By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Dot Net reader Dan Strauss attended the WWE Smackdown event in Minneapolis on Tuesday and sent the following report.
-Most of the second level was tarped off with some seating in the sections that the hard camera looks at.
-Becky Lynch is rock star over. So much in pro wrestling is recycled (see my upcoming comments about Randy Orton) so to see Becky’s current run is new and refreshing. Charlotte’s act is a bit more stale but these two still bounce off each other well, and their segments seem like a big deal.
-Not a big reaction to the Lars Sullivan video. I cringed because I’m afraid to see another stellar NXT act get lost in the main roster shuffle. As Jim Ross said on his podcast last week, with Lars being called up, he’d recommend that Lars not lose for a very, very long time.
-During Jeff Hardy’s 20th anniversary appreciation segment when the fans chanted “Thank you Hardy” followed by “clap, clap, clap clap clap”, the Miz and one of the referees on stage clapped along with the crowd. Hardy seemed genuinely moved by the reaction and stuck around after they went to commercial and slapped the hands of a lot of fans.
-After announcing a March 2 return date to the area, a loud “We want ‘Mania” chant broke out. There have been talks about bringing WrestleMania to the Vikings stadium (where last year’s Super Bowl was held) and it would go over huge in this market.
-Randy Orton just feels like a nostalgia act. There were cheers initially for his music, kind of like a general “hey, we know this guy” feeling, and then nothing. He posed on the top rope to very little reaction. He’s a many-time champion, his RKO highlights are some of the best in the history of wrestling, but as I mentioned he just feels like a nostalgia act.
-After the Mysterio beatdown, they cut to a commercial and a loud “walk it off” chant broke out. I hadn’t heard that before, quite amusing.
-Asuka is way over, which is very impressive since WWE has damaged her a lot since her streak was broken. I would highly recommend they take advantage of this over-ness soon and do something meaningful with her, which is maybe what they’re planning.
-We stayed for some of the Mixed-Match Challenge matches. I was surprised to see less than about 20% of the people leave, most stayed.
-A decent show, especially after the boring runs of Raw we’re seeing. Between possibly better characters and more intriguing segments, Smackdown seems to be coming off better lately while Raw is just there.
Check below for the new Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and Jake Barnett discussing the All Elite Wrestling potential startup promotion.