Thanks to WrestlingINC.com reader John McFarland for sending in these results from last night's WWE Live Supershow at the Rose Garden in Portland, OR:
The arena was about 75-80% sold out. The floor seats and most of the lower bleachers were full, but there were some mostly empty sections near the top of the middle bleachers. The top balcony was curtained off, as was the back 1/4th or so of the arena behind the entry ramp.
I sat in the fourth row, two seats over from the entry ramp, and had a great view of the ring and the ramp, but had to crane my neck up to see the big screen suspended in the air above the ring. The crowd was very excited before the show, with chants of "Yes!", "RVD!" "CM Punk!", "Woooo!" and "Let's go Cena!/Cena sucks!" sporadically breaking out as the arena filled up. Before the show started, a commercial was shown announcing that Smackdown will be taping at the Rose Garden (soon to be renamed the Moda Center) on December 10th, and that the presale password will be PORTLANDWWE.
After the national anthem was played, our ring announcer, Brad Maddox, entered to pretty solid booing, and cut a promo which was mostly booed (aside from some cheers when he talked about how great Portland is). He announced that John Cena would not be appearing as advertised due to his elbow injury and that refunds would be available for anyone who wanted to leave until the end of the second match. Since Cena was scheduled to face Alberto Del Rio in the main event, Maddox announces that the show will start with an eleven-man battle royale to determine who gets a title shot against Del Rio instead.
The competitors enter together along the ramp and step into the ring. Once the bell rings, most of them pair off and begin fighting one-on-one, except for the Shield who work as a unit and go 3-on-1 against Mark Henry, lifting him up together and eliminating him, followed by R-Truth and RVD. The Shield then toss Christian over the ropes - but he hangs on, grabs Ambrose, and takes him out eliminating him shortly before Ambrose and Reigns knock him back to the floor. Daniel Bryan eliminates Reigns shortly after, leaving Bryan, Ziggler, Rollins, and Ryback staring each other down. Rollins whispers something to Ryback, after which they high-five and team up to take on the other two. The alliance is short-lived, however, as Ryback soon throws both Rollins and Ziggler out of the ring almost at once. Ryback goes for a clothesline on Bryan and knocks him over the top rope, but Bryan takes Ryback with him, and they both end up on the apron holding on for dear life. Bryan finds his footing, kicks Ryback's hand until he lets go, and eliminates him.
WINNER: Daniel Bryan in 6:59
Kane enters to a pretty solid pop. The lights go out and the Wyatt family does its entrance to a pretty neutral crowd reaction. Wyatt sits in his rocking chair on the ramp and Rowan waits by his side with his sheep mask on. As soon as the bell rings, Kane attempts to jump out of the ring and charge at Wyatt, but Harper pulls him back into the ring and they brawl. Kane and Harper go back and forth for a few minutes before Wyatt stands up and gets Kane's attention, shouting "Is this what you want?" Wyatt jumps on the apron and Kane comes at him, allowing Rowan to attack him from behind and the ref calls for the bell.
WINNER: Kane (by DQ) in 5:02
Kane choke-slams Harper, then Rowan. Wyatt runs away as Kane's music plays.
Paul Heyman and Curtis Axel appear in a taped promo. Heyman announces that later that night, Axel is being forced to defend the Intercontinental championship against CM Punk. Axel asks the audience "Do you think Punk's going to hit me with a GTS? Do you think he's gonna put me in the Anaconda Vise?" The audience seems to think so, but Axel insists that Punk won't - because while Punk might think he's the best in the world, Curtis Axel knows that he's perfect.
Brad Maddox announces a fan's choice match for later in the night - Dolph Ziggler vs. Big E Langston, and the audience are given the option to text in to choose the match stipulation - 2 out of 3 falls or no DQ.
Both divas get a pretty solid pop from the audience. AJ kisses the championship belt before handing it to the referee. When the bell rings, she offers Kaitlyn a hug, and Kaitlyn goes in to hug her - but instead just gets a slap. Kaitlyn retaliates with a vengeance and dominates for several minutes before AJ jumps out of the ring and tries to leave the arena, but Kaitlyn grabs her and drags her back to the ring. The fight goes back and forth, with AJ trying and failing to lock in the Black Widow, Kaitlyn getting several 2-counts (one a 2-and-a-half with a MASSIVE pop). They both end up flat on their backs and the referee counts to 6 before Kaitlyn makes it to her feet, gives AJ a backbreaker, and then goes for a spear but misses. AJ locks in the Black Widow and Kaitlyn taps.
WINNER: AJ Lee (by submission) in 7:58
R-Truth vs. Ryback
R-Truth enters to a fairly solid pop, the crowd is very into the call-and-response on his rap routine. Ryback enters to a mixed reaction and chants of "Goldberg! Goldberg!" The referee keeps R-Truth away from Ryback while he poses on the turnbuckles, but once Truth does the same Ryback powers past him and attacks him to start the match. The fight is fairly slow-paced and mostly one-sided as Ryback dominates Truth, eventually lifting him up above his head and then dropping him, shouting to the audience "This is your damn hero?" Truth powers out of a chinlock and begins to get a second wind, but Ryback slams him again. Truth gets up a third time, "hulks up", and goes on the offensive. Ryback slams him a third time and preens for the crowd as the audience chants "Ryback sucks!", but Truth grabs him from behind, rolls him up, and gets a three-count.
