I attended the WWE Raw live event in London, Ontario at Budweiser Gardens on Sunday night. I would guess attendance was around 6,000 people. The event ran for 2 hours, 45 minutes.
The crowd was loud for most of the night, but also quiet for some of the stale acts. Here are some quick notes on the matches and I've included some of the tweets I did during the show as well.
Here's a shot from our seats at ringside before the show began.
Byron Saxton handled the ring announcer duties for the night. Some of us chanted for Corey Graves.
1. Goldust, R-Truth, Sin Cara & Big Show defeated Primo, Epico, Bo Dallas & Jinder Mahal
It started as 3 on 4 for the faces with Goldust saying their partner was stuck in traffic. There were some comedy spots. About 10 minutes into the match, Big Show's music hit, he limped to the ring, got the hot tag and destroyed the heels. Show won with a KO Punch on one of the Shining Stars. Show was limping a lot - I think favoring the left knee. Not sure when he hurt it.
2. Neville defeated Rich Swann to retain the Cruiserweight Title
Solid match without any major high spots or dives. Neville went for an attack off the top and said he hurt his knee. The ref checked on him, called for help (no "X" sign) and Neville hit a cheap superkick on Swann when he wasn't expecting it. Neville applied his Rings of Saturn submission to retain.
3. Sasha Banks & Alicia Fox defeated Nia Jax & Dana Brooke
The crowd loved Banks and Fox had no reaction while most people wondered why she was a face. That's what happens with the Raw booking of women. There aren't enough faces. Brooke did a good job of taunting her opponents and the crowd. Jax dominated for a few minutes, tagged Brooke in, Banks got the hot tag and finished off Brooke with the Bank Statement submission to win.
4. Chris Jericho defeated Samoa Joe & Sami Zayn to retain the US Title
Best match of the night for sure. Crowd was hot for all of it and Jericho received the loudest ovation. There was a lot of time spent where two guys were in the ring, the third guy was on the floor and picked his spots to return to the action like a standard triple threat. They did a Tower of Doom spot out of the corner, which drew a big reaction like usual. For the finish, Zayn hit Joe with a Helluva Kick to knock him out of the ring and Jericho hit Zayn with a Codebreaker to win the match. Crowd loved it. I didn't time it, but felt like 12 minutes.
There were parts of the match were Jericho was outside the ring. We were yelling about how we listened to his Talk is Jericho podcast and we told people to listen to it. After the match, he thanked us for that. Any time we can impress Jericho is a good thing.
After the match, Jericho did a brief promo. Jericho said we were all his friends and put us on The List, which drew a huge ovation. The List of friendship or something to that effect.
(Intermission - They shilled merchandise and did some trivia with a fan to help pass the time.)
5. Bayley defeated Charlotte Flair to retain the Raw Women's Title
The telling thing here was the crowd was not that interested in Bayley. Her entrance drew a good pop, but there were not many chants for her or much reaction to anything she did. Charlotte's facial expressions and cockiness comes across well just like on television. Charlotte kept trying the Figure Eight, Bayley fought it off and Bayley won with Bayley to Belly. The finish came out of nowhere a bit and didn't draw much of a reaction. I like Bayley, but it's obvious the booking of her character has hurt her. They should have saved that title win for WrestleMania.
6. Gallows & Anderson defeated Xavier Woods & Kofi Kingston (w/Big E), Enzo & Cass and Sheamus & Cesaro to retain the Raw Tag Team Titles
No pre-match promo from New Day, but there was an "Ice Cream Pops" bike with them. My favorite part of the night was New Day dancing and reacting to the theme songs of the other three teams. It was hilarious. Here's New Day in-ring reaction to Anderson & Gallows. They were the third of their opponents that entered. I'm glad I recorded it and wish I recorded the two teams before them.
The match was shorter than I thought considering there were eight guys involved. It felt like it was over in under ten minutes. Some of the guys barely got into the ring. The finish happened after everybody brawled and Anderson got a rollup with tights on one of the New Day guys to get the win.
Post match, Cesaro did the Swing to Anderson to draw a big pop. After that, the New Day got the other faces to dance with them. Sheamus didn't want to, but the other guys made him. Sheamus did a quick dance that drew laughs and then they left.
7. Roman Reigns defeated Braun Strowman by disqualification
There were a lot of boos for Reigns. A lot of fans cheered him too, especially the kids. He greeted a lot of the kids around ringside. They had a solid match, but not nearly at the level of their good Fastlane match last week. I thought they would have been better served making it a Street Fight. Neither man was able to hit a finisher or get a nearfall that was believable.
Strowman went up to a little girl in the aisle and yelled at her. She was in near tears immediately after. I hope they gave her merch or something to make her feel better or she might have nightmares after that. We yelled "BRAUN" at him a bunch of times from ringside. He didn't react to it.
They went to the floor, Strowman grabbed the top half of the ring steps and hit Reigns in the head with it. The ref saw it and disqualified Strowman. Post match, Reigns made a comeback and hit two Spears to put an end to it. After the match, Reigns greeted fans around ringside and that was it. I was a bit surprised that Strowman wasn't pinned, but I guess they want to protect him even on house shows.
Kevin Owens was missed. We love our Canadian wrestlers here, obviously. He wrestled Brock Lesnar at a Smackdown brand show in New York City.
1. Chris Jericho
2. New Day
3. Enzo & Cass for their entrance
1. Roman Reigns
2. Charlotte Flair
3. Braun Strowman
It was a good show with a hot crowd for most of it. As mentioned, there were some quiet moments due to the way some performers are pushed on television. I've been to many house shows over the years in the same building. It was slightly better than average, but nothing that really stood out either. Did I have fun? Yes, of course. Live events allow a lot of freedom for the performers and they have fun with it.
Thanks for reading. My contact info is below.
John Canton – firstname.lastname@example.org