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June 22, 2009
â€“ Adam Russell
Give me a break
The 'Trump buys Raw' angle last week was not particularly well-received amongst the wrestling media, with people questioning what
good could possibly come out of it. Well, this was week one of the Trump Era, and for the first time Raw was being presented
commercial-free. After a recap of all of last week's events, and a new opening sequence playing up the new ownership, we were
welcomed to 'Trump Raw'.
Trump came out first to welcome the fans, saying that even though he owns Raw, this is their show. In addition to the Last Man Standing
Match for the WWE title between Triple H and Randy Orton later in the show, and the commercial-free presentation, Trump also pledged
to give all the fans in attendance a refund on their admission fee. Those in the arena, at least, were big fans of the Trump era.
Trump left, and out came John Cena, who started his promo by basically repeating everything Trump had just said. He also mentioned
that Trump had put him in a match against the Big Show tonight (Trump is committed to giving the fans fresh match-ups, I see), and then
began to talk about The Miz. A video was shown highlighting the ways in which the Miz has tried to get Cena's attention, and then Cena
asked Miz out. The Miz came out onto the stage, and said that he has nothing else to say, because coward Cena never does anything
about it. Cena said that it's strange Miz calling him a coward, when he is in the ring, and Miz is standing on the ramp. With that, The Miz
walked down to the ring and got right in Cena's face, repeating that he is a coward. Cena responded that usually Miz would be picking up
his teeth at this point, but he isn't going to do that tonight. He said that he is going to give Miz an opportunity to be the MVP of Raw, and
has some good news and bad news for him. The good news, he said, is that The Miz will main event The Bash against him, whereas the
bad news is that he will main event The Bash against him. Cena then put on his serious voice, saying that The Miz has spent two months
trying to rattle him, but he is the man who put his life on the line at the Hammerstein Ballroom, the man who was booed out of the Hall of
Fame, and the man who had 85,000 fans telling him that he can't wrestle; he doesn't get rattled. He then said that The Miz has 6 more
days before he realizes that he doesn't belong, and that he isn't a reality show has-been; he's a WWE never-was. He told Miz to leave the
ring and pray that he makes it out of the Bash in one piece. Miz looked seriously concerned by what Cena had said, but then threw his
microphone at Cena, cheap-shotted him, and escaped up the aisle.
Both Cena and The Miz were pretty strong on the mic here, doing well to put a feud, which for two months has been in the background of
the Cena-Show feud, centre-stage.
We then saw footage of 'earlier today', in which Vince McMahon's limo had broken down. Vince blamed the limo driver, and made him
give him a piggyback to the arena, until he fell over. This was as stupid as it sounds.
--- Jeff Hardy, the Great Khali and Rey Mysterio Vs Chris Jericho, Edge and Dolph Ziggler
Trump had apparently invited SmackDown to be a part of the show, and they provided our first match of the night. World Heavyweight
Champion, CM Punk provided commentary, and the match began with Ziggler attacking Khali. Khali chopped Ziggler to the mat, and then
gave him a slap across the chest, forcing Dolph to tag out to Jericho. Jericho irked the giant by slapping him across the face, and Khali
responded by clotheslining him over the top rope. Edge came in, but got thrown over the top for his troubles, and Ziggler got the same
treatment, setting up a dive spot. First Jeff hit with a suicide plancha over the top, and then Mysterio came off Khali's shoulders with a
body press. Next, they teased Khali doing a dive as he struggled to get up to the second rope, but Jericho attacked him from behind,
drawing boos from the crowd. Khali pushed Jericho down, and tagged in Rey, who sent Jericho into the 619 position with an enziguri
kick. Edge grabbed Rey's leg as he hit the ropes, but Rey hit a dropkick through the ropes on the Rated-R Superstar, before falling victim
to a Jericho clothesline. Ziggler tagged in and picked up a two count with an elbowdrop, and then tagged Edge. Edge missed a dropkick
though, and tagged Dolph back in as Rey tagged Hardy. Hardy took Ziggler down with a pair of clotheslines, and a sleeper into a slam,
and then knocked Edge and Jericho off the apron. He gave Dolph an inverted atomic drop, a legdrop to the groin, and then a front suplex,
before being blindsided by a spear from Edge. Khali came in and went for a Punjabi Plunge on Edge, but Edge squirmed free and, after
Jericho hit a Codebreaker on the big man, speared Khali out of the ring. Rey rejoined the action, dropkicking Edge into 619 position, and
drop toe holding Jericho next to him. He hit the 619 on Edge, but Jericho rolled out of the ring to avoid the contact. He could not, though,
avoid a springboard moonsault from Rey, and this left Hardy in the ring to hit a Twist of Fate and then a Swanton Bomb on Ziggler to get
the win at 5'09. After the match, Punk entered the ring and tried to hold Hardy's arm up. Hardy pulled away and left the ring disgruntled.
