Apologies for the lack of a live blog tonight, I had to work late and didn't get to start watching until around 9:30, which would defeat the purpose of a live review of the show. We're doing this one old school style!
Triple H kicked things off since he's the only member of the Raw roster on US shores... well, the only one that would pack a punch by opening Monday Night Raw. Yeah yeah, Triple H opening the show is cool and all, but what caught my ear was that Lilian Garcia was the one announcing The Game's entrance! Very cool that they got Lilian on board for tonight's episode since I assume Justin Roberts is stuck in Europe with everyone else. Anyhoo, it was open mic night for Triple H, cracking jokes and then getting serious about putting the hurt on Sheamus this Sunday. These two have a street fight at Extreme Rules, and while their match was a bit overshadowed at WrestleMania, I think they could steal the show on Sunday, though they have some stiff competition with Jericho vs. Edge in a cage. I have high hopes for this one though.
CM Punk had high hopes for Triple H tonight as well, believing he would join the Straight Edge Society, but the Cerebral Assassin wasn't having any of it. Hilarious exchange between these two, Punk was absolute gold as always, and Triple H had the crowd in the palm of his hand. The SES tried to shave Triple H's head, but Rey Mysterio made the save and got a chunk of Punk's! Look on the bright side Punk, at this point, there's not much that could make that hair any worse. I'm fairly sure Punk's going to lose this Sunday, but if he doesn't, I hope he still makes a trip to the barber sooner than later. I can't imagine Punk bald, but his hair is truly out of control.
Drew McIntyre vs. Matt Hardy was our opening contest and I couldn't get into this one. I think the point was that McIntyre totally threw Hardy off after a nasty shove into the steel stairs, but the whole match just felt slow to me. I hope no one takes that as me giving Hardy and McIntyre advice on how to work a wrestling match, I just didn't dig it. I'd like to see these guys get into a proper feud, but they just seem more interested in throwing them in the ring together.
I liked the stuff with Vladimir Kozlov and MacGruber. It wasn't as funny as The Hoff was last week, but it was still pretty amusing. Will Forte is extremely funny and obviously accustomed to live television, so he worked well in his role, though I do have to say that I wish Kristen Wiig would've gotten more to do. She was hysterical just with the very limited amount of stuff she had to do, which speaks volumes about her talents as a comedian, but I'd like to see her host Raw as herself, by herself sometime. MacGruber accidentally murdering R-Truth with his faulty explosives was ridiculous and would've made me roll my eyes, had it not been for Truth's smoldering shoes at the top of the ramp. If R-Truth just shows up on NXT tomorrow like nothing ever happened, I'll laugh my ass off.
Jack Swagger coming out to issue an open challenge was a great way to use the World Heavyweight Champion, although I doubt he was expecting... THE UNDERTAKER! Undertaker vs. Swagger was an awesome 10pm main event, made Swagger look like a beast for going toe-to-toe with The Phenom, even though he came out on the losing end. I'm sure some people won't be happy about Swagger losing clean again, but it's the freaking Undertaker! Though since it was the first time we've seen Taker since WrestleMania, I would've liked to hear him on the mic, but I'm curious if this is just a one-off appearance before he takes another hiatus. Very good match though, wouldn't mind seeing these two go at it again somewhere down the road.
MacGruber vs. Vladimir Kozlov, which eventually became MacGruber & "Khaluber" vs. Vladimir Kozlov wasn't exactly a technical masterpiece, but The Great Khali's entrance video was friggin amazing. KHALUBER!
Triple H, Rey Mysterio & Edge vs. CM Punk, Chris Jericho & Luke Gallows was a very fun, albeit your typical WWE fan service TV main event. You know what I'm talking about, occasionally WWE will pair up a bunch of guys in a six, eight, or ten-man tag team main event on Raw, the good guys win and everyone goes home happy. And it's not unusual for it to happen on a "special" edition of Raw, like the 5-on-5 Lakers vs. Nuggets match on last year's "Denver Debacle" episode. Still an enjoyable match, probably the best thing WWE could've done considering the circumstances, and you'll never hear me complain when these guys are in the ring together.
I didn't really dig tonight's show. It wasn't bad or anything and they had to work with an obviously difficult situation, but aside from the two main events, there wasn't a lot going on. The via satellite stuff with Cena, Orton and Sheamus helped hype Extreme Rules, but this PPV just seems to have crept up on WWE and they had to put something together quickly, and it has to compete with next Monday's big Draft show. It's going to be a busy week for WWE and having half the company stuck halfway around the world doesn't help.