Thanks to Brian Reed-Baiotto for sending in these live in-person notes for last night's RAW at the Staples Center in Los Angeles:
Approximately 30 minutes before the first of two Main Event matches was to take place, people who had seats on the hard camera side of the Staples Center were being redirected to the 'TV side' of the arena. In fact, the female usher told the kid and his father near me that they were instructed to make one side of the Staples Center look full for TV.
Ember Moon defeated Alicia Fox is no more than a five-minute match for Main Event and then Apollo defeated Jinder Mahal in a decent match. Mahal and the Singh brothers played up their heel roles well. People sitting in the lower level near me had been at both NXT on Saturday night and Survivor Series on Sunday, so they were diehard fans, and they were talking about how far Mahal has fallen in recent months, having highlighted PPV's to jobbing for Apollo Crews on Main Event.
It was my first Raw since Renee Young became one of the three regulars on commentary and she got a very solid reaction when she was introduced. A much bigger greeting than Corey Graves or Michael Cole.
Just before Raw came on the air, Baron Corbin walked down in the dark and was already standing in the middle of the ring as they went on air.
As five of the six competitors were in the ring, Elias got a really nice reaction for both his appearance and his playing of the guitar. By the time that six-man match was over, nearly one-third or 50-plus minutes of the show was over, and people were getting restless after such a long match.
The other topic in section 206 was, considering it was an elimination match, why did the entire team (Drew McIntyre, Baron Corbin and Bobby Lashley) get disqualified for the action of one of them. And then one guy said, 'you know this isn't real, right?'
Ronda Rousey got a nearly half-cheer and half boo reception when her music hit, but towards the end of her rant, much more of the crowd was with her than against her. They seemed to like her taking responsibility for her beatdown instead of making excuses. After the commercial, when Mickie James came out as her opponent, the crowd was underwhelmed to say the least.
Natalya got one of the biggest pops of the night when she pinned Ruby Riot, especially considering they played up Riot's disrespect towards Nattie's late father, Jim 'the Anvil' Neidhart.
Another uncomfortable moment for many was in one of the Ambrose segments, where he insinuated that because of the way they lived while members of the Shield, that Roman Reigns was having to deal with God now.
The Staples Center was about 70-percent filled and after the final segment with Rollins and Ambrose, nearly the entire crowd waited, because we were all expecting a dark main event, but the Raw ring announcer came on and said, "all right, folks. That's it for tonight," and the crowd booed and then left.
It was pretty crowded around the Staples Center because of everything around (restaurants, clubs, etc), but also, many Rams and Chiefs fans parked near the Staples Center and walked or took a cab the 2.3 miles along Figueroa Boulevard.
The reason being, parking near the Staples Center was $10 in many places and it's $100 outside of the Coliseum where the Monday Night Football game was being played.
A few times Monday night, they reminded people that Smackdown was taking place Tuesday in the same arena, but after NXT, Survivor Series and now Raw, not many seemed interested. In fact, tickets on Stubhub are going for as low as $9.
Best pops: Finn Balor entrance, Rollins' original entrance for his segment in the ring, Braun Strohman's entrance and Natalya's victory.
Most heat: Nia Jax entrance, Baron Corbin coming out during Rousey's segment, Ambrose segment.