We cut to the back, with Vince McMahon knocking on Donald Trump's office door, claiming it to be his. Santina showed up and introduced
herself to McMahon, and said that Vince and Trump should share an office, calling it McDonald's. Trump opened the door and told Vince
that he brought everything, including the office. He said that Vince's office was down the hall. Trump then fired Santina and, as she
walked off screen, Santino appeared in the shot, lamenting her dismissal, before deciding that she had a good run. This was more
--- Primo Vs Cody Rhodes
Before the match, Primo and Carlito took to the mic, and said that it was pretty cool that Dibiase and Rhodes got to hang around with the
WWE champion, drive him, run errands for him, and tan with him on the beach. Carlito added that Randy said they rub oil on him like
nobody else, which Primo pronounced not cool, before saying that at the Bash they will successfully defend their tag team
championships, and that Rhodes and DiBiaseâ€™s only legacy will be as a part of Orton's groupies.
The two opponents locked up, with Rhodes grabbing an armbar and taking Primo down by the hair. Primo countered into a
headscissors, and then an armbar, slamming Cody's shoulder into the corner. Cody responded by hitting a hotshot, and then a bulldog
for a two count. He then slammed the back of Primo's head into the turnbuckle, snapmared him over, and dropped another knee before
locking on a chinlock. Primo fought his way out, and hit a shoulderblock, but Cody threw him to the outside. He went out after him and
rolled him back into the ring to pick up a two count, and then went to a facelock. Primo punches his way free, and hit a flying
headscissors on Cody out of the corner, followed by a dropkick, a clothesline, and an elbow for a two count. A jacknife cover earned
Primo another nearfall, before Cody came back with a kick and a side Russian legsweep for a two of his own. Primo then caught Cody in
a small package for a two count, and went for a springboard cross body block. Rhodes, however, rolled through, and with the help of a
handful of trunks, picked up the victory after 3'53 of decent action.
Back in the lockerroom, Vince was still looking for his office. He was approached by Goldust and Hornswoggle, who reminded him that
he thought Hornswoggle was his bastard son. Goldust said that he was thinking of giving Trump his wig, seeing as it worked for
Goldberg, and Vince said it was a good idea. Goldust decided to try it on another billionaire, and put the wig on Vince. Vince ordered them
both out of his sight. He then turned around to find that his office was a stall, and Festus came out, handing Vince a copy of the Wall
After a lengthy recap of the lengthy Triple H and Randy Orton feud, it was time for the Last Man Standing match between the two. One
would think putting a world championship match, and the most (and only) hyped match on the show last would make more sense, but
apparently not to WWE.
--- Last Man Standing WWE Championship Match - Randy Orton (champion) Vs Triple H
Orton started the match with a kick to Hunter, and a barrage of punches, with Triple H responding in kind. He then threw Orton shoulder-
first into the ringpost, sending the champion to the outside. Hunter followed him out and slammed his head into the announce table, and
then taking him back into the ring where he delivered a spinebuster, and went for a Pedigree. Orton escaped the hold and whipped
Hunter in to the corner, the challenger bumping himself over the top to the outside, and then favoring his leg. Orton went out after him, but
Triple H caught him with a clothesline, and then front suplexed him onto the security wall. He then sent him into the crowd with a big
punch, and the referee started his first count of the match, only reaching four before Orton got back to his feet. Hunter went into the crowd
after him, sending him into the wall, before Orton whipped Hunter into the wall and back to ringside. Orton took out the legs of The Game,
and the referee made another four count, before Orton hit his opponent in the head with the steel steps for a six count. The match went
back into the ring, with Orton continuing his assault on Triple H's leg. He hit a kneedrop to the leg and, after missing another, rolled out of
the ring, tripped Trips, and slammed his leg into the ringpost. He repeated this move, and then went to get a chair, only for Triple H to kick
it into his face. Orton bounced right back by downing Hunter with a chair shot to the skull at 6'47, drawing an eight count from the referee.
