Arena Reports 3/29 WWE in Wichita Falls, Tex.: Hunter & Taker vs. Orton's Legacy, Gail Kim vs. McCool, Hardy vs. Show, Police cuff a few fans
Mar 30, 2009 - 11:41:33 AM
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WWE Smackdown house show results
March 29, 2009
Wichita Falls, Tex.
Report by Clint Fitch, PWTorch.com reader
Just got back from the house show here in the Falls, and thought I'd fill you in on how it went. Overall, it was a great atmosphere that in some ways reminded me of the old wrestling shows of the '80s.
The arena was about three-fourths full, and they didn't open the doors until about 30 minutes before the show, so it was pretty much controlled chaos at the beginning. They still started the show exactly at 5:00 even though several hundred people were still filing into the place.
(1) R-Truth beat Chavo Guerrero. Chavo took some time to jaw with the fans at ringside in the beginning, but R-Truth got out of the ring and went over to high-five the fans to whom Chavo had just talked trash. Truth also got the fans to say "What's up" with him several times. Good back-and-forth action for about five or six minutes. Chavo ducked Truth's spinning flying elbow of the ropes and went for the Three Amigos suplexes, but Truth blocked, flipped Chavo over, and countered with a cool Stunner for the win.
-- The ring announcer threw to Maria, who was up in the nosebleed section with a family. She asked them a trivia question for a prize. The question was "Name two of the competitors in the Money in the Bank match at next week's Wrestlemania," and they answered with "Kane" and "Kofi Kingston." Interesting choices, but right nonetheless. The prize was instant front row seats. Sweet!
(2) The Great Khali beat The Brian Kendrick (w/Ezekiel Jackson). Kendrick came out and cut a promo belittling the "country-music-listening, beer swilling" Texas fans, saying he couldn't believe he had to leave his beautiful home in Venice, Calif. and waste a fresh pair of socks to come to Wichita Falls. He then went on to challenge "any tough guy" from the back to come out and face him. The Great Khali answered the call to a pretty good pop. Kendrick mocked him by saying "THIS is your 'tough guy?'" but quickly backed off when Khali moved towards him. Kendrick played the "little guy" evasion tactics for a couple of minutes, drawing several boos, but eventually caught Khali by surprise with a little distraction from Ezekiel. He was able to chop at Khali's legs, but Khali quickly overpowered him. The end came when Ezekiel got up on the apron and took off his shirt as if to challenge Khali. As Kendrick went to sucker him from behind, Khali threw Kendrick into Zeke, knocking him off the apron. Khali then finished Kendrick with the two-handed choke slam.
(3) Vladimir Kozlov beat Jimmy Wang Yang. Yang used his martial arts and acrobatics to frustrate Kozlov for a couple of minutes, but Kozlov brushed most of it off and overpowered Yang with several high-impact moves. Yang made a comeback after a few "USA" chants and went for his top rope moonsault, but Kozlov saw it coming and backed up. Yang landed on his feet, but turned around just in time to eat a headbutt to the chest. Three seconds later, this one was in the books. Kozlov actually looked great in what was little more than a squash.
(4) U.S. champion MVP beat Shelton Benjamin to retain the United States Championship. Benjamin gave away the ending by cutting pre-match promo saying that he was going to take "his" U.S. championship back to the Money in the Bank match at WrestleMania. MVP came out to a decent pop, and cut a promo of his own asking why Shelton was so angry. "Is it because he lost 'my' United States championship, or is it because his hairdresser messed his hair up?" That got quite a few chuckles.
This match was decent length and would've been solid on the actual TV program. Benjamin went for Paydirt almost from the get-go, but MVP pushed him off into the turnbuckle. The problem with that move is that if it's countered that way, it looks like a blown spot. Anyway, the match spilled to the outside early, with MVP getting the best of Benjamin until Benjy reversed a whip to send MVP into the steel steps.
Back in the ring, several rest holds were utilized to draw it out a little, with Benjamin having the upper hand most of the time working on MVP's back. MVP made a monster comeback after about a 10-minute beat down and even hit Benjamin with his "Ballin'" elbow. Finish came when MVP nailed Benjamin off the turnbuckle with a big boot to the face and followed it up with the Playmaker for the win. Both guys put on a great display of intensity and athleticism.
-- Maria came back out to the ring with a couple of young fans. They got to slap hands with the fans at ringside and went into the ring to throw some prizes to the crowd. The moment of their young lives, and yes, we were all jealous.
(5) Gail Kim beat Michelle McCool. Whoa, where's Gail been? McCool played a pretty decent heel in this one, jawing at the crowd a few times. The WWE front row "Sign Guy" with the red ball cap was in attendance, and McCool got pretty upset at the sign he was holding up when she came to the ring. Per typical Divas match fare, the crowd pretty much died for this one, but both Divas put good effort into getting the crowd involved. My friend noticed that McCool had what looked like a huge cross on the back of her tights and said, "I like the blonde because she's fighting for Jesus." Hilarious. McCool beat on Kim and worked on her legs for a few minutes, at one point wrapping Kim's leg around her head. Pretty innovative. Kim made a comeback and caught McCool with a top-rope dropkick for the win. This match went pretty long for a Divas match, but again, great work by both of them. McCool pouted and ripped Sign Guy's sign in half before she headed to the back holding her jaw.
-- The ring announcer reminded everyone that this show was brought to us by the new movie "12 Rounds," starring JOHN CENA! (Cena wasn't there, but the crowd went nuts when they heard his name anyway.)
