Inside Pulse Wrestling’s Live Report: WWE Monday Night Raw, 05.23.2011

-If you haven’t been watching Tough Enough, for the love of God, why haven’t you been watching Tough Enough?! It’s fantastic!

I’m Ivan Rushfield filling in for Paul Marshall who’s moving or catching gophers or something. One or the other. Alright, no more shenanigans, here we go.

-Rest in peace, Macho Man.

-Josh Matthews welcomes us to Monday Night Raw (after our normal welcome from Nickelback, of course) here in Portland, Oregon, and Jerry Lawler comes out to the ring as “The Great Gates of Kiev” play. Looks like it’s promo time after the glorious crap-kicking of Michael Cole last night.

-He doesn’t want to take too much time before the show starts, but at last “our long national nightmare is over.” Heh. Cole has been beaten, all rejoice. Loud “Jerry” chant, because why not. He knew Cole would try to weasel out of kissing his foot, so he had an “ace” up his sleeve, or rather a “hart” up his sleeve, and because he already took the plane there, Bret Hart is in the arena. Huzzah! The crowd is happy, but not, y’know, The Rock happy.

-Hart says hello to Portland, and they give him a big hello back. He says that while he and Jerry had their differences, they always respected one another. Hey, the Cole Mine isn’t there. Hart says that it was his pleasure to help Lawler out, but that’s all we get before R-Truth comes out to rant against Hitman for the next 6 or 7 minutes. He asks Hitman to guess how many world championship matches he’s ever been in, and illustrates a big old goose egg in the air. I’m not sure that’s true; he’s just never won. Wasn’t he in some Elimination Chambers? Anyway, he says that maybe he just never reached out to the Little Jimmys out there, or maybe, unlike Bret Hart, he never gave the Little Jimmys something. He says he wants to be “a good R-Truth” and goes and gives his sunglasses to a kid in the front row. This makes him next in line for a title shot, right? Apparently no, and he takes the sunglasses back and goes back into the ring.

-He suggests that beating on a Hall of Famer will get him some attention, and Hart tells him to bring it on, and that the reason why he got title matches was because he was the best there is, the best there was, etc. Before Truth can whomp him, John Cena’s music hits, and out comes the champ.

And with Cena, of course, so goes the microphone. He says that they need to talk, but he first wants to suck up to Bret Hart, saying how excited he is to see him. They shoot the breeze, but then Cena has to go back to “the resident lunatic.” He says Truth rambles around Jeffies, Johnnys and Jimmys, and they used to be cool…but Truth cuts him off there. Truth says the conspiracy is about John Cena, and how the crowd makes SURE the show is about John Cena. Cena counters that HE makes sure it’s all about THESE PEOPLE. Brown-noser. Truth makes fun of Cena’s endless supply of merchandise before stating that, hey, he never liked Cena. Cena is a propaganda tool to make these people feel good about themselves, but Truth only cares about himself.

-Cena’s had enough, and decides that it’s time to knock Truth’s teeth out before the General Manager boops in, saying that he needs to see more of Truth before granting him a title match, and Matthews reads the match he sets: R-Truth and CM Punk vs. Rey Mysterio and John Cena…with special guest ref, Bret Hart. That might be fun if not for the R-Truthiness of it all.

-Backstage, Kane and Big Show kvetch about the Nexus…and hey, here’s Ricardo Rodriguez, here to point out that Big Show was kind of sitting on Alberto Del Rio’s car. Show pushes Rodriguez away, after the flunky yells at him in Spanish for a bit, and then Alberto Del Rio himself shows up to yell at the two big goofs en espanol.

Commercial time!

-Josh Matthews pimps Over the Limit photos, showing the whiny, cowardly Miz tapping out like a seven-year old girl getting her braces on for the first time.

-Hey, tag team championship match! Rematch from last night, maybe?

