|Rey Mysterio's Special Appearance. Photo Credit WWE.|
Hidalgo, TX, the company’s hottest mid-sized market, a border town where they draw a ton from Mexico, ran shows on both 9/21 and 9/22, selling out the 6,300 seats both nights. They always sell out there, but with the exception of overseas shows, they never run the same building two straight nights. Hidalgo is actually a small town of 11,000 people, with the big city nearby being McAllen.They have been consistently selling out shows here since Autumn 2003. I've gone to most of the shows, and this was actually one of the better ones I've been to. I love the intimacy of a WWE house show. I've been to a major UFC event (with two title fights), two Showtime Championship Boxing broadcasts, and I honestly feel that nothing beats a good, live professional wrestling/lucha libre show. I felt the same way after I saw El Hijo Del Santo perform in McAllen in June.
I'm really into combat sports, but when I'm at a live event, I can never shake off the feeling that I'm missing subtle details that I would be clearly observing if I was in front of an HD television. When I saw Canelo Alvarez vs Austin Trout live, in the midst of 40,000 fans, I had a difficult time seeing which punches were actually landing. When I go to a live MMA event, I will likely miss the intricacies of the ground work.
With professional wrestling, because it's very broad and it's being performed for a live audience, everything you need to know or see is being communicated clearly. The person at the very last row can see, through the selling of one or the mannerisms of another, what is going on in the ring. It's all body language.
I wrote up this report for Dave Meltzer and James Caldwell (PW Torch), since they needed the details of the 9/22/13 event. I thought I would share it here:
(1) Brodus Clay & Tensai defeated Drew McIntyre & Jinder Mahal -- Tensai got the pinfall after a senton.
(2) Bo Dallas beat Antonio Cesaro -- Really good performance from Cesaro, carried Dallas to a fun, good bout. Opening part featured a lot of atomic-drops and inverted-atomic-drops that Cesaro sold perfectly. After eating an armdrag, Cesaro accused Dallas of pulling his hair, which everyone laughed at. Cesaro had a lot of great mannerisms and worked him over with his uppercuts, footstomp, holds, etc. Cesaro was getting a lot of heel heat throughout, except when he did his giant swing, which everyone seemed to dig. After arguing with the referee over a nearfall, Dallas snuck up behind Cesaro and pinned him with a school boy.
(3) Brie Bella beat Alicia Fox -- Short match, not much of note, but Bella went over with the X-Factor.
(4) Justin Gabriel defeated Fandango -- Solid match, Gabriel went over with a springboard 450 splash.
Rey Mysterio came out, on crutches, to a big reaction. He did a promo in Spanish, talked about the first time he came to the State Farm Arena, then titled the Dodge Arena, in Hidalgo, TX. Mysterio talked about how when he first came down here, Eddy Guerrero was on the first show in Hidalgo. Side note, but when Guerrero came here in 2003, that is still one of the loudest crowds I've ever heard, and that's including UFC and big boxing fights I've gone to. Mysterio did the old, Eddy-deal where he would lie across the top-rope and turnbuckle. Mysterio joked about the "I'm Your Papi" bit. Then said he wants to return next month, on October 16th, for the Mexico tour. He then repeated that last bit in English, and that's when The Shield (Reigns and Rollins) came out. Mysterio tried to keep them away by swinging his crutch, until he fell down and sold that he couldn't get back up. That's when the Big Show music hit, which got a monster pop. Just an amazing reaction. Show made the save, embraced Mysterio and it led to the next match.
(5) Big Show defeats Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns -- A lot of spots based on the size difference between Show and Rollins/Reigns, which the crowd really dug. Crowd loved that Show-spot where he quiets the audience and lands an overhand slap on his opponent's chest. A chop-block type move lead to Reigns and Rollins taking over until Show made the comeback later on. Show got the pin after a chokeslam on Rollins. Fun match.
(6) The Great Khali & R-Truth defeated Camacho & Hunico -- Truth worked almost the entire match with Camacho and Hunico. Truth's shtick got the most reaction in this match, then he got worked over by Camacho and Hunico until he tagged Khali. Khali hit a few overhand strikes and then got the pin.
(7) Dean Ambrose defeated The Miz -- The Miz came out, all bandaged up, still selling the beating from Randy Orton on Raw. Crowd was very hot for most, but I was still surprised by how big of a reaction Miz got here. Miz mentioned how he didn't want to let the people down here in Hidalgo. Ambrose worked over Miz's shoulder and used some good brawling. Like Cesaro earlier, he had awesome mannerisms that really worked well in a live setting. After some close near-falls, Miz rushed in after Ambrose in the corner, Ambrose moved out of the way, and Miz went shoulder first into the post. Ambrose rolled him up in a school boy, hooked the tights, and got the pinfall. Miz did a good job selling here, and Ambrose was good as the aggressor. Good match.
(8) Daniel Bryan defeated Randy Orton -- The night before in Hidalgo, Bryan defeated Orton in a singles match. So on Sunday, they had the fans vote via text and Twitter for what stipulation they wanted for the second nights main event. Fans could vote on either a '2 out of 3 Falls' match or an 'Hidalgo Street Fight'. An actual street fight in Hidalgo would leave you dead. Well, like the old William Castle voting gimmick, the fans obviously picked the street fight. Both Bryan and Orton got superstar-level reactions; the atmosphere was incredible. Lots of 'Yes' and 'Let's Go Bryan' chants. While Orton was booed at times, he was also being cheered a lot by a good amount of the audience. First part of the match was worked like a straight-up match,until Orton got frustrated and got a kendo stick. Bryan hit his tope suicida and even suplexed Orton on the entrance ramp. When Bryan would land his kicks, everyone would chant 'Yes'. They got a chair for a corner spot where Orton went shoulder-first into it. Later on, Orton hit a great superplex from the top rope for a nearfall. Bryan attempted a pescado to the outside but Orton moved out of the way. Bryan got a table from underneath the ring, which the fans loved. Orton teased doing a big move to Bryan off the ropes, through the table that was set-up near the corner. But Bryan countered that and powerbombed Orton, off the middle-rope, through the table. That led to a good nearfall. Bryan got the Lebell-lock, but couldn't get the submission, and Orton got out of it by hitting Bryan with the kendo stick. Orton hit his hangman's DDT. Orton was about to hit the RKO, but Bryan shoved him away, backed into the corner and hit the busaiku knee for the finish. That got a huge reaction. Excellent house show main event, both Orton and Bryan were working really hard. Match was on the same level as their "Smackdown" TV match in the Summer and their "Night of the Champions" match.