Last nite I went with a few friends to see WWE Smackdown at Allstate Arena. It was the taping for what will be tomorrow’s show. It was a really fun show and I think one of the best Smackdown’s they’ve had in awhile. We were sitting on the main floor in the 10th row, behind Michael Cole and Tazz. The seats were real good except for when people were standing, standing on their chairs, holding up signs, or any combination of the above which sadly was a lot of the time. I didn’t let it spoil my fun and since I could see the Titantron easily, I didn’t miss much of the action. The show clocked in at around 3 hours and the food costs clocked in at around $15! At least we didn’t have to pay to park since Matt C lives so close, we just park at his place and walk for 10 minutes to the arena, saving $13 plus an hour of sitting in the lot waiting to exit after the show.
For those that don’t want spoilers, I suggest not reading the rest…
Some highlights were:
After the not really worth mentioning Velocity tapings, they started off with Booker T vs. Orlando Jordan with JBL at the commentary table overseeing the match. Not 5 mins into it the Bashams interfere and the ref calls for a DQ. They continue to attack Booker until Big Show’s music hits and he comes to the ring to make the save, and he got a really big pop from the crowd. I’ll say this, since he’s come back from his knee surgery he has been a lot more entertaining and looks like he is working harder in the ring. They may have finally found his niche. Theodore Long comes out and declares the match is not over, and it is now a 3 on 2 handicap match. Booker and Show quickly get the win.
Torrie and Dawn Marie had a little match. For what it was, it was mindless fun and kept short. Torrie got the win with a Swinging Neck Breaker.
Carlito Carribean Cool debuted his new talk show (ala Piper’s Pit) called “Carlito’s Cabana”. His guest was Rey Mysterio. After getting a ton of heel heat by ripping on Chicago in a most amusing manner, Carlito tried to stir up the shit between Rey and Eddie. Rey wasn’t buying into his bullshit and was downplaying the recent problems between Eddie and himself. After a couple minutes of this, some unfamiliar music starts and 3 new people came down to the ring with a pretty flashy entrance. It was the new tag team of MNM. It was Melina, Johnny Nitro, and Joey Matthews. All 3 of them are developmental talent from OVW. After Melina does her patented splits thru the bottom rope entrance (which I will admit I’m a mark for), she introduced her new team and demanded to Rey that they give them a tag title shot. After a couple minutes of back and forth banter, MNM beat the crap out of Rey and did a double team move similar to the 3D and left him laying. While all this was going one, Carlito just sat in one of the lounge chairs and watched it all happen with a smile on his face. It was really entertaining, the crowd were into it and I’m glad to see not only some more OVW people get a shot, but a new tag team hit the scene and hopefully breathe some life into that most-neglected division.
John Cena came out and debuted his new blinged up title belt. JBL tried to put a stop to it but ended up getting a box of “guts” from a Chicago slaughterhouse dumped all over him. The crowd popped huge for Cena. I couldn’t believe how many people bought into that whole “chain gang” bullshit. The belt is even more ridiculous than what he did to the US title, but it was kinda funny at least and the crowd ate it up.
In what had to be the biggest show of stupidity on the writing/booking staff, the next feature was Heidenrape vs. unknown jobber. It was a total squash and the crowd just went DEAD. You’d think the show was over with the silence there was in the arena. The crowd was way hot throughout the entire show up until this point and this segment just killed it instantly. After squashing the jobber, Heidenrape read his new poem, which was all about farting. I will admit that the inner 10 year old inside of me chuckled for a minute and found that the best thing Heidenrape has done in his WWE tenure, but it was still pointless, had no place on the show (and I’ll bet it doesn’t make it to TV), and as I said, killed all the crowd heat.
Paul London came to the ring and challenged Chavo to a match. London was all bandaged up in the head from his battle with Kidman last week. He was all pissed off and did a convincing job on the mic. Chavo came out and in true heel fashion, told London he will wait until he is 100 percent before taking back “his” title. Chavo is consistently entertaining, especially when working as a heel. The only thing was the crowd were still dead from the Heidenrape fiasco and were dead silent through this whole segment. I felt bad for London and Chavo because they were doing a really good job and I look forward to seeing them have some matches in the near future, but what preceded them totally harmed them.
The final TV match followed and it was Kurt Angle vs. Eddie Guerrero. As expected, it was a stellar match and pretty long. Both men got huge pops from the crowd and the match kept everyone on their feet for most of the battle. As one might have guessed, Rey ended up interfering and thus costing Eddie the match.
After the TV taping was done, we got a bonus title match of JBL vs. John Cena. The crowd went nuts again for Cena, who of course got the win in about 15 minutes. This match was far more entertaining than their WM21 match and I imagine it was all practice for a rematch at the next Smackdown PPV. After the match, Cena got a mic and thanked the crowd and pandered to them for a full 5 minutes and the crowd ate it up. Personally the more he does that forced pandering to the crowd and his stupid “chain gang” crap, the less I like him. He was far more entertaining when he was a smart ass who rapped insults about his opponents instead of sucking up to the crowd in a near-pathetic fashion. The sheep ate it up though.
As I said, it was a very fun show that, except for that one low point, held my interest for the entire thing and had me leaving the arena with a smile on my face.