The arena room was about half full, which is pretty good considering 8:00 p.m. is still pretty early for the Hollywood crowd. The merchandise table two drink minimum was strictly enforced. I picked up a basket of fries and a couple of Cherry Cokes for my little cousin. The undercard was pretty decent. The first three or four matches sets were performers that I had never heard of.
To be honest, I don't see most of these people being brought up to the main roster, but I was quite surprised that the fourth or fifth performer was Sarah Silverman. She was unannounced beforehand. I don't know if she failed a wellness policy test because I would expect her to be the main event. It's sad to see her wallowing in the mid-card after seeing her headline for so many years. [All right – exiting smartass "smart mark" mode now] Ms. Silverman had a notepad and was obviously trying out new material. It was definitely a treat.
RVD was announced as a pro wrestler, and the crowd didn't hoot and holler. I assumed that meant that nobody knew who he was, but after his set he wrapped up by doing his usual "Rob Van Dam" thumbs pointing gesture, and about half of the crowd said "Rob Van Dam" along with him, so I was clearly wrong.
His set itself was actually quite good. I was wondering if his material would be the Mick Foley "storytelling" route or a different style. But I believe he only referenced wrestling twice, and not as a basis of the joke or punchline.
He had a calm presence onstage, as you may have guessed (and I'm assuming we are all correct as to HOW he had a calm presence…just an educated guess). His material was more observational. Things like "Is being a good audience something to be proud of?" and expounding upon that. I don't know how long he's been doing standup, but I can honestly say he not only hold his own against the others on the show but was better than some of them. I believe he's only performed like this off and on every few months, but if he really focused on it he could really start killing onstage.
Anyway, this is just one guy's opinion. I think if you have the opportunity to see RVD on stage you should definitely take it. I saw him after the show and briefly spoke with him. He was accessible and totally cool to everybody, posed for pictures and chatting with fans afterwards.
Check out Kevin's podcast "Alright, Let's Do a Podcast" at iTunes.apple.com/us/podcast/alright-lets-do-a-podcast/id633038936?mt=2.