Are you ready? Then stop questioning your heart and join me because it is time for Monday Night RAW!!!
Drew McIntyre is already in the ring as Randy Orton’s entrance begins to kick off the show.
Randy Orton v. Drew McIntyre
They exchange blows after squaring off. Orton hits a dropkick that sends Drew out of the ring. Orton follows after and whips Drew into the barricade on one side of the ring, and then the other. Orton slides him back into the ring and sets Drew up in the corner for a 10 count punch. Orton completes the sequence as Drew clings to the ropes for the break. Orton backs off, but Drew kicks him in the jaw! Orton collapses to the mat as Drew mounts him for a series of punches. Drew connects with a snap suplex and goes for the cover. Orton kicks out.
Drew puts Orton’s neck against the second rope and places his knee on the Viper’s back for leverage. Orton fights back, pushing Drew into the corner with an uppercut. Drew is whipped to the corner, but blocks a splash with his boots. Cover, but Orton kicks out. Drew looks frustrated as he resorts to a Sumerian Arm Bar. Drew releases the hold and connects with a swinging neckbreaker. Drew heads to the second rope and leaps, but Orton counters with his feet. Orton hits his snap scoop slam and starts to get the crowd fired up. Drew is sent to the apron and is set up for the suspended DDT. It connects! Orton falls down to the mat and pounds with his fists. He hits the RKO, and this match is over!
Winner via RKO: Randy Orton
After the match, Mark Henry’s music hits and he walks down to ringside while Orton is still in the ring celebrating. Henry laughs and holds his Title up in the air. Orton slides out of the ring and exchanges blows with the Champion. Security rushes to ringside to separate the two men. John Laurinaitis is out encouraging the security detail. As tends to happen in such occurrences, the multitude of security personnel can’t keep Orton from rushing Henry a couple of times. Orton knocks Henry over the barricade and the Champion falls to the cement.
Back from the break, Henry is in the ring with his Title. Orton has presumably been ushered to the back. A video package plays highlighting the rise of Henry and his “Hall of Pain”.
Mark Henry v. John Morrison
Henry backs him into the corner and tries to connect with an arm bar, but John spins to his feet. The counter is fruitless however as Henry just clotheslines him. Henry lifts Morrison into the air and goes for the World’s Strongest Slam, but Morrison slides off. He connects with a bit of offense, and sets up for Starship Pain and lands it. Henry kicks out of the cover and hits the World’s Strongest Slam! This match is over.
Winner via World’s Strongest Slam: Mark Henry
After the match Henry cuts a short promo about his Hall of Pain.
John Laurinaitis is in the back with David Otunga, Christian, Vickie, Dolph, Cody Rhodes, Swagger and Alberto Del Rio. Otunga says that they have legitimate gripes about treatment. Laurinaitis tries to brush them aside, so Vickie says that they are going to the ring to air their concerns.
The crew from the last backstage segment is all in the ring. Del Rio grabs the mic and blames HHH for the happenings at the end of the PPV last night. Del Rio thinks it is curious that the cell was raised to allow Cena and “hooligans” to enter the ring and attack him. The Champion says that HHH is the person with the power to have made that happen.
Christian speaks now, and says that the workplace has become unsafe since HHH took over as COO. Rhodes blames the conditions on HHH’s ego. Dolph says that HHH’s actions have gone by unsupervised, so they are going to take action into their own hands. Swagger says that thanks to HHH, his friends and family are now concerned for his safety every time he enters the ring. Vickie says excuse me, and the crowd is hot! She gets in a couple of sentences and then hands the mic to Otunga.
David Otunga says that he has studied cases like theirs in the past. As the resident Harvard-graduate lawyer, he knows that they can either suffer under HHH’s employ. Or, they can band together and make a stand.
Triple H’s music hits and he walks onto the entrance ramp. He asks what the company has become. Men used to stand in the ring and fight. No matter what happened they got into the ring and did their job. They didn’t whine like kids and threaten lawsuits. They got in the ring and they fought. He doesn’t give a damn about Miz & Truth’s lawsuit or about the lawsuit of the men now in the ring.
Tonight the men in the ring are going to fight against Evan Bourne, Kofi Kingston, Sheamus, CM Punk & John Cena. He doesn’t want them to threaten a lawsuit against those guys; he wants them to do what they are paid to do – fight.
