WWE Invades Great Plains Coliseum [PHOTOS]
Sunday night, the men and women of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) invaded the Great Plains Coliseum on the Comanche County Fairgrounds in Lawton, and from the smiles on the faces of those in attendance, I would say it was a successful take-over.
From the moment the Coliseum doors opened, there was excitement in the air as men women, children and families piled through the turnstiles, eager to get a glimpse of their favorite WWE Superstars. And the worlds largest and best athletes did not fail on their part of the deal, keeping one-and-all in attendance on the edge of their seats and on their feet the whole night long.
From the first the first bell, the energy was high not only among the competitors, but in the audience. Newcomers Enzo Amore and Big Caz led the way to the ring and let Lawton know just what skills they had that couldn't be prepared. They had the audience in the palm of their hands until their legendary opponents The Dudley Boys hit the ring. The Dudleys, 23-time world tag team champions, are the only team in pro wrestling history to have held the WWE, WWF/World, ECW, WCW, NWA, TNA, and IWGP Tag Team Championships. A good back and forth match with both teams using their strengths to put their opponents in near pin fall positions, until Amore and Caz secored the victory, and proudly announcing to the crowd that the Dudley were "S-A-W-F-T saaaaawft!"; a definite feather in the cap of the newcomers.
Match Grade: B+
The night's second match saw Oklahoma's own "Real American" Jack Swagger taking on Viktor, one have of the tag team The Ascension. Swagger, who under his given name of Jake Hager was a football and wrestling star at OU. He took no time at playing off of the crowd's energy and took it to Viktor, the man who has been called by many as the most inappropriately named wrestler in WWE history. It didn't long for Swagger to take it to him and come away with an ankle lock submission victory.
Match Grade: B-
Before the next match we had a video screen visit from Kevin Owens, who was busy running down his opponent in the Main Event Dean Ambrose when he was interrupted by a phone call from his mother. Apparently, Mrs Owens is a big fan of Dean Ambrose, and predicted her son would fall in the main event to the keeper of the 'Ambrose Asylum'.
Spot Grade: B-
The nights third match would be another singles match, as the returning Darren Young, who is currently building an "old school" gimmic took on newcomer Appollo Crews. Two of the WWE's most athletic wrestlers did not disappoint with some moves and spots, including standing back-flip splashes from Crew, that took the audiences breath away. In the end, the youth and athleticism of Crews was too much for Young to handle and the rookie came away with the victory. The pair shook hands after the match in a great show of sportsmanship; Bob Backlund would be proud.
Match Grade: B
Match number four, a tag team match could best be described as the irresistible forces meeting the immovable objects, as the veteran team of The Big Show and Kane took on representatives of the Wyatt Family, Braum Strowman and Erick Rowan. There was nearly three-quarters of a ton in the ring, and the shortest was probably Kane at 6'6", and they did not fail to deliver the hard hitting, big impact action through out the match. At some point in the match, all four men were knocked out in some form or another, but the match finally came to an end when The Bog Show caught Rowan coming off the rope and knocked him out with a big right hand and covered him for the 1-2-3 win.
Match Grade: C+
There was one more match before the intermission, this one a women's tag team match, featuring three of the WWE's top female competitors Shasha Banks, Becky Lynch and Dana Brooke, along everyone's favorite foreign valet, "the Ravishing Russian" Lana. Before either of the teams hit the ring, the "special guest referee", Lawton's own favorite WWE Diva Summer Rae came to the ring to a great reception. The two teams were introduced, and the inexperience of Lana was quickly evident, as it appeared her opponents were taking it easy on her. At times, her partner Brooke seemed frustrated with Lana's lack of in ring ability. In the end, Banks and Lynch came a way with the victory, as the put the Russian away with both of their finishing manuevers.
Match Grade: C
After a short intermission, the WWE World Tag Team Champions, The New Day came out to the ring, thanking Lawton for the hospitality they had been shown, and assuring the audience that when they woke in the morning, they had poured themselves a hearty bowl of "Booty Ohs". Their opponents for the Tag Team Title match, the Vaudevillians came out, obviously offended by the "world famous, two-time tag team champions". The young team then took time offending every thing Oklahoma from Boomer Sooner to Garth Brooks.
The champs would defend the title in their normal "New Day Rules", meaning any two of the three team members can defend the Tag Team Title. Tonight it was Kofee Kingston and Xavier Woods defending, with third member Big E guarding the trombone on the outside. Kingston and Woods controlled through out the match, and in the end, finished off the Vaudevillians with some extraordinarily athletic moves from the10-year WWE verteran Kingston. The trio would then celebrate in and around the ring after the match.
Match Grade: A-
The main event was next, with Dean Ambrose scheduled to take on Kevin Owen. The two men are slated to be in this months Money In The Bank Ladder Match along with Alberto Del Rio, Chris Jericho, Sami Zayn and Cesaro. The match went back-and-forth with the two men pulled out all the stops, including chairs, stairs and ring barriers to only win the match, but put their opponent out of the June 19th pay-per-view event. But in the end, Ambrose sent Mrs Owens happy with a "dirty deeds" ddt for the victory.
Match Grade: A
In the end, all went home seemingly happy and there were plenty of smiling faces on the way to the parking lot, and many happy memories in the minds of the over 1800 in attendance at the Great Plains Coliseum.