Freedom of choice is made for you my friend
Freedom of speech is words that they will bend
Freedom with their exception”
–Metallica, “Eye of the Beholder”
-So WWE is doing another three hour Raw as an endurance test of my bladder and consciousness. Last week’s show wasn’t bad, but it dragged worse than Stephanie McMahon’s breasts when she’s 80. And after some sketchy, cartoony moments at WWE Capitol Punishment (with some good wrestling as a balance), Raw’s framed by a “Power to the People” theme. Hey, Metallica already stated my feelings on WWE offerings in the previous stanza. Nothing left to say, really.
-Ahh, but CM Punk is promising something big tonight. Maybe he’ll challenge Randall Keith Orton to a “tattoo removal via carrot peeler” match. I’m in.
-Live from Baltimore, MD, where bleeding is FORBIDDEN BY LAW.
-Go away, Nickelback. Give me the damned Manhattan Center theme again. No, I’m not a hipster….
-Two Kings Cole are on commentary.
-Brie Bella will defend her Divas title against A) Eve, B)B) Kelly Kelly, or C) Beth Phoenix. I voted D) power outage.
MATCH 1. BRIE BELLA VS. ??? (DIVAS CHAMPIONSHIP)
Dual Bella shake on the way to the ring keeps this show above sea level for now. Kelly Kelly wins the vote because fans enjoy their bestiality. Crappy match ensues, with Kelly limited as usual. Don’t expect any mercy for Kelly from me; anyone that got a wrestling gig by posing for a lingerie catalog and pissing in a sink isn’t my thing. A fan’s sign “I’M TOO OLD FOR THIS” says it all. Kelly Kelly wins with a front cradle just to annoy me.
WINNER: Kelly Kelly via pin (front cradle) (New Divas’ Champion)
-Lawler makes me wretch by endorsing her with an interview. Stick within your species, Jerry.
RATING: 2/10. Just because Brie and Nikki maintained my interest.
-Evan Bourne promo video, complete with his old stock theme. Push? Okay then, I’m down. He’s up next with three possible opponents: Jack Swagger, Roidtista Jr, and *gasp* Sin Cara. This has a chance for pants-wetting on my part. If Mason Ryan wins the vote, check Vince’s phone. You’ll see 90,000 votes and smell the faint scent of salty extract.
-There’s an actual show for a celebrity nail salon? Now I don’t blame Chrissie Hynde for rooting for the terrorists.
-Did you know: people watch WWE. Hey, that’s true!
MATCH 2: EVAN BOURNE VS. ???
Booker T busts out the Monsoon-memorial “Bourne vs. Cara is a main event anywhere in the world”. And Vince’s phone is busy, as Mason Ryan somehow wins. Rigged voting show? On my TV? It’s more likely than you think. But wait, maybe the fans DEMANDED this plodding hoss just so they can chant “BATISTA” at him (which they’re doing). Booker T says the fans “want to be like Mason Ryan”. Dead by 40? Sounds like a lark. Side rock bottom ends it.
WINNER: Roidtista via pin (side sitout uranage)
RATING: 5/10. Spirited match with the hoss/underdog dynamic, but…..we coulda had Bourne/Cara! Somewhere, a video game store employee is opening a vein.
-Kane vs. Mark Henry! WE DEMANDED IT! THANKS UNCLE VINCE!
-Raw Roulette returns next week. You know, I was just thinking Raw needs more theme shows….
MATCH 3: MARK HENRY VS. KANE (STIPS TO BE NAMED)
This makes sense, because Henry took out Kane’s buddy/enemy Big Show last night, so there’s the vengeance story here. Didn’t say I wanted to see it, but you know, continuity and all that stuff. Henry rambles to kill time. Why not just bring out Keith Stone again? Commercial break, because apparently, the match Vince wants to win is currently losing. “GIVE US THREE MINUTES TO RIG THE NUMBERS!”
– MVP just tweeted: “Power to the people? Didn’t the “people” vote for Low-Ki aka Kaval to be the NXT break out star?”
-Anyway, arm wrestling match wins. I love how the fans in the arena are booing these votes. That’s not very conducive to making us believe the voting is legit. Henry stalls, because even his non-wrestling matches have to lack a decent pace. And, of course, Henry is DQed for striking Kane. When’s the last time an arm wrestling contest ended legit? Gotta say, if this show is what the “fans want”, then no wonder Vince doesn’t take them seriously. Kane gets the World’s Strongest Slam through a table to continue Mark Henry Push #5629. Just repackage him as Kharma’s brother, Dhogma.
-R-Truth video. If you’re upset about him losing at WWE Capitol Punishment, consider that the following major heels were never WWF Champion: Roddy Piper, Rick Rude, Ted Dibiase, Mr. Perfect, Paul Orndorff, among many others. Like the old days, it’s fine to have heels supplement the face champion. You guys said you miss the way WWE “used to be” right?