Kelly Kelly & Eve Torres v. Beth Phoenix & Natalya
Beth and Kelly start off the match. Kelly is sent outside the ring, but Kelly gets to her feet and slams Beth’s head against the announce table. Natalya tries to run over to help, but Eve comes over to take her out. Kelly continues the onslaught on Beth and it takes Eve pulling her off for the former Divas Champion to release the woman who won her Championship last night.
John Laurinaitis is in HHH’s office and says that HHH needs to be a man just as much as the talent. He suggests that The Game asks for a vote of confidence from the RAW locker room. John asks if he is scared. HHH grabs John by the neck tie and tells him that he isn’t scared of anything. What bothers him is that his right hand man may very well be the one sabotaging his every move. HHH tells him to get every superstar in the ring, and he will look each one of them in the eye during the vote. John is told to make sure he is out there as well.
Jinder Mahal is in the ring, and is saying… something. No translation provided and my magic bunny ear translation head gear appears to be broken. Santino Marella comes down to the ring with a mic, and he just blatantly talks in nonsensical jargon.
Jinder Mahal v. Santino Marella
Jinder is whipped into the corner and falls to the mat. Santino pumps up for the Cobra, and this match is over!
Winner via Cobra: Santino Marella
Video Recap of The Miz & Truth attacking competitors and referees last night at the PPV
We then go to a youtube clip of The Miz and R-Truth apologizing.
CM Punk’s music hits and he makes his way down to the ring for the huge 12-man tag match.
John Cena, CM Punk, WWE Tag Team Champions Kofi Kingston/Evan Bourne, Sheamus and Mason Ryan vs. WWE Champion Alberto Del Rio, Christian, WWE Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes, WWE United States Champion Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger and David Otunga
Cena fights through Christian and Otunga. Ziggler gets the tag, so Cena brings in Mason Ryan. Ziggler is decimated by a clothesline as Sheamus and Swagger are brought in by their respective teams. Sheamus hits a backbreaker and goes for the cover. Swagger kicks out. Punk comes into the ring and jumps to the top rope, but Swagger crawls towards the corner and tags in Rhodes. Punk jumps down to the mat to square off. Punk grabs a side headlock but gets backed into the corner. Rhodes shoves his shoulder into Punk’s gut, and then stomps on his chest. Rhodes throws a few punches before locking on a seated arm bar. Punk fights his way free. Both teams charge into the ring, but they refrain from contact as we go to commercial.
Kofi and Rhodes are in the ring. Rhodes hits a high kick and goes for the cover. Kofi kicks out. Del Rio gets the tag and hits a snapmare takedown. Dropkick to the head and a cover, but Kofi kicks out. Christian gets the tag and applies a chin lock. Christian floors him with an elbow and then tags in Swagger. He stomps on Kofi and tags in Ziggler. Dolph points towards the corner, taunting Kofi. Ziggler goes for a cover, but Kofi kicks out. Ziggler pulls Kofi to the corner and tags in Rhodes. Cody throws Kofi out of the ring. Swagger gets in a cheap shot. Cody heads out of the ring and tries to whip Kofi into the barricade, but gets sent there himself!
Cody quickly gets back into the ring and tags in Christian who keeps Kofi from bringing in a fresh teammate. Swagger gets the tag and begins to work on Kofi’s leg. Quick tag to Ziggler who takes time to soak up the moment. He leaps for an elbow, but Kofi moves out of the way. Kofi tries his best to reach the corner, but Ziggler tags in Otunga. Kofi is scoop slammed and hits with an elbow. Cover, but Kofi kicks out. Ziggler gets the tag and punches Kofi in the sternum. Both men bounce off the ropes and leap for a crossbody. Swagger gets the tag, but can’t stop Kofi from tagging in Bourne!
The high flyer hits a couple of kicks and knocks Christian off the apron. Swagger tries to arm drag him into the ring, but Bourne blocks. Evan heads to the top rope and leaps for the Shooting Star Press! It connects! Cover – but Vickie drags the leg of Swagger under the bottom rope. The referee sees and stops the count, but also sends Vickie to the back!
