Are you ready? Then stop questioning your heart and join me, because it is time for Monday Night RAW!
**For those unaware tonight’s RAW is being held under special circumstances. Volcanic activity in Iceland has covered parts of Europe in an ash cloud and closed a lot of air travel. As a direct result, the RAW talent which was touring Europe this past week for their Wrestlemania tour is NOT back in the states. Tonight’s show will feature RAW talent not in Europe as well as available Smackdown talent. I also expect to see RAW talent in Europe used for studio interviews**
Keeping that in mind, it’s time for the last RAW before the Extreme Rules PPV. Hosted by MacGruber, it’s going to be an interesting night.
The show kicks off with one of the rare RAW Superstars NOT stranded in Europe, HHH, making his way out to the entrance ramp. It sounds like… yes it is! Lillian Garcia is back on ring announcing duties for the night!
HHH makes his way down to the ring to a roaring ovation. He tells the fans not to suck up to him just because he’s the only one there tonight. HHH explains the situation to the audience, while throwing in a bunch of jabs at guys who are overseas and thus can’t respond. HHH cuts a promo on Sheamus, and puts over their match at Extreme Rules. He says he is going to beat him any color, other than white.
The game says that the fans may be thinking that they’ll “have to watch HHH wrestle a two hour Iron Man match with Frank the Audio guy”, but fortunately that is not the case. The brass has made sure that the fans in attendance will still receive a high caliber show.
CM Punk’s music interrupts Triple H, and he makes way out to the ring, accompanied by Serena and Luke Gallos. Punk says that he’s got two words for the fans… “Jersey Sucks”. Punk notes that this time next week, he might not even be on Smackdown. The WWE Draft is next week. Punk says that if he is drafted to RAW he will bring the entire Straight Edge Society with him. HHH asks if by “entire” SES he means… those two. Since they are the only ones in it. HHH also questions why Punk doesn’t have to cut his hair, but his followers do. Punk says that it is because no foreign substances have ever touched his hair, his hair is pure. HHH asks if by foreign substances he means shampoo and soap.
HHH says it doesn’t matter anyway, because if Punk gets drafted to RAW, he will probably be bald anyway as he has a hair match against Rey Mysterio at Extreme Rules. CM Punk tells HHH that he could do well to adopt the straight edge lifestyle. HHH says that they have already had this conversation, he believes in freedom. He believes in making free choices, and doing what you want to do.
HHH goes out to the crowd and highlights some random fans in attendance. He points out a college kid, and says he can go up and buy all the beer he wants. He tells to older fans that they can go jump over to another state and formalize their union as partners. Lillian Garcia can show up on RAW for the night just to horse around. And HHH can fight Punk and the bald wonder twins, just because he wants to. Punk back tracks and says that he doesn’t even want to be here. He just honestly thought that HHH would be open to the change. Apparently there is a miscommunication. The miscommunication is not that Punk is asking him, but he is telling him!
The SES start to attack HHH. At first it looks as though HHH is going to get the upper hand, but the numbers games proves too great. CM Punk has HHH subdued and Gallos holds him down in a chair. Serena grabs a razor, and it looks like the end of a hair era for HHH. Rey Mysterio runs out to make the save! Rey clears the ring, and then taunts Punk with the razor. Mysterio cuts off a clump of Punks hair!! The SES make the save, and Punk retreats with what remains of his hair.
It’s going to be a crazy night!
Drew McIntyre v. Matt Hardy
The match starts with both men brawling out to the floor. After a quick exchange, McIntyre throws Matt skull first into the steel steps. They make their way back into the ring. Hardy hits the Side Effect and goes for the pin, McIntyre kicks out. Hardy then hits a neckbreaker and looks for the pin, but no luck. Hardy and Drew charge at each other, with each colliding with equal force. Matt climbs to the second rope looking for his ~EPIC~ elbow drop, but Drew counters by knocking him off the rope and picking up the pinfall.
