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Mat stars of WWE thrill fans
Serious Smackdown! at MTS Centre
By DAVID SCHMEICHEL - Winnipeg Sun


They came. They grunted. They laid down some serious smack.

Fans of hand-to-hand combat certainly got their fill last night, welcoming the men and women of World Wrestling Entertainment to Winnipeg.

The MTS Centre played host to WWE's Smackdown! event, which saw stars like Kurt Angle, Rey Mysterio and John Cena taking to the ring for some buffed-out scrappin' and grapplin'.

And while the matches drew their fair share of adult-sized enthusiasts, it was the wide-eyed younger fans who seemed the most impressed.

"This is my third time," said 12-year-old Brett Lyon, from his vantage point on the MTS Centre floor. "I watch it all the time ... It's how they act and talk -- I think it's funny,"

Lyon's dad, Brent Lyon, said he catches as many live events as possible with Brett, noting his son has elevated wrestler/rapper Cena to near god-like status.

And Brent said he definitely considers himself a fan, too.

"It appeals to baser instincts, I guess," Brent laughed.

A couple rows over, 14-year-old Travis Waite took in his fourth such show, watching intently as Heidenreich hoisted a teen named Jordan into the ring with him to assist with a victory march after defeating Rene Dupree.

"I like the excitement and the action," said Waite. "And you get to see them up close -- it's way better."

A local promoter estimated just under 5,000 tickets to the event were sold.

WWE Smackdown Results (courtesy Bobby Jay)

Paul London won a Cruiserweight Battle Royal
MnM beat Hardcore Holly & Charlie Haas
Heidenreich beat Rene Dupre
Scotty 2 Hotty beat Akio
Orlando Jordan beat Rey Mysterio
Torrie Wilson beat Michelle McCool
Big Show beat Carlito & Matt Morgan in a handicap match
John Cena beat Kurt Angle in a Cage Match



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