With most of the Raw crew stranded on the other side of the Atlantic, Raw featured mostly Smackdown wrestlers with a few Raw guys mixed in.
HHH came out to start the show. He acknowledged the situation and cut a promo about beating up Sheamus on Sunday. The Straight Edge Society then came out. Punk noted that if he’s drafted he will bring the Straight Edge Society with him to Raw.
HHH asked Punk why his followers had to shave their heads but he didn’t. Punk said it’s because he’s the leader and his hair represents purity. HHH joked about Rey Mysterio shaving Punk’s head on Sunday. Punk tried to recruit HHH to the Straight Edge Society. HHH responded by ranting about freedom. Punk said that he wasn’t asking HHH to join bur rather telling him. The heels jumped HHH but Rey made the save as they tried to shave HHH’s head. Rey shaved off a little bit of Punk’s hair before Punk escaped.
This opening segment went awfully long, but Punk and HHH did a good job in making it entertaining as possible. I also liked the angle with Rey taking a little of Punk’s hair prior to the show.
Drew McIntyre beat Matt Hardy. They started in the ring. Seriously, they cut out the entrance of the guy who has nothing but an entrance. McIntyre hit punches and kicks. Matt used a side effect. They ran into each other head to head. Then Matt went to the second rope and was pulled off by McIntyre. McIntyre covered and that was in fact the finish. This was a bad match with a bad finish.
They aired a few brief promos from Belfast throughout the show. John Cena said that everyone’s fine and they’re sorry they can’t be at Raw. He said he would be ready for his match Sunday and vowed to be at the PPV for sure. Randy Orton said that the world title will follow him at the draft next week. Sheamus attacked a crew guy to make a point to HHH.
Vladimir Kozlov made his entrance. He said that he has been treated unfairly by the guest hosts and had Jerry Lawler read a statement for him. The statement said that he wants elite competition and suggested the New Jersey Nets’ new Russian owner is going to move the team.
MacGruber came out with an American flag, acting unbelievably obnoxious. He had that Dr. Ken air that said he was just making fun of the whole show, although admittedly the material seemed designed to fit that purpose as well. He got in Kozlov’s face and called him a giant pile of suck. Kozlov said that if MacGruber said anything more about him he would end MacGruber. So MacGruber made fun of Kozlov’s mom.
What was Kozlov’s response to this? Did he destroy this obnoxious little dipshit? Why no. He said that he would destroy MacGruber later in the show. Huh? Okay, now I don’t care about the fact this made Kozlov look like a joke as a monster heel. The truth is the ship sailed on people taking Kozlov seriously years ago. But just from a basic logic standpoint, why would this furious Russian giant just stand there and let this annoying little turd mock him and his family? Why did his revenge have to come later in the show? This made absolutely no sense, and was irritating because MacGruber was just begging to be killed.
As if this segment wasn’t fake enough already, they proceeded to go much further. MacGruber announced that Kozlov would instead have to wrestle R. Truth. R. Truth came out as MacGruber obnoxiously danced and shouted “what’s up.” Fireworks then went off to the sides of the stage as Truth stood in the middle. The flames went down and you saw Truth crouch down and run into the backstage area. Then they placed two boots on the side of the stage as if Truth had been blown up. This was elementary school play level execution. It appeared that the joke was that WWE is ridiculous, fake nonsense.
With Truth dead, Kozlov said that he would kill MacGruber. And in the final touch, now MacGruber was all scared. Apparently he knew earlier that for some reason no matter how much he antagonized Kozlov right to Kozlov’s face, Kozlov was somehow obliged not to do anything until later. But now he no longer had that protection. This was the sort of segment that enhances the perception that only mentally handicapped people are fans of 21st century WWE.
Backstage, HHH spoke with MacGruber. MacGruber pissed himself but claimed implausibly that someone else had peed in his pants and he had agreed to wear them. Kane came in at that moment and MacGruber claimed it was Kane. Kane was taken aback and MacGruber ran away.
Undertaker beat Jack Swagger. Swagger issued an open challenge, which led to the return of Undertaker. They traded head locks. Undertaker used old school. Swagger retaliated with a powerslam and sent Undertaker into the steps. Undertaker came back with a leg drop on the apron, DDT and snake eyes. Undertaker went for a choke slam but Swagger escaped. Swagger hit a DDT and went for the Vader bomb but was caught with a choke slam. Undertaker then hit the tombstone and pinned Swagger clean.
It was cool of WWE to bring back Undertaker as a surprise for the live fans who weren’t getting the show they expected. With that said, the way they keep jobbing out Swagger is so stupid. Putting aside the fact that the guy needs all the help he can get, it totally buries the title. Why would anyone pay to see a title match when the “champion” lost 80 percent of his matches prior to winning the title and is losing basically all of his matches after winning it? This is such basic stuff.
Chris Jericho backstage told CM Punk to stick with him to win the main event. He then advised MacGruber to offer a handshake to Kozlov and then slap him in the face. This evidently struck MacGruber as a good idea.
Kozlov was scheduled to wrestle MacGruber. MacGruber offered a handshake and then slapped Kozlov in the face. Kozlov grabbed MacGruber and head butted him a few times. MacGruber’s selling was among the worst I’ve ever seen in any pro wrestling match. He appeared to be unfamiliar with the concepts of physical violence and pain. Ryan Phillippe then came out to save MacGruber. He announced that this was a handicap match with MacGruber and Khaluber (Great Khali) versus Kozlov.
Kozlov for some reason let MacGruber go again. Kozlov and Khali tried to wrestle briefly and, well, at least it was better than MacGruber and Kozlov. Khali gave Kozlov the big chop and Kozlov left. Khali pursued and this was labeled a count out win for Khali and MacGruber. MacGruber then cut one final obnoxious promo. Sadly, he left the show without dying a horrible death. Maybe he will be drawn and quartered on a future PPV.
HHH, Edge and Rey Mysterio beat Chris Jericho, CM Punk and Luke Gallows. After all the nonsense on this show, it was nice to see a straight forward wrestling match to close. Rey hit a somersault plancha on the heels early. The heels took over on Rey. Rey got the tag to Edge, but Jericho tripped Edge as he went for a spear and the heels took over on Edge. Edge got the tag to HHH. HHH hit punches, a clothesline and a spine buster on Punk. He went for the pedigree but Gallows broke it up with a clothesline. Rey took out Gallows with a springboard senton. Rey hit the 619 on Punk and HHH hit the pedigree for the pin.
credit: Wrestling Observer