The show starts with “Rowdy” Roddy Piper saying he is back. With him tonight is actor Luis Guzm?n. Luis is here to promote the movie “Old Dogs” coming out later this month. Piper also brings in The Iron Sheik. Luis starts talking about Hulk Hogan and Sheik goes into promo mode. They all do the “Saturday Night Live” style intro welcoming us to Monday Night Raw.
The new Raw intro runs by Nickelback.
We go live to Madison Square Garden in New York City. The Garden is sold out tonight.
They are using the small entrance area for MSG tonight instead of using the huge Raw HD set. Miz is out first and gets booed loudly. He said since he is a champion he assumed they would like him, just like the World Champion New York Yankees. Miz said the Yankees didn’t earn the World Series title, they bought it. He said that is why New Yorkers are hated all across the world. A loud “LETS GO YANKEES” chant starts up. Miz informs us that Piper signed a title match for him tonight and calls out his opponent.
WWE United States Championship
The Miz (c) vs. MVP
Sherri Shepard is at ringside cheering on MVP. Miz with lots of strikes on MVP early on. MVP fires back with a clothesline, hip toss and scoop slam. MVP catches Miz with a big right hand on the outside of the ring. Miz with a big knee to MVP that sends him flying to the outside. Miz then throws MVP up against the ring. MVP fights back in the ring planting Miz near the ropes and drops his ballin’ elbow. Miz counters a Playmaker attempt, but MVP fires back with a big boot that results in a two count. Miz with a front facebuster on MVP and gets the pinfall.
Winner & STILL WWE U.S. Champion: The Miz
Later tonight Melina will defend the WWE Divas Title against Alicia Fox.
Santino Marella vs. Chavo Guerrero
Santino walked out wearing a Rangers jersey. He took it off and revealed a Giants jersey. He took that off and revealed a Knicks jersey. Fans booed. He takes that off and reveals a NY Jets jersey. He stops and reveals a Mets jersey. Lots of boos. He stops again and reveals a Phillies jersey. One last time and he has a Yankees jersey on. Chavo runs up and hits his three amigos suplexes on Santino. Chavo goes up top looking to hit a frog splash, but Santino keeps rolling away. Hornswoggle comes out and distracts Chavo allowing Santino to get a quick roll up for the win.
Winner: Santino Marella
After the match, the DX music hits right away. Triple H gets on the mic and talks about how the DX army is in the house of the world’s most famous arena. HBK starts shilling the DX book. Triple H said tonight isn’t about that and instead Survivor Series this Sunday where DX will take on John Cena in a triple threat for the WWE Championship. He said DX will be on the same page this Sunday and will remain a unit since the goal is to bring that title to DX. HBK asks if they will be a unit. Triple H says yes, but in a good way. HBK said they have another issue and that is the DX gimmick stealing Hornswoggle. Triple H said they know he is here and is probably under the ring. He said Hornswoggle stole that DX gear and didn’t even pay for it. Triple H said they will give him the benefit of the doubt and give Hornswoggle the chance to become part of DX. Hornswoggle starts jumping around and doing crotch chops at Triple H and HBK. Triple H tells Hornswoggle to be a big boy and get in line. He asks Hornswoggle and the crowd if they are ready. Triple H does his usual DX intro, stops, kicks Hornswoggle, gets him setup for a Pedigree and connects. HBK finishes it off saying if you aren’t down with that then they have two words for ya. They take out a tiny stretcher (that says “DX” on it) and put Hornswoggle on it.
A video package runs highlighting the history of WWE at Madison Square Garden.
Backstage, Chris Jericho complains that he gets no respect from any Raw guest hosts. Piper blows him off and brings in Chris Masters to do his new pec talent to the Black Eyed Peas “Boom Boom Boom” song. Two members of the Black Eyed Peas are shown at ringside.
Judah Friedlander from “30 Rock” comes out and gets on the mic. He is the special guest ring announcer for our next match.
WWE Divas Championship – Lumberjill Match
Melina (c) vs. Alicia Fox
Melina throws Fox out right away. Fox gets back in and Melina with a quick roll up for a two count. Fox throws Melina out and the Divas go after her. Melina with a facebuster and clothesline on Fox. Melina gets the win with her rolling through suplex into a pinfall.
Winner & STILL WWE Divas Champion: Melina
After the match, all the Divas from Raw and Smackdown hit the ring and start brawling. Team Mickie James clean house and are the ones who stand tall tonight.
