Event: WWE Monday Night RAW
Airdate: Monday, September 5th, 2011 (USA Network)
Location: The Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio
Results by Colin Rinehart of 411
“Yes, sir, we promised you a great main event…”
Your hosts are Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler, and Michael Cole
We’re still going under the title of “WWE RAW Supershow” here, so it looks like that semi-name change could be permanent. We open the show with a rather well done video package giving us the hard sell on the Punk/Triple H feud and match at Night of Champions. CM Punk opens the live show for us to a nice pop, grabbing a mic and entering the ring. He talks about being a target because he’s different and pisses people off then mentions that he’s scheduled to face R-Truth tonight. Punk says he’d rather get his hands on Kevin Nash tonight because he represents the proverbial “status quo” that he is trying to fight against. He calls out Kevin to face him like a man, and the familiar sounds of the nWo theme hit as Nash makes his way out to the stage with a microphone of his own. Nash says he doesn’t listen to Punk and does whatever he wants when he wants to. Punk pokes fun at Nash’s many names and gimmicks over his career with fun references to Super Shredder and Oz before calling him a complainer. Nash doesn’t seem to take Punk seriously, saying that he leaves Punk laying every time he gets his hands on him. Punk says that Nash hasn’t been relevant since 1994, when he won his first World title as Nash begins walking down the stage towards the ring.
Suddenly our COO corporate Triple H makes his way out to the familiar sounds of Motorhead and he walks down the aisle in between Nash and Punk. Nash says that Punk is a cancer and tries to convince Triple H to fire him, but Triple H just walks silently into the ring to confront Punk. He grabs a mic and says normally he’d forgive Nash and fire Punk, but this isn’t a normal week for him since he discovered “the truth”. Hunter says the security at the Staples Center provided him with some intriguing footage of someone entering his office at the exact time that Nash claimed to have received the alleged text message from Triple H to take out Punk after the main event at Summerslam. Hunter reveals that it was Nash who sent the text from Hunter’s phone in his office to his own cell phone, and Nash enters the ring and admits he did it. He says he did what needed to be done and “made the WWE cool again”. Uh, no Kev, that was Punk. Nash says the WWE Universe is not big enough for the both of them and that one of them has to go, so Triple H implies that he’s about to fire Nash instead of Punk, and Nash flips out on him for it. Nash says he got a bit emotional when he pushed Hunter but that he thought “friends could do that”. He gets in Hunter’s face some more as a small “CM Punk” chant starts up. Nash slaps Hunter and Triple H lays him out with a big right hand. Triple H says the infamous two words of his father-in-law to Nash, “You’re fired!”, and then exits the ring angrily. Punk points and laughs at Nash ala Nelson from the Simpsons as we cut to commercial.
When we return from the break we see an angry Kevin Nash get into a black Cadillac with John Laurinaitis. Draaammmaaaa!
Air Boom (Evan Bourne/Kofi Kingston) vs. The Great Khali/Jinder Mahal
Apparently the WWE Universe chose the new name for the Bourne/Kofi tag team. Sounds like a sequel in the Air Bud franchise. Non-title match up here. Cole fills us in on Mahal and Khali’s back-story, saying that Mahal is married to Khali’s sister and will leave her if the Khali doesn’t follow all of Jinder’s orders. Oh goody, babyface Great Khali on the horizon again. Bourne starts off with Mahal and snaps off a nice hurricanrana before Jinder delivers a nice double-underhook butterfly suplex for a two count before tagging Khali in. Khali takes out Bourne with a right hand and then lays in some awkward stomps on him back in the heels corner before tagging Mahal back in. Jinder nails Bourne with a few knee-drops until Evan gets a shot back in and makes the tag to Kofi, who springboards in with a huge cross-body on Jinder. Khali low-bridges Kofi and then tosses him back inside. He goes for a big tomahawk chop but winds up hitting Mahal instead. Kofi gets the tag to Bourne, who hits the shooting star press on Mahal for the win at 4:22. Goofy name aside, Kofi and Bourne are a fun young tag team of high-flying babyfaces, a tried and true formula for success in the tag division. Jinder looked decent as well, but Khali looks to just about be on his last legs as a performer these days. Decent tag to start the show off. **
Backstage we see the WWE champion Alberto Del Rio enter the arena with Ricardo Rodriguez, so I guess he got those visa issues worked out. The commentators announce Punk vs. Truth as still set to go on later tonight as Kelly Kelly makes her way down to the ring to do commentary for the next match-up.
