TONIGHT: Over the Limit fall-out, including John Cena retaining the WWE Title. Was last night the breaking point for the Miz/Alex Riley relationship? Will Randy Savage get a video tribute? What’s next for Michael Cole following his humiliating loss last night? All these questions and more….coming up.
- “In Memory of ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage: 1952-2011.”
- WWE Open.
- Fireworks blasted off inside the arena in Portland, Oregon. Josh Mathews welcomed fans to the show.
- Jerry Lawler got his own entrance, even though we heard his voice preview the show during Tough Enough! Lawler got the mic and said he didn’t want to take up too much time, but did say our long national nightmare is over. The camera angle showed the lack of a Cole Mine at ringside. Lawler said Cole has finally been beaten. Crowd chanted Jerry’s name, and King said he knew Cole would try to weasel out of kissing his foot, so he had an ace up his sleeve. Actually, a Hart: Bret “Hitman” Hart. That brought Bret out to his theme music.
Bret got the mic and said hello to Portland. He said he’s happy to be back on Monday Night Raw. Bret said Lawler (now at the commentary table) and he have had their differences, but he has always respected him. However, he has zero respect for Cole. Hart said it was his pleasure to make sure Cole suffered the agony of defeat, if you know what he means. As he continued, Truth’s music (well, his one line) interrupted and he walked out. He told the fans not to boo him as he sized up “Hitman Hart” in the ring. Truth said it was an honor, that he can’t believe his eyes. Truth said Bret must be 90 time WWE Champion. Then he told the crowd to shut up as they chanted “you suck.” Truth asked Bret to guess how many championship matches he’s been in. Survey says: zero. Truth said he doesn’t play to the little Jimmy’s like Bret did. He asked Hart to help him help Bret help him. Truth took the Hitman shades and said he needed to find him a little Jimmy. He found one at ringside and said he’s a good R-Truth now. He put the shades on the kid (a Cena fan, of course), and put his arm around him, saying he should be next in line for a WWE Championship match now.
But Truth went back into the ring and got serious, saying he’s not next in line. He said he thought wins and losses didn’t matter as long as you treated the fans nicely. But he took out John Morrison and beat Rey Mysterio last night, so actions speak louder than words. And maybe now he needs to take out a Hall-of-Famer. Bret dared him to do so and said the reason he got championship matches was because he’s the best there is, the best there was and the best there ever will be. And the reason Truth isn’t getting title matches is because he’s a freakin’ lunatic. Truth wasn’t about to stand there and get disrespected. He went to leave, but John Cena’s music hit, and the champ came out wearing the WWE Title around his waist.
Cena got a mic from ringside and went into the ring. He told Truth to come back inside the ring. He said it’s time for he and Truth to have a talk. But first, he said how happy he was that Bret is back in a WWE ring. Bret congratulated Cena on his title win last night. Cena asked Truth when exactly he went crazy. He said the two of them used to be cool. They should draw on their history of Truth being Cena’s conscience when Cena was in Nexus. Or they could just turn Truth into Tracy Morgan. Truth said his problem is with Cena. Cena said it’s all about the people. Truth told the fans to shut up and talked about all the merchandise Cena plugs, ending with “I want my son back,” the line that was in the ads, ad nauseum, from one of Cena’s movies. Truth said he never liked Cena, and he and Hart are a propaganda tool designed to make the people feel good. But he doesn’t care about them or how they feel. Cena said it’s time someone knocked some sense into Truth, but before he could, the GM e-mailed in. Mathews read the e-mail, which stated that he needs to see more from Truth before he’s granted a WWE Title Match. Therefore, he’ll team with CM Punk against Rey and Cena. Bret Hart will be the guest ref. They played Bret’s music to end the segment, and he did end up giving his glasses to the kid at ringside (I guess Truth took them away after he gave it to him).
