-We are LIVE! from Baltimore, MD (home of a really whiny football team)
-CM Punk kicks us off and earns the adoration of the crowd by reminding them that they can move away from their hole of a city. He proclaims himself the number one contender and demands that the match take place at Money in the Bank in his hometown of Chicago. You know, the Raw GM must have a very powerful computer if his emails cause the lighting in the arena to flicker.
Punk pisses the GM off with his disrespect so he books Punk again Alberto Del Rio and Rey Mysterio for with the title shot on the line. They really ruin the “illusion” of the GM emailing Cole when they show the over-the-shoulder shot of him simply reading off of a Word document.
-So the thrilling first vote of the night is that the fans get to pick which woman wrestles Brie Bella tonight. WOW! A main event in any arena in the country, baby! It’s either going to be Eve, Kelly Kelly or Beth Phoenix.
Brie Bella vs. Kelly Kelly
This choice was pretty obvious considering I typed the name before the decision was even announced. Longtime readers know that I absolutely love every single inch of Kelly but she’s quickly approaching “for the love of God, please eat a cheeseburger” territory…not hatin’, just sayin’.
The announcers shill Keystone Light like a couple or goons while Brie gets a cheapshot off a Nikki distraction. Brie chokes away and we hit the chinlock almost immediately…feel the workrate. Kelly makes the comeback off another chinlock with a “bulldog” for two but Brie hits a neckbreaker out of nowhere for a near fall. To the corner, Kelly tries a victory roll and counters a Brie reversal for the pin and the title.
Winner and NEW Champion: Kelly Kelly
-Kelly cries like she just won a grueling 60-minute iron man (woman?) match at WrestleMania but guess what? This sucked. 1/4* for Kelly’s outfit.
-The people get to pick between Sin Cara, Mason Ryan and Jack Swagger as an opponent for Evan Bourne. If the people were smart, there’s really only one choice.
Evan Bourne vs. Mason Ryan
Either the people are really stupid or the voting was rigged for this one…I’m leaning towards rigged. The live crowd was not very happy with that selection either.
Bourne stays away and stalls but gets trapped in a corner while crowd sarcastically chants for Batista. That’s pretty funny. A clothesline puts Bourne down and Ryan follows with repeated backbreakers into a fallaway slam.
Borne makes a comeback with kicks and knees but gets press slammed while Lawler tries to explain the choice of match. Don’t even bother, King, it’s useless. Bourne tries whatever from the top but has to abandon it and gets a sloppy small package for two. Evan heads back up but jumps right into a side slam and Ryan gets the pin.
Winner: Mason Ryan
-After watching that match, I’m totally convinced the voting is rigged because that match did absolutely nothing to help Bourne. Plus, Cara vs. Bourne would need more than 5 minutes to be good so they made sure to have Ryan destroy Bourne in short order. Pretty average match, by the way *1/2.
-We find out that next week’s episode will be Raw Roulette because apparently gimmick shows are the cure for rating woes.
-We waste some time with a Mark Henry promo before taking another commercial break. Why do they have these three hour shows if they just waste time through half of them?
Arm Wrestling Match
Mark Henry vs. Kane
Pretty terrible options here with the choices being a body slam match (what is this, 1982?), arm wrestling, or an over the top rope match. Hey, I bet we can come up with 5 more matches where no one has to job! Try it, it’s a fun party game. Once again, this vote is clearly rigged because why the hell would people pick an arm wrestling match over, gee I dunno, an actual match? It should be noted that the crowd pisses all over the “voting” for the second consecutive time.
I fight the urge to make Over the Top jokes while Henry plays the role of Every Single Heel in an Arm Wrestling Match Ever. The crowd just boos constantly until they actually do something and Booker acts like it’s actually exciting. Henry attacks and lays out Kane with the arm wrestling table because he’s evil.
