Report by Aaron Pinsky and F4WOnline.com …
When I heard that it was first rescheduled in June, I was pretty disappointed since I was really looking forward to WWE being back in town regardless of how Smackdown television back then was sort of lacking. However, coming here tonight, with stars from both shows on the card, I must say that I’m kind of glad it was rescheduled because this was quite an experience.
Air Boom d. Awesome Truth in a decent opener. Miz and R.Truth worked over Evan Bourne for a while until Kofi came in and cleaned house. Kofi hit Miz with Trouble in Paradise and then tagged in Bourne for the Shooting Star Press that got the win.
Dolph Ziggler d. Alex Riley to retain the US Title in an incredible match. He and Dolph just laid it all out there in a very exciting match. The only thing I didn’t like about it was that Ziggler kicked out of both of Riley’s finishers (the Edgecution and the TKO): I thought that made Riley look unnecessarily weak. The finish came when Ziggler hit the Zig-Zag after Riley lifted him up for a second TKO.
Sin Cara d. Heath Slater in a good match. Slater got a mild hometown pop being from WV but Sin Cara got a very big reaction from the crowd: there were a few Sin Cara masks I saw coming in. Cara and Slater had a decent outing with Cara getting most of the offense in: the finish came with the Springboard Swanton (no moonsault follow-up). After the match, Heath Slater got a respectable amount of applause from the crowd and he waved goodbye to the fans as he went back to the locker room.
Mason Ryan d. Primo in a squash match. I’m still at a loss how Primo is still hired yet Chris Masters was let go: he has done next to nothing during his WWE tenure post-Carlito and is a “decent” worker at best. He got no reaction whatsoever with Mason getting a slightly more favorable pop. Finish came when Mason used the Catatonic off of a Diving Crossbody attempt..
Cody Rhodes d. Ted DiBiase to retain his Intercontinental title in a good match. Cody cut a promo beforehand talking about how he’ll give Huntington a second chance when he returns there a world champion. I was surprised to see Ted as his opponent but it was cool to see a grudge match that hasn’t aired on TV yet. The finish came when Cody tried to use the mask as a weapon but Ted knocked it out of his hands. The referee chastised Ted for using the mask as he didn’t see Cody take it off, and while Ted was arguing Cody rolled him up for the win.
Alberto Del Rio d. CM Punk to retain his WWE title in the first of two WWE title matches, with the winner of this one facing Cena in the main event. This was a rather decent outing with the two of them evenly matched, though ADR tried a couple of times to bolt but CM Punk chased him down, the second time with ADR actually going through the crowd and CM Punk just waiting for him in the ring. The finish came when CM Punk went up to the top for the Savage Elbow but ADR disrupted his footing and Punk got crotched over the ropes, allowing ADR to pin him after he fell to the mat. CM Punk got a massive positive reaction coming out.
Kelly Kelly d. Beth Phoenix to retain the Divas title. THe match was pretty short compared to the other title matches, with Beth beating on Kelly until she rolled up the Glamazon for the win. Kelly was one of the more over stars here in Huntington, though it helped that before the show she came out to greet the fans.
Sheamus and Daniel Bryan d. Christian and Mark Henry. Sheamus came out wearing a custom-made Marshall Univeristy football jersey which got a big pop. The match was pretty fun for what it was, with everyone in the match showing themselves capable of victory. The finish came when Daniel Bryan took out Mark Henry which left only Christian and Sheamus in the ring. Christian went for the Spear but ran into the Brogue Kick which put him down.
John Cena d. Alberto Del Rio via DQ in a well-fought match. Sometime in the middle of the match, the referee ejected Ricardo from ringside to even the odds. Now, one of Cena’s biggest weaknesses is that he’ll take a beating for a long time and then magically come back within the last two minutes of the match…that didn’t happen here. Cena proved himself quite capable of taking a “life lead” as we call it in the fighting game community, powering through ADR’s wide assortment of wrestling holds and even tossing in his old Emerald Frosion for a two-count. Meanwhile, Del Rio proved himself capable by attacking Cena with a mix of athletic offense and wrestling holds, like a Bridging German Suplex for a two-count of his own.
The finish came when Ricardo, rushing back into the ring with a steel chair, hit Cena in the gut and caused a DQ. Ricardo and Del Rio then beat on Cena with ADR setting up for a chair shot…but then out came Punk to the save the day. Cena and Punk dispatched Ricardo and ADR with stereo AA/GTS. After ADR and Ricardo left, Cena and Punk sang “Country Roads” together, as per Cena’s tradition when he’s in West Virginia. Then after Cena left, Punk went around ringside to sign autographs and t-shirts. He looked kinda fatigued in person but I guess that’s the price of being a celebrity for ya.
Really, really good show, perhaps the best wrestling show I’ve ever been to (previously best would be a SD house show in my hometown of Richmond in late 2008). This is going to be my final Huntington report for you guys as this winter I’ll be moving back to Richmond to begin my career as an autism teacher. Though it’ll be good to move back to VA, Huntington does have some good memories for me, and WWE has a considerable chuck of those memories.