Are you ready? Then stop questioning your heart and join me, because it is time for Monday Night RAW!
The show kicks off with a video package highlighting the devastating rampage of the WWE NXT Season 1 rookies from RAW last week.
Wade Barret is in the ring and says that he is here because the General Manager told him that he must come out to the ring and apologize. Wade calls for the rest of the NXT rookies to come to the ring so that they can do it properly. NXT 1 comes from the crowd (sans Daniel Bryan) and slither into the ring. Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, and the ring crew leave and head to a safe distance as a matter of protection in case things turn for the worst.
Wade walks up to Heath Slater and tells him to apologize. Slater says, “absolutely not”. The rest of the rookies follow in suit, saying that they would do it again in a heartbeat. Barret says that the problem is the fact that NXT 1 was treated like animals. Wade says that they tried to make a joke out of all of them, but NXT 1 was not going to let it happen. So they destroyed the ring and beat the living hell out of the WWE Champion.
The guitar screech is heard throughout the arena, and it looks like Hart has had just about enough. Hart says that they can’t do what they did last week. Their actions were barbaric and unacceptable. Barret points out the fact that they had one more guy last week, a guy by the name of Daniel Bryan. But, Bryan felt the same way that Hart did. Bryan actually felt bad, and had remorse. Wade says that because of this, we will never see Daniel Bryan again. Michael Tarver holds up an NXT arm band which is meant to represent that they have kicked him out of NXT 1. The rest of NXT 1 stands together as the united force currently present in the ring.
Hart says that despite what NXT 1 might think, John Cena will still be competing at the Fatal 4 Way PPV. Wade laughs and says that this has nothing to do with John Cena. As a matter of fact, apart from a few NXT Pros, they have no problem with anyone in the locker room. Their issue is with WWE management. Wade demands that the whole crew be given WWE contracts.
Hart declines. He goes further to say that he is stripping Wade Barret of his chance to compete for a Title at the PPV of his choosing. Bret then proceeds and says that Wade Barret is fired! He demands NXT 1 to leave the ring, or else security will be coming down to remove them by force.
A standoff commences with NXT 1 not looking ready to back down as we head to our first commercial.
It seems that NXT 1 did in fact back down during the commercial as they are not present when we return from the break.
United States Championship Fatal 4 Way
R-Truth v. John Morrison v. Zach Ryder v. The Miz
We come back from the commercial break with the action underway. Morrison is in the ring with Miz and kicks him in the head. He goes for the cover, but Miz kicks out. Zach Ryder is on the turnbuckle, so Morrison runs over for the counter. Morrison is trying for a suplex, but R-Truth runs over and turns it into a mini-tower of doom. All four men are on the mat.
Truth runs to Morrison and throws him to the outside of the ring. He then picks up Ryder and kicks him in the gut. Truth connects with the Lie detector, but Miz breaks the cover! Miz grabs Truth and throws him to the outside of the ring. He then does to the same to Morrison. Ryder is set against the turnbuckle, so Miz hits him for a huge splash. Miz rolls out of the ring, but gets decked by a running clothesline from Morrison!
Back in the ring, R-Truth hits Ryder with a spinning elbow. He goes for the cover, but Morrison breaks it up. Miz runs into the ring, but both Morrison and Truth throw him to the outside. We are left with just John and R. Truth hits a jaw breaker variation on Morrison and goes for the cover. Ryder breaks the pin.
Ryder sense his opportunity and nails Truth with the Rough Ryder! He looks for the cover, but Morrison runs in to break it up. Truth is still laid out and Morrison hesitates for a moment. He ultimately decides to go for Starship Pain, and connects on his friend. Before he can go for the cover, Miz runs into the ring and tosses Morrison to the outside. Miz picks up the cheap cover, and picks up the victory!
Winner & NEW US Champion: The Miz
We head to the locker room where Orton is preparing for his main event match against Sheamus later tonight. Josh Mathews asks Orton what he thinks about the actions of NXT 1. Randy replies that they should have either been fired or had their heads kicked in. Considering that Barret got the former, Orton feels he got off lucky.
In the back, tonight’s guest host Mark Feuerstein (star of USA’s hit show Royal Pains) is talking to the Bella Twins. He puts over the fact that The Big Show will be a guest on his show this week. He tells them that they should come onto the show and be the HankMed twins (HankMed is the name of his practice on the show). Dibiase walks into the shot and tells Mark that there may be a brand new car of his choosing in the parking lot. The catch is that he makes him co-guest host. Mark says that there is no way it is going to happen. Dibiase starts to threaten him, and Big Show walks into the shot unbeknownst to Dibiase or Virgil.
