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What sould I know about attending a live WWE taping?
March 20, 2012 12:20 AM   Subscribe

So, a ticket to the taping of Smackdown in Newark today at the prudential center pretty much fell into my lap. I've been to a number of EVOLVE and other indy wrestling shows, but never a WWE taping. Can you give me any tips, etiquette, advice or anything I should know or keep in mind?

Here is a seating chart.

http://www.prucenter.com/newWindow.asp?image=resources/images/seating_charts/500x445-wwe-seating.gif&title=WWE

I'll be in section h, row 12, seat 4.
posted by ShawnStruck to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (2 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I've been to a few Raw and Smackdown tapings, and had a lot of fun at them. That said, your enjoyment will depend a lot on how much you enjoy WWE television programs, as there's a lot non-wrestling stuff - video packages, back story, skits, promos, etc. And it's really geared up around the taping aspect, so there are some big gaps between the action. Also, you're the audience in front of the camera, so you're actually mostly looking at the back of everyone in the ring, as they'll play to the camera rather than you. On the plus side though, it does mean you've got a good chance of being seen on the show, so it's worth bringing a sign.

Generally Smackdown is considered to be a purer wrestling show than Raw, and I'd say the quality of matches is better, so there should be some decent wrestling to get stuck into to. The Smackdown roster is pretty awesome right now, with talented indie favourite Daniel Bryan as a heel champ, really heeling it up as a creep oblivious to the fact that he's a heel. That said, the brand split seems to be pretty dead, so you see some wrestlers from Raw on Smackdown too these days, especially right now as they're running a Raw-Smackdown manager feud in the run-up to a 12 man Wrestlemania match. I'd imagine that'll be the biggest storyline of the night.

Things you only realise from going to a taping:

- Ring announcer Lilian Garcia isn't just the person who announcers the competitors. For the live audience, she's actually the MC for the whole night, it's just that you don't hear any of those bits on TV as they have the TV commentators instead.

- Smackdown and Raw tapings should break in the middle for a b-show, e.g. Superstars or NXT. These are the lesser known wrestlers, but there can be some great matches. On TV, these are used by the commentators to hype up other angles and PPVs, so this is the best way to enjoy these matches.

- The live audience can sound a lot quieter when you're in it than it does on TV. There are rumours that they sweeten the crowd noise in post-production for Smackdown, and possibly change chants they don't like. That said, you can hear that the live crowd boos and cheers for whoever they want regardless, especially for someone like Daniel Bryan, who is a heel (boo!) but an indie darling and a great technical wrestler (yay!). Not to mention the reaction to John Cena.

- Speaking of which, the audience really is split on pro- / anti- Cena lines. This probably isn't such an issue for Smackdown, but on Cena's home show of Raw it was fairly absurd. Kids and their mums would cheer for Cena, and the 90% of the adult crowd will cheer anyone and everyone who was fighting him, heels, faces, whoever. The back and forth is all in good sport, but it can make for a strange experience.

- The pyro and music is really freaking loud. Like, bring earplugs loud.

- The TV main event is usually followed (or extended into) a crowd pleasing dark match, which is essentially the main event for the taping audience, and can often be a little bit more special than the TV event, throwing together competitors and moves that are held back for PPVs for the TV audience.
posted by iivix at 5:26 AM on March 20, 2012


Definitely bring a nice, big sign--you will almost certainly be on TV where you are. Of course, be respectful in displaying it, but bring one. "MeFites for D-Bry"?

Smackdown has been hit-or-miss lately, but it's definitely been heating up since the Royal Rumble. Like iivix says, you're likely to get a lot of the GM feud angle, which could be sort of lame (random tag match, playa, holla!) or pretty good (Christian returning to action). Expect to be embarrassed by at least one backstage segment (probably a Divas segment).

You've been to wrestling shows, so you know that one of the most important things is the audience getting into it. A good audience makes a mediocre show good and a good show great. The big arenas do swallow a lot of the crowd up, though, so if you're having a good time, let everybody around you know it.
posted by uncleozzy at 7:15 AM on March 20, 2012


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