1/11 WWE Raw in Austin: The Shield challenge for the WWE Tag Team Championship, C.M. Punk and Dolph Ziggler vs. John Cena and Ryback, Antonio Cesaro vs. The Miz for the U.S. Title
WWE Raw live event
Austin, Texas at the Frank Erwin Center
Report by Dot Net reader Kevin Deitz
My wife and I went to our first WWE live event in four years tonight. My wife is more of a casual fan, so she was disappointed that she only recognized a few wrestlers. However, she did love John Cena, CM Punk, and Santino. The Frank Erwin Center was almost 3/4 full, which I figure isn't bad for a house show. Austin loves wrestling.
First out was C.M. Punk to a big face pop that quickly turned to a mixed reaction. Punk taunted the crowd and talked about how the crowd should show him more respect because he loves wrestling in Houston, which got the first major heel heat of the night (more on that later.)
Punk decided he was taking the night off, but he was stopped by Vickie Guerrero, who came out to her usual routine which elicited boos. It seemed most people didn't know whether to boo or cheer for her. She set up the tag team main event of C.M. Punk and Dolph Ziggler vs. John Cena and Ryback.
1. Brodus Clay defeated Jack Swagger. Standard Brodus squash. Swagger got a small amount of offense and some stalling with the crowd, but it was mostly formula. Local kids danced with Brodus and the Funkadactyls afterward.
Antonio Cesaro cut a promo over the house screen on Americans and how they should be proud that he is their United States Champion. Justin Roberts announced that Cesaro would defend the United States Championship later on against the Miz.
2. Zack Ryder defeated Leo Kruger. Ryder was out to a great reaction. No one knew who Kruger was. A pretty decent back and forth match. Ryder won with the Rough Ryder.
The Shield cut a promo on Team Hell No over the house screen. Their chemistry doing promos as a group is improving. They criticized Team Hell No being called a team. The promo ended with Reigns screaming "Believe in the Shield!" Vickie Guerrero came back out to give the fans the choice between a 2 out of 3 falls match or a street fight for the United States Title match. Voting was done through Twitter or text.
3. Kaitlyn defeated Tamina Snuka. Kaitlyn came out to a good pop, being that she is from Houston and was wearing a Longhorns tank top. This was pretty hard hitting for a divas match and the crowd was invested. After a few near falls, Kaitlyn won with a gut buster, which looked pretty legit painful. Best divas match I have seen in a while.
4. Team Hell No defeated the Shield by disqualification. Bryan was out first to a good reaction with the Yes/No routine. Kane was out next to a bigger reaction, which surprised me. The Shield came through the crowd to good heat. Ambrose and Rollins worked the match, while Reigns played the enforcer. This was a good back and forth match. Lots of "Let's go, Goatface!" chants. The finish came as Kane chokeslammed Ambrose and Reigns attacked Kane for the DQ. The Shield started a beat down on Bryan and Kane, but were foiled by Ryback who sent them packing.
5. Santino Marella defeated Tensai. This was a comedy match. The crowd loved it, especially my wife. Moment of the match came when Santino broke a bear hug by giving Tensai double wet willies. Santino won with the Cobra. Tensai no sold it at first and then fell like a tree. A funny bit after the match was when Tensai was walking to the back, Santino would do the trumpet and Tensai would turn to look back and Santino would pretend that he was innocently standing in the ring.
6. Antonio Cesaro defeated the Miz to retain the United States Title in a Street Fight. The fans voted for the street fight stip. Cesaro came out to decent heat with new American flag ring gear, while waving the American flag. Miz was out to a good pop and shook the hands of a Guardsman in uniform to play up the angle. This was the match of the night. The crowd seemed impressed with Cesaro's power moves. First weapon was a kendo stick that both men eventually used. Cesaro eventually went to look under the ring and brought out a table, which elicited applause from the audience. Cesaro slid the table back under the ring to massive boos. Miz eventually put the table in the ring. After some near falls from both men, including Cesaro slamming Miz through the table in the corner of the ring, Cesaro won out of nowhere with the Neutralizer.
7. John Cena and Ryback defeated C.M. Punk and Dolph Ziggler. Ziggler came out with Big E. Langston and AJ to good heat. Cena came out to the pop of the night. A funny moment came during Cena's entrance when he went to do his usual run and slide into the ring as, suddenly, Punk tried to tackle him and missed. Punk and Ziggler were in comedy mode to start the match, both trading tags as to not be the first to face off with Ryback. Lots of back and forth with the bulk of the match being wrestled by Cena and Ziggler. Another funny moment came when Punk escaped the ring after a beating and jumped into Big E. Langston's arms. The referee got the major heel heat of the night when he did not see Ryback tag Cena. While the referee was trying to corral Cena out of the ring, Langston came in and hit Ryback with his finisher. Eventually, Langston and AJ were sent to the back. The finish came when Cena hit Ziggler with the AA.
All in all, a decent show that pandered to the kiddies who were in attendance. Not as good as my previous WWE experiences due to the tone of the show. I enjoyed it for what it was.
1. John Cena, by far.
2. CM Punk at the start of the show.
3. Ryback when he saved Team Hell No from the Shield.
1. The referee in the main event after missing Ryback's tag to Cena.
2. CM Punk after the initial pop.
3. The Shield/Antonio Cesaro. The crowd reaction was too close to call.
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