CLEVELAND — The long-awaited return of The Shield was a big hit at WWE Fastlane at Quicken Loans Arena.
The trio of Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns thrilled the crowd at the end, hitting all the familiar notes and sending the crowd home happy after a confounding night of action.
The Shield ended the night putting Drew McIntyre through a table with the triple power bomb and then finishing off Baron Corbin in the centre of the ring with the same move.
The crowd was lukewarm at best at the start of the match. The tried and true tradition of holding off on playing the entrance music for a few moments to get some anticipation didn’t really happen.
It took a while to get the crowd going as the heels went on the offensive, but once The Shield started playing the greatest hits, the crowd came alive.
KofiMania took over the arena after Kofi Kingston was the victim of a brutal handicap match against The Bar — a match apparently sanctioned by Vince McMahon.
In fact, much of the crowd spent time during the WWE Championship match chanting for Kingston and booing those in the ring.
But Daniel Bryan, Kevin Owens and late addition Mustafa Ali drew the angry crowd in with some great action bell-to-bell. It was the best match of the night.
After a head-scratching match between Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch, one of the biggest pops of the night came when Lacey Evans interrupted Elias, allowing Randy Orton to sneak in and hit a patented RKO Out of Nowhere on Elias. However, his revelry was short-lived as AJ Styles appeared and drilled Orton with the Phenomenal Forearm. The sequence got the previously tepid crowd on its feet.
The Miz proudly shows off his Cleveland Browns colours with his shirt.
Naturally, the crowd loved hometown boy The Miz, as he and Shane McMahon challenged for the Smackdown tag team championship.
The duo was beloved throughout the match, but McMahon shocked the crowd by turning on Miz after the duo lost the match, and doing so in front of Miz’s father. McMahon was booed out of the building for his efforts.
The crowd took a little bit to warm up to the Raw tag team title match, but we’re eventually wowed by the efforts of the six men in the match, especially Ricochet.
The crowd erupted when WWE Hall of Famer Beth Phoenix landed a shot on Tamina, but Tamina and Nia Jax quickly squashed both Phoenix and Natalya, who sprinted in from the back to try to make the save.
In the match for the kickoff show, Big E and Xavier Woods knocked off the team of Rusev and Shinsuke Nakamura. The crowd loved the New Day team through and through.
Overall, about two-thirds of the upper bowl was tarped off, only in the ends and behind the hard camera, but the rest of the arena was packed. The crowd didn’t show much for a lot of the time (largely due to some head-scratching decisions on WWE’s part), but ultimately was there when they needed to be.
A return date to Cleveland was not announced.
Matt Bishop had to work early this morning, so wrote this in his car in the parking garage. What a trooper.