In Your House Show
As I mentioned yesterday, for our wedding anniversary this year Sara got me tickets to a WWE house show. So thats what we did last night!
A ‘house show’ is basically just a live event that isn’t aired on TV. They do them most nights of the week wherever they’re travelling. It’s kind of like a non-canon episode of a tv show. They’ll often put on matches that have been popular recently, tease matches that are coming up at big shows soon, try out new ideas to see how the crowd takes to it or just generally have a bit of fun. The good thing about house shows is that there isn’t nearly as much fluff in the middle to pad it out like there is on a broadcast show that has to push the story lines forward.
This was my first WWE show since I was twelve years old. I’ve been to a bunch of independent wrestling shows this year and last year I went to a live event for NXT, a subsidiary brand of the WWE that operates a lot more similarly to an indie promotion.
It was really striking to me how different the crowd was at this event compared to all the others. It wasn’t exactly surprising, but it was still vastly different. The average age of the audience was so much younger. People bitch and moan about the ‘current WWE product’ and how it was better back in the day but I would challenge that and say it probably wasn’t that much better. The people moaning were just ten, fifteen, twenty years younger and it was more designed to be appealing to that age range. The kids I saw in the crowd last night were loving every minute of it.
I had a lot of fun too. The opening match was actually one I saw as part of the NXT event last year as since then the two guys have been moved up to the main roster. They’ve been working together for years at this point and know how to put on a good show. The next couple were average, very much a case of ‘hey we’ve got all these guys on the tour lets just throw them together in one big tag match so everyone gets to see the roster we’ve bought with us.’
There was a few old guys that have been with the company since I was a kid that were there, I got a kick out of seeing them as much as seeing some of the newer talents that have come up in the couple of years I’ve been back into it.
It was a very crowd pleasing show, the heels worked the crowd and got cheap heat by making fun of local things, the faces smiled, slapped hands and took pictures with the crowd on their way too and from the ring. For the most part the baby faces either won their matches or lost by nefarious means to keep the crowd sympathetic. All very predictable but enjoyable.
They had one UK Division match that featured a couple of guys I’ve seen a bunch this year at local shows and had a chance to meet. They are so much fun in the ring it isn’t a wonder why the WWE are using them as much as they are. They have the potential to be big stars for years to come. Seeing them in Wembley Arena with a couple of thousand in attendance compared to seeming them in Southampton with maybe two hundred while they take pictures with my friend Mitchell in his pants… it was kind of cool!
Recently a couple of the big stars have gotten sick with what is being called a viral infection but is widely speculated to be meningitis. That really sucks for them and hopefully it wont be too serious or keep them out of action for long. What it has done though is left a major roster spot needing to be filled and so on TV they’ve used vaguely sensible people to fill the gap, storyline wise.
At the house shows this week though they’ve used Triple H, a guy who has been wrestling for about thirty years and has been a favourite of mine for twenty. He’s married to the CEO’s daughter and spends most of his time running stuff behind the scenes these days. I didn’t ever expect I’d get a chance to see him again and to be able to in a match that made no real sense for him to be a part of was really cool!
He’s the heir apparent to the company and I believe that as soon as Vince McMahon retires and hands the reigns over to him the business will be much better off. He’s very switched on as to what the crowd wants and is forward thinking in a way that Vince hasn’t been since the 80’s.
I’m really glad I got to go see what is essentially a silly stage show with some great athletes, I’m really glad that Sara was a good sport and came with me too, she enjoyed herself and now has a few favourites that she enjoys watching.
I think we’re going to go to the event in Bournemouth next year when they’re on tour again.
I was planning on watching The Thing for the first time this week but time has gotten away from me. Tomorrows post is going to be about Assassin’s Creed Origins! See you then.