Monday, January 4, 2010

Tommy's Take on: WWE Monday Night Raw 1/4/10

Alright, I'm going to give this a shot.  My stream of consciousness thoughts on Raw and Impact as they go head to head for the first time.  This is notable as Bret Hart returns to the WWE for the first time in 12 years, and Hulk Hogan arrives in TNA.  I'm not a huge fan of Bret, and I hate Hogan, but I'm morbidly intrigued.  I'm handling Raw first because I honestly think that TNA will be the most...interesting...one way or another.

Announced for Raw:

Bret Hart Returns
Unified Tag Team Titles: DX vs Jeri-Show
Randy Orton vs Kofi Kingston
8 Diva Tournament for the Diva's Title starts tonight, since Melina vacated the title due to injury.

Here goes...

-  We are LIVE from Dayton, OH and Ted DiBiase says that EVERYONE'S Got A Price.

-  Bret Hart montage!  Focusing entirely on his WWE career.  You did know he went to WCW, right?  Where Goldberg kicked him in the head and ended his career?  Vince didn't screw Bret.  Bret screwed Bret.  Uh-oh, HBK is teasing somethig happening to Bret!

-  Will Bret be a heel or face?  The Hart Dynasty are supposed to be here tonight, and they are heels...

-  Crowd already chanting "We Want Bret" and they are rolling out the red carpet for him.  Nice.  I like how Vince has treated Bret and Jesse Ventura.  I'm calling an HBK as Bret swerve.

-  Is...that him?  Bret looks rough.  But my goodness, they are giving him a great reception.

-  I take that back...he doesn't look as rough in the close ups.

- "Well, I guess Hell froze over."  Nice.  Bret's telling us why he's here tonight.  Storyline reason is that Vince kept shutting him down every time he tried to come back, apparently.  Not sure that's the version I've heard.

-  "Welcome Back!"

-  Bret DID get the memo to address them as the "WWE Universe".

- This is touching, but I sure wish Vince or Shawn would show up already.  Nice!  Dredging up history with Lawler!

-  CALLING OUT SHAWN!  HBK and BRET!

-  I call handshake.  Shawn looks mildly repentant.  Awesome.  HBK will do super psychological storytelling here, I have no doubt.  I'm not a huge fan of either, BUT the spectacle of this is nice.

- Bret's calling for a truce? Shawn has the mic.

- HBK's teasing heel stuff.  Uh-oh.  He went there.  HBK says Bret screwed Bret!  He's admitted culpability in his actions!  And he has to be a face tonight against Jeri-Show!  Now Shawn's face turning on it.

- Shawn's referencing the Iron Man Match.  Awww.  Shawn's putting Bret over now...awww.

- Please dear GOD let this be the end of The Montreal Incident once and for all.

- Hand shake!  Hart Dynasty's jumping Shawn?  Crowd seems skeptical about the hand shake.  But they popped for it.  No sneak attack yet.  Shawn's teasing the Superkick now...HUG!

-  Huh.  Nothing screwy.  Awesome.

- Uh-oh.  Oh, he's calling out Vince!

-  Vince is too scared to come out?  Nice.  Crowd is FURIOUS.  Awww...we don't get the confrontation yet.

- Orton vs Kingston, DX vs Jeri-Show, nice double header with no Cena here.

- I liked the opener...very classy with Bret and Shawn, teasing the tension but letting both guys save face.  Plus, we get get the tease for Bret vs Vince later on.  Not a bad start.

-  Hall of Fame teaser:  Announcing Stu Hart already?  Guess not.

- Josh Matthew trying to talk to Vince.  Nice, Vince "didn't know" Bret called him out.  He was at a meeting.  Vince now threatens to call Vince out later.  Why can't they either get a new play by play man for ECW, or a new backstage guy for Raw so Josh isn't doing both?

-  BOOOO!  Melina is injured...Cole and Lawler just announced it.

