Before the show, the four of us met up at a nearby pub called "Press Box Vancouver". Tracey and I arrived first and got a table, and Travis and Melissa joined us shortly thereafter. When they got to the table, the first thing Travis does was point to a table in the corner with a man and two women sitting at it, and says "that's Kane!".
LOL. Sure it is, one of the longest tenured WWE Superstars is sitting at a table in this little pub an hour and a half before the show. It's clearly not Kane, he's about half a foot too short (Kane is 6'8") and has too much hair on the back of his head.
Except...it IS Kane! Someone notices him and goes over to ask if he will take a picture, and when he gets up I notice that his table is taller than mine, hence him looking too short. Of course, once one person gets his picture taken, there is soon a lineup of fans to get pictures taken, including the pub manager and some waitresses. Anyway, we don't get into the line as we'd rather let the guy have a little bit of privacy and eat his dinner without interruption. He looks exhausted but is more than willing to stand up time and time again to take pictures with everyone who asks. He is sitting at a table near the window, looking out, and eventually some kids walking by notice him. They can't come into the pub of course, so Kane gets up and goes outside to meet with them. The kids are more than thrilled.
Mr. Jacobs, if you are reading this, you showed much class. We've been big fans of yours for years and we became even bigger fans last night. Well done, sir.
Now, on to the matches.
Just as we are beginning, the two ladies sitting at dinner with Kane come and sit in the front row, 5 rows directly in front of us.
The event starts with ring announcing Tony Chimel coming down to the ring and welcoming us. At least we assume that's what he's doing, as we can't understand a freaking word he says. The Coliseum is a good venue for this, and they have ramped up the production value (even bringing in some pyro and a mini-version of the Titan Tron), but the sound is abhorrent. It's akin to watching the Peanuts version of the WWE. "In this corner, wah wah wah, wah wah wah wah wah".
First out is R-Truth, who is talented but I hate the rap gimmick. The crowd is into it, and when he says "What's UP?", most of the sheep there shout "What's UP"? I, of course, shout "SHUT UP".
Anyway, next out is the real talent of the match, Curtis Axel. I'm one of maybe 4 people in the building cheering for him.
Next up is current Intercontinental Champion Big E Langston. Meh. He's OK. Getting a push too early, for my tastes.
So the first match is a triple threat match for the I-C title. Since titles virtually never change hands at house (untelevised) shows, the outcome is never in doubt; Big E Langston wins and retains his title. Decent match, they all work hard and Axel really gets the crowd to hate him more than they already did. He's good at what he does.
The second match features Hunico (which I think is Spanish for "jobber") against newcomer Xavier Woods. They both work hard, but I don't care about either of these guys. Woods has some promise but his gimmick is a bit goofy, like a 70's disco star. Woods win by pinfall.
Chimel then announces that the next match is for the Divas Championship, which means I get to see my future second-wife, AJ Lee, up close. The Bella Twins come out first, it's not clear which one of them is getting a title shot. AJ comes out next with Tamina Snuka and brings out a mic...she says "wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah " and at some point I guess this match was changed into a tag team match. I don't understand the booking of the Divas division these days, AJ has been the Champion for months but she rarely wins a match, and this one is no different, as she suffers the pinfall loss. Why make your Champion, the best Divas Champion they've had in YEARS, look as weak as possible? Ridiculous.
AJ is a gorgeous little thing, the key word here being "little". She's so tiny it's tough to believe she has reached the pinnacle of professional wrestling. She is looking really skinny too...almost too skinny. AJ, my darling, an extra cheeseburger or two wouldn't hurt once in a while.
Next up is one of the main events of the evening, and the crowd really gets whipped into a frenzy when this man's music hits:
Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton for the WWE Championship
Orton is out next to a mixed reaction. No mix from me, though, I hate this son of a bitch. Always have. I spend most of the match giving him the finger and screaming "STEROIDS". He's been suspended TWICE for steroids, he's a disgrace to the business.
Mark Henry comes out next, for no apparent reason. Orton and Kane leave, Mark Henry gets in and celebrates with Bryan. Strange, but I guess it was probably the last time we will likely see the soon-to-retire Henry in person so maybe that was the whole point.
Another throw away match is next, Los Matadors against 3 MB. Well, 2 MB actually, as Jinder Mahal and Drew McIntyre are the only two there. For some bizarre reason, Jinder Mahal is very popular. I know there are a lot of East Indians in Vancouver and all, but REALLY people. He sucks. I don't care what race he is, he sucks.
Los Matadors go over, but the crowd chants "we want Jinder" all night long. Talk about Bizarro world.
The only thing that could be worse would be if they shoved the Great Khali down our throats.
Do do...do do do do do do do......do do, do do do do do do do .......
out next with Summer Rae at his side. Crowd goes nuts and everyone is Fandangoing.
And his opponent. The Great Khali. FACE PALM.
At least he comes out with my future third-wife (sorry, AJ), the lovely Nattie Neidhart. It's a "fans choice" match, and the fans choose a dance off. And of course, despite the fact that Khali has no cartilage in his knees and can barely even walk, let alone dance, the fans aware him the victory. So, Fandango challenges Khali to a wrestling match (well, whatever it is that Khali does, it can't really be called "wrestling", and Khali wins that one too. Sweet Jesus.
It ends well, though, as Summer Rae gets into the fray and Nattie puts her into the Sharpshooter, much to the delight of the Canadian crowd. It would have been nice to watch her wrestle (maybe a mixed tag match with her and her husband Tyson Kidd????), but at least we got to see her and cheer the Hell out of her anyway.
Oh, you don't know who the Great Khali is?
Yes, Nattie is not a short woman, and she comes up to his chest. Barely. He is not standing on a box. Or a midget. He's a circus attraction.
I feel bad for the guy, he has had so many knee surgeries it's painful to watch him....not as painful as it is for him to walk, I'm sure....but please WWE, put him out to pasture. I know he's a superstar in India and that's a big market for you, but time to create another Indian superstar. I mean, there is always Jinder.
Follow the Buzzards.
the Best in the World, CM Punk.
Good match, exactly what you would expect. Wyatt tries to interfere a few times, but Punk still wins via clean pinfall. Crowd goes nuts, and Punk stays around well after the match to sign autographs and shake hands. Oh, he got on the mic before the match and said "wah wah wah wah wah Vancouver wah wah wah wah wah". Inspiring.
Anyway that was it, it was a very good house show, and all the talent worked hard, nobody took the night off. There were some notable guys missing (Cena, Rhodes and Goldust, the Shield) but they were down the coast at another show in Sacramento. Seems like they split the talent up pretty well, nobody could complain unless they came specifically to see Cena, but he was never advertised.
Link to all the pictures from the evening: