Welcome, everyone, to Pulse Wrestling’s real-time recap of Monday Night RAW! I’ll be postponing my “10 Thoughts on ROH on HDNet” column for a day or two in order to cover for Paul Marshall, who apparently does not understand that, in order to be a true IWC great, one must forego all romantic endeavors and dedicate himself to his craft. The fool!
But hey, Paul’s loss is my gain, as the last RAW before Elimination Chamber promises to be action-packed! Tonight, all six men who will be competing in Sunday’s WWE Championship match square off in singles matches, as Kofi Kingston faces off against Ted DiBiase, Sheamus takes on Randy Orton, and HHH does battle with John Cena!
The potential for fireworks is no doubt all over the place tonight. Will Bret Hart make an appearance to respond to Vince McMahon granting him his match for Wrestlemania – and then taking it away? What will Shawn Michaels’ next move be, as his obsession with the Undertaker is slowly but surely sending him over the deep end? Will Maryse and Gail Kim be able to bottle up the intensity for six more days and keep their hands off of each other prior to their big title match at Elimination Chamber? OK, two out of three ain’t bad.
With all this going on, we need someone with a level head and strong hand presiding over the show. Instead, we have . . . Jerry Springer! I don’t know if this makes you more or less likely to enjoy this show, but at least, I can promise you the Nasty Boys won’t be going over anyone tonight.
Now, in honor of Paul, it’s TIME . . . TO . . . GET . . . RAW!
We start with a hometown girl (Allison something) singing the National Anthem, in honor of President’s Day. I think I hear a few “woos” from the crowd in the middle of the anthem. I hope I’m wrong.
Live from Des Moines, IA. TONIGHT, Bret Hart addresses the WWE Universe! Batista will also be on hand to respond to John Cena’s smack from last week.
Sheamus vs. Randy Orton
Wow, opening with a match. Decent (but not great) boos for Sheamus. They lock up, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t note how Orton looks even more unusually orange when next to Sheamus. Sheamus backs Orton into the corner and slugs away, but charge meets an elbow and Orton goes in the offensive as we get a decent “RKO” chant. Sheamus gets the upper hand again, with a clothesline to the back of Orton’s head for two and a bodyslam. Sheamus goes for the pump kick, but Orton ducks and goes for the RKO. Sheamus pushes off and goes outside, as we go to . . .
We’re back, with Orton in control, hitting Sheamus with the Garvin Stomp. DiBiase and Rhodes are out, and Sheamus takes advantage of the distraction to hit Orton with the Rock Bottom backbreaker. Sheamus begins to work the back with clubbing blows and whips Orton into the ropes, but Orton counters with a kick. Dropkick by Orton and he stomps away (again). Orton gets the 3.0 backbreaker and begins measuring Sheamus for the RKO (viperlike!). Sheamus sloppily ducks out (looked like he was waiting for something else) and they go outside. Orton posts Sheamus and rolls back into the ring. Legacy attacks Sheamus on the outside, and the ref calls for a DQ.
Winner: Sheamus by DQ
Rating: Predictably slow match between these two, but perfectly acceptable. Orton is now a face as far as the crowd is concerned. Call it **.
Post match, DiBiase and Sheamus are in the ring with a pissed off Orton, pointing fingers at each other. Orton looks back and forth at both . . . and RKO’s Rhodes! Sheamus gets back in the ring and hits DiBiase with the pump kick, but gets RKO’d to another good pop from the crowd.
Cole pimps HHH/Cena as tonight’s main event.
We go backstage, and Bret Hart WALKS! We’ll hear from him, after . . .
Hey, did you know RAW last week was more watched than both of Monday’s NBA on TNT games COMBINED?!?!
We get a video package of last week’s Cena/Vince/Bret confrontation. I gotta say, as cliche as Cena sounds when he goes in his super-intense spiels, he does make you believe he means what he is saying. Oh, and Hart DESERVED TO BE SCREWED!
