Are you ready? Then stop questioning your heart and join me because it is time for Monday Night RAW!!!
Justin Roberts is in the ring and introduces the Executive Vice President of Talent Relations & Interim General Manager of RAW, John Laurinaitis. He announces that tonight marks the return of Rey Mysterio… to his doctor in San Diego. Rey Mysterio will not be on the show tonight. Laurinaitis says that the Mexican fans have no sense of humor as they boo. John says that he may make mistakes, one of which was firing Jim Ross last week. The crowd is chanting loud over his voice. He says that he received 1000s of tweets and so he has decided to bring back good ole JR!
Jim Ross makes his entrance to the Oklahoma Sooners’ fight song and starts to take a seat next to Lawler. Before he does, John asks him to enter the ring so that he can give him a public apology. Laurinaitis gives him a big hug. The crowd is absolutely baffled. John says that he shouldn’t have fired him unceremoniously last week on RAW. John says that he didn’t bring him here tonight to work commentary. A clip is shown of Michael Cole antagonizing the Oklahoma crowd last week during a commercial break after the firing of Ross. Laurinaitis says that he doesn’t know what the beef is between Ross and Cole, maybe Ross is jealous. Either way, it’s time to settle the score. Tonight’s main event will be Michael Cole & WWE Champion Alberto Del Rio v. Jim Ross & John Cena. Ross’ music plays over the PA system as Cole gets up on the Commentators’ table to taunt Ross.
Randy Orton’s music hits and he makes his way down to the ring as we head to commercial.
Randy Orton, John Morrison & Sheamus v. Mark Henry, Christian & Cody Rhodes
Christian and Randy start the match off. Leapfrog by Orton sets up Christian in the corner. The Viper climbs and lands the ten count punch. Sheamus gets the tag, but Christian scurries away and tags in Cody Rhodes. Sheamus throws him into the ropes and connects with a shoulder block. Sheamus clubs him over and over and as he falls to the mat is kicked to kingdom come. Rhodes briefly blocks a punch and knocks Orton off the apron, but Sheamus punches him right back and then hits a back body drop. Rhodes tags in Henry.
Orton can’t keep his anger in check and charges at Rhodes. They appear to brawl their way out of the arena.
Christian and Morrison are in the ring as we come back from the break and it appears that Orton and Rhodes will not be returning. Morrison hits a nice spinning slam, but Christian follows with a neckbreaker and tags in Henry. Morrison is sent to the mat and Henry simply stands on his chest, crushing his sternum. Christian gets the tag again. He hits a nice punch and then locks on a modified chinlock. Morrison gets to his feet and is looking for the cover. He hits a spinning kick and tries to get to Sheamus. Christian gets the tag to Henry first, and the Champion blocks Morrison’s tag. Henry lifts him into the air for a bear hug. Morrison tries to punch his way free, but Henry picks him up and shoves him into the corner. He looks for a splash, but Morrison blocks with a kick. He heads to the second rope, but Henry is there to grab him. John dropkicks the leg of Henry and crawls towards Sheamus while Henry tries to get to his feet. Christian pulls Sheamus off the apron to prevent the tag, but it appears their bad blood can’t be contained. They brawl into the crowd and we are left with Henry and Morrison. John leaps at the Champion, but Henry catches him and hits the World’s Strongest Slam! This match is over.
Winners: Mark Henry, Christian & Cody Rhodes
Vignette: Brodus Clay
John Laurinaitis is on the phone in his office. The Bella Twins enter the shot to caress him and make sure that he doesn’t forget how important they are to RAW. He says he won’t, and gets back on the phone. Ricardo Rodriguez enters the office to try and warn John that Alberto is coming into the office. Del Rio enters and is very unhappy about his match in tonight’s main event. John tells him that whoever wins the match will get to pick the stipulation for the WWE Championship match at Vengeance. Alberto appears consoled by that development.
Eve Torres w/ Kelly Kelly v. Natalya w/ Beth Phoenix
Eve receives a nice ovation from the crowd on her way to the ring. Natalya backs Eve into the corner at the start of the match, but Eve quickly pushes her back and connects with a kick. Natalya responds with a clothesline and goes for the cover. Natalya applies an abdominal stretch, and the crowd shows their support for Eve. Natalya counters an Eve escape by dropping her to the mat and stomping on her chest. Natalya throws in some trash talk including calling Eve a “mutt”. Natalya kicks her and soaks up the moment. Eve is thrown headfirst into the turnbuckle, but responds by slamming Natalya to the mat. Eve takes to the top turnbuckle and leaps for the moonsault. It connects! This match is over.
