By Jason Powell, Prowrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Dot Net reader Michal Gaikowski attended Monday’s WWE Raw in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and sent the following report.
The crowd was pretty full with scattered spots behind the hard cam. They opened up the upper deck on camera side that was scattered with cheap seats.
-This is the third time WWE has been at Sioux Falls in this new arena. It seemed like they tested the market with a house show two years ago then had a terrible Smackdown last year, but a lot of people were pumped to have Raw here. Given the attendance, I see this place continuing to be a stop once or twice a year but probably not for a pay-per-view.
-The crowd was split for Roman Reigns during the first of the many times he came out. He was in three total talking segments for us and two matches. By the time of his Revival tag match, no one around me seemed to care about him anymore with a bunch of groans, as there was an advertised dark match with him in it too that never happened. Drew McIntyre is a future star…that guy has everything to go far and I hope he does. The biggest pop was for Seth Rollins all night long. He was the only guy the audience really liked all the time.
-Matt Hardy vs. Curtis Axel was fun live. During what I think was the commercial break, Curtis and Bo hugged a lot and they did a lot of comedy. It went longer then people probably wanted. There was a little 6 year old kid by me who hated Hardy – so that’s a first.
-Titus O’Neil and Apollo Crews were squashed by the Authors of Pain. The crowd didn’t know who to cheer for as they booed both teams during their entrances, so we just sat there and let the match happen at us.
-Reigns and Rollins vs. McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler was easily the match of the night. It built up well and set up a better program for Roman than Lashley. The crowd would stay behind him more if he was feuding with McIntyre rather than Lashley, but to each their own. A fun chant of “We Want Roman/No We Don’t” broke out.
-Baron Corbin had a lot of eye rolls when he called Finn Balor a twerp. Around me the crowd turned on the segment with that. Corbin just looks so robotic and all Finn can do is smile and recite zingy one-liners. This feud is DOA.
-Ember Moon beating Liv Morgan was fun but Sioux Falls is filled with casual fans that didn’t even know the name of either woman. Ember had some impressive offense and Liv even did a head scissors that popped the crowd between her headlock restholds.
-The Revival vs. Reigns and Lashley was a disaster. During the Revival run-in earlier, there were a bunch of people making sure their path was clear and clean demanding the security staff clean up the spills with rags and making sure anyone in the path move right away even if they were on their way to the bathroom. This was a glorified segment rather than a match. The crowd came to life only one time briefly as we were just sick of seeing Roman (and hearing his music) by then.
-I can see why No Way Jose is there. Once that third hour hits this crowd was tired. We had just seen nothing but Roman for two hours and still had an hour before anything else worthwhile would happen. The crowd around me liked to stand up and move around during his entrance.
-Nia Jax vs. Mickie James – Mickie James was the only person that sold and played up her character during commercial breaks or when the cameras were off of her. She’s great. Nia is not. The crowd was so confused whether to cheer or boo her that they did both at first then stopped, but that’s what happens when you turn her heel for three weeks without an angle and then turn her face the same way. Nia just lumbers around the ring.
-The crowd loved Braun Strowman vs. Kevin Owens and looking at the time I knew right away Owens would just run away. The porta-potty was a silly spot. A lot of us around were wondering why he would drag it all the way across the arena just to tip it an extra two feet versus tipping it right away.
-The advertised tag team dark match main event didn’t happen. After the cameras went off, Braun posed a bit and the light’s came up and that was it. After the show, a bunch of people hung out behind the arena but Ziggler, Rollins, Reigns, and McIntyre had already left. I don’t blame them with the forth of July, but it still stunk we didn’t get to see them at all. Bobby Lashley came out into the crowd for selfies. Mickie James came out later with Alicia Fox but that was it.
-While it may have been an average show on TV it was fun live. If I was that tired after two hours into the main show, I could only imagine going to a WrestleMania, being further away, and having to sit through seven hours of that!