June 13, 2017

WWE Smackdown LIVE Rochester, NY - June 6, 2017

I am not a fan of the WWE or any other form of entertainment wrestling, I'm not even a casual viewer to say the least. Yes, I know the big names like Hulk Hogan, The Undertaker, The Rock, or even John Cena, but only because people around me (i.e. the boys from my high school back then, or social media right now) talk about them. I won't be able to carry on a conversation about the WWE universe story line to save my life.

But I do admit that I had fun watching my first live wrestling event.

My husband is such a fan that he did not realize that he bought tickets to the show
scheduled for the same night as our wedding anniversary LOL

As I recently learned, WWE wrestling shows are an ongoing road tour. The wrestlers would go around the US (and some parts of the world) and hold shows in arenas, some of which are broadcast live on TV. There are two main programs in the WWE universe: Raw (which airs on Mondays) and Smackdown (which airs on Tuesdays). Only the televised events are the ones included in the story line, and each episode builds up to the main events/ championship matches (WrestleMania, Royal Rumble, etc). Hard core fans also watch WWE 205 Live (cruiserweight division) and WWE NXT (where "trainees" are being groomed to graduate eventually to Raw or Smackdown).

See if you can catch me in the clip below. :)

I have neither knowledge nor time to narrate the current happenings in the WWE universe, but I would like to share my experience in watching a live event.

Things look bigger in TV than in real life.

When I see WWE matches on TV, I've always thought that they take place in huge arenas. Probably for the main events, yes, but on regular events the venue is surprisingly intimate. Our section is literally a stone's throw away from the ring, and the ringside section in front of us are only a few rows deep. 


Because the match is broadcast on TV, character blocking is necessary.

Although we got great seats distance-to-the-ring-wise, our section was unfortunately at the back of the "stage". This means that the wrestlers usually had their backs toward us, especially when there was dialogue to be made. Also, whenever the wrestlers are thrown outside the ring, they usually are thrown towards the hard camera side, because that's where they are able to shoot the stunts for the live broadcast.

On the other hand, we were always seen on TV as part of the audience, so there's the glass half-full for you, haha.

The Divas of Smackdown

WWE Smackdown LIVE tag team match

There are no commentators to provide you with a play-by-play of the matches.

Much like any other sporting event, the commentators you hear on TV will only be heard on TV. I never appreciated this, even when I was watching UAAP basketball games back in the Philippines. I was never a sporty person; I cannot see the technical nuances players make. Maybe it's just me, but in this aspect, I prefer the televised coverage over watching the match live.

WWE Smackdown LIVE main event: Kevin Owens vs. Shinsuke Nakamura

While there are a lot of hardcore adult fans, there are a lot more fans who are kids.

Despite the seemingly violent nature of wrestling, I was surprised that there were a lot of kids in the audience. Sure, the parents must have influenced the fandom, but this just means that the show caters to both the young and old. It may be the kids who still believe that everything happening is "for real," (like we once did when we were young), but it only goes to show how much entertainment wrestling is affecting peoples' lives, until today.

We were actually able to watch two shows that night: Smackdown LIVE and 205 Live. After Smackdown LIVE, there was a period of downtime when the crew rearranged the ring to change the colors of the ropes, and also the overall lighting of the arena. Some people left after Smackdown LIVE, so ushers were bringing people from the back to the empty seats around us, so that the venue will still look full when 205 Live is on the air.

WWE 205 Live main event: Neville vs. TJP--check out TJP's costume (PINOY PRIDE FTW!)

You get to see a couple or so bonus matches which are not televised.

The term for this is "Dark Match," and these are matches that will not affect the story line of the show. There's one match before starting the broadcast, and another one after the whole show. Both matches are entertaining, with the wrestlers still in character. The pre-show match featured Luke Harper, who was born in Rochester NY, so that match is an extra treat for the audience. 


Let me get this out there: at its core, WWE is entertainment--there's no surprise that the results are scripted. This means that behind the scenes, there are people who decide which wrestler will win a match, which wrestler will get a championship, or which wrestler will be marketed as either a good guy or a bad guy. But this should never take away the fact that the stunts are real, and it really does take a great deal of athleticism to pull off those flips and kicks, more importantly, to be in the receiving side without harming yourself.

Watching a wrestling match live makes you respect the wrestlers more, as you are able to witness first-hand how dedicated they are to their craft.

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