I was in attendance at the LG Arena last night for the RAW tour show, and thought I’d give a little report on what occurred.
This was an experiment for me personally last night. My girlfriend hates the fact that I watch wrestling, as it is apparently my “dirty little secret." Obviously, no one knows where we were last night! However, it was my girlfriend who purchased the tickets as a surprise treat for me, so I have to keep on reminding her that it was her own choice to go and see, “all those silly men wearing those stupid tiny pants."
I’ve only ever been to two WWE shows in the past, back around the 2002-03 time period. The best matches I’ve ever seen are: Edge versus Christian in a steel cage and Stone Cold versus The Rock, both in the MEN Arena in Manchester, UK. Rock Vs Stone Cold was particularly memorable as they had a fantastic verbal contest after the UK PPV went off air.
The setup in the arena was pretty basic as you’d expect for a house show. There was only one set of pyrotechnics at the very start of the show, introducing the first combatant, R-Truth.
R-Truth Vs Alex Riley
R-Truth is probably one of the best ways to start a show like this. He came out to his old “What’s Up?” routine, which goes down as a treat with the youngsters in the audience. I did notice that the crowd was literally made up of families with young children. Puts it all into perspective, really.
The crowd was well into R-Truth and there was a pretty good reaction to Alex Riley, too. Riley is definitely going to be a big star one day. He just has a presence about him, and really knows how to play up to the crowd. The action in the ring was pretty pointless and a sign of things to come for the rest of the night. I swear, I have never seen so many punches thrown in my entire life!
It goes without saying that R-Truth won this one. Our seats were right by the entrance aisle, which was fantastic for getting really close to the superstars, which I’ll return to later! To be fair to R-Truth, I’ve never been a big fan of his even when he was K-Kwik. However, I do have to admit that I am more impressed with his work after seeing him live.
Santino Marella and Valdimir Kozlov Vs The Uso’s
This started off with the usual “dance-off." I hate these segments with a passion, but it all changes when you’re actually in the crowd, surrounded by an eclectic mix of fans. I didn’t find the little routine from Kozlov and Marella too bad at all, to be perfectly honest. Plus, it was nice to see the Uso’s just batter them both straight over.
I liked what I saw from the Uso brothers. It's just a shame the way they have been used since they originally came onto the scene. I Definitely think they could be doing a job for a main event superstar, supporting them through tag team action.
Kozlov’s offence in this match was awful. He basically pushed and prodded his way through the encounter. Santino added some real good humour to this match, almost falling into the ring, trying to stretch for the tag, avoiding contact with the Uso’s and then unleashing a double Cobra to finish them off.
This was another quick match, which was good for my girlfriend. She enjoyed the entrances of the wrestlers more than the actual wrestling. Think it was the rush to get to the front and be able to touch the superstars that was the appeal!
Ezekiel Jackson Vs Zack Ryder
Yet another squash match; Big Zeke truly is an absolute beast! No point talking about this at all, apart from the fact that I’d caught the buzz of trying to slap hands with one of the wrestlers and managed to get a good slap on Big Zeke!
Woo, Woo, Woo. I appreciated seeing Zack, but he put in absolutely no offence. I almost felt sorry for him, being made to look so weak. I hope they have something in mind for Jackson, because I am going to get bored of him squashing superstars quickly.
Goldust Vs Ted Dibiase
This is the one match that I will never forget! Goldust came out to a large pop. He really is appreciated by the fans, without doubt. He came straight over to where we were standing and slapped hands with my girlfriend with venom! I was loving it. She was busy moaning about how hard he’d hit her hand, and then decided to go to the toilet whilst these two were fighting.
It was a really good wrestling match for a House Show. They got the majority of their signature moves in and it ended when Goldust hit "Shattered Dreams."
This is where it got interesting. My girlfriend was back and standing in her position ready to get another piece of Goldie'. He came straight over, where my girlfriend proceeded to grab him and plant a kiss right on his cheek! I couldn’t believe I was standing so close to the great man himself, so I didn’t take a picture!
Really, I wish I could have got a picture, just to show all of her friends who didn’t know where she was. I had to quickly shut my girlfriend up as she shouted, "I don’t even like wrestling" and, "He stunk of sweat!"
Daniel Bryan Vs William Regal
Excellent matchup. I really think it’s likely that this will be on Raw on Monday. The crowd was split pretty much 50-50. Everyone appreciated Daniel Bryan, a lot of chants for him, but you have to remain loyal to your own at the end of the day!
Regal is looking rather flabby these days, but he hasn’t lost it! It was a nice back and forth match, with a lot of emphasis on submissions, as you’d expect. Bryan ended up escaping the Regal Stretch and won with the LaBell Lock.
