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COMMENT





Raw: Cena & Batista drop belts; Kane's mystery revealed
By DALE PLUMMER -- SLAM! Wrestling


Monday Night RAW makes a stop in Richmond, Virginia before SummerSlam this Sunday. The big question is, just what is in that bag that Kane as been carrying around? Hopefully Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler have some answers. (And let me apologize right now, I've been watching the Olympics, so I am chock full of patriotism. U-S-A! U-S-A!)

The champ is here! The tag team champ that is, as John Cena kicks off the show. Cena hypes his match with Batista at SummerSlam, even though they are tag team champions. Cena says the match needs no hype since it is the first time they will meet in a match. Cena then calls the Animal to the ring.

Batista obliges and joins his partner/opponent in the ring. Cena says the good news is you are looking at the new tag team champs, but the bad news is they have to defend them tonight. Cena says tonight they must find a way to co-exist, but on Sunday they will be enemies. Cena says this match has been six years in the making, and for the past six years Cena has watched Batista. The Animal was handpicked and groomed by Ric Flair and Triple H, while Cena has silenced critics. This Sunday the question of who is better will finally be answered. Cena says it will be him.

Batista says he has been watching Cena; they are different sides of the same coin. Both men have done it all. Batista says on Sunday he will beat him senseless. Both men then shake hands before Cena heads out from the ring.

WWE gets to toot its own horn by winning two CINE Golden Eagles for television production.

Match #1 -- Kelly Kelly vs. Beth Phoenix w/ Santino Marella

(Let's be honest, this match is only a vehicle for the disturbing Phoenix-Marella story line.) Beth wins with the double chicken wing driver.

Winner via pinfall: Beth Phoenix

After the bell, Santino hits the ring with a mic and tells Phoenix to hit another move to send a message. Mickie James and Kofi Kingston make the save. Santino says they will save this for SummerSlam. Santino then issues a challenge for a match. Kofi accepts, but Santino was talking to Mickie. Marella wants to scout Mickie out, so he knows where he can and can't put his hands. Mickie takes the stick from Kofi and accepts.

Match #2 -- Mickie w/ Kofi Kingston vs. Santino Marella w/ Beth Phoenix

We come back to a match in progress. Mickie with headlock, and Santino breaks free. Mickie counters a headlock with a head scissors. Mickie uses a drop toe hold to send Marella into the ropes. Marella misses a knee drop and tries to call a time out. Mickie kicks him in the leg, and the ref pulls her away. Santino goes after Kofi, distracting the ref and allowing Phoenix to toss James into the ring post. Santino then rolls up Mickie and gets the pin.

Winner via pinfall: Santino Marella

After the bell, Santino takes a victory lap and leaps onto Beth.

Mike Adamle says he is going to take the "Ronald Reagan" approach to managing. Adamle is giving The Grish props for his work on ECW, when Kane busts in. Adamle says he is booking Kane in a SummerSlam spectacular match with Chris Jericho. Adamle then tells Kane after the match he has to hand over the bag. Kane tells the GM he is making a huge mistake.

WWE Classics recaps Putski and Santana winning the tag team belts in 1979.

The former champs Cody Rhodes and Ted Dibiase talk about how they respect and learn from history. Rhodes says they will win back the belts because they are a team, and Cena and Batista can't stand each other. Dibiase says their careers are further along than any other superstar at their age.

Match #3 -- Cryme Tyme vs. The Highlanders

(It's nice to see WWE brought back the Highlanders as jobbers.)

Shad knocks Rory from the apron and then finishes off Robbie with the Thug-nificent.

Winner via pinfall: Cryme Tyme

If you are a Randy Orton fan I have bad news for you. WWE.com is reporting Orton was in a motorcycle accident and will be out for another length of time.

