Smackdown House Show – February 10, 2013

My girlfriend and I took in a Smackdown house show tonight in Louisville, Kentucky.  Naturally I took some notes.
The
place was very empty for the most part.  The KFC Yum! Center (what a
horrendous name) holds roughly 22,000 but the entire upper deck was
tarped off, there were LARGE sections in the lower arena sectioned off,
and large portions of quality seats were just empty.  I’m bad at
guessing crowd sizes but if there were 8,000 people there I would be
stunned.

The new (well old now) house show set does help things a
lot.  it’s nothing great or flashy but it makes things feel a lot more
special than just walking through a black curtain.  There are two mini
trons and a big X which has the theme of the wrestler (i.e. Sheamus’ is
green, Del Rio is red, white and green etc) and a mini ramp.  It’s a BIG
upgrade and makes things look a lot better.

We were told to tweet
our pick of the stipulation for the main event: No DQ or 2/3 falls.  No
DQ was up about 80 to 20 when they stopped showing the results.

We got the standard videos from WWE: Wrestlemania Reading Challenge, Saturday Morning Slam, WWE App etc.

The main shirts I saw were Cena and Rock with a few Rybacks throughout the arena.  Mainly Cena though.

Kofi Kingston vs. Heath Slater

The
crowd was white hot all night and this was no exception.  My theory of
Kofi as the modern day Tito Santana continues to grow.  Kofi was
INSANELY over and looked great all match.  The crowd booed Slater but it
was nothing compared to the pop for Kingston.  It was a pretty basic
match with Kofi working on the arm until the other 3MB members
distracted him.  There was a funny spot where Kofi did the air guitar
and hip shake which got a good reaction from the crowd.  In a very
impressive move, Kofi hit a dropkick and from where we were sitting,
Kofi’s entire body was above the ropes.  That’s INSANE when you think
about it.

The big spot of the match was Kofi kicking Slater down
and using him as a stepping stone to hit a big dive onto 3MB.  Mahal and
McIntyre were thrown out after about five minutes and Slater started
taking over.  Slater beat on Kofi with some basic stuff and hit a pretty
sweet neckbreaker for two.  Kofi made his comeback and hit the Boom
Drop but Trouble in Paradise missed.  Slater went up and jumped into
Trouble in Paradise for the pin at about 12:00.

Rating: C+.
The ratings will be shorter than usual here.  This was a great choice
for an opener and the fans loved Kofi.  The main thing here was that the
match was kind of slow at times, but that’s more than forgivable.  This
was probably the second or third best match of the night.

Aksana vs. Alicia Fox

This
ran about NINE minutes and the crowd started filing in.  My entire
notes about the match: Aksana sucks, Alicia isn’t bad, ax kick hits back
for pin (for Fox).

Rating: D-. The match sucks and it’s ALL on Aksana, who looked lost doing anything of note.

Chimmel
was plugging the Twitter thing again when Shield interrupted him.  They
talked about Orton and Sheamus being brought to justice tonight and get
in a great line: “It’s Evolution or Extinction.”  That line is ten
years too late and it’s awesome.

Fandango vs. Yoshi Tatsu

Yep,
I got to see Fandango, and he’s still Johnny Curtis.  No one cared
about Fandango, like at all.  he had some chick that was dancing with
him during his entrance but she went to the back for the match.  Both
guys danced a bit with Tatsu doing the Rick Rude hip swivel.  Fandango
was very generic with his stuff and came off like any guy from NXT. 
That’s the problem with the gimmick: it has nothing interesting at all
to it and there’s zero reason whatsoever to boo him.  He’s just a guy
who dances.  We have no idea if he’s a good guy, a bad guy, or anything
about him at all.  Anyway the generic heel (assuming that’s what he was)
broke up a springboard attempt by Tatsu and hit a spinning downward
spiral for the pin at about 6:40.

Rating:  D. If
this is any indication of what’s coming, Fandango isn’t going to last
long.  There’s no reason to care about him and while it was clear he’s a
heel, there’s no reason to know that other than he’s fighting Yoshi
Tatsu.  I don’t remember him cheating, I don’t remember him acting
arrogant, I don’t remember him doing anything evil.  He just dances, and
I guess that makes him bad?

Wade Barrett says he’ll win the main event and the world title.

