Credit: Reyal Pollard and Prowrestling.net
-On the way into the show, security was confiscating signs. They were unclear about what they were looking for when asked, but I’m sure you could imagine who’s signs were being snatched… CM Punk.
-The arena was about 80-90 percent full with a lot of families but an alarmingly big number of “vocal males.” Omaha usually doesn’t go against the grain, but tonight’s crowd clearly has been watching and looking forward to hijacking the show.
-There were a ton of John Cena shirts being sold at the stands and a lot of Daniel Bryan shirts in the crowds. Surprisingly few CM Punk shirts were being sold from what I could tell though.
-Tons of CM Punk chants leading into the warm-up USA promo. By the time they went live though, all the energy of the chant had died out. Definitely a sign of things to come for the rest of the night.
-Randy Orton’s promo could barely be heard over the Punk chants. I do find it interesting that he did not do the normal pause delivery. He cruised through his lines until the chants stopped. WWE is trying to get in front of this show highjacking thing.
-I found it interesting that there wasn’t a single time where there was any sort of pop for the WWE Network. We got several videos for it and not once was there any sense of enthusiasm from the crowd. Conversely, lots of cheers for WrestleMania packages and 20 years of Raw stuff.
-Sidenote on Emma: Tonight was my nephew’s 10th birthday and we were lucky enough to be four seats behind where Emma was planted. During the commercial when the dancing bit was getting set up, I called her and had him hold up his “Kiss me, it’s my birthday” sign. He got no kiss but she gave it a good laugh and made sure to tell him Happy Birthday and dance for him a little bit. Really classy way to make a 10 year old’s night.
-Ryback did an amazing job of keeping a crowd looking for a reason to get unruly under control. Whenever a highjacking chant would start, he’d heel it up and draw some heat. It’s a little thing but again, WWE is trying to keep from getting caught with their pants down, so to speak.
-Prior to Batista’s entrance, he came on the Titantron and cut the most disinterested local promo I’ve ever seen. He said “I’m a big sports fan, but most of all, I am a big baseball fan. And for that reason, I’m so excited to be in Omaha, Nebraska home of the College World Series.” He went on briefly but the point was clear: Please don’t boo me, I like you guys.
-The crowd went into entertaining itself mode during the Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton match, which was their best one of the series I’d say. JBL chants started briefly, along with Jerry chants, and even some of the vocal males started to turn on Bryan and chanting RKO at different times.
-After the show closed, Kane and Orton resumed their beatdown of Bryan. Until Cena ran out to make the save. Cena went into his finishing routine on Kane and then gave Kane and Orton AA’s one after another to bring the show to a close. There was no advertised dark match and no return date mentioned.
CM Punk (very close second. Lots of cheers for him but nothing lasting in duration)
Big E (Crowd came unglued for his hot tag and entrance for that matter.)
Orton during the opening promo