Well folks, it’s Monday Night RAW in Calgary! And once again, I reprised my role as a “seat filler” to ensure that the on air product appears to be full and energized (or at least what you good people saw on television). We’ll see if I can hack a wifi connection and get this up tonight. I won’t be recapping everything, just pointing out some stuff I saw that you at home did not.

My local internet is hooped and have no camera phone, so this will be akin to the first edition versus my normal wrestling “reviews.”

It was a busy night in Calgary tonight. Cirque de Soleil was in town on the Stampede grounds right beside the Saddledome. So yes, the circus was indeed in town. Also, there was a municipal election today. Busy Monday in Calgary.

I met up with my partner in crime from last time, and two new cohorts and we made our way to the “meeting spot.” After waiting around for a bit, Steve, the same guy from two Augusts ago made an appearance. He told us he’d be back for the orientation shortly. I made the mistake of talking to a random guy also waiting. He turned out to be mildly retarded and he took some semi-polite ignoring to get rid of.

We did the orientation, and when Steve asked how many of us had done this before, only my buddy, myself and some random person held up their hands. Last time, a good thirty of the crowd had done this gig. Also, the semi-retarded guy was involved and slowed things down a whole lot by asking stupid questions and interrupting Steve.

The deal was the same as before, in exchange for being seat-fillers, we are given free seats and special pink wristbands so security can identify us. We went to our “home base” starting point for all of two minutes before we were moved. We initially ended in a spot for the first match, but the actual seatholders showed up. Three of four of us snagged the seats I will describe for the entire show. Second row from the floor with an awesome unobscured view.

To spot me. The main camera angle, I’m in the immediate bottom left corner in many shots. I am wearing a yellow T-Shirt with the Charlie Brown zig zag on it. I appear throughout the matches.

Observations (I will note these as I watch the program):

– Jerry the King Lawler remains beloved in Calgary, and received a huge pop when he came out.

– The RAW GM flashing lights and sounds are much more annoying live… much much more annoying.

– Santino remains a huge fan favorite in Cowtown. During the Superstars match prior to RAW, the crowd went nuts for him when he landed the Cobra finisher.

– Not surprisingly, the Hart Dynasty went over massively with the crowd. This started the “We want Bret” chants that would continue during every single commercial break for the rest of the night. Cody Rhodes looks even more awkward and mishapen in person.

– There were three guys in the same row as us, all drunk, that were dressed up like wrestlers. The Million Dollar Man, HBK, and Andre the Giant (in the unitard) left for beer about 6 times in the first hour. This got real annoying. Later, the idiot dressed as HBK decided he would pander to the crowd between commercials. This genius eventually decided to balance on the ice-rink boards which garnered the attention of security who kicked him out.

– I’ve noted before how boring it must be between commercials/clip packages/etc. at live events on a go-home show before PPV’s. Now I can say, yes this kills the momentum. The crowd was almost murdered in the start of the fourth quarter of the program when there was over 10 minutes of nothing going on. LIVE!

– My friends and I were pretty much the only people who did not stand up when Cena came out for his tag match with Orton. I took lots of time to watch and see how Nexus standing on the ramp reacted throughout the tag match… it’s got to feel kind of weird for the wrestlers to just stand there and watch… This was a solid match to watch live. McGillacutty and Harris looked good. Yes, Harris is not pretty per say, but the camera clearly does him no justice. He is built like an old school wrestling body type. Watching Justin Gabriel land his splash finisher that close up was fucking brilliant.

– I could barely hear Vickie over the crowd. They were WAY louder booing than on television. And it continued when Dolph came out…

– Nobody near myself and buddies picked up on the blatant Lance Storm reference used by Daniel Bryan when he dropped “But if I could be serious for a minute.” In the broadcast, the crowd seems louder. What does this mean? They compress the audio for the audience extremely heavily. I wish more people picked up on all the Storm references Daniel made in his promo (notice the colors of his ring gear tonight? Coincidence? Doubtful). I had to watch the television to see how the scrap at the end went down. Couldn’t see ANY of this from my vantage point.

– I can’t believe Gail Kim botched tossing a bucket of sparkles on Vickie. Point blank range, and she blew that spot. It took about 8 people to frantically clean up the sparkles on the mat surface and were literally just getting out of the ring as we return to broadcast. Alicia Fox is even more futile in her efforts live. Horrible diva… turrible, in fact. Natalya clearly carried this match.

– There was this guy on the floor near the back of ring side who had brought sparkley letters, glue sticks, and poster paper. He was constantly making new signs. At one point he started running back and forth to get on camera across the floor while someone else had the same idea. So Mr. Sparkley Sign Guy flipped out and ran to security and made a funny little scene for my own personal amusement. Sign making is serious business!

