June 2, 2009
Scott Criscuolo

Monday Night Raw
June 1, 2009
Birmingham, Alabama
Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler

We skip the opening animation and head right to the ring where WWE Champion Randy Orton and Legacy are standing in the middle of a ring surrounded by a steel cage. Orton says this Sunday at Extreme Rules heíll be defending his WWE Title inside this steel cage against Batista. Orton wants the fans to tell him if he should be worried. Orton says as usual the fans are clueless. Orton says Batista should be worried, worried about him. Orton says he kicked Batista in the skull, heís the one who made Batista miss Wrestlemania and heís the one who will take him out at Extreme Rules. Orton says as the name indicates he can do anything he wants, from raking his face into the fence, to slamming the cage door into his head. Orton says heís sure Batista disagrees and prove him wrong. He says that Batista will get his chance. Orton says he just talked to Vickie Guerrero and Batista has a steel cage match tonight! Orton pulls out a quarter. He says heads, Batista faces Cody Rhodes, tails he faces Ted DiBiase. Orton flips the coin and its heads. So Cody gets the shot. Orton tells Cody he knows what to do. Cody says his dad was in some of the greatest cage matches ever, and cage matches are in the Rhodes blood. Cody says he will give Batista a taste of what will happen at Extreme Rules. Orton says he will now give an example of how Sundayís match is going to end. So Orton slowly opens the door and walks out of the cage. Orton says he will leave New Orleans STILL WWE Champion. We think the promoís over, but now because with a WHOOOOOOOOOOOOO in the air, out comes the 16-time WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION, Ric Flair. Orton asks Flair why is he out here, to tell him what Batista will do to him on Sunday. Flair says no, heís more talking about what heís going to do to Orton tonight. Orton says to Flair he canít wrestle anymore. Flair calls Orton a punk, and says he knows he canít compete, but heís still the Nature Boy and heíll come out here night after night until he takes Flairís challenge to a fight. Orton says what doesnít he understand about retirement? Flair says heís not talking about a match; heís talking about a straight up fight in the parking lot. Come on punk punk punk. Flair keeps challenging Orton to a fight to the finish in the parking lot, and he repeatedly calls him a punk. Orton finally accepts the challenge, but he tells Flair heíll never forget this night but it will also be a night he may not remember. Solid opening promo, as they truly are making Orton into the hunted.

Steel Cage match: Cody Rhodes vs. Batista
Rhodes needs new tights, they look like boxer briefs. Rhodes with a boot but he canít slam Batistaís head into the cage and Batista tosses him. Rhodes tries to escape but Batista doesnít allow it. Batista blocks a DDT and slams Rhodes into the cage wall. He then crushes Rhodesí head into the cage with his boot. Batista with his familiar shoulder blocks in the corner, but he gets booted trying a back drop. Rhodes goes off the ropes and Batista throws him into the cage wall. Batista with a spear as Orton comes back out. Batista stares at Orton and drives Rhodes to the mat with a spinebuster. Batista keeps posturing at Orton, which gives Rhodes a chance to climb the turnbuckles and head over the top of the cage. Batista gets under Rhodes and pulls him off the corner, drills him with the Demon Bomb and gets the 3 count. WINNER: Batista (Grade: 1.5)

-Backstage Vickie Guerrero and Chavo are arguing with Big Show over tonightís match. Big Show will team with The Miz against John Cena and a mystery partner. Show says he hates Miz and that bogus winning streak over Cena he keeps talking about. Vickie says donít worry, because in this bag Chavoís holding is every name of the entire Raw roster. They ask Big Show to pull a name out, and he pulls outÖChavo! Wow what a shock. Big Show says if Chavo gets in his way heíll take Chavo out as well. I like that Big Show is back to being a son of a bitch instead of the Vickieís lover nonsense from Wrestlemania.

Kelly Kelly & Mickie James vs. Beth Phoenix & Divas Champion Maryse
I said I missed Maryse on Smackdown and look at the birthday gift I get tonight!! Well it would be better if she was in my lap while I was writing this, but you get what you can. Phoenix starts with Mickie and Mickie with a waistlock. Phoenix flips out of it and Mickie with two low drop kicks for 2. Tag to Kelly Kelly and Phoenix with a boot to the gut. Phoenix lifts Kelly Kelly over her head and just places her down. Phoenix misses a clothesline and Kelly Kelly with a hurricanrana for 2. Kelly comes off the ropes and Phoenix hits a backbreaker for 2. Tag to Maryse and she lays some kicks in. Maryse with a chin lock but Kelly Kelly bails. Maryse grabs the leg and Kelly Kelly with a enziguiri for 2. Phoenix comes in to interfere and Mickie comes off the top rope to take Phoenix out. Rosa Mendes distracts the ref, which gives Phoenix a chance to take Mickie out which distract Kelly Kelly and give Maryse a chance to hit the DDT for the win. WINNERS: Beth Phoenix & Maryse (Grade: 1.5)

