The Million Dollar Man Ted Dibiase’s music hit and he came out to the ring with Cody Rhodes and his son Ted Jr. in tow.
Dibiase announced that everyone had a price and he wrote a check to get a measure of national exposure so he could remind everyone of who still called the shots. He said he was standing in the ring with two tremendous talents, and since he had the chance to make matches, he’d insure they got their title shot at the Night of Champions, as they’d face Unified Tag Team Champions Edge & Chris Jericho.
Ted asked Cody Rhodes how he felt about Mark Henry beating Randy Orton. Cody said he was upset about it. Ted said tonight would be his chance to gain a measure of revenge, as he’d get to face him one on one. Cody didn’t seem too thrilled.
Dibiase then turned to his son and informed him that he would be facing Randy Orton tonight. Ted said he knew that Orton knew that he was more talented and that he was using him and holding him down. He said it wasn’t a title match, because it wasn’t about that. He said this match would make a statement and open eyes. Ted didn’t seem too excited, but his father re-assured him that he’d defeat Orton tonight.
Ted left for the back and the Tag Champions made their way to the ring.
The Colons v. Edge & Chris Jericho
Carlito and Edge started things off, exchanging blows before Carlito was eventually able to hit a boot to the face, but Edge countered with a big boot of his own for two count. Jericho tagged in and began working over the mid section, before snap marring Carlito and holding him up in a rear chin lock.
Primo rallied the crowd behind his brother who managed to fight out of the hold and hit a springboard back elbow. Primo tagged in and hit a running European uppercut before hitting a nice springboard body press for a two count.
Edge reversed an Irish whip and was able to successfully tie Primo up in the ropes. Carlito went to untie the ropes, but Edge charged him just as Primo crumpled to the mat. Carlito got knocked to the floor. Primo reeled to the corner where Jericho met him with a code breaker, before Edge hit a big spear and that was all she wrote.
Winners: Chris Jericho & Edge via pin fall
Carlito was beside himself after the match and then threw Primo into the ring post. He dumped Primo to the outside and began hammering away at him on the floor. He tossed Primo hard into the announce table before stomping off to the back.
Orton is in the back with Ted and Cody. Orton said they didn’t have to do this, that’d do nothing for Ted to lose to him. Ted took offense and cut him off as Orton mentioned his father, saying his father was far better than Orton’s. He said not only would he face him, he’d beat him.
Maryse & Alicia Fox v. Mickie James & Gail Kim
The two locked up before having a less than friendly break in the ropes. Maryse grabbed an arm wringer and cut Mickie off easily when she tried a cartwheel counter. Alicia Fox tagged in and almost got rolled up. She missed some right hands before Mickie planted her with a running boot to the face. Mickie decked Maryse before tagging in Gail Kim.
Kim hit an awesome senton on the outside before connecting with a hurricanranna. Alicia ran Kim to the corner before Maryse caught her with a kick to the side of the head. Maryse tagged in and when she missed a running knee into the corner, Kim was able to escape. Maryse got a little over eager and ran across the ring to deck Mickie and did. She jaw Jacked with Mickie a little too long and turned right into Kim, who dropped a boot onto her face and pinned her.
Winners: Mickie James & Gail Kim via pin fall
Cody walked into the Million Dollar Man’s office. Dibiase asked him what the Legacy was all about, and the two went back and forth. He said he was the son of Dusty Rhodes, a guy he knew well. Cody got excited before Dibiase told him he HATED Rhodes. He said he was a fat, blubbery, worthless slime who shouldn’t have been put in the hall of fame before him. He pretty much yelled Cody out of the office, telling him he’d do what they did to his dad, and put him in polka dots.
Cody Rhodes v. Mark Henry
Henry bounced Cody off his own chest before hitting him with a huge hammer fist to Cody’s chest. He whipped Rhodes to the corner and ate a big boot, but Henry caught him in mid air and annihilated Rhodes with a World’s Strongest Slam. Cody rolled out of the ring and decided he’d had enough and asked to be counted out ‘please’.
Winner: Mark Henry via count out
Randy Orton v. Ted Dibiase Jr.
