4/1 WWE in Macon, Ga.: Bray Wyatt returns and updates status of his character, Hardy invites him to team with him, plus Bliss, Reigns, Asuka, more

Bray Wyatt (art credit Grant Gould © PWTorch)


APRIL 1, 2018

The Raw crew was in Macon, GA. one week before WrestleMania at the Macon Coliseum. I’d guess fewer than 6,000 in attendance; the Coliseum seats about 9,000. The upper lever was closed but the lower bowl and floor were full. It was almost all families, with a lot of young kids (eight years old and younger). There were a couple pockets of adult ardent fans near us, but they were the minority. Back in December, when Smackdown was in town, the crowd had more of the hardcore fans, but tonight it was almost all families.

(1) Asuka beat Mandy Rose (w/Paige & Sonya Deville) with an Asuka Lock in 9:00. Asuka got a nice pop. There were a lot of young girls near us in Auska and Alexia Bliss merch that really got into the women’s matches. Watching this match, it really jumped out how sharp and crisp Asuka is in the ring. Conversely, it was equally apparent that Mandy is not. Her offense was really sloppy, and her punches looked like she was trying to mess up Asuka’s hair. She looked like a performer and Asuka looked like a fighter Asuka took a quick advantage, but Absolution interfered to give Mandy the upper hand. Mandy hit a couple good spots. Her double-underhook slam was particularly sharp. A good believable near fall (as believable as it could be with Asuka). Asuka made her comeback with good strikes. Mandy almost good legit KO’d when she tried to duck a punch right as Asuka threw a kick. Asuka pulled up short of taking her head off and turned the awkward moment into a hip attack (good cover). Asuka stayed out there for a long time taking selfies and high-fiving fans. Paige had a nice moment. She came out to big pop and so to turn the fans she offered to toss out some shirts and then refused trashed talked the fans (classic heel). As the match was starting I saw her slip a shirt to a little girl in the front row behind her back. No harm there.

Then we got a Bray Wyatt video. He said, “Macon, I’m here. Watch out.” I guess he got out of the Lake of Reincarnation? Who knows, it happened.

(2) Akira Tozawa beat Jack Gallagher in a Cruiserweight Match after hitting a top rope senton in 8:00. Not a lot of interest here. Gallagher insulted the South so we knew he was the heel. Tozawa yells/barks and stomps a lot (confession: I don’t watch much 205 Live, but I didn’t get it). Both men worked solid. Gallagher can really sell. To their credit the fans got behind Tozawa as the match went on. Both men did a nice job. .

(3) The Bar beat Titus Worldwide (w/Vanesa) and The Club (Sheamus & Cesaro) in a Triple Threat match when The Bar pinned Crews after their double-team finisher. The Club got the biggest pop here with a loud “Too Sweet… whoop whoop” chant. Gallows and Anderson did some comedy with Sheamus, messing up his hair. Gallows and Sheamus exchanged some STIFF shots. Anderson and Cesaro had a nice exchange before Titus tagged himself in. And that was the end of The Club in this match. They drove to Macon for three mins of action and ten minutes on the apron. The rest of the match was the same Bar versus Titus match we’ve seen on TV. It was slow and Titus looks so awkward out there.

After the match, Titus worldwide stayed in the ring and Dana Brooke raised their hands to no reaction. They took a bow and their music played… for some reason. They seemed to play face, but both The Club and The Bar got more cheers. A weird ending.

(4) Braun Strowman beat Kane in 4:00. Kane got a nice pop. People seemed pleasantly surprised to see him. Big pop for Braun. The match began and right away was very plotting. How can a four minute match be plodding?!? Braun’s punches and headbutts showed tons of light (Cena’s STF called and said, “Snug it up”). Fans sat quiet until Braun slid out of a tombstone and scooped Kane up. The powerslam got a big pop. I don’t know how much people want to watch Braun wrestle. I think they might just want to see him flip over stuff and powerslam guys. Just a thought. Braun stayed out for a long time taking pics with fans (at least twice as long as his match). That’s when I realized how short his theme music is, because it looped several times.


