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At least, I’ll write down what I can remember…the whole show just kind of became a blur.  And no, I wasn’t drunk.

I got to Arco around 3:20 PM.  There were already a good number of people milling around outside, buying crap and generally trying to not stand directly in the 300 degree heat.  I eventually headed over to one of the lines that was forming, maybe 15 minutes later.  For the next 25 minutes, I was extremely glad I’d brought a large water bottle with me, because it was fucking scorching hot out there.  When we finally did get inside, there was a nice rush of cool air.  I was determined not to buy the severely overpriced food, so I didn’t even get another bottle of water or anything.  I probably should have, because I think I’m dehydrated even now.

Anyway, when I finally got down to the floor to find my seat, I was directed to a different area than I was expecting to go to.  Instead of sitting right next to the entrance ramp, I was instead directed to the next area over.  Now, if you can picture in your mind for a moment the typical layout of a WWE event, I can tell you exactly where I was.  Imagine the entrance ramp is on the left-hand side of the floor plan.  I was in the section at the very bottom of the floor area.  The place was so stuffed with chairs that every time someone had to walk past me, I had to get out of my seat and walk out of the row just so they could walk past.  It was that cramped.  I sat next to an older guy who was a definite mark, but he was nice and funny, so I had a good time jawing with him about various things.

The dark match began at about 4:40, earlier than I’d expected.  R-Truth’s music came blaring over the speakers, and we all joined in chanting, “What’s up!” at our appointed time.  He faced Shelton Benjamin, who was (as expected) heavily booed.  Though there was the occasional fan yelling R-Truth sucks and Shelton’s the man.  The prototypical IWC fanboi.  R-Truth won in about three minutes with his crazy flying spinny elbow thing.  They should have been allowed about five more minutes, in order to make up for having started the show five minutes early.  There were some promotional videos for movies and video games, and Lilian sang the national anthem.  The guy I was sitting next to had a real crush on her, which I found a little funny.  But that’s just me.  I forgot to mention that before she sand the national anthem, she introduced the announce teams.  JR and Todd Grisham came out first, JR to a huge ovation and Grisham to a pretty heavy chorus of boos.  Then Josh Matthews and Matt Striker from ECW got a decent ovation.  Keep in mind that none of these guys came to our side of the ring.  Finally, Michael Cole waled out solo to a huge boo, and he was the only person I got any contact from, since I was sitting in the second row, I had to stretch my arm way out and he tapped the tips of my fingers.  I love that the IWC hates him.  I’m not sure why, though.  And finally, Jerry Lawler walked out to probably the biggest pop for the announcers.  He snubbed our side, as everyone else had.

The show started off with the usual huge pyrotechnics show, which is one of the events I did not enjoy whatsoever during the show.  That pyro is way too loud.  It’s about the only reason I was glad I was shifted from right next to the entrance ramp to the side.  But I don’t think 20 feet would have made it any louder, really.  Still, it was one of the main reasons that, if WWE came back to town, I probably wouldn’t attend.  That was just way too loud.  And one of the strange moments occurred here, because I’m used to hearing voices talking over the screaming crowd.  But it was just us the whole time.  No JR, no Striker, no anybody.  And Tony Chimel was standing in the ring, so we knew the ECW Championship Scramble match was first.  Actually, he informed us just before the show started that it would be the opener.  The rules had changed so that new wrestlers would appear every three minutes instead of every five minutes, so as to shorten the match in order to get everything in under three hours.  So the match lasted 14 minutes instead of 20.  When all five guys were in the ring, it was utter chaos.  I hadn’t even realized Tommy Dreamer had scored the last pinfall with about a minute left.  I thought Swagger had won.  I know the details because I *ahem* acquired the PPV and watched that match last night.  I must admit, Swagger’s stupid move when he tried to toss Dreamer…somewhere…was a hilariously bad moment, and the crowd was merciless.  Now, I don’t know if it was just the people around me (I think it was, actually), but a lot of them sounded like IWC people, because a few of them were cheering Swagger, and one guy was viciously verbally attacking Dreamer for the entire match.  Not sure why he hated Dreamer so much.  Anyway, the match was chaotic as hell.  People were going nuts when Mark Henry started climbing the turnbuckles, hoping he’d do a triple backflip shooting star press off the top rope onto everyone, but Swagger, in typical Swagger fashion, ruined that for us too.  I noticed after waching the match again that the only man not to hold the ECW title at one point in the match was Christian.  I pray that he’s not being buried already.  Of course, by losing the ECW Title to Dreamer three weeks ago, he already seems to have begun his slide back into mid-card doom.  This was probably the weakest Scramble match on record, but Dreamer won, so it wasn’t all bad.  And since I’m also going to go ahead and cover my picks with this, I’m 1 for 1.

