So what did you do for Mother’s Day? I went to watch wrestling. Yessir, May 11th, 2008, 5PM at the Breslin Center on the MSU campus in beautiful East Lansing, Michigan– World Wrestling Entertainment presented Wrestlemania REVENGE featuring the RAW brand.
It was a nice gloomy Sunday and Connie and I got our energy for the day by way of double cheeseburgers (mine) and a southern style chicken sandwich (hers) alongside french fries and two hot fudge sundaes at McDonald’s for lunch. I totally got ripped off on the hot fudge. But at least I got my fries and drink for free, the girl didn’t take my order for a meal, only for a double cheeseburger. They promise to give you your order fast, not right.
By the time we had gotten home, we had about 2 hours left ’til showtime. I used my time productively and surfed the net, but on the inside I was like a tiger pacing back and forth in my cage in anticipation of World Wrestling Enertainment action (and Mickie James)! Y’see, I had never gone to a WWE show before. I’ve been to four wrestling shows in my life, all of them WCW. Let’s count the shows, shall we?
1991 – WCW house show in Lynchburg, VA at the Lynchburg Convention Center. I don’t know if I’m remembering the name of the building right, but what do you care? We was promised Sting & Ric Flair. Neither appeared that night. >=( At least they acknowledged that they weren’t delivering, I think they said they missed their flight or something, but they probably just didn’t want to wrestle in Lynchburg, Virginia. I think they ended up doing some six-man tag as the main event featuring Rick Rude, Dustin Rhodes and who knows who else (I certainly don’t remember). I got my first issue of WCW Magazine and a Sting key chain as my souvniers to this show. They also passed out a sheet running down the card, for free, which was pretty cool, but I’ve since lost it.
1992 – WCW house in in Lynchburg, VA yadda yadda. We finally got Sting! YAY! Although Vader was promised and didn’t show. >=( In fact, I think the main event was supposed to be Sting vs. Vader. >=( x 2. I think we ended up getting Sting vs. Jake the Snake as the main event. >=( x 3 Oh, and on one of these L-burg house shows, someone slashed just about the whole parking lot of cars’ tires. I remember on one of these cards seeing that sleaze bag Diamond Dallas “Scum” Page cheating to win against a young Marcus Alexander Bagwell. I was mad about it!
1997 & 1998 – WCW Starracade PPV in Washington D.C. @ the MCI Center. Fun stuff, seats weren’t too bad but the pictures I took on the junky disposable camera I bought are evidence to the contrary. Sting vs. Hogan! Goldberg vs. Nash! A highlight of the ’98 show was the walk back to our car where a guy was screaming “we wuz robbed” about Scott Hall helping Kevin Nash win the belt from Goldberg!
We are now up to speed on all of my wrestling show endeavors. Back to 2008…
The Breslin Center can hold up to 14,500, but my guess is it was set up to hold maybe 8,000-9,000 for last night’s event. The top level was entirely shrouded in black curtains. The Center was about half full (if that), which was surprising to me. They can bring in 75,000 on a gloomy day at the Citrus Bowl but can’t sell out East Lansing? Tough town to please, I guess.
Taken just after we sat down. PERFECT seats.
I should mention that even though a fairly large and obvious line had already formed at the door and turned right, you’d be surprised by how many people tried to walk right up and mix into the line. Major pet peeve or mine that someone would either so rude or so stupid. Either way, you’re taking up oxygen. Doors were supposed to open at 4PM, but for some reason, they opened closer to 4:15.
The show started with recently-demoted-to-ECW announcer Tony Chimel (I guess Lillian was too busy not selling records somewhere) telling us they had a “special” match for us tonight — Kane vs. Chavo Guerrero for the ECW title! Big pop for that. What makes it soooo special? Well, T-Chi told us we could text a vote for the match stipulation: 2/3 Falls, Falls Count Anywhere, No DQ. They’ve been doing this for the Kane/Chavo matches at house shows lately and the No DQ stip always “wins”. I didn’t actually vote, but I think it’s a nice touch to give house shows to make’em more fan interactive. Initially, I feared this “special match” announcement was going to be our main event, because Tony didn’t give us a rundown of any other matches or wrestlers sports entertainers.
