Dot Net reader Jordan Southard attended Monday’s WWE Raw in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and sent the following report.
Luke Harper appeared to injure his ankle or leg during the dark match. Though it was difficult to tell when exactly the injury occurred, he could be seen talking to the other wrestlers, who left him alone to be treated by a spare official for the remainder of the match. He was helped to the back by the rest of the Wyatt family as Reigns and the other faces celebrated to close the show.
As for the show, my friends and I arrived at the arena about an hour before the event started. After the Superstars taping concluded, the opening segment of Raw began with loud boos for Stephanie McMahon and Roman Reigns. They were smart to keep Roman’s promo short and sweet, as he didn’t offer the fans much to boo.
The opening match between Kevin Owens and AJ Styles was one hell of a treat. The two worked extremely hard despite WrestleMania being just two weeks away. I’d much prefer to see more of this than long talking segments to open the show, and the rest of the crowd seemed to agree as they were engaged the entire time.
The rest of the show, while not bad, seemed to go down hill from there. New Day is always entertaining, but they are only so interesting against a group like League of Nations. The segment adding Zack Ryder, Stardust, and Sin Cara to the IC title picture left the crowd dead silent, as the talent added seemed entirely random.
The Reigns attack, while cool to watch, wasn’t received well by the live crowd. They still booed Reigns heavily and cheered when Triple H briefly got the better of him.
As a big fan of Sasha Banks, I was disappointed that she was only on commentary. The same could be said for Becky Lynch, but the Charlotte vs. Natalya match was well wrestled and kept most fans in their seats, something I’ve noticed Divas matches have struggled to do in the past.
The Vince McMahon announcement is where the show personally disappointed me. The stipulation that this could be ‘Taker’s last WrestleMania is interesting, but Vince just dropped it casually and suddenly ended the promo. What was there was good, but we were presented with such a minimal amount of material. The fans were all waiting for more, with many expecting an Undertaker appearance after the “bitch” line. It was a big let down and continued the pattern of barebones storytelling for this match. It was after this that it dawned on our group that we had payed to see Braun Strowman in the main event…
While Dean Ambrose was especially over, the match he had with Braun Strowman wasn’t worth calling a main event in my mind. The tempo dragged and the fans threw a pretty loud “this is boring” chant at them near the end. Paul Heyman not receiving any live mic time in Philadelphia is also a crime.
After the cameras stopped rolling, Reigns music hit to a more mixed reaction, probably because many fans were more focused on clearing out. He was joined by Sami Zayn and Dolph Ziggler. The three men joined Dean Ambrose for an impromptu eight-man tag, which featured each man hitting their finishers on various Wyatt family members. Bray appeared to be cleared for action, as he worked a good chunk of the match and took a spear from Reigns for the pin.
While the show was fun, I can’t be the only one who left slightly disappointed. I realize WWE can’t expect to have big name talents like Brock Lesnar or Taker on every show, but you’d think they’d try a little harder two weeks before Mania.
Lilian Garcia announced that WWE will return to Philly on September 13th for a Smackdown taping. The presale password is WWEPHILLY