WWE SmackDown House Show Results – Belfast, Northern Ireland (4/13)
Thanks to Adam C for sending along these results.
WWE SmackDown House Show
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Friday, April 13, 2012
Report by Adam C
There was a huge concert on in Belfast on the last night at round about the same time – MTV Titanic Sounds with acts like Olly Murs, Pixie Lott, Rizzle Kicks. I didn’t expect it to fatally affect the attendance as tickets only went on sale for the festival in March while tickets for WWE have been since November. As well as this, I had extra tickets for cousins who couldn’t go due to being on holiday so we put them on a website called gumtree bit like Ebay and were able to sell them in days. Up until a week before the event we were still getting texts of those interested.
However despite this, The Odyssey was packed out, for the first time in about 5 years of going we got floor seats which gave us a good view of everyone. I couldn’t see a single empty seat! I’m not very good at attendance estimates but looked at Wikipedia and apparently for sporting venues it can hold up to 11,000, leave some to allow for the ring and stage so at least 9,000 showed up. In an age where TV ratings and PPV buyrates are supposedly declining, WWE can still fill an arena in Northern Ireland.
We arrived in Belfast at 6:15 to allow us time to find parking spaces. We were lucky to find a sidestreet which allowed us to park about a 20 minute walk from the arena. Walking through the city we could see that a lot of car parks were completely full because of the festival but they allowed for space in a car park near the Odyssey, with a sign saying Odyssey parking only.
Was very cool to be right beside the entrance for the house show especially since they had the new X/Tepee type which lit up different colours depending on who was coming out IE red for kane and for each entrance unleashed some smoke.
Lilian was the ring announcer for the evening and was introduced by someone from backstage, perhaps an FCW talent… She came out to her overly femine music which was met to decent cheers apart from myself who gave her heat and heckled her with chants of Bring Back Chimmel and You suck Lillian. So much so that I almost lost my voice before the first match even took place. She did her usual its so great to be back in Belfast, IRELAND which was met with some confusion. This was a recurring theme as Cody and herself would repeat this unpopular geographical slip. With a lot of heckles correcting them that they were in Northern Ireland. After this she introduced our opening contest…
The Great Khali vs Jinder Mahal
Khali got a surprisingly good pop and was met by various Khali chants during the match up. I don’t know whether its a testament to his overness or because it was the first match but the Belfast crowd seemed to love him. Jinder’s quite anti climatic music hit and he was greeted with some boos and did his usual taunts that you see on TV. Not a bad match to start the show, that was definitely improved by the crowd as its often stated that a good crowd can make a bad match better and this was certainly true in this instance.
Khali would have a comeback after a rest hold with strikes before hitting his giant chop and following up with Punjabi Plunge for the 3 count for the popular victory.
William Regal and Tyson Kidd vs Hunico and Camacho
Regal and Tyson came out to Regal’s match which initially drew some cheers but there also a small bit of confusion over if they were good guys or not considering that Tyson had quite a week turn that not many casual fans would have seen and Regal switching sides numerous times. Tyson did slap hands while Regal comically feigned choking on the smoke. Regal got on the mic in the ring to clear this confusion up with a smirk by saying “This is the part where I’m supposed to make you hate me but I’m getting old now and soft in my old age so if this is the last time I’m in Belfast I’ve had a great time” – which drew big cheers and Regal chants from the crowd. Camacho and Hunico got more boos than Jinder but nothing overwhelming.
Match was one of the better Pre Intermission contests as Tyson flying around the ring with Essa Rios like manouvers, springboard armdrags and hurricanranas which led to Tyson chants. Tyson would be very over during the match up as during rest holds by the heels Tyson chants would start, something I don’t think I’ve heard often on Tv and this is coming from an NXT/Superstars diehard. Heels would utilize the distracting the ref while Regal made a tag trick which meant the ref would have to send Regal back to his corner since he didn’t see the tag while the Heels could double team Tyson. Regal would eventually get the hot tag to Regal chants and would hit a beautiful exploder suplex (something I feel privileged to see live) followed by the knee trembler for the win. After the match my father would remark on how “Regal’s putting over the young guys” by pointing at Tyson, shaking his hand and leaving the ring so Tyson could have his moment.
