Event: WWE Monday Night RAW
Airdate: Monday, September 19th, 2011 (USA Network)
Location: The Quicken Loan Arena in Cleveland, Ohio
Results by Colin Rinehart of 411Mania
“Yes, sir, we promised you a great main event…”
• Our hosts are JR, King, and Cole who now has his voice back and we’re live from Cleveland, Ohio. Hugh Jackman looks to be in house as well to shill his latest movie as well. King introduces him as “the star of Van Helsing” which is a low blow.
• CM Punk is out first and limping a tad to show the effects of the No DQ match. JR is all up in arms about people who didn’t order the show last night. “I tell you folks, if you didn’t order Night of Champions, you damn sure missed a good ‘un!” Punk says this building has never been kind to him. He had to vacate the world belt here and Bob Holly potatoed him here and tonight it’s only fitting that in the same building that he’s got to admit that there’s a conspiracy in the WWE. It’s not the conspiracy that Truth and Miz were talking about. Before he can elaborate, Triple H’s music interrupts.
• Cole: “As you can tell by the suit and tie, Triple H is still the COO.” Right, because no one but COO’s wear suits. JR goes into tunnel vision mode in discussing Truth and Miz’s attack and completely ignores them ALSO beating up Punk. Triple H sounding hoarse oddly says that he has to give Punk his due. Triple H is also beat up because they went to WAR, but he’s still the COO. Now, he’s got to do his day job. He says that Cena became champ but Alberto Del Rio deserves his rematch BUT Punk also deserves his rematch he never got. Hmm, that’s quite the selective continuity. Anyway, he announces a triple threat HIAC for next month between Cena, ADR, and Punk. Now, that he’s done with business, Triple H goes back to personal and starts disrobing. He says he’ll go to war again with Punk to prove that there is no conspiracy involving him. Punk tells him to hold his horses and he thinks someone is working both of them and pulling the strings. Punk says there’s an even “higher” conspiracy even “higher up the ladder.” Vince, the higher power of the corporate ministry? Bossman for pulling up the briefcase? Now, Johnny Ace comes out.
• Ace tells Triple H to ignore Punk who has ulterior motives. Punk says Ace is the one responsible for sending Truth and Miz out there, cutting off his mic, and making Nash send the text to himself because he wants Triple H’s job. Well if he’s under Triple H, how is that higher up the ladder? Ace gets his feathers ruffled and tells Punk he works for him. Triple H says they both work for him and he wants to know who is “zooming” who. Ace tells Punk, YOU’RRRRRRRRRRRE FIRED! Triple H tells him to ignore that and if anyone is getting fired, he’s going to be doing it. He’s going to get to the bottom of all this and by the end of the night, somebody WILL BE FIRED!
• Sheamus, Justin Gabriel and Air Boom vs. Wade Barrett, Christian, David Otunga and Michael Magillicutty. Michael and Justin to start. They do a criss cross and Gabriel gets a dropkick. Kofi with a sunset flip for 1. He tags in Evan with the double foot stomp also for 1. Michael counters a headscissors attempt with a side slam. Otunga in with a clothesline and pulls Bourne away from the face corner. Otunga poses and hits a bodyslam. Barrett in with some boots. Barrett with a backbreaker for 2. Christian in now for some choking. Bourne with some elbows and a leaping knee. Crowd gets behind Bourne but Otunga cuts off the hot tag and shouts at him. King mentions that yes indeed he IS married to Jennifer Hudson. Sheamus in with some power moves and JR calls him a “Wild Irish Bull” and mentions that he “likes to fight.” Sounds like they are making a combination of Tito Santana and Finlay because I don’t know too many Irish Bulls. The match breaks down as the heels jump Sheamus but Kofi hits a crossbody off the top. JR happens to mention “WWF” but the censors mute it out on the sound.Sheamus goes for Christian but hits a pump kick on Otunga instead. Sheamus Hulks up and wants the Razor’s Edge and hits it for the 3 at around 5:00.
• Meanwhile, Triple H is in the back talking with a ref who is worried about his safety. Triple H says they have nothing to worry about and he wants to talk to Miz and Truth as soon as they arrive.
