reacts here.
(1:13) Ronda Rousey and Shayna Baszler are sharing a makeup artist.
(1:16) Sure enough, the crowd is relatively quiet so far. It probably doesn’t help that Liv’s title reign hasn’t exactly been an all-time classic yet, and Shayna, as badass as she is, has been treated as a third or fourth-tier wrestler on the main roster.
(1:21) The crowd isn’t even really reacting to Liv’s offense, even during the tried-and-true spots where the face kips up and fires back after getting their ass kicked for a while.
(1:22) I know that the story is Liv was doing MMA training with Matt Riddle leading up to this match, but it looks ridiculous to have her busting out MMA offense on Shayna and having the actual MMA fighter sell it.
(1:26) ObLIVion picks up the win for Liv Morgan, and she retains. Not a bad match, but nothing special. Your usual house show or random television match. 2.75 stars, but if you want to go slightly higher, I won’t kick you in the kneecap.
(1:28) Extreme Rules is WWE’s next pay-per-view, coming to us from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on October 8th.
(1:30) Next up, Edge and Rey Mysterio team up to take on The Judgment Day’s Finn Balor and Damian Priest. I’m sure the match is going to be good, but most of the attention is going to be on Dominik Mysterio and Rhea Ripley on the outside. They’ve had quite the interesting interactions recently, and everyone continues waiting to see if Dominik turns heel on his father.
(1:35) Edge makes his entrance wearing a Lucha mask! He takes it off when he gets in the ring, but still. Lol @ Rey Mysterio laughing and shaking his head when Edge got in the ring.
(1:42) Edge is super over. Makes sense. He hasn’t wrestled in the United Kingdom since his legendary 90-minute Ironman Match against Kendo Nagasaki in Manchester back in 1976, so these fans are happy to see him.
(1:48) Damian Priest gets crotched on the ringside barricade and proceeds to make birdcalls.
(1:52) After a distraction from Dominik, Rhea Ripley starts beating the shit out of him at ringside. I guess that changes the minds of people.
(1:53) A Spear gets the win for Edge and Mysterio. Another match that was good, but outside of taking place in front of 70,000 fans, it was your usual top-of-the-second-hour-on-Raw television match. 3.25 stars.
(1:55) After the match, Dominik kicks Edge in the little Adams and then clotheslines his father’s head clean into the 28th row. Dom’s heel turn gets a huge reaction from the crowd. He leaves the ring on his own, so it certainly doesn’t appear that he has joined The Judgment Day, but it was a heel turn nonetheless. If Dom is going to be on his own as a heel, we’ll really get to see if his father, Eddie, was able to pass on some heel work in his genes.
(2:01) The announced attendance is 62,296 fans. Not bad, United Kingdom. Not bad at all.
(2:02) Time for Matt Riddle vs Seth Rollins. With the wild build that this match has seen, this could be a physical war.
(2:06) Riddle’s entrance doesn’t look like that of someone who is in a blood feud. He’s still smiling and riding a scooter to the ring.
(2:08) Seth’s entrance gear is incredible. It looks like a mix between Satan and Elton John, complete with devil horns, lots of sequins, and gigantic feathered wings on his back. Amazing.
(2:10) Riddle made a transformation as soon as Seth’s music hit, and we’re starting the match off with Bro going nuts on Rollins with strikes.
(2:13) Rollins with a variation of the Buckle Bomb, planting Riddle on the ringside barricade with a thud. Ouch.
(2:15) Random, but it seems like wrestling barefoot would be an absolute nightmare. Every match that Riddle makes it through without injuring his feet and/or ankles is like a miracle.
(2:19) Outside of randomly “singing” Rollins’ entrance music, the crowd has been relatively quiet for this one. They spent a lot of energy booing Dominik Mysterio, and now, they’re saving themselves for the main event.
(2:22) There have been some vicious strikes in this match. I guess that shouldn’t come as a surprise to anybody.
(2:25) “YOU’RE A GODDAMN LOSER, YOU HEAR ME?!?” – Seth Rollins, talking shit to Riddle.
(2:27) These guys are having a good’n out there.
(2:28) A Stomp from the middle turnbuckle picks up the win for Rollins. That was the first time Rollins won a singles match on pay-per-view by pinfall since he defeated Cesaro at Hell In A Cell last June. That’s a long time for one of the company’s biggest and best performers. That was 4 stars, and I look forward to their rematch at Extreme Rules with some sort of stipulation attached.
