Thanks to Jared Bell for sending in the following report:
This is the first event I’ve been to since the remodel of the US Cellular Center, and I must say, it is a distinctive upgrade from before the flood of 2008. The arena is finally “current” technologically speaking, anyway, on to the show…
Chimel neglected to announce an actual attendance number, however, I would estimate it to be nearly 95% full, with max being somewhere in the neighborhood of 8,000 (weather was likely a contributing factor to the 5%…just a guess however)…Chimel also forgot to give us a run down/intro to the show…it was simply, national anthem and "Here we go!"
The opening contest was Dolph Ziggler vs Damien Sandow. Great back & forth match, and an excellent opening contest to not only get the crowd worked up, but to get a feel for what kind of crowd they would be for the night. Sandow pulled off a nice Indian Death Lock, put on smooth & quick. Lots of false finishes. Ziggler wins the opener with the Zig Zag.
Next up was Alexander Rusev vs Zach Ryder…this was what you would expect, power from Rusev, speed from Ryder. Rusev continues to wrestle without boots (only taped up)…and seems to have footing/slipping issues from time to time, something to watch in the future. Rusev wins with his Sambo style slam…decent match, but Rusev definitely needs some polish before appearing on the “A” show…
The ladies were out next, with AJ Lee (w/ Tamina) vs Natalya…this was originally advertised for the title, however “Vickie” did AJ a favor and took the title off the table. This was a good match for the ladies, however it seemed to be simplified/watered down. AJ’s ground game however seems to be greatly improving. The crowd seemed genuinely split during this match which is a testament to both being so over. (There was also a CM Punk chant obviously directed at AJ during the contest). Natalya ultimately ends up winning with the Sharp Shooter.
In the match of the night, it was The Uso’s and Sheamus vs The Wyatt Family. The crowd was HOT for this match, Wyatt chants, Sheamus chants, Uso chants…great psychology by all involved, all kinds of spots. Rowan seems to be improving, Harper is easily the workhorse, and Bray continues to be used sparingly to maintain his “attraction” feel. One of the Uso’s hits a big dive to the outside, and Sheamus wins with the Brogue kick.
R-Truth came out next for the “crowds choice contest” between Xavier Woods & 3MB’s Jinder Mahal. New music finally for Woods, fits him nicely. The crowd (not me) ultimately chose a dance-off between the two. Mahal proceeded to air-guitar to a classic rock song the name of which is currently eluding me…while Woods danced to “Livin’ In America” by James Brown. Woods wins by a landslide causing Mahal to challenge R-Truth to a fight…A good match, but nothing that really stood out. Truth wins with the “Lil’ Jimmy”…after the match Woods gets Chimel to “dance”…Chimel may have pulled something, it was NOT pretty…and had anyone watching in stitches…lol
Next up was a slight change from the advertised match…we had Kofi Kingston teaming with Big Show vs Rollins & Reigns (w/ Ambrose). I expected slightly more from this match for a couple reasons, first, the Shield is well rounded for this contest, and Rollins is in his home state. However, the match was fairly predictable. Ambrose tried to get involved and was held at bay by Rollins & Reigns, he does ultimately get “dragged in” over the top rope by Show before being tossed out with Reigns, and Kofi hits a nice somersault dive to take them out outside, leaving Show to chokeslam Rollins for the victory.
Finally we have our main event, a cage match between Kane & Daniel Bryan. As expected, lots of “Yes” chants throughout, as well as “You sold out” directed at Kane. A few false finishes, a ref bump, Bryan counters the chokeslam into the yes-lock, but no ref…Kane regains control only to have Bryan hit his running knee out of nowhere for the win.
The night ends with Bryan leading the #YesMovement, sending everyone home happy…
All-in-all a decent house show 5 weeks before Mania…Ziggler & Sandow are obviously under used & WAY under-appreciated…it could be argued that they had the match of the night, or at least a close second to the 6-man match.
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