Wow! I recently read an article debating whether or not house shows were worth the money, and I have to say, they most definitely are.
In a short span of two and a half hours, eight quality matches took place, making the $50 seats well worth it. One of the best parts was actually the arena itself.
The arena was actually just a tent seating about 300 or 400 people centered around the WWE ring (which for some reason security doesn't like you to touch, go figure). Our seats were about ten rows in, so we could see everything quite clearly.
Another great thing was the crowd. Although I disagreed with them on many occasions, they were full of energy, making the matches that much more exciting.
Not too much exciting happened here. I bought a program (which came in handy later) and looked around at the different people present. There were lots of kids with Jeff Hardy sleeves and Rey Mysterio masks, although neither of them were present.
One kid, dressed in John Cena attire, did the "you can't see me" thing constantly. I wanted to hit him, but restrained myself. I did boo Cena's name when mentioned, though. The kid seemed upset, but he'll learn soon enough.
I also saw Howard Finkel, who happened to be the announcer for the night. Unfortunately, I didn't get his autograph.
Match One: Yoshi Tatsu vs. Shelton Benjamin
Before this match, I tried to stay out in front of where the superstars entered to get pictures, but Yoshi basically sprinted past me and the picture of Shelton came out super blurry. After this, I just stayed in my seats to get pictures.
This match was pretty exciting and the crowd was really into Yoshi. There were multiple times when Yoshi's name was being chanted, and he really seemed to enjoy the energy we were giving him.
Shelton also got some really great heat, especially when he would leave the ring to take some time off. In the end, Yoshi ended up getting the pin after hitting his finisher, much to the crowd's delight.
Match Two: Drew McIntyre vs. Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat
I was skeptical of this match at first, since I hadn't seen Drew fight before and Steamboat is an older wrestler, but it ended up being a great fight. Drew cut a quick promo before the match, gaining some real good heat, and when Steamboat came out in the middle of it, he got a huge pop.
I'm not sure why ECW or SD! don't use Drew on TV. He's a pretty decent wrestler, and he definitely has the looks to make it. I guess they just don't have a storyline for him, which is a pretty pathetic excuse, in my opinion.
Steamboat may be old, but he's still got it. He was the only one at WM25 that actually impressed me, and I actually enjoyed watching him last night as well. He even did a few top rope moves, which is really impressive considering his age.
Steamboat ended up getting the win after a splash from the top rope, and the crowd loved it. He then left to a big round of applause, followed by Drew getting booed all the way out.
Match Three: Tyler Reks vs. Paul Burchill
This was the only match that the crowd wasn't really into, and I'm not sure why. I found it to be an enjoyable match, but I guess since these aren't really the biggest names, people didn't care as much.
I was behind Burchill the entire time, much to the displeasure of those around me. I got a few dirty looks when Burchill had Reks in a headlock and I screamed for him to rip his head off...
Tyler Reks ended up getting the win and posed for a little, then left to a mild applause. Burchill actually got some pretty good heat as he was leaving, so I guess that's good since it seems he'll just be putting people over now.
Match Four: Tyson Kidd vs. Jimmy Wang Yang
Tyson Kidd should have fought someone better, in my opinion. I have never been a fan of Yang, and this match didn't make me an instant fan. He's a decent competitor, there's just something about him I don't like.
Tyson Kidd was accompanied by David Hart Smith, who cut a short promo before the match, gaining a lot of heat. Throughout the match, David Hart Smith and the WWE Sign Guy got in an argument, and Smith ripped one of his signs in half.
Kidd ended up getting the pin in true heel fashion. He rolled Yang up and put his feet on the ropes to get better leverage, but the ref didn't see it, so he got the win anyway. This got him some massive heat, but I was clapping of course.
Match Five: Mike Knox vs. John Morrison
I would consider this the match of the night. Morrison really played to the crowd and got them to cheer and boo by pointing at himself or Knox. Knox tried to do the same, but just got booed constantly.