Divas Tournament Match
MARYSE vs The Bella Twins...I mean, BRIE BELLA

- I forgot the Bellas wrestled.  I hate Maryse.  I hate her on the mic, her movements look awkward and forced, and she's nothing special in the looks department.  This is awful so far.  Mostly some bad hair pulls and pushes.  Nice flying mare form Brie.  Um...Nikki Bella attacks Maryse on the floor?  I thought Maryse was the heel?  Maryse is really going to beat two Bellas.  God this is sloppy.  Bellas did the switch, but Maryse outsmarts them and DDTs Nikki.  I hate Maryse and I hate that booking on so many levels.

Winner: MARYSE via pinfall on Nikki after switch with the FRENCH KISS.

- MIZ is here to interrupt Maryse!  They remember their old angle.  Nice.  Miz tells Maryse he might "call her back" uf she wins.  She's clearly into The Miz now that he's a champion.  Miz and Maryse to form a new MnM?  Miz is here to commentate for a Fatal Fourway for a US Title Shot.

- First two are out: MVP and SWAGGER.  I don't like MVP, a lot...love Swagger, though, and not just because he's Oklahoman. Off to commercials before we see who's next.

- I have a Bowflex...never use it though.

#1 Contender to the US Title
MVP vs JACK SWAGGER vs CARLITO vs MARK HENRY

- Uh-oh. Carlito and Henry got jobber entrances as the match started during the break...Henry took a post during the break and Carlito is dominating MVP and Swagger.  Nice tilt a whirl from Swagger.  Swagger dominating MVP now, but Carlito breaks up a pin.  Nice...MVP Tivos Raw.  Swagger kills Carlito with a corner charge...but Henry's back in!  MVP and Henry!  Holy crap...MVP with a World's Strongest Slam to the floor on MVP...remember when they were partners?  Henry uses Carlito's legs to take out Swagger!  Bear Hug on Carlito!  Swagger breaks it!  Fireman's carry on Swagger...reverse torture rack?  MVP with a yakuza on Henry!  Kicks Henry out of the ring!  Carlito accidentally nails Swagger!  Playmaker on Swagger!  I hate that move AND MVP!  BOOOO!

Winner: MVP via pinfall on Swagger after PLAYMAKER

- Not bad...would have rather seen Swagger win and NOT take the fall.  Carlito's the only one that looked like a jobber there.

- Jeri-Show talking backstage, production miscue kills the audio at first.  Not what you need to do when TNA is on the other channel.  Jericho's going to offer Bret a "deal"...PLEASE don't give us a repeat of Montreal tonight...PLEASE.

- Ted DiBiase is in Marine 2, did you know?

- Bret is being harassed by...someone...here comes Jericho.  Awww...sharing fond memories about Jericho mastering the Walls of Jericho in the Dungeon.  Jericho's trying to play on Bret's pent-up hatred against Shawn...and he's trying to get Bret to be the referee, and relive Montreal...but Bret shuts him down!  Nice pink locker room.  AW.  Bret slams Jericho, calling him a hypocrite!  And he says Jericho cried harder than anyone else in the dungeon.  Awwww.

- Triple H and Hornswoggle pimping the new Mattel action figures, complete with Raw ring.  Hornswoggle doesn't get to play with the toys until DX wins.  Nice.  Tension between DX as HBK is being serious and Triple H is being goofy.  HA!!  SANTINO IS JERICHO!  HYPNOCRATS!  Awesome!!!!  Hornswoggle is the attack dog on Santino!  That's funnier than it should be.  Nice...Hornswoggle's a dog now.  Wow.  I think the audience was offended.

- DX vs Jerishow is NEXT!  I can't imagine Kofi vs Orton is the main, so Bret-Vince must be.

- Isn't there a WWE champion on this show?  Nearly an hour in, and no mention of Sheamus.

- Over 2 million females watch Raw last week!  Good for them.

Unified Tag Team Title Match, if DX Wins, Jericho Is Off Raw For Good, Or Until SuperShows Or The Draft
DX( TRIPLE H & HBK) w/HORNSWOGGLE(c) vs JERISHOW (CHRIS JERICHO & THE BIG SHOW)

-  Sure would like to see Jerishow win.  Jericho on Raw and Smackdown each week makes them much better.  Well...BREAK THE WALLS DOWN.  Jerishow is the best use of Big Show in years.  C'mon...give us Jerishow vs Edge & Christian at WrestleMania.  Show and HBK to start, and Hornswoggle is under the ring.  Chops in the corner, except Show can't touch Shawn.  Headbutt!  Blind tag by HHH...Show suplexes both men!  Commercial break as DX bails...

