Saturday, September 26


- November 5, 2017

Who would have thought that a wrestling night could be so emotionally involving? A generous lineup of delirious bout after bout happily filled 2 hours 45 minutes with sweat and melodrama.

The fights were well choreographed: a mixture of real slaps, pretend kicks and large leaps that still felt engaging after the seventh bout. Elias was hilarious: a baddie who has the gall to want to serenade the crowd with lame songs on guitar rather than get stuck into the action. He duly delivered a number about how terrible Brighton was, and moaned that he wanted to get out of Europe more than we did.

There was a fantastic range of characters too: Goldust was nimble, ridiculous, flamboyant fun (quintessential WWE tropes), Bray Wyatt was a mysterious one, moved by the ‘fireflies’ of the crowd’s cellphones in a strangely ethereal entrance sequence, and Bayley was a bundle of hugging bonhomie (a worthy fan favourite). Plus there was some admirable fan service with some of the older wrestlers: my 12 year old self rejoiced at seeing Kane being put through a table, Triple H joining forging a new alliance and Matt Hardy leaping around with tentative gusto.

The tag matches were gripping: a goodie would get pummelled and the emotional release in the crowd when they finally managed to tag out and turn the tide was gleeful. A colourful, daft, unbridled & joyous spectacle.

Brighton Centre, 2 November 2017
Rating: ★★★★★
Joe Fuller

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