By Matthew Hubbs
WWE Live: The Road To Wrestlemania
Valley View Casino Center
San Diego, CA
7pm start time
We got a welcome from the ring announcer, and the crowd is pretty pumped.
Math #1 Adam Rose v Jack Swagger
Rose got some good heat by provoking the audience, and Swagger got a decent pop, plus two big “We The People” and a USA chant. He tried to get the audience to do U-S-A while he hit Rose in the corner while on the 2nd rope, but they just counted along in 3s instead. Lots of back and forth between the two, only one pin attempt (by Rose) throughout the duration. After 7 minutes, Swagger wins via submission with the Patriot Lock.
Match #2 Goldust v Stardust
A very nice pop for Goldust, as the crowd very much behind him. Mixed reactions for Stardust, though mostly boos with a big Cody chant which he and Goldust played up. Goldust got a “You’ve Still Got It” midway through the match. Stardust really playing up crowd for heat, getting a good response (all boos now, unlike his entrance). Stardust controlled most of the early match with good ol’ fashioned wear down submission holds. He also had a nice spot when he attempted a top rope jump which was countered with punch to the stomach leading to a flip to the ground on his back. Another nice spot came when Goldust completed a sunset flip power bomb. Goldust hit the Curtain Call, which got a 2-count. The crowd gave a small but noticeable “This Is Awesome” chant- the only one of the night, and the only one that really deserved it. Stardust gets the pin with a roll-up at about 12 minute mark. Another bigger “You’ve Still Got It” chant for Goldust after Stardust left. MATCH OF THE NIGHT
A promo aired by Nikki and Brie Bella, with Nikki stating she heard Paige wants a title match and that Nikki was going to give her one. This was vague enough that it was probably used at different events.
Match #3 Fandango v R-Truth
R-Truth rapped his way to the ring but the audio was terrible (the venue is old so not sure if this was on WWE or the facility). Crowd into the “What’s Up” with R-Truth doing a little mic work before the match. They also had a bit of comedy to start- Fandango did some very Rougeau-like stretching/warm-up which R-Truth then mocked to a nice pop. The match was quick- 5 minutes- R-Truth wins with his finisher (don’t recall name). Rosa Mendes had a little involvement during the match- nice to see from the heel valet.
Match #4 Tyson Kidd & Cesaro v the Prime Time Players v The New Day (Langston and Woods) v The Ascension
Fatal Four-Way Elimination Tag Team Championship Match
Natalya did not accompany the champions, nor was Kingston at ringside. Some crowd interaction before the match started. Once things got going, Kidd & Cesaro stayed out of the match, even jumping off the apron in a bit of a funny spot where one of the guys from The Ascension was backing into his corner so to avoid getting tagged in (elimination rules and all). The Ascension eliminated The New Day first when Viktor (I think) pinned Langston after the Ascension got a blind tag and hit their finisher. The Prime Time Players eliminated The Ascension next when Young got a spot in on Viktor (I think). O’Neill had stayed out of the match until now, and he got a nice pop when he finally got the hot tag. Kidd & Cesaro win at the 15-minute mark or so when Kid hits a roll-up on O’Neill (I think) with his feet on the ropes and Cesaro holding them.
A video package for Warrior Award and Connor the Crusher aired.
Match #5 Ryback v Rusev
US Championship Match
Rusev came out alone- no Lana or lawyer- and he carried his own flag. He got some great heat just in walking to the ring, then he got on the mic and it got even better. I couldn’t make out much, but he ended with proclaiming that he was (or maybe would continue to be) the US Champion. Ryback did not get much of a pop for his entrance, a little “Feed Me More” but it was weak. Rusev interrupted the introduction (in which the challenger would normally be introduced first) and demanded that he be introduced first. Ryback did get a bigger pop here. A lot was done with the flag, including a strange showdown to get audience reaction between the Russian flag and Ryback’s weight belt. This ended with Ryback slapping Rusev on the ass with his belt and getting admonished by the referee which allowed Rusev to jump him. Rusev also had a midmatch flag spot, waving it for heat while Ryback was down- he might have been teasing hitting him with it, but if so, he wasn’t doing it very well. After about 10-12 minutes, Rusev “had enough”, rolled out and grabbed his title belt. As he was doing the walkaway, Ryback chased him down and threw him back in the ring. Rusev then rolled out and stayed outside the ring. When Ryback went out to get him, Rusev nailed him with the US Title and caused a disqualification at about the 15 minute mark, retaining his championship in the process.
Match #6 Bo Dallas v Erick Rowan
Bo cut an in=ring promo guaranteeing victory before Rowan made his way out. Once Rowan was in the ring, Dallas attacked for a bit before the bell rang. Once it did, Rowan got the advantage and pinned him in less than a minute. While Dallas was recuperating in the ring, a “Let’s Go Cena/Cena Sucks” chant broke out in my section. Dallas got back on the mic and guaranteed a victory again (they pulled basically the same gimmick last night in Phoenix). He said he would never come back to San Diego if he lost
Match #7 Bo Dallas v Zack Ryder
Ryder got a very nice pop and then picked up the pinfall victory after the Rough Ryder (right?) in less than a minute. Dallas went to get back on mic but then didn’t and left.
March #8 Nikki Bella v Paige
Divas Championship Match
Paige was out first, and she did a bit of a tease with the audience to get a bigger pop before taking her t shirt off. Bella’s pop was bigger than Paige’s, with Brie accompanying Nikki. A fan poll from before the event on Twitter determined that Brie could be at ringside in tonight’s match. This was a very good match, a lot of back-and-forth and developed nicely (they really are getting a chance). The Bellas had to work hard for any heat as the crowd did not want to boo them. Nikki won the match after about 12 minutes when Brie distracted Paige and then Nikki hit the Rack Attack.
WWE announced that they were returning to San Diego on 7/31/15. The presale password is wwesd.
Big Show and Seth Rollins v Randy Orton and John Cena
Big Show got loudest boos of the night during his entrance. Rollins got a very mixed reaction, with some “You Sold Out” chants. Orton got a great pop, and Cena got an even better one, albeit with some boos mixed in- much of crowd stood up for his entrance (only time they did all night). Cena played up his mixed crowd chant before the match. Cena started and took about 12 minutes of offense from Show and (mostly) Rollins. They worked him over pretty good, and he sold well. Rollins mocked the Five Knuckle Shuffle setup and then went for Curb Stomp. Cena countered and gave Orton the hot tag. A few minutes of offense and counters, and then it was Cena hitting the Attitude Adjustment on Show (always impressive to see) followed by Orton RKOing Rollins for the pin at about 15 minutes. Orton and Cena played the crowd who were very into the main event, and then gave some facetime with the front rows before exiting to cheers.
The show lasted 2 hours, forty minutes