- The Rock is The Tooth Fairy.  The Rock needs to guest host Raw.  I was watching Rock/Austin clips this weekend.

- More ECW Homecoming tomorrow.

- Back from the break and Jericho is dominating HHH.  Show in, HHH fighting back.  Big slam crushes HHH, and Show stands on him.  Hogan legdrop on HHH!  Only gets two...silly Show, you can't pin a guy with a LEGDROP.  Is it me, or do Show's punches always look like they don't actually hurt?  Jericho standing on HHH on the middle rope...and he's doing the Hogan ear thing to the crowd.  Nice.  Cobra clutch variation on HHH...SPINEBUSTER by HHH!  Double down!  Going to the hot tag already?  Tag to Show...no...he's cutting off HHH.  Big slam...Vader Bomb time.  Spending a long time gloating...he misses!  Hot tag rush again!  Tag to HBK!  Weakest chops ever!  Tiny forearm!  Two of them!  Basement dropkick takes Show down!  Nails Jericho!  Shawn goes for the elbow...Jericho cuts him off!  Hornswoggle crushes Show, which REALLY shouldn't hurt.  Cover...huge kickout.  Tuning up the band...Show catches him!  CHOKESLAM!  HHH is lurking...HBK kicks out?!  Seriously?  Jericho in...Lionsault gets the knees...no!  Walls of Jericho!  No, he kicks free!  Tag HHH!  Pedigree!  Show in!  Spiked Pedigree on Show!  DX in...Jericho shoves HHH into Shawn!  School boy gets two!  Codebreaker, but Jericho can't cover!  Both men down!  Show and HBK down on the floor!  Count is at five...cover...HBK breaks a pin!  Hornswoggle's back in!  JERICHO kicks his head off!  Pedigree gets turned into the Walls...Sweet Chin Music!  No!  NO!  DX wins!

Winners and STILL Unified Tag Team Champions: DX after HHH pins Jericho following the SWEET CHIN MUSIC.

-  Nice match, crappy finish.  Raw really didn't need to lose Jericho...=(  DX vs Kane and Undertaker for a while now?  I thought Shawn and HHH hated working Tuesdays?

- Show's getting in the ring, Jericho's still laid out.  HHH is telling Jericho goodbye.  Raw is worse for it.  HBK looks bothered by it.  Maybe not.  Booo..."Suck it."  Show looks like he's going to kill Jericho...but he walks away.  Now Show becomes a big, boring goof again and Jericho feuds with R-Truth on Smackdown.  Crowd singing "Goodbye" to Jericho.  Jericho with a dramatic walk away, slumping at the entrance...DX music kicks in when he leaves.

-  Someone at McMahon's dressing toom...McMahon's not looking down...Orton.  Orton's going to offer to take Bret out for Vince...in exchange for a title match, I would assume.  Nice...Bret "walked out".  Hm.  Vince is pondering Orton's offer to kick Bret's skull in...not for a title shot...but for the #30 spot in the Rumble.  But Vince shuts him down?  Orton walks up to Legacy...Rhodes and DiBiase are flipping the tables on Orton...if Orton doesn't beat Kofi, he's out of Legacy!  NICE!  I call Kofi winning, DiBiase attacking Orton and Rhodes turning on him.

- Mike Tyson is guest host next week!  I would imagine there will be some interaction with DX?

- Sheamus/Cena video package...Sheamus up next?  Here he is...the guy so pale he makes me regret retiring from wrestling.

- Sheamus with a promo instead of a squash?

- Yawn.  He's not defending the belt until the Rumble, and he's not taking on Cena...hmmmm...who's a credible challenge? 
Evan...Bourne?  Um.  Wow.  Maybe it IS time to end the brand split.  Ever notice how Sheamus is paler than The Undertaker?  Bourne's calling out Sheamus.  Wow.  Bourne vs Sheamus?  Squash it is.  Cute...I just realized that Bourne stole the mic.  Are we going to get a squash or the beginning of a mini feud?

