Nephthys (nephthys_abode) wrote,

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Smackdown/ECW tour report - Brisbane, Australia

Big Red entrance

The Entertainment Centre was crowded, and the atmosphere was electric. Lots of very excited people waiting for the show to start - myself among them! Even with the damn flu and its craptastic timing. 

I'll admit I didn't go into the night as excited as I might have, because I was feeling so dreadful. Fortunately, the food at the Entertainment Centre was much improved than what was on offer in November last year, and that helped. As did a dose of aspirin. 

I had planned on wearing my Undertaker temporary tattoo to work for the occasion, mostly for the amusement of my colleagues, but I didn't have the heart when I wasn't working. 

We were delighted with our seats - we were in the first row of the grandstand seating, right on ring level and close enough to see facial expressions and hear most of what was being said! 

I have got pics, but I apologise for the quality - I'm not the greatest photographer, and my hands were shaking so hard I could hardly hold my camera steady! 

The night started out with Justin Roberts doing the usual welcome. And then the announcement . . . 

"As you know, at One Night Stand, Edge defeated the Undertaker . . . " - huge boo from the crowd 

" . . . leading to the Undertaking being banished from the WWE . . . " more booing 

"The McMahon family have been in negotiations with the Smackdown General manager, Vicki Guerrero . . . " huge chorus of boos! 

" . . . the Undertaker has been given the option to appear at the show . . . " - crowd pop!! 

" . . . and tonight he has chosen to do so!!" 

The roof about came off right then!! We all knew why were there!!! 

I dunno how many people realised the whole "banishment" was kayfabe, but hell, we wanted to believe that this was a special treat. 

The last card I'd seen for the night had still said they'd be having an over the top rope Battle Royale for the Brisbane Cup - I've already said that I am not a big fan of those matches, but I think I know why lucky old BrisVegas gets them. We're usually the last stop on the tour, and by the time the guys get to us, they're all pretty tired. A Battle Royale ain't that strenuous, and we see everyone all at once, so maybe we might not be disappointed when our favourite wrestler doesn't end up doing a match. 

So I was ready for that . . . and was so not expecting it when they instead started out with a triple threat match - CM Punk, Jamie Noble and Chavo Guerrero with Bam Neely. 

CM Punk got a huge crown pop, and I gotta say, he's gorgeous in person! However, he does not stay still long enough for decent photos! 

Jamie Noble also got a big crowd reaction, and Chavo got heat - lots of it! 

He messed around with not getting into the ring, and the inevitable crowd chant started out "Chavo's a wanker!" 

Ah, before I go any further, perhaps I should elucidate about the whole "wanker" thing and the WWE, for those of you non-Aussies out there. It's kind of a running joke, that dates back to, jeez, probably the first tour they did which was Global Warning and was in 2001 or 2002. 

I think it was Y2J who got the first chorus of "Wanker!", and someone had to tell him what it meant. "To wank" is to masturbate, so a wanker is someone who, um, enjoys the art of self-love - a bit too much. Generally it's used for someone who is behaving like a bit of a tool. 

I get the feeling that Y2J as a heel loved that, so at the show I saw after that first night, he got on the mic and called all of us wankers - and yeah, we loved it!  

Anyway, Chavo got called a wanker. And then he got called a pussy, again for refusing to get into the ring, and grandly gesturing for Jamie and CM to essentially start without him. 

The match was pretty good, actually - Jamie's a great wrestler and essentially under-used in my opinion (yes, creative team, I'm talking to you). Chavo's also good, but CM was the stand out. That muy thai high knee is a thing of beauty to watch, and he foiled a 3 amigos from Chavo to hit him with the Go To Sleep for the win. 

Shelton Benjamin vs Kofi Kingston was next. Shelton got plenty of heat, but Kofi was the crowd favourite. And damn, he's athletic! 

And entertaining - if you haven't checked out his tour blog on, you should. He did have a complaint about sleeping koalas at Taronga Zoo, to which I say - dude, those little buggers are stoned out of their gourds on eucalyptus oil a good 20 hours out of 24. And when they aren't, they've got really nasty tempers - they bite and scratch. Let sleeping koalas sleep and be thankful that you weren't holding one when he let go with a great big nasty smell koala piss all over you! Eucalyptus pee = a reek from the seventh circle of Hell

Next up was a Diva tag team match . . . oh lord. You know how I hate Divas. But it was my favourite gal, Victoria, and her BFF Natalya - and yes, they were wearing the t-shirts! Up against Michelle McCool and Kelly Kelly. 

