10/31 WWE in Strasbourg, France: John Cena returns, C.M. Punk vs. Ryback for the WWE Championship, Punk wears Halloween gear, Eve vs. A.J. Lee vs. Layla for the Divas Championship
WWE Raw live event
Report by Dot Net reader Sebastien Staudt (thanks also to Benjamin Anstett for the results)
1. Santino Marella and Brodus Clay (with Cameron and Naomi) beat Primo and Epico (with Rosa Mendez). The match last about 12 minutes, they told a story around Santino's Cobra. Epico and Primo make fun of the Cobra during all the match and beat-up Santino during all the match until he was able to make the tag with Clay which came and destroyed their opponent.
In the end, Marella was finally able to hit the Cobra Strike on Primo and Clay finished him with the splash. A good way the kick off a house show with funny characters and some decent action. Santino and Clay were over. The Colons were able to get some boos and Rosa Mendez is officially the hottest women in the wrestling business right now!
2. Michael McGillicutty beat Tensai. A five minute match. Tensai dominated the majority of the match. Michael take advantage of a mistake and won the contest with a roll-up. The crowd was dead for this match. People don't know whether they have to cheer for Tensai or McGillicutty. Are we suppose to get behind a guy that we never see on TV (except NXT which is very confidential in France)? Some fans behind me doesn't even know who Michael was.
3. AJ Lee beat Eve and Layla to win the WWE Divas Championship. Just over five minutes of action where the Divas tried hard to get people excited in the match. The crowd never really into the match except for some cheers for AJ. It was a pleasant surprise to see a title change hands on a house show, but it didn't last long. Vickie Guerrero came to the ring and said that the match needed to restart.
Eve beat AJ Lee and Layla in 20 seconds. Vickie Guerrero's arrival get more heat that the entire Divas Match and McGuillycutty/Tensai combined!
4. John Cena beat Dolph Ziggler. Basic stuff from Cena and Ziggler, who performed their signature moves. Vickie Guerrero was with Mr. Money In The Bank and hit Cena twice. The referee decided to send Vickie backstage. Ziggler dominated. Cena took the beating and made a huge comeback at the end and accidentally took the referee out. He made Ziggler tap but the referee never saw that happen. Vickie came back to the ring in order to hit Cena with the MITB briefcase, but AJ Lee came out to prevent it from happening. Cena took advantage of the distraction to execute the AA and won the match. The crowd was split 65 percent Cena, 35 percent for Ziggler. Good contest, good reaction, the most exciting match of the first hour by far. Ziggler is really great in the ring and deserves more than the status of glorified jobber for main eventer.
Intermission (20 minutes)
5. Antonio Cesaro beat Zack Ryder to retain the U.S. Title. A less than 10 minutes match with Cesaro in control, Ryder had his moments but after reversing the Rough Ryder. Cesaro hit the Neutralizer to leave Strasbourg with the U.S. Belt. There were some good moments but the overall match felt flat with too many submission moments. Except his entrance and two "Woo! Woo! Woo!" chants, the crowd never got on the edge of their seats. A passable contest. Cesaro didn't say a single word in French. It was surprising because he speaks French very well. And something is wrong with Cesaro's character. I don't know exactly what it is, but some change for him is welcomed or even necessary.
6. Daniel Bryan and Kane beat Rhodes Scholars to retain the WWE Tag Team Championship. The longest match of the night with nearly 20 minutes of action. A very loud Yes! chant started during Bryan's entrance and lasted until he left the arena. Sandow said "Taisez-vous" (which means "shut up!") to the WWE Universe and got loud boos from start to finish. Daniel Bryan and Kane had many friction moments during the match and Bryan took Kane out of the ring with a Dropkick to apply his No! Lock and made Cody Rhodes tap out. What a moment! Team Hell No is ultra over, Rhodes Scholars are hated. That was a mix of great action, great comedy, great story.... The highlight of the night.
7. Ryback beat CM Punk by DQ in a WWE Championship match. An approximately 15-minute match with about five minutes of Punk running away from Ryback. Both wrestlers had their moments of domination until Ryback had Punk on the run so he took a chair and hit Ryback to get DQ. After the match, Punk continued the assault but Ryback managed to reverse a shot and hit Shellshocked. He closed the show with a celebration.
Ryback is a beast, Punk is a genius, and that made for an interesting opposition. Both Punk and Ryback were over and Punk was the only Superstar with a Halloween costume, as he wore skeleton gear.
Final Thoughts: I liked the Cena vs. Ziggler match and the main event. I marked out for the tag title match. It's was my seventh time attending a WWE show and this one wasn't the worst. The top matches were fun but the mid-card stuff was flat and not exciting. There was no great wrestling match, but the key word of the night was entertainment and they managed to do that in my opinion.
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