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   July 23, 2014



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WWE house show in Hamilton saved by Divas bout
By CALEB SMITH - SLAM! Wrestling


Paige rolls up Natalya. Photo and photo gallery by Andrea Kellaway


HAMILTON, Ont. -- The WWE returned to Hamilton for a house show on Saturday night. The crowd filled about half of the bottom bowl of First Ontario Centre for an attendance that might be lucky to be 5,000. You could blame the low turnout on the Tiger Cats exhibition game against the Montreal Alouettes, or the Canadian Rugby team playing Scotland in Toronto, or perhaps because it was such a nice day. Really the answer lies in the fact that the WWE has very few wrestlers that have the charisma or skills that compel people to buy tickets.

The opening bout of the evening saw Dolph Zigler take on The Miz. Both men had a good back and forth battle. What was obvious was that not all of the hits were connecting and yet the opponent was reacting. When a drop kick misses you by a foot you should not fall down. The finish was exciting with Zigler hitting the zig zag when it was least expected.

Next up, the depleted 3MB roster of Heath Slater and Hornswoggle took on Los Matadors’ Diego and El Torito. The match was fun and filled with classic midget comedy spots that Hornswoggle and Slater jumped into head first. Slater and Diego had excellent exchanges in the ring and gave the match a bit of depth. In the end El Torito hit a second rope moonsault on Hornswoggle for the pin.

Curtis Axel faced R-Truth and won it with a reverse Russian leg sweep. The crowd did get pumped up for Truth’s introduction and rap. After that Xavier Woods hit the ring to face Rusev. The big Russian was introduced by his handler Lana. The fans greeted Lana with a loud “Lana” chant. Ted Arcidi, I mean Rusev, won the match in quick order with a camel clutch and then came back to administer more pain on the helpless Woods.

A highlight of the night was the match between Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose. The crowd was angry at Rollins and began chanting “You sold out” to the former Shield member. The match was a fierce offering that saw the two men pull out power moves such as a superplex from Ambrose and a running power bomb into the top turnbuckle by Rollins. The crowd really enjoyed the match and booed lustily when Rollins was disqualified for administering a low blow on Ambrose.


The surprise bout of the night was a triple threat match featuring Alicia Fox, Natalia, and Divas Champion Paige. Fox interacted with the crowd early playing off of their barbs and acting irrational which only fueled the crowd even more. The sequences of holds, releases and pin attempts that these athletes displayed were breath taking. Their ring presence and storytelling outshone the other wrestlers on the card. One spot saw the ladies do a double abdominal stretch! It looked amazing! Another three- way move saw the wrestlers quickly and smoothly execute a three person power bomb and a suplex at the same time. In the end Paige retained the title and the fans reacted positively to the match. It was easily the match of the evening.

After the intermission Damien Sandow faced Titus O’Neil in quick match that saw O’Neil win with a school boy roll up. Sandow was clearly disgusted with the result and demanded that another wrestler face him right away. Out came Bo Dallas to a roar of approval from the fans. Dallas won the match in under a minute. Once again Sandow cried foul and demanded that he face another opponent. Out came Adam Rose and his entourage. His group of partiers was filled with local independent wrestlers such as Asylum and Hornet. Rose won the match very quickly with a school boy roll up. Sandow decided to leave the ring. Poor Sandow.

The final match of the night saw Bray Wyatt, on his own, take on Roman Reigns of the Shield in a Hamilton street fight. It was a classic big man match with both participants giving and receiving punches and kicks. The fans sang with Wyatt at one point and they loved it when Bray used a kendo stick (or Singapore cane for you ECW fans) on Reigns. Midway through the match Reigns was put through a table but still managed to kick out at 2. Reigns then fought out of a sister Abigail in front of a table that had been set up in the corner. At this point Rollins and Ambrose interfered in the match. In the end, Reigns put Wyatt through the table and picked up the three count.

The WWE card in Hamilton was good, but not great. The wrestlers tried hard and interacted with the crowd to create a nice atmosphere. Perhaps it was the lack of a true superstar on the show, but the show would have been average if it had not been for the work of the Divas contestants. The ladies held the show together. I sincerely hope there is a star ready to shine, that is in the wings for the WWE right now or they might be in trouble.

RELATED LINKS

  • WWE in Hamilton Photo Gallery by Andrea Kellaway

    Caleb Smith attended the matches with his father-in-law who had not been to a live wrestling card since 1958. He enjoyed the experience, but said that his wrestling days were behind him. I want to wish a happy father’s day to my Dad, Bob Smith, and to my father-in-law, Bob Barber. They are both good guys.