Raw comes to you live from Long Island, New York.
Replay of Vince McMahon firing John Laurinaitis at No Way Out on Sunday.
Out first is Mick Foley. Awesome. He says the Board of Directors wanted to seek out former GMs to run Raw and SmackDown on an interim basis until they find a permanent replacement. Since he is a former commissioner, he’s running both shows this week. Sign me up. He announces Sheamus & CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan & Kane for later tonight. Foley introduces the former Executive Vince President of Talent Relations and the former GM of Raw and Smackdown, John Laurinaitis, who will give his farewell address. How come he gets his old music if he’s no longer contracted?
“You got fired” chant. Ace comes out with a cane, neck brace and arm sling. How’d you hurt your arm on an AA through the table? To egg on the crowd, Foley says that Ace said ‘Long Island sucks.’ He calls the fans rude, and says he’ll give his speech later. Aww, so this doesn’t count? Prior to being fired, he booked a match for tonight. Can he legally do that? I don’t think so. It’s a handicap match: John Cena vs. Big Show, David Otunga & John Laurinaitis. He tells Foley to have a nice day and leaves. There are a ton of logic holes just in this segment alone.
Sheamus and Punk come out separately for their match. Sheamus smiled at Ace on his way to the ring, while Punk said “you’re outta here!”
CM Punk & Sheamus d. Daniel Bryan & Kane (B-)
Of note, some WWE Championship history, according to the PWInsider: CM Punk has held the WWE Title for 211 days–the 4th longest reign in the last 15 years, with only John Cena (2) and JBL (1) having longer stints. In addition, since WWE is reportedly losing faith in Punk, he’s defended the WWE Title at six consecutive PPVs, but hasn’t main evented in any of them since December’s TLC. Punk hit a nice suicide dive to the outside on Bryan, then tried a springboard clothesline on Kane but took an uppercut to the throat for the momentum switch. Sheamus eventually got worked on, but he made the hot tag to Punk, who did his routine on Bryan. He went up top for an Elbow Drop, but Bryan countered with a superplex. Out comes AJ from the back, and she’s wearing a Kane mask with a red and black outfit. She skips around the ring and leaves. Kane becomes distracted and walks after her, but stops halfway up the ramp. Punk regained the upperhand and hit a GTS on Bryan, followed by Sheamus landing a Brogue Kick for the pinfall at 14 minutes. Overall, a well done match, and AJ’s involvement has kept things interesting.
Backstage, Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler are arguing about who’s better. Vickie Guerrero breaks it up, and sets up a match with the winner getting her attention. Eww. I’d hate to win that. But I’d love to win at PartyBingo.com!
Backstage, John Laurinaitis is talking to David Otunga. Big Show walks in, but he’s unhappy. Ace and Otunga are laughing about their match tonight, but Show says nothing’s funny. Ace says Cena getting KO’d will be funny.
Dolph Ziggler d. Jack Swagger (C-)
Ziggler “tweaked” his knee, so Swagger went to work on it with some kicks and holds. Ziggler went for a Fame Asser and missed, so Swagger locked in the Ankle Lock. Ziggler couldn’t reach the ropes and was pulled back to the centre of the ring, but eventually rolled through, sending Swagger into the turnbuckle. Ziggler quickly hit the Zig Zag for the pinfall at 4 minutes. Post-match, Vickie hugged Ziggler, then kissed him on the lips. Not bad, but Ziggler spent most of the match selling the injury than showing his offensive capability.
Memorable Raw moment: Jerry Lawler recalls October 5, 1998, with Stone Cold dressed as a doctor and hitting Vince McMahon in the head with a bedpan in the hospital. That might be my favourite WWE moment ever.