The second problem in going to a live event is that any backstage promos that take place are going to be difficult to understand, since they’re blasting the voices through the PA system.  So when someone, such as Theodore Long, says something that garners a pop, the next five or six seconds of dialogue are completely missed because the crowd is cheering.  So we don’t get the entire conversation.  And since this was a very backstage-heavy show, chronicling the difficulties Mr. Long is going through, I missed a lot of his conversations with Edge, Mr. McMahon, Jericho, and the Colons.  I’ll have to watch the show to find out what all was said.

From what I can remember, the Jericho/Mysterio match was probably the best match of the night overall.  When you’ve got two real veterans in a match who you know can work like crazy, you’re bound to get a great show out of them.  And these two didn’t disappoint.  I think this match had the two best spots of the night.  The first was Mysterio’s beautiful slingshot-split-legged moonsault onto Jericho, which was a treat to see since I don’t think there’s been one of those since Rob Van Dam was employed by WWE.  And the second was Mysterio getting caught with a Codebreaker after another slingshot into the ring.  The second spot was memorable for one very important reason: it’s the first time I can remember that anyone has managed to take an elevated Codebreaker perfectly.  Every time someone jumps off a turnbuckle or a ring rope, only to get hit with a Codebreaker, the timing is off, and either Jericho lands on the mat before his opponent has landed and has time to react to the move, or his opponent lands and starts to fall before Jericho has fully performed the move, and both men end up landing on the mat at the same time.  Mysterio took it perfectly, and I have to commend both of them for making the spot look perfect and look like Jericho was actually going to unmask Mysterio.  But WWE has to keep its large young fan base, so Mysterio had a great trick up his sleeve…or, in his case, his mask, and managed to pull off the victory.  I was expecting a DQ finish so Jericho could keep his title and Mysterio could keep his mask, but Mysterio won with a clean pinfall to become the Intercontinental Champion for the second time.  I’m taking this as a winning pick, since I did say Mysterio would win.  So I’m 2 for 2 so far.

We got a pretty long break with no in-ring action after this, as (according to the Wrestleview website, which was kind enough to link to this little blog when I sent in my live report giving them the dark match result) there was a video for Summerslam, highlights from the commercial-free Raw, a quick video of HHH getting his leg taped up, a promo between Jericho and Teddy Long, and a video package about Dolph Ziggler.  One other strange thing I’d like to mention is that, during the video packages, the announcer voices sounded strangely higher than they actually are.  Maybe two or three semi-tones higher.  I don’t know if they were playing back something recorded on a different tape or what, but it was strange to say the lease.  Especially to hear Todd Grisham sounding like a prepubescent boy.

The Ziggler/Khali match was what it was.  The one thing that really stuck out for me was the entirely unexpected return of Kane.  I went nuts.  That is, I went nuts after the pyro went off and I could feel the heat from…I’d like to say maybe 60 feet away.  It was absurdly loud, and really hot as well.  But I cheered like crazy to see Kane back after being off TV for weeks.  I suppose that means he’s going into a program with Khali.  And Ziggler snuck in after the Kane attack to pick up the victory.  I don’t think anyone saw this coming, but I’ll take my lumps and accept defeat with the pick for this match.  2 for 3.  I keep saying it, but it’s true: there are good things in store for Nick Nemeth, alias Dolph Ziggler.  They even stuck the word “perfection” into his new theme song.  If that isn’t even more of an homage to Mr. Perfect, I don’t know what is.

