WWE Raw Report CALDWELL'S WWE RAW RESULTS 6/7: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of three-hour Viewer's Choice edition of Raw
Jun 7, 2010 - 10:07:23 PM
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WWE Raw Results
June 7, 2010
Live from Miami, Fla.
Aired on USA Network
Report by James Caldwell, Torch assistant editor
The "Viewer's Choice" three-hour WWE Raw trying to get hits on WWE's website started with the recognizable sound of Bret Hart's theme music. Out came Raw GM Bret Hart and Smackdown GM Teddy Long to the ring to kick off the show. Ringside were Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler. No three-man booth tonight.
In-ring: Hart welcomed the audience to the show and plugged WWE's website to help select matches and stipulation. Long patted him on the shoulder and said the WWE fans are in control of the wrestlers from Raw and Smackdown. He teased the fans deciding the fate of the WWE Title. Hart said everyone involved in the Fatal Four-Way PPV match will see action tonight. This looked like a college class presentation with Hart and Long going back and forth as if they were reading from a Powerpoint. Long name-dropped Randy Orton...
After an awkward pause, cue up Orton walking to the ring with his shoulder in a sling. They showed a clip from last week when Edge smashed Orton's shoulder into a doorway. Orton entered the ring to a strong reaction and Orton said he wants Edge tonight. He asked Hart if he has a match tonight. Edge then walked out sans music to interrupt the conversation. Edge, on stage, said if Orton wants a match so bad, they should have a match tonight. Long interrupted and told "playa" Hart that he wants to run something by him. Long whispered sweet nothings in Hart's ear and Hart liked what he heard.
Hart said they're letting everyone in the arena decide what's up tonight. Long told Miami that it's their choice tonight in (a) debate, (b) sit-up contest, or (c) one-arm match with Edge's arm tied behind his back. Hart then polled the audience, which comically drew boos on (a) and (b) and cheers on (c). Edge was indignant about this polling result. "That's not fair! That's not fair to me!" Edge shouted. Hart wished him good luck. They went to a wide-shot of the arena to end that segment. Long then announced the first match tonight: Chris Jericho vs. Big Show. They're just giving that away on free TV with no hype? Long revealed the options for voting on WWE's website. (a) Over the Top Rope challenge, (b) Submission Match, or (c) Body Slam Challenge. Big Show came out first and Long said they'll reveal the stipulation after the commercial break. PYB (3) talk time: 8:20. That was a rough, rough opening segment trying to explain the concept for the show. We'll see if they clean this up as the show goes on.
In-ring: Big Show was warming up in the ring as the announcers stalled for more time to plug the type of match for tonight's show. Ringside, Matt Striker assumed his role as NXT host to plug the voting reveal. 48 percent for a Body Slam Challenge was the result. Show pumped his fist for the joyous occasion and out came Chris Jericho looking expressionless. Cole quickly recapped their history as a tag team as Jericho sold concern once he entered the ring.
1 -- BIG SHOW vs. CHRIS JERICHO -- Bodyslam Challenge match
Big Show comically opened up wide for Jericho to attempt a bodyslam, but Jericho slapped Show across the face. Show turned angry and chopped Jericho across the chest. Show then missed with a corner attack and Jericho attempted a bodyslam, but Show laughed in his face and landed a headbutt. Show fired himself up and teased the KO Punch, so Jericho quickly rolled to the outside to avoid the finish. Show then palmed Jericho's head like a basketball to bring him back into the ring, but Jericho kicked him away and started working over Show's right shoulder. This turned into Jericho slugging away at Show's shoulder before Show swatted Jericho to the mat like a flyswatter. Show then caught Jericho in mid-air and delivered a simple bodyslam center ring for the anti-climatic win.
Post-match: Show slapped on his modified Camel Clutch and Jericho started tapping out. Show kept it locked in, then Justin Roberts erroneously announced: "Winner via submission, Big Show." This is a mess so far. Show then dumped Jericho over the top rope to the floor to "win" the over-the-top-rope challenge stipulation as well. Jericho just shook his head on the floor while Show left the ring.
WINNER: Show at 2:53. Big Show in the opener having a slow-motion, standing "match" isn't how I would have opened the show. I'm waiting to see where this Jericho storyline goes with him on an unofficial losing streak and looking like a sad figure lately. (n/a)
Up next: Who should the Hart Dynasty face: John & Jey Uso, Dudebusters, or Khali & Hornswoggle?
