By James Caldwell
The show opened with a video recap of last night's WWE Extreme Rules PPV when Batista won the WWE Title from Randy Orton. They slow-motion focused on Batista avoiding The Punt before hitting the Batistabomb on Orton to win. Batista won't stop until he wipes out Orton's entire legacy.
Live in the arena: Lilian Garcia introduced the new WWE champion ... Batista. Cue up to Big Dave's music to a very strong reception. Batista came out dressed for a night out on the town after the show. He smiled to all the fans before parading around the ring flashing the title belt. Batista did his "aw shucks" look around the arena that Jerry Lawler said was him being overwhelmed. Batista surveyed the crowd a few more times before getting a second wave of cheers. "Yaaaaaaaay!" he shouted.
Batista opened by saying most people know by now that he beat the crap out of Randy Orton last night. Big cheer. He said he's the five-time champ. (No Booker T reference.) Batista said he did it for himself and he did it for the 16-time champ sitting at home. Crowd did whoos! for Ric Flair. Batista said this is only the beginning of his attack on Orton to take away his pride and dignity...
Randy Orton's music interrupted and Batista shot him a glare before unbuttoning his club-approved dress shirt. Orton slowly made his way to the ring stalking Batista, then Ted DiBiase and Cody Rhodes snuck in the back door to try to subdue Batista. He fought off all three, then teased a Batistabomb on Orton, but DiBiase blasted him with a chair from behind. Legacy then ganged up on Batista and pounded on him in the corner. They began stomping on Batista's left arm and shoulder area. Orton then slowly picked up the chair and put Batista's left hand inside the chair. Crowd chanting for John Cena at this point. Orton then stomped down on the chair repeatedly, over and over and over again. No one with the assist.
Batista shouted: "I'm going to get you! This is never going to be over!" Orton then bent Batista's arm backward with his arm inside the chair. Orton then dramatically flung the arm backward to "snap it off" and Batista sold a tear. Of note, the entire work was done on his healthy arm and not the legit injured arm. Orton then held up the WWE Title belt as Batista writhed in pain. Lawler talked about a probable dislocation or break. Trainers eventually hit the ring as Orton walked away with the title belt. There's your probable storyline write-off. Now the question is whether they strip Batista of the belt and book a tournament or one-time gimmick match at The Bash PPV. (3) PYB: 11:05.
Backstage: Trainers assisted Batista backstage past other wrestlers. Batista said he doesn't think he can feel his arm. They put him on a stretcher at the back of the arena and loaded him in an ambulance. "Immobilize the arm!" Lawler talked quietly over the camera shots that he's never seen The Animal like this before. Batista was loaded in the ambulance, but he wanted his title back. "Please get my title," he whispered. Lawler said it's unfortunately in the hands of somebody else. Cole and Lawler then recapped the opening segment when Legacy tore up Batista. They were shown on camera to talk quietly about Batista's condition. They'll pass along word when they receive it.
In-ring: Kofi Kingston came to the ring for the opening match. Lilian Garcia announced him as the Intercontinental champion. Whoops. U.S. champion. But, it's just another mid-card title, right? They recapped Kofi's U.S. Title victory over MVP last week, then William Regal came to the ring with a mic in hand. Regal said the last thing they need is a Jamaican as the U.S. champ. They need someone with dignity and self-respect, something the audience does not have. Regal declared himself the U.S.'s savior in these trying times.
1 -- U.S. champion KOFI KINGSTON vs. WILLIAM REGAL -- non-title match
Regal quickly on the offensive and he called out to the crowd that Kofi's pathetic just like the audience. Lawler sold concern over Batista, saying he couldn't get over it right now. He then said some of the folks in the locker room think Kofi had a fluke win over MVP last week. Kofi blasted Regal with a leaping kick to the head, then he hit the Boom-Boom leg drop for a one count. Regal then tried to come back with the exposed knee smash, but Kofi moved. He wanted the Buzzsaw kick, but Regal moved. Kofi then came right back with a second attempt and he connected. Kofi with the pin for the win. Cole called him the future of Raw.
