Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger comes out to the ramp and fluffs up the Wilkes-Barre crowd. He said they have a big night ahead of them and that they wouldn?t waste any time getting things going. He announced the first diva bowl.
A brawl broke out to start before Layla flopped for the heck of it. No, seriously, it was probably the best thing about the match. Mickie took turns turning and burning on the heels before everyone began diving in the ring and doing Jersey All Pro set spots. Mickie hit her finisher and then rolled up Alicia.
Winners: The Baby face Divas via pin fall
WWE Champion Randy Orton’s music hit and he came out to the ring as we went to commercial.
Orton was in the ring and put his win over from the Hell in a Cell pay per view last night. He said he proved he didn?t need anyone to follow through on his word. He said John Cena might as well not bother waiting around, and he could come out and request his rematch.
Sure enough, Cena came out to the ring. He congratulated Orton on his win and put over what their rivalry had become. He said he did intend to use his rematch clause, but wanted their last match to be a special one. He suggested that at Bragging Rights, they have an Iron Man Match. Orton told him ?not so fast?. He said if there was any rematch, it?d be on his terms. He said there?d be an iron man match but it?d be no dq, no count-out. He said if Cena lost, he?d be off Raw. Cena shook hands and agreed to the match.
Jack Swagger vs. Primo Colon
Swagger grabbed a front face lock before easily tossing Primo across the ring. Primo countered with a hurricanranna only for Swagger to cut him off with an elbow and Irish whip him hard to the buckles. Swagger hit a Vader bomb before heading to the outside and landing some clubbing blows across the chest of Primo.
Swagger hammered away on Primo’s back before connecting with a belly to belly throw for a two count. Swagger slapped on a bear hug before moving Primo to the corner. He hit a shoulder thrust, only for Primo to duck the third and attempt a sunset flip for a two count. Swagger kicked out and powered Primo to the corner to hit some more big right hands.
Primo fought back briefly and then hit a drop kick for a one count. Primo looked for a springboard cross body block, but Swagger connected with a huge boot to the ribs. Swagger scooped up Primo and hit a big doctor bomb and that’s all she wrote.
Winner: Jack Swagger via pin fall
Big Show and Chris Jericho are in the back. We?ll hear from them soon.
Santino tried to get the divas to ?kiss and make up?. It didn?t work.
The Miz walked in on Ben Roethlisberger. He wants a shot against Kofi Kingston tonight. His backhanded comments don?t help him out too much. Finally, Ben gives him the match on one condition: that he gets on the mic if he loses and says; ?I?m the Miz and I?m awful?. Miz reluctantly agrees.
MVP & Mark Henry vs. Chris Masters & Chavo Guererro
Henry and Masters started off doing some power spots. Henry hit a big shoulder block and a big splash, but looked like he did something to his knee. MVP tagged in and covered for him before eventually getting overwhelmed by the odds.
MVP fought back with some lariats before leap frogging Chavo and hitting him with a shoulder block. He geared up for Ballin? and gave the crowd what they wanted. Masters tried to break up the pin fall, only to elbow his partner when MVP dodged him. Henry came bounding across the ring and hammered Masters with a body block, allowing MVP to hit the playmaker for the win.
Winners: Mark Henry & MVP via pin fall
After the match, the Chavo and Masters got into it. Masters hit Chavo, only for Hornswoggle to make a save by biting Masters in the butt. He gave Chavo a ‘suck it? and bounced off to the back.
Big Show came out to the ring with Chris Jericho to confront Ben Roethlisberger. The run down Ben and taunt him some before his offensive line comes out. They have some back and forth before the linemen line up opposite Show and Jericho, who take off through the ropes. DX’s music hit and they come out. After some more verbal jousting, DX challenges Jericho and Show to a match for their belts. Jericho says the two aren?t worth the match before Ben cuts them off and says they?ll face each other tonight.
United States Championship
Kofi Kingston vs. The Miz
The two locked up before breaking in the ropes. Miz charged Kofi and ended up on the outside before Miz darted back into the ring. Miz head butted Kofi in the face before laying the boots to him on the mat and choking him out on the ropes.
