Dot Net reader Julie attended the WWE Raw show in Los Angeles, California at Staples Center on Monday and sent the following report.
I’m pretty sure it was clear Shane McMahon was loved when he started off Raw. I’ve given up trying to make sense out of the point of the WrestleMania match for control of Raw…its annoying, but if I have to pick between listening to Shane or The Authority starting off Raw, I will happily listen to Shane start off Raw, especially once Kevin Owens came out. I was really surprised to hear Owens getting booed as much as he did given the reactions I have heard for him the last few times they were here. I know his character should be booed, but usually there is a mix. I’m wondering if it was at least in part because of him feuding with Sami Zayn right now, but in any case, Owens was booed loudly.
Owens’ match against Cesaro was great, although that’s not a surprise. I was a little worried about Cesaro’s shoulder at first, but as the match kept going, I’m hoping the tape had more to do with reminding people that he had been out due to a shoulder injury to get him more sympathy since Owens targeted it so much. Cesaro had a great reaction and if they didn’t show it on tv he leaned in to a couple of groups with Cesaro Section signs. After the match Owens grabbed once of those signs tore it up and had put some of the paper in his mouth and then spit it out on the ramp. I’m not sure if that was caught or not. Great to see Cesaro back and I was glad to hear the crowd still behind him. I also enjoyed the backstage segment with Owens and Shane after the match. I think everyone did. Even though I like Owens, it was a great change to see Shane stand up to Owens and then actually following through on having him escorted out.
New Day came out to loud cheers. Not sure how much of their ringside dancing was caught during the Lucha Dragons entrance, but that was great. Not really a lot to say on the match between them and the Dudleys, but Enzo and Cass were the best part of that entire segment. The crowd was right there with them for the catchphrases and I thought they had a great back and forth. I’m glad to see them getting such a good reaction.
In between the Dudley’s leaving and Roman Reigns coming out, we knew something was up because all of a sudden a group of at what looked like at least 20 people if not more came from the back dressed all in black and since everything was still dark we had no idea what was going on. They all surrounded the ring for a minute and then walked off though the crowd. I have no idea how it came through on TV, but Roman was loudly booed by almost the entire crowd with very few cheers except for a woman in the next section over who I think had no voice left after the segment. It was actually really hard to hear Roman when the League of Nations came out and they started going back and forth. The biggest reaction came when the lights went out for they Wyatts which also explained the large group of people walking to the ring and then walking right out. Apparently, that’s the new way to hide the Wyatt family under the ring because they did it again before the main event. As much as I’ve heard people talking about the use of the Wyatts, they had a loud babyface reaction both times they were out tonight.
The match between Charlotte and Natalya was good. The new women’s title looked great. It is so nice to see what looks like a real championship title instead of something that looks like a little kids dress up butterfly belt. It was also nice to see a good and competitive women’s match on Raw that went over three minutes…although it did look like Dr. Phil may have fallen asleep at the start of it. I’m not sure if he contributed anything to commentary since it didn’t look like he had a headset on, but at the start of the match I’m guessing he was looking at his cell phone or something, but from our point of view it looked like he fell asleep in his chair. There was a huge reaction at the end of the match and I think the majority of the crowd was confused thinking Natalya won the title, but since Ric Flair yanked the ref out of the ring, I had figured it was a DQ.
The best part of the tag team match was the Bullet Club run in. As soon as Anderson and Gallows hit the ring, I was one of the people on my feet cheering, but I did hear a few people in our section asking who they were. That was answered when the crowd started a Bullet Club chant. The person sitting next to us came back right as they left through the crowd and was practically kicking himself for missing it. I’m not sure how it came through, and while not everyone knew who they were, it seemed like a lot of people did and even the ones who didn’t knew they were a big deal just from the number of people who were on their feet when the run in happened. I’m not sure if I missed something when the refs were trying to get them out of the ring or what, but there was nearly a fight between two of the refs. I couldn’t tell which two because they were on the opposite side of the ramp where it was dark, and all we could tell was they had darker hair, but they were right in each others faces and the crowd on that side started chanting at them to fight. Two other refs were trying to calm them down but it took the two of them and a security person to separate them. Security had two refs take one to the back and then he followed a few steps behind with the other one. I don’t know what caused that but it had everyone’s attention on that side which may not turn out well for either of them once they got to the back.