Winner via Moonsault: Eve Torres
CM Punk v. The Miz w/ R-Truth
CM Punk receives a huge ovation from the crowd during his entrance! R-Truth accompanies The Miz with a rap on his way to the ring. Miz says that Punk might be smiling on the outside, but on the inside he is fearful of them. Because at the last PPV they attacked him and ensured he wouldn’t have a Title shot for a long time. Or maybe he is jealous that they were able to do something Punk couldn’t, get HHH removed as the head of RAW. Truth says that Punk talks too much, and tells him to wipe the smile off his face. Truth says that they are going to wipe the smile off his face when they get their “vengeance” at the PPV. HHH’s music hits and he makes his way down to the ring to join Punk’s corner for the match!
Punk has Miz in an arm stretch as we come back from commercial. He goes for a cover, but Miz kicks out. Miz kicks Punk in the gut and then hits an over arm take down and applies a seated front facelock. Punk gets back to his feet and throws Miz into the ropes. Miz runs back with a shoulder block and then runs the ropes, but Punk leap frogs and hits a dropkick. Miz rolls out of the ring to catch his breath. Punk flies through the ropes with a suicide dive! Miz is rolled back into the ring. Punk flips in with a senton and goes for the cover. Miz kicks out.
Miz is in the corner and Punk charges, but misses and flies out of the ring. Punk is holding his ankle as Truth walks over to him. HHH quickly follows, forcing Truth to back off. Punk springboards into the ring for a clothesline, and goes for the cover, but Miz kicks out. Punk hits a snapmare takedown followed by a kick to the back. Cover, but Miz once again kicks out. Miz is set up in the corner and Punk delivers a chop followed by an elbow. Punk backs off per the referee’s order, which allows Miz to kick him in the gut. Punk has fallen to the mat as Miz kicks him repeatedly.
The crowd is hot for Punk as Miz applies a rear headlock. Punk is struggling to his feet, but Miz retains control. Finally, Punk is able to lift Miz into the air and use a back body drop to escape the hold. Punk charges for his high knee, but Miz counters with a raised boot. Miz takes to the top rope and leaps, but Punk catches him in midair with a spinning heel kick! Both men are on the mat as the referee begins the ten count. Punk is the first to his feet and charges towards Miz, Miz appears to have been playing a bit of possum and throws Punk out of the ring. Truth attacks him, and HHH charges right after him.
Truth heads towards the back and HHH is following after, but John Laurinaitis comes out to stop the match. Laurinaitis says that there is an immigration problem, and HHH must immediately leave the arena. HHH laughs and says there is no way he is leaving, but Laurinaitis tells HHH that since he is still the COO, it would be an embarrassment to the company if he doesn’t immediately leave.
We see that during the commercial HHH was escorted out of the arena by custom officials. Laurinaitis is shown with his Harvard educated lawyer, David Otunga.
We head back into the arena, and apparently despite Laurinaitis stopping the match, it has begun again.
Punk hits a swinging neckbreaker and sets up for the high knee. This time, it connects! Punk drags Miz towards the corner and heads to the top rope. Punk leaps and connects with a huge elbow! Punk puts his hands against his face and calls for the GTS. Truth jumps up on the apron, so Punk knocks him to the ground. Miz counters the GTS by setting up for the Skull Crushing Finale, but Punk pushes Miz towards Truth who has once again jumped up on the apron. Punk goes for the roll up, and this match is over!
Winner via Roll Up: CM Punk
After the match, Miz and Truth team up to attack CM Punk. A battalion of referees comes down to the ring to break it up. Miz and Truth decide in a moment of maturity to exit the ring and head to the back peacefully. Before they can reach the back, they charge back down to the ring! Truth kicks Punk hard, and Miz assures the refs that everything is under control. As soon as Charles Robinson turns his back, Miz hits the Skull Crushing Finale on the fallen Punk. Finally, Truth and Miz exit the stage.
