As the picture above should indicate, I had the privilege of attending Monday Night RAW in Toronto live. The following will be some of my live experiences, I’ll be watching the televised portion of RAW later this afternoon to see how we came across on the tube.
A friend and I arrived after the first segment. Let this be a lesson to wrestling fans worldwide, there are priorities bigger then wrestling. Your life should not be consumed with dropping all things in life just to see wrestling. Its never a good thing to be obsessed with anything in life. That is my teaching moment for the week.
We apparently missed a Cutting Edge segment that featured Edge and Daniel Bryan and the exchange of words between Edge and Triple H. Later, Christian was ambushed by presumably the Shield as his lifeless body was delivered on the ramp.
Pretty cool coincidence, my friend and I arrived in our chauffeur driven vehicle to the Air Canada Centre. Our driver, it turned out was a pretty big wrestling fan. We discussed Undertaker’s incredibly part-time schedule. We talked about Cena being injured and that Orton was champion to which our driver reminded us that Orton is the youngest World champion. All I can say is that my friend and I are definitely the biggest heels in Toronto as we boycotted both the Toronto’s own Edge an Toronto’s own TTC in one swift move!
We arrived in the arena as Kofi Kingston’s theme played. This theme is by Caribbean artist Collie Budz. Maybe this was a rib as it indicated West Indians travel on their own time!
We caught the backstage segment with Edge and Triple H where HHH called Toronto his city and continued to verbally abuse Edge, garnering Trips further heat.
The first match up was Kofi Kingston versus Curtis Axel, Unfortunately, Axel has no star presence from a LIVE standpoint and so this match was destined to be underwhelming. On top of this sentiment, the match was cut short and a DQ finish out of no where as Axel would not cease to bash Kingston with knees. A poor start, in my opinion to the night. Kingston’s “Trouble in Paradise” kick did get a good pop.
Backstage segments with Heyman slipping on water and Booker T giving a pep talk to Big Show. There’s nothing like sitting relatively close to ringside and having to watch a titantron instead!
Ziggler versus Bray Wyatt was our next contest. Ziggler got a great ovation from the Toronto crowd, it was pretty loud. Wyatt then made his entrance next. It was great to see a unique entrance. Rowan carrying the rocking chair and Wyatt the lantern, although it wasn’t as dark as I thought it would be. Wyatt’s offense does look convincing from a LIVE setting, which can also be attributed to Ziggler’s selling. Wyatt picks up the win after Harper and Rowan distract Ziggler. This should be the role of Wyatt’s monstrous followers.
There were some Goldust vignettes and the Ultimate Warrior’s WWE 2K14 commercial which got a great reaction from the LIVE crowd.
Heyman and Axel come out next to have medical examination of Heyman’s leg. This led to some cat calls to Heyman as they lifted his pant leg. The crowd also began to chant “This is awkward!” The crowd started chanting “CM Punk!” Punk then made his way to ring to a massive ovation and Heyman high-tailed it out. Punk took out Axel. Punk then cornered Heyman’s personal doctor. In our section, we erupted with a “Kill the doctor” chant. Punk began to destroy the doctor with a kendo stick. In an untelevised segment, Punk chased the referee with the kendo stick and then threw the kendo stick which ended up hitting the referee in the back of the head. Everything CM Punk did got a great reaction from the crowd.
Next up was a six-Divas tag match. Some kids in our section began to dance to Brodus Clay’s theme song. Natalya and AJ got great reactions from the LIVE crowd. As the match began, the crowd started a “Go Leafs Go” chant. Natalya got the sharpshooter on Alicia Fox for the win, which got a great reaction.
R-Truth versus Alberto Del Rio was up next. R-Truth’s entrance got a good reaction. A grown man deafened me each time he yelled “What’s Up”. R-Truth definitely elevated this man’s street cred. Side note, I’ve never been asked more rhetorical questions in my life then by this man, like “Did you see that?” or “Did you hear that?” as if I was looking at the floor with my hands over my ears. Gotta love wrestling fans!
The crowd erupted with their random chants for JBL, Jerry, Michael Cole, RVD and Undertaker.
Zeb Colter comes out and cuts a promo on Canada and all things Canadian, most notably hockey and maple syrup. Santino Marella then makes his surprise return as he gets set to square off against Antonio Cesaro. The crowd then started a “Maple Syrup” chant. Afterwards Cesaro hit this gigantic swing move on Marella that the crowd popped for and later chanted “Holy S***”. Santino picked up the victory after a Judo throw into a pin to a great reaction.
Next up, Damien Sandow vs. The Miz; a heel people like versus a babyface people don’t. Y2J chants, a “Let’s Go Sandow” chant and booing for the Miz, even chanting “You Can’t Wrestle.” Fandango interrupted and the crowd began to “Fandango”. Sandow apparently won, but no one noticed.
Renee Young was backstage and she got a great pop from the hometown crowd. Goldust and Triple H in a Wrestlemania 13 confrontation. Goldust versus Orton was next. Goldust got a great reaction to his entrance. A fun match overall, with the crowd getting into all of Goldust’s signature moves and his near fall.
RVD versus Ryback was next in a battle of the airbrushed singlets. Another DQ finish which is definitely an underwhelming finish to watch LIVE. Two kids, presumably siblings in our section were wearing Ryback and RVD shirts respectively. The kid taunted the other by saying Ryback lost to which the other responded “He does what he wants.” The other kid attacked his brother, to which the brother no-sold the hit and their dad made the save and it ended in a no contest, far more entertaining!
From our vantage point we could see the Shield’s crowd entrance pretty good. Bryan and Ambrose had a really competitive match. The YES! chants were insane and the crowd was solidly behind Daniel Bryan throughout this entire match. It was great to see Bryan stand tall at the end of the show rather than being laid out.
Overall, it was fun experience to be at a LIVE RAW. Wrestling is a funny thing, it’s a great television product that differs a lot from the LIVE experience but the quality of the programming is rather dependent on a LIVE crowd being hot and into the product. As a go-home show before the pay-per-view this show was rather weak and didn’t really spark my interest in ordering the pay-per-view. The dark match was CM Punk versus Heyman and Axel in a Handicap match that was short and sweet. Punk won and then went and shook hands with most of the audience. My friend pointed out that one fan put up the Kliq/Wolfpac hand sign and Punk said no and walked on, pretty cool!
I’d give my live experience a 7.5/10!