On Saturday, January 4, I attended the WWE live event (house show) at the Greensboro Coliseum. It marked the eighth consecutive WWE event I’ve attended in the building since 2009. The following are my thoughts on the show:
- The biggest surprise of the evening was WWE displaying my tweet on the jumbotron. I never expected that to happen!
- It appeared to be a packed house. I’m not the best at making crowd estimates, but the Greensboro Coliseum always looks close to full whenever I attend. WWE doesn’t visit Greensboro too often, so I think everyone tries their best to come out in droves.
- Sin Cara beat Ryback in a decent opener. I arrived as this match was in progress, but didn’t miss too much. The memorable thing about the match was Ryback missing a splash from off the top rope.
- Alexander Rusev beat Zack Ryder. Rusev is a guy from NXT, so I don’t know much about him. I originally thought he did a Russian gimmick, but have since found out that he’s Bulgarian. Nothing special about the match.
- The Bellas beat Aksana and Alicia Foxx. Justin Roberts announced that this was a fan’s stipulation match. Basically the fans could decide the type of match they would have. Surprisingly, they chose a regular tag team match. It was some nice paced action as you would expect from them. Nothing blow away, but nothing bad either. Actually, I should take that back because you can see how much the Bellas in-ring work has improved in recent months. The Bellas appeared to be a much bigger deal to the audience, likely due to their exposure on Total Divas.
- Great Khali beat Curtis Axel. I must say that Axel did a superb job of playing to the crowd and getting them involved. The first half consisted of a game of cat and mouse. Axel escaped every time Khali made a move. He was finally caught and Khali finished him off with a chop. Basic match, but Axel deserves credit for making it interesting.
- Dolph Ziggler beat Alberto Del Rio. This match started with a lot of comedy, but ended up turning into a very good match. Ziggler took two very stiff kicks to the head, which is the last thing he needs after being sidelined with a major concussion last year. The lady sitting beside me made mention that Ziggler may wind up with a similar fate like Edge since he takes so many risks in his matches. There were a ton of reversals toward the end that the crowd went crazy from. Ziggler won with the Zig Zag.
- Cody Rhodes and Goldust beat the Jack Swagger and Antonio Cesaro. Another really good match. The Rhodes brothers were by far the most over guys on the show up to that point. I would say all four men put on a television quality match which is the highest praise you can give at a house show. Goldust was very impressive as he pulled out some high flying moves you wouldn’t expect given his age. Cesaro also performed his giant swing on Goldust. There was tremendous heat down the stretch. Cody got the pin on Cesaro (I think) with the crossroads. They spent a long time greeting fans after.
- Brodus Clay vs. Tensai went to a no-contest when Kane interfered and chokeslammed both. Clay is so much better in his new role. His entrance music and overall heel demeanor is a vast improvement over the dancing gimmick he’s done over the last two years. Seeing Kane in his old attire took some getting used to since he plays the Authority role on television. He almost looked goofy in his ring attire with the short haircut. He called out Big Show and the two had a match. Show won after a knockout punch.
- John Cena beat Randy Orton via disqualification after a low blow. The match was billed as being for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. As expected, this was the most heated match on the show. Orton entered first even though he’s the champion. You can’t tell by watching on television, but the diamonds on the WWE Championship glisten like crazy. It’s freaking beautiful. Cena came out to the biggest pop of the evening. Watching Cena on television every week doesn’t do justice to how over he is live. There is a reason why he’s been the face of WWE for the last eight years. There were dueling chants and a good level of in-ring work. Being that these two are the biggest stars in WWE, they can get away with doing a lot less while still keeping the fans glued to the edge of their seats. Both kicked out of each other’s signature moves and there was a ref bump before the finish. Following the match, Cena delivered an Attitude Adjustment to Orton that sent the fans home happy. This match was very good and was booked exactly as it should’ve been since they will be meeting at the Royal Rumble PPV later this month.
Overall, this was one of the better house shows I’ve attended. You can’t ask for more much more than having three good matches. This was also the first house show I’ve been to since WWE initiated the new setup to give it more of a major league feel.