Monday Night RAW June 2, 2008
by Samoa Rowe
Tonight, Vince McMahon promises to give outÖ ONE MILLION DOLLARS!~
-My buddy, Troy, is sitting in for this one. He thinks the preshow advertisements look ďlame.Ē Weíre in for a fun night already.
-Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler are our hosts for the evening. Weíre less than 24 hours removed from One Night Stand, where nothing really significant happened on the Raw side of things (outside of Randy Orton breaking his collar bone in sickening fashion).
-WWE Champion Triple H opens the show with an in-ring interview. Troy isnít impressed. Triple H congratulates himself for finishing off the ďAge of OrtonĒ and making it as if it never existed. This is some classical verbal burying, delivered only the way Triple H can do it. John Cena interrupts and youíll never guess what he wants. Iím distracted by a sign in the crowd that reads ďI wish Katie Lea was my sister.Ē and thatís wrong on so many levels. Cena makes his challenge, and Triple H appears to accept, but theyíre interrupted by Jeff Hardy. Hardy points out that the three of them won their matches last night at One Night Stand, so they are the top three guys on Raw. Hardy challenges Cena to a #1 contenders match. Vince pops up on the Titantron and is still talking about his plans to give away a million dollars in cashÖ next week. Vince makes Hardy/Cena for tonight and claims it as his idea. This was a weak opening segment, Triple H was rambling, Hardy just having a mic in hand was brutal, and Cena seemed reluctant. Troy says this was long and tedious, and Iíd be forced to agree.
-Mr. Kennedy comes to the ring for a match. Last week Kennedy got jumped by the heatless wonder, Paul Birchill. Birchill and Katie Lea are upset that Kennedy got William Regal fired, since theyíre all British and all. Kennedy cuts a promo before the match, promising to make Birchill cry. Birchill and Katie appear on the stage and Birchill is backing out of their scheduled match because he needs to help Lea prepare for her match. Birchillís replacement, Umaga, heads to the ring.
Mr. Kennedy vs. Umaga
Umaga knocks Kennedy off his feet with little effort. Hard Irish whip by Umaga, but he misses a corner splash. Kennedy stomps away at Umaga, but runs into a Samoan drop. Umaga appeared to hurt himself just as much with that maneuver, heís selling his injuries from One Night Stand. Umaga pinches the shoulder, and tosses Kennedy onto the apron and to the floor. Umaga jumps off the apron, but Kennedy dodges, causing Umaga to collide with the announce table. Kennedy returns to the ring and wins by count-out at 2:05. Troy says he hates count-outs. This was a complete throwaway match, Ĺ*.
Winner: Mr. Kennedy
-After the match, Birchill jumps Kennedy and beats him down. And believe it or not, this wins him some heel heat! You know, itís crazy, but if you give wrestlers storylines instead of squashing the same losers week in and week out, they might actually get over!
-A bunch of stiffs in suits are transporting a case full of money. They are coming to the ring so Vince can provide details to his million dollar giveaway.
-Vince McMahon carries through with his threat to bore us to death. He introduces his special guest, a million dollars in cash. Troy thinks this is retarded. I agree. Vince uses the television time to transfer the money from one container to another. Itís just as entertaining as it sounds. Vince says to try and win some cash, all you have to do is register at WWE.com. What if weíre already registered? Boos, I sez! Vince admits this is a ploy to increase ratings. Hey, how about building up more superstars? Nah, too much work. Vince admits that there are people out there (elitists, snobs) who wouldnít be caught dead watching Raw. You see, wrestling fans represent Americana, and the rest of the country doesnít understand that. Vince rallies the fans to show their pride as wrestling fans, and it works! Well, this was different, Iíll give him credit for that. This turned into a shoot towards people who donít like wrestling, and that aspect was entertaining. Still, this really isnít advancing anything useful in terms of story progression.
