11/7 WWE in Belfast, Ireland: A detailed report on C.M. Punk vs. Ryback, Eve vs. A.J. vs. Layla for the Divas Championship, Brodus Clay and Santino Marella vs. Primo and Epico, Tensai vs. Michael McGillicutty
WWE Raw live event
Report by Dot Net reader Adam C
The Odyssey seemed pretty much packed out for the house show. Obviously, tickets weren't sold for seats behind the entrance as it's a complete blind spot. Out of the eight WWE house shows I've been to, this was definitely the most hostile/post 30 male crowd I've show I've been too... Funny considering that fact and the tickets we get is in the most quiet/family/random due who brings girlfriend section. A lot further away from the ring than April where we were beside the entrance. We were a little late in leaving and got caught up in the traffic in Belfast that always accompanies WWE in town and found it very difficult to find a parking space. This meant we missed the babyface entrances for the first match.
1. Brodus Clay (w/ Cameron, Naomi) and Santino Marella defeated Epico and Primo (w/Rosa Mendez). We were panicking about being late until we got to the arena and saw it was a Santino match. As much as it pains me to say it, he is very over with the kids and even a good majority of the vocal males. Couldn't find much to get excited about in this match, smiles on the faces of parents when Santino did his usual goes to the top rope then middle rope and finally dives off the bottom rope with an axe handle smash... along with his "comedy" getting dizzy and falling out of the ring spots as well. Felt a long beatdown when Epico and Primo were in control and Rosa dancing her feet off to basically no reaction.
Loud Santino chants from the crowd during the beatdown, when he made brief comebacks they basically consisted of armdrags. Brodus got the hot tag and in the only real part of the match that got my attention was Epico selling a clothesline like Billy Gunn would for Bradshaw back in the day. Santino would hit the cobra followed by Brodus' splash finisher (nowhere near as good as hit Fall of Humanity/What the Funk? Crossbody) for the 3 count. Despite not enjoying the match that much, I still think it's very cool that after the match kids get to dance in the ring with Brodus, always nice to see the smiles on their faces.
2. Michael McGillicutty defeated Tensai. Tensai got a lot of heat for his entrance, despite being a glorified jobber he still is quite effective in drawing a reaction for his entrance. Michael Mcgillicutty's awesome music hit to sadly basically no reaction, except for me who jumped up, clapped and marked out. I know he hasn't been on TV much but I have to say I was very disappointed that some of the vocal males didn't react more to him in the match, personally I don't see how chanting 'Albert' in a monotonous tone is good for the business in any way... How about getting behind a lower mid carder who can actual wrestle and comes from a hall of fame family? I vented this frustration during the beatdown of Mcgillicutty while the crowd continued to chant Albert. One funny moment was when the woman behind me asked her husband why they were chanting awkward... Anyway Mcgillicutty would turn the match around and hit a ridiculously awesome powerslam that drew quite a good reaction from the tough crowd. He followed up with a missile dropkick before Albert threw him into the corner and tried to sandwich him, instead eating the turnbuckle before being rolled up by Michael McGillicutty for the win! Nice surprise and quite a good reaction for the pinfall.
A promo aired with Dolph Ziggler on the screen talking about beating John Cena all over Europe and would defeat him tonight. In the Odyssey there was only one screen which was wick for our section as it was out of our viewing range and anyone near the entrance. You could barely hear what he was saying due to the amount of heat.
3. WWE Divas Champion Eve defeated Layla and AJ to retain her title in a Triple Threat Match. Not a bad reaction for Eve, Polite applause for Layla (and her awful Tiffany hand me down music) and the best diva pop I've heard in ages for AJ! I was completely surprised as I try not to follow house show results and thought Kaitlyn would be working this match instead. From what I saw with AJ involved in the match up no one wanted to leave to buy t-shirts or the toilet. Eve did the standard heel try to gang up on the babyfaces but didn't work and was drop kicked and then double teamed by the faces in the early going. I'm not going to lie, the bum slaps are very entertaining live. Also a pop for AJ skipping around the ring randomly during the match. Loud AJ chants at intervals but quite quiet through the rest of the match.
