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June 15, 2009
– Adam Russell

Three-For-All

This week's Raw was a three-hour extravaganza, the main hook of which is that the world championships from all three brands would be
defended. However, another story came out of the show that has stolen all of the attention.

We kicked off with Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler informing us that Vince McMahon is in attendance to announce the new general
manager of Raw, after Vickie Guerrero quit last week. King said that he heard that there was another reason Vince was there.

--- Intercontinental Championship Match - Chris Jericho (champion) Vs Rey Mysterio

As well as three world championship matches, we were also treated to an IC championship match between Jericho, and his rival
Mysterio. Before the match, Jericho got on the mic and said, quite accurately, that Raw has gone down the toilet since he was drafted to
SmackDown; they have no general manager, no world champion, but the hypocrites in the crowd are still the same. He then said that
Rey will realize that his mask will be his downfall, just as he predicted.

The match started with Rey taking Jericho down, and laying into him with punches. Jericho reversed a whip into the corner, only to run
into a boot, before taking a headscissors off the second rope, and being clotheslined to the outside. As Jericho climbed back into the
ring, Rey hit him with a legdrop from the second rope, but then ran rather too keenly into the corner, Jericho moving and sending Rey
shoulder-first into the ringpost. Jericho went for his springboard dropkick, with Mysterio on the apron, but Rey met him with a pair of
boots, and then Rey attempted a seated senton from the apron, only to be sent crashing into the announce table. 1'31 in, and with
Jericho in control, we went to commercial, returning at 4'32 with Rey in a sleeper. Rey fought out of the hold, but was sent into the corner
by the champion. Jericho then charged in and took an enziguri after catching Rey's kick. Jericho, conveniently, fell into position for the
619, but caught Rey with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker, and then tried to unmask him. Mysterio rolled out of the ring, but was pulled back in by
Jericho. Jericho next went for a sunset flip, but Rey rolled through and caught him with a dropkick to the face, then a flying headscissors
and the springboard senton for a two count. Jericho reversed Rey into the corner, but Rey countered a bulldog attempt by throwing his
opponent into the corner, and dropkicking him out of the ring. Rey followed up with a nice suicide dive and, after rolling Jericho back into
the ring, went up to the top rope. Here he was followed by Jericho, but Rey connected with a sunset flip bomb for a nearfall. He then tried
to wheelbarrow into a roll up, but Jericho countered for a two count, and then tried for the Walls of Jericho. Rey kicked him away, and into
position for the 619, but this time Jericho countered by dropkicking his legs. Rey, now, was in 619 position, and Jericho teased that he
would perform the move, but Rey caught him with a springboard moonsault for a two count. A headscissors takedown gave Rey his third
opportunity to hit the 619, and this time he did, but as he went for a West Coast Pop Jericho groped at his mask, causing enough of a
distraction for the champion to hit the Codebreaker and retain the belt at 9'37. This was a strong start to the show, and it's interesting to
see Jericho and Rey playing up the mask aspect of the rivalry during their matches.

After seeing Vince McMahon being readied for his interview in the back, we cut to Josh Matthews who was with Randy Orton to ask him
about the fatal four-way match for the vacant WWE Championship, between Orton, Triple H, John Cena and the Big Show. Orton said that
Triple H returned with a hammer last week because he can't get to him one on one, and tonight he's going to take back the belt and then
Hunter will be irrelevant. At that point John Cena interrupted, grabbed the mic from Josh and pretended to be a WWE interviewer. He said
WWE Universe a bunch of times, and then reminded Orton that he and Show are also in the match. Randy just walked away.

Next came a recap of the Vickie Guerrero angle from last week, and then it was time to hear from the chairman, Vince McMahon. Vince
told us that he wasn't going to announce the new general manager, rather he was going to allow someone else to. He then started
rambling on about getting an offer he couldn't refuse, as the crowd broke into a 'We Want Flair' chant. Vince then announced that he was
selling the Monday Night Raw brand, saying that he will announce to whom after the fatal four-way match, building it up to be a massive
shock.

