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Arena Reports
9/15 WWE in Laramie: Jericho vs. Flair, Triple H vs. Kane

Sep 16, 2002 - 9:44:00 PM
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WWE house show report
September 15, 2002
Laramie, Wy.
Report by Dusty Goehring, PWTorch.com correspondent


Well the WWE's first trip to Laramie in since Hulk Hogan's heyday (16 years to be exact) had rather underwhelming attendance... I'd be shocked if it was more than 5,000. Being on a college campus and in a state that the WWE never hits, I was hoping for a good turnout, but the fact that we're only two hours away from Denver probably killed a bit of the special feel...well that and Lesnar and Taker jumping in the weekssince it was announced to go witha lack ofRVD. Those that did show up were vocal, though, which made for a pretty solid show. Lillian Garcia was the ring announcer and did a good job all night, especially on an awesome rendition of the National Anthem (blew away the 9/11 Smackdown one which is the only time I've heard her do it).

(1) Tommy Dreamer beat Steven Richards with a DDT. This one actually got solid heat due to a hardcore ECW fan at ringside with an "I love Tommy Dreamer" sign. When the wrestlers arrivedin their rental carshe gave her a hug and she promptly became the prime target of cheap heat tactics all night startingwith this one. Dreamer winson a sequence that had a Death Valley Driver reversed to a Stevenkickreversed to the DDT.

(2) Jeff Hardy beat William Regal with a quick roll-up. Regal spent several minuteson the mic badmouthing the Laramie locals before Hardy came out andgot a quick roll-up for the pin.Some trademarkRegalfacial expressions followed.

(3)Molly Holly pinned Jacqueline with two feet on the ropes. Stacy Keibler was special guest ring announcer and instantly sparked debates over who was hotter: her or Lillian. Personally I'd go Molly Holly's earlyheel turnin the couple weeks before they messed with her hair and outfit, but I digress. Victoria is special guest referee and anyone who's up on storylines at all can see the finish from a mile away. Surprisingly no heel ref tactics until the final illegal pin. Afterwards Jacqueline beats up on anything female and heel.

(4) Chris Jericho beat Ric Flair in a street fight with a Lionsault. Surprisingly crisp match. Lil' Naitch is the ref of course. Aside from forgetting to sell a couple punches in the corner, Flair kept up nicely. Slick Ric also contributed a primo blade job turning the whole front right side of his mane crimson. Jericho actually hits a Lionsault and wins with it.

(5) Jamal & Rosie beat Spike Dudley and Jeff Hardy with their Samoan Drop. Jeff replaces the injured Bradshaw and comes out to a nice pop and does a few token Poetry in Motions before Spike takes over as Rosie & Jamal's ragdoll. Regal comes back out and Jeff fights him to the back leaving Spike more or less dead. After the match Bubba comes out to save Spike from any more punishment.

(6) D-Lo Brown, Shelton Benjamin and Johnny the Bull beat Shawn Stasiak, Justin Credible and Chris Nowinski with a Sky-High. D-Lo was surprisingly over, which I was more than happy to see. Nowinski got a few Harvard sucks chants; this guy's gonna be the real deal eventually. Finisher sequence at the end is highlighted by Benjamin's Money Clip (got more than a few "ooooh's" from the crowd) and ends with a Sky-High.

(7) Bubba Ray Dudley beat Test. Bubba came out with a flag at the beginning. The only things memorable about this onewere the volume created when Bubba missed his senton and the crowds' extreme dislike for Mr. Andrew Martin. Also we didn't even see a table as Bubba was chaired before he could get one out.

(8) Christian and Lance Storm beat Booker T & Goldust in a 2/3 falls match. Biggest irony of the night: Huge pop for Goldust in the town made infamous by the Matthew Shepherd slaying. Excellent match with big-time crowd heat. Early on Storm & Christian get the 1st fall on a Storm suplex where Christian held Bookers leg down from the outside. Quickly followed up by a scissors kick by Booker for fall 2 (also immediately went for fall #3 by going right back to the pin...gotta respect that). Un-Americans win the final fall ona Big Boot from Test. Post-match Booker & Goldust do spinaroonies to huge pops(Goldusts was surpisingly very good). Best match of the night by far.

(9) Triple H beat Kane after both Earl Hebner & Nick Patrick were bumped. Deafening face pop for Triple H which took more than 9 minutes of mic work to undo. In the parking lot before the show, Flair went virtually unnoticed because he arrived in the same car with Triple H. Surprisingly heatless match for much of it. Eventually Hebner got bumped and we saw both a Pedigree and Chokeslam before Nick Patrick made it out. After he was bumped we eventually got a good chair shot from Triple H for the pin from the groggy Hebner. Post-match chokeslam from Kane is supposed to make us feel good that he was there instead of RVD, I guess.

Surprisingly enough, this was my first ever WWE show (I've been a fan for 11 years, but they never come near WY so I hadn't even looked at going to one until I got tix for last Wrestlemania which I disappointingly had to sell off...but that's another story). While disappointed by the lack of crowd, they were vocal and the basketball arena has nice acoustics for a little school so it didn't feel so bad. Good effort from all involved on a show that they very well could have tanked before the small crowd.

Biggest Pops
1. Triple H (pre-heel promo)
2. Booker T & Goldust
3.Jeff Hardy (returning for the tag match)
4. Bubba Ray
5. D-Lo Brown

Most Heat
1. The Un-Americans
2. Jamal & Rosie
3. Jericho
4. Triple H
5. Chris Nowinski


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