Thoughts on Smackdown
Smackdown was in San Jose this week and I went with Kate. I am not watching the rebroadcast on Universal HD. It was the first live wrestling show I ever attended. I know, I waiting until I was 40 to go to my first live wrestling show. I walked about lots of my impressions of the show on the International Object podcast this week.
I tried to take a decent number of Photos at the show. I was not allowed to take a camera with a removable lens, so I took a point and shoot. I wish I got the chance to take my Nikon D50, but I did not want to push it. I did not see anyone else with a DSLR. I think I made the right choice.
The upper bowl was draped off. Even with that it was not a full house. They were selling the upper bowl tickets for $20. I wonder what they did with the people who ordered these tickets. I think about 6000 people were at the show, but I wonder if I can get the real numbers.
The crowd had a lot of families. The rows in front of us and behind us were full of elementary school boys. It was enjoyable to hear them cheer at the show. I liked hearing what they said about the wrestlers. They cheered all the heroes and boo'ed all the villains.
It was the fourth match before a face one a match. It was a little surprising they went so heavy for bad guys at the start of the show. I know they were taping TV shows and that was the most important thing. I still think this hurt the live product.
During the Superstars taping of of the US Title match between Antonio Cesaro (billed from Lucerne, Switzerland) and Justin Gabriel (billed from Capetown, South Africa) the Crowd started chanting USA! USA! USA! You can even hear it on the Superstars broadcast. I guess they were chanting for the title. During the broadcast the announcers try to say that say that is because Justin Gabriel has embraced the USA and not embodies America.
Another thing that hurt the live product were the movies played on the Tron and arena screens. The crowd started get bored when the movies played. People wanted to see things on the ring, not on the screen. A couple times people chanted Boring when the videos played.
My wife and I both thought the Rocky 4 like punching machine was pretty lame. The acting on the stage looks better on TV then it did live. The acting on the stage was not as interesting live. The best in ring promo was the one between Kofi Kingston and the Miz.
It was really clear to me who was going to win most of the matches of the 11 matches there are only two slight upsets. I think that took something away from the event. I know it is a Smackdown TV taping first, but they want the crowd involved. I think surprising people might help that.
The live show was dragged down by the TV breaks. It is strange to see they still have breaks for commercials. The breaks where not as long as the commercials, but they still happened. The breaks where not long enough to go the concourse for concessions, but long enough to disturb the rhythm of the show.
The biggest crowd reaction was the booing of Vickie Guerrero. It was so loud I could not hear her and I could not hear myself cheer her. Yes I was cheering the villains all night long. Cheering the villains was more fun live. It is fun because I could hear the elementary school boys in the row in front of me and behind me were cheering so enthusiastically for the good guys.
The only bad thing was Vickie Guerrero did not generate any heat during the match. I think that is her weakness as a manager. I think Dolph Ziggler needs to cheat more. I think being a show off heel is not enough in the right. He needs to make people boo him.
The biggest positive reaction was for Danial Bryan. Lots of people where wearing his T-Shirts, both the Yes and No versions. There is this idea that people just like yelling Yes! Yes! Yes! but the fans were into his match also. He works like a high flyer and the WWE main event style.
The crowd also reacted for Big Show, Randy Orton, and Kane. The kids behind me were really excited to see Kane wrestle. They were young enough to really think he is really super natural. They also wanted CM Punk and John Cena to be there. Their dad kept on telling them Punk and Cena where not going to be there.
The hard part of the TV taping is the length. The show was 3 and a half hours long. By the end of the Smackdown taping the crowd was tired. Lot of the energy was gone. I thought the crowd would be have reacted to the main event better.
I had a fun time. The WWE is coming back for Raw in January. I wonder how Raw will be different.