Updated: Feb 9
Match #1 - The Wyatt Family [Harper O & Rowan] def. The Bar [Cesaro & Shemaus X]
[WWE World Tag Team Championships Match]
The Wyatt Family Become the 1st WWE World Tag Team Champions
The night opened in sensational style as the World Tag Team Championship Tournament final began the show. The Wyatt Family and The Bar, the final two teams left standing after a strenuous 8 week tournament, met here to crown the first WWE World Tag Team Champions.
The Bar quickly gained the ascendancy, with Sheamus in particular using a power game to wear down Rowan, cutting him off from Harper in the process. An early Brogue Kick looked to have rocked the Wyatts but Rowan had a foot under the rope earning a reprieve, leaving Sheamus to steam as he tagged in Cesaro. The match continued in much the same vein, with Rowan suprising many people with his resiliency. He eventually managed to get his elusive tag as he dodged a wild Lariat from the Swiss Superman, finally tagging in Harper who went at Cesaro like a house on fire.
A furious exchange started, with the pair hitting stiff shots. Sheamus was tagged in but the stiffness continued. Clearly irritated that they hadn't already put the match to bed, Sheamus went once more for the Brogue Kick, but was met instead with a crunching Discus Clothesline. Harper swooped in and covered the Great White Shark for the 3 count, meaning that the Wyatt Family became the inaugural WWE World Tag Team Champions.
Match #2 - Bayley O def. Ruby Riott X
This match didnt even get to the ring before it began. One of two blood feuds on this card, the two tore at each other from the moment Riott's music began playing. The pair emerged from backstage, completely entangled in a brawl that lasted all the way down the ramp.
The referee, seemingly taken aback by what was happening, signalled to the time-keeper to ring the bell as soon as both women were in the ring, and the match began. Riott, a veteran and used to this style of fighting, quickly gained the upper hand, and battered Bayley all the way around the ring, particularly targeting Bayley's neck; the neck that Riott had injured, causing Bayley's time off with injury.
This proved a test of The Huggable One's endurance, as she was forced to kick out of everything Riott threw at her. 2 top rope Stage Dive Sentons weren't enough, and once Bayley kicked out of a Riott Kick, the frustration was truly beginning to set in. Riott rolled from the ring to pick up a chair, but had it confiscated by the referee as soon as she rolled back in. Incensed, she grabbed Bayley for another Riott Kick, but as she pulled her in, Bayley sprang into action, grabbing Riott and hitting the Bayley To Belly. Stunned, Ruby Riott didn't kick out, giving Bayley a hard-earned victory, though this apparently didn't appease her as she continued the assault after the bell on Riott, only stopping when ring crew intervened.
Match #3 - Sasha Banks O def. Liv Morgan X, Carmella, Bianca Belair, Becky Lynch & Sarah Logan
[WWE Women's Championship 6-Woman Elimination Match]
Sasha Banks Becomes the 1st WWE Women's Champion
Women's action continued next with the WWE Women's Championship the prize in a 6-Woman Elimination Match. Though you could be forgiven for assuming stars such as Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch were the favourites here, it was impossible to write off Riott Squad members Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan, and even relative newcomers Bianca Belair and Carmella.
It was pandemonium from start to finish in this Match, with action taking place at such a rate that the commentary team had trouble in calling moves or indeed who was eliminated. The first real moment turned out to also be the first elimination, with Sarah Logan's stay less than impressive after submitting to the Bank Statement, leaving Liv Morgan to throw an outrageous tantrum in the middle of the ring.
We cut quickly to a shot backstage of Lana watching the action on a screen, jealousy etched into every line of her face, clearly not having accepted the fact that she could have been in this match had it not been for Bayley and Ruby Riott's fighting on the go home show.
Back to the ring and a shock as Becky Lynch, who had looked so dominant during the match, walked into a Super Kick from Carmella followed by a Roll-Up by the waiting Liv Morgan, who not only pinned and eliminated one of the 2 favourites, but also gained revenge for her fallen Riott Squad team mate. This elimination threw the match wide open, and the eliminations came thick and fast. Belair who had successfully managed to avoid almost any confrontation at all, attempted to capitalise on an unsuspecting Sasha Banks, but ate a Bankrupt for her troubles and was eliminated. Carmella's elimination followed soon after as Liv Morgan hit the Jersey Codebreaker, eliminating her before standing toe to toe with Sasha Banks - the final two.
