US Wrestling Scene News

WWE: House Show Report From Edinburgh

WWE Raw WrestleMania Revenge Tour
Royal Highland Exhibition Centre, Edinburgh
April 22nd 2005

Let me first start by saying that out of any show, be it music, comedy, wrestling or whatever – this place has to be the worst arena on Earth to get to. A mile walk down a windy lane, out onto a car park that seems to double as a runway for the airport and through another car park, this time being watched by Hotel Security guards… not fun. Coming out at 10.30 at night, into pitch black, even less fun, especially for those around us that had small children – sort it out WWE, never return here again. Surely there are plenty of other places in Edinburgh big enough to hold a show this size.

I’d estimate the crowd at about 3 – 4,000 even though Chris Jericho stated there were 8,000 raging Jerichoholics in attendance. Given some of the shirts he wears, you have to question his eyesight anyway.

So we open up with Lillian starting to sing the national anthem only to be interrupted by La Resistance, who are in turn interrupted from singing their national anthem (and waving the Quebec flag, according to them, the only flag of blue that means anything) by Regal and Tajiri. Hot opener, although surprisingly little happened. Grenier is on a different page to the rest of the peeps in this match, he’s just not as smooth as everyone else. Regal & Tajiri take the win (shocker!)

Snooze time next as Chris Masters (with pyro) joins us and blabs about his masterlock challenge, as the Hurricane takes him up on it. Despite the Hurricane doing his best to get the crowd into this one, nobody really cared, save the 6 years old boy behind me screaming “C’MON THE HURRICANE” every 15 seconds. Harsh. Masters takes the win with his Masterlock submission.

The Coach comes out and introduces Victoria and Christy Hemme for the statutory Divas match, and appoints himself Special Referee. Needless to say mucho cheating, some of actually genuinely funny as Victoria turns heel by siding with the Coach. Christy gets the win after the Coach takes a low blow from the Diva Search Bimbo and another referee runs out and counts a pin for Christy…

I just wanna take this moment to say it’s little things that you see at a house show that really make a difference to the live experience, like the gestures to the crowd, the amount of time people take to recover from finishers… well worth going to see. Really!

Now it’s time for your Heat Main Event as Viscera takes on Val Venis, who tosses his towel into the crowd at some lucky lady. Or guy. Who knows with that gimmick these days? Anyway, Viscera dominates this match, some of his offence being hilarious – knocking down Venis and flopping on top of him and spinning round, in the style of Kurt Angle’s amateur theatrics… genius! Viscera is stunningly HUGE in real life, and he takes the win with a sit-out choke-bomb, used by the much missed A-Train. Come on back, Albert – all is forgiven! Venis eventually recovers, salutes the crowd, and wanders off home.

Travis Tomko arrives. He apparently walks quite well… His opponent? CHRIS FREAKIN’ BENOIT, BABY!!! The reason I wanted so much to come to this show. Benoit is just awesome, and I don’t care if this segment sounds like a love story – he just RULES. A total of six German suplexes, 2 sharpshooters, numerous Crossfaces and tons of chops all conspire to give Chris the win, as he STILL sells the WrestleMania arm injury like a trooper. Superb!

Match of the night next, as Christian, Y2J and Shelton put on a clinic of fast paced, exciting wrestling for the Scottish crowd, who were totally into this. Christian was the star for me; his antics on the outside of the ring were most entertaining… We got to see some of the recent big spots – the triple-decker-superplex and Shelton’s top rope leapfrog bulldog to break up a Walls of Jericho attempt An exploder on Christian, after Tomko’s interference went a bit wonky wins the match for Shelton, and Chris Jericho talks to the fans after the match, informing us that he’s off to buy a kilt and some haggis. As you do.

Time to shill the merchandise now as Lillian throws some shirts into the crowd (no T-Shirt gun for us, hell no!) and we get a brief intermission.

After the break, and it’s time to yell abuse at everyone’s favourite home-wrecker, Edge and his briefcase. Probably full of pictures of YOUR girlfriend. He’s taking on Kane, and DAMN is Kane’s pyro loud or what! Whoa! Sadly, the amount of children in the audience means that it’s unwise to let rip with the full flurry of what I had planned for Edge, so I resort to just booing him and yelling that he’s a bucktoothed home wrecking gypsy from afar. Meanwhile, a small but noticeable “You Screwed Matt” chant is evident on the other side of the arena. Excellent work, Edinburgh! Kane takes the win eventually after a chokeslam, and Edge seems to have problems leaving as he keeps being accosted by members of the public, who he in turn stops to yell at. Wonder what that was about… HA!

Time for Hassan, which means it’s time for a rant. He rants about Scotland and our men wearing skirts. That must mean he’s in bad guy mode. And who can save us from Hassan? That’s right kids, it’s Shawn Michaels! The place goes absolutely NUTS for HBK as he only needs to flick his hair to get a huge poo from the crowd. Same Nash wasn’t as over as Michaels is, that move was his speciality. Anyway, the match was going along fine, with Hassan dominating, until a fire alarm went off complete with irritating announcement that “an alarm situation is being investigated. Please stay calm” – the match seems to come to an abrupt finish with Michaels hitting his flying forearm, kip-up and Sweet Chin Music out of nowhere, and everyone bar a ref and Lillian vanishes.

Lillian says that they are investigating, but in the meantime the show must go on. Yeah, that’s right – if they won’t stop the show when Owen Hart fell to his death, what’s a fire alarm gonna do for them? Nothing!

Its main event time and time for Flair. Flair is simply masterful in his control of the crowd tonight… from the minute he appears, it’s a sea of “woooo” in the crowd, and he’s just eating it up. Trips comes out, spits his water, does his poses, then takes the mic and tells us the fire alarm went off because “Batista pulled the fire alarm so he wouldn’t have to get his ass kicked” – good ad-lib, that man! DAVE~~! enters, and the place goes insane! Edinburgh is full of Batista fans, it’s literally deafening. Whoever says he’s not over with the fans, take this as proof – he is. Hugely.

Anyway, we get a good 20 minute handicap match, and even some fantastic work from Flair and Trips, seemingly having a contest to see who can do the most ludicrous ‘Flair Flop’ – Trips wins it for me, with his ‘wobbly legged, I’m OK now, oops I fell’ routine, where he fell a full 2 minutes after the blow that caused his pain. Trips on house shows is so much more relaxed and happy than on TV shows. When you see Trips live, it’s a different person, if he was half as entertaining on TV, nobody would care about what his alleged backstage politics are.

After our 20 minutes of match, Batista hits the Spinebuster on Flair, and he begins posing for the fans, who just eat it up. Dave gets thrown a Scotland flag and he happily poses with it, runs round the ring with it and ends up wearing it. Top man, Dave. His music plays three times in full before he’s even round one side of the ring, posing for pics, hugging fans, slapping hands – being the ideal champion, in other words.

All in all, well worth the money we paid for the show, but the organisation left a lot to be desired. Crossing a busy main road in the dark to get to the bus stop home, then waiting over half-an-hour for a bus in the freezing cold at 11pm is not an ideal way to promote a WWE show as fun for the family – I hope this situation is looked into before the next visit.


Thanks for reading,

Tony Cottam.

Cold, tired and hungry