Chi-Guy then introduced our (not so) lovely host for the evening– Ashley! Or as I like to call her: Bashley. I don’t know why, they used it on Fresh Prince once and I thought it was hilarious. Anyway, Bashley was in the stands with a lucky family in the nosebleeds (sitting all alone up there, mind you) and they had the opportunity to get ringside seats if only they could answer this question: “Where was WrestleMania held last year?” Well, the correct answer is “Detroit”. Kind of a no-brainer question that seemed tailor-made to this region, since Detroit is only an hour away. The whole crowd was going nuts yelling “DETROIT! DETROIT! FORD FIELD!” After a long and awkward pause from the family (between the four of them they could not figure out this question) someone finally grew a pair of balls and boldy answered “ORLANDO!”. Now, here’s where things get confusing, because all of us in the arena certainly were confused. Someone had f’d up. You might even say this pop quiz had jumped the shark. Was it the family to blame for their own stupidity or was it Bashley that screwed up the question (meaning to ask “THIS year’s WM” not “LAST year’s”)? Maybe Bashley felt bad for them because they didn’t even know their own local wrestling history, because she then told them “CORRECT! Go take your place down at ringside, family!” Personally, I’d like to think Bashley screwed up the question, because as Rolling Stone magazine will now tell you, she does lots of screwing (to the price of $25,000!), but you can draw your own conclusions with some crayons and a placemat from Denny’s.
Let’s get on with the matches.
Match #1: Santino Marella vs. Super Crazy
Lots of boos upon Santino’s music playing, but *I* knew we were in for a treat! I love Santino! Santino cut a promo about the movie 300 being based on the MSU Spartans but said the movie didn’t tell the truth– that the MSU Spartans got “beat up” by the Romans (his very own ancestors)! Crowd was really into the whole match booing everything Santino did and getting behind Crazy. Santino went for the salute diving headbutt, and missed, then Crazy won with a sunset flip. Connie noted that Santino “has a belly on him”. Some lady seconded Crazy and followed him into the ring and he hugged her, Santino walked over and hugged her too. Must’ve been some contest winner, but it was never announced.
Santino surveys the crowd.
Santino just missed his salute diving headbutt thingy!
He’s super… he’s crazy… he’s Super Crazy!
The Anti-Dentite Snitsky then appeared and attacked Super Crazy as the Insane Luchador was walking to the back. Your King and mine, William Regal appeared by the entrance and gave his usual spiel about being King of WWE, made note of his power plays on recent RAWs and said Super Crazy was tonight’s first victim. I was thinking this would lead to him turning the lights out at some point or announcing a main event or interfering in some match, but he never appeared again for the rest of the night. Snitsky then went to the ring.
Match #2: Snitsky vs. Cody Rhodes w/ World Tag Team Title Belt
Cody tried to help Super Crazy up as he entered the arena, but Regal told him he had a match to worry about and to forget about Crazy. Funny spot where Snitsky yelled “there’s nothing wrong with my teeth!” Snitsky threw Cody around a lot, but Rhodes ended up winning with the DDT. Could we call that the “CodyT” or “CoDyDT”?
Young Cody Rhodes hands his half of the World tag team champioship to referee Jack Doan.
Match # 3: “The Natural” Nick Nemeth vs. Hardcore Holly w/ World Tag Team Title Belt
The sound wasn’t that great, so all I could hear was “Nick” when Chi-Town announced Nemeth. I recognized him but also remembered a recent house show report of Nick wrestling. He’s let his hair grow out and it’s bleach blond. He gave a promo about how his greatness just comes natural to him. Plenty of “who are you” screams from the crowd, but he was drawing decent heat. So-so match, but we all got riled up with Holly clotheslined Nick over the ropes and to the floor. Simple things like that we are numb to on TV look really cool in person. Holly wins with the Alabama Slam. I really wanted Holly to snap that Slam off and make an impact, I love it when he does that, but Nick just kinda folded over and fell to the mat.
Match #4: Cryme Tyme vs. Lance Cade & Trevor Murdoch
Yo, yo, yo– it’s Cryyyyyyyyyyyyme Tyyyyyyme! Cryme Tyme was great at keeping the crowd into the match. JTG even shared some popcorn and a drink with a fan and Shad got the crowd going on a “YOU SUCK!” chant for Cade. Cryme Tyme even talked about “that money, money… yeah, yeah…” Cade is a fun heel and drew a lot of heat during this match for his tamptrums and cheatin’ ways. Murdoch jawed with a few fans, I couldn’t understand what he was saying but I did point to one fan at ringside and said something about buck teeth. In the end, C&M went for the Hi-Lo, but JTG pulled Cade out of the ring and Shad gave Trevor a big boot and pinned him. Murdoch sang “Friends in Low Places”, but Cade cut him off yelled “what are you so happy about” and walked away. Heat for Cade, some sympathy cheers for Murdoch who just stood there for a bit and then walked off.
Cryme Tyme scopin’ out the E-Sing City action.
