First Summer Sizzler Series show has come and gone and I have to say that I am very happy that I went. Excellent show, even if the intro music got fried early on. Fortunately the rain stopped a couple of hours before the show was to begin, as it was bad at times.
Considering that the rain probably kept some people from venturing to the show, there must have been about 300 people or a bit more for it. In fact, Six Flags security was very worried about opening the gate, what with the pavement wet and everyone waiting outside anxious to get a front row seat.
First match: Ken Doane vs. Kenzo Suzuki. Kenzo was fun to watch as he walked outside the ring, picking out kids in the audience to stare down. Nothing spectacular, but still a good opener, although Kenzo went with the Carotid Clutch a couple of times, which I always thought looked a bit silly. Doane won.
Second match: Danny Inferno vs. Gangrel. Aaron Stevens and Beth Phoenix came out with Gangrel. I like Stevens and Phoenix, and Inferno can put on a solid match, but I thought Gangrel didn't put much effort into it. He totally blew a couple of moves, to the point where you couldn't even pretend he did it right to keep the match looking good in your head. It was relatively short and Inferno won.
Third match: Lance Cade vs. Al Snow (with Head). Probably the most fun match of the night. Lance was going for a cowboy look and Al grabbed his hat to perform some elbow-drops and then a piledriver on it. The match wound up with the two going through everyone else's finisher (Pedigree, Superkick, Rock Bottom, Chokeslam, Stunner, Hogan's Legdrop, Mandible Claw, and even the Worm) and kicking out of all of them. Al won by clobbering Lance with Head when the ref wasn't looking.
Fourth match: Seven vs. Blaster Lashley. Seven is still going for a trucker look with that baseball cap. Blaster basically just beat down on him and got the pin.
Fifth match: Elijah Burke vs. Brent Albright for the OVW Championship. As I predicted a while back, with two faces in the ring, there would be either a run-in to DQ the match or Burke would turn heel. Lance Cade, who had recently lost to Albright, ran in to help Burke, causing a no-contest and then Burke grabbed the OVW belt from Albright. He returned it and made up, but it looks like the start of a heel turn there.
Sixth match: Johnny Jeter and Matt Cappotelli vs. Tank & Chad Toland (with Jillian Hall). Jeter was wearing a patch over one eye due to being blinded by Hall a few weeks ago (although I could swear he had it over the wrong eye). Tolands got a fluke win, thanks to Hall. Okay match, but I was expecting something a little more.
Seventh match: Rey Mysterio and Seth Skyfire vs. M-N-M. Great, great match, even if Melina did not do her normal entrance into the ring. Rey was in for most of the match, mostly as "face in peril," with Mercury and Nitro working the ankle. Skyfire cleaned up shop at the end and Mysterio got a double 619 on Mercury and Nitro, with Skyfire getting the pin for the win.
Show ran close to two hours and I can't think anyone left with any complaints.
They announced that Jerry Lawler, a yearly tradition at the OVW series, will be appearing at the June 17th show.
Originally posted by SnookumFirst match: Ken Doane vs. Kenzo Suzuki. Kenzo was fun to watch as he walked outside the ring, picking out kids in the audience to stare down. Nothing spectacular, but still a good opener, although Kenzo went with the Carotid Clutch a couple of times, which I always thought looked a bit silly. Doane won.
In a 12 to 13 month time frame Suzuki has gone from a guy who was going to walk into a World Title feud against Benoit as Hirohito to jobbing in the opening match in OVW. That has to be up there in the steepest declines in recent history that don't include firings/drugs.
TV tapings are always full, or close to full. It's free, so that gets the people in. If an old favorite or WWE wrestler is visiting, then it's sure to be turn-away business. Doubly so if the guest is doing a signing.
As for the type of audience it is, it's a mixed bag. I would say that 80% of a typical television crowd are regulars or semi-regulars. Some seem to know each other so well that they use the weekly show more as a chance to gab then really watch the wrestling. Saying that, it's a good crowd who really get into the matches.
I seem to recall that the arena at Six Flags they use can hold up to 5,000 people, so it's never been full. I recall that it was nearly full when Cena appeared at the final Six Flags show last year. I think Eddie's appearance would have been very close to that if it had not been rained out. Booker T's appearance was like that and so was Ric Flair's from earlier years. I was shocked when Benoit's appearance, back when he WWE Champion, only drew a small house at Six Flags last year. Christian's appearance a couple of years ago drew the smallest I ever saw at one of the show. I think even a third of the ringside seats were empty for that one.
Houseshows tend to be very small crowds, which gives you a chance to see the guys work a bit loose instead of worrying about it being for television. I think the audiences tend to be small because you can see them for free every week anyway, why pay $10 to see them at the local gym?
Still, it's a great way to see these guys on the way up. One of the first I went to had maybe 40 people in the audience and featured Shelton Benjamin, Brock Lesnar, Bastista, Sean O'Haire, Rico, Danny & Doug Basham, Victoria, and John Cena. Not to sound like a complte mark, but it is cool to say that you saw them "way back when" like that.
Precisely why I started watching Snookum. I'm sure there are some people wondering what a match between the current champs would look like, and we can say we've seen it. Of course, they were both much greener then, used different finishers in one instance, and were different characters altogether, but still nice to have seen it.
It is a good rule in life never to apologize. The right sort of people do not want apologies, and the wrong sort take a mean advantage of them. P. G. Wodehouse (1881 - 1975), The Man Upstairs (1914)
I appreciate the offer, Mike. Unfortunately, the timing couldn't be worse.
I was just thinking last week that I'm going to have to cut back on the W postings due to other things going on right now, and that includes the OVW stuff. It's job-related, so nothing serious, but I wouldn't be able to tell you when I could post another OVW review again like that. Certainly for a while, that's for sure.
Thanks, though! I'm glad you liked the writing enough to ask.
Wasn't there someone else around here recently doing some OVW reviews? Might give them a shot.