WWE Diva’s Title #1 Contender’s Match
Beth Phoenix vs. Eve Torres
Beth is accompanied by a gorgeous looking Natalya, who also joins the commentary table with the announcers and Kelly Kelly. Beth overpowers Eve quickly with a shoulder-block and the two women trade jack-knife pin attempts. Eve delivers a few fore-arms but then gets tossed shoulder-first into the steel ring post. Beth slams her arm again the ring post and then covers Eve for a two count back inside. She delivers a huge boot to Eve’s chest, but Eve fires back with a bicycle kick of her own followed by a somersault senton for a two count. Eve misses a jump-kick and walks right into the Glam-Slam from Beth, who pins her moments later at 2:08. These two managed to fit some really good action into 2 minutes, I’d actually be interested in seeing what these two could do together with a decent chunk of time to actually build a real match. After the match Natalya jumps Kelly from behind, mockingly apologizes in the most adorable way imaginable, and then joins Beth back in the ring to celebrate over the bodies of Eve and Kelly on the floor. *1/2
Backstage we see Drew McIntyre talking to Christian about how he too is a victim of injustice. Del Rio walks up and tells Drew off to talk to Christian. He says that he expected to see Christian with the World Heavyweight title tonight and then tries to lay the blame on John Cena, which Christian doesn’t seem to like. He says that if he were to take out Cena, it would be on his terms and not Del Rio’s. Del Rio reminds Christian about Cena giving him the AA 24 hours before his cage match with Orton last week and then takes off. We get another trailer for the new Triple H film Inside Out as well.
R-Truth makes his way out after the break with a microphone, complaining about CM Punk talking about being different and speaking the truth. Truth says he’s been doing the same thing for years and no one cares. He says he’ll have to be a “good R-Truth”, buy a ticket to Night of Champions and stuff his face like the rest of the “little Jimmys”. The Miz comes out moments later with a mic of his own to join Truth. He says that he’s had an epiphany. He and Truth do a funny bit confusing big words with one another before entering the ring to complain some more about the vague “conspiracy” against the two of them. Miz says he’s going to do Triple H’s job for him and says that he and Truth will take on Kofi Kingston and Evan Bourne for the WWE Tag Team titles at Night of Champions. Truth makes some lame fart jokes and some-how accepts the challenge that The Miz just laid out. Truth says he has an “epi-phab-knee” of his own, and that’s that CM Punk is about to get got. Finally the match begins.
CM Punk vs. R-Truth
Punk makes his way out quickly and hops into the ring as we cut to commercial before the match begins. When we return the bell rings and we’re off as both men lock up and Punk works an early wristlock. He snapmares Truth and then goes to work on his abdomen with big stomps before taking him down to the mat again with a side-headlock. Cole and JR bicker like two junior high girls on commentary as Truth trades places with Punk and works his own side-headlock briefly. He shoulder-blocks Punk and dances a bit arrogantly, paying for it almost immediately with a big dropkick from Punk that sends Truth out to the floor to consult with The Miz. Punk stays on the offensive though with a big tope suicida, wiping out Truth at ringside. Back in the ring Truth slaps a chinlock onto Punk and then tosses him out of the ring so The Miz can get a cheap shot in behind the ref’s back. Truth goes to work on Punk’s leg, slamming it into the ring apron. Truth wastes time showboating again though and takes a few close near fall roll-ups from Punk. Truth works a half Boston crab and continues the leg-work. Punk crotches Truth on the top, lays in a stiff chop and then superplexes him off the top turnbuckle to give him some time to recover. Punk lays in some lightning-fast kicks and a leg lariat followed by the high running knee and the running bull-dog to Truth before hitting him with a springboard clothesline and calling for the GTS (the crowd actually seems to be solidly behind Punk as the face here for once). Truth counters the GTS into a nice gourdbuster, but Punk kicks out of the pin attempt. Truth misses a scissors kick attempt and The Miz tries to trip Punk up, so Punk dropkicks him and the ref throws The Miz out of the ring side area. Truth sneaks up behind Punk, but Punk turns him around and absolutely DESTROYS him with one of the best GTS I’ve seen from him in a long time to pick up the win at 11:52. This one started off a bit slow and they seemed to rely a bit too much on rest-holds for a bit, but they found their groove eventually and the finish was killer. Not even the unbearable commentary work from Cole, JR, and King could derail this one. Did I mention how sick that GTS was? ***
