TONIGHT: Billy Gibbons and Hank Hill’s cousin Dusty Hill, collectively known as ZZ Top, are in charge this week on Raw. What they have in store for us, nobody knows, but they did hint at some new entrance music for some wrestlers. But it’s also the go-home show for Night of Champions, so we can expect some hype for the Raw matches already announced.
-Cold open to North Carolina State University, as Jerry Lawler and Michael Cole first discussed ZZ Top being in charge for the night. Then John Cena’s music hit and he made his entrance. Cena said he was excited to be out there and so was everyone else. He sure took his pep pills before this one. He said at Night of Champions, the WWE Universe will see one of the greatest matches of all-time: him against Orton against Triple H. I don’t know if they can live up to that hype. Cena said two years ago, this match was the main event at Wrestlemania. Yeah, and it’s seemingly been played in some version on every PPV ever since. Anyway, Randy Orton’s music interrupted Cena’s speech.
Only Orton came down, no sign of the rest of Legacy. Orton asked Cena if he remembered what happened in that Wrestlemania match two years ago. Orton reminded him that he kicked The Game in the skull and pinned Cena. “Cena, Cena” chants, which Orton responded to by raising his title over his head. Cena interrupted Orton to suck up to the crowd. I need Jericho to come out to rip on Cena for his pandering. Cena said he’s thinking about music tonight with ZZ Top as hosts and talked about Orton’s music saying he hears voices in his head. He said that was kinda weird, then again sucked up to the crowd. Cena suggested he pound Orton’s face into mush. Orton put the belt down and looked ready to go. Then he left the ring. Orton said Cena might want to re-thing that, then on cue Ted DiBiase and Cody Rhodes came through the crowd and surrounded the ring. Cena took off his shirt and wanted to go with all three of them. As Legacy was about to step into the ring, Triple H came out, power-walking to the ring. That put a halt to Legacy’s plans, as they re-grouped by the announce table once Trips made it into the ring. Then, they headed up the aisle.
But Hunter got the mic first and said that Orton and the girls weren’t about to start a fight without him, were they? Triple H said he’s at the point where he doesn’t care if he wins the title this Sunday, and he doesn’t care if Cena wins the title; all he cares about is if Orton doesn’t. Hunter said that after what happened last week with Seth Green, the size of.....then Cena chimed in with suggestions “Hornswoggle” and “a Hobbit” (“what the hell is a hobbit?” asked Triple H). Hunter said the point is, a little tiny man punked Orton out last week. Orton responded by saying they weren’t embarrassed, but history will repeat itself on Sunday. Orton said there’s a tag match booked for tonight for DiBiase & Rhodes vs. Triple H & Cena, but he wants in to make it a three-on-two match. Cena said Orton knows that if he’s in the match, he and Triple H won’t be able to co-exist. Cena sarcastically talked about how there’s no reason he should accept that match.....but then he and The Game did so anyway. Didn’t Cena cut a similar promo on Smackdown not that long ago? This was pretty eye-rolling at times.
-Lawler and Cole talked on camera about ZZ Top being in the house and hosting the show. Then they sent it backstage to the duo. They looked to be on a set of some sort with their guitars and in front of microphones. They talked about how cool it was to be in charge. Then Santino Marella walked in and talked about what a huge fan he is. He messed up their names and continued to talk about what a big fan he was. Billy had an idea for Santino and Dusty took him off camera. Dusty dressed Santino up in a hat and beard, along with the black clothes and sunglasses. ZZ Top talked the lyrics to “Cheap Sunglasses” and all three did the “oh yeah” for a while and Marella pretended to play guitar. That went on a bit too long, and “a bit” is me being generous.
(1) Kofi Kingston & Primo & MVP vs. Jack Swagger & Carlito & The Big Show They announced a six-pack challenge for the U.S. Title at Night of Champions: Kofi, The Miz, Big Show, Carlito, Jack Swagger and MVP. Kofi and Swagger started the match off, but MVP tagged in soon. He hit the “Ballin!” elbowdrop on Swagger. The heels had to re-group outside the ring as the show went to break.