Kofi looked for a spin kick but hit a double thrust and a roll up for a two count. Miz bailed to the outside for a breather before heading back in regrouped. Kofi grabbed go behind and a roll up for another one count. Miz quickly counted out and read a leap frog well and connected with a big lariat for a quickie cover attempt.
Miz choked Kofi on the mat before slamming him into the turn buckle. Miz charged Kofi and missed, only for Kofi to hit a flurry of punches in the corner. Kofi beat Miz back and went to go to the top turnbuckle, only for Miz to trip him up and send the champion crashing to the floor.
We came back to Miz hitting a big lariat before scoring with a series of mounted punches. Miz connected with a leg drop for a two count before hitting some more stomps. Miz came off the ropes only to run into trouble in paradise. Miz crumpled to the mat and fell to the outside so that Kofi couldn?t cover him in time.
Kofi went to follow up on a near fall and was almost rolled up for a two count. Kofi hit the boom boom leg drop for a two count, only for the Miz to roll to the outside. He hung Kofi up on the ropes and connected with a running knee but couldn?t get the back slide. The two duked it out in the middle of the ring until Kofi hit a series of forearms and a drop kick.
Kingston went to the top rope and hit a cross body but Miz rolled through for a two count. Kingston then connected with SOS, but couldn?t get the job done. He missed a splash in the corner, only for Miz to catch him in the skull-crushing finale for the win and the title.
Winner and NEW United States Champion: The Miz via pin fall
Ben and Horsnwoggle are in the back. They have a ?dialogue? with Santino.
Chris Jericho & Big Show vs. D-X
Jericho and Triple H locked horns and headed to the corner. Triple H connected with some punches and a shoulder block that flat backed Jericho. Michaels tagged in and Jericho was quickly able to assume the advantage. Jericho tagged in Big Show and Michaels was able to quickly escape and tag in the Game.
We came back to Show holding Triple H in a bear hug. Triple H attempted to kick out but was belted onto his back yet again by a Big Show frying pan chop. Jericho tagged in and put the boots to Triple H before kicking him hard in the gut.
Jericho kept up the pressure, choking Triple H on the ropes and then standing on his neck. He went for a big splash, only for Triple H to dodge him. Triple H got the hot tag and Michaels went right into his victory sequence. Jericho cut Michaels off and whipped him hard to the buckles before kicking him in the small of the back. Big Show tagged in and dropped a huge leg drop across his chest for a two count.
Jericho tagged back in, only for Michaels to try and fight back. Jericho cut him off yet again though, hitting him with a hard lariat. Jericho uncorked a back breaker and a second Irish whip. He slapped on the walls of Jericho and Michaels looks to be in a lot of trouble. Triple H broke up the party, only for Jericho to tag in Show.
Show missed Michaels in the corner on a charge attempt and allowed Michaels to almost hit the hot tag. Finally, he hit an enzeguri and tagged Triple H. Triple H came in a house of fire and connected with a huge face buster. Big Show grabbed him only for Jericho to accidentally knock him to the apron. Show reversed a suplex attempt and hit both Triple H and Michaels with one of his own. The action spilled to the outside where the DX members were able to post Show and clothesline him into the crowd.
When Jericho realized it was just him and DX, he took off for the back only for Big Ben and his offensive line to come out to the ramp and cut him off. Jericho was rushed back to the ring and he ate a big sweet chin music. That’s all she wrote.
Winners: DX via pin fall
Show Thoughts– All things considered, this Raw implemented their guest GM as well as any show since they started to use the gimmick.
While you could do a lot with Ben, they stayed pretty safe, and worked him around some of the more over acts on the show. The DX/Jerishow segment came off really well, as did the match at the end. They really did a good job building to the main event and making everything seem like a real big deal and from the crowd reaction, you could tell they succeeded.
I have to say I have a very bi-polar relationship with Triple H and Shawn Michaels these days, but the DX reunion has been a lot of fun this time around. No more aimless squashes, no more smooshing, none of that. Instead, we?ve gotten a series of pretty good tag matches. Tonight however, was their best showing. Triple H and Michaels are two dudes whom I enjoy in tag team matches, largely due to the fact that their weaknesses are largely guarded against. Triple H has some great hot tag offense and Michaels isn?t forced to sell for long periods of time, where as we?ve moved into the twilight of his career, we?ve seen him get hugely lazy with. Great effort tonight and I?m always willing to eat crow when it warrants it. Get me a bib, I?m a messy eater.
