Thanks to WrestlingINC.com reader surlymoe for sending in this report from last night's SmackDown taping in Hershey, PA:
I was at Smackdown last night in Hershey. The show was great. Maybe biased since I've been rather disappointed with storylines lately, but this show had what I really enjoy - short, quick promos that get their point across, good wrestling, and excitement in the crowd.
First thing I noticed was almost the entire camera side was tarped off. Not sure how much the entire Giant Center holds but they cut out probably 3-4,000 seats. We were in the front row facing the camera and got those tickets on the day of the event, but the show appeared pretty close to sold out.
Dean Ambrose was the first match out. Might've been a dark match before NXT. Just about every match was good and the crowd kept up with the cheering for the good guys. The Superstars match with Tyson Kidd, Derrick Bateman and Michael McGillicutty was very good. I never liked Tyson Kidd until I saw this match. His in-ring skills ARE top notch. Crowd was very much behind him.
Uso's Match with Swagger and Ziggler was good except Vickie stood directly in front of me the entire match. We taunted Ziggler and Swagger and they reacted to our taunts which was cool. couple other NXT and Superstar matches and ready for Smackdown.
Lilian Garcia still looks great. You could tell how close knit of a group the ring announcers, set up people and referees are as they are constantly joking around with each other. After Superstars went off, the ref for the last match was given a black shirt and he put it on and immediately became a set up person. A funny part was when they finished setting up for Smackdown I believe it was, they rushed over to the ring announcer for NXT and did that dance that Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan do in the club bouncing a girl around. Funny stuff.
Punk's promo on Laurinaitis was very good, although we in the crowd had a tough time actually hearing what they were saying. Sounded mostly like Charlie Brown's teacher. Punk was way over, even a guy in the crowd looked eerily like him who will probably make TV. Not sure if it will make TV or not but after Punk left, Laurinaitis blamed us as fans and told us to "go to hell". WWE PG?
There was not one match I can remember that was slow or wasteful. Spoiler alert: the match with Santino was a surprise as I definitely mark out for Santino, and the fact he went over on Rhodes was surprising. Santino must be making the suits happy in the back.
Just for the record, Khali and Zeke are huge (that match might be on superstars).
Best match of the night had to go to Orton and Sheamus. A solid 15-20 minute match, or at least it felt like. These guys were pouring sweat by the end. A good ending and even a nice prelude to the future with Orton giving Sheamus an RKO after they shook hand after the match and almost perfectly timed the belt in front of him staring at it. That was cool.
Dark match main event was Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan. By the way the crowd throughout the entire show was hugely in support of Bryan with their "Yes" chants. A few "no's" in there, but very much in support.
Ryder threw his shirt to my buddy who happened to be from Long Island so he was pumped he got that shirt. Then they threw Bryan's Yes shirt to the woman sitting next to him. He's a big mark for the yes chants, so they exchanged the shirts. And last, there were 2 little boys around us wearing Sheamus gear. One father colored his son's hair and spiked it and gave him an orange highlighter facial hair and looked like mini-Sheamus. I don't use this word very often, but it was adorable.
Biggest pops of the night:
1. Randy Orton
2. Daniel Bryan/Cm Punk (really a tie)
3. Santino Marella
5. Usos - crowd loved them even if it doesn't come off on TV.
Biggest heat of the night:
1. John Laurinitis
2. Vicki Guerrero
4. Damien Sandow
5. Dean Ambrose