July 3, 2009
Justin Rozzero

Monday Night Raw 6/29/09
HP Pavilion
San Jose, CA
Announcers: Michael Cole & Jerry Lawler

- We open the show in the arena as Lillian Garcia immediately brings out the Chairman, Mr. McMahon. Vince powerwalks to the ramp with a big grin on his face. Vince said if Donald Trump still owned Raw, would have held a commercial free Raw with a full refund for the full audience tonight and he was wondering if he should do the same thing. As far as the commercial free stuff, that can’t happen. As far as giving money back, that he can do but he isn’t going to. The crowd doesn’t care for that one. The fans can blame Donald Trump for all of the commercial free stuff. Trump also orchestrated a 15 superstar trade between all three brands that he is stuck with. Trump also got rid of the GM on Raw and established the guest host GM idea for Raw. So, Vince has decided on the first guest host and he will be shaking things up, VKM style. And the first guest host of Raw will be…Batista! Batista comes out, bedecked in a swank suit and gigantic elbow brace. Batista seems pretty pumped to be out there and the crowd is happy to see him. He is excited because we are going to have some fun here tonight. There will be a four man Night of Champions tournament to determine who faces Randy Orton at the PPV. Miz will take on John Cena and MVP will face off with Triple H. Batista originally wanted nothing to do with this gig because he is a competitor, not a host. Before he can finish, we are interrupted by the WWE Champion Randy Orton along with DiBiase and Rhodes. They stay up on the ramp and Orton tells Batista he shouldn’t have come back. He asks if Batista is a glutton for punishment. Orton says there is nothing stopping them from going down and tearing him apart. Batista says nothing is stopping them…except the fact that he will fire all three of them. Batista informs us that Vince told him he had unlimited power and could do anything he wanted. So, he can make Orton’s life a living nightmare. Orton says his life already is a nightmare. He barely survived last night’s match and he got hit in the head with a sledgehammer. Batista mocks Orton’s whining and says he won’t make Randy defend his title. Orton does need to worry about Trump’s trade though. Each brand has acquired five new superstars, but Batista will only have Orton face three of them in a gauntlet match. He knows Orton loves three on one fights, and he thinks it’s time Orton finds out what it is like to be on the receiving end of one. Hit that music! Legacy confers as King and Cole ponder who the new faces will be. At ringside, they run down the NOC tournament before sending us to break.

- The Pizza Hut Rewind brings us stills from the Three Stages of Hell match from last night. We then head back inside for our first contest of the night.

1) Triple H vs. MVP in a Night of Champions Tournament Semifinal match
And the first competitor out of the gate tonight is the Game. After coming off a tough loss last night, Triple H heads down to the ring for our first NOC Tournament match, his leg still heavily taped up. As MVP makes his way out, we get some clips of him recently accompanying Sherri Shepherd to the BET Awards. They lock up off the bell and Hunter grabs a side headlock. Hunter puts him down with a shoulderblock, but quickly comes up limping with that banged up leg. MVP goes after the bandaged area, but Hunter smacks him away. MVP goes at it again and backs Hunter into the corner but Triple H comes firing out with right hands. MVP goes to the leg again but Scott Armstrong breaks them up as they tussle in the corner. MVP takes Hunter down and goes to work on the leg with some elbow drops. Hunter fires back again but MVP floats over on a spinebuster attempt and chops blocks Hunter. MVP locks in a figure four as Hunter flails away. MVP gets a pair of two counts before Hunter finally punches his way free. MVP takes Hunter down and goes for the figure four again, but Hunter kicks him off. They repeat the cycle again and Hunter catches him with a big right hand. He goes for the Pedigree, but MVP drills the leg to break it. MVP hits the Ballin Elbow and gets two. The crowd is clearly behind Hunter here. MVP misses the Drive By and Hunter goes for the Pedigree again, but MVP back drops him over. MVP nails the Drive By and gets two. He slowly pulls Hunter up and goes for the Playmaker, but Hunter slips free and hits the Pedigree for the win. Well, MVP got some good offense in, but he really needed a win there. Triple H d. MVP with the Pedigree; Grade: 1.5

- Hunter celebrates as Cole and Lawler put over his resiliency before we head to break.

- The Red Faction Guerilla Slam of the Week takes us to last night when Teddy Long added Jericho & Edge to the tag title match leading to a title change.

