Due to Monday Night Raw being commercial-free tonight, for my first blog, I decided to keep it in real-time. Well, sort of real-time. DVR sure does come in handy when nature calls.
After being severely let down the last two Monday nights and coming off of a lackluster Friday Night SmackDown, I need a solid show tonight to convince me that shelling out almost 50 bucks for Sunday’s “Over the Limit” pay-per-view is in my best interest with regards to personal time and hard-earned cash.
As the show begins and Canada’s-own Bret “The Hitman” Hart makes his way to the ring, I fear that with no commercials tonight, there will be too much comedy, too much of guest host Buzz Aldrin, and way too much Lawler and Cole.
Hart, clad in a Blue Jays jersey, receives a huge pop from the home crowd. He says that after giving it some thought, he (mercifully) is not going to accept the Miz’s challenge to wrestle for the U.S. Title tonight. I am worried that some variation of the Montreal Screwjob (they put that to bed at Wrestlemania 26, right?) will occur tonight.
Another “native son’s” music hits and Chris Jericho makes his way to the ring to a nice pop. A great promo ensues as Y2J and the Hitman trade insults with Jericho garnering some cheap heat by insulting the Hart Family. He tells Bret he’s washed up and scared to face Miz. Bret bites and tells Jericho to have Miz put the boots on. This can’t end clean or even last long, right? By the way, it’s going to be a no DQ /no count out match.
No commercials apparently means “fake commercials.” One just aired for WWE Shop that featured Hornswaggle AND Great Khali. It’s only 13 minutes into the show. If this happens between every segment, it’s going to be a long night.
Edge’s music hits (they’re emptying the Canadian-portion of the WWE roster up front, I guess). Poor guy…he needed Vickie Guerrero to get him back over as a heel on Raw last week and now he’s getting over in front of his hometown crowd. He’s in a “Pick Your Poison” match meaning him and his opponent at “Over the Limit,” Randy Orton get to choose each other’s opponents tonight on Raw.
Holy s–t!! Christian’s music just hit. This can’t be about to happen?!? This was the feud we all wanted after Wrestlemania wasn’t it? I guess a one-off is better than nothing. In case you’re keeping score at home, all four wrestlers that have been in the ring so far are Canadian.
Solid back and forth match with a couple of near pinfalls until Edge hits the spear for the win. Just for the record, this is the third great TV match that Christian has been a part of in the last two weeks. Who did this guy piss off to not be involved in any meaningful angles? I remain hopeful for a Christian-push soon.
Back to the action…Randy Orton appears on the Titantron to inform Edge that Christian wasn’t the opponent that RKO picked for him. (And there’s Christian’s new angle…he’s so upset with his lack of a push that he shows up and wrestles anyone he chooses on any given night!!).
Undertaker’s music hits and Edge looks a tad worried, although, I would think he’s got time for a breather during Taker’s prolonged ring entrance. The “Rated R Superstar” outsmarts Orton by getting himself intentionally counted out. Christian emerges from out of nowhere after the bell to throw Edge back in the ring where he was the recipient of a monster choke slam.
Even though this segment did nothing to advance the storyline for the upcoming PPV, I thoroughly enjoyed the Edge-Christian matchup and a rare Monday Night Raw appearance by the “Deadman.”
Backstage, Maryse is reading a magazine with Trish Stratus on the cover. I don’t think there are any more Canadian wrestlers left on the roster. Though, Maryse makes the distinction that she is “French-Canadian” which goes over well with the Toronto crowd, as you could imagine. (I guess that whole French-English thing is still a sore point for our friends in the Great White North).
Forty minutes into the show, Guest Host Buzz Aldrin “The Rocket Hero” makes his first appearance. The segment involves Buzz, his wife, Vickie Guerrero and the Bella Twins. Poor Buzz stumbled over his lines. The man is a part of history…an American legend. Why though, is he the guest host of Monday Night Raw? Why is anyone the guest host of Monday Night Raw? WWE…please…stop…already. Wrestling fans don’t care.
Thankfully that was short.
