12/27 WWE Raw in New York: Paul Heyman vs. Ryback, The Shield vs. The Miz, Daniel Bryan, and Kane, John Cena vs. Dolph Ziggler with A.J. and Big E Langston, The New Age Outlaws vs. Rhodes Scholars
WWE Raw live event
New York, N.Y. at Madison Square Garden
Report by Dot Net reader Anthony Gasparino
Before I even got there, I got a slice of pizza in Penn Station, and again I ran into Mr. Ryder and the Big O. Seems to be every time I go to a wrestling event I run into them by dumb luck. Anyway on to the show...
The Garden looks great from it's renovations. They've been slowly changing it over the past few years. The 300's barely even exist anymore though, so bad news for people looking for really cheap seats.
1. The New Age Outlaws defeated Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow. Big pops for the Outlaws. Good heat on Rhodes Scholars. Everyone was pretty invested in this match and vocal with the NAO's spots. The match lasted about 10 minutes.
2. Brodus Clay defeated David Otunga. Does Otunga even lift? To be honest, I don't think anyone cares any more about either of these guys. They are so buried, I don't know. I feel Brodus has lost a lot of weight, and he could be primed for a good run though, just needs to lose the gimmick and get serious. The match lasted about two minutes.
Jack Swagger came out and cut a promo. Where's he been? He made fun of Brodus, saying he's the Mark Sanchez of WWE, and played up to the NYC crowd to big heat. He challenged Brodus to a match.
3. Brodus Clay pinned Jack Swagger. The match lasted a good two minutes. Each man hit his own spots. Swagger looked ok from his long hiatus. I guess he's on his way back?
4. Eve pinned Kaitlyn to retain the WWE Divas Championship. The match lasted about 5 minutes. Eve hit her finisher and pinned Kaitlyn. On a side note, Katlyn is totally hot.
5. Santino pinned Tensai. Santino is good for comedy and kids, that's about it. He's not very appealing to everyone. Light Albert chants. Santino did get a good pop when he pinned Tensai. Afterward Tensai had to sing the song we voted for: Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. Funny stuff though. Not as bad as I thought it would be.
6. The Shield defeated The Miz, Kane, and Daniel Bryan. The face team got good pops. Miz got more cheers than I thought he'd get live. The crowd was in a frenzy for Kane and Daniel Bryan though. The Shields entrance is cool live. They came out a few sections below us. The match was all over the place early with Daniel reversing out of the triple power bomb. The match lasted about 20 minutes with many good spots throughout. All of them do a really good job in general. The Miz took the powerbomb for The Shield win.
7. The Uso Brothers defeated The Prime Time Players. The Prime Time Players' old music was better. Both came out to somewhat quiet reactions, probably due to WWE selling so much merch. Four minutes later, the Usos hit double superfly splashes for the pinfall victory.
8. Antonio Cesaro defeated Zack Ryder to retain the U.S. Title. Wow, have they killed Zack Ryder's momentum. This has to be the smallest pop he's gotten in New York that I've heard in a while. Disappointing since he had such a good following at the beginning of 2012. Still, a well wrestled match. I continue to be impressed by Cesaro. He just needs a better gimmick than him hating on the United States. The match did get better as it went along with the crowd slowly waking up with many near falls. Cesaro hit The Neutralizer for the win.
9. Ryback pinned Paul Heyman in a Street Fight. Heyman cut a promo about how all the greats who performed at The Garden can "kiss my ass." He labeled himself as the baddest dude in NYC. Ryback came out to a pretty large pop and a lot of the usual Feed Me More chants. The bell rang and Heyman ran out of the ring. The Shield quickly came out and went right after Ryback. They went to put him through a table but out came Kane, Daniel Bryan and Miz to save Ryback. Heyman then went in the ring to take advantage of a downed Ryback, but he quickly got up and hit Shellshocked for the victory at about four minutes. Afterward, Ryback rolled back in the ring per the crowd's chants and put Heyman straight through a table that was propped up on the ropes. Someone earned his pay tonight.
10. John Cena beat Dolph Ziggler (w/A.J. Lee, Big E Langston) in a cage match. Pretty large pop, mostly cheers for Ziggler. My friend says he's the next Shawn Michaels. He's got a long way to go for that. Cena came out to by far the largest pop of the night, to be expected as usual. Halfway through, Cena almost botched a climb out of the cage, but Ziggler pulled him back in. He also tried to get out the door but Langston closed it on him. After a ref bump and a near fall, Cena pulled out the victory with an AA. A great, roughly 20-minute match.
Notes: All in all, a great night. A lot of great spots (cage match, New Age Outlaws) and some not so great ones (Zack Ryder, Divas match). The next time WWE returns to MSG it will be for the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony. I can't wait. Until then...
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