Winner via Pushing Him Down: Drew McIntyre
We head via satellite to Belfast, Ireland where John Cena is live in a studio. He shouts out to all of the WWE families, and says that all of the Superstars are save. Cole asks if the situation is throwing off his preparation for Extreme Rules. Cena says that it has not, and he will be the Last Man Standing at Extreme Rules.
Kozlov is in the ring, and tells the audience that his name is Vladimir Kozlov. He starts to continue, but the fans start a “what” chant. For once, it makes sense because no one can understand a word he is saying. Vlad calls King into the ring to read his statement. In a nutshell it states that Kozlov is boycotting the RAW Guest Host concept, and he deserves higher caliber treatment. He calls the audience all spoiled Americans, and physically inferior. Worst of all, they are from a state devoid of integrity. New Jersey is the worst place to live in the world. He can’t wait for his Russian friend to by the nets and move them to a more deserving state. Kozlov is back on the mic, and demands proper competition.
The “MacGruber” music hits, and the cast heads out to the ring. MacGruber is carrying an American flag. Vicky, not Guerrero, the MacGruber character, announces the main event of the evening. MacGruber calls Kozlov a giant pile of suck. Kozlov says that if he says one more word about him, he will end him. MacGruber agrees, but says his mom on the other hand is a different story. Vicky tries to stop him. MacGruber says that New Jersey is not the most depressing place on earth, that place is clearly the uterus of Kozlov’s mother. Vicky disagrees and says that she is sure Kozlov’s mother’s uterus is a fantastic place.
Kozlov says that he is going to destroy him later tonight. MacGruber says that Kozlov can’t because he already has a match. And it is against R-Truth! Truth comes out and starts his song. MacGruber tells Kozlov that he can’t escape because he has rigged the entire building with explosives. He says that’s the truth, and asks R-Truth, “what’s up?”. They go back and forth a couple of times before an explosion goes off! All that is left of poor R-Truth is his shoes. So much for that. Kozlov stars him down, and reiterates that they will be having a match tonight. MacGruber sheepishly agrees.
In the back, MacGruber is trying to head out of the building. HHH sees him, and stops him in the act. HHH asks him if he had an accident, and points to the wet front of his pants. MacGruber says that it is not pee, but water. Well, actually it is pee, but MacGruber’s friend is the one who wet him, and then he put them on to be a good friend. MacGruber points and says, oh there is my friend now. Kane walks into the shot.
HHH explains to Kane that MacGruber is claiming that Kane wet his pants and then gave them to him. Kane asks what he is even talking about. MacGruber high tails it and leaves us with a, “go USA” for good measure. Kane exclaims to HHH, “I don’t think that’s the only thing he did in those pants”.
Randy Orton is live via satellite from Belfast, Ireland and cuts a promo for his match against Jack Swagger at Extreme Rules for the World Heavyweight Championship
It is worth noting that it is now 10 o’clock and we have only had five minutes of wrestling so far this evening.
**Meanwhile in TNA… Rob Van Dam has just defeated AJ Styles to become the NEW TNA World Heavyweight Champion!! Well done RVD!**
Jack Swagger grabs a mic and says that talk is cheap when Orton is 3,000 miles away. He calls for a referee, and says that he is issuing an open challenge to anyone in the back. The lights go out, the gong sounds, and yes! The Undertaker has accepted!
Jack Swagger v. The Undertaker
The match starts with a couple quick exchanges of blows. The Undertaker quickly gets the upper hand and grabs Swagger’s arm. He heads up the turnbuckle and connects with the Old School. Swagger kicks out of the pin attempt. Swagger then hits a scoop slam and tries for a cover. Undertaker kicks out.
Swagger unloads with a series of kicks and punches, and sends Undertaker to the outside of the ring. Swagger follows after, but it proves to be a poor decision as Undertaker punches him in the head, and then throws him skull first into the steel steps. Undertaker looks to whip him into the steps once again, but Swagger counters and whips Taker knee first into the steps!
