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WWE Smackdown TV Taping Report
July 19, 2016
In-Person Report by Mike McMahon, PWTorch contributor
Read McMahon’s in-person tweets @MikeMcMahonPW.
– WWE drew an excellent crowd to Worcester, which over the last 10 years has hosted very few television events, and usually is just part of house show loops. The only section that was tarped was a few seats around the hard camera.
One interesting note was that the stage was pushed way up in the arena, allowing for a smaller house. For example, the seats I purchased were dead center ring. However, if we were there for a hockey game, we would have been near one of the offensive-zone faceoff circles.
– Dark Match: Neville beat Curtis Axel. Heath Slater and Bo Dallas were at ringside but didn’t even attempt to interfere in the match.
– The crowd was started a loud “C.M. Punk!” chant prior to Smackdown going on the air, but it was quickly shut down by another portion of the crowd that started booing that chant heavily.
– During the SmackDown taping, there was a “Fix the screen!” chant during one of the Draft rounds after a portion of the tron screen died. It was fixed during a commercial break.
– (I believe) a fan was handing out “Hugger Section” signs to people near the ringside area. Some people thought this meant Bayley was going to debut on the show, but I’m almost positive a fan was the one distributing the signs, either in hopes of Bayley’s debut or to just troll the section. From what I could see, it was not WWE that distributed the signs. There was someone who looked very much like a fan putting signs on seats in that section right as the doors opened.
– The advertised bonus dark match of John Cena vs. A.J. Styles did not happen.
– Portions of the crowd became restless during the WWE Title match. It was very much a “Hey, look at how smart we are!” segment of the audience chanting for Punk (again) as well as Shinsuke Nakamura, Finn Balor, Bayley and Samoa Joe.
– As you would expect, Roman Reigns was almost unanimously booed when he was drafted, as well as every other time he was seen on screen during a video package.
— Mike McMahon (@MikeMcMahonPW) July 19, 2016