WWE Raw live event (Knoxville, Tenn. at Thompson Boling Arena)
Report by George B. Walsh and ProWrestling.net
Half the arena was sectioned off with black curtains. The upper level was cut off. The arena holds around 22,500. There were about 5,000 in attendance since half of the seats in the lower level is empty.
1. R-Truth and Santino Marella defeated Epico and Primo (w/Rosa). R-Truth came out and said that he had bad news and said Kofi Kingston couldn’t make it tonight but had a special surprise for us. Santino came out. Rosa was looking extremely hot. Santino hit The Cobra on Epico about four minutes in and Primo came in to break up the pinfall. Epico and Primo took The Cobra away from Santino and played keep away. A good match overall, around 10 minutes, and the win went to Santino and R-Truth.
Jack Swagger appeared in the big screen and did a nice promo to set up Swagger vs. Brodus Clay.
The next match was scheduled to be JTG vs Tyson Kidd. John Laurinaitis announced that JTG and Tyson Kidd would team up to take on Lord Tensai in a handicap match.
2. Lord Tensai beat JTG and Tyson Kidd. Lord Tensai manhandled JTG at the start of the bell. Lord Tensai spit the green mist on his hand and hit his finisher and got the win in five minutes.
3. Zack Ryder defeated a developmental wrestler. Ryder won in five minutes.
4. Brodus Clay (w/dancers, Hornswoggle) defeated Jack Swagger. This place came unglued for Brodus Clay. Horny came out with Brodus Clay and the women dancers. Swagger came out alone. No Vickie. Both were in the middle of the ring for a small face off and Swagger went to the ropes and Brodus did a standing shoulder block and knocked Swagger back a couple of feet. Brodus did his famous jiggle booty shaking.
A few minutes went by and Swagger was back on offense and had Brodus on the mat. Horny came up on the ring apron and got Swagger’s attention. Brodus recovered and attacked Swagger with a few bumps and hit his finisher for the win. The match time was five minutes. Brodus brought in around six kids to dance with him, Horny, and the women. A fan held a sign in front of Brodus that said Brodus likes Horny because Horny is the perfect height for…… dancing!
Intermission. Justin Roberts made some sells for the program book and autograph photos of CM Punk and John Cena. After the intermission, around 25 to 30 minutes, the Divas match started.
5. Eve beat Kelly Kelly. A huge Hoeski chant broke out and Eve got on the turnbuckle and extended her arms out during the chant and smiled. Kelly jumped up on another turnbuckle from across the ring and put her arms up and the crowd responded very well considering it was a Divas match. Kelly Kelly went on the attack first and did her screaming bit. Both women were very beautiful tonight and even though I decided to get up and go get a coke, it seemed like a good match from what I saw. Eve pinned Kelly Kelly in five minutes.
Ziggler came to the ring to cut a promo and actually did a good job during his promo. He introduced Mason Ryan as an extra insurance policy and promised he would never lose again with his added insurance. John Cena’s music played and the crowd went crazy, the loudest so far of the night. Knoxville seems to be pro Cena.
6. John Cena defeated Dolph Ziggler (w/Mason Ryan). Cena had his elbow and upper arm taped heavily. Cena even tried to take his shirt off and even had problems doing so, you could actually see the pain in his face. Granted, he may possibly be injured but if not did a good job selling it. Cena did his usual running block and held his arm in pain each time he ran into Ziggler. I tried to get the Let’s go Cena/Cena sucks chant but nobody wanted to chime in on the Cena sucks part.
Dolph had control through most of the match then it started going back and forth. Cena did some nice reversals. Cena went for an early STF and Ziggler kicked him away. Ziggler started going back to work on Cena’s left arm and elbow. Ziggler did a handstand in the middle of the ring using Cena’s body as support. Cena lifted up Ziggler and tried an AA even though I think he messed up somewhat. Cena did his You Can’t See Me and hit the Five Knuckle Shuffle on Ziggler, and Ziggler kicked out. Ziggler had Cena down again and Cena powered back and tried another AA. Ziggler countered and fell off Cena’s shoulders which in turn knocked the referee down.
Cena went for the STF and Ziggler was tapping out but no referee, then Mason Ryan came in and attacked Cena from behind. The ref came around and Cena kicked out around two and a half. Cena went for the AA and got the pin, Cena won in 15 minutes. Overall, a very good match between Cena and Ziggler. Mason is a huge man for sure. I was in row three and I had trouble looking around him when he was standing in front of me. On a side note, Cena asked for the mic and started to sing Rocky Top and the crowd joined in.
7. C.M. Punk defeated Chris Jericho to retain the WWE Championship. The match started out very slow but worked up to a very well match overall. A lot of action between the two going back and forth. My cell phone actually died out on me during this match. Y2J hit a Codebreaker on Punk, who went for the GTS a couple times but was unsuccessful. Punk did his “Macho Man” from the top turnbuckle and finally a GTS on Y2J for the win.
The match lasted a good 15 minutes if not longer. Punk grabbed a microphone and then talked to actual WWE security and said there were two kids who had birthdays. He got the kids in the ring to sing happy birthday. The crowd joined in singing. The boy held the WWE Championship belt and had a little trouble holding it up at times but was all smiles. Punk then went around the ringside and greeted the crowd afterwards. This closed out the show.
Notes: Overall, a very good house show tonight in Knoxville even though only around 5,000-7,000 fans showed up in the seats. The stage looks awesome even though it is smaller than the Raw or Smackdown stages. I went to Raw last year in Knoxville and would say that tonight’s show was ten times better than Raw. The whole feel to a house show is very different than Raw or Smackdown. I would recommend anyone that has not ever been to a house show to go check it out. Very long lines for WWE merchandise before, during, and after the show.