The show begins with Randy Orton coming out. This has to be the first time in the last 4 weeks that it didn’t start with Triple H. Good start. Did anyone else here ring announcer Justin Roberts introduce him as “The Apex Predator” Randy Orton? I like “The Viper” much better. Apex Predator is stupid and really sounds stupid during the introductions. So apparently he’s wrestling Drew McIntyre (who I think is highly underused.) And of course McIntyre is already in the ring and doesn’t even get an entrance. Which I personally think is one of the best entrances in the company (the one with the cartoon beginning and slow walk.) I am very happy that Raw is FINALLY starting off with a wrestling match.
Randy Orton vs. Drew McIntyre- McIntyre starts the match with some weak offense, which is interesting match psychology seeing how Orton is coming off a huge loss at the Pay Per View. Orton does quickly take over and aggressively throws Drew repeatedly into the barricades. Shockingly the match isn’t a complete squash as McIntyre takes back over on offense. Will WWE finally start to use him again? Probably not. I think he is the perfect addition to Vickie Guerrero’s new stable. Creatively that is the best angle I can think of for him. So Randy takes back over on offense and wins with an RKO. Solid little match to start the show. Orton delivers another RKO after the match. The World Heavyweight Champion Mark Henry (puke) comes out. He taunts Orton with his title until Orton attacks him on the outside. Security separates them. John Laurinaitis comes out to stop them. They do the whole one guy breaks through security, then another guys breaks through the security thing that we’ve seen 1,000 times before. I haven’t seen it in awhile so I guess that’s a good way to show that his feud is still progressing. I thought maybe they would move Orton on to new things, but it looks like the feud will now end with Orton taking the title back. That makes Henry a paper champion, which I’m fine with. The shorter the title reign the better.
Back from commercial Mark Henry is still in the ring for his match….which I really really like. Great way to segway opening matches. I can’t remember seeing that one before. Changing things up and doing little unique things like this is what keeps the show fresh. Good production decisions go a long way. John Morrison is his opponent.
Mark Henry vs. John Morrison- Henry tosses Morrison around a lot at the beginning. At one point Morrison shows his amazing athleticism by twisting in mid air and landing on his feet like a cat. Morrison counters the World’s Strongest Slam by flipping behind Henry’s back. He hits some quick exciting offense before hitting Starship Pain. Henry kicks out of Morrison’s finisher and hits the World’s Strongest Slam for the win (puke). Good to see Morrison used a little bit more. Just like Orton’s post match attack, Henry hits a second World’s Strongest Slam after the bell rings. Another good production idea. I like how the two matches were symmetrical. Henry gets the mic and says he is done with Randy Orton. He talks about the Big Show’s return to Smackdown on Friday and how he will take him out again. As I said above, the feud isn’t over. There would have been no reason to progress it after Orton’s match, and there would have been no reason to put them in back to back symmetrical matches.
In the back we see John Laurinaitis with David Otunga, Cody Rhodes, Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger, Vickie Guerrero, Christian, and Alberto Del Rio. He talks to them about their grievances, which they say they will go to the ring to talk about.
Back from break we see all the guys listed above in the ring. Del Rio gets his own entrance. So just to fill everyone in on what is going on, David Otunga, who is now a lawyer, has been meeting with all of these guys about a lawsuit against the WWE. A storyline involving this many guys is very intriguing though. Del Rio talks about how he couldn’t celebrate his championship win because The Miz and R-Truth jumped the railing at the PPV and attacked everyone in the ring. (If you missed the PPV they continued the “who did it” storyline by having someone mysteriously raise the cell to let Miz/R-Truth in the ring and then close it for them to viciously attack Del Rio/CM Punk/John Cena.) So Del Rio blames it on Triple H. Christian gets the mic and also does. Cody Rhodes takes the mic and says it’s not a conspiracy it’s a fact that they are all victims. Dolph Ziggler takes the mic and says they will take actions in their own hands. Swagger butchers his lines about his family being concerned for him. Vickie Guerrero takes the mic and gets more heat than anyone. The crowd is so loud that she can’t even speak. She is a great character. Otunga (who is thankfully finally on his own and is being used correctly) talks about studying all of this at Harvard. Finally, Triple H comes out. Apparently he doesn’t care about lawsuits. His speech wasn’t really important and he puts over a big 12 man tag team match later on in the night involving those 6 guys. So it looks like this storyline will eventually lead to Triple H losing his job and Vince McMahon taking back over. I like it. Good Raw so far…finally.