Orton slapped on a deep side headlock that Dibiase struggled to break initially, but eventually worked out of. The two tied up and broke on the ropes before Orton slapped him asking ‘why?’. Dibiase hit a big right hand and then a series of drop kicks to the outside as we went to commercial.
We came back to Orton in full control with the side headlock yet again. Dibiase broke the hold, only for Orton to hit a clubbing blow to the back and a big boot to the ribs. Dibiase was able to catch a series of small packages and roll ups, only for Orton to completely cut him off with a right hand.
Orton grabbed Orton by the head and dragged him onto the second rope and dropped him with the big DDT. Orton went for a run of the mill cover only for Dibiase to kick out. Orton mounted him and began reigning in right hands. Orton raked the face with some boot laces, before backing off and dropping a big knee to the back of the head. Orton slapped the headlock on again, except this time Dibiase was able to drop him with a back suplex.
Dibiase threw him off in the corner and hit a clothesline off the second rope for a two count. Dibiase went to clothesline but Orton reversed it and hit a big inverted back breaker. He lined Dibiase up for the RKO, but Dibiase countered himself and hit a sunset flip for a two count. He looked for Dream Street but Orton threw him into the ropes. As Dibiase charged him, Orton nailed him with an RKO for the win.
Winner: Randy Orton via pin fall
Orton gave a subtle acknowledgment towards his stable-mate after the match.
Triple H is with Todd Grisham. He said he doesn’t care who he has to go through to get another shot at Randy Orton.
MVP’s VIP Lounge
MVP put over the Trump trade. He introduced Raw’s latest acquisition, Jack Swagger.
Swagger tried to put himself over at first, but then MVP cut him off saying this was his show and he asked the questions. He asked Swagger why he was such a coward. The two really went back and forth with each other. Porter made fun of Swagger for only going to Oklahoma State, Swagger ran down Porter for spending too much time in Florida State…. penitentiary. The two continued jousting before MVP challenged him to a fight. Swagger backed down saying he doesn’t fight criminals.
Dibiase is in the back with his son. Ted Jr. is fuming that his father put him in the position to look as bad as he thinks he did. His father sounded ecstatic with his performance. Dibiase smacked him across the face and walked off.
Both exchanged some quick counters before Bourne hit a quick counter roll up for a one count. Kofi ducked under an enzeguri and slapped on a half crab. Kofi attempted a head scissors which Bourne escaped before trying a head lock that Bourne escaped.
The two quickly became embroiled in a struggle for a back slide, only for Bourne to eventually opt out and look for an Irish whip. Kofi reversed and hit a hard high cross body and a splash in the corner before whipping the youngster to the corner. Bourne got a knee up and went for the shooting star press and nailed it for the win.
Winner: Evan Bourne via pin fall
Big Show’s music hit after the match and he came out and easily dispatched of both.
#1 Contenders Match
Triple H v. John Cena
The two had a lengthy stare down before going nuts with an absolutely AWESOME strike exchange. Cena hit a running shoulder block to break things up, but Triple H countered with a face buster. Cena took exception and whipped Triple H over the ropes and to the floor. He followed the Game to the outside and looked to FU him on the floor, but Triple H pushed off and shoved Cena into the ring post.
Triple H hit another big face buster for a two count in the ring, before Cena kicked out of the cover attempt. Cena fought back with a big right hand, but Triple H cut him off and hit two big back breakers for two counts. Triple H kept working over the back with knees to the back and some big shots.
Cena fought back with some more lefts and rights before Triple H hit another really big right hand. Cena hit a series of shoulder blocks and an inverted power bomb. He looked for the five knuckle shuffle and connected before signaling for the FU. He got Triple H on his shoulders, but Triple H wiggled out and hit some big right hands. Triple H hit a face buster and a big lariat before slamming Cena’s head off the corner turnbuckle.
Cena caught Triple H with a boot in the corner and charged him, but Triple H countered with a spine buster, but Cena countered the pedigree attempt with a back body drop. Triple H looked for a sleeper hold, and cinched it in. Cena powered out of the hold and quickly wrapped in one of his own, and was able to slowly subdue Triple H.
