WWE returns to Oshawa
SEAN MURLEY -- For SLAM! Wrestling
OSHAWA, ONT. -- The WWE returned to the Oshawa Civic auditoriun after a
very long absence -- it was rumoured to be about 15 years ago -- and
if it was, I was at that show too.
The Oshawa Civic Centre was sold out , which I would say was in the
3,000 to 3,500 seat range. The crowd was enthusiastic, informed and
anxious. I myself appreciate that the WWE is trying to get back to the
small communities to try and build their fan base back up.
The night started with a warm welcome for the \'Fink\' Howard Finkel and
he in turned welcomed all to the night\'s entertainment.
There were plugs for Monday night RAW throughout the evening.
First up for the Finkel was the announcement that co-general manager
himself, Stone Cold Steve Austin, had reinstated the Dudley Boys just
for tonight. They were greeted with a very big pop. Their opponents,
3-Minute Warning, were met with heat.The Dudleys were very much into the
crowd and fed off their energy. There was a call for tables, but alas
the table never made it into the ring. Not a bad opening match. Victory
to the Dudleys.
The second match was Tommy Dreamer against Rodney Mack. Dreamers was not
at all intimidated by the ranting of Theodore Long regarding Mack\'s
ability. Tommy looked sharp in the ring and even brought a drink from a
small child at ringside into the match. Rodney was not as
entertaining.Victory for Mack. Dreamer went back to the small child and
held him over his head after the match to applause from the crowd.
The Hurricane got a huge pop when he entered the ring area with his
partner Maven, who looked in great shape. The Hurricane carried most of
the match versus newcomers Le Resistance, who I am sure in time will be
something to see, but now they need some more mic time and have to build
on their heat. Both members disregarded their Canadian heritage and just
said they were French, but they did get the win.
The best match of the night was a Femme Fatal 4-Way for the ladies
championship. Jazz was greeted with boos, Jackie was welcomed warmly, as
was Victoria. But the star of the match was definitely Trish Stratus,
all the way from neighbouring Toronto. The match was quick, well
orchestrated and entertaining. Both Trish and Jackie should be
complemented for their efforts. You would have never seen such fast,
multiple kicks in a men\'s match. The match was all over the ring area.
Jazz held onto her ladies belt.
Spike Dudley was up next to face Toronto-area superstar Christian, who
was welcomed with a huge ovation. He showed his wrestling maturity and
soon turned the crowd against him, as he was supposed to as the bad guy.
Spike and Christian took turns mounting the ropes to get the crowd\'s
approval and on Christian\'s last attempt he either missed a step -- or
sold it very well -- and fell flat on his face. Either way I believed
it. Christian won the match.
After the intermission and some more plugs for RAW, a world tag team
match with Rod Van Dam and Kane versus Canadians Lance Storm and Chief
(Sean) Morley (that\'s MORLEY, not MURLEY) was up. It seemed everyone was
their to see RVD and he put on a quality show, doing all of his
trademark moves. Kane was kind of stiff and surprisingly had a hard time
slamming Morley once. The Chief himself looked in great shape and sold
the match well. Storm put on one hell of a show and at one time, while
waiting for a tag, had to turn to the audience because one whole
section behind him was cheering for him. He did looked surprised .I knew
before this match that the belts would not change hands in Oshawa. RVD
and KANE celebrated the win. Mr. Monday Night was cheered all the way to
the dressing room.
The second last match was Rico vs. Stephen Richards. I could have done
without seeing this one. Victory to Richards.
For the last match of the night Scott Steiner walked out to applause,
and he immediately got on the mic and started bad mouthing Canada,
insisting we all sing the U.S. national anthem. As you would expect,
that did not go down so well. Test walked out with the lovely Stacey to
a huge pop as he should have as he was a local boy coming home. He is
from near by Whitby, Ontario and it would have been nice if that was
acknowledged in his introduction or by himself after the match. (Side
note: I once ran into him a couple of years ago in a milkstore in
Whitby. I never knew he was so tall!). Stacey, of course, was welcomed
very warmly and if not for some idiot with a large pink sign, I might
have seen what everyone else in the place came to see - Stacey\'s ring
entrance. The match went back and forth, spilled to the outside and
there was a foot chase around the ring with Steiner chasing Stacey.
Test gave the big boot to get the win. The crowd erupted and Test and
Stacey left the ring area. Steiner then took a hold of the ref Charles
Robison and tried to bully him into reversing the decision. He then told
the crowd \"This country sucks\" and he left.
Over all it was not a bad night out. I think the WWE could have easily
done more with a small crowd such as this, and an autograph session
would have went a long way to bringing back disenchanted fans.
I had fun with son and tag team partner \'Crusher\' Curtis, and this was
his first ever live event. After the show, The Crusher and I jumped on
our evil-cycle , beat most of the crowd out of the parking lot and
raced home. Curtis said it was good , which is all his dad wanted to
hear. Also enjoying the show with us were Rick \'The Brick\', Thom \"the
Snare\", and Brian \"The Body\" and their respective families. Brian is
someone who insists I look like the Undertaker, hence my nickname,