Tuesday, July 7, 2015

WWE puts on a 'beast' of a show in Japan

Last weekend WWE put on a special event that was unlike their usual programming.  Beast in the East gave WWE fans a chance to see wrestling they don't usually see on TV, both in look and style.  Chris Jericho vs.  Neville went longer than any match Neville has had on the main roster.  And while the Divas bout and Brock's squash of Kofi Kingston were unsurprising, it was the semi-main event that blew the roof off the joint.

Jericho and Neville put on a clinic in the opening (broadcast) match. Credit: WWE.com.
New Japan fans knew how good Finn Balor was as Prince Devitt. Everyone knows just how good Kevin Owens is. So when the two men met for a 20 minute classic at the Sumo Hall, it was everything you can dream. The two men threw everything they got at each other with Balor pulling out old finishers (a Bloody Sunday chant even rose in the Japanese crowd) and Owens pulling out Cena's moves. But in a wonderful battle that featured no interference and just pure wrestling competition, The Japanese wrestling fans got a very new Japan influenced battle and American fans got to see a style they don't normally get to view. And in the end, Balor walked away as the new NXT champion.

One of many stunning moments in this match. Credit: WWE.com.
Even the main event pitting John Cena and Dolph Ziggler versus King Barrett and Kane was unlike anything normally on WWE television. A twenty minute tag match that allowed everyone in it to show off their best stuff is pretty rare in WWE, but the four men did everything they could to end the show with grace, even if they did have to follow a mat classic like Owens/Balor.

Michael Cole and Byron Saxton might have been the most talked about part of the night though, so much so they trended in those early morning hours. Cole sounded like a real wrestling announcer for the first time in ages as the two men actually called moves and focused on the history of the wrestlers involved, rather than putting over pointless story bits shouted in their ear by a producer. It was a breath of fresh air in WWE television.

But it still wouldn't compare to the next night in Japan, when New Japan Pro Wrestling put on a hell of a show. More on that, tomorrow.

Those interested in checking out Beast In the East can still do so on demand on the WWE Network. And fans worldwide should look on this show with hope. Perhaps we will see more live international WWE broadcasts in the months to come.

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