By Ryan Clark on April 15, 2012
Credit: Adam C. & PW Torch
There was a huge concert in Belfast around the same time as the house show – MTV Titanic Sounds with acts like Olly Murs, Pixie Lott, and Rizzle Kicks. I didn’t expect it to fatally affect WWE attendance, as tickets only went on-sale for the festival in March while tickets for WWE had been on-sale since November.
Overall, the Odyssey was packed out, and for the first time in about five years of going, we got floor seats, which gave us a good view of everyone. From where I was sitting, I couldn’t see a single empty seat! I’m not very good at attendance estimates, but based on an 11,000-seat arena and leaving some room for the ring and stage, I would say at least 9,000 showed up. At a time when TV ratings and PPV buyrates are supposedly declining, WWE can still fill an arena in Northern Ireland.
It was very cool to be right beside the house show entrance, especially since they had the new X/tepee-type set-up, which lit up different colors depending on who was coming out, e.g. red for Kane, and WWE unleashed some smoke for each entrance.
Lilian Garcia was the ring announcer for the evening and was introduced by someone from backstage, perhaps an FCW talent. She came out to her overly-feminine music, which was met to decent cheers for the most part. She did her usual, “It’s so great to be back in Belfast, IRELAND” announcement, which was met with some confusion. This was a recurring theme, as Cody Rhodes and Lilian repeated this unpopular geographical slip throughout the show. There were a lot of heckles correcting them that they were in Northern Ireland. After this, she introduced the opening contest…
(1) Great Khali beat Jinder Mahal. Khali got a surprisingly good pop and was met by various Khali chants during the match-up. I don’t know whether it’s a testament to his popularity or because it was the first match, but the Belfast crowd seemed to love him. Jinder’s quite anti-climatic music hit and he was greeted by some boos and did his usual taunts that you see on TV. Not a bad match to start the show; it that was definitely improved by the crowd. A good crowd can make a bad match better, and this was certainly true in this instance. For the finish, Khali made a comeback after a resthold and hit his giant chop and followed up with the Punjabi Plunge for the three count for a popular victory.
Next was Regal & Kidd vs. Hunico & Camacho. Regal and Tyson came out to Regal’s music, which initially drew some cheers, but there also a small bit of confusion over whether they were good guys or not considering that Tyson had quite a weak turn that not many casual fans would have seen, and Regal has switched sides numerous times. Tyson did slap hands, while Regal comically feigned choking on the smoke. Regal got on the mic in the ring to clear this confusion up with a smirk by saying, “This is the part where I’m supposed to make you hate me, but I’m getting old now and soft in my old age so if this is the last time I’m in Belfast I’ve had a great time.” This drew big cheers and “Regal” chants from the crowd. Camacho and Hunico got more boos than Jinder, but nothing overwhelming.
(2) William Regal & Tyson Kidd beat Hunico & Camacho. The match was one of the better pre-intermission contests as Tyson flew around the ring with springboard armdrags and huracanranas, which led to “Tyson” chants. Tyson was very over during the match-up, as the crowd event chanted for him during restholds, which I don’t think I’ve heard often on TV, and this is coming from an NXT/Superstars diehard. Also during the match, the heels utilized the “distracted ref” gimmick to send Regal back to his corner since he didn’t see a tag, allowing the heels to double-team Tyson. Regal eventually got the hot tag and hit a beautiful exploder suplex followed by the Knee Trembler for the win. After the match, Regal put over Kidd by pointing at him, shaking his hand, and leaving the ring so Kidd could have his moment.
Next was Alberto Del Rio vs. Ezekiel Jackson. Lilian introduced Alberto’s personal ring announcer, Ricardo Rodriguez, who drew a lot of cheers from the older members of the crowd, and boos from the younger. I think a lot of people were shocked, but delighted to see Del Rio especially this early in the night. Del Rio got a mix of some cheers overshadowed by large boos, while Zeke received quite a good babyface reception and had light Zeke chants. Ricardo made fun of Zeke’s taunt where he flexes his muscles for quite a comic moment before being chased out of the ring.
