WWE returned to New Zealand for the first time in five years with a sold-out event on Wednesday, August 10. Approximately 12,000 fans from around the country crammed into Auckland’s Vector Arena for more than three hours of action.
Standout performances lined the card top to bottom, including Chris Jericho—making his first appearance in New Zealand—against SummerSlam headliner Finn Balor.
Jericho acknowledged how long it had taken him to get to New Zealand. “After walking around this city today I can honestly say I will never come back to New Zealand again!” he proclaimed.
Balor endeared himself to the Auckland audience when he interrupted Jericho’s diatribe and took Y2J’s scarf hostage. Despite the inherent comedy of the situation, both men ramped up the intensity during their captivating first-time match-up. Balor and Jericho exchanged signature holds (including a crowd-pleasing Walls of Jericho) before a Coup de Grace handed Balor the win.
AJ Styles and John Cena met in a prelude to their feature bout at WWE SummerSlam. Styles made good on his promise to “beat up John Cena” but an errant enzuigiri took out veteran referee Charles Robinson and prevented Styles from claiming the win.
Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows—not separated from Styles without the brand-split in effect—rushed to the ring and attempted to triple-team Cena. Cena battled back and took out The Club one by one before nailing Styles with an AA for the win heading into intermission.
Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins wrestled an engaging main event that divided the Auckland audience – until Rollins picked up a microphone mid-match.
Rollins grew frustrated when he could not put Reigns away, and vented over the microphone. Reigns’ Polynesian heritage, and subsequent support in New Zealand, proved a sore point for The Architect.
Reigns caught his breath while Rollins laid out his master plan for the capacity crowd. The Big Dog hurried back to his feet and cut down Rollins with a spear to close out a highly successful WWE live event.
WWE Live Results
- Apollo Crews def. Sheamus
- Braun Strowman def. Jey Uso w/ Jimmy Uso
- WWE Tag Team Championship:
Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods (c) def. Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows
- Finn Balor def. Chris Jericho
- United States Championship:
Rusev (c) w/ Lana def. Titus O’Neil
- John Cena def. AJ Styles
- WWE Women’s Championship:
Sasha Banks (c) def. Charlotte w/ Dana Brooke
- Sami Zayn def. Kevin Owens
- Roman Reigns def. Seth Rollins