I just got back from the WWE Smackdown house show at the Target Center in Minneapolis. I got my 13 year old daughter tickets, and judging by the kids in the crowd, so did a lot of other parents! It seemed sold out, although they didn't use the upper deck for seats.
Matt Striker was the ring announcer/MC, and he kept the action rolling by announcing the card and other surprises during the night. Between matches, he shook hands and took pictures. Very nice guy!
The opening match was a small over-the-top battle royal with a chance to go after the Intercontinental Title later in the show. When I saw Alberto Del Rio come out, I knew he would be the winner. He actually got a good pop from the Minnesota crowd!
Match two was a Divas tag team match. Even from my seat, you can't deny the beauty of these women! The match was Layla and Alicia Fox vs. Tamina and Aksana. This match reminded me of the old school AWA matches, hot face action at first, then a long bout of the heels working over one of the girls with the ref ALWAYS out of place, then a few hot tags and the pin with the faces winning!
Next was Fandango vs. Jamie Noble. A fast paced match with Fandango winning. About this time, the crowd started to shout TWWWOOOOOOO every time there was a two count. Not as annoying as "WHAT?", but kind of fun! There was also a portion where Noble had Fandango in a submission hold and the whole place erupted with "TAP! TAP! TAP!" He made the ropes, so he didn't.
Next was 3MB vs. Justin Gabriel and Tyson Kid. Heath Slater, Drew McIntyre wrestled with Jinder Mahal doing heel interference. Half way through the match, 3MB stopped the match and demanded a "Rock Off' before they started, they shouted out to Green Bay, which got boos. Another corrected him by saying they were in Indianapolis. The third said, no we're in Minneapolis, to which I think Slater shouted I HATE MINNEAPOLIS! The kid got a good pop every time he went for the sharpshooter. Good, cheap heat. Didn't help as Justin and the Kidd won.
The next match was the Triple Threat match with Alberto Del Rio vs. Wade Barrett vs. Kofi Kingston. Kingston came out to a big pop, mostly from the kids! To keep you from undue stress, Kofi won. A good solid match, with the crowd counting in Spanish whenever Alberto went for a cover. I watched Ricardo Rodriguez during the match, and the man was always moving, reacting to del Rio and whatever or wherever he was in the ring. Reminded me of Bobby the Brain Heenan in the old AWA manager days!
After the intermission, Primo and Epico with Rosa (WOW! Is she HOT!) She is gorgeous!) went against the Great Khali and Hornswoggle with Natalya (OK, I am now in love with her! Don't tell my wife!) As to be expected the kids popped. After a match featuring a shirtless Hornswoggle, they won. The special stipulation: the loosers had to sing a holiday song we chose: Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer! Primo complained that since they only had one microphone that only one of them could sing, and the crowd chose Rosa. After being handed the mike and while she was warbling a terrible tune, the other two guys booked, leaving her in the ring alone! Funny stuff!
Local guy Michael McGillicutty won a short, intense match against Alex Riley. Two minutes, a good pop for a local guy, and then the set up for the main event: A Steel Cage Match for the World Heavyweight Championship. I photographed the 10 minutes it took to set up the ring, and then the best match of the night began!
Big Show (to a decent pop) vs. Sheamus (to the biggest pop of the night!) Big Show won, but what a fight, each absorbing the others signature blows, plenty of two counts, a fist trade on the top of the cage where I could see the sweat flying off these two men! After the win, Big Show left but returned with a chair, Sheamus recovered enough to take the chair and flatten Big Show, then put him down with the Brogue Kick. He left to big pops, limping though, and then the Show staggered out to cheers.
A good, fun night. Even my daughter had to admit that she enjoyed a live event more than the TV shows! And lots of John Cana stuff to be seen. Although I may have been the only guy there with a "I'm a Paul Heyman" t-shirt! I posted pictures in a Facebook Album at http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151296577024731.486359.689489730&type=1.