WWE house show report 9-7 Windsor, ONT



Quick results:
- Dolph Ziggler won a Battle Royal to earn the right to wrestle Alberto Del Rio for the World Heavyweight Championship (Christian's injury / concussion wasn't ever announced or acknowledged, they just opened the show with this), last eliminating Damien Sandow. Everyone on the card except the Wyatt Family (and the women, obviously) were in this. About 15 minutes.
- Big E Langston (working 100% babyface) defeated Damien Sandow in 6 minutes with the Big Ending.
- The Prime Time Players defeated 3MB (Heath and Jinder - no sign of Drew) in 12 minutes when Titus pinned Jinder with the "Clash of the Titus" sitout spinebuster.
- Naomi pinned AJ in a non-title match (AJ said she would not be defending her title before the match) in about 7 minutes.
- The R-Truth vs. Fandango "Dance Contest" (as voted on by Twitter) was brief - both men did a dance, but Fandango attacked Truth during his dance and that was good enough to make it a match. Truth won with the Lie Detector in about 6 minutes.
- After intermission, the Wyatt Family defeated Tons of Funk in about 9 minutes when Harper pinned Brodus after a discus clothesline.
- Ryback pinned Xavier Woods in about 7 minutes with the Shellshock. Lots of pre-match bullying antic with the referee, then Ryback noted various things "The Big Man" can't stand (it was actually very reminiscent of the 2001 Steve Austin promos done off-air where he would keep saying "if there's on thing I can't stand...") such as Canada or WWE sending people from NXT to try and make a name when he's picked up the likes of Mark Henry and Great Khali.
- Dolph Ziggler defeated Alberto Del Rio in an excellent, excellent match by DQ when Alberto shoved the ref into Ziggler to set-up the Armbar. They did the deal where the ref rang the bell while Dolph was in the submission but then announced the real finish. Del Rio went to attack Ziggler with a chair post match but failed. From ring entrances, to some old school (but very effective) stalling tactics, to the match itself, it was a 35 minute deal.
Notes:
- Couldn't really gauge attendance but from what I could tell, they had a really big set up for floor seats (some sections had 100 seats, but then there was a tiered floor section opposite the entrance that was just a huge amount of floor seats. The section designated as "the cheap section" ($15 tickets) was basically sold up from top to bottom, the sections looking right at the ring were about 3/4 to the top (though at the same sections further away but still tiered to be more expensive were empty), then is it moved back to cheaper seats filled up again.  Where as the last TNA show I attended at the WFCU Centre put the curtain about halfway into the arena, the WWE set-up was pretty far back. I don't know what numbers they were hoping for the Windsor market when it was their first ever show when it was a B-show, they sent Bryan and The Shield to the A-show, and it's 8 days away from a bigger show just across the border, but I hope they were happy with the turn out because the crowd seemed hot for practically everything all night. the WFCU Centre twitter account even noted it was "One of the loudest/most enthusiastic we've ever had".
- This is the first house show I've made it out to since one in London, ONT in 2006, so it was the first time I've seen the atmosphere improvements they've made to the overall feel of it. The screens, ramp, and stage lighting are all nice touches. On one hand it does emphasize the small scale aspect of the show, but you can't argue that it's a huge step up from having nothing at all. It was a good presentation and even though they were the "B Team" stars, people were really into seeing the stars. I don't think it's a secret battle royals are often bad matches, but damn if these people were not excited for everyone in there.
- The highlights of the battle royal were a Big E / Ryback staredown, which ended with Sandow and Ryback tossing Langston out. Sandow tried to be buddy-buddy with Ryback, but Ryback scared him and he ran out of the ring and hid. Dolph eliminated 3MB (eliminated Slater on the apron as they traded kicks), Sandow snuck back in as he was celebrating but was eliminated as well.
- Sandow cut a promo about being the best, SILENCE!, "Silence, eh", he has a briefcase, it doesn't matter what he think since he's a future champion, etc. Big E was very over as a babyface in their match.
- People were into the Prime Time Players. Match was basic tag formula - nothing special but the crowd reacted appropriately to hot tags and such.
- People LOVE AJ - she tried insulting us as not worthy of seeing her defend the title, and some people cheered Naomi (who tried to start a "To-tal Di-vas" chant), but that was met with a chant for AJ. Naomi kicked out of the Shining Wizard, which was kind of a funny spot when AJ told the ref "that's my finisher!" in dispute of his count.
- R-Truth vs. Fandango was very good and I'd almost think people voted Dance Off to avoid seeing this, but we had to anyway. Again, people were into cheering what they were conditioned to ("What's Up!" and Truth's comeback) but probably one of the quieter spots of the night.
- Intermission was 15 minutes. Last show I was at they stopped doing this, so it was nice to see it brought back.
- People popped BIG for the Wyatt's entrance, but once again didn't have much of a match to react to. Anytime Harper was in there, it was fine. If Rowan was in there (and he wore the mask until it got knocked off during the match), it was not very good.
- Xavier Woods had a tough go as it seemed half the crowd loved him and was actually familiar with his NXT work (people actually knew to yell "It's Morphin' Time!" for his roll into a jumping clothesline), but the other half knew Ryback was the star and wanted an ass kicking. Good match though, Ryback's power works well with smaller guys, and they gave Xavier a lot of good comeback spots and even a few near falls from victory rolls and pin reversals. They treated Xavier like a guy who stood up to the challenge after the match, playing his music while people applauded (but some booed).
- Dolph vs. Alberto was absolute PPV quality. At one point Ziggler kicked out of the concussion kick, dodged an enziguri, and hit the Famouser / Fame-asser. You know they're not changing the title in Windsor at a house show, but for that brief moment they really hooked everyone into believing. Prior to the match Del Rio did stalling by stealing someone's sign and faking him out repeatedly pretending to give it back before ripping it up and throwing all the pieces into the crowd. Another guy in the front row cheered Alberto and apparently caught his attention as he declared him "the smartest man in the building" and referred to the fan as his friend. Then there was cheering for t-shirts (Dolph apologized he only had one), then Alberto whipped his at Tony Chimel. The last bit of stalling was some comedy where Alberto wanted Dolph to shake his hand, and he gradually tried to gain his trust - he shook the ref's hand, he put his arm behind his back, he got on his knee, and he prayed to God that he was on the up and up, all while making the best devious facial expressions. It was all a build-up to Ziggler dropkicking him in the face to a huge pop. Match of the night, awesome stuff, these two got the biggest reactions on the show, and it was a great time and I'm glad I went.
Thanks,
Stephen Gray

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