WWE Starrcade took place tonight at the US Bank Arena in Cincinnati, OH, where intercontinental champion Seth Rollins defeated Dean Ambrose during the main event.
Below is a program report, courtesy of reader Marcus Dietz of Wrestling Inc .:
First, the most surprising thing to me was the actual attendance at the show. The building was quite full. The floor seemed exhausted, as was most of the first level. There were several sections of the second level that were also quite full. If I had to guess, I would say there were between 8,000 and 9,000 fans present.
The event started with Elias in the ring. He played a little jingle before Ric Flair went down. Flair received a very enthusiastic and appreciative welcome from the crowd. Elias and Flair answered for a few minutes. Flair said Elias is talented enough to have any woman in the building he wants, except for his daughter Charlotte. Shortly after this, the music of Nia Jax began to play. Nia joined Tamina, Mickie James and Alicia Fox. The four joined Elias and Ric and tried to sing something. Nia began to sing badly on purpose, which caused Elias to invite some of his friends to the ring. Out there are Sasha Banks, Bayley, Dana Brooke and Ember Moon. This brings us to the first game of the night.
8 Match by the women's team: Nia Jax, Tamina, Mickie James and Alicia Fox against Sasha Banks, Bayley, Dana Brooke and Ember Moon. This was a fun game and a good start to the night. Nia received a lot of heat from the crowd. She is, obviously, one of the least popular superstars on any list at this time. Dana Brooke had a good presentation in the game, as did Mickie James. At about 8 minutes, Sasha Banks got Alicia Fox on the bank statement and she left.
The next was Fin Balor against Drew McIntyre. Balor received a great reaction from the crowd. Dolph Ziggler accompanied McIntyre to the ring and was a plague for Balor throughout the game. McIntyre is a physical phenomenon, very strong and powerful. However, he has some of the worst looking kicks in the middle section I've seen. Regardless, McIntyre wins the game in 8 minutes after hitting Balor with a Claymore Kick.
The Revival vs. The B-Team: I was actually wearing a Revival shirt tonight, so I was pleasantly surprised to see them. Dawson and Wilder made a decent promo before the B-Team came out. The singing of Team B was very popular during their entry and throughout the match. Surprisingly, Curtis Axel covered Dash Wilder with a Sunset Flip in about 5 minutes. I was stupefied.
Next up was the SmackDown Tag Team Title Match with The Bar (champs) against The New Day. The New Day had a great reaction from the crowd. They were playful and through pancakes to people The bar came to the ring and collected pancakes at random and threw them into The New Day. The people laughed at this. Big E and Kofi Kingston were the participants in the match. Xavier Woods played the trombone on the outside. There were some playful places in the first minutes of the game, then things improved. Sheamus hit Big E with a Brogue Kick and immobilized him to retain the titles in 9 minutes. Good action of everyone here. These teams have good chemistry together.
We are introduced to Raw's General Manager, Baron Corbin. Inform the crowd that Braun Strowman will not be here tonight due to the beating he received last Monday night Raw. But, Corbin knows that we all pay to see him, and he does not want to disappoint us. Then he throws an open challenge to anyone in the back. The lights go out suddenly, and then Bray Wyatt appears on the entrance ramp for a big ovation! Wyatt accepts the challenge, fights with Corbin and eventually ties him to a school child in 6 minutes. Corbin is furious! The microphone is placed and demands that this coincidence be erased from the story. Then he uses his power to create a new party. However, this time, it is a non-DQ Match.
Wyatt vs. Corbin (match 2), there is no disqualification match. The movements of Corbin backwards and outwards come from Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre. The three gave Wyatt a beating before Elias and Fin Balor came to equalize the score. The pursuit of Ziggler and McIntyre go up the ramp. Elias makes a strange movement that I'm not familiar with. Balor hits a coup de grace in Corbin. Then Wyatt picks him up, kisses Corbin on the forehead and finishes him off with a Sister Abigail, and catches Corbin for the second time tonight in about 5 minutes.