The crowd were split, with a surprising amount of people siding with the underdog in Morgan. Close-calls and 2 counts were in abundance as the two fought around the ring and and onto the outside. Liv thought she had it won with a second Jersey Codebreaker only for Sasha to roll agonisingly to the outside before Liv could cover. A few moments later, Morgan thought she had done enough yet again as Banks found herself locked in a Guillotine Choke, but once again, Sasha used her in-ring experience to get herself to the ropes. This last gasp reprieve apparently sapped the last bit of resolve from Morgan, and once Banks managed to wrap her in the Bank Statement, she lasted little time before she relented and tapped, giving Banks the win and the title, becoming the inaugural WWE Women's Champion in the process.
Match #4 - BlackHearts [Randy Orton O & Edge] def. KUSHIDA X & Aleister Black
An extension of the violent feud between Drew McIntyre and Daniel Bryan, this match saw BlackHearts team members Edge and Randy Orton taking on the two men who came to Daniel Bryan's aid; Aleister Black and KUSHIDA.
Having already tasted defeat on the go home show, KUSHIDA and Alesiter Black were chomping at the bit to make amends. However, BlackHearts were also looking to continue to assert their dominance, and this became apparent when Edge attempted to end the match quickly with a Spear, only for Aleister Black to save KUSHIDA with a Jumping Knee. Using this as a warning, KUSHIDA fired around the ring at an almost unseen pace, lighting up Edge with a series of vicious strikes before wrapping Orton in the Hoverboard Lock, only for the Viper to get to the ropes at the last possible second.
Match #5 - Roderick Strong (c) O def. Buddy Murphy X
[WWE United States Championship Open Challenge Match]
This was Roderick Strong's Fifth Successful Title Defence
Roderick Strong's month-long run with the United States Championship rolled in to Lafeyette with him looking for his 5th successful title defence.
Before his opponent revealed himself however, Strong took to the mic to state that he wanted only the best to answer the open Challenge, someone who could match him in every aspect to treat the people who had turned up to watch it, ultimately a PPV level opponent for a PPV. With that, Main Event's best kept secret - Buddy Murphy - made his way down to the ring, greeted with an excited buzz from the crowd.
After a very brief shaking of hands and showing of respect, the two men circled each other cautiously not wanting to make a mistake, as the first mistake would be fatal in a match-up between competitors of this calibre. Murphy struck first, laying into Strong with a series of quick strikes, chops to the chest and weakening the neck and head with vicious strikes, looking to soften up Strong for the Murphy's Law.
Strong, conversely, decided that the best form of defence was offence and set about targeting Murphy's back with his vast array of Backbreakers, getting a particularly close 2 count with the Death by Roderick.
The match continued, and the intensity increased, Strong continuing to target the back with the Strong Hold before Murphy continued his onslaught with a Wheelbarrow Suplex and a series of Powerbombs. Still the match progressed, and Murphy began digging deep into his arsenal, hitting Lights Out and the Silva Breaker, only for Strong to reach out at the last second to grasp the ropes.
Sensing blood, Murphy flung Strong toward the rope in order to hit a Murphy's Law, but found himself on a receiving end of an End of Heartache after Strong reversed it. Floored, Murphy stumbled to his feet where Strong pounced on the opportunity and hit a second End of Heartache to pin Murphy and retain the belt for the 5th time.
As the referee held the hand of Strong aloft and Murphy rolled, defeated from the ring, the lights in the arena went out, just as they had done on the go home show. However, unlike last time, when the lights came back on, the referee was held in the hands of the new WWE World Tag Team Champions Harper and Rowan and Strong was face to face with a laughing Bray Wyatt, who snatched the champion into a Sister Abigail, laying him out. Wyatt knelt above him then as the lights went out again, his laughter echoing around the arena.
Match #6 - Daniel Bryan O def. Drew McIntyre X
[Steel Cage Match]
The cavernous steel cage that had hung from the ceiling all night descended to the floor as we approached the semi-main event of the evening; the violent blood feud between Daniel Bryan, and leader of BlackHearts - Drew McIntyre.
McIntyre entered the arena first, flanked by his cohorts Edge and Randy Orton, though he dismissed them with an arrogant nod - any outside interference in this match would result in a suspension - before waltzing, almost nonchalantly to the ring. Bryan entered next, noticeably more wary, but resolute and conducted the crowd in a thunderous chorus of 'YES!' before entering the cage, with the door locked behind him.
