Highlights of Edge screwing up the main event at Survivor Series, and Vicki rewarding him with a title shot tonight?, and ... EW! Vicki eats a tombstone as I come out of shock.
Opening credits, then we are greeted as Michael "He's got him - NO!" Cole and JBL are coming to us from Roanoke, VA.
Edge is out to 'splain himself. JBL puts over that Edge was never beaten, he surrendered the title due to injury. Loud "You Suck" chant. Edge is understandably upset that no one kept in touch while he was out injured. "I'll admit, that hurt." After a couple of months, Vicki was the only one to call, and she changed his life. Using Vicki in this spot instead of Krystal is so much better for Edge's sleazeball character.. "Sometimes you just can't help who you fall in love with." Edge eliminated 'Taker, because he *knew he can beat Batista - HA! And then Taker beats up a girl. Edge vows to destroy him for that. Edge shouts out to Vicki, and dedicates tonight's match to her. Good speech - Raw writers, this is what is called "exposition", you might want to look into it.
Highlights of Finlay/Hornswoggle vs Mark Henry, with Khali running in after the match to beat down Fit. Finlay and Hornswoggle are WALKING!
1) Finlay & Hornswoggle vs. Deuce & Domino (with Cherry on top) in a semi-handicap match
Vince has made Finlay vs Khali for Armageddon. Cole says he can't figure this out. Jericho should spell it out for him.
Finlay and Deuce start off. Finlay shows off some nice stiff power work, but it's Cherry with a slap to cause the distraction that puts the greasers on the offensive. While Finlay is out on the floor, Horny ends up chasing Cherry around the ring while holding a dead mouse. He gets caught between D & D, but as the ref is chasing Domino back to his corner, that allows Finlay to KO Deuce with the shillelagh. Tag and a tadpole splash for the 1-2-3. Just a reminder of how useful Hornswoggle can be when Vince isn't throwing himself into the storylines.
Video package of Edge beating a near-dead 'Taker with his MiTB shot from earlier this year.
Michelle McCool is backstage lovin' a photoshoot. Jamie Noble interrupts to tell her "I told you so" after beating Palumbo last week. He takes umbrage to Michelle calling it "an upset win". Palumbo shows up to say everyone knows it was a fluke, and he can't wait for tonight's rematch. Noble says not so fast, I'm on a roll - lightning is going to strike twice.
2) ECW Champion C. M. Punk vs Kenny Dykstra in a non-Victoria, non-title match
Cole puts over the "business arrangement" that allows Punk to appear. I wonder why I should watch ECW if I can see Punk here? (That awesome Morrison & Miz vs Biscuits & Gravy tag match aside) This was a great match on ECW that only was questionable for giving Dykstra too much offense. And once again, Dykstra gets a lot of control, given his and Punk's positions on the card (my opinion). Sweet dropkick on Punk coming off the top turnbuckle, but Punk reverses a suplex into the GTS. Dykstra again does the Orton-esque death sell.
Video package of Edge beating Batista at Judgment Day with a rollup due to Dave's sore quad.
Recap of Kane getting beatdown by Viz and Henry after the Extreme Rules match on ECW this week
3) Big Daddy V (with your teacher, Matt Stryker) & United States Champion M.V.P. vs Kane & Rey Mysterio (Jr.) in a cross-feud place-holding tag match
Cole calls Big Daddy V "The Mastodon". Are they teasing a Vader appearance? JBL: "He's not woolly, but he's damn sure a mammoth." Cole also mentions that Kane is still trying to figure out Big Daddy V. Maybe if Kane saw him with pajamas on, he'd remember the World's Largest Love Machine?
Mysterio and MVP start, then Kane is in as the faces control things early. MVP slides out of the ring to take a "20", but Rey splashes him as we go to..
.. Kane flips MVP back over the top rope and into the ring as we return. JBL says this is good strategy, keeping BDV out of the ring. I figure it's good for our entertainment too. V finally gets a tag, and commences to start a'clubberin' on Kane. Cole: "What a specimen!" Good time for a piss break all right. MVP is back in as I return.. Kane looks tired, but gets a clothesline on MVP, so Rey gets the hot tag. Momentum is stopped when Stryker trips up Mysterio. Now V is back in - he hits a side slam that I first thought was Rey reversing into a DDT. Long heat segment on Rey, until he ducks Viz's corner splash and makes the even hotter tag back to Kane. Finish comes when Kane tags in Rey, but hits MVP with his top turnbuckle clothesline before Rey's 619 and top rope splash gets the 1-2-3. Decent work, aided by keeping V out of the ring for most of it.
Video package of Taker getting screwed at Survivor Series, and Vicki giving Edge a title match for it, and ... EW!
Video Package of Edge beating Batista at not-ECW One Night Stand by barely beating him to the floor in a cage match. I hate 'escape' as a way to win a cage match.
Interview with Batista, after tonight's match he is going to try and get Edge a bed next to Vicki in the hospital, cuz' that's how he rolls. Or something like that.
