Live report from RAW in Minneapolis

Tonight I was live at the Monday Night RAW taping from Minneapolis. The show was a lot of fun, as live wrestling always is. The Target Center was almost sold out and the crowd was pretty loud and raucous all the way through. Judging by the crowd, WWE’s TV-PG mantra is working, as the crowd was crawling with families and young children, covered in John Cena and DeGeneration X gear.

The event started opened with two matches taped for Thursday night’s Superstars show on WGN America.

In the first match Primo and Gail Kim beat Chavo Guerrero and Jillian Hall in a mixed tag match. The crowd was begging for to cheer for anyone at that point, so all four wrestlers got great reactions just for being the first people out.

In the second match taped for Superstars, Chris Masters (accompanied by Eve Torres) made Carlito submit to the Masterlock.

For full coverage of RAW, click over to Pulse Wrestling and check out Paul Marshall’s full recap. This will be just highlights of the evening, so please check out the full recap if you didn’t see the show.

I must again reiterate how loud the pyro is, especially sitting so close to the Titantron.

Mike Tyson got a great reaction upon his first appearance. I too was quite stoked for his appearance and he was great in the first segment with Sheamus, John Cena, Randy Orton and Kofi Kingston. Orton got a surprisingly good reaction from the crowd but John Cena’s reaction was off the charts. Minneapolis sure loves Cena.

In the opening match, Alicia Fox beat Kelly Kelly in a quick match. The crowd was fairly quiet for the match, but both ladies looked just lovely in person.

In the second match, Legacy (Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase) beat Mark Henry & Evan Bourne when Rhodes pinned Bourne after Cross-Rhodes.

From there it was an incredibly long stretch without in-ring action, including another WrestleMania XXVI hype video, the Mike Tyson backstage segment with Chris Jericho, a recap of Bret Hart’s appearance from last week and a commercial for the WCW DVD. It was too long without a match.

Jack Swagger versus Santino Marella in the over-the-top challenge was next. Santino beat Swagger in way to short of a match. Kids loved Santino, but it was criminal to see Swagger misused like this.

From there they showed a video highlighting Kid Rock’s appearance at WrestleMania XXV, which is incredibly confusing being it was the worst part of that show and isn’t even included on the WrestleMania XXV DVD.

Then it was Kofi Kingston-Randy Orton-John Cena triple threat match. This match got the most time of the night, which not surprisingly made it the match of the night. Crowd loved both Kofi and Cena and I must say I was shocked to see Orton come out as the winner. The part of the match that was during the commercial break was evident by Sheamus going backstage during the break and then returning minutes later.

The best part of the show for me however was the absolutely phenomenal Miz promo, which started backstage and followed him out to ringside. His JBL impression was spot on and the words he spoke were great. The segment only got better with MVP’s involvement, as I didn’t anticipate that fire and passion for him. It actually made me want to see that match. The best segment of the night in my opinion.

Then they showed ANOTHER Hall of Fame promo. Between the Hall of Fame, WrestleMania and Tribute to the Troops videos the crowd was entertained throughout the breaks at least.

The crowd was dead for the Eve Torres-Katie Lea Burchill match as no one really knew Katie Lea and the fact a video package played after their entrances and before they were officially announced in the ring killed the whole segment. But good Lord is Maryse amazing…

Another Tyson DVD video package…

The segment featuring Mr. McMahon was slow and fairly pointless, but it was a necessary evil to continue the Bret Hart thing so fans wouldn’t think his appearance last week was a one time deal.

It was clear the main event would be short when Tyson hit the ring at 10 pm CST, and the swerve could be seen a mile away by anyone over the age of twelve. Hornswoggle is truly over as well, so I gues I can see why they keep him around even if many (those who don’t pay the bills) can’t stand him.

After the match, Triple H, Michaels, Hornswoggle, Tyson and Tyson’s kid I guess(?) celebrated post-match. After they left ringside, Sheamus back out and challenged John Cena to a WWE Title. Cena beat Sheamus by count out in about two minutes. Cena then hyped up Minneapolis, WWE, the upcoming Vikings-Cowboys Sunday afternoon game and anything else he thought of. Sheamus then ran back out to the ring and got dropped one more time.

Cena was a great ambassador for the company and closed out the show with style. The taping was fun, the crowd popped for all the right people and it was personally a joy to see Tyson live.

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