It would definitely be worth the WWE pitting these two off against each other again on Monday night. Matt Striker has already mentioned on air that Regal should take most of the credit for Bryan’s training, so there is background for why they should be facing off. The crowd in Manchester on Monday will likely react in the same way, which would be really good TV.
It was fantastic hearing the support for Daniel Bryan, even against Regal, he was getting strong pops and a lot of chants. The WWE can turn him into a major star.
Lovely to see William Regal raising Bryan’s hand at the end, and applauding him all the way back up the aisle. Touch of class is Mr. Regal.
Wade Barrett Vs Randy Orton
I was really surprised with the reaction Wade got. It was a complete chorus of boos. I was ready and prepared to support the big man on his return to the UK, yet all the little kids decided to boo! I was slightly disappointed, especially as the Nexus t-shirt was selling like hot cakes. The “N” t-shirt seemed to be very popular alongside the purple John Cena effort and Miz’s “Hello, I’m Awesome” t-shirt, which I’m wearing right now!
Wade has the look and demeanour of a big star, and I was grateful to have seen him up close and personal.
Randy Orton was amazing. I am not a fan of Randy’s, and get quite bored by his wrestling, to be honest. But I have to take my hat off to him, the fans love him. The wrestling itself was pretty standard for the night, a lot of punches and clotheslines.
Until the referee got knocked out, Barrett took Orton out with the WWE Championship and then Cena was ordered down to make the count. Orton kicked out, and after an argument between Barrett and Orton, hit the RKO for the win. I Really don’t expect this to be the outcome at Survivor Series, as my previous article details, but it's obviously the desired outcome for the kids in the crowd.
Afterwards, Orton took ages celebrating with the fans, and even went out of his way to go over to a few disabled spectators for a chat and pictures. It was a really nice touch and he went up in my estimation. He was the only superstar to really make an effort.
Next was an intermission where Justin Roberts threw a couple of Raw Tour t-shirts into the crowd.
Alicia Fox, Maryse and Tamina Vs Eve Torres and The Bella Twins
I’m not going to bore you by talking about this. They gave them far too long, although the Bellas actually were not as bad as I expected. All I remember about this match is my girlfriend going on and on about how awful Maryse’s hair extensions are.
One of the Bellas picked up the win after what looked like a lot of bum rubbing. Yes, I said bum rubbing.
This match killed the crowd, and I’ll admit I was actually starting to get a little bit drained at this point. I felt for a lot of kids in the crowd, they were clearly starting to lag slightly. It was a real buzz killer, giving the Diva’s so long in the ring.
Sheamus Vs John Morrison
This was the best match of the night and Morrison was definitely performer of the night. The crowd was well into this match, though it took a while after that poor Diva’s showing.
Sheamus was amazing. He just plays his role so well, and the looks he gives are fantastic, especially when acknowledging a “Sheamus” chant that was started around me.
Morrison didn’t look 100 percent polished in the ring, though it was a pleasure to see something different. The crowd expected him to come out on top, but after a little temper tantrum from Sheamus, Morrison went for "Starship Pain." He failed to hit it and Sheamus finished him with the Brogue Kick. Finally, one of the heels went over and deservedly so! The other two Brits had been defeated tonight, so nice for one of our own to win!
The Miz Vs John Cena
This was the main event and it was truly awesome. Miz cut a really good promo, probably his standard house show performance where he stops everyone joining in with his catchphrase. He is The Miz and he is awesome. I don’t care what anyone says about his in-ring work, he was one of the most outstanding wrestlers on show tonight. He outshone John Cena easily.
The atmosphere was electric throughout this one and was basically all in favour of Cena. The Miz tried to hit Cena with his briefcase, but ended up taking out Riley before an AA ended proceedings.
I didn’t stick around as we had a lift waiting for us, and I am not a major Cena fan anyway, so can’t confirm whether or not anything else happened after this. Once Miz and Riley had exited, so did I!
I enjoyed my experience and took so many photos/videos, it’s unbelievable. I’m just in the process of uploading them all to YouTube.
In the future, I think I’d like to attend an actual TV taping or go to the States to watch the Royal Rumble or Wrestlemania! I respect the superstars completely and it is understandable that they took their foot off the gas during house shows, but I don’t think I’d want to see that sort of action again. It was a pleasure to be able to see the superstars in real life, but it was quite boring to see the same match over and over again.
Best superstars of the night were R-Truth, Goldust, Daniel Bryan, Sheamus, John Morrison and The Miz.
I’m sorry that this has been a poor recollection, but I’ve hardly slept and am almost blind from looking at all the poor photo’s I took on my iPhone. Please ask questions in the comments for further information. If you want to read something half articulate, then please check out my previous articles that do actually make sense.