Piper came out and put over the whole McMahon legacy at the Garden and then introduced Vince to the crowd. Vince said Piper did a lot of horrible things at the Garden, but the worst was showing up here tonight. He said Piper should have a 100,000 mile checkup. He said piper has skinny little arms and knobby knees and a catchers mit face.
He said the only thing he loved was Piper’s kilt. The two kept going back and forth and Vince started talking about himself and how good he looked. He said unless there’s better competition heading forward, he’s officially retired. Piper said Vince was a coward. He said he?d been in 7,000 matches, electrocuted, had cancer? if he could beat those things, he could beat Vince. He said let’s make Vince accountable to the people who made him a billionaire. Piper said he didn?t want anything on a pay per view he wanted something tonight. He wanted to retire Vince for him. He leaves the ring and we have OMG SUSPENSE~
Seamus said he’s been here two weeks and already put one man out of wrestling. He said he?ll face anyone tonight. When no one answered the call, Seamus went to the time keeper and choked him before sending him flying across the announce table. When Jerry Lawler protested, Seamus hit a big boot to his face and left the ring side area. Medics and officials tended to Lawler and the time keeper.
Matt Striker is back in Lawler’s stead and he and Cole run down the Survivor Series card.
Jack Swagger vs. Evan Bourne
Swagger hit a wheel barrel suplex before Bourne wiggled out, hit a kick and attempted a roll up. Bourne drop kicked Swagger to the buckles and charged him in the corner and got elevated to the apron. He hit a big kick before hitting the double knees off the top turnbuckle. Swagger attempted a lariat and then caught Bourne coming off the top rope and smashed Bourne off of two turnbuckles before hitting a NASTY gut-wrench power bomb for the win.
Winner: Jack Swagger via pin fall
Randy Orton came out to the ring to confront Piper, who was waiting for Vince McMahon. Orton said there’s nothing more that he?d want other than to relieve a little stress.
Orton sucker punched Piper who responded in kind. Orton decked Piper to the mat and began Garvin stomping him into the mat. Orton lined up a punt but held up once Kofi Kingston’s music hit. Kingston came down and jumped Orton from behind, and chased him out of the ring. Orton fled the ring and began sauntering to the back, only for Kingston to chase him out to the ringside area and began hammering Orton around the ringside area.
They ended up moving into the ringside area where Orton slammed Kofi’s head off the ringside steps. Orton hammered Kofi in the ring and then looked to deliver a punt, but Kofi responded by cutting him off and hammering away at his face. They went back out to the ringside area and brawled more before the officials tore them apart. Orton feigned like he was done, only to explode back into Kingston’s direction.
They fought into the upper decks where Kingston stomped away on Orton’s face and then dumped him over the guard rail onto the floor of the arena. Kofi picked up one of the production cases and SMASHED Orton over the head with it. Kofi set him up on the production table and went to the guardrail where he feigned hitting a boom boom leg drop. The officials dragged him off the railing only for Kofi to hit the boom drop through the table to a monstrous pop from the MSG crowd. Kofi celebrated with the crowd as we went to commercial.
WWE Champion John Cena’s in the back. He puts over the tag match tonight. He cuts a really weird promo about the triple threat.
John Cena & The Undertaker vs. D-Generation X vs. Chris Jericho & The Big Show
Cena, Jericho and Michaels started things off. Jericho got thrown aside and then tagged in Big Show. HBK didn?t want any of Show and Cena didn?t want part of Show and Triple H. So we?ve got Triple H, Undertaker and Big Show. Triple H and Taker started going to town on Show hitting a knee lift and then clotheslining Show to the floor.
Taker hit a running boot on Triple H before hammering away at him in the corner. Triple H hit a retaliatory spine buster and tagged in Michaels. HBK and Taker stared each other down in the middle of the ring. The two traded shots before Michaels skinned the cat. Taker looked for a tombstone only for HBK to push Taker to the middle of the ring where he was met with a Big Show spear.
Jericho went to work on Michaels and Taker, looking for the walls on HBK only for Cena to tag himself in and go to work on Jericho. Cena hit a bulldog only to eat a right hand to the face. Triple H tagged in and went toe to toe with Cena before Big Show showed up and choke slammed both. Taker came in and hit a flying clothesline on Show and sent him to the outside. Show reversed a Taker whip on the outside and sent him reeling into the guard rails.