Christian has Bourne against the second rope and punches him in the face. Cover, but Evan kicks out. Christian has a front headlock applied as he brings in Del Rio. Titl-a-whirl backbreaker and cover, but Evan kicks out. Evan is whipped into the corner but blocks a splash with his boot. Evan hits a tornado DDT and goes for the tag. Cena gets the tag and connects with two shoulder blocks and a side slam. The 5 Knuckle Shuffle continues the 5 Moves of Doom as Cena is looking for the Attitude Adjustment. Del Rio counters with an arm breaker, and tags in Cody. Cody tags in Christian. Del Rio is brought back in next. Each man took shots at Cena, so Del Rio goes for the cover. Cena kicks out.
Alberto Del Rio applies a headlock, and then head butts Cena. Swagger gets the tag as Cena is seated in the corner. Swagger lifts him to his feet and connects with some punches before whipping him hard into the corner. Cena falls to the mat and Swagger hits his second rope splash. Cover, but Cena kicks out. A frustrated Swagger lifts Cena to his feet and whips him into the opposite corner. Again Cena falls to the mat and again Swagger goes for the splash. This time Cena gets out of the way, and tags in Sheamus. Ziggler gets the tag on his team and runs in to several clubbing blows of Sheamus. The Irish star takes to the top rope, but Christian pushes him back into the ring. Ziggler goes for the cover, but Sheamus kicks out. Christian spears Sheamus, but Bourne comes in to make the save. All hell breaks loose as competitor after competitor enters the ring and hits their finisher. Bodies are flying everywhere as Sheamus hits a brutal Brogue Kick on Ziggler! This match is over!
Winners: John Cena, CM Punk, WWE Tag Team Champions Kofi Kingston/Evan Bourne, Sheamus and Mason Ryan
The WWE locker room makes their way down around the ring. Wrestlers, referees and Divas are all present. Jerry Lawler’s music hits and he makes an entrance as well. The vote of confidence for HHH is up next!
HHH’s music hits and he makes his way down and into the ring. He says they are out here to take a vote of confidence about his job performance as the COO. He says that he didn’t ask for this job, it was given to him. It was more difficult than he expected. Miz and Truth say that he is a hypocrite, but what they should be doing is apologizing for being a bunch of babies. If you are willing to do the crime, you have to be willing to do the time. Trips admits that he is a bit old school. He like watching people beat the crap out of each other, he enjoys the chaos and is sure the WWE Universe does as well. At the end of the day, isn’t that who the company really works for? The fans? Isn’t it the WWE Universe who really signs their paychecks? It is HHH’s job to put on the best show possible every Monday night for the fans. With all of that being said, he is curious to hear their opinions.
Wade Barret has a mic and says he has been selected by the roster to speak about their problems. He says that the reason they all came to the WWE is because they are competitors who like to adhere certain rules and conditions. They shouldn’t be subjected to an unsafe work environment such as attacks in the parking lot because HHH can’t do his job correctly. Wade says that Trips does enjoy chaos, which is the problem. He also seems to enjoy attacking his employees.
HHH reminds the audience that this is the same Wade who along with the Nexus tried to destroy the company a year and a half ago. Referee Mike Chioda has the mic and says he has been here for 23 years, and for the first time he is afraid to come work. The attacks against the staff are unacceptable. Beth Phoenix says that on behalf of the Divas they are worried about their safety. Trips asks if anything has actually happened to the Divas. She says that they are worried something “could” happen.
Jerry Lawler gets in the ring and says that the show is spiraling out of control. Lawler agrees that this company has become a hostile work place. But, he doesn’t believe it is HHH’s fault. He agrees with CM Punk that it is someone behind the scenes pulling the strings. The problem is, somebody clearly doesn’t want HHH running the company. While Trips is in charge, things are not going to get better. Christian has a mic and calls for a vote to occur now. He speaks for the wrestlers when he votes no confidence. Chioda speaks for the referees and votes no confidence. For the Divas, Beth votes no confidence. Finally Lawler looks HHH in the eyes and says he is voting no confidence as well. Actions speak louder than words, so right now he is walking out. The locker room follows after.
Hunter is standing in the middle of the ring as he watches his friends and colleagues head to the back. Cole leaves the commentary booth. Not even Santino and Morrison stay to offer their support. Booker T leaves the table, and Jim Ross has his head in his hands. Justin Roberts and the ring crew head to the back as well. The camera crew sets down their equipment and heads to the back. The crowd is still chanting for a stunned HHH. Jim Ross is the only employee still staying and the crowd cheers, but he too gets to his feet and heads to the back – to a chorus of boos.
