Recently, WWE held four events over four consecutive nights at the Toyota Center in Houston,TX. Out of the four shows me and my friends decided to attend Survivor Series on Sunday and Smackdown Live on Tuesday. Most of our favorite wrestlers are on the Smackdown brand so we were very excited.
For Survivor Series we had seats in the lower bowl facing the entrance but for Smackdown we were ninth row on the floor behind the announcers. The last time me and my friends had floor seats for a WWE event was in 2012 so this was a nice change.
We got to our seats just in time to be settled in for the dark match before Smackdown went live. This was one of the biggest surprises of the night because we got to see Tyler Bate and Trent Seven vs Pete Dunne and Mark Andrews. These guys are a part of WWE’s United Kingdom Championship division so we were lucky to see them live. Pete Dunne is a personal favorite of mine so I was really excited to see him. These two teams had a really good match wrestling a style you would not see on WWE usually. After a few minutes of great action Bate pinned Andrews with a tiger driver. This was a great way to start the night.
The show opened with Shane McMahon talking to Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens but it was a bit tough to see because of a lady with her kid in front of us. This was a recurring issue through out the night. There was not much to this segment beyond setting up the main event of Owens and Zayn facing The New Day in a lumberjack match.
One aspect of this show that was interesting was the amount of video packages shown to the live crowd during commercials. The weirdest part was when the Hype Bros came out for their match before a commercial break. This meant that they had to stay in the ring the whole time the video packages of WWE with the troops and various celebrities played.
The first match on Smackdown was Jey Uso vs Shelton Benjamin. It was okay but picked up at the end. During the slow start a “Shut up Byron” chant was directed at the announcer Byron Saxton. The crowd was really into the Usos especially after their great tag team victory at Survivor Series. However, Benjamin ended up winning to continue The Usos feud with Benjamin and Gable
One thing I was really looking forward to was the re-debut of Luke Harper and Erick Rowan as the Bludgeon Brothers. I am a huge fan of Harper so this was cool to see live. They destroyed the Hype Bros in a few minutes much to my delight.
After that match, WWE Champion AJ Styles came out and received a huge ovation. Coming off of a phenomenal match at Survivor Series with Brock Lesnar he deserved such praise. We gave him the ovation he deserved immediately after his match on Sunday. Styles hyped up a possible rematch between the two but was interrupted by former champion Jinder Mahal. A match was set up between the two for a Smackdown’s next show that I am sure few are looking forward to. Mahal’s goons the Singh Brothers tried to ambush Styles but the champion stood tall easily dispatching of them.
In the only championship match of the night we saw Charlotte Flair defend the Women’s title against former champion Natalya, who was beaten the previous week. These two were putting on a good match with lots of back and forth action. However, in the middle of the match Ruby Riot, Sarah Logan, and Liv Morgan from NXT came in and beat up both women. This was a good debut for these three women but they just seem like WWE picked three NXT women’s names out of a hat and got those three.
The tag team lumberjack main event of Smackdown was a pretty good match. Having a majority of the roster surrounding ring side added a fun element to this match. The New Day is always fun to see live and having them face Zayn and Owens only made it better. As usual all of the lumberjacks started fighting and during the chaos The New Day pinned Zayn after Owens abandoned him.
After the main event of Smackdown it was announced that the last match of the night for the live crowd would be Styles teaming with Shinsuke Nakamura, and Bobby Roode against Mahal, Baron Corbin, and Rusev. My friends and I were tempted to leave after Smackdown because they tape 205 Live, which is show with smaller wrestler we do not care about, but this six man tag persuaded us to stay.
In order to kill some time during 205 Live we took a smoke break. When we came back we saw the second half of a fun street fight between Drew Gulak and Akira Tozawa. Tozawa won after beating Gulak with a trash can and putting him through a table. The next match was not as fun but the final 205 Live match was decent. This saw Rich Swann and Cedric Alexander win only to get beat up by their opponents and the other bad guys of 205 Live.
Now it was time for the star studded six man tag to close out the show. This match provided a very surreal moment. Since this match is not shown on television it gives the wrestlers a chance to have more fun. When Rusev came out he got a big reaction. He has recently started to declare everyday as Rusev Day and it was clear Houston was into it. Despite being a bad guy the whole arena was chanting “Rusev Day”. Styles asked the fans if Thursday (Thanksgiving) was Rusev Day and the whole crowd cheered. This seemed to throw off Styles but he wish us a happy Thanksgiving and the match finally started. It was fun but short with Styles, Nakamura, and Roode winning. Rusev tried to celebrate with them but they threw him out of the ring to boos.
At the very end there was a nice moment where Roode brought a bunch of production people in the ring to do his pose with them. After four days straight in the same arena it was a nice way to cap everything off and give these workers their own moment.
This was a very fun show and made me realize I needed to go to more Smackdown tapings. If you ever get the chance to go to a live wrestling show take it. There are no other live events quite like a WWE live event. It is the best way to spend Rusev Day. Thank you for reading and happy Rusev Day to all.