WWE Monday Night RAW
Location: Columbus, OH
Date: September 5, 2011
Commentators: Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler
After a long recap of the C.M. Punk-Triple H-Kevin Nash saga, Michael Cole introduced the show. C.M. Punk then made his ring entrance. Cole described Punk as follows: “There is the outspoken, the controversial, never a dull moment C.M. Punk.”
-Punk sat in the middle of the ring with the mic. He said he is different and doesn’t have a filter between his brain and his mouth. “Horrible things fall out of my mouth all the time,” he said. He said when he brags about being the best wrestler in the world, he can back it up and does every time he’s in the ring. He said being different makes him a target and he tends to piss a lot of people off. He said maybe that’s why R-Truth targeted him last week. He said he faces Truth later, but he’d rather be facing Kevin Nash. He said Nash is a “soul-crushing status quo.” He said he has the same music since 1996 and the same beard and hair since the first Gulf War. He said he doesn’t buy that Nash and Triple H aren’t best buddies. He invited Nash to walk out and face him like a man.
After a dead pause, Punk told him to take his balls out of his purse and face him like man. The NWO music played. Nash walked out. Ross said, “Never poke a rabid dog with a sharp stick.” Nash said he does things on his watch, he doesn’t do what Punk tells him. He said he does whatever he wants, just like last Monday when he stuck Punk into the canvas. Punk interrupted and made fun of his neck-names over the years. He added “Super Shredder,” then said, “I don’t think a lot of people will get that one.” A number of fans knew and popped for it.
Nash said every time he walks to the ring, he leaves him lying. Punk called that crap. Nash tried to interrupt. Punk wouldn’t let him. Punk asked if the estrogen pills his character too in “The Longest Yard” weren’t props. He said when he won the WWF Title in 1994, Justin Beiber was born, Arsenio Hall still had a TV show, and he couldn’t legally drive yet. He said that was the last time he was relevant. Nash walked to the ring slowly. Triple H then walked out to his music.
Nash got right in Hunter’s face and said he should use his stroke to get rid of Punk. “He needs to be gone,” he said. Hunter walked into the ring and said normally he’d be inclined to forgive Nash for putting his hands on him last week and fire Punk. But this isn’t a normal week, it’s the week he found out the truth. He said Staples Center called him and said they just found some security footage of who went into his office at the exact time he received a text from him telling him to “stick the winner” at Summerslam. Hunter said: “You know what I know. The guy that sent the text from my phone to yours is you.”
Nash stepped into the ring and got in Hunter’s face and said he is right. He said he did what Hunter should have done, he made WWE cool and exciting again. He looked at Punk and called him a cancer. “This WWE universe is not big enough for him and me; one of us has got to go.” Hunter said he’s okay with that. He said he doesn’t like Punk one bit, but he’s never lied to him, whereas Nash done nothing but lie to him since he’s been back. He said if he wants him to get rid of somebody, he’s inclined to get rid of somebody. Nash cut him off. “You’re going to pick him over me? I’ve known you for 20 years. I’m your friend.” He turned his back, then turned back around and smiled. He asked if it was about the push last week. He said he got lost in the moment and got a little emotional. He said he thought friends could do that. But the most important thing is what is he going to do about it. He got in his face and then poked his chest again. Hunter punched Nash in the chin. Nash dropped to the mat. Hunter said, “Maybe that, and maybe we were friends, but definitely you’re fired.” Hunter walked away, leaving Nash in the ring with Punk who pointed and laughed. The crowd sang the “Na na na na, good bye” song as they cut to a break. [c]
-A replay aired of Hunter firing Nash. Then Nash got into a car with John Laurinaitis, V.P. of Talent Relations.