- Kane and Big Show were backstage next to a fancy black car. They talked about Nexus, but Ricardo Rodriguez came in and started yelling at them in Spanish. Show shoved him down, so Alberto Del Rio ran up, enraged. He angrily spouted Spanish as well and both tag champs ended up walking away. Del Rio pulled Rodriguez off the ground and continued ranting.
- Exclusive Over the Limit photos can be viewed on WWE.com. Thanks Josh!
(1) Big Show & Kane vs. David Otunga & Michael McGillicutty – WWE Tag Team Championship Match CM Punk was on commentary for this one, and Punk reminisced about his past commentary experience. Kane pulled Otunga out of the ring early on and took the fight to him. Punk claimed he had a 120 degree fever last night during their match. Otunga avoided Show in the corner and tagged in McGillicutty. Show took the body shots to McGill as Punk said that mentally, he has already beaten Kane and Big Show. Hard slap to the chest by Show. Show stepped on the back of McGill’s head, then put him down again at the 2:00 mark. He clotheslined McGillicutty to ringside, where Otunga and Mason Ryan checked on him. They went to break 2:23 into the match.
Back at 5:56 of the match, with Nexus double-teaming Kane in the heel corner. Neck vice applied by McGillicutty as Punk continued hating on Mathews. Otunga in, and he greeted Kane with a neck-breaker at 7:27, which got him a two-count. Punk called Show “King Kong Bundy” when discussing the speech he gave to Nexus earlier in the evening. Big boot to Otunga by Kane. Both men made tags at 8:14, and Show predictably cleaned house. Mason Ryan attempted to enter the ring, but Kane took him out, bumping the ref in the process. Punk got involved and nailed Big Show, leading to a double DDT on the big man. The pinfall was made and the tag gold is back with Nexus.
Winners: McGillicutty and Otunga, at 8:58. I saw this coming when they set up a Del Rio feud with Big Show in the segment before this one.
- Truth & Punk vs. Cena & Mysterio is still to come.
- The skyline of Portland was shown.
- They showed the poster of Capitol Punishment, with Rey, Cena and Barack Obama in animated form on the poster.
- Next was a video of an autograph signing of Randy Orton at Wal-Mart in St. Louis this past week. They also got fans to talk about the movie.
- The announcers discussed “That’s What I Am” at ringside. Mathews, whose face was very shiny, sent it to a replay of the finish of the last (first) match.
- Scott Stanford was backstage with Show and Kane. He couldn’t even get a question out before Big Show yelled at him for talking about being frustrated. Show screamed and pushed some of the set around until Del Rio walked up, laughing at him. Then he slapped Show and the chase was on. The cameraman was knocked wonky as they went by, and he caught up to the scene in time to see Show lying on the ground, his leg underneath Del Rio’s car. Kane shouted for medics as it became apparent Show was run over. Medics finally arrived on the scene as a man in a suit watched over them for some reason. Show tried to walk, but couldn’t put pressure on the leg. Instead, he continued to lay on the ground, wailing, as he was tended to.
- Show was still being worked on backstage, and the lights of the car that ran over him were still on. Show got restless and demanded to be helped up. He collapsed and got more pissed, telling everyone to give him room so he can breathe. He finally got to his feet, using a nearby guardrail to steady himself. The doctor told him to sit on a stretcher so they could look at it, but Show said it’s not happening. It’s nice to see Kane so concerned for his friend. Probably reminds him of what his dead (?) father went through.
(2) Jack Swagger vs. Evan Bourne Mathews spouted the old Matt Striker line about Swagger being a runner up for the Heisman Trophy, and both he and Lawler seemed to sell it like it was legit, which was weird, given how high-profile the Heisman is. Swagger punished Bourne in the first minute, and Bourne’s chest was already red. He tore at the arm and shoulder of Bourne. Kick to the head by Bourne, who then avoided the Vader Bomb. Quick strike kicks by Bourne, but Swagger caught him and tried an ankle-lock. He couldn’t get it, but Bourne rolled Swagger up for a near-fall. Swagger blocked a hurricanrana and turned it into a Swagger Bomb with mustard.
