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John Laurinaitis opens the show in his People Power cart. Ace introduces himself, but gets cut off by Vince McMahon!
Vince syas it’s all about business, and asks why he shouldn’t fire Ace right now. He says “People Power.” Wait, did he just say 100 episodes of Raw, and not 1,000? How do you fuck that up? Ace starts sucking up, and says he’s earned the respect of the fans. “Fire Johnny” chant starts. Vince blames Ace for Lesnar’s contract and the two pending lawsuits. For some reason, they mention the signing of Zack Gowen, a one-legged wrestler. Ace says that the Lesnar saga is Triple H’s fault. Vince also says he questions the Big Show contract, saying Show hasn’t been effective since 1999. Wow. Sheamus’ music hits next.
Sheamus said it’s great to see Vince, and jokingly says he’s friends with Ace. Vince says “Fire Johnny” is now trending on Twitter. Sheamus says he wants Vince to fire Ace. Ace says he’s going to book Sheamus in a match later tonight. Vince adds that it needs to be a good opponent in a good match, otherwise Ace will hear “you’re fired!” Ace left, allowing Vince to take the People Power cart up the ramp before tossing it off the ramp. Overall, the segment lasted 13 minutes. I guess Vince is back in power even though HHH fired him last summer. It’s best not to remember logical reasoning when watching WWE.
They air Alberto Del Rio’s concussion from SmackDown against The Great Khali. They said it was from a pair of chops, but it was actually when he bumped his head on the WWE logo at the stage.
Sheamus vs. Tensai (C)
After the commercial, Tensai is in control and hits a running splash in the corner. Sheamus retaliates with a shoulder block, then a knee smash and forearm to the face. Sheamus hit a series of forearm shots to the chest. Tensai came back with a double choke bomb for a nearfall. He hit Sheamus with a kick, but he shook it off an hit a Brogue Kick for the pinfall at 8 minutes. Not bad at all.
Backstage, Vince is in the locker room. He says Tensai losing is strike one on Ace. He asks Ace what he was going to do about Sheamus’ opponent at No Way Out. Vickie Guerrero came in and promoted Dolph Ziggler & Jack Swagger. Vince tells her to ask Ace, who asked her to ask Teddy Long, who suggested that since those four are former champs, they should do a Fatal Fourway elimination match, with the winner becoming the #1 Contender. Vince likes it. Ace takes credit for thinking of the idea, then sends Teddy to get him coffee. Ace tries to fist bump Vince, but he’s not buying it. “A fist bump? You’ve got small hands.”
After the commercial, Tensai is beating the shit out of Mr. Sakamoto. He screamed at him in Japanese, then hit some punches and tossed him out of the ring. He smashed Sakamoto’s head into the announce table, then sent him back first into the ring post. Tensai tosses him into the security wall before the refs came to break it up.
Memorable Raw moment: July 13, 2009 with Seth Green as guest host. Him, Triple H & Cena against Legacy.
Backstage, Matt Striker asks R-Truth how he was feeling after his attack from Big Show two weeks ago. Truth instead talked to Little Jimmy during the promo, and says Cena will beat Show at NWO. Randomly, a fist comes flying in and knocks Truth the fuck out. Big Show is standing over him to end the segment. I guess this is WWE’s way of writing Truth off for a bit. He reportedly has a broken foot. I wonder if Kofi will need to drop the title in the meantime.
Ricardo Rodriguez & Beth Phoenix d. Santino & Layla
Ricardo doesn’t really want to be here. He tagged in thinking he could wrestle Layla, but he had to face Santino, so he tagged Beth back in. Layla hit an impressive springboard crossbody for two, followed by a facebuster, then a headscissors on Rodriguez who tried to interfere. On the outside, Santino went for the Cobra, but Rodriguez ran into the ring post as he tried to get away. Phoenix kicked Layla in the back of her knee and then gave her a Glam Slam for the pinfall at 3 minutes. Post-match, Rodriguez is celebrating in the ring. Santino rips off Rodriguez’ shirt, revealing a purple Justin Bieber shirt. Rodriguez got embarrassed and left. Rather than pumping the Divas match a bit, they focused on comedy for the match. Which is fine, but Beth pinned the Divas Champion, so something at least could’ve come of it.
