Whoever said that professional wrestlers aren’t athletes should take a look at them perform live. You wouldn’t doubt that one moment if you see them perform upclose. That was the case with the latest visit of World Wrestling Entertainment’s (WWE) to the Philippines at the Araneta Coliseum last September 20.
The last time WWE graced us in the Philippines was in 2016 and boy, did the crowd give them a warm reception as soon as the first superstar entered the arena. The matches featured brawls, high flying acts, submissions, and sweet chin music for all. You could feel the buildup to the smackdown even before the bell rang.
The first match was between Kevin Owens and Andrade. This was an all out brawl. In the end, Owens delivered his signature stunner to the delight of the crowd. He pinned Andrade to win this first match.
We had a guest announcer for the second match in the form of 24/7 Champion, R-Truth. He had a brief exchange with Little Jimmy, then introduced the next competitors: EC3 and Chad Gable. After a series of high-flying wrestling exchanges, Gable won via an ankle lock. However, the match didn’t end there. In a surprising turn of events, EC3 pinned R-Truth to get the 24/7 Championship. EC3’s reign was short-lived as Gable helped R-Truth win the belt back immediately.
With the next match, we had Mandy Rose and Carmella taking the ring. Carmella pinned Mandy after a super kick when Sonya Deville’s interference backfired. This wasn’t the last Diva match we had for the night, and this just set up our expectations for later.
The next match was for the Intercontinental Championship. Shinsuke Nakamura would defend his belt against Ali. Nakamura was introduced by Sami Zayn who was also in Nakamura’s corner. With the help of Sami, Nakamura was able to deliver his Kinshasa for the win. As a result, Nakamura retained his belt.
In a bold move, Sami Zayn challenged any superstar in the arena to a fight arguing that there was no one who would face him. To his surprise, Roman Reigns made it to the ring. After Shinsuke Nakamura got thrown out of the corner for interference, Reigns delivered his signature spear and pinned Sami for the win.
The next match was by far the best one of the night. This was the Women’s Championship between Charlotte Flair and Bayley in a street fight. Bayley retained her belt by sending Charlotte’s face into a chair set up in one corner of the ring. She pinned Charlotte soon after, but Charlotte wasn’t done yet. Charlotte put Bayley through a table on two instances after the bout. First, Charlotte delivered a diving senton with Bayley on the table. Unsatisfied, Charlotte followed that up with a powerbomb on the table.
The second to the last match was for the Tag Team Championship. Current champions, The Revival was set to face The New Day. There were a lot of theatrics in this match as is expected of The New Day. In the end, The Revival beat The New Day to retain their belts.
The last match of the night was for the WWE Heavyweight Championship. Current champion Kofi Kingston was set to face Daniel Bryan. The competitors appeared to have no animosity towards each other, and they even shook each other’s hands several times during the bout. The wrestlers were evenly matched. However, Kofi Kingston found an opening to deliver his signature Trouble in Paradise. Kofi then pinned Bryan to retain his belt.
All in all, it was a very entertaining evening of wrestling. The night was filled with enough cheers and jeers for everyone. Let’s hope it doesn’t take WWE three more years before they visit us again.