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Saturday, October 12, 2019

The WWE Live in Manila Experience

10/11/2019 08:46:47 PM

Honestly? Watching a live WWE event will always be part of my bucket list – be it a WrestleMania show or just a detour in Manila or nearby country. Given my current situation, however, I already resigned myself to the possible fact that I would catch them next time – that's if I have enough resources to buy my ticket. 

Even in the case of this year, I'm like okay na ko, quota na ko after seeing Sheamus in a press con two months ago.

Well, sort of. The funny thing is I was already on my way to one of my three scheduled media events (non-wrestling) that Friday when one of my friends from the music scene messaged me if I wanted to watch WWE Live in Manila with her company. I said “yes” without hesitation because it's kinda hypocrite of me if I decide to do a hard pass when deep inside of my screams “FUCK YES! HOW MUCH FOR A TICKET? GIMME THAT ONE PLEASE!” Well, I already said 'no' on the other two events due to schedule conflicts anyway. Not to mention, I managed to have two passes because of that, so it's another wrestling date with my girlfriend – and indeed a rare weekend hangout with a group of five.

Time clocked at 6:35PM when we reached Araneta Center City on its already frenzy self. Thousands of WWE fans flocked the Green Gate of the almost six-decade strong Smart Araneta Coliseum. Some were checking the merchandise items available while waiting; others were having their pre-game dinner at nearby restaurants. Of course, some of the wrestlers from the Philippine Wrestling Revolution (PWR) and Manila Wrestling Federation (MWF) were sighted on site.

It's that time once again when Thrilla in Manila met its wrestling sports entertainment counterpart a la Friday Night SmackDown. For three hours, WWE featured ten matches – including four championship matches plus two impromptus 24/7 championship matches – involving 20 superstars from the Blue brand. 

Not only the night marked WWE's first Manila staging after three years, but also the first in over 10 years and two months since the Stamford-based promotion last held a show in this same venue.

As always, WWE starts their events on time. So when the clock already hit 8:00PM, Araneta Coliseum still had a lot of vacant rows; and you could blame the horrific Friday traffic right there. That probably speaks why Kevin Owens and Andrade decide to hype the crowd for a while before locking arms and grapple.

The show ended at close to 11:00PM, with intermission taking place at around 9:30. Got to praise the promoters for not only providing an awesome show to almost 9,000 people inside the Big Dome but also on taking timeliness very seriously. 

Save the two table misfires, all the matches were damn solid – especially the surprise Intercontinental Championship match between Shinsuke Nakamura and Ali, as well as the SmackDown Tag Team Championship match between The Revival and The New Day. Chad Gable versus EC3 is a golden eye candy that was made more entertaining thanks to a couple of spontaneous 24/7 Championship matches involving the latter and R-Truth. Meanwhile, the main event turned out to be a feel-good one instead of living to its WrestleMania rematch-vibe. Well, either way, YestleMania, and KofiMania made it to Manila.

I can't help but lose my shit when Kevin Owens and Roman Reigns took over the stage. I guess, this is what I get after seeing them on TV for most of my recent time. 

Too bad, Jake De Leon wasn't able to conquer the day's biggest feat of challenging R-Truth for the 24.7 Championship.

It looks like another item is ticked off my bucket list. Seven years of following the sport have reached its penultimate climax. I guess this is where my wrestling pilgrimage comes to an end... for now. 

P.S. Special thanks to Karla Andrea Ubalde for the last-minute tickets.

Author: slickmaster | © 2019 The SlickMaster's Files

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