Hart comes out, thankfully leaving the jorts at home and going with regular jeans tonight. The crowd finally seems to be getting clued in that this is someone they’re supposed to be popping for. Hart says it’s no shock Vince isn’t here tonight. He’d have been waiting for Vince at the airport, at the hotel, in the building (geez Bret, pick one). He came here to finish things with Vince. Crowd breaks into a “Bret!” chant. He came back to the WWE to make peace with Vince, but it wasn’t to be. Vince lied to him, kicked him in the gut, spit in his face, had Batista try to rough him up . . . but all Bret can hear is the echo of Vince saying he deserved to be screwed. Well, Bret thinks Vince deserves to have the holy Hell beat out of him! Bret calls Vince the world’s greatest liar. He’s not at the bottom of the barrel. He’s UNDER the barrel. Bret had his heart set on giving Vince what he deserved and having one last sweet victory at Wrestlemania, but Vince lied about that, too. Victory will last a lifetime . . . but excellence lasts forever. Bret thanks the WWE superstars in the back and the WWE Universe for the kindness, and a special thanks to John Cena. He thanks the fans for the past few months . . . and says goodbye. Bret puts the mic down walks up the ramp, as his music hits! Cole and Lawler put over Bret’s attempt at burying the hatchet.
We go backstage. Bret runs into Kingston, who tells him it’s been an honor. Swagger tells him it’s been an honor. Primo (getting TV time!) shakes his hand, as do Gail Kim and Evan Bourne. Cena and Bret are now walking together. Cena tries to convince Bret that they can still get something for Wrestlemania, but Bret doesn’t think so. They say their goodbyes as they get to Bret’s car. Cena walks away, but . . .
Some random blonde (paid off by Vince, no doubt!) backs into Bret’s limo by accident. Cena, Gail Kim, and Bourne check on Bret, whose leg got caught on the limo door as the car backed into it. Cena yells at Blondie as WWE staff tends to Bret, who gets stretchered out and taken away in an ambulance. They should’ve gotten Billy Gunn or Rikishi to run into Hart’s limo, for comedic value. And HHH could’ve been behind the whole thing!
We come back to video of the auto accident, complete with Michael Cole’s super-somber, “this is a serious injury” tone. Cole says this may be the worst night of Hart’s life. Um, Montreal? Owen Hart? Concussion? Stroke?
Big Show and Miz vs. MVP and Mark Henry
Big Show and Miz now have joint music. Thankfully, it’s Big Show’s intro (“Weeelll, it’s the Big Show!”) leading into Miz’s theme. “I Came to Play” is pretty swank, so I’m glad they didn’t change it too much. Miz is just OWNING this push. MVP and Miz start with a slugfest, won by MVP. Whip into the corner, but charge meets boot. MVP sends Miz to the outside with a boot to the face, and we go into . . .
We’re back with Miz in control of MVP. MVP backdrops and gets the hot (?) tag to Henry. Henry pounds away on Miz and hits the World’s Strongest Slam, but Big Show breaks up the pin. Miz gets the tag, and THE MEGAPOWERS EXPLODE! Henry whips the Big Show into the corner and gets a splash. Show counters a bodyslam attempt into a DDT. Show goes up, but pump splash misses and both men lay around for a bit before Henry tags in MVP. Facebuster and Mafia Kick in the corner for MVP, but a second charge meets boot. Show tags in Miz, who tries to take advantage of a dazed MVP, but MVP rolls him up for the 3-count.
Winners: MVP and Mark Henry
Rating: Bleh. *1/2.
MVP and Henry celebrate in the ramp. Miz is hot, but Show calms him down.
King and Cole pimp Springer as guest GM (guess he couldn’t be bothered to show up for the first hour of the show he’s in charge of), and say he’ll reveal the WWE Superstars’ most intimate relationships (oh, brother), when we come back from . . .
No WWE Superstar has won the Elimination Chamber more than once – except HHH, who’s won it 4 times. There’s a moral there. I’ll let you figure out what it is.
Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeere’s Springer – complete with the obscenely expensive JeriTron 2000 (please tell me I’m not the only one who remembers that). Springer is going to reveal the Superstars’ most intimate relationships, and his first guest is . . . Kelly Kelly. Springer welcomes her and points out that he hasn’t seen her wrestle lately (thank God). She has a confession – she’s PREGNANT! Jerry wants to know who the babydaddy is. Kelly is not sure – there are lots of possibilities, but she thinks she might know. Jerry asks who might that be, and . . . cue Santino, with AWESOME “Beware The Cobra” shirt. Santino calls Springer “Maury Povich”, and says he is, indeed, the father, after one night in the hotel bar, with too many drinks. Kelly says it’s not true – after Santino fell asleep, she needed someone with more experience to “finish the job”, and now both King and Cole think she’s talking about them (well, not at the same time, I hope). Now it actually gets funny as they rag on King (Springer tells King she is too old for him, and Marella points out that if it’s King, she’ll be related to Grandmaster Sexay – HA!)
This brings out the Bella twins, who have a shocking confession – Brie is a man! Catfight ensues, and thankfully (I suppose) Jerry gets everyone back on topic – WHO IS KELLY’S BABYDADDY? This, of course, brings out Chris Masters. Kelly owns up to it, which, of course, brings out Eve Torres. I’m sure you can guess what happens next. My girlfriend, who is sitting next to me right now, sums it up: “This is really stupid.” Masters accuses Eve of not getting the job done, and admits she’s been cheating on him, with . . . The Great Khali. Santino gets everyone back on topic, and thankfully, Springer has the results of the paternity test . . . and it is . . . yep, Hornswoggle. Horny is out, and he and Kelly embrace. Springer says this is too crazy, even for him, and he’s out of here. King stops him from leaving, however, and admits that they put this entire charade together just to freak Springer out. Khali’s interpreter calls this a “giant waste of time” (quote Scott Keith: “I love shoot comments that aren’t supposed to be shoot comments”). But they do have one relationship to reveal – Springer’s! And it is none other than May Young, who comes out and hugs and kisses Springer.
Wow, I have no words. If you were entertained by that, I truly pity you.
Kofi Kingston vs. Ted DiBiase, Jr.
They lock up and Ted backs Kofi into the corner, they slug away at each other and Kofi gets a back suplex. Irish whip, but Kofi hits the breaks before a DiBiase dropkick and gets one of his own. Kofi gets some kicks to Ted’s legs and trips him up. Kofi unleashes a flurry of chops and kicks. Boom Drop connects. Kofi measures him up for Trouble in Paradise, but Ted goes to the corner. Kofi goes for the leaping corner charge, but Ted Moves and Kofi gets hung up. Ted locks in the Million Dollar Dream, and Dream Street ends it.
Winner: Ted DiBiase, Jr.
Rating: Too short to mean anything or get good. Ted probably needed the win to get a modicum of credibility heading into the Chamber. Poor Kofi’s downward spiral continues. *sigh* *.
WWE announces Antonio Inoki as the next inductee into the WWE Hall of Fame. We get a nice Inoki video package, which includes mention of his match with Muhammad Ali. They even mention Inoki’s match with Flair!
We’re back, and Cole AGAIN says this could be the worst night of Bret Hart’s life. STOP IT JUST STOP IT! This leads into another video of the auto accident.
Elimination Chamber video package.
Back with Springer, who does an Elimination Chamber preview in his “final thoughts” style, completely with “take care of yourself, and each other”, before going off with Mae Young.
Backstage, Cena walks!
Slam of the Week: Batista’s silent interview from Smackdown!
Here comes Cena, who is greeted by the usual shrieking reaction. Cena, first off, wants to wish Bret Hart well and says they’re all pulling for him. On to Batista. Batista attacked him unprovoked. Cena doesn’t look for trouble, but when he finds it, he reacts. He heard Batista was coming to RAW to respond to Cena’s threats, so he figured he’d come to the ring and serve as the welcoming committee. Cena tells Batista to come out and learn that Cena doesn’t make threats. No Batista, and Cena starts to get hot. We get Batista, live via satellite! Cena mocks Batista’s baby Polo and no-show. Batista says he’s doing Cena a favor for no-showing tonight. Batista says Cena doesn’t want Batista in the same ring as him, but if it happens . . . and Batista has a feeling that it will . . . Cena will wish it was just a bad dream. Cena accuses Batista of being all talk. Batista makes the same accusation . . . but let’s see Cena run his mouth next week, when Batista shows up on RAW. Batista wishes Cena good luck at the Chamber, and tells him he’ll be pulling for him. Cena gets his “you want some, come get some” catchphrase (complete with shirt toss), and Batista gets up and walks off.
