Are you ready? Then stop questioning your heart and join me because it is time for Monday Night RAW!!!
HHH’s music hits and The Game walks down to the ring. He has a mic and says that before the show gets started he wants to explain the firings of The Miz & R-Truth last week. HHH says it wasn’t because of some conspiracy, but it was because of their actions at Night of Champions. Trips says that their apologies weren’t good enough, so he fined them and let them wrestle last week – and then fired them. He then goes on to say that Mark Henry has been fined $250,000 for attacking Ross last week on RAW. There is no one man that is bigger than the WWE.
“Excuse Me!” Vickie introduces Dolph Ziggler and they make their way down to the ring. Dolph wants to know what HHH is going to do for him. Last week he stole the show with Hugh Jackman, so he wants the respect he deserves. Dolph has suffered a hairline fracture at the hands of Jackman, but because he knows he is a hero to many children, he is still here to perform. He wants to know what HHH is going to do about Hugh Jackman’s attack. Trips doesn’t know what to do, but says that he will provide protection for when the Muppets are on RAW next month.
Cody Rhodes comes out and says that HHH may think this is all funny, but it is not acceptable that Dolph was hit with that cheap shot. HHH tells him to man up. If he has a problem, then he needs to go take care of it himself.
Christian comes out and claims that what happened to him last week on RAW was much worse. Sheamus attacked Christian and cost him the World Championship. Christian is out to ask how that is fair. HHH calls Christian an idiot, and points out that it was a lumberjack match. Christian turns to Dolph and Cody and asks if they’d like to join in him in filing the biggest lawsuit in the history of the WWE. Christian pauses, and says that he could potentially change his mind if HHH gives him one more match. HHH agrees, and makes a match for Christian at Hell in a Cell. It will be against Sheamus. This Friday on Smackdown, he will have one more match against Randy Orton. Tonight, he will get one more match against John Cena. Christian asks if it is for the Title. HHH responds no, and Christian leaves the ring in a huff. HHH then makes a match for the United States Title in which Dolph will defend against Zack Ryder! HHH gives Cody the night off, to which Cody tells HHH that he is a terrible COO. HHH makes a match for Cody’s Intercontinental Championship, in a 10 man over the top rope battle royal.
WWE Intercontinental Championship Battle Royal
Alex Riley, Drew McIntyre, Daniel Bryan, Justin Gabriel, Ezekiel Jackson, Sheamus, Ted Dibiase, Cody Rhodes, Sin Cara and John Morrison
Drew McIntyre is eliminated first.
The imposter Sin Cara runs down to eliminate the original, and then the imposter is promptly eliminated by Daniel Bryan.
A Sheamus boot eliminates Justin Gabriel and Alex Riley.
Jackson throws Daniel Bryan and Morrison to the outside.
Dibiase is thrown out of the ring, followed by Jackson.
Cody and Sheamus remain in the ring as the final two. Sheamus sets up the Celtic Cross, but Cody squirms free. Christian runs down to distract Sheamus, but Cody misfires with the cheap shot. Sheamus is pumping up and attempts a Brogue Kick. He falls onto the top rope, and barely stays on the apron. Rhodes tries to his him with his plastic mask, but Sheamus blocks. Christian is back with the distraction and this time Rhodes connects with the cheap shot.
Winner & STILL WWE Intercontinental Champion: Cody Rhodes
After the match, Christian continues the attack on Sheamus till the referees send him to the back.
David Otunga is in the back with John Laurinaitis. Otunga offers John his legal services, since after all he is a Harvard Law School graduate. John thanks him, but says that his current problems are not of the legal variety.
Kelly Kelly & Eve Torres v. Natalya & Beth Phoenix
Eve and Beth start off. Beth has an arm lock which Eve cartwheels a counter out of before kicking Beth in the face. Beth grabs the back of her head and chucks her to the mat. Natalya gets the tag and works Eve’s legs with a nice modified Spanish Wakeboard. Eve is on the ropes, but dodges a Beth splash – as Beth comes in off the tag. Kelly gets the tag and goes right for the Headscissors. It connects, but Natalya breaks the hold. Eve runs into the ring, but gets sent right out. Kelly throws out Natalya leaving just the Champion and Beth in the ring. Phoenix hits the Glam Slam, and this match is over.
