WWE at MSG 7/7/17 Live Thoughts

July 7, 2017 at Madison Square Garden in New York, NY

 

19748352_1753409421350912_7331777943199312670_n

 

Surprisingly enough this was both my first WWE House Show and first time ever in the main part of MSG (I went to The Theater for the first time for a NXT show in November).  The card looked pretty good, so I was looking forward to the show and several specific matches.

 

19748685_1753404591351395_5660507157797110084_n

 

Whoever set up the match order knew what they were doing, as the show opened with the vibrating sound of a violin and the crowd came unglued for Shinsuke Nakamura’s MSG debut. He went a good twenty minutes with Dolph Ziggler in one of the best matches of the night. They had time to tell a good story with strong action and Dolph looked better and more motivated than he has in a long time. Hopefully it wasn’t just for the one night. Shinsuke’s a superstar and had the crowd in the palm of his hand.

 

19884044_1753405514684636_6891008257955706825_n

 

Goldust vs R-Truth was kept short enough to be inoffensive, but I’ve never cared for Truth and this did nothing to win me over.

In light of Austin Aries being granted a release earlier in the day Neville defended his Cruiserweight Title against  Cedric Alexander instead. Great opportunity for Cedric, who wowed me in Evolve and is capable of much more than what he’s been allowed/able to show on Raw and 205 Live. Fun little encounter, with Neville cheating to win with a rope leveraged pin like a good heel.

 

19748671_1753404401351414_5380928134457326381_n

 

Miz was out next and my friend commented the match had oddly been announced as a tag encounter, not an Intercontinental title match (as advertised). Sure enough, Miz cut a promo explaining we don’t deserve a defense and goes into Rick Rude mode asking the “New York City Sweathogs” to keep the noise down for his partner, at which point  Samoa Joe came out and that’s two advertised matches we suddenly weren’t getting. Out come their advertised singles opponents Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins in another mini-reunion for the Shield.

 

19748682_1753404651351389_6460476477972614068_n

 

Joe vs Rollins was one of the matches I was really looking forward to so this change was disappointing, but the resulting tag match was admittedly solid. They put on a good, old school house show tag match, working the crowd up with strong character work and timing. Several nice false finishes lead up to Ambrose eventually catching Miz with the Dirty Deeds for the feel good victory.

 

19756401_1753412031350651_2423142669212968770_n

 

The US Title match seeing Kevin Owens (c) defend against AJ Styles was my most anticipated of the night, but I had no idea of what was in store for us. The match was as good as to be expected from these two, but it also found a new gear late and started raising some flags when Owens kicked out of a Styles Clash and AJ returned the favor on a pop-up powerbomb.

 

19894929_1753406084684579_1768617899466240392_n

 

After that my friend pondered about it maybe being one of the few times a title would change hands at a house show, but we laughed it off not really believing it possible. Even when AJ nailed the Phenomenal Forearm and had Owens laid out in the center of the ring my first thought was “huh, odd that Kevin will be kicking out of both of AJ’s finishers.” Instead the ref counted 3 and the crowd erupted. Great choice to bring back a little unpredictability to the house shows, and MSG was of course a perfect venue for it.

 

 

Bayley, Mickie James, & Sasha Banks vs Nia Jax, Emma, & Alexa Bliss seemed like it was meant to be a thrown together six woman tag to slowly get the show restarted after intermission, but the six of them made the most of the small amount of time they were given to put on a well structured, action packed match that engaged the crowd nicely. I would like to see more done with Emma, as she’s better than being the person in the match obviously there to take the fall.  I’m a huge fan of Alexa Bliss, so was great to see her live for the first time.

 

19756819_1753412394683948_1329347634309387487_n

 

Karl Anderson is more than capable of tearing the house down with Finn Balor, but here his role was to be cannon fodder for his super popular opponent. Balor got the jump on Anderson and tossed him out onto his partner Gallows, then hit a gorgeous summersault dive over the top rope onto them.

 

19959132_1753409061350948_6895789486488254511_n

 

That seemed to indicate this would be a short one, and indeed once Balor rolled Anderson back in it was slingblade, shotgun dropkick, Coup de Grace, goodnight. Balor victorious in under a minute. Would have loved to get a real match between the two, but it was still fun to see all Balor’s signatures and this got a big reaction.

 

 

Cesaro & Sheamus are really gelling as a team and have been revitalized with the full heel turn (especially Sheamus, who looks consistently motivated and crisp for the first time in a while). As such I was excited to see them live to defend their RAW Tag Team Titles against The Hardy Boys (Matt & Jeff).  Good semi-main with a fantastic ending that saw blind tags on both sides leading to Jeff hitting the swanton on the no longer legal Sheamus only to be immediately rolled up by Cesaro for the pin. In a great touch Cesaro fireman’s carried his loopy partner up the ramp after the victory while Sheamus had just enough energy to clutch his title belt.

 

19894821_1753403411351513_8652589974032724118_n

 

Bray Wyatt vs Roman Reigns was a solid enough main event, hindered a bit by telling a standard face vs heel story when the NYC crowd was largely booing Reigns and cheering Wyatt. Good effort and action from both though. After Reign’s expected victory Braun Strowman made a surprise appearance to beat him down (with some help from Wyatt that provided great tentative interactions as Bray tried to subtly direct his former charge without angering him). Rollins made the save to a big pop and the former Shield allies cleared the ring.

 

 

With Reigns and Rollins alone in the ring celebrating the crowd got LOUD with a “we want Ambrose chant” to complete the reunion. After a few minutes with no Dean, Rollins got the mic and expertly handled the situation saying the bad news was Ambrose was probably already a few deep at a bar somewhere, but the good news is “we hear you NYC.” The acknowledgement, whether or not it leads to anything, that the crowd wanted to see the three of them together was a simple, perfect way to handle Dean not being able to come out without having the fans leave feeling disappointed. Nicely done.

 

 

Overall

I had a lot of fun at this show, and the surprise US Championship switch was icing on the cake.

4 thoughts on “WWE at MSG 7/7/17 Live Thoughts

  1. I am not ashamed of my body, but I can’t imagine putting on a little piece of black “plastic?” and showing my junk off in front of 100’s of people. Those guys have to either have some super ego’s or they simply don’t care 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, that sounds like it was an awesome show! And then you even got the title change, that’s amazing 🙂 I wish I could see the Hardyz live…

    We went to the WWE and the NXT events in Melbourne last year and already got tickets for this years WWE show. Those were my first ever shows and they couldn’t have been better. What I remember most was how MASSIVE Braun Strowman is.. and the Elias Sampson heat was insane. So was the pop for the Revival.

    I do hope that NJPW will have a show in Australia soon…

    Like

    • Nice! Yeah, I was really lucky to get see title change, and was also impressed by Braun’s size. I don’t do WWE shows live often, but catch NXT, Evolve, and Shimmer regularly and always enjoy them. I was lucky enough to see one NJPW show so far live while visiting Tokyo.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s