-So after an extremely disappointing Battleground pay-per-view, WWE looks to rebound from my hometown of Pittsburgh, PA and break the streak of somewhat boring Raw TV shows.
-LIVE from Pittsburgh, PA (home of the future NL champs).
-Stephanie comes out wearing her serious face and laments the end of the title match last night before calling out the Big Show. As usual with this show, Stephanie verbally undresses him while Show stands there like a goon. Steph wants Show to beg the people for forgiveness but Show laughs at her and calls Hunter an SOB. Stephanie goes nuts on Show and fires him, causing Show to just walk away. That was a weird opening segment.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Damien Sandow
Sandow starts aggressively, beating down Dolph in the corner and hitting the chinlock. Knee lift puts Dolph down and a charge against the ropes gets two. A headscissors allows the crowd to cheer Ziggler back to life but Sandow dumps him to the floor and we take a break.
We return with Sandow hitting a Russian leg sweep and the Elbow of Disdain for a near fall before grabbing a chinlock yet again. The announcers try to play up the whole “Steph fired Big Show” thing but the crowd barely reacted to it because they don’t take any of this crap seriously. Sandow clotheslines Dolph to the floor and runs him into the ring post to get two back inside. Sandow misses a blind charge to the corner though, allowing Dolph to make his comeback to a very weak reaction. A neckbreaker and a standing dropkick get two but Sandow blocks the sleeper. He catches Ziggler heading up top and dumps him to the mat for two. Dolph hits the Fameasser out of nowhere though and gets the win.
Winner: Dolph Ziggler
-Match really felt like it had no flow and the crowd wasn’t buying into Sandow at all. Dolph bumped all over the ring for him but it didn’t matter in the end as Sandow continues to be the most useless Money in the Bank winner ever. *1/2
-Meanwhile, Stephanie verbally abuses Maddox for last night’s pay-per-view sucking. I love that they insult their owns shows on live television and then are stunned when people start tuning out or not buying shows.
-During the break, Jerry Lawler introduced Bruno Sammartino and the crowd sang Happy Birthday to him. I had the pleasure of meeting Bruno at an independent show in December and he’s one of the nicest guys I have ever met…and his hands are enormous.
Aksana, Rosa Mendes, Alicia Fox vs. Jo-Jo, Eva Marie, and Natalya
Nattie and Aksana do some basic stuff while the announcers put over Eva Marie and, almost on cue, she comes in with a rollup for two. Aksana slams her head to the mat for two and she brings in a blonde Rosa Mendes for a crowd-thrilling chinlock. Alicia tags in and hits a slam as the parade of suck continues but Eva Marie dodges and gets the “hot” tag to Natalya. Nattie beats on all three heels and clotheslines Fox down to hook the Sharpshooter for the fast submission.
Winners: Jo-Jo, Eva Marie, and Natalya
-Yikes, that was bad. Let’s just chalk this one up to experience and move on, 1/4*.
-Brad Maddox apologizes to the crowd and books Daniel Bryan against Randy Orton in the Hell in a Cell, which of course everybody and their mother saw coming. Maddox also says there will be a special guest referee and the crowd will get to pick from a pool of three guys. Yippie. Maddox introduces Booker T as the first candidate for the referee spot.
-Apparently, we’re going to actually do Week Two of this Los Matadores thing…I might need more beer.
Los Matadores vs. 3MB
Jinder starts with Diego and quickly finds himself on the losing end of a flying headscissors and a double backdrop. McIntyre gets a shot from the apron to turn the tide and works the arm but Diego takes him over with a headscissors and gets the hot tag to Fernando. Chop from the second rope puts Drew down and the Matadores quickly finish him with a double suplex.
Winners: Los Matadores
-Heath Slater tries to get his hands on the midget but takes a hurricanrana for his efforts. This was a total squash *.
-Paul Heyman hits the ring with Curtis Axel and Ryback to complain about CM Punk cheating last night. Punk quickly responds by saying he won the match, so who cares? Ryback invites him to the ring for a fight and R-Truth joins Punk to even the odds.
Ryback and Curtis Axel vs. CM Punk and R-Truth
Ryback cowers away from Punk and allows Axel to start, which goes about as well for him as you would expect. Truth comes in with a legdrop for two and pelvic thrusts cause Axel to tremble in fear as we head to break once again.