• ADR storms in and calls Triple H the worst COO ever and complains about getting his rematch in the HIAC and with Punk in there. Triple H says that he can rectify it right now if ADR wants his rematch tonight. ADR begs off and says he needs time to “physically and mentally recover.” ADR then says he wishes Vince McMahon would come back and run things. Oh, NO! The least interesting twist in this storyline possible. Anyway, Triple H says he better wish and pray because he’s been in the Cell and it’ll ends careers and such. You get the gist. Awesome little mini promo here by both.
• Alberto Del Rio vs. John Morrison. No smiling or yucking for ADR because he’s all business and mad about losing the belt. Cole is pissed that Cena stole ADR’s car last night. King says he didn’t steal it; he took it for a “joyride.” The defense of every 16 year old GTA. Cole wants some help from JR to agree with him but he also sidesteps. ADR quickly goes to the boots and GnP. He stomps a mudhole in the corner and tries the armbar already but Morrison counters to the enzuigiri. ADR with a Stunner. Morrison rolls to the apron to escape but ADR grabs him and then whips Morrison’s arm in the ropes and applies the Armbar and Morrison taps out at MAYBE 90 seconds. Holy squash, Batman. They must really still have a bug up their ass about Melina, eh?
• Hugh Jackman is out next. Justin Roberts gives him an intro and dumps the Van Helsing namedrop but mentions his new movie, Real Steel. I hope people realize that the movie is basically a reworking of an old Twilight Zone episode about a boxer who can’t get a fight anymore. Hugh says hosting the Oscars was great but he wasn’t hosting in front of 15,000 Clevelanders. The Oscars? In Cleveland? Yeah right. He hypes his movie and calls it “gnarly” and a “sports drama.” But VICKIE GUERRERO HAS COME OUT! Cole with the line of the night so far: “The Cougar meets The Wolverine.” Vickie immediately transitions into butter him up mode and Dolph is aghast at her eyeballing another guy. Vickie says Hugh was sexiest man alive and Hugh plays modest and says that was years ago. Dolph: “MANY years ago.” Dolph intentionally (I think?) confuses him with Christian Bale and says he didn’t come on the set of Batman and interrupt him for spewing profanity at a PA. Dolph says he is the greatest US champ in history and he fights people and not robots and then throws in a jab at Mason Ryan. Hugh asks if he’s staring him down and Dolph says yes indeed he is using the Jedi Mind Tricks on him. Dolph runs down the city of Cleveland and then Hugh says he’s going to go backstage and get the biggest underdog possible. Dolph is less than impressed. Hugh: “Really?” Dolph: “Who are you? Miz? No, you’re too big.” WOW, Dolph throwing out the shoot comments tonight. Anyway, the crowd chants for Ryder and Hugh commandeers a sign from ringside that indeed indicates his choice will be Ryder.
• Meanwhile, Miz and Truth arrive driving their own car. No limo for them. Johnny Ace appears and says Triple H wants to see them immediately. Miz and Truth profusely apologize to Johnny and appear contrite, except ya know that wrestling heel disingenuous contrition.
• Sin Cara vs. Cody Rhodes. Cole says he doesn’t know which Sin Cara this is and I have to agree. Is it too logical to make one of them a darker shade of blue or perhaps red to keep them straight? If you’re going to with the bizarro mirror universe comic book feud, you might as well steal their costume ideas too. Before the match can get started, the other Sin Cara comes out. JR and King are split who which is the “original” Sin Cara or Mistico in this case. Cody stays on the floor with the “baggers” and disappears for the rest of the segment. No contest because it never got started.
• King says he doesn’t get it and all they do is get in the ring and gesture toward the crowd that each of them is the real one. JR: “I think the WWE Universe is just as confused as we are.” The crowd boos one and backs the other and they do some lucha stuff including an ugly headscissors to crickets. Cole: “This is difficult to follow.” One of them gets dropkicked to the floor and the other does a backflip off the top rope and mutters some insults in espanol. The mustard mood lighting only makes it even harder to follow. I think the idea of these interactions sounds good on paper and even looks cool when they are just standing there, but when you’ve got two characters that aren’t talking and are both doing the exact same moves, botches included, the crowd gets disinterested pretty fast.
