Last night, professional wrestling fans starved for intregue and a legitimate cliffhanger were treated to what is already being called one of the best Monday Night Raw endings in YEARS. Needless to say, last night’s show has become a MAJOR topic of discussion on the Wrestlezone Forums. WZF’s Global Moderator, who goes by the screen name Klunderbunker, has treated everyone to his in depth review of Raw. "KB" is well known on the forums for having collected hundreds of Old School DVD’s and reviewing them for us, complete with historical context. Below is KB’s review of Raw, and we invite you to react to his opinions and to offer up your own by logging on to forums.wrestlezone.com and registering with us! Please bear in mind that the views expressed below are SOLELY those of KB and do not necesaarily reflect the views of Wrestlezone, its forums, or its constituencies. There, legal stuff handled.
Chris "IrishCanadian25" Fitzpatrick
Monday Night Raw
Review by: Klunderbunker
We open with Bret and Teddy Long in the ring, talking about tonight’s show. Bret wants to talk about Orton. Of course that means cue Orton with his arm in a sling. He wants Edge tonight and if he doesn’t get him he’ll go find him. So if he doesn’t get him he’ll go get him? Yeah….that makes sense. Edge of course comes out and that’s the Viewer’s Choice main event. Oh in case I forgot, tonight is Viewer’s Choice. The options are a debate, a sit up contest, or an arm behind the back match.
Now it’s time to have our first actual vote which is for Jericho vs. Show. The options are Over the Rope Challenge, Submission Match and Body Slam Challenge. It’s one of those shows I guess.
Striker has the results. He’s actually good in a role like this.
Over the Rope Challenge: 11%
Big Show vs. Chris Jericho
To be fair, there are at least two options that were possible there so that’s better than nothing. Show pulls Jericho up from the floor to the ring BY THE HAIR. FREAKING OUCH MAN! Jericho works on the arm for no apparent reason. He then tries a cross body and Show ends it easily. He throws on the Colossal Clutch and Jericho taps. And of course he throws him over the top too. That’s kind of funny I guess.
Rating: D. This wasn’t much of a match at all, but it did the job. Wait no it really didn’t as nothing at all was accomplished here. Jericho is feuding with Truth…kind of, and Show is going for the world title. What was the point here? Yeah this was actually bad.
Up next the Hart Dynasty vs. YOUR PICK. It’s either the Usos, the Dudebusters or Khali and Horny. That….could actually go a few ways.
NO FREAKING WAY this is legit. NO WAY.
Hart Dynasty vs. Great Khali/Hornswoggle
I’m fairly sure this is non-title. Khali and Kidd start us off as for one of the first times, Natalya looks great to me. Tadpole Splash misses thank goodness. Horny gets pinned in like 8 seconds. Oh this was stupid. The Usos run out and get beaten up for the first time. The Harts needed that one.
Rating: N/A. This was barely a match at all. The good thing to come out of this though is that the Harts now look actually credible against the Usos which is the most important part of this I think. If nothing else they look like they would have a fighting chance in a match against them which I’d bet happens at the PPV. Yeah I know that’s a fairly safe bet but you make a ton of money that way in the long run.
Lawler says something is wrong and leaves. Ok then.
We recap the Taker is dead thing which is at least elevating Kane for once.
The guest hosts come out and there’s just one of them. He says there’s a great show coming. Ok then.
Lawler is in the back and the other two guest hosts in fake mustaches are in character and say that Lawler wanted to hire them. SOMEONE STOLE HIS CROWN! They leave and run into the Bellas who they refuse to break character for. This is actually working for me.
Santino Marella vs. Vladimir Kozlov
The choices are Match, Arm Wrestling or Dance-Off. Hmm I wonder what’s going to win.
Oh did you expect it to be anything else? Santino says he used to be a Backstreet Boy. Santino’s isn’t that funny or special. Kozlov does something similar to a robot. He’s actually not terrible. Ok this is sort of funny. Ok it’s VERY funny. They dance a bit afterwards and Santino gets slammed. Find a video of Kozlov dancing. It had me dying of laughter.
The Divas are in the back and they’re going to have a match next. The choices are 6 on 6 tag, Battle Royal or Champion vs. Champion. Wow those are actual wrestling matches.
Lawler is back.
