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by: Alex Beckers


RAW On-Site Report
Madison Square Garden, NYC

(Jakked/Metal spoilers)

My friends Rich, Pete and I got to our seats around 7:30 or so, as we wanted to make sure we caught Jakked/Metal and any dark matches, plus we needed to get food.

Before anything happened, they showed highlights from No Way Out on the Titantron -- it was bizarre hearing the crowd pop for a PICTURE of the Rock from last night. Also a lot of the time during down period, the crowd would start its own chants -- Ranger chants, dueling Mets/Yankees chants, dueling Y2K/Angle chants (!!!), etc.

First was a dark match between a jobber and Joey Abs. Some people near me thought the jobber was Julio Fantastico, I couldn't tell. A "boring" chant broke out that I thought was unwarranted. Good match, although Fantastico missed and nearly fell off the apron at one point. Abs won with a modified Razor's Edge, dropped him into a Rock Bottom position.

Next we got Tom Pritchard, Kevin Kelly, and Jonathan Coachman. Michael Hayes got his own entrance. First J/M match was the Godfather and D'Lo against the Bossman and Prince Albert. Restaurant-quality Manhattan hos. Pretty good match, crowd was a little dead for the actual wrestling.

Next we saw Essa Rios and Lita take on Funaki. It was good (albeit short) match, but the crowd was completely taken out of it because Bob Backlund was running around on our deck.

Finally two jobbers -- didn't catch their names -- lost to the Headbangers. Crowd wasn't into this match either. I thought they might be the Dupps, but the guy in front of me said they weren't.

That might not've been the last -- J/M also had Test/Mideon. Test's heat was pretty cold at the beginning, but came back after he won.

This guy, by the way, was such an annoying mark. He stood up all the time, doing poses and the like, and always looked around to see who was watching him. Bleagh. He kept trying to get me to high-five him, me being enthusiastic and all, but I didn't.

Big pops for J.R. and the King.

Lillian sang the national anthem -- she does have pipes.

Of the main-eventers, Jericho and Rock by far got the biggest pops, although I was actually a little disappointed by the Rock's after all the hype I'd heard about it. Tazz also got a big pop. Shane also got some nice pop/boos. Speaking of pop/boos, X-Pac's heat was totally split down the middle when he came into his match, but it quickly turned against him when he beat down, yes, a Dudley. Kane's entrance was huge as well.

At the end of the Hardyz/Acolytes match, it wasn't on TV but while Matt rolled up Bradshaw, Farrooq just bounced Jeff's head off the announce table.

Speaking of ends, at the end of Edge/Christian vs. Snow/Blackman, the REASON that Terri came out with the cheese to distract Blackman was because he'd just hit Christian with the Lethal Kick.

The Tazz/Benoit match was BIG to those of us who'd been dreaming of it for a while, and even though the ending sucked, it was damned sweet for a while.

Speaking of dreaming -- before the event, Rich and I were talking for some reason about the time Triple H got bumped to the "bottom of the ladder" and wrestled Kane. We said it'd be great if something like that happened to a main eventer and he had to start against like, Mideon. Then what do we get? Rock at the bottom facing the Brooklyn Brawler. They're reading my mind.

There were a couple really long pauses before entrances -- Angle waiting for Rikishi and the four top heels waiting for the Rock. You didn't notice it on TV (watching the tape now) but the pause before Rock came out was SO noticeable. The crowd REALLY wanted to say "Finally, the Rock has come back..." and never got the chant.

So maybe that explains the end. As the show went on, the crowd got SO weird. Women getting "Show your puppies" chants all over the place, and there were a TON of "WOW" signs, thanks to Opie and Anthony I guess. (There're two guys that NYC can KEEP, we certainly don't want them back in Boston. Of course my NYC friend says he don't want 'em either.) Women who played along for a bit eventually got "Cocktease" chanted at them. Then asshole chants at the chanters. Sheesh!

Then a fight broke out -- some guy was standing, guys behind him got pissed, bang a fight. Luckily it distracted us from the Mae Young vignettes -- what WAS that thing they pulled out? I don't want to know. When Mae Young got "hurt" the crowd was silent... not out of horror or fear, but out of disgust. Please let that end.

Then the crowd was SO OUT of the main event for a LONG time. I couldn't figure these marks out -- you pop huge for the Rock, but you don't care if he wrestles? Duh. This other idiot (we knew he was an idiot because he and his friend were dressed just like Too Cool) near me kept blowing a horn until he finally got dragged out by security to a big pop. Crowd started to get into it at the end, and they were VERY into it at the very end.

After the show, Rock lay wounded in the ring until all the heels but Triple H had left the arena. Rock staggered up and yelled a challenge at Triple H, who returned to the ring... and got beat on, including a second People's Elbow. Rock went for his elbow pad, realized he'd already thrown it, and threw the OTHER one. The Rock left, Triple H got up, was announced as the Champion, and then he left. No Smackdown Hotel even, but that's cool 'cause I got a train to catch tomorrow.

GREAT show to be at even if the crowd was weird. I can at least say that there was a huge standing ovation for the (real) Mick Foley vignette.

Biggest pops: Jericho, Rock, Rikishi/Too Cool, Tazz, Kane. Huge heat for the five-man (four-man, one-woman) dancing. Standing O for Mick.

Biggest heel heat: X-Pac, Triple-H, Big Show/Shane, Stephanie.

NO Heat: Chyna's entrance. Bossman and Prince Albert. Very little heat for Edge/Christian vs. Snow/Blackman except for Head Cheese chants and the pop for Blackman's "new entrace".

Alex Beckers
[slash] wrestling

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