• Meanwhile, Triple H is making coffee as Punk and Truth come in sheepishly like they are going into the principal’s office. They both apologize for the attack and they that he isn’t part of the conspiracy. Truth apologizes to all of the Little Jimmys and actually calls him “Trips.” They love being WWE Superstars and think he’s doing a helluva job. Triple H says fine and he accepts their apology. He fines each of them $250,000 and the crowd OOOs. He wants the “check” on his desk by Monday morning. He says they’ll both be competing tonight against John Cena and CM Punk. The whole conception of fines, penalties, etc and even bounties could work again if built to but it seems so random here and like something they NEVER do because they don’t.
• When we return, Teddy Long is leaving and JR says he’s been informed that Orton wants his rematch next month at HITC. JR then brings out Mark Henry. Cole and King are playing up how dangerous he is and King says he doesn’t think it’s a good idea for JR to even do the interview. Henry poses with the belt and it actually has a red strap on the backside. I don’t know if that’s new or not but it’s the first time I’ve noticed that. JR says that no one believed in him and he wants to know what Henry thinks about the naysayers. Henry says he’ll deal with the naysayers in a minute. Cue the “What?” chants. He says he’s never been in HITC and doesn’t know about it but he DID put Orton through hell last night so that’s kind of the same thing. He says he’s the World Champ and no one is taking what’s his from him. He’s never “forgiving” JR and all the fans for never supporting him and never believing in him. Henry wants JR to apologize to him on behalf of all the fans and on behalf of JR himself. JR starts to talk and Henry says that he better not pull the mic away and JR looks down and away in fear. Henry says it’s no secret that JR wasn’t high on him because he was injury prone and an “overachiever” (he meant underachiever). Henry shows JR the belt and says, “I don’t need to say anything. That says EVERYTHING THAT NEEDS TO BE SAID!” JR apologizes on cue and then Henry does a 180 and says he HATES asskissers and starts choking JR by his necktie. JR: “You’re hurting me!” Henry: “THIS IS WHERE YOU BEG FOR YOUR LIFE!” King gets in the ring and tries to reason with him. JR: “I’M ABOUT TO PASS OUT!” Henry finally lets go by now he grabs King and wants him to take JR’s place. King tries a couple of shots and Henry drops him and hits the World’s Strongest Slam on him. Henry boots him to the floor and the commentary is silent for all of this as Cole is too terrified to speak. Henry now gives King the WSS through the announce table. The first few minutes was basically an inferior rehash of his great promo last night but everything after demanding an apology from JR is more great stuff. For what it’s worth, the last time they had something even CLOSE to this with a heel getting legitimate monster heat from blowing through almost everyone was Umaga and Cena beating him killed his heat so hopefully we don’t get that again here. It’s working because they are actually letting Henry destroy people and the main babyfaces are actually showing some vulnerability. Here’s hoping it continues.
• When we come back, we get multiple replays of the last segment. King is being helped to the back and we just have Cole and Josh Matthews on commentary. Cole: “Wherever Mark Henry goes, destruction follows in his wake.”
• Kelly Kelly and Eve Torres vs. Beth Phoenix and Natalya. Cole and Matthews discuss whether or not Kelly’s win was a fluke and whether or not, Beth Phoenix siked herself out. Beth overpowers to start but telegraphs a clothesline by a half hour and then Kelly gets an awful headscissors. Eve in but runs into a boot from Beth. Natayla in and they take her down with a double shoudlerblock. Natayla with some choking as Kelly bounces on the ring apron. More choking from the heels. Eve fights her way out of the corner and gets a roll up for the 3 at 2:00 or so.
• Hugh Jackman is in the back talking with Ryder but the camera does a close up only on Jackman like the reveal of who he’s talking to will be a surprise which is just bizarre from a directorial standpoint. Anyway, Hugh mentions that the divas want nothing to do with this person and his “internet championship.” We pan back and sure enough it’s Ryder. Jackman says he’s perfect and then mugs for the camera to take us into another commercial.
