The night started with a dark match that saw Xavier Woods beating Michael McGillicutty.
No pyro or official opening to start the show, kicked off right with Cena coming out in the arena as well.
The only match that the crowd was pretty quiet for was the Kidd / Antonio match, only picking up a bit for the very end of it.
They did a great job with the flow of the longer matches. We couldn't tell when they were at commercial or not, there weren't any obvious rest spots or delaying until coming back live.
Ryback is incredibly over live. Right before Raw went on the air, the crowd broke into a huge "feed me more" chant out of nowhere and almost exploded when he ran in at the end of the main event.
I'm not quite sure why, but before the main event the ring crew pulled the top canvas off the ring. I hadn't noticed anything wrong with it and the new one underneath looked normal too, so who knows why they changed it.
And most importantly, I had a fairly good view of the incident in the crowd with Punk. Watching it back on tape just now, the broadcast just missed what started it by a couple seconds. Right before the camera cut back to Punk in the crowd, the bald guy he decked had just shoved him in the back of the head. Other reports said it was someone else that did the shoving and the bald guy took the blame; it was crowded and rowdy over there so who knows. Either way, someone gave Punk a good shove in the head. Not a violent punch or anything, but definitely a forward motion push and not the usual patting that fans might do. Security got up there pretty quick but didn't yank him until Raw had gone off the air and Punk came back out of the crowd. From our view a couple sections over, it looked like the guy was apologizing and pointing to himself as if to say it was his own fault; maybe he was arguing that it was someone else that pushed Punk. Regardless, 5 or so arena security guards ejected him as WWE security chewed him out.
After the cameras went off, Sheamus came out for a 2 minute or so "match" with Punk. Punk tried to decline, saying he had to tend to Heyman who had obviously suffered a serious injury. Sheamus ran up the ramp and grabbed Punk, throwing him back in the ring. Little bit of brawling for a couple minutes until Punk grabbed a mic, said "this is how you win a match" and hit a low blow for the DQ. Heyman got on the mic and railed the crowd about Punk being their champion as Punk climbed a couple turnbuckles saying "Besssst in the world!". After the third one, he turned around into a Brogue Kick and scampered to the back. Even his exit was great. Punk was so flustered and hazy from the Brogue Kick that he walked right into the video wall on the stage, bouncing off that and stumbling over to the giant WWE logo, blundering into the side of that too. Funny stuff!
3. Daniel Bryan
5. Mr. McMahon
They announced a return date for a Smackdown taping on Tuesday, January 22 and kindly let us buy tickets on the way out of the arena. For Ticketmaster, the pre-sale code is SMACKFAN that should work until Sunday 10/14.