G5: SummerSlam weekend, WWE Live, live events, more

The biggest party of the [American] summer goes down this Monday, with numerous events to surround it. Which wrestling shows are on our schedules this weekend?

WWE Live returned to New Zealand last week. What did everyone think of the show? We’re also discussing our best experiences at live events, and the one audience we wish we’d been a part of.

In addition to our regular contributors, Brook Duncan joins the NZPWI staff this week. Join us for this week’s Gimme Five.

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1. It’s going to be one of the busiest weekends of the year! Evolve, Ring of Honor (ROH), and WWE are holding several live events in New York City. What does your viewing schedule look like for this weekend?

Brook Duncan:
I will catch up on NXT TakeOver in the coming weeks, no doubt. As for the biggest party of the summer, I will be tuning in for one of the most stacked SummerSlam cards I have ever seen. Unless Michael Richards is working security I’m not all that interested in forking out for ROH and unfortunately I wouldn’t even know how to tune into Evolve if I tried.

Blake:
Over the years I’ve discovered it is impossible to keep up with all the wrestling all the time in all the places. So for me, it’s fairly simple: WWE. I’ll watch TakeOver on Sunday because you cannot miss Glory, and the biggest event of the summer looks like it will make for a pretty good Monday.

Grady:
Everything with a WWE or NXT logo tacked onto it. Somehow they scheduled this week to also be the one week break we get from university this semester so I get to stick with tradition and watch SummerSlam live with my grandfather.

Mike:
It’s going to be fairly light, I’m afraid. I’ll be catching NXT TakeOver on the WWE Network but I’m working Monday while SummerSlam is on so will have to follow on Twitter or hope my office has enough bandwidth to cope with streaming it!

Richard:
I only have Monday off this week, so I’ll only be able to watch SummerSlam live, but I’ll find time to watch TakeOver and possibly ROH later.

David:
Talk about a busy couple of days! I haven’t had this much wrestling to try and watch since WrestleMania weekend. I’ll be watching NXT TakeOver, NJPW Super J-Cup, and WWE SummerSlam as they air, and could be tempted to pick up one of the Evolve events later this week too.

 

2. Go out on a limb – what will be the match of the weekend when all’s said and done?

Brook Duncan:
I am confident Balor vs. Rollins will tear the house down in the SummerSlam main event, but I’m picking Cena vs. Styles to pull out all the stops and steal the show.

Blake:
For me, I have a feeling it’s going to be the NXT Tag Team Championship match. One team consists of old school brawling while the other consists of a combination of new school brawling and some new school technique. Add a championship and a story of proven worth to the mix, and you are set for one solid bout.

Grady:
There are so many good options for this! I’m going to take Seth Rollins vs. Finn Balor for the brand new WWE Universal Championship in hopes that Balor shows everyone what NXT can do.

Mike:
Sticking with just the two I’m going to watch, it could be any one of the title matches in NXT or WWE excluding the tag matches. I’m going to go with Balor vs. Rollins just ahead of Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte and Asuka vs Bayley.

Richard:
Joe vs. Nakamaura or Ziggler vs. Ambrose will be the standouts from the weekend.

David:
This is going to come down to personal preference – I’m sure we’ll all have wildly different opinions on which was the best match after this weekend. I have very high hopes for Samoa Joe vs. Shinsuke Nakamura, but could also see Brock Lesnar and Randy Orton surprising everyone with a memorable encounter.

 

3. WWE Live hit Vector Arena last week, for the first time in five years. Was it worth the wait?

Brook Duncan:
Yes! Absolutely. Last time they were in NZ I was 17 years old, having never gone to a WWE event but always intending to save up and go, I made the decision that “next year, I’m going.” It took five years, not one, but I kept my promise.

Blake:
It really, really, really, really, really, really, and I cannot stress this enough, really was. Incredible matches up and down the card, some really fun moments, maybe a bit too much (the crowd were pretty noticeably tired by the end), but an absolutely solid performance by the WWE cast and crew.

Grady:
Yes. Please refer to this article: What’s it like to be WWE’s Greatest Fan?

Mike:
Absolutely, apart from some weird guy in the ring with New Day… Seeing Jericho at the peak of his game was quite something. Compared to the last time I saw the WWE live this was like a Wrestlemania type card. I even managed to enjoy a Sheamus match.

Richard:
Sounds like it was. I couldn’t be there but everything I’ve heard was very positive.

David:
It’s slightly too soon to make a definitive call, but that was probably the best live event WWE has held in New Zealand. An absolutely stacked card that delivered in spades, and a sold-out crowd there to see it all.

 

4. What’s the best experience you’ve had at a live wrestling event?

Brook Duncan:
Easy! Dave O’Connor getting powerbombed onto Lego…

Blake:
I think for soppy purposes, I can’t really go past seeing my nephew get his first victory in an IPW ring.

Grady:
Please refer to this article: What’s it like to be WWE’s Greatest Fan?

Mike:
The Undertaker’s entrance, closely followed by Legion of Doom’s. There’s nothing like the lights going off and the Undertaker’s music hitting. “Ohhh, what a rush!” came close, though.

Richard:
Southern Pro Wrestling’s last event here in Queenstown was fantastic. The crowd was insane and the wrestling was great.

David:
I can’t look past Raw the night after WrestleMania 29. There was so much energy in the IZOD Center, which made the show that much better, which made the fans that much more appreciative.

 

5. Conversely, what’s the one crowd you wish you had been part of?

Brook Duncan:
WrestleMania XXX is one that comes to mind. To see Daniel Bryan beat Triple H and then have his moment after beating Randy Orton and Batista in the same night would have been awesome, and to be there when Brock Lesnar broke the Undertaker’s undefeated streak would have been amazing. Honourable mention to WrestleMania 26 where Shawn Michaels had his last match.

Blake:
Raw, April 8, 2013: the day after WrestleMania where Dolph Ziggler won the World Heavyweight Championship.

Grady:
Purely as a selfish option I’ll take any of the WrestleManias for the experience more than for the crowd itself. If I was picking the crowd then I’d go with a British event like NXT TakeOver: London.

Mike:
The last WrestleMania. I could have led the cheers for Roman Reigns. I’ve watched crowd videos of the entrance of Shawn Michaels, Mick Foley and Stone Cold too. The pop was amazing, especially for Austin. I would have cried.

Richard:
A WrestleMania crowd would be awesome. A PWG crowd would be a lot of fun too.

David:
When I think about epic audiences, the Chicago crowd for Money in the Bank 2011 always comes to mind. Seeing CM Punk walk away with the WWE Championship live and in person would have been something else.