John Cena’s music hit and he came out to the ring. He came out and put over how excited he was. He put it over as the WM 24 main event before WWE Champion Randy Orton’s music hit and he came out to the ring. Orton said he couldn’t figure out why Cena was so excited, because two years ago, he beat both of them. He said history would repeat itself on Sunday.
Cena said he wasn’t really paying attention because of the awesome crowd. He said he was caught up with ZZ Top and everything, he was thinking music, then thinking Orton’s music says he hears voices in his head. He said that was a little weird. He heard 10,000 voices here tonight and it sounded like they wanted him to pound Orton’s face into mush.
Orton told Cena he’d want to rethink that. Dibiase and Rhodes came out of the crowd and surrounded him. As they advanced on Cena, Triple H’s music hit and he came out to the ring. The Legacy took off through the crowd and he and Cena stared Orton down from in the ring. Triple H asked him if him and the girls were about to start a fight without him. He said he was at a point now, that he couldn’t picture himself at. He said he didn’t care if he won the title on Sunday. What he cared about was Orton not keeping it. He said after all that’s done and what was done last week with Seth Green, he should know a little man punked him out.
Orton said he wanted into the main event tonight. Cena said he was a true evil genius. He mocked the whole idea that he and Triple H couldn’t get along and the two accepted the challenge.
ZZ Top are in the back. They’re excited to be running things. They said they were running the show. Then Santino showed up. He put over how big of a fan he was. They dressed him up in a beard and sunglasses. The played cheap sunglasses with Santino singing along. Weird, but in a ‘Gonzo on the Muppet Show’ way.
Primo Colon, Kofi Kingston & MVP vs. Big Show, Carlito & Jack Swagger
Kofi and Swagger started things off. Swagger grabbed a go behind and hit a take down before bringing Kofi to his feet. Kofi rolled through and looked for a roll up but it didn’t happen. MVP tagged in and Kofi and him double teamed Swagger and hit a big flap jack.
MVP looked for a ballin’ elbow and connected before Swagger bolted under the ropes. Show tried to rally the troops as we went to break.
We came back to Big Show man handling Kofi. He hit a big frying pan chop before taking Kofi over with a side headlock take down. After hitting a knee drop, he tagged in Carlito who went to work. Carlito hit a big suplex for a two count. Kofi fought back only to eat a drop kick. Jack Swagger tagged in and hit a leg drop for yet another near fall before Carlito tagged right back in.
Kofi fought back against Carlito yet again, fighting him back with punches to the ropes. Kofi whipped him and looked for a drop kick, but Carlito held up and Kofi crashed to the mat. Carlito got a little lazy and Primo was able to get the hot tag.
Primo and Carlito exchanged a ton of rights and lefts before Primo came reeling out of the corner with a big lariat. A big shmoz broke out that resulted in Primo getting laid out. Carlito looked for a back stabber only for Primo to avoid a Big Show spear. Primo can sailing off the top rope with a springboard head butt for the three count.
Winner: Primo via pin fall
Big Show wasn’t as happy for Primo as Primo was, and decided to blindside him with a spear. MVP ate a choke slam before Show decided to take out Jack Swagger just because he could. He lifted Kofi into the ring with one hand and laid him out with the overhand right. Show is in the ring with a bunch of bodies. Awesome.
Santino was in the back with ZZ Top yet again. They put over their big summer tour with Aerosmith before Chris Jericho walked in. He tried kissing up to them but they weren’t buying it. They said they had other plans for him tonight, and he’d face Mark Henry. Jericho wasn’t so happy.
Brian Kendrick is making his case for being Jericho’s tag partner. Kendrick reminded Lawler he held tag gold for over a year. That’s one more WWE title than even he held.
Brian Kendrick vs. Jerry Lawler
They don’t like each other, Lawler’s going to fight him.
Kendrick went after the arm hard after getting socked in the face. He smothered Lawler with cross faces and a rear chin lock before Lawler fought back. Lawler fought back with rights and lefts galore. Lawler looked for a back drop, only for Kendrick to kick him in the face. King countered the Sliced Bread and spat on the fist before hitting a second rope fist drop.
Winner: Jerry Lawler via pin fall
An interview with Mickie James ala in the aisle like its 1989. Mickie James said they were wrestling at Night of Champions, not Night of Trampinos. She ran down Maryse a bit before the Miz came out. Miz said Maryse was glamorous, and in 10 years, Mickie would be waitressing at Waffle House. Mickie ran down Miz a bit more before Maryse showed up. She sprayed Mickie in the eyes with hair spray and Mickie rolled around on the stage while Maryse laughed at her.
