t's been a long time since I submitted a house show report to pwinsider. The last time, I wrote of a Coffin match with Kurt Angle, JBL, and the Undertaker. House shows have apparently gotten a lot tamer (lamer?) since the "old days".
I am embarrassed to say the PG-rated Orlando house show is identical to the 1/31 Miami report submitted by Daniel Convers. Every match the same result. Is the WWE even trying anymore?
R-Truth beat Fandango.
Funkadactyls beat Alicia Fox & Aksana.
Titus O'Neil beat Curt Hawkins.
Adrian Neville beat Bo Dallas.
Cody Rhodes & Goldust beat Real Americans.
Sin Cara y Los Matadores beat 3MB.
Big Show beat Kane.
John Cena beat Randy Orton by DQ.
The concession stand was a disappointment, as they did not have any retro New Age Outlaws t-shirts. The sale lady had a blank look on her face when I asked about them. I told her "They've been on every episode of Smackdown and RAW for two straight months". Nothing but Cena foam hands, Daniel Bryan stuff, goat masks, and CM Punk shirts (at full price). Small selection considering the huge roster of past and present superstars they could have sold t-shirts for.
The audience had a ton of kids who were there free or on discount, the parents being the only ones paying. Very full house, looked like more butts in the seats than the Royal Rumble had. Listening to the kids arguing over their favorites was funny ("Cena suck!" "Randy Rules!", etc). I can really see why the WWE has a kids magazine now, they've abandoned the 20-30 year old demographic that spent money and delivered ratings during the Attitude era. (Apparently they don't have fans anymore? Now it is the "WWE Universe", as the announcers drive home on every broadcast.)
It was funny seeing CM Punk on every form of advertising and video promotion, right down to a cup prominently featuring his grinning smacker. They'll even have to edit promo videos showing various superstars giving him their smackdowns.
Highlights of the night were the Rhodes brothers verses the Real Americans. Zeb Coulter was very engaging as he worked the crowd. At one point midmatch, Zeb announced on mic "If you people don't be quiet, we are going to leave!". That got a reaction, as much of the Nxt demonstration matches did not.
Drew McIntyre and Los Matadores were very entertaining. Drew threw his jacket at them, and one Matador threatened to throw it to the crowd, only to use it like a cape taunting a bull. Drew kept cluelessly charging the jacket, as the crowd shouted "Ole!".
Considering we paid a lot more than the advertised price for Orlando-based Nxt shows, I was bothered that we had to sit through a number of Nxt-themed matches. WWE House shows ain't what they used to be. Bo Dallas has excellent microphone skills (asking for support from his "Bo Lievers", an annoying take on Justin Bieber fans), a pity the in-ring wrestling consisted of a lot of armbars. But then, this entire house show seemed like nothing but armbars, hammerlocks, and 2-counts. Lots of audience silence, time for people to get up for beers and food through almost every match.
The finale was John Cena and Randy Orton repeating the Royal Rumble match that they got booed for. The small kids loved John Cena, all those foam hands were sold to kids hoping to see Cena get one of those belts, as the announcer fraudulently said that this would be a title match for the "WWE Championship". Since Orton had two belts, this was confusing to say the least. Would Cena conceivably leave with one? Not to worry, as Orton knew there were no television cameras nearby, and DQed the match to drive home the point that everyone attending wasted their money.
Gee, why not have Orton lose one of those belts on a house show, mention it on RAW, and increase attendance for future house shows in the hopes of seeing what happens next? No reason to increase draw rates, apparently.
At $22 for limited viewing area, I feel like I got my money's worth. I won't be going to another WWE house show for a long long time. These people need competition badly.