Winner: Swagger, at 2:08. Wish they would’ve made this a tad more competitive. A good win for Swagger, though.
As Swagger celebrated with his jaunt around the ring, Bourne surprised him with a kick, sending Swagger out of the ring. That’s a start.
- Michael Cole was shown dejectedly walking backstage. Some techies were laughing at him as he passed. Kelly Kelly, Gail Kim, Beth Phoenix and Eve were all standing there looking pretty. Cole stopped and extended his hand to Eve, who extended…her foot. Funny. Cole is on his way out next.
- Lawler made some jokes about what happened in his match with Cole last night. Mathews then congratulated Rock on his box office success with Fast Five.
- Michael Cole was introduced. He walked out, wearing puppy-dog eyes. Lawler said it’s Cole’s walk of shame. He grabbed a mic and stood in front of the commentary table. He began his usual routine, but stopped and said he doesn’t deserve their attention. He said it never should’ve been about him, then said he came out to put everything behind him. He apologized to Lawler, Mathews, Justin Roberts, Mark Yeaton, and all of the fans in Portland. They weren’t buying it. He apologized for his reprehensible behavior and said he just wants to come back home and do what he was hired to do: Provide commentary on Raw. No more Cole Mines, no more matches, he just wanted the fans to accept his apology. Nope. Cole said he really, really meant it.
Lawler stood up and said it all sounds good to him. He thanked Cole for coming out and being professional. He also thanked Cole for giving him a picture that will be on his Christmas card this year, that of Lawler’s foot in Cole’s mouth. “You suck toes” chant. Lawler got a product placement in and handed Cole a pack of Altoids. Cole took it and said he deserved it, then took his seat at ringside at the commentary table.
- As he did so, Miz’s music interrupted. He and Alex Riley walked out. Lawler said he has never seen Cena take a beating like he did last night. I feel like they say that every month. Miz had a mic but milked the crowd reaction. He said there’s only one reason he didn’t win the WWE Title last night, that being Alex Riley. He said this has been a habitual problem with Riley, dating back to him not being there at Extreme Rules for Miz. But on Raw the next night, Riley exposed the title that was used by Miz to gain victory in their match. And again last night, Riley screwed up, costing Miz another match. Miz said he turns to the anonymous Raw GM to give him another chance. He said he wants a one-on-one title match with Cena, with Miz “banned at ringside.” That’s a new one. Miz said Cena wasn’t in a handicap match last night, he was, that’s how unhelpful Riley was. Miz implored the GM to make the match official. Miz refused to be disrespected, then said he wouldn’t leave until the GM chimes in. The GM finally did so, and Mathews read the e-mail. The GM denied Miz the rematch, and now Miz is done with Cena. Miz slowly turned to look at Riley, then placed all of the blame squarely on Riley. He called Riley a “worthless waste of space.” He asked for an explanation, and Riley reminded Miz that he didn’t say “I quit.” That only enraged Miz even more.
“What did you say?” he asked, as he slapped Riley across the face. Miz stopped Riley from responding and told him to shut his mouth. Miz said without him, Riley wouldn’t even be in WWE. He said Riley rode his coattails to the main event of Wrestlemania. He was yelling and said he was sick of Riley’s mind-numbing stupidity. Miz said he was done with Riley and fired him. He pie-faced Miz again, so Riley attacked. Miz escaped the ring, but the two brawled at ringside, tearing their high-priced suits off of each other. “After all I did for you!?!” he yelled at Miz. Riley sent Miz over the announce desk, and then into it. “Riley” chants by the crowd, as he continued to hammer on Miz. He left Miz lying in the middle of the ring, then left, to the delight of the crowd. Wow, nice bruise under Miz’s arm! Great segment for Miz and Riley.