Chris Jericho vs. Mark Henry
Jericho immediately bailed from the ring trying to get Henry to chase him. Finally the two locked up and Henry chucked him. Jericho fought back with right hands and tried to whip Henry only to eat a huge Guerrilla press slam.
Henry stomped on Jericho on the mat before standing on his chest. Henry set up Jericho for a Vader bomb, but Jericho kicked out the bottom rope and gained an advantage. He hit a few stomps and a running drop kick to Henry’s head.
Jericho began working over Henry’s leg, kicking it before hitting another drop kick to the face. Jericho hit a right hand and a drop kick, before a cut block on Henry but he couldn’t knock him down. Finally, Jericho hit a drop kick for a two count only for Henry to toss him off like a baby.
Jericho grabbed a rear chin lock, only for Henry to get to his feet back slam Jericho into the corner. Jericho was able to trip Henry up on the charge, but ate a whole lot of chest when he tried one of his own. Henry tossed Jericho with a hip toss before catching him in a giant swing.
Henry loaded Jericho up for the WSS, only for Jericho to wiggle out and hit a bulldog. Jericho looked for the walls of Jericho on Henry, but Henry tossed him off easily. Henry followed him to the outside, only for Jericho to deck him with a steel chair.
Winner: Mark Henry via DQ
Jericho tried another chair shot after the match, only for Henry to grab it in mid air and lower it slowly. He shoved Jericho over the announce table. The two brawled a bit before they climbed back in the ring. Jericho looked for a code breaker, but Henry caught him in mid air and pulverized him with a World’s Strongest Slam.
Chavo is in the back with ZZ Top. They’re putting him and Hornswoggle in a ?Sharp Dressed Man? match later tonight.
Sharp Dressed Man Match
Hornswoggle vs Chavo Guererro
Hornswoggle managed to get Chavo’s shirt off before Chavo threw his show at him. Hornswoggle was eventually able to undress him. Chavo’s got chili pepper undies. Fun garbage match.
Triple H and John Cena are talking about their match back stage.
Santino is with ZZ Top. They said its been a great night, but something was missing. Kelly Kelly walked in. They played ‘Legs’ for Kelly Kelly until Alicia came in and interrupted. Gail Kim came in and interrupted her. Rosa Mendes came in as well and its a legs party. Then Santino revealed a mankini. Santino gave us a beefcake dance and that was that.
Chris Jericho was in the back with Ted Dibiase and Cody Rhodes. They want to know who the mystery partner is. Dibiase mocked him. He said no one would want to be associated with a self-righteous, condescending loser. Cody said Jericho was second generation bench warmer. Jericho said he had more titles than both of their fathers combined. Jericho said anyone could be his partner, even Randy Orton.
ZZ Top Legs Match
Kelly Kelly & Gail Kim vs. Rosa Mendes & Alicia Foxx
Rosa worked the arm to start the match. Kelly came back using some kicks and then caught a head scissors take down. Alicia tagged in and Kelly brought her in hard way. Kelly went for a roll up only for Alicia to kick out. Kelly hit a kick and tagged in Gail.
Gail hit a big forearm before ducking under Alicia and hitting a hurricanranna. Gail hit a spear in the corner and fought off a Rosa onslaught. Gail went for a flying body press but Alicia drop kicked her out of mid air. Alicia rushed her to the corner and tagged in Rosa who went to work. Rosa smashed Gail’s head off the buckles and hit a suplex for a one count.
Alicia tagged in and hit s nap mare for no count. Gail reversed an Irish whip only to eat an Alicia big boot. Gail got a hot tag on a missed knee drop. Kelly Kelly came in and hit a hurricanranna before playing to the crowd. Kelly hit her handspring elbow only for Rosa to interfere.
Gail hit a tope on Rosa on the outside only for Alicia to roll Kelly up for a win.
Winners: Alicia Foxx & Rosa Mendes via pin fall
ZZ Top came out to see the crowd.
Triple H & John Cena vs. Randy Orton, Ted Dibiase & Cody Rhodes
Cena snowplowed Cody in the beginning, hitting a string of right hands before laying him out with a bulldog. He roughly shot Cody into the corner and tagged in Triple H. Triple H held him up in a huge vertical suplex before finally dropping him.
Triple H dispatched of Cody and Ted before Cena and Triple H both dispatched of the WWE Champion. The two are walking tall as we headed to break.
We came back to Dibiase and Cena laid out on the mat. Triple H caught the hot tag and began going to work on Rhodes. He hit a big face buster before clearing out the heels in the corner. Triple H tried to fight out of the corner but got caught in a Legacy double team and was whipped to the floor. While the official’s back was turned, Orton pounced and slammed him off the ring steps.