1 — KOFI KINGSTON & EVAN BOURNE vs. JINDER MAHAL & GREAT KHALI
The announcers recapped the personal situation where Mahal is married to Khali’s sister and threatens to divorce her and humiliate her in their culture. Mahal has said Khali is on thin ice. Cole noted that Jerry Lawler has a match against David Otunga later. Cole said he must regret what he said last week. Lawler said not at all. Lawler then wondered who has more pull, Triple H or Laurinaitis. The announcers noted that some wrestlers just got back to the U.S. after wrestling in France. Cole said Bourne just opened a motorcycle shop in Florida. When Kofi hot-tagged in at 2:00 and rallied, Khali pulled the top rope down as Kofi shot into the ropes, so Kofi dropped to the floor. Khali then tried to chop Kofi, but Kofi ducked and Khali chopped Mahal instead. Bourne then tagged in and hit the shooting star press for the win.
WINNERS: Kingston & Bourne in 3:00.
-They showed Alberto Del Rio and Ricardo Rodrigues arriving in the parking garage.
2 — EVE vs. BETH PHOENIX
Natalya and Kelly Kelly joined the announcers on commentary. Natalya said: “The WWE Universe does not know any better. The WWE Universe wants candy, and candy rots their teeth out. Beth Phoenix and I are here to educate the universe for what is best for them, and it might be vegetables.” Kelly looked utterly confused. When Natalya said Kelly is a lousy excuse for a Divas Champion, Kelly fired back, “You’re a sorry excuse for being here!” Man.
WINNER: Phoenix in 2:00 to earn the no. 1 contender status. Phoenix faces Kelly at NOC.
-Afterward, Natalya shoved Kelly into the ringpost. Ross called it Jezebel-like behavior. Cole made fun of him for him for that reference, of course. [c]
-A commercial aired for Smackdown hyping the Randy Orton-Mark Henry feud. No match announcement or any real hook.
-Cole hyped The Rock reaching over 1 million followers on Twitter. Lawler said Survivor Series at MSG will be electrifying.
-Backstage Drew McIntyre said Christian is a victim of injustice. Christian said he proved he deserves one more chance to become World Champion. Del Rio walked up to them and asked for a moment with Christian. He said he expected Christian to be World Champion tonight. He said it’s John Cena’s fault. Christian said if he’s suggesting he take out Cena, it’ll be on his terms, not Del Rio’s. Del Rio said that was fine with him. Del Rio just reminded Christian it was Cena kept both of them from walking into Raw tonight as champions.
-They showed the exterior of the Nationwide Arena in Columbus as Ross threw to the trailer for Triple H’s movie, “Inside Out.”
-They showed R-Truth walking to the entrance tunnel alongside The Miz. [c]
-Truth came out to the ring to his remix entrance theme. He said just when he thinks he’s heard it all, Punk started the show saying he’s different. “How is what he does different?” he asked. Truth said he’s been speaking the truth his “whole entire life.” Miz said he had an epiphany. Truth didn’t know what that meant. “A what? I had one of those when I was a kid,” he said. Miz said, “An aberration.” Truth said if he said words like that, his mom threatened to wash his mouth out with soap and water. Miz said, “A manifestation.” Truth said, “That happens after puberty, right?” Miz and Truth entered the ring. Miz said Triple H is so over his head as COO because he’s more concerned with making sure his friends have the most air time rather than the greatest talents getting what they deserve. Miz said in two weeks, he and Truth will have a title match against Bourne & Kingston. He made fun of their name “Air Boom,” asking if the fans really chose that name for them. He called it the stupidest name he’s ever heard. Truth said, “Air Boom is about as bad as a sneaky fart.” Miz turned to Truth and said, “What?” Truth explained it. This is what the bloated writing team contributes to pro wrestling in 2011. Truth said Punk is about to get got. Ross called it embarrassing.
-Punk’s ring entrance took place. [c]
3 — R-TRUTH (w/The Miz) vs. C.M. PUNK
Cole said Miz is going to host a show on Sirius Satellite radio on Fantasy Football. Cole said Triple H has only had one match all year, so how can he step up against Punk, who has been on a major roll the last nine months. Lawler said Hunter had one of the greatest matches ever earlier this year – against Undertaker at WrestleMania. Cole shifted to making fun of Ross’s catch phrases. At 7:00 Truth scored a near fall. When Punk began a comeback, Miz grabbed his leg. Punk turned and kicked Miz. The ref ran out to stop Miz from entering the ring, then ordered him to the back. Punk waved bye, giving Truth a chance to hit him from behind. Punk countered immediately with a Go To Sleep for the win. Punk got up favoring his knee. A few hearts skipped beats backstage as WWE doesn’t need any injuries among top guys right now.