--- ECW Championship Match - Tommy Dreamer (champion) Vs Christian

Our first world championship match of the night (I know, stretching it a bit to call the ECW championship a 'world' championship) got
underway with a collar and elbow tie up, and a headlock from Christian. Dreamer sent the challenger to the ropes, but Christian came
back with a spinning heel kick for a one count. He went for a pendulum kick next, but Dreamer blocked and hit a neckbreaker for his own
count of one, and then put Christian up on the top rope. Christian elbowed Dreamer to stop him from advancing up the ropes, and then
connected with a flying elbow for the first nearfall of the match. Christian then threw Tommy to the outside and dived over the ropes with a
body press. Back in the ring, Christian wrenched on the head of Dreamer, who punched his way free and sent his opponent into the
corner, only to run into an elbow. Christian went for a tornado DDT, but Dreamer blocked and hit a flapjack and a reverse DDT for a two
count. A clothesline earned Dreamer another nearfall, but then Christian connected with the pendulum kick, and came off the top rope
with a sunset flip. Dreamer initially blocked, gaining a two count, but Christian finally executed the move, getting a two of his own.
Christian went back up to the top and jumped over an onrushing Dreamer, seeming to tweak his knee, before reversing a DDT attempt
from the champion into a Killswitch attempt. Dreamer countered with a back suplex, but Christian landed on his feet, again wincing as
his leg made contact with the ground. Dreamer seized this opportunity and small packaged Christian to retain his championship after
3'24. This match was disappointingly short, and the crowd were not into it at all. It's a shame with all the good work the ECW crew are
doing that their match would be short-shrifted like this.

To make matters worse, WWE did find time to cut to the Bella twins and Kelly Kelly backstage, speculating on who may have brought
Raw. Oprah? Paris Hilton? The president? They couldn't have looked ditzier.

After seeing some, rather graphic, stills of Batista's surgery (maybe showing the inside of Batista's arm was their way of quelling any
wellness violation rumors) it was time for the WWE championship match.

--- WWE Championship Match - Randy Orton Vs Triple H Vs The Big Show Vs John Cena

The match started with Cena pairing up with Show, and Triple H and Orton likewise. The latter pair brawled to the arena floor, where
Hunter slammed Orton's head into the announce table and clotheslined him over the security wall. The Big Show threw Cena over the
top rope to the outside, and Hunter joined him in the ring for a stare down as we went to a break only 41 seconds in to the match. We
returned at 3'33 with all four men back in the ring, and Show and Orton in control. Orton kneedropped the Game, but then missed with
the same move, rolling out of the ring to recover. Meanwhile, Show ran into a pair of boots from Cena, and then took a facebuster from
Hunter, before the two good guys took turns trying to take the big men off his feet with clotheslines. Cena finally hit a flying shoulder
tackle which sent Show to the outside, and then Cena and Hunter turned their attentions to one another. The two locked up and Cena
sent Hunter to the ropes, only to be knocked down by a shoulderblock. Cena hit back with a couple of flying shoulderblocks, and then hit
a back suplex into a slam, and set up for the five knuckle shuffle. Before he couldn't deliver the move, Hunter got back to his feet and hit a
spinebuster. Trips looked for the Pedigree, but Cena countered into an attempted FU. Hunter wriggled free of the move, but by this time
the Big Show was back in and leveled both men with a double clothesline. This brought Orton back in, and he sent Hunter to the floor
and went back out after him, slamming his head into the steel steps. In the ring, Show suplexed Cena, but Cena made a comeback and
tried to lift Show up for a powerslam. He got the big man off his feet, but Show fell atop him in a pinning position, forcing Randy in to
break the count. Orton ducked back out of the ring, and Show went back to Cena, grasping him for a chokeslam, and then doing the
same to the oncoming Triple H. Both men kicked Show in the gut, though, and suplexed him. Randy came back in, knocking down both
Cena and Hunter with punches, before lining up a punt on the fallen Big Show. Show blocked the kick and then went on a rampage,
taking down all three of his opponents with a bevy of clotheslines and headbutts. He got rid of Hunter and Orton and powerslammed
Cena to the mat, following up with a Vader Bomb, causing Orton to again break a pin attempt. Show threw Orton back over the top rope to
the outside, and then speared Trips who had returned to the ring, gaining a nearfall. Show looked to put the match to bed with a Vader
Bomb to Hunter, but the Game moved. Orton returned to pick the bones, but his RKO attempt was blocked by Show. Show, however,
could not block Triple H's Pedigree. Before Hunter could go for the cover, Cena FU'd him, and then covered Show, but The World's
Largest Athlete kicked out at two. Cena picked Show up and impressively FU'd him, but Orton again made sure there was no three count.
The Viper tossed Cena shoulder-first into the ring post and then connected with an RKO on Show to pick up the victory and become a 5-
time world champion at 11'15.

