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WWE Live Event – Raw Brand
December 29, 2016
Boston, Mass. at TD Garden
By Mike McMahon, PWTorch Contributor (@MikeMcMahonPW)
– The show tonight is being hosted by Byron Saxton, with JoJo providing the ring announcing.
– There were Christmas inflatables up at the stage and entrance. They honestly looked like the same things you would buy at Wal-Mart or at your local drug store.
Prior to, and during the show, they really pumped the WWE Network.
Most of the lower bowl of the arena, from the stage over, was full. Given the capacity of the building, attendance was probably around 6,500-7,000.
(1) Sheamus & Cesaro beat New Day (Xavier Woods & Kofi Kingston) and Gallows & Anderson in a triple-threat match to retain the Raw Tag Titles
Cesaro and Sheamus did their typical boo-cheer sport at the beginning of the match. Sheamus seemed to float more between being a heel and a babyface. They weren’t as much a reluctant team tonight, as they were high-fiving with the title Sheamus was actually even smiling at times. But after the match, Sheamus kicked an inflatable penguin off the stage near the entrance and seemed irritated at the crowd for the boo-cheer spot.
(2) Big Cass (w/Enzo Amore) beat Rusev (w/Lana)
Match ended with Cass hit the big boot after Lana was ejected from ringside. Lana cut a typical promo before the match, running down Boston. It was very similar to the promo she cut at the last Boston house show from over the summer.
(3) Sasha Banks, Liv Morgan & Bayley beat Charlotte, Dana Brooke & Nia Jax
Banks got the win for her team when she made Dana Brooke tap out. This was a really good match that the crowd was very invested in. Banks, Morgan and Bayley seemed to be legitimately having fun, which really added to the enjoyability of the match, even though most in the crowd seemed unsure of who Morgan was.
(4) Rich Swann beat Neville to retain the Cruiserweight Title
By far, this was the match of the night. The crowd was loud for the big spots and they were very much into the athleticism that these two provided. This match really stands out when compared to the main event.
After the match, Neville attacked Swann before leaving.
(5) Seth Rollins beat Chris Jericho
It was awkward watching Rollins try to babyface the crowd, slapping hands and egging the people on for cheers. Rollins is a natural heel and would be much better slotted in that role.
Rollins won the match with a pedigree. Prior to the match, Jericho cut an anti-Boston promo (the second of the night) teased the crowd about putting them on his list.
(6) R-Truth, Goldust, Curtis Axel, Sin Cara & Darren Young beat Bo Dallas, Titus O’Neil, Jinder Mahal & The Shining Stars
The match ended abruptly and it appeared as if Bo Dallas was hurt. The referee briefly flashed an “X” signal and Truth’s music didn’t play for 10-15 seconds after picking up the pin. It was really strange to see a team win and celebrate with no music playing.
After a few seconds, the referee gave a thumbs up signal to the back and Truth’s music played.
Bo Dallas then made it to his feet and said he wasn’t ready and it was a mistake that he lost. Bo challenged anyone in the locker room to a match which brought out a very bearded Big Show. After some comedy, Big Show knocked out Bo with a KO punch.
Bo was really funny here, and I’m not typically a fan of wrestling comedy — I often don’t think it’s funny. But Bo’s facial expressions and mannerisms, especially after Big Show hit the ring, were priceless.
(7) Braun Strowman beat Sami Zayn
Zayn got beat up for most of the match. He tried for a sleeper that Strowman escaped from after tossing Zayn up and over his head. The match ended when, for some reason, Zayn tried to suplex Strowman and Strowman countered into a power slam for the pin.
There were several spots where Zayn bounced off Strowman, which is important to note because clearly Zayn, the full-time wrestler, isn’t as strong or as skilled as the almost 47-year-old, non-wrestling son of the company’s owner, who took Strowman off his feet on the Monday before Survivor Series.
(8) Roman Reigns beat Kevin Owens to retain the U.S. Title
The music was really loud on Reigns’ entrance, so it was tough to gauge a crowd reaction. During the ring introductions, however, Reigns was mostly cheered.
Before the match, Owens cut an anti-Boston promo (the third of the night).
The match was really slow. Owens at one point had a rear chinlock applied for several minutes. There were folks sitting in sections near me who were leaving in the middle of the match. At one point, someone got kicked out of the building for throwing food (I think) at the ring.
Later in the match, Reigns kicked out of a Stone Cold Stunner from Owens before picking up the win.
NOW CHECK OUT THIS PREVIOUS REPORT: 12/28 WWE in Brooklyn, N.Y.: Reigns vs. Owens for U.S. Title, Sami vs. Braun, Seth vs. Jericho, Swann vs. Neville