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Live at Raw: What you didn't see
By BOB KAPUR - SLAM! Wrestling


D.H. Smith is stretchered out of the ring after a beating by JBL during a commercial break. Photo by Mike Mastrandrea



TORONTO - Even though Toronto fans don't have hockey to cheer for, that doesn't mean the Air Canada Centre can't still be rocking in May. WWE proved that on Monday night, with a live broadcast of RAW emanating from the ACC.

The live crowd was vocal for most of the night, despite the show dragging on occasion thanks to several lengthy breaks (to co-ordinate the commercials on the TV feed), and a lacklsutre main event.

Many of the near-14,000 seats sold appeared to be filled with families, including younger kids who, for the most part, held nothing back in cheering their heroes and booing the villains. Yes, that’s correct -- contrary to Toronto’s reputation of being a ‘heel-loving’ town, the only instances where Toronto’s ‘Bizarro-land’ nature peeked through were scattered cheers for Randy Orton and the obligatory "You screwed Bret" chants for Shawn Michaels.

The biggest jeers were saved for William Regal when he made the decision to turn off the lights during Orton’s match against CM Punk. Contrarily, the biggest ovations were for HHH, Mr. Kennedy, and for surprise cameo appearances by WWE legends Roddy Piper, Ron Simmons, and Toronto’s own Trish Stratus.

As mentioned, if there was a noticeable lull in the fans’ enthusiasm, it happened during the main event, which saw Triple H and Mr. Kennedy square off against the entire ECW roster. Maybe it was the result of burnout from the three-hours plus of wrestling that preceded it, but somehow the fans seemed a bit bored by the contest, not picking up until Randy Orton’s sneak attack on HHH at the end.

Overall, based on the reactions of the crowd, RAW was a success. It wasn’t a perfect show by any means, but it was certainly enough to keep the Toronto crowd engaged and excited for most of the night. Which can’t be said about the city’s hockey team.

Other Results

Dark Match 1: The Natural Nick Nemeth vs Kofi Kingston

Surprisingly, since Nemeth hasn’t been on TV, he got a big bad-guy reaction during this one. Kofi won after his buzzsaw kick.

Dark Match 2: Hacksaw Jim Duggan and Super Crazy vs. Charlie Haas and Robbie McAllister

Duggan and Crazy played up to the Canadian fans, putting aside their respective countries’ flags to wave the good old Maple Leaf. Crazy took out Haas with a springboard moonsault to the floor, and Duggan hit his three-point stance clothesline on Robbie for the win.

Dark Match 3: Snitsky vs Phil Atlas.

Snitsky dominated Ontario indy star Atlas in a quick match. An ugly moment at one point where Atlas tried for a desperation high cross body and Snitsky kicked him in the face mid-air. Ouch. A pumphandle slam put Atlas down and out for the pin.

Sunday Night Heat

Heat Match 1: Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch vs Brian Kendrick and Paul London

A good tag match with classic big men little men strategy, with "Londrick" using speed and aerials including stereo planchas to the floor. The power of their bigger opponents slowed them down, but then London surprised Murdoch with a roll-up out of nowhere. After the match, Cade berated his partner.

Lillian Garcia sang Oh Canada before the show.

Things that happened during the commercial breaks: the diva lumberjack teams made their entrances; the Canadian Bulldog was stretchered out after his match with JBL; Cryme Tyme continued their "Rowdy Roddy, yeah yeah" chant and then sold Carlito’s hammock to a fan.

After the TV main event, Orton was making his way back up the ramp. Chris Jericho’s music hit, and Orton backed his way into the ring again, where Triple H, recovered from the RKO, put a beatdown on him. This led to ...

Chris Jericho vs Randy Orton for the Intercontinental Championship

Jericho started off quickly but got grounded by Orton's hanging DDT.Y2J tried to mount a comeback but was caught with Orton's impact backbreaker. Anticipating the RKO, Jericho pushed his way out of it and nailed Orton with the Codebreaker to get the pin and successful title defense.

RELATED LINKS

  • Monday Night Raw Photo Gallery
  • Raw report: Power-mad Regal gives big play to ECW

    Bob Kapur was hoping that when the lights turned back on during the main event that instead of Orton, Sabu would have been there and attacked HHH. E-mail him your booking wishes at bobkapur@hotmail.com.