Swagger heads into the ring to stop the count, and then slides Taker back into the ring. He is now targeting the knee with a series of kicks. He sets Taker up in the corner and wrenches the knee around the second rope. Taker finds a moment of reprieve by sending Swagger to the outside of the ring. He sets Jack’s neck up on the apron, and then hits his Vintage Leg Drop! (copyright Michael Cole) Back inside the ring once again, Taker hits a snap suplex and goes for the cover. Swagger kicks out.
Undertaker locks in a neck joke on the World Heavyweight Champion. Taker releases and connects with an elbow drop. He then locks in a front headlock as we go to commercial.
We come back as Swagger has Undertaker in a leg hold. Taker kicks him away. Jack comes back, so Taker catches him in a leg scissors hold. Swagger counters back into a leg hold. Swagger slides to the outside, and then slams Taker’s leg against the steel post.
Back in the ring, Swagger sends Taker bouncing off the ropes, but finds himself caught with a surprise DDT! He barely kicks out at two. Taker throws Swagger head first into the top turnbuckle for snake eyes, then connects with a leg drop. Another near fall. The Undertaker is looking for the chokeslam. Swagger manages to fight out, but gets caught with another vicious boot.
Taker whips Swagger into the ropes, but this time it is Swagger that connects with a DDT. Close count, but Taker kicks out. Swagger takes it to the ribs of the Undertaker with some kicks. He then charges across the ring for his second rope splash, but Taker catches him and hits a chokeslam!! Taker follows up with the Tombstone Piledriver, and this match is over.
Winner via Tombstone Piledriver: The Undertaker
Video trailer airs for MacGruber
In the back, Chris Jericho is talking to CM Punk and the Straight Society. Punk has a towel wrapped around his head. Jericho tells them to listen to what he has to say, and they will be fine. MacGruber bumps into Jericho. He says that it is good to run into him again, as he hasn’t seen him since shooting for the film wrapped (Jericho is in the movie). Chris says that there are rumors of an early Oscar nomination. In fact, they are talking about making a sequel with Jericho in the Title role. Jericho sings the MacGruber theme, with his own name in its place. Jericho suggests that he throw of Khali by starting the match by offering his hand for a shake, and then slapping him in the face!
Kozlov v. MacGruber
The match starts with MacGruber taking Jericho’s advice and offering his hand for Kozlov to shake. When he doesn’t, he slaps Kozlov in the face! Kozlov grabs him by the neck and this is going to end quickly… but wait!
MacGruber’s co-star hits the ramp, and says that he just got off the phone with the WWE office, and was able to make this a handicap match. He introduces MacGruber’s half-brother, KhalGruber! (Yes it is the Great Khali, don’t try to justify it, just laugh and roll with the booking).
So Khali – I mean, KhalGruber, gets in the ring and takes it right to Kozlov. The Russian can’t bring him to his knees. KhalGruber heads to the outside, and Kozlov follows after. This results in a count out, and apparently MacGruber was the legal man, which means… oh wow, they win.
Winners via Count out: MacGruber and KhalGruber
MacGruber grabs the mic and says this proves that America is the best country in the world. They have the best food, sports, and movies. Like Shrek 4 opening May 21st in theatres everywhere, his co-hosts interrupt and he quickly changes his plug to MacGruber , which opens that same day. Another explosion hits the ramp as we head to commercial.
HHH is making his way out to the ring for tonight’s main event. We head to a live feed from Belfast were Sheamus cuts a promo regarding their match at Extreme Rules this Sunday. He takes out his aggression on a production member. Trips just stares at the screen with a nonchalant look as if to say, “hey, I’m on another continent, wtf can I do about that anyway?”.
HHH, Edge & Rey Mysterio v. CM Punk, Luke Gallos & Chris Jericho w/ Serena
The match starts off with a ton of quick action. CM Punk’s team finds themselves all on the outside. Triple H and Edge pick up Mysterio and help launch him to the outside to take out the entire team!