Match 1: David Otunga and Michael McGillicutty vs. Kane and Big Show for the World Tag Team Championship

-Well, this should be short, if nothing else. Punk, always trying to keep the viewing audience on their toes, is wearing tights beneath some trunks, making it look like he has pants. This is easily the most interesting thing I expect to occur over the course of this match. Kane beats up McGillicutty, Kane beats up Otunga, Kane tags in Show, Show beats up Otunga. Otunga tags out, and now Show can chop up McGillicutty. Punk’s on commentary, making this somewhat tolerable, but it’s generally just a drubbing in the ring. McGillicutty clotheslined to the outside, and apparently the action is so intense we need to take a commercial.

Commercial…USA Network says, “Watch Covert Affairs!”

We return to Kane playing Enormous Demonic Maniacal Monster in peril. I assume cheating was involved during the commercial break, but McGillicutty’s got him in a kravate. Punk: “You are just terrible at your job, Josh.” McGillicutty has Kane on the ropes with dropkicks to the knees, kicks, and other strikes, and then tags in Otunga, who hits a pretty okay neckbreaker. If you’ve read my stuff before, you know that I think fairly little of Otunga, so if he hits a wrestling move, I’m actually a bit impressed. Punk refers to Big Show as King Kong Bundy, and the world is a little better. Hot tag to Bundy Show, and McGillicutty is just getting bashed around the ring. Mason Ryan distracts the ref, but gets clotheslined out by Kane. Big Show gets McGillicutty and Otunga in a double goozle, but Punk comes from behind and kicks Show in the back of the head. McGillicutty and Otunga double ddt Big Show…and that’s it!? Holy cats!
Winners and NEW World Tag Team Champions: David Otunga and Michael McGillicutty

Commercial promoting Tough Enough, which you should ALL watch.

-King plugs Capitol Punishment, and I’m not sure how I feel about that name.

-Randy Orton went to a WalMart to sign stuff and promote That’s What I Am, which I heard is not actually the worst piece of garbage. Lots of plugging for the anti-bullying message of the film and, of course, how awesome Randy Orton is. Spoiler alert? He’s pretty awesome.

-Replay of the New Nexus screwing Kane and Show out of the tag titles. Man…Otunga and McGillicutty are champs? Eh. Punk’s frantic rush for the titles is pretty great, though.

-Kane and Show are backstage and Show is ANGRY! He’s frustrated! And yelling! They were ROBBED! And…Alberto Del Rio is out there, and something weird happens with the camera, and Show’s leg has been run over with Del Rio’s car, being driven by Ricardo Rodriguez. Is Show taking some time off or something? Kane is screaming like a madman for help, and the medics are coming to help the big baby out. Seriously, Show is just screaming his little head off…why are we still watching this? Are we going to believe it more by having the camera linger on him writing on the floor growling like a bear. Really, the best part of this is seeing Kane hold his hand. I’m kind of hoping they’re going to kiss next.

I really am.

Coooooomercial time!

When we return, nothing changed other than that Show’s finally stopped wailing. Show wants to stand up, and we all know THAT’S not gonna work. He’s trying to put some weight up on it with limited results. Show is saying that he’s fine, and he’s certainly not getting on a stretcher. Where exactly is this going?

Match 2: Jack Swagger vs. Evan Bourne

This is depressing, as I love Evan Bourne, but he hasn’t won a match since his comeback match against Sheamus. This is just another opportunity for him to hit some nice spots (like a sweet hurricanrana), only to be smashed to bits by Jack Swagger. Swagger pounds on him , then hits a quasi-belly to belly and locks in an armbar of some kind…Barry Darsow used to do it and called it “Barely Legal.” Bourne comes back with some awesome kicks, but Swagger catches the ankle. Bourne rolls out of it, sending Swagger sprawled across the middle rope. A few more cool kicks by Bourne, and he’s then launched into the air and tries to hit a hurricanrana…but Swagger turns it into a gutwrench powerbomb for the pin.
Winner: Jack Swagger

-Swagger takes a victory lap, but walks into a jump kick from Evan Bourne! Offense! From Bourne?! What’s that about?

Michael Cole is backstage, looking apprehensive. The divas are back there, kind of giggling at him. Eve is there, and he offers her his hand…and she offers him her foot. Actually, the fact that she can just hold her foot up that high without balancing on anything is pretty impressive. Go Eve. Anyway, looks like Cole is comin’ on out.

