It poured down most of the day in Louisville, but finally started clearing up around 5:30 that afternoon, so we didn't end up with a repeat of the 7/9 show that got rained out.
Oddly enough, while the park for the most part was pretty empty - thanks to the rain, I'm sure - there was a ton of people waiting to get into the show outside the arena OVW uses in the back of the park. In fact, I would say that it was a near-capacity crowd, which I've only seen twice before - when Ric Flair was there a couple of years ago, and when Booker T showed up last year. This time it was John Cena that brought all the people out for the show.
Cena did an autograph session beforehand, and what was funny there was the OVW people telling everyone one autograph and to just shoot a picture of Cena while he was signing. Then Cena just ignored all that and signed two or three things for people and would have people come around the table to get their pictures taken with him.
The show itself was:
Mike Bell versus John Heidenreich. This was a match that really needed that music they played on The Six Million Dollar Man whenever Steve was running "real fast." At least that way you could have pretended that Bell and Heidenreich were moving so quickly that they had to slow everything down in order for us to see it all. Here's an example: Heidenreich w-h-i-p-s Bell i-n-t-o t-h-e c-o-r-n-e-r . . . and Heidenreich r-u-n-s to spear Bell . . .after a time, Bell m-o-v-e-s out of the way . . . Heidenreich keeps running . . . running . . . finally hits the ring-post. That's how slow it was. Heidenreich won, BTW. Least interesting match of the night.
Second match was Carlos Colon and Mike Mondo of Bolin Services versus Steve Lewington and Matt Capotelli. All four of these young guys are good to watch in the ring, although Mondo for more comedic reasons than the others. Bolin ripped his pants at the beginning of the match, which was kind of amusing. Bolin helped his team win the match at the end.
Third match was Johnny Nitro and Joey Matthews (with Melina) versus Johnny Jeter and Seven (with Synn). This was really as satisfying as the second match, as Jeter, Nitro, and Matthews are all good to watch in a match, although still learning. Seven (or Mordecai, as some of you know him as) had brown hair and no goatee for this match. I'll admit that I've always liked Seven so my saying that I enjoyed the match has to be understood with that in mind. Some good stuff from everyone involved, with Seven hitting the Crucifix power bomb on Nitro for the pin, and then Synn and Melina having a catfight in the ring.
Fourth match was Adrenaline (Chris Cage and Tank Toland) version the Tag-Team belt holders, Seth Skyfire and Mac Johnson. Because it was two face teams, they played it out as even-handed on both sides, until Nova jumped in and tried to hit Skyfire with a chair. The match was called a draw.
Fifth match was The Troubleshooters (Brent Albright and Chris Masters) and Beth Phoenix versus The Jersey Shore Crew (a dazed Nova, Danny Inferno, The Idol) with Trudi DeNucci. Nova tried to get out of the match by saying he was dazed from his own chair-shot bouncing back into his face in the earlier match, but Cornette threatened him. The Jersey Shore Crew is a fun group to watch, but it's mostly for laughs that they seem to be going for lately. Beth Phoenix got the pin on Nova after both Albright and Masters punched Nova repeatedly in the face from the outside. Phoenix and DeNucci then had a catfight that escalated into everyone fighting in and outside the ring.
Main Event was John Cena versus Matt Morgan. Morgan had been getting DQ in one form or another at every other Six Flag main event this summer, so I expected the same here, but that turned out not to be the case. After a long wait, with both Cena and Morgan playing up to the crowd (and Cena doing a rap), they had a full match, with Morgan throwing Cena repeatedly into the railing on the outside at one point. Morgan was about to use some knuckles he had in his trunks, but John Heidenreich - who was there as "backup" for Cena - stopped him. Cena did the FU on Morgan and won the match.
Good show. One of the better ones this year in a summer that has had some strong Six Flags shows.
Actually, I wasn't pulling the number out of my ass. Considering the build-up to Mania appeared to be leading to a rating of approximately 4.7-4.8 (approximately 4.418 million viewers) entering Mania, a 2.0 buyrate (1.6 million purchases)