Guess who got the biggest pop? -facepalm- Frickin' Barbie dolls. If the rumours are true that Michelle McCool is Mark Calaway's new squeeze, my respect for the man has unfortunately dropped a point or two. Although he may just be thinking with his little head, as the male of the species is wont to do. 

Victoria is a card though - she played it for laughs before the match, trying to get a little pop for her and Natalya when doing the pose on the ring posts bit. They'd do it, and get a half-hearted cheer. The Barbie twins did it and you'd think they'd fucken cured cancer from the reaction. 

Then they tried it again . . . and Victoria flubbed the jump to the second rope. God love her, she knows the crowd wants the blonde twiglets, so she plays her own game - reinforces my opinion of her, although I may have been the only one screaming for her to give Michelle McCool the Widows Peak! -grins- 

The match wasn't terrible - Natalya's pretty good, and Victoria knows her stuff. Michelle's even got some moves . . . Kelly Kelly just knows how to be tossed around, unfortunately. Despite this, the blonde twiglets won. Yay. 

Moving on . . . 

The next match was Shannon Moore vs the Great Khali. I did wonder who Shannon had pissed off to get that honour! It was a one smack kinda match - ho hum, yadda yadda yadda 

Funny, our cab driver on the way home was a wrestling fan and an Indian - he knew Khali had once been a Punjabi policeman, and that they'd tried everything under the sun for him to do, but admitted the man may have the height but he's got no athletic ability whatsoever. Agreed! 

The final match before intermission was a championship match - Finlay and Hornswoggle against Miz and Morrison for the tag team belts. 

Okay, here's a confession for you - the Shaman of Sexy was wearing a red thong or jock under his pants. And those abs . . . I had the strongest urge to tie him down and lick honey off them! He's a perfect physical specimen - and I do like how he looks a bit like Jim Morrison. Miz - eh, that haircut looks like a sucked mango seed. But Morrison can park his boots under my bed any time! 

They too got a lot of heat and played it off beautifully. 

Finlay and Hornie got a big crowd pop and here's where I need to say my mea culpa. When Hornie and Little Boogey were introduced, I accused Vince of being on the crack pipe, and not in a good way either. Midget wrestlers were so damn 70s, and I hated the whole thing. 

However, once they teamed Finlay and Hornie as father and son, and they started having such fun with it, I've had to change my mind. Hornie's a real character and it was very clear last night! 

There was lots of carry on before the match, and chants of "You suck" for the champs. Finlay got out of the ring and got the mic and was taking it around to kids at ringside, getting them to say "You suck!" to Miz, which was such a hoot until some dizzy broad spoiled it by squealing "I love Miz!" Way to ruin the party, bitch. 

The ref finally got Miz and Morrison to hand over the belts, which Finlay and Hornie examined. Then Hornie wouldn't give the one he was holding back. Everytime he was asked to, he dropped it at the ref's feet. Once, he dropped it on the ref's foot, making him do a little dance and play act being mad. 

The match finally got underway with Miz and Finlay in the ring, and as usual, Finlay was hammering him like it was a barn raising party and he was one of the Amish. After one huge hit, Miz was tossed into their corner and ended up on his knees, throwing his arms around Morrison's hips and hiding his face in those abs. What a gorgeously slashy moment! 

Of course, being Australia, this immediately led to accusations of homosexuality - I mean, no one out and out called them a pair of poofters, but the implication was there! Lots of limp wristed signals from the crowd, and Morrison playing up to it perfectly, gesturing that he was absolutely straight! 

Hornie and Finlay had the crowd in fits with their impression of Miz and Morrison . . . holding hands and skipping back and forth across the ring! 

The match went on in predictable fashion - Hornie was tagged in, got slapped around a bit, Finlay tagged back and got defeated. Big surprise. 

Hornie did use a waterpistol during the match, which was fun. And then after the match, they ran Miz and Morrison off and did some posing with the belts. And then Hornie did the bit with the dropping the belt thing again. 

Intermission was next, and I was pretty stoked by the point. Obviously there wasn't going to be a Battle Royale, and since Chavo and CM Punk had appeared already, I kinda figured that there wasn't likely to be an ECW Championship match. And we had yet to see Matt Hardy, Batista, Edge, Kane or 'Taker - the second half of the card was shaping up to be off the charts. 