(3) Alberto Del Rio beat Ezekiel Jackson via submission. Quite a short match. Zeke dominated before Alberto took control after Ricardo distracted Zeke. Del Rio was then able to grab and drop Zeke’s arm into the rope. Del Rio followed up with his knees to Zeke’s arm before locking on the Cross Armbreaker, and Zeke tapped immediately.
(4) A.J. beat Natalya with Hornswoggle as special guest referee. Lilian introduced Swoggle to a ridiculously huge pop with many people standing on their feet. It seemed like I was the only one in the arena groaning. Natalya was out next to a pop despite playing heel by laughing and doing various taunts with her hands. This was very confusing since she’s been playing face in recent months. A.J. came out to a smaller pop. One spot during the match featured a series of roll-ups, which were actually well-performed, but Hornswoggle gave up after the first two and acted tired. Natalya eventually grabbed Hornswoggle and threw him to the mat. Hornswoggle then bit her on the rear-end, allowing A.J. to roll her up for the victory.
Next was Big Show vs. Cody Rhodes for the Intercontinental Championship. Perhaps even more surprising than seeing Del Rio out early was seeing Big Show out before the intermission. Cody was out first, though, to the second biggest heat to this point, trailing Del Rio, but he topped Del Rio by cutting a promo on how he wasn’t afraid of Big Show, how WrestleMania was a fluky right hand, and he made two American sport references – one about Babe Ruth and one about Mike Tyson having one bad day. He addressed the Northern Irish confusion by heelishly saying, “Yes, these are Great American sports which you people in Belfast are too stupid to understand.” Cody finished his promo by saying, “Lilian Garcia will announce the winner and NEW Intercontinental Champion…” Big Show’s music then hit to a large pop cut him off. He appeared with beautiful IC Title belt in-hand and shook his rather large rear-end before getting into the ring. When ref Jack Doan did the search for foreign objects, Show slapped him on the bum, which was met by laughs.
(5) IC champion Big Show beat Cody Rhodes to retain the Intercontinental Title. As soon as the bell sounded, Cody left the ring to big heat, and he repeated this a few times before Show grabbed a mic. “Even though you think people are here to watch you be a underwear model, people are here to see us wrestle for the Intercontinental Championship,” he said, then proceeded to call him a chicken and make chicken noises, which drew a large pop and chicken chants from the kids. The match turned into a back-and-forth match-up, longer and better than their Mania encounter. Cody went for Show’s legs and hit two beautiful disaster kicks to take Show off his feet for a nearfall. Show made a comeback and hit a devastating spear (very awesome to see live), and he signaled for the WMD, but Cody countered before getting chokeslammed for the victory.
Lilian announced intermission. I made my way up the stairs to the toilets, meeting various dueling “Yes!” and “No!” chants, showing how popular Daniel Bryan is. However, the queue for toilets was ridiculously long, so much so that I heard Lillian announce the next match before I realized I was missing Mark Henry.
(6) Mark Henry beat Yoshi Tatsu. I got back when Mark Henry was in the ring, Henry seemed to have pretty big heat for his entrance while Yoshi got a tiny pop when everyone realized/remembered who he is. This was to be expected, as before being squashed by Lord Tensai on Raw, Yoshi hadn’t been on TV in months. Any heat Mark Henry had was pretty much gone by the time Yoshi arrived. I felt bad for Mark, as I’m quite the fan of his work. They did eventually get the crowd back on their side in-time for good heat on the World’s Strongest Slam for the finish, but Mark deserved better.
Next was Kane vs. Randy Orton in a No Disqualification match. Kane’s entrance this time around was the best – the lights turned dark, the “X” flashed red, and the lighting that followed were great. Orton got a mega-pop, much better than how he’s been received on TV these past few weeks.