-R-Truth is here, because this show needed a pick me up. Mixed reaction to when Truth asks the crowd if the crowd’s having fun tonight. That was sweet. Truth’s conspiracies continue, saying he was “okie-doked by Little Jimmy”. I was thinking the same thing. Christian joins him, as this meeting of former TNA Wrestling Champions now comes to order. Christian blames the crowd, among others, for his loss at Capitol Punishment. Christian shows the photo of his foot under the bottom rope, and claims that he should be champion RIGHT NOW. And the crowd…..mostly cheers. This is what happens when Randy Orton becomes “Bearded Cena”. Truth isn’t buying Christian’s rap, because at least Christian HAS been champ. Then The Miz comes out to complete the TNA conspiracy (playing the role of Ken Shamrock, I guess….). His “REALLY” bit is going to end up turning him face, wait for it. The bit turns to “RANDY/RILEY/JIMMY” chants, and I’m laughing my ass off. These three are making this worth it.
But Teddy “Useless” Long is here to interrupt the fan. He makes a six man tag with the three fun villains against Alex Riley, Randy Orton, and John Cena. Okay, that could rule.
Michael Cole: “TEDDY LONG RUINS EVERYTHING!” I’m liking this “shooting” version of Cole.
-Kingston/Ziggler rematch, where one of the choices is “Vickie banned from ringside”. Gee, I wonder….
-“Reallyrandyrileyjimmy” sounds like an alternative rock album from the 1980s, and a groovy sounding one at that.
MATCH 4: DOLPH ZIGGLER VS. KOFI KINGSTON (US CHAMPIONSHIP) (STIPS TO BE NAMED)
Jerry Lawler needs to knock off those “fat” jokes about Vickie. I hope some insecure girls with bulimia file a class action suit against WWE. Really. Somehow, 2 out of 3 falls wins the vote. Hey, this might eat up a chunk of the three hour show! Match begins with some rather plain wrestling, which doesn’t help this dying crowd. Kofi crashes on the floor, which is carny signal for “go to commercial”. Damn ringside.
Hey, the first fall ended during commercial! Ziggler got the pin via Zig Zag, which is so good for televised wrestling. In a flash, Kingston takes the second fall with the SOS, and the crowd’s kind of lively. Maybe it’s just because Vickie’s mad, but at least they’re awake! Match takes on a sense of urgency, which is good given the situation. I enjoy watching these two work, so I was hoping this one would last a bit. Awkward mushroom stomp by Kingston nearly ends it. How DARE Kingston and Ziggler add life to this obviously-rigged, Vince-pandering show?! Kingston adds his backsplash crossbody, which is so simple, yet so creative. Kingston is SO TOTALLY underrated. Ziggler tries to leave with the belt, but Kofi nails him with Trouble in Paradise on the floor. 2 count as Dolph grabs the rope. Good stuff so far. Ziggler tries to leave again and gets DQed for nailing Kofi with the mic. Well damn.
WINNER: Kofi Kingston by DQ 2 falls to 1 (Dolph Ziggler retains US Title)
Afterward, Kofi hits another TIP to get his heat back.
RATING: 7/10. Good TV match. I’m pretty sure the fans didn’t demand a cheap DQ finish, though. Do they have the power to restart this?
Shawn Michaels is on Raw next week. Deer meat for all!
-Alberto Del Rio is here, with no Ricardo. I am sad. Del Rio speaks, lessons of destiny, yada yada. It is funny that Big Show was destined to be hit by a car, though. Without Ricardo, I think fans who can speak moderate to fluent Spanish should be chosen at random to do the intro. I’d be flattered to wear Ricardo’s undersized tux.
-Back from commercial, shots of fans texting, either to pick the triple threat stipulation, or to make sure their friends have DVRed Mike and Molly.
MATCH 5: ALBERTO DEL RIO VS. CM PUNK VS. REY MYSTERIO (#1 CONTENDER’S) (STIPS TO BE NAMED)
Falls count anywhere wins, because these Baltimore fans are expecting blood. The only thing blood-related in Baltimore are Ray Lewis’ pants and shoes. I swear Del Rio donkey punched Rey at one point. Punk’s powerbomb on ADR to the floor was nice. We go to commercial after Rey sentons Punk headfirst into the rail. YEOWCH.
Back from break, and we’re into the “finisher block” sequence. A nice “save the other guy so I can attack the first guy” sequence heightens the middle of the match, with Punk tagging ADR with a nasty head kick. Tower of doom superplex/powerbomb gets a moderate pop, which makes me hope Joe Flacco blows his knee out. ADR with a CRISP German suplex on Mysterio, gets 2 though. Mysterio hits a somersault senton on Punk, then rolls through and dives onto Del Rio on the floor. Damn, WRESTLING tonight!
Punk steals Joe’s “casual walkaway” on a Rey dive. Punk saves Rey from the ADR armbreaker. 619 on ADR, followed by a top splash, but Punk pins ADR after chucking Rey to win.