Backstage, David Otunga is sucking up to Vince. He says if Ace is fired, he would make a good replacement. He mentions he and Vince have similar body types. Vince counters saying that he doesn’t like lawyers. Kofi Kingston enters and explains that Truth got hurt backstage. Kofi asks for a match with Show, so Ace books Kingston vs. Show in a steel cage. Vinces likes it.
In the ring, Daniel Bryan cuts a promo, saying he’s different than Kane and CM Punk. He says the match comes down to AJ–Punk is trying to steal his ex-girlfriend, while Kane thinks he’s getting to second base when a girl looks at him and doesn’t vomit. Ha! “As AJ can attest once you go Bryan there’s no point in tryin’.” Bryan asks if he’ll become the WWE Champion at NWO, and starts chanting “YES!”
CM Punk’s music hits. He says Bryan talks about AJ a lot for somebody that’s supposed to have gotten over. He says AJ is pretty cool, and says “I dig crazy chicks.” Bryan told Punk that he’s changed, and that he used to be the voice of the voiceless. He says Show gets booed for being a sellout, but Punk is the biggest sellout in WWE history. Punk recalls his famous promo and says he hasn’t changed and has achieved all of his success at the highest level without kissing anyone’s ass or compromising himself, something Bryan has done. Punk calls him a series of adjectives, ending it with “goat faced” which everyone chanted and quickly began trending on Twitter. Punk said he was going to give Bryan an ironic wakeup call when he makes him Go To Sleep.
Kane comes out next, and says his pipebombs are actual pipebombs. He’s set Jim Ross on fire, electocuted Shane McMahon’s testicles, etc. At NWO, he’s walking out as WWE Champion.
AJ comes running out and pleads for everyone to stop. She says she looked into Kane’s eyes last week, and saw that deep down in that tortured soul he actually has a heart. Punk adds, “You gotta love crazy chicks!” “Crazy chicks” chant. AJ says you don’t get over your first love, and says she hasn’t gotten over Bryan yet. She turns to Punk and says he’s like the coolest guy she’s ever known. She says the best man will win at NWO.
John Laurinaitis comes on the jumbotron and announces a tag match: Kane & Daniel Bryan vs. CM Punk & AJ. Overall, not a bad segment. AJ’s part in this points to her factoring into the WWE Championship match in some capacity. The story is good though, and I’m sold on watching it.
World Heavyweight Championship #1 Contender: Fatal Four Way Elimination Match: Dolph Ziggler d. Christian, Jack Swagger & The Great Khali (B-)
Swagger hit Khali in the back of the left leg, allowing Christian to hit a Frog Splash. All three guys covered Khali for the pinfall at 90 seconds, eliminating him. Ziggler took a big bump on a backdrop to the outside. After Swagger missed a Swagger Bomb on Christian, Christian tried for a rollup but got two. Swagger kicked out and quickly locked in an Ankle Lock on Christian, but he rolls through, sending Swagger into the ringpost. Christian hit the Killswitch and Ziggler covered for the pinfall at 9 minutes, eliminating Swagger. Ziggler worked on Christian’s ankle, which is now limiting him in the ring. Christian countered with a slingshot and a Spear for a nearfall. Ziggler kicked Christian in the ankle, then hit a FameAsser for two. Ziggler missed the Zig Zag, as Christian hit a reverse DDT. He went up top and jumped, but Ziggler moved as Christian hurt his ankle on the landing. Ziggler wrapped up with a Zig Zag for the pinfall at 12 minutes. Post match, Ziggler yells “about damn time!” Overall, a solid match with the right guy winning. Well done.
Backstage, Natalya talking to Vince. She recalls her family being all together at WrestleMania a few years ago. Vince is annoyed. Brodus Clay’s dancers come in asking if he can be on Raw. Apparently, he’s now on SmackDown. They all start dancing. A red light hits, and Vince yells “somebody call my momma!” They keep weirdly dancing. When it ends, Zack Ryder walks in in awe. Vince says “woo woo woo” but Ryder just leaves.
Ryback d. Jobbers (F)
Ryback hit the double powerbomb on one of them, then a hard clothesline on the other, sending him to the floor. He hit his double Muscle-Buster-like move on both guys at the same time for the pinfall at 1 minute.
