Won tickets to the WWE Raw show at Salt Lake City. FIrst hint that it wouldn't be an actual Raw show on TV? No TV announcers table.
MATCH #1 - Santino vs. Jack Swagger
Santino's a good way to open a show. High energy, hilariously cartoony. The crowd started cheering "Cobra! Cobra!" and so Santino tried to do his finishing move on Swagger before the match even started. Swagger drew a lot of heat from the crowd too. Swagger dominated most of the match, but it has a couple screwed up moves where both guys would just stop in mid-move as if confused by what the other one was about to do. Ultimately Santino pulled out his cobra sleeve and hit Swagger and got the three-count.
MATCH #2 - John Morrison vs. R-Truth
When Santino was leaving his match, enjoying the victory he got hit from behind by R-Truth. Two refs came to help the injured Santino leave. R-Truth got on the mike and started yelling about the conspiracy and how he wanted to fight Morrison. The crowd started yelling "What?" after everything he said which made him mad, and he was pretty funny with it. Morrison came out and they had a back-n-forth match. They each hit some good acrobatic moves, but Morrison got him with his finisher where he bounces off the top rope and twists for a slam.
Winner: John Morrison
MATCH #3 - Zack Ryder vs. Drew McIntyre
The crowd was about 2/3 for Zack and 1/3 against him when he came out. He wears a belt and calls himself the "Internet Champion" and he asked a few people int he crowd if they wanted to be his "bro-ski" for the match. The couple kids didn't seem to know what that meant, and then he asked a guy who said he'd rather be friends with Dolph Ziggler. McIntyre came out, and he had 1/3 pro, 2/3 anti from the crowd. The energy dropped a bit for this one, and some people just didn't seem to know who they were supposed to root for. Ryder wrapped it up with a pinfall.
Winner: Zack Ryder
MATCH #4 - Diva Champion Kelly Kelly vs. Beth Phoenix
At this point Amy Torres (is that her name?) came to say they were going to have a contest and the winner was going to be able to go backstage and meet their favorite Superstars. But Phoenix came out and interrupted to fight Kelly Kelly NOW! Kelly came out and they went at it. Phoenix is obviously the stronger one, but we're not going to have a title change hands at a house show, are we? Kelly got this last-second reversal for a quick pin, and then she and Amy left quickly.
MATCH #5 - Rey Mysterio vs. Alberto Del Rio
Del Rio really knew how to work the crowd as the heel. At one point some idiot actually threw something at him and got himself kicked out (he didn't hit him). The crowd popped big for Rey, and I liked how Rey would stop at each kid he passed who was wearing one of his masks.
Rey's a great high-flyer, and Del Rio's a good seller. They had some really good moves, but Rey was able to get the 619, which the crowd chanted for several times, and then his finisher off the top rope for a clean pin.
Winner: Rey Mysterio
Halftime. I wondered why the good guys were winning every match. Is this how it always is at house shows?
MATCH #6 - Alex Riley vs. US Champion Dolph Ziggler
Ziggler came out first and took the mike, ranting about he ambodied perfection. Got plenty of boos (and no Vickie Guerrero). He has this Mr. Perfect-Owen Hart-Jeff Jarrett style to him that could make him a star down the road. Riley came out to big cheers, and they had a very entertaining match. Ziggler acted like he was scared of Riley, sliding out of the ring, avoiding a count-out by rolling in at nine and right back out. As soon as they tangled, Ziggler dove back out, grabbed the mike and yelled "Didn't you see him pull my hair? He's a cheater!"
Once they got into it, Riley was able to hit some power moves. Ziggler got in some strutting moments, very Jarrett-esque. Riley didn't sell the finisher well, but Ziggler got the pin.
Winner: Dolph Ziggler
MATCH #7 - Kofi Kingston & Evan Bourne vs. Tag-Team Champions David Otunga & Michael McGillicutty
The tag champs aren't that special, but the crowd popped big for their opponents. Actually met Kofi Kingston at a meet-n-greet earlier in the day, seems like a genuinely nice guy. Bourne's not that big, but he's able to jump high and knee guys in the face. The tag match had those predictable moments where the bad guys work on one in the corner for a while, and he finally barely breaks free and the other one comes in and cleans house.
Naturally the tag champs got the pin, but they got greedy and kept beating up Bourne after it was over. Kingston, who'd been knocked out on the outside of the ring, recovered and came back in, and he and Bourne did their finishers. Bourne has one of the coolest where he jumps forward from the top rope but does a back flip before landing on his opponent. So, moral victory, but...
Winner: Otunga & McGillicutty
Remember that contest Amy Torres promised? She picked four volunteers, and we'll call them Hot Chick, Fat Guy, Cute Kid, and Redhead. Once they were in the ring, Torres let them and us know that the contest was a dance contest. Hot Chick went first, and she did okay, she got some encouraging cheers. Next went Fat Guy (and I do mean at least 300 pounds), and he got bigger cheers, going for it. Next went Cute Kid and he busted out some old-school moves including the snake and the worm. Giant cheers. Last was Redhead, and I felt bad for her. Who wants to follow Cute Kid? She started, and was obviously not very good, and so the crowd turned on her, booing vociferously. Once it was over, Torres let the crowd vote. The cheers went the same. Some cheers for Hot Chick, more cheers for Fat Guy, decisive cheers for Cute Kid, and loud boos for Redhead.
MATCH #8 - WWE Champion John Cena vs. WWE Champion CM Punk
The Miz had been on the poster, so I thought the final match would be Cena vs. Miz, but when they announced "Champion vs. Champion" I was genuinely excited to see it. Punk got half boos-half cheers when he came out first, and I liked his attitude. He's only turned face a month ago, so it's taking a while to catch on. Cena's entrance music got the loudest pop of the night, though there was a section that booed him.
I should also say the loudest squeal of the night from the women was when Cena took off his shirt. Next Punk took his shirt off in a "my body's nowhere near cut as his" manner, but the girl he threw his shirt to was thrilled.
It was a back-n-forth match. Tons of submission moves, headlocks, ankle locks. one would break out and we might get a flying clothesline or a drop-kick, but then it would be right back to a headlock. At one point there was a "Let's go, Cena! CM Punk!" shout contest. Cena was able to get in his "U Don't See Me" followed with the five-knuckle shuffle, and he got in his submission finisher, but Punk was able to get to the ropes. Then Punk had his comeback, and I wondered how they'd actually end this.
Oh, yeah, I'm at a pro-wrestlign show. R-Truth and Dolph Ziggler ran out and attacked both men from behind, clearing the ring. They picked up the championship belts and mocked them with them, but in getting too proud of themselves for what they did, they didn't notice Cena and Punk get back in the ring. Cena and Punk worked them together and did their finishing moves on them at the same time. Truth and Ziggler retreated, licking their wounds.
Winner: None. Double disqualification.
Once it was over, Cena and Punk had a belt off. Punk would hold up his belt and his theme music would kick on (Living Colour's "Cult of Personality") and the crowd would cheer. Then Cena would signal to cut the music, and he'd thrust his belt into the air, and his theme music would kick on, and the crowd would cheer. They did this back and forth for a bit. Punk left first as Cena wound up with the bigger cheers, and Cena took longer than most reeting fans as he left, high-fiving, signing stuff.
Entertaining show, first time I've been to a live one. Maybe not as cool as attending a pay-per-view, but I think I liked it more than a Raw show. GLad I won tickets.