2/2 WWE in Montgomery, Alabama: Antonio Cesaro says the same word repeatedly to draw heat, Kane and Daniel Bryan vs. Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose for the WWE Tag Team Championship, Tensai vs. Alex Riley twice
WWE Raw live event
Montgomery, Alabama at The Garrett Coliseum
Report by Dot Net reader Jason Campbell
The Garrett Coliseum holds 13,500 and was only about 3/4 full. The crowd filled the floor seats and the bottom bowl of the arena and they were loud and energetic. I can’t help but think what this could have been like if the WWE Champion were doing house shows. No sign of the so-called people’s champion even in on-screen arena promos.
1. Zack Ryder beat Conner O’Brian. Ryder came out to a good pop. O’Brian was billed as "The Ascension" despite no longer being part of the NXT tag team. He cut a heel promo while walking to the ring and quickly looked very powerful while beating Ryder down convincingly. Ryder fought back and hit all his usual spots including the Rough Ryder for the pin and the win. Good opening match and good to see some NXT talent on the road.
2. Tensai over Alex Riley. Tensai’s lingerie dance from Raw was shown on the screen and he came out to some heel heat. A-Ry came out to a good pop but then Vickie Guerrero came out on stage and declared the match would be a dance off. A-Ry said he refused to lower himself to that level especially in Montgomery, Alabama and was roundly booed. Tensai obliged with a few dance moves before A-Ry hit him from behind. Tensai was now the face and Riley was the heel! This was a very interesting turn of events.
Riley didn’t get too much offense in and Tensai won after his powerbomb and running senton moves, and even mixed in a few dance moves along the way. After the match, Riley tried to invoke the "rock in my shoe" rematch clause (I’m not kidding). The rematch was over quickly as Riley took off his shoe, then Tensai hit one power move and a running senton to get the rematch pin. Strange dynamic here but it was entertaining.
3. Kaitlyn beat Tamina Snuka to retain the Diva’s Title. Kaitlyn received a warm welcome and Tamina did not. This was a pretty physical and actually well wrestled Diva’s match. Both women got their offense in until Tamina eventually tried the Superfly Splash but Kaitlyn rolled out of the way then hit the spear for the pin. A better than average match for the Divas.
4. Team Hell No beat The Shield to retain the WWE Tag Team Championship. The Shield came down from their usual stairway spots in the arena. Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns were the two foes who faced Hell No while Seth Rollins slinked around the outside causing havoc every chance he got. Daniel Bryan got his usual massive "yes" and "no" crowd chants. Good back and forth action and excellent ring work between Bryan and Ambrose. Bryan got the hot tag late to Kane who went on a rampage.
Chaos broke out in the ring and finally Kane was about to chokeslam Ambrose but Rollins ran in and hit a chairshot on Kane to force the DQ win for Hell No. Bryan and Kane then got chairshots on all the Shield members and cleared them out. After the match Bryan demanded an apology from Kane for eliminating him from the Royal Rumble. Kane shouted no and they got in a shoving match before Kane offered his outstretched arms for a hug. Bryan reluctantly and hilariously inched closer and closer before finally embracing Kane. They celebrated and exited together in triumph.
5. Jack Swagger over Justin Gabriel. Lots of the crowd including myself hadn’t returned to their seats due to the horrendously slow folks working the concession stands. It turned out to be a lifeless match with Swagger getting almost all the offense (well at least after I returned). I can’t tell if Swagger looks more muscular or just fatter after his time off. Swagger won with the ankle lock submission as Gabriel tapped out pretty quickly.
6. Antonio Cesaro defeated The Miz in a No DQ match to retain the U.S. Title. This was the best match of the night. Cesaro cut his usual anti-American promo and got MASSIVE heat. He stated he would be U.S. champion for a "long" time but repeated the word "long" literally about 100 times before finishing. The Miz came out to so-so cheers at first. The match was voted on throughout the night to be a No DQ match (beating out a 2 out of 3 falls match).
This match was excellently booked with methodical offense to start, and then built up to kendo sticks, then chairs, and eventually a table. Cesaro teased pulling out a table a couple of times to the crowd’s delight but once he realized they wanted it, he slid the table back under the ring. Miz tried to get a table out and was thwarted by Cesaro who again slid it back under the ring for big heat. Miz got several "let’s go Miz" chants as he became a big fan favorite as the match wore on. Both men performed well and sold well. Miz performed his best looking figure four yet and the crowd was really into this spot. Cesaro hit Miz with a kendo stick to break the hold.
Eventually, Miz got a table in the ring and there were a few near table crashes by both men but finally Cesaro speared Miz into the table set up in the corner of the ring. Miraculously Miz kicked out and both men had some tremendous near falls. Cesaro finally hit the Neutralizer for the pin (how can Miz kick out of a table shot but not the Neutralizer?). Cesaro looked strong in victory but Miz also looked strong in defeat. Miz got a nice crowd cheer as he sold injury getting out of the ring. Both men worked their tails off in this match, got the crowd heavily involved in the action, and the match was the highlight of the show.
7. John Cena and Ryback defeated Dolph Ziggler (w/AJ, Big E Langston) and CM Punk. Ziggler was out first with AJ and Langston to some good heat. Punk was out next and actually got some cheers to start. Once he hit the ring it was all heat as he nearly choked ring announcer Justin Roberts demanding him to announce that Punk was the true people’s champion. Roberts complied. Ryback came out next to a very large pop, then Cena came out with the night’s biggest pop although not much bigger than Ryback’s.
Once all four men were in the ring, they took turns climbing the corners to show off to the crowd except Ryback who did the Feed Me More chant which got a giant following. Even the referee was made to climb the ropes and show off which got laughs from the crowd. Punk and Ziggler both slowly and heelishly took off their shirts. AJ pretended to try to take her shirt off but Punk and Ziggler quickly ran over to stop her (no joke). Punk faked throwing his shirt to kids in the crowd and also jawed with some other young kids. Cena ran out to hug the kids after that.
Once the match finally got started, Punk did most of the offensive damage to Ryback while Ziggler did most of the selling for Cena when he was in. Ryback actually did quite a bit of selling in the match which was surprising. At one point the ref was distracted Big E ran in and delivered his big move to Ryback and the ref turned and saw him sliding out of the ring. With the crowd’s coaxing, the ref threw Langston out and back to the locker room. AJ then ran in and pitched a fit so the ref sent her out as well as the crowd cheered wildly.
Overall this was a very good back and forth affair that ending after Ryback got the hot tag to Cena who ran though the five moves of doom on Dolph for the pin and the win. Ryback celebrated with the fans at ringside and stuck around a bit longer than Cena.
This was a very nice show, as the 2.5 hours flew by.
Daniel Bryan and Kane
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