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WWE Live, Genting Arena, Birmingham - review

By Derek Bish | Birmingham entertainment | Published:

Wrestling fans of the West Midlands helped to make WWE Live's latest visit to Birmingham's Genting Arena a huge success.

WWE Live

Supporters of the global sports entertainment brand were out in force, getting behind the show in the ring from the first bell to the last.

Special reaction was reserved for Seth Rollins, Finn Balor, the region's own Pete Dunne and the top women from WWE's Raw brand.

The bizarre duo of 'Woken' Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt kicked off the night with some tag team action, getting the crowd going as they retained their tag team titles against Heath Slater and Rhyno, as well as Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas.

That was merely the precursor for the first big cheer of the night - for hometown boy Dunne, who hails from Chelmsley Wood.

Dunne has been performing on the WWE Live circuit since the successful UK Championship in 2016 and the crowd reaction to him gets louder on every occasion. The Bruiserweight looks like a true star of the future.

For his old school mat wrestling - with added mean streak - he had the perfect foil in the high-flying Mark Andrews, whose flip over the top rope was the peak of his acrobatics.

Wrestling legend Goldust may have been on the losing side, but he was the star of his tag team contest, teaming with Mojo Rawley against Zack Ryder and Chad Gable.

After a fast-paced opening exchange with Gabe, Goldust - who has been wrestling for 30 years - begged his opponent to slow down.

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"Hold on, I'm old," he cried, which caused ripples of laughter among the crowd, followed by chants of 'you've still got it'.

Balor told an excellent story with Baron Corbin, with the former trying to hit his coup de grace finishing move several times before finally achieving it for the victory.

The cheers for Irishman Balor set off a run of big pops from the crowd, with the women taking a lot of the plaudits.

Women's wrestling has come a long way in recent months and years and - with a lot more young girls in the crowd than in previous years - Bayley, Sasha Banks, Alexa Bliss and Nia Jax all received huge cheers before Jax retained her title, showing an incredible feat of strength to lift Bliss and sidekick Mickie James on to her shoulders before slamming the pair to the mat in one go.

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But the biggest cheers of the night came for Seth Rollins - chants of 'let's go Rollins' breaking out before he even had to deliver a move as he retained his intercontinental championship against Jinder Mahal.

More women's action welcomed fans back from the interval between victors Natalya and Ember Moon and opponents Liv Morgan and Ruby Riott.

A musical interlude from Elias and former US champion Bobby Roode was broken by the latter's finishing move to leave Elias - one of the most engaging personalities of the night - lying at his feet.

Six-man tag action closed the night out with Roman Reigns, Braun Strowman and Bobby Lashley beating Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn and Samoa Joe.

It may not have been the best main event WWE Live have brought to these shores in recent years, each of the victors hit their impressive finishing moves to send the masses home happy.

WWE Live returns to Birmingham on November 5, with the Smackdown brand taking their turn to star at Arena Birmingham. Tickets on sale on Friday, June 1, from 9am.

Derek Bish

By Derek Bish
Deputy Sports Editor - @@DerekBish_star

Deputy sports editor for the Express & Star and Shropshire Star.

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