Estimated Attendance: 5,000 (10,500 capacity). ... Justin Roberts was ring announcer. ... Scott Armstrong and Chad Patton refereed.
This was the first-ever WWE show at the Patriot Center. WCW ran here a few times but for the most part, the area's venue is the Verizon Center in D.C. and WWE will be there on April 1 for Raw. This is a great 10,000 seat venue, home of the George Mason Patriots. With another 500 seats for the floor, the venue looked about half-full. There was an entrance ramp and barricades which took up a lot of seating as well, but it wasn't a problem because the crowd was small. The crowd was hot thoughout and clearly into the matches.
(1) Brodus Clay & Tensai beat Heath Slater & Drew McIntyre in 10:00. Fun opener with Brodus and Tensai dancing with their two "cheerleaders," and one of them threw a flying head scissors on Slater late in the match. After the win, kids were invited into the ring to dance. Note: Tensai did not have the Japanese writing all over his head. I figured it wasn't permanent, but he obviously doesn't use it on house shows.
(2) Zack Ryder pinned Titus O'Neil in 9:00. O'Neill had much of the offense in the match and used a lot of power moves. His punches looked horrible. Ryder took some nice bumps.
Following the match with Ryder celebrating, The Shield hit the ring and triple-teamed him and eventually left the ring after grabbing the house mic and letting people know they were there.
(3) Divas champion Kaitlyn beat Tamina in 9:00 to retain the Divas Title. Not a bad match. They worked well together, but the crowd was fairly quiet. They was a considerable size difference and I wonder why Kaitlyn is wearing the belt or how long she will hold it. Reminds me of Rey Mysterio as World Heavyweight champ.
(4) Chris Jericho & Kofi Kingston defeated Dolph Ziggler & Big E. Langston via submission in 21:00. Jericho sported a slightly black left eye. Jericho used Walls of Jericho on Dolph for the win. It took a while to get this one started and they did a lot of prancing around the ring and flexing, etc. A.J. was ringside, but didn't figure into the match, interfering once by distracting the referee.
Other notes from the tag match: Big E. was the subject of a "You can't wrestle" chant a few times, which was pretty much true unless you call a shoulder-block wrestling. He finally bumped towards the end of the match. Big's facial expressions were very good, and he didn't let the chant bother him and just used it to his advantage. Jericho had a nice pop coming out, as did Ziggler and Kofi to some extent. This was the loudest the crowd had been up to this point.
(5) Ted DiBiase pinned Jinder Mahal in 9:00. DiBiase was a bit of surprise to see and he looked good pinning Jinder Mahal, who looked horrible and wasn't well received. When someone his size "hits" you, it helps if he is relatively close. He wasn't. These two didn't work well together and the crowd didn't enjoy this one. But, Ted looked very good individually. The match went eight minutes too long.
(6) U.S. champion Antonio Cesaro pinned Santino Marella in 12:00 to retain the U.S. Title. This was a comedy match, as expected and the crowd enjoyed the match. These two worked well together. I would have preferred to see The Miz in Santino's place.
(7) John Cena & Sheamus & Ryback defeated The Shield via DQ in 20:00 when Seth Rollins used a chair on Sheamus. The faces got a great reaction, but it was 50/50 for Cena. The fans went nuts for Ryback, but there was a "Goldberg" chant when Ryback held up one of The Shield in a vertical suplex for what seemed like 30 seconds. Ryback started the match, then Cena came in on a hot-tag seven minutes in. The whole match broke down at the 22-minute mark, then one of the Shield members grabbed a chair, hit Sheamus and Ryback, and they were DQ'd. Overall, I was very impressed with Dean Ambrose, who makes a terrific heel. What he lacks in size, he makes up for in mannerisms and looks quite good in the ring.
Despite what I would consider a poor crowd in terms of numbers, especially for the first time in Fairfax and that WWE they will draw 15-20,000 next week for Raw, the wrestlers put in good work. No one looked like they "mailed it in" nor were just going through the motions. This was one of the better WWE house shows I've seen. The production was tight, with music, video and lights and a good sound system as well. Plus, the intermission was quick.
I was hoping to see Alex Riley, who went to high school right across the street from GMU. He was in D.C. for the last Raw, but I'm sure he would have enjoyed coming back home to Fairfax. It's a great venue to watch a show since it's small and there's really not a bad seat. Hopefully they will make it a regular tour stop in the future.