Triple H countered with a back suplex. The two were both laid out and exchanged a ton of big strikes before Cena hit a blockbuster. He looked for a top rope leg drop, but Triple H dodged him and looked for a pedigree. Cena countered with a jackknife cover before looking for an FU, but Triple H looked for a roll up of his own. Finally Cena was able to wrap up Triple H’s legs and slap on the STFU, but he was too close to the ropes. Cena dragged him back to the middle of the ring, but Triple H tried a small package. Triple H looked for the pedigree again, only for Triple H to hit a big sling shot and connected. Cena looked for the FU again only for both men to lay each other out with a double clothesline.
The two fought to their feet again, exchanging shots, before the Legacy jumped into the ring and attacked both of them, causing a double DQ.
Winner: Double DQ
Orton crowed on the ramp about not having anyone to face at Night of Champions. The Million Dollar Man’s music hit and he came out to the ramp. He said his opinion meant a lot more than his tonight. The way he saw it, neither man may have won, but they didn’t lose either. So at Night of Champions, it’ll be Randy Orton v. Triple H v. John Cena for the WWE title.
Show Thoughts– I’ve really enjoyed the direction of the show in recent months. There’s a lot of fresh faces, and actual pecking order established, and after the long slog through Wrestlemania 25 and the draft, we’ve come out on the other end (despite some bumps along the way) looking at a very, very bright second half of 2009.
All the way down the line, this was one of the better Raw episodes of the year from a sheer wrestling quality standpoint. We got a fun opening women’s tag, a solid tag match before the decidedly good Triple H-Cena and Orton-Dibiase matches. I’ve seen many Raw’s where we get a good match or two, but rarely do we get three solid matches, never mind four.
Triple H-Cena was an improvement on their pay per view match last year. Last year’s contest seemed mired in over-protection, where the two seemingly dreaded the clean finish, and thus over-compensated by really overly-telegraphing the ‘this is an epic match’ feel of the contest. Here, the pressure to present the match as such was left more on the commentators and not on the wrestlers, which I feel lent itself much better to the overall scope of the match. The transitions were more crisp and this time, I got a much more GENUINE feeling of a perpetual struggle to maintain momentum, whereas in last year’s match that seemed far more forced. Sure, the finish wasn’t anything to write home about by any means, but the body of this match was far superior to what we got at the Night of Champions last year.
The real gem of the night was the Orton-Dibiase match. I’m a sucker for pecking order and differences in ‘rank’ amongst stars, as it leaves so much material on the table for stars to work with not only in the present, but heading forward as well. Dibiase’s counters were largely on some of the bigger Orton signature spots, counters that a lot of better wrestlers haven’t been able to pull off. Still though, there were spots where Orton was easily able to cut Dibiase’s momentum off and assert his superiority. They worked that balance well. For Dibiase, this was the best night of his career, as he delivered both on the mic and in the ring in a way that I feel puts everyone on notice as to his immense potential. The build and the match itself, were well executed.
The two tag team matches were pretty decent as well. The Edge/Jericho v. The Colons match was more simple spot trading, but they gave away enough meat and potatoes to keep the crowd’s interest. The women’s tag was very strong. Maryse has really come miles in the ring and while the execution isn’t there by any means, the move selection and her pacing in really awesome for the Divas division. Its worth it to stick it out with her and let her continue to develop. She’s got an absolutely huge upside and has been one of the year’s most improved talents.
Overall, there’s just a lot to like about this show right now, with new faces being paired up with more established stars. There’s really a reason to care about the ‘lesser’ acts on the card, and heading forward, there’s just a seemingly limitless potential in terms of what they can do with this current roster. Fresh, exciting, and strong booking have really made this an entertaining brand of late.
Overall Grade: B+
Mickie James & Gail Kim def. Maryse & Alicia Fox
Edge & Chris Jericho def. The Colons
Mark Henry def. Cody Rhodes
Randy Orton def. Ted Dibiase Jr.
