By Greg Lane
Hey Dave, in from Dayton's Raw and just a few notes of things that may not be evident from the live telecast...
No dark match, unless we missed it, the Nutter Center was about 30-45 mins late letting people in for about the 3rd time in the last 4 WWE live shows.
Two matches taped for Superstars:
1) Brie Bella beat Alicia Fox. Brie was seconded by Nikki, Alicia by Aksana. Nikki hit the Rack on Aksana outside and Brie beat Alicia with the X-Factor. Crowd was pretty into it for a divas match, being the first people out helped no doubt.
2) Sin Cara and Los Matadores beat 3MB in a six-man match. Matadores and especially Sin Cara were over with the young audience. Gave em about 10 mins, the babyfaces won with Cara's top rope senton onto McIntyre.
Huge pop for the Batista return, Bryan, Punk and Cena all very over too of course. If I had to pick the act with the biggest babyface reaction besides the obvious aforementioned, it was the Usos. They've done a really good job resetting them as a serious act and putting them in position to get over. Big Show got a lot of love for his Heyman impression too.
Tons of WWE Network ads live in the arena during the TV commercial breaks, each ad ran like a trailer during the duration of the commercial break, and focused on a specific show on the Net, one about WWE Countdown, one on Monday Night War, one on Wrestlemania Rewind, and one on Legends House. All of the WWE Network stuff got a tremendous reaction live.
Not sure how it showed on TV but live there appeared to be a couple malfunctions, namely one during Bryan's entrance, his music stopped in the middle of his still making it to the ring, the lights went out, and an ad of some type showed up on the screen for a second, short enough to make it look like a mistake, and the crowd was confused. Bryan climbed on one of the turnbuckles, and got the confused crowd back by starting his arms up for the "Yes", and the crowd responded with delight to his call for chants and within a few seconds the Bryan entrance music and TitanTron started back up, with the crowd into it like they never missed a beat. Sounds like a guy that can be the face of the company to me!
Dark match was advertised as Cena-Orton, obviously with the show-closing angle of Orton bailing town, that had to be changed. Damian Sandow came out to interrupt after the TV credits rolled with Cena still in the ring, did some of his usual heel mic work, telling Cena that Sandow is here to end the Cena era, he's sick of it. Cena told him to bring it, Sandow went for a cheap shot, Cena countered, hit AA, and goodnight Dayton!
Thanks for the great site and reporting over the years