Mark cuts a rather impressive and intense promo on Dibiase. Mark puts over his high school wrestling career and says that there is no way he is going to be threatened by Ted. He also calls out Virgil for having no integrity. Dibiase looks ready to snap, but The Big Show grunts to let his presence be known. Now understanding why Mark was so confident, Ted starts to back down. Big Show challenges Dibiase & Virgil to a tag match against himself and Mark later tonight! Ted accepts and walks out of the office. Big Show laughs at Mark having referred to himself as “main event Mark” in regards to his wrestling skills. Mark admits that he was actually a figure skater. He shows Big Show some of his skills which ends by Mark jumping into Show’s arms. The Bella Twins shake their heads and leave the office. Big Show tells him that next time Mark should catch him, that would be far more impressive. Great segment.
Chris Jericho v. Evan Bourne
The match starts with Jericho taking it straight to Bourne with kicks and punches. He whips him into the ropes, but Bourne hits a hurricarana! Evan kicks Jericho in the head and goes for the cover, Jericho kicks out. Bourne charges into the ropes, but gets hit with a clothesline from Jericho. Evan kicks out of the cover. Chris lifts him high into the air for a side slam. Jericho takes him to the ropes and chokes him with the second rope. Jericho uses a snapmare to roll Bourne into the middle of the ring and then applies a headlock. The crowd is strongly behind Bourne.
Evan tries to escape, but gets whipped into the turnbuckle. Jericho sets him up for a back drop, but Bourne counters and hits a big running kick. Bourne against runs to the ropes, and this time clips over Jericho for a Senton attempt. Jericho kicks out, and tries to lock on the Walls of Jericho! Bourne counters and actually manages to slam Jericho down to the mat. He goes for the cover, but Jericho kicks out. Chris hits the Code Breaker and this match is over — WAIT! Bourne kicks out of the Code Breaker!!
Jericho snaps and begins beating and choking Bourne with the ropes. The referee ultimately calls for the DQ.
Winner via DQ: Evan Bourne
After the match, Chris looks to continue beating up Bourne. Evan doesn’t let it happen as his kicks Jericho square in the temple. Bourne heads to the top turnbuckle and connects with the Shooting Star Press! Bourne’s music hits and he heads to the back with his head held high.
John Cena is in the ring to make a statement about the actions of NXT 1 from last week. Cena says that he was given the night off by Hart, however he is in the building to try and handle things the only way he knows how. He thanks Bret for not caving in to the demands of what he calls “radicals”. He says that they should never negotiate with those kind of people.
Cena admits that part of him does admire their actions. He wears a target as the WWE Champion, and desperate times calls for desperate measures. Cena says that their plan was almost brilliant. However they were blinded by their egos. He says that NXT 1 made a mistake by making enemies with the WWE fans when it was really WWE management that they were after. Cena says that the WWE ring is sacred ground, and there is a whole locker room of people that want vengeance.
John says that NXT 1 has been escorted out of the building, and he knows that they are not present but he hopes they are watching. He says that he will not press charges. Instead he will at the PPV. Then, every Monday after, will be in the ring and demand that they come down to finish what they started.
NXT 1 starts to emerge from the crowd. Cena says that their actions took the target off his back, and put it on the backs of the WWE Universe. Jerry Lawler enters the ring to support Cena. Bourne, Regal, Santino and others come out to the ring. NXT 1 jumps in and all hell breaks loose! Mark Henry, Randy Orton and Edge run out. Face or heel don’t matter as this is about the sanctity of the WWE ring and everything for which it stands. Sheamus comes out with a steel pipe in hand! NXT 1 is chased out of the arena. The WWE locker room has finally gotten its justice!
In the back, Sheamus is walking with his steel pipe. Josh Mathews runs up and asks why he helped Cena. Sheamus replies that there is no way he was going to let NXT 1 ruin his Championship opportunity this Sunday by taking out Cena. If anyone takes out Cena, it is going to be him.
Video Recap airs of the Diva Summer Spectacular Battle Royal from last week
Eve Torres & Gail Kim v. Alicia Fox & Maryse
The match starts with Eve and Maryse in the ring. They immediately claw at each other’s hair. Eve looks to bounce off the ropes, but Alicia Fox hits a cheap shot to interrupt. Maryse hits a nice back kick and goes for the cover. Eve kicks out. Maryse tags in Alicia Fox. They hit what looks to be a kind of double bulldog. Alicia goes for the cover, but Eve kicks out.
