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WHY AJ STYLES MISSED CHICAGO AND MORE LIVE NOTES FROM SMACKDOWN'S HOLIDAY LIVE TOUR STOP IN THE WINDY CITY

By William Green on 2018-12-27 01:53:00

I took my kids to their first live show and my first WWE show since Wrestlemania 22 tonight.    It was a super surprise Christmas present. They had no idea we were going. The kids thought we were going to Walmart. Even better they both fell asleep on the way. When we were in the parking lot we told them, we were trying to get to the Target next door and ended up in the parking traffic by accident.

My son and daughter are hooked on wrestling and tonight played perfectly.

Here’s my semi notes from the show:

The Allstate Arena was about 2/3rds filled. Some floor seats and balcony openings. First floor permanent seating is mostly filled except for where it was blocked for the stage entrance.

Miz TV to kick off the show.   Miz told the crowd AJ Styles has the flu and won’t wrestle tonight. Shane McMahon told him over the phone he could take AJ’s place. Mustafa Ali came out and worked his way into a one on one with the Miz for the title shot. Ali was super over with the crowd. Miz made him seem legit too.   Daniel Bryan interrupted the match. The disqualification turned the title match into a triple threat cage match for the title.  Ali and Miz were great on the mic.

The Colons and Aiden English vs. Anderson, Gallows, and Shelton Benjamin.  The crowd chanted for Rusev and drowned out English. They also chanted for CM Punk when Gallows came out and a few times while he was in the ring.   A bit of comedy here. Neither Colon nor English wanted to face Gallows, who dominated with Anderson. AGB took the win and Sanity came out. 

AGB vs Sanity was decent match. Young was very good on the mike. AGB took the second match too. Benjamin fit well with Gallows and Anderson. Trio did the Wolfpac “too sweet” sign on the main stage. Crowd is into it.

Triple threat tag team match next The New Day (Big E and Xavier Woods) vs. The Usos vs. The Bar.  OK match.  Kofi can really toss those pancakes. A couple reach the balcony seats flying like frisbees. Everyone played a part and went on for some time. Lots of near wins from all the participants. Cesaro took the win.

Mixed tag match: R-Truth and Carmella vs. Cien Almas & Zelina Vega. Truth and Carmela has some of the loudest crowd reactions tonight. Killings is a top end star if given the opportunity. The dance-off gimmick is fun and post-match they brought some kids to the ring to participate too. Fortnight dances and the crowd was into it.

Rey Mysterio vs. Randy Orron. Orton made fun of Mysterio's height longer than the actual match. Maybe 3-minutes long with Mysterio dominated Orton and won with a 619 and frog splash.  Strangely, Orton had his autograph on sale at the merchandise stands.  Just an opinion hear thinking WWE marketing failed this one huge poster instead of like an 8x10.  Really negative fan reaction to his antics and super quick loss.

Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Rusev no Lana. It was solid back and forth. Crowd chanted for Lana most of the match. Rusev with the win and retains the U.S. title.
Triple Threat cage match for the World Title. No Styles. Hope he gets well.  I doubt he would miss if it wasn’t bad. Anyway, all three were awesome and could have logically won. Bryan seems to be escaping the Yes chants. Miz seems to be getting them now with the audience doing them to mess with Bryan.  My son and I probably won’t stop though too much fun, seeing my little guy doing the Bryan “Yes” chant. Crowd was totally in on this match. 

Intermission- This was a fail as neither WWE nor All State Arena noted an intermission. It was starting almost 10pm. Many people thought the show was over and left. In fact, we almost did too, but it seemed odd to me not seeing the women’s championship or Samoa Joe and Jeff Hardy. I specifically said that to the family, so we stayed. I would say about 1/4th of the attendance left. Saxon eventually came out and promoted the merchandise stands products and noted action would continue shortly.  Also, Allstate’s speakers are weak, could barely make out anything that went out over the speakers.

After about 20-minutes the intermission ended. 

The IIconics introduced Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville vs. Lana and Naomi. This was probably the weakest match of the evening outside of Mysterio and Orton. Outside of Naomi, the match seemed slow and too long coming out of the break. Lana had a lot of crowd support. Naomi and Lana with the win.

Samoa Joe vs. Jeff Hardy changed the tempo. Lots of TNA chants for Joe. He attacked Hardy early. Both did a great job, very good match. A “Delete” chant supporting Hardy was loud. Hardy with the win.

Final match of the night. Asuka vs Becky Lynch vs Charlotte Flair for the women’s title.  This was the fastest action of all the matches tonight. All three women were awesome, and the match flowed perfectly. It was believable that an anything could happen and that a title switch might take place here. Asuka made Charlotte submit relatively quickly, which was the only real negative. It seemed to come out of nowhere. Charlotte was very physical, to the point my wife noted it was hard for to believe she would tap so quickly after showing off how powerful she is. On another note, Asuka is legit but Lynch should still have that title going into Wrestlemania. 

Overall A for the show. We enjoyed it even without Styles. The kids were totally surprised and loved it. Fans were into it. We will definitely do it again.

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