5/27 WWE in Hampton, Va.: Braun & Lashley vs. Owens & Sami, Seth vs. Balor vs. Elias vs. Roode, plus AOP, No Way Jose, Bray & Hardy

WWE Raw analysis and discussion
Elias Samson (art credit Joel Tesch © PWTorch)


MAY 27, 2018

If you attend a live event, please send results in the format you see here to pwtorch@pwtorch.com. Thanks!

Capacity is between 10-13,000, depending on the set up. As it was set up for wrestling, I would estimate it at least 80 percent full. Not sold out, but a good holiday weekend crowd.  I think there were a lot of casual fans there as demonstrated by the family that approached the arena with three well-decorated homemade signs: “Feed Me More,” “Yes, Yes, Yes,” and “U Can’t C Me.”

I am morally and ethically obligated to say that Jonny Fairplay hooked me up with the ticket, and it was my first time in the front row.  I am not sure who left the ticket at will call for me on his behalf, but let’s say that the experience was “WONDERFUL!” Thanks Jonny… sigh…

(1) Bray Wyatt & Matt Hardy defeated The Revival with the “Double Sister Abigail” move.  I missed most of this match, and came to my seats just to see the finish, and to see Matt bring King Maxell to the ring.  Wished I could have seen the Revival wrestle as they are my favorite team in wrestling, and I think Scott Dawson is great.

(2) Natalya beat Mickie James with the Sharpshooter.  The crowd was into the match and Mickie and Natalya worked hard and people loved the Sharpshooter teases and the finish.  The crowd is into pretty much everything, not feverishly, but enough to contribute to an exciting show.

(3) Dolph Ziggler & Drew Mcintyre defeated The Titus Brand (Titus O’Neal &Apollo Crews w/Dana Brooke) with the Claymore/Zig Zag combo finisher.  Ziggler & McIntyre got as much reaction as the faces did, and Drew received a nice pop when he was introduced.  There was also a small “Drew” chant.  Apollo was face in peril. Titus made a sloppy but well-received comeback until being caught by the finisher of the heel team. Dolph was working hard, but was playing heel half-heartedly with a wink and a nod. Drew was all business.

-Elias segment: He did his thing. The fans enjoyed it and enjoyed booing when he insulted the town musically.

This led to the best match of the night.

(5) Seth Rollins defeated Finn Balor and Elias and Bobby Roode in a four-way match.  A very fast-paced, safe, formulaic, WWE style type match. They had the isolated one-on-one match ups with the others out of the ring recovering for long stretches, and the big moment with Balor and Rollins facing off.  After a bunch of rapid-fire finishers, Seth signaled and got The Curb stomp on Elias.  Fans were digging Seth – much more than Finn – and Roode’s reaction seemed muted in that company.


(6) The Authors of Pain & Baron Corbin defeated Breezango & No Way Jose when Corbin hit the End of Days on Jose. Fans were just returning to their seats but reacted to everyone.  The AOP were a little rough in my opinion. Not too stiff or sloppy as their reputation relates, but too careful and overly “safe” where they were missing moves by huge amounts.  I was seated next to an ex-wrestler who would remark every time you could see daylight in their moves.  Breezango did their schtick, and it was funny, and they were entertaining.  People cheered for No Way Jose in that “Hillbilly Jim” way, where they know they are supposed to like him but don’t know why.  He’s fine in the ring, but that gimmick… not sure about that one.  Corbin (who I have been critical of in a couple appearances) was really good, and was the most energetic, committed, and believable worker in the ring.

One note, as No Way Jose was crawling away from the ring, holding his stomach, after the End of Days, he crawled over and signed two autographs, then went back to selling.  That was weird, and I imagine Jim Cornette would have lost his mind if he saw that.

(7) Nia Jax defeated Alexa Bliss and Bailey and Sasha Banks when she hit a Samoan drop on Bliss. (I think it was her… I didn’t write this finish down). Pretty much the same match the four men had, with the big moment being Bailey vs. Sasha… again.  They had trouble keeping a straight face, and had a moment after Sasha slapped Bailey where she audibly asked her if she was okay.  They also were dancing around and laughing together when Nia’s music hit, hamming it up, totally out of character, because the focus wasn’t on them. Nia worked slow and safe, and Bailey had the least reaction of the four, with Sasha next, Bliss next and Nia next. At house shows at least, she is getting over.  Big reaction for Nia’s win.

(8) Bobby Lashley & Braun Strowman defeated Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens when Braun hit the running powerslam on Owens. This was about what you would expect. Great heel heat from the tactics of the heel team, and Strowman was over huge. Not much reaction to Lashley when he came out, but as he wrestled, people were getting into him.  Strowman’s hot tag was the pop of the night next to Seth winning. A good main event that sent the fans home happy.  Braun was wearing what the wrestler seated next to me called “House Show Boots” – clearly a pair of Timberlands.

FINAL THOUGHTS: The live shows have really evolved into a slick entertaining production over the last few years with no dead time between matches with video packages set up in between and an active “host” or announcer who keeps the crowd engaged the entire show (I didn’t know her name). I would prefer to go to a live event over a TV show pretty much anytime.  However, Raw is in Richmond tomorrow, so if Jonny knows anybody…

1. Seth
2. Braun
3. Nia

1. Sami & KO
2. Elias
3. Baron Corbin

PLUG: Check out the Botch along with Fairplay & Koon on iTunes or Botchalong.com where we watch a Network offering along with you and add insight from a guest, questions from Matt, and attempted humor from Jonny.  Last week we had PWTorch senior columnist Bruce Mitchell as a guest, and this Tuesday, our special guest watching a Raw featuring his own match as he teams with Shawn Michaels & Kevin Nash against Evolution: “Hurricane” Shane Helms!)

If you attend a live event, please send results in the format you see here to pwtorch@pwtorch.com. Thanks!

NOW CHECK OUT THIS RECENT REPORT: 5/20 WWE in Munich, Germany: Styles & Anderson & Gallows vs. Nakamura & The Bar, Hardy vs. Rusev for U.S. Title, Bryan vs. Miz, Aleister Black vs. Wolfe

1 Comment on 5/27 WWE in Hampton, Va.: Braun & Lashley vs. Owens & Sami, Seth vs. Balor vs. Elias vs. Roode, plus AOP, No Way Jose, Bray & Hardy

  1. Thanks for the nice in-depth report Matt. Sounds like it was a decent show, I almost was going to go, but since I’m going to Raw tomorrow night in Richmond I felt it would have been overkill and plus it might have wore this not so young man out.

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