Though a fairly good, action-packed match, this was not immune to the usual pitfalls of the multi-wrestler contest, and championships
won in this kind of setting always seem to me somewhat unsatisfying. The main question that comes out of this, apart from why Big
Show was in the match after losing seemingly every high profile match he's been in recently, is why Orton lost the championship last
week at Extreme Rules if he was only going to win it back again a week later. All it achieved was making Orton look weaker, and making
the belt more meaningless.

Next, old man Vince came out for his big announcement, which was that he has sold the Raw brand to Donald Trump. Trump appeared
on the TitanTron via satellite (though it was obviously pre-recorded), and ran down Vince for not showing appreciation to the fans. He
said that he was going to do something special for the fans, and announced that next week's Raw would be commercial-free. Vince said
he would give his farewell address next week, and then announced a ten-man battle royal for later in the night to decide the number one
contender to Orton's championship at The Bash.

The interplay between Trump and Vince was beyond horrible (it reminded me of Richard Attenborough talking to a film version of himself
in Jurassic Park), and the actual announcement that Trump had bought Raw was not well-received, to say that least. Overall, the whole
segment and angle was a bust, and I'm not sure why anyone involved thought it would be any different. One can only hope that this is a
short-term thing.

--- Mickie James Vs Rosa Mendes

Back to ring angle, as Rosa had her first singles match on Raw, and sent Beth to the back. Maryse came out to watch the action as Rosa
took it to Mickie from the bell with a clubbing blow. Mickie hit back with forearms, and went to the top rope, but Rosa escaped the ring.
James pulled Rosa up onto the apron, but Rosa hotshotted her, and then hit a neckbreaker for a two count. She continued her attack
with stomps and punches, and then locked on a chinlock. Mickie worked up to her feet and threw Rosa down to the mat, and then sent
her flying into the corner. She hit Rosa with a pair of clotheslines, and then a low dropkick for a two count. Rosa shot back with a kneelift,
but Mickie brushed off her neckbreaker attempt and hit a DDT to pick up the win at 2'48. Maryse teased getting into the ring to fight, but
thought better of it.

We returned from the break to find Goldust and Hornswoggle shooting t-shirts into the crowd with a t-shirt gun. They were interrupted by
The Miz, who said he had a message for Donald Trump. He told Trump that he is the new face of Raw, whereas Cena is the face of the
past. He then said that tonight he would throw Cena over the top rope in the battle royal, and go on to the Bash to win the championship.
He continued that he wants to be on the cover of magazines, and do all the endorsements he can, and then noticed that Goldust and
Hornswoggle were still in the ring. He ordered them out, but Goldust grabbed the mic. He told Miz that he's been watching him try to play
mind games, but they haven't been working. He asked him where his originality was, and cited him giving Ahmed Johnson mouth-to-
mouth as an example. He then told the Miz that he should change his name to The Wiz, because that's what everyone gets up to take
when he starts talking. Hornswoggle got in on the act, saying that the reality check is that Miz is a loser. Miz told Goldust that he is in no
position to talk about wrestling success, as he is irrelevant. He told him that he'd beat him down now, but nobody would care, but then
saying that he wants to show Trump that he isn't afraid to take risks. With that, he knocked Goldust down with a punch, and delivered a
DDT. He then threw Hornswoggle to the ground, and shot him in the gut with the t-shirt gun. This was a strong angle. Goldust can still
bring it on the mic, and the attack on Hornswoggle will get Miz some more heat.

In the back, Josh Matthews was with World Heavyweight Champion, CM Punk. Josh asked Punk if he has any regrets about cashing in
his Money in the Bank briefcase on Jeff Hardy at Extreme Rules. Punk said that everyone loved it when he cashed in on Edge last year,
but because it was Jeff this time he's supposed to have a morality battle. He told Josh that he put his body on the line to win that
briefcase, and that it isn't a popularity contest. Matt Hardy interrupted, and told Punk that he would have done the same thing. Punk shot
back that that would be difficult, considering Matt never won Money in the Bank, nor been a world champion. He concluded by saying that
Matt thrives on jealousy and spite, whereas everything he has done, he has earned.

