I just got back from the show at the Air Canada Centre and thought I would share my thoughts. Although Chris Pankonin covered some of what I called in to update, I thought a brief review might be in order.
I could not believe the interest in Eugene. I did not expect her merchandise to be selling as well as it did and that’s why I was a little weirded out when the crowd seemed to cheer for Triple H (although Eugene won them over at the end). Toronto has a notorious reputation for intentionally cheering the heels and booing the crowd favorites, and while this was true tonight, it was also one of the quietest.
I thought that the opening match was decent but was a poor choice to start off the show. The Filthy Animals Redux (Kidman/London/Mysterio) looked good and spent a lot of time greeting the crowd afterwards.
The Matt Hardy and Kane match was easily my favorite of the night. Although I am sure most of the TV watchers will have problems with the workrate, this match is a prime example of how much a crowd can influence a match. This was the only bout where everyone got into it. Lita was booed heavily and Kane was clearly the fan favorite. I was also surprised that Matt Hardy looked so good considering his impending knee surgery. He did not ground his attack at all.
The John Cena/Booker match was atrocious. I know that the whole series of matches will inevitably draw comparisons to the Booker/Benoit deal from WCW, but I don’t know if either can really carry the other yet or if they have to work out their style. While the crowd was very into it at the beginning during the entrances, it just didn’t get the cheers that I expected it to.
I know people like to rip the Diva Dodgeball stuff online, but it’s clear that male wrestling fans will always like their girls and that is why it continues to get airtime. That five-minute segment received a very large pop (believe it or not).
I also didn’t like the Eddie Guerrero/Kurt Angle match. I know the spot with Eddie using his boot was good, but that was the only highlight for me. In a sold-out arena at your second biggest PPV, the amateur stuff just does not gauge crowd interest. While I am sure I will appreciate the technical aspects when I watch the DVD, I am sorry to say that I was incredibly bored. The crowd (at least around me) was as well.
I loved the HHH/Eugene match. It was probably my favorite of the night. It was fast, had a good storyline built up, and gave Eugene a nice push (even though he lost). The crowd was ALL OVER this one as there was initial heat for Eugene and lots of cheers for The Game. Eugene won them over (I am sure this came through on TV). One interesting thing that you may not have seen was that after Ric Flair was laid out by Regal, he stayed lying there until the match concluded. When HHH went over to him, Flair said something to him (presumably to drag him) since HHH immediately grabbed him by the feet and started pulling him back.
We all knew that JBL/Undertaker wouldn’t be commended for the athleticism, but even the most ardent WWE supporter has to admit that the match was horrendous. The crowd just did not care and this was evidenced by the wave that went around the arena 5 times! As mentioned in the live notes, one fan was so tired of it all that he decided to run on top of JBL’s limo and managed to prance around for a good 30 seconds before security finally caught him. He managed to make a HUGE dent in the top of the obviously gimmicked car and I am surprised that he didn’t fall in since it was clear that it was meant for Bradshaw.
Main event was good. I enjoyed it. I think the crowd did too. The Toronto philosophy was evident here again as Randy Orton was cheered.
Anyway, I didn’t really like the PPV. I know most people who go to live shows say that they do, but this one was mediocre at best in my opinion.