Backstage: The Usos and Tamina cut a promo making their case. Dudebusters were texting on their iPhones and Barreta said he just voted for them. Khali and Hornswoggle just stood there. Khali did his arms-extended pose, as did Hornswoggle. This is like the mid-1990s Raw gimmick where the babyface tag teams were in one locker room waiting to hear who would get the title shot at the Quebecers.
In-ring: Unified tag champions Hart Dynasty were in the ring waiting to know their opponents. Striker was ringside again to plug who gets the shot at HD. As expected, Khali & Hornswoggle won with 54 percent. Usos had a solid 30+ percent. Khali and Hornswoggle came to the ring for the random match against the tag champions.
2 -- Unified tag champions HART DYNASTY (TYSON KIDD & D.H. SMITH w/Natalya) vs. GREAT KHALI & HORNSWOGGLE
Khali and Kidd started things off, with Khali dominating the proceedings. Big Show, then Khali in the opening matches isn't the best way to keep viewers tuned in. Hornswoggle then tagged in and airballed a Tadpole splash. Smith ran into the ring and knocked Khali off the apron, then Kidd made a soft, safe pin on Hornswoggle for the win.
Post-match: The Usos and Tamina hit the ring. The three-on-three brawl was on. This time, the Hart Dynasty knocked the Usos out of the ring and stood tall. The Usos backed away and sold the fight would continue another day.
WINNERS: HD at 1:20. They kept the match as short as possible trying to avoid killing the babyface momentum for Hart Dynasty up against the "likable" freak show duo of Hornswoggle and Khali. (n/a)
Announcers: Suddenly, Jerry Lawler said he has a problem. Lawler told Cole there's an issue he needs to address. Lawler walked into the ring, leaving Cole dumbfounded. Cole then talked on-camera about a "serious situation" involving The Undertaker. Cole rolled footage from Smackdown on the whole funeral angle writing off Taker for now. "There will be vengeance!" Kane shouted over and over.
Up next: The cast of the A-Team as the guest hosts for the show. So far on this show, let's just say it's a good thing WWE's audience typically doesn't tune in for the bonus first hour of the show.
In-ring: Justin Roberts introduced the cast of the A-Team, starting with Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, Bradley Cooper, and Sharlto Copley. Cooper came out first as the A-Team theme played. He said he was supposed to be joined by the other two, but he doesn't know where they are. Cooper, fresh off the MTV Movie Awards last night, plugged his movie and said they have a great show tonight. He then walked back out to the back. Okaaay.
Backstage: Lawler was looking around for someone and shoved a PA away. Jackson and Copley then grabbed Lawler and dragged him to the back. Jackson and Lawler together at last. Lawler said someone stole his crown. Copley vowed to find out who stole the crown and return it to Lawler. Jackson and Copley walked off after having an idea who stole it. They walked back out to the hallway and bumped into the Bella Twins. The Bellas told Jackson they've seen "all his fights." Jackson said he's B.A. Copley no-sold being Copley. Yeah, they're apparently in-character.
In-ring: Santino came to the ring and he will be up against Kozlov in the next segment. It's either (a) "a match," (b) Arm Wrestling, or (c) a dance-off. They're going with Show, Khali, and Kozlov in the first three matches of the show. Unbelievable.
In-ring: Santino was warming up, then turned serious as Kozlov walked out. Silence. Utter silence. Kozlov stomped out to the ring as Santino did his random facial expressions. Striker introduced the voting results with the audience going for the absurd with 84 percent on a dance-off. Santino cut a promo saying he was a Backstreet Boy #6, so this one is "pretty much in the bags."
3 -- SANTINO MARELLA vs. KOZLOV -- Dance-off
Santino was given the dance floor first. Cue up some light techno music and Santino attempted some break-dancing moves. He busted out the Carlton, of course, followed by the Cobra dance. I'm surprised no water sprinkler or shopping cart. The crowd popped after Santino finished his deal. Kozlov said he is a serious contender and something else. Kozlov said he is more stronger and faster. Cue up Kozlov's dance opportunity. Some hard techno music hit and Kozlov started doing the robot with a moonwalk, followed by the electric slide. Kozlov took Scotty 2 Hotty's Worm before showing off some flexibility. Santino was shocked. "Vintage Kozlov," Cole declared. Striker polled the audience. Santino was booed. Kozlov won and he flexed his ab muscles. Kozlov then danced with Santino like they were on "Dancing With The Stars." Santino tried to jump into Kozlov's arms, but Kozlov head-butted him to the ring, smiled, and walked out of the ring.
