September 12, 2011
Raw: More strong mics from Phil and Paul
By JON WALDMAN -- SLAM! Wrestling
Raw's live for the go-home edition of Raw. It should be a decent night in Ottawa for wrestling action. Let's go!
We start Raw tonight with Alberto Del Rio in the ring, wearing some sort of pendant around his neck. He talks about the altercation with John Cena last week, putting Rey Mysterio out and retiring Edge when Bret Hart comes out.
Hart, of course, rips into Del Rio. Del Rio starts to shoot back and threatens Hart, which draws out John Cena; and Michael Cole soon after busts out the first “Bizarro Land” reference as everyone, and I mean everyone, boos Cena. Yep, even the kids.
Cena of course starts ripping into ADR and doesn’t do a half bad job of it, well except until the dated Tattoo reference. Del Rio then challenges Cena for tonight, which Cena accepts, until ADR reveals that he was talking about John facing Ricardo Rodriguez. Double R’s antics are pretty damn funny. Cena, instead proposes ADR vs. Bret Hart for the WWE Championship. The festivities get broken up by Johnny Ace and by order of Triple H, the match changes to Cena/Hart vs. Ricardo/ADR.
Match 1 – John Morrison/Alex Riley vs. Dolph Ziggler/Jack Swagger
Much of the conversation surrounds the history of stables in WWE. I think that would make a great Legends of Wrestling roundtable if it hasn’t been done yet.
The match is okay, but isn’t anything particularly special. Eventually Swagger and Ziggler collide, which leads to the TKO by Riley. Ziggler, to his credit gets back up on the apron and stalls instead of helping Swagger. Great job.
Speaking of tag teams, Miz and Truth are interviewed by Josh Mathews. We find out they have a Tag Team Championship match. The two quickly ditch Mathews and start walking around backstage and eventually to the ring. The promo continues into the ring as Miz gets set to face…
Match 2 – The Miz vs. Kofi Kingston
Miz and Kofi gel pretty damn well in the ring, and I have to say that Miz is pulling out some fresh moves each week to make me even more of a fan of his. Kofi’s still feeling stale a bit though – he needs to vary up the offense a bit more IMO.
Miz eventually gets the clean pin after the SCF.
Winner: The Miz
Backstage, Teddy Long and Vickie are chatting. We then find out that the U.S. Champion
Kelly Kelly then sticks her nose where it doesn’t belong into their conversation, which leads to Kelly vs. Vickie tonight. What…the…
Match 3 – Michael McGillicuty/David Otunga vs. Jerry Lawler/Sheamus
The Lawler blandess accusations continue which leads to this match. The bout quickly turns into a Sheamus showcase bout. Celtic Cross on the once Joe Hennig puts this baby to bed.
Backstage, Ricardo is doing some pushups. I’m actually curious to see him wrestle – he’s been doing some work in FCW apparently.
And I have to ask this – what the heck is with all the tag team bouts tonight?
To start the match, Cena waves his red shirt like a cape as Rodriguez charges. The crowd changes ‘ole’ to play along. Funny. We then go to the dueling chants about Cena’s abilities as ADR enters the ring and takes over the bout. Ricardo is tagged in as we hear ‘we want Bret’ chants. Yes, the match is this boring that the chants are the best part. ADR eventually walks, leaving RR alone to deal with Cena and Bret. After an AA, Hart is tagged in for the coup de gras – the Sharpshooter.
After the match, Cena gets on the stick and does the hard sell for Night of Champions. It’s worth noting that had the Screwjob not taken place, Bret’s last appearance in WWE would’ve been in Ottawa, for Raw, in ’97.
Match 5 – Kelly Kelly vs. Vickie Guerrero
Ugh. Jackie Gayda, your position being in the worst WWE match ever has been usurped.
On the outside, Swagger and Ziggler fight, causing a distraction so this bout ends mercifully at 30-odd seconds, thankfully.
Winner: Kelly Kelly
Post-match, Kelly evades a Beth Phoenix attack. For gods sake.
Back from break, Mark Henry cuts a promo on Randy Orton before RKO comes out for his match
Match 6 – Randy Orton vs. Cody Rhodes (non-title match)
Shortly into the match Mark Henry comes out and that leads to Orton giving chase with a chair, which sends Henry scrambling to the back. The match then continues between the two former Legacy teammates pretty smoothly.
Later, Henry comes out with a chair of his own and sits on the ramp and watches. Orton initially comes out again but Rhodes follows him and the two head back to the ring. The match continues pretty strong as Henry, at one point, moves his chair closer to the ring. As Orton sets up for the RKO, Henry gets up on the steps and distracts, allowing Rhodes to take off his match and use it as a weapon, knocking out Orton.
Winner: Cody Rhodes
Post match, Henry attacks Orton with the chair.
Triple H comes out for the final segment of the night (rather than the first, which is a first since his return. Just saying.) Before Trips can speak, CM Punk joins him and the two have a war of words that absolutely tears the house apart. They go through a long back and forth promo which is as heated as anything I have seen in the last decade. It caps with Punk totally killing kayfabe by using the names Phil Brooks and Paul Levesque. His mic is then cut off, as is a second mic after Trips hands it to him. This is just as strong as the famous soliloquy.
The fun ends with Trips handing Punk a third mic, which Punk uses to knock Trips flat on his ass with – heck, Trips sells it like he got hit in the eye (I hope that’s not the case, of course).
I don’t want to say that this was a one-segment show but I think it’s pretty damn hard to argue that it wasn’t. Punk and Trips killed on the mic in the only segment that could possibly rival CM Punk’s promo for the best of the year in wrestling. They just sold a bunch of PPV buys.
See you next week!