Alberto Del Rio vs Ezekiel Jackson
Lillian introduced Alberto’s personal ring announcer Ricardo which drew a lot of cheers from the older members of the crowd, boos from the younger. I think a lot of people were shocked but delighted to see Del Rio especially this early in the night. Del Rio got a mix of some cheers overshadowed by large boos while Zeke received quite a good babyface reception and had light Zeke chants. Ricardo made fun of Zekes taunt where he flexes his muscles for quite a comic moment before being chased out of the ring by Zeke. Quite a short match where Zeke dominated before Alberto took control after Ricardo distracted Zeke and Del rio was able to grab and drop Zekes arm into the rope. Del Rio would follow up with his knees to Zeke’s arm before locking in the Cross Arm Breaker to Zeke who tapped out very quickly.
AJ vs Natalya with Hornswoggle as Special Guest Referee
Lilian introduced the “Very Special Guest Referee” Horswoggle to a ridiculously huge pop with many people standing on their feet, seemed like I was the only one in the arena groaning. I was quite glad that the comedy match was the divas and not degrading an important male worker, as sexist as that sounds. He slapped hands before entering the ring to which my younger brother remarked “he has sweaty hands already”. Natalya was out next to a pop despite playing heel, I thought she was heel by the arrogance she showed when walking to the ring: laughing and doing various taunts with her hands. This was very confusing seeing as she’s been playing face in recent months. AJ came out to a smaller pop than Natalya but shucky ducky does she look good live. One spot during the match had a series of rollups which were actually well performed but Hornswoggle gave up after the first two and acted tired. Natalya would eventually grab Hornswoggle and throw him to the mat, much to my delight as I shouted my approval which was met with a lot of kids stares. Hornswoggle would bit her in the rear end allowing AJ to roll her up for the victory.
Big Show vs Cody Rhodes for the Intercontinental Championship
Perhaps even more surprising than seeing Del Rio out early was seeing Big Show out before the intermission. Cody was out first though to the second biggest heat so far after Del Rio however he would top Del Rio’s heat after cutting a promo on how he wasn’t afraid of The Big Show, how Wrestlemania was a flukey right hand and made two American sport references one about Babe Ruth and one about Mike Tyson having one bad day. He addressed the Northern Irish confusion by saying “Yes these are Great American sports which you people in Belfast are too stupid to understand” (This drew the ire of my father who said “American sports aren’t real sports” expanding that American Football appears to be a lame version of Rugby and that Baseball has a world series despite it only involving one country). Cody would finish his promo by saying “Lillian Garcia will announced the winner and NEW Intercontinental Champion…” Big Shows music and a large pop would cut him off though. He appeared beautiful championship in hand and shook his rather large rear end before getting into the ring. When Jack Doan was doing the search for foreign objects Show would slap him in the bum which was met by laughs. As soon as the bell would sound Cody would leave the ring to big heat, he would repeat this a couple of times before Show grabbed a mic, “Even though you think people are here to watch you be a underwear model, people are here to see us wrestle for the Intercontinental Championship” and then proceeded to call him a chicken and make chicken nosies which drew a large pop and chicken chants from the kids.
Back and forth match up, longer and better than their mania encounter as Cody would go for Show’s legs and hit and two beautiful disasters to take Show off his feet for the near fall. Show would make a comeback and hit the devastating spear (also very awesome to see live), he signalled for the WMD but Cody countered before getting chokeslammed for the victory.
Lillian announced an Intermission. I made my way up the stairs to the toilets, meeting various dueling YES and NO chants showing how over Daniel Bryan is. However the cue for the toilets was ridiculously long, so much so that I heard Lillian announce the next match before I realised I’m missing Mark Henry while sprinting down the stairs, shoving past kids. Never got going to the toilet, really bad timing Lillian, I made sure to give her extra heat when she left.
