WWE "Super Show" House Show in Rochester, NY by Ray Rhodes
Friday Night (September 7th) I attended the WWE House Show at the Blue Cross Arena in sunny Rochester, NY. Despite being hailed as a "Super Show" that would feature all the best stars from all three brands, I figured that just meant a Raw live event with Mark Henry on the card. I wasn't that far off.
Tony Chimmel started us off by introducing our special host for the night, Eve, somewhere in the audience that the spotlight couldn't quite find. She upgraded a family to front row after asking the trivia question, "What city did Wrestlemania 24 hail from?" Many of us always joke that the WWE thinks we need constant rewinds and replays because we don't have a long enough attention span or good enough memory. Looks like they're right because I had already forgotten. It's Orlando, of course. Tony also let us know that WE the people could determine the stipulation between Matt Hardy and Mark Henry (score!) in the ECW Championship match: 2 out of 3 Falls, No DQ, or Falls Count Anywhere by joining the digital age and texting our choice. Let me first point out that it's no trick of the TV, the masses really do love Matt Hardy. And *blush*, I do too.
The opening bout featured Chavo Guerrero (w/Bam Neely) against the spastic high-flier Evan Bourne. Not to be confused with Matt Bourne, aka Doink the Clown (which would be awesome). Of course, we all know Evan Bourne used to be Matt Sydal before ECW gave him his requisite awful WWE name (see also: Ryan Braddock, Ricky Ortiz, Gavin Spears, Braden Walker).
Ways to know you're at a WWE House Show: No Pyro, A Diva Host somewhere in the crowd, and Chavo stalls and works the audience for 10 minutes. Pop Quiz later. To be honest, I've had a hard time getting into Chavo if he's not fighting Rey and to me, Evan Bourne is just Cody Rhodes with a higher vertical leap. The two wrestled for a bit before Evan hits the first of at least 35 dropkicks we would see in the night. Bam Neely looks on. Eventually, Bourne hits the sweet Shooting Star from the top to finish Chavo and take the crowd pleasing win.
Next, Beth Phoenix and Santino Marella put their titles on the line against Kofi Kingston and (I hope it's Mickie James, I hope it's Mickie James, I hope it's Mickie James), D'OH, Kelly Kelly. Despite the hot chaps, Kelly Kelly looked more green than a sea sick sailor and was baffled several times. Which was okay because Santino seemed baffled at much of Kofi's movements as well. The crowd didn't seem to mind too much though, but Santino and Beth were able to defend their belts successfully. Santino had a pretty good opening promo about only needing 62 more weeks to break the I-C record.
When you think "Super Show" I know you're thinking "Primo Colon". If so, you'd be happy when Willian Regal came out to fight the brother of Carlito himself. They decided to tell a story by working some arms and well, that's about it. Most of the match took place on the mat and not in an interesting way, either. Primo spent much of the match getting worked over, but not in a cool "Regal Stretchin' Him" or "Regal Knee Striking" kind of way but more of an "Arm Lock" kind of way. Eventually, Primo would make a comeback--in the form of 4 consecutive dropkicks. And that's it. He slapped on a backslide, took the upset and the crowd rejoiced. Sort of.
The radio spots during the week in Rochester were advertising Jeffy Hardy against Carlito against Shelton Benjamin in a Three Way Dance for the US Title. Well, 2 out of 3 ain't bad. Jeff Hardy was a no show but R-Truth was in the house to get rowdy. If he wasn't introduced as Carlito and didn't come out to his music, I wouldn't have believed it was him with his new make over. This was an elimination type match and after R-Truth's recent vignettes and Shelton Benjamin's old vignettes (I brought a gun to school once. The end), we figured this match was a "Who had the hardest childhood to overcome match". It wasn't Carlito as he was eliminated first. Poor guy. R-Truth and Benjamin battled it out for a good chunk of time and I wish I could tell you they put on a classic. If you've been alert at all in the last few years you already know that Benjamin cannot have a decent match with someone who isn't a main eventer. It all falls apart. No exception here. Truth and Benjamin were lost a few times including an Ax Kick that Wasn't Really an Ax Kick and a couple Ducking Mystery Clotheslines spots. Finally, Shelton retains.
Intermission came and went, as they usually do.
Up next we had the World Tag Team Champs, Cody Rhodes and Ted Dibiase take on Cryme Tyme. First they had a few things to say, mostly about being Priceless or whatever. Yawn. Match was alright and Cody hits his awful DDT for the win.
Everyone loves Matt Hardy and it showed. Mark Henry is a large, large man. The match, picked by texting, was the No DQ match. And here I thought the 2 out of 3 Falls would win. Huh. The two had an energetic fight with Henry looking as good as he ever probably has or will again. After several near falls for Hardy he eventually falls to the World's Strongest Slam. Good match. Special Note: Henry managed to take a "Big Show Bump" of taking a Bulldog by bumping on his back. Tremendous.
Main Event City: Kane, The Great Khali, and MVP took on Big Show, Rey and HHH. The place went nuts for Kane, Rey and HHH, of course, with Rey probably getting the nod. Match featured several SHOW DOWNS and Crotch Chops. Good work by all six, I must say, in a fun match which, of course, saw the faces go over and the place go home happy. The two main events seemed to be enough to make everyone forget about the uh, forgettable first half and the lack of Jeff Hardy, Batista, Jericho, Punk, UT, Cena, etc. To be fair, I think Hardy was the only one of that bunch that was actually advertised on local promos (Cena was too before getting hurt, I think, but that's understandable).
Overall it was a decent time but really could have used some quality talkers. Aside from Santino, no one really worked the crowd verbally, which is a shame because that's half the fun of it.
Ray Rhodes, probably more critical than I should be.