On Tuesday, the WWE trucks pulled into Calgary to tape Smackdown. Once again, I had the privilege to be a seat filler and temporary WWE staff member. I will break down the episode as it appears on TV, and live in person. I will also comment on my third consecutive opportunity to be a seat filler.

A special thanks to pintnoir who covered Impact Wrestling for our sites this week! Let’s get to it, shall we?


– The only backstage segments we saw during the entire night took place during NXT, showing Tyson Kidd in the locker room finding his clothes in disarray, and the awkward backrub scene with Derrick Bateman and Maxine.
– Tyson Kidd is a hometown hero, and he and Trent Barretta lit it up… for NXT. Sadly, I’d advise hitting that show up for this match. Then turn it off. Seriously. Don’t watch the Maxine versus AJ in the mainevent. THIS KILLED THE CROWD DEAD.

Considering I paid nothing for this show… I totally have the right to complain, huh?

* Brodus Clay vs. One of Lance Storm’s Wrestling Academy’s students. Squash match. It’s funny, one of the guys I was with noted a little before this one went down that we never get to see squash matches anymore.

* Justin Gabriel vs. JTG. This was an excellent bout, and the crowd was reasonably hot for it. This is certainly worth a look, but you’ll have to find it online. The funny thing is, is that after the match ended, JTG was lying in the ring for at least a minute while the ring crew began taking down the ring for the Smackdown colours and banners. Me and my crew began laughing and wondering if they were just going to roll up JTG in the canvas and put him into the storage truck for the next show. Poor JTG… he’s become a prop.

Seat Filler Orientation

Diary 1

Diary 2

– The Orientation for the Seat Filler gig is not consistent. The first time, we had lots of time to get to our homebase seats. The second time, the matches were underway as we made our way to the floor (somewhat delayed by the one guy with the numerous stupid comments and questions). This time, it went almost perfectly timewise to get to our location in the sky.

– Steve made the comment about not wanting this stuff to show up on facebook, blogs, etc., during this orientation. Whoops.

– I learned something new about the gig this time around. I was in the eagle’s nest (nose bleeds) as part of the backup seat fillers. Yes… they actually have those too. Great view though (worth every cent! Ha ha!). It was pretty good, honestly.

– We learned that after you get your security wristbands and go through the spiel about how it works, you have to get to the tickets he hands out right away. I was able to observe his whole job from my vantage point as a result. I noticed he spoke to two security guards pointing at our row. We were shooting the shit with a bunch of other mid thirties smarks doing the same gig.

– But, alas… we were not “used” and really cannot expect to see myself up on the second tier. If you do, I’m off at the extreme top of the left side of the screen wearing this shirt:

— New rule: get tickets right away from Steve, but sit middle of the pack in the “homebase” floor seats is key.


– Cue the pyro, and the Saddledome goes nuts. And they did, lots of loud cheering to start the show. Then it gets WAY louder as the Hitman’s music hits and the entire stadium rises to it’s feet to cheer on Bret Hart. The last two times I filled seats, random Bret Hart chants broke out for no reason. So do the math. He explains HHH appointed Hart the GM of the show tonight. Bret tells us about this Tuesday’s “Super Smackdown Special Live.” He tells us about the mainevent on that show with Orton facing Mark Henry. Great way to start the show, SELL THE NEXT SHOW. Fuck me.

– Cue Christian’s music. He is initially cheered, because you know… Bizzaro Land. Christian blames his loss to Orton at Summerslam on Edge who took Captain Charisma off his game. The crowd still cheers here… Christian wants his rematch clause enacted on this Tuesday. Hart tells him to stop whining and being an embarassment to everyone, most importantly, to my beloved nation Canada (sometimes referred to as Canuckleheadland in my reviews).

Once again, Canada comes out on top. And high… really. fucking. high.

– Christian retorts noting that Hart needs to let it go, and realize his career is over. Then Christian hits the LINE OF THE NIGHT!!!

