A Cagesider's First WWE Monday Night Raw!


Hello, everyone, infrequent poster but avid follower, Jebsbeard, here. Tonight, (Mon., Nov. 19) I got to go to my very first RAW live event. But, to preface this, I should start from my wrasslin' roots...

In the 90's as a young boy, I grew up watching wrestling passionately. WCW and WWF were the staples of my diet. I remember the rise of the NWO, the glory of the cruiser-weight division (being a tiny boy from a tiny family only fostered my love even more), to the Rattlesnake and DX.

I took it all in weekly, with special bedtimes on Mondays to catch the action; even begging to stay up late on any other school nights it would air. Alas, we never had the means, or time, for a live event. But then, puberty hit, and my love of wrestling faded.

This brings us up to last year, when I got a new co-worker (who was also a friend, beforehand) who works as a professional wrestler. He convinced me to pitch-in on this year's WrestleMania with a few other fans of the business, and I was right back in.

Punk vs. Jericho was a big standout in the 'why I got back into wrestling so hard' factor. I went to a local HWA show (where my co-worker and a group of guys from my hometown are regulars), which pushed me further into fandom. A couple of King of Trios later, and I was back in full swing.

Fast forward to last night, I found out RAW was in Dayton, Ohio, which happens to only be a ten-minute drive from home. We all decided to head out.

Adding to our excitement, was the debut of Dean Ambrose, a guy a lot of guys I know worked with in HWA. Mark-out ready, we all headed over to the venue.

The Nutter Center is not a big place (my little sister just had her graduation ceremony there) but our mid-tier seats felt close up. The crowd was hot from the start, rockin' "YES!" and "Feed Me More!" chants before the first match had even started.

We also got to see a taping of Superstars (which wasn't bad). We got to see 3MB babeh! -- And we saw CoBro square off (good match for what it was). Next, Darren Young took on Justin Gabriel with each guy's tag partner ringside. The crowd was hot for Gabriel and there was good heat for PTP too (solid match, aside from some weird pins). Gabriel stole Young's pick and taunted him in ring, which was great.

Then, the big show started. The fans got all riled up before Ryback's entrance, which inspired some loud-as-hell chants; the crowd ate him up... and when Vickie appeared, my god, I've never heard anything so loud. We couldn't hear her promo at all from our seats.

Side note: Tensai is a large dude. He didn't sandbag Ryback though, and when he lifted him for the shell-shocked, the crowd was uber hot.

The Kofi vs. Barrett match was decent, but the crowd didn't really care for poor Kofi. I guess it's tough being a face sometimes. Some girl behind us was marking hardcore for Barrett, so that made it fun. During the backstage segment, CM Punk received a decent cheer.

Oh, and Aksana and Kaitlyn are incredibly good-looking, for real. So are the Funkadactyls, by the way. My wrassler friend had actually had the chance to work with Cesaro before, so he was excited to see him work. When he lifted Brodus up for the Neutralizer, everyone in the audience was duly impressed.

My christ, Vickie gets heat, loudest thing all night; I heard maybe one third of her promo. And the crowd went absolutely nuts over the AJ-Cena kiss.

Speaking of loud, Randy Orton is over; like, reeeeally over: A group of young ladies behind me were gushing over him the whole match. And the random "GET EM ORTON!" cries brought me some serious chuckles. Nevertheless, it was a good match, and the place went nuts when he hit the RKO.

The Great Khali is terrifying. Please god; keep him out of a ring. His legs look like someone put an erector set under his pants. Also, Rosa is fine. Crowd got their giggles, but that stunt with Hornswoggle really was a dumb waste of time.

The Miz got a decent reception, but the crowd was dead during this match. Otunga just works weird, the crowd was not into it.

Sheamus is thee worst on the mic. "FELLA... FELLA... COWARD... FELLA." He didn't come off as a total hypocrite or anything. The Big Show was great, mists of spit flying as Sheamus refused to stop cutting him off. Also, I marked hard for Sandow (I'm a big fan). This match was good, if not too long. Some asshole tried to start a boring chant that everyone promptly ignored. The crowd was kinda dead for the whole thing, until the fella fella'd.

We couldn't stop making jokes about Tensai being in the other stall the entire next segment, so that took away from its awfulness.

Rey was super over, and Kane's pyro is insane. The crowd stayed hot with "YES!" chants the whole time. Some dude a few rows back WOULD NOT stop yelling for Mysterio and the 619. It was a fun match though. Also, I think Kane is under-appreciated.

The recaps of the whole "AJ-Cena affair thing" were re-aired about 50 times, and they never got any less shitty.

Punk actually got some cheers during parts of his promo. Then came an uber mark out moment when Rollins, Reigns, and AMBROSE appeared. My buddy marked hard, as did all three of us in our group. The powerbomb sounded great when the table exploded, and Punk and Heyman looked like triumphant villains.

In conclusion, I had a pretty great time at my first RAW. No dark matches were held, which was a disappointment, but the mostly hot crowd and decent matches (aside from the abomination Khali) saved it. Oh, and the Divas didn't hurt.

In retrospect, I wish I would have made a sign, but it was a last minute thing. I suggest everyone try to go once, you won't regret it.

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