Orton slammed Triple H's head into the table, and then took him onto the table, looking for an RKO. Trips countered with a low blow, and
went for a Pedigree, but Orton blocked and hit the RKO onto the table. Hunter managed to slide off the table and to his feet with the
referee at nine, and then he back body dropped Orton onto the table, for an eight count, following straight up by hitting the champion with
a monitor at 10'40. Rather than wait for the referee to count, Hunter continued on the offensive, taking Orton up the ramp and slamming
his head into the wall repeatedly. He then delivered a spinebuster on the steel ramp, which earned him a nine count. Triple H went for a
Pedigree next, but Orton back body dropped him, which was also good enough for a nine count. We were pretty deep into the match now,
and both men were selling the accumulated offence they had taken, as they exchanged punches on their knees. Orton won out in the
exchange, and went for an RKO, but Hunter shoved him into the barricade for an eight count. Triple H now got out a ladder and, in the
spot of the match, went at Orton with it, only for the champion to duck, sending the ladder full into the face of a helpless crewman, who
was busted wide open by the blow. Concerned, Triple H called for medics, and Orton took this opportunity to go back to the leg of his
challenger, hitting it with the ladder, smashing him in the face with the ladder for good measure, and then putting his leg in between the
ladder and stomping it repeatedly. The ref began his count and, with Hunter looking like he would make it to his feet on time, Orton
stopped the count, and stood the ladder up on the stage. He grabbed Triple H for what looked like an RKO, and began to climb the
ladder, but the Game pulled him off, hit him with the ladder, and delivered a Pedigree at 19'27. Triple H sold his leg injury on delivering
the move and, despite trying to use the ladder as a crutch, neither man could answer the referee's ten count, causing this match to end in
a disappointing, though not unpredictable, draw at 20'04, meaning Orton retained his title. After the match, Hunter tried to go after Orton
again, but was escorted to the back by officials.
Though the ending was disappointing, the match itself was not, being one of the best matches between these two old foes. Last Man
Standing matches usually feature a lot of inconsistent selling (for example, the shot to the face with the steel steps, which would normally
see a guy on his back indefinitely, was only good enough for a count of six here), and although that wasn't avoided completely here, it
was better than usual. Then you also have the false finish spots, where guys barely make it up before the ref counts ten, and there were
at least two occasions here where the ref surely could have counted to ten. But overall, the match was well worked, and it was nice to see
Triple H selling his leg, and that actually playing a part in the finish.
We cut to Maryse and The Miz in the back, with Maryse telling Miz not to talk to her until he has done something impressive to Cena. She
said that the cheap shot he delivered tonight means nothing, and the Miz explained that that was just to show Cena that he wasn't rattled
by his words. Maryse reiterated that he has to do something impressive, and left.
If the Last Man Standing match was the highlight of the show, the next segment was the low point. Donald Trump came out to address
the crowd again, saying that he isn't going to appoint a general manager, rather he will have a different celebrity host every week. He then
said that the greatest thing about his reign will be WrestleMania 26, which brought out Vince. Vince said that he has had enough of
Trump, that the fans in attendance don't deserve a refund, and that he has heard a rumor that Trump wants to make Raw free every week.
This, he said, will make him bankrupt, although quite why, as Trump 'owns' Raw, it wasn't made clear. Trump said that already he has
had lots of offers to buy Raw from him, for double what he paid Vince. Vince said that Trump played him, and offered to buy back Raw for
the amount Trump paid. Trump declined, so Vince offered him a 25% increase, then 50%, and then 75%, all of which Trump refused.
Finally, Vince offered a double your money deal to Trump, which he said that he had to accept, and the two shook hands on the deal.
Vince then said that if Trump crosses him again he'll knock him on his butt, and told him that he's fired. In response, Trump slapped
Vince in the face, and a group of men had to separate the two of them.
This segment went on for way too long, wasn't interesting or entertaining on any level, nor did it make much sense. Whether the plan all
along was for the Trump angle to last just one week is unclear, nor does it make any difference; it was a creative failure.
