Credit: Matt Brink and pw.net
I was sitting second row by the ring steps on the left side of the ramp. I had the “RESPECT 3:16” sign that was noted to be on TV during C.M. Punk’s segments. It was an odd choice for start with Big Show coming out and cutting a promo. The crowd ate it up and started chanting “45 Seconds” at him. I wouldn’t be surprised if something similar happens at Hell in a Cell with Dolph Ziggler cashing in.
Bryan came out and was completely over with the crowd. Hearing it on TV doesn’t do justice to how loud those “Yes!” chants are. The next segment was Punk and Paul Heyman. Heyman got mostly boos and a few cheers from fans like myself. Punk came out to lots of boos. I was kind of shocked that he didn’t get 50/50 like he had been getting at some shows. Very few “CM Punk” chants.
After a commercial break, Brodus Clay came out. I had no idea that he got the jobber entrance in that it didn’t air on television. This was a glorified squash. I imagine the repackaging of Clay is in progress.
The next match was the Prime Time Players vs. Santino Marella and Zack Ryder. Ryder is still over with the live crowd. There were lots of “Lets go Ryder” chants. No heat for the Prime Time Players. Afterwards, “The Band” came out and stomped on Ryder. Tons of fans, including myself, are confused as to why Jinder Mahal and Drew McIntyre got put with Heath Slater. It’s odd to see Mahal/McIntyre act like they are playing guitars. Cheap heat mentioning Music city, though.
Vickie Guerrero came out to the biggest heat of the night. I could not hear a word she was saying. It looked in the arena as if they were turning David Otunga babyface because he got quite a pop when he came out and talked to Ziggler. Ryback is massive in person by the way.
I am confused why they teased a Heyman/Vince McMahon match and didn’t go through with it. A majority of fans around me were asking and confused.
Antonio Cesaro got very little heat, but he has the look of a star. His “Swiss Death” uppercut is one of the prettiest/gnarliest looking moves. It looks like it hurts taking it. Gabriel had a weird landing on the 450 splash and looked upset after the match. He had very little to no reaction with the crowd.
The Kane and Matt Striker segment got a good chuckle out of everyone. The dynamic between Kane and Bryan is awesome. It’s probably one of the best storylines going.
The Miz and Kofi Kingston put a great promo segment during MizTV. A lot of what Miz said was absolutely true about Kofi being just the guy known to do the “Boom! Boom! Boom!” chant.
Sheamus and Wade Barrett put on a great match. I keep wondering why they put them in a match again without a program. Barrett and Sheamus could be a great rivalry. I had an annoying older fan hooting and hollering for Sheamus and for him to give Barrett a “wedgie.” I’m not kidding. I was annoyed during the match because of her. It almost sounded like she was calling him “Shamu” the killer whale the way she was yelling.
Eve vs. Layla got little reaction and no time, although a sarcastic, “This is awesome” chant started. I guess Layla will get her rematch with Eve at Hell in a Cell.
Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes came out and many of us, including myself, had absolutely no idea about the postponement of the finals between Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara and Rhodes Scholars. I told Sandow “You’re Welcome” a few times and each time he said “Silence!” back. Funny moment.
Miz and Kofi put on a good short match with lots of reversals but the big one was the Trouble in Paradise kick that Miz took. I know with the concern about concussions and am wondering why he didn’t get a hand up, but that was a stiff kick. I couldn’t see due to a cameraman standing in the way but the replay showed it was rough.
The Vince, Punk, John Cena, and Ryback moment was quite interesting. Vince is still over with the crowd. Punk and a fan started yelling at each other. Punk told him from what I heard from the guys video, “Why are you yelling at me that you hate me when you’re wearing my shirt?!” The fan was wearing the new GTS yellow shirt. I believe Punk said some non-PG things in the video too, but I’m not sure.
Cena got the biggest pop of the night, hands down. I was shocked how much Nashville loved him. Ryback followed suit at number two. The crowd absolutely loves Ryback. His “Feed Me More” line was said all throughout the show whenever he was brought up. Cena was standing on the ramp, pumping his fist, telling the crowd to chant it more. It was smart booking to get Ryback over by using the No. 1 star. I was hoping Punk would’ve gone through the table but no dice.
After the dark main event, I had a “Ryback Fears Chinese Buffets. Feed No More” sign that he got a chuckle out of. Sheamus came by and signed as well. I got a high five from him too. Sheamus is about 6’4″, as I was looking him directly in the eye. Ryback is a boulder, probably about 6′ tall and little body fat. Pure muscle. They announced that Raw was going to be back and I hurried to get merch before they closed. I got a Punk “Best in the World” and a new Dolph shirt. Sandow’s shirt was completely sold out at the stand I went to. I wanted that one. I then bought my ticket at the box office for the February 11 show, sitting row 5 on the hard camera side.
This was my sixth or seventh WWE show and was one of the best experiences I have had, even up there with Wrestlemania 28. I shook Daniel Bryan’s hand as he was getting in his car to leave, and received those autographs from Ryback/Sheamus. I waited for an hour after the show and talked with fans, waiting on other wrestlers to show, but nobody came out as of 11:20 so I left. I’m looking forward to being at the show on the Road to WrestleMania and going to WrestleMania in 2013.