WINNER: CM Punk via pin (after Mysterio’s top rope splash) (#1 contender for WWE Championship)
RATING: 8/10. Exciting throughout, and innovative stuff for a TV match. Can’t ask for much more.
-Punk cuts a promo after, guaranteeing to beat Cena. Punk then says that July 17 is the day his WWE contract comes to an end. Thought it was September, but it could just being sweetened for the angle. Punk says he’s leaving after Money in the Bank, and it’s with the WWE Title. Wow, intrigue. There’s your PPV buys right there.
-WWE fans now: “DON’T GO PUNK! WE LOVE YOU!” WWE fans in January: “PUNK’S IN TNA?!?! HE’S OLD AND USELESS! I HOPE HE GETS CROTCH ROT!”
-Daniel Bryan is already in the ring. Never a good sign.
MATCH 6: CODY RHODES VS. DANIEL BRYAN (STIPS TO BE NAMED)
I’m down with this match. Winner is “no count out match”. That’s like winning ten cents in a lottery. Bryan and Rhodes cut a quick pace, but the fans seem bored. That’s a shame, because, you know, it’s wrestling. Ohhh, suplex on Rhodes on the ramp woke em up a bit. Cody adds a springboard kick, showing that both men are game. C’mon, enough of the wrestling, this isn’t Smackdown. Bryan gets a pin out of nowhere with an inside cradle. Rhodes is mad, so he gets a LeBelle Lock, but Ted Dibiase saves. Bryan takes a beating, and a bagging from Legacy.
WINNER: Daniel Bryan via pin (inside cradle)
RATING: 5/10. Short, but good while it lasted. No qualms here.
-Another preview of the new USA series “Suits”. You know the drill, arrogant, hair-gelled men in suits, and hot female models pretending to be professionals. Welcome to the USA formula.
-MATT STRIKER SIGHTING!
-I’d review the dance contest, but since I have my dignity, let’s just say that Vickie seduced Matt Striker and didn’t look too bad doing it. Cole wins the announcer poll, because the fans love him, and he does a horrid worm, and a Colerooni to the amusement of all. Say what you will about Cole, but he will make an ass of himself for the sake of the show. Cole gets the loudest boos, so he wins. Then Vickie slaps him. I admit, that was kinda fun.
-Yeah, I’d bone Vickie.
-Plugging the “Power to the People” song. I’m sure John Lennon would be thrilled that his song is attached to….this. Unless he’s a big Daniel Bryan fan.
MATCH 7: JOHN CENA, RANDY ORTON, AND ALEX RILEY VS. CHRISTIAN, THE MIZ, AND R-TRUTH (STIPS TO BE NAMED)
Something I’ve hated: the way Justin Roberts (and in the past Lillian Garcia) really emphasizes Cena’s name. Like, they scream it. Be impartial, k? Elimination match is the stipulation, which beat out “20 min time limit”. Somewhere, Bill Watts is crying into a second rate ash tray that Erik made him in 10th grade shop. Slow build early to let the fans get into it, with Orton playing face in peril. A-Ry gets the tag and dominates Christian, and all hell breaks loose. Miz crushes Riley’s skull, and Christian pins him to make it 3 on 2. Guess A-Ry has a legit injury as we go to commercial.
Back to some extended heat segments. Nice to see Cena and Christian going at it again, for old times’ sake. Miz’s pre Skull-Crush taunt sucks, by the way. AA finishes Miz to even the match up. Orton gets the hot tag soon and spikes Truth with the Assisted DDT. RKO finishes Truth, and then spear finishes Orton. Christian gloats, and takes an RKO from Orton. Cena applies the STF and Christian taps to end the show.
WINNERS: John Cena, Randy Orton, and Alex Riley (sole survivor: John Cena)
RATING: 6/10. Decent, slow match, but satisfying at least.
Cena and Orton pose, end of show.
OVERALL: Solid show, much better than last week’s efforts. The last four matches gave it a minor PPV quality, and really, for a three hour show, I can’t ask for much more.
Full 6/20 RAW results…
WWE Divas: Kelly Kelly def. Brie Bella to win the title
Mason Ryan def. Evan Bourne
Arm Wrestling Match: Kane def. Mark Henry by DQ
WWE United States/2 out of 3 Falls: Kofi Kingston def. Dolph Ziggler by DQ
#1 Contenders/Falls Count Anywhere: CM Punk def. Rey Mysterio and Alberto Del Rio
No Countouts: Daniel Bryan def. Cody Rhodes
Elimination Match: John Cena/Randy Orton/Alex Riley def. Christian/R-Truth/The Miz
Justin Henry is a freelance writer whose work appears on many websites. He provides wrestling, NFL, and other sports/pop culture columns for CamelClutchBlog.com, as well as several wrestling columns a week for WrestlingNewsSource.com and WrestleCrap.com. Justin can be found here on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/notoriousjrh and Twitter- http://www.twitter.com/cynicjrh.
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