We return with Curtis Axel trapping Truth in the heel corner and Ryback going low with a leg kick. Ryback hits a weak facebuster and hooks a bearhug. Let’s just say that Ryback’s heel offense needs a little bit of work. The heels switch off for the heat segment but someone would have to care about R-Truth for that to work. Axel cuts off a Truth comeback with a dropkick for two and he brings in Ryback for more power offense. Ryback takes us back to 1975 by hooking an abdominal stretch but Truth fights out of a press slam and hits a leg lariat while Punk desperately tries to get the crowd to wake up.
Truth gets the hot tag and Punk cleans house on Axel, hitting the Macho Elbow and looking to finish. Go To Sleep hits and Punk takes out Ryback with a kick to the head. Since everyone gets to beat the Intercontinental champion, Punk tags in Truth to get the pin on Axel.
Winners: R-Truth and CM Punk
-My God, I wouldn’t take the IC title if WWE offered it to me on a silver platter…just complete death to a career. The match was fine but the crowd was just waiting for Truth to get out of the way and let Punk hit his spots, **.
-The second candidate for the special guest referee spot at Hell in a Cell is…Bob Backlund. I don’t think the cell could hold that amount of crazy. Something tells me WWE wants the fans to vote for the third guy.
Kofi Kingston vs. Randy Orton
Orton quickly attacks the injured Kofi and dumps him to the outside, where he runs him into the ring barrier and clotheslines Kofi down. He gets two back inside and hammers away but Kofi makes his comeback and clotheslines Orton to the floor. Randy stalls on the floor before returning and hammering Kingston down in the corner as the announcers completely ignore the match and talk about last night’s PPV. Orton makes Kofi look extremely stupid on a high cross body attempt and we take a break as Kofi rolls to the floor.
We return with Orton still in control and hitting his neckbreaker for two. Kofi fights out of a chinlock and hits a chop from the second rope but he walks into a standing dropkick for two. Orton hammers away in the corner and places Kofi on top but Kofi hooks a tornado DDT for the double KO. Kingston launches into his comeback and comes off the top with a high cross body for two. Kofi looks for Trouble in Paradise but has to settle for the SOS for two. Kingston snaps Orton’s neck on the top rope and springboards in with a high cross body but Orton catches him in mid-air with a powerslam in a nice spot for two.
Orton sets up Kofi for the draping DDT but Kingston dumps him. Kofi tries a baseball slide but Orton dodges and clotheslines him down before tossing him into the ring barrier. Orton drapes Kofi on the barrier and hits the DDT on the floor…Kofi is dead. Orton rolls him back inside and the RKO is a bit of overkill as Randy gets the win.
Winner: Randy Orton
-Started off fairly slowly but turned into a nice little TV match with some innovative spots and a sick finish. Call it *** and give Kofi credit for carrying his part of the match nicely.
-After the match, Daniel Bryan attacks and knocks Orton over the announce table, sending Cole scrambling. Referees (along with Fit Finlay and Jamie Noble) finally pull Bryan off as Randy scampers to the back.
-Meanwhile, Alberto Del Rio sucks up to Vickie Guerrero.
-So the final candidate for the special guest referee position at Hell in a Cell is Shawn Michaels. Gee, I wonder who the fans are going to vote for? Please Shawn, don’t say “H-B-Shizzle” ever, ever again.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Ricardo Rodriguez
This show has hit a major valley. Before the match starts though, Vickie Guerrero announces that Del Rio will defend his world title against John Cena at Hell in a Cell. Del Rio is so stunned that Ricardo quickly rolls him up for the win.
Winner: Ricardo Rodriguez
-Del Rio destroys a celebrating Ricardo after the match, Pillmanizing Ricardo’s arm like he did to RVD last night. Since Ricardo is a loser, only the referees come out to save him. Obviously, this was just an angle and not an actual match, so it gets no rating.
Zack Ryder vs. Fandango
Why do I feel like I’m watching an episode of All-American Wrestling from like 1991? Spinning heel kick quickly puts Zack down and a snap suplex gets two. Ryder fights out of a chinlock and hits a facebuster before following with a missile dropkick. Broski Boot misses as Fandango rolls out of the ring but Zack kicks him in the head anyways. Fandango snaps Ryder’s neck on the top rope though and hits his legdrop off the top for the win.