This match is apparently sponsored by Dave & Buster’s, and with that out of the way, Swagger had complete control of the U.S. Champion in the ring. Show finally tagged in and Cole called him the odds-on favorite for the match on Sunday. He also said Show had “some sort of problem” with Kingston. Yes, feuds that have no basis in ANYTHING. Those are always the most successful. Carlito tagged in and suplexed Kofi down for two. Kingston tried a dropkick, but Carlito dropkicked him good. Carlito is wearing black and silver pants this week, apparently to play up his heel persona. Cole named referee Jack Doan, and will be in for a pants-down spanking from Vince McMahon backstage no doubt. Primo came in and he and Carlito went at it. They traded fists in the middle of the ring and Primo realy seemed to have the fans behind him. Primo even knocked Swagger and Show off the apron. Second-rope leg-drop for two, broken up by Swagger. MVP jumped over the top and onto Swagger on the outside. Show went to spear Primo but he ducked and Carlito got speared. Kofi took Show out over the top and Primo hit a springboard diving headbutt on Carlito to secure the win.
Winners: Primo, MVP and Kofi, at 9:13. All the heels got the best of Kofi to show they have a shot at winning Sunday. Your standard build for this type of match.
Primo couldn’t celebrate long, because Big Show chokeslammed him. Show took out everybody else in his way, including MVP, Jack Swagger and Kofi. He left them all lying.
-“The adventures of ZZ Top” continued backstage with Santino and Marella talked up Big Show. Marella said it’s almost as big a show as ZZ Top’s Summer Tour. Dusty plugged that tour as Chris Jericho walked in. He said he’s a big fan and they’re two icons in the industry. Jericho talked about his band and ZZ Top said they’d never heard of Fozzy. Jericho wanted to jam later on with them, but they said they had something different planned. Dusty said it was a match between Jericho and “the strongest man alive” Mark Henry. Jericho went heel mode on them and asked how is he supposed to have a match against Henry. That turned into them playing more music- they weren’t even playing the guitars, but it was music playing off-camera somewhere. Again, it lingered a bit too long as Jericho walked off.
-Cole plugged ZZ Top’s Summer Tour with Aerosmith and mentioned dates and venues for the concerts.
-The Brian Kendrick was at ringside talking to the announcers, telling them he should be Jericho’s partner at Night of Champions. So they DIDN’T forget about Kendrick’s quest. Kendrick said he was one-half of the WWE Tag Champions for over a year. He said that’s one more title than Lawler ever held. He told “toots” Lilian Garcia to bring out his opponent. Sweet. Lawler introduced Kendrick’s opponent as he asked Lilian if he could do so. It was him.
(2) The Brian Kendrick vs. Jerry Lawler But who was supposed to be his real opponent? Kendrick asked to see Lawler’s ring if he was in the Hall-of-Fame. Lawler slapped Kendrick, so Kendrick went to work on him. He kicked him in the back of the head and worked on the arm. Lawler worked out of a rest-hold, then socked Kendrick with rights and lefts. Dropkick by Lawler! That drew a reaction. Kick by Kendrick to the side of Lawler’s head. Lawler flipped him out of the Kendrick and King hit his second-rope fist-drop for the win.
Winner: Lawler, at 2:18. And another nail is in the coffin of Kendrick’s career. At least he’s on TV!
-It’s a three-on-two match in the main event, featuring Legacy facing Triple H and Cena.
-Josh Mathews and Mickie James were on a stage adjacent to the ramp. Mathews I guess is interviewing her. He said that Maryse may have a psychological advantage after pinning Mickie last week in the tag match. Mickie said Sunday it’s Night of Champions and not Night of Trampions, and she didn’t put much stock into Maryse pinning her in a swimsuit match. She said Sunday would be a reality check for Maryse, which of course brought out The Miz. Miz was all dressed up. He said Maryse was beautiful and glamorous while Mickie will be working in a Waffle House in ten weeks. Miz said that last week, it was like watching Charlize Theron fight Rachel Ray. Mickie accused him of being jealous since she scored a pinfall over Maryse whereas Miz can’t score at all. Then Maryse came out and faced off. Maryse sprayed something in Mickie’s face as Mickie rolled around on the little stage that was set up. I hope this builds up to a Blindfold Match. Wait, no I don’t.