We come back as Luke Gallos is tagged into the ring, and then Chris Jericho takes the tag. Jericho has the upper hand with a couple of punches, but Mysterio springboards off the second rope to take out Jericho. Both men retreat to their corners and Luke Gallos and Edge are tagged into the ring. Edge lays out Gallos, and looks to be going for the spear. Serena jumps up to the apron to cause a distraction which allows Jericho to pull Edge out of the ring. Jericho slides Edge back into the ring and Gallos has him on the mat.
Jericho is tagged into the match, and taunts the audience. Jericho looks to work on the Achilles’ heel of Edge. Jericho drags him to his corner and tags in CM Punk. Punk grabs him by the heel and falls to the mat by wrenching on a leg lock. Punk breaks free and tags in Luke Gallos. Edge somehow finds the fortitude to escape to his corner and tags in HHH! Trips connects with a knee to the face of the Straight Edge Superstar, who has been tagged in by his disciple. Punk blocks a splash, but gets caught with a Spinebuster. HHH looks for the Pedigree, but Gallos runs in to make the save. Rey Rey springboards into the ring with a Senton to take out Gallos. Punk is knocked onto the second rope, and Rey Mysterio connects with the 619! HHH follows up with the Pedigree, and this match is over!
Winners via Pedigree: HHH, Rey Mysterio & Edge
Wow, what a bizarre night. With the RAW talent in Europe, it was bound to be a crazy. This was the “go-home” show for the Extreme Rules PPV. Plus, next week is the 3-Hour Draft event live on RAW. In essence, we have a big PPV in which the “Backlash” from a lot of Wrestlemania feuds will come to fruition and then the entire landscape of the brand will be shaken up next week.
On a side note, does anybody else dislike the term “go-home show”? For no rational reason I despise it. As such this is the last recap I will ever use it in. Why? Cause it’s my recap so I’ll do what I want. (seriously, “go-home”? that sounds more like a school punishment than an enticing reason to watch the last show before a PPV).
The night started off with a really laid back, but fantastic promo by Triple H. It’s hilarious that 7 years ago before all of the John Cena haters emerged, HHH was “that guy”. He was the fodder of message boards and despised for his success. Throw in being married into the family, and you had a whole slew of negativity surrounding the guy. Now here we are in the John Cena era, and a shift has occurred. I only point this out because I can’t even imagine the hate that would have accompanied this segment 7 years ago.
I really liked the opening. In general, I thought it was just fun and hilarious. The stuff with Rey Rey and the Straight Edge Society was all solid. I feel like they really captured the whole impromptu feel of the evening. It SHOULD have been an off kilter RAW as nearly the entire roster was on another continent. I can’t be mad at the way they handled the show, because I thought it was creative, and a lot of fun. This may actually be my favorite RAW in awhile, because it was so random and felt, “real”. Honestly, it was like I invited the stars over to my house for a couple of beers and we just chatted, horsed around, and in general had a good time. ‘Twas a fun evening.
It was nice to have Lilian Garcia back. I didn’t realize how much I missed her until tonight.
I love how Kozlov is quickly becoming a crowd favorite. The audience really was not sure whether or not to boo what the big man was muttering. It took some cheap shots at the venue for some real heat to emerge, and even then it wasn’t overwhelming. By the way, I’m still laughing my butt off at R-Truth blowing up. I love this crazy business.
Props for that MacGruber/HHH/Kane segment in the back. Kane really cracks me up sometimes.
That match between McIntyre and Matt Hardy was really short, and unnecessary. I would have been much happier if they had cut it in favor of something else. On the other hand, it WAS the only wrestling in the first hour of the show. I guess I shouldn’t complain about the only five minutes of wrestling the first hour actually had. But, I’m going to because it’s my recap and like HHH said, it’s a free country.
Swagger and Taker had really good match. I was pleasantly surprised. I’ve always been in the middle when it comes to Jack Swagger. Back in my days of recapping ECW I was a bit abashed by his meteoric rise, but he also performs at the level necessary for the venue. No idea if he’ll retain this Sunday, but this match against the Undertaker proves that he CAN wrestle. That Tombstone looked particularly brutal tonight.