Winners via Glam Slam: Natalya & Beth Phoenix
Mark Henry’s music hits and he walks down to the ring with his Title over his shoulder.
Mark Henry v. The Great Khali
Before the match can get started, Henry hit Khali with his World Championship. He follows with a World’s Strongest Slam, and then heads to the back.
Match never started
John Cena is in the ring to put over his Hell in a Cell match for this Sunday on PPV. For the 1st time in history it will be a Triple Threat as he takes on CM Punk and Alberto Del Rio. He also brags about his record breaking 10th reign as the WWE Champion. Cena says that when the cage door locks on Sunday, the controversy will be over. The Cell settles feuds. On Sunday he will run straight into hell and conquer the devil’s playground. Cena says that he has already been through hell, that is why he holds the Championship – and there is no way in hell that he will lose it.
Alberto Del Rio’s music hits and he makes his way down to the commentary booth. CM Punk follows next, and is wearing his commentator jacket.
John Cena v. Christian
Christian charges, but Cena dodges and hits him with a high crossbody drop. Christian shakes it off and hits a tornado DDT. He stomps on the chest of Cena, and then lifts him to his feet. Christian bounces off the ropes, only to get caught with a snap suplex. Christian tries for a sneak cover, but Cena kicks out. Christian rakes Cena’s eyes with his boot. Back on his feet, Cena starts in for the 5 Moves of Doom, but Christian crawls towards the ropes. Cena jumps back for the 5 Knuckle Shuffle and slides Christian out of the ring. Alberto Del Rio goes after Punk and all hell breaks loose.
After the match, Alberto Del Rio says that all three of them are going to hell on Sunday, but only he will survive. It is after all, his destiny.
WWE US Championship
Zack Ryder v. Dolph Ziggler w/ Vickie Guerrero
Ziggler drops Zack to the mat and stomps on his head. He drops an elbow across the back and goes for a cover. Ryder kicks out. Dolph sets him up in the corner and connects with a splash. Ryder is wincing in pain as Dolph hits a drop kick. Ziggler unloads with a series of punches and tries for another splash, but Ryder moves out of the way. He bounces off the ropes and knocks Ziggler to the mat with a shoulder block. Ryder sets him in the corner and Woo Woo Woos his way into Ziggler’s jaw with his boot. Ryder goes for a springboard move, but Swagger comes out of nowhere to hit a cheap shot on Ryder. Dolph hits the Zig Zag, and this match is over.
Winner & STILL WWE US Champion: Dolph Ziggler
After the match, Swagger and Dolph shake hands. Swagger looks to continue the attack on Ryder, but Kofi and Evan Bourne hit the ring for the save.
Teddy Long’s music hits and announces that Vickie has 3 minutes to find a partner for Swagger and Ziggler, because after the commercial they are going to take on all three men in the ring.
Dolph Ziggler & Jack Swagger v. Evan Bourne, Kofi Kingston & Zack Ryder
Vickie appears unable to find a third partner, so this has become a handicap match. Kofi and Jack start the match off. Kofi gains control with his kicks and hits a high drop kick. Cover, but Jack kicks out. Evan gets the tag and jumps from the third rope with a mushroom stomp. Bourne lacks the strength to dominate Swagger, and gets shoved into the corner. Ziggler gets the tag and punches Bourne in the eye. A neckbreaker leads to some boot stomps, and then Ziggler tags in his partner. Swagger hits a couple of hammering blows before relentlessly stomping the gut of Bourne. Cover, but Evan kicks out. Bourne fights back to tag in Kofi who hits several chops before going for the ten punches in the corner. Kofi goes for the cover.
Vickie walks down the ramp with Mason Ryan, who is the third member of her team! Kofi continues to work on Swagger and tries for another cover. Swagger kicks out. Ryan gets the tag, but attacks his own team! First he dominates Dolph, and then absolutely demolishes Swagger. Zack sets up for his finisher, and gets the pin! This match is over.
Winners: Evan Bourne, Kofi Kingston & Zack Ryder
Mason Ryan walks up the ramp smiling after the match.
