RAW has been unpredictable as of late, which has been a very good thing. However, I think it all stops next week. The reason? Shane and Stephanie announced on RAW tonight that if the superstars and crew can’t band together to make the show run smoothly, actions will be taken – and William Regal’s suspension via the wellness policy ends later this week. I don’t expect them to make an announcement on WWE.com or at the bash, but I do expect an announcement at the start of RAW, much like the ones we’ve been getting over the last few weeks, re-instating William Regal as the RAW General Manager. That said, tonight’s RAW was the craziest one in quite a while. Despite the pleas from Shane and Stephanie McMahon, there was no order whatsoever in this show – and to quote DDP, that’s not a bad thing, it’s a good thing. Where to begin? Well, the beginning I suppose.
WWE RAW results and in depth analysis, after the jump!
As mentioned earlier, Shane and Stephanie McMahon kicked off the show from the studio in Stamford. They mention that despite their pleas, the last two weeks of RAW have been crazy, including a World Championship change, Cena getting thrown out of the building, and Cena’s payback – or as the McMahons called it, “vehicular destruction.” They once again ask that the superstars pull together in this time of uncertainty, or else actions will be taken.
As soon as their video ends, there’s already chaos – Shawn Michaels and Chris Jericho are trying to tear each other apart in the aisle. Lance Cade comes in to help Jericho, and the brawl is broken up by officials. This rivalry is definitely one of the best things going on the show, and that’s saying a lot, given how amazing the show has been since the Draft.
Immediately after that brawl breaks up, the stage erupts in flames, and the Big Red Machine, carrying a burlap sack, heads down to ringside, and, in shades of last week, walks right up to the announce booth, leans over, and screams… “I’m sorry. I’m sorry.”
As Kane heads backstage, we see HBK wailing away on Lance Cade. Jericho rushes in to make the save, and the brawl is once again broken up by security.
Before we even have time to process in our brains what just happened, WWE Women’s Champion Mickie James heads down to ringside. She’s actually got a match, instead of being involved in the chaos. Her opponent, Katie Lea, is accompanied to the ring by her brother Paul Burchill, who you’ll no doubt remember attacked Kofi Kingston last week. While this match wasn’t as good as their Night of Champions clash, (or was that One Night Stand? I don’t really remember), there was some solid back and forth action. Mickie got the pin off a rollup, but was grabbed by Paul Burchill and held for Katie Lea to attack. Kofi Kingston makes the save for Mickie, lays his title in the middle of the ring, and dares Burchill to come and challenge him for the title.
After a commercial break, the match is on, Kofi Kingston defending the Intercontinental Championship against Paul Burchill. Paul put up a good fight, but in the end, he ran into some Trouble in Paradise, giving Kofi not only the win, but a chance to do the Thunder Clap. Yeah, that’s what it’s called.
Santino Marella is having a friendly chat with RAW’s resident educator, Matt Striker. Santino wants to make people forget all about his loss to Rey Mysterio last week, so he issued an open challenge to anybody in the locker room. Kane appears, but Santino says that the challenge wasn’t for Kane. Kane doesn’t care, he’s got other things on his mind – like the whereabouts of the World Heavyweight Champion, CM Punk.
“Did you check by the Pepsi machines?” – Santino Marella
Kane wasn’t amused by Santino’s joke – he wants to know where Punk is. Marella tells Kane that he seen Punk going to the dressing room.
After the break, we find out that Santino wasn’t lying – Kane found Punk in his dressing room. Punk wonders who Kane was talking about when he asked if he was alive or dead. Kane asks for a match – not a title match, he just wants to fight the champion. Punk, despite admitting he’s six days away from the biggest match of his life, agrees – because he wants to show the world that he’s not a fluke champion. He asks Kane what’s in the bag, but Kane just leaves.
Todd Grisham asks John Cena about the New York City Parking Lot Brawl that JBL challenged him to. The long winded answer to the question was basically “I accept.” That’s not enough though, Cena wants some of JBL tonight – and so do Cryme Tyme. So Cena suggested that JBL find two partners and take on CTC later on in a six man tag match.
