SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
WWE LIVE EVENT – RAW BRAND
JULY 16, 2017
LEXINGTON, KY. AT RUPP ARENA
REPORT BY DAVID HORN, PWTORCH VIP MEMBER
They had the upper deck completely curtained off and only opened about three-fourths of the lower arena with this stage set up. I would guess around 6,000 people in the crowd with this set up the capacity would be around 9,000. I would guess 70 percent families. Lots of kids and lots of John Cena merchandise. I asked the people at the merchandise stand. They said Cena, Hardys, and A.J. Styles merchandise ruled the night.
(1) Heath Slater & Rhyno & Apollo Crews defeated Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson & Curt Hawkins in 10:00. Gallows and Anderson controlled 60 percent of the match. Good action and I would say a good opener with Rhyno getting the pin on Hawkins after a spinebuster. Not much of a reaction. The crowd seemed to be most into Gallows and Anderson.
(2) Goldust beat R-Truth at 1:50. This match was short with them chasing around the ring and then a quick roll-up by Goldust for the win. Virtually no response from the crowd. Of course the entrances were longer than the match. After the match was over, R-Truth did deliver a two minute promo that was good enough to get a bit of a reaction.
(3) Akira Tozawa beat The Brian Kendrick at 8:36. This was a good back and forth match that definitely picked up steam with the crowd as it went on. Tozawa got the win with the diving senton. Little reaction when they came out, but they won the crowd over as the match progressed.
(4) Finn Balor beat Elias Samson after the Coup de Grace at 9:39. This started off with two minutes of Samson playing the guitar with a derogatory song about Lexington. After which Balor’s music hit and he got a good response. This was a good back and forth match that the crowd was really into with several good false finishes. I was shocked the amount of offense they gave Samson before Balor’s comeback. Balor pinned Samson at 9:39 . I would say Samson had the second most heat of the night.
(5) Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins beat Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel at 13:44. This match shocked me as nearly the whole match was Seth Rollins taking a ton of punishment from Dallas and Axel to set up the hot tag for Ambrose who received one of the better reactions of the night. Rollins was then tagged back in and hit his running Knee and pinned Axel for the win. Ambrose probably got the third best reaction of the night and it was far better than Rollins reaction which also shocked me.
They announced they would be coming back to Lexington with Smackdown Live on Tuesday, Nov. 28 and tickets would be on sale at the box office after the show.
(6) Alexa Bliss & Nia Jax beat Mickie James & Dana Brooke at 7:42. This was a standard women’s tag team match with Mickie James pinning Alexa Bliss clean after a Mick Kick. Alexa and Mickie got good responses from the crowd throughout.
(7) Sheamus & Cesaro beat The Hardys at 12″31. For me, this was the best match of the night. It was hard hitting back and forth action with the Hardys hitting all of their signature big spots. Jeff took the heat, then Matt got the hot tag and was caught with a quick roll up for the win. Of course, the crowd hated this finish which led to a lot of boos. I think Sheamus and Cesaro got the most heat of the night with the Hardys getting the second largest pop.
(8) John Cena beat Bray Wyatt at 14:08. Cena was super-over with this crowd and easily got the pop of the night. This was the standard Cena match. He started strong, then took the beat down, then had his Superman comeback with an AA and the pin. Bray carried his end of the match well and looked very comfortable working with Cena. This was a really good match which allowed the crowd to go home happy.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Overall, I would say this was a very good live event. Most people there seemed happy with the show. With a big pop from the fans when they announce coming back for the Smackdown taping in November.
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