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Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff – Sun 5 Nov

There was wrestling fever in Cardiff this past Bonfire Night. The city’s Tramshed venue was host to the best of the current crop of up-and-coming independent wresters early in the afternoon, but the spotlight was on the capital city’s arena come 5pm. Worldwide superstars of World Wrestling Entertainment’s Raw brand brought their European tour to the venue for the second time this year.

Fans of all ages; children to adults, screamed in unison as the lights dimmed for the start of the show, and as an opening contest were treated to a match of main event standards. Irish native Finn Balor and wrestling cult favourite Samoa Joe squared off in a bout worthy of a television audience. The experienced duo put on a masterclass, with the Irishman coming out on top.

Wrestling veterans Goldust and Rhyno headed up a four man team with Heath Slater and Jason Jordan to successfully take on the heel (wrestling terminology for the bad guys) team of Elias, Luke Gallows, Karl Anderson and Bo Dallas, whilst Japanese sensation Asuka continued her undefeated streak in WWE by disposing of fellow Women’s Division competitor Mickie James.

WWE’s relatively new United Kingdom Championship belt was on the line next. The Champion, Pete Dunne hailing from Birmingham defended his title by taking on hig-flying local Cardiff product Mark Andrews. Despite a valiant effort from the Welshman, Dunne retained his championship.

Outspoken Cruiserweight Champion Enzo Amore entertained the crowd on the microphone before his contest with the masked Mexican-American, Kalisto. In what was a fairly short match, Amore won the match to the displeasure of the capacity crowd.

A battle of the giants brought the first half of the show to an end. 6ft 8inch, 385lbs Braun Strowman went face to face with 7ft, 323lbs Kane. The usage of tables and chairs as weapons garnered cheers from the crowds – ultimately leading to a victory for Strowman via disqualification.

Following the interval, Women’s Division fan favourites Bayley and Sasha Banks took the win against the eclectic duo of Nia Jax and Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss, while the hugely popular Matt Hardy came close to snatching a pin-fall victory over Intercontinental Champion The Miz.

The main event had been due to feature a triple threat match between the recently reunited The Shield tag team of Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns. Reigns was unfortunately pulled from the whole UK tour just weeks before being due to travel, but his fellow team members more than made up for it by recruiting 14-time WWE World Heavyweight Champion Triple H (HHH). As his own trademark entrance music by Motorhead blasted, the roof of the Motorpoint Arena almost blew off!

In what was a one-week only occurrence the trio made light work of the team of Cesaro, Shaemus and Bray Wyatt to give the 7,000+ in attendance a probably once in a lifetime photo opportunity of the victorious three in the ring together.

Yet another successful date in Cardiff for the superstars of the WWE, and another great opportunity for Welsh fans to experience the spectacle up close and personal. With Cardiff not currently scheduled for a date on the May 2018 tour, here’s hoping it’s added before the turn of the year.

The WWE Survivor Series continues live on the WWE Network at 1am on Mon 20 Nov 20


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