TONIGHT: There’s a PPV coming up this Sunday (and only one match from Raw announced), but the question on most fans’ minds is: How will WWE follow up on the NXT Invasion angle from last week? And what’s the REAL story with Daniel Bryan? We’ll find out when “Royal Pains” star Mark Feuerstein (with the Big Show) hosts Raw.
-They showed clips of the show-closing NXT Invasion angle from last week. I watched for focus on Daniel Bryan: They did show him kicking John Cena in the head, but that was about it.
-The show opened with Wade Barrett in the ring, solo. Lot of heat for him before he even said a word. He introduced himself as the season one winner of NXT. He said he was in the ring because the General Manager of Raw, Bret Hart, demanded that he come out and apologize for his actions last week. But he first wanted to bring the rest of the NXT cast down to do this properly. They came out of the crowd, like last week. No Daniel Bryan. Once they got into the ring, Jerry Lawler and Michael Cole left the area, along with Justin Roberts, Mark Yeaton, and others.
Barrett put the mic to Heat Slater and asked him to apologize. “Absolutely not,” he said. “I would do it again in a heartbeat.” Justin Gabriel, please apologize: “Never. I still have goosebumps from what we did last week.” Skip Sheffield, apologize: “No apologies, no regrets.” Is Michael Tarver feeling apologetic? He liked the fear in the eyes of the men he beat up last week; no one in WWE can make him apologize. Darren Young, apologize: “Not a chance. I had the time of my life last week.” David Otunga, save us all and apologize: “For what? After the way we were treated, they need to apologize to us.” Barrett said it looks like it’s unanimous. He complained about how they were treated on NXT, and if people are treated like animals, they will soon begin to behave like animals. He said they were forced to change in a too-small locker room, compete in dumb competitions, and deal with overzealous WWE Pros. And then there’s WWE management, who changed the rules regularly, eliminating guys on a whim, and making a joke out of everyone. He continued complaining until Bret Hart’s music hit and he came out.
Bret came onto the ramp and said where he comes from, an 8-on-1 attack doesn’t make them tough, but makes them cowards. He talked about all the guys they beat up, and Barrett interrupted, saying they had a guy who felt the same way, who felt remorse for what he did: Daniel Bryan. And now, we’ll never see Daniel Bryan again. Tarver appeared to have his armband with him. Interesting. Bret said that John Cena will be able to make the PPV this Sunday. Barrett said their problem is with WWE management. He said he has a title match at a PPV of his choosing, and he and his NXT rookies have a few demands. Otunga said the group wants contracts for everyone, private dressing rooms, and first-class travel. He said if they don’t get everything they want, then last week will just be the beginning. Barrett said that Mr. McMahon told Hart that he’d have some difficult decisions as GM, but this one is easy. He touted the NXT Rookies, and said Bret can change history by giving them a contract. Hart said it is his job to find new, fresh talent, but his answer for Barrett is: NO. Wade said Bret is making a big mistake, but Hart said Barrett made the biggest mistake of his life last week with his attack. Bret also revoked Barrett’s title opportunity, as he dropped a “WWF” again in explaining it. Then he fired Barrett and told everyone to get the hell out of the ring or he’ll call the cops to have them brought up on trespassing charges. Couldn’t he have done that last week? The guys jawed at Bret from the ring as they went to break. I’m geemoney, and I approve this segment.
-Cole, back on commentary, narrated the “moments ago” clip that aired of Bret firing Barrett.
-Cole and Lawler talked on-camera about the Fatal Four-Way PPV and kept pushing the fallacy that the champion has only a 25% chance to retain. So if the Cena fought against Funaki, Charlie Haas, and the Brooklyn Brawler, he’d only have a 25% chance of retaining?
(1) R-Truth vs. John Morrison vs. Zack Ryder vs. The Miz- Fatal Four-Way Match for the United States Championship Morrison paired off with Ryder and Truth went after Miz to start the match. Morrison then kicked Miz down and out of the ring. That left Morrison and Truth, and they reluctantly locked up. Roll-up by Truth for two, broken up by Ryder. Ryder leaped over the top rope, but Truth and Miz moved and he fell chest-first onto the mat. Morrison with a sunset flip powerbomb off the apron on Miz on the outside, but he got tossed into Ryder in a brutal-looking spot. They went to break at that point.