JBL has come to the ring to issue a challenge to CM Punk. The champion comes to the ring, which is set up like a contract signing. Punk tells JBL to shut up, because he is sick of hearing the same rhetoric from him. Punk tells him he earned this title. Punk says walking out of SummerSlam still World Champion will be the defining moment of his career and prove he is the man. JBL doesn't like Punk's merits to be a champion and at SummerSlam the fairy tale is over. JBL tells Punk he can beat him at anything he chooses and tonight it's a drinking contest. JBL unveils a bottle of Jack Daniel's, calling Punk's straight edge life boring. JBL pours a shot (yes, please!) and tells Punk if he takes it, he will concede this contest as a win. JBL wants Punk to show that he will do anything to win. JBL says if Punk doesn't take the shot JBL will win the title just as easy. Punk says JBL doesn't get it. He isn't JBL, he is CM Punk. Punk says he isn't willing to compromise his beliefs because they have gotten him this far. Punk says thanks, but no thanks. JBL toasts to the end of Punk's title run. Punk changes his mind, and grabs the shot to do a toast of his own. Punk tosses the shot in JBL's face and then runs him in the corner with a knee lift. (That was a waste of perfectly good whiskey!)

Match #4 -- Chris Jericho w/ Lance Cade vs. Kane

Kane still has that burlap bag, for now. Jericho goes right after Kane, but the Big Red Machine pushes Jericho down. Kane works over Jericho in the corner. Kane knocks Y2J to the floor, and slams him into the steps. Cade distracts Kane, and Jericho hits a springboard drop kick. Kane clothesline Jericho in the corner, but Y2J responds with an elbow. Kane hits a sidewalk slam and then climbs to the top. Jericho cuts him off, but Kane knocks him back and is able to connect with a flying clothesline.

Mike Adamle makes his way to the ring with a cadre of security guards. Kane is distracted and Jericho hits the Codebreaker as Kane clutches his bag. Jericho covers for the win.

Winner via pinfall: Chris Jericho

Kane continues to protect that burlap sack as Adamle looks on. The GM enters the ring and tells Kane he is here to help. Adamle says he knows. "He" is the monster inside of Kane. Adamle says Kane can exorcise his demons and lead a normal life. Adamle asks for the bag, saying we need to get to the bottom of this. Adamle tells Kane his life will be better for it. Kane grabs the microphone and says there is a mask in the bag, and the man who wore it has been scarred and damaged beyond recognition. The problem is it isn't his mask, it's REY MYSTERIO'S! Kane laughs and walks out of the ring.

Match #5 -- Jamie Noble vs. William Regal

Regal fights Noble into the corner. Noble then tosses himself into Regal in the corner. Noble then hits a flying cross body, but Regal kicks out of the lateral press. Regal suplexes Noble and hits a running knee lift to the temple. Regal covers for the win.

Winner via pinfall: William Regal

Match #6 -- Ted Dibiase and Cody Rhodes vs. Batista and John Cena -- World Tag Team Championship Match

Cena and Batista can't even agree on who should start. Cena relents and lets the Animal start. Cena makes a blind tag right after the bell, but then gets jumped by Rhodes and Dibiase. Cena and Cody trade punches, until Rhodes hits a leg sweep. Cena kicks out of the pin at two. Cena ducks a clothesline and then hits two shoulder blocks and a side slam. Dibiase is knocked off the apron. Cena gives Batista a "You can't see me" before dropping the five-knuckle shuffle on Rhodes.

After the break, Dibiase has Cena in a headlock in the middle of the ring. Cena breaks free and avoids a splash in the corner. The Animal gets the tag, and slams Dibiase into the corner, but then runs into a boot. Batista shakes it off to hit a spinebuster. Batista sets up the Batista Bomb, Cena runs in and tosses Dibiase aside and gets in Batista's face. Rhodes hits a chop block and Cena leaves the ring. Batista catches Rhodes and power slams him to the mat. Batista tags in Cena with a slap to the face. Cena gets in Batista's face, allowing Dibiase to run Cena into Batista, knocking The Animal to the floor. Dibiase then rolls up Cena and gets the three count.

Winner via pinfall: Cody Rhodes and Ted Dibiase

After the bell, Cena wants Batista in the ring. The Animal comes in, but the two end up fighting off the new Tag Team champs. Cena heads to the back, leaving Batista in the ring. Cena does a 180, but security hits the ring to keep both men apart. Security fails and the two go at it. Security can't stop the two from fighting as we go to black.

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