4/8 WWE Raw On-Site Report from Brooklyn, N.Y.: Fans turn sharply against WWE after Bar run-in, chant “AEW!” Seth tries to sooth fans with Shield reunion after Raw


WWE RAW ON-SITE REPORT
APRIL 8, 2019
BROOKLYN, N.Y. AT BARCLAYS CENTER
REPORT BY TOM LEE, PWTORCH CORRESPONDENT


To listen to the Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Post-show podcast featuring cohost Travis Bryan of the PWTorch East Coast Cast, live callers, a mailbag, and a conversation with an on-site correspondent who attended WrestleMania and Raw with details on crowd reactions and what happened before and after Raw went on the air and during commercial breaks, CLICK HERE.


I was born in England, lived in Australia, and moved to Japan twelve years ago, and I’m here in Brooklyn for WrestleMania weekend for about eight days.

TAPED FOR “MAIN EVENT” TV SHOW

(1) Jinder Mahal (w/The Singh Brothers) beat No Way Jose in about 5:00. A number of fans were actually cheering for Jinder and then booing No Way Jose on offense, giving an early sign this would be a bizarro world crowd.

(2) Heavy Machinery beat The Asension when Otis pinned Viktor.

RAW NOTES

-Given my expectations of the After Mania Raw, I thought everyone would make random chants and be against the show from the beginning, but that’s not how it went. As soon as they announced the Winner Take All men’s, there were some “No” and some “Yes” chants, but fans didn’t really want to see the titles united. As the show progressed, when Sami Zayn turned on the crowd, you could sense fans not liking where this was going anymore. We were an ideal crowd up until that point, cheering for the “right people” and booing the “right people,” and they flipped the switch. From that point on, we basically clapped to everything Sami said and by the time we got to the end of the show, we had enough.

-Before Sami came out, we had Sami shown backstage so we knew he was there. That got a big pop. Fans sang the theme song and was enjoying it. Once the match ended and he said something about not missing the fans, everyone cheered. Then when he said we’re all terrible people, fans continued to just cheer him. That was the point the fans decided to go against what WWE wanted them to do. Up until then, fans weren’t going upstream from WWE’s intent, but from that point it went downhill for WWE.

-When The Bar came out, fans were let down because they were waiting for something cool. People had their phones out pointing at the ramp, looking for an NXT debut or something that would have been cool to witness. From that point out fans booed the whole thing. I’m not sure if The Young Bucks and Cody paid WWE, but it turned into a commercial break for AEW. The entire crowd chanted “AEW!” for a good three or four minutes. Then there were chants for “Being the Elite.” Kofi tried to get a “New… Day Rocks!” chant going, but it turned into “A… EW!” It was very loud. There weren’t many empty seats, and I think 80 percent of the crowd was chanting “AEW!” and it was the loudest chant of the entire night, more than Becky.

-As soon as the Kofi Kingston vs. Seth Rollins match started, fans saw 24 minutes were left and everyone was doing their calculations, speculating on Undisputed Era. Anyone would have been cool except for The Bar. Not to hate on them too much, but really anyone but The Bar.

-There were at least five beach balls during the main event. Cesaro jumped into the crowd and then brought it back to the ring area and destroyed it. A fan actually popped one and gave the crowd the middle finger. He was booed. Some security guards captured them and fans chanted “asshole” at that point.

-During one of the commercial breaks, they showed signs around the arena to see who had the best sign. They happened to show a sign that said “Is it too soon…” And then as soon as it came on camera, another person held up the rest of the sign that said “…to boo Roman Reigns.” It was classic and we were still in a good mood at this point. We were all thinking, “That’s a little edgy. We’re not sure we want to cheer or boo that right now.”

-Going back to the start of the show, easily Kofi got a bigger audience reaction. Everyone was happy to see Seth with the Universal Title, but when New Day came out, everyone just exploded and went into the New Day and Kofi chants.

-Everyone was still into the show when Becky Lynch gave her promo. Fans might have been expecting Shayna Baszler. The brawl with Lacey Evans went too long. But overall mostly a positive reaction. Becky’s reaction was below Kofi, but above Seth. Kofi is at another level, but they might have lost some of that after tonight.

-As for Undertaker, there were some hints he was coming out as they changed the segment of the walkway to the grate where smoke could come out. It started leaking out when Elias came out. Then he said Dead Man and people figured it out. The crowd was happy to see Undertaker, but the surprise was removed a little.

AFTER RAW…

-Seth took the mic and said he was pissed off as a well and didn’t want it to end that way. He said it’s important the fans feel happy, so he said, “I’m going to bring my brother out.” Out walks Roman Reigns for the first time and I’d say it was 60 percent boos. I was on the second deck quite high up and people were yawning and tired. The second Reigns came out, they got out of their seats and booed. Before Sami turned the crowd, the fans would have probably been against booing Reigns, but everybody was so angry and annoyed with Sami and The Bar that they decided it was okay again to boo Reigns and not hold back. Roman seemed relaxed and chilled, but he didn’t talk or I at least don’t remember.

