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RAW: Sendoffs from across the pond
By DALE PLUMMER -- SLAM! Wrestling


Old faces in new places should be the theme as Monday Night Raw comes to us from across the pond. The WWE draft was last week. The O2 Arena in London, England hosts tonight’s taped show. Unless the English are night owls, but a 3 a.m. start time would be a little ridiculous; almost as much as the “English” themed set for the show.

Chris Jericho kicks off the show, announcing that this is his last RAW appearance ever, because he got drafted to Smackdown! Bigger and better things await Jericho, while things will change for the worse of Raw. The fans will be pleading for Jericho to come back later, as they don’t appreciate him now. Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat walks out to answer Jericho’s rant.

Steamboat flat out tells Jericho he is wrong. He says the fans showed him much appreciation. Steamboat then thanks Jericho for giving him the passion to perform one last time. Jericho accuses Steamboat of just wanting to bask in the glow of adoration one more time. Jericho threatens to destroy Steamboat, and mocks his match on RAW a few weeks back. The fans back Steamboat, and Jericho calls them delusional. Jericho wants to finish Steamboat off, so he challenges him to a match at Backlash.

Before Steamboat can answer John Cena enters the arena to make his way to the ring. Jericho verbally lays into Cena, before he can get a word in. Jericho doesn’t care what Cena has to say, since he is leaving RAW. Jericho then walks out on Cena, calling it his last act. And that’s the way he wants it. Halfway up the ramp, Steamboat accepts Jericho’s challenge. Cena says he has a message from Vicki Guerrero, since she didn’t make the trip. Edge will not compete tonight, but Cena must. Jericho’s last act won’t be walking out, it will be a match with Cena.

So Chavo Guerrero has been drafted to RAW (YAAAAWWWNN!) Chavo wants to prove he can push around anyone on RAW in addition to Vicki’s wheelchair. Chavo’s first opponent: The Animal Dave Batista.

Match #1 – Chavo Guerrero vs. Batista

Batista wastes no time, immediately connecting with a Batista Bomb, and pinning Chavo.

Winner via pinfall: Batista

Chavo gets on the mike to apologize to Vicki for losing so fast. He says he wasn’t ready. Batista comes back to the ring, and delivers another Bomb to Chavo.

Shane McMahon wants to talk to Batista about last week; he didn’t appreciate getting drilled in the corner. Batista says he didn’t appreciate getting taken out of the ring. Either way, they say they are on the same page for next week.

Match #2 – Kane vs. CM Punk

Punk takes a right hand to face coming off the top rope early on. A low drop kick nearly gets Kane the win. Punk runs into a side slam, and Kane looks for the chokeslam. Punk counters with a roundhouse kick, and then knocks him down with a forearm off the turnbuckle. Punk can’t get Kane up for the GTS. Kane looks for his finisher, but Punk counters the chokeslam with a DDT into a small package. Punk holds on long enough for the three count.

Winner via pinfall: CM Punk

Santino Marella heads to the ring. I thought they missed a golden opportunity to draft “Santina” to another show. That story would have written itself.

Santino wants to apologize to his sister for losing last week, because now she has to kiss the Great Khali. Santino asks his sister to come to the ring. Instead “she” appears on the Titantron. Santina can’t kiss Khali because of a “blister” on her lip. The video malfunctions and Santino tries to cover it up. Santino then recites a poem his has written about himself and his sister. Beth Phoenix has heard enough and cuts him off. Beth tells Santino that she has had Vicki set aside time at Backslash for Santina to kiss Khali. All this time the video has been playing and Santino yells for it to stop. Santino gets in Beth’s face, before backing off.

Match #3 – Melina (champion) vs. Beth Phoenix w/ Rosa Mendes (challenger) – Women’s Title Match

Melina retains the title after Phoenix spears Mendes off the apron. Melina won with a forward flip pin/slam combination. (It did look cool.)

Winner via pinfall: Melina

Shane stops by to wish Triple H luck against Orton tonight.

Match #4 – John Cena vs. Chris Jericho – Non-title match

Jericho comes out firing, and laying Cena out with a side slam. Y2J keeps the pressure on with a boot to the skull. Jericho taunts Cena, but the champ fires back, only to run into a clothesline. Jericho continues the domination with a suplex. Cena and Jericho trade punches, until the champ builds momentum with a shoulder block, and then a slam. With Jericho on the mat, Cena pulls off the five-knuckle shuffle. Jericho counters the Attitude Adjustment, though. On the apron, Cena catches Jericho on his shoulders, as Y2J launches himself off the ropes, but once again Jericho counters the AA and slams Cena into the ring steps.

