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WWE in Saskatoon


Guest columnist: James Kalyn


May 25 saw the return of World Wrestling Entertainment (well, it was the first WWE show there ever, but you know what I mean) to Saskatchewan Place for the first time in five years. Last time they were in town, Bret Hart fought The Patriot in the main event. Would tonight be an improvement? We shall see...

The original card, as found on SaskPlace's website, looked a little like this:

  • Triple H v. Chris Jericho (cage match)
  • Edge v. Kurt Angle (no DQ)
  • Torrie Wilson v. Stacy Kiebler v. Ivory (Smackdown swimsuit challenge)
  • Tajiri (c) v. Billy Kidman (cruiser title match)
  • Chuck & Billy (c) v. Al Snow & Maven (tag title match)
  • Big Valbowski v. D-Von Dudley
  • Faarooq v. Test
  • The Hurricane v. Lance Storm
  • Tazz v. Hardcore Holly
  • Mark Henry & Hugh Morrus v. Christian & Albert

    Now, I've come to expect that the original lineup never sticks. They do say Card Subject To Change for a reason. Three days before the show, posted this modified - and in my opinion, not as good - card:

  • Triple H v. Kurt Angle
  • Chris Jericho v. Edge
  • Torrie Wilson v. Stacy Kiebler v. Ivory (Smackdown swimsuit challenge)
  • Hurricane (c) v. Tajiri v. Chavo Guerrero Jr. v. Funaki (cruiser title match)
  • Big Valbowski & Randy Orton v. Chuck & Billy
  • Mark Henry v. Christian
  • Maven v. Test
  • Lance Storm v. Hardcore Holly
  • Billy Kidman & Hugh Morrus v. Reverend D-Von & Deacon Bautista

    The lineup changes didn't impress me any, but oh well. I had sent my friend Dave to line up for four hours in borderline freezing weather for these tickets, there was no turning back now!

    We got to SaskPlace close to 6:30, about an hour before the show was to begin. A throng had assembled along a chain-link fence, through which one could - if one was so inclined - watch the wrestlers enter. We didn't stop to check things out, though a lot of screaming indicated that the Reverend D-Von had, in fact, made it to SaskPlace.

    Once inside, we shoved our way around the building and found some souvenir stands. Thirty-five of my finest Canadian dollars later, and Angle's new You Suck shirt was mine. Dave's girlfriend Kerry bought one too, while Dave opted for the ever-controversial Get The F Out design.
    Running into my friends Josy and Tyla, they explained that they had been outside watching the wrestlers arrive. Triple H was here, as was Stacy Kiebler. Billy Gunn had made it, and when Tyla yelled "Rockabilly" at him, he turned around and shook his ass at her. She was quite proud, and I must say, I was too. Hardcore Holly drove to the building with Gunn riding shotgun; of course, this led to people yelling for Sparky Plugg. This made Holly grumble, but then he cracked up, so all was right with the world. Actually, the last time Holly was in Saskatoon, he was Spark Plugg Holly. And he lost to King Kong Bundy. Likely by a five count.

    While we were chatting, a few of my students wandered over. They're not technically mine, I don't own them or anything, but again - you know what I mean. While we were chatting, Dave and Kerry took off, followed soon after by Josy and Tyla. Eventually, I wandered off and checked out a few more things before finally heading to my seat.

    There weren't a whole lot of signs tonight, but as soon as I sat down, Dave pointed out the best (?) one of the evening: Power Slam The Devil Davey Boy. Isn't it kind of impolite to assume that Bulldog went to Hell? Or in the immortal words of Justin M. Shapiro, "Not to be a buzzkill, but IF Davey Boy Smith did in fact go to hell, why would he have any more of a shot at dethroning his dark master than any other one of Satan's minions?"

    The building looked to be over three-quarters full. Dave pegged the attendance at about 8,000 people, and I think he was right. The merchandise stands looked to be doing phenomenal business.

    The show started right on time with Tony Chimel's introductions. Don't throw things, no laser pointers, a proprietary event held under the auspices of World Wrestling Entertainment blah blah whatever. National anthem and we're underway!

    Funaki d. Christian
    The card has been changed again, it seems! Christian entered first to a big pop, which lasted until he took the mic and ran down Saskatoon, all the while encouraging us to chant "Christian Sucks." Dave and I opted for "Christians Suck" instead. Funaki got a good reaction too, moreso when he imitated Christian's temper tantrums. This was a great match, very fast-paced with an upset win. If you saw Maven beating Christian on Smackdown this week, then you saw how this ended. Good stuff. Of course, Christian threw a tantrum after the match.

    Bodypress Report: Funaki did a top rope bodypress onto Christian, who rolled through for a two count.

    Test d. Maven
    This wasn't as good as the last match, but it wasn't bad or anything. About what you'd expect from a power wrestler against the scrappy underdog. The crowd seemed to be split 50/50 on who to cheer for here. Test won clean with the big boot.

    Bodypress Report: Maven did a top rope bodypress onto Test, who rolled through for a two count. Didn't he learn from the last match?

    Hurricane d. Chavo Guerrero Jr. and Tajiri to retain the cruiserweight title
    Another good match, though it seemed too short. Oh well, it was still entertaining, and I'd never seen any of these wrestlers in person before. Tajiri did the Tarantula and the handspring elbow off the ropes, so I was pleased. Tajiri and Guerrero worked together to beat on Hurricane until Tajiri kicked Guerrero in the face and it became a free for all. The end came when Tajiri smacked Guerrero with a kick and sent him to the floor, allowing Hurricane time to recover and hit the chokeslam on Tajiri for the pin.

