Tom S. at Edge Hill sends the following arena report:
Yesterday I went to the Manchester show, I logged on today at University and read that the Birmingham show was disappointing. I had to write to tell you the Manchester one was actually really enjoyable. So I thought I'ld send you this little arena report to tell you exactly what went on.
Norman Smiley d. Brain Knobbs - Norman came out to a HUGE pop. He danced in the ring for a minute and had a little mic time. Brain Knobbs music started but looped twice before it was stopped. Norman's music started again and he got Dave Penzer to do the Big Wiggle. Brian then came out and what followed was standard hardcore brawling. A wicked sounding chair shot finished Brian off and the crowd were quite happy to count to three along with the ref. Big pop again for Smiley. Knobbs then stood in the ring and threatened the crowd a bit.
The Wall d. David Flair - complete squash, David got a couple of slaps in and there was a segment where he came from behind The Wall and used the hooked bit on his crowbar to hit the Wall in the unmentionables. Not a long match probably because of the whole Brian Knobbs thing.
Jim Duggan d. Fit Finley in a TV Title Match - Yawnfest to start, USA chant rejected by most. Very old school wrestling lead to the pin. Crowd were into the match at the end. Not an amazing match, but the best was to come.
Bret Hart interview - See the other UK interviews.
Curt Hennig & Vampiro d. Ric Flair & Lex Luger - Luger was first out but did a Brian Knobbs and let his music loop three times before coming out to little heat. Nash then appeared in the entranceway with crutches and sent Liz, the chair and the bat into the back. Ric Flair came out to a big pop. The crowd could have cared less for Hennig (I marked out for him though). Vampiro got a good reaction as well. This was definitely the match of the night with the Vampiro pinning Lex and Henning pinning Flair. This was after Buff came out and introduced Luger to the business end of the bat. Buff Bagwell then said something along the lines of "I'm buff and the stuff and I'm buff and the stuff Engeeeeeeeeerland Buff, stuff, buff" then left.
Terry Funk d. Dustin Rhodes - This was a reasonable match with more old school mat wrestling which then degenerated into a chicken fight. Ummmm...that's it, really.
Booker d. Jeff Jarrett via DQ in a US Title Match - This was a very good which ended with Jarrett giving Booker a belt shot to the head which lead to the DQ. Jarrett then tried to come off the middle rope with the guitar but Booker caught him in the urinage. Jarrett sold it like he was dead but eventually staggered to his feet, slowly put the belt on and posed. I couldn't really decide who to cheer.
Mamalukes d. Harris Boyz in a tag title match - Really good match with lousy ending. There was a special guest second referee who was some kind of boxer whom nobody knew. He walked around the outside a bit and when the other ref took a bump he jumped in a boxed around the Harris boys allowing the Paisans to get the pin. Vito then bullied Micheal Buffer a bit after he called them the Mamalukes.
So there you go, there were a few Nitro Girls dance spots (one with Norman Smiley coming out, Skye then put her leg over his shoulder), and a Ms. Hancock dance segment (the Harris Boyz sent her backstage to huge heel heat). But I really enjoyed myself and would definitely go again if they were to return.
Hmmm, that was slightly longer than I had planned. Never mind...
Steven B., a student at University of Warwick, England, sends the following arena report:
Well, I went to the Manchester event, and the wrestling was great and everything, but the atmosphere was pretty bad. It was full of four-year-olds escorted by old men who would rather be dead than there.
I was there with my younger brother, and apparently standing up to cheer, and Whooo! when Ric came out wasn't fair. Then cheering for Flair, as a heel, was the final straw, and the old guy goes and tells the staff that we're doing drugs?!?!? Where that came from I'll never know. So shouting, standing and getting into the mood isn't allowed because his four-year-old is too young to have a good time, and he's such a stiff he's never had a good time in his life. I dread to think what he'd do if he went to a soccer match! Maybe next time I'll splash out of one of those executive boxes....
Ricey, at The University of Science and Technology in Manchester sends the following arena report:
I just thought I'd put my twopenny's worth in the whole thing:
I was in the second row ringside for the show and was one of the guys in the crazy shirts (the other being my brother) who marked out huge for Vampiro (I say this because a guy I went to school with was in the next to back row of the upper tier and noticed us). Anyway on with my spiel; I thought on the whole the wresling itself was pretty bad in that very few people did their "big" moves - Wall chokeslammed Flair Jr., Flair Sr. used the figure four, Booker (the best guy there in terms of wrestling) hit the axe kick, spin up, and urinage, Hennigplex.
What other people have said about the atmosphere is very true - too many kids and parents. I touched Bret and Hennig and the Mamalukes and I'm a huge Vampiro mark so was sooooooooooo chuffed when he came on. Me and my brother were one of the few people to try and get a "Terry" chant going, my mate in the 200 level said he was the only one in his block to even try - it's so sad when a true legend of the sport gets so little recognition. Some of the nice things were Jim Duggan's slightly peplexed look at the "USA" chants he was getting, Fit Finlay got on the mic and had a go at the crowd for not supporting him in his own country and got what I can best describe as a warm round of applause- like "your'e the heel so we'll boo you but we like you 'cos your's one of us". Luger got on the mic saying "give Ric Flair the respect a 14-time world champ deserves" so the people did, which was nice. One thing not mentioned by anyone else before was during the Flair/Package vs. Vampiro/Hennig was that at one point Hennig was on the mat and pulled Flair's trunks down and we all got a nice view of his bum, they nearly came down at the front too (perish the thought). The more I think about the whole thing, the more positive I am about it. A lot of names were there and apart from scowling heels like Jarrett, Finlay, and The Wall all the guys had a smile on their faces like they were really enjoying the whole thing. All in all I would go to another show but next time they need to get a proper ring (not the crappy little thing they had there) and let the good workers work.