(6) The Big Show beat Jeff Hardy. Hardy was supposed to team up with Triple H against Show and Randy Orton in the main event, but I guess there was a last-minute card change. Haven't seen Show and Hardy go at it for a couple of months, so I guess we were due. Show-Hardy XXVIII started with Hardy milking his entrance for almost five minutes. The crowd was on its feet for him the whole time, though, so why not? After the bell, Show just stood in the corner and stared at Hardy for about a minute before they started. Hardy pulled a Kendrick and did the "little guy" evasion thing for a bit, but Show finally caught him and bullied and powered him around the ring. He knocked Hardy to the outside and went to javelin him into the ring post, but Hardy slipped from his grasp and Show posted himself. Show barely beat the ten count back into the ring. Hardy tried to press the advantage, but Show stopped it with a sidewalk slam off the ropes.
Hardy really sold the long beat down that ensued, but eventually made his comeback with a Whisper in the Wind to finally take Show off his feet. Hardy went for a Twist of Fate, but Show pushed him off into the ropes. He grabbed Hardy's throat for a choke slam, but Hardy slipped out again and dashed for the ropes. Show caught him by the throat again, though, and this time drilled Hardy with a choke slam to put him away. Goliath wins the latest round.
-- After the match, Matt Hardy made a surprise appearance in street clothes to take another piece out of Jeff before their Extreme Rules match at WrestleMania. He beat on Jeff and tried to hit him with a Twist of Fate, but Jeff reversed it into one of his own, then hit Matt with a Swanton Bomb. Matt actually writhed himself into position for it, too, which made me laugh out loud. The crowd popped for Jeff one more time, then booed Matt out of the building along with a chorus of "You suck" chants. Matt stopped short of the entranceway to shoot the crowd another pitiful look before leaving.
(7) WWE Heavyweight champion Triple H & The Undertaker beat Legacy (Randy Orton & Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase, Jr.) in a handicap match. Not sure why Taker would help the Game with his feud with Orton while he's trying to focus on Shawn Michaels and WrestleMania, but that's what's so great about house shows. You can get away with throwing a little continuity out the window and still get the crowd to lose it, and that's exactly what they did for both Taker and the champ. Still reacting to what Orton did to Triple H and his wife, Stephanie, on Raw, the crowd absolutely let Orton have it as Legacy came down the entranceway. The ref had to hold Triple H back while they methodically made their way to the ring, and like last match, this one took a while to get going.
The Game couldn't contain himself once Orton was in the ring, though, and speared Orton to a huge pop, dissolving it into a Pier Six brawl early. Undertaker kept Rhodes and DiBiase at bay in the ring while Triple H beat on Orton all around the outside. Trips bounced Orton off of several safety railings all the way to the back, and a few in the crowd booed because they thought those two might not return. Triple H came right back out, though, without Orton, to help Taker beat on the rest of Legacy to officially start the match. One of the little kids next to me said to his dad, "Maybe he hit him over the head with his sledgehammer!" This from a seven-year-old. Funny, but at the same time…wow. Taker took control on Rhodes and worked him over for a bit. The crowd kept calling for Old School, and they got their wish as Taker hit it on Rhodes. Trips and Taker took turns on both Rhodes and DiBiase, even hitting a couple of double-team moves on them. They eventually took Legacy to the outside and started beating on them there.
Of course, everyone knew Orton would come back eventually and try to sucker Triple H, and that's exactly what he did while the Game beat on Rhodes outside the ring. The whole crowd tried to warn him once Orton ran out from the back, but Trips was apparently so preoccupied with Rhodes that he didn't hear almost 10,000 fans screaming at him. Legacy then took control and Triple H played the face in peril for almost 15 minutes. He came back several times, but just couldn't make the tag. DiBiase even hit Triple H with his daddy's patented falling fist drop at one point. I almost got a tear in my eye seeing that…the longer the beating on the Game went, the more frustrated Taker got. Taker paced around his corner like a caged tiger and slapped the turnbuckle to get the crowd behind the Game. At one point when Triple H came up just short of the tag before DiBiase dragged him back to Legacy's corner, Taker grabbed a water bottle and shook it out over his head to fire himself up even more. That was a great moment and so uncharacteristic for him, but the crowd ate it up anyway.
Eventually, Trips battled back one more time and finally made the hottest tag in pro wrestling house show history to Taker. Taker cleaned house on Legacy while the Game caught a breather in the corner. After about 30 seconds, Triple H somehow found the strength to chase Orton around the ring again. This is why I loved wrestling as a kid. He caught up to Orton, scored a few more choice shots, and chased Orton to the back again. Taker had been overwhelmed by Rhodes and DiBiase by then, but Triple H got back to the ring in time to stop a double-team off the ropes by Rhodes and DiBiase. Triple H hit Rhodes with the Pedigree while Taker choke slammed DiBiase. Taker covered DiBiase for the win. Orton never came back out.
-- After the match, Taker and the Game both posed in the ring, and Taker walked slowly to the back, raising his fist to a big pop at the entranceway. The Game made sure to sell the beat down from earlier, then posed again in the ring. He slapped hands with everyone on the rails as he made his way to the back, which was a very cool gesture. That's another great thing about house shows: you won't see something like that on TV.
Again, a great show overall with a really intimate, old school feel to it. The crowd was crazy go nuts for the whole thing; in fact, a couple of fans got into a fight right in front of me as I was leaving and were escorted out of the arena in handcuffs by security. The excitement for WrestleMania is definitely at a fever pitch here in Wichita Falls.
-The mere mention of John Cena's name
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