Kofi at 2:05. Predictably (and unfortunately) short TV match. Really doesn't help establish any sense of significance to the Inter...er...United States Title if it's given very light TV time in what's presented as a filler second quarter-hour segment. (3/4*)
Backstage: Cody and Ted talked to Orton about there being no way Batista can come back after they broke his arm. Orton was gazing into the WWE Title belt as Josh Mathews interrupted for a word from Orton. Orton said Batista is done and out. He said he intends to use his re-match clause tonight. He said he'll beat Batista tonight if he comes back or he'll win by forfeit. Mathews questioned him and Orton interrupted Mathews to tell him to check with Vickie Guerrero. Orton said he'll be champion one way or another tonight. Boos from the live audience.
Up later: John Cena vs. The Miz.
In-ring: Lilian Garcia announced the next match is for the Divas Championship. Whew...avoided the potential "Women's Championship" slip. Kelly Kelly came out first as the challenger in a re-match from two weeks ago. Divas champ Maryse out second to defend the title. Before the match started, Mickie James came out in an evening dress to get a closer look at the action.
2 -- Divas champion MARYSE vs. KELLY KELLY -- Divas Title match
Basic set-up with Maryse in control early, then Kelly made a comeback including a close nearfall following a sunset flip. Kelly went high-risk, but Maryse blocked and nailed her hair-flippin' DDT for the pin and the win. After Maryse won, Mickie stood up from the announce table and stared down Maryse, who tried to slap around Kelly after winning. Mickie made the save, then Maryse blew Mickie some faux kisses to re-continue their storyline leading to a potential title match down the road again.
Maryse at 3:05. About what you would expect for this three-minute title match. (1/2*)
Next week: They're doing a three-hour Raw show with three title matches featuring Raw's WWE Title, Smackdown's World Hvt. Title, and ECW's ECW Title. They're calling it a 3-For-All with all three brands on the show.
Announcers: Cole and Lawler talked up last night's Hog Pen match. Lawler did some jokes about thinking he picked the Swine Flu last night. Cue up an unfortunate video on last night's messy match.
Backstage: Mathews brought in Raw GM Vickie Guerrero to ask about Randy Orton cashing in his title re-match tonight. Vickie said it's true and it will happen tonight. She said she knows Batista will return tonight and the referee will ring the bell to start the WWE Title match. If Batista doesn't show, then Orton will be awarded the title. Mathews tried to question her, but Vickie cut him off and said she's done with that. Vickie then announced
Backstage: Miz approached Maryse to talk sweet nothings to her. She talked French to him. Miz said that's hot. She then told Miz to do something about John Cena tonight or else they'll have nothing to talk about. Miz, sporting a Cena t-shirt with a "No Not Cross" sign through Cena's name, told her just to watch his match. He threw kisses to Maryse, who wasn't impressed.
In-ring: Santino Marella came out for a six-man tag. Out next were Goldust, Festus, and Hornswoggle. "Oddest team in WWE history," Cole said. Festus was wearing Horny's green derby and Goldust's feather boa to make him look more freakish. Cut to break.
In-ring: Chavo, Noble, and Kendrick were in the ring for the imminent beating.
3 -- GOLDUST & FESTUS & SANTINO MARELLA (w/Hornswoggle) vs. JAMIE NOBLE & BRIAN KENDRICK & CHAVO GUERRERO
Kendrick was the poor victim in the ring when Festus snapped on him when the bell rang. The six-feet-and-under basketball team took a beating from Festus, but they got hold of Goldust and isolated him. Santino then made a tag and discovered his super powers to wrestle. Santino talked trash to Noble, who took an STO before the heel shorties broke up the pin. Festus gave chase on the floor and blasted Chavo. Kendrick then rolled Hornswoggle into the ring as the whole thing fell apart. Horny then backed up into Noble, who threatened him only to have Horny step on his feet. In the chaos, Santino rolled up Noble from behind for the pin and the win.
Oddities at 3:50. Didn't do anything for the heels presented on an equal level as the midget and freaks. Just a match to continue building up the Oddities v.2. This is the annual post-Draft time period when WWE forgets about building up credible mid-card heels and just throws them out on TV to where they're glad just to have work. (*)
Backstage: They showed John Cena walking down the hallway giving some props to the random people he walked by. ... Announcers plugged Batista vs. Orton for tonight.