Winner by DQ: Kane
-WWE can’t really expect people to be happy to see this crap, can they? -** for making me sit through the promo and “match”. Henry puts Kane through the announce table with the World’s Fattest Slam and we get a ridiculous reaction shot from a fat woman in the crowd. Maybe this would mean something if Henry vs. Kane/Big Show didn’t suck every single time they’ve tried it.
-We get an R-Truth hype video even though he’s pretty much dead as a main eventer after stinking it up last night. The same thing happened in TNA awhile ago: Truth got over with his heel promos and got pushed to the main event but couldn’t back it up in the ring. Same story, different promotion.
-Truth, with pretty good heat still, hits the ring to complain about losing last night but gets interrupted by Christian (who gets a pretty big face pop). Christian joins in on the pity party but he actually has a point since his foot was, you know, actually under the rope. Hey, the Miz joins us too because why not? We get a bad Abbott and Costello comedy routine until Teddy Long comes out to save us all.
Long is sick of their complaining and books them in a six-man against Alex Riley, Randy Orton and John Cena with the fans (aka WWE officials) selecting the stipulation. King already proclaims it one of the greatest matches in the history of Raw. I gotta get me some of whatever the announcers get to smoke before these events.
-Our next selection is Kofi vs. Dolph in a 2 out of 3 falls match, Vickie banned from ringside or a submission match. Those all pretty much suck so it will probably be the Vickie one just to further the angle.
2 Out of 3 Falls for the United States Title
Dolph Ziggler vs. Kofi Kingston
I guess WWE decided to throw the fans a bone and give up an actual decent wrestling match an hour and 15 minutes into the show. How long is Lawler going to keep making fat jokes about Vickie when she clearly weighs like 140 lbs. MAX?
Kofi attacks right away and kicks Ziggler’s ass around the ring, causing Ziggler to bail and seek shelter. I tell you what, the Zack Ryder signs are starting to appear more and more often, guaranteeing he will never appear on Raw because Vince hates getting shown up by someone getting over on their own accord instead of by his decree.
Anyways, Kofi gets two off a suplex and then locks in a backslide for another near fall but Dolph dodges a charge and Kofi hits the floor for a commercial break. When we return, Kofi is fighting out of a chinlock and it’s announced that Dolph won the first fall during the commercial. Well hell, we didn’t need to see that then, no sir. Dolph Ziggler wins the first fall. This promotion confuses the hell out of me sometimes. They have a three hour show but they put a fall during a commercial…*sigh*.
Dolph hits a dropkick for two and gets a Rocker Dropper for another near fall. Kofi hits the SOS out of nowhere to get the pin and even things up. Kofi Kingston wins the second fall…talk about a pin with no build up.
Dolph takes control again with a neckbreaker for two but Kofi counters a dropkick to a slingshot to the corner, a move guaranteed to beat Curt Hennig but not Dolph Ziggler. Kingston makes the babyface comeback and rolls through a sunset flip to get a stomp for two. Cole is just blatantly talking over Booker T’s nonsense at this point.
Kofi nails him with a dropkick and hits his new favorite move, the high cross body to the back for two. Dolph takes a powder and tries to nail Kofi with the title belt but Kingston hits Trouble in Paradise on the outside. Kofi rolls him back inside but Ziggler grabs the ropes at the last second. Dolph tries to run away again and this time nails Kofi with the microphone, drawing the DQ and keeping the title.
Winner by DQ: Kofi Kingston
-Of course WWE would find a way to book a cheap ending in a match with a stipulation pretty much guaranteeing a clean win. Kofi hits Trouble in Paradise to get his heat immediately back because creative is on cruise control tonight. Match was pretty lackluster considering their more recent efforts, as the comebacks were out of nowhere and they didn’t seem to be very motivated tonight **.
-The next rigged vote is Rey vs. Punk vs. Del Rio with the stips being no-DQ, falls count anywhere, or submission. I bet they go with the submission option because it’s the last thing people want to see.
-Shawn Michaels will be here next week to promote his new outdoor, family-friendly reality show…meh.
-We waste more time with an Alberto Del Rio promo which only served as a buffer between commercial breaks.