“Somebody Gon’ Get They Ass Kicked.” Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaand that would be Mark Henry, as Batista runs (well, kind of) down the ramp and breaks a 2×4 over Henry’s back before continuing the beatdown at ringside. Two weeks-in-a-row, the big guy gets squashed to put Batista over.
Up next, it’s another spoof commercial. This one is based on the “Priceless” credit card ads and revolves around Ted Di Biase, Jr. and R-Truth as Ted searches for “The New Virgil.” Di Biase’s music then hits and he appears with the Real Virgil who looks pretty much the same as he did when he was valet for Ted Di Biase, Sr. years ago. I mean, if he had the sequined vest and bowtie, I’d swear I was back in high school. Why am I spending so much time on this? Because Di Biase is in the processing of squashing Yoshii Tatsu.
For the first time tonight, I’m worried. It’s a very good hour in the books, but now The Miz is heading to the ring to defend his U.S. Title against Bret “The Hitman” Hart. However this plays out…I hope it’s quick.
Miz brings out Vladimir Kozlov and William Regal as backup. They’re taken out by the Hart Dynasty as Jericho enters the ring from the crowd to team up with Miz in a 2-on-1 situation against Hart. Natalya enters to get Bret’s back and all hell breaks loose. Tyson Kidd and Davis Hart Smith enter the ring to get rid of Jericho and team up on Miz. Eventually, Bret gets Miz in the “Sharpshooter” to win the United States Championship for the fifth time.
If this is Bret’s last appearance with the WWE, I guess it’s a nice way to send him off. I would have to think that they’ll take the strap off of him pretty soon. (Or the belt leaves TV for a couple of months and comes back with a new look and a new name).
Yes! Divas Match…time to catch up on some typing.
John Cena appears backstage to a mix of boos and cheers… he’s in preacher mode tonight, and “Damn it…he WILL NOT QUIT!!”
The most over wrestler in the business, Randy Orton hits the ring to take on the opponent that Edge has personally picked for him in another “Pick Your Poison” match. It’s World Heavyweight Champion Jack Swagger.
Solid match that ends with an Edge run-in as he hits the spear on Orton. Nice setup for their PPV match on Sunday.
Guest host Buzz Aldrin makes his second appearance of the night. He’s in the middle of the ring and he loves rockets, and orbits, and Mars…and oh man, I feel sorry for him right now.
Zack Ryder and lady-friend Alicia Fox are out to confront Buzz…so much for Ryder getting a chance to show some skills as one of the young guys on Raw. Aldrin puts him in a mixed-tag match with Toronto’s-own Gail Kim (they DID save a Canadian wrestler for Hour 2) and Evan Bourne. Gail gets another win for Canada.
The final match of the night pits John Cena against Sheamus. Nothing special with both stars trading offense until the inevitable Batista run-in. Big Dave gets Cena in the same submission hold he injured Mark Henry with last week, and the show ends with Cena in agony as Batista screams at him to say, “I quit.”
OK…Raw redeemed itself after two really crappy shows in a row. Couple that with the sub-par SmackDown from Friday and I was getting ready to make plans for Sunday night.
However, I will order “Over The Limit.” Strangely, this was a little more of a disjointed “go home” show than normal but I liked the “Pick Your Poison” deal and really enjoyed the Edge-Christian match. Thankfully, they kept the comedy to a minimum and it was amusing in the short spoof commercials. Buzz Aldrin could’ve been worse as a guest host, but unfortunately I grade that aspect of Raw on a curve since it doesn’t seem like the guest-host concept is going away anytime soon.
Bret Hart winning the U.S. title confused me, but they got around Hitman’s limited offense in the ring by using the Hart Dynast y in a no DQ/no count out match much like they did at Wrestlemania 26. It’s a nice gesture to let him leave as a champion…though I’m not sure it was necessary.
Later in the week, a SmackDown review, and thoughts and predictions on Sunday’s “Over the Limit” PPV.
And you can also check out the “Busted Open” radio show, Monday and Wednesday from 2-4 PM, Eastern on Sirius XM Radio.
About the Author
Written by Pete Copeland