After the match Triple H immediately makes his way to the ring with a mic. Punk has a mic of is own and cuts him off, saying that he doesn’t buy Triple H’s attack on Nash earlier for one second and he still believes that Nash and Hunter are in cahoots. Triple H announces that he’s changed their match at Night of Champions into a No DQ match because he genuinely wants to hurt Punk. He threatens to fire Punk afterwards as well. Punk says he likes the No DQ stipulation and he’ll agree to it if he gets to add a stipulation of his own to the match, and that’s that if Punk wins at NOC Triple H must resign as the COO of the company. Triple H agrees to the stipulation and takes off hastily.
Backstage Alberto Del Rio interrupts a conversation between Wade Barrett, Tyler Reks, and Curt Hawkins. Del Rio tries to get Barrett to attack Cena just like he tried with Christian earlier, but Barrett says that he doesn’t need to bother because he’s going to take out Cena regardless.
After a quick commercial we return to see David Otunga and Michael McGillicutty in the ring (someone, anyone needs to confiscate McGillicutty’s doo-rag, for the love of God) awaiting the King, who insulted them on commentary last week. King introduces his own tag team partner for tonight, the Long Island Iced Z Zack Ryder! We even get a nifty little video package hyping Ryder up.
Jerry Lawler/Zack Ryder vs. David Otunga/Michael McGillicutty
Don’t look now but the WWE might actually be giving Zack Ryder a real honest-to-God push. Cole buries him on commentary so that might just be your confirmation. McGillicutty jumps Ryder from behind to start and he and Otunga trade quick tags, working him over in the early going. Ryder gets a shot of his own in and quickly tags the King in, and King cleans house on the former tag champs. He delivers the second-rope fist drop to Otunga but Ryder demands the tag and delivers the Rough Ryder to pick up the win at 2:19. Just a quick tag match to give the King a nostalgia pop and give Ryder a “big” win on Raw for once. *
Backstage Del Rio tries to lay the same mind games onto Dolph Ziggler, but he tells him off. The Bella Twins walk by and are all over Del Rio, but he shoos them off to his dressing room. Del Rio lays the seeds of jealousy into Ziggler about Vickie Guerrero’s new business relationship with Jack Swagger and tells him that Cena is always insulting Vickie before taking off. Elsewhere we see Randy Orton walking towards the ring area as we cut to commercial.
Randy Orton vs. Heath Slater
Orton’s opponent is…Heath Slater? I don’t like Slater’s odds here. Orton takes the fight right to him with stiff European uppercuts and stomps to the face and legs. Slater lures the ref into the corner to check on him and then pokes Randy in the eye behind the ref’s back before laying him out with a nice step-up enziguri for a two count. Slater knees Orton in the back and tries a chinlock, but Orton fights him off quickly only to walk right into a big spinebuster for another two count. By god, Heath Slater is actually getting some decent offense in here. Slater avoids a leapfrog but then walks right into a lariat, followed by the scoop powerslam and the second-rope DDT from Orton. Randy goes into Viper mode and finishes Slater off with the RKO at 3:00. Decent little jobber match for Orton, and they actually gave Slater a bit of offense so as not to make this a total squash-a-roo. *3/4
Backstage Zack Ryder catches up with John Cena as we cut to commercial. When we return he’s made his way out to the ring and has a microphone. He talks about how week after week he calls for Del Rio’s head, but Del Rio keeps ducking him. He predicts that Del Rio will come out and give him another excuse as to why they can’t fight right now, and just that begins to happen as Ricardo Rodriguez introduces Del Rio in his luxury car. Del Rio is handed a microphone and he talks about how Rey Mysterio is gone because of him and how Del Rio is allegedly trying to “protect” John Cena from…himself. He calls out the “rudos of RAW” and moments later Wade Barrett, Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger, and Christian all run out to the ring and jump John Cena. Suddenly Alex Riley and Sheamus run out to save Cena, followed by John Morrison who wipes out Christian with a running clothesline off the security barrier. The Smackdown GM Teddy Long’s music hits and he makes his way out to turn this whole brawl into an eight-man tag team elimination match for our main event tonight.
