The show was about 2/3 full. They had a lot of the upper deck tarped off. But still a lot of people for such a small market. Maybe 1,000-1,500?
Tons of Funk v. Primetime Players
The opening match was Tons of Funk vs. The Primetime Players. Pretty decent reaction for Tons of Funk as the crowd got warmed up. Alber ... Tenzai took most of the abuse until hitting the hot tag to Brodus-saurus, and eventually finishing them off with their double-team running-splash finisher.
Winners: Tons of Funk
Tons of Funk and the Funkadactyls danced with a few kids in the crowd and celebrated, until they were interrupted by an "EXCUSE ME!" from Vickie Guerrerro. She came to the ring to a whole lot of boos and heat. Enough so that I couldn't hear most of what she said. But she seemed to excuse Tensai and Clay from the ring, and told Naomi she had an opponent for the night: Brie Bella.
Brie Bella v. Naomi
Before the match got started, Vickie announced that, since Nikki wasn't presented, it was only fair that Cameron should be expelled. That got a lot of heat from the crowd, and Cameron went backstage.
Lots of back and forth to good crowd reaction. Brie played the heel, but still got some cheers at times. Vickie jumped up on the ring apron to break up a pin, and Naomi went over to argue with her. Brie tried to hit Naomi from behind, but she ducked, and Brie hit Vickie. And Naomi finished her off with a spinning kick.
Yoshi Tatsu v. Drew McIntyre
Yoshi got a huge reaction from the crowd, during his entrance and throughout the match. Numerous "Yoshi! Yoshi!" chants broke out during the match. If you didn't know, Bismarck, N.D., is apparently Yoshi country.
Yoshi rolled up Drew during Drew's attempt at the Future Shock DDT.
Winner: Yoshi Tatsu
Dean Ambrose v. Zack Ryder for the U.S. title
Before the match, the crowd was asked to vote by Twitter for the stipulation: 2 out of 3 falls or no disqualification. I tried to loudly warn the crowd around me that no DQ just meant that the Shield would get involved, to no avail. No DQ won by a huge majority.
Lot of great action, involving the use of kendo sticks and a number of steel chairs. Zach Ryder did the Sandman's Russian Leg Sweep with kendo stick. Eventually Ambrose removed the top turnbuckle pad in one corner, and tried and failed a couple of times to throw Ryder into the exposed cable. Zach took control with the Broski Boot, and went for the Ruff Ryder (which would have been fitting, as N.D. is the Roughrider State -- look it up), but Ambrose propelled him over his shoulders and into the exposed turnbuckle. Followed up with his front-face DDT finisher, and it was over.
Winner: Dean Ambrose
The Shield returned to the ring to take apart Ryder. Before they could hit the triple-team power bomb, though, Daniel Bryan's music hits, and out come Bryan and Christian, running to save the day.
After the good guys clear the ring, the next match is announced.
Daniel Bryan and Christian v. Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns for the tag team titles
Huge reaction for Bryan throughout this match. Lots of "YES!" chants, and "Let's go, Bryan!" Christian got good cheers, too, but mostly played the face in peril. Bryan would tag in, take control, Christian and Reigns ended up outside of the ring, and Bryan got Rollins in the No Lock. Before he could tap out, though, Reigns broke it up with a chair, I believe. And D-Bry/Christian win by DQ.
Winners: Daniel Bryan and Christian
Following the match, the faces chase off the heels. Christian gets the mic. Some guy yells, "I love you, Christian!" and Christian says, "I love you, too. You don't know how much I missed you guys." Goes through a speech involving how he always used to ask for "one more match," and I thought he was challenging Bryan to come back to the ring and have a match with him. But instead he was asking Bryan for a hug.
Bryan refused to give him a hug, however, because he was concerned that Kane would get jealous. Christian persisted. Bryan said he'd give him a handshake. That wasn't good enough for the crowd. Bryan waffled for a second, and said he'd do it if everyone put away their phones, cameras, and kept the info off the Internet. When he realized that wouldn't happen, though, he went into a "NO!" fit, and held out his hand for a handshake. Christian shook hands with him, then pulled him in for a quick hug, and ran off to the back while Bryan had a tantrum. Entertaining.
Intermission time. While I have everyone's attention, mid-way through the previous tag match, I was doing a lot of yelling. I'd been heckling and yelling whatever came to mind most of the night, just for fun. But the guy in front of me apparently wasn't amused, and he turned around and yelled at me, "Will you PLEASE shut up?!" My reaction at the time was to say, "I'm sorry," and not yell any more.
But I've come up with a comeback. So if you're the guy in Section 3, Row F, at the Bismarck show who yelled at the guy behind you to shut up, I'd now like to say to you: No. YOU shut up.
Yeah. Take that, jerk.
Bray Wyatt w/ Wyatt Family v. Alex Riley
C'mon, you know who wins this one. Bray acted really weird, the guy in the jumpsuit wore his sheep mask the whole time. The crowd didn't really know how to react, so this was the quietest match of the night. Wyatt won pretty easily with his finisher.
Winner: Bray Wyatt
Paul Heyman comes onto the twp little screens that pass for the Titan Tron, and goes through a speech about how he's not there tonight, not because he couldn't, but because he didn't want to associate himself with the people in our community. Never actually said the word "Bismarck," so I'm assuming they play that video at every show. He introduces his newest client, and Intercontinental Heavyweight champ, Curtis Axel, for the next match.
Curtis Axel v. The Miz
This one went on a long time. Admittedly, I'm not a huge fan of either guy, so I went to look for the merch table. Bought the only CM Punk merch available, a hat, and got back to my seat, and the match was still going. Miz got Axel into the figure four, although he fell down while trying to put it on. (Vintage Miz!) Both guys ended up outside the ring, the ref did his count, and Axel got it in just before the 10. Axel wins by count out.
Winner: Curtis Axel
Don't worry. Miz got his heat back by hitting the Skull Crushing Finale on Axel. I know you were worried.
Ryback v. Sheamus in a tables match
You can probably imagine how this match went. Lots of punches and their usual spots. Sheamus had troubles finding tables underneath the ring. That didn't help him. Eventually, Ryback had Sheamus up on his shoulders for Shell Shock, but Sheamus slid out and hit Ryback with the Brogue Kick, and he fell back and through a table set up in the corner.
1. Daniel Bryan
2. Yoshi Tatsu
1. The Shield
3. Curtis Axel
Good show. I hope they come back soon, and bring CM Punk. I sent a tweet to Daniel Bryan to come to Denny's if he wanted to meet my friend, who is in all likelihood the only vegan in our city. No dice. So that was a bummer.