-King proclaims that WWE has received “hundreds of millions” of texts tonight…all of which were promptly ignored by World Wrestling Entertainment officials.
Falls Count Anywhere Match
CM Punk vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Alberto Del Rio
Winner is the number one contender, as announced earlier in the show. Rey attacks quickly and fights off the heels, causing Del Rio to get dumped and Punk to get two off a clothesline. Rey Rey tries a quick 619 but Del Rio cuts him off and gets repaid via powerbomb to the arena floor by Punk for two…ouch. Mysterio comes flying off the apron with a seated senton for two on Punk and we take the opportunity to bang out some commercials.
We return with Mysterio getting flying headscissors on Punk but both heels hit him with tilt-a-whirl backbreakers and then turn their attention to each other. Del Rio goes to work on Punk’s arm and stomps away but Mysterio returns and tries for the double 619, which is stopped by a Del Rio cross-armbreaker. Punk breaks that up with a kick to the head and gets two on Rey Rey.
Punk and Rey go up top but Del Rio halts everything and we get the car wreck superplex-powerbomb spot combo and Alberto gets two on both guys. Rey tries to come back on Del Rio but gets German suplexed out of his boots for two. Alberto hits ring post on a blind charge, sending him to the outside, and Rey takes advantage with a rolling senton on Punk and he uses his momentum to continue across the ring and dive on top of Del Rio…very nice.
Back in, Rey gets a seated senton off the top on Punk for two but goes splat on a springboard cross body attempt. Now it’s Punk’s turn to go upstairs and he blocks a Rey hurricanrana attempt, allowing Del Rio to quickly lock on the cross-armbreaker. CM Punk breaks that up with a legdrop from the top but takes a big enzuigiri from Del Rio and tumbles to the outside.
Rey takes advantage and hits a 619 on a distracted Del Rio and follows with the splash from the top but Punk SPRINTS into the ring, tosses Rey against the ring post and steals the pin for himself to get the title shot.
Winner: CM Punk
-OK, I’m dead serious here, this was ALL action throughout the entire match with absolutely zero resting between spots. These guys are the three best workers on Raw (maybe in the company) and really pulled out all stops tonight. An absolutely great TV match ***3/4. I’d love to see Punk-Del Rio on a PPV with about 15 minutes to work with.
-CM Punk cuts a promo and announces his contract with WWE ends on the same day as the Money in the Bank PPV. He also promises that he is leaving the promotion…with the world title, of course.
-Our next choice: Cody Rhodes vs. Daniel Bryan in a Paper Bag Match (what the hell?), No Count Out (boring as hell), or collegiate rules (yawn).
No Count Out Match
Cody Rhodes vs. Daniel Bryan
Is there anything that sounds more bland than “no count outs”? Bryan dumps him right away and dives through the ropes to continue the ass-kicking up the entrance. Suplex on the ramp hurts Rhodes and Bryan kicks the hell out of him, causing Cody to run to the ring for safety. Bryan follows in with a missile dropkick for two but he runs into a kneelift and a flash kick gets two. Cole mocks King for his “hundreds of millions” comments earlier. They go into a pinfall reversal sequence and, get this, Bryan actually gets the pin off the sequence…you don’t see that everyday.
Winner: Daniel Bryan
-Pretty much a squash win for Bryan here *. Ted DiBiase attacks after the match and Daniel gets laid out with an Alabama Slam (called a “sidewalk slam” by Booker) and Cross Rhodes. They place a paper bag on Bryan’s head because they are EVIL.
-More corporate shilling.
-In our next THRILLING vote, we get to vote for which announcer has a dance competition with Vickie Guerrero. If you listen closely, you can actually hear thousands of people changing the channel at the same time.
-We recap Kelly Kelly winning the Divas title like it actually means something.
-Vickie actually gets to cut a promo about the dance competition…good Lord.
-So anyway, Vickie dances for about 10 seconds and makes out with Matt Striker…yep, that’s it. Michael Cole wins the vote and makes an ass out of himself while Booker and Lawler have to sell it like it’s the funniest thing since The Simpsons season 5.