We ended up with HBK and Jericho back in the ring and Michaels was hitting signature spots. HBK hit a flying elbow and he went for Sweet chin music only for Cena to interrupt him. Cena looked for an FU, but Triple H hit a blind tag and interrupted. Triple H decked Chris Jericho before hitting a spine buster on Cena. He loaded a pedigree only to eat a Big Show head butt. Michaels hit a sweet chin music before Jericho hit a code breaker. Taker hit a choke slam and then Triple H knocked Taker out of the ring only to turn around into a Cena FU for the win.
Winners: John Cena and The Undertaker via pin fall
After the match, Taker caught Cena and hit a tombstone. Taker posed over Cena as we went off the air.
Show Thoughts– Every now and then, Raw feels like one of those comic book ?alternate universe? shows and tonight? well it felt like exactly that.
The upcoming Survivor Series is really a tale of two shows. On one hand, you?ve got some of the best-built matches of the year coming up. Rey Mysterio-Batista has been a great feud so far on Smackdown and its hard not to be excited for Team Kofi vs. Team Orton, especially after tonight. On the other hand, you?ve got the DX-John Cena triple threat match which is just a mess.
I?m at a loss as to what the WWE is expecting from the DX-Cena program anyways. Cena’s promos, whether you like his delivery or not, are almost always good from a raw content perspective, but holy smokes, tonight’s was just all over the place. Triple H and Michaels could seemingly care less, and it’s really clear the company thinks Cena vs. Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels can sell on name value alone. God knows the company hasn?t put any creative power behind it.
On the other hand, you?ve got Orton vs. Kofi, which has been awesomely built. Kofi’s really done an excellent job of re-branding himself in the past few weeks and is going from goofy, loveable mid card to a baby face with great fire to go along with his already good charisma. From Orton’s perspective, this might be his most important feud this year. I know that raises some eyebrows, but what really cements top guys is their ability to take guys who aren?t as developed and polished as they, themselves are, and carry them to entertaining matches. If Orton can?t do that, he’s not a main event guy. John Cena has almost carved his entire reputation out of putting out great matches with lesser talents like Umaga, Khali, Lashley, Edge and others. He’s there to make stars. Now, its Orton’s turn to see if he can really set himself apart from the pack. Main event stars make other main event stars.
The Piper stuff was weird tonight and as Adam Martin alluded to on WNL tonight; it’s amazing to see how far the WWE legends have fallen from the periphery of most fans. Piper got very little to no reaction tonight. Sad in a way, because Piper was, save for Hogan, perhaps the single-biggest act to headline the Garden at one point in time. Now, most fans don?t know who he is. It’s sad in some respects but OK in others. That’s just the natural cycle of things I suppose. Still, the sobering reality of how fleeting stardom in Pro Wrestling can be played out on everyone’s screens tonight.
The rest of the show was just kind of ?there?. I?m looking hugely forward to the four minutes of Lawler-Seamus next week, and Bourne-Swagger seems to be a money 5-7 minute match every week. The Divas continue to do nothing remotely entertaining and we got some decent comedy stuff from Santino and Chavo.
Overall, a decent show, if not feeling a little different from the norm. It?ll be interesting to see what they?ve got brewing for Survivor Series.
Overall Grade: B-
The Miz def. MVP to retain the US Championship
Santino Marella def. Chavo Guererro
Melina def Alicia Foxx to retain the Divas Championship
Jack Swagger def. Evan Bourne
The Undertaker & John Cena def. DX & Chris Jericho and Big Show
Who’s Hot, Who’s Not?
1. The Undertaker
2. Kofi Kingston
4. John Cena
1. Randy Orton
2. Big Show
3. The Miz
4. Jack Swagger
Match of the Night: Jack Swagger vs. Evan Bourne **
4 Points= World Title defense/win
3 Points= Singles PPV Win
2 Points= Tag PPV Win
2 Points= TV Singles Win
1 Point= TV Tag Win
0 Points= Loss
WWE Champion John Cena 23-17-5, 52 points. (Last Week: WWE Champion) — I?m usually pretty easy on promos. Delivery ISN?T everything, and in my world, content is king. But WTF was John Cena trying to do tonight? No coherency at all. Bad night for Cena.