(2:35) Karrion Kross and Scarlett are shown in the crowd, ready to keep a close eye on the main event. Next up, Roman Reigns defends the Undisputed WWE Universal Title against Drew McIntyre.
(2:39) Lengthy commercial break with video packages, followed by commentators talking, followed by another lengthy video package. This is WWE, where you can often see 15+ minutes go by between matches on a pay-per-view.
(2:40) BROKEN DREAMS! Over a video package entrance for Drew, his old entrance music plays, which then leads into his new, current entrance. That was a good way to get the song that everyone has been asking for, while not completely changing Drew’s entrance.
(2:45) A “GO DREW MC-IN-TY-RE” chant, to the tune of “Seven Nation Army” by The White Stripes, rings out. Nice.
(2:46) Roman Reigns makes his entrance alone. No Paul Heyman. No Usos. No Solo Sikoa. No Samoa Joe. No Jason Momoa. No Jacob Fatu. No David Tua. No Joe Onosai. No Beulah Koale. No Brandon Manumaleuna. No Sami Zayn. Nobody. That’s different.
(2:51) Big fight feel here. WrestleMania main event atmosphere.
(2:54) The crowd is HYPED. Roman Reigns, to his credit, is selling it all like the crowd is getting into his head early.
(2:57) I’m sorry to keep mentioning it, but goodness gracious, this crowd is amped up.
(3:00) A water bottle is thrown at Drew at ringside, and it is revealed that Karrion Kross threw the bottle. That distraction allows Roman to get back on offense. That was dumb.
(3:03) The thought of Drew winning the title here, only to lose it moments later when Austin Theory cashes his Money In The Bank shot in… the word “riot” gets thrown around a lot in wrestling, but there really might be one in Cardiff if that happens.
(3:06) Reigns grabs a microphone in the middle of the match and demands Cardiff acknowledge him. Unfortunately for him, he eats a Glasgow Kiss after he drops the mic.
(3:10) McIntyre goes to begin his countdown for the Claymore, but Roman rolls out of the ring. Smart move. That’s why he has been the champion since Jimmy Carter was the President of the United States.
(3:13) Reigns intercepts a Claymore attempt with a Superman Punch and gets a 2.999 count. The crowd nearly had a collective heart attack there.
(3:15) McIntyre kicks out of a Spear at 2.999, and the crowd nearly has another heart attack. Good stuff here.
(3:17) Oh, gee, yet another spot where Wrestler A sends Wrestler B through the ringside barricade.
(3:18) McIntyre kicks out of another Spear! These two are putting people on quite the roller coaster ride.
(3:19) Claymore to the back of Roman’s head, but Roman knocks Charles Robinson out in the process. Austin Theory is out! He goes to cash in, but Tyson Fury knocks him out with a punch. Ummm… okay.
(3:20) Back in the ring, Drew hits a Claymore, and the new Referee counts to 2.999 before Reigns kicks out. This is exhausting. I can’t even imagine what it’s like for those in attendance.
(3:23) SOLO SIKOA IS HERE! He pulls the Ref out of the ring during a pin attempt after a Claymore. Not-So-Solo is in The Bloodline.
(3:23) Roman Reigns retains the title! Wow! WWE built and built and built to a title change, and it didn’t happen. The crowd is not happy.
(3:26) After the match, Tyson Fury gets in the ring and has a stare down with Reigns, only to end up shaking his hand. The match itself was a lot of fun. Your modern day WWE main event, with plenty of finisher kick outs, but incredibly entertaining nonetheless. 4.25 stars.
(3:27) Once Reigns and Sikoa walk to the back, Fury helps McIntyre to his feet and gives Drew a pep talk, telling him that he should be proud of his performance.
(3:29) Fury is singing to McIntyre. Why is this even airing?
(3:29) LOL @ the camera cutting to a guy in the crowd with a “Better Dad Than Chris Benoit” shirt.
(3:30) Now we’re getting a promo from McIntyre, vowing that he’s still going to defeat Roman Reigns one day. Again… why is this airing?
(3:32) We finally go off the air with McIntyre and Fury celebrating and posing in the ring.
I can’t complain about the match quality tonight. No bad matches whatsoever. The show did turn out to be a bit of a glorified house show, though. That isn’t necessarily a complaint, but it’s still something that is worth mentioning. I hope you all enjoyed the show. I will be right back here tomorrow with not one, but TWO Running Diaries. First for NXT Worlds Collide, and then AEW All Out. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to get out of here.