After another break, Santino Marella is in the ring, awaiting whomever it is that will accept his challenge. Somehow, I don’t think Santino was expecting The Glamazon, Beth Phoenix. She dominated the match for the most part, save Santino reversing an Irish whip and reminding Beth that “I’m a man.” Beth wound up taking the win with a roll up. Looks like Santino is back to storylines involving the Divas again.
Kelly Kelly made her way down to the ring for her match – though I don’t think she was expecting to see the World Tag Team Champions, Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase. They told her to leave, because they had something to say. It was pretty much the same speech from two weeks ago, reiterated. They’re the sons of Dusty Rhodes and The Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase, but they’re too talented to listen to their fathers and pay their dues.
HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Hacksaw Jim Duggan hits the ring, and he’s got something to say – he’s teamed with Dusssssssty Rhodessssssss and battled againsssst The Million Dollar Man (yes, he was noticeably slurring his speech), and that they, like him, are old school. Rhodes and DiBiase need to grow up. They agreed. Maybe they do need to grow up. After all, they don’t want to end up being 54 years old and trying to cling to glory days that weren’t all that glorious to begin with, and spewing catch phrases and hoping people care enough to chant along. They told Duggan that he’s pathetic, and then headed out towards the dressing room…
But wait, there’s more!
JBL saw what the tag champs did, and he agrees, when you’re as good as they are, you don’t have to pay dues. He’s got the opportunity of a lifetime for them – they can headline RAW, because in the main event, he wants them to be his partners. They agree, and the match is set.
Through hellfire and brimstone, the former ECW Champion and his little burlap sack make their way to the ring, followed by his opponent for the night, another former ECW Champion, and the Current World Heavyweight Champion, CM Punk. Kane took the fight to Punk, but the champion wouldn’t back down. Using his muy thai background to his advantage, Punk nailed Kane with knees and kicks, but couldn’t get the Big Red Machine up for the GTS. Kane took advantage of the situation, and went for the chokeslam, but Punk managed to somehow kick Kane in the face to break out of it. The action spilled to the outside, and as Kane attempted to ram Punk face first into the steel post, Punk blocked, sent Kane face first into the post instead, then kicked him in the head for good measure. The Champion beat the referee’s ten count, but the monster did not, giving Punk the count-out victory. No time to celebrate for the champ though. Kane got back up, threw a chair into the ring, then rolled back in to ground and pound the Straight Edge Superstar. Kane grabbed the chair, and wrapped it around Punk’s neck, like he did to HBK a few years back. As he’s ascending the turnbuckles, Batista rushes the ring and literally saves Punk’s neck. He helps Punk to his feet, and the champion goes for a handshake. Batista turns him down, telling him that he’s not his friend, he was just protecting his investment for this Sunday. Punk, angry, shoves Batista and tells him never to put his hands on him again – for which he got hit with a Batista spinebuster. Batista leaves, and Punk slowly gets up, realizing what he’s in for at the Great American Bash.
Chris Jericho managed to get away from Shawn Michaels long enough to change into his wrestling gear. His opponent tonight is Paul London. As I’m sure you can guess, London didn’t stand a chance in this one – not only did he get beaten, but Jericho broke out the Walls of Jericho in the style he used to use in WCW – you know, where he’s got his knee into his opponent’s back. After the match, he tells London to take the loss and use it for motivation, and to remember that he’s got two paths to greatness – the Y2J path, where you can be honest, honorable, and remembered, or the HBK path, where you’re a liar and nobody will remember you. This brings out HBK who tells Jericho that he was right – the worst is yet to come.
Jamie Noble is still trying to replace Nidia – this time he’s talking to Layla, who tells him she doesn’t date short men. Noble says that 5’6″ is the national average, so he’s not short. He says to prove himself to her, he’s going to grab the next guy that walks by, and beat him down. Unfortunately, that next guy is Snitsky and his broken nose. Noble challenges Snitsky to a match – but it wasn’t really a match. Noble put up a decent fight for a few seconds, but was then destroyed by Snitsky. After Snitsky hit his pumphandle slam finisher, his music played and he left the arena – and also left Layla with a concerned look on her face directed towards Jamie Noble.
