10th Oct2015

‘WWE Beast In The East’ Review

by Paul Metcalf

Beast3

As a WWE Network Special Beast In The East was somewhat of a smart move. Although aired live at a time too early for America, the nature of the online service meant it could be re-watched at anytime. Somewhat of a glorified house show though, was it any good?

The first thing noticeable about WWE Beast In The East is the difference in style from normal WWE programming. It may have been a little bit of culture shock for WWE fans unaware of how Japanese crowds worked, and how they ran their matches. The beauty of the event though was that WWE showed the respect for the country they were in and ran the show for the Japanese crowd and not so much for the rest of the world.

In this respect there were differences in the matches, for one a lack of run ins makes for a refreshing change. This was seen in the WWE Diva Championship match between Nikki Bella, Paige, and Tamina. As shocking as it may seem this actually was a fairly solid match, even though the ending was a little weak. Without the over dramatic nature of the usual Diva match, this was actually surprisingly good.

The first match of the night though was actually Chris Jericho vs. Neville in a match that saw Jericho go back to his old school “Lionheart” days. In an entertaining match both Jericho and Neville put on a good show, and opened the show well, and worked as a nice warm up for the night.

When we got to the Brock Lesnar vs. Kofi Kingston match, this was as expected a squash match to show the dominance of Lesnar. Although it was obvious that Kingston was outmatched it was still nice to see that there were strategic moments in the battle where Kingston got an edge. To set up the return of Lesnar as the monster the match did its job well, it’s just a shame that Kingston felt like such an odd choice of opponent.

The match of the night was easily Kevin Owens vs. Finn Balor, which may also go down as one of my matches of the year. Balor’s return to Japan where he is known as Prince Devitt was set up as a formal Japanese championship match with streamers and a feeling of tradition about it. It was amusing that Michael Cole was almost puzzled that the crowd were chanting NXT during the fight, as I’m sure his script is designed to have the fans love WWE. The fact is though this was an NXT fight and the Japanese were well aware of NXT. The match stole the show and showed that NXT is probably the best thing WWE have done in years.

After the NXT championship match the tag team match between John Cena and Dolph Ziggler vs. King Barrett and Kane couldn’t compete, and was a slight anti-climax for the night. It was a solid fight though with Barrett and Kane working well together. It was clear though that the real main event had already happened, and that was the NXT championship.

What Beast In The East shows is how good the mid-card talent is in WWE and how entertaining the show can be when it pulls away from the storylines and gets down to the actual matches. On a night in Japan when NXT once again ruled again supreme, maybe WWE should take notice that it is their breeding ground for new talent which is breeding wrestlers much more interesting than their so-called main event superstars.

****½  4.5/5

WWE: Beast In The East is available on DVD in the UK now.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek
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