1/30 WWE Smackdown HOLT report in Philadelphia, Pa.: Off-TV happenings including dark match, crowd reactions for Nakamura, Bryan, Styles, attendance notes, more


PWTorch editor Wade Keller presents a special Thursday Flagship edition of the Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Podcast featuring a WrestleMania 36 Preview with ex-WWE Creative Team member and professional stand-up comedian Matt McCarthy.

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JANUARY 30, 2018

If you attend a live event, send results and notes to


(1) Naomi beat Natalya.


-I attended Raw 25, NXT Takeover, the Royal Rumble, Raw the night before this, and this event. The highlight of this weekend as the Andrade Cien Almas vs. Johnny Gargano match.

-This was the smallest crowd of all. Rumble was the most full followed by NXT Takeover and Raw. This crowd seemed more families and fewer hardcore fans. NXT was hardcore fans with more Bullet Club t-shirts. Most people were wearing John Cena merchandise at Smackdown tonight even though he wasn’t there. I talked to people who attended just this event and not any others over the weekend. If the crowd was not as into this show, it wasn’t necessarily because they were tired, but rather because the wrestlers just aren’t as over as others the previous nights.

-A.J. Styles and probably Daniel Bryan got the biggest babyface pops of the night.

-Lots of fans signs were confiscated by security during the event.

-Shinsuke Nakamura got a very big positive response, but it was louder when he eliminated Roman Reigns on Sunday. Tonight, he got a nice response that a big star would be expected to receive.

-Way more than half of the crowd left, perhaps upwards of 80 percent, by the time Drake Maverick (Rockstar Spud) was introduced by Bryan and finished his speech. I didn’t recognize Maverick at first until someone told me. I was expecting someone more well known to be introduced. I couldn’t tell how many people knew who Maverick/Spud was because he came out with Bryan.

-The advertised match between A.J. Styles and Kevin Owens with Daniel Bryan as special referee did not happen and was not mentioned.

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NOW CHECK OUT THE PREVIOUS REPORT: 1/29 WWE HOLT Report from Philadelphia, Pa.: What happened off-camera, notes on crowd reactions, Main Event TV taping quite


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