The show in Asheville was not very heavily attended; I’d say about 1,000 people. We had fourth row seats. On my way to my seat, I ran into a late-arriving Drew McIntyre, who asked me if I knew where backstage was, but I didn’t. (I was wearing a jacket and tie and he may have thought I was some sort of official.)
(1) Usos defeated Hunico & Camacho. The audio was not working when the Usos first came out. Back and forth early, but then Hunico and Camacho started working over one of the Usos. Hunico had some nice aerial moves. Eventually, a hot tag was made, but the ref didn’t see it, so no dice. After working over Uso #1 some more, a hot tag was made and this time the ref saw it. Hunico was knocked to the outside and the Usos hit a splash off the top rope on Camacho for the pin.
A Kane promo aired on the video screen, but there was no audio.
(2) Jinder Mahal beat Heath Slater. Interestingly, Slater played the babyface in this match. Mahal gave his usual promo in whatever language his character is supposed to be speaking. Slater then got a mic and said he speaks for everyone here that we have no idea what Mahal just said. But, he is going to beat him. Pretty non-descript match, with Mahal eventually knocking Slater over with a kick to the lower back and then making him submit to the Camel Clutch.
(3) Divas champion Layla defeated Natalya to retain the Divas Title. I’m a huge Layla fan, so I was very happy to see her in her first house show back. The two women exchanged holds early on. Then, Natalya went to the outside. Layla chased her, but it was a trap and Natalya attacked Layla as she was getting back into the ring. After Natalya was in control for a while, Layla hit some counters and some nice pinning predicaments. Natalya wanted a time out, but didn’t get one. Natalya went back on the attack. Some chants for Layla. Natalya went for the Sharpshooter, but Layla blocked it. Natalya worked over Layla in the corner. She went for a suplex, but Layla countered into the Lay-Out and got the pin to retain the title. Good match. After the match, Natalya ripped up a fan’s Layla sign. The guy looked like he was going to kill her.
(4) Bo Rotundo defeated Drew McIntyre. McIntyre came out and cuts a promo. He asked Tony Chimel where he is, and upon being informed, McIntyre said he is not impressed. He said Asheville sucks, he’s been traveling all day, and he hasn’t been rewarded for his part in Team Johnny’s win at WrestleMania. He said he’s going to force people to put him on TV, and he doesn’t care who his opponent is tonight because he’s going to beat him quickly and get out of here. Out came Bo Rotundo from FCW. McIntyre indicated he will beat Rotundo in less than five minutes, but he didn’t. He did control most of the match, though. McIntyre hit a big boot and went for an arrogant cover, but Rotundo reversed into a roll-up and got the pin.
(5) Great Khali defeated Drew McIntyre. McIntyre got back on the mic and said that wasn’t fair; Rotundo cheated. So, he asked for another opponent. He said he would beat anyone else, whether it’s “five guys at once” or Tony Chimel. Here comes Great Khali, who McIntyre was not happy to see. Khali hit a chop and the Punjabi Plunge to get the pin. Afterward, Khali celebrated with fans ringside while McIntyre had a temper tantrum and threw a chair.
Next was Big Show vs. Cody Rhodes. Rhodes came out to some good heel heat. He cut a promo about all of his accomplishments, including throwing Big Show through a table at Extreme Rules. Of course, he says, Asheville will cheer Big Show because he’s slow just like them. But, Cody is a giant killer, among many other accolades. Here comes Big Show to a big pop. Big Show grabbed a mic and disputed Cody’s description of their Extreme Rules match. He claimed to be a giant killer. Match start.
(6) Big Show defeated IC champion Cody Rhodes via DQ; Rhodes retained the Intercontinental Title in a match for his title. My friends and I started a “Let’s Go Cody!” chant, and Big Show gave us a disparaging look. Cody hit Big Show with a chop, but show no-sold and encouraged him to do better. Cody tried again, but no dice. Then, Show showed him how it’s done. At one point, he had Chimel hold the house mic up while he chopped Cody. After Show controlled most of the match, Cody brought in a chair and used it, earning a DQ. Cody tried for another chair shot, but Show blocked it and knocked the chair out of his hands. Show hit the WMD and then celebrated with the fans around the ring while Cody remained knocked out in the ring.
(7) Christian defeated Yoshi Tatsu. Tatsu came out first. Then, Christian, who grabbed a mic (everyone was cutting promos tonight) and said he wants one more championship match…and that we all suck. Good back and forth match. Tatsu got in some good offense, including a cross-body off the top rope. Eventually, Tatsu missed a big kick and Christian pushed him into the ropes and then hit the Killswitch for the win.
(8) Randy Orton defeated Kane in a No DQ Match. Orton got a huge pop. They brawled for a while. Kane brought in a kendo stick, but Orton got more use out of it. Kane exposed a turnbuckle, then hit a flying clothesline off the top rope. The brawl went outside the ring, then Orton hit a hangman DDT onto a chair. (Vintage Orton!) Kane hit a chokeslam, but Orton kicked out at two-and-a-half. Orton then shoved Kane into the exposed turnbuckle and hit the RKO for the win. Good brawl along the lines of their Extreme Rules match.
Next was the main event triple threat World Title match switching out Christian for Alberto Del Rio. Ricardo Rodriguez introduced Del Rio. The house mic was not working at first, and Rodriguez wanted to fight Kimel. Del Rio autographed a fan’s sign, then ripped it up. Bryan was out next. Bryan fans were not in the majority tonight, as there were dueling “Yes / No” chants, with the No’s usually being louder. Del Rio and Rodriguez mocked the Yes chants before Sheamus came out to a large pop. His shoulder was bandaged, selling the injury from Smackdown.
(9) World Hvt. champion Sheamus defeated Daniel Bryan and Alberto Del Rio in a triple threat match to retain the World Title. Bryan and Del Rio started out arguing, so Sheamus shoulder-blocked them both. Eventually, Del Rio took control while Bryan was on the outside. Sheamus turned the tables on Del Rio. Bryan tried a sneak attack, but took 10 clubbing blows from Sheamus for his troubles. Bryan recovered quickly enough to break things up between Sheamus and Del Rio and send Del Rio to the outside. Bryan worked over Sheamus while Rodriguez tried to revive Del Rio. Del Rio and Bryan then shook hands and teamed up on Sheamus, including tearing the bandages off Sheamus. Del Rio put Sheamus in the cross-arm breaker, but Bryan broke it up with a diving headbutt off the top rope. Bryan went for the Yes! Lock, but Sheamus countered it into a slingshot, knocking Bryan into Del Rio, sending Del Rio off the apron into Rodriguez. Sheamus then hit the Brogue Kick on Bryan for the pin.
Afterward, Sheamus celebrated with the fans to send everyone home happy. Very good main event match. All in all, a very entertaining show. No return date was announced.
- Big Show
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