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WWE RAW Live Event: From Strasbourg With Love

WWE_RAW_Strasbourg_2012

On April, I went to my first WWE Live event, and I wasn’t disappointed. I promised to myself that when WWE comes back to France, I would not miss it and, well, I didn’t.

WWE Raw came to France in Strasbourg, home of the European Parliament, 330 kilometers away from where I live. My brother and I grabbed some food, set the GPS and let’s go to Vegas WWE baby!

Match 1: Santino Marella and Brodus Clay vs. Primo and Epico

The first match of the evening was a tag team match pitting Santino Marella and Brodus Clay against Primo and Epico. The match was good but nothing special, and the cobra is still so stupid that it is funny. Primo, Epico and Rosa Mendes played well the heels, just like at the times when they fought Kofi Kingston and R-Truth for the titles, which is a little weird as they are rather faces now, but they got booed anyway as soon as they entered.

The match was a good opener, Brodus is even bigger than on TV and Santino got some laughs from the crowd each time he purposely missed a move or did something with the cobra. It was a little silly at times, but entertaining nonetheless. I loved when Primo and Epico stole the feared sock and threw it at each other while Santino was jumping and trying to catch it.

Brodus won the match with his signature splash, and they celebrated in the ring with some children from the audience.

Then, we got the biggest boos of the night when “Excuse Me!” echoed through the arena. I couldn’t hear most of Vickie’s promo, as I was busy booing her stronger and stronger at each “Excuse Me!” I loved it. She announced a Triple Threat Match for the Divas Championship pitting the Divas Champion, Eve Torres, against Layla and AJ.

Match 2: Tensai vs. Michael McGillicutty

The second match of the night was the enormous Tensai against a face Michael McGillicutty. It was easily the least entertaining bout of the evening, as Tensai doesn’t get a lot of heat, and McGillicutty… Well, last time he appeared on TV in a few months was a squash match against Kingston as a heel, and on NXT, he’s also a heel, so it was a little confusing. The few people who knew him knew he was a heel, so we couldn’t really cheer him. Furthermore, he was acting as a generic face, and no offense to him, he doesn’t have a lot of natural charisma. Anyway, the match has some good spots that woke up the crowd, but it was a little waste of time, the only miss of the evening.

Let’s light it up! Time for the Divas!

Match 3: Eve vs. Layla vs. AJ for the WWE Divas Championship

The Divas match between Eve, Layla and AJ (whose name was horribly botched by some French kids around me) was way better than what we see on TV, and was PPV quality, though it isn’t really saying much nowadays. After some great triple threat action, Eve hit her neckbreaker on Layla for the win but AJ stopped the ref “Sandow-style” by breaking the count with her body. After some more action, AJ used the devastating roll-up on Eve and became the new Divas Champions!

The crowd erupted, but Vickie Guerrero excused herself and restarted the match, as AJ wasn’t allowed to touch an official. After a cheap shot, Eve hit AJ with the neckbreaker and was still our Divas Champion. It was a very entertaining match, with good action and lovely ladies, and AJ was easily the most over Diva, with AJ chants throughout the entire match.

The next match was set for one fall, and was here to show the world!

Match 4: Dolph Ziggler vs. John Cena

Accompanied by Vickie, Dolph Ziggler made his way to the ring and I became very excited for the match, as I knew his opponent would be WWE’s resident Superman, John Cena! As you can expect, he got one of the biggest pop of the night when his music rang in the arena.

John Cena seemed pretty healthy, and I didn’t notice any weakness or rust on his part. However, the match was basic, as the two superstars only made their classic moves and it wasn’t very physical, but a good match nonetheless. At one point, Vickie slapped Cena in the face while the ref was watching, and she was sent to the back accompanied by a lot of cheers from the crowd.

Cena hit his five moves of doom – which was awesome, as he didn’t make them for a long time – and as Ziggler was trying to escape the AA, the ref got knocked out. Vickie came back and tried to hit Cena with the Money in the Bank briefcase, but AJ stopped her and chased after her to the back. Then, Cena just finished the match by hitting the AA and everyone was happy.

There were far less “Cena sucks” chants than in April, as most of the crowd was behind him. The match was entertaining, we could boo and cheer a lot, and the storylines between AJ and Vickie, and Cena and Ziggler were developed here.

Time for a break, Justin Roberts promotes  Cena and Punk signed autographs, and speaks for a few minutes in English, 90% of the crowd doesn’t understand a word.