It didn't disappoint - the first match was for the US Championship - Chuck Palumbo with his blatant gimmick infringement from the American Bad Ass . . . although I do wonder whether Mark is interested in the bikes Chuck builds, cos they are fine pieces of machinery, gimmick rip off or not. 

Matty got a huge pop. And he's cute as hell in person. Not gorgeous like Jeff, who had me literally swooning last year. But cute. And that little appendix scar - I have urges to kiss it every time I see it! I know, I'm strange - deal with it! 

The match was pretty good - Chuck really does look like a street person in his ring gear though. Of course, Matty retained his title - honestly, do people really think they're going to see a title change hands at a pissant house show? Particularly the last show of the tour? 

Now, I had been a little confused earlier in the evening, when I could have sworn I saw Charles Robinson, the blonde referee from Smackdown, working as a ring photographer. I figured I must have been mistaken, or maybe he had a brother who also worked for the company. But no, the referee for the next match was Charles, and I knew it had to be big. 

It was announced that it was a tag team contest and I thought my heart would stop. 

They introduced MVP - yawn. And Mark Henry . . . oh good lord, that man is . . . lumpy. And not in a good way. Just . . . ewwww.
And then, the big flame pyros hit and they announced Kane and I knew my prayers were answered. Not only was I going to see Kane and 'Taker, I was going to see them teaming as the Brothers of Destruction. 

Kane is HUGE. I mean, tall, although damn, muscular plus. Walking down the entrance ramp, he was visible well past the point anyone other than the Great Khali had been. And thos damn legs! I know they're long, but . . . 

Okay, so I'd been looking at the ring all evening. And that top rope was coming up to the chest of most of the guys, and I know they're generally around the six foot mark. So I figured maybe they were higher than normal, and of course Kane wouldn't be able to step over them. 

Uh, that would be a no. Those legs really are that long! Damn, that was sexy, watching him climb over the ropes! And then he was in the ring, wearing the title belt and oh boy . . . poetry in motion. And they played his theme almost in its entirety - love Slow Chemical, but listening to it and watching Kane walk around live . . . oh baby, I'll never listen to that song the same way again! 

If I thought Kane had gotten a big pop, I was nearly deafened when the bell tolled and they announced 'Taker. The roof all but came off! 

He wore only his ring gear, no hat or coat, and I swear, I stopped breathing for a minute. This was 'Taker live, In the flesh. Man, I can still see him in my mind. 

He's nearly as tall as Kane, though nowhere near as muscular in build, but what shape he's in!!! And he's graceful as hell too. And the two of them together in the ring? Forget it - they're just . . . words fail me. Seriously. 

The match, once it got going, was both memorable and forgettable, if you catch my meaning, I mean, I saw all the moves I love - Kane's vicious uppercut, his top rope clothesline. Big boot to the face, that whole running clothesline into the corner. 

But while Kane was in the ring, I was watching 'Taker's back and, oh yeah, his ass, and thinking how fucken sexy he was. I know, my bad. If it makes you feel any better, I did the same thing while 'Taker was in the ring, with Kane. 

'Taker paces like a caged tiger on the apron, and I think I know why. I saw him with his hands at his lower back, and I've noticed a few times that I thought he might have been wearing a back brace under his tights and singlet. Being as close to the ring as we were, I can confirm that he is. And I think he moves around a lot because once he's warm, he's got to stay that way or stiffen up. And damn, that realisation kinda hit home, yanno? I hope he gets a good long rest, even if we have to wait a bit longer to see him come back. Because I would selfishly like to see him wrestling a while longer yet. 

Okay, and here's a slightly chucklesome observation, to lighten the mood again - you wanna know why the cameras are never on the far side of the ring for TV? Well, I'm not sure I know either, but I do know the guys aren't used to being observed when they're outside the ring on that side. 

There was another reason I was fixated on Kane while he was outside the ring, and it wasn't just that the man really does have the sexiest behind and legs I think I've ever seen. He was, well, fiddling with his tights! I dunno if he was getting a wedgie under them (cos I gotta say, I never saw a jock line, and those damn tights are . . . tight) or what, but he kept kinda adjusting them at his butt and on his thigh. 

