This is the paragraph on the first page of the WWE Official Souvenir Program from 2011 that I purchased at the Smackdown taping in Roanoke, VA on the Tuesday of June 7th, 2011. Anyone that knows me knows that I love wrestling. I grew up watching the likes of “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair, “The Macho Man” Randy Savage, Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat; the list goes on and on. Now 20 years down the road I find myself still a fan and have attended more live events than I ever did growing up. So last Tuesday was no exception. After I was informed by my good friend Cindy that Smackdown was coming to Roanoke plans were made and tickets were purchased.
This was a pretty nice trip because we got to see three shows in one basically. Before they film Smackdown they film WWE: NXT and WWE: Superstars. Now I haven’t watched NXT since season one so I had no idea what was going on. Apparently this season is called “NXT: Redemption” and it is allowing past contestants to compete for one more shot at winning a WWE contract. It was a pretty solid show that set the tone of the night. We got to see Yoshi Tatsu vs. JTG, Darren Young & Chavo Guerrero vs. Conor O’Brian & Vladimir Kozlov and Titus O’Neil vs. Lucky Cannon. This show only airs on WWE.com and YouTube at the moment so the entire episode can be seen here.
The matches we saw throughout the night were The Corre vs. Ezekiel Jackson and The Uso’s. Trent Barreta vs. Jinder Mahal with The Great Kali. AJ with Natalya vs. Tamina with Rosa Mendes. Ted Bibiase and Cody Rhodes vs. Daniel Bryan and Sin Cara. Eventually leading to The Main Event of Sheamus vs The World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton in a No DQ Match.
Every one of us that went on this trip are huge Randy Orton fans, so the main event was what made this trip for me. This match was insane with a ton of back and forth action and near pin falls. It’s probably one of the best Smackdown matches they have had that wasn’t a PPV match. In the end Orton did loose but it was after the cameras stopped rolling that things got really cool. They kept the on air story going but wanted to send the fans in attendance home happy. The heels continued to beat down Randy Orton even having Cody Rhodes and Ted Dibiase hit the ring to assist Christian and Sheamus. Orton fought back and ended up getting the upper hand eventually hitting an RKO on each and every one of them. This of course got the crowd going nuts! With each RKO the cheers just got louder and louder. Orton even went around giving high fives, signing a few autographs and interacting with the crowd. We stayed around talking to other fans and met a guy named Jeremy who took some amazing pictures. All in all this was a great trip made even greater by the group of friends I was with. So in closing; to Derick Body, Cindy Hogan and Troy Martin, Thanks For The Great Time Guys! Can’t wait to do it again next time!