Back with Morrison kicking Miz right in the face, a sort of Flying Chuck without the springboard. Cover got two. He tried to suplex Ryder off the top rope, but Truth came over and powerbombed them off….right into Miz. Truth tried to cover everyone as they replayed what happened when they went to break. Inside cradle by Mz for two. Ryder lost his headband as Truth connected with his axe kick for a near-fall. Miz with a baseball slide kept Morrison at ringside. He set up for the corner clothesline on Ryder and connected. But Morrison pulled him out of the ring by his leg and clotheslined him out of his boots. Lie Detector on Ryder, but Morrison broke up the cover. Flying Chuck kick missed Truth and he responded by doing a suplex into a stunner for only two. Truth missed a charge and Ryder landed the Rough-Rider leg lariat. Morrison with a knee to the face broke up the pin. Starship Pain on Truth by Morrison, but Miz threw him out of the ring and made the pin on Truth to win the US Title.
Winner: The Miz, at 9:04. High energy, fun match, but I’m not ecstatic about the finish. They probably just did it to show the fans how vulnerable the champion will be at the PPV. But I feel like the “stealing the pin” thing was just recently done.
-Still to come tonight, Randy Orton faces Sheamus in a battle of Fatal Four-Way WWE Championship Match competitors.
-Orton was shown backstage in his dressing room when that loser, Josh Mathews, walked in. He asked for an update on Orton’s shoulder. Orton said anything can happen in a Fatal Four-Way match. He predicted that a title would change hands on Sunday and he told Mathews to wait and watch what happens tonight with Sheamus. He then asked about the NXT invasion and Orton said part of him respects what the NXT group did. He said they deserve to be fired or have their brains beaten in. Considering Barrett only got fired, he thought they got off lucky.
-They showed clips of Big Show on the set of “Royal Pains,” with comments from guest host Mark Feuerstein.
-Backstage with the Bellas complimenting Feuerstein. He plugged the show with Big Show, and said they’d be great on his show. “Anything to get us off this show!” they said. OK, maybe not. Ted DiBiase walked in, with the Million Dollar Belt over his shoulder and Virgil behind him. He said there was a shiny new car in the parking lot for Feuerstein if he made him co-GM for the night. Feuerstein said he has integrity and he’s not scared of Teddy. OK, maybe a little scared. Feuerstein got more cocky and got in Ted’s face when he saw Big Show behind DiBiase and Virgil, feeling that he had back-up. DiBiase told Virgil to handle Feuerstein, but Show intervened. He proposed himself and “Main Event Mark” (his nickname as a wrestler in high school) against Virgil and DiBiase. After the heels left, Mark admitted he was more of an ice-skater in high-school. He showed off his moves and jumped into Show’s arms. The Bellas did not seem impressed.
-John Cena was walking backstage. He’s up next.
(2) Chris Jericho vs. Evan Bourne Jericho was billed as 226 pounds. I know he used to be a cruiserweight, but I had him pegged more in the 235 pound range or more. I know the weights are probably gimmicked, but still. And so much for Cena being next. Running hurricanrana by Bourne, who poured on the offense early on. Jericho responded with a back suplex. Rear chinlock from Jericho. Bourne fought out ‘til Jericho smacked him in the face. Back-and-forth things went, with Jericho trying to hook in the Walls of Jericho, but couldn’t. Roll-up from Bourne for two. Codebreaker out of nowhere, but he took a few seconds too long to make the cover and Bourne kicked out. Jericho couldn’t believe it. He assaulted Bourne, then pushed John Cone away. The ref tried to break things up again, but Jericho put up his fist like he was going to punch the ref, but didn’t do it- still, Cone hilariously called for the bell anyway.
Winner: Bourne, by DQ, at 2:47. Good for what it was. Finish was too funny.
Jericho kept the beating going ‘til Bourne kicked Jericho in the head, then gave him the Air Bourne.
-Up next: Cena will address the NXT attack. I like the graphic of him being attacked and trying to fight away.
