Live Report From Last Night’s WWE Raw
Credit: Matt Thompson and prowrestling.net:
-C.M. Punk got a huge pop to start the show, but maybe because most people were expecting the advertised MizTV segment. Love him or hate him, Punk gets a reaction from everybody. Good promo. Bad performance by Booker T here, but he got his point across.
-Very loud pop for Ryback. Not an overwhelming number of boos for Antonio Cesaro as far as I could tell. (By the way, can we please keep these two apart for a bit, as well as Randy Orton and Wade Barrett?!?!?!)
-I’m assuming they showed this on TV, but it was very cool to see Rey Mysterio, Orton and Chris Jericho make their case for facing Punk. It was cool to see WWE Active mean something throughout the show and not a five-minute vote during a commercial break.
-Painless match between Jack Swagger and Santino Marella. Santino still gets a nice ovation from the kids. I see the need to reintroduce Swagger on the flagship show, but man this was a great spot to feed Santino to Dolph Ziggler for an easy win. The guy doesn’t seem to win at all on TV lately.
-Quicker match than I expected from Cody Rhodes vs. Alberto Del Rio. And my oh my did Cody tap quick to the armbreaker! Not a great promo by Del Rio afterwards. He got a pretty loud “What” treatment from the crowd, and we really could not understand him very well where I was sitting.
-Pretty loud pop when Jerry Lawler revealed the poll winner was Jericho. I was worried Orton would win, but if that voting is accurate, great sign for Y2J.
-Bigger pop for Daniel Bryan than Rey Mysterio on the entrances. The crowd got loud for the 619s, but I don’t think a lot of people thought Mysterio was going over here. there was genuine surprise in the crowd for Mark Henry and not a lot of booing from what I could tell. The World’s Strongest Slams got big “Ooooooooooh”s each time.
-The Big Show hotel segments were interesting, if only because they’re something different. We obviously expected Del Rio to show up, but I think we all forgot about it after the room service segment. I was shocked they came back to it as late as they did around 11:00 p.m.
-Huge pop for Sheamus – bigger than Ryback in my opinion. Kane’s pyro is really cool live as you can feel the heat, and you could still smell it the entire match.
-MizTV was okay. Louder ovation than I expected for him, but I guess children just really love saying “Awwwwwwesome.” Paul Heyman is just so good on the mic, but people were tuning out after they got done booing Vickie Guerrero. An effective segment though, and I’m sure they’ll talk up Miz on-air for going toe-to-toe with Lesnar.
-Loud pop for Orton, but not as big as Ryback and Sheamus. Why are these two still wrestling on every show? (see Ryback-Cesaro). The crowd really wasn’t into this match, but the RKO is still over big time.
-No one knew who Fandango was. The Trish Stratus and Bruno Sammartino video packages got more reaction. Hell, the WWE brawling buddies commercial may have as well.
-Holy shit, what an amazing, amazing, amazing match Jericho and Punk put on! A pay-per-view quality match, in my opinion, of course I’m sure seeing it live helped. The crowd was really into the false finishes and multiple attempts at the Walls of Jericho. A well booked match.
-The Big Show is still eating dinner hours later?!?! Not a huge fan of that whole ending, but hooray for Del Rio, I guess, for getting the upper hand after the tape job last week.
-Sneaky job getting in the ring by Brad Maddox. I thought it was Justin Roberts in there until the lights came back up. The guy next to me genuinely loathes Brad Maddox. Like he-stole-my-girlfriend-and-ruined-my-life hates, and that guy barely spoke all night. Weird. I don’t know what it is about Maddox, but I love the guy on the mic. I was fully expecting John Cena to save him from The Shield only to take a mic to the back of the head from Maddox, but obviously that didn’t happen.
-Cena’s pop was hurt I think by him coming out so late in the evening. Many of the families and kids around us left after the MizTV segment and lots more followed after Punk-Jericho. Maybe saving Cena for 11:10 p.m. isn’t great. I’m sad that I didn’t get to see a Triple Powerbomb, but an effective segment for the troops rallying against The Shield and setting up the Chamber match. But why does Cena get to book matches now? Is he a “managing manager, excuse me, supervising manager, um, I mean general manager” like Booker T now?
-The three faces celebrated in the ring after the show went off the air. Sheamus took a powder and left Cena and Ryback in the ring. Punk, Ziggler, AJ and Big E Langston came out (to CM Punk’s theme, by the way) for the dark tag match. Punk destroyed one fan at ringside by yelling, “No, I am not a loser because I’m not from Atlanta! You’re the loser! You’re the loser!” which was pretty funny. Really long match from these four, considering the show ended probably about 11:15. Ryback played the babyface in peril most of the match.
Cena got the hot tag, but the ref didn’t see it thanks to a distraction from AJ. A powerslam from Langston got him ejected from Ringside after the fans tattled on him and the ref believed them. Moment’s later, AJ got tossed for slapping Cena. Cena eventually got a legal hot tag and chaos ensued. Punk finally tagged out after doing a cartwheel, and Ziggler ate the Five Moves of Doom and Cena got the pink with the AA. Ryback got a theme sendoff, then Cena stayed around for several minutes and got his theme song sendoff. Justin Roberts closed by thanking the crowd, but gave no date for WWE’s return to Atlanta.
-Nice show. No Great Khali, no Tensai, nothing painful except……. no Dolph Ziggler! I’m genuinely in love with AJ too, so it was sad to only see her in the dark segment and not at all in the ring.
The loudest pop for a babyface from what I could hear was probably Sheamus. A decent number of young fans in the crowd were on their way home by 11:05-ish, so that kept Cena from getting a louder one, and many didn’t notice him coming out of the crowd. The crowd was split on Punk, but boy he get some type of reaction from everybody. Hopefully Dolph and AJ are featured heavily on Smackdown this week since they didn’t make it to air tonight.
Must-read wrestling news:
* WWE Tweets a photo of Vince McMahon pre-surgery
* Updated WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2013
* Updated WWE Elimination Chamber Lineup
* The Rock thanks the WWE locker room for welcoming him back
* 411’s WWE Raw report