Last week I dished out some of my well earned money to watch two of WWE’s house shows (Newcastle and Sheffield) on the Wrestlemania Revenge Tour of the UK. Throughout these shows, I saw both sides of the touring roster, and this is a list of my takeaways.
Fan favourites are still alive. Despite their complete lack of screen time on WWE’s flagship show, superstars such as Zach Ryder and Damien Sandow are still completely over with the hardcore crowd. Granted, Ryder did get a mini-break at ‘Mania, but Sandow hasn’t been seen on RAW for nearly a year. The work rate and ability of these guys still has fans cheering them on despite their severe lack of push.
Big guys don’t make for great matches. A marque match of Wyatts vs Big Show and Kane was sure to get the fans excited. The entrances were all cheered with phones out to capture photos of these WWE mainstays. However, the match itself was way too slow and somewhat boring. Fans just weren’t interested and resorted to chanting for superstars who didn’t tour or weren’t featured.
No title changes. Unfortunately, despite every single title being put on the line, there were no shock defeats on the cards. At one point it looked as though Sheamus would actually take the gold from Roman Reigns, but the Samoan Badass prevailed as expected. No shock there then.
Women are people too. The best match of both shows was the triple threat Women’s Title match which was taken straight from the Wrestlemania card itself. The three athletes put on a hell of a back-and-forth show which had the fans in attendance on their feet. Whoever says women’s wrestling isn’t the real deal needs a firm slap.
New Day Rocks. One standout moment from the tour was that involving the WWE Tag Team Champions. Genuinely funny, the stable entertained the crowd with hilarious antics and a solid 10 minute long “New Day Rocks” chant. They are wonderful men who delivered in every way imaginable.
It’s a lot more fun than TV. The strongest message to come out of the tour was that the wrestlers are not afraid to have fun when the cameras aren’t rolling. From Xavier Woods being slapped over and over again to more and more ridiculous reaction, to eye-poke-gate between Dean Ambrose and Triple H, to Cesaro sitting in the crowd mid-match, the superstars let go and had fun. The fans had fun. This led to an enhanced experience – and what more could we ask for?
Roman Reigns isn’t actually that bad/hated. Shockingly, despite the Internet’s best opinion, Roman wasn’t completely booed out of the building. In fact, his reception was fairly 50-50. The younger fans, as well as those who appreciated a well-built Samoan, cheered long and loud at the appearance of the WWE World Heavyweight Champion. The older, craftier attendees booed to their heart’s content. However, as his match progressed, there was definitely a change in attitude. In fact, it was a truly fantastic match!