Backstage, Vince is watching clips from SmackDown with his son, Hornswoggle. Oops. Vince put on a JR cowboy hat, mocked his face and yelled “Stone Cold.” John Cena walked in. Vince says Cena lost to The Rock at WrestleMania, but Cena counters by bringing up Vince’s losses at Mania. Vince told Cena not to interfere in the Kingston/Show match. Cena said he talked to Kofi, and he will handle his business. Otunga came in again. They panned over to William Regal sitting on the couch, but I missed what he said.
Steel Cage: Big Show d. Kofi Kingston (D-)
Kingston tried to attack early, but to no avail. Show picked up Kingston in his arms and threw him hard into the cage a few times, following by some hard kicks to the ribs. Kofi tried to escape, but Show stopped him. Kofi hit Trouble in Paradise for two. With Kofi trying to exit through the door, Show caught Kingston’s foot and brought him in, then punched him right in the fucking face with a KO punch. Ref Scott Armstrong says Kofi is KO’d. Show walks out for the win at 7 minutes.
Sin Cara d. Curt Hawkins (D)
Your typical Sin Cara match. Impressive offence with a corkscrew plancha, as well as some dropkicks and an arm drag off the top rope. Cara hit La Mistica for the pinfall at 4 minutes.
Backstage, Vince wishes Bryan good luck in his match. Bryan said he got fired once and he proved Vince wrong–both he and Vince are self-made success stories. Vince said that unlike Bryan at WrestleMania, he has never finished anything in 18 seconds. That’s What She Said!
Memorable Raw moment: January 11, 1993. Episode #1.
Vader d. Heath Slater (D)
Holy shit, it’s Vader! “Let’s Go Vader” chant. Slater tried for a body slam, but collapse under the weight as Vader fell on top of him. Vader hit a belly to belly suplex, followed by a Vader Bomb for the pinfall at 4 minutes. Nice to see him back.
CM Punk & AJ d. Kane & Daniel Bryan (D+)
Punk was in control early, but Kane eventually got the upper hand. Punk went flying into the turnbuckle, but AJ’s hand touched him in the back, making her the legal partner. AJ smiled at Kane and started skipping around him. She jumped in his arms and planted a kiss. Kane tags in Bryan and leaves. Bryan went after AJ, but she tagged in Punk, who hit a big kick to the face. Punk hit a top rope elbow drop for the pinfall at 7 minutes. Pretty lame finish. I had much higher expectations. The question now is what role does AJ play with Kane entering NWO.
Vince comes out for the final segment. He came to the ring with a bunch of security guards. He says he lived in Connecticut, and Stephanie was born there. He calls Ace to the ring, and he limps down on a crutch. Ace says Vince won’t need security. Vince says it’s not for him, but rather to escort somebody out of the building. Ace says Vince and the fans need him. Vince says “People Power” is synonymous with Ace, just like another phrase is synonymous with him. Vince is about to fire him, but Show’s music hits.
Show says Ace gave him an iron-clad contract allowing him to do whatever he wants. He said Vince could fire him, but if he did, he would have to pay him millions to stay at home and do nothing. Show told McMahon not to worry about Ace, but the other John (Cena). At NWO, the golden goose is going to get his feathers plucked. Wait…what? John Cena’s music hits. About time.
Cena asks Show who he’s going to blame next: McDonald’s for putting Chicken McNuggets on sale? Cena calls Ace a “chain smoking cripple.” Cena recaps his storyline with Show, and says that Show is the favourite in their NWO match. Cena says if Show doesn’t destroy him, then Show will be the World’s Largest Disappointment. If he loses then he’ll have to look at the people that call him a sellout.
Vince says he’ll be sitting beside Ace at NWO–if Show loses, then Ace is fired. Show went after Cena as Vince pushes Ace over. Security tries to break it up, but they’re shoved out of the ring. Show threw a punch at Cena, but he moved and it clocked Vince right in the fucking face for a KO punch. The punch actually missed, but it was a good sell job. Show leaves and Cena looks concerned. Overall, a long and unnecessary segment to essentially say that if Show loses at NWO, then Vince fires Ace. That was also the stipulation at Over the Limit, so it’s really nothing new at all.
Three Stars of the Show
* Dolph Ziggler
*** CM Punk
Final Grade: C