|By Raj Giri||July 28, 2012 | Comments|
I went to the WWE RAW World Tour event at the Charleston Civic Center in Charleston, WV. The venue was about half full (maybe more), but the second floor seating areas were nearly empty. The crowd was respectable and really got into the show as time went on.
The first contest was Brodus Clay against JTG. The Funkadactyls came out to a decent pop and did the normal dance routine. Brodus came out next to another great pop. The kids are really into his character, and there were many children in the crowd. The match wasn't a complete squash as expected, as JTG got in a fair amount of offense. Brodus hit the Fisherman Buster followed by a running splash to pick up the victory to the delight of the crowd. Brodus along with Naomi and Cameron invited the kids into the ring to dance after the match.
Next up was Antonio Cesaro against Alex Riley. Cesaro came out with Aksana to pretty decent heat. A-Ry came out nect to a loud pop, and the match began. Both guys worked very hard and played the crowd well. A-Ry chants were evident throughout the course of the match. Cesaro had a minor botch on an armdrag, but A-Ry saved the spot with an athletic counter. The end saw Cesaro pinning Riley after the Neutralizer finisher. Very solid match.
Beth Phoenix vs Layla was next. The Diva's title is on the line. Side note: Beth was one of the nicest people I met during the entire trip. Anyways, Beth worked the crowd for awhile to begin the match. She was able to garner significant heat, as only one other person and I cheered for her. Layla stole Beth's headband during the match and used it in comedic fashion. Pretty solid action between these two ladies, which surprised me to an extent. The end saw Beth attempt the Glam Slam, only to be countered into a roll-up by Layla for the three. Pretty solid match, especially considering the criticism the Divas have been receiving.
The next match was a contest for the Intercontinental Championship. Fans were able to "text their vote" to see either a Street Fight or 2/3 Falls match. The Miz came out to a chorus of boos, while only a few select people cheered. The Miz got on the mic and talked about being "better than everybody." The Miz also told the audience not to vote the street fight, which is how I knew that the WWE planned for a street fight to occur. Zack Ryder came out to a big pop. The Miz accessed a kendo stick and exposed the turnbuckle. The Miz took control for awhile, until Ryder was able to take the stick and deliver a low blow to The Miz to the crowd's delight. The finish saw Zack Ryder ramming into the exposed turnbuckle followed by The Skull Crushing Finale for the win. This was a terrific contest, and while many criticize The Miz's in-ring work, I thought he did a great job.
The next contest was a triple threat elimination tag team match for the Tag Titles. The Primetime Players along with AW came out to significant heat. AW gloated and ran his mouth the WHOLE time, which really got under the audience's skin. Next, Primo and Epico came out (without Rosa)! The fans didn't seem to know whether to cheer or boo them. Next, R-Truth came out to a huge pop. Truth entered with his "What's Up" act, which excited the fans. Yes, Lil Jimmy was right behind him. Next, Kofi Kington came out to an even greater pop. The fans really loved his gold/blue attire (WVU's colors). Truth and Darren Young started the match out, but not before AW and Titus O'Neil pampered Young before the match. Great mat wrestling by all of the participants. Epico and Primo were eliminated when Primo received the Clash of the Titus. O'Neil and Young worked Truth for the majority of the match until Kofi received the hot tag. Kofi can really fly. Kofi used a wide array of aerial maneuvers as the crowd popped more. Young nailed the Gut Check on Truth for the initial three. However, the referee restarted the match after discovering Truth had his foot on the rope. The PTP rushed back into the ring after being "stripped" of the titles, but were then met with DDT's from both Truth and Kofi. Truth and Kofi covered the PTP's for the victory to retain the Tag Titles. This may have been the best wrestling match of the evening.
Matt M contributed to this article. Got a news tip or correction? Send it to us by clicking here.
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