-Mark Henry, all smiles in case you didn’t know he was a face, was walking backstage. He faces Jericho next.
-Another plug for the Cena/Triple H vs. Legacy main event.
(3) Chris Jericho vs. Mark Henry At least Henry’s keeping his awesome theme music as a face. Jericho bailed to ringside before even touching Henry. Jericho stood on the apron until Charles Robinson’s count reached nine. Jericho punched him, but Henry pressed Jericho over his head and just dropped him to the floor. He even stepped on him using the ropes to hold himself up so he didn’t kill Jericho. To the corner, Henry got to the bottom rope, but Jericho kicked it, knocking Henry off. Jericho kicked away at Henry as the mat was stained with the sweat/water that Henry is soaked with ever match. Henry got back to his feet and Jericho’s dropkick and knee attack didn’t do much. Finally he did take Henry down and attempted to keep him there. Didn’t work, but Jericho got a drop-toe hold that sent Henry face-first to the buckle. Henry came back with a hip-toss after a tackle. Giant swing by Henry for Jericho. Jericho raked the face of Henry and bulldogged him down in what looked to be slow-motion. He went for the Walls of Jericho, but Henry flung him off like a booger getting flung off someone’s finger. Jericho got sent clear out of the ring, where he retrieved a chair to use on Henry. DQ.
Winner: Henry, via DQ, at 5:09. Well, they tried.
Jericho continued to use the chair until Henry caught it and threw Jericho over the announce table and Michael Cole fell over and out of his chair trying to avoid the physicality. In the ring, Jericho went for the CodeBreaker, but Henry caught him and gave him the World’s Strongest Slam. Henry did the arm thing that got over so well with the crowd last week.
-ZZ and Marella were backstage again. Marella suggested a conditioner for their beard. Chavo walked into the picture (how come they always walk in when they’re on camera?). He said he was disgusted with how he’s been treated on Raw- he’s a Guerrero and he deserves respect. Billy agreed with him and Dusty said they’ve booked him in a match with Hornswoggle. Chavo said he wanted to get his hands on Horny, so it’s OK. It’s a Sharp Dressed Man match, which of course led to that song being played. Well, the first few bars anyway.
(4) Hornswoggle vs. Chavo Guerrero- Sharp-Dressed Man Tuxedo Match Lilian screwed up the intro, then I thought the mic went out, but the guys I was watching it with said she just stopped talking in confusion. As she tried to explain the rules, Hornswoggle’s music hit. How long ‘til she’s gone? Anyway, Chavo came out and apparently someone sewed the legs of his pants together. Hilarious. Chavo struggled to get up the steps, as you’d expect and Lawler made a Charlie Chaplain reference. Cole even mentioned he was showing his age with that one.
Once the match started, we also got to hear the fake laughs from Cole and Lawler. It’s like a perfect storm of suck. Hornswoggle chased Chavo around the ring, then immediately took of Chavo’s jacket. He splashed Chavo and Horny took the tie off. Why didn’t Chavo just take the pants off and kick his ass? Chavo still couldn’t get to his feet so he took Chavo’s shirt off. Guerrero finally took Hornswoggle down and got to his feet. He took Horny’s jacket off and whipped him with it. The shoe was next and that was thrown at Hornswoggle too. Chavo got too close, allowing Horny to push him over the middle rope and was able to take off the pants. For those wondering, Chavo appeared to have hot peppers on his boxers.
Winner: Hornswoggle, at 2:35. The less said, the better.
-Triple H was backstage getting ready when Cena walked up to him. Cena questioned whether The Game really doesn’t care who wins the title. Trips said Cena should know by now how the games are played and that he didn’t really mean that. Cena said they should finally shut Legacy up tonight. They agreed they could count on each other tonight, but Sunday will be a different story.