Fox flips behind Eve and locks on a head lock. Eve struggles to escape but gets thrown back down to the mat for her troubles. Alicia drags her to the corner and tags in Maryse. The beautiful French Canadian continues the head lock. Fox is tagged in yet again. Maryse holds Eve’s arms and Fox looks to go for a high kick. Eve ducks, and Maryse takes the brunt of the blow. Eve takes the opportunity to hit her finisher and pick up the win!
Winners via Alicia Fox-not-being-able-to-kick-her-target: Eve Torres & Gail Kim
In the back, Mark Feuerstein is with the Big Show and preparing for their match against Virgil & Big Show which is up next!
Big Show & Mark “The Main Event” Feuerstein v. Ted Dibiase Jr. & Virgil
The match starts with Ted and Big Show. Show takes it right to him with a head butt. Ted is on the ground in the corner, and Big Show rubs his butt against Dibiase’s face, a la Rikishi. Big Show then holds his finger to silence the crowd, and hits a huge chop on Ted. Show whips him into the other corner, and looks to be going for a another chop. Dibiase rakes The Big Show’s eyes and then goes after him with a series of punches. Show lifts him high into the air and just watches him flop to the mat. Dibiase tags in Virgil.
Virgil doesn’t seem to eager to enter the match and tries to walk away. Show lifts him up by his head and back into the ring! He slams him down to the mat and Virgil slides to the outside. Mark Feuerstein runs over and throws him back into the ring. Big Show then sets Virgil in the corner and connects with the chop. Show is in the middle of the ring and a choke slam! Show taunts to the crowd and tags in Mark Feuerstein. Mark sees the grounded the Virgil and apparently looks to go for his finisher? The worm!! Mark Feuerstein does the worm! He throws in another couple of twists and then hits an elbow. Mark picks up the pin! That was hilarious.
Winners via Mark Feuerstein being AWESOME: Big Show & Mark “The Main Event” Feuerstein
The look of disgust on Ted Dibiase’s face is, well, priceless. After the match, Ted Dibiase stuffs a $100 bill into Virgil’s mouth, and then heads to the back.
Special Guest Referee: Vladimir Kozlov
Santino v. William Regal
The match starts with Regal taking the quick advantage. He knocks Santino to the mat and locks on an arm bar. He picks Santino up from the mat, but gets caught by a quick roll up. Santino has a fist full of tights, and Kozlov counts the 3!
Winner via Roll-Up: Santino
After the match, Bret Hart asks the three guys in the ring to come up on stage with him. He then calls out the entire WWE locker room. He says that there is no way history is going to repeat itself, not on his watch. The locker room takes their place on the stage. Looks like Hart has the roster present for protection during the main event to ensure that NXT 1 cannot cause any shenanigans and ruin the match.
Edge & Sheamus v. Randy Orton & Edge
The match kicks off with Cena and Sheamus in the ring. Sheamus locks on a side headlock that is quickly countered into an arm bar, and then rear headlock by Cena. Sheamus heads to the ropes to break the hold. Cena and Sheamus square off. Cena slips behind the pale warrior, but once again Sheamus uses the ropes to break any hold attempt. Cena grabs his arm and tags in Orton. Randy kicks Sheamus in the gut. He flips Sheamus with a snapmare, and then locks on a side headlock.
Sheamus backs Orton into the corner, and proceeds to kick him repeatedly in the gut. Sheamus tags in Edge. Orton is on the mat at Edge looks to whip him into the ropes. Orton hits a neck breaker and is pounding on the mat as he slithers and awaits his prey. Orton goes for the RKO, but Edge rolls out of the ring as we head to our final commercial break!
We come back and it is Edge and Cena in the ring. Cena goes for the Attitude Adjustment, but Edge rolls off. Cena hits him with a clothesline and backs him into the corner. Edge rolls out of the ring. Edge looks to re-enter the ring. He pulls down to jaw jack Cena so that he can enter. Edge drops Cena in the corner with a drop toe hold and tags in Sheamus. Sheamus punches Cena and goes for a cover. Cena kicks out.
Sheamus is setting up to run, and he connects with a high knee. Shamus uses the ropes for leverage as he applies his boot to the neck of Cena. Sheamus backs Cena into the corner, and tags in Edge. The Rated R Superstar kicks Cena in the gut. A rather loud Cena chant starts up. Edge pulls Cena into the middle of the ring and looks for a suplex. Cena blocks, and then counters with a suplex of his own! Edge tags in Sheamus.
Sheamus makes it into the ring fast enough to keep Cena from reaching Randy Orton. Sheamus pushes John onto the apron, and then slams his arm down across Cena’s chest to knock him to the outside. Edge gets in a couple of cheap shots as the referee is keeping Orton in the corner. Sheamus follows out after Cena so that he can kick him, and then rolls him back into the mat. Sheamus goes for the cover, but Cena manages to kick out.