WINNER: Kozlov. Kozlov has assumed Chris Masters's role on Raw as the big, muscular wrestler with a "hidden talent" gimmick to get a laugh and lose credibility as a wrestler.
Backstage: The Divas from both brands were shown backstage. The voting will be a "PG" Divas summer spectacular six-on-six match, Battle Royal, or champion vs. champion with Eve vs. Layla.
NXT plug: Wade Barrett won Season One. Who will win Season Two? It begins tomorrow night.
On-stage: The Divas were assembled on stage to find out their fate. 73 percent voted for a Battle Royal. Interesting selection. Apparently the fans want to see someone get injured. The Divas then walked to the ring and it was on.
4 -- DIVAS BATTLE ROYAL
Bodies started flying out of the ring in the first two minutes before it settled on Eve in a perilous situation with Maryse and Jillian Hall. Maryse and Hall worked over Eve before dumping her over the top rope to the floor. Jillian celebrated the "victory" with Maryse, who didn't want Jillian to share in her spotlight. Maryse then unceremoniously dumped Jillian to the floor to pick up the victory and bask in her own glory.
WINNER: Maryse at 3:50. As expected to continue the feud between Maryse and Eve and reinforce Maryse's heel character. (n/a)
[Q5 -- second hour - first standard hour]
Announcers: At the top of the hour, Cole and Lawler reset the show. Lawler said he's "never seen anything like it" with Kozlov in the dance-off. They went to a video package on Big Show over Jericho in the opening match. Cole then plugged Edge vs. Orton later tonight in a gimmick match.
Backstage: Sheamus was shown walking around, then he stopped and turned toward...Kane. Kane walked up to Sheamus and said the fact that Sheamus isn't on Smackdown means nothing to him. He said he took out Triple H, so he could have taken out Taker. Sheamus smirked and said if he took out Taker, he'd shout it loud and clear he did the deed. Sheamus said when he took out Hunter, he made sure everyone was watching. He didn't appreciate the false accusation from Kane. Kane said he doesn't like liars. He said he hopes to see Sheamus real soon.
So, who should Sheamus face next? (a) Kane, (b) Mark Henry, or (c) Evan Bourne. That was the first mention tonight on last week's star-of-the-show Evan Bourne.
In-ring: Sheamus came out first. He's the first of the four Raw wrestlers in the Fatal Four-Way title match in action tonight. Cue up a video package from last week when John Cena selected Evan Bourne as his partner to take out Sheamus and Edge in a tag match. Sheamus was not happy watching the replay from the ring. Striker then sent it backstage where Kane, Henry, and Bourne were assembled in a line-up according to size. And the winner is...Kane with 88 percent. Cue up the Raw theme music before switching to Kane's theme music. Sheamus sold concern having to face Kane here.
5 -- KANE vs. SHEAMUS
Kane knocked Sheamus to the floor early on and worked him over. Kane tried a top rope move, but Sheamus crotched him. He then executed a running powerslam taking Kane off the top. Impressive. Sheamus scored a nearfall and they went to break with Sheamus in control. It was the first time in 73 minutes there was a sense of urgency on the show.
Back from break, Kane blasted Sheamus with a boot to the head ala Sheamus's pump kick before continuing the attack on Sheamus. Kane landed a double foot-dropkick to the face for a two count as the announcers continued to talk up the Undertaker storyline. Kane then teased a chokeslam, but Sheamus kicked him away. Kane regrouped and tried again, but Sheamus slipped out and hit a reverse DDT backbreaker across his knee. Sheamus then measured Kane for the pump kick, but Kane moved and Kane threw Sheamus over the top rope to the floor. Sheamus returned to the ring and, this time, he took the chokeslam.
After taking the chokeslam, Sheamus rolled out of the ring and fell face-first on the floor. The ref began a ten count and Sheamus initially tried to re-enter, but decided to hop off the apron and walk away. Kane wins via count-out. "Coward!" Kane shouted at Sheamus, who disappeared to the back. Kane then angrily left the ring as the "investigation continues" with Taker's assault.