-John Cena came out. The lights dimmed, and he thanked Bret Hart for giving him the night off. Cena said he wants to deal with things the only way he knows how. He thanked Hart for not caving to “this group of radicals.” So Perry Saturn is the leader? He said the group was desperate and they needed to make a statement, targeting the WWE Champion. He said he’s used to being the biggest target. Cena said their plan was almost brilliant, but they had a problem. Their issue was with WWE management, yet they took Monday Night Raw away from the WWE Universe. He said the group made themselves 5 million new enemies. Every WWE superstar wants their head on a plate as well, for ripping up the WWE ring. He said firing Wade Barrett will not fix the problem, and that they won’t care about getting arrested for a misdemeanor. He hoped and prayed that the guys were watching. He said he would not press charges.
As he continued, the rookies made their way through the crowd. Cena got more amped up and said they took the targe off Cena and put it on themselves. Lawler hopped into the ring, as did R-Truth, William Regal, Santino Marella, and Evan Bourne. The rookies went to ringside and a huge brawl broke out in the ring. Mark Henry was out there as well. Randy Orton ran out as well. The WWE Superstars stood tall. Edge came out and speared Barrett at ringside. Sheamus came out with his steel pipe as the NXT rookies retreated through the crowd. Some wrestlers chased them out of the arena. They went backstage and the rookies were literally being chased out of the building.
-Naturally, they replayed the brawl that just happened. Lawler said he was never so proud to be a part of something in WWE as he was for that beat-down.
-Mathews caught up with Sheamus backstage. He asked why Sheamus helped out, and he said he wanted to take out Cena on Sunday, not let some rookies do it before he got the chance.
(3) Eve Torres & Gail Kim vs. Alicia Fox & Maryse Maryse, Gail Kim and Alicia Fox will challenge Eve for the Divas Championship in a Fatal Four-Way Match at the PPV Sunday. Maryse took it to Eve and yelled at her early on. Eve took her down with a hair pull, but Fox pulled Eve’s hair. The distraction allowed Maryse to land a spinning back kick for two. Tag in to Fox, and they double-teamed Eve with a face-plant. Cover for two again. Northern Lights Suplex with a bridge for two by Fox. Tag in to Maryse, who kicked Eve in the chest. Back to Alicia and more double-teaming. Fox missed a big boot and nailed Maryse. Spinning neckbreaker by Eve for the win. Gail didn’t even get in the match!
Winner: Torres and Kim, at 2:33. They did enough to make it passable.
-Cole and Lawler talked on camera about a United States Championship match being added to the card for the PPV. R-Truth has invoked his re-match clause, and will face Miz for the U.S. Title.
-Still to come, John Cena teams up with Randy Orton to take on Edge and Sheamus. Cena has insisted on competing tonight, which explains this match.
-Mark Feuerstein was warming up backstage with Big Show. Their tag match against DiBiase and Virgil is next.
(4) The Big Show & Mark Feuerstein vs. Ted DiBiase & Virgil Show introduced Feuerstein as his “best friend.” Show and DiBiase started things off. Go-behind by Teddy Jr. went nowhere. He sat on DiBiase’s face in the corner, shades of Rikishi. Hard slap to the chest followed that. Big Irish Whip, and DiBiase thumbed Show in the eye before he could hit another slap. DiBiase was thrown into his corner and tagged Virgil in. Virgil didn’t seem happy about that. Show grabbed Virgil by the skull, and brought him in the hard way. Virgil rolled out on the other side of the ring. Feuerstein went after him and threw him back into the ring. Bodyslam on the bodyguard, then Show stepped on Virgil’s stomach, then over him. He ripped open Virgil’s shirt and slapped him in the chest. Chokeslam on Virgil, then Show tagged in Feuerstein. Crowd liked this segment. The worm by Feuerstein, then a big elbowdrop. That got the pin. DiBiase looked disgusted.
Winners: Show and Feuerstein, at 3:57. A lot better than most segments involving guest hosts.
DiBiase stood in the ring next to a fallen Virgil. He took his Million Dollar Belt. Before leaving, he took money out of his boot and stuffed it down Virgil’s throat. He feigned leaving again, but instead, took the money from Virgil and then left.
-Lawler thanked Toby Mac for the Fatal Four-Way theme song, “Showstopper.”
