2/19 WWE Raw House Show at the Long Beach Arena (WWE’s first trip to the arena)
After taking nearly 200 photos earlier in the day at the nearby Long Beach Comic Expo, I’d thought I’d be able to bring my camera to the WWE live event. However, the very strict security staff on hand said otherwise, and I wasn’t able to bring it into the arena. The small arena saw about a few thousand “members of the WWE Universe” roll in; some of whom also rolled a day at the comic convention, into the WWE event.
1 – Enzo Amore & Big Cass v. Rusev & Jinder Mahal (w/ Lana)
Lana wouldn’t let Enzo & Cass complete their catch phrase, “SAWFT!”, imitating the said catch phrase, while introducing her hubby, Rusev. The match itself was a very neat opener, with Enzo taking a good share of the beating. The referee managed to catch Lana trying to prevent Enzo from diving onto Rusev, & ejected her from ringside. Big Cass set up Jinder for an assisted Splash from Enzo for the pin.
2 – Cruiserweight Title Match: “King of the Cruiserweights” Neville v. Rich Swann
There is no doubt that the match chemistry between these two is sharp, & their latest battle brought back memories of their PWG days. Neville locked in the Modified Chokehold that he used at the Royal Rumble PPV to make Rich tapout, for a successful title defense.
3 – Big Show, R-Truth, Goldust, & Curtis Axel v. Bo Dallas, Titus O’Neil, Primo, & Epico
At first, only Curtis Axel, R-Truth, & Goldust came to the ring, & waited for Bo to ask about who their 4th member is, bringing out The Big Show. A very neat gimmick match, with all 8 Superstars having their share of ring time. Big Show hit a Chokeslam on Titus for the pin.
4 – Raw Tag Team Title Match: (“The Club”) Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson v. Cesaro & Sheamus v. The New Day (Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods)
A very neat 3-way tag team match, with each team seemingly getting an equal share of the action. Karl was able to rollup Sheamus, & not get caught with his feet on the middle ropes to get the successful title defense. However, he & Luke wouldn’t get much time to celebrate, as the other teams took both men out, capped with Karl being put in 8 full Cesaro Swing revolutions, then eating a New Day team finisher.
5 – Raw Women’s Champion Bayley & “The Boss” Sasha Banks v. Charlotte & Nia Jax (w/ Dana Brooke)
For a 6’4″, 272-lb. woman, Nia can move. Nia & Charlotte gave Sasha quite a beating, before “The Boss” could do a hot tag to Bayley. Dana tried to interfere after Bayley threw Nia out of the ring, but Sasha swept the legs out from under her, and knocked her off. That allowed Bayley to hit “Bayley To Belly” on Charlotte for the pin.
SM – Sin Cara v. Braun Strowman
For a very tall, big man, Braun can really move. Although Braun couldn’t one-shot Sin Cara with a huge Elbow Strike, he wouldn’t let Sin Cara fly, and finished him off with a Running Powerbomb for the pin.
M – Universal Champion Kevin Owens & Samoa Joe v. Roman Reigns & Sami Zayn
Must be pretty odd for Roman to be in a WWE ring w/ 3 fellow Superstars who are well known in the So Cal indies. This was a very good main event, with Sami taking alot of bumps, and Roman throwing several Superman Punches at both Joe & Kevin. Once Joe was stunned out of the ring, Sami hit the Helluva Kick on Kevin, and tossed him right into Roman’s Spear for the pin.
Overall, a very neat Raw house show, featuring 8 active Raw Superstars (Owens, Zayn, Joe, Bayley, Karl, Neville, Swann, & Rusev) who used to work their trade in the So Cal indies. Most of the fans tried to taunt K.O. w/ “Y2J” & “Goldberg” chants, but he didn’t seem too fazed by it. I did notice Lana botching her promo, saying “Anaheim” instead of “The LBC”. I just hope she doesn’t botch her TV promos on Raw at Staples Center.
1 – Joe & K.O. v. Roman & Sami
2 – Neville v. Swann
3 – Bayley & Sasha v. Charlotte & Nia