Ted DiBiase defeats Michael McGillicutty
in approximately five minutes via pinfall
• Well, well, well. Look who hasn't been cut yet. My first thought upon seeing Ted and the "DiBiase Posse" graphic on the Trinatron was, "good for him". My second thought was, "who are they gonna job out to him in his comeback match?"
• Then I heard McGillicutty's music and said "damnit". Loud. I think I scared a cat or two. The McGillibuddies will not stand for this! rabblerabblerabble
• I think Mike is Ted from an evil parallel universe. All due respect to their heritage and abilities, they are about as bland-looking a pair as you can imagine. Except MM has a beard, so he's the bad guy.
• The tease some grappling, but McGillicutty goes dirty and kicks Ted in the midsection. He sets to pounding on him for a while, until DiBiase busts out a drop kick, dumps him over the top rope with a clothesline and launches a suicide dive.
• Mr Intensity gets the upper-hand by grabbing the apron and kicking Jr's leg. He then executes a much nicer drop kick and gets a two count off a backbreaker. But DiBiase battles out of a rest hold and hits a sitdown spinebuster for a near fall of his own. After kicking out McGillicutty's leg on a break a la his old man, Ted goes for Dream Street but Michael counters into a jawbreaker. But then the Posse leader hits his finisher anyway.
Twenty or so minutes of the usual Raw stuff follows. I skip most of this, cause, wow, did that show stink. They replay the entire opening bit with John Cena, Vickie Guerrero and Ryback that announces the last man standing stipulation for their pay-per-view (PPV) match at Extreme Rules.
A video package version of Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman's "office invasion" and HHH's response comes after that.
Cody Rhodes defeats Justin Gabriel
in approximately nine minutes via pinfall
• Not sure about this "darewolf" moniker they're pushing for Gabriel. "The Capetown Werewolf" had a cool ring to it, even if it was a bit cumbersome and didn't make much sense. And the thing is - the part that didn't make sense? The part where they alluded to his having lycanthropy? Still doesn't make sense.
• They take a long time feeling each other out and attempting lock-ups. Justin eventually sweeps the leg and goes on the offensive a bit with kicks and elbows. A cool spot where Gabriel charges into the corner and jumps over a counter attempt, only for Cody to grab his legs and turn it into a stiff-sounding Alabama slam takes us to a break.
• The heel is in charge when we get back, and it stays that way for a while - only broken up by another innovative maneuver where the South African hits a Frankensteiner variant on Rhodes out of a handstand. Gabriel's offense looks better here than usual; he also gets in a nifty cartwheel shining wizard which allows him to land more kicks to the upper body and head before trying for a pin.
• Moonsault-mania! Cody steps under an attempted one by JG, and heads right back up the ropes to connect with his own from the top. Rhodes presses his advantage by going for the disaster kick, but the darewolf counters that into a powerbomb in yet another sweet spot. This match is quite good.
• After a little back and forth, the mustachioed one tries cross-Rhodes, but Gabriel rolls him up in a small package that gets two. But, with the help of a handful of Justin's ridiculous haircut, Cody hits his finisher and earns the victory.
A produced bit on the history of Ryback and Cena closes us out. I guess even they knew that the Kane v Ryback match sucked, since they break their usual mold of ending with the Raw main event. That's a smart call, but it doesn't help that this compilation includes a bunch of footage from the less-than-thrilling segment they already showed us in its entirety.
It's hard for me to recommend an episode where my boy Joe Hennig gets damn near squashed for no good reason. But I enjoyed the heck out of Rhodes - Gabriel, so let's grade this week's Superstars a C.
Am I being too generous - maybe because they aired clips that reminded me how bad they can be when the showed stuff from Monday night? Who's excited to see both the Legacy boys in action and victorious on the same show?
Let's hear from you!