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WWF in Albany


Guest columnist: Todd Thomas



Pepsi Arena
Albany, NY

random thoughts following no mercy...there are so many recaps already up I won't go into match by match, just wanted to share some of the randomness that comes from being at a show...

Never having been to an event before, not even a house show, I had a hard time judging the noise. I'm used to the big pop for entrances we get on tv and wasn't sure if it was usually so quiet during matches or it was the crowd in Albany. As for the Albany crowd--when we were waiting in line, my friend David said "Are you sure this isn't the line for the NSync concert?" It was packed with trendy little teenybopper sorts. Fortunately, the ones around us were "smart" enough that when Dave talked about being at Great American Bash 89 in person, they acted nearly like people and not 13 year olds.

Also about the Albany crowd...a lot of us got in line very early, and were waiting patiently when the doors finally opened (after 7). Problem was, the stairs and escalator fed right into the middle of the line, and no one was enforcing any kind of order. So you had a lot of pissy hardcore fans, the ones that might normally have been more into it, getting into their seats at 7:50 after being in line for two hours in chilly weather, with no get the idea. Anyone who has to choose between taking a leak or watching the opening of a PPV you've waited months for is not going to be a happy camper, either way.

We were in line so long because, for the marks and smarks that had hoped to see wrestlers or skulk around the arena, there was so little to do. The talent entry was down in a little sunken hollow at the back door to the stadium. It was nearly impossible to see anyone coming or going. There was an area inside set aside for the wrestlers and staff to eat, and quite a huge crowd gathered to try and get glimpses through the cracks in the curtains--for a while there was a good view of the buffet table itself, but from my spot on the corner where I was waiting for friends all I had was a good view of Michael Cole. No offense to Mike, but when other people are claiming to see Trish and Lita, he's just not cutting it. Then Catering came out and fixed the curtains and suddenly the little Michale Cole view was the best one open and about fifty people jumped in there to stare at him eating lunch.

Living two hours from albany and having to work today, I didn't try to do the hotel bar thing to meet with anyone. I'll probably regret that, but judging by the crowds that gathered to stare at people eating, I figured I'd do my best to give the talent some peace after a pretty good show. Yeah, it's easy to be altruistic when one has to be up and at work in a few hours.

The show itself was pretty much as the recaps I've seen described it. The HHH-Benoit match was the only one that everyone was into through the whole thing. Rocky got the biggest cheers on entrance, but it wasn't sustained. Angle's win got a little lost since he was out of the ring so fast and large parts of the Albany crowd were already packing up to get out of there. A lot of smarks in the crowd expected something when (wow, my memory is gone--was it the Rock?) Rocky had the Sharpshooter on Angle (Angle?) and also thought Steve Austin would be back after the cameras stopped rolling since Rikishi was the last one out in the ring.

There really weren't any "in the arena" moments that people at home wouldn't have seen to spice a report up took forever for XPac to get off the cage door, for example, but it didn't look like a real injury. As for the Tables match, the crowd expected all the teams at once and was sitting on their hands waiting for the Dudleyz through most of it.

Overall it was a pretty decent show to watch...since house show tickets aren't much cheaper, the fact that it was a PPV that served only to set up RAW didn't bother me much since it was a pretty unique experience to just be there.

Todd Thomas

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