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Divas versus Amazons; the Long Island Iced Z takes on the Cleveland, Ohio regular Z.
Eve Torres and (Divas Champion) Kelly Kelly vs.
Natalya and Beth Phoenix
Michael Cole refers to Natalya and Beth as the “Sisters of Destruction” as they walk out. Is this actually, y’know, a thing? Are they planning on going by this name going forward? I hope so, as it has a certain ring to it. I like it. And fates be praised it’s not an amalgination like AirBoom or in this case, NatalBeth or PhoenixHart. Actually, PhoenixHeart would be a pretty badass name for an 80’s metal band. With obligatory pseudo-Native American painted eagle logo art. Anyway, back to the match.
WWE Monday Night Raw airs in Monroe, La. every Monday at 9/8c on USA. For Monroe residents USA is channel 242 on Direct TV, channel 105 for DISH Network and channel 26 for Comcast cable subscribers. Contact your local cable provider for more info.
Eve and Beth open things tonight. Phoenix attempts to… womanhandle Beth but she still manages to keep the monstrous Glamazon off of her for most of their encounter. Natalya tags herself in and puts Eve in a submission move I’ve never seen before. With Eve face down on the canvas she interlocks her legs into her own, then Natalya rolls onto her back and grabs Eve’s arms, pulling them behind her. I don’t know whether I’m looking at a submission move or a pinfall and apparently neither does the ref. But since Eve’s shoulders are on the ground he starts to count. Instead of her kicking out of the pin Natalya raises her up herself, lifting her legs a bit higher. It’s clear she could’ve had this one in the bag but she’s not looking to put Torres out just yet; I think she just wants her to suffer for awhile.
Wow, looks like all that time spent at her family’s legendary Hart Family Dungeon have paid off. I don’t know what this new move is but Natalya should make it her permanent finisher, as it looks both wicked and wicked cool. Natalya tags Phoenix and Eve manages to make it to Kelly. The spritely Diva’s Champ is a ball of energy in the ring, jumping off the top rope and tackling Beth Phoenix. Both S.O.D. members take her on and while she’s dispatching Natalya Beth Phoenix rushes her. She pulls Kelly Deux into the Glam Slam and that’s all she wrote.
Winners: Sisters of Domination
Mark Henry vs.
The Great Khali
And now a Haiku which sums up this match:
Two large men battle.
Mark clocks Khali with the belt.
This match is over.
No seriously, that’s about all there is to this one. And really, who expected much more out of the match?
Winner: Mark Henry
The. Champ. Is. HERE! John Cena hits the ring next, fired up in preparation for this coming Sunday’s Hell in a Cell. CM Punk and Alberto Del Rio both join the commentators at ringside, Punk even going so far as to dig out his old announcer’s jacket for the occasion. Considering the two men are going to be facing each other at Hell in a Cell, Punk and Del Rio’s interactions tonight should be interesting. “You alright, Punk?” Booker asks. “What’s happening?” “This’s a four man booth,” Punk says, “I can’t wait for this train wreck, I’m excited Booker.”
(WWE Champion) John Cena vs.
Pretty good match here. Punk is right, though. There’s so many people on commentary that the attention that should otherwise be placed on the night’s match gets drowned out by so many people talking. We have Del Rio and Punk throwing barbs back and forth, Michael Troll being his trolly self and throwing barbs at everyone, Booker offering obscure trivia about Cena and Christian and in the middle of it all, Jim Ross doing his best to put the attention where it actually should be, on Cena vs. Christian. Good God, with so many people talking it’s almost fortunate that Mark Henry injured Jerry Lawler last week, otherwise this one would’ve been a complete clustershag.
I thought my ears were deceiving me last week but this week Del Rio says, “[At Hell in the Cell] the hell is gonna be for this ‘bump’ and that clown, John Cena.” I thought he called CM Punk a “bump” last week and now I’m sure of it because the other men call attention to it too. “Say bum.” Punk says goadingly. “I think it’s ‘bum’.” Cole the Troll says. “I think he’s talking about the jacket.” said Booker.
If I didn’t know any better I’d swear Cena and Christian planned it this way, but they manage to bring the action outside, Cena tossing Christian over the announcer’s table. Planned or no it has the desired effect, bringing all chit chat between the five men to a halt. Utilizing the distraction Del Rio clobbers Punk. Also capitalizing, Christian attacks Cena. The two men make it back in the ring and Cena sets Christian up for the Attitude Adjustment. Del Rio comes in, giving Cena a brain buster kick that flattens him. Punk rushes the ring after him but Del Rio manages to slither outside and escape.
Winner: John Cena (by Disqualification)
“Yes, you’re right, Cena.” Del Rio says from the top of the ramp. “This Sunday the three of us will be living in hell. But I’m the only one coming back. It is my destiny to beat the hell out of you and once again become the WWE Champion. And after that people, you all can go to Hell.”
(Internet Champion, unofficial) Zack Ryder vs.
(United States Champion) Dolph Ziggler
Next up is the big rematch between the United States Champion and the Internet Champion. Ziggler also cameos from time-to-time on Z! True Long Island Stories in a segment called, “Ask the Heel” so I’m assuming the two men have at least a tentative friendship outside the ring as well. The two have to leave all of that out of the ring here and just get down to business. My favorite heel (since R-Truth’s untimely *burial*, that is) vs. one of my favorite faces, this match-up is looking very good.
The two men don’t disappoint here. Dolph brings pure intensity to the fight while Ryder, in trademark Long Island Iced Z fashion looks enthused just to even be in the ring. Ok, Zack, I know you haven’t exactly been featured very prominently on Raw in the past but I think you’ve breached that threshold; now it’s time to start thinking about actually winning some of these matches. Y’know, without Hugh Jackman having to slug a guy first. Well, to be fair Jack Swagger does interfere, pulling Long Island Iced Z’s head down over the ropes, disorienting him enough for Ziggler to land the Zigzag and the 1-2-3.
Winner: Dolph Ziggler
Ziggler takes this one and y’know, “I ain’t even mad”. I’m really liking this run of his as United States Champion. He’s had in my view easily the most impressive reign thus far this year as U.S. champ. Ziggler and Swagger actually shake hands afterwards, signaling the two men have come to a sort of grudging respect about their arrangement with Vickie. I’ll venture to assume this is an agreement about their professional relationship with her and not their personal ones, right? Err… on second thought, maybe it’s better to just not ask questions.
Continue reading to hear about the night’s main event: CM Punk vs. Alberto Del Rio and what happened after.