|Guest columnist: mskj
Hello there. Just got home from my first ever live ppv event. I had good seats
($80) in the lower bowl directly across from the stage. Anyway here is what
went down at the show.
5:00 Standing in line waiting for the doors to open. The first What? chant of the night breaks out. About ten or so 1-800-Call-ATT girls walk around the crowd handing out free posters with What? on one side and the Judgment Day logo and Undertaker on the other. The girls also apply small, removable tattoos to anyone who wants them. The conversation of the two rednecks in front of me focuses on who "Ra-keesh-hes" mystery partner will be.
5:30 Gates open. It never ceases to amaze me how many people have a hard time finding their seats. Maybe it is just a Nashville thing. Hulkamania shirts are selling strong at the merchandise stand. I thought about it, but $28 bucks seems awful high.
5:45 We get to our seats. Five sections in the upper deck on the t.v. camera side are taped off. Other than that every seat in the house fills quickly. Sunday Night Heat is being filmed directly behind us. I always thought it was shot from a booth or luxury box or something, but they were right there at the top of section 120. Raven ignores everyone trying to get his attention, but stares a hole through one young lady as she passes him to get to her seat. She didn't seem to mind though. During commercial breaks Raven and Coach turn and pose for a few pictures.
6:25 Fink arrives. We are about to get under way. I decide to stop looking at my watch and taking notes. Sorry.
Bonus match: Dlo v. Regal
Both men get solid reactions. The crowd really dug D'lo and even got a few chants in for him. Fair enough match, and it got the crowd warmed up.
RVD v. Eddy
Eddy gets an O.K. reaction. RVD was over huge and I forgot he had pyro, so that was a surprising moment. I liked how RVD dominated this match at the start, and in doing so, frustrated Eddy to no end. It was a total role reversal from Backlash and it made it seem like RVD did some homework this time. Eddy picks up the win with his feet on the ropes. Neither man connects with the frog splash, and in fact RVD hasn't hit Eddy with his version yet. That's a good little in match storyline going on.
Trish v. Stacy
Both ladies get cheers. Both look very, very nice. Some blown spots including Trish going down too early on Stacy's spinning heel kick. This prompted one young boy in our section to look at his mom and say, "Trish just fell down, that was stupid." I think the illusion of wrestling being real was gone in that one instance for the poor boy. Also of note: Bubba is much more over as a face than Devon is as a heel. The crowd was happy to see someone go through a table though.
I went to the bathroom at this point and missed the entrances and start of the next match.
Hardyz v. Brock/Heyman
LOUD Goldberg chant. Brock is very impressive in person. Not much to say about this match. It was short, and Brock dominated.
Austin v. Show/Flair
Kind of a strange placement for this match. Some really cool dueling Whoo and What chants throughout the match. Not sure if they came across on t.v. or not. The spinebusters Austin gave Flair both looked weak. Other than that this match was better than I expected. Austin wins and a flood of people immediately head either home or to the concession stand.
Michael Cole and Tazz now occupy the spot where Coach and Raven were earlier. I guess they set up the next match since it was a Smackdown brand match. They both stayed during the match and Tazz talked to fans and posed for a few pictures.
Angle v. Edge
Great match, with some awesome near falls at the end. It took the crowd a few minutes to get into this match, but that was most likely because of how many were off doing something else when it started. The crowd really got into it though and the last few minutes had more heat than anything else on this night. Match of the evening. Angle escaping the haircut didn't seem to bother anyone.
Hell in a Cell
The cell is an awesome sight for sure. There were actually some feint boring chants until Jericho pulled out the ladder. Lots of oohs and ahhs after that. HHH had a hard time finding the sledgehammer, which was kinda funny. No one expected the match to end until the wrestlers went to the top. The pedigree on top of the cell looked awesome and was a very good way to end the match. Personally I was glad no one got thrown off the top or through the cage. Hopefully now that they have had a good match without someone taking an insane bump, they can do it more often without the fans expecting to see something too drastic.
Rikishi/Rico v. Billy n Chuck
Dead match all the way. No one in the crowd cared who the partner was and there was little reaction to the end of the match.
Kurt went bald here. Nothing much to say other than I am glad they followed through on the stipulation and did so tonight.
Hogan v. Undertaker
Undertaker's new music rocks. Hogan's entrance pop was very loud, but there were many vocal Taker fans in the building. Fan support was only about 70/30 for Hogan at the start of the match, and it dwindled as time went by. Taker's victory got many cheers, but he did a good job turning it back to heat with the post match beatdown.
After the show
Taker stops at the top of the ramp and raises both hands to the fans. No one was really booing him at this point. Hogan got up and threw his weight belt around in frustration. The crowd chanted his name and eventually he got in the ring a did all the his poses for us.
I had a great time at the show. The crowd was into everything but the tag title match. The comedy segments, esp. Booker's stuff, went over very well with the crowd also. I'm curious to see how the crowd came across on t.v. and what the general perception of the show was. That's about it. I'm really tired so if I left anything out, my apologies.
Milan Kacar (mskj)