Raw is un-live tonight from the UK, but I always enjoy these shows. WWE always want to do something special for the UK audience, but due to the pre-tape, they don't always go all out with storyline advancement, so we often get wrestling-heavy shows, which I won't complain about. Also, the annual Draft is next week, which I think got moved up due to Edge's surprising retirement, but I think that'll gear tonight towards a more wrestling-oriented show. Hopefully. Refresh your page for ongoing coverage, Twitter for... yeah, yeah, yeah, you get it by now.
And we're kicking things off with the new #1 contender for the WWE Championship, R-Truth and hey, JR is on commentary! Very fun and energetic promo from Truth here, we don't get to see this guy a lot, usually he's just a cornball. Although I don't know if London's buying it though, they don't say "WUTS UP?!" over there, they say "'ELLO GUVNAH!" John Morrison interrupts the promo and is being a bit of a dick to his former tag partner, saying he was lucky last week and showing a clip of Truth drinking water in between his gauntlet matches last week. Morrison even mocks Truth for smoking and goads him into putting his title shot on the line. Oh this can't end well. Match is on though!
John Morrison vs. R-Truth for the #1 contenders spot at Extreme Rules is our opening contest this evening and the energy has been sucked out of the room due to both guys becoming completely unlikeable once Morrison came to ringside. Sure enough, Morrison picks up the win and takes R-Truth's spot at Extreme Rules and I do NOT approve of this. Morrison's been given opportunity after opportunity and can't seem to connect, but R-Truth's never really gotten a fair shake before. I was excited for something new, not stalled Morrison push #14.
But hey, here's something new, R-Truth heel turn! I didn't see that coming, but the repeated knees to Morrison's face were NASTY! and I fully approve of this development. Still a little pissed he got screwed out of a WWE Title shot, but I'm all for him and Morrison feuding throughout the summer, and I love the possibility of a heel Truth taking on John Cena somewhere down the line. Truth lighting up a cigarette now with the crowd chanting "THAT'S ILLEGAL!" and he throws it on Morrison, LOVE it. Bad guys smoke, because smoking makes you look cool, remember that kids!
Commercial for next week's Draft, which should be interesting since it's only a two-hour show due to Tough Enough being on at 8pm.
Evan Bourne vs. Dolph Ziggler is next and Ziggler cut his hair and dyed it brown! I'm not kidding, it looks like we're having a mirror match right now, these two guys look exactly the same. I'm not opposed to Ziggler losing the 1999 bleach job, but the haircut is incredibly jarring. Excited for this match though, if these two get enough time, we could have a candidate for best TV match of the year. Sadly, not enough time, but it was perfectly acceptable TV fare and an impressive relaunch for Ziggler, he needed that.
Watch out London, Team Awesome is going international, The Miz is here! The WWE Champion is not happy about the change to his match at Extreme Rules and who can blame him? What more does he have to prove against John Morrison? He carried him for several years when they were a tag team, he's beaten him multiple times since they've split up and oh yeah, he's actually won a World Championship. The Miz demands that The G?M make things rights and takes the show hostage going into commercial and more power to him! This is the WWE Champion we're talking about and he has to be in a steel cage at Extreme Rules with his Jannetty and the guy who couldn't get the job done at WrestleMania? I'd be pissed too!
Miz is still talking when we come back from commercial (lucky Brits), but is rudely interrupted by Sin Cara, who is scheduled to face Alex Riley. Oh Sin Cara, that's not nice, you don't cut off the WWE Champion like that. And speaking of rude interruptions, John Cena rushes to the ring for no apparent reason. Looks like You Can't Secede Me wants to make this a tag match and The G?M agrees, it's Alex Riley & The Miz vs. John Cena & Sin Cara. Wow, they're definitely serious about Sin Cara, aren't they? Can't ask for a bigger endorsement than teaming with John Cena in your second match ever.