Knox actually looked pretty good in this match. He also got some great heat, so WWE really should come up with a good storyline for him. And by good, I don't mean, "I don't know why I attacked Evan Bourne and Rey Mysterio."
Morrison was awesome in this match. He hit a great number of high flying moves, including a standing moonsault and his finisher Starship Pain (which looks so much cooler in person than on TV).
The only thing that made this match not as good was that Morrison was supposed to fight Chris Jericho. Jericho was nowhere to be found, though, which was disappointing, but not enough to ruin the night.
Match Six: Melina vs. Katie Lea Burchill
After a brief intermission, the Divas got a match. Katie Lea actually came out to a pretty good pop, and it was exciting to see her wrestle someone other than a Bella twin for once.
Melina got one of the biggest pops of the night, next to Christian and, for some reason, CM Punk.
This was a short match, but it was still pretty good. Both Divas looked good, but Melina got the best of Katie Lea, and the crowd seemed happy with the result.
Match Seven: Christian vs. William Regal
This was for the ECW championship. I'm not sure why; it's not like anyone thought Regal would actually become ECW champion at a house show. But I guess it added excitement so it’s all good.
Regal came out to the biggest heat of the night, without a doubt. Captain Charisma came out to the biggest pop of the night, so it was obvious who the crowd was behind. I was going for Regal though.
For the record, telling the heel to kick the face's ass next to a family with little kids gets you some dirty looks as well.
Both superstars ended up putting on a great show, and much to everyone's surprise, Christian retained. This was probably the second best match, in my opinion, although I would have preferred Zack Ryder to be there.
Main Event: Kane vs. Great Khali vs. CM Punk
This was for the Number One Contender's spot at Summerslam for the World Heavyweight Championship. You'll never guess who won.
Punk came out first to a pretty big pop. I guess he didn't think this was a good thing, so he took a little kid's sign and threw it to the ground. This got him a little heat, and he proceeded to argue with a few people at ringside.
The WWE Sign Guy had a sign that said "Seeing Punk makes me drink," but security didn't seem to like it, so he put it down and replaced it with "Kane's so ugly, he trick-or-treats by phone."
Kane also came out to a pop and Khali, the supposed face, actually got the smallest pop of the three.
This match wasn't that great in terms of actual wrestling, but it did provide some good entertainment. Punk tried at first to talk Khali into teaming with him, but as soon as he turned his back, Khali brain chopped him. This caused Punk to roll out of the ring and Khali and Kane fought for a little.
When Punk finally got back in the ring, he tried to convince Kane to team with him, and had some success. He and Kane tied Khali up in the ropes, but then Punk turned on Kane by kicking him in the back. Not the smartest move.
Punk then tried to hit the GTS on both monsters, and failed miserably. He then looked at the crowd, dejected, and got double chokeslammed. Ouch.
Kane and Khali went back and forth a little longer, until Kane hit a chokeslam on Khali. He botched it, but then again, Khali does weigh over 400 pounds. Punk then came in and kicked Kane and got the pin on Khali. Bet you didn't guess Punk would win!
After the match, Kane grabbed a chair and attempted to attack Great Khali. Khali countered however, and hit Kane with the chair, causing Kane to scamper off like a scared little puppy.
After the match I was scrounging around like any dedicated fan for any autograph I could get. And who showed up? Hall of Famer, Ricky Steamboat! He signed the ten-dollar program, making the program actually worth ten dollars.
A few drunk guys also were in the parking lot trying to wrestle. This was almost as entertaining as the actual fights. WWE should sign random drunk guys, because some of them are good.
One guy got slammed to the pavement and then the other guy did a front-flip and landed on him. And to think I paid $50 to watch professionals.
So, all in all, this was an incredible experience. If you have not attended a house show yet, I strongly recommend it.
The feeling you get, seeing these larger-than-life characters a few feet in front of you is insane. Its well worth the money and thoroughly enjoyable.
Thanks for reading, and as always, feedback is appreciated.