The elements didn't work in WWE's favor Saturday.
In a rare weather twist, Phoenix saw rain. Enough rain to need to move the Fan Axxess festivities indoors. This caused come confusion and delay, as was to be expected. After all, you had to not only move the ring inside, but logistically figure out how the entire event would be run with less space. The U.S. Airways Center and WWE did a good job of moving everything along as quickly as they could. Once fans were allowed inside, they were greeted with free bowls of Fruity Pebbles (no kidding) and lots of action from NXT, including an eight-man tournament for a spot in the Royal Rumble, which Bo Dallas ultimately won. In between the NXT matches, appearances from WWE superstars such as Triple H, Kofi Kingston, Ryback, The Miz, Antonio Cesaro and others were sprinkled in.
The event I was most looking forward to were the "Shooting Straight" Panels. On Saturday, one panel revolved around the Montreal Screwjob (featuring Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels) and the other around DX (featuring HBK, Triple H, XPac, Billy Gunn and Road Dogg).
If you are a hardcore fan who enjoys shoot interviews and as much insider/backstage pro wrestling information as possible, these panels are both refreshing and informative. Especially with the WWE’s recent DVD releases, the curtain has been pulled even further back and a wider base of fans have been exposed to stories that for the most part never left the locker room. These panels were no different. The conversation did not feel restricted and there was a healthy balance of information, stories and humor. Much of it also didn't feel repetitive. If you watched the "Bret vs. Shawn" DVD, you still learned a lot from watching the panel (likewise with the DX panel).
No subject was too taboo, either. The DX members talked a healthy amount about Chyna, both to rib Triple H and XPac and to explain how invaluable she was in that situation.
If you want a blow-by-blow of both panels, check my Twitter timeline @arda_ocal.
Also, check out my two short interviews from Axxess:
Ryback loves the idea of breaking Kane's Rumble Record:
AJ Lee wishes she was still GM and her initial reaction when it was presented to her that she would get "dumped" on:Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times