Another 5,000 sell-out for this annual WWE visit to the Butlins resort here in Minehead. Tickets for next November for the Smackdown brand are on-sale all weekend on-site (not available to anyone else until after the April tour concludes)
There were loads of John Cena merch on people (mostly kids). Also, surprisingly, a lot of Punk t-shirts on young kids despite his full-on cowardly heel turn in recent months. Ryback and Sheamus shirts were completely sold out and I feel they missed a trick by not having any Brodus merch, as the kids loved the Funkasarus, which leads to the opening bout:
(1) Santino & Brodus Clay beat Primo & Epico (w/Rosa Mendes). A nice comedy match to warm the crowd up. Santino reminds me of old World of Sport wrestlers Les Kellet and catweazle with his comedy stylings. The faces won and danced with some young fans post-match.
(2) Michael McGillicutty beat Tensai. Tensai was beating the Flawless One's offspring like a bull at a gate, so I wasn't surprised this one ended quickly, but I was surprised when Michael McGillicutty picked up the win, as one of my favorites continues to fall from grace. (Perhaps he should not have sandbagged Ryback on Raw a while back, big man.)
(3) Divas champion Eve beat Layla and A.J. in a three-way match to retain the Divas Title. The crowd voted via twitter for A.J. to be included in the match. Eve's strikes were awfully weak and phony, and the match as a whole was pretty poor. The crowd reacted big-time for Layla being thrown into the front row over the crowd barrier and the fake title change - it seemed A.J. had won the title before Vickie Guerrero came out and re-started the match due to A.J. putting her hands on an official. Eve got the quick win in the re-start to retain.
(4) John Cena beat Dolph Ziggler. Match of the Night. Also, Cena received the pop of the night. Vickie was ejected from ringside early on, much to the crowd's delight. I can't fault this match, as it had great action and false finishes that really sucked you in to the action.
(5) U.S. champion Antonio Cesaro beat Zack Ryder to retain the U.S. Title. Nice finish to this match. The sequence of events - Ryder threw up the "LI" signaling his finisher was coming, but it was countered and Ryder was thrown head-first into a previously exposed turnbuckle. The champ then scooped him up into a cradle piledriver position and planted him facedown with his finisher for the win.
(6) WWE tag champions Team Hell No beat Team Rhodes Scholars to retain the Tag Titles. A lot of "Yes! / No! / I'm the tag team champions / Hug It Out" shenanigans in this one along with a great moonsault from Cody, which I wasn't expecting. Kane finished off the heels and Bryan stole the win from Kane for their team.
(7) Ryback beat WWE champion C.M. Punk (w/Paul Heuman) via DQ; Punk retained the WWE Title. Huge reaction for Punk and good reaction for Ryback. The crowd was roughly 60/40 split even with the Slimy Heyman in Punk's corner and some old-school chicken heel reactions to the seemingly unstoppable Ryback. Punk was cheered throughout, then the end came when Primo, Epico, and Tensai ran in to attack Ryback for the DQ.
Post-match, the babyfaces came out to even things up and Punk was blocked from leaving the ring by the Big Red Machine. Punk was then thrown to the lions, or in this case, Ryback, who hit Shell Shock on Punk to close the show.
Overall, a good entertaining show that covered all the bases with Divas, Tag, title matches galore, comedy, upsets, and audience participation and interaction.