• Dolph Ziggler vs. Zack Ryder. Cole says Matthews should like Ryder because he’s “another internet nerd.” Ryder with a quick roll up for 2 as Matthews runs down all of his credentials including a headband that says “Broski.” Crowd chants HUGE for Ryder as he hits a facewash for 2. YOU SERIOUS, BRO?! Dolph comes back with some boots and jaws with Jackman. Dolph with a neckbreaker and more jawing. Ryder sneaks him with another roll up for 2 but Dolph comes right back with a dropkick and into a Fujiwara armbar. Dolph smacks around Ryder in the corner but runs into a boot. They both go for a clothesline and collide for the double KO. Vickie smacks Ryder for being near her on the apron. Chioda ejects Vickie and Jackman gets on the apron and waffles Dolph behind the ref’s back. Zach with the Rough Ryder Leg Lariat to win it at 4:00.
• Nice hype video for Jack Swagger. He could really go places. He might even be a World Champion someday. Jack and Vickie are watching his video in the back. Swagger is impressed with himself and says that he can help Vickie meet Jackman. Now, what about that managerial contract? Vickie says that can happen and he’ll make a nice addition to her “stable.” When’s the last time two guys in WWE were fighting for someone’s managerial services? Christian and Jericho over Trish? Test and Albert winning Trish’s services? The Hardyz and E and C trying to get Terri Runnels’ contract?
• Meanwhile, Punk and Cena go face to face in the back and Cena calls them the “New Rock ‘n Roll Express.” Punk says he wouldn’t go that far. Cena says he would. Their matches have been outstanding and Punk has earned the fans’ respect and therefore Punk has earned his respect. Cena says they will make history next month at HITC and he hopes Punk makes it there and doesn’t get fired tonight. Punk says HE hopes CENA doesn’t get fired. That would make history. During the majority of this segment, Cena was drowned out at least 50/50 by dueling chants of Cena sucks/Let’s go Cena.
• They show a video package for HITC as a gimmick.
• Awesome Truth vs. John Cena and The Miz. Cole plays up Cena being the only guy to win this specific title 10 times. I’m not buying this Punk/Cena Megapowers routine and suspect it will blow up before even the end of this match. Miz tries to shake hands with the ref to show his reformed ways but Robinson is reluctant. Cena with a bulldog for 2 and then Punk comes in and they hit a double hiptoss. Truth in now but runs into a drop toe hold and a Northern Lights suplex for 2. Truth has graffiti on his pants that spell “SHUT UP!” and “R-TRUTH!” It looks funnier than it sounds. Cena in and they do the wishbone split for 2. Truth makes the tag to Miz and now it’s the WM main event revisited. Cena with a drop toe hold and wants the FU but Miz slides out and gets a DDT for 2. We cut to commercial. We come back to Miz hitting a yakuza kick for 2. Miz tries another but Cena ducks only to get caught in the neck/backbreaker and the neckbreaker combo for 2. Miz starts arguing with the ref but Truth comes in to make peace and make sure they don’t attack the ref. Awesome character continuity there. Truth in and goes to a chinlock. Cena with a Saito suplex to counter. Truth with a clothesline and drags Cena over to the heel corner. More boots from Miz as he jukes and jives with jabs. Cena counters that with a gutwrench suplex as he compares Miz to Muhammed Ali. Truth in and prevents the hot tag and drags Cena over to the heel corner. Robinson pulls him away and Miz COULD attack Cena behind his back but doesn’t. They are playing by the rules tonight and trying to win clean and not mess with the ref. Truth with a right hand for 2 and then spazzes out at the ref but still doesn’t attack him. They boot away in the corner as Punk gets a hope spot clap going. Cena gets an inverted atomic drop but runs into a clothesline. Miz goes for the flying clothesline in the corner but Cena avoids. Cena makes the hot tag and Punk is in with rights and a leg lariat and a suplex on Truth. Punk with the knee lift and bulldog combo on Miz and a springboard clothesline. He wants the G2S but Miz slides out. Miz and Truth almost collide only for Punk to dropkick them together anyway and hit the G2S on Miz to win it at 13:00 ish. So much for my megapowers collide prediction.
• Triple H cuts off the celebration. He wishes Punk only a good match and then cuts straight to the point and fires Truth and Miz. Er, does that mean they still pay the kayfabe fine? They are in disbelief. They storm to the back but instead we cut to Triple H and the rest of the lockerroom near the Gorilla position. Truth and Miz bust through the curtain and jump H. The lockeroom pulls them away and then Triple H demands they get thrown out. Miz is carried away just like Chris Jericho when he was “fired” back in 2005. Triple H is pissed off and we fade to black watching his stalk through the back alone.