2) Chris Jericho & Edge vs. Primo & Carlito Colon for the Unified Tag Team Championship
And back in the arena, Chris Jericho makes his way out for our tag team championship bout. Edge is out next and he is then followed by the Colons. Jericho grabs the mic and talks about being back in front of the hypocritical fans of Raw. Edge cuts him off and tells us that he approached Jericho last night about creating a united front. He knows they can dominate WWE as a team because alone they were held down by inept management. They demanded Long put them in the match and now they stand before us as the unified tag team champions. This means they can appear on every show, including this one. Therein lies the difference between them and us. They are winners and make things happen and we are all losers. Before he can continue, the Colons head out and look focused on regaining their belts. Primo and Jericho start things off and Jericho grabs a side headlock. He puts Primo down with a shoulderblock but Primo comes back with a clothesline and a headscissors takeover. He takes Jericho down with a legsweep and then turns and knocks Edge to the floor. He backdrops Jericho over the top on to Edge and then both Colons hit stereo baseball slide dropkicks. Jericho and Edge are down and out as we take a break. When we return, Jericho has Primo in a cobra clutch. Primo fights free but Jericho hits an Enziguri for two. He tags in Edge who promptly slugs Primo to the mat. Edge gets a near fall and then tags Jericho back in. He stomps away on Primo and quickly cuts off a comeback attempt. Jericho goes for a bulldog but Primo shoves him and into the corner. Primo crawls over and then leaps to make the tag to Carlito. He puts Jericho down with a clothesline and then hits a neckbreaker for two. Carlito eats a back elbow on a charge but he avoids the Lionsault. Carlito hits a springboard moonsault for a close near fall. Jericho takes Carlito down and goes for the Walls but Carlito blocks it. Jericho slingshots Carlito, but he goes flying right into Edge. He takes Jericho down and gets a near fall. Jericho tags in Edge, who quickly lines up a spear. He comes flying but Carlito ducks it and Edge crashes into the corner. Carlito drops Edge with the Backstabber and Jericho just barley breaks up the pin. Primo sends Jericho to the floor and then dives out on top of him. Carlito goes for a springboard but Jericho shoves Primo into him as he hits ropes and Edge drills him with the spear for the win. That was a solid match and I am looking forward to the Edge & Jericho Era. Jericho & Edge d. Primo & Carlito when Edge pins Carlito with a spear; Grade: 2

- The Colons aren’t happy as the Champions retreat. Carlito tells Primo to use his head and they argue a bit before cooling down. Cole and King run down the upcoming bouts as we head off to break.

- Back from break, we thank Aranda for the Bash theme. We then head backstage where Orton is whining to Legacy. Batista walks in on the bitchfest and tells Orton that DiBiase & Rhodes will be fired if they interfere tonight. Back at ringside, Cole sends us to a lengthy video package highlighting the Miz/Cena feud. After that, we see Cena walking backstage as his match is next…after this break, that is!

3) John Cena vs. Miz in a Night of Champions Tournament Semifinal match
Back from break, we are joined by John Cena, who enters to his usual bipartisan reaction. Miz is out next as Cole reminds us that the winner of this match will take on Triple H next week with the winner moving on to the PPV. Miz lands a knee off the bell and follows with some big right hands. Cena whips Miz in and drills him with a back elbow. He slams Miz down and drops an elbow for two. Cena eats a boot on a charge and Miz takes him down and hammers away. Miz kicks Cena in the face and keeps slugging away at him. Cena recovers and sends him over with a back body drop. He hits a fishermen suplex for two and then grabs a rear chinlock. Miz lands a cheap shot to take control and grabs a side headlock. Miz hits a neckbreaker and gets two. He keeps pounding on Cena and is able to avoid a Cena bulldog during a brief comeback attempt. He hits another neckbreaker for another near fall. Miz is relentlessly hammering Cena in the corner until the referee steps in as we go to break. When we return, Miz has Cena clamped in a chinlock. During the break, Miz hit Cena with a big double axehandle from the top. Cena breaks the chinlock and mares Miz over. Miz dodges a charge and runs Cena into the corner. Miz hits a big clothesline and gets a near fall. He slugs away and then heads up top. Cena pops up and catches him with a right hand. He follows Miz up top and loads him up for the AA. Miz slips loose and takes Cena down with an electric chair and gets a pair of near falls. Miz lands some knees to the back and then drills Cena with a kick to the face for a near fall. Miz charges again but Cena takes him down with a drop toehold. Both men pop up and Miz locks in a sleeperhold. Cena collapses as Miz wrenches on the hold. Cena breaks the hold and comes back with a pair of shoulderblocks and a spinning sidewalk slam. He drops the Five Knuckle Shuffle and follows with a blockbuster. Cena heads up top and hits a legdrop to a bent over Miz. Cena locks in the STF and Miz is forced to tap. Well, Miz got a ton of offense and looked strong in losing, so that was a good thing. Cena d. Miz with the STF; Grade: 2.5

- Cena will battle Triple H next week. He celebrates as we go to break.

- We are back and Cole and King talk about next week’s NOC Tourney finals. Backstage, Legacy is trying to pump up Orton. DiBiase tells him to just survive tonight because next week…the Million Dollar Man will be the guest host of Raw! Orton wants to know how that helps him tonight and then storms off.

