WWE’s 2013 edition of the Money in the Bank pay-per-view from the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia was one of the best events of the year thus far, and I was lucky enough to be in attendance during the show.
While my seats weren’t great—second level because I’m notoriously cheap—the view from the television side in the fifth row made for a great point-of-view for all of Sunday’s unpredictable action.
Experiencing any wrestling event live and interacting with the crowd is always a blast, but enjoying a PPV like Money in the Bank in a hotbed like Philadelphia made it even more special.
Which Stars Got the Biggest Cheers?
One of the reasons that the WWE felt comfortable holding a major PPV in Philadelphia is because of the crowds. The notoriously fickle crowds will not be told who or what to cheer for and will make their feelings well known.
There was definitely a strong contingent of casual wrestling fans in attendance, as face superstars like Sheamus and Randy Orton were cheered heavily. In the same vein, the entire crowd exploded for the arrival of Daniel Bryan and CM Punk.
Philadelphia also had to give the WWE a boost with the ability to determine which superstars should be cheered instead of booed.
Not only did the City of Brotherly Love ensure Ziggler is a face from now on with a boisterous reaction, but the ability to turn Ambrose, Fandango, Cody Rhodes, Damien Sandow and the rest of the heels in the ladder match into household names also made the night special.
Add in the expected explosion of excitement over the returning Rob Van Dam to a Philadelphia crowd that watched him grow up in ECW, and there weren’t too many portions of the show that weren’t filled with noise.
The ultimate show of respect, though, came for Mark Henry in the WWE Championship match. While there were very vocal clusters of Cena fans throughout the arena, the building exploded in applause and cheers for The World’s Strongest Man.
While Henry may be a heel, Philadelphia appreciates hard work and gave him a face reception accordingly.
Which Stars Got the Biggest Jeers?
The biggest boos in Philadelphia were the same as they were in every smart wrestling town in the United States, as they were directed at WWE champion John Cena.
There are always groups of fans that love Cena relentlessly, but in cities like Philadelphia and New York, there is a contingent of passionate supporters just as strong that hates the champ relentlessly.
The Wells Fargo Center was its loudest overall when Cena hit the ring.
While the fans kept quiet for matches they didn’t like—Ryback vs. Chris Jericho, AJ Lee vs. Kaitlyn and The Miz vs. Curtis Axel received lackluster reactions—the biggest boos not related to Cena came for AJ after she cost Ziggler his chance at the title.
Ziggler had received one of the biggest pops of the night, and with the entire arena pulling for him to win the title, AJ’s interference caused the crowd to destroy the diva and find even more sympathy for the turning star.
What You Missed on PPV
While the PPV telecast typically catches most of the in-ring action, there are always changes and improvisations that slip past the cameras. The most notable on Sunday was the amount of injuries in the WWE Championship Money in the Bank ladder match.
How did the Philadelphia crowd come across on PPV?
Van Dam was busted up early in the match and was attended to by ringside doctors. The same was true for Christian and Punk. With WWE.com reporting about RVD’s and Punk’s injuries and PWInsider, via Wrestling Inc., reporting Christian’s injuries, it was great to see how fast the medical personnel reacted and handled the situations.
As hard as it might be to believe, the crowd was very respectful from my point-of-view and I saw no fans being asked to leave the arena for bad behavior. While Philadelphia has a bad reputation, we stayed classy on Sunday.
The experience of being at a live show is one of a kind. Not only do you see a great show, but you also get to enjoy it with fellow hardcore wrestling fans. While there are too many stories to tell, let’s just say most fans of the sport are very unique.
What Fans Should Never Do Again
After all the observations I made at the Wells Fargo Center, this last portion of the article will be one diehard fan’s plea to the rest of the wrestling community.
There are a few chants that must stop immediately.
Philadelphia was guilty of falling into this rut as well, and when new Raw general manager Brad Maddox was speaking about Vickie Guerrero, the crowd chanted "What?" at him. This must stop.
Unless Stone Cold comes through the curtain, there is no reason for the crowd to chant the word "what" ever again. It takes away from the story and can ruin a great segment.
Add in the Goldberg chants for Ryback and the Sexual Chocolate chants for Mark Henry, and there is no excuse for the crowd to attempt to put themselves over at a show. We should be there to have fun and be raucous, but in a light-hearted way.
Stop being so smarky and just have fun, WWE Universe!
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