-Backstage, Santino talked up ZZ Top running Raw and how no one will forget this one for a while. I doubt that. Billy said it’s been a great night but something’s missing. Then Kelly Kelly walked in and Santino gave her a chair. Marella suggested the music should start playing now. And it did. And I’ll give you one guess as to which song. Kelly, Alicia Fox, Gail Kim and Rosa Mendes made their way through and danced as the music (sans lyrics) played in the background. Then Santino took his pants off and was in just a bit more than a thong. ZZ Top had enough and walked out as Santino continued to dance.
-Cole and Lawler were in the ring and they previewed the Night of Champions card. Cole seemed to be interrupted mid-sentence with a backstage scene.
-An injured Chris Jericho was leaving the building when DiBiase and Rhodes approached him and said they could lay him out right now. DiBiase suggested Jericho doesn’t even have a partner for Sunday and called him a condescending loser. Rhodes said now wait a minute, Jericho is second generation just like them....except his father was a bench-warming hockey player. Jericho said that he’s had more titles than Rhodes and his father combined. He agreed with everything DiBiase said about him except that he’s a loser. He said he’s got the entire WWE roster knocking down his door to be his partner because of the prestige. DiBiase hinted that after they beat Jericho Sunday, Randy Orton might come out to kick Jericho in the head and have him join Edge in the hospital. Jericho replied that who knows, Orton could be his partner, then walked away smiling. That’s cool.
-Cole announced that next week, Shaquille O’Neal would be guest GM next week. And they played the NBA on NBC theme! Long live John Tesh! The announcers talked about what a big fan of WWE O’Neal is.
(5) Kelly Kelly & Gail Kim vs. Rosa Mendes & Alicia Fox Rosa missed a charge and Kelly kicked her into the corner. We have another Justin King sighting. Rosa slapped Alicia hard to tag her in. Kelly brought Fox in the hard way. I think this is a ZZ Top “Legs” match, but since that doesn’t mean anything, I’ll refrain from putting it with their names above as I do most stipulation matches. Gail took Fox down with a hurricanrana. She came off the top, but Fox looked like she tried to dropkick Kim in mid-air, but only one foot connected and it looked like it went into her knee. Mendes tagged in and hit a snap suplex for two. Fox was back in and she took Kim down with a snap-mare. Kim got kicked in the face charging into the corner. Lawler said the only way Cole would win a sharp-dressed man contest is if it was in a nudist colony. Headscissor take-over by Kelly on Fox. Alicia stumbled into the corner and Kelly did her cart-wheel elbow. Rosa broke up a pin and sent Kelly to the outside, but she skinned the cat back in. Double dropkick on Rosa, then Kim dove over the top onto her. Fox with an inside cradle too close to the ropes, but the ref counted anyway and the heels won. Not sure if Alicia’s head was under the bottom rope or not.
Winners: Mendes and Fox at 3:43. Not as bad as I thought it’d be.
-The three-on-two handicap match is next.
-Lilian introduced tonight’s guest hosts, ZZ Top. They got a decent reception and came out in a red.....car. Sorry, I’m no good with makes and models. They waved to the fans and whatnot as Cole plugged their Double Down Live DVD.
(6) Randy Orton & Ted DiBiase & Cody Rhodes vs. Triple H & John Cena- Three-on-Two Handicap Match Cena was all over Cody Rhodes at the outset, as Cena hit a face-buster then tagged in Triple H. Standing vertical suplex for a long time, letting the blood really rush to his head, then dropping him on his back. Orton went out and DiBiase and Rhodes tried to do some damage, but they ended up getting double clotheslined over the top rope as the show went to break.