After the break, Jericho is preening in the ring. And then he goes back to beating on Cena. The champ fights off Jericho with a back elbow. Cena then counters a bulldog, by driving Jericho into the corner. Cena climbs the ropes with Jericho on his back, but Y2J slips out and hits an electric chair. Cena rolls away from the lionsault and both men are down. Cena drops Jericho with a toe hold; Jericho then counters an STF into a roll-up. Cena powers up into the AA, but Jericho slips out, and immediately hits the Code Breaker. Jericho takes time to get the cover, and then only scores a two count. Jericho goes back to the Code Breaker, which Cena counters into the AA. Jericho kicks out at two. Cena slowly makes his way to the top turnbuckle; Jericho catches him in the air, and turns the champ over into the Walls of Jericho. Cena rolls out of the Walls and into the STF. Cena breaks the hold to drag Jericho to the middle of the ring, but Jericho hits an enziguri. Jericho pulls Cena up in the corner, as he climbs the ropes. Both men fight for leverage, when Edge attacks. Cena is thrown to the mat; Edge connects with the spear.

Winner via DQ: John Cena

Edge grabs a couple of chairs, looking for the con-chair-to. Edge nails it, and then demands a microphone. Edge then explains the rules for a last man standing match, and then demonstrates what he just explained by counting Cena out.

Match #5 – Rey Mysterio vs. The Big Show

Rey goes right after Show, only to be swept aside. Show lifts Rey up and slams him down. Rey is then set on the turnbuckle, and Show chops him to the floor. Show then pulls Rey into the ring by his head. Rey mounts some offense, but Show catches him on a 619, and then delivers a hard right to the jaw. Rey goes down and Show covers for the win.

Winner via pinfall: The Big Show

Cody Rhodes and Ted Dibiase take stock of their health, and then discuss Backlash. Orton joins in and says he is the best, and everyone else is jealous. Hunter is on borrowed time and is done, the memories of what Orton did to his wife will never go away. Orton guarantees victory tonight and Sunday.

Match #6 – Triple H vs. Randy Orton – No DQ Non-title Match

WHAT YOU THINK
With Raw taped earlier on Monday in England, we ask, do you seek out spoilers when shows are taped ahead of time, like Smackdown?
Always - 34%
Sometimes - 21%
I tried to avoid - 19%
Never - 25%
Orton goes right after HHH, but Hunter turns the tables, connecting with a clothesline. Orton slips from the ring, suckering Triple H into following. Orton’s strategy doesn’t pay off, as HHH sets him up on the announcer’s table. Orton recovers to slam Hunter’s head into the table. HHH cuts off a trash can attack from Orton. A high knee sends Orton to the mat, and then HHH sends him to the floor outside. Orton drills Hunter in the head with a trash can to gain the upper hand.

After the break, Orton is stalking HHH on the outside. Hunter is whipped into the ring steps, crashing hard. Orton rolls Hunter into the ring, and then tosses the steps into the ring. Orton drills Hunter in the head with the steps, but it isn’t enough to get the win; Hunter gets a shoulder up. Orton goes back to the outside, setting the steps up in front of the apron. Orton drags HHH under the bottom rope, looking for a DDT. Hunter slips out of the ring and counters into a spinebuster, driving Orton onto the steel. Hunter grabs a chair, but doesn’t connect with it. HHH beats on Orton in the corner, and drops him with a right. HHH drives a knee into the face of Orton, but only gets a two count. Orton gets a boot up to block a trash can shot, but cannot avoid a spinebuster onto said can. Trips grabs a chair, drilling Orton in the gut and then slamming him across the back. Orton avoids a third shot, punching HHH in the gut, and connecting with a DDT on the chair. Orton lines up the punt, but Triple H ducks it. Orton then has his leg wrapped around the ring post, and Hunter drills it with a chair. HHH focuses on the leg, and then locking in a figure four. Orton gets to the ropes, but since there are no disqualifications, Hunter doesn’t have to break the hold. Orton finally gets free by falling from the ring. Hunter continues to work the leg, placing it in a chair, but Legacy hits the ring before any damage can be done. Shane runs in for the save, knocking Dibiase from the ring. Shane is then taken out by a low bridge, but Batista runs in. The Animal serves up a spear for Orton, but is blinded by Rhodes. Batista spears Shane by accident. The Animal does save HHH by taking out Dibiase. Rhodes then knocks Batista from the ring, and Hunters sends Rhodes over the top. Orton is back in the ring, and catches Triple H with the RKO. Orton covers for the win.

Winner via pinfall: Randy Orton

Dale Plummer has been writing for SLAM! Wrestling since 2003. Dale actually wasn’t distracted by playoff hockey tonight. It’s not a problem when your team is down 3-0 by the time RAW starts. Follow Dale on Twitter @DPlummer627