Are you ready? Then stop questioning your heart and join me, because it is time for Monday Night RAW!
This is a call to arms, gather soldiers
Time to go to war
This is a battle song, brothers and sisters
Time to go to war
-Vox Populi by 30 Seconds to Mars
Yes ladies and gentlemen we are 20 days away from Wrestlemania, but that’s not all. Tonight marks the historic return of the Monday Night Wars as TNA officially moves to the Monday night 9-11pm timeslot. This is war!
The show kicks off with The Undertaker making his way down to the ring to cut a promo. He puts over his 17-0 streak at Wrestlemania and starts to put down Shawn Michaels. He says that since Shawn became ?Number 17?, a dark cloud has overtaken him. Taker says that this obsession will cost Shawn the greatest price, his career. Taker says that after Wrestlemania there will be no triumph or celebration for Shawn, just darkness for the rest of his life. Taker says that in 3 weeks, Shawn Michael’s career will REST IN —
The Heartbreak Kid’s music hits and he makes his way down to the ring. Shawn says that while Taker may have expected that his life would be filled with darkness and despair, that is not the case. Shawn says this is because of the fact that for the first time, there is fear in the heart of The Undertaker. Taker tells Shawn to choose his next words very carefully. HBK says ?fear! Because you are the only one who knows how close I came to breaking the streak last year?. Shawn says that Taker has been trying to intimidate him in the hopes that he would not request the match, and not risk having his streak broken.
—- Meanwhile in TNA: (I?ll be doing these if I see anything worth noting on the show to give you a reference point of what both shows are doing at the same time, as I?m watching TNA on mute) The lights are out in the iMPACT zone and Sting appears in the ring to interrupt the Hogan/Abyss v. Flair/AJ Styles match, and proceeds to attack Hogan with his signature black bat—-
Shawn says that there is going to be no maybes or mistakes in this match up. Which is why he is requesting that there be no count outs or disqualifications. The match can only end by pinfall or submission. Taker says that Shawn may be the best to ever enter the wrestling ring, but come ?mania that won?t matter. He will unleash the demons of hell to defeat HBK. Come Wrestlemania, Shawn’s career is over. Shawn says that after Wrestlemania the dark cloud will return, but it is going to be following a new target, The Undertaker. It will haunt Taker for the rest of his life with the image of having his undefeated streak ended.
Matches to come tonight
Randy Orton v. Cody Rhodes & Ted Dibiase
Mr. McMahon v. John Cena
Gail Kim, Kelly Kelly & Eve Torres v. Alicia Fox, Katie Lea Burchill & Maryse
Gail starts off in the ring with Alicia Fox. Kim gets the advantage at the start, heading to the second rope looking for a crossbody. Gail directs her attention to knock Katie Lea off the apron, but this gives Alicia the opening to tag in Maryse. Gail Kim tags in Eve Torres. Maryse comes after Eve with a strong kick, but gets knocked to the mat. Eve does a somersault leg drop to Maryse and goes for the cover. Maryse’s partners come in to break up the hold. All hell breaks loose as Kelly & Gail enter the ring to take them out. Eve heads to the second rope, and Maryse follows right after. The Divas Champion looks to knock her off, but Eve counters and rolls down into the ring while maintaining a hold on Maryse. In the center of the ring, Eve has the arm bar locked on and Maryse taps!
Winners via Arm Bar: Eve Torres, Gail Kim & Kelly Kelly
In the back Criss Angel is talking with Hornswoggle. The Bella Twins enter the ring and say that they are big fans. They ask to be his assistants for the night. Criss says that the problem is he does not use Twins as a rule. Criss does however perform an illusion for the duo. I?m not going to try and do it justice, but essentially he stuck half of a string in his mouth, and then pulled it out of his eye socket.
Jillian Hall comes in the back and says that if anyone is going to be his assistant it should be her. Jillian says that she will sing his entrance. She starts to give a lively rendition of.. honestly who knows what she ever sings. Criss says that she will lose her voice ? NOW! He snaps his fingers and Jillian’s voice is gone. Thanks Criss!!