Kelly Kelly and Eve Torres vs. (The New) Diva’s Champion Beth Phoenix and Natalya- Beth and Natalya are wearing their own version of mini Legion of Doom spiked shoulder pads. Kelly shows great character depth by going completely crazy on Beth Phoenix. She screams and cries as she bashes Beth into the announce table until she is disqualified. Eve has to drag her out as she continues to scream and cry. I like it. I like everything tonight. Who says I bash Raw every week? I want Raw to be good. And it hasn’t been lately. But it is tonight. Anyways, I don’t like when matches are 5 seconds long, and I don’t like when matches are thrown out, and I don’t like Kelly Kelly, but I did like this segment. Developing Kelly’s character into a meaner, darker, non-Barbie doll like role is the only believable way for her to continue her feud with Beth. Now that it’s been established that bigger and badder women are stronger, Kelly’s character has to adapt to that. And that’s exactly what they are doing with her. It’s now clear to me that this whole Diva’s of Destruction thing is being used to further put Kelly Kelly over as the top Diva in the company. After she comes out of this feud stronger and with the title she can be the focus of the division for many years to come. Much like they did with Trish Stratus. The only difference is that Trish is an amazing and revolutionary wrestler in the ring and that Kelly still isn’t very impressive.
In the back we see John Laurinaitis interrupt Triple H on the phone. He apologizes for The Miz and R-Truth getting back in the building at the PPV. He suggests that Triple H should ask all of the talent for a reflection of what they think of him being in charge. Triple H grabs him by his tie and says that he is undermining him. But he also tells Laurinaitis to gather all the wrestlers in the ring later tonight.
Jinder Mahal is in the ring not speaking english. Santino Marella, making his return, hits the ring. Marella speaks in a fake Indian accent (which is actually funny.) Apparently it was a challenge because they now have a match.
Jinder Mahal vs. Santino Marella- In a quick match Santino wins with the Cobra. I’m very surprised to see a squash match here. It’s good to see Santino back. I know he’s cheesy and not funny at times, but overall he is very entertaining. His stupid uni-brow is gone too. That’s the only thing that I hated about him. It should be fun to see him in new comedy skits over the next few months involving some of the new gimmicks that have emerged since he’s been gone. He and Christian could have a very comical feud.
A video package airs putting over Brodus Clay. He is a former NXT guy who actually accompanied Alberto Del Rio to the ring at Wrestlemania. Looks like they have plans for him on the active roster.
Another video airs showing the conclusion of the Hell in a Cell PPV. Miz and R Truth hit the ring in black hoodies and ski masks and destroy Alberto Del Rio, John Cena, CM Punk, the referee, and the camera man. All the wrestlers from the back hit the ring to try and tear the cage down. Miz and R-Truth continue to attack everyone in the ring with a lead pipe. Police and security surround the ring as wire cutters are used to cut the door open. Miz and R-Truth drop to their knees laughing as they are arrested. Triple H attacks them both while they are cuffed. He pushes John Laurinaitis down and gets drug to the back with every single wrestler in the company in the chaos on the ramp. A very very good ending to the PPV. Unique and exciting. Back live tonight we see Booker T at the announce table ask “who raised and lowered the cage for them to get in”, which again progresses the “who did it” storyline (which will turn out to be Vince McMahon.) They show the YouTube video that The Miz and R-Truth put up today apologizing to the WWE universe. They are suing Triple H for wrongful termination and pressing charges on him for his attack. This is a very good way to use social media to put this storyline over. Which I WAS THE FIRST PERSON to say they should do. Go back and read it a few weeks ago. It’s there. On this site. WWE is doing exactly what I said they should have done. The Miz is out there on his radio show talking about this, and he’s telling the media. Now they are using social media and trying to blow up YouTube and Twitter to put the storyline over. I love it. Keep pushing it WWE. Since someone in WWE creative is reading this blog (and I know they are), keep doing it. Push it further. With that being said…i continue.
CM Punk comes out. And it’s about time. He needs to be used in more than one segment per night. He is wearing his WWE ice cream bar T-shirt again. Where are the ice cream bars? It’s about time WWE releases them. I’ll be first in line. John Cena makes his way out for the big 12 man main event as we go to commercial.
Back from break Mason Ryan (who turned face last week) is laughing at Vickie Guerrero. We are in the middle of a 12 man tag team team match.
