WWE Raw Live Event (Chattanooga, Tenn.)
Report by Dot Net reader Jagadeesan T
First things first, this is my first live wrestling event ever. Being from India and following WWE(F) for over 15 years, it has always been only in my dreams to experience the action in live. I had tickets for WWE Smackdown tapings at Chicago back in April ’10 but had to give away my tickets because I had fly back a week before the show. And this time, I had all my 20 fingers crossed to ensure I experience it. And yes, I did it. Just being back from the UTC Mckenzie Arena, Chattanooga, Tenn. where the WWE Raw crew pulled off a nice show. Not a really great show yet it was entertaining in parts.
The show kicked off with some technical difficulties as R-Truth’s music was played (despite he was not even in the show). After Tony Chimel had to apologize for the problems, Mark Henry’s music was played and the Chattanooga crowd were on their feet to get started with the show. William Regal was his opponent who could not really generate any heat as the crowd seem to have already forgotten who he is, as he rarely appears on the television.
1. Mark Henry beat William Regal. I expected a good wrestling match considering Regal was in it. But it was a four-minute squash match which had nothing for Regal to do in it, as Henry won with a worlds strongest slam.
2. The Bella Twins beat Maryse and Alicia Fox. I couldn’t help myself from cheering for Maryse though she tried her best in generating some heat (damn, she is the too hot to boo). The match provided quite good chance for all four divas to have some offense. After around seven minutes of action, the faces pulled off a win with a X-factor (I know, thats only when X Pac does it. but they don’t have a name for the move when the Bellas do it).
After the match, Eve Torres was introduced and she had the job of asking the trivia question to choose the guest time keeper for the next match. The tricky question was what is the name of the next WWE PPV and a kid at ringside really had to use wikipedia to find the answer for the question.
3. Yoshi Tatsu defeated Zack Ryder. Tatsu hardly had any talent in keeping the crowd alive as half the crowd went out for a drink as the match started. The GM chime rang in Chimel’s blackberry and the GM felt the live audience deserves to watch a dance off (damn, is that a punishment or a reward). Tatsu was the first to dance. He was actually performing some karate actions. Before he could finish his dance, Ryder kicked him and the match started. Tatsu won in eight minutes.
4. Tyson Kidd defeated David Hart Smith. The crowd totally forgot that Kidd is a heel already and they were constantly cheering for him. Hell, the crowds confusion was clearly seen when David Hart Smith entered the arena next. As Smith was trying to get his hands on Kidd, he consistently kept running out of the ring and I’m sure the crowd realized by this time that Smith is the guy we are suppose to root for. This was quite a lengthy match for the action involved in it. After around 15 minutes of back and forth action and more chases outside the ring, Kidd rolled over Smith and pulled his tights for a pin. This was actually the first match of the night when the ropes were even used for some suplexes.
5. Santino Marella and Vladimir Kozlov defeated Husky Harris and Michael McGillicutty (w/David Otunga) to retain the WWE Tag Titles. I was on my feet to get a glimpse of Cobra. Otunga tried giving some speech. I guess he was trying to badmouth at Tenn. but I hardly heard what he said. It was so unclear. McGillicutty then grabbed the mic and said they are brining the tag titles to were they belong – The Nexus. But the bottom line is crowd hated the Otunga to the core. Santino and Kozlov entered next and the match started. There was more filler in the match than action. Otunga was ejected from ringside for God only knows what reason. After thousands of Cobra teases from Santino, he finally nailed it on Michael for a pin.
That was the end of the first hour and a 10 minute break was given. A small speech from Tony Chimel about the WrestleMania at Atlanta and some t-shirt throws from Eve were used as a filler at that point.
6. Daniel Bryan (w/The Bellas) defeated Ted DiBiase (w/Maryse) to retain the United States Title. It was a 17 minutes match but a disappointment for me as a viewer as hardly any of their moves connected. I could see even from the last row that they are not touching each other. But the best thing about this match was two funny spots. First was when Bryan pulled down the tights of DiBiase exposing his ass. Am not sure if that is considered PG but DiBiase kept running around the arena with the exposed butt and he finally pulled his tights up after a minute.
After he got back to the ring, Bryan took him on his shoulders and kept spinning for more than minute. It was truly amazing to see the length of time he was actually doing it. DiBiase was giddy enough to roll over the referee Charles Robinson for a pin and Bryan counted to three. DiBiase was celebrating for a while before Maryse had to tell him he didn’t pin Bryan. The match continued with some back to back counters and finally Bryan made DiBiase tap out to the Lebell Lock.
Tony Chimel had some more advertisements to make as he promoted the Knucklehead blu-ray discs and the upcoming Royal Rumble.
7. John Morrison beat Sheamus in a fan’s choice match. Tony chimel then asked the live crowd if they want a two out of three falls or a street fight. His tone clearly indicated that they have predetermined a street fight. The match started and I don’t know why they called it a street fight as the match hardly spilled outside the ring. At one point Sheamus finally thought of using some weapons and searched around the ring for a long time only to find a oven plate and they dint used that as well.
Sheamus then pulled out a Kendo stick and they hit the ring post more number of times than they hit each other. Finally, after over 15 minutes, Sheamus was in control with the stick in his hand and Morrison outside the ring. Morrison went under the ring to bring a steel chair and entered the ring. Morrison set up Sheamus for a Starship Pain through the steel chair. But Sheamus had his knee up along with the chair and that might have hurted him. Finally Morrison made Sheamus sit on the chair and hit him with the running knee for the pin.
8. The Miz (w/Alex Riley) defeated John Cena and C.M. Punk in a Triple Threat to retain the World Hvt. Championship. Two weeks earlier when Cena was hurt, I was strongly expecting Randy Orton to replace him in the match as there is no potential face who can send the crowd home happily. But as Cena managed to wrestle in the dark match this past Monday, I lost that hope, yet I wore an RKO tee to the show. Miz was the first to enter along with his apprentice. He was at his best on the mic and the crowd dint really boo him.
CM Punk was the next to enter and he took longer than his entire entrance music time to get to the ring. Cena’s music hit next and the live crowd were on their feet. This was a nice match with Punk and Miz double teaming through out the match against Cena. At one point, Cena was in total control of the match and as expected Punk knocked down the referee only for Cena to lock him up in STF. Nexus ran in and beat down Cena and threw the referree back into the game.
Punk hit the GTS on Cena, only letting the Miz to roll him over for the pin. Miz ran away with his title and apprentice. The Nexus stared at Cena and went for the attack. But Mark Henry’s music hit and he ran in with all the babyfaces who were in the city. They cleared the ring sending everybody back except Otunga and the crowd was excited to see Otunga getting the beat down.
Cena ordered Tatsu to go first and he hit some chops to the chest of Otunga. Mark Henry was the next to follow with a World’s Strongest Slam. Morrison hit Starship Pain. The best was next to follow as Santino hit The Cobra as Otunga fell into Cena’s shoulders for an Attitude Adjustment as the babyfaces sent the crowd happy. Cena then signed autographs and took pics with the kids at ringside.
Notes: Trust me, if anybody says Cena is no longer loved, I won’t believe it anymore. Damn, I could only see Violet tees all over the arena and it was even sold out in the stands. He got the biggest pops I would have ever imagined. The arena was more than 80 percent full. In fact the top most level which was not even open for ticketing had some people, may be the students from the school. In short, it was a nice maiden experience for me and I am surely heading to Atlanta for the grand daddy of them all.