Not long after returning, Cena made a tag to Hunter, and he plowed through Rhodes, as must be in his contract. But the distraction by Orton allowed Rhodes to back him into the heel corner. But he fought off both Priceless members, but was finally thrown into the corner and over to the outside. Orton, the viper, attacked Hunter and pounded his head off the steel steps. Back in the ring went Triple H, where Orton tagged in while Hunter was hurt. Legacy made frequent tags and was absolutely blasting Triple H with boots in the corner. Usually, one was providing a distraction to allow the two others to continue the assault. Orton got a lot of height on a knee-drop that found its mark. Front face-lock by Rhodes kept Triple H from making a tag, but Trips picked him up to move closer to a tag. Cody kept cutting The Game off at the pass. DDT planted Triple H on the ground. Orton tagged in to “Randy sucks” chants. He pounded his fists into the mat and set up for the RKO, but Trips pushed him away and then hit a spinebuster. Both men were down. Orton made a tag, then so did Triple H. Cena brought the offense to Cody Rhodes, then knocked Teddy off the apron. Five Knuckle Shuffle, right on cue. He fought off DiBiase before an Attitude Adjustment, but then instead locked in the STF. DiBiase interfered again before Rhodes could tap. Then The Game took care of DiBiase, sending him into the guardrail. Orton tagged in, but missed the punt and got rolled up by Cena for the three.
Winners: Cena and Triple H, at 13:34. This main event: wash, rinse, repeat. I feel like I’ve seen this in some capacity every week for the last year or so. I’m begging you, give me something DIFFERENT, WWE.
As usual, Triple H and Cena were in the ring staring at each other, while Legacy was on the bottom of the ramp looking at the guys in the ring. Cena and Hunter shook hands to end things.
A Mickie vs. Maryse Blindfold Match would be so brilliant it would be terrible and vice versa.
This week's Anti-Miz rhetoric: You know Jericho on Twitter is right about Miz's promos when Mickie James, who hadn't cut a single decent promo since she turned babyface three years ago, can spank Miz on the mike. Miz sounded like he was reading from invisible cue cards that were upside down.
ZZ Top are such great musicians that drums will start playing even though there's no drummer and their guitars can start playing without them touching the chords.
Kelly Kelly looked maybe better than I've ever seen her. I mean physically but her wrestling wasn't too bad either.
I remember when Santino was funny. I miss those days.
I must admit I LOL'd when Triple H said "What the hell's a Hobbit?" Cena and Triple H can keep their Abbott and Costello routine otherwise.
Show was a step backwards this week. It was Zzzzzzz Top, all right.
Decent show. Is Santino going to be the "talk to everybody who isn't a wrestler" role during this 'guest host' period? I have nothing against that, its just obvious he was thrown there to help keep things somewhat interesting.
Is Cody Rhodes the only wrestler without knee pads?
Jerico stating that he had more titles than both of their dads must have forgotten Ted DiBiase's seemingly endless North American Title reigns in Mid South.
Chavo vs Hornswaggle needs to end, and SOON. Although my 13 year old did laugh at it and said it was "awesome" so, I guess it will continue.
Main event was pretty hot. I was expecting a big schmoz with the big three guys to end the show or an appearance from the SLEDGEHAMMER OF GREAT DESTRUCTION, I guess the booking CAN surprise me from time to time.
Was I the only one a little surprised to see ZZ Top come out at the end of the show? I was convinced that those were a bunch of pre-taped skits taped elsewhere over the weekend. They were still likely pre-taped, but at least they were there!
Chavo's career looks like it is going to meet Pepe's. It appeared the US Title was going to be a triple threat match involving Evan Bourne, now it is a 6 way match without Even Bourne? And Primo scores the pin in a match with 5 of the competitors in the match, and he's not going to be in the match? We wish Brian Kendrick well on his future endeavors should be coming out within a few weeks. The Lillian nightmare will thankfully end soon. Shouldn't Jericho have just used 'I only have to be on RAW to defend the tag belts' excuse not to face Mark Henry, or have they forgotten already that Jericho isn't on RAW? At least they used a roll up rather than everyone hits their finishers as the conclusion of the main event.