Santino Marella and Carlito vs. Hardcore Holly and Cody Rhodes
The tag titles arenít on the line, so the endless title reign of Holly and Rhodes is guaranteed to continue. Rhodes takes a mic and points out that there is no time keeper, so he brings out his special guest, Roddy Piper! Rhodes and Carlito kick the match off, with Carlito stomping Rhodes into the corner. Santino tags and quickly eats a cross body from Rhodes. Santino plants Rhodes with a judo throw and attempts an early cover. Carlito tags and smashes Rhodes. Rhodes blocks and strikes back. Sit-down power bomb by Carlito. Santino tags and misses a diving head-butt. Holly gets the hot tag and lays out Santino with smashes to the head. Holly hangs up Santino for a kick between the legs. Santino gets a boot to the chest, but Piper grabs his boots. Carlito saves Santino from the Alabama-slam and Santino rolls up Holly for the victory at 2:18. Troy says this was a waste of time. The match was robbed for time, ĺ*.
Winners: Santino Marella and Carlito
-Backstage, Todd Grisham talks to Santino about his upcoming match on Smackdown, against Jimmy Kimmelís cousin, Sal. Santino tries to mock Kimmel, but keeps making references to Jay Leno, which Grisham corrects. Santino wraps it up with a reference to Triumph the Comic Insult Dog, so I approve.
-Elsewhere, Holly confronts Rhodes on the loss. Rhodes tells him to relax because they are still the champions, but Holly is worried they wonít be for long. Holly storms off, and Ted Dibiase Jr. confronts Rhodes. Dibiase is only three weeks away from choosing a partner, and he plans on taking the tag titles from Rhodes and Holly. Again, itís amazing what good can happen when you give a newcomer a storyline right out of the gate.
-Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler get a word from Intercontinental Champion Chris Jericho. Jericho admits that he hasnít been defending the title as much as he should and he vows to turn over a new leaf. I bet he loses it tonight. The camera almost fades out before Jericho is read, as he dedicates his match tonight against JBL to Shawn Michaels.
Chris Jericho © vs. John Bradshaw Layfield
Believe it or not, but the Intercontinental Championship is actually going to be defended! Thatís right, itís not just some myth you hear the elders talk about in hushed tones. JBL goes right for the head, locking onto it hard. Jericho shoves JBL off but suffers a shoulder tackle. Jericho bounces back and targets the arm. JBL clubs the face and pummels Y2J into the corner. Swinging Neckbreaker by JBL and some elbow drops. Cover by JBL gets 2. JBL applies a full nelson. JBL plants Jericho on the ropes and continues to club at him. Jericho fights back and hitís a tornado DDT! Jericho blocks JBL and hitís a lariat clothesline and goes for the Walls. JBL kicks Jericho away, but gets tripped onto the ropes. Jericho hitís a clothesline in the corner. JBL reverses an Irish whip and catches Jericho in mid-air for a fall away slam. JBL misses the clothesline from Hell, and Jericho drop-kicks him to the floor. Jericho follows up with a springboard drop-kick. JBL kicks Jericho in the head at ringside. JBL takes a chair and gets disqualified for simply holding it at 5:19. Jericho drives the chair into JBLís injured throat. Jericho teases smashing JBL with the chair (just like last week against Shawn Michaels) but wussies out. The match was picking up steam around the time of its abrupt finish, *ĺ.
Winner by DQ: Chris Jericho
-After the break, they are focusing on the million dollars again. I went to WWE.com out of curiosity, and the site is overloaded with traffic and the register feature isnít loading. Thatís a good sign, Iíd say.
Beth Phoenix and Katie Lea vs. Melina and Mickie James
I get a better view of the guy with the ďI wish Katie Lea was my sister.Ē sign and he looks like a total hillbilly. Thatís hilarious to me. Anyhow, Katie and Mickie kick the match off. Mickie looks for a tag, but Melina doesnít accept, sheís too busy staring down Beth. Katie gets the upper hand, and works the arm. Beth tags in, and NOW Melina is interested in a tag. Mickie hitís a series of kicks and a drop-kick. Melina appeared to botch getting a blind tag so she demands one. Melina tags and aggressively jumps Beth. Katie and Mickie have to restrain their partners, until Beth drops Melina with a hard clothesline. Back to the ring, Katie tags and drives her boot into Melinaís gut. Body slam by Katie, but she misses an elbow drop. Mickie tags and cleans house. Mickie goes high risk with a Thesz press. Katie kicks Mickie in the shoulder and knocks Melina off the apron. Beth cheap shots Mickie (after missing a DDT) and Katie gets the win after about three minutes. I like this, there are two separate women feuds in progress! *Ĺ.