The Miz and Big Show make their way down to the ring. Miz has a mic and recaps the fact that John Morrison and R-Truth earned the right to face ShoMiz at Wrestlemania 26. Miz says that it is just a disrespect to the Tag Champs that Morrison & Truth are the best available. Miz says he would rather face the Bushwhackers, because they were at least a Team. Miz claims that he and Big Show are the last truly great Tag Team in the WWE.
John Morrison’s music hits and he is followed out be the rap stylings of R-Truth.
Non-Title Exhibition Match
The Miz & Big Show v. John Morrison & R-Truth
Truth and Miz are the first to square off in the ring. Morrison wastes no time by entering the ring and running to the apron to knock Big Show off. Morrison and Truth then connect with a duet of baseball slides to Miz’s face. All the competitors are on the outside and Big Show makes his way over to Morrison. The referee calls for the bell, and it looks like this match is over.
Morrison says that Miz claims Morrison & Truth aren?t a real team, but they just proved there validity. In the words of a famous philosopher (or R-Truth), ?that’s the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.?
—- Meanwhile in TNA: Shannon Moore makes his return to the ring by attacking Doug Williams following his X Division Title defense. Bischoff announces Doug Williams v. Shannon Moore at Destination X for the belt—-
Josh Mathews is in the back and welcomes his guest, John Cena. Mathews asks about Cena being left speechless in the ring last week. Cena admits it was because what Batista said was true. Everything he said was correct, he has not been able to defeat Batista. The only way to change that, is to go out and beat him. Oh, and Cena counts on Batista getting involved in his match against McMahon tonight.
In the back Evan Bourne is with Criss Angel. He thanks Criss for making a Money in the Bank Qualifying Match between him and William Regal for later tonight. Skip Sheffield (NXT Rookie) enters the office and is followed by Regal (His Pro Mentor). Skip is a fan of Criss’s and wants him to do a mind trick. Regal scoffs and says that it will take two seconds to get in Skip’s head. Angel instead does the trick on Regal. William picks a number and writes it on a piece of paper (56). Through the usage of mind freakiness, he guesses it correctly.
Randy Orton v. Ted Dibiase & Cody Rhodes
While Legacy is making their way to the ring, Randy Orton runs up from behinds and starts to attack them.
We are back and the referee rings the bell to start the match. It will be Rhodes and Orton squaring off first. Cody is backed into the corner and met with a slew of forearms to the face. Randy throws him to the mat and Ted Dibiase gets the tag. Randy and Ted look to lock up, but Ted catches his former mentor with a punch. Ted goes bouncing off the ropes, and gets caught with a huge clothesline. Dibiase and Rhodes are talking in the corner. Dibiase tags in his partner.
Rhodes is in the ring and starts to go after Orton with punches. Orton throws Cody hard to the outside. Dibiase enters the ring and looks to sneak up from behind, but Orton senses his presence and turns around. Ted exits the ring as we head for the second commercial of this match.
—- Meanwhile in TNA: Sting’s Mystery Opponent for his match: Mr. Monday Night ROB VAN DAM!
Back on RAW it is Cody Rhodes in the ring with Randy Orton. Cody hits a jaw breaker and throws Randy to the outside. Orton at first looks to get back in the ring, but Cody knocks him off the apron, which allows Ted to get in a cheap shot before the referee becomes privy to the strategy. Rhodes heads to the outside of the ring and throws Orton’s head into the steel post. Legacy rolls Randy back into the ring.
Both members of Legacy are in the ring and connect with a kick on Orton. Ted, who is now the legal man, puts a headlock on Orton. Randy is close to escaping, but Ted bounces off the ropes and hits a clothesline. Ted tags in Cody. Rhodes comes into the ring and hits a dropkick. He goes for the cover, but Randy kicks out. Cody takes his time to hit a couple more kicks on Orton. Randy is on the mat and writhing in pain. Cody picks him up and backs him into the corner while tagging in Ted.
Ted distracts the referee while Cody gets in a cheap choke on Randy. Ted then tags Cody back into the ring. Legacy tries to whip each other into Orton, but Randy counters and hits clotheslines on both men! Randy has regained control and the referee has to pull him off of Ted. Dibiase runs at Orton, but gets caught with a backbreaker. Randy turns his attention to Cody and looks to go for the RKO. Rhodes slides out of the ring to counter the move. From behind, Ted runs up and connects with Dream Street!
