Event: WWE SmackDown LIVE
City Attended: Providence, RI
Venue: Dunkin’ Donuts Center
Concert Date: 05-22-19
The Reason We Went: As children of the 1980s, we grew up with the understanding that if we trained, ate our vitamins, said our prayers and believed in ourselves that we could grow up as strong and raspy-voiced as Hulk Hogan. We idolized The Rockers, snapped into Slim Jims because Randy “Macho Man” Savage suggested it and loved to hate heel managers like Bobby “The Brain” Heenan. And now, 30+ years later, our kids are enjoying the same experience as they pour themselves into every pulled punch of current roster stars like The New Day, Becky “The Man” Lynch and Braun Strowman. It’s a shared experience that we can have with our kids that transcends generations, and in a world that is moving at the speed of light, it’s nice to have something that, while much different than the WWF that we enjoyed at their age, is essentially operating under the same set of rules.
What We Thought: With a big focus on character returns, including The New Day’s Big E and newly-formed heel Dolph Ziggler, the night offered a lot of surprises for those who don’t follow Internet spoilers. There was plenty of foreshadowing, including a main event between Roman Reigns and Elias, that further set the table for Reigns versus Shane McMahon at the upcoming WWE SuperShowdown on Friday June 7. Becky Lynch induced the most raucous pop from the crowd as the Rhode Islanders in attendance went nuts for the charismatic bad girl with good intentions. All in all, it was a night that both the young (our kids) and the old (us) could enjoy.
Bonus Takeaway: Live WWE events are a blast, but it can be jarring to watch the matches without the color commentary, which in our opinion, always enhances the action by way of propelling the narrative forward or injecting a dose of humor. Why not stream that commentary through the stadium speakers or at least offer up a way for those in attendance to listen live from their mobile devices? Hell, if we willingly paid $6.00 for a bottle of water, we’d be happy to pay for a chance to further enhance the experience.
And that’s why we’re giving this show…