Hey guys, JB here with another Raw Review. The Tough Enough finale rolled over into the beginning of Raw which was live from Richmond, VA, so as a special treat, I am going to cover TE in this review, too.
As a special note, M’k'n’zy would like to thank @WrestleMatters for the awesome custom featured image!
First, the TE trainers came out to introduce the eliminated contests, followed by the two finalists, Andy and Luke. Stone Cold Steve Austin joined shortly after, he asked the trainers for their opinion on who should be the winner. With a unanimous vote for Andy, Austin began to deliberate as Vince McMahon made an entrance and spoke to each of the contestants personally.
He seemed unimpressed with Andy, which made me just a little angry. He’s a better choice than that obnoxious pretty boy, Luke. But as he began to make a decision, Austin reminded him that the decision was his to make. And so, after a drumroll, Austin did right by me by announcing Silent Rage, Big Andy the winner of Tough Enough. As everyone left the new WWE Superstar alone with the Chairman and Tough Enough host, McMahon and Austin welcomed Andy to the company with a slap, then a Stone Cold Stunner.
As Raw officially began, Andy slipped away to celebrate/lick his wounds and R-Truth came out, dressed in a Confederate soldier uniform (They’re in Richmond. Get it?). He then delivered another amazing promo in which he announced he’s “seceding” from the WWE Universe. I loved the promo until The Miz interrupted it with a demand for one more title shot. However, Alex Riley came out in the middle of his tirade, followed a few moments later by John Cena.
After Cena addressed the five other people in the ring momentarily, the anonymous Raw GM beeped in with an email. As Cole rose to read the email, Vince shouted at Cole to “SHUT UP!” He them personally made tonight’s main event.
Match 1- Santino Marella vs. Michael McGillicutty (*)
I can’t call this a bad match. Santino controlled for a good portion of the match, which says none too good about the son of Mr. Perfect. Santino then pulled the victory with a Cobra. For a singles match with Santino, this was okay. Get a new finisher, though.
Match 2- Beth Phoenix and Kelly Kelly vs. The Bella Twins (*)
So the story here is that Beth and Kelly took exception to the Bellas’ remarks toward Kharma last week. Anyway, the match was okay. Kelly worked with one of the twins from the start before getting the hot tag to Beth, who cleaned up and won the match. Not bad on the spots in this one.
Following the break, Booker T was seen backstage teaching a “new move” to Trish Status. Jack Swagger picked this moment to challenge Booker to a match, which he accepted.
Next we find CM Punk out on the stage, claiming that Rey Mysterio has never beaten him before. Guess he forgot why he was wearing that mask for a good part of last year. Anyway, we go to break again and are then treated to a recap of their last week. Finally the match begins.
Match 3- CM Punk vs. Rey Mysterio
A high-flyer and striker focusing mostly on holds? Way to mix it up, but grappling is why people pay to see people like Daniel Bryan and Sheamus. People pay to see you two to beat the crap out of people. Breaking from their respective elements was quite off-putting. Fortunately, the match picked up near the end. Mysterio would go for the 619 but Mason Ryan got in the way. Mysterio ended up getting the victory after a splash.
After the match, we saw another press conference-themed Capitol Punishment promo, this time featuring R Truth. For the first time, something about this gimmick was entertaining to me. We then cut to Cena and A-Ry conversing about their match backstage before the break.
After the break, Alberto Del Rio came out to the ring “apologize” to Big Show for the car accident last week. He was then joined by Ricardo Rodriguez dressed as the Big Show. Ricardo ripped on the Big Show with his best impression, which included a lot of roars and no discernible words. It was an entertaining promo to say the least. It looks like ADR is still parroting the line that Show was responsible for getting hit, saying “Bad things happen to bad people.” Of course, this sets up a feud between Show and ADR, which has tended to be a bit of a push-killer lately. Sorry, Alberto.
Queue epic mark-out. ZACK RYDER IS FINALLY WRESTLING ON RAW!
Match 4- Zack Ryder vs. Kofi Kingston (**)
So, the Ryder Revolution is finally gaining some steam on Raw. This was a great match with plenty of nice spots. Easily better than the three that preceeded it. I gave it an extra half a star because of Dolph Ziggler on commentary. It ended with Kofi as the victor after a Trouble in Paradise. I wish Zack had won, but at least he got some effing screentime.
Match 5- Jack Swagger vs. Booker T (WTF)
At this point, I’m wondering who Jack Swagger pissed off. First being glued to Michael Cole’s ass by the lips and now jobbing to Booker T? Well, with a prominent “I don’t need this!” he voluntarily got counted out before being thrust back into the ring by Evan Bourne and hit with an Airborne. Bourne and Booker than celebrated with a double Spinarooni. Booker was entertaining, but that finish was just… fail.
Before the commercial, we were teased with the ultimately superior Disturbed version of Stone Cold’s theme as he made his way to the ring. But I was ultimately disappointed when he came out to his less exciting, un-lyrical theme for the main event.
Match 6- The Miz and R Truth vs. Alex Riley and John Cena- Stone Cold Steve Austin as the Guest Referee. (*)
I hated this match so much. It had some good spots, but the guest ref bias cut into the integrity of the match. Face Guest Ref + Cena = predictable finish. Remember that formula, boys and girls. The worst part for me was Austin man-handling the Miz for trapping Riley in the corner than offering Cena the courtesy of a count when Miz got a rope break from the STF. Ultimately, Austin got a lick on Miz, allowing Cena to get the victory. Or, rather the DQ. Yes, after the match, the collective celebration of Miz, Cena, and A-Ry was interrupted by the GM, who overturned the match because of Stone Cold’s biased refereeing.
And the computer wasn’t done there. He then chimed in once again to announce Austin as the guest GM of next week’s Raw. How terribly inconsistent. Oh well. We’ll be back next week to cover the special 3-hour edition of Raw.
Overall Score- 6/10- Solid show, in my opinion. Del Rio, Truth, and CM Punk all did great promos. Hell, even Cena got a laugh out of me tonight. The matches were okay, except for Booker T’s match against Swagger.
Star of the Night- Tie between R Truth and Zack Ryder- You think this broski is being biased? Are you serious, bro? At least, I don’t think I am. R Truth killed it with the promo work once again. He’s definitely one of the best on the mic lately. Meanwhile, Zack worked in the ring with so much energy tonight. He lost, but he showed why he belongs on TV.
And now for a plug. Our Smackdown correspondent @Ric_Alvarez and myself were watching Raw today and we both wondered something. You know how during Rey Mysterio’s entrance, he moves in toward a fan wearing a Mysterio mask in the front row and says something to him? Well, we were wondering what it is that Rey says when he does this. So, for the next week, we’re going to be running a little contest.
Leave a comment below, detailing your theories on what it is that Rey Mysterio says to his masked fans. The person with the best theory will receive a “Best of WCW Nitro” DVD.
The contest will be running until the end of next week’s Raw and the winner will be announced during Ric’s Smakdown review later next week. Until then, take care, ya’ll. Peace out.