The WWE has finally come back to Kamloops. The last house show here was about 4 years ago, we got a Raw show. This time we have Smackdown. This is my third WWE house show, which I attended with my good friend Brian Saunderson. Brian's a big TNA and ROH fan. Me, I've been watching wrestling for 25 years and am I long time Stampede Wrestling fan. First, a stroll past the merch booth and I see loads and loads of Rey Misterio stuff. There's also a surprising amount of kids here, a lot different from the last show in the Loops. Our seats are in the first balcony, just off to the left with a great view of the ring. Let's get to the action!
Tony Chimel is out to announce the action. He tells us all the rules and stuff, and we're off to the races with the first match Out comes Sylvan (going just by his first name now). He says some stuff in French, then repeats it in English for us dumb anglophones. He issues an open challenge to the back, but he doesn't want to wrestle a stinky American, or a dumb Canadian. So.... Here comes Psychosis on a riding mower! They play around in the ring a bit, Sylvan makes a “lawn mower” motion that gets a rise out of Psychosis. They do some unimpressive wrestling for a few minutes before The Great Khali's music hits and out he comes with Diavari in tow. He destroys both men, botching a chokeslam on Psychosis, dropping him on his side. Diavari cuts a promo and runs down Kamloops and everyone else on the Smackdown roster. Khali yells a bit into the mic and they're off to the back. Khali is nowhere as big as I thought he'd be. He looks smaller than the Big Show, who I saw at the last WWE house show here. He's definitely smaller than Andre the Giant.
The second match is a tag match. First out are Kasey James and Aaron Stevens, two up and comers from Ohio Valley Wrestling. A quick websearch says that James has held the OVW tag title with Roadkill. Stevens has held the TV title and the tag title with Nova/Simon Dean. They run down Canada too, saying they are from USA and are better looking than everyone here. Stevens says that this is his first time in Kelowna and his last. They were in Kelowna last night, so he might be confused or he might be playing up the longtime Kelowna/Kamloops rivalry. Out comes Matt Hardy to a huge pop, then his partner Gunner Scott. Scott looks great, nice squat body style. Hardy looks a bit out of shape. The match is pretty blah. Average stuff from all the men. Stevens looks pretty good in the ring, Brian predicts he could go somewhere in the future. Gunner does hit a nice release German suplex though. Hardy lets Scott do most of the work in the ring, then tags in late to nail James with a Twist of Fate for the win. Hardy was over huge with the crowd, it's a shame he's getting the shaft on TV.
Here comes Mr. Kennedy for the next match. He gets Chimel out of the ring and does his classic ring annoucement. He says Kelowna has better looking women and we need some good looking women here, so we're having a best body match. Here comes Kristal Marshall and Jillian Hall. Kennedy says they can dance around and he'll be the pole. Kristal is first and she shows off her goods. Jillian pushes Kennedy into the turnbuckles and she does her dance. Kennedy takes a poll and declares Kristal the winner. Kennedy then says we're idiots for picking her, but Jillian is no better. Kristal takes offense and gets in Kennedy's face. Kennedy pushes her to the floor, which brings out, holy crap, it's Chavo Guerrero! Has he jumped from Raw? They're gonna have a match! Chavo and Kennedy go at it, Chavo looks great. The match is really slow paced thoug, probably because of Kennedy coming off an injury. The match ends after Kennedy tries to set up Chavo for the JFK, but Chavo punches him off the ropes then hits a really crappy looking frogsplash for the win. The kids around me were chanting Eddie most of the time. Too bad Chavo can't get heat on his own, he has to ride off of Eddie's work.
Intermission time, time to go to the bathroom and get some water.
Chimel is back in the ring with the tag titles match. This is the one Brian and I came for. Here comes Kid Kash and Jamie Noble. We immediately comment about the waste here, with Kash being a former ECW TV champ and X Division champ, and Noble a former ROH champ, here stuck in a tag team match. But, here comes the champs, Paul London (another ROH star) and Brian “Spanky” Kendrick. The match is fast paced, with Kendrick playing the face-in-peril for most of the match. Kash hits a nice fireman's carry into an armlock. Kendrick bumps and sells like a madman. He reminds me of Spike Dudley at times. London gets tagged in late in the match and clears house. Kendrick comes back and nails Kash with an insane looking Sliced Bread #2. London gets the pin with a crazy dropkick on Kash into a moonsault on Noble. I'd never seen the move before, Brian says it's called a dropsault. Great match, too bad these guys are stuck in the tag division.
It's Fit Finlay out next, with his shillelagh. No leprachaun to be found tonight though. He's up against US Champ Bobby Lashley, who is freakin' huge. Lashley has very little in the ring though, lots of power moves, slams and punches. Finlay is great, sneaking out of the ring and hitting Lashley with all sorts of nasty looking punches. He also chucks a bunch of chairs and the ring bell into the ring. Lashley wants to use the chairs but the ref takes them away. He hits Lashley with a kick and he goes down in a heap. The ref is on it and makes and X sign to the back. Oh shit, Lashley's hurt his leg. The doctors are out and the ref calls the match due to injury. But, it's a work. Finlay calls Lashley (and all Americans and Canadians) a coward and Lashley limps back into the ring. Finlay works the leg for several minutes and continues taunting the crowd. Lashley comes back and wins with a powerslam.
Last match of the night. It's Mark Henry vs. Rey Misterio. Henry's out first and he's huge. He looks bigger than Khali. Misterio is out to a huge pop, he does a lot of posing in the ring. Henry gets on the mic and askes him if he's finished kissing babies. He says he's going to win tonight because his friends Batista, Angle, Benoit and Eddie aren't here to help him. The Eddie comment gets to Rey and he attacks Henry. The match is a pretty standard Rey match. Henry mops the floor with him with lots of power and weight style moves, Rey gets in a bit of offence, but it's mostly Henry. The kids are chanting “619” and throw in an “Eddie” chant here and there. Rey tries for a Westcoast Pop but hits the refs with it instead. Everyone looks towards the wrestler's entrance expecting a run in, but only another ref comes out. Henry gets a two count from the new ref, then he clocks the ref out of the ring. That brings out Chavo again, he wearing an Eddie Guerrero shirt. They do a double dropkick and Henry eats a 619. Rey goes for the frogsplash, which he does worse than Chavo, and Chavo wakes up the ref to get Rey the win. Rey and Chavo celebrate in the ring and grab some fan signs, “RIP Eddie”. They lay the signs in the ring with the belt and point to the roof. They spend about 10 minutes after the match signing autographs and posing for pictures with the crowd.
Not a bad show overall. It was much shorter than the last show, which had 8 matches to this show's 6. Match of the night was Kendrick/London vs. Noble/Kash. Rey got the biggest pop, followed by Matt Hardy. Biggest heat went to Finlay, then to Mark Henry.
Whatcha gonna do when Mahkan-mania runs wild all over you?
Wow, I'm kinda surprised this show seems fairly different from last night's in Kelowna. (wrestlingobserver.com) Kelowna seemed to get mentioned more in Kamloops than Kelowna. Combining Stevens and James into one team was probably for the best so you had one match with guys nobody knew instead of two. Plus Finlay and Blaster changed up their match! Yay!
Nothing against Morton (or anyone else who allegedly sold out arenas 20 years ago), but everyone has their time and then moves on. He had his fifteen minutes, and the wrestling industry outgrew 80's hair-rock jammers like Morton.