Winners via Dream Street: Ted Dibiase and Cody Rhodes
After the match Cody hits his finisher on Orton. Both members of Legacy mock Orton with his own taunt as their music hits.
—-Meanwhile in TNA: Sting is going crazy and attacking everyone with his bat including RVD, Hulk Hogan, and an absurd amount of referees—-
In the back, Batista is watching the happenings on his TV. Mathews enters and asks him his thoughts on the John Cena situation, and Cena’s certainty that Batista would get involved. Batista insinuates that Cena is crazy. He promises on his word as Champion that he won?t get involved in the match.
HHH’s music hits as he makes his way down to the ring with water bottle in hand.
Video package airs recapping the confrontation between HHH and Sheamus as RAW went off the air last week.
Trips says that he respects what Sheamus did last week. He says that if the roles were reversed, he would have done the very same thing. Before he can continue, Sheamus? music hits and he makes his way down to the ring. Sheamus says that he wants to make a statement, against HHH at Wrestlemania. He asks HHH if he has the guts. HHH says that Sheamus has had quite a first year, maybe the best first year in the history of the business. The thing is, Sheamus has never been to Wrestlemania. HHH says that until he makes a name for himself at Wrestlemania, none of his other accomplishments matter. HHH says that there are a lot of people have made names for themselves at ?mania, but even greater is the number of guys that failed. HHH says that he has the guts, but Sheamus is going to have to risk it all. Sheamus has to put it all on the line to either be the best at Wrestlemania, or be a failure. Before he takes that gamble, Trips warns him that he better be sure.
—-Meanwhile in TNA: An absurd amount of security guards are breaking up Waltman, Eric Young, Scott Hall and Kevin Nash—-
Sheamus looks to walk to the back, but instead he turns around and slugs a punch to HHH’s face. Both guys are going after each other with everything that they have. HHH charges at Sheamus on the outside, and the crash over the barrier. Both men get back into the field of play, and Sheamus rolls Hunter into the ring. That was probably a bad idea as HHH hits a Spinebuster. Sheamus rolls out of the ring and heads up the ramp.
In the back, Santino is talking to Criss Angel. He says that he comes from a long line of magicians. Santino says that this includes Harry Houdini. Criss quickly corrects him and says that Houdini is from Hungary. Santino says ?that is what the liberal media wants you to believe?. Santino says he has a trick, and does the old splitting your thumb and moving it gag.
Criss is unimpressed, so Santino tells him to do a trick. Criss does a trick which involves four cups, and Santino hiding an object under one of them. By analyzes Santino’s muscles he correctly eliminates all of the cups until he gets to the one that Santino hid his object under. Nice.
Money in the Bank Qualifying Match
Evan Bourne v. William Regal w/ Skip Sheffield
Christian joins in on commentary for the match as he has already qualified for Money in the Bank. He is flanked by his NXT rookie Heath Slater. Evan uses his speed to try and move around Regal at the offset. Regal is able to catch him with a fist to the face. Regal then hits a beautiful Butterfly Suplex, he goes for the cover, but Bourne kicks out. Regal follows up with a fall away back slam. Evan heads to the corner to catch his breath. He hits Regal square in the face with his knee which sends the acclaimed British wrestler to the mat. Bourne then connects with his Shooting Star Press and picks up the win.
Winner via Shooting Star Press: Evan Bourne
—-Meanwhile in TNA: The National Guard is beating up Mr. Anderson (Mr. Kennedy). Sure, why not?—-
Next Week’s Guest Host for RAW: Stone Cold Steve Austin!
Video Package airs highlighting the feud between Mr. McMahon and Bret Hart
Up Next: Mr. McMahon v. John Cena!
Match announced for next week: John Cena v. Big Show; Shawn Michaels v. Jericho; Randy Orton v. HHH; and a contract signing between Bret Hart and Vince McMahon
Criss Angel comes out to the ramp with some massive pyro as he heads to the ring to act as the special guest ring announcer for our main event. Criss is thrilled to be live on Monday Night RAW. He first introduces? the gentleman fighting for the Title at Wrestlemania?, John Cena. Angel then introduces, ?love him or hate him?, Vince McMahon.