CM Punk/John Cena/Sheamus/Kofi Kingston/Evan Bourn/Mason Ryan vs. Alberto Del Rio/Christian/Dolph Ziggler/Jack Swagger/Cody Rhodes/David Otunga- Cena gets some early offense. He tags in Mason Ryan who man handles Dolph Ziggler. Weird to see them progressing this storyline and putting Mason Ryan over during the main event. He seems to lack charisma to me. Next we see Sheamus and Jack Swagger go at it. They worked very well against each other for the short minute or so they were in the ring together. CM Punk is tagged in to a big pop. The crowd immediately chants “CM Punk” because he is the best there is. He and Cody Rhodes go at it for a little bit. Everyone gets in the ring. Commercial. Back from commercial Kofi Kingston and Cody Rhodes are flying around the ring. Del Rio is tagged in and hits an impressive drop kick to the back of Kofi’s head. Move of the night for sure. Then comes Christian to work over Kofi. At this point Kofi is taking all the offense from all the guys on the heel team. It’s about time Evan Bourn isn’t the one doing this. I can stop crying about it for one week. Or can’t I? They do some nice teases and cut offs of Kofi trying to pick up the hot tag. The match begins to get boring as the heel team continues to do quick tags and a bunch of punching. Finally a hot tag to Evan Bourn who hits a series of great kicks, counters, and springboards. He hits Air Bourn but Vickie Guerrero puts Swagger’s foot on the rope. She is ejected from ring side and screams for awhile. Anther commercial break. Long match. Back from commercial. So much for me not complaining. Evan Bourn is taking all the offense from the heel team and is looking for another hot tag. Sigh. Del Rio works on Bourn until Bourn counters with a nice tornado DDT off the ropes. Hot tag to John Cena. 5 Knuckle Shuffle on Del Rio. The AA is countered into a cross arm breaker. All the heels stomp on Cena. We are now waiting for yet another hot tag. At this point I feel that this match is way too long. It would be a fun live house show match, but not so fun for Raw. Del Rio and Swagger work on Cena. I just now noticed that Swagger has a terrible new hair cut. Swagger misses his Vader-bomb like move. Hot tag to Sheamus. He destroys Ziggler before being thrown off the top rope by Del Rio. The match then goes into the predictable everyone hits their finisher one after one after one over and over and over. Cody Rhodes’ timing is off as he isn’t there for his spot. Del Rio hits an amazing bridging german suplex. He is soooooo good. Otunga’s finisher is apparently a neck breaker. That was the most un-cool move of the segment. As much as I like him by himself, he was very bad in this match. I think he was tagged in a total of 10 seconds and only did punches. Is he scared? Is he out of his league? Anways, Sheamus wins this long match with the Brogue Kick. I’m exhausted.
Every wrestler in the company comes out to the ring for the big Triple H segment. Hey look its Daniel Bryan! Great to see him! The Diva’s come out too. I forgot half of them had jobs. Then we see the referees. It looks like they were invited. More Raw guys come out including Zack Ryder fist pumping down the ramp. Jerry Lawler returns and comes out. Is that supposed to be a big surprise or a shocker? I really don’t care. The outside of the ring is completely packed and surrounded. We wait in awkward un-timed silence before Triple H makes his way out. According to Michael Cole, if the wrestler’s don’t give him a vote of confidence he is gone. He gives a motivational speech about doing everything for the WWE universe. Wade Barrett messes up by speaking too early and Triple H cuts him off. A lot of timing mistakes tonight huh? After the little speech Barrett talks about an unsafe work environment and how there is too much chaos. Triple H refers to Barrett leading the Nexus and all their chaos. Referee Mike Chioda says he’s never seen so many referees attacked before and that he is afraid to come to work. Beth Phoenix talks and didn’t make much sense to me. Jerry Lawler gets in the ring and says everyone has a point that the show is spiraling out of control. He says that it isn’t Triple H’s fault and that CM Punk has been right in saying it’s a higher being. Christian gets on the mic and wants a vote of confidence. He votes no confidence for Smackdown. The referees vote no confidence. The Diva’s vote no confidence. Jerry Lawler votes no confidence and says he’s walking out. The rest of the company follows him in their groups. Michael Cole then gets up and walks out. Finally the last group of good guys including Ryder, Bourn, Kingston, and Alex Riley walks out. Booker T, Justin Roberts, and the time keeper gets up and walks out. The cameras then start to fall as the camera men walk out. Only Jim Ross remains. Obviously Triple H was the guy that brought him back. In dramatic style, Jim Ross gets up and walks out. Triple H is all alone in the ring. John Laurinaitis comes out to the ramp and shakes his head. He then walks out. The show ends.
Great ending. The wrestling world will be buzzing about this one. Very dramatic, very unique, and highly entertaining. This is what we want to see. This is entertainment. This is more entertaining than any drama on television. This is the best television product in the world. This is why we watch wrestling.
Follow me on Twitter