This review of Monday Night RAW on is dedicated to the memory of reader JT’s cat, Bandit (1995-2008).  Tonight’s episode features a rematch for the World Tag Team Championship, as Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase try to win back their titles from John Cena and Batista.  JBL has a challenge for CM Punk that Punk “can’t win,” and GM Mike Adamle says we’re going to find out what’s in Kane’s bag.

The results and analysis, after the jump!

RAW starts with a recap of John Cena and Batista’s recent history.

John Cena makes his way out to the ring.  He says that two weeks ago, Mike Adamle made a match between himself and Batista at SummerSlam.  John’s never had a personal problem with Batista, but out of thin air, he has a match – and then last week, they won the Tag Team Championship!  It’s Adamle’s way of spicing things up.  Adamle is all about spicing things up.  He called Cena over today, and asked what they could do to hype the match up more.  Cena explained to him that he doesn’t know what he’s done.  He’s put John Cena and Dave Batista in a match for the first time ever!  We don’t need to hype the match anymore than it is.  John Cena and The Animal in this very ring is all the hype you need – RIGHT NOW!

Batista makes his way to the ring.  Later on tonight, these guys are in tag action together, defendint their newly won titles against the former champions, Ted DiBiase and Cody Rhodes.  Batista tells Cena, “you wanted me?  Here I am.”  Yep, Cena wanted him out there – he tells us that they’re the World Tag Team Champions, and they’ll be getting their rematch.  If they don’t work together, they’ll taste defeat – but at SummerSlam, they’ll be enemies.  Everybody knows it’s a match that’s 6 years in the making.  Cena’s been watching Batista for 6 years.  Batista was groomed by Ric Flair and Triple H, and was put into a position where he was taught everything the business would throw at him.  Cena didn’t have that opportunity, but every week he turned critics into believers.  Every Monday he stands before a nation that goes to battle with him.  Now it’s time to answer the question – between Cena and Batista, who’s better?  Batista’s seen Cena get standing ovations, and he’s seen him get booed out of the building, but Cena never changed who he was and Batista respects that – even though he wouldn’t be caught dead doing some of the things Cena does.  He can see why most of the people over the age of 15 want to see Batista senseless.  Batista likes to beat people senseless.  This Sunday, we’ll get the answer to that question of “who’s better.”  According to Batista, the answer is Batista.  The Tag Champions have a standoff in the middle of the ring before Cena extends his hand.  Batista accepts the handshake, and Cena leaves.

WWE Mobile Poll:  Who is the Bigger Star?  John Cena or Batista.

Still to come:  Cena & Batista defend against Rhodes and DiBiase.


Apparently WWE has won a pair of awards for excellence in Television Productions.  The first award was for WrestleMania 24 (I was there, you’re welcome, Mr. McMahon!), and the second award was for the WWE Tribute To The Troops.

Time for scrawny bitch theater on USA – Kelly Kelly’s got herself a match tonight.

Beth Phoenix def. Kelly Kelly

Santino joined Michael Cole and The King on commentary.  Beth backs Kelly into the corner, but showing she’s not intimidated, Kelly slaps Beth.  She actually manages to hold her own against The Glamazon.  Beth doesn’t let that last very long, however, and she womanhandles Kelly Squared.  She picks up the victory after her facebuster finisher.

Santino gets in the ring and asks Beth to do him a favor and send a message to Mickie James and Kofi Kingston by doing that move Santino likes.  Beth is happy to oblige, but Kelly is saved by Kofi and Mickie.  Santino challenges Kofi to a match RIGHT NOW!  Santino wasn’t talking to him though, he was talking to Mickie James.  If he’s got to wrestle a woman this Sunday, he needs practice, so he can figure out where and where not to put his hands.  Besides, it’s Mickie’s hometown, and her parents are here.  Kofi says no, if Santino’s going to have a match, it’s going to be against him – Mickie snatches the mic and says she accepts.  Santino says he’s going to put her back in the kitchen, where she belongs.


Santino Marella def. Mickie James

Back from break, the match is starting.  Santino goes after Mickie but she evades him.  Apparently during the break, Santino berated Mickie’s parents, and they’re frantically working to put it up on  Remember when they used to show what was going on live during the breaks on  Anyways, Mickie holds her own for the most part, and manages to evade Santino’s attacks.  Santino turns his attention to Kofi, which distracts the referee long enough for Beth Phoenix to ram Mickie’s shoulder into the ring post.  Santino rolls Mickie up for the pin.

After the match, Santino jumps into Beth’s arms as they celebrate while heading back up the ramp.  Winner take all inter-gender tag match at SummerSlam for the IC and Women’s Championships!