(3) The Bella Twins & Maryse & Melina vs. Kelly Kelly & Gail Kim & Eve Torres & Beth Phoenix Cole first said Miz may have deserved what he got in the last segment, then heaped compliments onto the Divas. Kelly with a Thesz Press on one of the Bellas, then she rubbed her face into the match. 26 seconds into the match, Kharma’s music hit and she walked out onto the stage. All of the Divas gathered into the ring in a show of solidarity. Let’s say…
Winners: No contest (no bell), about :26.
Kharma went to ringside and surveyed the landscape, then entered the ring. The Divas circled Kharma, who turned to look at each of them. Kharma seemed to summoning some power, then…fell to her knees and broke down crying in the middle of the ring. Uh…what? Crowd wasn’t sure how to react. Her lips were quivering and she appeared to be talking to herself in a trance. Then they went to break. Well…there are going to be some strong opinions on that segment!
- Mathews narrated a brief video of Kharma’s emotional breakdown.
- The WWE Slam of the Week aired. It was Kofi Kingston beating Sheamus at Extreme Rules.
(4) Kofi Kingston vs. Drew McIntyre McIntyre has fireworks with his entrance now. McIntyre and Kingston went at it fast and furious, setting a record for leap-frogs in the opening minute of a match. They botched the last one it appeared (or maybe not), with Kingston not making it over McIntyre on a backward leap. He landed on his leg, and McIntyre smelled blood. He worked that leg around the ring post and kicked it out from under Kofi when he got back to his feet. He did the intense Jericho stare into the crowd before going back to work on Kofi. Somehow, Kofi planted on his good foot and gave an enziguiri to the Scotsman. He started getting pumped up and hit the Boom Drop. He lined up for the Trouble in Paradise, but the knee buckled. McIntyre booted him in the face and got a two-count. Kingston came back and ended up hitting the SOS for the win.
Winner: Kingston, at 4:24. Pretty good little match.
Dolph Ziggler and Vickie Guerrero were shown watching the match backstage.
- The announcers talked about Capitol Punishment and what it would be like if Obama spoke on the subject. They did the mock press conference that aired last night on the PPV. Coors Light did this so much better in their ads. Mathews said they’ve invited members of Congress, the Washington Nationals, members of Obama’s cabinet, and the Forestry Service. I wonder if the title of the PPV would turn some politicians off who might actually come?
- Nexus was still celebrating their tag title win backstage. “See what happens when you listen to CM Punk?” Punk then walked off to set another example for them in the main event.
- A bullying PSA aired with WWE Superstars and Divas.
- They showed the aftermath of Big Show getting run over from earlier in the evening.
- Scott Stanford was with ADR, who had requested some time. Del Rio said Show brought this on himself by disrespecting him, then said this was not his fault, it was Ricardo’s fault. “He’s just an idiot,” said Del Rio, as he walked off.
- The announcers talked on camera about Big Show being taken to a local medical facility. Up next, the main event tag match with Bret Hart as guest referee. Mathews sent it to Lawler for comments, but he had a long pause before saying anything, probably because of what was next.
- Lawler talked about Randy Savage and how he passed away this past week. He said Savage was a great man and a great performer. They sent it to a package of still photos of Savage, with a voice-over guy doing the honors. They spotlighted video of his feud with Hulk Hogan, his WM match with Ricky Steamboat, and his Slim Jim endorsements. They showed bits of his interviews and played music along with slow-mo clips. Classy tribute. Crowd appreciated it and got in a “Macho Man” chant before they went to break.
- Bret Hart came out to be special ref of the main event.
(5) R-Truth & CM Punk vs. Rey Mysterio & John Cena Punk wore pink tights and yellow kneepads, presumably in honor of Savage. Hip-toss by Cena, who then threw Truth out of the ring. Punk checked on Truth as they went to break a mere :35 into the match.
