I'm running a little behind on tonight's live blog, just getting started at 9:12, so consider this blog on a heavy tape delay! Keep refreshing your page for ongoing updates though and I should be caught up eventually.
New intro looks pretty slick, Cole & King are giving us a traditional open and hype the return of The Cutting Edge tonight with special guest, Randy Orton. Rated RKO in the Cutting Edge tonight!
First music of the night is Davetista's and he's walking aloooooone! Big Dave is the new #1 contender, but he was the previous #1 contender as well, so I guess he's really not that new now, is he? Batista's really not happy about being duct taped to the turnbuckle at Extreme Rules and claims he didn't lose the Last Man Standing match, calling it the most embarrassing moment of John Cena's career, something Hornswoggle would do! Come on Dave, now that's just low (get it, low? Hornswoggle's short. Funny, right?) Apparently there's a Beat the Clock Challenge tonight with Cena and Dave, and the winner gets to choose the stipulation at Over the Limit. Batista's opponent is supposed to be The Miz, but we're joined by Sheamus!
The Celtic Warrior is proud of beating Triple "Haitch" at Extreme Rules and thinks the only reason he doesn't get a title shot at Over the Limit is because he took out "the son-in-law." Poor Pauly Shore. Sheamus wants a match with Batista tonight with the #1 contendership on the line, but Dave declines and tells Sheamus to hit the bricks. Something tells me this isn't the last we've seen of Sheamus tonight.
After commercial, The Miz is on his way to ringside and he is not dressed to compete against The Animal. Turns out, Miz can't compete tonight after being attacked by Big Show last week, he even has a doctor's note, oh excuse me DOCTOR'S NOTE. Luckily for Batista, The Miz has a suitable replacement, his NXT Rookie, Daniel Bryan! Oh dear, this is going to get ugly.
Daniel Bryan vs. Batista is our opening contest and here we go with a Batista Bomb... but Bryan counters! Looks like we might actually have a match here, even if Bryan doesn't have a chance in hell of winning. Batista turns Bryan inside out with a NASTY! clothesline, and even Michael Cole is impressed with Daniel Bryan tonight. Bryan put up quite a fight, but five minutes and six seconds later, the Batista Bomb ends the dream. Two more Batista Bombs after the match for good measure, I suppose that's what you get for trying to make The Animal tap out.
Wayne Brady is backstage with Eve and I think Jillian will be taking the place of Hornswoggle to joke around with the guest host. Eve returns to her photo shoot, but is clocked by Maryse, who has stolen the Diva's Championship. I'm all for a stolen belt storyline with the Divas, certainly better than having them fight with mops and brooms.
Edge promises to make the PG Raw, "Rated R" tonight. Is Lita in the building?
Ted DiBiase is out next, still looking for his Virgil, but here's hoping we stay away from any more thinly veiled racism. We just had to put up with it from Bubba the Love Sponge, we certainly don't need it from the Million Dollar Champion. Ted's opponent tonight is John Morrison and this could actually be an entertaining match. And as I type that sentence, John Morrison hits a springboard somersault plancha to the outside! Crowd rightfully chants "THIS IS AWESOME," but what isn't awesome is Ted DiBiase walking out of the match for a count-out. Morrison tries to get DiBiase to come back and restart the match, DiBiase declines, but Morrison sweetens the deal; if he loses, he'll become his Virgil. That is not a deal I would make, but that's probably why no one calls me the "Monday Night Delight." Lots of near falls keeping this match exciting, DiBiase goes for Dream Street, but Morrison reverses ala Bret Hart vs. Roddy Piper at WrestleMania 8 and gets the win! DiBiase tries for the post-match beat down, but R-Truth is here to make the save! Good match.
John Cena vs. Chris Jericho is the next Beat the Clock Challenge, but Chris Jericho, much like The Miz, doesn't want to compete tonight. Not because he was knocked out by the Big Show, but because he just doesn't want to bother with John Cena. Cena's new opponent tonight is Chris Jericho's NXT Rookie, Wade Barrett! This could actually be really fun, but I assume Cena's going to make short work of the rookie. Maybe not though, I forgot about the Jericho factor in this match, he's working brilliantly here, interfering and also finding time to talk trash to King and Cole on commentary. Have I mentioned lately how much I love Chris Jericho? Barrett's in control with just 30 seconds left, but Cena manages to reverse the rookie and locks in the STF for the win, he's beaten the clock! Cena gets to pick the stipulation for Over the Limit, but Sheamus doesn't care, attacking the WWE Champion before he can tell us what it is. Jerkface!
