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Posted in: In Laiman's Terms
IN LAIMAN'S TERMS #329 - Thoughts from TLC Live - 10-22-17
By Marissa Laiman
Oct 23, 2017 - 2:00:00 PM

Posted by Ris Laiman on Tuesday, May 2, 2017


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IN LAIMAN'S TERMS #329 - Thoughts on TLC Live - 10-22-17

1. Last night in Minneapolis, the WWE had their TLC event live at the Target Center, and we as a family were there. It was my kids' first time seeing wrestling live, and though I wouldn't consider them to be anything more than casual fans at this point, seeing their reactions was probably my favorite part of the evening.

2. I truly admire those of you who have gone to a WrestleMania and sat farther away than I was last night. This was a standard arena, and I was high enough that it felt like there was a sound delay. It's easier to watch it on the screen from there, but why would I pay that kind of money to watch the game on a screen when I could do that for much cheaper at home?

3. That also being said, damn does the Target Center need an updated scoreboard screen. Maybe I've been spoiled by the new one at the Q, but the one there is almost like watching it at a movie theater, except the movie is being acted out right below.

4. I'm 32 now. The first time I attended a live WWE event was 15 years ago, and the last time I was at a PPV was Unforgiven 2003 in Hershey. Suffice it to say, this was a lot more fun when I was younger, and most of it didn't have to do with the wrestling.

5. Seeing my daughter mark out for the first time when Sasha's music hit, as I didn't tell her Sasha would be wrestling, was worth everything else I dealt with all night. She's 9, and I envy her unfiltered and unjaded joy at just seeing someone in person like that.

6. I was proud of my 10-year-old son for a completely different reason that has nothing to do with wrestling. Someone who was with us is disabled, and one of the escalators was out on the way to get up to our seats. He got beside them, without hesitation, and said, "you can lean on me. I'll go as slow as you need me to." Much like at my brother-in-law's graduation ceremony at the University of Kentucky back in May when he applauded for literally every person who walked up, I couldn't be more proud of the caring, empathetic child I have. I'll try not to include too many personal stories here, as I know some people don't care for that in this column, but if you can't briefly mention being proud of your kids, it seems like a weird reason to be upset with a columnist.

7. Maybe I just didn't notice as much when I was a kid, or it didn't bother me back then, or I've been spoiled by sitting in suites at the more recent shows I've been to thanks to family and friend connections, but I'll be damned if where I was sitting last night wasn't like a YouTube comments section in person. I know there's only so much from which you can protect your kids' ears for so long, but I would've been fine with them not hearing racial slurs being tossed around at Kalisto.

8. The most obnoxious in our seating area were the three guys, who likely had been tailgating since the Vikings pre-game, who felt it necessary to scream chants as loud as possible for things that were entirely irrelevant to the show altogether. Yes, I know that happens the night after WrestleMania, but typically that's everybody doing it. These guys, through most of the first two hours, chanted for wrestlers who not only weren't there, but don't even wrestle anymore. Edge and Christian, the Undertaker, and even Bonesaw. Get it, the wrestling character from the 2002 Spiderman? Isn't that clever? I sarcastically threw back chants for Iron Mike Sharpe, but I don't think he got the joke.

9. This brings me to the biggest problem that I had all night: the lights. For those who don't know, I'm not only susceptible to migraines, but I have other sensory issues. To be fair, I should've prepared for that. However, the entire night, two incredibly bright lights were shining right at us from the lighting setup around the ring. By the end of the pre-show, I was already developing a migraine, and by the end of the first two matches, it felt like trying to watch the show through someone with their brights on at night. To say it was an unpleasant viewing experience was an understatement. It wasn't just me within our group of five either, and because of it, we ended up leaving after Balor/AJ. I get pretty miserable when I have a migraine and reach overload on sensory-related stimuli. Plus, it's a Sunday night and the kids had school in the morning. This was the most upsetting part of the night, as I was most excited to see Kane, as it was likely the last chance I had to do so. I didn't make it that long, and for the price I paid for those tickets, it made the night feel like a disappointment.