Mark Henry vs Yoshi Tatsu
I got back when Mark Henry was in the ring, I remembered my love for Three Six Mafia and blasted out some of their awesome lyrics. Henry seemed to have pretty big heat for his entrance while Yoshi got a tiny pop when everyone realised/remembered who he was. This was to be expected as before being squashed by Tensai on Raw, Yoshi hadn’t been on NXT in months. Any heat Mark Henry had was pretty much gone by the time Yoshi arrived, I felt bad for Mark as I’m quite the fan of his work. They did eventually get the crowd back on their side in time for good heat by the World’s Strongest Slam but Mark deserved better.
Kane vs Randy Orton in a No Disqualification Match
Kane’s entrance this time round was the best, the lights being dark and the Red X and lighting that followed were great and met with huge heat. Orton got a mega pop, much better than what he’s been getting on TV these last few weeks. This match was brilliant, these two had the crowd in palm of their hands and while it wasn’t a Punk/Cena masterclass it was very enjoyable. Kane got Kengo sticks and steel chairs out as they traded blows. And Kane had the heat Mark was missing in his match. Nearly everyone including me thought the match was over after Kane hit the chokeslam as kids rushed to the ring and entrance area but there was a huge pop for the Orton kick out. To be honest there was huge pops and heat for everything these guys did. But the Kane chokeslam was very believable after Orton’s loss to Kane at Wrestlemania. An exposed turnbuckle would come into play and the Hangman DDT was delievered onto the steel chair for a very cool moment. An RKO was hit after Kane ran into the ropes for a three count, a friend of mine updated his facebook status as saying “Physically witnessing an RKO is magic” and while I’m not an Orton fan although I do appreciate his work I have to agree with him. One of the best things about sitting on the floor seats was that you’re allowed to rush to the entrance area (which was right beside us) at the end of a match and the start of the next. I rushed to it at the start and yelled my support at Jack Doan who rolled his eyes which was very funny and on the way back he had Kane’s metal mask and after me and my brother shouted at him again he tipped it towards us and smiled. Weird but cool right? Kane stumbled to the back and sold while Orton posed for a while which the crowd loved. He did the Jeff Hardy thing where he tapped the hands of the right hand side and then went back for the left so everyone got touched… well almost everyone despite not professing to be an Orton fan I was standing in front of a kid who had no chance of touching Orton, Orton instead slapped my hand, Welcome to the real world kid…
Sheamus vs Daniel Bryan for the World Heavyweight Championship
Despite a lot of kids wanting to see Orton, EVERYONE wanted to see this match. I’d never seen face Sheamus or Daniel Bryan live and couldn’t wait. Also wanted to get a feel for what could’ve been a Wrestlemania classic. Daniel Bryan came out and got a lot of boos mixed with a vocal Yes cheers as he Yes’d his way down the aisle much to our delight! There was a whole section of Daniel Bryan fans with their YES! signs, very awesome to see. Sheamus would then come out to as the place erupted in a pop which would rival Orton’s. Despite seeing World Heavyweight and WWE title matches before, this was the first time I’d ever seen in ring introductions. It was amazing to hear the place erupt for both guys (positively and negatively) and made the match feel extra special. One thing I hadn’t mentioned was throughout the night in our floor section people kept being told to sit down by the Odyssey Staff which I thought was ridiculous. What made it even more ridiculous was that we were the final row back and thus there was no one behind us. It made no sense and it wasn’t just during parts of the match but entrances, I highly doubt the WWE would let staff do that at TV or PPV events so why here? The worst one however was how this woman made everyone including me sit down while Lillian was in the middle of in ring introductions, I was in the middle of Yesing it up and she told us to sit down? No one tells me to sit down when marking out! She then proceeded to tell every Sheamus fan, individually to sit down.
