Last night I attended the WWE SmackDown/Main Event television taping at the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, North Carolina. Main Event will air this Wednesday on the Ion Television Network and Smackdown this Friday on SyFy. As usual for a live event, I will provide my thoughts and observations:
•I awoke yesterday morning to see Dolph Ziggler and AJ Lee being interviewed on my local news station. They made all the media rounds promoting the event.
•I arrived to the arena around 6:40 p.m. Instead of parking in the general coliseum lot, I parked in a neighborhood right across the street, thus saving $10 in the process. Upon walking to the main entrance I came across the WWE production trucks. Even though I’ve attended shows for years, it was my first time noticing these trucks in the general parking lot.
•The building appeared to be packed. I even noticed some of the very upper level seats were made available, which I can’t recall for the last couple of shows I’ve been to at the coliseum.
•There was a TON of pyro. Even though I should come to expect it, the shock still gets me every time.
•It seemed to me that there was a huge lack of Hispanics in attendance. Every show I’ve attended usually has a large percentage of Hispanics present, but for some reason this one did not. With Rey Mysterio out of action and Sin Cara being a glorified jobber, it’s not like they have a major Hispanic star to rally behind. And don’t even get me started on Alberto Del Rio.
•There was a very bizarre camera policy in effect. For as long as I can remember the rule of thumb has been no video recording at live events, which is completely understandable. However, they took it to an entirely different level by banning the use of any camera. During the Main Event taping, an attendant spotted a fan taking regular pictures and told them to put away their camera. My friend and I were stunned since we were only taking pictures a few moments before they were caught. We were hesitant about taking pictures for a little while after that, but then we decided to go full force and do whatever we liked since we paid our hard earned money. Eventually everyone in our section (and the entire building) was able to resume taking their pictures in peace.
•Main Event featured Miz vs. Cody Rhodes, The Usos vs. Brodus Clay and Sweet T, and Damien Sandow vs. Sin Cara. Miz was very over with the audience and the crowd reacted huge when he beat Cody with the figure four leglock. The Usos won their match. The crowd was really into them. Sandow won his match and did a fantastic job of getting everyone riled up. Sandow is one of those guys with a complete grasp of his character.
•SmackDown opened with Daniel Bryan, Kane, and Randy Orton out. Even though Bryan has come across as one of the true big stars in the company over the last few weeks, the Greensboro crowd was kind of quiet to him. There were pockets of yes chants, but nothing overwhelming. However, they reacted huge for Orton. Every time I’ve seen Orton over the last two years, he becomes more over with the audience. This segment made it very evident why he has been on top for such a long time.
•Sheamus beat Antonio Cesaro in a well worked match that may come across better on television than it did live. There was nothing wrong with it, but it just didn’t appeal to me. Sandow attacked Sheamus afterwards.
•There was a funny backstage piece involving Team Ziggler interrupting Teddy Long as he was preparing to eat a Hardees thickburger. By the time it was over Big E. Langston had ended up eating most of it. Langston has a ton of personality and is not bad in the ring either. Barring a very stupid decision on his part or creative, he should be around for a long time.
•It must also be mentioned that WWE was heavily pushing the Hardees super bacom thickburger throughout the show. That burger may be second most pushed entity in the company next to their app.
•I was surprised that Heath Slater beat Great Khali clean.
•Chris Jericho and Alberto Del Rio beat Dolph Ziggler and Big E. Langston. Match was very good and the fans were into it because of all the star power involved. Ziggler and Jericho were particularly over. The finishing sequence was well done.
•People were excited when Paul Heyman appeared to interrupt Jericho’s post-match interview. They had good chemistry on the mic.
•Kaitlyn destroyed Aksana, who I hadn’t seen in months. Then again it’s not like I watch SmackDown on a regular basis. The match was nothing more than a way to play off her angle with AJ from Raw.
•The main event of Shield vs. Kane, Daniel Bryan, and Randy Orton was off the charts. The people in my section were amped before the match began since The Shield walked by us on their way to the ring. I even got an up close picture of Seth Rollins (not a very good one). This match had great heat throughout and the crowd was totally into Bryan. The finish sequence saw The Shield officially suffer their first pinfall loss in a six-man tag. The arena exploded with jubilation as Lillian Garcia made the announcement. It really felt like we had experienced history. After celebrating together, Kane and Orton left so that Bryan could bask in the spotlight.
My friend and I hung around after the show and got to watch the production crew take down the ring. It was a neat sight to see. Overall, it was a great show. There was consistently good show from start to finish with two very good matches and an overall hot crowd (by Greensboro standards). The main event was truly spectacular and I cannot wait to watch it on television.