“And you know what? Maybe you need to hear this, and maybe Edge needs to hear this too, so I hope he’s listening. As far as the WWE goes… Maybe the two of you can’t stand the fact, that I’m the only Canadian that’s still relevant.”

– Well… until Jericho comes back, but you know what? He’s right.

– Christian provides a court order document, from his legal team that states that he gets a rematch before anyone else. But since it doesn’t specify what kind of match, Hart rebooks next Tuesday’s match as a steel cage match. Sexual Chocolate will have none of this and lumbers towards the ring, already sweating. Henry is pissed, since he earned his shot last week in the Battle Royale with cheese. Henry wants the winner of the cage match. WTF?!?!? Is this fucking Impact? ANOTHER INTERRUPTION!!! Sheamus, comes out and tells a story about his Uncle who owned a Big Black Ugly Bull (Racism, anyone), and he had to have it castrated. Sheamus and Henry brawl a bit.

– Cue the commercial. But what we saw in the Dome was different. Henry leaves, THEN COMES OUT AGAIN! He dares Sheamus to do it again, and throw him out of the ring. So Sheamus does it again. A retake? Maybe. Filler? Possible. Me and my friends debated this.

I dunno, maybe someone fucked up their spot.

-* Daniel Bryan vs. Christian. This was the match of the night. Surprised? It starts going downhill after this one, folks! Thank god I paid nothing. Phew! They show a highlight package for Bryan that we didn’t see, as I explained to one buddy who is not up to speed these days that this match had the potential to steal the show. I was right. I love being right… but you already knew that. Bryan starts off on fire, culminating with a Surfboard Stretch spot that rolls into a catch-as-can pin attempt… cut to commercials. Rest holds commence live, you missed very little. We watch the camera and announcers for their cues to go back live….

HOLY FUCK. Not really, it’s a commercial break…

– We return, and Bryan breaks Christian’s resthold… more heetastic beatdowns. I wish Booker T would stop calling Bryan “D. Bryan.” Fuck. Bryan hits a slick missle drop kick from the top ropes. But Booker puts him over, so that I CAN stand. A bunch of near spots and close reversals, but for some reason they edit Bryan’s Shining Wizard awkwardly… meh (looked great live). Christian locks in the Unprettier, BUT NO!!! Reversal into the Labelle lock, NO!! ROPE BREAK!! UNPRETTIER!!! Pin and put it in the win column, Christian wins. Not an unexpected finish considering the program.

While the “Epic Beard Man” meme is passe, I haven’t seen this version mixed with Mortal Kombat…

– Wade Barrett looks to face some random jobber (Lance Storm student). We thought this was commercial filler… huh. Barrett says he’s above this match, fuck it, and walks out. I don’t know either.

– * Sin Cara (version Hunico) vs. Heath Slater. But first, some live notes:
-Sin Cara/Heath Slater was so botched, they filmed a retake during the match, and then had them run out during a later commercial break and film a bunch more spots. Essentially this match was filmed three times.
-During commercials, they did a few mini-bits that lasted all of two minutes or so (including the third take of Sin Cara/Heath Slater). We saw no backstage segments whatsoever. However, it was far more entertaining than watching a black blank screen or WWE commercials. The last time I saw a Smackdown live, they did not do this. When did they start doing this?
– In the third raping… err.. taping, sorry it’s Heath Slater, right? Sin Cara hit a cross body splash on Slater to the outside. That was during the break.

– Slater starts off hot, but Cara reverses it. The Cara sends Slater to the outside, and HITS THE CROSS BODY SPLASH TO THE OUTSIDE!! Then a moonsault, and a another splash?!?!? They only showed the commercial break match here, which was about 2 minutes at best. Wow, when they reshoot a match live, they really reshoot the thing. They could have edited this into five minutes, BUT NO!!! Sin Cara for the win.