If you?re not psyched up for the John Cena-Randy Orton match, then you really must hate wrestling. We?ve got a Ironman, No DQ, No Count out, Loser Leaves Town Title match. What is this Mid South? Cena paces his matches perhaps better than anyone and it?ll be especially interesting to see if Orton can go an hour. Still though, this should be a total brawl, which?ll be a lot of fun. With Smackdown’s TV deal coming up soon, Cena losing and ending up on Smackdown isn?t out of the realm of possibility or isn?t as unlikely as people may think. I love these two paired up and this is easily the most excited I?ve been for any of their matches together.
The Miz as US Champion is something I?m a big advocate of. In fact, I thought both he and Kofi had as good a match as they?re capable of having tonight on television. Kofi’s hugely over, and while I?m not sure if he has the tools to stay over, it’s still worth a mini-push into main event land to see what might be possible at the top of the card. The WWE’s really protected him (he’s got the best record on the brand) and he seems over enough to risk it. Miz on the other hand, is at this point. He’s great on the mic. I think he’s proficient in the ring as well, but now’s the time to showcase him and get him a little more over.
On a side note, some were balking about this title switch not happening last night. The mid card belts are more like TV titles these days. The purpose of them is to get mid carders more exposure. If Exposure is the goal, then having the title switch hands on pay per view makes no sense, because there are fewer viewers. I hope that clears things up for people.
The Divas division is a real mess right now. Mickie James might be the poorest performing wrestler on the roster right now, and no, it’s not because her opponents suck. She’s had bad matches with Beth Phoenix, Gail Kim, Alicia, and Maryse. She’s not having bad matches just with bad opponents. She’s having bad matches with good opponents. Mickie may execute well, but outside of that, she’s got no idea of how to put a coherent match together unless there’s a Trish Stratus type to totally carry her. Last night she was flat out embarrassing, and that has nothing to do with the finisher botch. There was a Thesz press where Mickie clearly forgot what to do. She’s out of place on set spots and sometimes, blatantly no-sells other people’s offense. I really fail to see the big deal about her as right now, as she’s cleanly the worst worker on the roster. And yes, doing stuff other people aren?t capable of doing is bad wrestling. As a competent wrestler, you should know your opponents limitations and work within them. It’s the reality of it. I don?t think Mickie has a clue. She had a ton of potential, but that seems to have faded over the years.
On a totally random and somewhat unrelated note, has the wrestling media become that bored or gossipy that they?re trying to make the case that a business decision was made because another person didn?t wear a tie? The lack of journalistic integrity is a daily embarrassment around the interweb, and it’s a wonder that people who work for sites like ours still wonder why the WWE won?t grant them interviews, etc. Maybe it’s because you make stuff up and as a result, call your integrity into question? Who was at the Taker-Punk conversation and how do they know that’s what they talked about? Wasn?t it reported for MONTHS that Taker was scheduled to win the belt at Breaking Point? Where do people come up with this stuff? How would Cena know what John Cena wears from TV taping to TV taping as they?re on different brands? I?m sorry your favorite wrestler didn?t win, but can we stop it with the ?PUNK IN DA DOGHOUSE~? stories every time he loses a world title? Just because he’s not cleanly beating Taker, Cena, HBK and Triple H on a nightly basis does not put him in the dog house.
Simply put, it amazes me how internet fans will believe anything they hear.
What’s probably even funnier is that for a guy who’s been in the ?dog house? as much as CM Punk has, he sure is pushed hard? This is the same guy who has been pushed in the upper mid card-main event scene for the entire time he’s been with the company. He’s had three world title reigns in three years, been an ECW Champion, an Intercontinental Champion as well as half of the World Tag Team Champions. That doesn?t sound like a guy ?in the doghouse? to me. So can internet wrestling ?journalists? just stop lying and making things up? Those of us who try to maintain some assemblance of integrity would really appreciate it. I?m sure the wrestlers would, too.
I?m still waiting to hear that John Cena lost his belt because he ate the last piece of pizza.
