Championship’s roll call: WWE Champion: CM Punk… World Champion: Sheamus… Intercontinental Champion: The Miz… United States Champion: Antonio Cesaro… Tag Team Champions: Kofi Kingston & R-Truth… NXT Champion: Seth Rollins… Diva’s Champion: Layla
Justin Gabriel vs. Antonio Cesaro (w/Aksana): Pre-match, Antonio says “exceptional” in five different languages; he personifies exceptional. They lock up and Cesaro takes him down with a side headlock; Gabriel flips free but Cesaro rolls through and hits a wristlock suplex. Antonio winds up with an arm wringer. Gabriel rolls free but Cesaro maintains the hold and keeps up on the arm with a hammerlock. Justin reverses so Cesaro retreats to the ropes for a break. Cesaro boots into a headlock and nails him with a shoulderblock; he WRENCHES on a side headlock. Antonio stupidly tries to run the ropes with Gabriel and pays for it with a dropkick to the face. Cesaro then tries a hiplock but Gabriel lands on his feet and sweeps the leg. GET ‘EM A BODY BAG! Gabriel then launches Cesaro with a monkey flip; he comes off the second rope but Cesaro catches him in midair with a gutbuster. Cesaro stomps on his chest and locks in a double armbar; he nails a knee to the gut and gets two. He tosses him onto the turnbuckles perpendicularly and kicks him square in the core. Cesaro continues his dominance with a chinlock and the fans chant “USA”. I guess it’s for the referee since Gabriel is from South Africa, Cesaro is from Switzerland, and Aksana is from Lithuania. Gabriel rolls through another kneelift into a schoolboy and gets two. He tries a top rope Lionsault but it meets knees for a pair of nearfalls. Back from commercial, Cesaro is stomping the yard in the corner; Gabriel chops his way back but a knee cuts it off and the power gutwrench follows. Gabriel has had ZERO offense in this match. He smothers him with an abdominal stretch and GRABS THE ROPE for extra leverage; he alters it into a pretzel hold. Gabriel eventually hiplocks himself free. Cesaro recovers first and hits another double stomp. He lands a pair of rope-assisted ones and gets a nearfall; he lassos him in a chinlock. Gabriel begins to fire back and Gabriel speeds the match up with kicks and a pinwheel kick in the corner. He springboards into a crossbody press for two. Gabriel scales the ropes but Cesaro recovers so he leaps over him; Justin charges right into the Very European Uppercut. Cesaro nails the Gotch Style Neutralizer and gets the pinfall. 5/10 It wasn’t a squash per se but it may as well ben one. Cesaro dominated that ENTIRE match and he used a clever stratagem of keeping Gabriel grounded. As soon as Gabriel sped the match up, Cesaro matched him move for move and wound up winning in dominating fashion. It was not a bad match, the strategy and psychology of the match kept it a little boring.
Here is your winner… Antonio Cesaro @ about 11:15 (broadcast) via Neutralizer pinfall.
Layla vs. Natalya: I like Nattie but I have low hopes for this match. She starts off with (what I think is supposed to be) a schoolgirl but it turns into a leglock attempt. I think Layla lost her balance there. She works the arm but Layla head scissors free; Nattie nips up to free herself. They get into a shoving match and Layla winds up with a rolling cradle for two. Layla whips Nattie into the corner but she floats over nicely but Layla counters with a kick and the bouncing crossbody. Natalya power rolls through Cena-style and tries a backbreaker. Layla counters and they trade rolls along the mat until Nattie winds up with a two count. Layla counters with a low dropkicks. She dances around the ring angering Natalya to slide out of the ring and yell at the commentators. As per the usual in every Natalya match, Layla slaps her on the ass. Giggity. She catches her on the apron trying to reenter. Back in the ring, Nattie applies a Canadian Backbreaker. Layla flails about and makes the move look really crappy. She eventually falls free so Natalya floors her with the roaring clothesline. She hits a backbreaker and segues into a backbreaker stretch. Layla frees herself but gets immediately caught in a snap-suplex. Layla fires back but gets caught; Layla misses a roundhouse kick but hits a savate kick and gets three? 4/10 A little better than the usual; possibly because Nattie controlled most of the match.