The rules were simple, escape from the cage first, no pinfalls or submissions, just all out war, a culmination of near 2 months of aggression and destruction. The two tore at each other with a vindictive savagery that the Lafeyette crowd were not ready for. McIntyre used everything that wasn't nailed down to beat Bryan into a pulp; chairs, bats, lead piping, the ring steps and on several occasions, the cage walls, at no point even making the slightest effort to escape the cage. This match clearly wasn't about winning for McIntyre, it was about inflicting as much pain as possible, making a statement to the entire roster and to the arena at large.
Bloodied, nursing welts the size of dinner plates on his back and sides, Bryan continued to hang in there, creating pockets of opportunity for himself, including countering a Claymore Kick with a Knee Plus.
The toll of beating Bryan so malevolently began to show on McIntyre, and he began to make mistakes. Bryan looked to capitalise, taking a Kendo Stick and using it to wrench back on McIntyre's neck with the Yes Lock! with Drew tapping furiously to no avail; again there were no Submission victories here.
Finally, the fight was taken to the cage walls, with both men striking each other, desperate to knock the other off. Eventually, Bryan dug deep, raking the eyes of McIntyre in pure desperation of the victory. Drew fell to the mat, allowing Bryan to climb up and out of the cage, slumping, exhausted against the outside of the cage wall.
The respite was short-lived though. No sooner had Bryan escaped the cage, Orton and Edge were on him like jackels, beating him mercilessly, slamming him into the cage wall. Edge took up the matting and revealed the concrete, allowing Orton to RKO Bryan onto the concrete, busting him open further. The two men then brought Bryan back into the cage where McIntyre, snarling like a tiger, slammed into the leader of the Yes! Movement with three consecutive Claymore Kicks. EMTs managed to get through to Bryan shortly after, with BlackHearts sauntering back up the ramp to a cavalcade of boos from the crowd. After much deliberation from the medical team over the completely motionless body of Bryan, they placed him on a stretcher and took him carefully from the arena.
Match #7 - Eddie Guerrero O def. Kevin Owens X
[WWE Championship Match]
Eddie Guererro Becomes the 1st WWE Champion
Anticipation filled the arena next, as the main event hoved in to view. The inaugural WWE Champion - the top prize on Main Event - would be decided in this match. Kevin Owens had taken advantage of the feud between McIntyre and Bryan, pipping Aleister Black to book his place in the match, while Guerrero had seen off Bobby Lashley, Johnny Gargano and Chris Jericho.
Owens was out first and received a huge welcome, but that was nothing to the welcome Guerrero received, who was greeted as a local hero. The Mexican superstar took it all in his stride, taking perhaps a little longer than necessary absorbing it all atop the top turnbuckle before refocusing on the task at hand.
The pair shook hands to begin the match - after all there was no feud here, just two men vying for the chance to be the first Champion - and with the pleasantries out of the way, the match began, amidst a crescendo of noise from the Lafayette crowd.
Owens started the stronger, looking to overwhelm Guerrero with his power game, slamming him into the corner and hitting the Cannonball early, but Guerrero is an experienced competitor, and knew how to slow the pace to one that fit him and as he did, he began to take control.
Owens's attack became frenetic, clearly understanding that the longer the match went, the more likely a Guerrero victory was, and looked to put the match beyond doubt after the pair fought on the ring apron, on which Owens Powerbombed Guerrero. Unable to get him back into the ring however, Owens settled on merely putting Eddie up against the barricade and looked to hit another Cannonball. However, whether it be through exhaustion and pain or through sheer in-ring genius, Guerrero ducked at the right time, leaving Owens to career through the padded wall and into the timekeeper's area.
The match made its way back into the ring, with both men unable to make the breakthrough; Owens stopped the 3 Amigos at the final attempt, while Guererro countered a Package Piledriver into a Hurricanrana.
The match wound on, and it was becoming more and more apparent that something special was going to be needed to win the match and the championship, and that came from Eddie Guerrero. Flooring Owens with a Dropkick, Guererro went to the top rope for his patented Frogsplash, only for Owens to roll away, past the centre of the ring. Rather than be put off, Guererro steadied himself and launched himself into a Frogsplash that spanned over half the ring! Stunned, Owens didn't kick out, and on the 3rd count, the crowd erupted as Guererro was crowned the first WWE Champion.
Taking the top turnbuckle once again, Guerrero stood with the Championship, confetti raining down on him, crowned as the top man on Main Event, an ascension greeted with rapture from the Lafayette crowd.