Before the match starts, Vince grabs the mic to tell Bret to make sure he is watching back home in Canada. Vince then proceeds to taunt Cena, before laying out a stipulation. This is a gauntlet match, and a handicapped one at that.
Handicap Gauntlet Match
John Cena v. McMahon & Cronies
Kozlov enters the ring and after shaking off a couple of shots from John, hits him squarely with a head butt. He then slams Cena to the mat. Vince then calls for the tag, and enters the ring. He tries to get the cover, but Cena kicks out.
Vince then calls for his next partner, and Drew McIntyre runs down from the ramp. He hits his finisher, and Vince goes for another pin. Cena kicks out.
—-Meanwhile in TNA: Hogan is back in the ring doing? you know what? I don?t even care anymore—-
Vince calls for his next crony as Swagger runs down to the ring. The action continues after the break!
We are back and John Cena is set up for the 5 Knuckle Shuffle on Jack Swagger. He connects all whilst staring down Mr. McMahon. Swagger uses his speed to slide out of the way and then lifts Cena up. He charges to the corner to hit Cena’s back against the turnbuckle. Swagger goes for his second rope splash bounce, and actually connects. He is about to tag in McMahon, but Vince tells him to do it again. Swagger does, and then tags in McMahon. Vince goes for the cover, but Cena kicks out!
Vince’s temper may have gotten the best of him, as he goes for another futile cover attempt. Vince frustratingly calls for his next crony. Mark Henry comes out, and does not look pleased to be put in this situation, unfortunately he has been instructed to obey the boss? orders. He hits the World’s Strongest Slam and then begrudgingly tags in McMahon. Vince goes for the cover, but Cena kicks out.
Vince is furious and exits the ring. He heads over to the announcers table to grab a mic and announces that this is a no disqualification match as of this moment. Vince grabs the bell and re-enters the ring. Mark Henry is there, and he is trying to talk him out of using the bell. Vince then throws a curve ball by handing the ring bell to Henry. Mark throws the bell out of the ring and shakes his head ?no?.
Out of nowhere, Batista runs in and spears Mark Henry. Kofi Kingston’s music hits and he tries to stop the Animal. Kofi is able to connect with a couple of punches, but then gets thrown to the mat by Batista. Cena finally gets to his feet, and it is Batista, Cena and McMahon in the ring. Cena is able to charge at Batista and knock him into the corner. John turns his attention to Vince. Vince drops the ring bell he was holding, and looks nervously at Cena. John goes to lift McMahon up for the Attitude Adjustment, but instead gets caught by a spear! Batista follows up with a Power Bomb which allows McMahon to get the cover.
Winner via the Magic of Cronies: Vince McMahon
Batista stands over Cena’s fallen body as RAW heads off the air with just one more broadcast before Wrestlemania!
RAW opened with The Undertaker and Shawn doing their expected song and dance. I?m starting to feel the pressure that these two performers are under. Obviously, neither are at their prime, yet fans around the world fully expect them to go out and have not only the best matches of their individual careers, but in all of wrestling’s history. It’s a tall order, but if there are two guys to do it, it’s these two. There are taking a different approach than last year’s heaven v. hell motif, which I find appropriate. The question was raised of how they could take it to the next level, and their answer has been, simply, pride. Make it personal. This isn?t just a match for these two, it’s THE match of their lives.
The Divas match was quick, but actually pretty decent tonight. I have to say that coming into RAW these past couple of weeks I really did not know all that much about Eve. For some reason she was never on my radar, but I have to admit I am impressed. She is not only athletic in her application of holds, but in a way that adds to the move, rather than make it look like a former cheerleader trying to wrestle. Well done, Eve.
Let’s spend a moment talking about tonight’s guest host, Criss Angel. I have to say I?m pretty disappointed. Not with Criss, but with the WWE. I feel that they really squandered a great opportunity to involve him in more gimmicks during the show. It was as though the WWE was just going through the motions of having him there, and did not want to actually utilize his talents. Granted, the illusions he performed were good, but I wanted to see some of his grand spectacles unleashed on the WWE Universe. This guy has a Vegas stage show, and has won accolades for a reason. He is great at close-up magic, but mind blowing with his elaborate stunts.
