Just got back from a fantastic house show at Madison Square Garden. I am guessing the 5pm start time was so the crew can head down tonight to Philadelphia, PA for tomorrow's Monday Night Raw. It was nice to be home on a Sunday night by 8:30pm. The Garden was packed and if it was not a complete sell out, it was damn close as there were very few empty seats anywhere. The lineup had changed numerous times in the last few weeks, and even changed from this morning as many matches were different than the other recent house show events. On to the results:
1) Zack Ryder pinned The Miz in the opener. Lots of back and forth action with Ryder getting the pin after his leg lariat. Not much heat on Miz as everyone knows his push is on hold. Good NYC pop for Ryder. I couldn't possibly imagine this result one year ago today. Wow how things change quick.
2) Primo/Epico (with Rosa Mendes at ringside) pinned Kofi Kingston/R-Truth to successfully defend the WWE Tag Team Championship. This was a great high flying match from start to finish. Towards the end, R-Truth was taking a beating until the hot tag to Kofi, who came in and cleaned house. Kofi then gave his finishing spin kick to Epico for the 1-2-3. Clearly though, Epico's foot was on the ropes. The crowd went nuts, the announcer (Justin Roberts) then announced the NEW WWE Tag Team Champions. I wasn't buying it, as exciting as it was. Cue Mr. Personality John Laurinaitis to ruin all the fun, as he came out and announced that the referee missed the foot on the ropes and ordered the match restarted. It wasn't long until Kofi was on the top rope, and was distracted by John Laurinaitis. He either lost his balance and fell or was pushed off the top, leading to a backstabber by Primo and a pin on Kofi. Exciting match. Fans were of course angry with John Laurinaitis. <----- tough name to spell (especially after a few drinks)
3) Santino Marella pinned Jack Swagger (with Vickie Guerrero at ringside) to successfully defend to United States Championship. Santino got a great reaction as he seems to everywhere. After the usual comedy spots in the beginning, Swagger had control for most of the match and then gave Santino a backslide into a pin. Santino's feet were clearly on the ropes, yet we heard for the second time tonight, an announcement of a new champion. This time cue Teddy Long's music as he came out the same way John Laurinaitis did in the previous match, and announced that Santino's foot was on the ropes, and the match was to be restarted. We had our second "Dusty finish" (am I dating myself with such a reference?) Teddy was a nice surprise as John Laurinaitis was advertised to appear, but I don't think Teddy was. John Laurinaitis came back out to argue with Teddy. A few moments later Santino hit the cobra, and scored the pin. Good Times by all at MSG here. Holla.
4) Alberto Del Rio defeated Mason Ryan by submission. ADR came out to a huge heel reaction as the MSG crows boo'd him heavily, but seemed glad to see him. There was no car, and no Ricardo Rodriguez. Mason looked like a monster, but got squashed quickly and submitted to the ADR arm bar. I wonder if/how they will ever get Mason Ryan over.
5) Triple H/Randy Orton/WWE Champion CM Punk defeated Chris Jericho/Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes/Dolph Ziggler (with Vickie Guerrero at ringside) when HHH pinned Ziggler. I thought this was going to be booked as the last match but perhaps Hunter wanted to get a head start to Philly for tomorrow's Raw. There were no signs of the feuds that the fan favorites have all had in the last year with each other, as they all got along like good buds. 6 man tags are tough to book, but these guys are pretty much the top of the game (no pun intended) and put on a great six man tag. Crowd was hot for all. Everyone got their spots and finishers. Lots of revolving Y2J/CMPUNK chants. The ending came when Punk hit a GTS on Jericho, and Randy gave an RKO to Cody. Triple H was about to give his second pedigree to Ziggler, when he made the Undertaker throat cut signal, and hit a perfect tombstone on Ziggler for pin.
Intermission. Long lines for all things WWE (mostly Cena, Punk, and Ryder merchandise). Even longer lines for food. And Beer.
We come back with Eve Torres coming out and telling us that she is a good person, misunderstood, etc. A lot of heat for the Hoeski herself, leading to her staying at ringside for:
6) Divas Champion Beth Phoenix and Natalya defeated Kelly Kelly and Tamina Snuka via pinfall when Beth pinned Kelly. It was a good Divas match as far they go. The highlight was when Tamina hit the Superfly Splash on Natalya before Beth made the save. Tags were made on both sides and Kelly took over on the the Glamazon, until Eve pulled out Kelly's leg out as she was coming off the ropes. As Tamina fought with Natalya outside, Beth then hit Kelly with the Glam Slam for the pin.
7) Daniel Bryan successfully defended the World Heavyweight Championship by defeating Mark Henry and The Big Show in a Triple Threat Match. The Big Show had a huge pop, but Daniel Bryan had a lot cheers too. No sign of AJ. Not as much of a reaction to Mark Henry as he has been buried lately (meanwhile he destroyed both of these guys many many times last year). Anyway, everyone had control at one point, then at the end, The Big Show gave a choke slam to Mark Henry but as he was about to make the cover, he was chop blocked by Daniel Bryan, who then jumped on Mark Henry for the pin.
8) John Cena defeated Kane in a Last Man Standing Match. This feud is long over on TV, but was the finale at MSG tonight. A bit disappointing as the ending was almost guaranteed, but with Wrestlemania coming in less than two weeks, Cena needed to look strong. He did. It was like most of their matches but with hot nyc crowd chanting almost the entire match Let's Go Cena/Cena Sucks. I chanted both (and have no voice left.). The ending came after Cena was taking a beating and then had his Superman comeback. He eventually put Kane though a table with AA. Kane looked like he was going to get up and beat the 10 count, but at 9, he fell back down on the broken table, and Cena was declared the winner. Cena then grabbed a microphone and thanked us all, how MSG was sold out, and how he is going to beat The Rock at Wrestlemania. He then asked what will come after Wrestlemania and got a lot of cheers when he said Wrestlemania 29 would be coming to NYC (NYC area, actually NJ, but we got the point) and the fans all went home happy. Overall, it was A GREAT house show. It seemed. everyone worked as hard as possible, and the fans knew it and appreciated it.
Thanks for reading, and Good Night from JD Fazio (@realityJD)