Eight-Man Tag Team Elimination Match
John Cena/John Morrison/Sheamus/Alex Riley vs. Christian/Dolph Ziggler/Jack Swagger/Wade Barrett
We take a quick commercial break and when we return the match has already started during the break. Riley and Barrett are squaring off, with Barrett delivering a huge sidewalk slam for a two count on Alex. Barrett misses a Yakuza kick in the corner and both men tag out to Morrison and Ziggler. Morrison is fired up and delivers the C4 suplex to Ziggler before taking out Swagger and Barrett with a double-dropkick and kipping back up to his feet. Christian tries to jump him from behind but gets nailed by the pele kick. Ziggler is able to slap his sleeper hold onto Morrison however and Swagger tags himself in and applies the ankle lock on Morrison, who taps out and is eliminated at 2:52. Vickie Guerrero makes her way out to ringside as we take another commercial break.
When we return from the break Alex Riley is being worked over in the heels corner again. Ziggler nails him in the heart with an elbow drop for a near fall. Riley fights back with a huge spinebuster but turns around and walks right into the Fameasser/Rocker Dropper from Ziggler. Swagger tags himself in and it causes a bit of friction between the two. Swagger nails Riley with a Swagger Bomb and then locks the ankle lock on to make Riley tap out to be eliminated next at 5:09.
Sheamus comes in next to a big pop and tosses Swagger aside to set his sights on Wade Barrett. Ziggler distracts him briefly and Barrett nails him with a huge big boot for a two count. Sheamus fights back with a big powerslam and then lays in some huge fists into Barrett’s chest in-between the ring ropes. He hits Barrett with a running knee and knocks Barrett down with a flying shoulder-block off the top rope. He misses the Brogue Kick and Barrett tries for a pumphandle slam, but Sheamus counters and connects with the Brogue Kick to pin and eliminate Barrett at 8:42. Christian hops in next and spears him for a close two count. He slaps Sheamus in the face and Sheamus flips out, chasing Christian all the way into the crowd and back out up onto the entrance ramp. Both men are counted out at 9:57, leaving it down to Cena against Ziggler and Swagger. The crowd goes apeshit for Cena’s offense as he cleans house on both men and delivers a fisherman’s suplex to Swagger before getting nailed in the face by a stiff dropkick from Ziggler. Both men try to isolate Cena briefly, but this of course is futile as Cena goes into his usual finishing sequence, with a two-man Five Knuckle Shuffle thrown in to mix things up a bit. Cena gets caught with a belly-to-belly suplex from Swagger and then eats a huge Swagger Bomb, but Ziggler tags himself in with a blind tag and walks right into the AA from Cena, who pins him at 14:05. Swagger slaps the ankle lock on Cena from behind though. Cena counters into the STFU though and Swagger taps out almost immediately to give Cena the win at 14:39 (shown). This was a RED-HOT match in terms of crowd noise and the finishing stretch with Cena against Ziggler and Swagger was very exciting, but the finish was never even slightly in question and yet again Cena overcomes the odds for a meaningless television win, basically defeating two guys single handedly. I’m not one to ever complain about Cena’s dominance, but the fact that the finish was never in doubt here at all really took away from an otherwise enjoyable main event. **3/4
After the match Del Rio tries to jump Cena, but bails when it doesn’t pan through. We close out the show with Cena celebrating in the ring, an all too familiar picture.