WWE Monday Night Raw 1000: 8 Notes and Stories Live from Hotel or Event
I spent from Saturday to early Tuesday morning in St. Louis, which was the site of the historic 1,000th Raw. In addition to attending the event, I was staying at the WWE hotel, which gave me a chance to meet some new folks with WWE as well as see others who I already knew.
I put together some notes of things that only I could pass on or those who were live at the event would have seen.
The Undertaker's Wardrobe Malfunction
When The Undertaker got in the ring, the momentum of his entrance to the live crowd was interrupted. He went to go take his jacket off and he couldn't get his arm out the sleeves. The big MMA style fight gloves he wears appeared to be too big for the size of the sleeves and it took several people to help get the jacket off.
The Undertaker struggled with the jacket for about 15 seconds until some stage hands and referees came over trying to help. He got one arm out, but struggled to get the second. WWE's director, of course, kept the camera shots on everything else while the commentators kept the narration going so those watching at home were left unaware.
At the 4:18 mark on the video above is where he is starting to realize he can't get out of his jacket. Around the 4:30 mark, you see Kane starting to move over towards The Undertaker to help him.
The live crowd got a laugh out of this, but quickly got back into the show when The Undertaker and Kane started beating up the six WWE superstars.
Howard Finkel Chants
Howard Finkel stood in the ring for about six minutes waiting for the commercials and promos to end and get his cue to begin his ring announcing.
During this time, huge “Howard Finkel” clap clap clap clap chants went on. As this was going on, Lilian Garcia stood up at ringside and was chanting along and waving her arms in the air to keep them going.
It was a great moment for a voice and man that is so legendary to the WWE audience.
Production and Audio Issues
Photo courtesy of TimesUnion.com
I've been present for hundreds of WWE events and the 1,000th episode of Raw had a higher volume of production issues than normal.
Every live show, wrestling or otherwise, always has things technically that don't go to plan. Its just the law of averages. The trick is to cover them up so the audience doesn't pick up on it.
There was two mishaps that were the most noticeable. One of the promotional commercials they will air to the live audience during television commercial breaks, the audio was cutting in and out—eventually causing the audience to boo.
They other mistake was as John Cena made his entrance for the WWE Championship match, Michael Cole's commentary for about three seconds got amplified over the arena speaker system. This was happening on purpose whenever they would talk to Charlie Sheen on Skype, they would make it so the whole live audience could hear Cole and Lawler's conversation with the actor. In the middle of Cena's entrance, Michael Cole's voice came aloud saying something about making history tonight.
Daniel Bryan Making the Crew Laugh During Commercial
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After the wedding segment was over and AJ was named GM, they cut to commercial but Daniel Bryan remained in the ring.
He remained in the ring screaming at the audience. While this is going on, about 20 plus crew members are trying to clean up the wedding set that Bryan had destroyed.
During this time, one crew member got in the ring and tried to roll up the carpet that was put in the ring for the wedding. Bryan was standing on the carpet not moving and began screaming at the crew guy.
This made the audience laugh as well as every other crew member at ringside laughed while Bryan safely but entertainingly pushed this 100 pound stage hand around.
The Rock and John Cena Comedy Show
Photo courtesy of Jeff Lewis
After Raw went off the air, John Cena and The Rock beat up on Big Show. Cena gave his WrestleMania 28 opponent one of his arm bands to put and do a five knuckle shuffle.
The Rock grabbed the mic and said, “Your arms are too big. Be honest, this is actually a headband that you pass off as a wrist band.”
This comedy continued between the two and everyone in the audience was laughing.
Sean "X Pac" Waltman's Excitement and Appreciation
I got goose bumps as thousands others did in the opening segment of Raw. For me, it was a mixture of seeing the reunion one of the most entertaining groups to watch as a fan and being happy for good people and some who I consider friends.
Sunday night as I'm having a conversation in the hotel, I hear this raspy voice go, “What's up Just!”
It was Sean Waltman. I hadn't worked with since our annual Kevin Nash WrestleMania party in Miami. There is a lot of things and stories that get said about Waltman, but anybody who truly knows him is aware of the positives about him. He will be the first to tell you he's made mistakes, but the guy has a tremendous heart.
We got to have several conversations over the weekend, but the one that really stood out was Monday morning. We bumped into each other before he left for the arena. Waltman had the excitement oozing off of him without actually even saying much about Raw.
He was so energized and excited for what the night was going to hold. I have been around him enough to know that he was doing his best to remain a pro, but he had that anticipation like he was a kid again and about to go shock the world by beating Razor Ramon in 1993.
Everything from the way he was with fans, seeing old buddies like Mean Gene—Waltman was extremely appreciative to be getting this opportunity to walk out to that DX music on one of the biggest shows ever.
I was happy for everyone involved but Waltman as well as Billy Gunn. The former tag champ is another guy who has always been a tremendous professional and even came on Bleacher Report with me at an after party we hosted in Chicago several months ago.
I got just two words for them—congratulations fellas!
The Disappointing Hunico
Wrestling fans who wait around at a hotel (they aren't even staying at) at all hours of the day to chase down wrestlers can get annoying. It's all about how the fan presents themselves. Show some manners and hopefully the wrestler does give you the time of day.
It was amazing to see some of the highest profile guys like Sheamus and The Miz arrive after midnight, but stop and give so many pictures.
Then there are guys like Hunico. I would think someone lower profile would want as much publicity and time with fans as possible. I'm wrong. I came back down from running up to my hotel room and crossed paths with Hunico blowing off fans, rambling in Spanish at them (he does speak English) and just all around a bad vibe to him.
Very disappointing. I hope it was just a bad night for him and some have positive experiences with him.
Sheamus Acting the Way a Champion Should
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While the fake Sin Cara blew off fans, the World Heavyweight Champion gave every bit of patience he had to the fans. He happily took pictures and signed autographs for five minutes as he slowly made his way through the hotel.
I sat with some WWE production crew members at a table as we watched Sheamus handle himself with such professionalism. Even as he was almost to the gate which only hotel residents can get through that leads to the rooms, a few last minute fans would track him down. You could tell through body language or a quick sigh, he just wanted to say no, but he didn't and was nice about it. He would set his stuff aside giving another picture and hand shake.
Sheamus handled himself the way you hope a professional and world champion would.