Winners: Beth Phoenix and Katie Lea
-Paul Birchill comes out to celebrate with Katie, and he gets jumped by Mr. Kennedy! Kennedy dominates Birchill, who retreats to the stage with his sister. Sheesh, with all these feuds in progress, Iím scared that this is all a tease and the writers are just pretending to be competent. Still, Iím annoyed that there hasnít been any follow up since Cade and Murdoch broke up.
-Cryme Tyme arrives at the arena and they consider stealing the million dollars from the stage, which is a nice touch.
Lance Cade vs. Trevor Murdoch
Hey, I bitched about the lack of follow through with their angle and now theyíre wrestling! Huzzah! Letís hope this isnít just some three minute farce. Murdoch cuts a promo before the match, which turns into a song. The crowd doesnítí really get behind that character, so I hope they drop it soon. The bell rings and the match heads straight to the floor. Murdoch sends Cade into the ring post, but then walks into a back body drop. Cade sends Murdoch into the ring post and directs the action back to the ring. Cade chokes Murdoch and itís sad to hear how quiet the crowd is (hey, maybe they shouldnít have waited three weeks to do anything with this angle, just a thought). Cade works a neck vice, but Murdoch counters. Million dollar knee lift by Murdoch, gets him a cover for 2. Murdoch smashes the shoulder and hitís a kick to the head. Murdoch goes high risk and misses a double ax handle. Cade hitís a sit-down power bomb and picks up the clean win at 2:19. Wow, this didnít even live up to my low expectations. They really dropped the ball with this feud, Ĺ*. Troy thinks the match was okay though.
Winner: Lance Cade
-Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler mourn the death of Undertakerís career, as he lost his match against Edge at One Night Stand.
-Backstage, Mickie James is icing her neck. John Cena comes in to check on her. He apologizes to Mickie because their friendship is stirring up rumors and gossip. Iíd joke about this being like high school, but Iíve come to learn that people never stop acting this way. Cena takes a swig of some liquid, as Mickie runs off to see the doctor. That was awkward.
-Meanwhile, Triple H makes himself comfy to watch the Hardy/Cena match.
#1 Contenders match:
Jeff Hardy vs. John Cena
They slap hands as a show of respect, which is simply heart warming. Cena locks the head. A fan runs into the ring and security have to jump in. Thatís hilarious. Cena is amused as well and the match restarts. This time Hardy works the head. The pace quickens and Cena gets a hip toss and body slam. Cena applies a chinlock. Hardy fights out and lands some hip tosses and looks for a cover. Hardy applies a chinlock. Cena counters with a back suplex and hitís a drop toe hold. Hardy blocks Cena and kicks him to the floor. Hardy dives over the ropes right onto Cena. Troy says the most exciting part so far was the fan jumping the guard rail. Cue the commercial!
After the break, both men seem to be evenly matched. They exchange pinfall attempts. Cena hitís the blockbuster and gets another cover for 2. Hard Irish whip by Hardy and a face suplex. Hardy goes high risk and misses the swanton bomb. Cena lands a shoulder tackle and hits his trademark offense (to a chorus of boos, this crowd loves Hardy). Five knuckle shuffle by Cena connects. Cena signals the F-U, but Hardy blocks. Running forearm shots by Hardy take Cena off his feet. Hardy gets a cover for 2. Hardy hitís the whisper in the wind, gets the cover, but Cena gets a rope break! Cena blocks the twist of fate, goes for the F-U, but Hardy lands on the apron and drop-kicks Cena (with an assist from the ropes). Hardy goes high risk and gets a flying cross body, but Cena rolls through. Cena hitís the F-U and picks up the win at 13:44. Very good television main event, **ĺ. Troy thinks the match is alright, at least it wasnít boring.
Winner: John Cena
-Triple H comes to the stage and stands face to face with Cena. Triple H poses with the belt to end the show.
Final Thoughts: There was a lot more going on than usual. More midcarders have storylines than what Iíve come to expect in the years since the Attitude Era, which is really nice to see. This aspect was my favorite, as none of the interview segments were really any good (that opener dragged) but there was some decent wrestling thrown in. Iím looking forward to seeing how things develop for Night of Champions, even though most of the storylines wonít make the pay-per-view due to lack of title involvements and sharing air time with Smackdown/ECW.
Mild thumbs up.