By Ryan Clark on May 13, 2012
Credit: Freddy and PW Torch
I attended the Saturday night Raw house show in Syracuse. The arena was 98 percent full, with only a smattering of empty seats. The show went a full two-and-a-half-hours, including a ten-minute intermission (15-minute intermission if you count a Lord Tensai squash match).
(1) Brodus Clay beat JTG. The show opened with Brodus Clay, his dancers, and Hornswoggle coming out. Big reaction for Clay. This was your basic five-minute squash match over JTG. Brodus and company danced at the end and everyone was happy.
(2) Zack Ryder beat Dean Ambrose via DQ. Nice pop for Zack. No one seemed to know Ambrose, as he got little to no reaction. That changed by the end, as he was one of the most over heels of the night. It was my first time seeing him and he certainly has “it.” He played the classic heel and got himself disqualified 8-to-10 minutes in. A lot of heat by the time he was leaving. The only heels that got more heat were Chris Jericho and Dolph Ziggler. Speaking of which, after the match, Dolph Ziggler came out and attacked Zack Ryder and talked about how great he is.
(3) Divas champion Layla beat Beth Phoenix to retain the Divas Title. Standard Divas match, but longer than most, a good 10-12 minutes. Layla botched numerous spots, but Phoenix was on top of her game. Layla won with a roll-up.
(4) U.S. champion Santino Marella beat The Miz and Jack Swagger in a three-way match to retain the U.S. Title. Basic comedy match. Santino won with the Cobra on Miz in about 10 minutes.
(5) WWE tag champions R-Truth & Kofi Kingston beat Epico & Primo (w/Rosa Mendes) to retain Tag Tiles. Basic tag team match. Epico and Primo won the titles when Primo hit his finisher on Kofi. Epico, Primo, and Rosa started to celebrate with the belts and Epico and Primo were announced as new tag champs. A second ref then came out and told the first ref that Kofi’s leg was on the rope. The first ref called for the bell and announced the match is restarting. Within a minute, Kofi hit Trouble in Paradise to get the belts back. Interesting, brief, false title change.
Dolph Ziggler came out and said he has something new for everyone, a problem-solver, if you will. Out came Mason Ryan. Dolph told Justin Roberts that when he announces him for his match in a few minutes, he is to announce him as the “Show-Stealer” Dolph Ziggler. He then headed to the back.
(6) Lord Tensai beat Tyson Kidd. Tensai came out to no reaction whatsoever. He squashed Kidd in five minutes.
(7) John Cena beat Dolph Ziggler (w/Mason Ryan). Roberts announced Ziggler, who hit the ring with Mason Ryan and started to rough up Roberts because he didn’t call him the show-stealer. John Cena’s music then hit – loudest ovation I’ve ever heard. It reminded me of Hogan in Montreal. I guess Syracuse loves Cena. Super Cena came to the rescue and cleared the ring before the match. Excellent match, and Ziggler really deserves a title run. The crowd was on their feet the whole match for Cena. Ryan got involved, the ref got knocked down, and Cena pulled a Super Cena by laying out Mason Ryan before hitting the Attitude Adjustment on Dolph for the one-two-three.
(8) WWE champion C.M. Punk beat Chris Jericho to retain the WWE Title. Jericho started on the microphone and really got the crowd going. Punk’s music finally hit and he came out – second largest pop of the night only to Cena. The main event was your basic 20-minute WWE Title match. Not spectacular, but still good. Punk won with the GTS.
Overall, one of the best house shows I’ve ever been to. Every performer seemed to work very hard to give it their best even though the show wasn’t televised.
Biggest Pops – Cena, Punk, Santino
Most Heat – Jericho, Ambrose, Ziggler
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