Commercials

-Matthews and Lawler riff on Cole a bit, and then congratulate The Rock on the success of Fast Five using some…creative math to compare it to other blockbusters out right now, not taking into account how long ANY of the films have been out. I haven’t seen the film, but have heard it’s a lot of fun.

-Here comes Cole, looking incredibly remorseful, but we’ll see where it goes. He tries to say, “Can I have your attention, please?” but stops short, saying he doesn’t deserve people’s attention. He knows the show isn’t about him, and he apologizes to Lawler, Matthews, Justin Roberts, the timekeeper, Mark Yayton (sp?), and also apologizes to all of Portland and everyone watching at home for his behavior for the past couple of months. He just wants to do commentary again, and begs everyone to accept his apology. He really, really, really means it. Lawler says that all sounds really good, appreciates his apology, and thanks him for the Christmas Card picture of Cole kissing his feet. A loud “You suck toes” chant breaks out. Lawler also recommends a lifetime supply of Altoids, and Cole totally takes it, saying he deserves it. So…is this really just the end, and Cole goes back to being a straight man?

The Miz and Alex Riley are out, and the announcers basically say that both Cena and Miz fought valiantly, ignoring the absurd amounts of cheating that Miz did last night. Miz, of course, blames Alex Riley for him losing the I Quit match last night, pointing out that Riley also cost him the title the night after Extreme Rules. Miz asks the anonymous Raw General Manager for one more match against John Cena, with Alex Riley banned from ringside. The GM is silent, and Miz says that John Cena wasn’t in a handicap match, HE was, because that’s how unhelpful Alex Riley is. Finally, the GM chimes in, but denies Miz’s request, saying that he’s done with Cena. Miz is crushed, and goes back to blaming Alex Riley who has the audacity to point out the obvious…he’s not the one who said, “I quit.” Miz is furious and piefaces Riley, telling him that without Miz, he wouldn’t even be in the WWE. He’s sick of Riley’s mind-numbing stupidity, and fires him. He hits Riley again, and Riley just CLOBBERS him. Wow. I totally want to see this match now, because he is just tearing Miz apart. He tears Miz’s shirt to pieces, and tosses him over the announce table. Man, this is just a mugging. LOUD Riley chant from the crowd. Boy, did he look like a killer just there. Miz is a shirtless sack in the middle of the ring, and Riley’s not done, giving Miz a hard kick to the head for good measure. Crowd just ate that whole thing up with a spoon, and if WWE doesn’t forget the crowd reaction, Riley may well be able to springboard off of this.

Commercials

Match 3: The Bella Twins, Maryse and Melina vs. Kelly Kelly, Beth Phoenix, Gail Kim and Eve

-Cole just said that he can’t wait to call this action with these great athletes…which means Cole is TOTALLY up to something. I know he’s supposed to be reformed, but come on…

-Aaaand the match goes on for about 30 seconds before Kharma’s music hits. Well, time to murderize some Barbie dolls. Is she really just going to decimate, like, eight women? The Divas surround her once she enters the ring, and they’re all kind of squaring off with her. Kharma makes a sort of “come and get me” motion to everyone, but…she then collapses into the center of the ring and starts crying. What in the world is going on here? No one knows what to make of it, least of all me. Is this a complex character we have here, or just Vince McMahon screwing with us? And…we fade to black.

That was really bizarre. Is this a multiple personality thing or something?

Commercials

-Moments ago, Kharma had a nervous breakdown that no one understood, but we’re then thrown to the Tables match from Extreme Rules where Kofi won the US title. That match was pretty fun.

-Hey, remember Kofi Kingston!? He’s here! With the US Title!