3:28 into the match, they came back. Punk worked over Cena, but hid behind Bret when the going got tough. Truth stomped a mudhole in Cena in the corner. Hard whip into the buckle, which Cena took chest-first. It was a .1 on the scale of Bret Hart chest-first corner bumps. Truth went for a cover and only got two. Cole reset the show at the top of the hour, 5:10 into the match. Side Russian leg sweep by Punk. Slow count by Bret, and Punk got in his face about it. Second rope elbow, but cover only got two. Cena attempted a tag, but Punk dragged him into his corner, where Truth tagged in. Suplex by Truth, and a cover got two. Another slow count from Bret. Hart shoved Truth when Truth questioned his technique. Truth ran into a big boot in the corner and tagged Punk, who channeled Savage in jumping over the top rope and hitting an axe-handle on Cena to prevent the tag from being made. Punk countered the STF and was kicked back to the corner. DDT by Cena. Mysterio tagged in and all heck broke loose. 619 on Punk, then a right hand from Bret. He put Punk in the Sharpshooter, then Rey hit the springboard legdrop. Three-count was registered and the faces won.
Winners: Cena and Rey, at 9:42. Nice TV main event, but where is this Bret-Punk situation going?
They replayed the finish and the babyfaces had their hands raised again as the show went off the air.
Originally posted by geemoney Punk wore pink tights and yellow kneepads, presumably in honor of Savage.
Presumably? There's no presumably about it. That was Randy Savage's 1986-1987 ring gear.
There were a lot of bald men backstage during the segment where Show got run over by a car.
For a guy who once electricuted Shane McMahon's nuts with a car battery, Kane was awfully compassionate towards Big Show.
I think I'd rather be hit by Del Rio's car than thrown under the bus by The Miz.
Coldplay's "The Scientist" playing over that rather wonderful Macho Man tribute might be the closest Vince McMahon will ever come to apologizing.
Kharma. She must have seen "That's What I Am" and realized she needed to repent for being a bully. That segment was the 2011 Goldberg wearing Goldust's wig. Ever see a giant black woman killed dead in a wrestling ring? You have now.
(edited by John Orquiola on 23.5.11 2022) @BackoftheHead
Nexus vs Big Show/Kane may as well have been a Tough Enough out take. Good God were McGuillicuty and Otunga terrible.
Alex Riley, gigantic baby face. Who'da thunk it. Maybe the Rapture was just late.
That Kharma thing... when your crowd immediately goes from full blown excitement to bullshit chants, it's never a good sign, that's all I can say. And I REALLY hope this isn't gonna turn out to be a "I was mean to you because you're so pretty and I'm not and I really just want to be you" angle.
"USETA IS JUST A ROOSTA FROM BREWSTA!" God I love heel Truth.
Originally posted by BigDaddyLocoWhat a weird show.
My thoughts exactly. The daydream sequence was poor and out of place. The Kharma thing went nowhere right into commercial break. It seemed like there was a deliberate focus on acting throughout the show.
But then some things really worked. Truth continues to entertain. ARi-Miz domestic dispute was well done. And then there's Punk. I almost shit when I saw he was wearing a Punk-branded version of Savage's gear from WM3. Arms extended spin. Top-rope vault to falling axehandle. Grinning at Hart while doing every move of doom. "Where'd you learn to count? Canada?" I'll stop because I'm getting creepy.
I'll give this Kharma thing a bit of time to play out, though if it goes into a "I wish I was as pretty as you girls!" direction, that'll just about kill Kharma right out of the gate. Also, the Diva solidarity came probably a bit too early in the story --- Beth and Gail would've probably made more sense to stand up to her without wanting/needing any backup.
Great video for Savage. I'll be surprised if he isn't in the Hall next year.
"Where'd you learn to count, Canada?!" I love CM Punk.
I'm sure Truth rolling out of the ring and disappearing sure impressed the Raw GM!
"It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone." --- Bart Giamatti, on baseball
Originally posted by MossIt's great that Punk did the FIVE MOVES OF DOOM in front of Bret, the fact he was wearing pink tights made it even more awesome.
Punk was all class tonight, even though everyone knew he was going to get pinned so Rey could get back some credibility.
