Thanks to Wrestling Inc. reader Topher Rowden for sending in these results from last night's SmackDown live event in Springfield, MO:
Fun live event last night in Springfield, MO. Normally when WWE visits they use the 11,000 JQH Arena (that capacity is when the venue is set for Missouri State Bears and Lady Bears basketball). Their last time at JQH, which was in April of 2017, they had maybe 1/3 attendance and it was very scattered. This time they used the smaller O'Reilly Family Events Center which is home to the Drury College basketball teams. This venue is roughly half the size (if that) of JQH. Last night's event was about 3/4 full and a better atmosphere since the fans weren't so scattered and there isn't an "upper level" at this venue.
* Match one saw Bobby Roode defend his US Title against Jinder Mahal and Baron Corbin with Bobby after a Glorious DDT to Mahal. Very loud ovation for Bobby and a lot of heat for Mahal. Sunil Singh was great during the match as he ran around arguing with fans. He pointed at my 9 year old daughter a couple of times and told her not to try anything. He got a lot of laughs during the match as well. He helped one fan learn how to roll his r's. Not much heat at all for Baron. No mention that Baron Kansas City which is just a couple of hours north. I assume this was to keep heat on him but I am not sure it would have mattered.
* Match two was Becky Lynch and Naomi vs the Riott Squad. Ruby and Sarah Logan tagged while Liv Morgan stayed out of the ring. Becky got the biggest pop of the bunch but Ruby did a good job getting jeered. Liv screamed a lot from outside and taunted fans. Logan tapped to Lynch's Di-arm-her.
* Rusev and Aiden English vs. Shinsuke Nakamura and Randy Orton. Lots of Rusev Day chants. Nakamura and Rusev Day chant battles were loud and Rusev was over. Orton is always popular in this area since he is from St. Louis. Nakamura sold most of the match. Rusev teased trying to learn the ring rope squat that Nakamura does but decided against it in the end. Rusev did a lot of overselling, in a funny way, and honestly was the highlight of the match for most. The match ended with an RKO to English. Shinsuke and Randy then went all the way around the ring to sign autographs and take pictures. This is something else they haven't really done at the larger venue.
* Zack Ryder vs. Mike Kanellis – Not much in the way of pops or heat. Ryder got a luke warm greeting from the fans but it got a little better once they realized the opponent. Lots of "Impact needs you Mike", "Go back to TNA" and "Your wife is a better wrestler" chants for Kanellis. Small pop for Ryder after winning with a rough ryder.
* The next match was a Fatal Four Way for the Women's Smackdown Title with Charlotte Flair defending against Lana, Carmella and Natalya. A lot of good action that saw Charlotte make Natalia tap to the Figure Eight. Charlotte sold a lot of the match and Lana got in some spots. Nothing spectacular but a good fun match with a lot of interactions with the fans.
* Smackdown Tag Team Champions, the Usos took on The New Day and Chad Gable/Shelton Benjamin. There was a giant blow up Booty-O's cereal box during New Day's intro. Big E and Xavier represented New Day. Another quality match with a lot of back and forth action. Xavier did the most exaggerated stagger and "Flair fall" after taking a punch from Shelton. He staggered around the ring, around Shelton then outside the entire ringside area then back in before the fall. Big E did a lot of dancing and hip thrusts. Jimmy pulled out about 5 superkicks before pinning Gable. After the match the Uso's went around the ring signing and taking pics.
* The final match was Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens vs AJ Styles for the WWE SmackDown Title. Sami did a lot of Andy Kauffman style dancing (reminded me of Andy calling Jerry Lawler a chicken) and there was a ton of heat on Owens. Owens didn't smile once but laid into some fans pretty good. One fan had a sign that said "The house that AJ built" with a drawing of the Smackdown Title belt. Kevin looked at him and said "That is a drawing of a belt, not a house you idiot. Belts don't build houses". Then he went back to his corner, pointed at his shoe and said to that same fan "look, an iguana". He made fun of the guy a couple more times after that. Sami mentioned more than once that everyone in Missouri is an idiot (again reminding me of Kauffman and the way he made fun of Memphis fans). At one point Owen's did a crotch chop toward the crowd. At one point Kevin and AJ fought in the crowd (AJ later came over to make sure he hadn't hurt anyone or spilled drinks). The end saw Owens given an unintentional helluva kick by Sami and AJ catching Sami with a forearm off the ropes for the victory. Owens was kicked to the floor after the helluva kick and a fan reached over and touched him resulting in that fan beating traffic and leaving the show early. After the match Styles signed and took pics. A lot of "too sweet" daps with fans and kids. Styles stayed out about 10 minutes to get to as many fans as he could.
Overall this was a really fun show and the best time I have had at a non-televised live event. My wife, 9 year old, 13 year old and I sat ringside for the second time and this blew the April show at JQH away thanks to the comedy and fan interaction. Again, I think the smaller venue helped.