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Smackdown Taping Thoughts


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Myself, Hollinger and a host of others attended the Smackdown tapings in Des Moines tonight and had a ton of fun. It's been a long time since I saw a WWE event live, at least 5-6 years.

 

Some thoughts:

 

- The crowd was surprisingly low for a TV taping. I know they would get more fans for RAW, but there were still maybe only 4-5,000 in a 16,000 seat arena tops. They even did the half-curtain of the arena. Considering this and the large amount of radio advertising in recent weeks, it makes me happy to even get the 200 average we get at our local 3XW shows just a block away on a super-limited adverting budget.

 

- The only one who truly received a star reaction was Randy Orton, in my opinion. Christian also received a nice reaction, but not Orton's level. Sheamus and Michael Cole (who only appeared on NXT) received many boos. Everyone else - from NXT/Superstars talent to others on Smackdown - didn't get much reaction. Well, Yoshi Tastu was pretty over, but Daniel Bryan didn't receive much more reaction than Johnny Curtis.

 

- NXT did this really cool gauntlet match idea where all 5 remaining contestants and their pros competed in a 5-team gauntlet. Match was legitimately 25-30 minutes. Tyson Kidd was the total workhorse of this, so crisp with everything and then even worked a match with Trent Barretta on Superstars immediately following the bout! One thing I noticed - the "pros" were a hell of a lot more solid than the "rookies", even with the Redemption theme meaning all the rookies have already been on NXT once and the pros, in some cases, not being around much longer than the rookies.

 

I never watch NXT, but the Titus O'Neill/Hornswoggle vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr./Darren Young storyline seems more entertaining than many things on wrestling TV these days. That, and Vladamir Kozlov is a hell of a babyface wrestler, great timing.

 

- The Usos were taking wild bumps, clearly trying to make an impression.

 

- Poor Sin Cara...they let him make the save for Daniel Bryan against a double team from Cody Rhodes and Ted Dibiase (Danielson had just wrestled Dibiase), so Cara hits the ring, only for Rhodes to botch taking Cara's first move and Ted awkwardly handled the second. I'd say this one was definitely not on Cara either.

 

- Christian and Mark Henry had a good match and Randy Orton and Sheamus had a really good match with an unusual finish, considering the face-hell dynamics - essentially Sheamus clearly had the title won, but Christian as guest referee screwed him over by not finishing the count of 3 (Sheamus ran into him directly before the finish, so Christian sold the shoulder).

 

- Johnny Curtis cut this awkward promo basically explaining that he earned a Tag Title shot with his former partner R-Truth due to winning last season's NXT, but wasn't going to get it. He then spilled milk over his head to indicate the "crying over spilled milk" cliche. It was really strange and maybe I just didn't get it. Crowd was way confused.

 

- I was thrilled to see one of our local Iowa wrestlers, A.J. Smooth, be one of Cody Rhodes' bag handlers during a Rhodes promo.

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NXT did this really cool gauntlet match idea where all 5 remaining contestants and their pros competed in a 5-team gauntlet. Match was legitimately 25-30 minutes. Tyson Kidd was the total workhorse of this, so crisp with everything and then even worked a match with Trent Barretta on Superstars immediately following the bout! One thing I noticed - the "pros" were a hell of a lot more solid than the "rookies", even with the Redemption theme meaning all the rookies have already been on NXT once and the pros, in some cases, not being around much longer than the rookies.

Sounds like it could be a heck of a match. I wish they would do matches like this more often. Also wish they would have matches like this at Survivor Series.

 

Thanks for the recap.

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