In-ring: The Miz came out first for the top-of-the-second-hour TV main event. Camera focused hard on Miz's anti-Cena shirt that would boost WWE's second quarter merch revenue in a heartbeat. Miz took the mic and asked the crowd if they can feel it...this is the night they've all been waiting for. Tonight, he goes one-on-one with John Cena. Kids cheered. He said people claim he's all talk, but who's fault is that? Miz said he's come out here week after week calling out Cena, but what has he done? "Absolutely nothing!" Miz declared. Loud "Cena, Cena" chant from the audience. Miz said that's real cute. He said all of the fans are bogus. He said the Cena apologists are all pathetic.
[Q5 -- second hour]
Tonight, no excuses for Cena. No injuries. No 7,000-watt searchlight bulb stupid stuff. The only thing standing in the way of him and 7-0 is an over-rated John Cena. "He may not be Tim Allen, but it's about to be Tool Time," Miz said. Pause. Lilian then announced John Cena. Miz bounced around the ring pumped up to go, then Cena's music hit and the crowd went nuts after Miz warmed them up. Cena smirked to the camera on-stage as if to say Miz is nothing. They readied in the ring, then Big Show's music hit. Show always there to ruin it for the Universe. Cena sold mass fear on his face. Show slowly made his way onto the ring apron and stared down Cena, who readied to fight anyone. Miz went after Cena, but Cena fought him off. Cena then tried to grapple Show for the FU, but Show elbow-smashed Cena and put him on the mat. Show put Cena in a giant Camel Clutch and Cena started to fade out. Lights were turned off on Cena.
Miz suddenly re-entered the ring with a chair and he blasted Show twice across the back. Really emphatic smashes there. He then smashed Show in the face three times, but Show got his hands up to block a direct chair shot. Miz then smashed Cena across the back with the chair. Show came to life and Miz smartly bailed to the floor. Show told Miz he just screwed himself hitting him with a chair. Cena was out cold as Miz stood on the ramp flashing his dented chair to the camera. JC: Miz was awesome here. The promo, the stand-off with Cena, then getting in some blows on Show really enhanced his standing as a legit main event heel. WWE almost did a test-run here on Cena vs. Miz to see a "focus group" would react to the teased match-up. Audience was way into the match-up, which should help WWE decide on making the "duh" decision to put it on PPV. No match... PYB (3) talk time: 8:30.
Announcers: Cole and Lawler talked about Miz hitting Show and Cena with the chair. They then talked about the "disturbing" events at the top of the show when Orton snapped Batista's arm.
In-ring: Former U.S. champion MVP came out to the ring for a random match. You don't just throw MVP out there without pre-match build. He's too valuable to the Raw brand to simply be thrown out there. At least he has mic time ... MVP said if there's a WWE Title match on Raw next week, then he's got to be all up in that mix. He said if there's any doubt whether he should be in the mix, he's going to lay it all to rest right now by defeating Matt Hardy. Sir Matt then came out sporting his fancy coat and holding his broken hand like a nobleman.
4 -- MVP vs. MATT HARDY
Lawler said Matt told him that he re-injured his hand at the PPV. Cole apparently shot him a look that Lawler's too gullible. Match started with Hardy in control after he yanked MVP off the middle rope to the mat. Hardy then landed a running splash to the back as MVP was draped over the middle rope. MVP fought back and landed a jawbreaker across his knee. He followed with the Ballin' elbow drop for a two count. MVP missed with a Chono boot in the corner, then Matt mounted him for ten cast punches. MVP blocked, though, and went to work on the injured right hand. MVP followed with the Playmaker for the pin and the win.
MVP at 3:51. Crowd quiet for this one, but don't blame the wrestlers. Blame WWE for zero pre-match hype, giving the live audience an unspoken cue to take a breather and just watch the match without reacting or emotionally investing. As a result, match didn't hold much importance on the show, which is unfortunate. (*)
Backstage: Vickie Guerrero was shown slowly walking down the hallway. She has an announcement to change the face of Raw forever. Yea, okay.
