By Ryan Clark on July 31, 2012
WWE.com issued the following statement on the fire just moments before RAW went live: CINCINNATI – During rehearsal for tonight’s Monday Night Raw at the US Bank Arena in Cincinnati, there was a minor incident involving the show’s pyrotechnics. As a precaution, the limited number of people in the building during the incident were successfully evacuated, and the fire marshal has given a safety clearance for the show to proceed as scheduled at 8/7pm CT . There were no injuries.
Just as fans were entering the arena, WWE was performing some final pyrotechnic tests as they normally do prior to TV tapings. This is when the fire started. Numerous fire departments were called due to the size of the building. They were able to quickly extinguish the small fire.
WWE had to evacuate the arena shortly after letting fans in. Luckily for them, many people had not entered the arena by that point so it was just a matter of keeping fans outside the building until the fire department could get things under control.
As you can imagine, there was absolute chaos backstage after the fire. We’ll have more on this shortly.
WWE was able to have Cody Rhodes defeat Zack Ryder in a quick match as fans were entering the arena. This appeared to be a dark match as a way to get fans to hurry to their seats before RAW went live.
Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler then made their way to the announce booth.
WWE tried to stall by airing highlights of last week’s 1,000th RAW event. This video package was planned to air later in the show but was bumped up in order to try to fill up the arena with fans prior to the CM Punk promo.
The fire department insisted that there be no pyro during RAW. They need to perform an investigation before they can allow pyro again.
Fans were allowed into the arena around 7:30EST, about an hour after the fire started and 30 minutes before RAW.
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