WINNER: R-Truth (by pinfall) in 4:44
Big E Langston appears in a taped promo. He accuses Dolph Ziggler of turning his back on him and AJ after everything they did to help get him where he is, and says "I didn't need you - you needed me."
Christian, Mark Henry, and Rob Van Dam vs. the Shield
The three faces enter one-by-one. Christian and RVD take time to high-five the fans along the entry ramp (I got to high-five them both!), with RVD getting the biggest pop of the trio. The Shield enters through the audience to solid heat. The faces huddle in their corner and play rock-paper-scissors to decide who'll start the match, and Christian ends up starting off against Reigns. Christian walks around the ring and calls to the crowd for their support - Reigns attempts the same but only gets booed instead. They eventually lock up and Christian gets knocked down, at which point Reigns begins imitating Christian's crowd gestures to major heat. Henry tags in to a massive pop and takes Reigns down before tagging in RVD - but a run-in from Rollins and Ambrose leaves him on the mat. RVD spends the next several minutes playing Ricky Morton in the Shield's corner, the audience chanting for him as Ambrose tags in to continue the beatdown, then Rollins. Mark Henry yells "Fight 'im back!" as RVD attempts to crawl to his corner with Rollins holding him back - and Ambrose holding Rollins' other arm to strengthen their pull. The referee separates Rollins and Ambrose, but RVD still fails to make it to the corner for another minute or two, when Christian tags in. Ambrose tags in and knocks Christian down for a 2-count. A fan at ringside in the Shield's corner shouts "Sexual Chocolate!" to which Rollins responds "Shut up!" Reigns tags in and goes for a clothesline on Christian - but instead slams right into the steel post, and can be heard shouting "That was the wrong spot!" Mark Henry tags in and is attacked one-at-a-time by all three members of the Shield, who he fights back, and soon all six are brawling in and outside the ring, with Ambrose and Henry the legal men. Reigns hits a spear on Henry, but Christian then hits a spear on Reigns. Henry delivers a World's Strongest Slam to Ambrose while RVD climbs to the top rope - Henry tags RVD in, who immediately delivers a frog splash to Ambrose and rolls him up for a 3-count.
WINNERS: Christian, Mark Henry, and Rob Van Dam (by pinfall) in 13:53
The Shield are shocked and retreat to the back, leaving their championship belts behind (which the referee later collects and takes to the back with him). All three faces' theme songs play while Christian and RVD take more time to high-five the audience.
Brad Maddox announces the results of the fans' choice poll: No DQ.
NO DQ: Dolph Ziggler vs. Big E Langston (w/ AJ Lee)
Dolph enters in his usual routine to a solid pop, slapping hands along the ramp as he goes. Big E and AJ enter to solid heat - Big E offers a high-five to a kid at ringside, but fakes him out and pulls his hand away at the last minute. Ziggler and AJ get into a shouting match in the ring before the bell rings and the referee makes her leave the ring. Ziggler peels off his shirt and throws it into the crowd - Big E charges him several times, but Ziggler repeatedly ducks out of the way and continues preening. The two find their way outside the ring, where Ziggler dominates, bashing E's head into the steel steps, then into the barricade along the entry ramp (asking the fan sitting two seats down from me to step out of the way first!) Ziggler grabs a bag of popcorn from a fan and smacks E in the face with it - E retaliates by grabbing a fan's cup of beer and throwing it in Ziggler's face, blinding him and giving E the advantage as they return to the ring. E retrieves a kendo stick from under the ring and starts working Ziggler over with it, then slams Ziggler and pins him for a 2-count. Ziggler is whipped into the turnbuckle and E charges in after him, but Ziggler ducks out of the way and E hits the steel post. E applies a suplex to Ziggler that turns into a backbreaker - during the spot, Ziggler's foot makes contact with E's jaw, knocking one of his teeth out! (The tooth landed in the corner and was never retrieved - it was still there after they left the ring, and disappeared during the following match.) Ziggler gets a hold of the kendo stick and gives E a beating, connects with a Zig-Zag and gets a 2-count. E confronts Brad Maddox, takes his chair, and props it on a turnbuckle which he whips Ziggler into, following with a 2-count. While the referee is distracted, AJ jumps up on the apron, grabs the kendo stick, and hits Ziggler over the head with it, which leads to another 2-count. AJ jumps in the ring and argues with the referee and is ejected. Big E takes his straps down, locks up with Ziggler, and goes for a Big Ending - which Ziggler counters into a Zig-Zag and pins him for a 3-count.
