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Live Wrestling, Part III

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EVIL~! alkeiper

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A bit of background on this one. For years, WWE ran frequent shows at the Catholic Youth Center in Scranton, PA. Its history dates back at least to 1964, with Bruno Sammartino main eventing shows. Even as the Attitude era flourished in large arenas, WWE would come back to the CYC and run shows in front of 3,800 fans. In the Summer of 1998 however, the catholic leadership saw the product becoming too distasteful, and barred the WWE. So wrestling left the area for two years.

 

I never saw a wrestling show at the CYC, but I did attend a Harlem Globetrobbers game there. The best information I can find is that the CYC is now owned by Lackawanna College. Here's a virtual tour of the facility.

 

http://www.ecampustours.com/VirtualTours/V...83&ItemID=8

 

July 16, 2000. For the first time, the new First Union Arena at Casey Plaza hosts a WWE event (they had WCW Thunder in January). I had upper deck seats to catch this lineup.

 

Bull Buchanon defeated Al Snow

WWF European Champion Eddie Guerrero defeated Perry Saturn

Taka Michinoku & Sho Funaki defeated the Dupps

WWF Tag Team Champions Edge & Christian defeated the Acolytes

The Undertaker defeated Kurt Angle via count-out

Ivory defeated Jackie

WWF Hardcore Champion Steve Blackman defeated Gangrel

WWF Hardcore Champion Steve Blackman defeated Essa Rios

Matt & Jeff Hardy defeated Road Dogg & X-Pac

Kane defeated the Big Bossman

 

None of the matches truly stands out. Undertaker/Angle really turned out to be a dress rehearsal for their Fully Loaded PPV match, minus the finish. This was a good show though, nothing was remotely close to bad.

 

Three years later, first level seats at the same venue (now called the Wachovia Arena at Casey Plaza).

 

Maven & the Hurricane defeated Lance Storm & Chief Morley when Hurricane pinned Morley

Christopher Nowinski pinned Tommy Dreamer

WWE Women’s Champion Jazz defeated Trish Stratus and Victoria by pinning Trish

WWE Raw Tag Team Champion Kane pinned Christian

Bubba Ray, D-Von, & Spike Dudley defeated Rico & 3 Minute Warning in a tables match following a 3D on Jamal through a table

Sylvian Grenier & Rene Dupree defeated Scott Steiner & Test when Test was pinned as he was distracted by Stacy Keibler and Steiner on the floor

Booker T pinned Rodney Mack

WWE Raw World Champion Triple H pinned Kevin Nash after ramming the challenger’s head into an unprotected turnbuckle

 

Here things are clearer. The Dudleys' table match was no more than a standard six man tag with a table finish. I was sour on HHH/Nash at the time, but in retrospect I need to admit that they had a fine match.

 

I think arena shows are excellent as a fan. Live television shows can be hit or miss as the company is more concerned with angle development. At the live events, it's simply matches, and every angle is done with the live audience in mind.

 

Coming tomorrow: The Draft Lottery in 2007 and Benoit loses his mind.

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