Daniel Bryan vs. William Regal
10 November, 2010
Olympia Hall; Innsbruck, Austria
WWE United States Championship Match
Props to the fine gentlemen over at Segunda Caida for finding this match and posting it on your blog, as that is how I found it.
This is a dream match to a lot of people, because Daniel Bryan, when wrestling previously as Bryan Danielson, acknowledged that one of his biggest influences was William Regal. I have even heard stories that one of the reasons he wore maroon tights was because Regal wore maroon. Regal is one of those WWE wrestlers that many "traditional fans" appreciate, because he works a very stiff and no-nonsense style. Regal knows how to tell a story inside the ring, and his mannerisms and facial expressions display that more effectively than almost anyone. In fact, in many ways I think Regal looks almost "cartoony" on television, because his act seems to play out so much better in person.
Actually, I have said this before in different places, but one of the main differences between old-school and new-school wrestling was that back in the old days, money was made off the gate at the big house show that the television built to (but didn't televise). Working "television style", in my opinion, has done a lot to kill the sport of wrestling, because people no longer work for a crowd, they work for a camera. One of the few places that this is still true is in Mexico.
This, however, is a match from a WWE house show in Austria, and not a televised match. Regal and Bryan both have so much experience working to the house that this match sticks out as something phenomenal.
I tell people this quite often: If you are going to pay your money to see the WWE live, do not pay to go to a television show, go to a house show. Casual fans tend to be disappointed in television, because half of the time is spent on commercial breaks, and half of the action is either in-ring promos, or stuff on the jumbotron. House shows are where it is at if you want to see WWE wrestlers actually do their thing in the ring, because they actually get the time to do matches, since there are no promos or interviews (generally speaking).
This match is similar to the Smiley/Malenko match that I reviewed a bit ago. This was a match on a house show in Europe that gave the fans what they wanted to see, and told a complete story. If this same match was done on a live Raw from the US, it probably would have been booed out of the building.
Random rant: Why is the United States Championship being defended in Europe, against a European? I know it is all just a dumb company championship that doesn't really mean anything, or have any tradition or value, but I like when championships that represent regions can only be defended in that region.