The first time, it just made me giggle. The next time, I was kinda transfixed. The third time - man I wanted to rush down there and offer to help! I've never wanted to be a pair of fingers so much before!! 

And he never keeps still either - the pair of them are just always on the move! 

Okay, I'm done with swooning . . . no wait, I'm not. There was this one moment where Kane had either Mark Henry or MVP in some kind of body hold, and his back was to me. I swear to God, I was whimpering, watching the play of his muscles across his back. Damn . . . so sexy. 

'Taker was likewise at his best in this match. The only move we didn't see was Old School - he attempted it, and MVP crotched him on the top rope - boo hiss. MVP tried for a superplex from the top rope, and I'm thinking - you got to be fucking kidding. And of course, 'Taker tossed him off and then did something you don't see often - he went to the top rope and flew from it, with a big elbow. Which didn't connect, but damn, watching him fly like that was awesome! 

He did the running clotheslines into the corner too, and damn, he's so quick! Quicker than Kane even - these guys are the most athletic big men the WWE has, and they are just incredible in action. 

The match ended with Kane and 'Taker together chokeslamming the Tub o' Lard. Understandable - who wants to put their back out trying it on his own? And then 'Taker, who had already chokeslammed MVP and signalled for the Tombstone Piledriver (and the roof nearly came off when he did), picked him up and slammed him into it. It was a great finish. 

But also kind of sad - I mean, everyone was so damn thrilled at seeing the two of them together, and victorious, but it was tinged with sadness at knowing this was in a sense 'Taker's farewell. It may be he doesn't tour any more in the future, but I swear, even Kane looked a bit emotional about the absolute outpouring of emotion from the crowd. 

There was a moment that had them both almost breaking character, and damn it was precious. Kane had gone to pick up his belt, which Justin had laid on the ring apron, and he picked up something else with his other hand, which looked for all the world like one of Mark Henry's dreads . . . ewwww. 

Anyway, he went back to where 'Taker was standing in the middle of the ring, and showed him the dread, and I swear, there was this little moment where you could see them smiling at one another with their eyes . . . 

They left the ring together, 'Taker had pulled his straps down, and did the classic Brothers of Destruction exit and again, my heart near stopped. I wanted them never to leave, frankly. 

As you'd expect, after a match of that intensity, the next one was bit of a breather for everyone. Funaki vs Vladimir Koslov. Okay, the Russian is good, but um, the whole silent entrance thing isn't really promoting menace any more. Yes, creative team, I'm looking at you again. 

Funaki got a chance to actually wrestle, but of course Koslov won. 

Then of course, the main event was the Heavyweight Title match - Batista vs Edge. 

Batista got a huge pop - only the one for 'Taker was bigger. Sorry Kane, he got a bigger pop even than you. We love Dave down under - because he's well spoken and because he's got a sense of humour. We love blokes who can make us laugh. 

Edge had heat plus when he came out, and he played off it really well. He was ripping up fan signs and pretending to blow his nose on them, playing off the taunts from the crowd, including one great moment when he was going toe to toe with a ten year old kid! 

He did the whole "worship the belt" routine - looking at it adoringly when he took it off, then kissing it in a less than platonic manner. I mean, if I were 'Taker, I wouldn't want it back until it had been thoroughly sanitised! And sorry Edge, but that belt looks wayyyyyyyy better around 'Taker's waist than it does around yours! 

When he finally did hand over the belt, then he refused to get in the ring. Dave, while all this malarky is going on, is standing in the ring trying real hard not to laugh, although you could tell he was vastly amused! 

Of course, Edge refusing to get into the ring provoked a sterling round of "Edge is a wanker!" chants. And again, proving his instincts are gold, Edge jumped down off the ring and snatched a mic from Justin Roberts, tapping on it in a very overdone way and then telling us that he was tired of this "wanka" thing, and that looking around the audience, he had to say that he thought we were the wankers.
He ran around pointing out members of the audience as he did . . . 

"The fat woman in the Hornswoggle hat - wanker! The ugly guy in the sling - wanker! The woman in need of Weight Watchers - wanker!"
Now that last one had me in stitches. I'm not at all in favour of making fun of people who have weight problems, god knows I battle with that myself, but this lady - well, she was buxom, certainly. And she was in the front row of floor seating, and wearing a very low cut top. She was on her feet and at the crowd barrier the instant anyone came close - this was a lady who was looking for attention. I'm not sure she was thrilled to get it from Edge! 