"TALK MORE!!" Seriously, how awesome is Chris Jericho?
Maryse vs. Nikki Bella up next, and at least tonight, the Bellas are in different clothes so we won't get any ridiculous switcheroo nonsense. Well, no need for it because Maryse almost instantly nails a NASTY!!! (that's three exclamation points) French Kiss DDT for the win. Maryse unveils her new photo shoot, posing with the Divas Title over Eve's prone body. Not quite as fun as a stolen belt angle, but easily the most amusing thing Maryse has done since returning. And will someone please rip those ridiculous hair extensions off Maryse's head?
Oh wow, Zack Ryder is on Raw! When's the last time that happened? Now that Rosa Mendes is on Smackdown, the Lord of Long Island is single and looking to mingle. Ryder calls out Primo, but Wayne Brady has another opponent in mind, Mark Henry! Looks like the Zack Attack will need to be... Saved by the Bell. Ryder's actually looking impressive here, hitting most of his signature moves, but I don't think he could physically hit the Zack Attack on Mizark, he'd break his kneecap. Mark turns the tide in his favor and picks up the win with the World's Strongest Slam, leaving a big pomade stain in the middle of the ring.
Backstage, Chris Jericho & The Miz are commiserating about tagging with Big Show. Looks like they've set aside their Twitter feud and are going to "make a statement." If these two team up to face the Hart Dynasty, I might lose my shit.
The new Unified Tag Team Champions, The Hart Dynasty vs. Vladimir Kozlov & William Regal is our next match, glad to see 2/3 of the Ruthless Roundtable have put their differences aside. The big story here is that The Miz & Chris Jericho are on commentary, this is getting interesting. Hart Dynasty pick up a win in a hard fought match, but Jericho & Miz attack after the match, setting up my new favorite tag team and quite possibly the most exciting match for Over the Limit? Oh and does this mean Chris Jericho and Bret Hart could interact on WWE television? Oh. Hell. Yeah.
FLAVA FLAV is hosting next week's Monday Night Raw. I'd rather have Chuck D.
Main Event time! And our main event this evening is The Cutting Edge with the Rated-R Superstar. Yeah, Edge is really too good as a heel to even bother with him as a face, maybe try again somewhere down the road, but I'm already ten times more interested in this promo than any of the "SPEAR SPEAR SPEAR SPEAR, SPEAR-SPEAR-SPEAR-SPEAR SPEAR SPEAR" promos. Before Edge can introduce his guest tonight, Wayne Brady makes an appearance on The Cutting Edge...? That's a little weird. And it gets weirder with Wayne Brady cutting a promo, challenging all the other guest hosts, even calling himself "Bob Darker," which is an even better nickname than Long Island Iced Z. Randy Orton's had enough of the shenanigans and RKOs Wayne Brady?! Oh Wayne Brady's gonna have to choke a bitch!
Edge starts explaining his actions from last week, and I this is turning out to be one of Edge's best performances on the mic to date. He came back, won the Royal Rumble, filmed commercials, came up with catchphrases, and yet the crowd still didn't fully get behind him. He didn't win the World Championship at WrestleMania, he got drafted in a battle royal and lost all the momentum he built up on Smackdown, and yet people cheer for Randy Orton, for no good reason. Like I've said before, the best heels are the ones that speak the truth, and Edge definitely has a point here. Orton goes for an RKO, but gets kicked in the face, Edge tries the spear, but gets RKO'd. Dammit.
I loved this Raw, a couple pointless matches here and there, but for the most part, a great post-Draft show. If they keep this up, all my concerns about Raw being overcrowded will quickly fade, because almost everything on this show worked very well. I'm not thrilled about Orton becoming the top name on the brand, but I can't argue with crowd response and it should be fun to see him and Edge finally lock up in the ring since the Rated RKO feud never really got started back in 2007. Yeah, I just said an Orton match could be fun, Raw was good, don't ruin my mood!