(5) William Regal vs. Santino Marella The men were already in the ring when Vladimir Kozlov was announced as guest referee. Marella tried some kicks in Regal’s general direction, but wasn’t succeeding in connecting. Regal finally got tired of it and forearmed Santino in the face. He went to work on the arm of Santino. Santino flipped over and rolled Regal up and Kozlov made a fast three count, while Marella had a handful of tights.
Winner: Marella, at 1:21.
After the match, Regal complained to Kozlov about the decision. Bret’s music hit, and he told the three men to come up on the stage. He asked the entire locker room to come stand out on the stage, to prevent history from repeating itself. The backstage area emptied, including guys like Great Khali, the Hart Dynasty, Primo, Yoshi Tatsu, the Usos and Goldust, who weren’t involved in helping earlier on. No Jericho though.
-Next, it’s the main event tag match.
-The camera panned the guys on the stage and Santino, God bless him, was still selling the arm.
(6) Edge & Sheamus vs. Randy Orton & John Cena Some of the babyfaces, including Henry and Khali, saluted Cena as he passed them. Sheamus and Cena began the match for their respective teams. Things were kept in low gear until Orton tagged in, and he took Sheamus over with a headlock. Sheamus backed him into the corner and began to beat him down. Edge tagged in and was greeted with a back-breaker. Orton coiled and pounded the mat a bit softer than usual. Edge dodged an RKO and fled to ringside. They took a break about 4:00 in.
Back live, there was some text at the bottom of the screen thanking some North Carolina film office. Cena set Edge up for the Attitude Adjustment. First time is never the charm though. Cena made a cover, but was forced to break when Edge grabbed the bottom rope. Back to the outside went Edge. He got on the apron and choked Cena across the top rope. Sheamus tagged in and got some offense in on the champion. Edge held Cena in the heel corner for Sheamus to kick while the referee was dealing with Orton. Cena blocked an Edge suplex and delivered one of his own. Sheamus made the tag and cut Cena off, not allowing him to tag Orton. As Cena was sent to the outside, Edge kicked him a few times while the ref prevented Sheamus from going out to attack Cena. Big clothesline from Sheamus back in the ring, but Cena kicked out at two. Sheamus grounded Cena, but Cena got back to his feet with Sheamus hanging on his back. He got close to making a tag to Orton, but Sheamus wore him back down to the mat. Back to Edge, who countered an Attitude Adjustment and went for a spear. Cena side-stepped it, however. Both men made tags. Big reaction for Orton, as the crowd has been into things all night. Orton gave his signature moves to Sheamus, including the rope-assisted DDT. He set for the RKO, but Edge came from behind and he was RKO’d for his troubles. That allowed Sheamus to connect with an axe-handle to the brain. Irish Curse back-breaker for a near-fall. Rear chinlock by Sheamus. Orton wasn’t down for long though. Edge tagged in and the crowd chanted “Randy.” Orton responded by knocking Sheamus off the apron, but Edge put him back down. Now an “RKO” chant. Clothesline and both men were down. Orton made the tag and I think the pop for Orton’s hot tag was louder. As he hit a shoulderblock, the lights went out in the arena. They went backstage to the NXT Rookies, tearing apart the entire backstage area and dragging Bret Hart. They stuffed him into a limo and told the driver to take off. The driver backed out of the arena, crashing into another car. Then he backed into another one. And another. I’m gonna call this match…
Winner: No Contest, (no bell), about 17:00.
They checked on Bret to see if he’d offer them contracts or not. They backed into another car and dragged Bret out. Barrett said they want an answer by Sunday. Why didn’t the wrestlers leave the ramp to come out and help Bret?
Remember, kids: Attempted vehicular homicide is ok, but choking a guy with his necktie is where they draw the line.
But in all seriousness, they handled the Bryan release perfectly. They didn't completely ignore him and pretend he didn't exist, they didn't bury him, they gave him a logical storyline reason for his absence and left the door open for his eventual return. And they opened the door for him to return as a huge babyface when he tears through his old nXt mates. Good on the E's writing team for this one.
I thought they would blow the whole angle with Barrett and the nXt guys doing in-ring promos, but I was quickly proven wrong. They did just about everything right tonight.
One nagging question: Has anyone seen Jericho come out at all during any of the nXt segments? Dun dun DUN?
As a show, tonight was awesome.