Recap of Noble getting a cheap, yet clean pin of Palumbo last week.
4) Chuck Palumbo (with Michelle McCool, lovin' a ride on his hog) vs Jamie Noble (with a complete lack of sensitivity for women) in a grudge match
I'm an old WCW guy, but I've never really thought that much of Palumbo, and this run is no different. At least he looks natural? Match is the big guy dominating the little one, until Noble gets an opening and works over Palumbo's left knee. Suplex doesn't quite work for Noble, and gets reversed. Finish comes when Chuck missed a big boot, and gets rolled up for another cleanish pin. I suppose this is going to have to lead to a match where a date with McCool is at stake.
Vince is backstage with Runjin Singh to preview the Finlay-Khali match. Vince promises "lots of surprises". Vince makes Singh do his Hornswoggle impression. Then he makes Singh do his uncle (who runs a Quik-E-Mart, apparently). Then he has to do his Khali. It's about as riveting as it reads. Khali walks in at the end, and gives Runjin a stare.
Video package from Vengeance when Edge got himself deliberately DQ'd against Batista, only to have the match restarted by Teddy Long. Eventually Batista loses on a countout. These recaps tell me you're a fool if you expect a clean decision in a big-time WWE main event match.
Raw Rebound: Me. Want. Title. Match. This challenge was Ortonized for your protection.
5) Edge (without his new main squeeze Vicki Guerrero - EW!) vs WWE World Heavyweight Champion Dave "The World's Most Dangerous Metrosexual" Batista for the World Heavyweight Championship.
Cole puts over that Batista has never beat Edge in a title match. He also says that this match is to find out "Who rules the SmackDown kingdom." That one hurt, Cole. We get introductions after the entrances to add to the "big match" feel. (Did anyone ever hear why Justin Roberts and Tony Chimel swapped shows?) JBL reminds us that Edge never lost his title in the ring, and deserves this shot.
Batista's power takes control at the start, Edge squirms out of a Batista bomb attempt, and gets to the floor. Good thing, as it's time for..
.. Dave is still bouncing Edge around as we return. Edge ducks a clothesline, and pulls the top rope to send Batista to the floor. Dave comes in an goes right back on offense. Lots of punches and slams. "Plodding" comes to mind. Boot to the head gets 2. Edge knocked off the apron and into the barricade. Even Cole says "Edge just can't get out of the gate." Swinging neckbreaker as Dave tosses Edge back into the ring makes it appear like Edge might finally get some offense in, but instead we get..
.. Edge has a headlock as we return, and it's getting close to time to go home. Batista works his way back to his feet, but a .. reverse X-Factor(?) gets 2 on the champion. Edge goes to the top, but is punched off, and then suplexed back in from the apron. Batista shoulderblock from the top corner.. that's a move! Sideslam gets 2 on Edge, things are really picking up now. Spinebuster by Dave, and he motions for the Batista bomb - reversed to an Edgecution.. 2 3/4! Edge motions for the spear, but eats the corner as Dave steps aside. Running powerbomb, and now Batista wants the spear!
The lights go out, and it's a sports entertainment finish. Taker's in the ring, ready to chokeslam Edge, but Dave spears him from Taker's grasp, and right to the floor - heh. And now Teddy Long is back! Teddy reads off Vicki's script from last week (reasonably clever).. this leads to him making 'Taker #1 contender again, and a triple threat title match at Armageddon. Taker stares both opponents down as we go to black.
You certainly don't expect a clean finish on TV these days, and it gets them to where they want to be for the PPV.. but yet another screwy finish. It mostly makes me wonder how Edge is going to keep his advantage on the two mega-faces if Vicki is out as GM.
I think that CM Punk did some great selling of that arm for this show, better than a lot of the other wrestlers have been doing. It seems logical to have him face Mark Henry at the PPV since Big Daddy V can seemingly not spend more than a minute in the ring without tagging out or standing around as his opponent is dazed.
Speaking of Big Daddy V, he has to tuck his moobs into the suspenders after each high-impact move he does. I think it would be hilarious if someone just grabbed one and lifted it up to his face or shook it. C'mon, he already walks around with them hanging out... perhaps he'd be a good enough sport to go a little further.
MY GOD ... Bautista is boring. Ooooh! Thumps up, Mr. Opponent! I bet you think I'm going to smile and come over there and give you a big hug, animal-style, and then raise your arm in a draw and we can be best friends! Oh no! Thumbs down, now! Now you get a running powerslam for your efforts that is neither running nor a powerslam! Ok it's mostly a powerslam but not the running kind. More of a walking powerslam. Or really it's a step 1 ... step 2 ... slam! Did you see my entrance? I used to come out and mimic picking up a machine gun and mowing down a line of, I don't know, wrestling fans since they're close, now I just sort of wave at the floor and then move to the side and then lift my arm up. Intensity!
I'm gonna guess that it's because while Eric had to hone his diplomatic-skills while answering to Verne Gagne, Ted Turner, AOL suits, and the like, Vince hasn't really had to answer to anyone for a very long time.