David Otunga is in the back and says that the current atmosphere for the WWE talents is illegal. He is with Christian, Vickie, Rhodes and Ziggler. He lets them know that if they want to press forward with a lawsuit, there is precedent. As a group they seem to agree that it is a possibility worth considering.
Ricardo Rodriguez introduces Alberto Del Rio for his match tonight.
CM Punk v. Alberto Del Rio
John Cena has joined commentary for this match. They brawl in the ring before Punk is thrown out of the ring near the commentator’s booth. Cena stares at his competitors for Sunday, and they head back into the ring. Del Rio backs Punk into the corner and charges for a splash. Punk moves out of the way and hits a spinning kick followed by a series of boots. Punk knees Rio in the gut and whips him against the ropes. Del Rio holds on to the ropes and knocks Punk to the apron. Rio hits a very high kick which sends Punk crashing to the floor.
Back from commercial, Punk looks for the GTS, but Rio scurries off his shoulder. Punk finds his head pushed against the mat as Rio starts to work his arm. Punk is sent arm first into the ring post. Rio drags him to the center of the ring and goes for an arm bar. Rio tries for a cover, but Punk kicks out. Rio tries to slide into him, but Punk dodges and Rio flies out of the ring. As he reenters the ring Punk goes for the cover, but Rio kicks out. Punk is caught with a drop arm breaker, and finds himself stranded in the middle of the ring. Punk escapes and slugs his way towards an advantage, but Punk’s bulldog is countered into another arm breaker! Cover, but Punk kicks out. He gets to his feet and hits the GTS! This match is over.
Winner via GTS: CM Punk
After the match The Cell begins to lower from the ceiling. Ricardo tries to attack Punk, but that was a very poor decision. Cena comes into the ring as The Cell reaches the floor. Punk hits Ricardo with the GTS, and then Cena hits Ricardo with the AA! Punk tries to lift up Cena, but Cena scurries off. Del Rio slides into the ring with a steel chair and begins to decimate his opponents. The show goes off the air with Del Rio holding the steel chair over his head in victory.
It was a pretty standard open for the show. We have become so accustomed to the shock and awe style of WWE’s summer booking that these segments seem to be bland. But, I would caution that the criticism be reconsidered because shows like this one are necessary in order to make the shocking ones more impactful. Patience grasshoppers.
I like the motif of HHH punishing Rhodes with the 10 man Battle Royal, but the match itself was far too disjointed. They attempted to have too many storylines unfolding all at once. The Sin Cara vs Imposter was thrown in there, but the match was so rushed that it seemed out of place.
David Otunga’s bow tie made me really happy for some reason. It actually makes sense if they exploit his lawyer background into a storyline. Seriously, that was just fantastic.
I was pretty impressed with the submission move that Beth put on Eve Torres; it was eye popping to say the least. A great Divas’ submission has to accentuate the girls’ bodies. Let’s be honest, that’s what the vast majority of male fans want to see, so that’s why it worked.
The Great Khali was once a World Champion in this company. I only bring that up because if I don’t remind myself of that fact every so often I’ll stop believing it.
Cena/Christian was whatever; really it was just an angle propeller. I’m not sure why, but the “hell” imagery came across as really corny to me tonight. We get it, the PPV has the word hell in it. That imagery is lost on a generation that had to sit through God wrestling on a PPV. I still can’t believe that happened.
I’m glad someone in creative had the sense to finally do what I’ve been suggesting for weeks – they dropped the dumb feud between Swagger & Dolph and it looks like they are actually going to function together as a stable. Thank you creative.
Mason Ryan looked really bloated tonight. I just don’t remember him looking quite that bulky last time he was on RAW. Actually, it might be due to his tan. There’s no way that is natural, definitely spray on. Speaking of tans, Sheamus would look like a giant Oompa Loompa with an orange spray tan. Kind of like Gulliver’s Travels meets the Jersey Shore.
The main event was fine and dandy. With the Cell looming over the ring all night it was inevitable that it would come down at some point. Del Rio being in control was a nice moment, but Cena simply won’t lose this match.
RAW was decent enough, but as a go-home show it left much to be desired. I’m just not that interested in Sunday’s PPV. I don’t know if it is fatigue from solid summer PPVs but I have a feeling this is going to be one to forget.