Match 4: Kofi Kingston vs. Drew McIntyre

-Oh, did WWE remember that McIntyre was on this show now? Next thing you know, they’ll stumble upon Dolph Ziggler eating a sandwich in the back somewhere and give him the next title shot. Back and forth between the two of them until McIntyre goes to the outside and gives Kofi the figure-four leglock around the turnbuckle. That’s always a neat move, but I remember Bret Hart making that move seem like it would break people’s legs. McIntyre in control, but he pulls Kofi’s leg, allowing Kofi to kip up with one leg and hit the Scot with an enziguri. Kofi back in control, although he’s limping. Still, he hits the Boom Drop, which seems silly when one of your legs is hurt. Kofi calling for Trouble in Paradise, which means that he’s going to miss…and he can’t do it, as his leg is hurt, and McIntyre just kicks him down for a two-count. Drew picks up Kofi…running powerbomb! Wow. Kofi kicks out at 2, and McIntyre tosses him in the corner and clubs the stuffing out of him. Big clothesline by Drew is reversed by Kofi, who floats over and takes Drew out with an SOS for three.
Winner: Kofi Kingston

-Speak of the devil, Dolph and Vickie are watching backstage, and apparently Dolph has gone back to the blonde hair.

-The announcers send us to the “dream sequence” press briefing with President Obama, and it’s still only mildly amusing. Apparently, they’ve invited members of Congress, the President’s cabinet, the Washington Nationals…one of those groups might attend, and I’ll bet you 20 bucks I know which one it is.

-Backstage, the Nexus guys are celebrating, and Punk tells them that they should watch what HE’S about to do.

Commercials

-WWE Superstars say not to bully. I’m inclined to agree.

-Callback to Big Show getting his leg run over by Del Rio’s car, and now Del Rio is being interviewed. He doesn’t know what to say, except that Big Show should not have disrespected him, because if you disrespect him, you have to PAY. He says that it’s not fault, but Ricardo’s fault…y’know, because he’s an idiot. He’s pissed; that much we can get.

-We get serious for a minute, as Lawler briefly eulogizes Randy Savage before cutting to a video package, and it’s not the quick one on wwe.com, but a longer one with narration and a Cold Play song. WWE, as usual, does a bang-up job with these, and my words aren’t going to do it justice. I’m sure you’ll be be able to find it online, and you should absolutely watch it. I STILL get choked up watching the reunited Macho and Elizabeth after his loss to Ultimate Warrior.

Commercials before the main event…

-Bret Hart comes out, meaning that it’s time for some main eventery.

Match 5: John Cena and Rey Mysterio vs. R-Truth and CM Punk – Special Guest Referee: Bret Hart

-Whoever decided that R-Truth should walk out to no music deserves a raise, as it’s the complete antithesis of his previous characterization. Simple, but smart.

-CM Punk is rocking a very Randy Savage-esque ensemble tonight, what with the pink trunks and the yellow boots and knee pads. Combine that with his attempt at a flying elbow drop last night, and perhaps he’s the official Savage homage of the WWE.

-Okay, the action starts, and then immediately stops so that we can go to commercial. It’s 10:56!

Co-Mercials.

-Punk is in control, beating on Cena in the corner, then tagging in Truth. Crowd, as per usual, gets into the “Cena Sucks/Let’s Go Cena” chants, probably to entertain themselves because Truth is in the ring. Punk tagged in, and he hits Cena with a side Russian legsweep, floating over into a pin for two. Did Punk just do one of Bret’s Five Moves of Doom? The second rope elbow? No matter. Truth back in, and he hits Cena with a suplex. He thros Cena in the corner and charges, but Cena gets out of the way. Cena struggles towards Rey, but Punk is in and knocks him down before he can make it. Punk almost gets caught in the STF, but gets out of it; however, just a moment later, Cena catches Punk in a ddt, and he gets the strength to tag in Rey Mysterio. Dropes the dime on the way inside on Punk, then follows up with the hurricanrana into a kick to the face by Rey. Things go a bit wacky, and Truth hits What’s Up on Cena, but then gets knocked to the second rope by Rey. Rey goes for the 619, but is intercepted by Cena, who goes for the GTS. Rey reverses the GTS into a hurricanrana into the second rope, and he hits Punk with the 619…and Punk staggers into Bret Hart, who clocks him. Well…that was uncalled for. He locks Punk in a Sharpshooter, and Rey hits a springboard legdrop on the back of Punk’s head for the pin.
Winners: Rey Mysterio and John Cena

-They celebrate, but that’s all she wrote, folks. Hope you’ve enjoyed yourselves tonight. Keep at the Pulse for the best coverage and columns on the net, kiddos.

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