Thanks to rajah.com reader William Elliott (Adrenalize2112) for sending this in!
Big fan of the site and I figured I would give some live results from the
event here in Columbia, SC. The event took place at the Colonial Life Arena,
and lasted right at 2 hours.
One of the more noticeable aspects of the show was the attendance. I can
remember going to see a live event with WWE right in the middle of the
"Attitude Era" at our sister arena the Carolina Coliseum. That event
probably sold out, and that venue holds roughly 12,000 people. The new
arena, Colonial Life Arena, holds roughly 18,000 people, and needless to say
this event was rather sparsely attended. My guess for attendance would be
between 3,500 - 4,000 fans in attendance. The crowd was lively and the show
great, but it is an indicator of where the market is right now for these
types of shows. Anyway...
Match 1 -
Baron Corbin v Dolph Ziggler
Both men got a great reaction; the crowd was incredibly over for Ziggler. A
classic back and forth from both athletes - great opener.
Winner: Dolph Ziggler
Stardust v Apollo Crews
Stardust gets a great reaction from fans as they chant "Cody, Cody". Apollo
comes out to a big ovation as well. Many of the people I was with (I had the
fortunate opportunity to be in a luxury box) did not know who Crews was, but
liked him a lot. Crews squashes Stardust in under 2 minutes.
Winner: Apollo Crews
After the match, Stardust stays in the ring and gives a funny promo - he
claims he can beat anyone in the back from Columbia, SC. At that moment, the
Big Show's music hits! The crowd goes pretty crazy for him.
Big Show v Stardust
I mean, you know - another squash. Fans loved Show, and also Stardust - A
great athlete who unfortunately hasn't found a niche on TV yet. There were
some funny comments from the people I was with about how much money Big Show
made in under 1 minute for that segment (lol).
Winner: Big Show
Big Cass v D Von Dudley
People were not quite as familiar with who Big Cass was, but his skills on
the mic and his catch phrases will surely catch on. When Enzo comes back,
they will be unstoppable. The Dudleys come out first and Cass comes out
second to do the "one word to describe you" bit, and the crowd eats it up.
Nice back and forth, nothing extremely notable. I got involved in some
conversation with an old friend so I wasn't paying an extreme amount of
attention, no pun intended.
Winner: Big Cass
Kevin Owens v Sami Zayn
Crowd was again very over for both men, especially Owens. This match was
another classic, as neither took it "easy" simply because it was a house
show. Zayn gets the win after avoiding two pop-up power bomb attempts and
hitting his spinning/sit-down power bomb iteration (forget the name).
Winner: Sami Zayn
Natalya v Charlotte
Not much reaction for Natalya, but I got the feeling she was simply playing
the strict babyface part - this is Columbia after all, and it is strictly
Flair and Horseman Country. Charlotte came out, and the crowd was very
disappointed that the Nature Boy did not show up. Great match by both, which
Charlotte wins via some "heel trickery".
Triple Threat for the IC Title
Miz v Cesaro v Shaemus
Miz comes out with his wife, and they are AWESOME at playing the heel role.
As sad as I was about Ryder losing so quickly after WM, Miz is embodying his
character very well. Shaemus and Cesaro get huge pops as well. Match was a
great showcase for all involved. In the end, Cesaro hits his signature move
on Shaemus, and then Miz throws Cesaro out of the ring and steals the pin -
6 Man Tag Match
Gallows, Anderson & Jericho v Usos & Roman Reigns
The heel team comes out first, and Jericho gets a huge pop. Jericho tells
Gallows & Anderson that their team could work well, but only if they do
"EXACTLY what he tells them to do"; they don't like it so much, but they
agree, and the faces come out. Reigns of course gets a mixed, but mostly
positive response. The match is a serviceable main event, as the audience
begins to file out slowly to beat the traffic. In the end, Gallows &
Anderson refuse to help Jericho (which is funny because they could have had
the pin), and Reigns hits Jericho with his Superman Punch (lamest move ever
as said by one of the casual fan in the box) and a spear for the pin. Reigns
trys to do a Hulk Hogan post-event "work the crowd" by raising the belt, but
fans were already largely leaving.
So, in the end, as far as wrestling shows go, it was a very good one. The
crowd was the thing that was very noticeable - small, yet loud and vibrant.
I wasn't sure why WWE insisted on using such a huge venue when they're
historical trends show them bringing far smaller crowds. We have a great
venue for those types of crowds, the Township Auditorium which is downtown.
Another thing that was noticeable was how great and fresh the performers
were. I texted a good friend and fan of wrestling that this show is more
enjoyable than the product on RAW, and it got me thinking (as I often do)
about the two "audiences" - the casual watchers and event goers, and the more
die-hard, avid fans. Anyway, that is something i could go on and on about.
Until next time, fans!