The crowd’s support is clearly behind Hunter. John Laurinaitis walks out onto the ramp for a loud, “You Suck” chant. Then John walks back behind the curtain. HHH mouths, “I’m sorry” to a crowd still chanting his name.
It’s been a long time since this happened to me. By “this” I mean turning off RAW, staring at my computer screen and watching the cursor taunt me with its every blink as I struggle to wrap my head around what I just watched. I loved it. No I hated it. That had to be the lamest ending I’ve seen in years. There is a bit of genius in bringing in the lockout storyline which has been a major news topic this year thanks to the NFL and NBA.
So I posted the recap and got in my car to go grab a soda and process my thoughts. As I was driving with my windows open, letting some Miley Cyrus add its melodies to the night air, my dislike for the angle began to subside. I then realized – I was intrigued.
It’s not difficult to take a glance at continuity and watch this whole storyline implode. It’s a fair and valid point. Times of much, much worse treatment to employees have happened in the past. The WWE has never been anything but a hostile work place for thousands of aspiring Superstars as they failed to achieve their dream in life of really making it big. Wrestlers get attacked all the time, by guest hosts, to celebrities, to their own partners. One doesn’t have to go back into the Attitude Era to find worse times to be a WWE employee; you need only look back a year and a half ago to the Nexus invasion (as HHH so aptly pointed out). But that’s neither here nor there. The angle has been put into motion so whether or not a fan wants it to happen, it’s going to happen.
As I was walking back to my car with soda in hand I realized that what’s happened over the past couple months is exactly what a large portion of the IWC has been screaming for over the past decade – a return to the Attitude Era. I’ve never been a strong supporter of that movement because the company was moving in a logical evolution of brand. Yet, thanks to CM Punk and the success of his angle in interest, if not necessarily in revenue; more and more elements of that era are being brought back each week.
Let’s face it. Raw is no longer “RAW”. It’s now the “RAW Supershow”. They never seemed to officially announce it clearly, but it pushed through and Mondays now have everyone present. Kayfabe has been brought back and utilized to perfection with some of the angles this summer and it became clear that a very possible era of popularity was again upon us.
Here’s the catch – the fans who clamored for the kind of change Sam Cooke would be proud of, began to dislike what they were seeing.
It’s one of those moments where nostalgia fades just enough for a clear glimpse of reality. Fans began to realize, “Oh right… I forgot about that aspect”.
hmm what’s a good comparison?
I got it – I haven’t been in a relationship for a while, not one of any merit anyway. The longer the absence the easier it is for your mind to apply its rose tinted glasses. You forget about the fights, the stress, and the shortcomings – and begin to wish for something again. But that’s the problem. You wish for “something” not “a specific something”. The heart needs to cling to something to feel fulfilled, and the desire for the concept of something tends to romanticize away the cons. I just recently got into a new relationship and I had admitted to myself that I wasn’t sure if it was her, or just that fact that she was someone, that was driving my interest. As the layers began to roll back, and my mind blew away the dust off those volumes in the database of my mind, I saw things here and there that reminded me of why I had waited so long. Emotions flood into your life that you had locked away and presumed forgotten. The rush and flush of that acceptance provides the clarity to finally evaluate the situation for what it is, not what you thought it would be. The decision has to be made. Do I really want this or not?
That’s the question that the Attitude Era desiring fans need to take a good hard look in the mirror and ask themselves. Elements of what you are watching on TV right now are what you were hoping to see in the WWE again. There is breaking of kayfabe, overdramatic storylines, and pure chaos. This is the time when you need to look inside yourself and decide whether or not your clarity of acceptance dictates that you like or dislike the current product.
The truth is – I just didn’t know how to feel about this angle tonight. I was on the precipice of reaching a conclusion, but there was just a bit more rose tint to wipe off my glasses. Would I decide by looking at the facts that would I take the leap with the WWE in the same way I did my relationship? Or would my inner desires and dislikes push myself away from this angle?
The heart wants what the heart wants – or so they say. But, in reality, sometimes the heart doesn’t actually know what it wants. When that happens, you just have to take a step back and make a decision. Can you, the fan, accept the new product? With the bits and pieces of these shows I’ve seen that embody the old Attitude Era style, I certainly can understand doubts.
Either way, this is what we now have to watch on Monday Nights. I was hoping to get back some of this chaos, and while I see the flaws, I’m jumping on for the ride.
It just might be worth it.