SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
John Cena returned to action for the first time in nearly three months in the main event of Saturday night’s MSG show in New York City…
WWE Live show results
December 26, 2015
New York City at Madison Square Garden
Report by Mike Omansky, PWTorch correspondent
– Crowd estimate: 16,000+, possibly sold out. The Garden was packed, no sections were empty, even at the highest levels.
– The crowd was into most of the show. The co-ring announcers were Byron Saxton and Jo-Jo.
(1) Neville beat The Miz with Red Arrow in a fast-paced opener. (**)
(2) Ryback beat Rusev (w/Lana) via pin to Shell-Shock. Lana worked as a heel going back to the pre-Russia/anti-American stuff on the mic. Good back and forth exchanges. (*1/2)
(3) Divas champion Charlotte (w/Ric Flair) beat Paige and Becky Lynch in a three-way match to retain the Divas Title. For the finish: Lynch had Paige in the armbar, Charlotte leaped into ring from the apron, broke it up, and pinned Paige. Flair was at ringside the whole time and interfered once – Paige had Charlotte pinned, but he pulled Charlotte’s legs under the ropes, then pointed it out to the ref. Adequate Divas fare. (*)
(4) Titus O’Neil beat Stardust with Clash of the Titus for the pin. Okay (*)
(5) IC champion Dean Ambrose beat Kevin Owens with Dirty Deeds for the pin to retain the IC Title. Excellent match. The bout was non-stop action. For the finish: Owens missed two pop-up power bomb attempts, and got hit by Dirty Deeds on the second. The crowd was very into this match. (***)
(6) R-Truth beat Adam Rose via pinfall. They went to a mercy finish after Truth went to the mat seemingly injured. Rose and the ref checked on him, then Truth leaped onto Rose for Little Jimmy and the pin. Bad match.
(7) Big Show beat Mark Henry via KO Punch for the pin. Slower-motion match, but it kept the attention of the crowd most of the way. Henry had some power moves before losing. (1/2*)
(8) The Dudleys & Tommy Dreamer beat The Wyatts (Luke Harper & Erick Rowan & Braun Strowman) in a six-man tag Tables match. The Dudleys & Dreamer won with a triple 3D through a table on Harper for the win. Good wrestling prior to the finish, but meaningless since pins and submissions did not count. (*)
John Cena returned to action for the first time in nearly three months in the main event…
(9) John Cena beat U.S. champion Alberto Del Rio via DQ; Del Rio retained the U.S. Title. Del Rio got himself DQ’ed with a low blow. This was an excellent match, albeit with limited offense by the returning Cena. Del Rio completely dominated the first 10-12 minutes before Cena attempted a comeback and went through much of his repertoire. Del Rio again gained the upper hand, until Cena mounted a second comeback. Cena went for the AA, but the ref was kicked out of the ring, and hence could not count the pin. Rusev ran in, kicked Cena, put Del Rio on top, and shoved the ref back in. Cena of course kicked out at two. Rusev again attacked Cena, and Cena again kicked out of a pin. Cena mounted a final offense, but was stopped by Del Rio’s low blow.
Post-match, the heels attacked Cena, who ducked a Del Rio chair shot that of course hit Rusev. Cena cleaned house and his music hit. Del Rio was still U.S. champion, though.
– Toss-up for Best Match of the Night between Cena-Del Rio or Owens-Ambrose.
– The return date is Friday, March 25, 2016 for a “Road to WrestleMania” show. The pre-sale at the box office after the show or on Ticketmaster is WWELIVE.