|WWE in San Diego
|Guest columnist: Craig Reade
THIS IS ME
Lots of Smackdown! Spoilers included
Well, I just got back from the Smackdown show in San Diego, and I have to say the show was pretty fun. My girlfriend talked her way out of it (dammit!) so I brought a friend of mine. Probably better for me... he is a little more into it than she is (not at all) and I did not really have to explain anything. So I'll start right away with some spoilers, and then give you some of my thoughts.
SMACKDOWN SPOILERS (WARNING!)
The first match of the night was Al Snow vs. ??? , I am sorry, I tried to catch the guy's name, but the pop from Al Snow's entrance kind of drowned out the announcer most of the night. He got instant heel heat, of course, so all I knew was that I was supposed to boo him. He was pretty decent though. I am sorry I am not as up on all of the indie/developmental guys- The most fun part of this match was trying to explain to my friend about "Head." Al Snow won clean, and proceeded to spank the ring announcer. Funny stuff.
Molly vs. Ivory
At first I thought Molly might have jumped to Smackdown, but I doubt that happened. I kind of think that they were doing a "Tough Enough" deal. Unless I am mistaken, Ivory is a trainer still for TE III. I continue to be impressed with the women's division, and I really have missed Ivory. She took the win here.
Kidman vs. Crash
I really think Kidman needs to go back to his Jean Shorts/wifebeater ring attire- he just looks too pansy in the tights. Crash had this weird "Climb over the turnbuckle" ring entrance that I had never seen before, has he been doing it for a while? Crash took this one with a weird finish- he held Kidman upside-down and basically just fell down. It did not look that good.
Shannon Moore vs. Val Venis (imposter)
I have no idea who that was who came out to The Big Valbowski's music and video. I kind of wished I did because everyone around me (noticing that I was writing notes) seemed to think I knew what was going on and I had no answer. The match was decent with Shannon Moore picking up the win. Maybe they will explain who this guy was on Velocity, if they show the match. The match was just confusing from start to finish, and there were actually a few "We want Val" chants.
D'Von vs. John Cena
Cena had the Charger colored jamies. Pretty decent match that Cena won, followed by a beatdown by D'Von after the match.
Open with a standard recap of the PPV- the whole HLA segment with Rikishi.
Rikishi vs. Chavo Guerrero
Funny opener (at least it did not open with a promo) with an attempt at a stinkface by Chavo. Rikishi took the win here, and treated us all to a dance at the top of the ramp post match. I did notice that the entire crowd was doing his "Raise the Roof" along with him prior to the stinkface... something I would never have noticed on TV.
Edge "My Sacrifice" Video
Torrie Wilson vs. Nidia - Bikini contest
Tazz comes to the ring to MC this one, and Billy and Chuck go to the announce table to judge. The ladies each get 30 seconds to "show their stuff." Nidia looked good I thought, and the sneakers she was wearing really added to the "Trailer Park Trash" image as she really did not get the subtleties of "sexy." She did some weird ass hip-hop type dancing, showing deliberate bad rhythm, and earned a 6 from Chuck, and a 9 from Billy (pause for cheers at inadvertent joke). Torrie of course got a pair of 10s (thank god my girlfriend was not there for THAT) and Nidia stomped away pissed. Jaime Noble and Tajiri came out to challenge the decision, claiming that Nidia was "screwed," and "Nobody screws my girlfriend! At least, not like that!" And we have an impromptu match.
Noble/Tajiri vs. Billy and Chuck
See, the problem with this match was that I was completely distracted by Torrie, who was still prancing around ringside right in front of me in that bikini... hard to watch the match. What I DID see though was pretty decent, with Billy and Chuck taking the win, and Torrie treating us all to a post match spanking of Nidia.
Funaki, #1 Smackdown Announcer interviews Brock
Funaki catches Brock outside his locker and asks him about the Undertaker, and a possible rematch. Brock tells a very nervous Funaki that he is impressed with him, because he is the only person who has had the guts to ask him about that. He says he will answer all of his questions, in the ring, in public. Funaki is ecstatic, and comes down to the ring
Now I must say that I like Funaki's entrance video- it had Smackdown, WWE, Japanese, and "#1 Smackdown Announcer" Flags waving across the screen, I got a good laugh out of it. He comes down holding the dented chair from Unforgiven. Brock does not like that one bit, and destroys Funaki for the insult.
Dawn Marie challenges Torrie to a bikini contest in the dressing room. Torrie excuses herself.
Eddie cuts an off-air promo telling "San Diego" that he does not need their support, he is Latino Heat... etc. Basically a "Boo me" promo.