Jack Swagger & Dolph Ziggler make their way down to the ring accompanied by Vickie Guerrero, who is in a very festive dress. Once in the ring, she says that despite living in Texas, she is a goddess in Mexico. She is the Angelina Jolie of Mexico City. But, she is more than just a pretty face. Laurinaitis has granted her clients a match against Air Boom for the Tag Team Championships on Sunday. Dolph takes the mic and says that he knows what a privilege it is for the audience to see them in the ring right now. He puts over the fact that he is the United States Champion, to which the crowd boos. Dolph vows that he and Jack will win the Titles on Monday. Swagger grabs the mic and starts to sing the Star Spangled Banner. The crowd roars in a chorus of boos, so Swagger stops and says that he has to start over.
Zack Ryder’s music hits, and he is going to be in action against Jack Swagger now!
Zack Ryder v. Jack Swagger
Ryder flies into the ring, and Swagger is caught off guard in all the hustle and bustle. Zack hits the Rough Ryder, and this match is over!
Winner via Rough Ryder: Zack Ryder
After the match, Dolph and Jack look to gang up on Zack, but Mason Ryan’s music hits and he charges down to the ring to aid Ryder. Dolph and Jack look to hightail it out of the arena, but Mason has the mic and tells Dolph to get back in the ring, because they have a match right now!
Dolph Ziggler v. Mason Ryan
Back from the break, Mason Ryan tosses Dolph out of the ring. Ziggler reenters and kicks him in the leg and then punches him in the head repeatedly. Dolph bounces off the ropes and runs right into a massive shoulder block. Dolph rolls out of the ring for a second to catch his wherewithal. Ryan tosses Ziggler into the corner, and he lands on top of the turnbuckle and then falls to the outside of the ring. Ziggler cautiously slides in, and tries the kicks and punches once again. This time Ziggler hits a dropkick as well, but Mason hits a scoop slam followed by a knee to the sternum. Once again, Dolph rolls out of the ring. Ryan doesn’t feel like waiting and follows out after him. Vickie stands in between her man and Ryan, and then slaps Mason in the face. Ziggler has made it back to the ring, so Ryan charges back at Dolph looking to take out his frustration for that slap. Dolph is backed into the corner and Mason is relentless with the kicks and punches. The referee calls for the bell.
Winner via DQ: Dolph Ziggler
After the match, Jack tries to come to Dolph’s aid. It proves to be a terrible idea as he is immediately thrown to the floor. Mason picks up Ziggler and hits a huge spinning slam.
John is in the back with Jim Ross. Ross is worried about screwing up Cena’s PPV match stipulation considering that he will be 60 on his next birthday, and is a grandfather. He really has no business being in a match. Cena tells him that he is a Hall of Famer, and the greatest voice in the history of the WWE. Cena tells him not to worry; he’ll take care of everything. Ross asks to get his hands on Cole for a bit because he is such a pathetic son of a bitch. Cena laughs and says Ross is being too kind.
Cole stands up with a mic and asks for the audience’s attention. He says he is heading to the back to get ready for his match against Ross.
Josh Mathews has joined Jerry Lawler to commentate for the rest of the evening.
John Cena & Jim Ross v. Alberto Del Rio & Michael Cole
Michael Cole is in the ring and wants to start off the match. Cena laughs, and tags in Jim Ross. Cole is taunting JR, to which Ross responds with a huge slap across the face! Both men tag in their partners. Alberto Del Rio hits an arm drag and catches Cena in a side headlock. The crowd is heavily on Del Rio’s side, but not Cole’s. Cena powers out and hits a side headlock of his own. Del Rio counters with the same back body drop Cena used, and goes for the cover. Cena kicks out. Del Rio goes back to the headlock. Cena gets to his feet, but is sent crashing towards the corner. Cole hits a cheap shot while the ref’s back is turned, and then Alberto stomps on Cena’s chest. Cena is out on the apron now, and Cole slaps him across the face once again! Cena rolls back in the ring and Del Rio kicks him before heading to the second rope. He heads to the top and leaps for a double slap. Cover, but Cena kicks out.
Alberto mocks the “You Can’t See Me” taunt, and then follows with a snap suplex. Cover, but Cena kicks out. Rio goes back to the headlock. Cena briefly escapes, but gets caught once again. Cena almost counters into the STF, to which the crowd roars their disapproval. Rio quickly escapes and hits a beautiful tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Alberto gets Cena to his feet in the corner and hits a high dropkick! Cover, but Cena kicks out!