Overall Grade: B+
The Baby Face Divas def. The Heel Divas in the first ?Diva Bowl?
Jack Swagger def. Primo Colon
Mark Henry & MVP def. Chavo Guererro & Chris Masters
The Miz def. Kofi Kingston to WIN the United States Championship
DX def. Big Show & Chris Jericho
Who’s Hot, Who’s Not?
2. John Cena
3. Mark Henry & MVP
4. Kofi Kingston
1. Randy Orton
2. The Miz
3. Chris Jericho & Big Show
4. Jack Swagger
Match of the Night: DX vs. Chris Jericho & The Big Show ***1/2
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 15-14-5, 41 pts. (Last Week: 1)– In today’s wrestling world, it doesn?t get much bigger than a clean victory of John Cena’s in perhaps the ?biggest? match in the WWE these days. I don?t know if there’s been a match I?ve looked more forward to in the last couple of years than the Iron Man, Loser Leaves Town match coming up at Bragging Rights.
United States Champion: The Miz 8-10-2, 16 Points (Last Week: 9)— Finally gets the nod for the US title, which I think is pretty well deserved. Its time for the rubber to meet the road with the Miz, so hopefully they continue to showcase him.
1. John Cena 21-13-5, 47 points. (Last Week: WWE Champion) — Orton-Cena is quickly becoming the yin to the yang rivalry of this generation. Every match these guys have together should make creative kick themselves for not pulling the trigger on this at Wrestlemania.
2. Triple H 9-7-3, 15 Points (Last Week: 3)– Triple H and Michaels are both guys who I think benefit greatly from tag matches. They?re more structured and Triple H’s offense seems far better suited for it. The pressure to sell over a long period of time isn?t there for Michaels, so his stuff is far more compact. Either way, I?ve immensely enjoyed the DX reunion, which isn?t something I could have imagined myself saying a few months ago.
3. Big Show 11-12-1, 18 Points (Last Week: 2)— Show’s outfit was awesome. He looked like one of my grandfather’s friends. I was waiting for him to pull out a pack of lucky strikes out of his front pocket.
4. Shawn Michaels 12-4, 19 pts. (Last Week: 8)–see Triple H.
5. Cody Rhodes 12-14-3, 17 points (Last Week: 4)–All in all, a great run for these guys. Dibiase might have had his career match thus far in Hell in a Cell, and Rhodes has been looking consistently better every week.
6. Ted Dibiase, Jr. 11-11-3, 13 Points (Last Week: 5)–See Rhodes.
7. Kofi Kingston 20-6-2, 40 points (Last Week: US Champion)— Of the midcard guys right now, Kofi’s clearly the most over, although I?d probably argue that in terms of where he’s at in the ring, he’s probably one of the lesser guys. Still, in wrestling, popularity is the currency which means he might be in line for a push. They?ve really done everything they can with him with the US title for now, so it’s time to move him up the card and see if he sticks at all.
8. Mark Henry, 11-4, 19 Points (Last Week: 6)— Twisted his knee up pretty bad in that tag match, so I?m hoping all is well. He’s been so great in the ring, it?d be a shame to see an injury derail his recent progress.
9. MVP 12-10-2, 20 Points (Last Week: 7)–MVP’s looked good coming off the Jericho/Big Show feud. I?d still like to see his offense be a little bit more targeted and not see as much meandering when on the advantage. He sells well enough, but his offense is all over the place. I can say that about almost every mid card baby face in this company right now, though.
10. Jack Swagger, 6-8-2, 11 Points (Last Week: NR) — I?m fascinated to see where Swagger goes from here. I think from a skills standpoint, he’s the most gifted of the Raw crop of mid carders. I?d like to see them push him up the card. If Cena ends up with the belt, a title shot on Raw might be some interesting stuff.
Chris Masters 1-3-1, 1 Points (Last Week: NR)
Evan Bourne, 4-7, 7 Points (Last Week: 10)
Santino Marella 4-4, 9 points (Last Week: NR)
Carlito Colon 5-10-1, 7 Points (Last Week: NR)
Primo Colon 4-9-1, 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 2-16-0, 2 Points (Last Week: NR)
Jamie Noble 0-3, 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)