WINNER: Kane via count-out at 7:25. A step-up in the ring on this show after some poor matches in the first hour of the show. WWE is certainly selling the audience on Kane right now, as evidenced by the voting for this match. (*1/2)
Still to come: Orton vs. Edge with Edge having one hand tied behind his back. Also still to come: John Cena faces Jack Swagger, Rey Mysterio, or C.M. Punk.
Announcers: Cole plugged tonight's Viewer's Choice Raw before going back to last week's NXT Season Finale. ... NXT video: They focused on Wade Barrett, who was declared the winner of Season One.
Backstage: Savannah brought in Barrett for a promo. Barrett was dressed in a Jericho-like suit sans tie. Barrett downplayed the idea of him winning NXT because the result was never in question and he's destined for things much greater than that show. Barrett said in one week's time, something will be accomplished that has never been accomplished in WWE history.
Locker room: Ted DiBiase was telling Virgil the fans shouldn't have a choice . Jackson and Copley then walked in and accused DiBiase of stealing the crown. DiBiase said he can buy anything he wants. Copley played good cop before Jackson got in Virgil's face and vowed to punch Virgil in the face. DiBiase called for back-up. In walked I.R.S. sporting Lawler's crown. Schyster said Lawler never paid the back taxes on the crown, so he's taking ownership. This is so random and lame. Copley kept flashing his "FBI badge," trying to act like he was doing serious acting. DiBiase took the badge and said they're not FBI, they're the A-Team. Suddenly, there was some random gas spewing in the locker room. Everyone ran off and Copley randomly dropped to the locker room. He tried to sell death here. Unbelievable. Back live on commentary, Lawler made a "gas" fart joke. That's about all you can do with that.
Backstage: They showed R-Truth and The Miz on a split-screen approaching the ring for a tag match. Truth will team with Christian, MVP, or John Morrison. Miz will team with Dolph Ziggler, William Regal, or Zack Ryder.
In-ring: Cue up R-Truth's theme music. The U.S. champion came out to the ring doing his rap as they cut to crowd shots of the various demographics in the arena. Truth got the cheap pop referencing Miami before asking them what's up. He said what's up is the WWE audience. Truth said he wants to know who they picked as his tag partner. They cut to a shot of Christian, MVP, and Morrison backstage waiting for the word. MVP got a strong reaction in his hometown. And the winner is...Morrison with 54 percent. Apparently the audience wanted (a) Morrison vs. Miz again, (b) more of Truth & Morrison from WrestleMania, or (c) they just wanted to see Morrison on TV. Morrison came out to the ring as Lawler was shown on-camera voting for Miz's partner. Lawler picked Regal.
Out first was The Miz with mic in hand. Miz sarcastically congratulated Truth on his tag partner. He mocked the audience for picking Hornswoggle and Khali, then Kozlov in a dance-off earlier tonight. Miz said he doesn't care who his tag team (no partner) is. Miz then introduced his potential partners standing backstage waiting to hear the result. Regal sold boredom staring at his nails. And the winner is...Zack Ryder with 45 percent. Tight vote. Cue up Ryder's theme to bring out Miz's partner. Cole referenced Alicia Fox turning on Ryder last week in a throwaway bit with Ashton Kutcher. That's one piece of history WWE can intentionally forget.
6 -- U.S. champion R-TRUTH & JOHN MORRISON vs. THE MIZ & ZACK RYDER
Truth started off working against Miz, then Morrison tagged in and double-teamed Miz. Truth re-entered as the babyfaces worked over Miz until Miz blasted Truth with a boot to the face. Cole plugged Season Two of NXT as Ryder worked over Truth. Miz and Ryder then tagged in and out working over Truth for a few minutes. Miz then yanked off Truth's shoe and Truth hot-tagged Morrison, who cleaned house on Miz. Morrison landed a flying knee strike on Miz, but Ryder broke up the pin. Truth hopped into the ring with one shoe before Ryder sent him flying to the outside. The action broke down before Miz dropped Morrison with the Skullcrushing Finale for the pin and the win.
WINNERS: Miz & Ryder at 3:21. Basic, short Raw tag match. The audience lost interest early on after the pairings were announced. WWE is selling the audience on the "sizzle" of the pairings or stips or match-ups being announced, but the audience isn't interested in the "steak" of the match-ups.
