The Live Wire - By Tony Cottam

TLW: In The House

Well, hello. Welcome to The Live Wire, still feeling ill, still here regardless. You’ll find that this week’s edition of the column is a little bit different. No, it’s not any better, as if! It’s a house show review! Yes, The Live Wire was on tour yesterday watching the WWE’s UK WrestleMania Revenge tour in Glasgow. Myself, Ms. Inno and forum member and all round top Guinness drinker BrotherOfDestruction were all in attendance, sitting right at the side of the aisle, watching all the WWE stars style and profile…

Well, hello. Welcome to The Live Wire, still feeling ill, still here regardless. You’ll find that this week’s edition of the column is a little bit different. No, it’s not any better, as if! It’s a house show review!

Yes, The Live Wire was on tour yesterday watching the WWE’s UK WrestleMania Revenge tour in Glasgow. Myself, Ms. Inno and forum member and all round top Guinness drinker BrotherOfDestruction were all in attendance, sitting right at the side of the aisle, watching all the WWE stars style and profile…

Even before the matches started, there was fun to be had – another SmashWrestling forum regular was spotted in the Kane-look-a-likey form of Anthony, and SmashWrestling columnist legend Calum Sinclair was also in attendance – whooo! Boys from The Smash in da hizz-ouse!

So, there we were – sat patiently waiting for the show to start… or in my case, waiting for the world to stop spinning round – being ill sucks, peeps – it really does. The peace around us was shattered by two absolute dingbats sat near us who sang along with EVERY song – badly, it has to be said – and also sat in their seats moshing away too. Idiots. Their idiocy would continue with their continued chanting of “We Want Bret” all the way through the first 2 or 3 matches…

A quick word about the steward sat right next to us also – he did absolutely nothing bar chat to 2 of his friends in the row behind us, and say things like “HA! He missed him! He fell over and he was never even hit! What an idiot!” and “oooo that looked sore” over and over and over… It was a wonderful blank look he had on his face too… I wondered if his knuckles were sore, what with them obviously dragging on the floor… but I digress…

Tony Chimmel came to the ring with the usual blurb about who ran the show, what you could and could not use to record the show… standard stuff really, and got interrupted by some pyro… some pyro that was EXTREMELY loud and made my ears pop more than once. Chimmel looked embarrassed about a loud “Tony, Tony” chant that was obviously aimed in my direction… well, I can dream, anyway!

And with the explosions out of the way, we had our first match :

Match 1
Chuck Palumbo vs. Orlando Jordan

Palumbo is a lot smaller in person than I thought he would be, but he’s still bigger than me, so fair play to him! He worked the crowd a lot, and seemed to be enjoying the heel heat he was picking up from the fans – Orlando was getting a few face pops, but for the life of me I don’t know why.

Out of everyone I saw yesterday, only Orlando Jordan looked out of place. For as much as I slag off Billy Gunn and Hardcore Holly, in a live environment, they know how to work a crowd and keep people into a match. Jordan, sadly, does not. His stupid little Johnson Shuffle is as close as it gets, but sorry, OJ – you not ready yet. A little run in OVW is desperately need before the big time comes calling. In the end, Jordan would pick up the win

Match 2
Billy Gunn & Hardcore Holly vs. The World’s Greatest Tag Team

Billy Gunn looks a lot, lot, lot, LOT older in person than he does on TV – I’ll tell you that for nothing. Holly looks old too, but I expect that’ll be the bald patch helping that process. Haas & Benjamin, however, look like stars in the making. As a team, they are light years ahead of everything else on Smackdown, and possibly in the WWE in total.

Charlie Haas spent the early part of the match doing Ric Flair impressions “whoo”-ing and strutting all over the ring. Sadly, Hardcore Holly felt the need to moon Haas and Benjamin, and then show Billy what colour underwear he had on. The knowledge that Hardcore Holly wears purple pants will haunt me to the grave. Benjamin hit a HUGE superkick on Billy Gunn that gave the win to TWGTT, and put a smile on my face as Billy Gunn got kicked – yay!

Match 3
Bradshaw vs. Billy Kidman

Top marks to Bradshaw for his pre-match mic work that ensured he got some heel heat from the crowd. Cheap heat always rules, and calling the Scottish fans “England’s bitch” and “Sheep Loving Inbreds” amongst other things will always get a huge reaction. Sadly, Kidman’s response to him was wetter than a trout from the River Clyde.

