The arena has a capacity of 13,000, but there were plenty of empty seats, especially in the family/group/box sections, but also on the upper floor. The floor seats were almost sold out.

1. Yoshi Tatsu and Great Khali defeated Primo and Epico in 10:00. Yoshi got a big reception, understandably. What I can’t explain is why Khali got just as big a pop. Tatsu went on to carry most of the match before Khali pinned Primo to end a typical feel-good opener.

2. Wade Barrett defeated Zack Ryder in 7:00. A few hope spots for Ryder, who had the crowd behing him all the way. Throughout the show, the Tokyo audience were very polite and enthusiastic about all babyfaces. As expected, Barrett was too strong in the end.

3. Curtis Axel defeated The Miz at 18:00 to retain the Intercontinental Title. Big cheers for Miz before the match, he even did the all four sides of the ring plus both floors of the arena thing and drew a great response. That was followed up with a surprisingly good match from these two. The crowd did their part by being very engaged in what took place in the ring, but both Axel and Miz worked hard. I haven’t watched Raw in a while, but I got the sense they’re being primed for a longer match on TV or PPV in the near future. Lots of counters and reversals before Axel pinned Miz in an anti-climactic, but heelish finale. Postmatch, Axel tried to hit Miz with the belt, but Miz countered with the Skullcrushing Finale to please the crowd.

Ring announcer Justin Roberts spent parts of the show walking from ringside to backstage, and then back to ringside again. I haven’t noticed before (perhaps because this was my first live experience ever), but he has kind of a funny walk.

4. Natalya defeated Aksana with the Sharpshooter in 7:00. This got less of a reaction, but the Tokyo crowd, which must be among the most polite of wrestling crowds anywhere, cheered and applauded when the match called for it. Aksana and her butt got some oohs, and Natalya’s Sharpshooter was eagerly anticipated. Justin Roberts didn’t seem to care much for the match as he passed time playing with his cellphone.

5. Chris Jericho defeated Antonio Cesaro in 20:00 in a “Fans Choice” No DQ match. A nice welcome for Cesaro, but an absolutely huge reaction for Y2J, who won it with the Walls of Jericho. A Kendo stick was involved, but other than that nothing that resembled a No DQ match. Jericho cut a short promo after the match, thanking the fans in Japan for supporting him the last 22(!) years. It would be an understatement to say they were happy to have him back.

Justin Roberts announced a 15-minute intermission, and tried to push some Ryback autographs without doing very well. Then he did slightly better with the John Cena ones.

6. Sheamus defeated Dean Ambrose by DQ in a U.S. Championship match. Ambrose retained the title. Again, the Tokyo crowd gave the babyface a warm welcome and helped keeping the match alive. After twelve minutes, the Shield interfered to cause a DQ. Kane and Daniel Bryan ran in to defend Sheamus, who grabbed the mic and suggested a six-man tag.

7. Sheamus, Kane, and Daniel Bryan defeated The Shield in 18:00. Loud “Yes!” chants from the audience, as Bryan did most of the work. Sheamus supplied some heroics and a little more, with Kane on hand for his crowdpleasing novelty bits. In the end, Bryan forced Seth Rollins to tap out to the Yes-lock after a very good, house show-quality-keep-the-crowd-happy style match. Daniel Bryan was all over the place, confirming every other WWE show report from the last two months.

8. John Cena defeated Ryback in a tables match in 10:00 to retain the WWE Championship. Nothing but cheers for Cena as he entered the arena, but a couple of scattered “Cena sucks”-chants that didn’t catch on during the match. Ryback broke two tables missing Cena before Cena hit the Attitude Adjustment and broke one with Ryback on it.

I’d say this was quite a good show, although it was my first. A few three-star matches on a house show that went just short of three hours is not bad, but I have to commend the Tokyo crowd for doing an excellent job during the show.

Leave a Reply.