Next week: 3 hours, 3 brands, 3 championship matches, 3 hours. 3-For-All. Cole and Lawler said the WWE Title match will be defended next week, but they don't know who will be champion. Announcers recapped the Extreme Rules PPV last night, focusing on the Edge vs. Hardy ladder match. Showed Hardy holding up the World Title belt, but then there was C.M. Punk cashing in his MITB case. Still photo showed a menacing, heel look on Punk's face as he nailed the G2S on Hardy.
In-ring: Lilian Garcia announced Vickie Guerrero, who slowly made her way to the ring without music. Lawler joked he's had a sinus condition ever since that match last night. He made pig noises to reinforce the point. Vickie in the ring. "Excuse me...boos...I said excuse me! ... boos." Vickie said a lot of folks are upset she granted Randy Orton a re-match tonight, but she's going to be a little bit honest. The last thing on her mind is keeping the people happy. Vickie fought back tears, obviously thinking about the fake divorce. No, actually, she's upset because she was in the hog pen match. Who cares about the marriage. Vickie said she's never been more humiliated in her life. She was looking to the fans for compassion and sympathy, but all she could see was everyone laughing at her. They all had their cameraphones taking pics of her in her shame. "I'm ashamed of you!" she shouted. Vickie asked the crowd where their decency and respect is.
After pausing, Vickie got quiet and fought back tears as she said she's had it. Vickie went back to Orton-Batista and said the match is on. She's tired of each and every fan laughing at her and making fun of her. Sounds like the Mike Adamle "I quit" speech. Vickie said she's resigning as GM of Raw. Huge crowd reaction. "In other words, I quit!" Suddenly, Edge's music interrupted. Edge wobbled out on stage limping badly toward the ring. Lawler quipped that it's the only announcement he can remember Vickie making that received a standing ovation. Edge approached Vickie and tried to backtrack off his comments last night. He said he wants to make things right by apologizing. Vickie was so ready to kiss and make up. Edge said a funny thing happened, though, because he doesn't need to apologize or continue with this marriage after she quit.
Edge said the sky is blue, the grass is green, and I married you for your power. He said he wants to be champion at any cost. She no longer has power, so she's worthless to him. Edge sarcastically said he doesn't love her. After all, when they went out in public, people thought she was his mother. Edge said he's so great-looking while she's a she-beast. He continued to tear her apart based on her looks before finally summing it up that he wants a divorce. Vickie dropped to her knees and cried out that Melina-like shriek. Edge walked out of the ring to the stage and smirked back into the ring where Vickie was pouting. JC: Mean-spirited segment that reinforced Edge as a heel (unless this would make him a babyface in WWE's bizarre logic of making fun of people who don't fit the "perfect 10 model look" that every person in the world should have). Sure hope this doesn't mean Adamle's coming back. PYB (3) talk time: 9:20.
Announcers: Cole welcomed us back to talk about Big Show interrupting the scheduled Cena vs. Miz match tonight. Backstage: Mathews brought in John Cena, who was doing okay right now. Mathews asked him how he feels. Cena said he's felt worse before, but he can't remember when. He started his dramatic preacher-style promo about being down on his luck, then fighting to overcome the evil in the world. Cena said in a Southern preacher drawl that he thought he was done with Show last night, but apparently they still have something to work out. He smiled at the thought of Miz. He gets it. Cena said Miz wants to pick a fight with the toughest guy at the bar. He respects something about that. Cena said Miz says he's awesome, but in the very near future, they're going to come face-to-face and see just how awesome Miz is. Nice conclusion.
In-ring: Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase, Jr. came out to the ring for another non-hyped (on TV) match. Announcers talked about them being responsible for damaging Batista's arm. Unified tag champs Carlito & Primo then came out for a non-title match.
5 -- Unified tag team champions PRIMO & CARLITO COLON vs. TED DIBIASE, JR. & CODY RHODES -- non-title match
Match was joined in progress with Cody working on Primo. Primo then made a tag to Carlito, who came off the top rope with a springboard fist smash on Cody. Carlito hit a kneelift into a clothesline, then missed with a moonsault, but hit a standing dropkick for a two count. Action broke down a bit, then Cody nailed Carlito with a right hand smash for a two count. Legacy isolated Carlito as the crowd came to life rallying behind Carlito. Didn't help, as Legacy went back to work on Carlito. Primo finally took a hot tag at 6:30 and worked over DiBiase. Primo with a big flurry of offense before nailing a cross-body block on DiBiase for a two count. Action broke down, then Cody yanked Primo across the top rope behind the ref's back. DiBiase then hit Dream Street on Primo for the pin and the win. They'll get a future tag title shot.