--- World Heavyweight Championship Match - CM Punk (champion) Vs Jeff Hardy Vs Edge

The champion entered with the name of Japanese wrestling legend, Mitsuharu Misawa, who sadly passed away earlier in the week, on
his arm wraps, whereas Jeff entered as the home state hero. Hardy went straight after Punk with kicks, and then threw him into Edge. He
rolled Punk up but Edge broke the count and then rolled Hardy up for a one count. Punk completed the cycle by rolling up Edge for a one,
and then he clotheslined the Rated-R Superstar over the top rope, following up with a suicide dive. Hardy, not to be outdone, rolling
plancha'd onto both of them, and then returned to the ring with Punk. Jeff hit a dropkick to the back of Punk for a two count, and then sent
him into the corner before running into a big boot. A clothesline from Punk earned him a two count, and he followed up with a powerslam
and an elbowdrop for another two, as Todd Grisham called Jim Ross the voice of Raw for 18 years, despite the show only going for 16
years. Edge re-entered the ring, and floored both men with big boots, and then threw Hardy out of the ring. He lifted Punk to the top rope
and climbed up with him. Jeff came back in and threw Edge down, climbing up himself, but Edge lifted Jeff onto his shoulders, and Punk
went for a Doomsday Device. Jeff, however, victory rolled Edge, avoiding Punk's leap in the process, and picked up a two count. All three
men then clotheslined each other simultaneously, and we went to a break at 4'48. We returned three minutes later to find Punk elbowing
his way out of a waistlock from Edge. Punk sent Edge to the ropes and connected with a leg lariat, and then hit both Edge and Jeff with
kneelifts, before bulldogging Edge at the same time as clotheslining Hardy. He picked up near falls on both men, and then picked up Jeff
for a Go To Sleep, only to have his leg taken out by Edge. Edge locked a sharpshooter on Punk, but Hardy locked a sleeper on Edge,
causing him to break the hold. Punk recovered to send Jeff into the turnbuckle, but he himself was reversed into Jeff by Edge. Edge
came in for the spear, but Punk sunset flipped him, and was assisted in taking Edge down by a Hardy clothesline, Hardy then breaking
the count. Jeff dropkicked both his opponents, but Punk knee lifted him, causing him to roll out of the ring. Punk then tried to suplex Edge,
on the apron, back into the ring, but Hardy pulled Edge down, causing Edge to hotshot Punk on the top rope. Hardy went up top, but was
crotched by Edge, who then ran into a powerslam from Punk as he was trying for a spear. Punk lifted Edge up for a GTS, but Edge
pushed him into Hardy. Hardy went for a Twist of Fate, but Punk reversed into a GTS, Jeff pushing him away into a spear. Punk, however,
jumped over the oncoming Edge, and it was Jeff who ate the spear. Edge covered Hardy but Punk broke the count, and then went for a
kneelift on the corner on Edge, who sidestepped it and sent him over the top rope, with his knee landed on the steel steps. A trainer was
immediately on hand to tend to Punk as the action continued in the ring with Jeff hitting a Whisper in the Wind. He went for a cover, but
Punk crawled in to break the count, and then rolled back to the outside. Jeff followed him out and, very heelishly, repeatedly kicked him in
the injured leg. He climbed back into the ring where he was small packaged by Edge for a two count, but recovered to hit a Twist of Fate
and a Swanton Bomb. It looked to be all over, but Punk managed to reach in and pull Hardy off the cover and to the outside, and then
rolled into the ring and covered Edge for the victory after 15'39 of fast-paced, and generally exciting action. Ross declared this a horrible
break for Hardy, though I hardly see that as the case. Teddy Long then came out and announced a match at the Bash for the
championship between CM Punk and Jeff Hardy.

Next we were treated to Ted Dibiase and Cody Rhodes on commentary for a match between the Colon brothers and the Hart Dynasty. It
wasn't quite Mickie James bad, but it wasn't good either.

--- Primo and Carlito Vs The Hart Dynasty

It's nice to see the Hart Dynasty get some face time on Raw, as they have been consistently one of the best things on WWE
programming since they debuted. David Hart Smith started us off with Primo, and it was Smith taking Colon down with a shoulderblock.
He sent him into the corner and ran into an elbow, and then Primo hit a poor-looking flying headscissors off the top rope. Natalya
climbed onto the apron, which caused enough of a distraction for Tyson Kidd to tie Primo up in the ropes, and for Smith to hit a big
backbreaker. Smith then went up to second rope, but hit legdrop missed, and Primo made the tag to Carlito. Carlito came in with a
springboard dropkick, and then whipped Smith to the ropes. He lowered his head, and Smith caught him with a kick, but Carlito came
right back with a big boot, and a springboard elbow, bringing Kidd in to stop the count. Primo low-bridged Kidd out of the ring, and
followed after him with a rolling plancha. Meanwhile, Carlito was caught on Smith's shoulder for a running powerslam, but he wriggled
out and hit the Backstabber, before Priceless entered the ring to beat him down, causing a disqualification at 2'22. Primo came in to help
his brother, but he was beat down too, and Priceless threw the tag team champions out of the ring.

