8/31 WWE Raw in Melbourne, Australia: A full report of the show featuring CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan for the WWE Championship, John Cena vs. Big Show and John Laurinaitis, and more
WWE Live Event
Report by Dot Net reader Cam Buchanan
Just a few notes about the WWE Raw tour in Melbourne Australia which has just finished. It's my fourth year in a row that I have seen their show. Last year I ended up driving 20 hours to see the Melbourne show and having a 14 hour train trip to see the Brisbane show. Thankfully this one is a bit of an easier one!
Apparently this was a sold out event. This would mean about 14,000 people. It's always a pretty lively crowd with loads of kids!
There was a big pop for Justin Roberts as he entered!
1. Brodus Clay defeated Jack Swagger in 7:30. Clay opened things with Naomi only despite the usual audio asking us to welcome both Funkadactyls! Swagger is a brilliant heat magnet in person. He got a fair bit of offense in too, including two Vader Bombs and an ankle lock. This could be a pretty good midcard feud. After his win, Clay called some kids in to dance. Far better than the usual painful dance off!
They played a video promo of The Miz claiming his challenger tonight (Alex Riley) betrayed him last time he was champ. In the video, Miz put A-Ry over as 'the hardest worker in sports entertainment.'
2. Layla defeated Rosa Mendez to retain the Divas Championship in 5:45. Rosa desperately tried to get heel heat, but it was hard. She sort of comes across as too nice! There was a fair bit of comedy stalling but the action was OK after that. When was the last time you saw a neck breaker in a Divas match?
3. The Miz defeated Alex Riley in 11:30 to retain the Intercontinental Championship. The Miz did a live promo and attracted soooo much heat! It was so well done that the crowd was really amped to see A-Ry come out to shut him up. Very clever if you ask me. This was a very entertaining match that told a great story. Miz won with the Skull Crushing Finale. This could be a great feud for A-Ry to get back into the TV mix. Good way to use Miz to elevate a new star while the top title isn't involved. And they have a back story.
4. Zack Ryder defeated Tensai in 1:45. Ryder got his own pyro too! He won with his finisher out of nowhere after Tensai dominated. It felt a bit strange to me. Ryder is so over, it felt criminal to give the crowd only two minutes of him. Tensai on the other hand...
They replayed the HHH retirement speech on the screen.
5. R-Truth & Kofi Kingston defeated Primo & Epico to Tag Team Championships in 13:00. The challengers came out with Rosa and looked a bit too happy despite her earlier title loss. Truth did his own intro with a reworded rap dedicated to Little Jimmy. Kofi made his own intro with full pyro. The faces won after the false finish which drew out AJ. She was wearing a business jacket with wrestling tights and Chucks! She restarted and it ended soon after with a double pin. The match was solid and entertaining. Truth did a promo at the end asking if the crowd accepted Little Jimmy, but apparently Kofi didn't until the crowd convinced him to. Weird but funny!!
JR did the merch promo and promoted Night of Champions before intermission. A mild detail, but he could have promoted the WWE title match as 'the winner of tonight's bout' rather than CM Punk vs. John Cena. Kinda gives away the end of tonight's event
6. Santino Marella defeated David Otunga in 8:20. Otunga was introduced as a graduate of Harvard, no weight of hometown. Fits the character I guess. He entered to crickets! He did his posing to Olympic styled classic music. Still crickets! A kid behind me said he officially hated him! Maybe that's supposed to be the response. Santino on the other hand got a great pop!
7.CM Punk defeated Daniel Bryan to retain the WWE Championship in 24:00. Punk clearly came out as a face to this crowd. It was just great to watch. Someone in the crowd had a sign saying "Vegan Power," There was a cool spot where Punk 'hulked up' and did the Hogan leg drop. Bryan gave a superplex and cleanly transitioned into the No! Lock. Really sweet to watch. Punk won the GTS. It wasn't a technical classic, but a very entertaining march nonetheless. It told the Bryan anger management story really well.
8. John Cena defeated Big Show and John Laurinaitis in 11:45. This was announced as a 2-on-1 handicap match, but John Laurinaitis came out in a suit. He took the mic and introduced Big Show who came out sans pyro and goatee! Makes him look younger which was probably the intention. Cena came out to the biggest pop and announced at 251 pounds, which means he's bulked out a bit, and he had different shoes which only go ankle high. Just a side note!
Johnny started but immediately tagged in Show. He played the weak and opportunistic heel while Show did all the work. Cena won with the Attitude Adjustment. After the march, Big Johnny attacked with a chair, but Cena countered with another AA. He finally took the mic and thanked the sold out crowd to send them home happy!
Say what you want about Cena but there is no denying his star power. I have heard about the early days with Hulk Hogan and a second show was never as impressive as the first. This is the fourth time I have seen him in action and you do not get that feeling with him. He certainly earns his keep for the company and the fans.
Overall this was a pretty good show. They had a hard act to follow as the tour last year was in the lead up to the Money in the Bank PPV.
Cena by a mile, followed closely by CM Punk
Miz and Swagger did it without any effort and Bryan was just awesome in his role.
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