Thanks to WrestlingINC.com reader Michael B. Mize for sending these additional details for last night's SmackDown live event in Tyler, TX:
75% attendance in a 6,000 capacity arena. WWE security was as tight as it has ever been. I had a student from my school with me. We wrote WWE about letting him meet the wrestlers and Oil Palace personnel were OK with it, but WWE would not allow this by any means. Really was disappointed about that. The wrestlers have usually been very cordial about meeting the kids for autographs and pictures in the past.
Matt Striker did a great job as announcer and emcee of the event. He got this kid with us an autograph from Randy Orton.
Great Khali is unbelievable in real life. He is definitely something to see live, but of course, not much wrestling skill.
The six-man tag Red Raider match (obviously a nod to Robert E. Lee, a local high school) saw a lot of athletic moves from 3MB, and their opponents, Justin Gabriel, Yoshi Tatsu and Bo Dallas. Gabriel, Yoshi, and Dallas won a very high flying match over 3MB.
Striker asked the fans to vote via text on the Cody Rhodes and Randy Orton match, if it should be a 2 out of 3 falls match or a no DQ match (of course the fans went wild for the no DQ match).
Wade Barrett defended his title against Kofi Kingston. Wade Barrett won the match in an old school grappler-style of wrestling. He had flashes of Barry Windham, Rick Rude and Curt Hennig. Just watching him in the ring shows that he studies a lot of film to improve his game. He beat Kingston down after the match, but Kofi got him back with a Trouble in Paradise to a big pop from the fans.
RKO vs Cody Rhodes was up next. Orton got a great pop. He hit Rhodes with a suplex on the ramp. They battled with a kendo stick, steel chair, used the steel steps, etc. It was a good no DQ match. I talked to one of my very knowledgeable wrestling friends Graham O' Quinn who was there, and he thought this was the best match of the night. RKO won with of course... the RKO. I wish these young men had the charisma of their fathers. Cowboy Bob could sell as a heel. I hope they move Randy back to being one quickly. Cody should use some of his dad's charisma and personality in the ring. Dusty was one of a kind. He was king back in the NWA days.
The Divas match was weak to me. Aksana vs Alicia Fox. Aksana was beautiful, but neither one of them will be part of a five star wrestling match.
Striker pushed the 20th anniversary of Raw. He then said that they were giving us a bonus match tonight. Damien Sandow came out with good heat. He did a good job on the mic. Somewhat of an Andy Kaufman routine... His opponent was Sheamus who got a great pop. Sheamus is a legit powerhouse. He did some awesome power moves. He beat him with white noise then the brogue kick. He shook hands with everybody around ringside after the match.
The biggest flop of the night was the main event. I may not be liked for saying this, but what is Vince McMahon thinking by putting the title on Alberto Del Rio? Del Rio is good, but he is not worthy to have that strap around his waist. Big Show came out and ran Tyler down. He said he was only here to get his belt back. I have seen him many times before, but still marvel at his size and strength. He did some good things, but Del Rio hit him with an insaguri to the back of the head and got a good clean 3 count. I was surprised that Big Show would sell it. Del Rio went up to the ramp and showed the crowd the belt and then left. He did not go around shaking hands. Big Show left as well, glaring at the crowd. Afterwards, security was tight and ran several fans off from trying to see the wrestlers. This was by far the most unfriendly wrestling event that I have attended (I have been to probably hundreds of shows).
I don't want to be negative towards the future of wrestling, but we have two champs who would not break cruiserweight in the old WCW. CM Punk stirs people up on the mic and he can wrestle, but Del Rio is just not believable to me. He is a cartoonish gimmick.
I was watching the NWO video WWE just recently put out... Ted Dibiase said it best. When people go to the movies, they want to see the unexpected. When people watch a soap opera they want the unexpected... the same goes for wrestling. I don't think wrestling will ever get as hot as it was in the late 90's until Vince does the unexpected. Right now wrestling is bland. I hope WWE will spice it up again. On another note about Del Rio... if you want creative to keep the belt on you, then I would probably try to become a champion for the people. Shaking hands and acknowledging the fans would help your cause. I would also like to say to the WWE in general. The fans are the reason you are in business. I hope you will recognize that!