United States Champion: The Miz 13-11-2, 25 Points (Last Week: US Champion)— Seems so comfortable in his own skin. Another solid win this week. We?ll see where things go once Survivor Series concludes.
1. Triple H 11-9-4, 20 Points (Last Week: 1)– Both DX guys looked OK tonight, but holy smokes this thing with Cena doesn?t seem to be going anywhere. As big as these guys and Cena are, there isn?t anyone big enough of either roster to justify selling a show on name value alone.
2. Randy Orton 17-17-5, 44 pts. (Last Week: 2)–Orton was a bumping fool tonight. It’s so great how he can go from silent killer to stooge bumping and begging off in no time flat. While Kofi’s the one getting pushed, this is a test of Orton, too. This is the first time he’s really been asked to carry a guy significantly less talented than him to a good match. IMO, its these sorts of feuds that cement top guys, not the big ones.
3. Kofi Kingston 24-7-2, 46 points (Last Week: 3)–Easily the story of the night. Great brawl, great baby face fire. They?ve done a sensational job re-packaging the Kofi Kingston character. So far, so good.
4. Shawn Michaels (Last Week: 5)–See Triple H.
5. Big Show 13-17-1, 21 Points (Last Week: 5)— Kind of a pedestrian night for Show who gets ready to challenge Undertaker for his Smackdown title at Survivor Series. I?d almost like to see them start to use Show further down the card.
6. Mark Henry, 14-6, 22 Points (Last Week: 6)— Not
7. Cody Rhodes 15-17-3, 21 points (Last Week: 7)–Not in action.
8. Ted Dibiase, Jr. 12-15-3, 14 Points (Last Week: 8)–See Cody.
9. Jack Swagger, 9-9-2, 16 Points (Last Week: 9) — What a fantastic finish to tonight’s match. Swagger’s put together some great opening parts for his matches. Now those finishes seem to be coming along, too.
10. Evan Bourne, 6-11, 10 Points (Last Week: 10) —Another really great short match with Swagger tonight. I?m totally into these dudes on television together every week. Despite the loss, another good week for Bourne.
MVP 15-12-2, 23 Points (Last Week: 10)
Chris Masters 1-4-1, 1 Point (Last Week: NR)
Santino Marella 5-4, 10 points (Last Week: NR)
Seamus 2-0-0, 4 Points (Last Week: ECW)
Carlito Colon 5-10-1, 7 Points (Last Week: NR)
Primo Colon 4-10-1, 4 Points (Last Week: NR)
Brian Kendrick 1-6-0, 2 Points (Last Week: NR)
Hornswaggle 7-1-0, 10 Points (Last Week: NR)
Jerry Lawler 1-0, 1 points (Last Week: NR)
Festus 1-1-0, 1 Points (Last Week: NR)
Chavo Guerrero 2-19-0, 2 Points (Last Week: NR)
Jamie Noble 0-5, 0 Points (Last Week: NR)
Jim Duggan 0-0, 0 points (Last Week: NR)
Eugene 0-1-0, 0 Points (Last Week: RELEASED)
Batista 9-4, 18 Points (Last Week: MOVED TO SMACKDOWN)
Matt Hardy 3-8-0, 4 Points (Last Week: TRADED TO SMACKDOWN)
William Regal, 3-10, 4 points (Last Week: TRADED TO ECW )
Goldust 2-1-0, 2 Points (Last Week: TRADED TO ECW)
Kane 7-7, 12 Points DRAFTED TO SMACKDOWN
Mike Knox 3-3 4 points (Last Week: DRAFTED TO SMACKDOWN)
JTG 2-4, 2 points (Last Week: DRAFTED TO SMACKDOWN)
Big Shaad 2-3 2 points (Last Week: DRAFTED TO SMACKDOWN)
Charlie Haas 0-0, 0 points (Last Week: DRAFTED TO SMACKDOWN)
Dolph Ziggler 0-3, 0 Points (Last Week: DRAFTED TO SMACKDOWN)
CM Punk 9-7, 17 Points DRAFTED TO SMACKDOWN
Rey Mysterio 11-6, 22 Points DRAFTED TO SMACKDOWN
Chris Jericho 6-7 13 pts. DRAFTED TO SMACKDOWN
JBL 1-6, 4 points (Last Week: 7) RETIRED
Mr. Kennedy 1-0-0, 1 Points (Last Week: RELEASED)
Sim Snuka 1-0, 1 Point (Last Week: RELEASED)