Unified Tag Team Champions the Colon Brothers vs. William Regal & Matt Hardy
I like the Matt Hardy arm cast thing, that always works well for a sniveling heel. Regal starts with Primo and he works the little Colon over with a headlock into a hammerlock. Primo nips out but Regal whips him into the corner. Primo takes Matt out with a punch but Regal catches him with a left and he starts stomping. Tag to Matt who hits a reverse elbow for 2. Matt works Primo over in the corner. Tag to Regal and a double team chop to Primo. Regal with a knee drop for 2. Regal with an armbar and Primo tries to fight out of it but Regal punches him down for 2. Tag to Matt and more double teaming. Tag to Regal and some forarms. Primo tries to punch out of it but Regal with a crisp suplex. Tag to Matt who gets 2. Matt with a slam and leg drop, then another, but he misses the third. Primo crawls out and tags Carlito, who goes off with various moves on Regal which ends with the reverse elbow off the top rope for 2. Matt tries to whack Carlito with his cast but hits Regal instead. Carlito cleans Matt out and hits the Backstabber on Regal for the win. WINNERS: The Colon Brothers (Grade: 2)

-Regal starts giving Matt crap about the cast and they almost come to blows.

-Back from break and Flair is in the parking lot when Batista approaches. Flair says donít say anything, because tonight he will beat Randy Ortonís brains in before Extreme Rules. Batista tries to reason with him, but Flair says he needs to do this, to prove he is still the Nature Boy. He needs to do this tonight and still do what he did 35 years doing: Being the Nature Boy. Batista says he loves Ric and is his friend and will support him 100%. I may see a heel turn on Batistaís part but Iím not sure. We then go to Vickie Guerreroís office where Matt Hardy and William Regal are bickering about who screwed up the match earlier. Vickie says why should they get another chance, or anything? Regal says they have a plan. Matt says tonight Vickie should face Santino Marella in a match, 6 days before Vickieís Hog Pen match with Santina at Extreme Rules. Matt then whispers something in Vickieís ear and she starts that snorting laugh. Regal and Matt look puzzled at each other.

The Miz & Big Show vs. John Cena & Chavo Guerrero
The Miz comes out and congratulates John Cena on being the most popular wrestler among 9 year olds. Heís right up there with the Jonas Brothers, Spongebob Squarepants and Hannah Montana! But the man that stands before you, THE MIZ, is what a winner looks like. Miz says tonight he will go to 7-0 against Cena because he is awesome! Show yells at Miz to go to the apron. Cena with right hands but Show hits a sidewalk slam. Show with big clubbing blows to the back and a body slam. Head butt by Show, and heís stalking. Show goes for the Camel Clutch move, but Cena escapes and tries the STFU but Show kicks him off. Outside Miz slams Cena into the broadcast table and Show scolds Miz for touching Cena. Back in the ring Show misses a charge but Cena goes for a slam and gets squashed for 2. Miz blind tags Show which irritates Show. Miz with some kicks for 2. Cena fights back and hits his suplex and the five-knuckle shuffle. Cena hits the Attitude Adjustment but Show tags Mizís leg and Show comes in and chokeslams him. Show wants Miz to tag him, Miz says no and Show knocks Miz cold. Miz is out, and Chavo blind tags Cena and gets the 3 count. WINNERS: Chavo Guerrero and John Cena (Grade: 2)

-Cena hits Chavo with the Attitude Adjustment and calls Show into the ring, they brawl but Big Show cracks Cena cold with the right hand. Show then cranks that Camel Clutch move on an unconscious Cena.

-Back from break and Josh Matthews is with the US Champion MVP and his opponent Kofi Kingston. MVP and Kofi show each other some respect but then they start jawing a little. Should be a good one.

US Championship: MVP © vs. Kofi Kingston
They lock up and push off. They posture for a bit and lock up again and MVP with an armbar. Michael and Jerry seem off tonight, continuously cutting each other off, and it seems accidental. Kofi flips out of the armbar and they lock up again. Kofi with a headlock takes the champ down. MVP reverses to an armbar but Kofi flips out and gets a backslide for 2, then another. Kofi with a drop kick and they stare each other down as we go to break. We return and MVP has Kofi in a waist lock. During the break Kofi missed a cross body and MVP took control. MVP keeps the waistlock on. Kofi hits elbows to get out of it & hits double leapfrogs and a reverse elbow. Kofi leaps up on MVP in the corner, but MVP looks like he has Kofi set into a power bomb but Kofi flips and gets a small package for 2. Kofi gets up and gets crushed with a boot to the face for 2. With Kofi down MVP hits his Balliní Elbow for 2. MVP whips Kofi into the corner but Kofi dodges the charge and MVP whacks his head into the turnbuckle. Kofi slowly gets to the top but MVP catches him and hits some forearms. MVP sets up for a superplex and hits it. MVP landed on his head too but goes for a cover and gets 2. Really solid match here. MVP misses a right hand and Kofi goes for a Rock-like DDT but MVP catches him for a Samoan Drop but Kofi slides it into a backslide for 2, then both men go back and forth for 5 consecutive 2 counts in a variety of ways. They both get up and a double clothesline. Both men get up and exchange blows. MVP with a kick and he whips Kofi into the ropes, but Kofi bounces back and MVP hits a German Suplex for 2. Kofi hits some crazy suplex that needs to be seen for a 2 count. Kofi has opened my eyes with a series of innovative moves that Iíve never seen. Kofi goes for something but MVP swats him aside. MVP goes for the Playmaker but Kofi ducks out of it and misses Trouble in Paradise. MVP goes for a suplex but Kofi gets out of it, then MVP goes for a School Boy but Kofi reverses the roll up and gets the 3 count to win the Title. WINNER, AND NEW UNITED STATES CHAMPION: Kofi Kingston (Grade: 3)

