Hello, everyone! Welcome to another Brendan Bradley Bodyslam.net Bout of Bad*ss Banter! Clearly, I am Brendan Bradley, and in addition to professional wrestling, I am an ardent approbator of alliterative acrobatics.
My editor helps me with it, sometimes–BUT NOT ALWAYS!
Today, after finally conquering the remainder of my demanding Summer coursework–and my editor, Erik Boyer, despite being fully vaccinated, having finally just gotten over a nasty case of the Covid-19 Delta Variant–I will once again take up my mantle of personal reflection on this website, as I’ll be taking a look back at the “WWE Supershow” I went to a couple of weeks back (August 01, 2021).
(Since no one’s perfect, recollection of match order eluded me while writing this, so the listed results below are courtesy of fightful.com’s, Gisberto Guzzo.)
- Big E defeated Seth Rollins
- Drew McIntyre defeated Sheamus
- RAW Women’s Championship Match: Nikki A.S.H. defeated Charlotte Flair & Rhea Ripley
- Bobby Lashley & MVP defeated Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods
- Intercontinental Championship Match: Apollo Crews defeated Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, & Shinsuke Nakamura
- SmackDown Women’s Championship Match: Bianca Belair defeated Sasha Banks
- John Cena & The Mysterio’s defeated Roman Reigns & The Usos
Introduction: Cheap Plugs & Fondness of Electricity
This was my first live wrestling event in almost TWO years (695 days, to be exact) and I had a great deal of anticipation, heading in–which is somewhat strange, because as I have mentioned before in articles and on Twitter (cheap plug: @coolguysince2001 [Mick Foley thumbs up]), I rarely watch weekly WWE programming. In fact, I haven’t found it interesting or alluring in the least for several years, now.
That said, I was still intrigued, since the card had a lot of athletes I’d waited to see in person for a long time, and quite frankly, it had been so long since I’d been to a live wrestling event that I would’ve gone to my 14-year-old neighbor’s backyard wrestling federation. Provided, of course, they had appropriate seating and over a dozen other people there, besides me–I missed the specific brand of electricity wrestling shows generate THAT much.
So, all things considered, my father and I purchased tickets to the WWE Live Event in Detroit, Michigan, SUPER shortly after its announcement.
While experiencing my all-time favorite pastime right next to my father, I jotted down some thoughts. Luckily, I still have them to bestow upon you today.
They are as follows…
First: Huge Pops & The IC Belt
I was surprised how close my seats were to the ring upon arrival. I had never been so close for a WWE Event! So, that helped add a ton to the unique experience. It was really nice that I could almost see the whole arena and crowd from my spot, because it made it easier to take notes and soak in the reactions that certain wrestlers got throughout the evening.
Some of the biggest receptions off the top of my head?
And, John Cena (obviously).
This list isn’t very surprising since all three have been positioned as cool, charismatic badasses for the past couple of months. Actually, it’s really nice to see that presentation and hard-work paying off for the performers and the promotion, as creating effective faces hasn’t been WWE’s forte in the last decade, or so.
I was especially excited for Nakamura, since he’s been very hot and cold over the last couple of years, partially (or mostly) because of sloppy booking, and it’s good to see him recognized–both on screen, by the fans, and off screen, by the promotion. By comparison, this reaction was MUCH bigger than the one he got four years ago at a show I went to right after his NXT call-up–and that was arguably during the possible zenith of his career in America.
We all know he has since been pushed hard–with the incomparable, irreplaceable Rick BOOOOOOOOGS in tow–all the way to the Intercontinental Championship for the first time since January of 2020, and for the second time in his WWE career, defeating Apollo Crews on last Friday’s SmackDown Live (08/13/2021).
Quick trivia: if you count Nakamura’s championship-defining New Japan Pro Wrestling’s IWGP Intercontinental Championship wins, this would be the seventh IC belt to his name, worldwide.
Anyway, back to the Live Event.
This was a fatal four-way that also featured Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, and then-Intercontinental Champion, Apollo Crews. As a wrestling history nerd, it felt really cool to see the Intercontinental Championship defended for the first time–live–knowing the storied legacy that the championship bears.
Second: Things Change. Drastically.
At my last WWE live-event, Ring of Honor’s EC3, NJPW’s Lio Rush, Free Agent Braun Strowman and AEW’s Jon Moxley (FKA as Dean Ambrose) all appeared.
So, not being a fly-by-night fan that just goes to shows now and then, but a fan who goes whenever they possibly can, I thought the contrasts between the two experiences combined to form a nice little time capsule, evident of how often this wonderful business can change in all aspects–for better or worse.
It’s really fantastic–even crucial–that this industry has so many options from which wrestlers and fans, alike, can choose. Within the last three years, the business went from one, single promised land, it seemed, to today, when it allows athletes a plethora of ways in which they can ply their trade and provide for their families.
It’s been said before, but it can never be said enough–appreciate this time as a fan, as it’s one of the most versatile and diverse eras pro wrestling history has ever offered up for both supporters and performers.
Third (& Last): Reigns’ Heel Persona Makes WWE SOOO Much Better
A big takeaway I had was how much Roman Reigns fits better as a heel in the overall puzzle of WWE than he ever did as a babyface. He was another athlete that got an incredible reaction. That understood, I couldn’t help but contrast this crowd reaction with the reception he got six years ago, the very last time I saw him live.
This reaction (08/01) felt MUCH more candid and raw in nature–the fans weren’t just going through the motions, they meant every bit of volume they projected–whereas the reaction he got years ago was at the peak of his major babyface push and it was a lot more mixed–in a bad way. The age-old “Cena Reaction” of some cheers and more boos wasn’t what WWE creative wanted–and it wasn’t just a one town anomaly, either.
Since he was clearly ordained the top babyface, and some might say, “shoved down our throats”, over the years, most of us fans could just sense that Roman didn’t really feel comfortable in that babyface role he was saddled with–but, now?
Six years later?
It’s the EXACT opposite.
To us, he exudes “top guy”–he’s a “final boss” type of antagonist (if you will), and he can now contribute to the WWE puzzle I spoke of earlier in a much, much more significant and meaningful way.
Conclusion: Thankful for Vaccines & A Note to Little Caesars
Words cannot describe how much I enjoyed this atmosphere, this collectively shared experience with other people–this WWE Supershow.
Man, it was so unbelievably cool to be back around my fellow wrestling fans, again. I truly missed the electricity, the comradery, and the best form of entertainment humankind has, so far, ever invented. Thankfully, as a result of the rise of COVID vaccinations worldwide, it looks like I might not have to wait another two years for such a surreal, connected, adrenaline and natural-high inducing experience such as the one I enjoyed at Little Caesars Arena, in Detroit, Michigan on the first day of August, this year.
Note on Little Caesars Arena–they DID kinda, sorta run out of pizza by intermission…so, ya know, that was a bit of a let down. I mean…
Little Caesars Arena, your name suggests that: of any you could make, just one promise could be considered unbreakable.
You had one job, essentially.
We absolutely ADORE you, Little Caesars Arena! You were the venue that provided the best time I, and well over about ten thousand other screaming pro wrestling fans, have had in the last TWO YEARS–we cannot thank you enough for that, along with your delicious, more than reasonably priced pizza, and adorable, tiny cartoon of Julius Caesar.
(Below are some of my favorite photos my father and I took at the event.)
As always, THANK YOU all for your support–it means more to me than any of you all could ever know!
Until Next Time,
(Follow me on Twitter at @coolguysince01 for updates on my future projects and articles! Follow @writerikboyer if you need an editor…or writer…but ask me, Brendan, first for the writer thing!)