Pretty excited for this 10pm main event though, hopefully The Miz is fully recovered from his concussion and hopefully we'll get to see some really cool stuff from Sin Cara. I love this, they're even building hype for Sin Cara, letting him get the hot tag from John Cena! Beautiful offense from Cara, as he gets more and more acclimated to the WWE ring, it's gonna get nuts. Cena even lets Cara get the pin (on Alex Riley, of course) with a slingshot springboard moonsault. Very fun match.
Another great vignette for Awesome Kong, who is supposedly debuting under the name Kharma. I'm fine with that, so long as no one ever says "Kharma's a bitch."
Eve vs. Nikki Bella is our Divas portion of the evening and Brie taunts Eve before the match, saying she won't get her return match if she's drafted to Smackdown. Uh, Brie... the Diva's Title travels between shows. Try to watch WWE sometime. Eve wins the match rather effortlessly, but #WeWantKong.
Michael Cole is about to get knighted. Seriously. Well no, not seriously, but this segment is seriously happening. Looks like he's buried the hatchet with Jackie Swaggs as well, and he's here to emcee this historic event. "Queen Elizabeth" arrives and I bet at least 35% of Americans watching at home believe that was the real Queen. Cole is "officially" knighted and that appears to be it, but then he starts a "Sir Michael Cole" chant, which the crowd naturally punctuates with "SUCKS!" and then he demands that Lawler kiss his foot. King & JR get in the ring and get their asses handed to them by Swagger. JR gets an ankle lock and his face shoved in Michael Cole's herpes-ridden foot. What is it with WWE's fascination with humiliating poor JR? That was a pretty dreadful segment overall, I think Michael Cole's Playhouse is finally starting to wear out its welcome.
Sheamus vs. Santino up next and let's get this all straight: the United States Champion, who is from Ireland, is taking on an Italian in England. I'm sure you'd be shocked to find out that Santino is acting goofy here and Sheamus is making easy work of him. US Champ wins and avenges the tea party from last year.
Main Event time! Randy Orton vs. CM Punk in a WrestleMania rematch. I loved this match at Mania and as long as these two get 15 minutes to work with, I think we're in store for something really fun. Loving this match so far as well, especially Punk's clothesline off the apron, then asking the ref "I'm gonna pin him out here, is that legal?!" You wish you were half as awesome as this man. Loving the crowd here too with the dueling "RKO! GTS! RKO! GTS!" chants, WWE should be in London more often. It can't be cheap, but it's worth it with crowd reactions like tonight's. Great back and forth action here (yes, I'm complimenting Orton) with tons of near falls and finisher attempts. Neither guy can get the upper hand and Orton somehow manages to steal it with a school boy roll up. BOOOO!!! Does this guy EVER lose? At the very least, this has to be the first time he's won a match without the RKO in quite awhile.
Nexus (who?) storm the ring after the match and annihilate Orton. Punk screaming "you feel like a winner now!?" was pretty awesome too. Mason Ryan goes ballistic and teases the Punt, but Punk talks him down and goes for it himself... only to eat an RKO. Goddammit WWE.
Decent Raw. I really enjoyed R-Truth's heel turn, though I found it difficult to sympathize with John Morrison since he was acting like a jackass before the match. Perhaps the idea was to tease a Morrison heel turn and give us Truth instead? Either way, I liked the end result. The wrestling was pretty solid tonight and as I expected since they were in the UK, we got a lot of it. Once again, not bad for a promotion that's "not a wrestling company." Both main events were lots of fun, even if Randy stupid Orton had to win yet again.
Michael Cole really hurt the show though. His bit went on way too long, fell flat and I think the shtick has jumped the shark. Yeah I know "jump the shark" has jumped the shark, but I don't know how else to describe it, it's just not funny anymore. Yeah, he's a bad guy and I'm supposed to hate him, but it's to the point where I just want to change the channel now... even if nothing else is on Monday nights. I still think he'd be a great modern day Bobby Heenan, but the show centering around his constant screaming and spotlight hogging needs stop. It really deflated tonight's Raw overall. Not a bad show tonight, but his segment was so bad, I think people will forget most of the good that WWE put on tonight.