Unfortunately, as a go-home show for a PPV, this one was no good.
Funniest part was Mark Henry chasing NXT guys backstage as 3 more ran by him. Did he not want to fight the ones who hadn't caught up to him yet? Sounded more like the fans chanting Rock 'n Roll than RKO for Orton. Guess old habits die hard in the Carolinas. Not another summer of Who Drove the (insert make of vehicle). So, let us potentially name the new group after a group that now consists of Dean Malenko and 3 dead guys.
Originally posted by It's False They did just about everything right tonight.
Almost. Frankly, nothing could make NXT look like bigger bitches than running away from Santino Marella.
I thought Barrett was great on the stick all night.
The beatdown of Bret Hart was amusing. Did all the Pros on stage grade that NXT beatdown? Who's number one in the Pro's Poll?
Gail should have hit Eve with the belt like she was thinkin'. Soon, I hope.
(Eve's new hairstyle is bouncy bouncy bouncy. Dreamy.)
Where is Vince, someone asked me? I'd say Vince only interferes now when Drew McIntyre calls. Otherwise, he left Bret Hart to sink or swim - really, to sink. Vince won't intervene even if NXT destroys his show. He wants Bret to fail. The more RAW falls apart under Bret's watch, the more Vince proves his point.
(edited by John Orquiola on 14.6.10 2029) @BackoftheHead
The NXT guys running from Santino was pretty funny. Imagine a Match between Otunga and Santino? Good lord. Barrett is great but with Danielson gone Otunga in the #2 guy in the group at least for now. They did set up Danielson as a big babyface if or when he comes back. After last weeks performance by him I would be more interested in him being a heel though. The ending was rather trite bring in a hummer next time mix it up once in a blue moon. Gotta say Dibiase is not being helped by playing a character that his dad played perfectely. He isn't helped by being tossed into mind numbingly stupid segments with this weeks shitty guest host. This has been a win win for Virgil as he's on tv for the first time in over a decade and making more money than he has since then. Plus he gets paid more money for Indy show appearances but nothing for Dibiase. If this is the best they've got for him maybe he would have better for him to have been moved to SmackDown. So what was the use of Miz dropping the title if he was gonna win it back in a few weeks? So only two matches announced for a ppv less than a week away? They couldn't announce more matches for the ppv last year during the 2+ shitfest they put on before the hot closing angle?
Originally posted by John Orquiola Where is Vince, someone asked me? I'd say Vince only interferes now when Drew McIntyre calls. Otherwise, he left Bret Hart to sink or swim - really, to sink. Vince won't intervene even if NXT destroys his show. He wants Bret to fail. The more RAW falls apart under Bret's watch, the more Vince proves his point.
(edited by John Orquiola on 14.6.10 2029)
Wait, Vince was there. You didn't recognize him? He was dressed up like John Cena. You knew it was him, though, because he said "Quite frankly" a million times. What, do you need him to say "In this very ring" to be sure?
Mark Henry was great. I liked the NXT group running from Santino. However I saw it more as Santino being in character and chasing away the guys that were running from the guys behind Santino.
Guest host not all that bad either. I'm not watching the advertised tv show, but still. I think I lean towards liking the hosts that are out there to have a good time and be a part of the show.
Not to happy about the car thing. Been done way too much. At least it moves the story along though. The perfect thing to do would have been to have the stage collapse (safely) since the roster was there. That's what I was waiting for. To bad they somewhat ruined that idea with that whodunit to Vince a while back.
Originally posted by John OrquiolaWhere is Vince, someone asked me? I'd say Vince only interferes now when Drew McIntyre calls. Otherwise, he left Bret Hart to sink or swim - really, to sink. Vince won't intervene even if NXT destroys his show. He wants Bret to fail. The more RAW falls apart under Bret's watch, the more Vince proves his point.
On that note, I'd have to imagine that once Bret is in a fairly broken state, it leads to Vince coming in and giving all the rookies their contracts, noting how impressed he is by them going out and "making an impact". After all, what are evil owners for?
I hear tell that there was a Target Center press conference this morning, but my local media contact wasn't there. MAYBE there'll be something in the Pioneer Press or Star-Tribune tomorrow. I'll try to remember to keep a lookout. (still no comps!)