Rhodes stomped the crap out of the Game in the corner before tagging in Dibiase and allowing him to choke him on the ring ropes. Orton finally tagged in and began hitting the big Garvin stomps on the mat before coming off the ropes and hitting a big knee drop for a two count .
Rhodes tagged in and hit a knee drop of his own for another two count. Rhodes signaled for a second knee drop and connected for yet another near fall for two. Cody slapped on a front face lock as the crowd tried to will Triple H back into the match.
Finally Orton tagged in and started kicking away on Triple H’s midsection. Orton looked for an RKO but Triple H countered. Orton caught him with a back elbow and went for another RKO, but Triple H pulled out a spine buster. Triple H barely made the tag to Cena, who came in and cleaned Cody out with a ton of shoulder blocks.
He hit the inverted power bomb before clearing the heels off the ring apron. He called for the five knuckle shuffle and connected. He loaded up the FU but had to let it go, fighting Dibiase off. He caught Rhodes however when he turned around in the STFU but Dibiase again bailed him out. Triple H chased Ted off, leaving Cena and Orton in the ring.
Orton looked for a punt only for Cena to grab the big roll up for the win.
Winners: Triple H & John Cena
Show Thoughts– Overall I thought tonight’s show, although a little disjointed, was a lot of fun.
Sure, the ZZ Top stuff wasn’t exactly a hit. In fact I didn’t like it much at all. It just came off TOO rehearsed even though good intentions were there. This guest GM thing is going to be very hit and miss week to week. I think the first three weeks went well, this one not so much, but that’s not exactly a call to nuke the idea. In theory, its worked so far. This week’s edition just didn’t click with me.
Aside from that though, everything that took place in the arena itself was really good, especially the matches.
The mid card six man tag was a real gas, especially once Primo got the hot tag. I’m pretty hard on the Colon brothers, but tonight they both looked pretty fantastic. I haven’t seen Carlito move in the ring like that since 2006. He looked good. The structure was effective here as well. Swagger lays the beginning parts of his matches well, largely because he uses his mat wrestling without blowing through it or making it the sole focus. Here, it laid a good foundation for what was to come. I was a big fan of the Big Show-everyone else interactions. Kofi seems to be a good match up for him as well. The finishing beat down was pretty great.
Mark Henry is quickly becoming the highlight of the show every week. He’s really come into his own of late and show remarkable progress as a big man who walks the line between dominating and vulnerable quite well. Jericho’s offense was pretty swank and I liked how Henry didn’t get too caught up in selling the leg. Its not like this is Triple H’s leg, its Mark Henry’s. His is built like a tree trunk and big men shouldn’t be engaging in long term selling. Essentially, they used it as a believable reference point, and juxtapositioned it well with his strength spots. In sum, it was one of the better big man-little man matches I’ve seen on Raw this year.
The final handicap match was a really good southern-style tag match. Triple H is a guy who I feel like I’m bi-polar with depending on the week. One week he’s great, the next, not so much. His real problem is that he’s over eager offensively, and I think it hurts his matches as a baby face. He’s got great ‘comeback’ spots and when he emphasizes his selling, it works a lot better. He did that tonight, so he gets kudos.
Also, the more multi-man matches Dibiase and Rhodes get into, the better. They seem to be able to really spread their wings with their double teams and offense in those sorts of matches, and that’s only good for both heading forward. John Cena, after a blah promo early in the night, was sensational on the hot tag and pre-tag as well, really working the apron, which is something that’s sorely overlooked in the WWE these days. Orton was good enough here, filling in whenever Dibiase and Cody looked like they may drag in their control segments. If they lost the crowd a bit, he came in, hit some spots and dragged the crowd right back in. Great effort by all.
The rest of the card was a lot of fun. I enjoyed the Maryse-Mickie All American Wrestling circa 1991 interview segment. I’m a little worried that Mickie may walk out of the ppv as Divas Champion and I can’t help but think that’s a mistake. Maryse has fantastic heat right now and I can’t really see much upside in Mickie winning the belt. I also think the WWE might be losing out on a potentially strong Maryse-Gail Kim program for Summerslam. Their values as characters clash far more than Mickie’s do with Maryse. Values clashes lead to better feuds and plus I just think Kim is a flat out better worker right now than Mickie. She’d be able to highlight Maryse’s strong points far better. Alas, it doesn’t look like its happening, at least for now.
The rest of the show was perfectly fine. The Lawler match was a fun little sprint, although The Chavo-Hornswoggle stuff really is more Superstars filler material than it is Raw stuff. Even the Diva tag was OK, especially once Kim began bumping like crazy for Alicia Foxx’s offense. I’ve got high hopes for Alicia. She’s got buckets of natural charisma. The ring work will come around eventually. If I held the book though, getting her on Television more would be a priority in so far as that division is concerned.