I loved AJ Styles vs. Sami Zayn. Both got great responses coming out. I did notice that the crowd seemed quiet at points, but from what I could tell it almost looked like they were quiet because they weren’t sure who to cheer because everyone around me looked very in to the match. They would start to cheer one and then the other would counter so then they would stop and finally a large section near us just gave up and started chanting lets go AJ, lets go Sami, so that they could cheer them both. I could barely hear the other side trying to do the same thing so I have no idea how it came through on TV, it could have sounded quiet, or you may have been able to pick up some of the cheering. I did hear a lot of comments after the match from people saying it should have been the main event. I agree.
The live crowd enjoyed the Chris Jericho and Dean Ambrose segment. For a second, I hoped that when Ambrose was going to say the name of his show they would have used Ambrose Alley in honor of The Shield segment with Roddy Piper, but I guess the Ambrose Asylum was fitting since I have one of those shirts.
There’s not a whole lot I can say about the Apollo Crews vs. Adam Rose match. It was short, Crews seemed to impress with his finisher. I think Bo Dallas is trying to compete with Xavier Woods for the loudest person at ringside during a match. I remember people talking about how loud Woods was when the New Day was first starting and some people saying it was distracting. I think Bo was the loudest one in the building both times he was out there.
In between that and the main event we saw that huge group of people in black come out and walk by the ring again so we figured the rest of the Wyatts were going to appear by the end of the match. I’m sure the match spoke for itself as far as who was booed and cheered. The move with Alberto Del Rio jumping onto Bray Wyatt’s chest looked ugly from our side. Del Rio looked like he almost fell and then he all stepping all over Brays hair as he caught his balance. I felt sorry for Bray. I thought the ending was timed perfectly with Roman hitting the spear right as Bray won the match so it probably came across as both of them being cheered together. During the match itself, the crowd actually did start cheering for Roman and chanting his name, but then would turn around and boo him. It was like all of a sudden he did something they liked and then they thought they had to boo him instead. Admittedly, in our household, I’m the wrestling fan, my son is as well, my husband can take it or leave it, but he comes along with us to the events like most men talk about having their wives come along with them. Even my husband looked at me and said this crowd needs to get consistent either they like the guy or they don’t. I agree. Reminded me of Wrestlemania Axxess last year when a guy who started out behind us and was trashing Roman, yet he paid for a VIP ticket to meet him, and then cut the line to get ahead of us just to smile, shake Roman’s hand, and pose with his fist out like The Shield for a picture with him.
Of course, since the Wyatts had been in the babyface role being cheered against the League of Nations all night, we had a dark match that put Roman, AJ, and Dean against the Wyatts, who I guess were heels for one match. Either way it was a fun quick match that ended with Dean getting the pin with Dirty Deeds. It made me happy. Dean stayed out the longest out of the three and was on top of the announce table and all around ringside shaking hands.
I know they showed Seth Green during the show, but it looked like two of the Four Horsewomen, Jessamyn Duke and Shayna Bazler, were also in their usual ringside spot. One of them caught Dolph Ziggler’s shirt at the start of the night for the Superstars taping. Several wrestlers stopped to shake their hands throughout the night. We also saw Paige come out briefly talking to security and it seemed like she was looking for someone in the crowd, but she did wave to the crowd once they noticed her there.
I’m not sure if Staples Center sold out, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they did. I didn’t see an empty row even up at the top of the arena. They also announced a return on June 18 for a Saturday event, that I believe they said is the day before the Money in the Bank pay per view. The pre-sale runs until Thursday at 10 pm with the password WWEVIP.