by Dustin Smothers (@SmoHawk)
Last night Des Moines played host to WWE’s Smackdown Live television show. Which is the second longest running episodic program in television history. Were you aware?
As an Iowan, and more specifically, a central Iowan, you can guarantee one, maybe two visits a year from WWE. We’ve been spoiled in recent years. We’ve gotten two Monday Night RAW episodes in the lead up to WrestleMania. One featured Bret Hart getting run down, and the other featured Sting making an appearance and speaking in a WWE ring for the first time!
We’ve also gotten several Memorial Day episodes of RAW, as well as the Christmas edition of Smackdown. Throw in a few house shows here and there, as well as last Fall’s NXT show and you can’t really complain. As an Iowan, I’ve always accepted that if I want to see bigger events I’m going to have to travel to Chicago, the Twin Cities, Kansas City, St. Louis or Omaha. Let’s face it, Souled Out 1997 is probably the only pay-per-view the state of Iowa is ever going to see. It doesn’t have to be that way though, but if last night is any indication it will be.
I’ve been to well over 50 plus WWE events in my lifetime. I’ve been apart of some incredibly hot, enthusiastic crowds. I’ve also been apart of some pretty dead, quiet crowds. Want to know what all those dead, quiet crowds had in common? They were in Des Moines.
Now, last night wasn’t the best show WWE could have put on, that is on them. What is on us, as a local fan base, is our decision to sit on our hands, and give absolutely zero fucks about anyone not named Nakamura, Orton or Styles. I sat there, watching American Alpha and Epic and Primo Colon try to put on a good match to the sound of crickets last night, not for a lack of trying on myself and several others parts.
I sat and watched Jack Gallagher and Neville absolutely kill themselves to put on a good match while the crowd dicked around and chanted boring. Boring??? Neville and Gallagher are far from boring.
Let’s also talk about this 12-year old that was sitting next to me calling The Ascension “gay” or saying Alicia Fox was “ugly” or telling Jinder Mahal to go back to where he came from. Is this the future of the fan base in Des Moines? I sure hope not. I should also mention his parents sat there gleefully laughing along at all the nastiness coming from his young mouth.
Sorry for the rant, but my point is, if we want WWE to bring us quality, we’ve got to show up ready to give them a quality response. It astounds me the number of people who pay anywhere from $15-$500 to come to a WWE event and sit in silence. Get up and cheer, boo, DO SOMETHING!!
I’m sure several of you are ready to show up at my house with pitchforks and tell me that this isn’t our fault, it’s the WWE’s fault. To an extent you are correct, but we’ve got to be vocal for something. Sitting in silence isn’t going to let them know you don’t like it, they are just going to take that to mean we are a bunch of boring hicks who are just happy to be at the circus on a Tuesday night.
Moral of the story is this, can we please make sure we show up ready to cheer, ready to be excited?? For the second time soon, the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament is coming to Des Moines. We are getting Metallica in Newton this Summer. Big events know that Des Moines and central Iowa is growing and capable of hosting big events. We are never going to host a Summerslam, or Royal Rumble but don’t tell me we couldn’t be hosting that Backlash pay-per-view next month.
Anyway, had to get that off my chest. I implore you all to come out next time and show them why Des Moines deserves a chance to host a big show. Show them that we are just as passionate as KC, STL, Chicago or any other Midwest city. I believe in us, and we can make them believe in us too.
Peace out, you’re all #TOOSWEET