SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
PWTorch reader Dave Walker sent the following observations from attending Monday Night Raw and the Live 205 taping last night in Philadelphia, Pa.
I attended last night and found it to have a couple of really high points as well as some disappointments.
First, the new set with the curved video screen and the video ramp (the floor) is fantastic. Sitting upstairs and looking downward it looks great.
The off-camera side of the upper level was covered up as well as the end behind the set. Otherwise very full.
The show started at 7:30 with the ring set up for 205 Live. I am not a fan of the Cruiserweight show as it will become apparent. We endured three matches before Raw came on. The English guy who looks like a reject from The Vaudvillains was a bit much for me. My personal taste. A small part of the crowd was into it. Matches were too choreographed, like watching Lucha without knowing who the performers are.
A big problem with the 205 set was the time to convert it back to Raw while the live audience is subjected to the WrestleMania video, the same one shown both at Philly’s last Raw and recent Smackdown. The exact same video.
Finally live Raw. New Day was over big. Cesaro and Shamus played to the crowd. Entertaining match, crowd into it. Was it here that Big E made his not-so-PG joke about the third leg?
Strowman and Axel was what it was. Axel is a big guy which made Strowman look more impressive. He works as the monster heel.
Then things went south for me. I hate Mick Foley’s persona. Long gone is the dangerous and unpredictable wildman, replaced by a reality show dad. That’s the best I can say about his segments.
Then more torment for the live crowd as the ring crew set the ring up for cruiserweights, same guys we saw earlier for the most part. It takes way too much time to change the tape on the ropes to purple and the live crowd is subjected to ads for Scooby Doo and the Flintstones – the same Flintstones video they pushed a year ago. And ads for the network. All for a short match with interference. Great.
The Rollins segment was entertaining. The crowd likes Rollins and Chris Jericho but surprisingly lukewarm to Owens. When Reigns finally came out, the crowd booed him at Cena like levels, because they just do that. It’s Philly.
And then – OH NO – the fifth cruiserweights match of the night. I swear this is true – I slept through it. Then more time to change the ring back, so more ads.
Bayley got a nice pop. Quick match.
I love Rusev, I think he is hilarious. I finally learned what a certified G was. Funny segment, obvious ending. Logical in the world of wrestling and advanced the angle.
Then Jinder Mahal. “Shocking” defeat leading to… more Foley taking time from more interesting performers. From my section, you could clearly hear people shouting at Zayn to sign the deal and go to Smackdown. I would rather see Eva Marie in an Ironman match than see these segments.
Finally, following more ads even during intros, and one for a jeweler who I will not patronize, a wonderful crazy main event that sent the crowd home happy.
Everyone knew that either Xavier Woods or Jericho would take the pin, but it still worked.
The crowd didn’t pop huge tonight. Favorites were Rollins, Cesaro, and New Day. They unloaded on Reigns. And they will. Though it was just a year ago when the same Philly fans blew the roof off the building when he “earned” the title in the same building. It’s the booking, stupid.
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