Credit: David Houston and Pwinsider.com
I took my son to Raw last night here in Charlotte, North Carolina (seems everyone has to say the whole thing) and I wonder if it came off as lackluster on TV as it did live. This was the first of the current 3 hour format they've had in Charlotte and it seemed to drag and wore down the crowd.
The crowd seemed strong at well over 8,000, possibly over 9 and came to have a good time even getting into the Superstars match featuring Broadus Clay beating Michael McGillicutty. CM Punk and Paul Heyman got a huge mostly heel reaction when he came out and Mick Foley got an equally huge pop when he emerged.
Before the Cesaro-Kingston match and before they went back on the air, they ran a video of Cesaro talking about his travels around the country as U.S. champion and how he feels insulted by the constant cheering of "USA!" and if the fans continue to chant he might not grace us with his presence again. It was the cheapest of ploys that worked for about 5 seconds and the "USA" chant ended before Cesaro stepped out. He did a much better job of getting his own heat with his promo. In my opinion, they should give up the way overdone "anti-American" gimmick for Antonio. He's great wrestler but this isn't 1980, Switzerland isn't Iran, and he's not the Iron Sheik.
Randy Orton got a great response second only to Ryback and maybe Cena, who got a very strong pro-Cena reaction, a lot less mixed than normal.
The live audience gave less than a damn about 3MB, even after seeming to be entertained by their video package. I hope this works out for them but this is a far drop for a guy who used to be known as "The Chosen One".
A few people in my section, including myself, were surprised that Rey Mysterio came out before Sin Cara for their tag match. Seeing how Cara got a much more muted response than Mysterio, it didn't make any sense. I know they want Sin Cara to be a star but right now, Rey is the more popular of the two and it's not even close, at least not in old WCW cities like Charlotte.
It might not have been noticeable on television but the crowd slowly started leaving around 10:30, some carrying out sleeping children. It might have stemmed the tide had they made an announcement of a dark match main event but for whatever reason they chose not to and by 11:00, even with the Survivor Series team announcement pending, a few hundred people were gone with more following them, most notably on the hard camera side and upper levels.
The dark match was a WWE title match between Punk and Ryback. Ryback won by DQ when Team Punk ran out and interfered, bringing out Team Foley for the save.
All in all, a pretty unspectacular show that seemed to drag and not one really good match on the entire show. Heck, Vickie Guerrero, who many in my section seemed to get a kick out of which her soap opera villainess ways, didn't even say "EXCUSE ME!"