2. Layla defeated Aksana. Nothing special. The crowd was solidly behind Layla and booed Aksana when she taunted the fans. Aksana seems a lot less lost in the ring these days.
3. Fandango beat Yoshi Tatsu. Tatsu was a lot of fun to watch. The match was pretty slow paced because Fandango grounded Tatsu every time he picked up momentum. Fandango picked up a win after using that move Mike Knox used as a finisher in the WWE.
4. Kofi Kingston defeated Damien Sandow. Sandow had some supporters when he made his entrance, but everyone was on their feet when Kingston’s music hit. The crowd reacted well for all of Kingston’s offense and booed Sandow heavily whenever he landed a move. Sandow had a great nearfall after he countered the Trouble in Paradise, but Kingston ended up landing the move for a pin.
5. Randy Orton defeated Cody Rhodes. Like Sandow, Rhodes received some cheers when he came out. The place absolutely exploded for Orton, though. Orton and Rhodes worked well together, as expected. There were two great nearfalls – one after Orton superplexed Rhodes; another after Rhodes connected with the CrossRhodes. In the end, Rhodes went for the Beautiful Disaster kick, but Orton caught him in mid-air with an RKO. Spectacular finish.
6. The Great Khali and Sin Cara (w/Natalya, Hornswoggle) defeated Primo and Epico (w/Rosa Mendes). The typical match for the kiddies. Sin Cara’s exchanges with Primo and Epico were fun to watch, but that was about it. Khali literally hit those big chest slaps in the corner five times. Five different times. Khali ended up Brain Chopping both Primo and Epcio and tagging Sin Cara in. Sin Cara went up and hit a Senton Bomb on one, as Hornswoggle hit a Tadpole Splash on the other. How was that not a DQ?
7. Sheamus defeated Wade Barrett in a non-title match. Barrett came out and ran down America and the city of Greenville. Sheamus came out to the best reaction of the night. Barrett actually got a ton of offense in and managed to stop Sheamus from gaining too much momentum throughout the match. It was a strong showing from the Intercontinental Champion. Barrett set up the Bullhammer Elbow while Sheamus was in the corner, but Sheamus nailed him with the Brogue Kick for the 1-2-3.
8. Alberto Del Rio (w/Ricardo Rodriguez) defeated Big Show in a No Disqualification match to retain the World Heavyweight Championship. This match was a straight up brawl. The fans voted for this over a Best of Three Falls Match. I’d say each man had his fair share of offense with neither of them dominating for too long. Del Rio came at Big Show with a kendo stick and a steel chair. Answering the fans chants, he pulled a table out from under the ring and set it up in the corner.
Big Show leaned Del Rio up against it and ran at him to put him through it, but Del Rio sidestepped him and Big Show put himself through it. Big Show propped Del Rio up on another table and was poised to dive and put him through it, but Ricardo distracted him and Del Rio recovered and Bulldogged him off the top rope and through the table for a pinfall victory.
Notes: Overall, the show was great. Minges Coliseum was pretty packed and the fans were hot all night. Both Vince and Linda McMahon graduated from East Carolina University, so it’s surprising this is the first time they’ve had a show at the university in almost ten years. I hope they start coming more often after the impressive turnout this show had.
Alberto Del Rio
Cody Rhodes/Damien Sandow