I got a chance to go to the WWE Heatwave 2019 Tour in Washington DC. House shows are a great time and much easier to sit back and enjoy without some of the jerks who come to televised events. It’s also fun for the wrestlers because they can just do their thing without having to tailor it for TV or do big storyline spots. If you have a chance to go I highly recommend it. This one was for the Raw side; we usually get Smackdown shows over here. So what went down this time? Let’s see.
Raw Women’s Title: Becky Lynch vs Lacey Evans
So they started off hot out of the gate. This one was way better than either of their two pay per view matches, in my opinion. The crowd was super hot for Becky and Lacey’s act got people booing pretty hard. TV doesn’t do Lacey justice; her whole act plays a lot better in front of this kind of crowd when she gets to do the extended version.
They got more time to work here, too, and it made a huge difference because they were a lot more fluid and far less disjointed than they come off on TV. It’s pretty clear why Lacey got to be Becky’s first opponent out of the gate after WrestleMania; the character and style contrast makes for good conflict if you give it a chance. Really good opener. Becky won using her slam finisher for the pin.
Raw Tag Team Title Match: The Revival vs The Usos
They were not playing around here! Straight to another title match. The Revival is another act that is shortchanged on TV. Here they did a whole routine of jawing with fans, jawing with the referee, and hugging it out with each other and then trying to hug it out with the referee (who instead hugged it out with the Usos) that was hilarious and the crowd ate up before the bell even rang. That’s how you work a crowd, everyone. That kind of stuff matters every bit as much as what you do in the ring, if not more.
As for the match itself, it wasn’t long but what they did was good. At one point the Revival tried to leave only to be blocked by Curt Hawkins and Zach Ryder. They ended up getting themselves disqualified to retain the titles, and then out of the blue the Viking Raiders come out and jump the Usos! Hawkins and Ryder came out to make the save, which led to an ‘impromptu’ eight man tag match.
The Usos, Zack Ryder,and Curt Hawkins vs The Revival and the Viking Raiders
Ryder, Hawkins, and the Viking Raiders did most of the work but the other guys still got some spots in, like the Usos here:
Hawkins was the face in peril before the hot tag and the full melee. The good guys get the win here. Both parts were good and entertaining. The Revival’s whole routine was worth it on it’s own. The eight man was preferable to a second tag match that would have been a glorified squash for the Raiders over Hawkins and Ryder.
US Title Match: Ricochet vs AJ Styles vs Cesaro
This one went a little differently than I thought in that Ricochet did not pull out his full arsenal of acrobatic moves and kept things in the ring. That’s not a shot at him by the way. Good for him to realize that he can’t do all of that for over 200 nights a year and expect to either hold up physically or not get overexposed. And with two guys like AJ and Cesaro to work with you can play it safe while still putting on a good match like this one.
Styles and Cesaro double teamed Ricochet a lot and fought with each other over who would go for the pin, while the champ opportunistically got some flurries in on both. And most importantly when he did do some acrobatic moves they made sense within the context of what was going on in the match. That’s the difference between ‘that guy does some cool stuff’ and ‘flippy sh- is killing the business’. Anyhow, good work by all here.
Then came the intermission…..
I normally don’t comment on intermissions but in this case a really cool thing happened. There was a man and wife there cosplaying as the Miz and Charlotte Flair, in full regalia with title belts and everything who got brought up to stand in front of the Titantron and introduce themselves.
This is one of things that makes these things great, people having a good time to the fullest.
Ok back to the show…..
Lucha House Party vs EC3, Luke Gallows, and Karl Anderson
Happy re-signing, Gallows and Anderson!! EC3 got a nice chant from the crowd when he came out; if they ever go forward with something for him he’s got an easy name to remember and could really get over if all goes well. Lucha House Party came out with pinatas tossing candy to the crowd. Decent match here, standard fare from the Lucha guys and some good stuff from the ad hoc trio. Gallows and Anderson hit the Magic Killer to get the win.
Natalya and Naomi vs Tamina and Sarah Logan
Not gonna lie, this was a filler match. It wasn’t bad or anything, it was just kinda there. Naomi’s entrance is always fun to watch:
After a quick start, Nattie took the beating from Tamina (who throws a mean looking superkick) and Logan, but when it looked like it was time for the hot tag, Nattie ended up getting the pin on a rollup. Weird ending, my guess is that they had to call it for time. The crowd was into it regardless, so like I said it wasn’t bad. Another good thing about house shows is that even during filler matches people still cheer and boo instead of complaining about the match even happening.
And now time for the main event!!!
Universal Title Match: Seth Rollins vs Baron Corbin (street fight rules)
The crowd was hot for Rollins and Corbin got good heat. Corbin does the little things well, like when he corrected the ring announcer for leaving out two parts of his ring introduction list of accolades. This was a gimmicked up sports entertainment match, which worked great for both guys. Corbin isn’t a 50 move workrate guy and Rollins sometimes wants to be one, so better to have something to help the guy who could use it and keep the other guy from going overboard.
We got a kendo stick and a chair put to use, and a lot of fighting outside the ring.
We chanted that we wanted a table and before long they got introduced. And then late in the match we got a run in from Evans to help put Seth in dire straits. Evan’s and Lynch going on first was a bit of a tell that they’d both be out later but the timing was perfect so it worked well. And when Lynch came out to even the odds the place went crazy. With things back in order Rollins was able to score the win and retain the title. Afterwards the real life couple Rollins and Lynch celebrated in the ring together to close out the show.
Good show once again. If you have the chance to take in a live event, absolutely do so. They’re lots of fun.