The match was short, quick paced and booked well. Bradshaw hit his power moves, Kidman hit his moves without killing either himself or other people, which is a bonus, and Kidman even took the win… yes folks! Bradshaw LOST to a short, former WCW cruiserweight! Mark the day in your diaries. Kidman teased the Shooting Star Press, but never actually pulled it of. Probably for the best, given his tendency to attempt suicide for him or his opponent when he does it.

Match 4
Jamie “By God” Noble, The Redneck Messiah vs. Nidia
Blindfold Match

First things first : Nidia is tiny. I mean extra small. She could save the WWE money by flying about in the overhead luggage containers rather than taking up a seat. And that was about the only moment of note during this match if you watched No Way Out – this was exactly the same, right down to the way Noble cheated and won the match. Still, it was funny on PPV, and it was still funny in real life.

During the post match shenanigans, I spotted the legend that is Dave “Fit” Finlay walking down the aisle – a quick “Alright Dave!” from me earned a smile and a wink from the Great Man. I remember watching him wrestling on Saturday Afternoons on World Of Sport (which you can catch right now in the UK on The Wrestling Channel, fact fans) and absolutely hating him – he was a heel, and a damned good one, folks.

Noble apparently spotted him too, as a touch of verbal abuse from the Redneck Messiah (Tony Chimmel announced him as Jamie “By God” Noble, The Redneck Messiah, incidentally) goaded Finlay into the ring, and we had :

Match 5
Jamie “By God” Noble, The Redneck Messiah vs. Dave “Fit” Finlay

This was one of the highlights of the show for me… seeing Fit in the ring after all the years of watching him on TV was superb, and it’s a shame a knee injury forced him into early retirement, as he looked like he hadn’t lost a beat.

A stiff suplex, a low blow and the sweetest Tombstone Piledriver you’ll ever see got the win, and a HUGE pop for Fit. Noble sold his beating like a pro, even getting a medic down as Finlay walked up the aisle grinning like a cheshire cat…

Tony Chimmel then came back to the ring and started to talk about Mother’s Day, which led Paul Heyman to interrupt him. As Heyman stormed down the aisle, complete with neck brace, myself and BrotherOfDestruction started a “ECDub ECDub ECDub” chant which the whole arena eventually copied… that’s MY story and I’m sticking to it anyway!

Heyman took the mic from Chimmel and cut the promo of the show – informing the crowd that he personally had no problem with Scotland… but he’d called his mother on the phone earlier and she said that we were all ‘self-abusers’ to coin a phrase… he then told people to shut up with the ECW chants as “it’s dead, just like all of you should be”.

A punter in the crowd told Heyman he sucked, causing Heyman to lean right out of the ring and tell him “Yes, sir – I do suck – but it was YOUR mother that taught me how” – and oldie but a classic, none the less. Heyman truly is a genius on the mic.

Heyman then moved on to John Cena, and how he was personally having this match recorded so he could show it on Smackdown this week, as Cena would lose his title tonight, “in this very ring”. Cena, needless to say, interrupted and cut a rap on Heyman telling us that Heyman likes curling, because he “likes the concept of balls on ice”… Cena started to get a head of steam going before he was jumped from behind, and we got :

Match 6
US Championship
John Cena (c) vs. Rhyno

This was a bit of a surprise, to be honest – Rhyno was destroyed in about 2 or 3 minutes for the squash victory by Cena. I presume that Cena is still working through some injuries of some sort, as Cena was massively over with the crowd, and a 3 minute match doesn’t make much sense… Cena would make up for the quick appearance later, however…

Match 7
Cruiserweight Championship
Chavo Guerrero (c) vs. Nunzio vs. Rey Mysterio

Chavo played his heel character to perfection, telling a woman behind me to “Shut up, you fat bitch” on his way out… cheap heat rules! Nunzio came out to practically no response, bar me yelling “Where’s My Pizza” at him. Rey’s entrance, complete with pyro, was loud. Very loud. Ear hurtingly loud, in fact.

Rey made someone’s afternoon – there was a kid decked out in full Mysterio gear complete with mask, and Rey went over, pulled him out and held him on his shoulder… a really nice touch. Of course, it made Rey a foot taller, so it was all good.

The match had some great spots in it, Rey really does fly about the ring like a Mexican jumping bean! Nunzio’s attempted partnership with Chavo followed by his Jumping Jacks were hilarious, even better when Rey copied them. Plus points to Chavo for trying to shake Rey’s hand with his fingers crossed behind his back! Chavo was also hit with what I thought was the best chant of the night : “Eddie’s Bitch”.

