Credit: Joey Filichia and Pwinsider.com
Before the broadcast, nothing happened. We were in the second tier, above the ringside but not all the way at the top. We were on the hard-camera side, the Pepsi Center looked to have about 70% capacity. Top Level was closed off, the section behind the TitanTron was tarped off. I was also in the section that had several “smart fans” who pretty much booed all of the “faces” and cheered all of the “heels.” It was a strange dynamic. Randy Orton and Kane were advertised, but as we know…the card is subject to change.
Lots of boos for Triple H and Stephanie. They went to commercial that early because Rollins’ microphone failed. He didn’t notice, so Stephanie finally had to tell him that “we can’t hear you…” which is when they cut to commercial. They had him reset with Triple H, Stephanie, Reigns and Bryan left standing in the ring with the show lights down. This is the reason behind the “this is live TV” comment. There were lots of cheers for the announced Rollins – Bryan match.
They kept Rollins, Mercury and Noble by the announcer’s table but did not have them leave for the start of the match. It was a strong start to the Roman Reigns – Big Show match, but when they reached the BearHug…it took a bit of momentum out of the crowd. It was your standard big guy versus bigger guy match…However, someone in my section did try to start a “Mike Chiota” chant.
It appears that no one really knew who Curtis Axel was. Dean Ambrose got a huge “pop” when he came out and cleared out Axel. The speech didn’t really get that much of a “pop” from the live crowd.
Neither Konnor and Viktor or Gold and StarDust got a strong reaction, and people appeared to not care about either team. StarDust (Never Call Him Cody!) pretty much reclined against the Announcer Table after GoldDust’s “drag and tag.”
John Cena did get the largest “pop” of the night, but we noticed he had a black eye…he was also advertised on local radio for an eight man tag with Ambrose, Reigns and Bryan versus Kane, Big Show, Rollins and Wyatt, but it never happened. No dark match was announced to the live crowd. It was a surprise to the crowd when Ziggler back-talked Stephanie. Even though it was scripted, he did a good job making it appear impulsive.
Ryback was over with the crowd as well, and really has a charisma around him. Usos were hugely over with this crowd, but Naomi? Not so much. Noticed Tyson Kidd and Natalya holding hands on the way to the ring, which I assume didn’t make it on TV. The ending with the UpperCut counter to the splash looks very impressive in person.
Dolph Ziggler and Bray Wyatt was simply the match of the night. I don’t know if the “This is awesome” chant made the broadcast, but the fans appreciated the match. Lots of oohs and ahhs for the near falls and two counts. What was truly surpising was the number of cheers I heard for Wyatt. It was strange against Zigger, to say the least.
Sandow was really over with the crowd as well. Pretty big “pop” for the catering segment with Miz. (pulled this out of order because it worked better in a flow here…) Sin Cara still gets pyro and a trampoline for his entrance, but only one blast. Sandow is comedic gold. They kept showing him on the TitanTron, and I noticed he kept watching the TitanTron.
I don’t know if it made the broadcast, but there were huge amounts of USA chants. They also showed a Tribute to the Troops clip before Rusev came out. I figured this was to get the crowd riled up against Rusev, but it crept over into the match. Lana started into the ring before Rowan was fully out. Telegraphed the ending, unfortunately. Also counted at least 15 Lana skirt tugs to keep it pulled down. Yeah, it wasn’t a very entertaining match.
It was interesting there wasn’t any intro music for Big Show or Roman Reigns. Roman’s spear is actually pretty impressive in person.
After the taping, there was no dark match…Even though it was advertised. Lilian Garcia thanked the crowd and we all went home.