Credit: Jesus Flores and Pwinsider.com
I got there a bit late (around 6:40 local time) but it was pretty packed by then. Not surprisingly, the place definitely looked like it was sold out.
Don’t know if I missed a match, but first match I saw was Rybaxel vs. Los Matadores. OK match, crowd chanted “Goldberg” to start but other than that, crowd wasn’t too into it. The crowd was chanting really loud for Punk during the Matadores post-match interview, I assume it’ll probably get drowned out during Superstars.
The arena was extremely loud throughout the show and surprisingly quiet at times. I haven’t watched the broadcast yet but I assume any and all Punk chants were heard.
The crowd went nuts when Punk’s music hit. Naturally, Heyman and Lesnar got a mixed reaction because of Punk’s music. Scary moment happened during the Lesnar/Henry confrontation: Lesnar threw one of the TV/monitors from the commentators table so far across the ring that it actually flew or bounced into the crowd (just right of the ramp if you’re facing the ring). Didn’t look like anyone got hurt, but can’t imagine WWE was happy with that.
New Age Outlaws vs. Usos, the heel move by Road Dogg (not saying his intro) really got the crowd against them. Not sure if this made live TV, but Road Dogg took the mic during the middle of the match and bashed Chicago, saying we’re no Brooklyn. Crowd got a little more into it after that. Usos got a really nice pop after winning and the fans really got behind them, especially after the hot tag.
Cesaro vs. Big E, crowd was pretty upset we didn’t get to see Cesaro wrestle for very long. He’s way over with the crowd.
Shield vs. Wyatts, crowd was evenly divided between the two in terms of cheering. My guess is the match looked much better on tv, a lot of the brawling gets lost in person and some moves looked sloppy. Crowd chanted throughout the match (“This Is Awesome”, “Let’s Go Wyatts/Shield”, “CM Punk”, “Roman Reigns”). The crowd expected Rollins to come back into the match since he was standing on the ramp after walking out. Overall, fun match.
There was minimal reaction to the mixed tag team match. Crowd hated/didn’t get the high-five/tag back and forth between Emma and Santino.
The crowd was also very bored throughout the Christian/Sheamus match. A few “This is awful” and “End this match” chants broke out. From talking to fans around me, feeling was we’ve seen this match multiple times before and will probably see it again at Mania so nobody was into it. Felt bad for them, but the match did feel like it went pretty long.
Little to no reaction for the Divas tag match. Not even a Punk chant during this match.
The Bryan/HHH/Steph segment was absolutely ridiculously loud. Bryan was way over with the fans, and as soon as HHH’s music hit, the boos and Punk chants began. I was sitting in the 200 level, I did not hear a single word Steph said throughout the segment, the boos drowned out everything, that’s how loud it was. Funniest part was the crowd being strongly against HHH/Bryan at Mania (lots of “No” chants whenever Bryan issued the challenge), and strongly for Steph/Bryan at Mania when he proposed that match instead.
Ziggler vs. ADR, ok match. Good move by WWE pairing Ziggler and Aaron Paul, my friend was scared that poor Aaron Paul was going to get booed by the Chicago crowd, but Ziggler and Paul got a nice pop. “We want Ziggler” and “Jesse Pinkman” chants broke out during the match.
Fans really wanted Cesaro to big swing Swagger. Didn’t seem like the Real American bits made sense during the show, crowd was still upset it didn’t get to see a real Cesaro wrestling match.
Typical Cena reaction when he came out (4/5 boos, 1/5 cheers). When the Wyatt’s appeared on screen, I couldn’t hear anything (a bunch if chants, “Let’s go Cena/Cena sucks”, “CM Punk”, there was a “Fruity Pebbles” chant that broke out as well).
It seemed like the crowd grew tired by the time the main event came around. Bryan was still heavily cheered, Boo-tista was still heavily booed as expected. Minimal to no reaction for Orton. Many fans who expected Punk to come back had lost hope that he’d be back by now. When HHH hit the ring a final “CM Punk” chant started.
After Raw went off the air (presumably after the HHH pedigree), HHH gathered Orton, Kane and Batista and they all cornered Bryan. Big Show and Cena hit the ring for the save and they knocked out Kane and Batista, leaving Orton to face off against the three. All three hit their finishers on Orton, and Bryan celebrated with the front row fans afterwards.
Overall, I thought it was a decent Raw. Props to WWE for writing in the Punk chants into the show, the order of the show also did a decent job of neutralizing the crowd. A lot of disappointed Punk fans, including myself. Many people left before the dark match/spot took place.