WINNER: Punk in 9:00.
-Triple H walked to the ring. Punk said he thinks he and Nash are still in on it somehow. Triple H said buy into it or not, he doesn’t care, but Nash is gone. He said, “You want change, Obama, you got change coming your way.” He said he just changed his match at NOC. He said when he ran his mouth about his wife and family, he made it personal. He said he won’t be satisfied just pinning him, he wants to hurt him bad. So at NOC, it’s going to be no DQ. I assume is a way for Hunter to have a better match by using more brawling, out of ring action, and gimmicks since he hasn’t had a match in so long. He said when he’s done beating him, he might fire him. Punk said he’s been hitting people with a sledgehammer for more than a decade and nobody’s died yet, so he’s not scared. Punk said he’d accept his stip if he agrees to his. He said if he beats Hunter at NOC, Hunter resigns as COO. Hunter said, “Done!” Punk walked around the ring as his music played, saluting the crowd, and favoring his knee a little.
-Wade Barrett talked with Curt Hawkins and Tyler Reks backstage. Barrett wasn’t interested in sharing details of his plans tonight with them. Del Rio walked up and asked for a moment with Barrett. Reks said they’d catch up with Barrett later. Del Rio said Cena embarrassed him last week by beating him in five minutes. Less than that. Barrett said he’s been beating up Cena since before Del Rio arrived in WWE. He said he doesn’t need any incentive to go after Cena tonight, he doesn’t need to bother. He said if he doesn’t believe him, watch what he does tonight. Del Rio smiled.
-A commercial aired announcing the launch in 2012 of the WWE Network. Clips aired of various highlights of big events over the decades.
-Clips aired of the Lawler-David Otunga confrontation last week.
-Lawler walked out and told Otunga and Michael McGillicutty that he never said they weren’t good athletes, just that he’s seen cadavers with more personality than them. He introduced them to his charismatic tag partner, Zach Ryder.
4 — JERRY LAWLER & ZACH RYDER vs. DAVID OTUNGA & MICHAEL MCGILLICUTTY
Ryder got a whole vignette before his ring entrance showing clips of his Internet show and getting across his personality. One clip showed him saying “I can draw money,” and him holding up a picture he drew of a dollar bill. Cole said he’s an absolute fool. Ryder filmed himself on his way to the ring on the discontinued Flip Cam. Cole said the fact that Lawler talked himself into a match like this should be a lesson for Ross and Lawler to keep their opinions to themselves and be broadcast journalists like he is. He said they shouldn’t be rooting for anyone on the air. Zach opened the match. Lawler tagged in and hit a fistdrop. Ryder demanded a tag so he could get a possible win. He nailed Otunga with his Rough Ryder flying leg clothesline for the win. Boy, that made the former tag champs look like chumps losing that quickly to a make-shift team of retired Lawler and comedy act Ryder.
WINNERS: Ryder & Lawler in 2:00.
-Backstage Del Rio told Dolph Ziggler he’s an honest man. He said he heard a rumor that Vickie Guerrero was ready to dump him after last week’s loss. Ziggler said there’s a rumor that he’s afraid of Cena because he wasn’t on Raw last week. The Bella Twins walked in and flirted with Del Rio. Del Rio asked them for five minutes and he’d join them. Rodrigues was funny in the background, reacting with eyebrow movements to what was going on. Del Rio told Ziggler that Vickie isn’t looking at Jack Swagger because she wants new clients, but rather is looking for someone who will fight for her.
-They showed Randy Orton with the World Hvt. Title belt heading to the entrance tunnel. Ross said he was live next, without specifying.
