Philip Torkington sent this report in.
Just got back from the Raw World Tour Show at the Manchester Evening News Arena in Manchester, UK – what a great event! The crowd was spectacular throughout and the matches were very entertaining indeed. Here are the results and some notes:
Santino Marella vs. Drew McIntyre
Good match, great support for Santino and 99% of the arena giving McIntyre hell. Drew worked over Santino’s leg/knee throughout the match but eventually succumbed to the cobra.
Alex Riley & Primo vs. David Otunga & Michael McGillicutty
Average tag match, lots of cheers for Riley and Primo. All four men worked very well together and employed the usual isolate Primo followed by hot tag to Riley format. Riley won after hitting some sort of Firemans Carry > Diamond Cutter move.
…after the match, as Riley was returning to the back, Jack Swagger ran out and attacked him. Swagger then cut a pretty bad promo whilst doing push-ups, challenging anyone from the UK to face him. And that lead to…
Jack Swagger vs. Mason Ryan
Okay match. Big support for the Welshman and major heat for Swagger. Mason had his leg attacked a little but then recovered to hit major clotheslines, a running powerslam and another black hole/powerslam for the win.
US Championship Match: Dolph Ziggler (c) vs. John Morrison vs. Kofi Kingston
Very, very entertaining match with lots of near-falls and reversals. Ziggler spent most of the match chatting with the audience and generally avoiding Morrison and Kingston before being unceremoniously brought back into the ring the hard way! Ziggler eventually regained the advantage, hitting Morrison with a super-kick for the three count. After the match, Morrison and Kingston hit Ziggler with Trouble in Paradise and Starship pain, much to the delight of the audience.
Diva’s Championship Match: Beth Phoenix (c) vs. Eve Torres
Surprisingly good Diva’s match with Eve looking better than usual and Beth looking great … as usual. I must say, Eve’s pelvic twisting followed by standing moonsault is one of the greatest things in wrestling today. Ha! After 10 minutes or so, Beth hit the Glam Slam for the decisive pinfall.
John Cena & Zack Ryder vs. Awesome Truth
Mick Foley was announced as the special guest referee before the match and received a very good response from the crowd. Miz and R-Truth interrupted Foley and called him a “has-been” and a “nobody” before Foley cut a promo about Neil Diamond and Barbra Streisand that 90% of the audience didn’t really understand. Ryder got a fantasic reaction, and Cena – as Ryder’s parter, which was a surprise – blew the roof off (Cena had been advertised to face Del Rio for the WWE Title in the main event, not in the tag match). I’d say the audience was about 75% pro-Cena. The kids – and grown ups – totally overwhelmed the “Cena sucks” chants with enormous “LET’S GO CENA” chants. That was a first for me. Normally in the UK, Cena is booed out of the building, but not tonight. It just shows you how WWE’s audience is changing and how the “PG” era is in full effect. As a father of two who’s been watching WWF/WWE since 1991, it’s great to be able to take the kids to the show and enjoy it without worrying about inappropriate content, etc. Just my opinion, of course. 😉 Cena hit the Attitude Adjustment on Miz for the pinfall after a very entertaining tag team match.
WWE Championship Match: Alberto Del Rio (c) vs. CM Punk
Great, great match to finish the show. Some great moves, including a german suplex, top rope super-plex and lots of other fantastic maneuvers and sequences. Punk and Del Rio really gel well together and I’m looking forward to seeing their Survivor Series match a lot more after seeng this contest. Punk got on the mic at the beginning of the match and told Del Rio to “stop being such a woman”, which irritated the Mexican Aristocrat to no end. Ricardo Rodriguez interfered at the end of the match, hitting Punk with a steel chair to cause the disqualification. During the beat-down, Miz and R-Truth arrived to join in on the fun. Unfortunately for them, John Cena, Mick Foley, Zack Ryder and Eve Torres (yes, Eve…) arrived to chase off the heels … all except for Miz, who ended up receiving a slap from Eve, a Rough Ryder, an Attitude Adjustment, a Go 2 Sleep and a Moonsault … oh, and Mr. Socko also made an appearance, if you know what I mean! Hilariously, one of the kids in the row behind me shouted “WHAT’S HE DOING TO HIM?!?!?!” during the Mr. Socko move. I guess that was lost on him!
So, all in all, a fantastic show – one of the best I’ve been to over the years. My only gripe is that it was depressing to see once up-and-coming superstars like Drew McIntyre and Jack Swagger totally squashed by a comedy act (Santino) and a musclebound goon (Mason Ryan). I don’t see how or why WWE has lost interest in these talented superstars … but well, that’s just the way things are.