Sheamus sets up to run again, and this time connects with a clothesline. He goes for the cover, but Cena kicks out. Sheamus locks on an arm bar as Cena struggles to get to his feet. John almost powers out, but Sheamus pulls him back down to the mat and wraps his legs around the champ. Cena starts to get to his feet, actually lifting Sheamus into the air with him. Cena is literally dragging himself and Sheamus to the corner with Orton. The crowd is ready to explode!
It is just too much for Cena, as Sheamus gets him back to the mat. John kicks out of the cover. Edge gets the tag. Edge lifts up Cena, but John quickly goes for the Attitude Adjustment! Edge rolls off and sends Cena to the mat. Edge is setting up for the spear and is ready to pounce. Edge floors it, but Cena moves out of the way and Edge crashes into the turnbuckle!
Cena reaches the corner and Orton gets the hot tag. Orton runs wildly into the ring and Sheamus comes right after him. Orton hits a side slam, and then sets Sheamus up on the apron. Sheamus gets hit with the suspended DDT! Orton is waiting to hit the RKO. Edge tries to run into the ring, but gets hit with the RKO! This is all that Sheamus needed in order to plow Orton into the mat. Sheamus hits an Irish Curse Back Breaker on Orton and goes for the cover. Randy kicks out!
Sheamus gets behind Orton and locks on a headlock/arm bar combo. Randy tries to escape, but is knocked down to the mat. Sheamus goes for the cover, but Orton kicks out. Sheamus pull Orton to the corner and tags in Edge. Edge comes into the match and goes straight for Orton’s shoulder. A kick and a punch keep Randy on the mat. Edge kicks him a couple more time for good measure.
Orton kicks Edge, then Sheamus, but Edge is ready and hits him right back down to the mat. Edge jumps on him and sets in with a series of punches. Edge lifts Orton to his feet, and punches him in the face. Edge whips Orton into the ropes, but Randy hits the clothesline! Cena is screaming for Orton to get to the corner and hits the tag.
Cena gets the hot tag! The lights go out in the arena—
We cut to the back where NXT 1 (now called the NXT Seven) are dragging Bret Hart. The throw Hart into the limo, and the limo proceeds to crash into a bunch of different cars and barriers. The limo then rockets backwards and slams into a car. The NXT 7 pull Hart out of the limo and start to verbally abuse him. They say they want an answer by Sunday!
RAW opened with a rather interesting segment. We saw NXT 1 united behind Wade Barret and a forceful show of power from the General Manager. The reason given for the absence of Daniel Bryan is that he felt remorse for his actions, so NXT 1 kicked him out. Not sure how I feel about that, but more about him later on in my thoughts. The firing of Barret and refusal of contracts for the other 6 works to further the storyline, and was to be expected. Not a bad kickoff. It was more what had to happen than anything else.
The changing of the US Title served two purposes. The first is that it drove home the suspense heading into the Fatal 4 Way PPV in regards to the Championship matches. It is the WWE’s way of saying that anything can happen. The other being that it gave Miz a much needed prop to further his gimmick. R-Truth doesn’t need the belt to get over with the fans. Not that the Miz does, however it adds more to the Miz’s aura than it does for R-Truth. I’d expect Truth to now move on to the main event picture, but who knows with this company.
Mark Feuerstein was a really impressive guest host! I actually held back my optimism this past week because in the past when I said someone was going to be awesome, it always tended to fall flat. For once, the WWE actually gave the guest host a decent amount of time. For the segments that they gave him, Mark did an awesome job. Youtube the Dibiase segment if you get a chance, he had veins popping and everything!
I’ll admit that I thought Bourne was going to get squashed when I saw he was fighting Jericho, however I was pleasantly surprised with their match. While it was rather short, neither really came out looking too weak. Bourne picked up the win, but more importantly he escaped Jericho’s beat down attempt after the match, hit his Shooting Star Press, and made it to the back with his head held high. They are giving this kid a hell of a push right now, so I hope he continues to run with it! Oh, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that he kicked out of Jericho’s finisher! That RARELY happens on RAW for someone of Jericho’s caliber. I can’t understate how huge that is for Bourne.
The segment with Cena tonight on RAW essentially answered my frustrations that I expressed with you guys last week. I had said how I felt the ring was sacred and that the locker room should have come out to stop the disrespect. Tonight, they did. Everything I said should have happened last week, be it by Hart or the locker room, came to pass. I have no idea where the story will go from here, but I’m pretty sure this isn’t anywhere near being over.
