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Raw: The era of Punk begins
By DALE PLUMMER -- SLAM! Wrestling


Night of Champions is over and Smackdown still has both championship belts. More importantly, though, is tonight’s RAW is coming from Jim Ross’ home state of Oklahoma, but Good Ol’ JR isn’t on the show anymore. Let the Michael Cole Era begin!

Shane McMahon starts the show off by telling the RAW staff to pull together in this time of uncertainty, and due to privacy issues he will not reveal the condition of his father. (Despite what some news stations in Texas have reported, I think Vince is fine.)

He may no longer be the RAW announcer, but Jim Ross is allowed to kick off the show, and address his fans. JR says it is good to be home and he is excited to embark on his journey on Smackdown! Ross is excited to be working with Mick Foley, and then thanks his old partner Jerry Lawler. JR says Michael Cole is a fine replacement, and has known Cole since he was hired. JR mentions some of his favorite Oklahoma City moments and then tells everyone to eat some BBQ.

Edge interrupts Ross, telling him no one cares. Edge wants JR to practice a new call, "Edge wins! Edge wins! Edge wins!" Edge then has his cronies escort JR from the ring.

Edge then points out that RAW is missing a few things, like a General Manger and a heavyweight champion. Edge lets everyone in the back know that they will never have a shot at his title, unless there is another draft, this is the last we will see of him.

Batista has heard enough, and walks out on the ramp, and chases Edge back to the ring. The Animal catches up with Edge, slamming him off the apron and then off the security barrier. Batista chases Edge into the crowd, and brings him back to the ring. Edge is slammed off the announce table several times. Batista whips the champ into the steel steps, before tossing him into the ring. Batista finishes off the champ with a Batista bomb.

Newest RAW superstar CM Punk hits the ring with a ref in tow. He is cashing in the Money in the Bank.

Match #1 – CM Punk vs. Edge – World Heavyweight Title Match

The bell rings, and Punk hits the Go To Sleep. Punk covers for the win.

Winner … and new World Heavyweight Champion …via pinfall: CM Punk

Match #2 – Mickie James vs. Jillian Hall

Mickie connects with the Mick kick to pick up the win.

Winner via pinfall: Mickie James

Rey Mysterio makes his RAW debut. Rey mention that his whole life up until now was Smackdown, but he is excited to be on RAW. Santino Marella interrupts Rey. Santino wants to welcome Rey, but then makes fun of his mask. Marella doesn’t let Mysterio get a word in as he says Santino would have been a better cover boy for WWE Magazine. Rey finally gets a rebuttal, and uses his fists. Mysterio uses a drop toe hold to knock Santino into the ropes, and then hits the 619.

At least we still have the Grish, and he is with the new World Heavyweight Champion CM Punk. The new champ is at a loss for words; first he thanks Batista, and says he feels awesome. The JBL gets in his face. Bradshaw can’t believe Punk is celebrating beating a defenseless man. JBL gives his a few options, go to bed as a paper champion, or step up and find out how good you are. JBL is angling for a title shot, and Punk grants the wish.

John Cena makes his first appearance of the night before a raucous crowd. Cena says he loves surprises and special moments. He says even though he lost to Triple H last night, he will take it with pride. Cena says that match proved they are the two best in the business. And tonight, everyone has been part of history. The fans will be able to say, "I was there was CM Punk cashed in Money in the Bank, and became the World Heavyweight Champion." Cena isn’t happy that JBL bullied his way into the title shot, but he figures Punk is a fighter. Cena figures with no McMahon or GM in the picture, the champ should choose who he takes on. Cena wants Punk to listen to the crowd. They boo JBL, and then cheer Cena. JBL interrupts Cena and is greeted by a chant of you suck. JBL informs Cena that the match with CM Punk has been made, and JBL is declaring martial law. JBL then has Cena thrown out of the building. (I don’t think six security guards will be enough.) Bradshaw says these guys are his private security detail. JBL says he runs the show, because he has the most money, and he will become World Heavyweight champion, tonight. Cena readies himself for fight, but cannot overcome the numbers as JBL goes to town on him. Cena is forcibly removed from the arena.