TIME TO PLAY THE GAME!
Next week, Jewel and Ty Murray guest host! OK, then . . .
HHH vs. John Cena
They lock up, and Cena gets the early upper hand with a headlock. HHH pushes off, but Cena knocks him down and goes back to the headlock. HHH pushes out again and gets a knee to the gut. Shoulder thrusts in the corner for HHH, who then whips Cena into another corner. HHH slugs away, but Cena gets a Fisherman’s Suplex for two. Cena tries a bulldog, but HHH pushes him down and hits a knee drop. Cena grabs HHH’s leg on a second knee drop attempt and goes for the STF, but HHH leg-presses out. Cena whips HHH over the turnbuckle and tries a dive off the apron, but HHH moves and Cena meets barricade. HHH goes for a Pedigree on the outside, but Cena backdrops out and both men are out.
We’re back, and HHH has Cena in a sleeper hold. Cena gets out and hits the usual (say it with me . . . shoulderblock, shoulderblock, Protobomb, Five-Knuckle Shuffle) and goes for the Attitude Adjustment, but HHH slips out and clotheslines Cena for a two-count. HHH sets Cena up for a Superplex. King asks if we thought we’d ever see a HHH/Cena main event live, on RAW. Well, since we’ve seen it before . . . yeah. Cena pushes HHH off the top, but HHH crotches Cena and goes for the Superplex again. Cena headbutts HHH off the top and hits the Sicilian Slice off the top for two. Cena goes for an STF, but HHH fights him off and gets a Half Crab, which Cena flips out of . . . and gets the STF! HHH makes the ropes. Cena goes for another Attitude Adjustment, but he’s too close to the ropes and HHH holds on. Harley Race high knee, Facebuster and Spinebuster for HHH. HHH sets up for the Pedigree, but Sheamus runs in and hits HHH with the Pump Kick. The ref rings the bell.
Winner: No contest (or HHH by DQ, since Sheamus attacked him first?)
Rating: Not as good as Cena and HHH’s previous matches, as it was particularly hurt by the commercial and the no-finish. But these two have great chemistry together, so it’s hard for them to have a bad match. Let’s split the baby and call it **3/4.
Sheamus measures Cena for a pump kick, but Cena ducks and gets Sheamus up for the Attitude Adjustment. Sheamus rakes the eyes and tries the pump kick again. This time, it hits. Sheamus then gets HHH up and hits the Celtic Cross (Crucifix Powerbomb). Sheamus poses with the belt as the crowd chants “You Suck!”
The Pulse: This show was a mixed bag, and one of the weaker RAWs in what’s been a hot streak for the WWE lately. I liked the idea of putting the Elimination Chamber participants in singles matches, but only HHH/Cena was any good. And needless to say, the stuff with Jerry Springer was absolutely atrocious. However, the show certainly had its good points, besides HHH/Cena. The Orton/Legacy and MVP/Miz angles continue to be furthered, a new twist was added to the Bret Hart storyline (although Cole’s selling of it was terrible), and they managed to draw out the Cena/Batista confrontation, which really makes me want to see where this goes. Keeping HBK off-screen tonight was also a savvy move, as it makes us wonder when he’ll show up next (probably the PPV) and what he’s going to go. Finally, they (at last) seem to be booking Sheamus as more of a legit player and less of a fluke, which bodes well for him whether he wins on Sunday (added credibility if he is champion heading into Mania) or loses (prevents him from simply fading away). So let’s call it thumbs in the middle, leaning up.
See you tomorrow or Wednesday, with 10 Thoughts on ROH!
Tags: batista, big show, Bret Hart, Cody Rhodes, hbk, HHH, john cena, Kofi Kingston, Mark Henry, monday night raw, mvp, randy orton, Raw, RAW Recap, RAW Results, real-time reports, shawn michaels, sheamus, Ted DiBiase Jr., The Miz, triple h, WWE, WWE Monday Night Raw, WWE RAW