And Kharma.. Who in the hell wrote that segment?????? When the audience has NO IDEA what is going on or how to react, it's a very bad thing.... Boy, they better have a good storyline to restore all her lost heel heat now....
And of course, we know why the Miz was hyped up... It was to really build up Alex Riley, and it worked.
And I guess Big Show needs a break for a while....Don't blame him, when you're a true giant and 40 years old and over-exposed.....
Originally posted by geemoney Punk wore pink tights and yellow kneepads, presumably in honor of Savage.
Presumably? There's no presumably about it. That was Randy Savage's 1986-1987 ring gear.
Yeah...I wrote that part when he was still coming to the ring and part of his gear was obscured by his t-shirt, so I didn't see the stars on the tights and only saw a little pink, so I wasn't 100% sure.
Originally posted by John OrquiolaKharma. She must have seen "That's What I Am" and realized she needed to repent for being a bully. That segment was the 2011 Goldberg wearing Goldust's wig.
There's really no better way to put it than that. This is pretty much exactly what this is. I didn't think it could happen, but the E took the one Divas angle that COULDN'T POSSIBLY MISS...and they MISSED...quite badly, I might add! Even if it turns out this is a giant ploy, there's really no recovering from that damning visual.
Good to see that they're going to tone Cole's personality down a tad. Unfortunately, he's still on the commentary team. I'd rather have Book......actually, no I wouldn't. Never mind.
Del Rio goes from feuding for a world title...to teasing a feud for the other world title...to vehicular manslaughter. It beats another feud with Mysterio, I guess. I've seen odder setups for feuds. Strangely, those odd setups usually end up involving Kane in some fashion.
I could have sworn they were setting up a tag title feud with Big Show/Kane and Great Khali/Jinder Mahal, so thankfully THAT apocalypse has been averted. Unfortunately, this means David Otunga is now a champion again, so I'll actually have to watch him attempt to wrestle every week.
So should we start referring to Riley as White Virgil?
Originally posted by ekedolphinAnd you're telling me Randy Savage got only a graphic and someone wearing his ring gear? Not even a video, let alone an induction into the Hall of Fame? For shame.
Jerry Lawler literally called him a Hall of Famer.
Originally posted by shawnpatrickPunk was all class tonight, even though everyone knew he was going to get pinned so Rey could get back some credibility.
I "knew" he was going to pin a banged up Cena to steal Truth's title shot because of the renewed push for Nexus. but.
Originally posted by R-Truth/CxMorgadoUSETA IS JUST A ROOSTA FROM BREWSTA!"
I can't think of a less likable babyface than A-Ri but hey it worked. I hope Miz and Maryse's son brings him back as his Virgil 20 years from now.
Aw Kane has so much affection for Big Show.
Kofi facing stark new challenges to his U.S. title in Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre. Look out if Jack Swagger sets his sights on that championship. Not sure Kofi has ever been in the ring with any of those guys.
Evan Bourne Raw losing streak in matches where HHH does obliterate his opponent ahead of time is rolling along strong since last June, but hope springs eternal based on his act of defiance.
Hey that Kharma thing was OMG the Bellas have capes!
I think we're two weeks away from the one-year anniversary of Nexus' debut and 8-on-1 attack on Cena. Seeing the Divas circled around Kharma reminded me of that. I was totally expecting a reverse of Nexus: a 1-on-8 beatdown by Kharma on the Divas. But instead...
Now I can't help picturing how the rest of 2010 would've played out if Cena dropped to his knees in tears one year ago.
OH, I almost forgot one of the most important moments of the show.....Ziggler's hair is blonde again!
For some crazy, I thought that Kofi/Drew match would end with the finish from Wrestlemania VIII -- Savage's kick being caught, him punching a cocky Flair and then rolling him up for the win.
(edited by Big Bad on 24.5.11 0316) "It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone." --- Bart Giamatti, on baseball
There was many a week where we would say NXT was the best show in wrestling just because it was delirious fun in the face of tedium. This week the show was just disconcertingly, conventionally good. WEIRD.