Non-Title Match
WWE Champion SHEAMUS vs EVAN BOURNE

-  "Little" Evan Bourne.  I think we're really going to get a mini Bourne-Sheamus feud.  Wow.  If Bourne wins, he gets a shot at the Royal Rumble.  Bourne dominating...Shooting Star!  Sheamus kicks out.  Broune goes up...Sheamus catches him...Scott Hall slam.  Crowd is chanting "Cena"...I guess no one told them about the Fiesta Bowl.  Crucifix Powerbomb.  Nevermind.  Thanks for coming, Evan.

Winner: SHEAMUS via pinfall after the OUTSIDER EDGE.

-  Momentarily teased us with the Bourne win, which Sheamus couldn't have handled right now.  Who's capable of challenging if Cena DOESN'T get the shot?  Kofi?

- Michael Cole giving a mini tribute to "Dr. Death" Steve Williams.  Classy.  In Memory shot.  I would have liked a video package, but they wouldn't have had any of his good footage.  Still, thanks, WWE.  As a Dr. Death fan, I appreciate that.  I'm sure that was at least as much for Jim Ross' benefit as anything, but still.

- Batista vs Rey this Friday.  I remember when I used to like Batista.  Now I can't stand either one of them.

- Montreal Screwjob video package.  Oh...the whole Bret video package again.  Ah...in more detail, for those who aren't familiar.  Not a bad idea.

KOFI KINGSTON vs RANDY ORTON

-  Worth mentioning that I hate Orton, as well.  Legacy is at ringside.  DiBiase is a face by night's end.  Does Blake Albright still do headlocks like Orton does?  Kofi has some big leapfrogs.  Stinger Splash!  Orton clotheslined to the floor!  Baseball slide dropkick!  Kofi in control!  Orton going for the hanging DDT, but Kofi blocks it and backdrops him to the floor!  Going to commercials with Orton on the floor looking defensively at Legacy.

-  Back with Orton locking on the side headlock.  Holy crap...during the break, Orton shoved Kofi off the top to the barrier.  Orton's dominating Kofi now, and Vince is up next to call out Bret.  Hm.  Kofi kicks Orton in the leg, but Orton barely sells it.  He's back to beating Kofi down.  Guillotine on the bottom rope!  Ouch.  Cody doesn't look impressed.  Back to the headlock.  Double down on a cross body block.  Orton up first...Kofi with punches.  HUGE dropkick!  Kofi has some crazy jumps.  Holy CRAP that was a big uppercut.  Kofi's kinda cool.  Kofi with his People's Elbow move...dive through the ropes on Orton!  Legacy are up now...Kofi up top...cross body!  Got two.  RKO blocked!  Cradle gets two!  RKO blocked!   Trouble in Paradise blocked!  RKO!  BOOO.

Winner: Randy Orton via pinfall after RKO.

-  Cody looks like he's feigning disappointment, DiBiase looks legitimately disappointed.  Not pulling the trigger yet?  Good match...would have rather seen Kofi win.

- CM Punk and Mark Henry square off in the ECW Homecoming!

- Here comes Vince...

- No power strut tonight.  At least seven minutes left.  Aw.  Vince wishes us a Happy New Year, and says he's not calling out Bret.  Let's pray that the Montreal Incident really IS over.  Tyson gets booed...nice.  Here's Bret, no music!  Hart Dynasty to lay out Bret?  Vince backing off...ooh...Vince holding to the "Bret screwed Bret", but the crowd disagrees!  Bret is pleased with Vince's mention of spitting at him and suckerpunching him.  Bret's getting a mic.  Bret's not saying "I'm Sorry".  Bret's pushing for his own "I'm Sorry", I think.  Vince is invoking Andre here...nice promo so far.  The crowd sucks.  Vince is putting Bret over pretty good here.  Vince is announcing Stu for the Hall of Fame this year.  Vince is totally setting up a screwjob...shaking Vince's hand.  Kick to the nuts!  "Thank You Vince" chants?  Looks like Vince vs Bret for WrestleMania is on.

-  Good Raw.  It really wasn't incredibly loaded, either.  Setting up some stuff for the run up to WrestleMania.  Let's hope Impact was decent now.  Disappointed that there was no Hart Dynasty, because I kept expecting them all night.  Ah well.