The magic of television editing has turned into lazy commercial and recap filler videos. The last ten minutes of the show had 20% new content.

– * Non-Title Match: Randy Orton {C} vs. Ted DiBiase (w/ Cody Rhodes). Ok, this one wasn’t terrible, but things do continue to taper off. Orton was VERY over in Calgary, not much audio boosting of the crowd here. I was fun to see Rhodes’ men hand out paper bags to the crowd. Rhodes cuts a pretty good rant about “performing miracles.” He is resurrecting the status of the IC title, and the career of his friend Ted Dibiase. Orton and Dibiase start smooth and tactical, exchanging headlocks, rolls, and the like. Too many headlocks though. They then run the ropes a bunch until Orton hits a standing dropkick! “It’s nice to see him doing this move more often,” my seat-filler-hookup points out. Orton dominates much of this match afterwards, and what should have picked up, instead is paced slow, and feels a little “too safe.” But it gets two segments of television (really? Editing magic? Likely). Whatever, it’s a watchable match that ends in an RKO and Orton is your winner.

Al Creed and I have a little back and forth about Sim City disasters on facebook as I troll his status update and murder him and all of the Hammer (how well do you know you Canadian city nicknames?).

– Cody looks to console the losing Dibiase post match, but SWERVE, he hits his finisher and places a paper bag over his fallen chum’s head. I’m sure Cody just stares into your soul if you are a cashier at a grocery store and ask him, “Paper or plastic?”

Charles Barkley @G: “Hey thanks for talking behind my back with Al, G. WTF? I told you honkey, I’m not going to learn all of you and your nerd friends’ Science Fiction Goobely Gop garbage. Plus you didn’t invite me to be a seat filler. Jerk.”

G @Charles Barkley: “I did. You and at least four others turned down free tickets. We ran into one of the others later, he paid. We laughed. It was funny (not in his face, but later). True story.”

– God help us… the next half of the show is dreadful.

– *Tamina versus Kelly Kelly Kelly Kelly Kelly. I went for a legit piss break at the show. Natalya pops up in a box and notes KellyX1234890 is a pretty little doll, and Natalya doesn’t play with dolls. Turns out I missed nothing. This match was abysmal. Move along, nothing to see here. Kelly wins with the Fame-asser. Bleh.


– Jinder talks with Khali behind him in an interview with Matt Striker. Jinder puts over his control and blackmail of the Mediocre Khali briefly. If nothing else reminding us that this story arch still exists…

– * Great Khali vs. Ezekiel Jackson. The only thing impressive in this match was Ezekial lifting Khali into a Torture Rack submission for the win. One buddy recognized that Khali had knee braces under his pants. I asked him how he knew, he said the dimensions around his pants looked like his own uniform when he played college football (my friend turned down CFL offers due to his knee problems in his final semester, but wisely emerged with a Business degree and is a successful salesman today). Otherwise, all I can say about this match is that it sucked the energy out of the crowd… and myself. Terrible. They must have either edited in crowd noise, or seriously boosted the volume of it.

I actually did ignore a call during this match. Now I feel like a total dick. That call from a number I didn’t recognize actually WAS more important. My mistake.

– A backstage interview with the soon-departing Todd Grisham and Orton about Hart changing the match for Tuesday. Even though it was announced and changed within a span of less than 5 minutes. But Orton somehow takes offence to this, because he trained REALLY hard to face Henry during that period of time. I kind of feel for the guy, right? Stupid. I’m kind of glad we didn’t see that debacle of nonsense live.

– It was about this time where they reshot the Sin Cara/Heath Raper match. At home you get to watch Mark Henry destroy people in a highlight package. Botch or no botch, I enjoyed watching wrestling more. FFW!!! (Note: I had to break down this reshoot to my hookup for the seat filler gig since he hit the urinals when it happened. Being a smark, his reaction was predictable).

