WWE RAW ON-SITE REPORT
FEBRUARY 11, 2019
GRAND RAPIDS, MICH.
REPORT BY JASON G., PWTORCH CORRESPONDENT
-It was 65-70 percent full. The whole upper deck was only about one-third filled, the lower bowl three-fourth full, and the floor totally filled.
-My second row ticket this morning was going for $200. Late in the afternoon, my boss told me to leave early, and I got the ticket for $95 plus fees. Well worth my money.
-They did a WrestleMania recap video as fans filed in.
TAPED FOR MAIN EVENT
(1) Tyler Breeze & The B-Team (Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel) beat Jinder Mahal & The Singh Brothers.
RAW LIVE NOTES
-The crowd received the show pretty well overall.
-The six-man tag match, being ringside watching, it looked like the wrestlers were looking at each other at one point like they got news from the back that they had to extend the match or something. It almost looked like they handed Finn Balor the ball and told him to carry us for a while. Kurt Angle was at ringside for an extended period of around ten minutes with his head on the steps. They didn’t look really prepared to fill that much time. In the arena, the match worked well with the crowd.
-In the tag team title match, the near falls really were getting reactions late. Those guys did a hell of a job kind of doing indy wrestling and “winning the room.” It was impressive. I explained to a guy sitting next to me that The Revival and American Alpha had some really good matches before. That carried over with three of the four here. Hats off to them. It was great. I liked that it was a traditional tag match instead of two sets of three wrestlers getting their spots in like the previous match.
-When Seth Rollins came out, he got a good pop. From there it felt flat when he and Paul Heyman had their dialogue going on. The fans listened, but it felt long to the fans. I think Heyman has started to overstay his welcome. It’s not getting the same thing. Fans were telling to Seth to quit his whining. If it had more sniper fire and was more concise, I think it’d work better with his character.
LISTEN TO THE RAW POST-SHOW with Wade Keller & Zack Heydorn covering this episode
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-Elias’s song got everyone on their feet because it was localized. When he popped Kalisto with the guitar, it played well in the arena. My guess is any home town is going to like this.
-During the EC3 vs. Dean Ambrose match, a fan yelled “How is your aunt?” As EC3 leaped off the second rope, he looked over and screamed, “She’s great!” and then hit his move. It was awesome. It popped me. I explained to a fan next to me what that meant. He watches wrestling, but only WWE, so I explained the EC3 character from TNA. He said, “I wish WWE would have explained that and told that story.” I watch all wrestling, but the guy next to me was Joe Average WWE Fan and I think Vince & Co. have lost sight of that. Not everyone knows everyone’s back story. They need to tell that story to their larger audience.
-When Stephanie McMahon and Triple H came out, they got a babyface reaction. They got the show-opening pop, too. When Becky Lynch came out, it was huge. They played in the gray zone too much, though. I have a theater background, and when you play a character, you need to have a spine, and they don’t have that. I don’t know what is driving their character. The crowd pops because they’re celebrities, but they didn’t seen engaged in what they are doing. It was a lot of time-filler.
-When Ronda Rousey’s music first hit, it was a surprise and there was that initial excitement. Then they thought “wait, we don’t like her” and it changed to a mixed response. Not quite Roman Reigns, but mixed reviews. I’d say the same for Charlotte. Her music hit and then it was a quicker turn from excitement to groans at the announcement with the air out of the sails.
-The Kevin Owens video aired, but the sound was terrible. We couldn’t really hear what he was saying in the arena.
-During Ruby Riott’s win over Nikki Cross, they didn’t show the video in the arena of the backstage segment that TV viewers watched. The match felt filler and they just had a Raw logo on the big screen during the match. A fan asked, “What is Nikki Cross’s finisher? Oh, that’s right, we don’t know because she wasn’t won on TV since she arrived.”
POST-RAW DARK MATCH
-After Raw went off the air with Vince McMahon and Charlotte, which got a lot of crowd heat, everyone wondered what was next. Riot Squads came out.
(1) Liv Morgan & Sarah Logan (w/Ruby Riott) beat Sarah Logan & Liv Morgan (w/Ruby Riott). Rousey and Becky put each of the heels in armbars and won. Ronda extended an olive branch, but Becky wouldn’t have it, and they parted ways.
-Becky by far every time she came out. Stephanie and Hunter and Ronda got “star pops” too.
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