On top of that, they brought out Dean Ambrose to do a Shield reunion so fans could leave happy. That went slightly better. That prompted, of course, there were patches of “AEW!” chants again. I don’t understand the thinking. Why would you do that? They talked about how important the fans are. No one was buying it. Dean just talked through the chants, so they didn’t get as big as they were during the main event. He thanked the fans and talked about some of his favorite Shield memories and Barclays Center memories. He said he’d miss all of this and then the Shield fist bumped.

WRESTLEMANIA NOTES…

-I do want to add that I attended WrestleMania and getting back was a nightmare. It really put me off about going to WrestleMania again. Once was enough. The length of the show more than anything was the nail in the coffin. I went in expecting it to be a long show. By the time it ended, it started raining which made a bad situation worse.

-The turning point in the show was when Kofi got the belt. Everyone thought, okay we got our good moment, now kick back and be in cruise control.

-When Batista vs. Triple H started, some people left their seats and didn’t come back. Kids who are 8, 9, 10 years old can’t sit that long, and some of them have school the next day. The energy was gone.

-When the main event started, I was drained to the point that I had enough. It had been a long day because I had been at the Bullet Club block party so I was up at 8 in the morning. People were knocking down energy drinks late in the show. Some were blanketed up and someone had a pillow near me, so they knew what they were doing. There was some energy when Becky came out, but it was nothing compared to the first two hours of the show. Everyone seemed very drained. There were people leaving even during the main event. There were probably 10-20 percent of seats empty. It wasn’t a mass exodus, though.


RECOMMENDED: HEYDORN’S WWE RAW REPORT 4/8: Alt Perspective coverage of the live show including WrestleMania fallout, Rollins and Lynch as new champions, and more


To listen to the Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Post-show podcast featuring cohost Travis Bryan of the PWTorch East Coast Cast, live callers, a mailbag, and a conversation with an on-site correspondent who attended WrestleMania and Raw with details on crowd reactions and what happened before and after Raw went on the air and during commercial breaks, CLICK HERE.


 

8 Comments on 4/8 WWE Raw On-Site Report from Brooklyn, N.Y.: Fans turn sharply against WWE after Bar run-in, chant “AEW!” Seth tries to sooth fans with Shield reunion after Raw

  1. We’re all glad you and your crowd the night after Raw were intent on getting yourselves over, and we all love how night after Wrestlemania crowds think they’re the end-all. Thank you for showing us all how cool you are, and thank you as well for putting your name on this, so if you decide to go next year, I’ll make sure to not read your recap.

    Seriously, the “too cool” crowds really tick me off.

    • What strikes me about this report is how often the author portrays the crowd as a monolith. “We were all thinking” this, and “everybody was so angry” that. Seriously, out of thousands of people, everybody? Granted I was not there, but a lot of my thoughts and reactions during Raw were pretty different from the ones shared here.

      For example, Sami Zayn just made me laugh. I wanted “See you in hell” on a t-shirt. And when the Bar came out I was like “Oh thank god, Vince isn’t getting his hands on the Undisputed Era yet!”

      All that being said, thanks to the author for sharing the report, I always like to find out what it was like live and what happened during commercials.

  2. Thanks for the expected, cynical ‘holyer-than-thow’ pro-wrestling reply, Mitch. Blaming a reader who attended both shows for the audience’s lack of wrespect is ‘Scott Steiner-math’ level of neckbearded-ness!

    Wow, a paragraph with three hyphonated words. Go me! Also, thanks to the reader for submitting his detailed report, beach balls ‘et al’.

    • What I was speaking to was, among other things, his seeming endorsement of the beach ball crap, which I — and I’m one guy — find very annoying. Not holier-than-thou. Again, I’m one dude, but when I go to a show, I go FOR THE WRESTLING, not for beach balls and to try and get myself over. So what’s your issue with what I said?

      • By the way, I enjoy the on-site reports, too, very much. I just don’t like the assumption stuff, like “everybody” was thinking this, or that. That’s an impossible generalization.

      • You are a complete WWE mark. Are you upset that your PG Universe is being challenged by an actual pro wrestling company? Go play with your WWE action figures. It will be ok. It was clear that the majority of the crowd was bored and did not like the product. If you don’t want to believe those facts Mitch, the ratings are in the toilet. Go to your safe space and deny reality. Waaaah!

  3. “When Batista vs. Triple H started, some people left their seats and didn’t come back.”
    That’s par for the course for a HHH match at WrestleMania. I was at WM 25 & 32 and the fans walked out for those matches too. But…The Game…best for business….he’s that damn good…pfft!

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