|By Raj Giri||November 05, 2012 | Comments|
I attended the WWE Raw live event in Manchester on Saturday. First of all, I went to the autograph signing at Smyths toys, I assumed I would be seeing Ryback and AJ but it turned out it was Zack Ryder and AJ, so there must have been last minute changes. There was a huge queue for the signings and the staff were very strict as no photos or even videos were allowed. I spent about 30 seconds with AJ and Ryder and that's it, the queue was very rushed.
The Manchester Arena crowd atmosphere was average at the start. I would say the arena was about 80% full with the seats behind the small Titanton staged closed.
The first match was Brodus & Santino vs. Epico and Primo. It started off as a comedy match as Primo went to the top rope to get a crowd reaction, which resulted in a lot of boos. Santino did the same thing and got a load of cheers, but he fell off the top rope. Was your standard tag team match with the heels working on Santino, and then Santino getting the hot tag and Brodus picking up the victory.
Next match was Tensai vs. Michael McGillicutty. The whole crowd was cheering "Albert" the whole match. Tensai took notice of this and reacted by looking around the crowd and shaking his head the way Daniel Bryan would when he says no. McGillicutty won by pinfall after he rolled up Tensai, similar to how Tensai lost against Tyson Kidd on RAW a few months back.
The next match was scheduled to be Eve vs. Layla for the WWE Divas championship, however a Twitter vote before the show resulted in AJ joining the match to make it a triple threat. AJ got most of the cheers. I expected this to be a standard divas match with the crowd being bored, however the crowd was really into it! Back and forth action which resulted in Eve hitting her finisher on Layla and the ref was going for the three count, however AJ jumped under the ref to stop his hand from hitting the ground which saved the match. AJ eventually got a pin with a schoolgirl, which the crowd popped HUGE for. I popped to, as I did not expect a title change at all. Vickie came out and accused AJ of cheating because she stopped the referee's count and she restarted the match. This resulted in AJ losing to Eve for the pinfall.
Next match was Dolph Ziggler vs. John Cena. Very mixed reaction for both, but I was cheering for Ziggler. I would say it was 50/50 for Cena and 40/60 for Ziggler, that being cheers to boos. Ziggler dominated the majority of the match. This was definitely match of the night with many near falls, Ziggler countering an AA and tapping out to the STFU while the ref was knocked down. Ziggler pandered to the crowd loads by showing off. Cena also Gangnam-styled during the match, haha. Vickie came in with the MITB Briefcase while the ref was down, but AJ took the briefcase off her. This left cena in the ring with AJ, and it was a very awkward moment between the two as Cena stroked AJ's hair and AJ hit Ziggler with the briefcase. Cena then hit Ziggler with the AA for the pin.
Antonio Cesaro vs. Zack Ryder for the US title was next after the intermission. Started slow, but turned out to be a great match with many near falls, one of which saw Ryder hit the Broski boot and got the three count, but Cesaro got to the ropes. The ref only noticed this after he counted 3. The crowd popped huge for this. Ryder went for Rough Ryder, but Cesaro countered it into a powerbomb, which Ryder kicked out of. Cesaro hit the neutralizer for the win.
Team Hell No vs. Team Rhodes Scholars was next. Team Hell No were SO OVER with the crowd it was crazy. Standard tag team match with tension between Bryan and Kane. Bryan made Sandow tap out to the No Lock and comedy antics followed the match between Bryan and Kane.
CM Punk vs. Ryback was the main event (no Paul Heyman). The crowd was about 40/60 for Punk and Ryback was over huge. This was basically the Hell In A Cell match, but Sandow and Rhodes interfered while Ryback was about to shell shock Punk, to get Punk disqualified. Ryback fought them all off and shellshocked Punk to send the crowd home happy.
Overall a great show and the match quality was definitely worth the money!
Asim Iqbal contributed to this article. Got a news tip or correction? Send it to us by clicking here.
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