Dusty Rhodes came out to the ring and announced himself as host for tonight’s Monday Night Raw. He said a few years ago, he was inducted to the WWE Hall of Fame. He said it made him think about a city that never quits, a blue collar city named Detroit, MI. He said he was also proud of his son Cody Rhodes. He said every once and a while he gets mixed up with some of the wrong crowd, but still, there’s nothing a father wouldn’t do for his son. He said someday, he’d see the light. He said in two weeks, one of the most devastating submission matches in history, an ?I Quit? match, would take place at Breaking Point between John Cena and WWE Champion Randy Orton. Tonight though, Randy would have a title defense… against Cody Rhodes… and John Cena would be the special guest referee.
Randy Orton came out to the ring and started running down Dusty for putting his own son in a title match. Pretty soon, Cody Rhodes sauntered down to the ringside area and made his peace. He said tonight was too much of a golden opportunity for him to simply pass up. Orton protested, wondering if ‘the fix was in’. Dusty said he’d better bet that the fix was in.
#1 Contenders Battle Royal
Beth Phoenix vs. Gail Kim vs Jillian Hall vs. Kelly Kelly vs. Alicia Foxx vs. Rosa Mendes
Order of Elimination:
Rosa Mendes (by Beth Phoenix)
Alicia Foxx (by Gail Kim)
Kelly (by Beth Phoenix)
Jillian Hall (by Gail Kim)
Gail Kim (by Beth Phoenix)
Winner: Beth Phoenix
Chris Jericho vs. MVP
Jericho went at MVP hard and the two grappled in a a not so friendly way on the mat before Jericho finally caught a thumb to the eye and whipped MVP to the turnbuckles. Jericho dropped MVP on his head with a belly to back suplex before going for his first cover of the match.
MVP fought back with a smack before fighting back with some elbows and punches. Jericho tried to out pace MVP, but Porter caught a nice overhead throw. He looked for his face buster, but Jericho caught him and looked for a walls of Jericho hold. After some attempts to one-up each other, MVP looked for the Chono kick, only for Jericho to hold up. Jericho ran back in and this time MVP caught him and hit him with a big lariat for a two count.
MVP looked for the Chono kick in the corner again and Jericho hit a drop kick that sent Porter to the floor.
We came back to Jericho holding MVP in a half nelson. MVP fought out and hit an Irish whip, but Jericho cut him off with a boot to the face and a bulldog. Jericho looked for a lion sault, only for MVP to move out of the way. As Jericho winced on the mat, MVP hit a drop kick tot he side of the head and connected with the ballin’ elbow.
MVP looked for the play maker only for Jericho to reverse and look for the walls. MVP rolled Jericho up only for for the former champion to kick out at 2. Jericho immediately kipped up and hit a code breaker for the win.
Winner: Chris Jericho via pin fall
Bull Rope Match
Chavo Guererro vs. Horsnwoggle
Chavo is dressed in a cow mascot costume. No, that’s not a joke.
I don’t even know what to say about this.
Winner: Hornswoggle via frogsplash wearing a cow head… a plastic one
Big Show vs. Mark Henry
The two locked horns and shoved each other off a few times. After not really getting anywhere, the two had a test of strength. The two traded head butts, before Show attempted a big frying pan chop in the corner. Henry ducked out and looked to slap on a headlock.
Show cheap shotted his way out of the headlock and after missing the initial clubbing blow, the two went into the ropes and Show caught a front spear. Show attempted a front face lock that Henry got out of. Henry hit a pair of avalanches in the corner before murdering him with a body block and a big splash for a two count.
Show fought Henry off again before going to the corner and undoing the top buckle. The ref caught Show and admonished him for doing it. As he was doing that, Henry came charging in and Show ducked out of the way and Henry slammed into the corner, causing the DQ. As he reeled backwards, Show hit him with an overhand right for good measure.
Winner: Mark Henry via DQ
Orton and Rhodes are in the back. Orton reminds Cody that no matter what happens tonight, that its ‘just business’.
Dusty, HBK and Triple H are in the back again putting over (eerrr, more like down) the WCW. They joshed each other about dumb ideas and not being able to draw.