I did want ZZ Top to pull through and be entertaining, and then I did think about coming here and saying 'I told you so', but I'd be a liar because these skits were so bad it's amazing somebody didn't pull them. Vince either isn't paying attention anymore or is in the early stages of Al Davis dementia.
Was Lawler in his match to make the ring being sold on Ebay seem like something?
I really want Raw to be good, because I've been trained since I was little to watch wrestling on Monday nights not Friday nights.
lousy host, look so pre-taped. Shaq should be awesome next week if he is live. Look for him and Big Show to have a non-wrestling spot.
Santino acts gets more stale each week.
Bourne said on his blog he was going to be on Raw tonight. What's up with that and not including him in the championship match at Night of Champions? Show has no shot at winning Sunday, I'm predicting Swagger for he needs the belt more than anyone else.
Why are they making Jericho look weak all the sudden? Let's pray Shawn Michael is his partner. Would be perfect plus in tag team matches, they would work around Michael's injuries and age.
What was the point in Lawler beating Kendrick?
And I bet Hornswoggle could beat Chavo in a bench pressing contest. Has anyone noticed how big Hornswoggle upper body is? I bet he's a big dude from the waist up underneath all that clothing.
Originally posted by MUTigermaskWell, it's not like they ever adequately explained the Two Man Power Trip of Stone Cold and HHH back in 01.
What wasn't explained?
Triple H beat Stone Cold in a three stages of hell match the month before Wrestlemania 17. It was Stone Cold's biggest match since coming back from getting run down and he lost which made him believe he couldn't hang with the up-and-coming young bucks any more. The game (pun shamefully intended) had passed him by while he was off injured.
With a title shot looming in his hometown at WM against the poster boy for up-and-coming young buckedness, The Rock, Austin decided the only way he could ensure victory was to align himself with Vince and Triple H.
I don't think they ever spelt it out and bashed us over the head with it ad nauseum as is their wont, but I actually thought it was one of the better, more subtle bits of writing they've done.
Originally posted by HokienauticWas I the only one a little surprised to see ZZ Top come out at the end of the show? I was convinced that those were a bunch of pre-taped skits taped elsewhere over the weekend. They were still likely pre-taped, but at least they were there!
I thought the exact same thing! And yeah, where was the famously-beardless Frank Beard? Perhaps he's not a WWE fan...
I think Shaq has the potential to be the Best Guest Host yet.
The Jericho/Legacy run-in was necessary to build to their match in some way other than "Who is the mystery partner?" and worked quite well.
A fairly average Raw, but the show has been average for awhile now. They really need to break up the Cena/HHH/Orton sludge that is backing up Raw's main event scene. ZZ Top was a bad idea when they announced it. I have heard that Sheryl Crow and Snoop Dog are in talks as well. Santino really tried to help these segments, but man that was brutal. HBK/Jericho would be awesome, but I am thinking Christian loses to Tommy early and takes Edge's spot. Setting up either Edge/Christian or Jericho/Edge down the road.
Originally posted by Shapiro, last weekMaybe ZZ Top will have some awesome ideas like Jericho vs. Mark Henry in a sharp-dressed man tuxedo match.
Wrong guys, but you called the match.
I'm a huge ZZ Top fan, but their segments were nothing special. I did like Jericho wanting to jam with them, though. Shaq next week will be fun.
Not only did Cole bring up his "Kofi has five opponents, so he has a 1-in-6 chance of retaining!" line that he always throws out there when a champ has multiple challengers (completely ignoring the fact that it's not a random drawing, so he's wrong), he also repeatedly said that Big Show had to be the odds-on favorite.
Most intriguing segment this week, I think, was the Jericho/Legacy stuff. I liked Jericho freely admitting that DiBiase was right that he was condescending and self-righteous; heels can confront other heels without one of them turning face and acting out of character, as this segment proved. Well done.
Meltzer confirms the releases, and also adds FCW wrestlers Buck Dixon, Ethan Levine, and Buddy Stecher to the list of those cut. No idea who any of them are. He also calls it a "list of those released by WWE so far today" (emphasis mine).