Despite the lack of reaction I think this was one of the better divas matches I'd saw live and Eve with her Ju-Jitsu background along with AJ's good selling is pretty entertaining. Layla hit a chick kick during the match to AJ and Eve threw Layla out and covered AJ but AJ kicked out... as I put it sometimes her finisher, sometimes just a normal move. Eve would hit her finisher on Layla for what everyone thought was the finish until AJ launched herself into the ring and distracted the ref for a pop, quite similar to Sandow against Rey and Sin Cara on Raw a few weeks back. AJ would roll up Eve for the 3 count, to which there was a large pop and I must admit I don't know why but I was completely fooled, maybe it was the fact I hadn't watched Smackdown or that AJ celebrated for a few minutes while Justin announced but nearly everyone thought there was a title change. Until Vickie came out, this was the first time I'd seen her live and the heat was unreal, I could barely hear what she was saying because of it. She restarted the match to Vickie sucks chants and Eve hit her neckbreaker finisher for the win to retain her title.
Once again another promo was shown, this time of Team Hell No, very funny YES/NO, I'm the Tag Team Champions which got a huge reaction from the crowd and were chanting along with Kane and Bryan. Kane would get the last YES to laughter. Shows how much they've revitalized the Tag Team titles and how Kane has constantly made himself relevant. Out of the 8 house shows he's been the wrestler I've seen the most times (about 5) as ECW, World Heavyweight and now Tag Team Champion and multiple dispositions.
4. John Cena defeated Dolph Ziggler in a match that must have went around 20 minutes. The match of the night by far. Very smart placement of Cena, to wake the crowd up after the Divas match and around a 65/45 cheer boo reaction. Dolph entered first however to quite a lot of heat but a vocal minority of cheers also. Vickie came out with Dolph and the match would start with the Let's Go Cena/Cena Sucks chants... There is still nothing like hearing John Cena's reaction live, its fantastic however even better was the fact he had a singles match with a quality opponent. There was a lot of green in the audience with John's t-shirt he had since Wrestlemania and a scattering of Rise Above Hate tee's too which I was wearing, sadly my Best In The World one wasn't ironed. Saw a good number of Ryback shirts too.
The match started with some chain wrestling and a lot of showing off by Dolph, very funny. Vickie would get involved a couple of times until the ref would see her and eject her for a huge pop. Crowd was electric throughout the match Let's Go Ziggler/Ziggler sucks and Let's go Cena/Let's Go Ziggler chants as well, the vocal males love them some Ziggler. Some "You Can't Wrestle Chants" broke out to which my younger brother responded with a Meme. "Can't Wrestle They Said. First Five Star Match in 15 years They Never Said." - I hope at this point that it's just a bit of craic that they are actually chanting that, because Cena's built quite the highlight reel of incredible matches with CM Punk, Orton, Edge, Lesnar and Shawn Michaels to name but a few.
Cena acknowledged this and did a bit of chain wrestling, a monkey flip and a belly to belly to which drew very good pops. Ziggler would hit a zig zag to get a very good nearfall. This was then followed by a beautiful sweet chin music for another nearfall. It's no doubt that Ziggler is one of the best sellers ever and this match was fantastic, can't wait to see it on a PPV or for a championship but the spot of the night had to go to Jack Doan the referee who got bumped and went flying from one side of the ring to the other, through the ropes and onto the floor. It was actually amazing, thank you very much sir. It was at this point that Vickie made her way back down to the ring to huge heat and lifted the MITB briefcase, she tried to hit Cena with it but AJ came out to a big pop, cornered she got down to Cena's knees in a dodgy looking position which drew big laughter from the crowd. Even the seemingly silent section I was in gave a reaction. With Vickie scared out of the ring by AJ (who obviously did touch her or would be fired), personally I would've liked to have seen an AA or some sort of violence on Vickie as it would've been justified by the amount of trauma, abuse and violence she'd given Cena and AJ both in the matches tonight and on TV in storyline. Dolph would get up and AJ would hit him with the briefcase before being AA'd by Cena for the victory and a massive pop.
