WWE House Show Report: Madison Square Garden
World Wrestling Entertainment returned to Madison Square Garden with a Smackdown show that also imported Raw stars and Bret Hart for "Bret Hart Appreciation Night", held almost 13 years to the day Hart last appeared at a WWF event in MSG.
*Kofi Kingston pinned WWE Intercontinental champion Dolph Ziggler. Ziggler came out with a mic saying he had just defended the belt and since he only has to every 30 days, the bout was a non-title match. The crowd was behind Kingston in a major way. Ziggler shoulderblocked him down and locked in a sleeper but Kofi flipped Ziggler over. Ziggler retreated to the floor. When he returned Kofi cleaned house with a series of rights but wiped out when leaping towards Ziggler in the corner. Ziggler locked on a rear chinlock but Kingston came back and rolled him up for a two count. ZIggler nailed Kingston with a rolling snap mare for a two count, then scissored him as he worked Kingston on the mat. Kofi fought back and began nailing chops and a dropkick. He went for Trouble in Paradise but it was blocked. Kingston drilled Ziggler with a kick and then got a near fall after a beautiful high cross bodyblock. Kingston nailed the Boom Drop. He set up for Trouble in Paradise but Ziggler nailed him with an inverted suplex for a two count. Ziggler locked in the sleeper. Kingston fought his way out and then reversed it. Ziggler ran for the turnbuckles and drilled Kofi into it. Kofi came back with the Trouble in Paradise and scored the pin, but no title change. Real good back and forth opener. The fans were really into the near falls.
*Ring announcer Tony Chimmel introduced WWE Hall of Famer Howard Finkel, who came to the ring. Finkel welcomed everyone to the show and put over the Bret Hart Appreciation Night. He noted they would showing clips of Hart's famous moments from MSG as well as a special ceremony in the ring.
*They played a Bret Hart video package.
*WWE Tag Team champions Cody Rhodes & Drew McIntyre defeated Chris Masters & MVP. Drew and MVP started off. Drew caught him in the corner with a series of kicks. MVP came back with a knee to the back of the head for a two count. The frazzled Drew tagged in Cody. Masters tagged in and bounced his pics. Yep, that's what he did. He controlled Cody, running him headfirst into the buckles and chopping away at him. Rhodes came back with a kick to the face when Masters put his head down. He and Drew doubled on Masters. Masters finally tagged out and MVP cleaned house on Drew and Cody. Rhodes powdered out of the ring and McIntyre was hit with the Ballin' Elbow. Rhodes returned to the ring but was tossed out. Drew kicked MVP in the face and covered him but Masters broke it up. Rhodes tagged in and nailed MVP with a gourd buster for a two count. McIntyre tagged in and worked over MVP. The fans rallied MVP but Drew cut him off. Cody and Drew tagged in and out getting heat on MVP. Rhodes locked in a rear chinlock but MVP came back with the Electric Chair. Masters made the hot tag and worked over Rhodes with a high backdrop. Masters nailed a spinebuster and then cinched in the full nelson. Drew went to break it up but Masters let Rhodes go and caught him instead. He let Drew go and MVP nailed a clothesline over the top. Masters turned into the Cross Rhodes and was pinned. Not a bad match at all. The last few minutes were good.
*They aired a clip of Bret Hart winning his first WWF Intercontinental championship from Mr. Perfect.