Hi there, just a quick round up of the Sheffield house show tonight in the UK; results very similar to dates earlier in the week.
The Motorpoint Arena was pretty full, not too many clusters of empty seats with only a small section curtained off. Audience largely made up of children and their parents; Cena and Ryback shirts were definitely the most popular although neither appeared here.
Lilian Garcia introduced proceedings before somewhat successfully attempting to lead the crowd in a chorus of God Save the Queen.
1. Santino, Alex Riley, Jinder Mahal & Drew McIntyre def. Prime Time Players, Epico & Primo
The opener was a basic comedy match with the crowd eating up Santino's bumbling antics. Besides popping for Marella's involvement, the audience were fairly quiet for this, although they warmed to A-Ry in particular, who got a decent reception. The finish saw the two members of 3MB (working as faces here) clearing the ring of the heels for Santino to hit the Cobra on Primo for the win.
Post-match, the Shield beat down the babyfaces before Dean Ambrose cut a promo on Sheamus and the New Age Outlaws, who'd they'd face later in the evening. Highly entertaining segment and it's clear Ambrose has great potential on the mic.
Lilian announced a Twitter poll to determine whether Zeb Coulter would be banned from ringside during the Jack Swagger vs. Alberto Del Rio match later.
2. Fandango def. Ted DiBiase
Pre-match, Fandango teased playing up to the crowd before cementing himself firmly as a heel, getting each section to pronounce his name before insulting them for some decent heat. The actual match was short but some decent back-and-forth action before Fandango got the win with his reverse STO finisher.
There were some "Fandangoing" attempts throughout this match and others from pockets of the crowd, but it failed to catch on as heavily as one might expect given the success of the theme over here.
Post-match, we saw a pre-taped Mark Henry promo where he vowed to put The Great Khali in the Hall of Pain tonight.
3. Natalya def. Alicia Fox [Hornswoggle guest ring announcer]
Not much to say here, Nattie got the win with the Sharpshooter after another short match.
4. Mark Henry def. The Great Khali
A five-star match of the year contender it was not; I actually felt sorry for Khali and his immobility. A glorified squash, with Henry getting the win with the World's Strongest Slam right after Khali had managed a two-count with a brain chop.
We then had a Sheamus pre-tape, where he confirmed the Outlaws as his partners for the show's main event.
5. Alberto Del Rio (w/ Ricardo Rodriguez) def. Jack Swagger (No DQ)
Swagger came out with Coulter, who did his usual anti-immigration pre-match speech with a few local references thrown in for cheap heat. But hey, it worked, with the duo getting the biggest heel heat of the night so far. Surprise, surprise - Coulter was banned from ringside following the fans' poll. The crowd ate up Ricardo's Rodriguez's ring introduction, and ADR got a nice pop as well. The end of the match came after Swagger had been working Alberto over with a kendo stick and put him through a table (which the crowd reacted well for), before Del Rio managed to lock in a flash cross armbar for the submission win.
6. Wade Barrett def. Justin Gabriel (Intercontinental Title match)
After a bit of an underwhelming first half of the show, things really picked up after a short interval. In arguably the best match of the night, Barrett caught Gabriel coming off the top with a Bull Hammer for the win. These two had real chemistry together and their early exchanges in particular were fast-paced and flowed well; blending Gabriel's high-flying and Barrett's brawling styles effectively together. The crowd, as you'd expect, were firmly behind Barrett for this one.
7. Randy Orton def. The Big Show
Orton came out to a huge ovation; easily the loudest pop of the night and he clearly looked pleased with the reception. A slow match with Show stalling early on, frequently rolling out before the bell could be rung. In a nice closing exchange, Randy had an RKO countered into a chokeslam for a 2-count, before reversing a WMD into the RKO for the win.
8. Sheamus & The New Age Outlaws def. The Shield by DQ
The older fans in attendance popped huge for the Outlaws' entrance... while thousands of youngsters looked on confused. Road Dogg managed to just about get through his pre-match shtick despite clearly suffering from a sore throat! Sheamus came out to probably the second best reaction of the night behind Orton. Billy Gunn and Dean Ambrose started it out, with Gunn looking as though he hadn't missed a beat and working the majority of the match. He was clearly having fun out there.
Eventually the Shield managed to isolate Road Dogg in the ring, before he got the hot tag to Sheamus. The Irishman cleared the ring and hit White Noise on Ambrose before Reigns interrupted the fall with a steel chair shot to give the DQ win to the faces. The Outlaws and Sheamus recovered, with a Fameasser followed by a Brogue Kick on Rollins to send the crowd home happy.