The opening night of the WWE’s tour of Abu Dhabi at Zayed Sports City saw victories for John Cena, Dean Ambrose and Ryback, while Rusev retained the United States championship and Bad News Barrett remained Intercontinental champion thanks to some nefarious tactics. Here are the results.
Dean Ambrose defeated Luke Harper by pinfall
A lively opener in which Harper continued to subdue the popular Ambrose with strong forearms and clotheslines throughout the early exchanges. Ambrose rallied and won with Dirty Deeds to pin Harper at around the 10-minute mark.
Jack Swagger defeated Tyson Kidd won by submission
What had started as a dance off competition, voted upon by the fans, became a match after Kidd attacked Swagger from behind. Swagger won with the ankle lock submission after reversing a roll up attempt.
Bo Dallas defeated Curtis Axel by pinfall
Dallas played the good guy here, as Axel antagonised the crowd with his moans about not being eliminated from the Royal Rumble pay per view last month. His mood did not improve as Dallas picked up a quick win with a roll up after Axel had rebounded off the turnbuckle.
Ryback defeated Curtis Axel by pinfall
Axel complained heavily post-match about his loss to Dallas, and issued an open challenge in an attempt to regain his dignity. Unfortunately for him, but to the delight of the crowd, out came Ryback to answer the challenge. Ryback won quickly inside 60 seconds, finishing off Axel with his finisher Shell Shock.
Dolph Ziggler won by disqualification against Bad News Barrett in an Intercontinental title bout
An end-to-end match, in which both men had convincing nearfalls, ended in Barrett getting himself disqualified as he struck Ziggler in the head with the Intercontinental title belt. Though the result ensured Barrett retained his title as the championship cannot change hands on a disqualification, Ziggler had the last laugh when he ducked Barrett’s attempt to hit him for a second time with the belt, and hit the Englishman with his Zig Zag finisher.
Rusev defeated Erick Rowan by submission to retain his United States title
A flat start to the second half of the event as Rusev dominated a low-key bout with Rowan, after promising he would defeat John Cena at Fastlane, the WWE pay per view event taking place on February 22, prior to the start. He retained the US title by submission after putting Rowan in the Accolade submission hold.
Kofi Kingston and Big E defeated Goldust and Stardust by pinfall
The New Day pairing of Kingston and Big E, with Xavier Woods at ringside, proved popular with the fans as they chanted and clapped along with them. The finish came when Stardust came off the top rope with a kick, but hit his brother and tag team partner Goldust instead, and the New Day capitalised with Kingston scoring the pinfall on Stardust. Post-match Stardust angrily pushed Goldust away as his brother attempted to help him to his feet.
John Cena defeated Seth Rollins in an Abu Dhabi Street Fight
Cena got the reaction of the night as the local fans went wild for his first appearance in the UAE in three years. Rollins had the early advantage after attacking Cena’s injured eye. Both men used chairs on each other in the early stages, and Rollins went through a table propped up against the turnbuckles. Rollins would kick out of Cena’s Attitude Adjustment and Cena in turn kicked out after receiving a Curb Stomp as there was a number of false finishes. The finish came when Cena gave Rollins a second Attitude Adjustment from the top rope through a table to delight his vocal supporters.
There are two more shows scheduled in Abu Dhabi. Friday’s show is scheduled to be main evented by a tag team match as John Cena and Dean Ambrose go up against Rusev and Luke Harper.
On Saturday, Cena will look to win the Intercontinental title for the first time in his career when he faces champion Bad News Barrett.
Tickets are still available for the two shows and can be bought at www.ticketmaster.ae.