WINNER: Dolph Ziggler in 17:56
CM Punk vs. Curtis Axel (w/ Paul Heyman)
Axel and Heyman enter to the loudest heat of the night. Heyman tries to cut a promo but can't even get out "My name is Paul Heyman" over the boos. He sits down in the center of the ring a la CM Punk, and declares that this will be a non-title match, because Curtis Axel refuses to defend the title in the state of Oregon, but it doesn't matter because Axel will win and then on Sunday Brock Lesnar will break Punk and he'll be more useless than a woman from Portland.
CM Punk enters to a massive pop and charges straight at Paul Heyman. Axel intercepts him and they brawl outside the ring before the match starts. Punk puts Axel in a leg-lock in the center of the ring and applies several legbreakers as the crowd chants for one more. Axel fakes walking with a limp to lure Punk in for a brutal attack. "This is why I'm the Intercontinental champion!" he yells. Punk goes after Heyman again and Axel intercepts him, knocking him out on the floor outside the ring and yelling "How do you like me now, boys!" Back in the ring, Axel goes for an elbow off the top rope but misses and Punk is in control again. Punk goes for an elbow off the top himself but Axel rolls out of the ring and they brawl on the ramp. Axel gets Punk back in the ring and DDTs him off the middle rope for a 2-count. They both climb to the top rope and trade blows, Axel falls down, and Punk connects with an elbow drop. Punk gestures for the GTS - Axel counters, but Punk counters back and puts him in the Anaconda Vise. Paul Heyman throws the Intercontinental championship belt into the ring and jumps on the apron, distracting the ref. Axel taps out and Punk breaks the hold thinking he's won, but the ref didn't see the tap and hasn't rung the bell. Axel hits Punk over the head with the belt to chants of "You tapped out!" and goes for a Perfect-Plex, which Punk reverses and pins Axel for a 3-count.
WINNER: CM Punk in 16:11
Punk runs to the apron and begins choking Heyman out - Axel attacks Punk from behind and Punk hits him with a GTS as Heyman takes off running down the ramp. After Axel leaves the ring, Punk takes the microphone and proclaims - "Paul Heyman, I hate you. And on Sunday, I'm coming for you."
WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH: Daniel Bryan vs. Alberto Del Rio
Del Rio enters to a mixed reaction, and takes and holds up an audience member's Del Rio sign. Bryan enters to a huge pop, with almost the entire audience chanting "Yes!" Bryan throws his shirt and towel into the crowd. Del Rio gestures as if to do the same, but instead just drops his shirt in Maddox's lap. The two go back and forth, with Bryan applying a surfboard to Del Rio before taking the fight outside and getting thrown into a steel post. Bryan and Del Rio trade blows in the center of the ring with the audience shouting "Yes!" and "No!" with each blow, and a few people shouting "Si!" Bryan goes for a missile dropkick but misses, and Del Rio follows up with two backstabbers and several 2-counts. Del Rio grabs the microphone and cuts a promo mid-match, declaring that he's the champion and he's the best there is. Del Rio rolls down his kneepad and tries to hit Bryan in the face with its sheer Edge, but Bryan dodges and rolls him up for a 2-count. Del Rio delivers a few more backstabbers and goes for the cross armbreaker, but Bryan counters and puts him in the Yes Lock. Del Rio inches towards the ropes, but instead of going for a rope break he grabs the microphone and bashes Bryan in the face with it, and the referee calls for the bell.
WINNER: Daniel Bryan (by DQ) in 14:08
Del Rio takes the microphone and stands over Bryan, declaring himself the winner and still world champion. Bryan grabs him and forces him back into a Yes-Lock, and Del Rio taps almost immediately. As Del Rio leaves the ring, Bryan takes the microphone and cuts a short promo, telling the audience that he grew up about 2 1/2 hours away from here in Aberdeen, WA, and that the next time he visits home he'll be doing so as WWE champion. Bryan's theme music plays and the crowd cheers as he makes his way along ringside and along both sides of the entry ramp high-fiving everyone (including me!) As the lights come back on, the audience is wished a good night and Fandango's theme song plays as the crowd files out.
OVERALL OPINION: 3.75 stars out of 5. WWE only does one or two shows a year in the Pacific Northwest, and they really pulled out all the stops for this one, with an all-star lineup and some really great matches. Cena's absence was a bit of a disappointment, but the battle royale and the main event made up for it. The six-man tag match stole the show and the ending took me by surprise, since the Shield lose so rarely and Reigns' spear is almost always the death blow in every match he appears in. The R-Truth/Ryback match was basically filler, and the Kaitlyn/AJ match, despite some impressive acrobatics, was basically the same match they've had on TV three or four times now. Kaitlyn's appearance was a welcome surprise, though, since she wasn't advertised for the show. (Antonio Cesaro, on the other hand, was advertised but did not appear, unless you count the Cesaro shirt Ziggler wore during the battle royale.) The crowd was very into the performance and cheered and booed enthusiastically, and even Brad Maddox wasn't half bad as ring announcer. In the end, it was a great three hours and well worth the price of ringside seats.
BEST MATCH: Christian, Mark Henry, and Rob Van Dam vs. the Shield
1) Daniel Bryan
2) CM Punk
3) Rob Van Dam
1) Paul Heyman
2) The Shield
3) Curtis Axel