Ok as for the match was awesome as expected, Daniel’s kicks got the Yes chants going which would carry on throughout the entire match. We’d sat in the wrong section in regards to fans as our whole section was Sheamus fans and little kids, so everytime we Yes’d along we’d get the looks of death which was very funny. Bryan would lead the crowd in some Yes/No chants as well. A great crowd atmosphere to be in. Bryan had some really good counters as Sheamus went for a springboard shoulder block and was caught beautifully by Bryan. Sheamus was able to hit it off the top rope though and after a long match hit the Brogue Kick for the win!
The crowd went crazy (in a good way) as everyone rushed to the barricade to get a touch at the champion, first Daniel Bryan was carried out by the Ref which there only seemed to be two refs Jack Doan and this other ref who I think is Rod Zapata which seemed very strange and taxing for the amount of matches there were. Rod would be the one to carry out Daniel Bryan at the end of the match but also the one to high five my brother before the match started, the latter was delighted. After celebrating in the ring and with the fans behind the ring Sheamus would walk down the aisle, world title in hand and slap all the fans on the lefts’ hands. He would then come to the side I was standing on and jump up on the barricade to celebrate in a great moment as everyone started touching him on the back, personally I got his sweaty bicept. He’d celebrate one final time at the stage before Lillian would tell thank everyone to coming to which I responded “You suck Lillian!” Despite missing Mark Henry’s entrance and that Odyssey woman who kept telling us to sit down, it was an awesome night and I can’t wait til they come back with Raw in November. Tickets were announced as going on sale next Friday (20th April).
Cody Rhodes/Del Rio
Autograph Signing with Big Show – Smyths Toy Shop, Boucher Road: Belfast
Autograph Signing officially started at 3:30pm so made sure to be up at the shop bright and earlier for half 1 after remembering how long big the queue was for William Regal back in 08′ who coincidentally was also Intercontinental Champion at the time. Browsed a bit to kill time then joined the queue, ended up around the 10th person to meet him. Was amused for around two hours at the conversations of two very different wrestling fans in front, one seemed hooked on every WWE storyline playing up her hatred for John Laurinitus and Eve. While the other was a Ring of Honour diehard who kept calling Daniel Bryan – Bryan Danielson and voiced his displeasure in that Tyler Black had been in development ‘for ages’ “Don’t they know he’s a former ROH champion”…
Quite a large bus drove by with windows blacked out and parked an alternate entrance at the back of the shop. The fans erupted for the bus driving past as various nosey old men walking on by kept asking what the fuss was about. After telling them that it was a “wrassler” they smirked and walked on. Thankfully we were spared stories of how much better (and real) it was in their day, tales of World of Sport and Big Daddy.
After Big Show had been seated, we were warned by employees that his PR person requested that there will be no posing for photos but they can be taken as long as it doesn’t have a flash. This was quite disappointing to be who’d been dreaming of a photo with Big Show locking myself in a headlock for years but alas. In addition only one item could be signed. Once we got into the actual store as we’d been queuing up outside all that disappointed vanished at amazement at his size. My younger brother and his friend got their WWE title belts signed with the former being exstatic at receiving a high five. Show looked quite tired but understandably so and had one earphone in. Not wanting to clam up and stutter like I did when I met Bret Hart, I started with a statement Michael Cole would’ve been proud of “You know Show the 80′s can have their Road Warriors, Jeri-Show will always be my favourite tag team”, he cracked a heartwarming smile and said “Thank Man”. He also found humour in my telling him that his debut (at St Valentine’s Massacre in 1998) was one of my all time favourite Michael Cole moments. I then proceeded with my Cole impression of his debut “KING! THAT’S THAT’S PAUL WIGHT! KING! HE’S HUGE! KING!” His laugh made my day and I’d definitely go to another autograph signing as whether from the High Five to my younger brother or his huge smile, he came across as an overall nice guy. In all this wonder and amazement, I didn’t even realise he didn’t bring the most beautiful belt in the entire WWE with him.