United States Championship ? Fatal Four Way
Kofi Kingston vs. Jack Swagger vs. The Miz vs. Carlito
The Miz immediately rolled under the ropes to the outside while the other three duked it out. After fighting off both Swagger and Carlito, Miz took advantage and landed some strikes before back dropping the oncoming Carlito to the outside. Kofi clotheslined Miz to the outside and then hit a huge plancha to the outside.
We came back to Swagger holding a half crab in the middle of the ring. Miz came swooping in and hit a neck breaker for a two count on Swagger before going back to work on Kofi. He went for a follow up on an Irish whip only for Carlito to hit a springboard missile drop kick. He whipped Kofi himself only for Miz to cut him off.
Swagger showed back up in the ring and began dispatching of everyone and hit a big Vader bomb on Carlito for a two count. Kofi hit a boom boom leg drop on both Swagger and Carlito before the Miz showed up and cut him off. Swagger went for a gut wrench power bomb on Carlito only for Miz to hit his finisher. Carlito hit Miz with a back stabber only for Kofi to hit trouble in paradise on Carlito for the win.
Winner and STILL US Champion: Kofi Kingston via pin fall
WWE Divas Championship
Mickie James vs. Beth Phoenix
Mickie tried to grab a few near falls before Beth caught her and powerslamed her into the corner. Mickie crumpled into the corner only for Beth to hit a drop kick that drove her into the ring post. Beth started going to work on Mickie’s arm.
Mickie fought back and started hitting some clotheslines and went for an Irish whip only for Mickie to get easily tossed to the corner. Mickie looked for the huricanranna and connected before heading to the top rope. Phoenix pushed her off and slammed her into the barricade before rolling her back into the ring for a two count. Mickie slowly rose to her feet only for Beth to boot her hard in the face. Beth went for a tilt a whirl something or other, only for Mickie to counter and hit her implant DDT out of nowhere for the win.
Winner and STILL Divas Champion: Mickie James via pin fall
DX and Dusty are in the back again. This time, they’re joined by the Shockmaster.
Todd Grisham is in the back with John Cena whose putting over the main event tonight. Cena said tonight Cody would have to prove he’s the better man. He wouldn’t be helping anyone.
WWE Championship, Special Guest Referee: John Cena
Randy Orton vs. Cody Rhodes (w/Dusty Rhodes)
The match got about ready to get under way when Dusty got on the mic. He said ‘Remember John when I told you a father would do anything for his son? I’m sorry, John.?
Cody and Orton attacked Cena and once Dibiase came swooping down to the ringside area, were able to subdue him. DX’s music hit and they came flying down to the ring and were able to momentarily gain an advantage until Dusty intervened by hitting Triple H with his cowboy boot. Once the group was done, they posed for the crowd. When Orton went to congratulate Dusty, he RKO’d him, sending Cody into a frenzy. The show ended with Orton staring down Rhodes, who was beside himself in the corner.
Show Thoughts– With all the wrestling they had tonight, this is the most ‘wrestling’ Raw has felt in a really, really long time. I have to say, I enjoyed it a great deal.
I really liked how everything more or less came to a head, with the Dusty-DX skits more or less building up to the final run in and Cody and Randy (with help from Dusty) double crossing Cena. Just something you won’t see often… a heel Dusty Rhodes, which I don’t believe I’ve seen since at least the mid to late 70’s. So cool stuff.
Tonight should really end all debates as to whether or not Big Show and Chris Jericho make good tag champs. Their match with Henry and MVP at the next pay per view has already been really well built, with the important themes and messages soundly re-enforced. MVP looked the best I’ve seen him look in a really, really, really long time. Jericho works so well with younger talent and really spaced Porter’s stuff out well with what he already did and made it all work without having to throw the baby out with the bathwater so to speak.
The only real bone of contention from this show from where I’m sitting is how atrociously bad the Divas have been in recent months. Maryse is injured, Alicia is wrestling as a heel when everything about her screams ‘baby face’.. Beth, Mickie and Gail are still intent on working JAPW spot-fests with girls who obviously can’t execute that kind of stuff… its bad. I know people are huge on the later three, but because a woman can ‘execute’ moves like a man, doesn’t mean they’re automatically good. Watching Beth relentlessly build towards posting Mickie’s back tonight… then working a hammerlock.. makes no sense… I don’t care if it ‘looks’ good. Its not good. Give me Maryse and her four moves and bags of charisma before Beth and Mickie try to do ridiculous (and dangerous when you’re trying them with people who aren’t ready for those kinds of moves) set spots that don’t add to anything..