Here is your winner… Layla @ about 6:55 via savate kick pinfall.
Alex Riley vs. Damien Sandow: Pre-match, Sandow calls himself our unwilling hero; liberating us from the shackles of our own ignorance for our own benefit. You’re welcome. They lock up as the fans hotly chanting “Riley”. Alex starts off hot and hits a shoulder tackle forcing Sandow to retreat to the floor. Back in the ring, Riley hits the hiptoss into the neckbreaker. Riley pounds in the corner until Sandow counters and kicks him off the buckles. He stomps away as the commentators discuss the SATs. Damien applies a crossface chicken wing. He nails the Russian leg sweep and the Cubito Aequet; he tries the kneepadless knee drop but misses. A-Ry begins to punch his way back but telegraphs a backdrop; Sandow charges into a series of clotheslines and a spinebuster for two. He was looking for Riley Elevation but gets forced into the corner; he recovers and heads to the top for a flying Hart Attack. He gets, what appears to be three, but it’s only two. Alex looks for the Final Score but Sandow retreats to the floor. Riley gets a little overaggressive enabling Damien hangs him off the ropes and nails Finis for three. 5.5/10 Squash for Sandow; he continues to rocket up the card. The WWE is solidly behind him and are planning big things for him. I like Sandow so I think he will be a good heel for years to come.
Here is your winner… Damien Sandow @ about 7:00 via Finis pinfall.
Kofi Kingston & R-Truth (w/Little Jimmy) vs. Primo & Epico (w/Rosa Mendes): I like the tag champs’ Superman motif. Truth starts with Primo; he dances with Little Jimmy. Primo calls Little Jimmy over and puts his arm around him. He then KICKS HIM DOWN! The filthy cur. Truth spears him and pounds away. Primo oversells the beating. Truth hits the dancing clothesline and brings Kingston in (off the top) with a clothesline. Primo locks in a chinlock; Kofi leapfrogs into a flying reverse elbow drop. Primo takes over and whips Kofi into the ropes but he rebounds off them nicely into a hurracanrana. Epico tags and monkey flips him out of the corner… but Kofi lands on his feet and tit-for-tats Epico with his own monkey flip. Truth tags in and they hit a tandem hiptoss following into the What’s Up Legdrop. Epico goads Truth in and momentums him onto the floor. He Hilos back in and tags in Primo. He hits the Mexican Straddle for two. Primo then locks in a chinlock; Truth fires back but gets drop-toe held out of a tag and tags Epico back in. The Colóns maintain dominance with a tandem dropkick. Epico applies a chinlock as Matt Striker admits that he is enjoying the tag team renaissance. Truth surprises Epico with a Lie Detector allowing a hot tag. Kingston springs into a series of clotheslines, dropkicks and a Boom Drop. Epico avoids the climax but Kofi still manages a really skying crossbody. Primo saves the day but gets quickly dispatched to the floor. Rosa distracts the ref but it proves fatal as Truth tosses Epico right into Trouble in Paradise for three. 6/10 Fun tag main event; I love tag teaming so this is always good in my opinion. The tag champs continue dominance in the tag division, well they should, they’re the champs. Demolition rarely lost. The only bugaboo was that it was too short.
Here are your winners… Kofi Kingston and R-Truth @ about 6:45 via Trouble in Paradise pinfall.
OVERALL 4.5/10 Pretty good show; the matches were all okay but at least enjoyable. Most were squashes or dominating efforts. Again perfectly acceptable forty-five minutes of pro wrestling.
Please follow Marc Elusive on Twitter or like Marc Elusive on Facebook or check out www.marcelusive.net for reviews and recaps (of current WWE and old WWF PPVs, DVDs and VHS tapes) and a little analysis; more of a play-by-play style, like my reviews here. Thank you for all of your support.