-A clip aired of Sheamus at a “B.A. Star” initiative gathering with kids, telling them not to be a bully and to show tolerance. The mayor of Bridgeport, Conn. thanked Sheamus for being there. [c]
5 — RANDY ORTON vs. HEATH SLATER
Ross said he doesn’t think Mark Henry can be stopped, saying he’s “400 pounds of destruction.” Slater gave Orton a piece of his own medicine – a mid-ring chinlock at 1:00. The announcers tried to talk up Slater as a threat to Orton, saying he had nothing to lose which made him dangerous. Orton won with an RKO. Good to see Orton win a virtual squash match, showing off his ring entrance and key moves as the announcers talked about his PPV title defense.
WINNER: Orton in 2:00.
-Ryder celebrated around Cena backstage. Cena jokingly said he is an idiot for wearing sunglasses indoors. He raised his eyebrow and postured for the camera for a second, making sure everyone got he was taking a dig at The Rock. [c]
-A video package aired hyping Orton’s DVD release with clips of his home life and career highlights. The DVD is released tomorrow.
-WWE Fact: Last Tuesday Super Smackdown was the no. 1 primetime show on all of cable TV.
-Cena made his ring entrance, stopping on the stage to look at the camera and wish everyone a happy Labor Day. A clip aired of Del Rio attacking him. Cena said ever since that happened, he keeps asking for Del Rio’s head on a platter, but Del Rio avoids him. He then made a very, very dated reference to Tatoo from “Fantasy Island” and undercut Del Rio’s gimmick by saying he doesn’t even know the model of the cars he drives. Rodrigues introduced Del Rio, who then drove out in the car. Cole said this car is not a rental, it’s Del Rio’s car worth 150K which Del Rio bought. Ross said he must have a big garage. Cole said he has a 10,000 acre ranch. Lawler called out Cole for mispronouncing Audi. Cole called it an “odd-ee.”
-Del Rio stepped out and said he’s trying to give Cena a fighting chance. He said because of him, Rey Mysterio will not be there for a long time. He said he took off last week to give him a fighting chance at Night of Champions. He then called out Christian, Jack Swagger, Barrett, and Ziggler who attacked Cena. Alex Riley, Sheamus, and John Morrison ran out and made the save. It’s about time babyfaces band together. Smackdown G.M. Teddy Long’s music then played. He said Triple H has given him the authority to intervene when necessary on Raw. He said he was booking a four-on-four match elimination match. They spent all show being vague about what exactly was planned with Cena later in the show, and this is why. They had no main event scheduled to take place, but rather a Smackdown Special – the impromptu match booked by Long after a brawl with a bunch of wrestlers.
6 — JACK SWAGGER & WADE BARRETT & DOLPH ZIGGLER & CHRISTIAN vs. JOHN CENA & JOHN MORRISON & SHEAMUS & ALEX RILEY
Morrison was eliminated first when he tapped to Swagger. Ziggler has pretty much put Morrison to sleep, but Swagger tagged himself in and finished Morrison with the anklelock. Vickie Guerrero walked to ringside as they cut to a break at 1:00. [c]
Swagger impressed Vickie by making Riley tapout at 7:00. Ziggler and Swagger exchanged heated words. Sheamus finished Barrett with a brogue kick at 12:00.
Christian slipped into the ring and tried to take advantage of Sheamus, but Sheamus kicked out of his quick pin attempt. Christian bailed out of the ring and Sheamus chased him. Both were counted out.
It came down to Cena vs. Swagger & Ziggler, playing into the storyline with Vickie. Cena entered and went on a flurry of offense against Ziggler, but Ziggler stopped it with a dropkick. Swagger and Ziggler double-teamed Cena for a while as Vickie smiled at ringside. The crowd started the loud “Let’s Go Cena! / Cena sucks!” battle-chant. When Swagger appeared to have Cena down and ready for a pin, Ziggler tagged himself in. Ziggler and Swagger argued and fought over who was in control. Cena took advantage of that by hitting an Attitude Adjustment on Ziggler at 17:00. Swagger then immediately applied the anklelock on Cena, but Cena escaped and applied the STF for the win.
WINNER: Cena in 18:00.
-Afterward Del Rio tried to attack Cena, but Cena gave him an AA. Del Rio leaped out of the ring and into Rodriguez’s arms. Cena indicated he’d finally get his hands on him in two weeks. (**1/2)