JBL made his way out to the ring with the World Tag Team Champions in tow. They were followed out by the new faction, which is apparently called “Cryme Tyme Cenation.” Cody Rhodes kicked things off with John Cena. Cody didn’t fare too well with the former WWE Champion. Cena tagged in Shad, whom Cody fared a little better against. By the time he got the tag to Ted DiBiase, team JBL had control. It didn’t last long though, as Shad took over on DiBiase. JTG gets tagged in, and does pretty well until DiBiase gets the tag to Rhodes. Rhodes nails JTG with left hands, but JTG fires back with some rights and a modified neckbreaker. He gets a two count on Cody before JBL breaks up the pin. Bradshaw enters the match and takes over on the smaller member of Cryme Tyme. DiBiase is tagged in, and JTG starts to mount a comeback, until DiBiase hits a dropkick to the knee. Cody comes in, and continues to work on JTG, particularly his knee. The tag champs work well, utilizing quick tags while continuing to work on the knee of JTG as Shad and Cena watch with concerned looks on their faces.
After a commercial, Shad is in the ring with Cody Rhodes, but Shad is faring about as well as his tag team partner was before the break. Team JBL works over Shad in the corner, as Cena tries to get involved but is stopped by the referee. As Rhodes attacks Shad’s knee, a “Let’s Go Cena” chant breaks out. Shad finally escapes the onslaught of Rhodes, but Cody knocks Cena off the apron, drags Shad back to his corner, and tags in DiBiase. DiBiase nearly makes the mistake of trying to brawl with Shad, but when Shad starts to win that battle, DiBiase throws him back to his corner and tags Cody Rhodes. Cody misses a top rope move, allowing Shad to tag in Cena, who is a one man wrecking crew, taking down the tag champs, but doesn’t get JBL. He hits DiBiase with an FU and Rhodes with a Throwback, then hittnig his top rope rocker-dropper on Rhodes before locking him in the FU. JBL gets his team disqualified by attacking Cena. These refs are calling DQs for the worst crap lately.
Anyway, JBL challenges Cena to a fight in the back. He runs out to a parking lot, with Cena in hot persuit. Interestingly, he runs by a few Pepsi machines, but CM Punk is nowhere to be found. As Cena gets out to the parking lot, he can’t find JBL. As he’s thinking that JBL just left the arena, the Wall Street Wizard nails him from behind with a pipe or something – he then lays Cena up against a car, gets into another car, and plows into the car where Cena was. The show ends with JBL looking somewhat remorseful.
My thoughts? It was a pretty good episode of RAW. It wasn’t as good as the last few weeks – mostly because it focused more on John Cena and JBL than it did CM Punk and Batista, and we not only didn’t get resolution on Kane’s storyline from last week, we got another piece added to the puzzle. Of course, the Kane thing could be a good thing. We’re so used to getting instant closure on angles that it seems weird when they actually go with what could possibly be a long time storyline. In any event, I think the ending of the show was a little too overproduced. There were at least three different camera angles outside – and why couldn’t Cena ask one of the camera men where JBL went? Anyways, that kind of angle is the kind of thing you can do with Cloverfield-style camerawork – one guy chases Cena and JBL outside with a camera and captures the whole thing. Given some of the things WWE’s done with editing work in post production (namely McMahon’s limo explosion from last year), I don’t think that would’ve been too much of a stretch. According to WWE.com, Cena is ok, having escaped the attack and only being grazed.
Beth Phoenix beating Santino doesn’t bother me. Beth Phoenix could probably kick most guys asses, and the fact that she beat him with a rollup instead of making Santino her bitch makes it ok.
Punk is the World Heavyweight Champion, and he’s got a match with Batista this Sunday. There should have been more to that storyline than we saw last night, but whatever. If it’s an afterthought, it’s probably a good sign for Punk.
Jericho and HBK. I know I said it earlier in the post, but I gotta say it again – it’s probably the best story going on this show right now. It’s one of those long term storylines I mentioned earlier, as it’s been brewing since April, almost as far back as WrestleMania. Not only that, but these two have put on great matches in the past (WrestleMania XIX comes to mind, especially since I was there), so I fully expect their clash at the Bash to steal the show.
That’s it for RAW, I think I’ll be doing ECW in real-time tonight, but don’t quote me on that.
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