After a look at the WWE's European tour, we cut to Vince in the back with Santino. Vince asked Santino what he wanted to tell him, and
Santino said he wanted to know if they still have jobs, particularly a superstar who has a twin sister who everyone thinks is him because
she has no cleavage, a 5 o clock shadow, and testicles. Vince said that knowing Trump he might be attracted to her, but that Trump will
do whatever he wants to do. Vince's phone then rang, and after talking for a few seconds, Vince said that it was Trump, and he wants to
make an announcement after the battle royal tonight. He then said that he hates billionaires with massive egos, and Santino responded
that he must hate himself. A comedy bit then played out between the two, which basically involved Santino calling Vince an old man, then
trying to back track.

--- 10-man battle royal - Cody Rhodes, Ted Dibiase, MVP, Matt Hardy, William Regal, Kofi Kingston, The Miz, The Big Show, John
Cena, Triple H

All ten men started brawling, with Show and Cena pairing up, and then Show going after the Miz with a big slap. Triple H had Rhodes
teetering, as Orton came out to watch from the stage. Rhodes and Dibiase double-teamed the Game, but Hunter fought back, sending
Dibiase into the ring post. Big Show went on a clothesline rampage, before Matt Hardy hit him with his cast. The blow had no effect,
however, and Hardy rolled out of the ring. Show wasn't going to let him escape though, as he pulled him back in and threw him over the
top rope at 3'37. MVP then hit a big boot on Show in the corner, but the momentum took him over the top rope onto the apron, leaving
Show with the simple task of knocking him to the floor at 3'45. All the other contestants then turned their attention to the big man,
eliminating him at 4'21 as we went to a break. We came back at 8'13 with Hunter and Regal exchanging punches, and Rhodes and
Dibiase double teaming Cena, with no sign of the Miz. Kingston went after Hunter, but was met with a high knee, and then Priceless tried
to eliminate Trips. Hunter was thrown onto the apron, but survived, as Cena came back at Rhodes and Dibiase. Hunter delivered a
spinebuster to Regal, and then he and Cena squared off. The two went back and forth before Priceless intervened. Kofi then went after
Dibiase, jumping up to the top turnbuckle to deliver a series of punches. Dibiase snake eyed him though, and he and Rhodes
clotheslined the US Champion out. Regal then clotheslined both Rhodes and Dibiase from behind, but they turned the tables, throwing
him out too. A four man brawl then commenced with the remaining competitors, with Priceless coming out on top. They hit a double
flapjack on Cena, and then a double gut punch to Hunter. Cena made a comeback with a bulldog to Ted and a clothesline to Cody, a
fisherman suplex to Ted, and a back body drop to Cody. He then back body dropped Dibiase over the top rope and out of the match at
15'50, before throwing Cody out after him. Cody managed to skin the cat though, only to be clotheslined out by Triple H at 16'09. Hunter
hit a Pedigree on Cena, but Priceless came back in and beat down Hunter. With both men down in the ring, The Miz emerged from his
hiding spot, and went to eliminate them both. They both low-bridged him out though, making him look completely stupid and useless,
and then Hunter quickly threw Cena out to unsurprisingly win a boring match at 17'42.

Trump then appeared on the TitanTron, calling Triple H a 'real talent', and saying that his match against Orton will actually be next week
on Raw, and it will be a last man standing match.

That brought to an end a disjointed episode, in which there was some good action which unfortunately got overshadowed by this
garbage Donald Trump angle. Really, a major flaw of the show was that the three world championship matches, which were supposed
to be the main focus of the show, all took place within the first couple of hours, leaving everything that followed seeming anti-climactic. I
also think it's important to note that SmackDown stole the show with their two championship matches. Some good stuff here, but not
enough to fill a three hour show.

MVP of the night - CM Punk's really on a roll right now, and I have to give it to him again here. His is probably the most interesting
character in the company right now.

Line of the night - Michael Cole asking if Randy Orton is invincible. Erm, no.