It's Labor Day (Sept. 5, 2011) and WWE is back with another edition of Monday Night Raw ... or should we say WWE Raw SuperShow, which appears to be the new working title for the longest running program in cable television history.
Anyway, Night of Champions is two weeks away and rumor has it that Triple H will return to the ring for an actual match tonight. This would make absolutely no sense, not to me at least, but that's the word floating around the water cooler. Here's the quick preview blurb from WWE.com:
With only two weeks left until Night of Champions, expect tensions to explode between an enraged Kevin Nash and rivals Triple H and CM Punk. To catch all the fireworks, watch the WWE Raw SuperShow tonight on USA Network at 9/8 CT.
Alberto Del Rio is also in da howse tonight, as well as all the top superstars from Smackdown, who were actually rushed over from Paris to make the show tonight in Columbus, Ohio. The company literally had Randy Orton, Sheamus, Mark Henry and Christian work the middle of a house show and bailed early in order to haul ass back to the states.
Join us tonight, Cagesiders, for the Raw results as they unfold in the live blog after the jump. See you then.
RAW RESULTS AND LIVE BLOG, SEPT. 5, 2011 FROM COLUMBUS, OHIO.
Broadcast is live.
Show opens with a promo rehashing the Triple H-Kevin Nash-CM Punk angle. If there's one thing WWE has long been good at, it's video packages like this.
Punk's music hits and shockingly enough, Triple H is not opening the show. At least, he's not coming out first. In the corner, they show the new Raw Supershow logo. The word "Supershow" is in Smackdown blue.
Punk, sitting Indian style in the middle of the ring, kicks off his promo by telling the crowd he's different. There is no filter between his brain and his mouth. His free-thinking, loose-lipped ways have led to many folks getting pissed off at him. Says he's scheduled to wrestle R-Truth tonight but that's not cool because he wants to kick Kevin Nash in the face. Starts dogging on Nash for being the same, dating all the way back to the first Gulf War. Despite Nash pushing Triple H last week, Punk still thinks they're in cahoots. Calls him out to the ring. Crowd chants for CM Punk while we wait for Nash's music to hit and it does.
He's out with a mic at the top of the ramp and says he does whatever he wants. Punk starts calling out Nash for having a lot of nicknames. He runs through Nash's list of old gimmicks. Nash says Triple H did Punk a favor pulling him out of the match at Night of Champions. "All that did was make sure that I didn't kill you."
Punk interrupts him and keeps making as many digs as he can from back in the day. Cracks about his role in The Longest Yard, his age and how he won his first world title in 1994 when Justin Bieber was born. Blah. Nash starts slowly walking to the ring to allow time for Triple H's music to hit. He gets a big pop and stops when he gets to Nash, who is still on the outside. Nash tells him he needs to get rid of Punk because he's a cancer. Triple H just walks past him and gets in the ring.
"The Game" goes into his promo and says he found out the truth. He's got security footage of the hallway in Los Angeles. He knows who it is that sent the text message to Nash to stick the winner at SummerSlam. Triple H says Nash was the guy who sent the text. Nash gets in the ring and says Triple H is right, he did what "Trips" couldn't do and made the WWE cool again. Tells Triple H he needs to make a decision and either Nash or Punk has got to go.
Triple H says Punk has never lied while Nash has and starts to act like he's going to fire Nash over Punk. Nash cuts him off and gets pissed off. "Are you kidding me?!? I'm your friend!" Wonders if Triple H is that upset over Nash pushing him. Gets in Triple H's face and asks him what he's going to do about it. Starts pushing him again and asks what he's going to do about it. "The Game" lays him out with a punch. Says "maybe we were friends, Kevin, but maybe... no, definitely ... you're fired." Triple H walks out and the crowd starts chanting "HEY, HEY, HEY, GOODBYE." Punk tells him "best of luck in your future endeavors," and leaves the ring.
They replay the end of the last segment and show Nash in the backstage getting into a limo with Johnny Laurinaitis and driving off. Hmmmm....
Out comes "Air Boom" with newly mixed together music. Their opponents will be Jinder Mahal and Great Khali.
Air Boom vs. Jinder Mahal and Great Khali -- Bourne opens getting some offense in before the heels turn the tables. The commentators are spending more time discussing the angle with Nash, Punk and Triple H than the match inside the ring. They finally get back to it and by this time, Bourne makes the hot tag to Kofi. Shortly after they set up Khali accidentally taking out Mahal leading to a tag from Kofi straight to Bourne hitting the shooting star press for the pin. Crowd likes it.
Cut to the back and we see Alberto Del Rio show up. Finally, he's back after those visa issues.
Uh-oh. Kelly Kelly's music hits and she'll be on commentary during a number one contender match for her title. Commercial break.
