I have just returned from London on a trip to see my first ever broadcast WWE show, so I thought I would regale the B/R Wrestling section with my thoughts from this Monday night's RAW.
This won’t be a recap, as most of you will either have watched or read what happened, more of an opinion of the show as a whole.
I will be discussing some matches that will be aired on WWE Superstars, so if you don’t want to hear the results of them I will make it clear when not to read.
The atmosphere at the event was fantastic. This was not my first WWE event, but it was the first time I was seeing a broadcast show.
The WWE doesn’t come to England often, so the spectacle is well appreciated by the fans, and it showed.
Before the event I had arranged to meet up with fellow B/R writer Ste Eccles. I was with friends anyway, but the more the merrier. We had a chat, some beers, and parted ways to watch the show.
We also bumped into another couple of guys we knew before hand, and wished them an enjoyable evening.
The seats we were allocated were not the best. We were at the back of a tier that was oval in shape, and was almost directly facing the titan tron. So we were pretty far away.
We then employed a tactic I would not advise; we spotted some house seats which had been left empty in a very nice location, left ours and headed for them.
After a couple of minutes walk around the arena we found “our” new seats, and the show began.
William Regal started off in a dark match against Dolph Ziggler, and in classic home advantage style romped over the young man.
The crowd was really behind Regal, which was great to see. Although he is a heel he has been a good wrestler over the years, so it was nice to see his countrymen respect him.
Then Jericho came out, and his segment with Steamboat and Cena began. Nothing out of the ordinary, and the resultant match at Backlash was booked.
Batista vs. Chavo followed, of which I missed two Batista bomb’s due to a much needed trip to the toilet. We joined Batista in his “gunner” entrance, which gained some peculiar looks from other fans.
I got a text from Ste Eccles saying how bad his seats were, so encouraged him to come and join us over in the house seats.
A few minutes later he arrived, and was more than impressed at our acquisition.
Kane vs. Punk was a surprise because they are both SmackDown wrestlers.
Punk botched the roll up at the end and scored a massively unconvincing three count. Following this the referee called the two back in the ring to shoot the bit again, because it was so bad the first time.
He managed to do it with the second attempt, which is probably the one that was broadcast.
That didn’t exactly provide a sense of realism to the attending fans, and the cheers received by them was acknowledging of this fact.
The show as a whole was very broken in this respect. On a few occasions filming would cease, and Lillian Garcia would have to rally the audience again before it could continue.
Again, this took away a sense of realism.
I know it’s a TV show, and despite how it was billed it was by no means live, but it was taken a little too far sometimes.
One thing I will say about watching a WWE event is that you cannot appreciate the magnitude of people there until you are in attendance. Half way through the show one of my friends turned around, and in awe, realized that there was a whole other tier above us.
It was very impressive to look up toward the nosebleeds.
Despite what I have heard from the online community, the Santino/Beth Phoenix segment was pretty amusing. The following match with Melina and Beth was also very good, with a great finisher by Melina.
Cena and Jericho put on a great match, and the Edge segment at the end was incredible.
The con-chair-to followed by Edge’s seething remarks was fantastic.
Big Show vs. Rey Mysterio was OK, not too much else to say on the matter.
At this point some very confused looking arena staff walked over to us looking to seat some fans where we were sitting.
We protested our innocence and they were seated elsewhere. A very close call nonetheless.
Then Randy Orton faced Triple H in a rematch of WrestleMania contested under no disqualifications.
There were some great spots throughout this match, ending with an RKO amidst the carnage of interruptions from Legacy, Batista, and Shane McMahon.
That brought and end to the RAW proceedings.
Following a quick turn around of equipment and announcing staff, the taping for Superstars began.
The first match was Kane and The Big Show against CM Punk and Rey Mysterio, all of whom had fought earlier in the evening.
The match was not bad, but at this point the crowd had died, and it was hardly worth getting behind.
Big Show choke slammed Punk to pick up the victory.
Edge then fought Kofi Kingston, with both putting on a great performance. I would like to say I could remember some highlights of that match but I was far too drunk at this point.
The WWE had suckered the fans into staying this long by promising a dark match of Edge vs. Cena for the World Heavyweight Championship.
Cena came out almost as soon as Edge had beaten Kofi, and the match ended almost as quickly as Batista’s.
The fans were undeniably upset, but what can you expect from a dark match.
Following a run to the tube station we caught a train and our WWE experience came to an end for the evening.
I thoroughly enjoyed myself and would encourage anyone reading to experience it for themselves.
However, don’t walk home at gone midnight shouting wrestling chants, as disgruntled Londoners apparently like to throw porn DVD cases at you.
That was an amusing surprise.
For anyone confused the picture above is of London’s O2 Arena, where last night’s RAW took place.