WWE Live is like going to an acoustic only set by an arena rock band like KISS or the Kings of Leon. House shows, as they used be called, have a simpler setup than RAW, Smackdown or a PPV does. First off, there’s no ramp; it’s more like a stage. There’s no fireworks, there’s no fire, there’s no explosions. At the Barclays Center, most of the arena was dark, except for the spotlight on the wrestling ring: where the action happens.
|RVD Flying Off the Top Rope with a Crossbody|
But a stripped down WWE Live just allows the Superstars more room to shine. Rob Van Dam, who was in the first match against Dean Ambrose, didn’t need his trademark explosions to get the crowd on his feet. All it took was Van Dam’s high flying abilities and the occasional “R-V-D” gesture. Van Dam put up a good fight but ultimately an equally game Dean Ambrose who, with the help of a ring rope, retained his US Championship.
WWE Live is not without its surprises. One of the biggest shocks was when they announced the opponents for the Real Americans, Jack Swagger and Antonio Cesaro: NXT Champion Bo Dallas and Sami Zayn! Please note that the exclamation point is for Zayn and not Bocahontas. The Brooklyn crowd did not know what to make of this duo at first but after Zayn hit the ring and showed off his incredible speed and agility, some people left signing up for Hulu Plus accounts. Might we suggest a couple of matches? Honestly, we were excited just to see Zayn’s entrance video on the screens at the Barclays Center. Hopefully that becomes a regular occurrence.
But the WWE Live event came unglued for the CM Punk and Daniel Bryan. Each of them were one-half of the previously announced matches. Punk faced Curtis Axel in a no Disqualification match, coming to the ring with kendo stick in tow. Paul Heyman, who was at ringside, served as a distraction for CM Punk, who stopped his forward momentum on Axel to take a swipe at Heyman on several occasions. Punk was able to pull out a victory after a series of near falls. Afterwards, CM Punk thanked the WWE Universe; this was the WWE’s third trip to the Barclays Center but the first one where Punk was able to compete (for TLC 2012, Punk had a knee injury; for the RAW after Money in the Bank, CM Punk was attacked by Brock Lesnar).
Daniel Bryan faced Randy Orton in the main event. Like Punk and RVD, the crowd erupted with chants of YES! and the intimate audience of this live event felt just like the night on RAW when the WWE Universe picked Daniel Bryan to face (and defeat) John Cena at SummerSlam. Bryan used that energy from the crowd to take on the Viper and would have been victorious too, if not for the Shield. They attacked Bryan when he put Orton in the YES! Lock. Luckily for Bryan, the Big Show – who was forced to sit ringside by both Vickie Guerrero and Brad Maddox – came to Bryan’s aide post-match, delivering a double chokeslam to Rollins and Ambrose. Daniel Bryan took out Roman Reigns with a flying knee strike at 90 miles an hour. They new duo celebrated their victory by leading the crowd in YES! chants.
Check out the rest of our photo gallery at our Facebook page. Whether it’s a Live Event, a Raw / Smackdown taping or a Pay Per View, seeing the WWE live is always a fun time.