Backstage: Edge told Bret Hart that it isn't fair. Hart said it's going to happen. Off-camera, Kane shouted, "Bret!" Kane then accused Hart of taking out Taker since they have quite the history and Hart came back to WWE "for closure." Kane suggested the legend of The Undertaker has surpassed Hart's. Kane said if he finds out it was Hart, he will wind up in a vegetative state like his brother. Kane walked off and Hart just maintained his same demeanor without reacting.
Taker DVD plug: In an odd segue, WWE wants the audience to buy an "Undertaker's Deadliest Matches" DVD. Why not go all the way with it and say the proceeds will go to Taker's medical bill?
Arena: Silence. After a pause, Edge's music hit to set up the end of the second hour/first hour main event. Randy Orton then came out with his arm in a sling as the referee forced Edge to stand still and have his left arm tied behind his back. If this is a shoot, why would they leave Edge with his good right hand?
7 -- EDGE vs. RANDY ORTON -- One-arm match
After they briefly danced around the ring, Orton ran over Edge with his free left shoulder before stomping on Edge. Orton then started pounding on the mat with his one good arm. He teased a one-arm RKO, but Edge shoved him off. Edge then reached behind his back and untied the knot. Apparently the ref didn't pay attention in Boy Scout's. Now free, Edge attacked Orton and the ref called for a DQ.
[Q9 -- third hour/standard second hour] After the DQ, Edge went to the corner and teased the Spear, but Orton blocked with a kick to the head. (Note, not a Punt.) Edge rolled to the outside and Orton tried to follow out, but Edge smashed Orton. Edge then retrieved a chair and measured Orton for a chair shot to the shoulder. Orton convulsed and sold pain as Edge ripped his hair out to sell the angle. Edge smiled and walked away from ringside as Orton winced in pain. They replayed Edge's attack on Orton before showing Edge smiling from the stage. Orton came to his feet and sold the shoulder injury as the announcers talked in quiet tones.
WINNER: Orton via DQ at 1:35. It was what it was to stack the deck against Orton as one of the challengers in the PPV main event. (n/a)
Announcers: Cole and Lawler were shown on-camera watching Orton walk off, selling that Orton's in jeopardy at the Fatal Four-Way PPV. Cole reset the action already happening on the show tonight. They focused on the 12-Divas Battle Royal earlier in the show. Still to come in the voting, John Cena vs. Swagger, Mysterio, or Punk.
Video recap: Edge circumvented the match gimmick vs. Randy Orton and took out Orton in the post-match.
Backstage: Evan Bourne thanked John Cena for picking him last week. Cena cut him off and said thank you to Bourne for having his back. He put over Bourne, who acted too much like a fanboy to be taken seriously, and they shook hands before parting ways. Savannah then asked Cena what he thinks about not knowing who his opponent is tonight. Cena played nice with the WWE fans who support him and said he feels good knowing he won't have to wait to see if his name will be called. Cena ramped up his energy level to plug they're about to do it big tonight and said he hopes his opponent is in the same frame of mind.
Locker room: Copley woke up from a one-hour nap and Mean Gene Okerlund stepped in holding a mic to tell Copley what happened. Okerlund said Copley is a well-respected, yet delusional actor. Copley apologized to "captain" Okerlund that he failed. Okerlund then mocked his replacement and Josh Mathews walked in to say he's standing right there. Okerlund told Copley he has a chance to blow the original A-Team TV show out of the water. Copley excitedly walked away after hearing the pep talk. Okerlund turned to Mathews, who said he wanted to talk about this. Okerlund told "loser" Mathews to save it.
In-ring: Drew McIntyre smugly walked out to the ring for the next match on the show. Teddy Long was shown on-camera announcing the fans will vote on Yoshi Tatsu, Goldust, or a "mystery opponent" as McIntyre's opponent. The "mystery opponent" was not mic'ed up, so they had some unintentional comedy with distant audio of an apparent Matt Hardy shadow shouting something off-camera.
Ringside: Striker introduced the voting, with 88 percent going to the Mystery Man. After an awkwardly long pause, the mystery man did the Hardy V1 hand signal. Hardy then walked out of the shadows and shook hands with Long. Hardy excitedly walked to the ring entrance as McIntyre shouted angrily that this match is not happening. McIntyre said Hardy is suspended. Long then showed up on the stage to tell McIntyre that Hardy was suspended from Smackdown, but not Raw. Start the match.
