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Raw: Road to Summerfest nears its end
By JON WALDMAN -- SLAM! Wrestling


Tonight, Raw has the final build up to Summerslam, which could make for some interesting news to say the least, what with only a scant few matches announced thus far. Let’s see what WWE cranked out for St. Louis.

We kick off tonight’s show with the introduction of Freddy Prinze, Jr. to ... well ... very little reaction. I can’t blame the audience really -- what has he done in the last five years? Anyways, he goes off like a kid in a candy store about how excited he is to host Raw then declares two title matches for tonight -- the Diva’s and United States belts.

Just as he’s really getting going (I suppose) a man comes out in a raincoat and carrying a hook like in I Know What you did Last Summer, which gets zero reaction as well. The segment gets even worse as The Black Scorpion voicebox is used. Thankfully, it’s Santino Marella, who gets a good reaction right away and gets some laughs. Santino ... our saviour? Santino escapes as Prinze promises him to call his friends in Hollywood.

As Prinze revs up again, Randy Orton comes out and refuses to fight tonight in the main event. When Prinze doesn't back down, Orton gets tough and eventually gets Prinze in his backbreaker. As the fans chant for an RKO, Orton leaves. Good segment by Orton and Prinze does a good job of selling an injury.

Match 1 – Kofi Kingston vs. Carlito (United States Title match)

Rosa Mendes accompanies Carlito tonight for a match that was pretty good and longer match. The action is pretty quickly paced throughout as speeds up as we get to the crescendo of the match with a couple solid near falls before Kofi lands Trouble in Paradise for the win.

Winner: Kofi Kingston

Back from a break, we get a look back at DX’s funniest moments (or so they claim).

Match 2 – The Miz vs. Evan Bourne

Okay so Miz teased seeing something new from him on Twitter, and indeed it is -- short trunks instead of shorts. Miz declares that he’s going after the U.S. strap before the bout begins. Interesting.

The bout, as you’d expect, is strong between the two younger stars before it ends suddenly with a Full Nelson Facebuster, which apparently is called the Skull Crushing Finale. Shrink that down to SCF and you’ve got a decent name.

Winner: The Miz

Back from break, DX arrives at the arena in a white, spray-painted limo and are greeted by Jillian Hall who goes all singing crazy until she’s covered with a garbage can. Then, Santino continues his audition until he’s Superkicked. DX then makes their way to the ring for a long intro before they get into promo time, which is quickly interrupted by Legacy. Excellently scripted segment because this really did come out of nowhere.

Match 3 – Mickie James vs. Gail Kim

Pretty surprised to see this one rushed to TV than saved for the pay-per-view. Good tease of what could be a good longer match in the future. Mickie eventually hits her spin kick (and I say hits loosely) then hits a final punch to end the match.

Winner: Mickie James

We head backstage for Josh Matthews interviewing John Cena, who delivers, well, a really bad promo. Thankfully, Chris Jericho and Big Show come in and save_us. Gotta say, it’s impressive that a title belt actually fits around Show’s waist. That’s a lot of cow and gold.

Match 4 – Jack Swagger vs. MVP

Okay, this should have been a Summerslam match as well ...

And maybe it still will be as Swagger is DQ’d for ignoring the ref’s five count in the corner.

Winner: MVP

Backstage, Prinze is back and insists on going out to the ring.

Match 5 – Chavo Guerrero vs. Hornswoggle (Falls Count Anywhere)

Hey, what happened to Prinze coming out to the ring?

This is just getting worse every week. Early on, the two go under the ring and eventually backstage. This just goes from bad to worse as Chavito tries to hunt down the suddenly missing Hornswoggle and it turns into a bad Home Alone rip-off. Whatever they’re paying Chavo it isn’t enough.

Winner: Hornswoggle

Afterward, Macauley Culkin makes a brief cameo. God this was bad.

After the PPV rundown, we learn that Floyd Mayweather Jr. will be the guest host next week. This could be good.

Before the main event begins, Prinze comes back out and changes the match to a Lumberjack match. The Raw random faces then come out ...

Match 6 – John Cena/Randy Orton vs. Jerishow

And as we return, there is no announcing. Wonder what happened, but I’m not upset by any stretch ... then more weirdness as the broadcast jumps back to the beginning of the match with no announcers still. The loop stops at the same place and we go black. Eventually we get the picture back, just in time to see Orton get speared out of the ring by Big Show.

The match then soldiers on with Orton taking the brunt of Jerishow’s attack. Eventually Cena’s tagged in and gets the eventual win.

Winner: Cena/Orton

The festivities are short as Orton RKO’s Cena. Jerishow attack Cena and beat him down for a while before the lumberjacks interfere (though to no avail). Eventually, Cena recovers and clears the ring to end the show.

Well, the matches that are on the PPV got some good preview time while others we expected to see were here instead. It wasn’t a bad show, just not fulfilling.

See you next week.

Jon Waldman has been with SLAM! since 2000.