Some notes from the Calgary house show last night.
Opener and match of the night was Ricochet vs. Cesaro. Both got loud pops. Cesaro was wearing the skinny pants and running shoes again so I guess that's his new look now and not just "the airline lost his ring gear" like I thought when watching Raw. Both guys work great together and are hopefully bigger stars in a year from now.
Dana Brooke & Tamina vs. Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross - I didn't even know Tamina was still working lately. Has she been on the road the whole time or is this the beginning of a comeback? I feel sorry for the people who get very little screen time and therefore have to walk out in front of a mostly quiet crowd amid hushed tones of "who's that?" Brooke did do some decent work in the match in terms of jawing with the crowd. Allow me just one moment of settledownitis to say that Alexa Bliss has a nice bum.
Viking Raiders vs Lucha Hose Party vs. OC - Decent match, not much to comment on
Robert Roode says he's glad to be back in Canada but pity it's in Calgary. Says Ziggler couldn't be bothered to come. Issues an open challenge and out comes Strowman for the loudest pop so far. This was the second best match of the night, not because of any ring work but just for pure entertainment. Roode did a hilariously ridiculous amount of cowardly stalling before finally locking up. I've always found him a bit dull so his comedy heeling impressed me here. Later, they did a seemingly unnecessary and unexpected spot for a house show where Strowman ran full speed and over the guardrail when Roode moved. Strowman is an absolute giant in person and sweats immensely, just pouring off him at the end. He was probably the star of the show, spending quite a while after the match with the fans signing autographs as he made his way back.
Sasha Banks vs. Becky Lynch - Both were over, but basically a nothing match. It seemed like they had a hard time getting coordinated with each other which is something I've noticed with Becky. She looks to be scrapping with people rather than working smoothly. Sasha brings in a chair, hits Becky with a weak jab to the stomach and gets the DQ. They tease a chair shot, but Sasha misses and Becky does her submission on her on top of the chair.
After the intermission, we come back to Cedric Alexander vs. Mojo Rawley. A dull match with Rawley in control mostly. Some boring chants broke out. I guess they figure a match like this is a good thing to put on after intermission as everyone gets back to their seats. I find Rawley dull as dishwater but he did a heel spot I've never seen before where he wiped sweat off the backs of his legs and flung it at the crowd which is probably the most memorable thing I've seen him do.
Natalya obviously gets the loudest pop of the night. She beats Lacey Evans who had run down Calgary in pre-taped segment earlier. Brings her (presumably) nieces and nephews into the ring afterwards to celebrate. There was a guy following her the whole time filming - maybe just her personal videographer or possibly the subject of a WWE doc.
Seth Rollins gets another loud pop. Place goes dark for Wyatt's entrance. Everyone's hugely into it - cheers mixed with awe-filled apprehension, but man his entrance took forever. Images flashed across the tron for maybe a full two minutes before he comes out. His new look is impressive in a Slipknot way but it's still the same guy wrestling. He seems to have gained some super powers though as he would no sell the curb stomp and just get right back up. By the way, either the move is very weak or Wyatt just takes it badly. It looks much better on TV with commentary covering for lack of a thud and I guess the shakey-zoom camera thing helps too. Match ends in a DQ after Wyatt doesn't stop choking him while in the ropes. Very anticlimactic ending to the show with the crowd confused and booing. Rollins tries to get his heat back with more curb stomps to keep him down, maybe 5 or 6. Wyatt then recovers to get the mandible claw and the flashing lights and then goes to the back. Rollins, selling the finish, just kinda slinks to the back too clapping some hands as he goes and the show's over. Like I said, bad way to end the show and they should've just put on Natalya to finish on a high. I get that Wyatt (and Sasha) need to be protected but there's better ways of doing it surely.
This was our 4th time attending in recent years and these were the best seats we had. I only looked for tickets a few weeks ago and we ended up with centre ice tickets behind the player's benches for a similar price to what we've paid previously for higher up seats. That was awesome seeing the action up close. I don't know if it's just because it's a house show and they work looser but it was easier to notice a lot of moves not connecting and the cooperation involved in putting on matches. It always makes me wonder how adults could ever have thought this stuff was real back in the day.