By Ryan Clark on July 1, 2012
Credit: Matthew Cormier & PW Torch
Matt Striker welcomed the crowd and announced that all six WWE titles will be on the line tonight.
(1) Sin Cara beat Hunico (w/Camacho). Hunico cut a heel promo before the match. Sin Cara seemed much smoother live as opposed to TV. Also of note was that Hunico’s heel tactics were garnering as much crowd reaction as Sin Cara’s offense.
(2) U.S. champion Santino beat Jack Swagger to retain the U.S. Title. Comedy match and funny spots that the crowd really got into. Fun match.
Cody Rhodes cut a promo backstage saying he doesn’t have to wait until TV or a PPV to win back the Intercontinental Championship, and he will do just that tonight.
(3) Divas champion Layla beat Natalya to retain the Divas Title. Decent match. It’s amazing to see that a crowd can actually get into a Divas match if given enough time.
Alberto Del Rio backstage promo.
(4) IC champion Christian beat Cody Rhodes to retain the Intercontinental Title. Rhodes with a lot of heat in this one. Very good match with convincing nearfalls. The finish saw Rhodes miss a moonsault and Christian hit a spear.
Post-match: Cool spot where a fan ringside had a sign wishing Cody Rhodes a Happy Birthday along with his beating tonight. Christian put the sign in the ring with Rhodes. When he came around, the crowd attempted to sing “Happy Birthday,” but Cody wanted no part of it, continuing to sell his frustration.
(5) Kane beat Chris Jericho in a Raw Challenge match. Jericho played heel to the crowd so well that it was funny to see Kane treated as the face, by default. The level these guys are still working at after all the years between them is incredible. Kane hits a choke slam for the three.
(6) World Hvt. champion Sheamus beat Alberto Del Rio to retain the World Title. Sheamus with the first real big pop of the night. Ricardo involves himself in these matches really well. They had a really good spot with Sheamus getting his arm caught in the middle and top ropes with Del Rio landing kicks to the arm. Del Rio then hit an arm breaker off the top rope and followed up with an armbar, but Sheamus got to the ropes. Ricardo distracted the ref and Del Rio tried a sneak attack, but Sheamus countered into a Brogue Kick for the pin. Some slow parts early on, but a good match.
(7) WWE tag champion Kofi Kingston & Zack Ryder beat Prime Time Players (Titus O’Neil & Darren Young) to retain the WWE Tag Titles. Good match with a quick pace. The crowd was really behind Kingston and Ryder, and O’Neil and Young seem to work really well as a team. I don’t know if it’s the matching tights or me being desperate for more “old-school” tag teams, but I like these guys. A false finish came when Young hit his finisher on Kofi and got the three count. New Tag Team Champions! But, wait… Kofi’s leg was on the ropes. Charles Robinson came from the back to inform the ref, the match re-started, and Kofi and Ryder hit their finishers for the win.
(8) WWE champion C.M. Punk beat Daniel Bryan in a Street Fight to retain the WWE Title. Cool side story on Punk here. Punk tweeter earlier in the day about the hospitality he received from a local comic shop in Lafayette, which my brother actually frequents. The owner of the shop was close to ringside and Punk gave him his shirt. Not sure if Punk got him in, but I thought that was neat. The crowd voted Street Fight Rules for this match. Early on, Bryan picked on a kid ringside with a Punk shirt. At one point, Punk dragged Bryan out there and chopped him in front of the kid, then high-fived the little guy. Chairs and kendo sticks were used in this one as the two went back and forth for a while. At one point, Bryan had a chair and seemed to be in control, but A.J. came skipping down long enough to distract Bryan. Punk hit the GTS for the victory. The crowd was really into this one. Match of the night between the two “Best in the World.”
(9) John Cena beat Big Show in a steel cage match. Biggest pop of the night went to Cena. Show dominated early on. There were a couple of spots where Cena was almost over the cage, but Show was able to wrangle him back in. Show went for WMD, but Cena ducked and Show hits the cage. Cena then hit the AA for the pinfall, which sent the crowd home happy.
(1) John Cena
(2) C.M. Punk
(1) Daniel Bryan
(2) Big Show
(3) Cody Rhodes
I’ve been to quite a few WWE live events, and I think this was the best show I have ever attended that wasn’t a PPV. Very good card with really entertaining matches.
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