Here are some of my opinions, having been at the tapings on Tuesday:
Man, they picked a heck of a place to put the souvenir shop-- right in front of the Pacers Museum so my friend, who made his first trip to Conseco (I've been there about a dozen times) couldn't see the jersey displays.
Well, there were still plenty of cool basketball things to see. Anyone who hasn't been to Conseco Fieldhouse, lemme tell you... it is a shrine to Indiana basketball in general and Pacers basketball in particular.Velocity:
Matt Cappotelli over Jamie Noble-- Well, Jamie's de-push continues, as he loses a match to a kid from Tough Enough. Bleh. Well, Cappotelli isn't too bad, I guess-- Noble was able to carry him to a solid match to start the evening. Everything Noble did looked like it hurt like hell, by the way... so either he was working very stiff, or he's very good at making it look
like he's working very stiff.
Paul London over Bryce Albright: Eh. Interesting to see Albright, the one guy the entire evening I'd never seen on TV before. London did a few pretty good spots, but the match was heatless. No psychology.
Nunzio over Ultimo Dragon: I was as confused as everyone else was as to why Nunzio was on Velocity. Didn't he have a Cruiserweight Title shot on SmackDown? Then I figured he'd probably get it at Judgment Day, meaning he'd go over Ultimo here. Indeed. Ultimo's pyro is very hot
, by the way... but that brought a smile to my face. And nice to see Dragon... I've followed him since I started watching wrestling in 1997. I remember his feuds with Steven Regal and Yuji Nagata in WCW. And Dragon was very much over with the Fieldhouse crowd.
Hardcore Holly (w/Billy Gunn) over Akio (w/Sakoda): Blah. I was rooting for Akio, while giving the DX sign every time Billy Gunn turned and looked in my direction. Akio made a mistake and Holly was able to capitalize with the Alabama Slam. After the match, Billy Gunn mooned the crowd... and then he got Hardcore to do the same thing. DAMN MY EYES!
Orlando Jordan over Johnny the Bull: A very blah match. Orlando was actually somewhat over, but he needs to grow a personality. Maybe he should ask Santa Claus for a personality next Christmas.
D-Von Dudley over Doug/Danny Basham: The crowd popped for the first “name” stars of the evening, the Dudley Boyz. I'd hoped to see a tag-team match between these two, but was kann man tun?
Something interesting is that after the switch (which no one saw except, you know, the entire audience), Danny Basham really failed to capitalize on it. D-Von fought most of the match against Danny Basham. Eventually, Bubba realized the switch had been made, and protested, but to no avail. No matter. Doug Basham tried to trip up D-Von, and that earned him an ejection. The referee forced Doug up the entrance ramp, and Bubba ran into the ring for the 3-D. Post-match, the Dudleys were making “I want da belt” hand motions because, naturally, they're not
Eddie Guerrero's interview was very sweet. The video that was mentioned played very much like a George W. Bush for President ad, which of course was intentional.
Video [paraphrased]: “Do you want your children to grow up like Eddie Guerrero, a champion who lies, cheats and steals?”
I love WWE crowds. Anyway, the video naturally had no effect on us except we cheered that much louder for Eddie. We were actually excited by the prospect of having an Eddie/JBL match for our main event (probably because that'd be the end of JBL's push, hopefully), but it was not to be. Eddie actually looked worried when Kurt told him he'd face The Big Show instead. Eh, no worries mate. Everyone beats The Big Show nowadays, didn't you get the memo?
When Big Show talked to Angle and JBL, he was very close to refusing to be their enforcer. It looked like he was gonna turn face, but he said that he'd get the job done, and if he didn't, he would quit. His words, mind you-- he was the first one to mention the possibility. Immediately, I thought, “Wonderful, as if SmackDown needs to be even more
depleted.” I have to think they're doing this intentionally.
John Cena was probably more over with the crowd than anyone save Eddie Guerrero. He came out in an old-school Pacers #30 George McGinnis jersey, and made relatively quick work of the Cruiserweight Champion, Chavo Guerrero, in a non-title match.
When Rene Dupree told Fifi that he'd interview Torrie Wilson next week, I swear to God the dog actually turned away, as if she was jealous. Hysterical.
Rico was really
playing mind games with Charlie Haas during their match. Either that, or Rico seriously wants to hammer him. Even after Rico kissed Charlie (and Charlie exited the ring), it looked like Charlie would make it back to the ring at about the nine-count. But then Rico, um... hiked up a G-string above his wrestling tights. Charlie looked like he was gonna puke, and did not re-enter the ring. Rico and Haas both had hilarious facial expressions here. But Shelton Benjamin's better than Haas.
I couldn't tell who this Mordecai guy was, either... but it was an interesting video package. Mordecai referred to himself as “the right hand of the Father Himself”. Great, just what we need, another guy who has an overinflated view of his role in The Battle Between Good and Evil.
