It’s been quite a few years since I’ve seen a house show rather than the recent tapings of RAW and SmackDown which were treated to at least twice a year now, and to be honest I think I prefer them. You get more of a PPV feel and Wrestlers aren’t time restricted on their match times when compared to a TV audience.
This article will obviously provide you with results of the matches which took place last night and for the other people who are going to the house shows in the UK this week I would recommend not reading the rest of this article until you have seen it for yourself as the results will likely be the same.
The show opened with a surprising pyrotechnics display (I thought WWE were cutting down on these?) and the first match was Santino against Drew McIntyre. Santino got the crowd into the event successfully and the unfortunate McIntyre fell to the Cobra. A nice opening match what wasn’t rushed, however it didn’t exactly start the show off with any star power.
We then stepped back in time when we got David Otunga and Michael Mcgillicutty come out to their horrible tag team music and faced Primo and Alex Riley. Alex Riley got a big pop from the crowd and it was an easy victory for the man who has seemingly been lost on TV recently.
When Riley was leaving the ring he was attacked on the ramp by Jack Swagger. Swagger stirred the crowd by doing push ups on to a microphone whilst chanting USA with every rep. He challenged anyone in the back who wasn’t American to face him and then Batista made his return! Oh wait no sorry it was Mason Ryan. It didn’t take Ryan too long to finish off Swagger and looked double the size he was when I saw him work a dark match last year in the UK (check out my old pictures I posted a year ago on WrestleZone and his veins don’t like they will burst at any minute compared with now.)
Then we got the best match of the night in my opinion. Dolph Ziggler defended his US Title against John Morrison and Kofi Kingston. The match was excellently executed and Ziggler continued to prove why he is one of the best workers in the business today. Ziggler managed to scrape out the victory in typical heel fashion.
Beth Phoenix defended her Divas Title in a match against Eve. Eve surprisingly got a pyro entrance, which I’ve never seen, her have on TV. Beth played the crowd for quite some time on this match but ended up with a clean win after landing the Glam Slam.
Then we got the ‘surprise’ of the evening. Most fans in Manchester were smart as they were already holding signs up for Foley and chanting his name. He was announced as the guest referee for the tag match between Miz and Truth against Cena and Ryder. Miz called Foley out on his comedy tour (and cleverly sold it to the crowd) whilst Foley seemingly landed every possible cheap pop he could. It was a nice return for Foley and it was good to see Ryder mixing in with some of the big boys. The match was fairly typical with Ryder getting beat on for 10 minutes until Cena came in for the save.
And then we had the main event. Alberto Del Rio defended his WWE Championship against CM Punk. Punk’s crowd reaction was fantastic and the match was a very solid affair. Punk obtained the victory by disqualification after Rodriguez interfered with a steel chair. Once the match was done, Miz and Truth ran out and ambushed Punk. Cena, Ryder and Eve ran down the ramp and attacked both Miz and Truth. Truth was quickly dealt with and left Miz in the ring with all 5 surrounding him. Punk hit his GTS, Cena hit the AA, Ryder hit the Rough Rider, Eve hit her moonsault and Foley gave Miz Mr. Socko which was then thrown out to the crowd. All 5 of them celebrated in the ring before leaving Punk with the crowd to close the show. Punk took his time to go round all the ringside and entrance areas to interact with the fans. It was quite different to see Punk close the show rather than Cena and it seems to be a show of the times where Punk is also being classed as a face for the company. Hopefully Punk’s character will not slowly turn in to the same predictability of Cena’s over a period of time.
All in all it was a good show with a solid card. Not full of star power but kept the crowd happy. One thing that becomes more apparent is that WWE are still interested in John Morrison. He got a pyro entrance on a house show. Did he lose? Yes, but I think WWE are giving him the slapped wrist treatment rather than burying him without purpose. Why waste cost and energy on someone when you could have just released him?