Evan Bourne def. Kofi Kingston
Triple H v. John Cena went to a No Contest
Who’s Hot, Who’s Not?
1. Triple H
2. John Cena
3. Mark Henry
1. Randy Orton
2. Big Show
3. Jack Swagger
4. Edge & Chris Jericho
Match of the Night: Randy Orton v. Ted Dibiase ***
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: Randy Orton 10-8-4, 26 pts. (Last Week: WWE Champion)— Orton looked really great doing all the little things in the ring tonight. Between his coy mannerisms, display of subtle regret.. it made the match for sure. He looked more like a Champion tonight than he has in a while.
United States Champion: Kofi Kingston 13-4-1, 24 points (Last Week: US Champion)— Not the best night for Kofi tonight, but in the ring, he looked pretty good. Kofi’s going to be more of a slow project, so I’m not expecting huge things from him week to week, but he definitely has shown signs of looking better in the past few weeks.
1. John Cena 15-9-1, 35 points. (Last Week: 1)– I really loved Cena’s selling in his match tonight and all in all, the effort here felt far less forced than it was last year at Night of Champions. They seem pretty intent on transitioning into Cena being Orton’s primary challenger for now with the Triple threat. These three were pretty decent at Wrestlemania 24 together, so I’m expecting good things.
2. Triple H 3-4-2, 5 Points (Last Week: 3)– Much like Cena, he looked like a big deal, and that’s largely because he gave out a lot of offense. Triple H is a great seller, I just wish I’d see him do it more as a baby face. I’m very curious as to where they head out from here with this character.
3. MVP 4-4-1, 7 Points (Last Week: 4)– A better week this week. I loved the promo which I felt did a good job of working the character towards having reasons to cheer with him without getting into the whole ‘you people’ stuff that plagued say, the Booker T-Triple H feud heading into Wrestlemania XIX. Definitely a good ‘character development’ week for MVP.
4. The Miz 1-4-2, 1 Points (Last Week: 3)— Not in action.
5. Big Show 3-5-1, 5 Points (Last Week: 5)— I really like the whole concept of Show fighting both Kofi and Bourne, or heck, even one or the other. Its a great feud to really re-establish him, and for the most part, any offense either one of these two can get in, will make them look highly capable. I’m all for it.
6. Mark Henry, 2-0, 4 Points (Last Week: 8)— Quiet night for Henry, who had a successful squash that moves him up the ranks, but doesn’t really follow up on him the way many might have hoped.
7. Cody Rhodes 9-7-1, 12 points (Last Week: 6)— Pretty so-so night from Cody, who got plenty of mic time, but little ring time.
8. Ted Dibiase, Jr. 8-5-2, 9 Points (Last Week: 7)–Easily his best night in the company. The character work was there, the ring work was really there, etc. I think this was the first night Dibiase really showed the broader wrestling audience just how high his ceiling could potentially be.
9.) Evan Bourne, 1-1, 2 Points (Last Week: NR)— Nice quickly match with Kofi tonight and a win over a champion is a good way to get you started off on the right foot on a brand.
10.) Santino Marella 4-2, 9 points (Last Week: 10)– Not in action.
Batista 8-4, 16 Points (Last Week: 8)
Jack Swagger, 0-1, 0 Points (Last Week: NR)
Shawn Michaels 6-3, 10 pts. (Last Week: NR)?
Carlito Colon 4-4-1, 5 Points (Last Week: NR)
Primo Colon 3-5-1, 3 Points (Last Week: NR)?
Brian Kendrick 1-4-0, 2 Points (Last Week: NR)
Hornswaggle 1-0-0, 1 Points (Last Week: NR)
Jerry Lawler 1-0, 1 points (Last Week: NR)?
Festus 1-1-0, 1 Points (Last Week: NR)
Chavo Guererro 1-5-0, 1 Points (Last Week: NR)
Jamie Noble 0-3, 0 Points (Last Week: NR)?
Jim Duggan 0-0, 0 points (Last Week: NR)
Matt Hardy 3-8-0, 4 Points (Last Week: 9
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 6-6 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)