By Jason Powell, Prowrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Dot Net reader Bryan Metro “From the Iceman Commeth” attended Monday’s WWE Raw in Detroit, Michigan at Little Caesar’s Arena and sent the following report.
Hello there. I have been a wrestling fan my entire life (first event was Wrestlemania 3) and Monday’s show was by far the worst night I have ever experienced at a WWE event. I don’t know if Detroit was being punished for something, but WWE really let the live crowd down. I’m not sure if this rant is because I am fighting the Superflu, but The Manhattan Center no longer has anything to complain about. Local advertising all month was pushing John Cena, Roman Reigns, Brock Lesnar, Ronda Rousey, and a probable dark match main event of Cena, Reigns, Braun Strowman, and Seth Rollins vs. The Miz, The Bar, and Kane.
-The crowd was hot at the opening as most Detroit crowds tend to deliver. Kurt Angle was over huge and Reigns got more cheers than boos. There was initial disappointment that Lesnar announced he would not be there because everybody sorta thought he would do a run in sneak attack.
-The crowd popped big at the sight of Vince McMahon, but the follow up interview fell flat with the live audience as most realized that they wouldn’t be seeing Roman or Lesnar again. There was also a very loud “We can’t hear you” chant during Vince’s interview that came across on live TV after watching my DVR.
-Miz TV was Miz TV. The Miz attempted to get heel heat but the crowd wasn’t buying, being 50/50. Rollins was over, but Finn Balor had a surprising amount of boos when he spoke. Also of note, after the Kid Rock Hall of Fame announcement there were a smattering of boos also, which is surprising given it was in Detroit.
-The undercard tag team brawl was well received by the crowd probably because it was finally some in-ring action.
-The Cena promo… If anything could justify a ticket tonight, this was it. The hottest the crowd was all night. He had us in the palm of his hand. I know a lot expected Undertaker to appear, but I kept my expectations low so I wasn’t that disappointed when he didn’t. Although I would have appreciated a light show. The fact that Cena brought up Taker’s wife’s Instgram gave me the thought that we may not be getting “Deadman” Taker. Segment of the night.
-After that (all within the first hour), the crowd knew no more Reigns, no Lesnar, no Taker, and no more Cena (till the dark match). And it showed. Seth vs. Balor was an “on-paper” pay-per-view match but never really kicked into another gear. The crowd was dead and didn’t know who to cheer for. They seemed to be holding back a lot, although the finish was great.
-After that it all became a blur. Video package after video package. A women’s match with no WrestleMania implications followed by another women’s match with no WM implication, this one featuring a jobber, more video packages, backstage segment. The crowd was restless waiting for something to actually happen.
-The Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt video package was well received, although many in the crowd thought it was happening at this Raw. I was surprised they went with the undercard tag team battle royal as the main event. Possibly the worst main event in years. The crowd was chanting Rhyno the entire commercial break, so let’s eliminate him at the beginning. Braun winning was obvious as soon as he came out, which is fine.
-Final thoughts: Oh, don’t let me forget. They never did the announced eight-man dark main event. Even if it was a 5 minute exhibition with everybody hitting their spots the crowd would have at least had something extra. But no. When the show went off the air, the show ended. I don’t know who in Detroit pissed off the WWE but this was lackluster of the highest degree. It really seemed like a “lets keep everybody healthy for WrestleMania show”. So to recap, five minutes of Angle, three minutes of Reigns, five total matches (including a 45 second squash) no Lesnar or Rousey, who were both advertised, no Triple H and Stephanie McMahon rebuttal, and no dark main event. Yeah, I would say this was the worst show in Michigan WWE has put on.
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The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Will Pruett on the Roman Reigns whodunnit angle, WWE heading into SummerSlam, AEW's October 2 premiere on TNT, the New Japan Pro Wrestling G1 Climax Tournament through Day 11, and more (77:45)...