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WrestleMania ignites crowd in return to El Paso

Daniel Mendez, Staff Reporter

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WWE supertars at the 'WWE Live Road to WrestleMania' at the Don Haskins Center on Monday night.

Wrestling fans of all ages came out to support their favorite WWE superstars on Monday night, as WWE Live Road to WrestleMania stopped by the Don Haskins Center.

Wrestling returned to El Paso just after being here in September of last year. The theme of the night featured tag team action and fatal four ways as WWE superstars performed for over two hours. The crowd at the Don enjoyed every minute as they cheered their favorites to victory.

The first bout of the evening was for the United States Championship in a triple threat match. The champion “The Glorious One” Bobby Roode defended his title against Baron Corbin and Jinder Mahal.

 

The bout featured classic heel and baby face storytelling. Corbin displayed his heelish ways when he confronted the ref about calls not going his way. While Mahal was attempting to use his cheating ways to a victory, one of the Singh brothers entered the fight. The climax of the bout was when Roode threw Corbin out of the ring and hit Mahal with his finisher, the glorious Luca to retain his title.

Next, was El Paso’s own Sin Cara. Sin Cara was accompanied by his son while he entered the ring.

 

With his family present by ringside Sin Cara did not disappoint, showing out in front of the hometown crowd. His opponent, Dolph Zigler, played the role of a classic heel when he attempted to unveil the true identity of Sin Cara by removing his mask.

 

The bout went back and forth as each superstar was flying off the top ropes lucha libre style. Sin Cara won the bout when he finished Zigler off with the “five-star frog splash”, a move made iconic by the late great El Paso legend in the ring, Eddie Guerrero.

The third fight was the first of four-tag team matches of the evening. It featured the tag team of The Ascension with Zack Ryder going against Mike Kanellis, Mojo Rawley, and Primo Colon.

 

The bout saw Ryder, and his team take the win as the three of them utilized tag team teamwork to have Ryder pin Kanellis cleanly in the middle of the ring.

The second tag team match of the evening highlighted the women’s division. The women’s division has grown tremendously since the early days of WWE. This was the first of two matches that showcased the female WWE superstars.

The team of Naomi and Becky Lynch defeated the Riott Squad. Fighting for the Riott Squad was the leader Ruby Riott and Sarah Logan while Liv Morgan lurked around the ring to help her teams advantage in the bout. Lynch and Naomi played the faces while the Riott Squad played the heels, the bout saw Lynch struggle throughout the match with the aggressiveness of the Riott Squad. It was when Lynch made the hot-tag to Naomi as she cleaned the ring of the Riott Squad and was able to pin Logan for the three-count.

The third tag team match featured the crowd favorites. Aiden English and Rusev came out first to celebrate the fictional holiday Rusev Day which got the crowd eagerly on their feet as they cheered for the duo. Their opponents were Royal Rumble winner Shinsuke Nakamura and “The Viper” Randy Orton.

The bout was slow to start as each superstar played with the crowd’s reaction. At one point, Nakamura grabbed the microphone to taunt his opponents with his signature “come on” taunt.

 

The fight featured great tag-team action as English and Rusev were able to isolate Nakamura in their corner and were able to inflict damage. It was when Nakamura showed some heart and fought his way back to a hot-tag of Orton. Orton attempted his finisher the RKO but unsuccessful as English was able to avoid it. Later after a DDT by Orton, Orton finished English off with an RKO from out of nowhere for the win.

After a brief intermission, WWE returned back with the first of two fatal four-way matches. The first was for the Smackdown’s Women’s Championship belt. The champion “The Queen” Charlotte Flair defended her title against “Ms. Money in the Bank” Carmella, Lana, and Natalya. The bout featured all three challengers attempting to take the queens throne. A combination of teamwork by the challengers wasn’t enough. As Flair was able to outsmart and out wrestle her opponents as she was able to get Natalya to tap-out to her finisher the figure-eight leg-lock.

In the last four-way match, it was a battle of tag teams for the tag team championship. The New Day was introduced first to the delight of fans as they threw out pancakes to the crowd cheering for them. Next were the duo of Chad Gabe and Shelton Benjamin, followed by the Bludgeon Brothers of Luke Harper and Erik Rowan as they challenged the tag team champs the Usos. The match was a super-kick party as the Usos cleared the ring and proved why they are the champions.

The main event of the evening featured the World Championship.

 

As the champion, “The Phenomenal One” AJ Styles defended his title against the tag team duo of Sami Zyan and Kevin Owens in a two-on-one match. The team of Owens and Zyan played the ultimate heels exchanging pleasantries with the crowd as the crowd repeatedly booed the duo. A tired and beaten Styles willed himself to victory as he was able to attack Owens and throw him out of the ring. While he set up Zyan for his finisher the phenomenal forearm, jumping off the top rope and landing the forearm Styles was able to pin Zyan cleanly in the middle of the ring to retain his title.

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WrestleMania ignites crowd in return to El Paso