Even in an odd way, Chavo-Hornswoggle won me over tonight. That whole program is just so lame, but its now crossing into ‘awesomely bad’ territory, ala Pepe the Horse and Moppy. Something about watching a little person kick the stuffing out of some dude in a cow costume made my night.
Good show tonight, it’ll be interesting to see how they follow this all up next week.
Overall Grade: B+
Chris Jericho def. MVP
Beth Phoenix won a Divas Battle Royal
Hornswoggle def. Chavo Guererro
Mark Henry def. Big Show
Kofi Kingston def. Carlito, Jack Swagger and the Miz to retain the US title
Mickie James def. Beth Phoenix to retain the Divas title
Who’s Hot, Who’s Not?
2. John Cena
3. Dusty Rhodes
4. Kofi Kingston
1. Randy Orton
2. Chris Jericho
3. Big Show
4. The Miz
Match of the Night: Chris Jericho vs. MVP ***
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 13-11-5, 34 pts. (Last Week: WWE Champion)— Another really solid night from the WWE Champion tonight. Great bait and switch to finish off the show. I’m convinced that right now, Orton might be the best actor in the company.
United States Champion: Kofi Kingston 18-4-1, 34 points (Last Week: US Champion)— Gets another successful defense under his belt, but I can’t help but think he wasn’t the center of attention tonight. Decent night from him, but it certainly looks as if they’re headed towards a Kingston-Miz encounter soon.
1. John Cena 19-11-4, 41 points. (Last Week: 1)– He was kind of quiet tonight. I liked Shawn and Hunter playing Scarecrow and Tin Man to his Dorothy during the whole finishing angle, but other than that, a quiet night for Cena.
2. Triple H 6-6-3, 9 Points (Last Week: 2)– Truth be told, as much as I’ve never been into DX over the years, I’ve enjoyed this year’s edition quite a bit. No drawn-out skits. The ones we get are funny. The matches have been good thus far, etc. No real complaints.
3. Big Show 6-9-1, 11 Points (Last Week: 3)–Show didn’t tear the house down with Henry tonight, but then again, he didn’t have to or anything. Its always interesting to see him branch out of his usual snow-plow regimen and have to mix things up in his matches to keep them interesting.
4. Mark Henry, 8-1, 15 Points (Last Week: 7)— Much better deal this week regarding Henry. I like both Show and Jericho as opponents for Henry and with MVP there to take a fall, they can protect him while advancing him up the card.
5. Cody Rhodes 11-11-3, 14 points (Last Week: 4)— Cody gets a gold star from me tonight. He was really great on the acting front and finally seems to be fully turning the corner as a competent mid-card guy they can use more regularly.
6. Ted Dibiase, Jr. 10-9-3, 11 Points (Last Week: 5)–See Rhodes.
7.) MVP 9-7-2, 16 Points (Last Week: 8)–Flat out, tonight was MVP’s best match since heading to Raw. His spots were far better paced AND placed. While a large degree of that could be attributed to Jericho, MVP executed well enough. Very good night for MVP, who really needed one.
8. The Miz 5-8-2, 9 Points (Last Week: 7)— So far, so good for the mis. I’d like to see them stretch his matches out a bit more, cause I’d like to get an idea of where he’s at. Still though, I’ve liked what I’ve seen.
9.) Shawn Michaels 8-3, 13 pts. (Last Week: NR)?–See Triple H.
10.) Jack Swagger, 3-7, 6 Points (Last Week: 9) — It seems like a new mid card guy is sputtering every week and I suppose this time, its Swagger’s turn.
Batista 8-4, 16 Points (Last Week: NR)
Chris Masters 0-1-1, 0 Points (Last Week: NR)
Santino Marella 4-2, 9 points (Last Week: NR)
Evan Bourne, 2-5, 4 Points (Last Week: 9)
Carlito Colon 5-8-1, 7 Points (Last Week: NR)
Primo Colon 4-8-1, 4 Points (Last Week: NR)?
Brian Kendrick 1-6-0, 2 Points (Last Week: NR)
Hornswaggle 6-0-0, 9 Points (Last Week: NR)
Jerry Lawler 1-0, 1 points (Last Week: NR)?
Festus 1-1-0, 1 Points (Last Week: NR)
Chavo Guerrero 1-12-0, 1 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)
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)