I will not, however, take a loss for the tag team title match.  There was no way to predict that Edge and Jericho would be inserted into the match.  And once they were, it was beyond obvious that they were going to win.  I was hoping for the Hart Dynasty to be added, but I was happy to see Edge.  He had siad earlier that this was the first PPV in a long time that he wasn’t a part of, and I’m glad Teddy Long obliged and put him in.  The match was kinda blah, mostly Legacy dominating Primo.  One guy was screaming at Primo, telling him to (and I quote) “Go back to Mexicoooooooo!”  I suppose someone corrected him, because after about a half dozen times of yelling this, he then yelled, “Or Puerto Ricoooooooo!”  There were a couple of funny chants going on during the match.  One for “We want Christian!” and an “Edge and Christian” one as well.  I’m sure that got onto the broadcast, because it seemed to echo throughout the arena.  Long story short, Edge speared Carlito and Team Ego became the new Unified Tag Team Champions.  Funny how a month or so ago they were put into a tag team together and nearly tore each other apart, and now they’re the best of friends.  I guess it’s because they’re tag champs now.

By the way, I’ll be posting pictures of the show soon, once I sort through them all.  I took a ton of pictures, and unfortunately, probably 90-95% of them are unusable, thanks to a lot of blur happening.  I’ll post the good ones after I finish writing this, maybe tomorrow.  I’m only writing this now because I remembered I got a couple of good shots of Edge and Jericho holding up the tag titles.

There was a backstage promo with Legacy, and a lot of people around me were thinking this was Dibiase’s face turn because he walked away from Orton.  And he’d turn face to promote his movie.

The Women’s Championship match was pretty decent.  Not surprising considering you’ve got the two best divas on Smackdown gunning for the title (coincidentally, I watched part of ROH’s Seventh Year Anniversary Show, and watched a great match between Brent Albright and Claudio Castagnoli (a few of you may remember Albright back when he went under the name Gunner Scott in WWE for about a month)).  Anyway, we had the fairly typical womens’ fare, and the seemingly typical “Melina gets tied up in knots” submission move, which I tried to take multiple pictures of.  I was, however, fairly disappointed that McCool walked away with the championship.  As far as women deserving the honor of “First woman to win both the Women’s Championship and the Diva’s Championship,” Michelle McCool is not at the top of the list.  I’d say she’s…oh, about fifth or sixth.  The honor should probably have gone to Mickie James, who I was also disappointed was nowhere to be seen.  And it’s another loss for me.  2 for 4 (2 for 5 if you’re counting the tag match, which EVERYONE was wrong in predicting).

The Punk/Hardy match was pretty darn good.  At least, until the seemingly huge botch near the end where the incompetent Scott Armstrong seemed to count to three after Hardy’s Swanton Bomb connected, and Hardy’s music started playing, but the ref was waving it off as a two count.  That got the biggest heat of the night, for sure.  People were desperate for Hardy to win the match.  The crowd around me was very mixed.  A lot of Hardy chants and a lot of Punk chants as well.  If Punk really does turn fully heel, he may be the next great heat magnet.  The end was a farce, as Armstrong, after being kicked in the back, waited several seconds before disqualifying Punk instead of automatically DQ’ing him.  He really is a terrible referee and needs to be fired.  The pop Hardy got for attacking Punk after tha match was absolutely huge.  Probably a tie for the biggest of the night.  The crowd was nearly deafening.  Will Hardy return, or is he actually taking time off?  I suppose we’ll have to wait until Friday to find out.

Oh, and 3 for 5 on picks.