After the break, it is time for some Swiss action!

Match 5: Antonio Cesaro vs. Zack Ryder for the United States Championship

Antonio Cesaro came out to defend his United States Championship against Zack Ryder, whose name was also butchered by the infamous French accent.

I was a little disappointed that Cesaro didn’t speak to us in French, but he made up for it with a great match. Cesaro and Ryder mesh really well together, and some counters were awesome, definitely a PPV quality match. Cesaro retained his title with the neutralizer.

Justin Roberts got one of the biggest pop of the night when he announced the WWE tag team championship match.

Match 6: Team Hell No vs. Team Rhodes Scholars for the WWE Tag Team Championship

As soon as Daniel Bryan entered the arena, he was welcomed by a deafening chorus of Yes chants that never stopped for the entire match. D-Bryan did his usual entrance by yelling No and tearing off a sign.

Kane then entered, with a huge pop as well. The two partners started arguing, yelling the already classic “I am the tag team champions.” The great reaction from the crowd entailed an awesome “Yeah-Boo “contest between Kane and Daniel Bryan, to determine who is the tag team champions, the Boos being directed to Daniel Bryan. It wasn’t a question of heel or face or even tweener, it was just so entertaining to make Bryan angry, and I loved it.

Team Hell No is maybe becoming stale on TV, but they got tremendous reaction from the crowd, and Daniel Bryan was the most over superstar of the evening, beating the Feed Me More chants, CM Punk and even John Cena (except from the initial pop at his entrance); each time Kane was tagged in, “We want Bryan” chants broke out.

The best chant of the night belongs also to Bryan, as the crowd cheered him by chanting “Let’s go Goatface” for some time. Absolutely awesome.

Daniel Bryan goatface

YES! YES! YES!

Their opponents were team Rhodes Scholars, and they entered to a good reaction from the crowd. Sandow especially was great at drawing heat, yelling multiple time “Taisez-vous !”, the French for “keep silent.”

The match itself was great, very similar to the one they had at Hell in a Cell, with Bryan at one point hitting Kane. They began to push each other, fans started to chant “Hug it out!”, but Rhodes Scholars attacked them and the match resumed. As usual, Bryan stole the victory by tagging himself in and making Rhodes submit with the No Lock.

At the end of the match, Bryan celebrated with the two belts, but Kane took it from him. Bryan yelled “You, give that, to me!”, and the crowd answered with a deafening No. Again, it was terrific to play with Daniel Bryan, but this time by chanting No instead of Yes. This was repeated a few times, and then Kane played the bullfighter, with Bryan trying to grab a belt and the crowd chanting “Ole!” After some time, we saw Bryan almost crying, and Kane offered to hug it out, and they did to a huge pop. But Bryan used this opportunity to steal the two belts and flee from the arena, and Kane chased after him.

Team Hell No stole the show, no doubt about it.

Feed Me More Respect! Time for the main event of the evening!

Match 7: CM Punk vs. Ryback for the WWE Championship

The WWE Championship match pitted CM Punk versus Ryback. Punk came out first, wearing a Halloween Costume, which was fine but not that great. Ryback made his entrance to a great pop, and the Feed Me More chants were loud but were nothing compared with Bryan a few moments earlier.

CM Punk Halloween

Respect the Bones!

In the first half of the match, CM Punk avoided Ryback while talking trash to the fans about France and the French, talking about respect and all his usual speech. Ryback then managed to catch him, and the match actually started. Nothing special to tell here, as it was more or less the same match as inside the Cell.  As Ryback was about to knock Punk out, the latter took a chair and hit Ryback, ending the match with a disqualification. Punk then began to smile and threw the chair away, which was a terrible mistake as Ryback rose to his feet, grabbed Punk and hit him with the Shell Shock. The event ended with Ryback celebrating with the fans, chanting for a few more time Feed Me More.

In conclusion, I can say that seeing WWE live is an amazing experience. I drove more than 700 kilometers and came back home at 4 am, but it was totally worth it. If you have the chance to attend a WWE Live event, go, don’t hesitate, you won’t regret it!

RAW comes back to Paris on April, 20, and I will definitely buy my tickets as soon as they are available.

About Mathieu Nicod

I am 23, French professional writer and translator, also looking for a job in digital communication/marketing.Professional wresling has been my passion for a few years, I watch WWE and TNA, with WWE being my favorte company.