DiBiase & Rhodes at 7:25. Okay tag match. Again, no live pre-hype meant the crowd wasn't going to buy into the action because it wasn't presented as an important match-up. Primo added a nice dose of athleticism, but match wasn't memorable. (*1/2)
Backstage: They showed Randy Orton walking down the hallway in anticipation of the expected-to-be-real-short title match.
Randy Savage DVD promo: They finally plugged Savage's DVD coming out tomorrow. WWE giving the bare minimum hype to the DVD offer.
6 -- WWE champion BATISTA vs. RANDY ORTON (w/Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase) -- WWE Title match
Ref started his ten count, but they cut to a shot of the ambulance returning to the building. Ref waved off his count, wanting to see if Batista had returned. Apparently match was over. Kinda. Who knows.
No Announcement at 0:20 milked seconds. (n/a)
Suddenly, there was a shot of Triple H on the screen. Cody and Ted freaked out and grabbed chairs. Hunter emerged from the ambulance with a sledgehammer in hand. "Triple H is back!" Cole declared. Hunter walked into the building and his music played. Orton stood still in disbelief. Hunter then slowly walked out on stage and Cody ran down the entrance ramp. Hunter blocked a chair shot and landed hammer shots. DiBiase took a similar fate. Hunter slowly walked down the entrance ramp and stared down Orton, who was alone in the ring. Hunter then dropped his hammer on the ground and ripped off his official WWE Shop t-shirt. Hunter entered the ring and the fight was on. Hard camera shaking for added effect to the hot crowd response. Fight moved to the floor where Hunter punched Orton into the front row. Orton grabbed a chair, though, but Hunter blocked. Hunter blasted Orton into the announce table before grabbing a TV monitor. Orton blocked with a kick to the gut before running away into the stands. Hunter gave chase and caught Orton on the ground.
Crowd wanted a piece of Orton too as Hunter blasted him on the floor in between the grandstands and front row seats. Hunter tossed Orton back to the ringside area before chasing Orton around the ring again. Orton snuck back into the ring with chair in hand, then Hunter slowly got on the apron and re-entered the ring. Hunter charged and hit a spinebuster. He then measured Orton and blasted him with a chair to the head. Of course. Hunter then hit him repeatedly across the back with a chair to bigfoot Miz. Sure, why not. Hunter with more chair shots to the back and lower body. Hunter then put his foot on Orton's neck and jammed the chair into Orton's neck. Hunter went down to the mat and whispered vile sweet nothings to Orton.
Crowd chanted, "Pedigree, Pedigree." Hunter heard it, then looked down at Orton, who tried to pull himself up. Hunter then put a chair in place and grappled Orton to finish him off. One pedigree coming up and he delivered it into the chair. Orton's facial expression sold it magnificently. Hunter then stood over Orton's fallen body and soaked in the moment of adulation from the audience. Hunter did his big muscle pose while standing over Orton like a monster. Announcers said Orton game to Raw tonight with a plan to steal back the title, but he had to play The Game tonight. Hunter delivered a crotch chop over Orton's fallen body to close the show 15 minutes past the top of the hour.
Kofi Kingston (US Champ) Defeated William Regal By Pinfall In A Non Title Match
Maryse (Diva Champ) Defeated Kelly Kelly By Pinfall In a Divas Title match
Goldust & Festus & Santino Marella W/Hornswoggle Defeated Jamie Noble & Chavo Guerrero & The Kendrick By Pinfall Santino Pins Noble
MVP Defeated Matt Hardy By Pinfall
Ted DiBiase & Cody Rhodes Defeated Primo & Carlito Colon (Tag Champs) By Pinfall In A Non Title Match
Batista (WWE Champion) Vs Randy Orton w/Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase No Result Announced