Eddie Guerrero managed to defeat The Big Show despite Show's dominance throughout most of the contest. I can't remember exactly what turned the tide, only that it ended with the Frog Splash. Immediately following the match, we were already singing “Na-na-na-na, hey hey goodbye”... Eddie just helped it along a little bit. Big Show was all “Why? Why are you laughing?! Why are you laughing at me?” to the crowd.
Something slightly weird... a mirror was brought to the ring during the commercial break, and then Teddy Long came out. But then they cut to the Big Show/Torrie segment where she's laughing with the makeup lady, and then Teddy Long's theme played a second time and he was already in the ring. Just a little strange, I thought.
While Long was praising Mark Jindrak, everyone was like “Jindrak sucks!” His match with Spike Dudley was as heatless as you might imagine-- no one thought Spike was gonna win, and no one cares about Jindrak.
Big Show's destruction of Torrie's car was sick.
My friend said Torrie was a very good actress, and I replied that if someone's beating the shit outta your car like that, you can just act natural
and be terrified. Doesn't require much acting ability to act scared when there's this 500-pound man beating the living hell out of your car.
Rob Van Dam was another of those guys who was very over with the crowd-- but not as much as Eddie and Cena. At one point, RVD blocked a Book End attempt from Booker T. On another occasion, RVD went for the Five-Star, but there was no one home. Booker hit the Axe Kick, and RVD hit the Rolling Thunder and the usual RVD spots. When Booker got DQ'ed for beating the hell out of RVD when he was tied up in the ropes, the crowd was incensed.
The segment where Big Show chokeslammed Angle off the stage was pretty sick. But we didn't actually see the impact, and it wasn't necessarily live, it coulda been taped. Yeah, we saw it from several different angles later, but it appeared like it may have been edited. So it's very conceivable that there was a soft pad for Angle to land on, and then they pulled the pad up after he fell and Angle bent his leg to make it look like he'd taken a nasty fall. The blood gushing from the back of his head was no doubt added for effect. It looked
pretty sick seeing him lying there, but I don't think he actually took that bump. I certainly hope
I think that was probably where the cut-off took place.
I thought it was funny when Booker came out again and said that he'd been named the new general manager. I knew these decisions were made very quickly, but damn!
Cena and Booker eventually fought, and later Eddie Guerrero gave the good guys a 2-on-1 advantage. Oddly enough, Booker and Cena were fighting to a near-draw (maybe Cena even had a slight advantage) when Eddie entered the ring. So I guess he did it just for kicks. Cena hit the F-5, and Eddie Guerrero handed Booker deze nuts. Cena held up a sign that had been blocking my peripheral vision the entire night. On the front, it said “Choke on these [Planters logo],” and on the back it said “Kick the Son of a Bush Out... Jesse for President in 2008.” It was a very well-put together sign, which makes me think it was probably a plant. Either that, or someone's got too much time on their hands.
Afterwards, Eddie Guerrero's music played, and they were autographing T-shirts and stuff. I actually saw Eddie Guerrero autograph a few “Word Life” WWE block-logo T-shirts, even. There were a ton
of Scarface Latino Heat T-shirts and Word Life block-logo T-shirts in the audience. I also saw a number of nWo T-shirts, including the black-and-white one which I myself wore to the event.
This entire time, Booker was kinda kneeling there in the ring, hoping no one could see him. After Eddie and Cena left, Chimel said, “Give it up for the five-time WCW Champion, Booker T!” and those fans that were left booed in unison. I think Booker T looked at me, and I did the “You can't see me” gesture. I'm such a mark sometimes. Now I wish I would've stared into my hand. Oh, well.
It was a very fun event to experience. It was my friend's first wrestling event ever, and first event at Conseco Fieldhouse. I, on the other hand, had previously attended the 10/8/01 RAW show (in which Steve Austin won the WWF Title from Kurt Angle, and Booker T and Test lost the WCW World Tag Team Title to The Hardy Boyz) and the 11/8/99 Nitro (in which Scott Hall won the U.S. Title in a ladder match).
In addition, I've been to several Pacers games including a 1999 Eastern Conference Finals game against the Knicks, and a game against the Chicago Bulls when they had Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman. I've also been to a Firebirds arena-football game, which was beyond fun. Hell... I even had my high-school commencement at Conseco Fieldhouse. The building's still incredibly young, but I've already had a number of great memories there.
“Chris Benoit, finally, is the Heavyweight Champion of this world!”
--Jim Ross, WrestleMania XX
Wiener of the Day Title History:
Won the title on 5/27/02 from Lunacy in a hardcore match; lost the belt the following day to wheresitat42 via offbeat shenanigans
Regained the title on 7/3/02 by pinning SKLOKAZOID in a triple-threat match; lost the belt the next day to NickBockwinkelFan via heel chicanery
Certified RFMC Member-- Ask To See My Credentials!