I know that there are going to be a lot of people complaining about tonight’s RAW and the fact that it lacked substantial amounts of wrestling, but honestly I was pretty happy with tonight’s show. At the end of it all I was mightily entertained. I love wrestling, don’t get me wrong, but I ALSO love all the soap operatic and dramatic nonsense. What can I say, that stuff is just fantastic. If it wasn’t all there I would lose interest in the product. I come for the wrestling, but I stay because of the stories.
That being said, I’m not sure if I was accidentally dosed with acid tonight, but I’m pretty sure I saw Khali in a Tina Turner wig, wrestling a match under the guise of MacGruber’s half brother, and under the moniker, “KhalGruber”. That’s… actually fantastic. I love this show.
Props to HHH for that expression he had while staring at the screen as Sheamus unloaded on the poor crew member. Trips just stares at the screen with a nonchalant look as if to say, “hey, I’m on another continent, wtf can I do about that anyway?”. Tonight has utilized Triple H in many different ways, and I have not been disappointed.
I really liked the explanation CM Punk gave for his hair tonight. I’ve never heard him give that explanation before, and to me it makes perfect sense. As most know, a person who has used drugs carries the chemical proof of that around with them as it becomes part of the hair follicles. Or some forensic mumbo-jumbo like that (Cut me some slack, I’m a history major). The point is, it made sense and I thought Punk’s banter with Trips was very well done.
All in all… a bizarre, but really fun RAW. Come next week the entire landscape of the brand is going to change with the Draft, so who knows what the future will hold. Buckle up, and jump in with me, as we go on this crazy rollercoaster that only exists in the land of sports entertainment. Have a safe week everybody.
Match of the Night
MacGruber & KhalGruber v. Kozlov
(It’s my recap, deal with it, I mean come on – KHALGRUBER!!)
3 Month Rolling Rankings (We’ll get there!); WWE Title Win 7, WWE Title Loss 6, Undercard Title Win 5, Undercard Title Loss 4, RAW Win 3, RAW Loss 2, RAW Appearance 1, PPV WWE Title Win 14, PPV WWE Title Loss 12, PPV Undercard Title Win 10, PPV Undercard Title Loss 8, PPV Win 6, PPV Loss 4, PPV Appearance 2.
February 22nd – April 19th 2010
1. Big Show – 34 pts. [lw 1]
2. The Miz – 34 pts. [lw 2]
3. John Cena – 33 pts. [lw 3]
4. Randy Orton – 25 pts. [lw 4]
5. Ted Dibiase – 20 pts. [lw 5]
6. Jack Swagger – 18 pts. [lw 6]
6. Kofi Kingston – 18 pts. [lw 6]
6. Shawn Michaels – 17 pts. [lw 8]
6. HHH – 17 pts. [lw 8]
10. Sheamus – 17 pts. [lw 10]
1. Maryse – 28 pts. [lw 1]
2. Eve Torres – 25 pts. [lw 2]
3.Gail Kim – 24 pts. [lw 3]
4. Kelly Kelly – 21 pts. [lw 4]
5. Alicia Fox – 16 pts. [lw 5]
6. Brie Bella – 9 pts. [lw 6]
6. Nikki Bella – 9 pts. [lw 6]
8. Jillian – 8 pts. [lw 8]
9. Katie Lea – 5 pts. [lw 9]
So that’s RAW…. Love it? Hate it? Disagree with everything I said? Just want to chat wrestling? I’m always up for reading your thoughts and do my absolute best to reply to every message I get. Send them over to me at [email protected]
Visit WrestleView daily for unique columns, recaps, audio and more including my columns That’s a Wrap and WrestleView Road Trip! Also, check out my NEW audio show for the WrestleView Radio Network featuring Anthony Valvo (Mr. V) entitled “The Teacher’s Lounge”. If you’re a VIP member, don’t miss it!