- WWE Raw House Show (Not-Televised)
- September 24th, 2016
- Allstate Arena. Rosemont, IL
WWE returned to Allstate Arena in Rosemont, IL on a Saturday night for a Raw house show. Playing to a nearly full arena (around 75% full, first time I’ve seen a WWE show there that hasn’t been packed to the fullest) how did WWE do with their main show doing a house show?
Opening up the show was Sasha Banks, Bayley, & Alicia Fox against Nia Jax, Dana Brooke, & Charlotte. Emma, recently back from a injury, was the special guest referee for the match. Classic heel vs faces match with big pops going to Bayley and Banks as well as Charlotte getting a good amount of heat from the crowd. It was a solid back and forth match with hot tags going to Bayley and Banks as the crowd was cheering for each to be tagged. Victory went to Banks, Bayley, and Fox.
Braun Strowman vs Sin Cara in a quick squash match. This lasted only a few minutes with Strowman quickly defeating Sin Cara. The match didn’t do much and was over before it had any chance to build.
Golden Truth & Darren Young vs Bo Dallas, Curtis Axel, & Titus O’Neil was up next for another mixed match. This felt like a few feuds thrown together. Golden Truth came out and as usual R-Truth manages to get the crowd going over for them quite well as he rapped the entire entrance theme for the crowd while Golddust danced around to sorts. Darren Young had a decent pop bringing out Hall Of Famer Bob Backlund along with him. Bo and Axel didn’t get much pop but Titus had a decent response from the crowd. The match itself was okay. Golddust even at his age shows that he can out wrestle any of these guys by far while R-Truth himself has a decent moveset but just never had the big push (mainly due to his character I believe). As expected Golden Truth and Young picked up the victory.
Next was a non series match with Cesaro vs Sheamus. Now why they’d have a non series fight during their best of 7 is against me. Cesaro had a good response from the crowd as Sheamus was boo’d throughout. It was a solid match with both men hitting their spots and the crowd fulling popping when Cesaro went for his swing. Cesaro picked up the victory in this bout but both men left looking strong in their own aspects.
Now onto the worst aspect of the night. Chris Jericho did his entrance and played his shtick he at right now, insulted the crowd and listening to the “you suck” chants. His entire speech came across as painful to listen to and just slow. Neville came out to interrupt him after what felt like 10 minutes or so and went at him taking Jericho’s scarf. After a few minutes of that the match finally began. It was a slow match with many in the area around my chanting “boring” and “this sucks” along with booing the match. Both men never picked up a great pace and eventually Jericho won countering Neville’s mood. In my opinion doing a match like this one, even if it’s not televised, made Neville look quite weak.
The biggest match of the night was next with the Summerslam rematch between Brock Lesner vs Randy Orton. Before the match Lesner came out with his manager the legendary Paul Heyman where Heyman delivered a speech saying that the Chicago crowd deserved a match that wouldn’t have rules or be stopped because of violence, blood, or anything. Heyman claimed the match would be a “Suplex City Deathmatch”. Orton then came through the crowd and delivered a chair shot against Lesner. After a few minutes of Orton leading with Lesner only getting a few in himself, Lesner quickly got the Suplex and F5 in to quickly end the match. It was a quick bout that then involved Lesner delivering a few more Suplexs to Orton after the match. Many seemed disappointed that the match itself lasted a mere minutes and involved only a few chair shots and no blood. A rather tame “deathmatch”.
After a rather lengthy intermission we were given Mark Henry facing one of the Shining Stars. The Shining Stars came out and gave their speech about time shares while Mark Henry came out to a rather large pop. This was a quick squash match and was over just after it started with Henry gaining the win.
Following that was the standout match of the night, a triple threat tag match for the tag titles. Now quickly I find it weird that for this match one member of every team wasn’t in and instead teams had to tag other teams in. But the match was The New Day vs Enzo and Big Cass vs Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson (The Club). The New Day as expected had a huge pop with them coming out next to a giant inflatable box of “Booty-O’s”. The biggest crowd reaction of the night came when Enzo and Cass entered however with the crowd yelling every word from Enzo’s iconic phrases. Enzo alone is a wonder to watch as he constantly runs and dances around with his brand of high energy action. It was a good match with all three teams getting in the action with a close calls happening often. The New Day picked up the win.
What was labeled originally as a “Chicago Street Fight” which was actually just a normal singles match was Rusev vs Roman Reigns. It was funny seeing both men get boo’d during the match, Rusev for being a great heel and Reigns for just being unliked. It was a solid match with both men going back and forth and Reigns making it seem like he had a chance. It ended with Rusev hitting Reigns with the bell getting himself DQ’d. Reigns attacked Rusev after the match gaining a large boo from the crowd.
The final match of the night was a triple threat match with Seth Rollings vs Sami Zayn vs Kevin Owens. It was a decent match with the faces trying to go against Owens. It did seem though that most match involved someone, usually Rollins, just laying outside the win. Owens picked up the win however.
Overall it was a decent card. Most matches either dragged, didn’t matter, or just were mediocre. With the standout being the triple threat tag match and the six woman tag match most other matches just felt insignificant. The biggest nail in the coffin though was the fact that everything involving Jericho killed any mood the event was setting. It’ll be interesting to see further down the line if the brand split house shows increase in value with the matches they offer.