-MVP grabs the belt from the ref and hands it to Kofi in a show of respect. Then we go backstage where Dibiase asks Orton why heís facing Flair in a match with no rules. DiBiase says Orton has nothing to gain and everything to lose, and Flair is crazy right now for attention and the spotlight. Orton says this will be a preview of what will happen to Batista at Extreme Rules. DiBiase says thatís what Cody said earlier tonight. Nice segment as it gave DiBiase a bit of authority talking to Orton like that and actually gives a preview of what DiBiase could be like as a top flight main eventer.

Vickie Guerrero vs. Santino Marella
Before the break Vickie had brought out a bucket of slop. A second bucket is in the ring, and when Santino gets to the ring he grabs one. Heís about to slop Vickie when Regal and Matt Hardy come down. Santino does a spin and slops all three of them. Regal and Hardy double team Santino and Hardy knocks him out with the cast. Vickie then comes over and grabs the other bucket of slop. Sheís cackling hysterically and dumps some of the slop onto Santinoís crotch, then dumps the rest all over his face and prone body. Kudos to the writers for suddenly making Santino a sympathetic face. WINNER: No Contest.

-Next Tuesday the most anticipated DVD in history is upon us. Macho Madness: The Randy Savage Ultimate Collection comes out next week. OHHHHHH YEEAAAHHHHHHHH!!! Absolutely awesome. Itís about friggin time.

-We return from break with an Edge-produced vignette about his ladder match at Extreme Rules with Jeff Hardy. Speaking of, Michael and Jerry are in the ring to go over our Extreme Rules card for Sunday:

World Heavyweight Championship ladder match: Edge © vs. Jeff Hardy
Intercontinental Championship No Holds Barred match: Rey Mysterio © vs. Chris Jericho
Submission match: Big Show vs. John Cena
WWE Championship steel cage match: Randy Orton © vs. Batista
Strap match: CM Punk vs. Umaga
Hog Pen Match: Vickie Guerrero vs. Santina
ECW Championship Extreme Rules match: Christian © vs. Jack Swagger vs. Tommy Dreamer

-Back from break and Randy Orton is skulking around the backstage looking for Ric Flair. After a few minutes of looking in between cars and calling Flairís name the Nature Boy comes out of nowhere and shove Orton into the metal garage door. He rips Ortonís shirt open and starts chopping. Orton gets some separation but Flair comes back and slams Orton into a metal barricade and more stepping. Orton with a low knee and he throws Flair into some plastic chests. Flair with a low punch and he puts Orton on a chest with wheels and whips him into a table which flips onto Orton. Flair with a big chop and they brawl into a tunnel and into the arena. They brawl into some darkness and finally out into the arena behind the stage. Orton is stomping on Flair but they both start punching and chopping each other. Orton throws Flair onto the stage and does the Garvin Stomp. Orton gets on top of Flair and just pummels him with right hands. Orton with some boots to the gut, but as heís about to throw Flair off the stage Flair rear kicks Orton in the nuts. Flair with some kicks and stomps. A chop sends Orton rolling down the ramp. Flair keeps punching as Ortonís busted open. At the end of the ramp Orton is slammed into the now-dropped cage wall. The top of Flairís head is cut but he throws Orton into the steel steps. Flair continues to chop the crap out of Orton as he clears the announce table. Flair chops Orton on the announce table and Flair keeps punching. Flair gets on the announce table and stomps on Ortonís legs. Flairís really been chopping as Ortonís chest is beet red. Flair ratchets the Figure Four on Orton but Rhodes and DiBiase comes out to save Orton. They beat the hell out of Flair and throw him into the barricade and the cage wall. Rhodes and DiBiase get Flair into the caged ring and continue the assault. Legacy with a double suplex. Finally Orton gets into the ring and itís a 3-on-1 heel beatdown. Rhodes and DiBiase leave the cage and chain the door shut. Finally Batista comes down and chases Legacy off but Batista canít get in the cage but Orton glares at him with that awesome twisted look. In the ring Orton gets to his knees as Batista tries to climb the cage and Orton hits Flair with the RKO. I think we know whatís coming next. Orton glares at a raging Batista, then backs up and punts Flair right in the head. He gets right in Batistaís face from the other side of the ring as Batista keeps screaming heís going to tear Orton apart. The copyrightís up and weíre out as both men glare at each other.

FINAL GRADE: B-

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