KELLER & POWELL FLAGSHIP (12/5)
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WWE PAYBACK HOLT REPORT (Happenings Off Live TV)
APRIL 30, 2017
SAN JOSE, CALIF. AT SAP CENTER
REPORT BY TED FROM SACRAMENTO, CALIF. – VIP MEMBER
This was my first time at SAP Center since the Raw after WrestleMania 31. Here are my observations from attending Payback in person.
•I was surprised how many people came to the arena wearing WWE shirts (60-75%). No one wrestler dominated in terms of t-shirts. The three shirts I saw the most were : WrestleMania 31 (which was in San Jose), Seth Rollins, and Bayley. A good mix of men, women, families, and kids.
•Loud chants for Jerry Lawler, first when he came out and again during the pre-show.
•I was surprised at how over Booker T and Corey Graves were when they were introduced (Booker especially). It also seemed strange for the English announce team to be on the stage with the Spanish and German announce teams to be ringside.
•Enzo and Cass were over big. Unfortunately, the arena was half-empty when they came out. Multiple loud cheers of “How’a You Doin?” during the match.
•Good cheers for Finn Balor, but they were not as loud or enthusiastic as I expected.
•The arena appeared to be a sellout with all of the non-taped off seats sold, just a few late arrivers.
•Crowd was rooting for Chris Jericho, but it was not enthusiastic until the finish. The crowd loved the finish. Cheers for Jericho included: Stupid Idiot and Fozzy.
•There was no significant movement for the concourses when the purple ropes came out. It took so long to put them on, Austin Aries couldn’t get into the ring until after Neville was introduced.
•The crowd was rooting for Aries and booing Neville, but not very loudly. To this point they are booing all heels and cheering all the faces.
•Huge cheers for the Hardys. Lots of “Delete” chants. Cheers included: “Obsolete,” “Brother Nero,” “Delete,” “Let’s Go Hardys.” The match came across as Face vs. Face with most people just liking the Hardys more. Huge heat for the heel turn by Cesaro & Sheamus.
•A surprising amount of cheers for Alexa, but still 20 percent cheers and 80 percent boos. Deafening cheers for Bayley. She is over big with her hometown crowd. The crowd hated the finish.
•C.M. Punk chants greeted the start of the House of Horrors match. The crowd was bored with people leaving for the concession stands. No reactions to anything on the video. The crowd was completely dead during it until a “This is Stupid” chant and later a “Boring” chant.
•The crowd had a hard time getting back into things for Seth Rollins vs. Samoa Joe. Crowd seemed about 70 percent behind Rollins and 30 percent behind Joe. The crowd finally came alive with the Seth win out of nowhere.
•Boos for Bray. Cheers for Orton, albeit muted. No big cheers for the RKO. No big heat for Jinder. Crowd basically didn’t care.
•Braun came out to mostly cheers. Roman to almost universal boos. Loudest boos of the night by far. Loudest chant of the night was a dueling ‘Let’s go Roman, Roman sucks” chant. Probably 80 percent for Braun and 20 percent for Roman. Mostly boos for any of Roman’s offense.
•It was a good (but not great) crowd. The crowd was pretty quiet a lot of the time. The crowd died after the House of Horrors and it took booing Roman Reigns to wake them up.
•What is interesting to me is they ate everything WWE served to them, cheering the faces and booing the heels with the single exception of Roman Reigns. That should really say something.
Most Over: Hardys, Bayley, Braun, Jericho, Enzo & Cass.
Most Heel Heat: Roman Reigns, Cesaro & Sheamus after their heel turn.
NOW CHECK OUT PAT MCNEILL’S LIVE BLOG ON PAYBACK.
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