Nothing too special from the Divas Tag Match tonight. They actually seemed to give them a bit longer than usual which was nice. Alicia Fox was really exposed tonight. She didn’t botch anything per se, but she was very sloppy. Fox couldn’t hold her own against Eve, and in tag team moves she was having troubles syncing with Maryse. I’m not even sure have she managed to slaughter that Bulldog maneuver, but it looked more like a wimpy Maltese than a Bulldog. Oh, and Gail Kim never actually entered the match.
I loved the tag team match of Big Show & Mark “The Main Event” Feuerstein v. Dibiase & Virgil. It was freakin’ hilarious. It’s amazing how many intense and humorous moments they got into tonight’s show, and STILL had it come off very well. Creative has been on the ball for the past couple of weeks, I hope this continues. Also, I loved Too Cool references. Big Show did a variant of Rikishi’s Stink Face, and Mark Feuerstein did a great variant of Scotty 2 Hotty’s worm. Great stuff!
I was underwhelmed by the Santino/Regal match. I think it was incredibly shortened due to time constraints, because there really was nothing as far as a storyline goes that came out of it. Santino had zero comedy in the match, and aside from what looked to be a fast count, there was really nothing that came out of having Kozlov as the guest referee. I don’t think the match received the time it was supposed to, but that’s just based on how I felt if played out. Expect something more with this next week. Ultimately, Kozlov and Santino are going to end up together, it is just a matter of how the script plays out.
Before it was interrupted, the Tag Team main event was actually very good. I’m excited for the F4W PPV because those four guys can put on a great show. I had a strong feeling that the lights were going to go out in the arena right at the end, and I was right. Now, the one question I want you all to ask yourself is this — who was the limo driver?
Seriously, WHO WAS THE LIMO DRIVER?!?
My guess? Daniel Bryan. The limo driver looked like him, despite the tinted glass. Also, I’m pretty sure one of the NXT Seven said “Daniel” at one point. This all of course is providing that everything we heard about this past week was a work. So let’s take a look at the Daniel Bryan drama:
The big news topic this past week was of course the explosive and shocking release of the American Dragon, Bryan Danielson, aka Daniel Bryan to the WWE Universe. I have to be completely honest with you guys and admit that I have no idea if this is a work or a shoot. Sure, I could pretend to have some inside information, or be so wise to the business that I know better than any of my readers, but that’s not true, and that’s not who I am. After tonight, my gut says that this is a work and Daniel Bryan was the limo driver. but I could be wrong. Only time will tell.
If this whole thing is a work, then hats off to the WWE! They are really going all out. Every single step of the Daniel Bryan run has been designed to galvanize his Internet fan base, and it worked. From frustrating losses, to the antics of Michael Cole, Bryan’s supporters were on the verge of riot. Even I started to get a little bit put off by their usage of his talent and I was never his biggest support. Not saying I didn’t appreciate him, I did, I just didn’t have his poster on my wall or anything like that.
On the other hand, if the whole thing is a shoot (aka real) then I am very disappointed. The reasoning being given is that his actions against Justin Roberts were too brutal and violent for the PG environment. Early in the same show you had Kane threatening to beat the Undertaker’s attacker into a vegetative state, which to me seems far more violent then choking someone with their tie, but maybe that’s just me.
There were a lot of interesting happenings on Twitter that relates to the whole thing. Michael Cole’s was ablaze with anti-Daniel Bryan comments which might hint at it all being a work. The most notable was the lengthy message written by John Cena. Storyline or not, I was pretty impressed by this posting:
John Cena posted the following comments on Twitter:
I am very upset to hear about the release of bryan danielson. Social networks were formed so people would have a voice, and an opinon. I Know you all have your own, theories and whatnot. I respect that. I have never asked any of you to feel a certain way about me. But Bryan left a lasting impression on the wwe universe in a very short time, and although it came at my expense, I agree with the majority Of you who are caught off guard by this choice.
I know I’m not exactly appreciated by all, nor do I care to be, but I believe what I believe. I would like bryan to come back to the wwe. I would like to sign your petition to bring him back. I was taught to stand up for what I believe in. I tried and failed, so I could Use some help. Tell me how to sign and I will. If for nothing else, to at least have a chance to have a match with him after what was done
Whether this whole thing is a work, a shoot, or something else, the bottom line is that I’m intrigued and hooked. If you are a WrestleView VIP member, check out the column written by the talented Jose Marrero as he dissects the Daniel Bryan drama: http://wrestleview.com/viewnews.php?id=1276459550
Send me some e-mails, and have a safe week everyone!
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 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!