Intermission - Justin plugged the matches to come and merchandise. Jack Doan as he was exiting would be called back by some vocal male fans for photos, personally I found this hilarious and very cool, they were chatting to him for ages. He seems a very cool guy, in April I shouted over to him and he high fived me and my younger brother and tipped Kane's metal mask to us as well. In addition just like April there was only 2 refs who were alternating matches - Doan and John Cone, the infamous ref who counted to 6 on the season 3 finale of NXT.
Once the Intermission ended, Justin announced the matches to come, good heat for Cesaro's name, good pop for Zack's name, Huge pop for Team Hell No's name drop and big heat for Sandow and Rhodes, Phenomenal reaction for both main event participants. Justin ask'd if we wanted a tout send out, big reaction for that and huge cheer as he panned the whole crowd. He also invited us to tweet pictures at the start of the show which was shown throughout the intermission on the screen (which I couldn't see!). And announced that Paul Heyman made an appeal for a non title match main event and the Board of Directors had left it in our hands, if we wanted a title match tweet YesHeyman or not NoHeyman. Pretty cool way to make the House Shows more special even if the result was never in any real doubt as well as get extra heat on Heyman and Punk.
5. U.S. Champion Antonio Cesaro defeated Zack Ryder to retain the U.S. Title. Alright pop for Zack Ryder, not much heat for Cesaro as he slowly made his way to the ring. I marked out for his signature pushing of arms that he does. Crowd didn't really seem to care, probably due to positioning of after Cena and that people were still filing in after Intermission. I started a few Let's Go Ryder chants but it was more out of something to do during a rest hold than that the crowd were really invested in either man. Bit disappointed as I saw Punk tweet months ago that this was a hot match up. Cesaro deserves better than his current gimmick but he is solid in the ring, really like the neutraliser but he didn't perform the upper cut which was disappointed. Some WOO WOO WOO chants but nothing compared to how hot Ryder was this time last year, WWE really damaged him with the whole Kane then jobber positioning. Ryder missed a Rough Ryder and Cesaro performed the Neutraliser.
6. Team Hell No (Daniel Bryan and Kane) defeated Rhodes Scholars (Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes) in about 12 minutes. Separate entrances so individual reactions. Good heat for Rhodes, A lot bigger heat for Damien Sandow especially from kids and slight pop from older fans and myself. Very glad we were able to hear Hallelujah live! First time seeing Sandow, Dad who's a huge mark for him was a bit heart broken we didn't get a pre match promo. It would've been awesome I'm sure. Love the gentleman's handshake between Sandow and Rhodes too along with the flattering pointing at each other, very funny. Daniel Bryan's music hit and everyone was one their feet, YES'ing - one of the biggest reactions of the night!
Kane also got a huge pop as well, both members are very over. Match started with some Daniel Bryan wrestling to which the vocal males and myself started a Daniel Bryan chant, some kids chanted sucks. YES chants throughout, fantastic tag team match. Unusually Kane and Bryan did some tag team manouveres, Bryan kicking Rhodes and then leaving him for Kane to deliver his vintage dropkick. In the middle of the match after clearing the ring of Sandow and Rhodes, Kane and Bryan started arguing which led to Hug it Out chants and cheers from the crowd, as they were just about to embrace, Sandow and Rhodes attacked them to huge heat.
While beating down Bryan and isolating, Sandow would take a bow and clap Cody to big heat. Cody would even mock the YES chant as well. Also loved seeing the Cubito Aequet/Elbow of Disdain live, it garnered very good heat. Bryan would kick away Rhodes and tag Kane for the hot tag who came in like a house on fire. Cody would miss the Disaster kick and Kane would counter with a chokeslam before DBry tagged himself in and tried to steal the victory. Kane would drag him off the cover and they argued, Sandow would interrupt and get thrown over the top rope, Bryan then threw Kane over the top rope to laughter before locking in the NO lock for the victory! Very entertaining tag team match.
The aftermath was even more entertaining that all ages of the crowd ate up with Kane grabbing the belts of Daniel and the YES/NO chants broke out. Matador Kane would taunt Bull Daniel Bryan with the belts who'd run at them as the crowd sang OLE, fantastic live experience. Bryan would huff before Kane would hug it out to a huge pop. They raised each others hands for to each side of the ring until Daniel would steal both belts and run off. Very funny shtick that the crowd loved.
