– Raw #817 comes to you live from Chicago, Illinois. Vince McMahon returns tonight from a six-month hiatus. It’s also Martin Luther King Day.
6-Man Over the Top Battle Royal
Orton, Kofi Kingston, Kane, Santino, Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase. Priceless has a new entrance song – same song, different tone. The other was one better. Whoever worked the lights at the start of the match probably got canned for screwing with the on/off switch. Santino, Kofi, Rhodes, DiBiase and Kane eliminated. Very short match, and a total waste of Orton for the night. Good finish, with DiBiase eliminating himself to take out Kane and give Orton the win.
Beth Phoenix defeats Kelly Kelly
Kelly’s wearing a Jonathan Toews jersey, which actually makes me like her a lot more. No captaincy on the jersey for some reason, though. Beth wins in an even shorter match than the last one, and we’re not even 20 minutes into the show.
The Legacy. Rhodes says he heard a rumour that Steph is going to fire Orton tonight. Wow – Jericho, now Orton? Is this Raw, or the Care Bears vs. the Smurfs? Who’s the top heel now, Mike Knox? Stupid.
Glamarella. Creepy segment with Rosa Mendes, who Santino gave an internship too. As usual, Santino chews up and spits out the English language. “Can we keep her?” Awesome.
Steph/Orton. Absolutely amazing segment.
CM Punk defeats William Regal to win the Intercontinental Championship
Something about Punk’s entrance gave away that he was going to win. Either way, great match to win the strap in his hometown. Punk looked like he broke his neck at one point, but overall, this match was great. Punk looked especially sharp. Finally, Chicago has something to cheer about (other than having been the filming location of The Dark Knight.
World Heavyweight Championship Contract Signing
JBL w/ HBK and Super Cena. Average promos back and forth from HBK, who speaks for the first time in ages and Cena, followed by a hard HBK heel turn. Cena gets beaten down.
Rey Mysterio defeats Mike Knox via DQ
Some kid on camera got startled from Rey’s pyro. Probably ’cause kids such. Grisham interviews Knox backstage and asks him why he keeps attacking Rey. Here’s the answer, word for word, “No reason. I don’t know, really. No particular reason.” What kind of angle is that? It’s like, they were coming up with the idea, and then just totally ignored the storyline plot. Why are you guys fighting? Well gee, I don’t know, it never really occurred to me until just this minute. Ridiculous. Anyways, the match was a typical crappy Rey Mysterio match. Knox got bloodied.
Steph/Jericho. Jericho’s back, and he’s got mic time! He got a huge pop once the camera went on him.
Cryme Tyme defeats MizMo
Great mic time for MizMo to begin. Morrison says he’s Republican. Just awesome. Cryme Tyme wins in an interference-ridden match. Another short, crappy match under five minutes.
Rhodes and Mickie James. Golddust comes in and he and Rhodes bicker. Great heel promo by Rhodes.
Limo pulls up. Vince? I hope it’s Christian Cage, that’d make this Raw the greatest EVER.
Melina defeats Jillian
Snore. Team Glamarella comes to ringside. Santino tells Rosa Mendes to beat down Melina, and Beth goes for the finish.
Dolph Ziggler w/ Candice. Vince comes and introduces himself to Dolph, who can’t reply back. Dumb.
Y2J kisses his ass a bit. He’s got such great diction since his heel turn, especially in his character attack of Steph. Steph comes down. Vince and Steph become co-GMs of Raw. Steph still looks hot. Jericho apologizes, but Steph rejects it. She makes Jericho apologize to the fans and just does a total power abuse of Jericho. As Orton walks up the ramp, Orton enters. Another uber-heel promo for Orton on Steph. Vince and Orton bicker. Vince goes to fire him, but gets the taste slapped out of his mouth. Orton proceeds to punt him in the head. The Legacy, EMTs, trainers, etc. come out to Vince’s aid. Steph is crying like a blabbering baby.
Raw kinda sucked again. No match, other than Punk/Regal was more than a few minutes. It must be nice for Vince to work one day a year and that’s it. First, a set falls on him, and now, he’s punted in the head, likely out for an extended amount of time. So I guess Jericho’s back now? And Orton’s in limbo?