Returning from the intermission, the music of Charlotte Flair begins. She arrives in the ring and says something that is not remembered by Ronda Rousey and asks who will be the next person to receive a beating. Asuka comes to a great reaction. A lot of back and forth in this game. Neither Charlotte nor Asuka are working like a heel, but the crowd is more in Asuka's favor, believe it or not. I would say it was 60/40 or maybe 70/30 in favor of it. Charlotte ended up investing an Inner Crib of some kind and gave Asuka about 10 minutes. Afterwards, Charlotte raises Asuka's hand and both pose for the crowd. Solid match
Next is Miz TV. The Miz receives a great response from the crowd and is welcomed with the songs "Miz is awesome" and the songs "Miz, Miz, Miz", similar to the chants "Yes". Miz has a smile on her face and says she appreciates that on the eve of the Cleveland Browns beating the Cincinnati Bengals. And that turns the crowd against him. His two guests come out, Rey Mysterio (with a collar as a result of Randy Orton's attack on Tuesday) and Shinsuke Nakamura. The two talk to each other, nothing too memorable here. Then Nakamura attacks Mysterio and defeats him quite well. Miz is asking for a referee to come out and start the game.
Fight for the US title with Shinsuke Nakamura (champion) against Rey Mysterio: A referee arrives in the ring and controls Mysterio. It's okay, and the bell rings. The Miz is still out of the ring at this point. After about 5 minutes of action, Mysterio has Nakamura configured for a 619, but when he is preparing to hit him, Miz interferes and gets Nakamura disqualified. They defeated Mysterio until Rusev (followed by Lana) runs to make salvation.
Lana puts on the microphone and throws a challenge to The Miz and Nakamura for a team match against Rusev and Mysterio. They accept, and the bell rings. A lot of action in this game. Surprisingly, Rusev and Mysterio are actually a very good team. I do not know if they have joined before in other shows of the house, but they seemed to have a good relationship between them. The final sequence of this match was Mysterio hitting a 619 in both The Miz and Nakamura. The Miz then stands up to eat a Kick Machka from Rusev and is fixed in 9 minutes. Mysterio, Rusev and Lana pose for the crowd. Rusev had ended savagely tonight.
Cage match: AJ Styles vs Samoa Joe. Originally, it was supposed to be for the WWE World Championship, but not anymore (thanks to Daniel Bryan). A lot of great action in this fight. These two have great chemistry success together. Many big points in the ring and some aggressive throws in the cage. Styles catches Samoa Joe in the calf crusher and Joe retires in 12 minutes. The crowd was behind Joe enough, but AJ was the clear and obvious face.
Intercontinental Title Match in a steel cage with Seth Rollins (champion) against Dean Ambrose: Rollins is the first to give a great reaction. Ambrose is next to an even bigger reaction, since he's from Cincinnati. Ambrose takes his sweet time walking towards the ring and like this look of disgust on his face. He walks around the cage and is stagnating. Rollins tires of waiting and leaves the cage to look for Ambrose. Defeat Ambrose a lot and then start hitting him with a kendo stick. The two finally enter the cage and the door closes. Rollins is still using the kendo stick in Ambrose. Ambrose finally takes it from Rollins and starts hitting him with it. A lot of round trip during this game. Ambrose had Rollins tied upside down on the corner and could have easily gotten out of the cage, but decided to try to leave. Rollins broke free and caught Ambrose. Rollins actually hit Ambrose with a Superplex while Ambrose was at the top of the cage, and then made the transition to Falcon Arrow. Ambrose has just escaped at approximately the 2 3/4 mark. A few minutes later, the two fight at the top of the cage. Ambrose falls back into the ring and decides to go through the door, while Rollins chooses to climb the top. Rollins escapes first to retain the title in 21 minutes. This was probably the best match of the night, and this concludes Starrcade.
In general, it was a very nice house show. The event started at 7:30 PM and ended around 11:02 PM. It was a much longer event than I had anticipated. I'm curious to see what games will be shown on the Net. The return of Bray Wyatt makes sense, but I think it would be better if they showed the clips of the two games between him and Corbin. Rollins vs. Ambrose must also be shown. The most favorable responses of the night were for Sasha Banks Fin Balor, Bray Wyatt, Rusev, AJ Styles, Dean Ambrose and the singing of Team B (not necessarily Team B). There really were not many negative responses from the crowd, other than Nia Jax, Baron Corbin and, to some extent, Drew McIntyre. I could not begin to think about qualifying these games, since most of them were practically the same, good quality home games, but nothing spectacular. The game of Ambrose vs Rollins was clearly the best. There really were no bad games, although The Revival losing to the B-Team quickly was unexpected. I think the crowd was interested in everything tonight, and I hope that happens during the special network.