The main event match was sponsored by THQ's WWE 13. Cult of Personality hit to one of the biggest reactions of the night! First time seeing Heyman, I adore the way he holds the WWE title so proudly and shows Punk his watch as basically the whole crowd chanted "It's Clobbering Time!" Punk looked at his reflection in the championship and did his hair as well, classic. Some wee kid had a WWE title in the crowd and Heyman held the title up mockingly against him, very funny heel stuff. At the apron, Heyman passed the title to Punk who held it up during his entrance. Punk and Heyman channeled their inner Outsiders (Scott Hall and Nash) by doing their taunt at each other. They compliment each other so much, can't say enough about how amazing it was to see them live.
I hope my excitement for how special it was to see CM Punk in his historic 353rd day as WWE Champion, it may not have been Wrestlemania or even a live Raw but it's definitely something to tell the future grandkids about. Even Justin Roberts couldn't help but smile at Punk's antics. His Entrance took 4 minutes then once his music finished, FEED ME MORE chants started. Huge pop and chant along when the first FEED ME MORE from Ryback's music hit. Once Ryback's music finished there was a lot of Goldberg chants. Results of the Twitter Poll were shown on the screen, the rest of the crowd popped huge so we assumed it was a title match and then Justin confirmed it. Punk angered tossed the belt on the ground then chased Justin who hid behind Ryback at which point Punk hilariously backed off. A FEED ME MORE chant broke out and Punk tried to shut it up by pointing and shouting at the crowd. In ring introductions as Ryback got a big pop followed by more feed me more chants.
Then "Accompanied to the ring by Paul Heyman" got massive heat and ECW chants. Punk got on the mic and told everyone to "SHOW HIM SOME RESPECT!" which drew even more heat followed by a man hug between the two with some rocking that lasted ages, funny stuff. When being introduced, Punk whispered in Justin's ear to call him the Best in the World which he did to even massive heat. Punk stood and posed on the top rope for literally ages, must have been about 3-5 minutes and soaked up the crowd reaction - a lot of heat but CM Punk chants from vocal males. Punk would chuck his t-shirt which Heyman would catch and parade around the ring with for ages, acting like an excited wee girl, absolutely hilarious.
7. Ryback defeated WWE Champion CM Punk (w/Paul Heyman) by disqualification 11:18. The bell would ring and Ryback dominated from the get go with should blocks. Before Punk would escape out of the ring where Heyman wiped him down like a boxing manager with his t-shirt. Upon re-entry Ryback would continue to dominate. At one point would go British Bulldog style with a delayed standing vertical suplex. Following which Punk rolled to the outside and Ryback chased Punk and Heyman around the ring. A lot of delaying outside the ring with Heyman and Punk waiving off the match and attempting to walk out before Punk was attacked by Ryback, lifted and thrown above his head through the middle ropes and into the ring which was very impressive, then do the same inside the ring. Punk would take control and dominate the rest with three axe handles, chinlock and strikes. Ryback would escape but going flying into the turbuckle before a high knee (awesome live) and a Randy Savage elbow. A second chinlock would see Rybacks comeback as the crowd chanted feed me more. A spinebuster and the meathook clothesline followed to a pop. Heyman would waiver down Epico and Primo for a DQ.
The first two would be easily disposed of and Ryback would go for Shellshocked on Punk but Tensai would break it up while Sandow and Rhodes would follow to pound away on him. Kane came down to a huge pop and chokeslammed Sandow and ran after Rhodes as Tensai continued to pound on Ryback. The loudest chant of the night followed for CENA, CENA, CENA as Ziggler joined in on the beatdown, using the MITB briefcase on Ryback. Huge pop for Cena arriving and Ziggler inadvertently hit Tensai with the briefcase. Punk would attempt to hit Ryback with a chair but Ryback deliever shellshocked and Cena AA'd Ziggler to a huge reaction. Ryback kicked the MITB briefcase out and Epico (of all people!) would take it, Show needs to watch out... Ryback led the crowd in FEED ME MORE and a final cheer for the DQ victory as Cena rolled out and admirably let Ryback have the moment.
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