Monday, March 28, 2011

Pre-Road Less Traveled/Snapshot of a WWE Smackdown House Show

It's WrestleMania Week!!! Woo Hoo! I always excited this time of year and moreso this year because in a few short days I will be making the trip down to Atlanta for a great time with friends and of course, some of the best wrestling that is showcased each year. As Jim kicked off a few days ago and will continue soon, his Road to WrestleMania entries give a good look at what to expect from WWE this weekend. As for me, either tonight or tomorrow, I will look at the Road Less Traveled and preview the Ring of Honor and Dragon Gate USA shows, which should be very good to great!

However, before I get these, I want to take the opportunity to review quickly the WWE Smackdown House Show I attended on March 26th at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, MI. I've not attended a WWE show since May 2009. WWE hits my home market about once a year for a house show and we get a RAW or Smackdown taping every 2-3 years as well. Heading into this show, I was most interested in seeing Alberto Del Rio live and in person.

First here are the quick results from the show:
1. Kofi Kingston won a battle royal to earn a shot at the Intercontinental Title
2. Layle El & Katelyn over Beth Phoenix & AJ
3. "Showtime" Percy Watson over Drew McIntyre
4. Jack Swagger over Chris Masters
5. The Big Show & Kane over The Corre of Heath Slater & Justin Gabriel w/ Ezekiel Jackson via DQ in a World Tag Team Title Match
6. Christian over Brodus Clay
7. Intercontinental Title Match: Wade Barrett over Kofi Kingston
8. World Heavyweight Champion Edge & Rey Mysterio over Alberto Del Rio & Cody Rhodes

Overall, the show was a lot of fun. Clocking in at 2 hours and 40 minutes, including about 10-15 minute intermission, it left the crowd (made up mostly of families with young kids) happy. The best match was the main event and it was a 20+ minute match, with only about 10 or so minutes of action in the ring. You might read that and think, how in the heck can it be good? The pre-lock up heel stalling and heat drawing of Del Rio and Rhodes was just great, as they traded tags and then collectively avoided Edge and Rey, working the crowd into a frenzy. I was also surprised by the Barrett-Kingston match, especially the clean finish when Kofi was put down by The Wasteland and was looking up at the lights. The only other match for me that really was note worthy was the Tag Title Match. Show and Kane were dominant, but the Corre used double teaming and Big Zeke on the outside to tip the scales in their favor. Zeke's late interference was the caused for the DQ. Show and Kane then hit stereo chokeslams on the champs and a double team chokeslam on Ezekiel for big crowd reactions.

I'd give the show a 7 out of 10. It delivered and again, left those that paid for their tickets to go home happy. If you can hit a house show near you and are looking for a fun night of action, I'd recommend it.

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