Attending a WWE non-televised show (a.k.a. house show) is the best experience one can have seeing a WWE event. I have been to numerous pro wrestling events over the years, and my favorites have always been WWE house shows.
Recently, I was able to attend the last WWE house show at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. Again, I was quickly reminded just how much I thoroughly enjoy these type of WWE shows.
The main difference between a house show and a televised show like Raw, for example, is that the performance is not meant for a television audience, but the arena audience.
Witnessing WWE superstars perform their craft of pro wrestling to no one else but the audience in attendance is something to marvel at. Over a year ago, I was lucky enough to witness Chris Jericho stall the start of his match with Kofi Kingston for almost 20 minutes (it seemed) while he taunted the crowd on the microphone.
Tactics like these cannot be witnessed on television because of precious television time, but without the cameras rolling, classic audience manipulation techniques can be used on ecstatic WWE audiences.
Instantly, Jericho became the most hated man in Los Angeles before he even locked up with Kingston in the ring. Such “old school” tactics are relied upon at house shows and are definitely welcome from the tried-and-true formula of in-ring or backstage promos for a television audience on Raw or SmackDown.
The cost of tickets is also a major incentive to be considered for going to a house show.
Being able to witness a WWE event from the fourth row on the floor of an arena is definitely something memorable and special. Fantastic seats like these run just a little bit under a ticket face value of $100. For a major pay-per-view like this past August's SummerSlam at the Staples Center, these same seats could go for as much as five times more.
Have you ever attended a WWE house show?
Non-televised WWE shows are also an excellent place to see up-and-coming talent that might not be on the televised main roster yet.
In January of 1998, I saw David Heath, who later became Gangrel, take on Taka Michinoku at a house show. This past January, I was able to see NXT superstar Bo Dallas in action before his Royal Rumble appearance. Being able to see various superstars live before they are on the main televised roster also reveals the direction WWE will be going with new talent.
If given the chance, I would definitely choose a non-televised show over a live or taped television show. Even though non-televised shows “do not count” in WWE history 99 percent of the time, they do provide a forum to see pro wrestling in an "old-school" way.
When pro-wrestling is described as a traveling circus or carnival, it really shows the most when attending a house show. Wrestling performed for a live audience is much different than wrestling performed for a televised audience because of the focus on a wider television viewership. The intimacy of a house show cannot be missed.
My mantra in telling someone the difference between professional wrestling and sports entertainment is this: Professional wrestling occurs at non-televised shows, while sports entertainment is what one sees on TV. This is an obvious oversimplification, but non-televised events have to rely much more on the in-ring action than televised events do.
Next time a WWE house show comes around to your area, check it out.