Now before I get an angry e-mail from magic hobbyists that don?t think I should be praising Criss, let me say this ? I get it. I understand your grievances with his style and so be it. For the rest of you reading that last thought and wondering what the heck I?m talking about, don?t worry. It just has to do with some of his methods. Now, again to those magic hobbyists, ,I?m not a magician. But, to be fair, I have studied magic to an extent. I?m not a magic performer because I came to a cross roads earlier in my life and had to make a decision, and decided to stick with juggling. It worked out quite well for me, since I eventually became professionally sponsored. Yes, along with recapping RAW I can juggle 7 balls, I?m a man of many talents. My point is that I understand your grievances with Criss? methods, but you have to appreciate them for the way they capture the audience’s attention. I really think the WWE missed a great chance to add something, dare I say ?magical?, to tonight’s show. Look, I?m all for the guest host concept, but not if the ?E is going to half-ass it. They have to be willing to capitalize or else they are just going through the motions and wasting everyone’s time.
Wow, how did I get off on that tangent? The night’s tag match was kind of baffling. I guess it is now somehow ok for the face wrestlers to cause a match to end in no contest because they won?t play be the rules? Speaking of tag things that are bothering me, where has the Hart Dynasty been during this whole shindig. I know that they were backstage with Bret when he first returned so that he was surrounded with people he trusts, but why on earth have they not used them onscreen? If I?m in the Hart Dynasty I?m saving every single penny I make in the WWE, because my career is not going to last on this particular road much longer. If they aren?t going to utilize them in this obvious role which could elevate them beyond their expectations, then I doubt they ever will. I?m not trying to be a downer, because I really like the guys, especially Tyson.
The Legacy segment did what it needed to do, nothing to really elaborate on with those guys. I like the way the feud is moving forwarding, and it will be very nice to see the culmination at ?mania. The same can be said for HHH v. Sheamus.
The night closed with the gauntlet match between John Cena and Vince McMahon, you had to assume that something crazy was going to occur, because Vince would not just have a straight up match with his top star on RAW. So Vince calls for a handicapped tag gauntlet match. I have no idea if one has ever been done before, but wow, what a bizarre match. Hey, you know what though? I kind of liked it. It did everything it needed to establish Cena and Batista and even gave some younger guys nice moments.
All in all, a pretty good episode of Monday Night RAW. With only 20 days ?till Wrestlemania the electric is certainly in the air.
Quotes of the Night
?That’s what the liberal media wants you to believe? – Santino’s reasoning for why people believe Houdini is from Hungary, and not his true home of Italy.
King: There are two rules to being successful. First, don’t tell everything you know.
Cole: What’s the second?
King: Don?t tell everything you know!
Many of you are probably not familiar with my Power Ranking method, but if you used to read my ECW Recap, it is very similar to how I operated that one. Now, I will extend it out to three month rolling ranking, but for the moment it is only 3 weeks because, well, because that’s how long I have been recapping RAW. I started to backtrack and add in points from the previous weeks, but reading through all those recaps and picking out every appearance would have literally taken days. So instead, I?m just going to build out until we hit three months and then start it rolling again. These become much more realistic once time accumulates, but I wanted to start implementing it nonetheless, so bare with me till we get post ?mania and it starts to reflect the card in a better fashion. Ultimately, it does become very telling of who is on top, and being pushed.
3 Month Rolling Rankings; 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 ? March 8th 2010
1. Big Show ? 12 pts.
1. The Miz ? 12 pts.
3. Mark Henry ? 7 pts.
3. MVP ? 7 pts.
3. Randy Orton ? 7 pts.
3. Ted Dibiase ? 7 pts.
7. Cody Rhodes ? 6 pts.
7. Evan Bourne ? 6 pts.
7. Jack Swagger ? 6 pts.
7. John Cena ? 6 pts.
7. Shawn Michaels ? 6 pts.
1.Gail Kim ? 10 pts.
2. Maryse ? 9 pts.
3. Eve Torres ? 7 pts.
3. Kelly Kelly ? 7 pts.
5. Alicia Fox ? 5 pts.
6. Jillian ? 4 pts.
7. Brie Bella ? 3 pts.
7. Katie Lea ? 3 pts.
7. Nikki Bella ? 3 pts.
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]
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