Eve vs. Beth Phoenix -- These two are having their match while Kelly Kelly and Natalya are on commentary plugging the kayfabe article that appeared on WWE.com that caused a bit stink the past few days. It's garnering them some attention, just like they wanted it to. Beth wins in a botchy squash and the "Divas of Doom" take out the babyfaces.
They plug Punk vs. R-Truth again, which is like the third time they've done so already tonight. Cut to a promo for Alberto Del Rio vs. John Cena at Night of Champions. I still hate the premise of this feud.
They plug The Rock's twitter as having just reached one million followers and hint at his being a part of Survivor Series.
Backstage segment with Drew McIntrye and Christian. Alberto Del Rio interrupts and starts telling Christian it's John Cena's fault that he's not the world heavyweight champion. Christian says if he was going to take out Cena, he would do it on his own terms. "ADR" keeps telling him it's Cena's fault that he's not champion because he hit him with the Attitude Adjustment just one night before his big cage match for the world title against Randy Orton.
Cut to another promo for "Inside Out," Triple H's latest box office bust. It's funny, because they show so much of the damn movie in the preview, they don't give anyone any reason to actually pay to see it. We already know what will happen. Not that we were going to see it anyway, right?
Back from break and R-Truth's music hits. He starts cutting a promo and the crowd starts giving him the "WHAT?!" treatment. He's keeping with the crazy man gimmick and doing his thing better than anyone else on the mid-card. Miz makes his way out and they do a comedy skit before Miz starts talking about the conspiracy again. He says Triple H is too worried about keeping his friends on TV and not thinking enough about the two best guys on the roster. So he's going to do "Trips'" job for him. Says Miz and Truth will take on "Air Boom" at Night of Champions for the tag titles. Goes into his "Really?" schtick at Bourne and Kingston's tag team name. Brilliant. Punk's music hits and it's clobbering time.
R-Truth vs. CM Punk -- Let's see if Punk can get a decent match with some actual heat out of Truth. He certainly couldn't do it with Miz last week in Tulsa. They're off to a really(?) slow start with very little action. Punk gets a suicide dive on Truth on the outside and taunts Miz. Truth attacks when he re-enters the ring before tossing him out in what legit looked like a rough landing. Miz attacks on the outside and they work some psychology in attacking Punk's knee, which he hurt on the outside. Truth may not be the best technical wrestler in the world but he gets solid heat from the crowd when he wants to. Couple of near falls on roll-ups. Truth goes back to working the knee. Punk makes his comeback and gets a superplex off the top rope. Still selling the knee but does a big spot off the top in which he lands directly on it. Didn't like that. Calls for the GTS but gets reversed. Near fall for Truth. Miz gets sent to the back and Punk hits the GTS for the pin shortly after.
Directly after his win, Triple H's music hits and he comes down with a head of steam. Punk tells "Trips" he doesn't buy Triple H punching Nash and says they're still clearly best friends. Triple H calls Punk "Obama" (because he wants change, you see) and says he changed their match at Night of Champions. Because Punk made it personal, Triple H won't be satisfied just pinning him, he wants to hurt him. So the match is now no disqualification. Threatens to fire him after he beats him. Tries to bail but Punk stops him.
"Whoa, whoa, whoa, hold up, Ass-ass-in."
Punk wants to add a stipulation of his own. If he beats Triple H at Night of Champions, Triple H will have to resign as COO. The crowd actually boos this. Bet they didn't want that reaction. Triple H agrees, though, and there you go.
Backstage segment with Alberto Del Rio once again trying to turn everyone on John Cena, this time Wade Barrett. Brings up the squash match Barrett had with Cena on Smackdown last week. Barrett says he doesn't need any extra motivation to mess up Cena.
David Otunga and Michael McGillicutty vs. Jerry "The King" Lawler and Zack Ryder -- Ryder is finally getting his TV time to try to get himself over to the larger audience like he has on the Internet. They give him the full treatment with King and even let them get the quick win in the match. Time for the big push. Will he fail? Time will tell.
Backstage for another segment with Del Rio trying to convince another superstar to get rid of John Cena. This time it's Dolph Ziggler. Eh. Nothing to see here.
Que Randy Orton walking in the back with his world heavyweight title. He's up next.
Orton is out and gets his usual big response from the crowd. As much as I'm not the biggest fan of his status as the golden child, he puts on incredible matches, he's a great performer and he's over as hell as babyface champion. Uh, what the hell? Heath Slater's music hits. Wow. I sure do want to see this match. Slater might actually have a real shot here.