Match #3 – Cody Rhodes and Ted Dibiase vs. Darren Wayne and Steve Anthony

JOBBER ALERT! Cody hits a DDT and wins easily.

Winner via pinfall: Cody Rhodes and Ted Dibiase

After the match, Rhodes gets on the mic to address why he did what he did. Cody says when you are the son of Dusty you grow up hearing about how to do things the right way. Rhodes says that advice got him carrying Hardcore Holly. All Cody wanted to do was find a partner that was more like him. Dibiase says no one has the spine to do what they did, and everyone under thirty are spoiled, obedient sheep, and that makes them priceless.

Katie Lea Burchill is whining to her brother that she should be women’s champ. Paul says he has all the bases covers and takes off to take care of business. He tells Katie to stay out of trouble. Jamie Noble saunters over to introduce himself. He says he is going to make a name for himself by going up to the biggest guy on RAW and drawing the line. Katie tells him to go ahead, and points out Kane right behind him. Noble tries to act tough, but almost gets choke slammed. Noble breaks away, and runs off. Kane follows.

Noble makes his way to the arena, and tries to hide under the announce table. Cole and King kick him out, so he goes to hide under the ring. Kane’s pyro explodes and Noble scurries to the ring. Noble hits a suicide dive through the ropes, but Kane gets right back up and lays a beating. Kane chokeslams Noble onto the announce table; he just bounces off and hits the floor.

Match #4 – Chris Jericho w/ Lance Cade vs. Kofi Kingston – WWE Intercontinental Title Match

Jericho gets on the mic and whines about getting swindled out of the IC Title. Jericho isn’t happy the fans cheered this. Jericho then points out Shawn Michaels was involved in another lie, since he was in the building. Jericho says he is going to take something important away from HBK, and tonight he will take back his IC Title.

We return from commercial in the middle of the match. Jericho tries to toss Kofi out of the ring, but instead he bounces off the ropes and hits a forearm. Kingston hits a flashy leg drop, but Jericho kicks out of a pin. Y2J hits an enziguri. Jericho connects with the lionsault, but cannot get the pin. Kingston rolls up Jericho; Jericho reverses, but grabs the tights in plain view of the ref. The ref calls for the bell and disqualifies Jericho.

Winner via DQ: Kofi Kingston

After the bell, Jericho assaults Kingston, severely raking the eyes of the IC Champ.

Edge is out back ripping into his cronies, demanding to know where they were. Edge yells at them to get in the car, and all three drive off.

Match #5 – JBL vs. CM Punk – World Heavyweight Title Match

Right after the bell, JBL’s private security surrounds the ring. JBL goes to work on Punk in the corner, and then drops an elbow in the middle of the ring. Punk connects with a hip toss, and then kicks JBL to the floor. Punk follows, but runs into a clubbing clothesline. Punk is run into the announce table, but JBL cannot get the pin in the ring. Punk breaks out of a headlock, but then runs into a sleeper. Punk breaks out of the sleeper, but shoots off the ropes into a shoulder block. Punk gets a boot in the corner, and is able to kick JBL in the shoulder. Punk with a high knee in the corner, and then connects with a bulldog. JBL kicks out at two. Punk gets caught in a cross body, and JBL hits a fall away slam. Punk ducks a short arm clothesline and kicks JBL in the head. Punk follows with a flying clothesline off the top rope, but only gets two count. John Cena walks out on stage with back-up, specifically Cryme Tyme. Cena and the boys run head long into JBL’s security, as JBL hits a big boot in the ring. Bradshaw walks over to survey the chaos. Punk picks up Bradshaw and connects with the GTS. Punk covers for the win. Punk then launches himself over the ropes into the mass of bodies. The show then goes to black.

Winner via pinfall: CM Punk

Dale Plummer has been writing for SLAM! Wrestling since 2003.