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   Sun, January 15, 2012



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Rhodes makes WWE Vancouver show memorable
By DAN WILSON - SLAM! Wrestling


VANCOUVER -- On Saturday night, Vancouver was treated to its yearly WWE visit (yearly thanks to a cancelled show in the summer) and while the card lacked a number of stars due to various injuries, the action that was provided had most fans walking away happy.

The event began with Hornswoggle greeting those that filled the jam-packed Agrodome. It didn’t take long for Cody Rhodes to hit the ring and take his role as the star of the first half of the show.

Ted Dibiase was quick to make the save, which sent Rhodes to the back, but he wouldn’t be gone for long.

Dibiase then battled Jinder Mahal, who took the win with his Dream Street finisher. After the match, Rhodes attacked Dibiase for his second showing of the evening.

Up next, Yoshi Tatsu and Trent Barreta scored a tag team victory over Drew McIntyre and Heath Slater, with McIntyre getting pinned, showing where his current stock sits among the roster.

Hunico and Ezekiel Jackson battled after with Hunico finishing the match off with a Senton Bomb. Jackson’s night got even worse when Rhodes attacked him. The crowd was definitely enjoying Rhodes’ multiple appearances.

This transitioned into Rhodes squaring off with Justin Gabriel. Following the Cross Rhodes and a victory for the Intercontinental Champion, revenge was extracted as Dibiase and Hornswoggle hit the ring, hitting Rhodes with a Dream Street, a Tadpole Splash and Gabriel’s 450 Splash.

After intermission, one of the biggest cheers of the night came when Tony Chimel announced a Divas match was next. Alicia Fox battled Natalya and of course the Canadian received a warm reaction. Despite losing, following a corner sunset flip from Fox, Natalya gained a measure of vengeance, locking special guest referee Aksana in the Hart-patented Sharpshooter.

Sheamus and Wade Barrett then met in a hard hitting match that featured dueling chants and ended with a stiff Brogue Kick for The Great White.

The evening came to an end as Daniel Bryan defended the World Heavyweight Championship against The Big Show. Bryan was met with a chorus of boos, showing his new character is getting over. After he insisted that the crowd quiet down because he had something important to say, Show responded by hushing the crowd and chopping Bryan’s chest with his massive hand.

The match ended when Barrett and Mahal hit the ring to save Bryan, causing a disqualification. Sheamus returned to even the odds and Show chokeslammed both attackers, much to the delight of the fans.

The only downside was the missing stars, as Randy Orton, Christian, Sin Cara and Mark Henry are all out with injuries. Henry was even advertised for the show online and in radio ads. The most common shirts in the crowd belonged to John Cena and CM Punk -- both Raw superstars.

There was no announcement concerning when WWE would return to Vancouver.

Daniel Wilson completely backs his favourite sign of the night, which made a push for ring announcer Tony Chimel to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2012. If you want to join the movement, you can e-mail him at dk_wilson@hotmail.com.