This was probably the best match of the show, and even after Chavo retained his belt the fun wasn’t over, as Rey hit a stereo 619 on Chavo AND Nunzio at once. Rey then paraded around the ring with the Cruiserweight belt before Charles Robinson snatched it from him some of the biggest heel heat of the night.

After that excitement, we had the interval. No cheap shills for merchandise at any point of the show, which was unusual, I thought… in any case, I’d already bought my “Viva La Raza!” shirt beforehand. The Interval was short, which was good as it stopped our two singing morons from beginning their encore.

Match 8
WWE Tag Team Championship
Scotty 2 Hotty & Rikishi (c) vs. The Basham Brothers

Doug and Danny have rather fetching new green velvet tights. Interesting. Rikishi made our section laugh by using the ring ropes to scratch his ass – folks, if it looks big on the TV, it’s even bigger in person – I swear it was like the sun went out. The big ass of Rikishi would eventually take the win.

This was a pretty standard tag match, and wouldn’t have looked out of place on Smackdown, but what made it different was seeing it in person. All four of the guys involved were getting the crowd involved, and it made a hell of a difference. It’s the little things like this that you miss when you watch it on TV. The best exchange was oustide the ring, as the Bashams left – Doug stopped to act the heel with a guy who gave him the finger, only to be met with the John Cena “you can’t see me” motion from the same guy as he went to speak… quality.

Match 9
Dawn Marie vs. Torrie Wilson

Short match, thankfully. A “We Want Puppies” chant went round the arena for this one, making me think that Jerry Lawler had also flown over. Torrie won, smiled a lot, waved a lot and did pretty much nothing else. For my money, Dawn looked better anyway. So There!

Match 10
WWE Championship
Eddie Guerrero (c) vs. Big Show

Eddie came out to a huge pop, probably the biggest of the night, and even stopped to compare belts with a fan in the front row who had a replica! Big Show was already in the ring by then, and man he is HUGE! The guy looks big on TV, but when you’re close up to him… sheesh!

Not much to write home about in this match until we had a mini invasion by Chavo, The Bashams and Haas & Benjamin, all intent on getting Eddie beat. Scotty, Rikishi, and John Cena made the save, clearing out the ring of all heels, bar the Big Show. Eddie delivered the frog splash, took the win, and then the fun began. Surrounded by faces, Show tried to dance his way out of trouble.

Ladies and Gentlemen, he may be big, he may be a multi-time champion, and he may well be a nice guy – but The Big Show can’t dance. Really. He was knocked down because of his sub par dancing, and received the stink face for his troubles. When the dust had settled, Rikishi, Cena and Scotty called Torrie and Nidia down to have some fun and we had a mass dancing session.

Referee Brian Hebner demonstrated his human beatbox skills, aided by Rikishi using his head as a turntable(!); Rey scooted down to the ring in time to show Scotty how to do The Worm properly; Rikishi ripped off John Cena and Eddie Guerrero’s catchphrases with no thought for anyone else; Eddie Guerrero and Nidia did a nice little tango routine; Torrie ripped off Nidia’s dance ‘routine’; John Cena… well, I’m not sure what to call Cena’s dancing attempt; Scotty broke out some 1980s breakdancing, and Rikishi wrapped it up with his robot dancing to boot.

Everyone looked like they were having a whale of a time, and it hit me that this was the last time that this locker room would be together, with the Brand Lottery taking place on Raw this evening – this was a bunch of friends having a good time and partying for one last time, and it was great to see. Seeing the peeps you watch on TV just cut loose in front of a live audience like this is the real reason for going to see a house show – if any of you get the chance to go to a show near you, I urge you to take it.

Once you see these guys perform live, it puts a whole new spin on what they do on TV, you appreciate the effort that all these guys (and girls) put in to their work just a little bit more. I thought it was fitting that the locker room had left Eddie in the ring on his own at the end of the show to hold the belt aloft and soak up the applause from the fans.

All in all, given the card I’d seen posted on, I wasn’t expecting a lot from this show, but I enjoyed this a lot more than the previous Raw show I attended a couple of years ago.

Until then, have fun, go mad.

Thanks for reading – be sure and pay a visit to these two sweet sites : / TheGroovyComapany

Tony Cottam

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