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PUNK & BRYAN VS. WYATTS: 11/6 WWE IN COLUMBIA, SC LIVE REPORT

By Robert Truesdale on 2013-11-07 11:01:22
I attended the WWE Live event in Columbia, SC last night. Here's a quick run down of results and a few observations on the show.

We arrived about an hour before the 7:30 PM bell time. There were a couple dozen guys in the parking lot literally coming up to people in cars, sometimes following them to their parking spaces, trying to sell fake WWE t-shirts and posters. After we waded through them we got to the doors, and to my amazement the arena was already open by the time we got there. No queue, no delay, we went straight in.

When we got inside we browsed the merch booth and noticed something new. Seems as though WWE has gotten into the idea of selling professional photos of fans holding a replica of the WWE title. I didn't look to see how much the pictures cost but it's probably much cheaper than buying an actual replica belt as a keepsake.

We found our seats and took a few pictures at ringside. We noticed that it looked like a slim crowd at that point but in my mind I likened the situation to Gamecock football games in that Columbia crowds seem to be late arrivers. My wife went to the restroom before the show began and when she came back she said there weren't very many people on the concourse. By the time the show started, the floor seats were mostly full but there was what I'd call a "splash" of fans scattered around the lower bowl of the arena. I think Colonial Life holds somewhere around 10,000 at maximum capacity - I'd say there were less than 2,500 in attendance last night.

Tony Chimel was our ring announcer. I don't know why but I thought he'd been released at some point. Regardless, he informed us that we'd have a chance to determine the stipulation of the main event. We would get to choose between a street fight or no disqualification rules being added to the CM Punk & Daniel Bryan vs. The Wyatt Family tag team match. I kind of shook my head over this because no DQ technically could be the same thing as a street fight...

1) Primetime Players vs. Hunico & Comacho

Hunico made fun of a kid sitting behind us who was wearing a Sin Cara mask. This was a good opener, albeit a classically structured tag team match where Darren Young played the good guy in distress who finally made a tag to Titus. PP won and got things off to a spirited start.

2) Jinder Majal vs. The Great Khali

Jinder came to the ring using his old entrance music from when he was a singles competitor - well, I guess he still is a singles competitor, but it seemed odd that he'd be using it since he's part of 3MB. I made the comment to my wife that he looked rather militant with his all-black garb.

It pains me to watch Khali and this was more or less every Khali match you've ever seen. Couple chops, he gets some heat when he botches a kick to the corner (which looks awful because he doesn't kick, he just throws his leg over the rope), then he makes the comeback for the win.

3) Brie Bella w/Nikki vs. AJ Lee w/Tamina

This was advertised as being a Diva's Championship match but AJ got on the mic immediately and announced that she would not be defending the title tonight. Brie got the victory after Tamina attempted to get involved only to have Nikki yank her off the apron.

Trust me when I say that the aesthetic differences between the Bellas are especially noticeable up close. There was some dude perched beside me on the other side of the railing during this match who seemed to be trying to take pictures of the Bellas with an iPhone - not sure who he was, though.

4) Heath Slater & Drew McIntyre vs. The Usos

I can't lie, Drew & Slater are entertaining. The Usos, on the other hand, do nothing for me. Their work just seems sloppy and I do not get their appeal, at all. That said, the Usos won after what was a fairly competitive match with all parties getting involved.

- Intermission -

5) Intercontinental Championship Match - Curtis Axel (c) vs. R-Truth

Axel ran down the crowd as being beneath him before the match. Truth came out to his usual antics. Curtis looked good coming off of his recent injury, although I want to be critical of the fact that his physique isn't anything to be especially proud of. We've all read the stuff about Khasius Ohno not keeping up, but what about Axel?

Truth came off well here because it never felt like he wasn't capable of winning the match - right up until he finally lost, that is.

6) Ryback vs. Justin Gabriel

When Justin came out I was hoping it wouldn't be Ryback as his opponent. I didn't want to see a squash this late in the card, but but sure enough, it was Ryback.

Ryback came out and tried to get the crowd against him by running down the Gamecocks and how they're going to get beaten down by the Florida Gators in a few weeks (I'd like to see him say that to Jadeveon Clowney - that would've been entertaining). The match went about how you'd expect it. Gabriel had a few fleeting moments of hope but couldn't get past the guy who looks like Goldberg wearing RVD's singlet with randomly-placed Team Rocket logos on his gear.

7) Tag Team Street Fight - CM Punk & Daniel Bryan vs. The Wyatt Family (Harper & Rowan w/Bray at ringside)

At this point, my wife & I got a little upset because we realized the card was, in fact, subject to change. Not that we didn't look forward to the main event, but we were hoping to see Kane and The Rhodes Brothers at some point as they had been heavily promoted as being on the show leading up to the event.

Nevertheless, this match was the highlight of the night. The street fight stipulation won the fan vote (shocker) but they never really took advantage of those rules - no brawling in the crowd or what have you. There was some great work at the start of the match where it looked like Punk & Bryan would establish control early on but Harper & Rowan managed to get the upper hand by isolating Bryan, who took the bulk of the punishment from Bray's disciples. The Wyatt's introduced a kendo stick to the match, beating down both Punk & Bryan but Punk found his own kendo and evened things up. The finish came after Harper ran himself into a table that the Wyatt's had set in one of the corners after which Punk hit him with the GTS.

After the match Bryan & Punk spent a good bit of time going around ringside, meeting with fans, taking pictures and signing autographs.

This show alright but it was very rushed. It started on time at 7:30 PM and even with the intermission it was done around 9:30-9:45. I guess these guys all had planes to catch in order to join the rest of the crew across the pond.