Overall though, a fun show that seemed like some weird genesis of a mid-80’s episode of Mid Atlantic and early 90’s All American wrestling. Fun stuff.
Overall Grade: B
Primo, MVP and Kofi Kingston def. Big Show, Carlito & Jack Swagger
Jerry Lawler def. Brian Kendrick
Mark Henry def Chris Jericho
Hornswoggle def. Chavo Guererro
Alicia Foxx & Rosa Mendes def. Gail Kim & Kelly Kelly
Triple H & John Cena def. The Legacy
Who’s Hot, Who’s Not?
1. Triple H
2. John Cena
3. Mark Henry
4. Primo Colon
1. Randy Orton
2. Chris Jericho
3. Big Show
Match of the Night: Mark Henry vs Chris Jericho ***
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 10-9-5, 25 pts. (Last Week: WWE Champion)— The roll up finish was a really good way to end the mini-program heading into the pay per view. It puts over Cena as a viable threat to Orton and sets the structure up of the match quite well. Good week for Orton.
United States Champion: Kofi Kingston 14-4-1, 25 points (Last Week: US Champion)— Kofi continues to look good. Show seems to be a really good pairing for him. It allows him to stick to his strengths and more or less hide his weaknesses (control segments).
1. John Cena 16-9-3, 36 points. (Last Week: 1)– I hate the ‘entertainment’ promos that Cena cuts, and we got a pretty blah one from him at the beginning of the night. The match though. Good lord. He made up for it in spades, with great strikes, and he showed bucket loads of baby face fire. Looks like we’ll get a clean transition into the Orton-Cena program.
2. Triple H 4-4-2, 6 Points (Last Week: 2)– There are weeks where I hate Hunter and weeks where I love him. Triple H is great as a face in peril, and his spotty offense lends itself to fired up comebacks. When he works in that mode, his matches really work well. I’m hoping we get more of THIS Triple H than the ?I’m gong to be a tough guy? baby face Triple H.
3. Big Show 4-6-1, 7 Points (Last Week: 4)— This whole Big Show murders the mid card thing is a lot of fun, but hopefully they’ll find something else for him to do once they kick things into gear for Summerslam. His work rate has been great this year, it’d be nice to see him get another big program.
4. Mark Henry, 4-0, 8 Points (Last Week: 5)— God, what a match tonight from Henry. He’s really grasped the whole walking of the fine line of being unstoppable yet vulnerable. He worked a fantastic match with Jericho tonight.
5. The Miz 2-4-2, 3 Points (Last Week: 3)— Quiet night for Miz. He got a little cameo in the Maryse-Mickie promo, but didn’t do much of note. I’d really like to see them go somewhere with him after this pay per view.
.6. Cody Rhodes 9-8-2, 12 points (Last Week: 7)— Cody’s a guy who mostly gets props for his bumping. Tonight, he let a little of his offense go and I thought it looked great, especially his stomps. I like these multi-man tags for Ted and Cody, as they get to stretch the wings a bit more. Hopefully we’ll get plenty more heading into Summerslam.
7. Ted Dibiase, Jr. 8-6-3, 9 Points (Last Week: 8)–See Rhodes.
8. MVP 5-5-1, 8 Points (Last Week: 6)– OK enough in the six man tonight, but didn’t really do anything of note. Quiet night for MVP.
9.) Evan Bourne, 1-2, 2 Points (Last Week: 9)— Not in action.
10.) Jack Swagger, 1-2, 2 Points (Last Week: 10) — Jack always lays out good beginning parts to his matches and they used him well to provide a nice little foundation in the six man tonight. Nothing spectacular, but a solid night none the less.
Batista 8-4, 16 Points (Last Week: NR)
Santino Marella 4-2, 9 points (Last Week: NR)
Shawn Michaels 6-3, 10 pts. (Last Week: NR)?
Carlito Colon 4-5-1, 5 Points (Last Week: NR)
Primo Colon 4-6-1, 4 Points (Last Week: NR)?
Brian Kendrick 1-5-0, 2 Points (Last Week: NR)
Hornswaggle 3-0-0, 5 Points (Last Week: NR)
Jerry Lawler 1-0, 1 points (Last Week: NR)?
Festus 1-1-0, 1 Points (Last Week: NR)
Chavo Guererro 1-7-0, 1 Points (Last Week: NR)
Jamie Noble 0-3, 0 Points (Last Week: NR)?
Jim Duggan 0-0, 0 points (Last Week: NR)
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 6-6 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)