I’ve been to a few WWE house shows throughout the years, and they’re always pretty fun. It’s all the wrestling with none of the storyline fluff or terrible announcing. I wouldn’t say I always go; it usually depends on when it is and who’s on the card. For example when the WWE Live event was announced for St. Louis on January 16th of this year, I almost didn’t go. WWE just had Survivor Series here a few months earlier, so I didn’t really have an itch to scratch for seeing the same guys over again. But then Jericho was announced, and then Bryan, and then I had to go. Anyway, it wound up being a pretty solid show all around and I’m glad I went. Here’s a brief rundown of how everything played out:

Bray Wyatt fought Dean Ambrose in the opening match, and it was a great way to kick off the show. Ambrose won, which was nice because he only seems to lose whenever there are cameras filming it. Ambrose was super over with the crowd, as was Wyatt, although there weren’t a whole lot of people playing along with the whole “fireflies” schtick. I personally didn’t, because y’know, you have to stand up and pull out your phone and find a place to put your nachos and by that point Wyatt’s in the ring already… you know how it is.

Next up Cesaro beat Justin Gabriel, who the crowd could not have cared less about. The match was filled with some nice holds, reversals, and mat wrestling in general, but not too many people were into it. There was lots of “woo”ing going on and someone trying very hard to start a “boring” chant. There’s always one, isn’t there?

Fandango came out next with Rosa Mendes and he had a microphone! He insulted us by calling the “Gateway to the West” the “Gateway to Sadness,” which, as a St. Louisan of three years, sounded to me like one of the nicer things he could say about this city. At least it sounds sympathetic! R-Truth interrupted and asked if Fandango had been taking cold medicine, because he sounded like his head was loopy. I don’t know, folks, I’m just telling you what happened. Anyway, they had a match and R-Truth (who was pretty over with the crowd) won.

Jericho came out next to one of the best pops of the night and proceeded to grab a microphone and tell us that St. Louis is one of his favorite wrestling cities (sorry, everyone else!). He went on to explain that he wasn’t just saying that, it was completely true. He grew up in Chesterfield and his Dad played hockey for the St. Louis Blues, and has won a couple of championships here. I always thought he was strictly from Winnipeg, but I guess I just don’t remember his first book well enough.

Eventually Luke Harper came out and interrupted him after Jericho started talking smack about the Authority, and the two of them had a great match. Chris Jericho locking in the Walls of Jericho got a huge pop, and eventually he won with a Code Breaker.

Next was an awesome tag team match between the team of Big Show and Kane versus Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan. Bryan was probably the most over wrestler at the entire show, which (as a huge fan of his) was great for me to see. Roman Reigns also got a pretty good pop when he came out, although that may have just been people excited to see if he’d walk past them when he came out through the crowd. After Bryan and Reigns won and the crowd was going nuts doing the whole “yes” pose, Bryan gestured towards Roman Reigns so we would cheer for him too. The crowd booed. Well, not EVERYONE, but people were far less excited for Roman and there was some noticeable booing. Roman played it off though with a wave and a smile. Much better than Batista.

Then there was an intermission!

Next up was a match between Natalya and Nikki Bella. At the start of the show Jojo, the ring announcer (described by the guy behind me to his son as “the girl from that Divas show”- you know which show, sir), encouraged us to tweet or text whether we wanted Brie to be at ringside with Nikki for her match by either tweeting “YesBrie” or “NoBrie”, or texting some numbers to a place. So if you’re wondering why “YesBrie” and “NoBrie” were trending Friday night, that’s why. After the votes were tallied Brie got to stay, and Nikki would go on to beat Natalya with a Rack Attack. It was a decent match though, and the crowd stayed into it.

Lana came out next with Rusev in tow, and she called the St. Louis sports teams “pathetic”. Swagger would have none of that though and he came down with his comically oversized American flag to wave in their face. Eventually they fought, Swagger tapped, and we all booed. The best part was when Swagger came out and did his “We the People” chant and pose on the turnbuckle, and the security guard sitting in front of us said said incredulously, “THAT’S his thing?!”

After that it was time for the main event, which was a steel cage match between John Cena and Seth Rollins (accompanied by J&J security). I’m not sure if there was a technical issue or what, but it took about ten minutes for them to bring the cage down, and it involved tech guys standing on the turnbuckles and guiding the sides of the cage down so they didn’t get caught on the ring. It killed the majesty a bit, but we still got to see a cage match, so I’m not complaining.

Rollins and Cena went on to have the best match of the night, and as someone who initially was convinced Cena would win no matter what (which he did) there were a few times where I was doubting it. Seth Rollins even kicked out of the Attitude Adjustment! He would eventually be defeated by a second AA from the top of a turnbuckle, much to my wife and the security guard’s dismay, but most of the crowd was happy. Actually, the reception for Cena was extremely positive, much more so than other shows I’ve been to in St. Louis, which means either the fans here are nicer when there aren’t cameras rolling or it’s mostly Cena fans who go to house shows.

Various notes:
-There were TV screens set up by the entrance curtain which showed the wrestlers’ entrance videos and also WWE ads in between matches. The videos weren’t long enough to be annoying, but after I’ve seen the same videos for Macho Man’s Hall of Fame induction, Connor’s Cure, that video of all the cars being smashed on the Network, and that goddamn $9.99 music video several times on Raw and Smackdown, I could’ve done without them at the live show. Maybe I’m just cold hearted though, because there was a brief “Connor” chant after his video aired.

-When Rosa came out the little boy sitting behind us described her to his Dad as “the Diva that likes Paige,” confirming them to be Total Divas fans.

-Most all of the lights were kept off in the Scottrade Center except for the ones above the ring, giving the matches a cool old school feel to them. I’m not sure if this is a regular thing for them, but it was the first time I saw it and it looked awesome.