RAW: Vince uses his podium; "Lakers" win
DALE PLUMMER -- SLAM! Wrestling
As everyone now knows, tonight Monday Night Raw is emanating from the Staples Center in LA, not the Pepsi Center in Denver due to a double booking with the NBA. This is the description I found on my digital cable today, “The WWE resolves its arena conflict with the NBA over a card originally scheduled for Denver.” I guess it’s too much to ask for Vince to take the high road here. This won’t end well.
After a Memorial Day tribute, we find Jim Ross joining Michael Cole at the announce table, Jerry Lawler is in the main event later tonight. Lillian Garcia introduces E. Stan Kroenke to the ring. Well, at least someone who looks like him. We then get treated to a full recap of the Denver debacle. “Kroenke” shakes hands with Lakers' owner “Dr. Jerry Buss”, “Jack Nicholson”, and NBA commissioner “David Stern” in the front row. The fake owner gets in the ring and says he doesn’t care about WWE fans, and I don’t care about this segment. (Really Vince, let this play out in court, not on TV. This isn’t remotely entertaining.)
Not surprisingly, Vince comes to the ring, and announces the formation of a new pro basketball league, the XBA. He says it will be a failure because he will put Kroenke in charge. (All right, I’m done with Vince airing his personal grievance on air.) Vince ends the segment by pushing Kroenke out of the ring, and I want that 15 minutes back.
As Vince tries to leave, The Miz interrupts and he has something to say. The Miz disses the Lakers and reveals his NBA team, the Cleveland Cavaliers. Miz compare John Cena to Kobe Bryant, calling him a phony poser. (WWE: Where The Miz happens. Or so The Miz says.) Cena has heard enough, but is cut off by Legacy on his way to the ring. Batista runs in for the save, but The Big Show enters to clean house. Jerry Lawler tries to help, and distracts Big Show long enough for Batista and Cena to dump him from the ring.
Match #1 – Kelly Kelly vs. Maryse – Divas Championship Match
Maryse retains her title on a DQ, after pushing Kelly Kelly over the announce table. (Really, I guess the Diva rules are different. How many times have we seen a superstar put through the table, without a call? This is like NBA officiating.)
Winner: Kelly Kelly
Backstage, the Bella Twins are escorting the fake Jack around. Goldust introduces himself, and so does Hornswoggle; they both want acting lessons, and then perform a scene from A Few Good Men. Ridiculousness ensues.
Batista asks Ric Flair not to call out Orton, until he has beaten him at Extreme Rules. Flair is not happy with that request and walks out of the locker room.
Match #2 – Matt Hardy vs. William Regal vs. Kofi Kingston – Triple Threat – US Title Number One contender Match
Regal immediately hammers away on Kofi, as Matt Hardy tends to his injured hand on the outside. Kofi fights out of the corner, but is grabbed by Hardy on the apron. Hardy is kicked in the mouth, and Kofi and Regal take each other down with clotheslines. Hardy jumps in for a quick pin, but Regal kicks out. US Champion MVP walks down to the ring, and we got to commercial.
MVP joins the announce team, and Regal flips Kofi over and goes for a pin. Hardy breaks that up with a sunset flip, but cannot pin Regal. Hardy dumps Regal out of the ring, and hits a neck breaker on Kofi. Regal breaks the fall. Kofi and Regal trade punches, and Kingston is then taken down by a Hardy clothesline. Regal takes down Hardy, and drops a knee into his throat. Kingston connects with a missile drop kick, but Hardy breaks the pin. Kingston hits a standing drop kick, and then the double leg drop. Kingston cannot get the pin. Regal pulls Kingston off Hardy in the corner, and hits an exploder suplex. Hardy hits the Side Effect on Regal, but Regal counters the Twist of Fate with a side slam. Regal lines up Kingston, but Kofi hits Trouble in Paradise. Hardy breaks the fall, but misses a shot with his cast. Kofi doesn’t miss Trouble in Paradise, and covers Matt Hardy for the win.
Winner via pinfall: Kofi Kingston
After the match, MVP congratulates Kofi on his win.
The Nature Boy, Ric Flair, is in the ring. Flair addresses Orton’s sucker punch. All Flair wants is for Orton to attack him face to face. The WWE champion walks out on stage. Orton wants to know what Flair thinks will happen. Orton says he should beat down Flair on principal, alone. Orton says he lowered himself last week to punching a 60-year-old man, he isn’t Jericho. Orton says it is over, and he starting to feel sorry for him. Orton stands toe to toe with the Nature Boy, and Flair slaps him. Orton attacks, but slips out of the ring when Batista shows up. Big Dave holds Flair back, as Orton verbally tears into him. Then the unexpected happens.