Brock Lesnar’s music hits, and out comes Paul Heyman. Heyman says “no” to Lesnar dropping the lawsuit, himself dropping the lawsuit and Lesnar facing Triple H at SummerSlam. He thanks everyone and leaves, but before he can go, HHH’s music hits. HHH syas he wants to hear Lesnar come out and say no. He calls Heyman a habitual liar, and presents a SummerSlam poster with Lesnar’s face on it on the jumbotron. HHH says Brock has a big ego, while Heyman says he has no ego. Heyman tells HHH to stop acting like a wrestler that he used to be, and to go back to his princesses and play the king of kings. You can’t say wrestler on a wrestling show! ”Are you getting mad? Are you going to hit me now big man wrestler?” Heyman says HHH is becoming more and more like Vince, who he always pushed his buttons. Heyman asks to be punched in the mouth, and when he does, he and Lesnar are going to own the joint. ”In our WWE we don’t have anything for you…but I do have something for Stephanie.” HHH grabs Heyman by the throat and threatens to punch him, but doesn’t. Heyman says he can read HHH like a book, and seems his moves a mile away. HHH turns and punches Heyman in the face, knocking him out. ”Did you see that coming? You tell Brock Lesnar I’ll see him at Summerslam. That is, unless he’s afraid the same thing will happen to him.” Not a bad segment, but nothing has progressed. Lesnar is likely off TV until July 23 for Raw #1000.
Alberto Del Rio d. Santino (D)
ADR worked Santino’s arm early, but he came back and hit a big boot in the corner. He pulls out the Cobra, but ADR hits an enziguri, then the Cross Armbreaker for the submission at 2 minutes, in which Santino tapped immediately. Post-match, Ricardo Rodriguez hit a single-arm DDT on Santino.
Layla introduces Wendi Richter and Cyndi Lauper. Heath Slater walks in, but Lauper doesn’t know him. Who does? Slater starts singing a one man band song as his new hit. “We want Ryder” chant. Instead, Roddy Piper comes out. Awesome again. He kisses all the women on their hands, but Layla sneaks a quick kiss on the lips, then tells Ms. Slater to get out. Piper talked about his love and respect for Lauper, and gives her a framed golden record. Slater starts singing again, so Piper poked him in the eye, then Lauper slammed the frame over Slater’s head before jamming one on for good, which cut him open between the eyes. Cole appropriately called it one of the worst segments in Raw history.
Primo & Epico w/Rosa d. The Prime Time Players via Countout (D)
Some decent offence between the two sides. With his back turned, Primo hit the Backstabber on Young. He went for the cover, but O’Neil pulled Young out of the ring from the outside. The Colons hit synchronized dropkicks, then went for synchronized dives, but AW pulled his clients out and they walked up the ramp for the countout at 3 minutes. Snore.
Chris Jericho returns to Raw next week.
John Laurinaitis promo. He recaps No Way Out and his firing. He says he’s not a loser, but the fans are because they don’t have People Power anymore. He goes into a loser tirade, and says we’ll see him next at the WWE Hall of Fame. Now, we’re going to see John Cena’s biggest beatdown ever.
After the commercial, Teddy Long joins the announce team. He’s still wearing a novelty-sized “Hello my name is” sign. Cole begins sucking up, realizing Long may be his new boss.
Before the match, Big Show grabbed the mic and said that it took six men to beat him at NWO. Well, not really. He thanked Ace for his new iron clad contract, his big, fat bonus, and for finally letting him be himself. He said he’s proven he can beat Cena on his own, but now he’s moved on to bigger and better things, so there’s no reason for him to compete tonight–Otunga and Ace are on their own. Well done. Moving to the title picture is a serious possibility.
John Cena d. David Otunga & John Laurinaitis (D)
Early on, Otunga tried to tag out, but Ace backed away, saying he was too hurt. Otunga eventually regained the upper hand with Cena down, so Ace wants a tag now and rips off his neck brace and sling–he’s totally fine, no-selling the injuries. Otunga tags him in, and Ace starts working on Cena. He lands a series of stomps and yells “People Power!” Ace eventually took some shots and tried to tag Otunga in, but he stepped down and left. Nice. Cena hits his usual offence, then a 5-Knuckle Shuffle and an Attitude Adjustment. Playing with the crowd, Cena hit two more AA’s, then an STF for the fast submission at 6 minutes. Cole ends the show by saying, ”People Power is done. The Mr. Laurinaitis era is officially over. It’s Johnny bye bye. Goodnight from Monday Night Raw.”
Three Stars of the Show
* CM Punk
** Daniel Bryan
*** Dolph Ziggler
Final Grade: C
The opening tag was the highlight of the show in terms of wrestling. HHH/Heyman was fine, but didn’t advance anything or develop the story. Ziggler/Swagger could’ve been more with added time, and it could’ve been better had he ditched Vickie instead of doing the love angle again. Seeing Piper and Foley again is always good, although Piper’s segment was awful. As for Ace, he’s being booked for house shows through September I believe, so we’ll be around a bit longer I think.