    Bodypress Report: Hurricane hit a top-rope bodypress on Chavo for a two count.

    Chuck & Billy d. Big Valbowski & Randy Orton
    Chuck and Billy kept being goofs and doing silly dances and Billy kept stepping on Tony Chimel's mic cord and this was all pretty entertaining. Chuck and Billy seemed to be enjoying themselves out there. The match itself was pretty decent. Chuck and Billy caught Orton with a Doomsday Device type move, and Billy got the pin. Valbowski took a Hart Attack after the match. When leaving the ring, Orton did a little springboard over the top rope, and then Valbowski made Orton watch as he did one of his own. It was like watching Anakin learning from Obi Wan, except it was entirely different. Never mind.

    There were lots of "faggot" and "you are gay" chants for this match, which I must admit didn't surprise me a whole lot. I've actually been surprised that this hasn't happened on WWE television with Chuck and Billy (or at least, not that I've seen).

    Bodypress Report: Randy Orton hit a top-rope bodypress on either Chuck or Billy for a two count. The bodypress was not appearing to be the most effective move tonight.

    Billy Kidman, Mark Henry, & Hugh Morrus d. Reverend D-Von, Deacon Bautista, & Albert
    D-Von and Bautista came out first, and D-Von explained that he won't even bother giving a sermon because we're all illiterate. Funny, I figured that the one giving the sermon would be doing all the reading, but whatever.

    Albert and Bautista appeared to be having a competition to see who could wear the smallest pants. Bautista won, I think. Albert is bigger, so his tiny pants covered a smaller percentage of his body, but Bautista wore pants that were technically smaller. Also, Bautista's ring attire has this design on it, so half the time, all you can see is this big white crotch and that was funny enough for bonus points. Bautista' kneepads were very shiny too.

    Kidman got a great reaction. I think D-Von has new music. If my digressions haven't given it away yet, this was the weakest match of the night, but it still had its moments. They teased dissention between Albert and Bautista - Bautista tagged himself in and Albert didn't like that idea. In the end, Kidman hit a shooting star press on D-Von for the win. Albert stomped off in disgust while D-Von and Bautista stayed behind to try and claim victory.

    Bodypress Report: D-Von hit a top-rope bodypress on Mark Henry, but Henry caught him and turned it into a powerslam.

    Intermission. I decided that it wasn't worth fighting the crowd for anything. So I didn't.

    Lance Storm d. Hardcore Holly
    Sign: Let Storm Be Serious. This was billed as a Canada vs. US match because we're suckers for that kind of thing. Holly hit a nice dropkick. Storm won with a superkick. This wasn't a bad match, but nothing really stood out.

    Bodypress Report: None that I noticed.

    Chris Jericho d. Edge
    Before the match, Jericho got on the mic and explained that he's from Winnipeg, a real Canadian city. Edge took his turn and, among other things, he noted Jericho's purple and pink tights and called him Y2Gay. It should be noted that Edge was wearing mauve tights while he said this.

    This was another really good match. There were lots of near falls and big moves and all that good stuff. Edge kicked out of the Breakdown early on, and then made it to the ropes while in the walls. Jericho, meanwhile, kicked out of the Edge-o-matic. After a ref bump (the only one of the night), Edge locked Jericho in the Edgecator and Jericho tapped, but of course, the ref didn't see it. Jericho wound up hitting Edge with a low blow and then using a sleeper slam (like Chyna's old finisher) for the win. Afterwards, Edge dropped Jericho with the Edgecution DDT.

    Bodypress Report: Edge hit a running bodypress on Jericho for a two count.

    Torrie Wilson d. Stacy Keibler and Ivory in a bikini contest
    This was the same thing that's happening at all the Smackdown house shows. Ivory didn't want to participate, so Torrie and Stacy stripped her of her official Tough Enough 2 robe, briefly revealing a pink bikini before Ivory ran to the back. Stacy wore a black bikini, Torrie wore a blue one. The crowd was definitely cheering more for Stacy, but Tony Chimel still declared that Torrie won. Stacy attacked Torrie afterwards, Torrie fought her off.

    Bodypress Report: I wish they'd bodypress ME! Hahahahahahaha never mind.

    Triple H d. Kurt Angle
    Sign: Steroids Make Your Testicles Small. Triple H got the best ovation of the night. Angle, of course, got You Suck chants. He was wearing his headgear and wig from Smackdown, but you just knew that was coming off. Before the match, Triple H mentioned that Angle was a former WWF champion; this was the only time the forbidden initials were mentioned all night. After a short match, Triple H kicked out of the Angle Slam and yanked down Angle's tights. While Angle mooned us all, Triple H pulled off Angle's wig and one Pedigree later, it was over. Bare-assed, bald-headed, and he lost - rough day for Angle.

    Bodypress Report: Sadly, none. Though we did take off right after Angle headed to the back, so maybe Triple H bodypressed a fan or something afterwards, but I doubt it.

    All in all, it was a pretty good show, despite my reservations about the revised lineup. I'd certainly be willing to go see them again (even though SaskPlace is an awful venue), and I hope it doesn't take five years for them to come back again.

    After the show, Dave fought the traffic to escape SaskPlace and we went back to their place and checked out the new WWE Velocity and WWE Confidential shows. They were both decent - certainly better than Excess was. Then I went home. True story.

    James Kalyn

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