Adamle says he’d like to take the Regan approach to GM – let the superstars do what they want, and only intervene when necessary.  Kane bursts in, and Adamle tells him that it’s going to be Kane vs. Chris Jericho.  Kane says it’s ok, if that’s all he has planned.  Adamle says that after the match, Kane has to hand over his bag.  Kane says that Adamle doesn’t want to do that.  Adamle says that the last thing we need is little boys and girls going back to school, mimicking Kane, and carrying burlap bags and scaring their fellow students and teachers – we can avoid controversy and Kane can hand over the bag right now.  Kane says that Adamle is making a huge mistake, and storms out of the office.


WWE 24/7 Classics on Demand:  October 22, 1979 – The Valiant Brothers lose the WWF Tag Team Championship to Tito Santana & Ivan Putski at Madison Square Garden.

Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase weren’t even born when that happened – but they respect the history.  Putski and Santana acted as a team.  Which John Cena and Batista aren’t.  They despise each other.  That’s why Rhodes and DiBiase are envoking their rematch clause tonight.  Their careers are further along than any Hall of Famer’s were by their age.  Next year, it could easily be Ted DiBiase vs. Cody Rhodes at SummerSlam next year – but tonight they’re going to earn everybody’s respect when they win back their titles.

Later tonight, Y2J vs. Kane, and JBL has a challenge for CM Punk, that Punk apparently can’t win.


Cryme Tyme vs. The Highlanders

The Highlanders are still around after the recent cuts by WWE?  Especially after the one guy got caught on camera at the live TNA iMPACT taping the Thursday before WrestleMania?  They might as well have been fired though – despite a bit of offense by the TNA loving Scots, Cryme Tyme picked up a convincing and quick victory.

Up next, a challenge that CM Punk apparently can’t win!


Randy Orton was re-injured last night in a motorcycle accident, re-injuring his shoulder.  Because I totally believe everything I read on

The challenge is set up in the ring, and JBL is on his way there.  Punk makes his way out next.  Before JBL beats Punk at this contest, he wants to tell Punk how happy he is that Punk’s pathetic title run…  Punk tells him to shut up.  Punk’s been listening to the same old argument ever since he won the title.  Punk is going to say it one more time – the World Championship is around his waist because he earned it.  So for all you haters, think about this – we’re one week away from the Biggest Blockbuster of the Summer.  The 20th anniversary of a PPV Punk’s seen every installment of.  It’s going to be the crowning achievement of his career by walking in to SummerSlam, defeating JBL, and walking out World Heavyweight Champion.  Punk says he’ll prove that he’s the man.  JBL babbles for a few minutes, then uncovers a bottle of Jack Daniels.  JBL challenges Punk to a drinking contest.  He pours a shot for Punk.  JBL says if Punk will drink that one drink, JBL will concede to Punk that he’s won this contest.   Punk picks it up.  JBL says that he wants Punk to show that morals don’t matter, and that he’ll do anything to win.  So Punk drinks this, and what then?  He’s just like JBL?  JBL doesn’t get it – Punk’s not JBL, he’s CM Punk.  He’s willing to check his body at the door, but he’s not willing to compromise his beliefs, because they’ve gotten him this far, they’ve made him successful.  And he won’t let some bully shoehorn him into his ideal of a championship persona.  Thanks, but no thanks.  JBL says he didn’t know Punk brought his soap box.  He thought Punk’d say that.  Here’s a toast to Punk, and to the end of the footnote that has been called his pathetic World Championship run.  Punk has had a change of heart.  JBL changed his mind.  If anybody’s doing a toast, it’s the champ.  So here’s to you, JBL, sometimes it’s what you don’t do that makes you who you are.  Punk throws the shot glass full of Jack at JBL and leaves the challenger writhing around with alcohol burning his eyes in the middle of the ring.

Up next:  Kane vs. Chris Jericho


We get a recap of HBK announcing he’ll be at SummerSlam to announce whether or not he’ll be able to continue wrestling or if he’ll retire.

Chris Jericho def. Kane

Lance Cade is back, accompanying Jericho to the ring.  Apparently we’re not supposed to call him Y2J anymore.  Anyways, not Y2J started off on the offense, but that didn’t last very long.  Kane took control early, until Cade distracted Cane, allowing for Jericho to hit a springboard dropkick on the Big Red Machine and taking control of the match.  Kane powered out of a Jericho bulldog, and this back and forth match swings into the favor of Kane.  Kane hits a clothesline from the top, and the ring becomes surrounded by security guards and GM Mike Adamle.  Kane clutches at the burlap bag, and catches a Codebreaker, giving Y2J the win.

Kane is still clutching to the bag after the match.  Adamle says that he knows it’s difficult for Kane, but they need to resolve this, and Adamle is here to help.  He knows what’s inside the bag.  He knows who he’s referring to when he asks “is he alive, or is he dead?”  “He,” is Kane.  Kane has tried to be a normal person, but he can’t do it.  Deep down inside, Kane is struggling.  When Kane made the declaration that “he” is dead, he’s proven that he can excorsize his demons and lead a normal life.  Yes he can.  He can lead that normal life by giving Adamle the bag.  Adamle knows what’s inside, and the people deserve to know as well.  It’s time to stop fooling around.  We need to get to the bottom of it, right now.  Adamle promises that Kane can have a normal life, and if he opens the contents of the bag, his life will be much better for it.  Kane walks up to him, takes his microphone, and he says,  “There is a mask in this bag.  And the man who wore it has been scarred and tortured and damaged beyond all human recognition.  The problem is, it’s not my mask.”  Kane opens the bag…  He pulls out – REY MYSTERIO’S MASK!  Kane confirms as much and gives an evil laugh as he makes his exit.


