Medicine Hat, Alberta at Medicine Hat Arena
Approximately 800 fans were in attendance. I was shocked at how sparse the crowd was as Alberta usually shows up for wrestling. The last announced WWE event scheduled for Medicine Hat was cancelled last year and I was disappointed as I had seats on the guard rail. Tonight me and my crew were in the second row.
1. Fandango defeated The Miz via a Side Russian Leg Sweep.The pop for Fandango was what I expected with him being the first superstar out from behind the LED Titan Tron mini. He was accompanied by Summer Rae and they performed their full TV routine while entering the ring. Miz came out to a solid reaction also. Right at the opening bell the Johnny Curtis chants started, much to my pleasant surprise,and I was only too willing to join in. The match itself was good. Lots of believable near falls and a few high spots to boot. I was disappointed that the finish saw Fandango abandon the top rope leg drop in favor of the Russian Leg Sweep. The latter being not very believable. After the match Miz played to the crowd behind Fandangos back and knocked him down and then slapped on the Figure Four to get the crowd to pop with Woooo chants.
2. Justin Gabriel defeated Curt Hawkins with a middle rope moonsault. Little to no reaction for both of these guys when they came out. If you are a casual fan you would have no idea who these two are. Nothing memorable in this five minute filler of a match other than Hawkins did a good job of heeling it up to the gals sitting next to me and Gabriel getting in some signature offense.
3. Natalya defeated Aksana with the Sharpshooter. Aksana was out first to crickets as was expected as the Divas get no love on TV. By that I mean no match time. Thought I should clarify my statement. Natalya came out to the solid " we are very close to your hometown" cheers. She did a good job of playing to the crowd as she went around the ring high fiveing fans. The match was a telling of two tales as Aksana is brutal in the ring. She squeals like a cat after moves, she is awkward and has a very limited skill set. Natalya is really fluid and possesses a solid repertoire. She locked in the Sharpshooter to get the crowd back into it for the three count.
4. Tons of Funk defeated the Prime Time Players with Brodus Clay pinning Titus O'Neil after a Splash. I have to say Tons of Funk are a couple of monsters in person and Titus O'Neil is fantastic live also. He is a guy that needs to get away from Darren Young and start carving out a career as a singles wrestler because I think he could be a star if given the opportunity. Titus has a lot of charisma and WWE needs to take notice of that. The match itself was pretty good and featured Sweet T as the baby face in distress. Brodus got the hot tag and after his signature move set and a huracanrana by one of the Funkadactyls he put away O'Neil with a splash. After the match, they did the dance with the kids routine which was actually really fun.
5. Sin Cara defeated Heath Slater with a top rope Swanton Bomb. Slater came out first and got booed terribly. To me that is a sign of a good heel who knows his role. Man do I hate him too. Mostly because he has man boobs. Good to see Sin Cara and based on his reaction and the audible gasps in the crowd, he was a surprise to most. This was a nice back and forth match with both men getting in a decent amount of offense. Slater really plays to the crowd and the section that were booing him the loudest. He took a moment while he had a chin lock applied to Cara and he winked at the gals beside me who were booing him. I thought that was funny. The personal interaction like this is why I enjoy going to house shows. Cara climbed the ropes and hit the Swanton for the victory.
6. Alberto Del Rio defeated Big E Langston with an Enziguri kick. This was a very good runner up for match of the night. Both of these guys put in a solid effort and deserve a pat on the back. Big E has the potential to be a monster heel and looked the part at times during this match. He is huge in person. The gimmick for the match was the fans had to vote via Twitter if AJ should be allowed to remain at ringside. She was permitted to stay and I thought for sure her presence would factor in the decision. To my surprise she did interfere but the decision came after a series of reversals and ADR hit the Enziguri for the win. There was a nice pop for the victory.
7 Sheamus defeated Wade Barrett by DQ in the main event for the Intercontinental Championship. This turned out to be the match of the night and the effort of both men was apparent. Wade Barrett came out to very little heat or any reaction at all which surprised me as there were a lot of Sheamus fans in the crowd. I thought for sure the boo birds would be out for his intro. He did a great job of stoking the heels flames and got the crowd jeering him pretty quickly. This was a great match with a ton of back and forth action and near falls that had the crowd popping over and over again. There was action in and out if the ring with the barricade and steps being used as weapons.
The finish came when Sheamus sent Barrett to the floor, right in front of me, where he grabbed the IC belt and started to head to the back like he was going to DQ himself and preserve his championship. Sheamus ran him down and threw Barrett into the ring and when Sheamus entered after him Barrett hit him in the gut with the belt getting himself DQ'd. The crowd seemed a little confused of the finish as there was no decision announced right away. Barrett tried to attack Sheamus with the strap and when he did he walked into White Noise followed up by the Brogue Kick to send us home happy. After the match Sheamus spent a good amount of time walking around ring side taking photos and signing autographs, which is classy.
Notes:,/b> All in all, a good show presented even with the lack of star power. I wish I would have got to see Mark Henry as I really enjoy him putting opponents into the Hall of Pain.
Prime Time Players