Randy Orton/Sheamus vs. Shield

Handicap
match here.  Orton and Sheamus got by far the biggest pops of the night
respectively.  This was a brawl to start after Shield came through the
curtain instead.  It was about what you would expect from this kind of a
match.  In one funny bit, Rollins was in trouble and Orton stopped the
other two before they came in.  During the distraction, Sheamus choked
Rollins in the corner and shrugged at the fans as if to say “it’s not
cheating if you don’t get caught.”  Rollins got beaten down to start,
Sheamus got beaten down for a bit, and Orton got the hot tag.  Orton hit
his usual stuff and loaded up the RKO but the other Shield guys came in
for the DQ at about 11:00.

Rating: C+. This was a
fun match but a clean ending would have been nice.  it wouldn’t have
been smart, but it would have been nice.  You certainly can’t have
Shield losing in a 3-2 match and expect them to beat Ryback, Cena and
Sheamus at the same time.  Anyway, fun match and the fans were going
nuts for Orton. 
Sheamus had his fans too and was very over, but Orton’s
pop for the hot tag was insane.

Post match Sheamus Brogue Kicked a
chair into I think Rollins’ face and it was RKO’s and Brogue Kicks all
around.  The heroes went around high fiving everyone and signing a bunch
of stuff.  THat went on for probably close to ten minutes.

15 minute intermission.

Sin Cara/Great Khali vs. 3MB

That’s
a pretty odd tag team on the face side.  This was about what you would
expect: Khali started and cleaned house, Cara got tagged in and got
beaten down, Horny beat up Heath Slater, hot tag to Khali and the Plunge
ends Mahal at a time that I forgot to check.  It was less than ten
minutes for sure though.

Rating: C-. This was
fine.  The main thing to note was how Sin Cara botched the one main high
flying move he has still: the spinning armdrag out of the corner. 
Basically he didn’t rotate enough and McIntyre wound up on top of him
instead of falling over.

Cara seemed to be favoring his shoulder post match but it didn’t seem that bad.

Conor O’Brien vs. Brodus Clay

Conor
is from NXT and is the only member left of Ascension.  He got to do his
full entrnace minus the lights and with the big coat.  It didn’t do
much for the crowd but for NXT fans it was awesome.  he needs a partner
though. O’Brian cut a promo about not being happy and says he’ll destroy
our hero and then rise.  This would prove to be incorrect as Conor did
next to nothing significant and Brodus came back with his usual to win
with the splash at 5:40.

Rating: D+. This was
short but decent all thigns considered.  O’Brian needs the full entrance
for the character to work and it looks stupid in the light.  Clay and
the Funkadactyls (who now have pom poms) danced a lot.

Tony CHimmel dances with Brodus and company post match, holding his heart after the fact.  Funny stuff.

The fans vote for No DQ.

Smackdown World Title: Alberto Del Rio vs. Wade Barrett

BIG
pop for Del Rio after Barrett said he hated Louisville and said the
crowd clearly wanted barbarism by picking a No DQ match. Barrett stalls
for a long time to start which suckers Del Rio in.  He pounds on Alberto
for a bit and then gets kicked a few times.  Barrett goes to the floor
and tries to walk out with the belts, only to be stopped by Ricardo. 
Wade chased him around and Del Rio hit a sweet baseball slide to stop
Barrett cold.

Barrett brought in a kendo stick and accidentally
tapped the referee int he head with it before laying out Del Rio.  That
got two and Del Rio came back again, only to get beaten down by a
chair.  He went shoulder first into the psot to give Wade two but Del
Rio came back with some LAME kendo stick shots.  The Winds of Change got
a two count as did the Backstabber out of the corner.  Del Rio brought
in a table but got sent into a chair int he corner.  Ricardo distracted
Del Rio and a bulldog put Barrett through the table to retain the title
at about 17:30.

Rating: B. Definitely the match
of the night here with the fans being WAY into Del Rio’s comebacks. 
Barrett looekd good in a match he had no chance of winning here which is
a good sign for him.  The match worked quite well and Del Rio continues
to be on a roll.  The table was a nice touch and something you don’t
see much anymore.  Good stuff here.

Del Rio signed some autographs to end the show.

Overall Rating: C+.
As you can see, the biggest problem with this show was the lack of star
power.  After Orton, Sheamus and Del Rio, things drop WAY off.  The
show was definitely fun and entertaining enough for the price ($15 each)
and we had a great time, but it was nothing I’ll remember in a week or
so.  Raw had a show at the same time in Missouri which had Punk, Ryback,
Jericho, Ziggler and every other major star I’m forgetting.  Anyway,
good stuff here and it was a fun, although forgettable experience.