Report by Anthony Bailey pwinsider.com
Sunday Night Heat recording:
*No Dark Matches, as the Heat logos were rolling from the start.
*No announcers came out at all for the Heat tapings, so should be added later.
*Lots of empty seats, perhaps half-full when you consider the entire hard camera side was taped off.
*People around me kept commenting on how long it had been since they had seen the Heat wrestlers. I guess they are not watching Heat either.
*Superstar Billing Graham came out before the first match and stayed the entire show, being cordial enough to inform his security guard that it was ok for some of the kids to talk to him. He looked great from afar.
*Mark Magnus (?) vs. Aaron Aguilera. They billed Magnus from Tempe (hated in Tucson) and Aguilera from Tucson. Magnus was slow and plodding to Aguilera’s smooth style. AA was of course the face in this opener, and sent the crowd home happy after a face first, double underhook powerbomb.
*Gail Kim took on Nidia in what I am ashamed to admit was one of the better matches of the night. Both girls were very clean and showed a lot of energy. Nidia looked great on offense and defense, and there were no bad spots. Kim faked an injury (very convincing) and ended up stretching Nidia for the win. Both girls got great reactions, though the crowd didn’t seem to realize Kim won, even with her music playing.
*Note – What kind of world is it when 12 year-old boys scream for puppies?
*Rodney Mack beat Stevie Richards via a quick DDT, after Stevie charged the ring and ended up spending much of the match on his back. Fans behind me were all over Jazz, calling her Booker T and telling her to go back to Smackdown. Ouch. Mack gave the fans the finger and the two left dancing.
*Chuck Palumbo got the quick pinfall over Val Venis, after a lot of slow, plodding offense. Sorry Val.
Raw (misc notes):
*No Pyro or Star Spangled banner to kick off the show, though Lillian was very gracious to all the fans throughout the night. Most of the shots of the fans cheering used on RAW were inspired by the T-Shirt gone. Very cheap (albeit creative) way to make the crowd come across as energized.
*Crowd was up and down all night, but no boring or disrespectful chants (save one later).
*Audience loved Vince. Heck, Vince loved Vince. When everyone chanted that Eric sucked, Vince looked like a proud grandfather. After the Eugene punch, Eric sold all the way up the ramp and through the curtain.
*Everyone hated the Lita/Kane segments. A young girl behind me asked her mom why Kane brought Lita to a Tucson hospital if she was hurt in Seattle. Nice reality check for the folks in Titan Towers. We can only suspend so much belief.
*No one knew who Snitski was, leading me to believe that many of the live fans are not regular watchers of the program.
*The kid who lost his match to the Hurricane was a plant and was gone immediately after the match (maybe they took him back to meet his Hurri-Hero). Rosie stood around acting as though he did not understand what had happened post-match. Crowd was definitely more into Tajiri and Rhyno, as they have had much more television time.
*Tucson, for whatever reason, was more pro-HBK than Jericho. Speaking of Chris, with his new hairdo, isn’t his transformation into Brian Pillman nearly complete?
*People continued to be bored with the Kane segments. I feel sorry for the guy, as he is acting his big, red butt off. These types of story lines are just not what people want to be fed anymore. After Lita lost the baby, a group of twenty-somethings started a “f*** the baby” chant. Real class here in Tucson. Feel free to edit the terrible memory out of the summary.
*Crowd was pro-Christy, anti-Carmella, and why shouldn’t they be? It came across as dead on TV, but the crowd was really into seeing what happened. Every time a clip for the girls, or video package was shown, people cheered and then talked about it while the commercial breaks aired. LOTS of people felt this whole thing was rigged, though turned a cheek when PlasticWoman lost to Christy. Cops entered the ring and left with the money. It was never presented to the winner (of course).
*Everyone loved Benoit and Flair. HHH takes great over the top rope clothesline spots. We petered out and died after Randy left (quite a few people thought it was a legit injury, until he pulled the wounded Foley shambled from the back). It is just too hard to watch the faces get beat down with no offense for twenty minutes of a match. It really sapped the energy out of the audience. Everyone was happy with the ending, including the super-weak looking RKO (which I am not a fan of to begin with [give this guy a new move]). Post-match, faces posed in the rings. Fan leave happy, whooing all the way to their cars.
credit: Anthony Bailey pwinsider.com