The Suplah podcast

Liam DunneFebruary 24th, 2016BlogComments Off on House Shows Or TV Shows; Which Is Better?

House Shows Or TV Shows; Which Is Better?

As a wrestling fan, I’m sure you’ve all gone to at least one pro wrestling show, whether it’s a local indy show with Bad Barry vs. The Wife Beater, or WrestleMania 30 with Daniel Bryan, Randy Orton and Batista for the title in a triple threat match. Most of us have been there and experienced the atmosphere that only a well done wrestling show can accomplish.

Now, some of our regular visitors may have noticed that, back in December of 2015, myself, Andy Quann and Keelan Balderson went to see NXT Live in Nottingham at a house show, with them doing a live broadcast on the WWE network later that week. As much as we wanted to go to the TV show, we couldn’t arrange accommodation in time and, thus, went to the more local show.

We had a fantastic time, as our travel vlog shows, but it did get me thinking, which is the truly best experience? A small and personal house show? Or a highly controlled TV show? Well let’s look at them both.

Self admittedly, I’ve had more experiences with house shows. WWE, TNA and even Indy shows. Events that were made just for those who were in attendance, in a sort of “Secret Wrestling” style. With House shows being, essentially, “non-canon” for lack of a better term, this gives the performers and WWE staff a bit more of a relaxed atmosphere. As you can see in our travel vlog for NXT, there was a segment where Finn Balor and Sami Zayn swap jackets and impersonate each other. This gives the performers a chance to play with the fans, interact with them on a slightly more personal level, even though storylines are present in a way, they don’t take drive the night, but instead just serve as a backdrop for this feud. Heck one could even think of it as a “what-if” scenario. I remember when I saw RAW in 2004 in Birmingham, the main event featured Triple H battling Chris Benoit withe the World Heavywight title on the line. Whilst Triple H was in the middle of a feud with Shawn Michaels, this was a battle that was inspired over the final result of WrestleMania 20. Whilst it was a fairly decent match, after it ended Triple H shook Benoit’s hand after the match. Remember, Triple H was the hardcore heel at this point. Naturally, this was never referenced ever again, why? Because it’s non-canon.

So, whilst it can be a more personal and interactive experience, a house show could also be seen as more “training” in a way, as opposed to a general show. Whilst it allows people like Finn Balor to joke around and re-enact Bailey’s entrance, it can also cause a little bit of confusion. WWE often debuts new talent at house shows, but the audience wouldn’t know who this guy is. Is it fair to base a guys talent when the audience are confused as to who he is? That’s a debate for the comments below, but regardless, people have paid to see the stars they know, not the ones they don’t. If they wanted to see stars they didn’t, they could go to their local indy show.

With maintaining the idea of house shows being “non-canon” (unless a star gets injured and they HAVE to acknowledge it), this presents a new issue with house shows. Predictability. Now a days, WWE is slowly doing things to change this slightly. They have convinced Brock Lesnar to do a house show or two a year, something unheard of for stars of his status, not even Goldberg did house shows in the UK in 2003. The Rock also showed up at a house show a few months ago to attack Bo Dallas. However, these are very few and far between. The stars they announce are the ones that are usually there, and when they do Championship matches, it’s a 99.9% guarantee that they will retain the belt. Yes, I am aware of belts changing hands on house shows in the past, but when was the last one? For TNA it was 2014 when The Wolves picked up the tag team titles, but for WWE? That was in 2007 with the Women’s championship. Melina lost the championship to Mickie James at a house show in a triple threat match, only to drop it back to Melina the exact same night as they had a rematch later in the card. Whilst WWE recognises the title change, was there much point? It didn’t even really matter in the long run.

TV has the edge over house shows in that respect. Heck look at only this past weeks edition of RAW. Who guessed of Shane McMahon returning? CM Punks pipebomb back in 2011 is another great example. A TV show is when the production is firing on all cylinders, this isn’t a training exercise, this is game day and you’re there to witness it. They don’t just have an arena full of fans to entertain, but they’ve got ratings to win on top of it, competing against hundreds of other channels with TV shows trying to get those viewers attention too. This is why anything could happen.

At the same time, however, it is far more controlled. Everything is scripted or organised, even down to what the commentators say during matches. Whilst storylines continue on the TV shows, this doesn’t allow wrestlers to break character to interact with the fans for obvious reasons. Remember me mentioning Triple H and Benoit shaking hands after a title match? Would never have happened on TV at the time.

Television also contains breaks, even special shows or Pay Per Views have breaks in a way. Whilst house shows contain an intermission, like theatre, which lasts around 10 minutes or so, they continue the show constantly. Between matches the ring announcer acts as the MC of the night, in a way. On Television, this doesn’t happen. I remember seeing TNA live in Universal Studios back in 2006. The show started with Rhino coming to the ring claiming to have the original ECW Championship in a red bag, and ranted at the WWE’s, then, brand new ECW brand, claiming it to be a fraud, essentially. Rhino finished his promo by exclaiming that he will show the WWE that ECW is dead with a “follow me to the back” attitude. As myself, my family and the audience sat there in anticipation to see what Rhino would do, nothing happened for a good 2 minutes. Then the first match of the night started. We were all left a bit confused by what happened, and felt like the show had to stall because that’s when we’d cut to the back, but they needed the audio from the Impact Zone for the final show. Now yes, this was TNA and it was 10 years ago, granted I haven’t been to another TV show since then for any major company. But never the less, the television show just didn’t flow well.

What do you guys think? House shows for the interactivity and to see the stars cut loose and try new things? Or the unpredictability of television?

Home | Blog     

RSS Facebook Twitter Youtube

Recent Shows ...

Follow The Suplah


Latest Episode