Cole wins because Striker proclaims he got booed the loudest and Vickie slaps him. Yes, they seriously devoted precious television time to this garbage. Can’t imagine why ratings are in the toilet..nope, nope, nope.
-The choices for the main event are: One fall, 20 minute time limit, or an elimination match. Are you freaking serious? So it’s basically a) regular match or b) elimination…the first two are the EXACT SAME THING…my God.
Six-Man Tag Match
R-Truth, Christian & The Miz vs. John Cena, Randy Orton & Alex Riley
Which one of these things is not like the other? Of course the elimination match option wins because the other two absolutely sucked. God forbid we get something different on shows like this to interest viewers, right?
Cena starts with Miz and they exchange token holds until Cena gets a bulldog for two and hesitates slightly before bringing in Orton. He hits a clothesline and a knee drop for two but Miz turns the tables with a boot and Christian comes in for some pain. A knee lift gets two and Randy gets trapped in the heel corner for some token shenanigans while Booker T spouts some more nonsense and Christian hits a neckbreaker for two.
Truth checks in while Randy Orton continues to do his best Ricky Morton impression and sells a sleeper like a resthold. Cole is just baiting Booker into talking so he can make fun of him at this point. Orton gets a back suplex to break but Christian comes in with a reverse DDT for two. He preps a spear but Orton catches him with a powerslam and gets the hot tag to Alex Riley.
He cleans house to a pretty docile reaction but the Miz runs interference and a huge brawl breaks out, allowing Miz to sneak behind the ref and hit the Skull Crushing Finale to eliminate Riley. Alex Riley has been eliminated..can’t say I’m surprised there. HOW WILL OUR HEROES PREVAIL?!?
We return from a commercial break with Miz in control of Orton and Cena doing his babyface act to the live crowd. Miz does a dance that appears to simulate him having a seizure so Orton helps him out by clotheslining him down and getting the hot tag to Cena. He takes a little too long taunting the other heels though so Miz hits his backbreaker-neckbreaker combo and a clothesline in the corner. He tries whatever from the top and gets trapped in Cena’s STF, causing the heels to run in and break it up.
The heat segment continues as Christian works a sleeper (geez, did HHH mention he likes sleeper holds in the last staff meeting or something?) and chokes away. It’s almost 11pm, so we’re going to be getting quite a few eliminations here soon. R-Truth hits a falcon arrow for two but Cena fires off a suplex but is still unable to make the tag.
The Miz checks in with more seizure-like moves but Cena counters a Skull Crushing Finale attempt into the Attitude Adjustment for the win. The Miz has been eliminated. Truth tries to stay in control of Cena but has to tag in Christian, who hits a reverse DDT but misses a splash off the top for the double KO. Cena finally gets the hot tag to Orton and he, in the immortal words of Vince McMahon, is truly a house of fire.
Hangman’s DDT plants Truth and Orton looks to finish but Christian returns to distract Orton long enough for Truth to recover. Of course, that doesn’t matter as Orton still hits the RKO and eliminates Randy. R-Truth has been eliminated. Christian takes advantage and hits a quick spear on Orton to even it up one more time. Randy Orton has been eliminated. None of this matters of course because Orton immediately hits Christian with an RKO and Cena locks on the STF for the submission. Christian has been eliminated.
Winners: John Cena, Randy Orton & Alex Riley
-See, this is the kind of booking that drives me nuts. Christian gets a pin on Randy Orton but it doesn’t matter three seconds later because Orton immediately gets his heat back and renders Christian’s win completely moot. Match was token tag fare and the elimination stipulation really didn’t come into play until the last minute or so **1/4.
Wow, what a wasted opportunity this was. The triple threat match was absolutely great but the rest was either boring or garbage gaga. If WWE thinks that putting on gimmick show after gimmick show is going to raise ratings, they are dreaming. People watch wrestling because of compelling storylines and good, solid wrestling not dance contests and stupid comedy bits involving fake Presidents.