As a Brit, it’s not often I get to see Raw live with my owns eyes instead of being forced by obsession and habit to stay awake until 4am to gorge myself on WWE. I could stream it illegally in the week. I could watch the edited highlights. But no, that’s not how I roll. I need it live, and this week, I got it live in my own capital city. Below are the musings of a man present and in the moment as the UK proudly hosted our favourite Monday night extravaganza.
There are a LOT of grown men wearing light up unicorn horns. That will be embarrassing to explain on the train journey home.
Only 5 minutes after the doors have opened, duelling Cena chants erupt. He’s not even in the building. I start a chant with the same timing of… “Children chanting / Men are too.”
New Day chants dominate the next hour. These guys are so over it hurts.
A note on what people are wearing. Beards and excess weight mainly, but New Day and AJ gear dominate.
Can’t believe they still have the cab and telephone box. In the UK, telephone boxes have only been used as toilets or homeless people’s wardrobes since 2001.
There are a lot of kids in the crowd. And they’re bloody loving it.
“Shane O’Mac” chants sound worryingly like “Shave your back.” Nice for Matt Bloom to pop into my thoughts.
The Ric Flair “Woo” chants are incessant. It’s the noise that transcends Flair the wrestler, and defines the screamer as a wrestling fan. You might sound like a drunk seagull, but dammit, wooing proves your love of grappling.
Heard in the merch queue. “I’ve got Cena headbands and wristbands, and a New Day t-shirt, so all I need now are Roman Reigns gloves and I’ll have all I ever need in life.”
Also heard this mother to her child. “When are you really going to wear a light up unicorn horn? A t-shirt is a much better idea.”
They played the Wrestlemania promo. Again. Seriously, I can’t listen to that fucking song any more.
It is so, SO apparent that Roman Reigns is going to get booed super hard.
Curtis Axel’s knee slide entrance is the only decent thing he’s ever done.
Where’s Adam Rose, hmm? Probably crying in the ‘naughty fourth member corner’ with Wade Barrett.
Big Show is being cheered for pretty loudly by the kids. I’m assuming they think he’s the BFG.
I cannot believe I’m going to say this, but, live, the Social Outcasts are pretty entertaining.
Go and watch the double pin count by the ref in the Big Show / Social Outcast match. It’s hilarious.
Tyler Breeze’s current seasonal residence is apparently in Madagascar. That’s a long ass commute.
Kalisto v Tyler Breeze. A Mexican with the US Title versus a Canadian living in Madagascar, live in the UK. I think I have a nose bleed.
The referee threw Breeze to the floor. I found it so funny I spat Sprite on top of the person in front of me.
Lilian sang God Save The Queen in a weird key, so everyone trying to sing along with it failed miserably. She also said it’s the English National Anthem, which it’s not.
JBL tripped over the cameraman and so, so nearly fell to the floor. It was beautiful.
No entrance for Byron Saxton, so we give him a pity chant.
Noticed that Baron Corbin and Apollo Crews are in the Raw opening credits.
“Deano” chants for Ambrose. I guarantee the American audience will not understand that.
The most famous people WWE can pull in for Raw are James Corden’s parents. Oddly enough, they’re pretty over, but David Haye and Rio Ferdinand are in the building. Vince just buried them.
Someone smuggled an air horn in to the stadium. Shane O’Mac both likes it and hates it simultaneously.
Jericho is an incredible heel. So sensible to turn him. Gold.
The budget for the Ambrose Asylum is way lower than the budget for the Highlight Reel.
Owens’ shoe came off when he was thrown from the ring. He’s like a bearded Cinderella.
Owens has the obvious feud with Sami Zayn right now, but I could see him against Shane O’Mac at some point.
Shane better give the plant back to Ambrose.
Jericho’s ring gear sparkles to the top fucking row of the building.
The Blue Thunder Bomb is delicious. I’m renaming it Beautiful Thunder.
James Corden’s dad was very concerned for Chris Jericho after he was thrown over top rope. Bless him. IT’S STILL REAL TO HIM DAMMIT.
Zayn is eating losses. And I’m pretty sure he’s never won a singles match on WWE television.
Big Cass is so excited he sounds like a yeti.
Enzo gets an insane reception. Granted, a good 15% of it is from me, but still. The dude oozes charisma from every pore.
Sparse “Get the tables” chants. Not sure why there’s never been a duelling “And some chairs” chant to go with it, just to complete the furniture.
There is a guy in the floor seats that is the spitting image of D’Von Dudley, and is dressed exactly the same. He is going ballistic and his little section are loving him. He will not be happy when the Dudley’s are fed to Enzo and Cass.
The Dudleys lose, the guy sits down and crosses his arms in protest.
I try to get an Enzo chant going. It fails. But how is this not a thing…? “When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie that’s… AMORE.”
This tag team tournament is being set up for an Enzo & Cass v New Day showdown, right? That was a pipe dream a month ago. Incredible.
A commercial for Countdown. Rusev has a gun in it. Terrorist.