6 on 6 Tag: 11%
Divas Battle Royal
Again, I can live with this. Also it’s only 8:56 so we should step it up a bit soon enough. There isn’t much you can say here. Ah apparently going through the ropes counts too. Rosa is out. Tiffany is put out by Laycool. The same goes for Kelly. Gail hits a SWEET hurricanrana as nothing of note is going on. Gail and Alicia who have a match on Superstars are both out as are the Bellas. Laycool vs. Eve and Maryse are the final four. Make that Maryse, Eve and Jillian who I didn’t notice at all. Eve is out which is surprising. Jillian says they can be co-winners but Maryse throws her out. Boring but the girls looked good so there we are.
Rating: C-. Battle royals are hard to rate but this worked fine for what it was. It was about having hot women in small outfits fighting each other. In that sense it was a success. This is also a good idea as the less talented wrestlers are allowed to not have to actually, you know, wrestle. Maryse winning was a nice surprise also.
Sheamus (IrishCanadian25’s Note: The correct Celtic spelling is "Seamus" with an accent mark; leave it to the WWE to phoneticize a classic Celtic name…) and Kane have a staredown in the back. I’d like to watch that. He accuses Sheamus with some bad acting. Kane says he hopes to see him real soon.
WHO SHOULD SHEAMUS FACE? Kane, Mark Henry or Evan Bourne. HMM! I wonder who it’ll be!!!
Sheamus vs. Kane
Yeah this works. I love big men fighting. Sheamus beats him up for awhile. We take a break. Sheamus is still beating him up. Kane starts beating him up for awhile. Chokeslam is blocked twice, Sheamus takes over again. Seriously that’s all that’s happened and it’s taken nearly 8 minutes. Chokeslam hits but Sheamus rolls to the floor and he just takes the count out. Eh that makes sense I guess and Kane looked very strong here.
Rating: C-. Very smart booking here as both guys get to look strong as well as giving us a decent match. Again it’s not particularly good but it did the right thing. Sheamus needs to stay strong going into the PPV and Kane needs to look strong going into the big angle he’s in. If he plays his cards right he could get to job to the world champion out of this which is a step up for him.
Edge vs. Orton in the behind the back thing.
Cena vs. Swagger, Mysterio or Punk later. That actually could be any of them.
We look at a video package on Wade Barrett who is indeed the best guy from NXT Season 1. And then here’s Wade Barrett. He’s asked what it’s like to win NXT. He says you wouldn’t ask a genius about passing a grade school exam. GREAT LINE. He says in one week he’s going to do something that’s never been accomplished before.
DiBiase and Virgil are in the back. I never get over saying that. The A-Team guys are here and accuse DiBiase of taking the crown. IRS IS HERE, WEARING THE CROWN! Apparently the crown was taken for not paying back taxes. There’s a gas attack and the heels wear masks while the faces are out cold. Ok then.
Miz and Truth have a tag match next and you get to pick their partners. Here are the options.
R-Truth: Christian, MVP, John Morrison
R-Truth/??? Vs. The Miz/???
A REALLY annoying fan keeps chanting MVP for Truth’s partner.
That’s rather telling, and THANK YOU for not being MVP.
Dolph Ziggler: 38%
Well he has the best music I guess. Weird team if nothing else. Morrison is back as he hits all of his big kicks, but in a rather short match, Miz hits the Skull Crushing Finale (GREAT one too as Morrison’s head just bounced off the mat) on Morrison to get the pin. He signals that he wants the belt back. Liking the young four guys being out there.
Rating: D+. Not bad here but it was really too short to get anything going. Is there a point to bringing Morrison back to job him out though? I really fail to see the point to that but if nothing else it fuels the Miz/Truth thing which I guess is just starting now. I still don’t get the Morrison losing thing though.
Bret and Edge talk for a bit in the back and Kane accuses Bret of attacking Taker. Interesting little thing: Taker has NEVER beaten Bret clean.
Edge vs. Randy Orton
Remember that Edge will have an arm behind his back. Edge’s left arm is behind his back but Orton’s right arm is in a sling. Ok then. After about a minute Edge pulls the rope off and stomps on Orton’s arm. This gets the DQ. He goes for a spear but Orton gets a kick up to block it. Edge gets a chair and hits Orton in the arm with it.
Rating: N/A. This was an angle rather than a match but it opens a very interesting door as it’s now possible that Orton is out of the PPV match. This was a great idea and it came off rather well.
Cena and Bourne are talking in the back. Savannah comes up and asks Cena how he feels about he main event tonight. He says his life has been hectic and tonight the people make the pick and its their opinions that matter the most. The crowd is rather pro-Cena to say the least.
The A-Team guy wakes up…and MEAN FREAKING GENE IS WITH HIM! Gene makes fun of Josh Matthews who is right behind him.
