WWE Raw/Smackdown onsite report: Notes on attending back to back shows, the difference in crowd sizes, and the fan reaction to various wrestlers

Dot Net reader Daniel Murphy attended the WWE Raw and WWE Smackdown in Manchester England on Monday and Tuesday and sent the following report.

Starting with Raw, a full 15,000 sell out, only part of hard camera side closed off.

Raw started with Miz and Co live in ring, prior to the show beginning however when he came out there were massive cheers for Miz. Bo Dallas chants also rang out around the arena. Raw went live and Miz was in fine form, quick witted replies to fan chants of “Who’s your daddy?”, they were very loud live!

Kurt Angle got a massive reception, which was deserved. The segment ended, nothing else of note.

Jason Jordan was booed out the building, it was so much louder live. The audio team were busy! The match wasn’t over at all and the weak finish didn’t help – think a bigger shot with guitar was wanted, not a weak one to the back.

The Asuka match was a quick squash. Very over.

Samoa Joe and Finn Balor were both over and the match was incredible. They worked a better match in Blackpool a few years ago on NXT, still great to see them crushing it!

News of Jason Jordan being on team Raw went down like a lead balloon.

Sasha Banks and Bayley vs. Nia Jax and Alicia Fox saw a lot of people leave for bathroom/drinks, good paced match.

Braun Strowman was massively over, a lot of people doing his taunt as he come out, funny! Kane was also over but fans weren’t keen on the little back and forth they had.

Enzo Amore was over when he come out, but Pete Dunne got the reaction of the night when his music hit. A lot of the kids were asking “whos that” but the older fans were all over it. Amazing too see him get a chance on Raw, hopefully a platform to something bigger.

The Shield were over and The Bar were booed by the locals for wearing Liverpool kits, a quality showing in this Liverpool native’s opinion. The match itself was good but New Day’s theme playing sent the place crazy. A lot of people missed the finish so were confused, but it was good to get a title change.

After the cameras finished rolling, The Shield hit a couple of double powerbombs on The Bar and left the audience happy.

As for Tuesday’s Smackdown, only bottom tier was open with approximately 9,000 in attendance.

The show opened hot with Shane McMahon, who was over. New Day was also over, as was Kevin Owens, who had to work hard to get boos from the fans. Sami Zayn took a beating from the live crowd, which had fewer kids than Raw, which made for a better atmosphere.

The Kofi Kingston vs. Sami Zayn match was slow starter. Big E kept us going by getting the New Day rocks chants going. The finish was not expected. KO was in the ring by the count of two so thought it would be a DQ rather than clean win. I’m not sure if he messed up the timing or what.

Rusev was over and there were chants of “we want Lana” and “Rusev day” that were edited out from what I could tell. Randy was not over. Apart from the RKO, he needs repackaging, a main event run otherwise he will slip to nothing because he isn’t connecting with the fans.

The Becky Lynch vs. James Ellsworth match was five minutes longer than it needed to be. Not really over with the fans.

I’m not sure what happened with the Usos., There was a lot of confusion amongst the fans in attendance as well. One of the Usos was helped to the back, so I hope he is okay.

AJ Styles was so over. No one was expecting the title change, so there was genuine shock on a lot of peoples faces as the ref got to the third count. Once it set in, the place was unglued.

A few random thoughts. Too many adults have £400 replica WWE titles/MITB briefcases. One guy in the row in front of me was telling people walking past to be careful not to touch his belt. Enzo is quality on the mic and always bites back to chants. It was fun to see him again. John Cena heavy on the merch stands. Pete Dunne needs a push. The staff at the arena are amazing. Following the tragedy in May, security stepped up but fans took it seriously and gave the staff the respect they deserve. RIP to the victims.


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