An ad for NXT at Download Festival. It’s the first Download I’ve had to miss in 7 years, and THIS is the year NXT are there. I’m livid. Sad they ousted Progress though – the British company that so successfully pioneered the venture last year.
It’s lucky Reigns doesn’t come through the crowd any more. As big as he is, he would not have made it out alive. Roman, thy name is “BOOOOOO”.
Girl beside me. “I can’t see how beautiful Reigns is from here. But I can feel it.”
AJ Styles isn’t as over with this crowd as I thought he’d be.
AJ and the Bullet Club. Ridiculous to see that on WWE television.
Styles says every night he has the match of his life. Guess he forgot about Wrestlemania.
You could put a dead tapir in a match against reigns and it would be over.
Gallows and Anderson beat down on Reigns with Styles not particularly happy about it. Fascinating dynamic created with a heel Reigns, a heel Bullet Club and a face Styles. Look forward to seeing what comes of it.
Lilian nails saying the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal. It’s not easy. What a pro.
Even from 50 feet away, the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal trophy looks like crap.
When Corbin launches Fandango into Ziggler, Ziggler gets proper clattered.
Corbin gets a Jeremy Corbyn chant. The Leader Of The Oppostion. That’s a pretty frickin sweet gimmick.
Titus O’Neil is back on our screens, and no-one gives a rat’s ass.
More Puerto Rico postcards. The UK couldn’t care less. Presumably it’s like advertising the Isle of Man.
The Miz doesn’t need Maryse. And neither do we. He’s also underrated as a heel. The crowd hate the dude. In the good way.
The Intercontinental Title is Miz and Maryse’s baby. Must’ve been painful for her to give birth to leather and metal.
Cesaro enters to a big pop, with his sirens and in a suit. It’s weirdly reminiscent of Right To Censor. Except the ‘pop’ part.
Cesaro and Maryse could do this whole segment in French.
Guys. James Corden’s dad HATES Miz.
Lots of “Boring” chants for Roman, and for Miz. They’re totally misappropriated. The crowd isn’t bored at all. What they mean to say, is “Boo.”
A brief Liam Neeson chant.
New Day broke the stadium with their pop. Just beating Enzo into pole.
New Day gave James Corden’s mum, Margaret, a unicorn horn. More importantly, she’s wearing it with pride.
Some sustained “We want Barrett” chants. Well guys, I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news for you…
When everyone hits their finishers at the end of a multi-person tag match, it really is super fun to watch.
Brett Hart will be at Payback. Hope he’s well enough.
Total Bellas is announced as being a thing. There are a few girls losing their shit over this.
People really wanted to sing Paige’s theme, but didn’t know the words.
Why is Summer Rae in this company? Seriously. And where the hell is Emma?
Guy near me starts a “Get your tits out” chant. I’m proud to say, he was the only one. Totally shut down and replaced with a “Women’s wrestling” counter. All the smiles. He smirks to his friends with a quiet retort of “I suppose we should call them athletes now.” “Yes,” says his buddy. “Because they’re athletes.” They’d all kick the shit out of you mate.
Presumably, at the end of these Puerto Rico vignettes, they’ll find El Torito in a garbage can.
The Vaudvillains need a chant. Desperately.
One of the ring crew flew out of the way when an Uso launched himself from the ring. So nearly in shot. Vince would’ve slapped him silly.
An interesting point of view I’d not considered has reared its head. In the section I’m in, there are a lot of casual fans. While this era of new blood in the WWE is super refreshing for devout followers of the product, the casuals aren’t particularly invested. They’ve cheered Jericho and the Dudleys, but not much else. They don’t know who most of the guys are. There’s a surprising amount of baffled people in the rafters.
Social Outcasts call Adam Rose “half baked.” Amazing.
The ‘Crews Missile’ is a sweet epithet. Put Bo Dallas on Creative immediately.
The Social Outcasts need a new fourth member. Damien Sandow please and thank you.
Lilian seemingly thinks the ‘S’ in crews is silent.
Crews’ finisher is a just slow Blue Thunder Bomb.
Apollo needs a big heel to fight. Owens would be perfect. They share a look on the ramp but not much else. Sad times. Crews could get lost in the mire.
Owens applauding people chanting for him. Then, when Lilian tells people there are still tickets left for Smackdown, he steals the mic and tells everyone that he’ll be there. This guy is the future.
Ambrose’s suicide dive has some wicked pace on it.
JBL’s hat survived two dudes going over the tables. It’s more durable than the Spanish announce table.
A lot of kids leaving during the main event. It really does go on late for the little ones who have school in the morning. Parents are pissed, kids are sad. All seems a bit mean.
Owens joins Zayn in the ‘we keep losing’ club.
Jericho returns to the ring, and so nearly fell over the barrier when he jumped it. He then used Lilian as a shield against Ambrose and Styles and claims his scarf is worth $750. Before what is presumably a dark match he hands it to a crew member like it’s a title. Glorious work from the veteran. He forces the camera to take a look at his abs and claims that he has a big diaphragm. This guy is my hero.
On the way out of the arena, a kid claims “This has been the best day of my life so far.” And that’s what it’s all about folks.