That money, money, yeah, yeah…
Post-match lovers’ quarrel
Ashley came out and picked a young girl to be the special manager of Mickie James in the next match. The girl and her family were taken backstage to meet the wrestlers sports entertainers.
By this time, between the two of us, Connie and I had already bought (and consumed) a big soft pretzel (mmm… soft pretzel), a box of popcorn, a water, a bag of those cinnamon sugar roasted almonds, and two snow cones. She left to go get a program souvenir ($10, oversized magazine full of pictures and stats of all three rosters), and also came back with an HBK cowboy hat for herself (lookin’ sexy in it as well!) and the awesome John Cena 8-bit shirt for me.
Match #5: WWE Women’s title: Mickie James w/ Little Girl vs. Beth Phoenix
Connie was still out when this match started up, which made me mad because I wanted pictures of Mickie entering the ring! She finally arrived back (with digital camera in tow) a few minutes into it. Good match, Mickie won with the top rope Thesz press. I wasn’t in control of the camera, but if I was, there’d be some booty shots here.
My baby gettin’ it done in the ring
Backbreaker for Mickie! =(
My other baby… I can have her AND Mickie, right?
Match #6: ECW title: Kane vs. Chavo Guerrero w/ Bam Neely
Holy cow, the heat was off the charts for this match! East Lansing REALLY loves Kane and REALLY hates Chavo. Maybe we’re the only ones watching ECW? Surprise, surprise, the No DQ stip supposedly “won” with 73% of the votes. Chavo & Bam were really getting into it with a few fans at ringside, with two of them going nose to nose with Chavo. I still can’t get over how over Chavo was, you’d think he was actually a top heel. Not a bad match, but for a No DQ match, it was fairly tame. Bam only interfered behind the ref’s back (um… it’s no DQ, you can get in the ring if you like) and Chavo hit Kane in the leg & rips a couple of times with a chair. Kane did get one good smack on Chavo’s back with the chair though. Kane won with the chokeslam, after taking out the Bammer (haven’t been able to say that since Bam Bam Bigelow was still with us!), to a HUGE pop. What was ECW doing on a RAW house show anyway?
The ECW champ
Battle of the Titans: Chavo vs. Kane!
Tone Loc thanked us all for coming out and wished us all a Happy Mother’s Day… Then the lights went out and green spotlights started to shine all around the arena… “Are you ready?”
Match #7: D-Generation X vs. John Bradshaw Layfield & Umaga
Best match of the night, of course. HBK & HHH were super over, but JBL not so much. DX entered first, then JBL, who stood outside the ring staring them down, waiting for his partner to arrive… Would it be Orton? Nope. Crowd popped as soon as Umaga’s music played, he could be a big face at some point. They did the usual DX intro, but with HHH “forgetting” that there weren’t any millions watching around the world. Shawn had to remind him. HBK was still selling the knee injury from his match against Batista. Now that’s cool. Lots of stalling at first and then a funny bit from Umaga who yelled at JBL from the apron motioning for JBL to attack HBK’s knee. JBL’s blank stare at Umaga for yelling at him was priceless. Superkick for JBL, superkick into a pedigree for Umaga. DX wins. Then they spent quite few minutes walking around ringside shaking hands with the fans. I got the feeling JBL didn’t really care to be there.
DX reunites in East Lansing!
HBK & HHH recognize me in the crowd
A stoic JBL
Great pic of Umaga captured by Connie!
HHH & HBK cower at Umaga’s “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!!!!!!” pose
No, his back isn’t hurting him… he’s tuning up the band!
Overall, a fun show. Nothing groundbreaking in terms of match quality, but it was a fun 2 1/2 hour Sunday evening show where all the faces went over and the crowd was hot and vocal for everything, all the heels got huge heat after the matches as they were leaving. Connie and I think the tickets were a little overpriced, but I still enjoyed it and would go back again if they ever come back to East Sing City. It’s just too bad it wasn’t even close to a sell out because I doubt that’s very encouraging for WWE to return to the area. But then again, maybe it was just a show to keep them on the road until RAW the next night in Detroit and they weren’t really worried about the turnout.
Advertised but failed to appear: Chris Jericho and Randy Orton. I really wanted to see them (especially Jericho), but at least I got to see my baby Mickie and HBK. WWE’s website the Breslin Center site both listed Orton & Jericho as appearing, but no mention was ever made of their absence. Although I assume Orton’s time off from house shows has already started.
1 – DX
2 – Kane
3 – Cryme Tyme/Umaga
1 – Chavo Guerrero (seriously!)
2 – Lance Cade & Trevor Murdoch (more Cade than Murdoch though)
3 – Santino Marella