High Point: Orton/Vince, Punk/Regal
Low Point: Everything else outside of Santino backstage
Final Score: 4
– According to Yahoo! Sports, Heat President Pat Riley says that the O’Neal-for-Marion deal is not imminent. Riley was quoted as saying, “It’s typical this time of the year in the NBA that people put the cart before the horse,” Riley said. “Whoever is saying that is putting the cart before the horse.” Riley did not deny interest in O’Neal. The deal that appears to be in place will see the Raptors acquire F Shawn Marion and G Marcus Banks in exchange for F Jermaine O’Neal. Riley is concerned about O’Neal’s immediate availability after he recently missed nine games with a sore knee. O’Neal, 30, played 17 minutes in Toronto’s loss at Indiana on Friday, his first game since Dec. 29. The Raptors said they held him out of Sunday’s loss to Phoenix to save him for Monday’s game at Atlanta. The Heat are currently in playoff contention, so they may not appear to trigger-happy to make a deal. The trade deadline is February 19.
This deal was actually broken by a friend close to me in Toronto well before I, or any of the other media outlets, had broken it publicly.
– The Red Wings are rumoured to be looking for a veteran goalie. The team has been dissatisfied with G Chris Osgood and G Ty Conklin thus far, as both have been extremely inconsistent at times. The team could be looking into G Olaf Kolzig.
– According to TSN.ca, the Maple Leafs have fired director of player personnel Al Coates. Coates was part of Stanley Cup winning Ducks in ’06 and with the Flames ’89.
– According to a source, the Bruins are interested in Leafs’ F Nik Antropov and Blues’ F Keith Tkachuk
– The Blackhawks and Bruins have discussed a deal involving F Martin Havlat. A deal seems unlikely.
– The NHLPA is not expected to re-open the CBA at a vote on Thursday, meaning that there will be no impending re-lockout.
– The Bolts have re-claimed D Cory Murphy off re-entry waivers.
– Sabres’ D Teppo Numminen is out indefinitely after facial surgery.
– FOXSports.com reports that “depending upon whom you believe, the Giants are either heavily or barely in the mix for” Manny Ramirez. The Dodgers remain the only team clearly in pursuit of Ramirez, seeing as they remain the only team that has offered him a hard contract. Los Angeles has a ton of payroll room, and with it, they could sign OF Adam Dunn or OF Bobby Abreu if they give up on Manny. The Giants, though, are said to be pursuing trades for big bats, meaning Man-Ram is possible.
– According to the Washington Post, free agent OF Adam Dunn’s asking price is four years/$56M. The Nats are believed to be out of the running at that price, despite having interest in Dunn since day one. He’s reportedly been telling teams he won’t move to first base, so that would rule out the Red Sox even if they could find a taker for 3B Mike Lowell. Jays’ GM JP Ricciardi’s only good thing thus far has been badmouthing Dunn, leading to league-wide disinterest.
– According to the Baltimore Sun, the Orioles have locked up OF Nick Markakis with a six-year/$66M contract that will be finalized once he takes a physical exam later this week. The newspaper reports that the deal will include additional incentives and a limited no-trade clause while keeping the 25-year-old Markakis in Baltimore through 2014. Markakis was already under the Orioles’ control for the next three seasons, so the extension would take care of his first three years of free agency. Other than this deal being a product of the devil, the O’s did good here.
– The Pirates remain interested in RHP Pedro Martinez, but he is currently out of their price range.
– Twins’ C Joe Mauer said in a radio interview that his kidney operation may not have him ready for spring training.
– The Marlins have signed OF Jeremy Hermida on a one-year/$2.25M contract and have signed INF Jorge Cantu on a one-year/$3.5M contract.
– The Astros have signed C Humberto Quintero to a one-year/$610K deal.
– The White Sox have signed RHP Bobby Jenks to a one-year/$5.6M contract.
– The Mets have signed RHP Duaner Sanchez to a one-year/$1.6875M contract.
– The Halos have signed C Mike Napoli to a two-year/$2M deal.
– The Rockies have signed LHP Jorge De La Rosa to a one-year/$2M contract.
– The Reds have signed OF Jonny Gomes to a minor league contract.
– The Jets have officially named Rex Ryan as their head coach, and have signed him to a four-year deal.