(7) Randy Orton beat Kane in a No DQ match. This match was brilliant. They had the crowd in the palm of their hands, and while it wasn’t a Punk-Cena masterclass, it was very enjoyable. Kane introduced Kendo sticks and steel chairs during the match. Also, Kane had the heat that Mark Henry was missing. Nearly everyone thought the match was over after Kane hit the chokeslam – kids rushed to the ring and entrance area – but there was a huge reaction when Orton kicked out. Kane’s chokeslam was very believable after Orton’s loss to Kane at Mania. An exposed turnbuckle came into play, and Orton delivered his Hangman DDT onto a chair in a cool moment. Orton then hit an RKO after Kane ran the ropes, and it was good for a three count.
Afterward, Kane stumbled to the back and sold while Orton posed for a while, which the crowd loved. He did the Jeff Hardy thing where he tapped the hands of the right-hand-side fans, then went back for the left side so that everyone got touched.
Next was the main event of Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan for the World Heavyweight Championship. Despite a lot of kids wanting to see Orton, EVERYONE wanted to see this match. I’d never seen babyface Sheamus or Daniel Bryan live, and couldn’t wait. Bryan came out to a lot of boos mixed with vocal “Yes!” cheers and he Yes’ed his way down the aisle. There was a whole section of Daniel Bryan fans with their “Yes!! signs, which was a sight to see. Sheamus then came out and the place erupted, rivaling Orton. The crowd erupting during formal ring introductions made this feel special.
(8) World Hvt. champion Sheamus beat Daniel Bryan to retain the World Title. The match was awesome, as expected, Daniel’s kicks got the “Yes!” chants going, which carried on throughout the entire match. Apparently, though, we sat in the wrong fan section since we were surrounded by Sheamus fans and little kids, so every time we “Yes’d” along, we’d get looks of death. Bryan, playing his heel role, led the crowd in some Yes/No chants, as well. Bryan had some really good counters as Sheamus went for a springboard shoulder block and was caught beautifully by Bryan. Sheamus was able to hit it off the top rope, though, and, after a long match, hit the Brogue Kick for the win! The crowd went crazy (in a good way) as everyone rushed to the barricade to touch the champion.
Post-match, Daniel Bryan was carried out by the ref to sell. After celebrating in the ring and with the fans behind the ring, Sheamus walked down the aisle – World Title in-hand – and slapped hands with all of the fans. He then came to our side and jumped on the barricade to celebrate in a great moment as everyone touched him on the back. Personally, I got his sweaty biceps. He celebrated one final time at the stage before Lilian thanked everyone for coming. WWE announced a return date in November and said tickets go on-sale next Friday, April 20.
- Randy Orton
- Big Show
- Daniel Bryan
- Cody Rhodes/Del Rio
Posted in: WWE Results
Last 10 posts in WWE Results
- <i>WZR Radio **ON-AIR-NOW** - Breaking WWE/TNA News + Plans Leaked!!</i> - May 21st, 2013
- <i>WZR & WWE/TNA **SPOILER** CHATROOM NOW!!</i> - May 21st, 2013
- <i>WWE RAW Results (5/20) - Curtis Axel 'Debuts'!!</i> - May 20th, 2013
- <i>WWE Extreme Rules Results (5/19) - Lesnar/HHH!</i> - May 19th, 2013
- <i>DETAILS ON TONIGHT'S FREE EXTREME RULES PBP!</i> - May 19th, 2013
- WWE House Show Results 5.18.13: Evansville, IN - May 18th, 2013
- WWE House Show Results 5.17: Bowling Green, KY - May 18th, 2013
- <i>WWE RAW Results (5/13) - A Dance-Off & A Face-Off!</i> - May 13th, 2013
- WWE House Show Results 05.11.13 - Beaumont, TX - May 12th, 2013
- WWE House Show Results 05.11.13 - Odessa, TX - May 12th, 2013