KENNEDY! That’s right Mr. Kennedy has returned to RAW, and tells Orton things are just getting started. Kennedy also says he is the fifth man in tonight’s tag match.
Vicki is chewing out Chavo for making the match with Santina, when Randy Orton bursts in. Orton is happy about the rematch with Batista at Extreme Rules. Vicki says she doesn’t need to consult with him on matches. Orton threatens her by saying she better stay on his good side.
Match #3 – Santino and Mickie James vs. Chavo and Beth Phoenix w/ Rosa Mendes – Mixed Tag Team Match
The winner of this match gets to choose the stipulation at Extreme Rules in the Santina vs. Vicki Guerrero match. Chavo beats on Santino in the corner, and Phoenix chokes Santino when the ref isn’t looking. Beth and Mickie tag in. Beth tries to knock Santino off the apron, but leaves herself open for a roll up. Mickie locks it in, and gets the three count.
Winner via pinfall: Santino and Mickie James
After the match, Vicki Guerrero congratulates Santino on the victory. She isn’t worried about the match, because Chavo will be in her corner. Santino announces the stipulation, a hog pen match. (WHAT?!?)
Big Show tells The Miz no one likes him, but if he wants to mix it up with Cena tonight, go ahead; although he can’t pin him. Show says he will make Cena tap at Extreme Rules.
Match #4 – Goldust and Hornswoggle vs. The Brian Kendrick and Festus
Unified tag champions, The Colons, join Cole and Ross at the announce table. Festus comes to the ring in a Clippers jersey, now that is funny. The bell rings and Festus transforms, but the bug guy is confused by Hornswoggle. Kendrick asks for the tag, and starts picking on Horny. Kendrick picks up Horny, who counters with a DDT. Goldust tags in, and takes a kick from Kendrick. Festus refuses to tag in, so Kendrick slaps him. Festus tries to go after Kendrick, but is stopped by the ref. Hornswoggle hits the tadpole splash on Kendrick, and Goldust finishes him off with the Final Cut.
Winner via pinfall: Goldust and Hornswoggle
After the match, with Festus shut down with ringing of the bell, Kendrick grabs a chair. Primo sneaks over to the bell and wakes up Festus before Kendrick can land a shot. Kendrick runs off before he is dealt any damage.
Match #5 – The Miz, Cody Rhodes, Ted Dibiase, The Big Show, and Randy Orton (Denver Nuggets) vs. MVP, Jerry Lawler, Mr. Kennedy, John Cena, and Batista (Los Angeles Lakers)
(Really?!? Let’s toss all the storylines out the window, so Vince can stroke his ego.)
Lawler starts off versus Rhodes, and Cody pushes him into the corner. Lawler fights back, slams Rhodes, and tags in The Animal. (And for those of you wondering, yes, they are wrestling in NBA jerseys.) Batista kicks Rhodes in the face, and tags in MVP. The US champ tees off on Rhodes, but Cody fights back with a clothesline, and then tags in DiBiase. Orton makes a blind tag, as MVP hits a back body drop on Ted. Orton hits an inverted back breaker on MVP.
After the commercial break, DiBiase has a chin lock on MVP. A jaw breaker releases the hold, but The Miz cuts off MVP from making a tag. MVP throws Miz coming off the ropes, and MVP gets a tag to Kennedy. The Miz ducks a kick, but cannot avoid the second roundhouse kick. With the ref distracted Kennedy is yanked from the ring, and smashed into the security barrier. Orton tags in, and drops a knee on Kennedy. Big Show enters the ring, chopping Kennedy across the chest. Rhodes tags in and punches Kennedy. The Miz gets a quick tag, and slaps on a head lock. DiBiase makes a tag, working over Kennedy in the heel corner. DiBiase takes down Kennedy with a shoulder block, and tags in Orton. The WWE champion connects with a drop kick, but Batista breaks the pin. Kennedy recovers to hit a back suplex, and Cena gets the hot tag. Cena explodes into Cody Rhodes, and then tags in MVP for a “You can’t see me/Ballin’” combo. A right hand from the King takes out the Miz. MVP hits the playmaker on Rhodes and covers for the win.
Winner via pinfall: MVP, Jerry Lawler, Mr. Kennedy, John Cena, and Batista (Los Angeles Lakers)
After the match, DiBiase hits MVP with the Green Screen. Kennedy hits the Mic Check on DiBiase, and Batista sets up the Batista bomb. Big Show breaks it up, and also grabs Cena by the throat. Cena and Batista counters with a double vertical suplex. The “Lakers” stand tall in the ring to end the show.
Dale Plummer has been writing for SLAM! Wrestling since 2003. Dale wonders how Vince feels that the Nuggets led their entire game during RAW. Send you suggestions to DPlummer627@yahoo.com .com where Follow Dale on Twitter @DPlummer627