The following fan report is courtesy of PWInsider.com:
Tonight, WWE returned to the Hammond Civic Center in Hammond, Indiana for the first time in 15 months. The last time they were here, it was for a SmackDown/ECW show, which saw Undertaker and Rey Mysterio defeated Mark Henry and the Great Khali, and a rare appearance in the short run of Krissy Vaine. Despite the cold weather, there were a fair amount of fans waiting outside for autographs. For the time I was out there, Kane was the only one who did sign, although Shad of Cryme Tyme was going to before being told to go inside for security.
The doors opened right at 6:30, although the show started around 7:35.
There was a small problem with some of the seats. The raised seats in the lower level are bleachers. When I arrived, there were only eight rows in each section, and my ticket was for row ten. Thankfully, maintenance workers came out and pulled all the bleachers out to reveal an extra two rows.
The signs outside said the place was sold out, and it looked that way inside. We shall see how much this affected Ring of Honor’s PPV taping.
Tonight’s ring announcer was Tony Chimmel. At the start of the show, he informed everyone that John Cena wouldn’t be there, which was met with tons of boos, and that full refunds would be given until the start of the second match. It was a good gesture on WWE’s part to at least offer that, since Cena was advertised when tickets first went on sale.
The opening match saw IC Champion CM Punk defend against Kane. The crowd loved Punk, although Kane had his fans. This was a really fun match, with some good offense from both of them. Kane even hit a dropkick, albeit on a sitting Punk. The finish saw Kane get smashed into the exposed turnbuckle that he revealed earlier, and then rolled up by Punk.
Next was Dolph Ziggler vs. Jamie Noble. Dolph did his usual “hi” routine, but also did a bit regarding his new catchphrase, “Dolph Ziggler rocks!” Of course, we wouldn’t say it. Not much of a reaction for Noble. For all the great technical moves he did, Noble is vastly underrated. Ziggler won with his neckbreaker type move.
The next championship match saw Beth Phoenix challenge Melina for the Women’s Championship. Not a whole lot to say about this one. Phoenix hit a fair number of power moves, and Melina, who some would say has been five steps behind, was a bit better, but still tentative. The finish was messed up, as Phoenix had Melina in a musclebuster position, but Phoenix couldn’t hold her up, and they collapsed down, leading to an impromptu pin attempt near the ropes. Melina then won with a sort of rollup.
We where then treated to Mike Knox vs. Rey Mysterio. Of course, the crown erupted for Mysterio. I personally went to the washroom during it, but what I saw was standard Mysterio affair. He won with the 619 and falling splash.
Following intermission, Chimmel introduced the guest hostess, Mickie James. She proceeded to toss out a few T-shirts, and once she ran out, she stripped off the one she was wearing, and tossed that out. Let me just say, James may have a bit of a gut now, but she’s still very hot. Next, she found a fan at ringside to be the guest timekeeper. She also had a three or four year old girl sit on her lap for the match. Lucky.
Next was Tommy Dreamer challenging Jack Swagger for the ECW Championship. Dreamer said he got this opportunity due to Matt Hardy leaving ECW for SmackDown (Hardy was advertised all the way up till today). He mentioned his possible retirement in June, and said he and Mickie would get everyone free food and drinks tonight if he won the title. He then told Swagger to get his “butt” out here. That’s PG for ya. The match was the exact same thing I saw in Madison, which I said at the time was match of the night. It wasn’t the best here, but it was still a lot of fun to watch. Lots of near falls for Dreamer, who eventually fell to the gut-wrench powerbomb.
Next up was a six-man tag, as The Legacy’s Randy Orton, Cody Rhodes, and Ted DiBiase took on Cryme Tyme’s Shad and JTG, and Kofi Kingston. Orton just loves to piss off a crowd, as he kept targeting specific people to sit down and shut up. Like in Madison, Orton wouldn’t get into the ring for much of the match. Overall, it was standard affair. The finish saw Orton tag in without Shad seeing it, and after pinning an illegal man, got hit with an RKO.
The main event was Chris Jericho vs. Shawn Michaels. Jericho started off by running down the crowd. HBK was his usual self tonight, as the JBL storyline was pretty much forgotten about. There was a lot of stalling early on, with Jericho not wanting to wrestle, and the two having fun with one fan’s hat. Due to the ever-rising temperature in the building, I left during the match, but I’m sure HBK won, and the parts I saw was the usual fun you get with Michaels.
Top 5 Pops
Top 5 Jeers