10. Tito wrote a lot about how thin the roster seemed, and last night was a good demonstration of that notion. Including the pre-show, the first five matches were women's matches and 205Live. Not that I have a problem with either of those divisions or their participants, but with them all being frontloaded like that, the crowd was essentially dead after Asuka's debut until AJ's music hit.

11. It was probably the acoustics in the building that made us unable to hear what Elias was saying, but most of us chanting "What?" during that segment were saying that legitimately. The only thing we could hear clearly was what sounded like the beginning of every Staind song. It did give me the chance to use one of my favorite jokes while live-tweeting though...

12. Going back to the beginning of the show for a minute, has anyone ever been to any wrestling event ever where before the show starts, there aren't random "WOO"'s every 2-5 minutes? Just curious. I heard them from the Light Rail platform a few blocks away from the arena.

13. I've been to two WWE events this year, and both times I've seen a legitimate MOTY candidate. At RAW back in January, it was Crossfit Jesus and Sami Zayn, and last night, it was AJ/Balor. Not only did it wake the crowd up from feeling like they'd been tricked into seeing an episode of WCW Thursday Night Thunder, but it was a new matchup that we hadn't seen before, and it was a damn good one. Sasha/Fox was at least the third time recently, Enzo/Kalisto pulled the Neville/Tozawa switcheroo to a T, and while the match was different, we've been seeing Dean/CFJ and The Bar for two months now. Not only is the roster thin, but matches become annoying and repetitive when they face every week.

14. AJ/Balor was not only something new, but it felt like a really big deal. Not because it was RAW/Smackdown, nobody really cared about that, but it felt like a special attraction exhibition. One of the biggest (only remaining) draws of Smackdown vs. an up-and-coming star with a gimmick that's a big deal when he uses it. Granted, it took away the reason that the demon was brought out, so it that part seemed random, but it didn't matter. That match was everything I love about wrestling, and the crowd ate it up.

15. Enzo has fallen into the sing-along-even-if-you're-a-heel reaction, as despite him being full-blown heel now, the entire crowd still sings along with his opening schtick. Though it sounds like he's getting sick too, which isn't good news for how this is affecting the locker room. Did give me a great chance to say this though...

16. It was really nice of Jason Jordan to stop by Cub Foods before attending the show tonight, but seriously... Celery, lettuce, and bananas? I get throwing vegetables at the musician, but not only did it seem utterly random, but weird. Especially since they ran it twice. With TIto's prediction that Angle will turn heel, does his son follow? That might help alleviate the Rocky Maivia Syndrome he seems to be struggling with right now.

17. I watched the main event once I got home, and damn was seeing Kurt's goofy mug line up with the Shield entrance fun. I suppose they've eliminated pyro entirely, and to be fair I may have missed that news, but it's weird just hearing the sound of Kane's pyro without seeing it. It's like he saw Ryback's entrance and thought "yeah, that'll work." Not that I minded the lack of it for the most part. Extremely loud sounds are even worse than bright lights shining in my eyes as far as sensory issues go.

18. I know most of this hasn't been about the matches themselves, but honestly, there's not much to talk about outside of AJ/Balor. Kane pulling the chairs on Braun was fun, and seeing Asuka in person was a treat. Angle's clearly still got it, but overall, this show felt like an episode of RAW with a big main event and a surprise midcard classic. Not that that's a bad thing, but for the money you have to spend to get to a PPV anymore, especially for five people, it's not what you anticipate from a PPV. I might've enjoyed it more without the awful migraine I got that forced me to leave early, but it felt underwhelming overall. Following Tito's timeline, it came off better on television, and that's how I might watch the shows from here on out. It used to be that there was nothing quite like live wrestling, but at my age and with an entire family along, it's not the most economically-easy night to pull off. Throw in the prices they want for bottled water or any kind of food, and it's easier to stay at home and watch on TV. Maybe that's part of the reason RAW and Smackdown Live crowds have suffered low attendance lately, but the thin roster, sustained unexplainable pushes, and repetitive matches likely play a huge part of it.

