WWE Raw house show report
August 21, 2010
Report by Chris Charlton, PWTorch reader
Just got back from tonight's Raw house show from the Sumo Hall in Ryogoku. It was a good show in all, with a hot crowd. The arena was about 90 percent full, which isn't bad given WWE's past issues filling larger house show venues on recent tours.
(1) WWE tag champions Hart Dynasty (Tyson Kidd & D.H. Smith w/Natalya) beat The Miz & Ted DiBiase (w/Maryse). Miz was out first and cut a promo about being the U.S. and soon to be WWE champion and wanting the triple crown. It was a fairly decent promo, but the crowd was lost trying to follow along with Miz's English, before coming back for his catchphrase. DiBiase joined Miz as his partner before Hart Dynasty and their new belts came out. Tyson Kidd was worked over for the majority before the hot tag to Smith, who got big reactions for all the Davey Boy spots. Natalya ended up brawling with Maryse, leading to a modified Hart Attack on DiBiase (Kidd hit the springboard lariat to DiBiase and managed to dropkick Miz on the way down, which looked pretty sweet) for the three. Good opener and went around the fifteen minute mark.
(2) David Otunga beat Goldust. Goldust was oddly over in this match. Otunga picked apart Goldust with some basic offense (still looking awkward at times) before winning with a weak-looking spinebuster in six minutes or so.
(3) The Bella Twins beat Jillian Hall & Alicia Fox with Eve as the special guest referee. Eve wasn't wearing a ref's shirt or anything. Go figure. Throngs of people in the lower sections decided this was their bathroom break match and filed out here. Standard Divas action and the finish came when Jillian hoisted one of the Bellas for a Samoan drop but inadvertently struck Eve. Eve refused to count for Jillian and then fast-counted a roll-up attempt on the part of the Bellas.
(4) Rey Mysterio beat Evan Bourne. This was advertised for yesterday's show, but went down today instead. Both guys got a huge reaction and had a very good match, although it could have gone a bit longer than the 15 or so minutes it did. Some nice lucha exchanges started out before Evan took control of Rey for most of the match. After Rey's comeback, both teased their respective finishes before Bourne missed with a leap from the top rope and Rey hit a snap huracanrana for the three count. The crowd was anticipating the Air Bourne throughout and never got to see it, which deflated them somewhat.
(5) Big Show beat Mark Henry. This was the exact antithesis of the previous match as we went from the two smallest and most exciting people on the show to the biggest and dullest to watch. I found this an awful five-minute big man affair, complete with interminable tests of strength and the classic shoulder block trading spot. Show won with a pair of knockout punches. Dull as dishwater, but the audience was lapping it up and cheering along, so what do I know.
(6) Randy Orton beat Wade Barrett. Barrett came out first and cut a great promo, saying he'd been studying some Japanese. The crowd disagreed with his assessments of 'Nexus-ichiban' (number one) and 'Japan-not ichiban.' His lessons amounted to one word then. Barrett said he was sending out an open challenge and Orton obliged. They had about twelve minutes of a normal Orton match, solid if unspectacular. Toward the end, Otunga came out to interfere, but a miscue led to the Nexus members butting heads and Orton landing the RKO. He followed up with an emphatic second RKO before scoring the pin, which might not say good things about Nexus going forward. Barrett definitely looked comfortable with the big star though.
(7) John Cena & Yoshi Tatsu beat WWE champion Sheamus & Chris Jericho. You remember Yoshi Tatsu, he was probably on Superstars a couple of times, or something. Tatsu owes his two main events this weekend, and his job at large to JSports (the cable network that airs WWE here), with WWE needing a Japanese wrestler on roster to keep them sweet. He's the Sho Funaki of the 2010s, then. He came out to a modest reaction, compared to deafening pops for Cena and Jericho (whom I met earlier in the day, and was genuinely very nice).
The heels worked on Cena early, allowing the crowd to get behind Tatsu when he made the tag. Jericho and Sheamus quickly shut down Tatsu, though, and worked over him for quite some time. Jericho was absolutely awesome throughout - after an initial pop for his entrance, the crowd was hating him by the end, thanks to some great mannerisms and at one point getting in some ringside fans's faces. Tatsu eventually made the hot tag to Cena, who attempted the Attitude Adjustment, but was countered into the Walls of Jericho, which was turned into an STF. Sheamus broke up the submission attempt, but Tatsu sent him flying, before a Buzzsaw kick to Jericho lead to the Attitude Adjustment and the pinfall. Yoshi got the rub from Cena and looked fairly good throughout, but will probably fall back into obscurity once the plane home lands.
OVERALL: An entertaining show, all around. The crowd certainly played a big part, giving the weak matches some energy and making the good matches better. The only quiet moment was during the Divas match.
(2) Big Show
(3) Rey Mysterio
Best Match: Bourne vs. Mysterio
Worst Match: Show vs. Henry
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