8 -- MATT HARDY vs. DREW MCINTYRE
McIntyre screamed at Long after the bell sounded, then Hardy tackled McIntyre and knocked him to the outside. Hardy took the fight to the announce table and knocked him into Cole and Lawler's laps. Hardy rammed McIntyre into the ringpost, then took him back into the ring. Hardy landed the Twist of Fate and scored a pinfall for the win. Post-match, Hardy continued to blast away at McIntyre before grabbing some of Mac's hair. Hardy stared at the hair with a psychotic look on his face while McIntyre rolled away and regrouped on the stage.
WINNER: Hardy at 1:24. Hardy scored his "revenge match victory" with three weeks of TV packed into a five-minute segment, but apparently the feud continues. (n/a)
Backstage: In a dark area of the building, Rampage Jackson was randomly seated on a chair with his hands tied behind his back. DiBiase, Virgil, and I.R.S. (with more unintentional comedy wearing Lawler's crown) surrounded Jackson. DiBiase told Jackson they're headed straight to the ring. Jackson bit his lip to keep from laughing at the absurdity of this before they cut to break.
In-ring: It must continue. Jackson, in-character, was held against the ropes after being "held hostage" by DiBiase and Co. Virgil and I.R.S. held Jackson to the ropes as DiBiase cut a promo. This whole bit is absurd, but you're telling me I.R.S. and Virgil were able to secure Jackson, a UFC fighter, to the ropes? DiBiase said everyone has a price, even him. Roddy Piper's music hit and Piper walked out to a good pop. Piper was sporting an odd hat for some reason. Piper started his promo picking up the feud with Mr. T from 25 years ago over the A-Team. The crowd died for this as Piper rambled in Jackson's face while plugging the new A-Team movie. He vowed to knock the Mohawk off Jackson's head. Suddenly, the A-Team music hit and Dusty Rhodes drove a golf cart with Okerlund and Copley to the ring.
Jackson finally fought off I.R.S. and Virgil before snapping the handcuff off the top rope. Jackson then stalked DiBiase, but Jackson dropped him with a spinebuster. Rhodes dropped I.R.S. with an elbow. Virgil stood there not sure what was going on. Piper then fed Virgil to Jackson, who gave him a uranage. This looked like a bad independent show on Legends Night.
Okerlund then entered the ring and asked Copley and Jackson how they did it. Copley cut a random promo saying he called Rhodes to provide back-up since he lives in Florida. Rhodes cut a promo hyping the movie coming out on Friday. Rhodes, Okerlund, Copley, and Jackson then did a curtain call. Jackson grabbed Lawler's crown and held it up to conclude the deal. From UFC's perspective, it's quite obvious why there have been no references to Jackson being a UFC fighter because it would kill the credibility of the entire company with Jackson's involvement in some of the worst TV ever conceived.
[Q11] Still to come: John Cena vs. Swagger, Rey, or Punk.
Next week: Mark Feurstein guest-hosts with Big Show from Smackdown on the show. Cole plugged Show appearing on an upcoming episode of "Royal Pains." The announcers were shown on-camera and Lawler had his crown back. Lawler then went to the voting for the Cena main event. Lawler selected Rey Mysterio as Cena's opponent. Lawler didn't have a good Internet connection and couldn't get his vote through. Lawler finally got his vote through. This show is officially off the rails.
Backstage: Okerlund, Jr. brought in the three potential main-eventers to cut promos promoting themselves for the vote. Rey said he's the top dog on Smackdown and he wants the top dog on Raw. Swagger said it would be World Champion vs. World Champion, Raw vs. Smackdown, and All-American American vs. The Face of the Company. Mathews asked C.M. Punk why he should get the vote and Punk cut off Mathews for asking stupid questions. Punk, sporting the black mask, said he can make Cena a better person, like he did with Luke Gallows and Serena. Punk said he will show everyone that Straight Edge means he's better than you.
In-ring: John Cena's music hit to a loud pop and Cena charged the ring for the main event. Cena held up his WWE Title belt before they cut to crowd shots as Cena completed his entrance. Cole started to send it to a commercial, but changed course and sent it to Striker to find out who's facing Cena. And the winner is...C.M. Punk with 45 percent of the vote. Surprise. Back in the ring, Cena and the ref then talked things over under the guise of Punk having two potential sources of outside interference. Apparently WWE's solid booking of Punk on Smackdown has transferred to Raw that the audience wants to see Punk get his comeuppance at the hands of Cena. Okay, that's how WWE would explain the voting.