– For those following my Smackdown reviews, at the point when Laycool came out I mentally groaned. I was glad I did not pay for these seats. Seriously? Zach Ryder? Alicia Fox? Dolph Ziggler? And Hornswoggle in various segments? Where the hell is my CM Punk match?

– Speaking of which, for those who follow any of my reviews will know I LOVE me a good clusterfuck. And when it was announced we would have a battle royale, I marked out harder than I ever have at a show. I see myself double fist pumping in the crowd just over the RAW team outside the ring as we cut to commercials.

– During the commercial break, guys from both teams issued threats and promo’s including Edge, Miz, Santino, and Sheamus. You at home missed this. On the other hand, I had absolutely no clue that Hornswoggle attacked Michael Cole and joined commentary… in whatever capacity you define him laughing into the microphone the whole time. I’m not sure if this detracted or complimented the match itself… it almost seems appropriate to have Hornswoggle here.

– I’ve never had the opportunity to see one of these in person before. From our vantage point, it was even more unclear who was actually out and involved for much of the start of the bout. I actually enjoyed this aspect of the experience, as it kept things more exciting when you realize who you are seeing and what they are doing. Watching the televised version almost came across as a completely different match as a result. That’s kind of cool in itself. This only makes me love battle royales more!

– The WWE logo came up, and yet I was still strangely there. Odd. Normally that marks the end of my experience and suffering… My buddy who actually made the whole seat-filler deal happen was very vocal about what happened next not making television. They clearly were still filming the whole thing, for those heeding the trinatrons.

– Post RAW Dark Match: Bret Hart came out to a MASSIVE pop, and of course this IS Calgary…. so…. he was “guest referee,” but was more like “at ring side” since there was another referee actually calling the match. Randy Orton defended his title in what was to be a fatal fourway against Sheamus, Cena, and Wade Barrett. Barrett tells us that he has pulled Cena from the match, so it instantly becomes a triple threat match. It was actually a pretty damn good bout. Nothing major, but since the last time they were in Calgary we did not get anything after the show went off the air, this was a nice way to wrap things up.

– Orton remains champ with some post match Bret Hart celebrations. There was some Hart involvement in the action with a classic sharpshooter… Hart went around to pretty much everyone at ringside high-fiving and signing stuff as the show faded into the memory banks of this smark’s brain. We kind of hung around and loitered… Hart was still greeting fans and whatnot…

– Overall, this was a pretty fun time. Personally, very happy to see Bret Hart and my first live Battle Royale. I filled those seats like no other. We’re doing again next time they’re in town.


  1. Man, you have GOT to find out how I can go about doing this. It sounds like you had an awesome time.

    I've been privy to a couple of live battle royals, and I'd imagine that in the higher up seats it's easier to follow them as you can take in more of the action at once. I was there for the WrestleMania 24-Man battle royal to determine the number one contender for the ECW Championship on the show (which turned out to be Kane) and the battle royal on RAW where William Regal became the RAW GM by hiding outside of the ring (which, somehow, nobody but me seemed to notice him doing) and attacking The Sandman when he thought he'd won. I, too, enjoy a good clusterfuck. I'm going to have to keep an eye out for you when I fire up the DVR in a couple hours.

  2. The thing is that every arena is different, so where you go specifically is really hard to say. They have a "floor" entrance at the Saddledome where you give them you ticket and you get a wristband so you have access. Our wristbands were coloured differently, but I would guess whereever it is at your venue is the place to go. The first time we went, we literally asked around to staff and were pointed in the right direction. Last night, we were not on "the list" even though we were supposed to be. So, we spoke with them and were put on the list. So four of us literally showed up an hour before the doors and got free tickets essentially.

    My hookup is in the promotion business, thus has the contacts that led us to attend both events. I wish I could point you in the right direction as how to do it where you live, but as I mentioned, just going down and finding them might very well get you in.

  3. You're assuming Gail Botched the bucket toss.
    Is it possible she was taking a legit shot at Vickie?

  4. Nice review G man! I was watching, but didnt know which one was you….lol sound slike you had fun.

  5. @Patman – I didn't get the best on television spot after we moved. I was better visible on a wide angle feed off of the trinatron. My buddies I was with kept getting me to wave my hand (which was seen quite a bit). My left hand is uber famous now. It's kind of like that South Park episode where Jennifer Lopez "possesses" Cartman's hand (only with substantially less Ben Affleck splooge, thankfully).

    @Rytman – Honestly? Yes. Albeit, Kim is one of the very few Divas that can actually do anything that is currently employed by the WWE. If it turned out this was a shoot in some capacity, I could see why it might be. Good call to the man who is ryt. Gail Kim is being completely underutilized.

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