‘Splash splash, b***h’: Aussie-led madness as WWE Perth presser descends into chaos

While you can’t exactly call it a press conference, because they didn’t take a single question, WWE’s pre-Elimination Chamber event in Perth was a chaotic mess that showcased the intense Aussie fan reaction that many hope will spur the company to return sooner rather than later.

Thousands of diehard fans packed out Southern Oval, next door to the glitzy new Optus Stadium, lining up for hours and standing in 38-degree heat just to get a glimpse of their favourite wrestlers.

Well before the event began, fans were busy screaming what seemed like every possible chant from wrestling history – from ‘E-C-DUB’, for the 1990s hardcore promotion ECW, to ‘Damien Sandow’, for the nowadays-obscure 2010s midcard wrestler who definitely wasn’t there – and that passion continued through the hour-long ‘press event’.

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WWE may only be in Perth because the WA government paid them over $5 million to put on the show, and they are clearly interested in going global primarily when cities offer them such fees, but the reaction was remarked upon by many from the company and will surely stick in their heads when it comes to future planning.

Foxsports.com.au heard one top WWE star saying after the show it was one of the wildest crowds for an event like that he’d seen, while another quietly muttered “f***” under his breath while on stage during a particularly loud moment.

As for the event itself, it was a reminder of the growing bond between the merged companies WWE and UFC, as the wrestling brand skews more towards the MMA outfit’s style of press conferences which are purely used to build hype thanks to intense standoffs.

Sydney’s Grayson Waller made an early entrance and co-MC’d the event, along with commentators Michael Cole and Corey Graves, proving incredibly popular as compared to his normal bad-guy status in the States.

WWE chief content officer Triple H, veterans Randy Orton and Kevin Owens, and secondary world title holder Seth Rollins were also hugely supported but it was the homecoming queen Rhea Ripley who earned the brightest spotlight.

After the No.1 contender for her women’s world championship, Nia Jax, briefly attempted to get the crowd on side by explaining how she was born in Sydney before moving to the US as an infant, Ripley emerged to the loudest cheer of the afternoon.

Trading barbs with Jax, Ripley got the last laugh by threatening to hit her Riptide finisher before declaring “splash splash, b***h” and throwing a bottle of Logan Paul’s energy drink over Jax’s face.

The celebration continued from there with Waller asking Ripley to join him in his trademark shoey, the pair downing a beer each from their footwear in true Aussie athlete style. Fittingly Tai Tuivasa was in attendance.

It wasn’t the only bit of Aussies supporting Aussies though, as Waller was visibly thrilled and beckoned for the crowd to cheer loudly when it was announced Melbourne’s Indi Hartwell would be wrestling on the pre-show, teaming with Candice LaRae to challenge for Asuka and Kairi Sane’s women’s tag team titles.

Cody Rhodes did not appear at the press event as previously announced for travel reasons but he is still scheduled to appear on Waller’s show The Grayson Waller Effect, alongside Seth Rollins, on the show on Saturday.

Elimination Chamber gets underway from 8pm AEDT on Saturday February 24 from Optus Stadium.

Max Laughton is in Perth for Elimination Chamber with thanks to WWE.

Source: foxsports.com.au

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