WWE Monday Night Raw delivers

ABOVE: Austin Theory successfully defended his WWE title on Monday night in Ottawa.

As a lifelong World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) fan, I have seen the live shows at The Canadian Tire Centre (CTC), The Civic Centre, even and on the field that is now TD Place. The largest Monday Night Raw crowd in Ottawa history gathered on Monday night for WWE's non-stop juggernaut of a business, Monday Night Raw.

All three levels at the CTC and the floor seats were rocking. Seeing such an incredibly enthusiastic crowd for the event was great. The CTC arena location is a frequent topic of discussion in Ottawa, but that wasn't the case last night.

Monday Night Raw is a live, three-hour program, and that’s exactly how long the TV show aired—to the second. During commercial breaks, there were fun events like the ‘Dance cam.’ Instead of the usual ‘Kiss Cam,’ there was the ‘Eyebrow Cam’ where fans could make their best impressions of The Rock, aka Dwayne Johnson.

The demographic of the crowd was all over the map, but that is to be expected at a WWE event. It is a product that caters to everyone. My squat workouts paid off as I was never in my seat for too long; the crowd was constantly on their feet, either getting ready for the next superstar to be introduced or checking out something exciting happening in the ring.

Monday Night Raw came on the heels of the WWE's premium live event, Elimination Chamber, held in Montreal this past Saturday. Monday night was basically the fallout of the Montreal show. Sami Zayn, who came up short in this quest to become the undisputed Universal Champion, kicked off the show by addressing the enthusiastic crowd. Sami might have been disappointed but cheers of support — ‘Sami!!!! Sami!!!’ — filled the arena. The highly entertaining three hours truly flew by.

Wrestlemania is the next big show on the WWE calendar, the year's biggest event. This year’s event takes place on April 1st and 2nd from Sofi Stadium in California, a venue that highlights the growth of WWE. The first Wrestlemania took place in front of approximately 19,000 fans at Madison Square Garden in 1985. Last year's installment was a two-night affair at the Texas AT&T Stadium in front of just over 150,000 people.

ABOVE: Legendary Canadian wrestler Edge lost to Austin Theory. 

There haven't been any Monday TV tapings in Ottawa in years, so Monday Night Raw was a huge event. A quick peek at social media will confirm that the crowd went home happy even though the ending was bittersweet; Toronto native Edge lost his attempt at winning the United States title.

My crystal ball tells me we won’t have to wait years for the WWE to bring its television crews back to Ottawa. The message to WWE on Monday night was loud and clear . . . Ottawa LOVES World Wrestling Entertainment!

Monday Night Raw Results

  • Sami Zayn def Baron Corbin
  • Mustafa Ali def Dolph Ziegler
  • Asuka def Nikki Cross
  • Seth Rollins def The Miz
  • Bronson Reed def Chad Gable
  • Bobby Lashley def Elias
  • Austin Theory successfully defended his United States title by defeating Edge

Photo: Keith Whittier