I wrote this article for Ryan's site, do not know when it will go up, but here is my live report for a live WWE Event (House Show) I attended eight days ago. Enjoy.
I attended the RAW house show last night at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, MN. The Xcel was surprisingly packed for a non-televised event, about 80% full, and was popping loud for most of the card. The thing that stood out about this event compared to previous house shows I attended was how non-stop everything was. Wrestlers for the next match entered immediately after the competitors from the previous match exited. Compared to the televised Monday Night RAW I attended at the Target Center in the Twin Cities last year, there was more of an emphasis on wrestling, with each bout going far longer than what I am use to on television. As a whole, this show felt almost like a PPV. Here are the results.
1) Evan Bourne defeated Chavo Guerrero by pinfall via Shooting Star Press. Good to see Chavo getting some quality ring time with someone other than Hornswoggle these days. Competitive back and fourth match, and I even had a flashback to some of the good ‘ol Cruiserweight days from WCW. Crowd was very electric for this match too, lots of Bourne pops. Chavo was on the verge of hitting a Frog Splash for the victory until the little leprechaun himself came out and got his attention long enough for Bourne to capitalize and hit the Shooting Star Press for the three.
2) Chris Masters defeated Alex Riley by submission via Masterlock. Riley is the latest guy WWE is bringing up from developmental. This was regrettably the only bout of the night the crowd was not really into save for a few brief moments. Did not see a lot of potential from what Riley showed from his vanilla offense, and the end came with Masters winning clean with the Masterlock.
3) Sheamus defeated Santino Marella by pinfall via gutbuster. Sheamus was the only non RAW superstar wrestling tonight for some odd reason, perhaps a last second substitution? Santino did some pre-match hijinx on the mic, declaring Sheamus a ghost to the crowd’s amusement. Santino delivered a lot of his comedy spots and had the crowd behind him, but it was Sheamus who picked up the pin with the gutbuster he has been using on ECW lately.
4) Mickie James & Gail Kim defeated Beth Phoenix & Rosa Mendes. This was my concession break for the show so I do not have too much to comment on here. Got back to my seat in time to see the conclusion where Mickie got the pin with a diving splash from the turnbuckle.
5) Marc Henry defeated Jack Swagger by pinfall via World’s Strongest Slam. Kind of an odd match up considering none of these guys have anything going on in the current storylines. Being a huge Henry fan I was a little surprised and delighted to see him getting the win on the future-main-eventer, Jack Swagger. Decent match, but Swagger got the most out of the World’s Strongest Man.
6) US Title Match – Kofi Kingston retained in a triple threat against Miz and MVP when Kofi pinned Miz via Trouble in Paradise. This match was another crowd favorite this night. Crowd completely dumped on Miz, especially in his opening match promo. Lots of nonstop action in this triple threat, complete with some great near-falls. In the end though, Kofi retained with his signature move.
7) Triple H defeated Cody Rhodes & Ted Dibiase with a pin on Rhodes via Pedigree. Legacy cut an anti-DX promo, saying both combined to be over 110 years old. They’re actually not that far off. Triple H responded with his own little promo, implying that Cody & Ted are more than tag team “partners.” Wish HBK was here, to make a true Summerslam rematch, but what we got was not all that bad either and better than the bout that took place on RAW last month. Legacy teased victory several times in another match the crowd got really into, but Triple H wound up victorious with a Pedigree on Cody.
8) WWE Title Match – John Cena defeated Randy Orton by DQ via Legacy interference (Orton retains). A little surprised to see no pre-match promos from either competitors. Crowd was very pro-Cena to my surprise. Very good, PPV caliber match from these two; not surprisingly considering how many times these two have squared off. Had two convincing near falls with both guys kicking out of each others finishers. Cena wound locking in the STF, and it looked like Orton was on the verge of tapping out until Rhodes & Dibiase ran out for the DQ beatdown on Cena, which resulted in Orton retaining. Triple H than ran down to even the odds and save Cena, and Cena and Triple H both celebrated with the crowd to send us home happy.
Other random notes of mention were I was disappointed that the merchandise stand had most shirts available only in Medium and Large. I was so psyched to buy an Evan Bourne t-shirt too! Several hours before the show we were out at the Mall of America en route to the food court, when we spotted the WWE champ, Randy Orton directly above us snapping pictures of Lego Land.
Had a very odd section my buddies and I were seated in. Diagonally from us were two seven year old that were going bonkers throughout the card, until three matches in two drunk 30-somethings sat next to us and proceeded to hit it off with the children as they kept asking the inebriated wrestling gurus questions to get as much WWE knowledge out of them as possible. There was also one extremely drunk fellow seated a few rows behind us that had us in stitches with his drunken shenanigans. Finally,
Overall, this easily surpassed the three previous WWE house shows I attended. Lots of big name talent was competing (minus Shawn Michaels), and the crowd was on its feet throughout the night. The aforementioned nonstop matches only helped keep the energy level flowing. Great show all around, and hopefully the WWE will be coming back to the area more frequently.