19. One other thing... they played the clip of Jinder Mahal challenging the local legend Brock Lesnar to a match at Survivor Series, and the reaction to the entire arena was... laughter. Nobody takes Jinder Mahal seriously, and the idea of him challenging Brock Lesnar is utterly preposterous. Somehow this experiment will continue, because reactions no longer matter except in NXT.

20. This picture will give you an idea of how far away I was, and this was at full zoom on my iPhone, but what an awesome moment to witness after a great match.


Kurt Angle's goofy mug gets the HAM, because somehow, even showing up with the Shield in badass form, his big dorky smile made me laugh out loud. In an affectionate way, but a laugh nonetheless.

2012 - Daniel Bryan
2013 - Paul Heyman
2016 - Chris Jericho
1-2-17 - Kevin Owens
1-3-17 - Jack Gallagher
1-9-17 - Shawn Michaels
1-10-17 - Dean Ambrose
1-16-17 - Sami Zayn
1-17-17 - John Cena
1-23-17 - Xavier Woods
1-24-17 - James Ellsworth
1-30-17 - Mick Foley
1-31-17 - Daniel Bryan
2-6-17 - Goldberg
2-7-17 - Daniel Bryan
2-13-17 - Chris Jericho
2-14-17 - Alexa Bliss
2-20-17 - Lana
2-21-17 - Maryse
2-27-17 - Mick Foley
2-28-17 - Bray Wyatt
3-13-17 - Paul Heyman
3-14-17 - AJ Styles
3-20-17 - Austin Aries
3-21-17 - Mizcena
3-27-17 - Big Cass
3-28-17 - Mizcena/Mizbryan/John Cena
4-1-17 - Bobby Roode's dueling pianists
4-2-17 - The Undertaker
4-3-17 - Chris Jericho
4-4-17 - Shinsuke Nakamura
4-10-17 - Braun Strowman
4-11-17 - Shinsuke Nakamura
4-17-17 - Samoa Joe
4-18-17 - Nobody
4-24-17 - Alexa Bliss
4-25-17 - Dolph Ziggler
5-8-17 - The Miz
5-9-17 - The Usos
5-15-17 - Titus O'Neill
5-16-17 - Fandango/Tyler Breeze
5-22-17 - Bray Wyatt
5-29-17 - Alexa Bliss/Ohai Bayley
5-30-17 - Fashion Files
6-5-17 - The Miz
6-26-17 - Paul Heyman
6-27-17 - The Ascension
7-3-17 - TROOF
7-10-17 - Paul Heyman
7-17-17 - Crossfit Jesus
7-18-17 - Randy Orton
7-24-17 - Kurt Angle
7-25-17- Chris Jericho
7-31-17 - Bray Wyatt
8-7-17 - Paul Heyman
8-8-17 - Arn Anderson
8-14-17 - Big Cass
8-15-17 - Breezango
8-28-17 - John Cena
9-4-17 - Braun Strowman
9-11-17 - The Miz
9-18-17 - Neville
9-19-17 - Dolph Ziggler
9-24-17 - Paul Heyman
9-25-17 - Alexa Bliss
9-26-17 - Dolph Ziggler
10-2-17 - The Miz
10-3-17 - Rusev
10-9-17 - Finn Balor
10-10-17 - The Usos
10-16-17 - Curtis Axel
10-22-17 - Kurt Angle

Marissa Laiman, In Laiman’s Terms, and Inciting Incident are owned by It’s a Shameful Thing, Lobsterhead, LLC. Copyright 2016. All rights reserved.

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