WWE RAW HOLT REPORT 9/11: Details of what happened in Anaheim that didn’t air on TV – dark matches, crowd responses, advertised dark match

WWE RAW HOLT REPORT (Happenings Off Live TV)
SEPTEMBER 11, 2017


(1) Rhyno defeated Dash Wilder with a Gore.

(2) Mustafa Ali & Gran Metalik & Lince Dorado defeated Tony Niese & Arriya Daivairi & Noam Dar.


-The advertised dark match with Samoa Joe vs. John Cena did not take place. It was supposed to be their first time facing each other one-on-one since they were in Rick Bassman’s promotion in Santa Ana (in Orange County) when they were breaking in. Because Joe is injured, it didn’t happen and I was sad. I bought tickets specifically for that match, contrary to what was said by Roman Reigns in his promo.

-WWE returns to Honda Center in Anaheim for their “Holiday Tour” on Dec. 3.

Sheldon, a Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Podcast listener, joined our post-Raw show and talked about his observations from the arena. The following are notes from that conversation. Listen to the full 90 minute podcast HERE.

-During a commercial break, Nikki Bella came out in full ring attire. Her music hit and she got a big pop. She came out with her dance partner for this season’s “Dancing with the Stars.” They did some dancing. Nikki then picked up her dance partner and bodyslammed him which got a fun reaction. The guy stood up and they hugged and they left before the commercial break ended.

-Attendance was okay. There were small patches of empty seats behind the hard camera and some areas were roped off back there. The upper bowl opposite the hard camera was pretty full.

-When Roman Reigns’s music played, there were some cheers but a lot of boos. It was a big pop, either way.

-When Braun Strowman rolled through on the first Brock Lesnar suplex, there were people around me gasping. Paul Heyman was very animated at ringside. It was the biggest reaction of the night.

-When Braun would raise his arms and yell during the commercial breaks, playing to the crowd, the crowd would respond big. He seemed like a tweeter, but a star reaction either way.

-The crowd was really excited about the video announcing Asuka was coming to Raw. That vignette received one of the louder pops of the night.

-The crowd was clapping along to Elias until he turned on them with negative comments about Anaheim.

-It felt like Miz and Enzo ended up with a role reversal, since Enzo interrupted Miz’s fatherhood announcement, and Miz pointed out Enzo’s controversial reputation behind the scenes. Large pockets of the crowd seemed to get the references to Enzo’s backstage controversies, but not everyone. Miz and Enzo moved the crowd back in alignment during the match, though, with Miz turning the crowd against him and fans backing Enzo.

-The main event had enough hype to hold the interest of the crowd. The crowd was excited to see the Hardys in the main event. Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose got big pops, too, in line with the Hardys.

-Sasha Banks got a nice pop, Emma much less so. Nia Jax got a few cheers when she came out to the announce table.

-Finn Balor got a big pop when he ran out to stop Bray Wyatt’s Goldust beat down. There were a lot of Balor Club t-shirts.

If you attend Raw or Smackdown, we always appreciate an email noting what happened off camera such as dark matches along with any notes regarding crowd responses and attendance. Send to pwtorch@pwtorch.com.

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