IN PHOTOS: Strong fan interest drives WWE Live Manila to success

MANILA, Philippines – For the first time in 3 years, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) returned to Manila with yet another star-studded card, and it did not disappoint.

Thousands of wrestling fans from all corners of the country flocked to Araneta Coliseum and forked over a pretty penny to cheer for their favorite WWE superstars. By then, all WWE had to do was deliver a great show, which it expectedly did.

STARSTRUCK. Filipinos of all ages meet their favorite wrestlers. Photo from release

STARSTRUCK. Filipinos of all ages meet their favorite wrestlers.

Photo from release

 

Kofi Kingston (c) def. “The New” Daniel Bryan – WWE Championship

WWE Champion Kofi Kingston had to pull out all the stops in his nerve-wracking main event title bout against former world champion “The New” Daniel Bryan.

TITLE DEFENSE. Kofi Kingston retains the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in Manila. Photo from release

TITLE DEFENSE. Kofi Kingston retains the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in Manila.

Photo from release

Will KofiMania run wild at #WWEManila2019? Kofi Kingston puts his WWE Championship on the line against "The New" Daniel Bryan! @JRnalistic pic.twitter.com/CAvWJBK4fS — Rappler Sports (@RapplerSports) September 20, 2019 

 

In their WrestleMania 35 rematch, both stars read each other’s moves and wrestled to a stalemate multiple times. However, Bryan eventually got the upper hand late into the contest with a barrage of his patented kicks, reminiscent of his “Yes! Movement” days which steered him to his first WWE Championship.

But Bryan got too greedy with his running knee strikes at the turnbuckle, which ultimately proved to be his downfall. After two connecting strikes, Kingston recovered and hit Bryan with a lightning-quick Trouble in Paradise head kick for the pinfall win as the latter was going for a third-straight knee.

After the match, Kingston still found the time to pose for photos and sign autographs as the show closed.

 

The Revival (c) def. The New Day – WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championships

While Kingston brought home the win, the same could not be said for his New Day brothers Big E and Xavier Woods as they lost their WWE SmackDown Tag Team Title shot against the no-nonsense Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder of The Revival.

HUMBLING. New Day brothers Big E and Xavier Woods lose their WWE SmackDown Tag Team Title. Photo from release

HUMBLING. New Day brothers Big E and Xavier Woods lose their WWE SmackDown Tag Team Title.

Photo from release

Complete with their trademark hype-up entrance, The New Day charged into the match full of confidence, as expected from the 6-time tag champs.

AWWWWW MANILAAAAA! The New Day have arrived at #WWEManila2019 to challenge The Revival for the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championships! | @JRnalistic pic.twitter.com/cbFNahuEl2 — Rappler Sports (@RapplerSports) September 20, 2019 

 

However, Big E and Woods apparently thought too lowly of their opposition, as they upped the shenanigans to distract the current champs.

 

UNDERESTIMATED. Big E is hit with a surprise as he loses his title. Photo from release

UNDERESTIMATED. Big E is hit with a surprise as he loses his title.

Photo from release

This proved costly for the goofy pair as Dawson ultimately stunned Big E with a roll-up pin after a turnbuckle hit to retain the SmackDown Tag Team Championships.

 

Bayley (c) def. Charlotte Flair – WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship Street Fight

 

While the men of WWE brought the house down with their power and athleticism, the women – or should we say Horsewomen – had their own share of action as well.

WWE SmackDown Women’s Champion Bayley barely retained her title after escaping relentless Charlotte Flair in a tense Street Fight.

 

ESCAPE. Bayley edges out Charlotte Flair in the for WWE SmackDown Womenu2019s Championship. Photo from release

ESCAPE. Bayley edges out Charlotte Flair in the for WWE SmackDown Womenu2019s Championship.

Photo from release

As all Street Fights go, the action quickly spilled to the crowd of the packed Araneta Coliseum with Flair hitting Bayley with a series of stiff chops to the chest.

After seeing the two former friends smashing each other with kendo sticks and steel chairs, the crowd then demanded for more with a “We want tables!” chant.

Before the table could even be used, Bayley quickly escaped with the win after pushing Flair to a wedged chair between the turnbuckles which transitioned to the roll-up pin.

Apparently wanting more action, the champ tried to hit her downed challenger with more shots after the match. However, this proved disastrous for Bayley as Flair countered her with a sunset flip and a powerbomb through the table, much to the delight of the crowd.

Charlotte Flair and Bayley brawl after their match, which ended up in Flair hitting Bayley with a Sunset Flip through a table! #WWEManila2019 | @JRnalistic pic.twitter.com/eeKFewgP02 — Rappler Sports (@RapplerSports) September 20, 2019 

 

Other matches included Shinsuke Nakamura retaining his WWE Intercontinental Championship against Ali, Roman Reigns defeating Sami Zayn in an open challenge, Carmella beating Mandy Rose, Chad Gable submitting EC3, and Kevin Owens overpowering Andrade.

SUCCESS. Shinsuke Nakamura defends his WWE Intercontinental Championship title over Ali. Photo from release

SUCCESS. Shinsuke Nakamura defends his WWE Intercontinental Championship title over Ali.

Photo from release

ACTION-PACKED. Roman Reigns defeats Sami Zayn in the open challenge. Photo from release

ACTION-PACKED. Roman Reigns defeats Sami Zayn in the open challenge.

Photo from release

STUNNER. Kevin Owens took a page out of 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin's playbook and defeated Andrade with a Stunner. Photo by Alvin Go/Rappler

STUNNER. Kevin Owens took a page out of 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin's playbook and defeated Andrade with a Stunner.

Photo by Alvin Go/Rappler

OUT COLD. Not even Sonya DeVille's distraction stop Carmella (right) from knocking Mandy Rose out cold with a Superkick. Photo by Alvin Go/Rappler

OUT COLD. Not even Sonya DeVille's distraction stop Carmella (right) from knocking Mandy Rose out cold with a Superkick.

Photo by Alvin Go/Rappler

Two title changes occurred as well within the night as EC3 surprised special guest ring announcer R-Truth with a roll-up pin after his loss to win the WWE 24/7 Championship, a title that must be defended and can be won anywhere at any time provided there is a referee around.

However, Chad Gable did well on his promise to watch Truth’s back as he helped him win back his title over the sly EC3 just a minute later.

TITLE CHANGE. R-Truth surrenders the WWE 24/7 Championship title to Chad Gable. Photo from release

TITLE CHANGE. R-Truth surrenders the WWE 24/7 Championship title to Chad Gable.

Photo from release

The SmackDown stars then performed two more times in Shanghai and Hawaii before returning to weekly programming across the United States. – Rappler.com