-Literally nothing has happened on this show since the Orton-Kingston match…1/4*.
-So the winner of the special guest referee contest is, of course, Shawn Michaels.
Santino Marella and Great Khali vs. Jack Swagger and Antonio Cesaro
You can tell the heels are really evil because they have breast cancer awareness shirts on. Santino quickly works his stupid power-walking spot in and gets slugged down by Swagger. Swagger and Cesaro switch off on Santino while the crowd chants for the heels and a Swagger Bomb into a double stomp from Cesaro gets two. Santino hits a weak jawbreaker and gets the tag to the useless Khali. He chops down Cesaro but gets distracted by Swagger and Antonio goes low. Naturally, Cesaro gets the big swing on Khali and it gets the pin once again.
Winners: Jack Swagger and Antonio Cesaro
-The match was total junk as they continue to waste Cesaro on this nonsense 1/4*. Cesaro almost saves the whole thing by giving Hornswoggle the big swing but Santino breaks it up with the Cobra.
Miz can barely get a word out before the Wyatt Family makes their entrance…can’t we get Bray a real lantern and not that LED thing he’s been carrying around? Miz manages to escape and that’s pretty much it. What, were they running long or something?
-Meanwhile, both Triple H and Stephanie mock Brad Maddox and Hunter promises to be ringside to make sure nothing goes wrong in the main event.
The Shield vs. Daniel Bryan, Cody Rhodes and Goldust
When’s the last time Goldust was in the main event of Raw? Has he ever been in the main event? I’m sure I’ll get an email telling me how stupid I am and saying how the answer is so obvious. Goldust catches Rollins with an uppercut and adds an inverted atomic drop for two. Cody comes in with a springboard dropkick for two but a right hand puts him down. Cody manages to avoid the Shield’s double teaming and a running knee puts Ambrose to the mat for two. The Rhodes family switches off on Ambrose but Reigns distracts Cody on a moonsault attempt and Dean chucks him to the floor as we take a break.
We return with Cody stuck in the heel corner and Ambrose works him over pretty good. They head up top but Cody elbows Dean off and hits a moonsault for the double KO. Cody gets the hot tag to Daniel Bryan and he attacks Rollins with a sweet German suplex and a hurricanrana from the top for two, saved by Reigns. Goldust gets rid of Ambrose but Reigns floors him with a tackle so Cody takes him out with a clothesline to the floor. Left alone, Bryan lands on his feet off a Rollins German suplex and applies the Yes Lock. Ambrose returns with a chair and nails Cody, so the referee has no choice but to call for the bell.
Hunter restarts the match as a no-DQ match and a huge brawl erupts around ringside. Bryan takes out Ambrose and Reigns with a dive through the ropes but Orton runs in through the crowd and hits an RKO on the floor. Randy tosses Bryan back into the ring and Rollins gets the easy pin.
Winners: The Shield
-Post-match, the Shield lay a beatdown on the babyfaces until Big Show makes his return, looking rather sullen. I like how the Big Show has been fired but they still have his entrance music and video all cued up for his surprise return.
Big Show manages to hold off the Shield for a few seconds but the numbers overwhelm him until Show powers out and goes face-to-face with Triple H. Hunter looks stunned until Big Show knocks him out to a big crowd pop and leaves Triple H laying. About time a babyface actually stood up for himself on this show and didn’t bow down to the Almighty Triple H. Daniel Bryan stands over Hunter and leads the crowd in a “YES” chant as Show makes his exit. Bryan actually fixes Hunter’s tie in a little inside joke.
-Call the whole thing *** for the match and stuff afterwards, as the babyfaces finally get a win against the evil authority figures.
Well, the main event was pretty good but the middle part of this show was death. I mean seriously, a half hour of this show was all filler and squash matches that bored me to death and had me constantly checking random websites for something entertaining. Maybe I should start subscribing to Hulu Plus so I can get the edited version of this show. Anyways, watch and the Orton-Kingston stuff and then fast forward to the main event and you’ll be good to go.
Let’s go Bucs.