Drew McIntyre vs. ???
The options are:
Yoshi Tatsu: 4%
And it’s….actually Matt Hardy???? WOW. Drew says the match isn’t happening because of the suspension. Teddy comes out and says that he’s suspended from Smackdown, not Raw. Matt punches the hell out of him and never lets up. I like this angle actually. You can’t beat an old fashioned grudge match. Drew misses a charge and hits the post which POPS. Twist of Fate ends this clean in like 90 seconds. Post match he slams Drew’s head into the mat and keeps beating the hell out of him. Matt pulls some of his hair out. This was impressive for Hardy.
Rating: D. Uh…what was that? We build Drew vs. Matt up for weeks and him inside of 3 minutes clean? What was the point of that? Wasn’t Drew supposed to be getting a mammoth push and now he’s jobbing to Hardy in what could have been a decent PPV match? It fits but it’s just rather odd.
BA Baracus (Rampage Jackson) is in the back tied up and Virgil, IRS and DiBiase say they’re taking him to the ring. I like this actually.
Back from break and we’re in the ring. DiBiase says that he has a price, including him. Apparently someone wants BA…and it’s……RODDY PIPER??? What the hell? HUGE Roddy chant. Oh that’s right Piper feuded with Mr. T. WAY back in the day. Piper has a hat on for no apparent reason. He’s pissed off because he doesn’t want more hype over the A-Team again. He says it’s time for a fight and here’s the other A-Team guy along with Mean Gene and Dusty Rhodes on a golf cart. Jackson breaks the handcuffs and it’s on! Jackson can actually fight of course so this is a massive beatdown. Dusty thinks he’s Murdoch from A-Team and plugs the movie……IF YOU WILL. This worked in the weirdest way you can possibly imagine, but it did in fact work. Oh and Lawler gets the crown back.
Next week’s host is the star of Royal Pains which Big Show is guest starring on soon. See what happens when you have RELEVANT hosts?
Josh is with the three options for Cena’s opponent. Rey says to be the top dog, you have to go after the top dog. Yeah that’s not at all like To be the man you’ve gotta beat the man. Swagger says it should be champion vs. champion. Punk just makes fun of Matthews and asks why Cena should get to fight Punk.
Here’s Cena and it’s only twenty minutes until eleven. That’s a good sign of a long match.
Jack Swagger: 23%
John Cena vs. CM Punk
As a Punk fan, this works. Immediately Cena goes for the mask as you would expect. Punk is wearing camo tights. That’s just odd. The fans pop for Cena like a cherry but then chant you can’t wrestle. Odd crowd. Gallows cheats to get us to even and we go to a break. We come back and Cena starts taking over and goes for the 5 Knuckle Shuffle….and here’s Wade Barrett. Then all 7 other rookies show up and beat the hell out of the SES. Then they all get in the ring….and beat the hell out of Cena. What is going on here. AND THEY THEY BEAT UP STRIKER! AND LAWLER! Cole, of course, runs. This is actually really cool. They turn over the announce tables and are all wreaking havoc. Security gets beaten up and they punch the announcer. They’re tearing the mat off the ring. Justin Roberts is getting choked out by Bryan. They’re destroying the arena. The ropes are torn up. Now they’re back to Cena. The ropes are literally falling apart, you can see the wood that is under the ring mat and they’re all clotheslining Cena. Punk even tries to fight them and he gets beaten down. This is AWESOME by the way. Danielson yells at Cena that he’s better than Cena and spits in his face. Barrett hits his finisher on Cena, Gabriel hits the 450 on him. They’re all heel here in case you didn’t get the idea. Punk and Gallows out cold are on the floor as they leave. This was original NWO level of insanity and one of the coolest endings to a Raw I’ve seen in forever. Also with there being 8 of them, that’s one hell of a force to fight off. Cena goes out on a stretcher but does the thumbs up as he leaves.
Rating: A+. The match was decent, but the angle was absolutely incredible. If nothing else it lasted longer than the Slammys match they had where Punk lost in like 2 minutes. I’m still in awe over the NXT thing which is saying a lot as it’s 7am at this point.
Overall Rating: B+. I’ve heard a lot of negative things about this show since it aired, but this was a very successful show to me. Angles were advanced, feuds were partially ended and the ending blew my mind. I’ve been watching Raw since it debuted and this is easily one of the best endings I’ve ever seen. NO ONE would have called this and it came off perfectly. Good show overall and the ending was amazing beyond belief.
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