Eddie Guerrero vs. Edge - No DQ
This match was long (I hope they do not edit it too much) and, suffice to say, FUCKING AWESOME. To start with, Edge is seriously over with the crowd, and the fans really could not make up their minds whether to cheer or boo Eddie (dueling Eddie! And Eddie sucks! chants throughout the match.) All I can say about this is- make sure you watch it. Edge takes the win here, but the fans gave both guys ovations. Eddie left last, and many people just stood up and applauded. A PPV quality match with ladders and chairs, and tremendous effort. This match stole the show for me.
Here I think there was a Benoit interview... I took this opportunity to get up and get a beer. Of course, after standing in line, I was informed that all alcohol sales were shut down throughout the building for some reason, which kind of ticked me off. I do not think I missed anything serious though.
Undertaker vs. Matt
Fast and embarrassing. Matt gets some quick offense, gets the Carolina Jam, goes for the Twist of Fate, and gets killed for his effort. Chokeslam, Last Ride, match over. Brock runs in and clobbers Taker with the belt a few times, leaving him a bloody mess. Taker stumbles to the back trailed by well meaning aid, which he attempts to shove away. After a break, they show him in a back locker room with a pair of ref's trying to fix his cut, and he keeps shoving them away to go chase Brock, but he can't muster the strength.
Kurt Angle vs. Chris Benoit vs. Rey Mysterio
HUGE 619 chants all night. My friend and I, being from Orange County tried to get a "949" chant going, but it kind of blended in too much. My "213" chant got some good laughs from the natives around me, but the guy holding up the "858" sign (I guess another San Diego area code?) Got seriously harassed. Kurt Angle cut a decent promo before the match and was met with, you guessed it, WHAT?! WHAT?! WHAT?! I thought that crap was dead.... I will admit that I chanted "You Suck" right along with everyone else though (in between my cheers). Kurt Angle is still my favorite wrestler, but there is something to be said for letting go and being a little bit of a mark at a live event. Made things a lot funnier. The match was decent- not nearly as good as Angle/Benoit or Angle/Mysterio, but I guess they had to find a way to get Rey in the Main Event in his hometown. Rey took the win here, of course, to a HUGE crowd reaction. Match was kind of a letdown though after the Edge/Eddie match.
Tons of HLA chants (especially during the Molly/Ivory match, even more 619s, and several WHAT?!s. I did notice that aside from the Mysterio shirts, everyone was wearing Raw shirts! That or really old shirts, like DX, Wolfpac, and Stone Cold. They did not even have a Kurt Angle shirt for sale, which really pissed me off. Tons of RVD and HHH shirts, and RVD foam hands.
They showed the WWF/E History video, which was great to see, with a ton of updates in it. The WCW portions got serious boos from the crowd, which surprised me a great deal.
My signs of the night-
"No Kurt, I'M Adorable!"
"Nobody You Know V"
My Girlfriend's Wrestling Comment of the Week
Thank God I do not have to go watch WRESTLING!
I will admit one of the best parts for me was sitting among a ton of "Marks." I kind of take for granted things posted on Wrestling sites, and take the information I read almost daily as common knowledge. People around me were asking "Where is the Rock?" I heard one fan answer that he was out injured. A ton of people honestly expected Stone Cold or Hogan to show up. In front of me in line was an older guy who was a huge Stone Cold fan, with his Shirt and a giant Where is Stone Cold! 3:16 sign. Apparently the guy was a teacher and had his classroom decked out with Stone Cold junk. I wonder if he even knew about the wife beating garbage.
Regardless, these people were real fans, and in most cases felt totally differently than the general internet community. Tons of HH shirts were seen everywhere, as well as Stone Cold shirts. People cheered the Stinkface, Stephanie, and the Undertaker, like they were the biggest things out there. Hell, even Brock got some decent pop. And these people were in the definitive majority in the crowd.
It made me wonder about all of the commentary about "what the WWE needs to bounce back in the ratings" I have read online, and have been guilty myself of writing. Can the Undertaker, get Steph off the screen, poocHHHie is a camera whore... these things may still be true and the arguments still have some validity, but the fact remains that the common fan still likes and wants these people. Stone Cold is gone, much to the relief of many in the IWC, and the Rock is again out of the spotlight, but these people were still clamoring for them.
So this leaves me with the question - Do any of us really know what we are talking about?
Well, I banged this out late, after an hour and a half drive back from the show, and I am beat. A great experience and the show should come out great on TV. If anyone can tell me who the two "mystery men" were from the dark match and Velocity, I would appreciate a line. Otherwise, enjoy the show on Thursday, and I will see you next time!
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