9 -- WWE champion JOHN CENA vs. C.M. PUNK (w/Luke Gallows and Serena) -- non-title match
Cena went for Punk's mask early on and Punk bailed to the floor to complain to the ref. Cena tried again and Punk bailed to the outside again. Punk then cut off Cena and went to the mat with submission holds wearing down Cena. Cena teased a comeback, but SES nipped at Cena's heels from the outside to allow Punk to regain control heading to break.
Back from break, Cena teased the Attitude Adjustment, but Punk slipped out and hit a DDT for a two count. Punk then knocked Cena to the outside and Serena kicked Cena in the gut with the ref's attention held by Punk in the ring. Back in the ring, Cena fired up his big comeback and did the usual routine. Suddenly, Wade Barrett walked out on stage as Cena teased the Five Knuckle Shuffle. Punk had to hold his place for a long time before Cena delivered his trademark move. Barrett slowly started walking to the ring and Cena turned his back on Punk.
Suddenly, Michael Tarver was shown hopping the guardrail. Season One NXT Rookies then surrounded the ring taking out the SES as Cena stood dumbfounded in the ring. Barrett then led the NXT Rookies onto the ring apron. They surrounded Cena before slowly walking into the ring. David Otunga floored the ref and Cena stood in the middle of all of them. Cena then attacked Barrett, but an eight-on-one brawl broke out.
WINNER: No Result at 10:14.
Post-match: Cena tried to fight them off as all eight ganged up on Cena. Barrett started directing traffic. Of note, all eight of them were wearing "N" armbands like they're part of a gang. The Rookies then attacked Striker and Lawler ringside. They over-turned the announce table and started creating havoc ringside. Justin Roberts was victimized here. Barrett then started ripping away the ring apron and the turnbuckles. Daniel Bryan ripped off Roberts's shirt and choked him by his tie.
Cena was left alone in the ring as chaos was everywhere. Cena tried to fight back in the ring, but Tarver KO'ed him. Otunga then dropped Cena with a uranage in what was left of the ring. The Rookies started hitting finishing moves on Cena before Darren Young picked up Cena and fed him to Slater for a big knock-down clothesline. Cena was lifeless here. Punk then tried to enter the ring, but Bryan secured him and the Rookies started pounding on Punk. The announcers were nowhere to be found, so it was raw sound in the arena. The Rookies then fed Cena to Skip Sheffield, who delivered a big knock-down clothesline. Slater choked Cena with a turnbuckle before Bryan shouted down at Cole that he is not better than him. Cena slowly got up to his knees and Bryan spit in his face. Bryan then delivered a kick strike to the back.
[Q13 -- over-run] The Rookies picked up Cena and fed him to Barrett, who landed his rolling bodyslam. Gabriel then went up top and delivered his big 450 Splash from the corner to a big thud. Apparently everyone in the back was being held hostage by the A-Team. The Rookies then left the ring, with the ring a total mess and Cena out cold in the middle of the ring. Cena opened his eyes to show signs of life before the camera panned the ringside area where bodies were everywhere.
Medics entered the ring checking on Cena, who remained out cold. The announcers ringside were shown stirring slightly before a stretcher was brought to the ring for Cena. Cena was placed on a backboard as they showed concerned fans watching ringside. It was quite surreal for the PG era of Raw with no announcers and raw sound in the arena. The camera cut to more shots of chaos ringside before showing Cena strapped down on the backboard. Cena was then put on a stretcher and wheeled away from ringside. They wheeled him up the entrance ramp. The camera cut to a shot of WWE staffers removing the announce table that had Lawler trapped underneath. It's worth noting Michael Cole kinda disappeared during the melee. Cena was shown being taken away to the back as they ended the show five minutes past the top of the hour.
CLOSING THOUGHTS: One of the worst episodes of Raw of the year (even worse than the MacGruber Volcano Raw) ended with an amazing angle involving the NXT Rookies. Apparently the NXT Eight are forming a gang to dominate Raw. I'm all for it, as it added a sense of realism to the show after the first three hours of the show were a complete disaster. The audience that stuck around to the end certainly has reason to tune in for the follow-up next week (and possibly on NXT tomorrow night). Follow-up, follow-up, follow-up will make or break this.
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