Alberto heads to the top rope once again and leaps for a rear senton. Cena rolls out of the way and starts the 5 Moves of Doom. Shoulder blocks, side slam and a 5 Knuckle Shuffle to start. Cena is setting up for the Attitude Adjustment, so Del Rio tags in Michael Cole! Cena pulls the reluctant Cole into the ring as Cole pleads for forgiveness and extends his hand. Cena looks to the crowd as though he doesn’t know what to do. He goes to shake his hand, and then hits the Attitude Adjustment! Cena is looking for the STF, but instead points towards Jim Ross. The crowd shows their support, and Ross gets the tag. Ross locks on the ankle lock!!! This match is over!
Winners: John Cena & Jim Ross
After the match, Jim Ross and John Cena celebrate in the ring. Del Rio tries to sneak up and attack on the outside, but Cena hits an Attitude Adjustment on the floor! Cena grabs a mic and begins to count to 10. Alberto gets to his feet at 7, so Cena charges and decks him with a clothesline. Cena then takes apart the steel steps, and lifts the top half into the air. He charges at Alberto and uses the steps like a battering ram! Cena picks up the mic and this time counts fully to 10. Cena rolls into the ring and says you don’t have to be a genius to figure out why he was counting. Cena announces that the stipulation for his WWE Championship match against Alberto Del Rio will be a Last Man Standing Match!
For the first time in a while, I was a fan of the entire show from top to bottom. Even the segments that I normally consider “throwaways” at least had some entertainment value to them. Let’s start at the top, shall we?
I actually really enjoyed the opening of RAW tonight. The crowd was really hot, which makes sense given the fact that it was in a city that has never hosted the Monday Night show. Yes, it was pretaped over the weekend, but I thought they did a better job giving it the live show feel then they have with the more recent shows overseas. I get really tired, really quick of the Jim Ross abuse, but in the opening segment it actually worked for me. Maybe it’s because we would be getting a payoff later in the show and not have to watch is drag out for months a la that Cole/Lawler fiasco. Well, at least I hope it doesn’t. Oh yeah, and props to Laurinaitis for the delivery on that Rey Mysterio bit, I chuckled.
If they ever do a Mark Henry v. Sheamus feud, I really hope that they use Three Dog Night’s “Black and White” as the highlight video song. Talk about different ends of the color spectrum.
Six-man tag delivered despite the chaos. Sure, it was formulaic with the disappearing couples, but I didn’t really expect much else. It ended with Henry looking like the monster he is, so it gets no complaints from me.
It was definitely a solid match from Eve and Natalya tonight. I know, I know, that’s not something you expect to read from me, but I thought it did a nice little job of building up the PPV match for the Title. The hot crowd was a big factor in this one.
Brodus Clay isn’t really a guy that I’ve put much thought into, but that vignette they aired tonight was one of the best I’ve seen in quite some time.
Allow me to be really contradictory for a moment. The immigration segment with Laurinaitis and HHH was really, really dumb – but I loved it. It was silly, but I wasn’t expecting it and it made me laugh. Oh, and Truth getting punched in the face while taunting HHH on the ramp absolutely slayed me.
CM Punk/Miz put on a very entertaining match. I feel like a broken record sometimes when I compliment CM Punk’s in ring ability, but I’ll say it again. He is simply one of the most talented guys in the company right now. From facial reactions, to move execution to delivering a story – he does it almost every single time the bell rings.
Zack Ryder is getting a bigger and bigger pop each week. I suppose the next obstacle to overcome is whether or not his in ring ability is as good as the die-hard Ryder fans think it is, but for now he is doing a pretty good job. The WWE is limiting his in-ring time on RAW, but he has put together some nice showings on Superstars over the past couple months. It was definitely the right idea to make him a face, because given the story of his character as an underground crowd favorite; he needs to be in a position to receive cheers from the crowd.
I don’t know what got in to Dolph Ziggler tonight, but damn. That was a hell of a promo he cut.
Mason Ryan looked like an absolute monster in their match tonight, so I’d definitely like to see a program between those two men.
The main event was, well it was what it was. John Cena always gets bizarre reactions from the crowd, but tonight was just a cluster- of confusion. On one hand they wanted to cheer Del Rio over Cena, BUT they also wanted to cheer Ross over Cole. It worked out well enough by the closing moments of the match, but the casual viewer was no doubt baffled.
Like I said, I enjoyed the show from top to bottom for the first time in a long time so I really have no complaints. There was nice PPV build, storylines were furthered, the crowd was hot, and the matches were good. As a WWE fan, I can’t ask for much more than what I got tonight.
31-year old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Longtime fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Vikings. Avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on the old school wrestling.