I think the biggest disappointment of the night was the Cena/Miz match.  At that point, the show had been going for around 2 hours and 10 minutes, and they had to have enough time to cram in the Three Stages of Hell match and still stay under three hours total, so this match got the royal screwjob in terms of time.  And this had the best build of any match tonight.  The whole thing was squandered in a short, boring match with a predictable outcome.  Cena wins, makes Miz tap out, and stands tall the victor yet again.  I think if they didn’t have so many backstage promos, this could have been entertaining.  But it seems like they had to cut the match short because they were running over on time.  As for picks, 4 for 6.

Forgot to mention that Cena also got a tie for the biggest crowd reaction of the night, though there was a thicket of boos among the higher-pitched cheers.  And when he tossed his shirt out into the audience, I think someone might have gotten hurt trying to grab it, because I heard a few chairs crashing, and when I looked back, there was a guy laying on the floor.

The Three Srages of Hell match was, rather obviously, the last match of the night.  HHH finishes the three-way tie for biggest pop of the night with his entrance.  The first fall was the usual fare you get in a HHH/Orton singles match.  The finish, however, was not, as HHH smacked Orton with a chair.  The assault continued, and HHH gave Orton a pretty sick-looking Pedigree on the floor for the second fall.  We’ve had two falls in about five minutes.  Thank goodness the stretcher match lasted longer than those two matches combined.  There was a pretty awesome highlight when HHH got crotched on the security wall and fell into the crowd right in front of me, and if you watched the PPV, you can see me on screen for about five seconds.  If you’re wondering, I was the big fat hairy guy just standing there and watching.  The stretcher portion of the match was pretty entertaining, except for that a large portion of the fall was up on the entrance ramp, near the finish line.  There was a huge pop when HHH pulled out his sledgehammer he’d hidden up near the top of the ramp, but I didn’t realize it until he was beating Rhodes and Dibiase (who apparently had had a change of heart in an hour and a halfs’ time) with it.  A couple of minutes of scuffling around, and Orton winds up winning and retaining his title.  But HHH got the last laugh as he brained Orton with the sledgehammer afterward.  A crotch chop and that’s how the show ended.  5 for 7 in picks (5 for 8 if you’re a stickler).

After the show ended, Orton slowly got to his feet and held his title aloft for a couple of minutes while the announce teams got their things together and left.  JR came by our way and was shaking hands, but I guess my hand wasn’t stuck out far enough, because he snubbed me.  Not cool.  But the guy next to me got lucky because Lillian passed by our way and he asked her for a picture, and she obliged, which I thought was very classy of her to take just a few seconds to appease a single fan.  Once they were gone, the arena emptied except for those of us waiting around to take our chairs home.  Those of us who paid a hefty price to get these floor seats got to take our chairs with us.  But it took a very long time for the Arco staff to get set up, so we started just pulling our chairs apart and filing towards the guy who signed our tickets to show that we could take the chairs home.  Which, according to one Arco staff member, was not protocol.  But we all just ignored her and did it anyway.  It was about 8:30 by that time and we were getting impatient.  So here I sit, a day later, with a chair with a picture of Jeff Hardy on the seat, and a lighter wallet (and some sore legs from the constant standing up and sitting down I had to do thanks to some people in front of me deciding to stand for most of the show).

So how was the show?  Pretty good overall, though I think I was concentrating more on taking pictures than actually watching the matches.  If they came back to the city I live in, I probably wouldn’t go back.  The pyro was way too loud, the backstage promos were garbled and unhearable (it’s a word now), and the crowd was srange and fickle, at least where I was sitting.  Also, it was a big loss to not hear any commentating, espeically with a Smackdown-heavy show (including the dark match, there were five Smackdown matches, three Raw, and one ECW).  I missed JR’s commentary.  I think with the overload of a PPV, I’ll probably record Raw and watch it another day, because I can’t fathom watching any more wrestling for at least a day or two.

Thanks for reading this giant massive entry (especially any new readers from Wrestleview.com), and I’ll update again with some pictures, and then we’ll be back into the usual swing of things.

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One Comment

  1. Wow thanks, good writeup for the Bash ppv!


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