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WWE taped this week’s Raw in Manchester, England on Monday night. The following are TV Taping/SPOILER news & notes…
Report by Robert Beaton
– Raw opened with Triple H to a big pop. Hunter talked about Seth Rollins’s injury and the WWE Title tournament. He then introduced Roman Reigns, who seemed to get a good pop, but was followed by a lot of boos when he started speaking.
Hunter offered Reigns a chance to join The Authority, but Reigns turned it down. Hunter then opened the tournament with Reigns facing Big Show.
– Roman Reigns beat Big Show in the opening WWE Title tournament match. Reigns won via spear.
– Later in the taping, King Barrett got into a back-and-forth with Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney, who was in the crowd. This got a big pop from the crowd.
The initial exchange between Barrett and Rooney was during a commercial. Rooney then slapped Barrett when he was ringside during a Sheamus vs. Cesaro tournament match. The distraction allowed Cesaro to beat Sheamus.
After the Raw taping, WWE sent out a notice on the Barrett-Rooney exchange. WWE headlined: “Wayne Rooney slaps King Barrett at Raw in the United Kingdom.”
– In the final segment, The Undertaker returned. Bray Wyatt was in the ring with the Wyatts cutting a promo when a vignette started on the Tron. Suddenly, Taker’s bong noise struck and he and Kane walked out to take on the entire Wyatt Family. The place absolutely exploded!
Undertaker was only advertised for Tuesday’s Smackdown TV taping in Manchester, making his appearance on Raw a big surprise.
– Kevin Owens got a big pop when he came out for his tournament match against Titus O’Neil. Owens cut a heel promo on the English crowd, trying to turn them against him. He beat Titus via pop-up powerbomb. New Day were also massively over with the crowd.
– There was a Ric Flair promo about British fans, although I think it was just for the live audience and not the TV broadcast.
Report by Pri Ghatge
– The arena was sold out; there were fewer kids and more women than I expected. The majority age were 20-35, I would say. A lot of couples and the women were dressed in Bellas gear.
– Biggest Pops: Seth Rollins mention, Usos, Ric Flair, Taker/Kane, and New Day. New Day were crazy over.
– Chants: C.M. Punk, boring, and the crowd did the “Mexican wave.” You would think they would be more prepared for the hostile Brits
– The crowd was restless, as there were a lot of technique problems with the screen and the video/sound was out of line.
Report by Paul Briody
– The arena holds around 20,000 and it looked full. No tarped areas. The set included the red phone box, even though you don’t see them anymore.
– Decent pop for Triple H in the opening segment announcing the WWE Title tournament. Mixed-to-negative reaction for Roman Reigns, who turned down the invite to join The Authority. Reigns then beat Big Show in a tournament match. Mexican wave during the “meh” match and lots of “You fat bast—” chants at poor Big Show.
– Wayne Rooney of Manchester United was shown and booed by the crowd. Kevin Owens was out next and got cheered and then booed (since he plays a heel well), but then cheered at times as well. “Let’s Go Rooney / Rooney Sucks” chant. Owens then beat Titus O’Neil with the pop-up powerbomb. This was followed by Becky Lynch beating Paige. Charlotte made the post-match save and got booed (U.K. loves Paige).
– Dolph Ziggler beat The Miz with very little crowd reaction. Then, Natalya beat Naomi and Sasha Banks applied the Bank Statement post-match after a kick from Tamina.
– Next, Cesaro beat Sheamus. Pre-match, Wade Barrett goaded Rooney on the mic and then Rooney slapped Barrett in the build-up to the finish. That was truly awesome.
– Dean Ambrose (good pop) beat Tyler Breeze. Then, Ric Flair addressed the crowd in what I think will be a dark segment. Tremendous pop for the greatest ever.
– The crowd went crazy for The Undertaker/Kane-Wyatt interaction at the end.