Randy Orton vs. Heath Slater -- Jim Ross reminds us why he's the best by immediately making it clear that Slater has everything to gain and nothing to lose in this match. Uh, yeah. Orton wastes no time going to work on him and Slater is literally cowering away. Poke to the eye into a kick to the head that Orton actually bothers to sell. Slater gets some offense in and the crowd literally starts chanting "RAN-DY, RAN-DY, RAN-DY." You're pretty over if you can elicit a chant like that during a sleeper hold from Heath fuggin Slater. He goes right back to it and the crowd stars chanting "RKO" this time. Wow. Orton goes right back to smashing him and the end comes shortly after via RKO and a three-second tan. The crowd completely ate up this squash match.
Backstage Ryder is telling Cena he's a "Broski" and Cena buries him. Before breaking the fourth wall and claiming he's joking.
Oh, how I really hate him.
He walks off with a big goofy grin on his face leading into the commercial break.
Time for John Cena and he gets a huge pop, as usual. Says to the camera -- "Happy Labor Day, everybody." Yeah, happy day to you too, buddy.
They replay two weeks ago when Del Rio worked him over after he became number one contender to the title. Cena promo time and he says Del Rio is ducking him. Goes back to his old gag that ADR doesn't even know the name of his exotic cars. That was lame the first time you said it, John. Ricardo Rodriguez comes out and introduces Del Rio, who comes rolling in flaunting the WWE championship belt. Del Rio says he took out Rey Mysterio for a long time and the only reason he didn't do the same to Cena was because he wants to give him a fighting chance at Night of Champions. Del Rio says he's been away for the past few weeks to protect him.
Christian, Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger and Wade Barrett come running out to attack Cena. He gets saved quickly by Sheamus, John Morrison and Alex Riley. Out comes Teddy Long and he announces the eight men will compete in an elimination tag team match-up. Ugh. If the Raw Supershow concept means mismatched tag team main events every week, no thanks.
We're back from break and it's Riley and Barrett in the ring trading two-counts. Ross and Lawler explain the rules of an elimination tag match while Barrett gets the upper hand on Riley inside the ring. Barrett sends Riley into the corner and he does the worst job of getting there. Both guys get the tag and it's Morrison and Ziggler in now. Morrison wrecks shop. Ziggler puts him in a sleeper right after, though, and Swagger tags himself in while Morrison is in the sleeper. Applies the ankle lock and Morrison taps. He's out. Vickie Guerrero makes her way to ringside.
Come back to Ziggler beating down Riley in the corner. Still four vs. three. Riley makes his comeback and gets a big spinebuster. Ziggler squashes that quick, though. Swagger tags in again and Riley taps to the ankle lock. Vickie Guerrero nods approvingly.
Sheamus makes his way into the ring and the crowd pops for it. This is actually doing a good job of reminding me what it was like watching Survivor Series as a kid. It meant something when someone new entered the ring. Felt like a big deal. So far they've saved Cena, who hasn't gotten tagged just yet. I feel like this is going to lead to Cena taking out four guys by himself, shades of Hulk Hogan.
Barrett is inside the ring destroying Sheamus. "The Great White" finally makes a comeback. Does his big spot on the ropes with the chest shots. Shoulder bump off the top rope and after getting killed the entire match, Sheamus looks strong. Goes for the Brogue kick but misses and Barrett sets him up for a sideways slam. Sheamus reverses and hits the Brogue kick before picking up the pin. Three on two now.
Christian comes in kick and hits the spear but only gets a two-count. Goes for the killswitch but can't get it. Smacks Sheamus right in his face and takes off running. Sheamus chases him down and it looks like we've got a new feud for the two of them. They get counted out while battling on the outside and Cena is the only man left against Swagger and Ziggler, who is actually the United States champion. The only way you would know this is if you were listening closely to Ross on commentary. Horrible job of keeping a guy over with a title. Just get rid of the damn thing already.
Cena gets his pops with offense early but is eventually overwhelmed thanks to being at a numbers disadvantage. Swagger locks up with Cena on the mat and the camera clearly shows Cena talking to him. Bad time for a close up. Try not to make it so obvious next time, John. He gets beat up a little more and makes his big comeback via five moves of doom. Sets them both up for a double five-knuckle shuffle. It looked as ridiculous as it sounded. Swagger makes a comeback shortly after, though, and hits the worst belly-to-belly suplex I've ever seen.
Ziggler tags himself in and Cena hits him with the Attitude Adjustment for the pin. Swagger immediately jumps in and puts on the ankle lock. Acts like he's going to tap for a second before going all superhuman and reversing into the STF. Swagger, predictably, taps and Cena wins.
Del Rio hits the ring and does nothing but eat an Attitude Adjustment. They end the show with Del Rio backing away clutching his back and Cena smiling as he goes.
Not a strong effort tonight.