Back from break and Jamie Noble is in the ring – and we get a recap of him attacking William Regal last week, which can only mean one thing…

William Regal def. Jamie Noble

Regal starts off on the offense, using quick strikes to work over Noble.  Noble makes some separation and uses some unique offense to his advantage.  Regal turns the tide back in his favor, and picks up a quick win with a knee to the head.

SmackDown Rebound:  Edge sets takes out all of La Familia, and tells Vickie that he’s taking her to hell with him.


Rundown of the SummerSlam card.

73% of fans who voted say that Cena is a bigger star than Batista.  Speaking of Cena, he’s on his way to the ring for tag team action – and that match is NEXT!


Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase def. John Cena & Batista to win the World Tag Team Championship

Rhodes and DiBiase are in the ring when we come back, as Cena and Batista argue over who’s going to start the match.  Batista gets the nod, and before I could type my next thought, he blind tagged himself into the ring, and the former champions take advantage of the situation.  Cena starts to take control, setting up for the 5 Knuckle Shuffle on Rhodes, but instead of telling Rhodes that he can’t see him, he walks straight to his own corner and does the “You can’t see me” motion to Batista before dropping the fist on Rhodes.  Cena shows off to Batista as we go to break.  When we come back, DiBiase has Cena in the middle of the ring in a headlock.  Cena manages to battle back and gets the tag to Batista, who comes in and takes over.  He catches DiBiase with a spinebuster and gives Cena the thumbs down, but Cena comes in and rescues DiBiase from a Batista Bomb.  DiBiase gets the tag to Rhodes, and the challengers go back on the offense, working over Batista’s knee.  Batista powerslams Rhodes, and then tags Cena in with a slap to the face.  Cena enters the ring, and is shoved into Batista and rolled up by DiBiase, picking up the win – and the Tag Team Championship – for his team.

After the match, Batista and Cena face off in the ring, but catch the attacking Rhodes and DiBiase coming in.  After disposing of the tag champs, Cena heads back up the ramp, but Batista challenges him to come back to the ring.  Cena obliges, and the two are separated by Mike Adamle’s security guards as the crowd chants “Let them go.”  GM Adamle checks on Cody Rhodes before Cena bursts through the security and attacks Batista.  The Security forces and WWE officials can barely tear the two SummerSlam opponents apart, and RAW goes off the air with Batista and Cena brawling despite the best efforts of security.

My thoughts:

In all honesty, I was surprised that it was Rey Mysterio’s mask in Kane’s bag.  I think it’s a good way to explain Mysterio’s absence from RAW since his match with Santino Marella, and it will certainly be interesting to see where it goes from here.  I’m absolutely glad that Rhodes and DiBiase got their titles back, as it really didn’t make a lot of sense for Cena and Batista to have the titles anyway – yet still, tonight on ECW, Matt Hardy and Mark Henry are going to team up against Miz and Morrison.  Speaking of ECW, their brand’s title match is interestingly the only one not being overshadowed by something else happening on the PPV in the respective brands.  Punk and JBL are being overshadowed by Batista and Cena, while Triple H and The Great Khali are being overshadowed by Edge and The Undertaker.  I’m glad to see that they’re starting to refer to Punk’s straight edge lifestyle more.  I’m actually also surprised it took them this long.  With everything that happened a year ago after you-know-who did you-know-what, I’d think that the WWE would jump at the chance to say “Our Champion doesn’t drink, he doesn’t smoke, he doesn’t do drugs – and neither should you.”  Gearing the shows more towards kids almost necessitates a guy like Punk being World Champion and promoting his clean lifestyle.  I’ll go on record almost a week early and say that JBL isn’t walking out with the title at SummerSlam.

All in all, it was a pretty good episode of RAW despite the fact that everything was overshadowed by Cena and Batista.  I’ll see you guys in the morning for ECW.

Post by thinksojoe

The founder of and it’s parent company, Fropac Entertainment, ThinkSoJoE has been a wrestling fan since he first saw WWF television in 1986 at the age of four. His first wrestling memory was Hulk Hogan on Saturday Night’s Main Event talking about getting King Kong Bundy in a cage at WrestleMania 2. Sixteen years later, he met Hulk Hogan on the eve of WrestleMania X-8. On December 9, 2013, he legitimately won a Slammy Award (Best Crowd of the Year). ThinkSoJoE currently hosts the weekly BWF Radio podcast.

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