I want one of these. C’mon, don’t you? Stereotypes of Calgary tell me I’m a cowboy… so if I am, my pony should breathe fire. Just like the Ol’ West! Right Bruce?

– * Sheamus vs. Mark Henry. Yep. Thanks WWE for this mainevent. They always fuck over Calgary recently. The last two filler gigs were during the Guest GM deal, and we got Sgt. Slaughter the first time and that fucking Marcus kid from the Playstation ads the second time. Us “backup” seat fillers watched awaiting the dark match. I’m sorry, but this was paint-by-the-numbers. It was mostly a brawler match, with a few power-moves sprinkled on top like a pizza place out of cheese. Sheamus Brogue Kicks Henry onto the announcer table, and into the chairs. Sheamus runs back into the ring and wins via countout. Yes. A FUCKING count out. Post match, they brawl and throw steel steps around to no avail. Henry plants Sheamus on top of the steel steps to look standing strong. That was our so-called main event in Calgary. Worth every penny.

Fuck me.

– The dark match between Orton and Christian was a “Calgary Street Fight.” It was billed by HHH who came out after the show ended. He put over Calgary for cheap pops, and literally dragged Christian to the ring.

– Christian was legit booed, but a lot of this came from the initial promo at the start of the show. He went out of his way to insult the crowd. It’s funny, because Jericho tried the same thing the last time he was in town, but the crowd would have none of it and cheered loudly for him.

– Bret Hart sat in an announcer chair at ring side and did almost nothing for the entire match while an actual referee called the match. After Orton won (send’em home happy, folks!), Christian got on the microphone and ripped on Hart for being a shame to Calgary. He also spoke of how Toronto was the superior city in Canada (a no-no unless you live in the T-Dot, because the rest of our nation hates them) and we should disown him… so Hart popped him in the face, Sharpshooter, end.

Notable complaints from the gents I was with:

– One noted the lack of rhyme or reason behind reshooting segments like the Sin Cara/Heath Slater match(es) was the epitome of confusion for the live audience. They could have easily had some 5 second announcement that a rematch was going down and edited it off the final product. Do something to at least TRY and explain it.

– Another noted how much harder it was to watch without commentary… mind you this person (and dear friend of mine) is not familiar with the current product very much. He’s not even aware of the CM Punk angle (I explained it) and was shocked that Kevin Nash was still alive, and let alone still active (I also explained this). He did remember that Booker-T had been with TNA, and when he came out to start the show that he appears almost solely on commentary. I then explained that in someways, it may have been better that he couldn’t hear the commentary team on this show at this time.

The WWE logo came up a while ago, but I’m still outta here.

Hi Colt Cabana!


This Smackdown Review Appears on Three Sites!


Bored Wrestling Fan

A break down of various professional wrestling programs and events from the eyes of the smarky fan! I highly recommend checking out the BWF!

Wonderpod Online

The official home of Wonderpod, and an assortment of content ranging from all things wide and far… depending on what the author’s feel like writing about. A home for reviews, commentary, pop culture, and fiction just to start. Always worth a look.

BTW, Actually
These reviews started off in a place called Project Wonderboy, a site that shares the name with it’s original founder, “whatever.” But this incarnation was under the Morphine Nation banner. That site is now evolved with all it’s original members at BTW, Actually. This place is all about challenging censorship and political correctness in an intelligent way.


Shameless Plugs!


The Cultural Revolution (TCR Comix)
Al Creed’s comics dominate tongue and cheek humour here.

A weekly podcast about the world of video games, from player experiences to current events in the industry, Bruce McGee, Pat Man, and Gun Sage provide insight into the medium for any gamer (whether casual or “pro”). Clicking the jump will take you to the iTunes page!

LarG Productions
An online music production project, free tunes spanning many genres… check it out!

ThinkSoJoE’s band, who is also the boss over at Bored Wrestling Fan. For those digging some sweet metal influenced, intriguing tunes… you really need to grab yourself an earfull.


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