In the back, Randy Orton, along with Rhodes and Dibiase, was being treated by doctors. Vince showed up, and sent the doctors and
Cody and Ted away. He then said that if Orton thinks he's in pain now, wait until The Bash. Orton said that he can barely stand, let alone
fight, and asked Vince if he had any decency. Vince responded that Orton will defend his WWE championship at The Bash against Triple
H (who else?) in a three stages of hell match; the first fall being a regular wrestling match, the second being a falls count anywhere
match, and the third being a stretcher match. Vince there playing heel and face in the space of ten minutes.
--- Mickie James and the Bella Twins Vs Maryse, Beth Phoenix and Rosa Mendes
Back to ring action, and Mickie and Rosa got us started. Mickie rocked Rosa with a forearm, after cart wheeling out of an armbar, so Rosa
tagged in Beth. Beth fireman's carried Mickie out onto the apron, Mickie went up to the top rope, jumped over Beth, but got taken down by
a shoulderblock. Mickie tagged one of the Bellas in (we weren't told which one- King and Cole were still talking about Trump/McMahon),
who ran into a clothesline from Beth. Beth tagged Rosa back in, and the intern mounted Bella with punches. She whipped her to the
ropes, but Bella came back with a head scissors takedown, and then an armdrag. She then hit a monkey flip out of the corner but, when
Maryse caused a distraction, Beth picked Bella up and slammed her into the corner. Maryse tagged in and hit a side backbreaker to Bella
for a two count, and then locked in a camel clutch, rubbing Bella's face into the mat. Rosa tagged back in and locked on a facelock, but
Bella elbowed her way out, slammed Rosa's head into the mat and tagged in Mickie. Mickie clotheslined Rosa, dropkicked Beth's legs,
knocking her off the apron, and then hit a neckbreaker on Rosa. Beth came in to break the pinning attempt, but was double dropkicked
out of the ring by the Bellas. Maryse distracted Mickie, which allowed Rosa to connect with a forearm, but Mickie shot straight back with a
Mick Kick to pick up the win at 5'05.
Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler were in the ring next to run through the card for The Bash, before it was time for our main event.
--- John Cena Vs the Big Show
The match began with Cena pie-facing Show, and then laying into him with some punches, and knocking him out of the ring with a flying
shoulderblock. He went out after Show, but the big man snake eyed him onto the security wall, and sent him back into the ring. Cena tried
to fight back with punches, but was taken down by a spear from Show, followed by a suplex for a two count. Show continued to beat down
Cena with punches and slaps, then picking up Cena for a powerbomb, but dropping him over his head face-first. Cena rolled out of the
ring, and then hotshotted Show on the top rope. Back in the ring, he went for another flying shoulderblock, but just bounced off the big
man. Cena then locked on a side headlock, but Show back suplexed him, picking up a two count. Show sent Cena into the corner, and
charged in with a splash, missing when trying the move a second time. Cena comeback was short-lived after he ran into an elbow, and
then Show came crashing down atop Cena with a legdrop. This earned him another nearfall, but Cena fought back again, catching Show
in the face with a couple of boots. He then went up to the top rope and dropped a leg to the back of Show's head and followed up with the
five knuckle shuffle, only for Show to hit right back with a chokeslam for a two count. He followed up with a Vader Bomb, and then went to
apply his camel clutch. Cena though, avoided the move and locked on the STF. At this point, The Miz made his predictable run-in, only to
be knocked off the apron by a punch from Cena. He then picked Show up for an FU, but Miz, concealed from the ref's view by Show and
Cena, pushed Cena, causing Show to fall atop him and pick up the victory at 10'23. Miz then celebrated over the fallen body of Cena. This
match was incredibly dull, and it's a mystery as to why this went on as the main event over the WWE championship match. Hopefully, this
is the end of Show Vs Cena.
In the back, we saw Orton heading out to his car, but being attacked from behind by Triple H. Hunter slammed Orton's back with the trunk
of his car, and then told him that it wasn't over between them. That's how the show ended.
This started out promisingly, but after the Last Man Standing match, it all went to pot. The segments involving Vince McMahon were
painful to watch, as was that slow main event. It's funny that the quality of the show dropped so much when Vince took storyline control
MVP of the night- Triple H. He put in a strong showing in the championship match, and gets the nod in a week of poor candidates.
Line of the week- CM Punk asking if he can try some of the KFC which Cole and King spent the evening shilling.