By Will Pruett, ProWrestling.net Senior Staffer (@itswilltime)
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WWE Raw Live Event
Anaheim, California at Honda Center
By Dot Net staffer Will Pruett
WWE faced some stiff competition in Anaheim this weekend, with Pixar Pier opening at the Disneyland Resort, VidCon at the Anaheim Convention Center, and the Angels playing at home. With all of this, I was not surprised to see this house show sparsely attended.
- Bobby Lashley defeated Jinder Mahal. This was a short basic match I might have appreciated more if I had known it would be one of only two singles matches on this night. Jinder was able to generate some heat on the mic before Lashley entered.
- Curtis Axel, Bo Dallas, and Mojo Rawley defeated Tyler Breeze, Fandango, and No Way Jose. I was surprised to see the heel side win this match, but the heel side contained the B Team, who have been the biggest possible babyfaces on TV in this match.
- Apollo Crews defeated Mike Kanellis. Kanellis entered with no music complaining about being left off of the show. He issued an open challenge and Crews answered. Kanellis begged off saying he really didn’t mean it and had to drive to San Diego that night. Crews got the match started and beat Kanellis in less than two minutes.
- Braun Strowman, Finn Balor, and Bobby Roode defeated Elias, Kevin Owens, and Baron Corbin. This all started with an Elias concert, which is a house show highlight. Elias introduced Owens and Corbin. The match built up to a Braun Strowman hot tag, which people were super into. Strowman destroyed everyone, finally pinning Kevin Owens.
Intermission occurred about 70 minutes into the show.
- Cedric Alexander defeated Kalisto to retain the WWE Crusierweight Championship. This was the most enjoyable match of the evening. Fans in Anaheim got into Kalisto in a big way. They were rapt with attention during this match. Alexander won a competitive match and shook Kalisto’s hand after.
- Ronda Rousey, Bayley, Sasha Banks, and Dana Brooke defeated Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan, Sarah Logan, and Alexa Bliss. At this point in the show, host Byron Saxton noted the lack of women on the show thus far. Then, he introduced an eight woman tag that amounted to less than 10% of the show spent on 51% of the population! Ronda Rousey was the Braun Strowman of this match, as it built to a hot tag to her and she destroyed some humans after. She received the biggest reaction of the night when she entered and when she finally made Liv Morgan tap to the armbar.
- Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns defeated Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre. This match was a basic house show tag main event, then the top rope randomly broke while McIntyre leaned on it. Everyone in the ring looked around and continued with the match. They all played up the top rope, using it as a fun prop. This match ended with Rollins hitting his stomp on Dolph Ziggler to win. Rollins and Reigns celebrated, including this fun moment with Rollins playing with the top rope.
— Will! (@itswilltime) June 25, 2018
My Take: This wasn’t the most enjoyable house show WWE has brought to town. The large amount of tag matches, including the pre-intermission six man tag, brought the show down. This said, WWE house shows are always fun. They do a great job bringing people into the action. I was disappointed by WWE only giving us one women’s match. They have larger women’s rosters than ever on each brand. It’s unacceptable to dedicate less than 10% of the show to women. The rest of the show was fine. The broken top tope will make this a memorable show, so that’s a plus!
Will Pruett writes about wrestling and popular culture at prowrestling.net. Of interest to him are diversity in wrestling and wrestling as a theatrical art form. To see his video content, subscribe to his YouTube channel. To contact, check him out on Twitter @itswilltime, leave a comment, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.