When talking about these recurring and popular styles of “Live Event” such as Beast In The East or Live From Madison Square Garden, you have to be wary. Regardless of the promotional dressing WWE like to put on these events, they aren’t by any means a pay-per view. I don’t want to call it a glorified house show, because that demeans both house shows and these specials, but at its core, it really was just a jumped up house show.
I bring the category of the show up in correlation to expectation. House shows are booked a dime a dozen, there’ll be several in each city the WWE travel to and in nearly all cases, they hold no key importance to any stories. It’s because of this that we should just enjoy the ones that make it to the Network for what they are. We’re seemingly only getting them because Brock’s on the card and rightfully so; if the guy wants to visit Japan, or make a bit of cash working Madison Square Garden, then good on him. I just wanted a little disclaimer before I got into the article itself – maybe that could clear up to some why it felt like Raw, just with a Brock Lesnar fight.
I’ve chosen three matches to write about for the article. It might have been four if my drunken dorm-mate hadn’t decided to knock on my door and have a grand old chat with me during the tag-title match. In case any of you were wondering: he wanted to know if I’d walk him to get pizza. He then saw I was watching wrestling through the door and without leaving, started requesting recommendations for matches he should watch. I suggested he watch CM Punk vs. The Rock (Royal Rumble 2013) and Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena vs. Seth Rollins (Royal Rumble 2015).
Kevin Owens vs. Chris Jericho – I’m going to be honest, I was pretty unsure of who was going to win this. A major swerve could have quite easily been to put the title on Jericho. This was only made more viable by Jericho cutting a promo about his 25 years in the business. I was kind of worried for Owens, but, as the match went on, I realised he was just being good-old Jericho and making our little KO look like the star he is.
The match was interesting, if not a little short, with a great moment of Owens breaking a pin via the ropes. What I really wanted, though, was a Codebreaker somehow reversed into a powerbomb. It seems like something that could have worked if the momentum was going the right way. Fast thing goes forward, strong man pushes fast thing up, fast thing comes down even faster, so the equation would go.
Some people may not like the ending, but I find it to be kind of fitting. We know Owens can fight; he’s beaten John Cena clean to prove such a thing. What makes his character interesting is the fact he feels the need to poke his opponent in the eye for a quick win. It’s the classic heel thing to do, lose by disqualification, quick roll-up, discrete low-blow, the list goes on. In another universe, I feel that Kevin Owens could have quite easily filled the shoes of Seth Rollins. There’s absolutely no need for such a swap right now, but when the time comes, he’s going to be the perfect bad-guy champion. That being said, I hope this eye-poking malarkey doesn’t finish every title defense, because it just isn’t necessary and can sometimes really ruin a good fight.
Brock Lesnar vs. Big Show – This is the match we all tuned in to see, and in comparison to the main event, it understandably went on where it did, second from last. We came to see Brock Lesnar do Brock Lesnar things, and that’s exactly what we got. From kicking out of three Chokeslams, to a returning play-time with Big Show’s carcass.
There really isn’t much to say, the match was in the same vein as Brock vs. Kofi, or the beat down he gave to both Bo Dallas and Michael Cole. There was a bit of resistance given by the Big Show as you’d expect, I mean, the guy is 7ft, 400lbs for God’s sake. What I did liked was the three chokeslams, it really made an impact on me. Not only was he getting up after each one, but it made me think “Is the third one going to put him down for the pin?” It didn’t, and as JBL stated, there aren’t many people who kick out of one, yet Brock’s beast-hood was on show when he kicked out of all three.
I was expecting some kind of event to occur during the Brock Lesnar appearance, especially as he came back to play with Big Show for a little bit afterwards. Undertaker could’ve come out, a gong could’ve sounded, but then again, these things are a bit old-hat at this point. We know they’re fighting, it’s the third time this era and it’ll culminate at Hell In A Cell. Brock’s on Raw tomorrow, so we’ll get some kind of promo which will lead to a confrontation on the go-home show. Concluded with the fight, two pay-cheques and the disappearance of both until WrestleMania, job done for the part-timers.
John Cena vs. Seth Rollins – I’d be lying to you if I said I wasn’t starting to get bored with Cena vs. Rollins, however, the steel cage match surprised me. I don’t know why I had seemingly low expectations, but it was just a genuinely good match which had me hooked from the mid-point. Then of course Kane came out and the interest level dropped down a level. Drop it down even further when I somehow mistook Kane’s theme for Daniel Bryan’s… I Still don’t know how I managed that.
It was your basic steel cage match, no changes here, particularly with John “I won’t ever fucking run away from a fight” Cena. I don’t remember the last time Cena climbed over the cage to win, but don’t take my word for it because he probably did that in the last cage match he was in. I don’t know why it angers me, because it’s wrestling, but for goodness sake just climb the darn cage and stop being a nancy boy. Seth “Oh, John, my hair, please let go of my hair” Rollins, if you want that title enough, you’ll get yourself some extensions. What one is it, the hair or the title?
Who are we kidding, Seth Rollins could springboard off the top-rope and out the cage in one bound. Although, then we wouldn’t get the cage-side theatrics and Rollins being pinned by Cena, which I also didn’t like. I mean, yes, it happens, the Cena win was inevitable, but it sure was a weird situation. Kane comes out while Seth’s 15ft in the air, somehow his only choice is risk it all and jump onto Cena. No! No it is not, why would you not just save yourself the possibility of losing the match by jumping on Kane, thus exiting the cage. Because this is wrestling, that’s why, and in this timeframe Kane is a force to be reckoned with. In the universe of wrestling, Kane could have easily grabbed Rollins and destroyed him on the outside, but hey, at least he’d have won the title.
Instead, Rollins missed a massive jump to Cena, gets pinned after an AA and is then decimated by Kane. He’s now lost the chance at the U.S title and his dignity, but at least Kane left his WWE Championship behind. For now…
Overall, I enjoyed Live From Madison Square Garden, I thought it was a fun little event that gives us something else to talk about. I’ll have to go back and re-watch that tag match though, as I still have no idea who won. If you feel like it, explain to me what happened in the comments, I’d love to get your take; particularly as New Day are such big hits recently. Other than that, I look forward to seeing Brock on Raw and to also finding out which matches will take priority over being inside a cell.
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