Dot Net staffer John Moore attended the WWE Smackdown event on Tuesday in Oakland, California and wrote the following notes.
Bobby Roode beat Mike Kanellis in the pre-show dark match. Maria was not with Mike.
WWE started off the show with their usual, “look at how the celebrities love us”, type of video that they’ve aired several times at their California. It’s always odd when in the Warriors arena, they show former Lakers, Lebron James, and Ben Rothlisberger. They added Lavar Ball to this video for some reason.
The crowd was 30-40 percent full. The area I was in was on the hard camera side and the hard camera side only had exactly three rows of floor seats set up.
WWE did this odd thing of showing hype graphics on the Titantron that showed Ric Flair and Charlotte without any audio announcement. Because of this, the crowd was expecting Ric Flair and was disappointed when he didn’t show up.
Rusev got a huge babyface reaction from the crowd once he led a “Rusev is number 1” chant
Jinder Mahal got a huge pop when he came out. It also helps that he has a cool entrance theme to dance to. As for the segment, people started off disappointed because it was a repeat of last week’s Jinder segment. Then things got odd and oddly racist.
As for my perspective of being both Black and Asian, Jinder’s segment was offensive, but not through his fault. Jinder has the look and the presence of the star yet his whole main event character has been more about his the material he’s given to dictate. He’s not cutting promos. Rather, he’s dictating a script. Jinder’s borderline racist promo sounds like he’s speaking the words of some old-out-of-touch white dude (no offense the non-out-of-touch white dudes).
While Jinder is just reading scripts, the Singh Brothers are the unsung heroes of this act. They are original, have characters, and actively seek heat from the crowd in creative ways.
The Usos got a huge reaction due to being born and raised in the Bay Area. The New Day got a huge pop as usual.
A handful of the crowd felt disappointed by not getting an actual AJ Styles match during the show as well as Kevin Owens appearing “via satellite”. However, they did like that “heaven” line from Owens.
People really loved the Women’s match and it wasn’t out of place in the main event. The promo segment went well too with Charlotte’s return being the hook. Natalya started off rough but was really good by the end of the segment.
Rusev was cheered because no one enjoys Randy Orton’s tired act anymore and “Broken” Rusev is hilarious.