(5) Heath Slater & Rhyno beat The Revival when Rhyno hit a spinebuster at 9:00. The Revival worked a solid tag match, but Slater and Rhyno played the whole match for comedy. Rhyno did bad karate at one point… that happened. Slater took an extended beating with the Revival cutting off the ring. Several times he almost got the tag with a last second stop. At one-point Slater crawled to all three wrong corners looking for a tag. I couldn’t help , I laughed there. Rhyno got the hot tag. He threw Scorr Dawson out of the ring and hit Dash Wilder with a spine buster for the win. I didn’t leave anything out…that was the finish. I guess The Gore is Roman’s move.

After the match, Bray Wyatt attacked Slater and Rhyno and gave Slater a Sister Abigail. Bray took to the mic, “I have not been deleted.” Well, that clears things up. He called out Woken Matt.

Woken Matt came out. He told “Broken Bray” He had already been deleted (insert “Delete” chant). Hardy said, “Your character will change. Embrace the change. Woken Wyatt, I don’t want to fight you, I want to team with you.” Wyatt started to leave, then teased a hand shake. Wyatt attacked Hardy. Wyatt went for Sister Abigail, but Hardy countered to a Twist of Fate. Wyatt left and Hardy led “Delete” chants.

(6) Alexa Bliss beat Sasha Banks to retain the Raw Women’s Title in 18:00. Both women got pops from the girls around us. Bliss played keep-away early. She hid behind the official and went outside. She broke the count at nine and went back outside. She really worked the crowd till she was solidly booed. Bliss got the advantage and slowed Sasha down with mat work. Sasha came back with good fire. The fans really got behind her offense. Banks hit a 619 to huge pop. Banks took a nasty bump off a stun gun to the turn buckle. Sasha always bumps like she has killed herself.  More Bliss in control on the mat. Sasha made another comeback and then there was some really quick back and forth. This went to a gear we hadn’t seen yet. Really good action. Bliss hit a sunset powerbomb for a near fall. Sasha countered a DDT attempt into backstabber and a Banks Statement. Bliss grabbed the ref and pulled him into Banks to force the break. Bliss poked Sasha in the eye and slingshot her into the corner to get a roll up win.

After the match, Bliss attacked Sasha. Fans started to chant for Bayley. Nia Jax came out to make the save. Nia scooped Bliss up for a Samoan drop, but Bliss escaped and ran for it.

(7) Finn Balor & Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns beat Elias & Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel. Elias made fun of Macon. He asked everyone to put away phone so there will be no record of this performance because he was embarrassed to be in Macon. Finn Balor interrupted for biggest pop thus far (That distinction would be short-lived). Finn got a lot of “Too Sweet” chants. Seth Rollins came out to a monster pop (I was surprised how loud it was). Finally, Roman came out to mostly cheers. There were some boos, but mostly the guys were just quiet. The match started with Seth. Elias wouldn’t get in the ring. Seth fought the Miztourage and some played some gimmick infringement… He did Rick Rude’s hip swivel, Mr. Perfect’s gum spit and swat, Hogan’s boot and leg drop. Finn got a tag. He hit everyone with rapid offense. Elias distracted Finn leading to an extended beating. Lots of cheating and double teams to get heat. Finn tried to make several comebacks that the crowd as huge for before he was cut off. Seth finally got a hot tag to a big pop. He cleared the ring and then hit a dive to the outside. Elias attack Reigns on the outside and threw him into the steps. Seth tried to help but was double teamed by Bo and Curtis. Seth took a beating. A “We want Roman” chant began, and got louder and louder. This is where gets hard for me as card-carrying Roman-hater… Finn stood on the apron and pointed for Seth to tag Roman. Roman got a huge hot tag. It was the biggest pop of the night. Roman got Elias. He hit his ten clotheslines in the corner. He hit a Samoan drop. And then signaled for a Superman punch all to big reactions (It was Vince’s sweetest dream). Finn and Seth cleared the Miztourage, and Roman hit the Spear for the win.

Biggest pops

  • Roman Reigns
  • Seth Rollins
  • Finn Balor
  • Asuka
  • Braun

Most Heel Heat

  • Elias
  • Alexia Bliss
  • Miztourage
  • Paige

If you attend a live event, send a report (with any good pictures of wrestlers or the scene in the arena) to pwtorch@pwtorch.com in the above format. Please listen who beat whom in the opening line and then provide match details.

NOW CHECK OUT THIS RECENT REPORT: 3/25 WWE in Fairfax, Va.: Styles teams with New Day in main event, Owens and Sami show up, Usos vs. Bludgeons, Tyler vs. Tye, Nakamura vs. Corbin

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