Anyway, Edge did a few circuits, calling random people wankers, before making a grand gesture and declaring that we were "all bloody wankas"! He did a pretty good job on the accent too! 

So then we go through the rigmarole of him not wanting to get in the ring again, and Batista finally got out of the ring. Edge came in through the ropes and Batista leaped back into the ring under the bottom rope. Which made Edge bail in simulated terror and run all the way back up the ramp. 

That got us calling him a pussy, which was making him mad, which of course only egged us on. 

Then Batista asked for a mic, and he did the whole tapping thing, obviously making fun of Edge, and he said this (and yes, I actually scrawled this down in the half dark straight away, cos it made me laugh so much): 

"There are two things you ought to know, Edge. 

This sounds like a fun city, and I'm dying to get out on the town to celebrate my new World Heavyweight Championship, so sometime tonight you got to get in this ring and take the ass whupping you got coming. 

And the other thing is that you are, without a doubt, most definitely a wanker!" 

The place absolutely fell about at that! Dave ROCKS! 

The match was pretty good, although I'm buggered if I can remember much of it. By this point in the night, I was going on pure adrenaline. When it looked like Edge was going to lose, Chavo and Bam made a reappearance, and of course the match ended in a DQ. The referee kept calling for the bell, but the beat down on Batista continued. 

And then 'Taker's bell sounded and everyone went berserk. Even me, and I knew it was going to happen. I'd say I hoped it would happen, but he'd done the same thing at all the shows so far so why would we be any different? 

And this is where the night comes crystal clear in my mind. 'Taker appeared with his singlet still pushed down (and not all the way down like he used to, reinforcing my belief he is wearing a back brace and doesn't want it seen), and the wrist straps on his gloves loose. He was doing them up as he came towards the ring. 

This was no run on to save Batista, this was more along the lines of "You know I'm gonna lay hands on Edge, if only because Vicki has 'forbidden' it." 

Chavo and Bam wisely bailed, and once 'Taker had finished taping his gloves back up, Edge was backing away from him. And of course, he was slammed into a Tombstone Piledriver, and the crowd just roared. 

So there's Edge, laid out in the ring, and 'Taker's kind of leaning back in one corner, Batista in the other, and Funaki races out with a bucket. 

Yes, a bucket. A bucket half full of water. Which he dumped right in Edge's face. 

Again, just kind of broke up the place. I couldn't really tell you when Edge and Funaki left, I was too busy watching 'Taker, without the distraction of Kane. 

He went over to where Dave was standing, in the other corner, and Dave, who had already broken character, held his hand out. And then it happened - Mark broke character. He took Dave's hand, and then they hugged. 

And I swear, my heart just broke into a million pieces. Because I knew I'd seen something really special. 

When Mark left the ring, he actually acknowledged the fans nearest where he did - didn't do a full circuit of the ring like almost everyone else, but he touched hands as he went. And he gave away his gloves - one to a kid on each side of the ramp. 

And at the top of the ramp, he paused with his back to the crowd, and then he turned full around and raised his arms, acknowledging the love we were showing him. And I was crying when he did. 

Dave took the mic once Mark had left, and he said that this had been the last show of a very long tour - and man, I felt for him, because they had not had a night off in the last week, and had to spend a fuck of a long time travelling between shows and appearances. 

And then he said that while he knew that we all loved them: 

"I just want you all to know that everyone at the WWE loves Australia!" 

He got another huge pop, and then he did what Trips had done in November - he did a full circuit of the ring, down both sides of the ramp, and then along the front crowd barrier as far as he could go, reaching up to touch hands with people leaning down from the elevated seats. 

Even at the end of a long night, after a long tour, he could still think of the fans - the ones who hadn't the money to pay for the ringside seats, but who had been in the less expensive ones, and who were just as appreciative of everyone's efforts. 

I was still on a high while we waited for a cab, and while talking to the driver, who was a fan himself but had somehow missed the news the tour was on. But then the adrenaline wore off and I was just cold and tired and feeling sicker than before. 

But I have to say even that couldn't bring me down - not when I had such great memories - even if the photos aren't that great! They were really only intended to remind me of the night anyway. 

They're here if you're interested - but I did warn you about the quality, remember!

What an amazing, amazing night! 
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