WWE Smackdown live event (Dublin, Ireland)
Report by Steve Cooney and ProWrestling.net
Lilian Garcia, looking stunning, was our ring announcer for the evening. Nice change from Tony Chimmel!
1. The Great Khali defeated Jinder Mahal. Not much too this as you can imagine. The kids were excited to see Khali, but little reaction for Mahal. Pretty one sided with Khali winning with the Punjabi Plunge (I think that was the name). He signed autographs for some kids as he headed to the back which was pretty cool of him.
2. Alberto Del Rio defeated Yoshi Tatsu. Ric Rod handled the introduction for Del Rio which was great. Del Rio would really be lost without him in my opinion. Zero reaction for Tatsu, not actually sure people knew who he was. Super quick match which ended with Tatsu tapping in under a minute to the arm bar.
After the match Del Rio took the mic and did the usual Ireland/England mix up that heels do here for cheap heat. He soon got sick of talking to us and handed back to Ric Rod. He informed us Del Rio had no challengers left leading to Zeke Jackson coming out to the delight of no-one. Might have been an idea to actually introduce him since very few people knew him. This turned into a match.
3. Albert Del Rio defeated Ezekiel Jackson. Another bog standard match with Dek Rio putting Zeke away with the arm bar after about 4 minutes.
4. William Regal and Tyson Kidd defeated Hunico and Commacho in a tag team match. Regal got on the mic before the match and dropped some gems. He said this was usually when he tries to get people to hate him, but he said he was genuinely honoured to be performing for us. He sympathized with us having to stare at his “body like a badly made bed” and hit on a woman at ringside with my new favourite chat up line “if you had a limp and a lisp you’d be my ideal woman”. He thanked us again and I got the feeling he doesn’t expect to be doing this much longer.
As for the match, Regal and Kidd complimented each other quite well surprisingly. Kidd won the crowd over with some flashy moves and Regal entertained with some light hearted cheating behind the refs back. Lots of Regal chants here which was great to see for him. After Kidd playing the baby face in peril for a good few minutes he got the hot tag to Regal and he cleaned house. Regal picked up the win after a kick to the face of Hunico.
5. Big Show defeated Cody Rhodes to retain the Intercontinental Championship. Cody got on the mic before the match and reminded everyone of last time he was here when Priceless faced DX and how badly the crowd treated him. Basic stuff but good to refer to past shows I think.
Not much to the match itself with Show winning with the KO punch shortly after taking 2 beautiful disaster kicks to the face.
Lillian was back to introduce Hornswoggle as Special Ref for the next match.
6. AJ Lee defeated Natalya. Lots of Yes! chants for AJ. Natty played heel for this one. Okay match but Hornswoggle being there meant it was comedy match of the night. The kids love him though. AJ won after she crawled behind Natty and Hornswoggle pushed her over for the 3 count.
7. Randy Orton defeated Mark Henry in a Street Fight. Henry talked briefly before the match but it was usual “hall of pain” stuff. Big enough reaction for Orton but I expected bigger based on the amount of Orton t-shirts around me. Good back and forth match with Orton taking Henry out for the 3 with an RKO after Henry ran into a chair that was setup in the corner. Orton celebrated with fans for a decent amount of time afterwards.
Time for the main event. They did the introductions while both men were in the ring which is a nice touch for Championship matches.
8. Sheamus defeated Daniel Bryan to retain the World Heavyweight Championship. Strong reaction for Bryan with multiple Yes! chants. But nothing compared to the reaction to the home town boy Sheamus. Huge response from the 8,000 strong crowd. Sheamus was clearly emotional and overwhelmed by the atmosphere. Sheamus used to be a bouncer at this venue so to come back as Champ in the main event can only have been amazing for him.
They teased a repeat of Mania with Bryan nearly turning around into a brogue kick in the face after the bell rang, but thankfully he avoided it. Glad to see they got some time for this match. Big chants throughout of “Ole, Ole” which was adopted by the Irish for sporting events many years ago. Also chants of “18 seconds” which Bryan sold anger at very well.
Good back and forth match with the end coming after Sheamus broke out of the Labelle Lock and hit the Brogue Kick for the win. After the match Sheamus got on the mic and talked about the pride he felt being back home as World Champ. Lot of love for Sheamus tonight. And that ended the show. Before the main event Lillian announced that the Raw crew would be here for a house show in November.
– With the exception of one small section at the very top of the venue this was a packed house. WWE always does well here, even with a Smackdown roster short on big names.
– This was a short show with the toal run time, including 20 min interval, being only 2hrs 15mins.
– Cena and Orton merch seemed to be the biggest sellers, with honourable mention to D Bryan and CM Punk. Surprisingly little being bought for Sheamus from what I could see.
– The first half of the show was rough, with only Regal saving it for me. The lower card on Smackdown is very thin if this show is anything to go by. Surprised it wasn’t padded out with FCW talent to be honest.