4) Kelly vs. Mickie James vs. Beth Phoenix vs. Rosa Mendes to earn a title match at Night of Champions
Kelly makes her way out first and she is followed by Mickie James. Maryse comes out next to scout the competition and melt hearts around the world. Ooh wee! As she heads out, we take a quick break. When we return, the bell sounds and the match is underway. Maryse is on commentary with us as Beth takes it to Kelly. Maryse avoids talking about her feelings for Miz as Beth gets a near fall. Rosa and Beth end up on the floor and Mickie and Kelly lock up. Mickie gets a side headlock takedown but Kelly turns it into a headscissors. Kelly gets a near fall and her and Mickie hit Rosa with a double dropkick. Beth comes in and takes both Kelly and Mickie out. Beth gets a pair of near falls. She hammers away at Mickie but Mickie slips out of a slingshot suplex attempt and hooks a Dragon sleeper. Rosa comes from behind and puts a reverse chinlock on Mickie. Kelly hops on Rosa’s back and grabs a sleeper to complete the submission pileup. Beth is able to back into the corner to break up the holds. She clubs Mickie and sends her down with a back elbow. Kelly comes in with a sunset flip on Beth and gets two. Mickie rolls up Kelly for two and Rosa gets a backslide on Mickie for two as well. Rosa eats a boot on a charge and then gets crushed with a Beth powerslam for two. Mickie fires away at Beth and Kelly hits her with a clothesline for two. Maryse’s preference is Kelly here. Beth grabs Kelly and plants her with the double underhook slam but Mickie breaks up the cover. Beth shoots Mickie into the corner but eats an elbow. Mickie sends Beth out to the apron and then dropkicks her to the floor. Rosa clubs on Mickie but Mickie comes back and hits a sloppy DDT for the win. Mickie d. Beth, Rosa & Kelly when she pins Rosa with a DDT; Grade: 1

- Mickie stares down at Maryse and Maryse tells her to talk to the hand. Mickie blows her a kiss but Maryse shoos her away as we check out a replay of the finish. We see Big Show walking backstage as we head to commercial.

- We are back and Cole sends us to a PR video package on WWE’s youth reading initiative, the Summerslam Reading Jam. We then head to the ring for our next bout.

5) Big Show vs. Kofi Kingston in a non title match
Big Show makes his way out first and he quickly walks to the ring with a scowl on his face. Kofi is out next for some non title action. If Show wins tonight, he earns a future US title match. Show shoves Kofi down with a clothesline off the bell and then drills him with an elbow. The crowd tries to rally Kofi as Show drills him with a headbutt. Kofi fires back, but Show stops him and then stands on his throat. Show slams Kofi but misses an elbow drop. Kofi lands a dropkick and follows with an uppercut. He kicks Show in the face and nails him with a missile dropkick. He lands the Boom legdrop for two. Kofi leaps onto Show in the corner, but Show just dumps him out to the floor. Show heads out after him and chops his chest. Show hoists Kofi up and presses him over his head. Kofi slips free and runs Show into the post. Charles Robinson counts both men out and calls for the bell as both men are counted out. Kofi and Show wrestle to a double countout; Grade: 1.5

- Show angrily storms off as Kofi rolls into the ring and we head to break.

- We are back and the King confirms that the original Ted DiBiase will be the Guest GM for next week’s show. We then head to the ring for our main event.

6) Randy Orton vs. Evan Bourne in a non title match
Randy Orton slowly limps out to the ring, banged up from two brutal matches over the last seven days. And it looks like Evan Bourne will now be plying his trade on Raw. Bourne hops in the ring and the bell sounds. Orton slugs Bourne down to start but Bourne comes back with a flying clothesline. Orton tosses him to the apron and tries to suplex him in, but Bourne floats over and gets a roll up for two. Bourne hits a leg lariat for two but Orton comes back with a big uppercut. Orton stomps on his gut and holds his foot there. He then stomps the ankle before booting him in the chest. Bourne takes Orton down and hits a standing moonsault for one. Bourne takes Orton down and gets another near fall. He kicks Orton in the head and gets two. Orton whips him into the corner but eats a boot on a charge. Bourne heads up top and lands on Orton with knees, sending him charging to the mat. Bourne heads back top, but Orton hits the ropes and Bourne crotches himself. Orton snaps him off the top with an RKO and picks up the win. Orton d. Bourne with an RKO; Grade: 2

7) Randy Orton vs. Jack Swagger in a non title match
And the All-American American is Orton’s next challenger. He does some pushups in the aisle and then hops in the ring. Swagger takes Orton down off the bell and then stares out at the crowd. Swagger then steps out onto the apron and smirks at the referee. Mike Chioda starts counting and Swagger takes the countout. Orton d. Swagger by countout; Grade: 0

- Swagger gets in the ring and grabs a mic. He says he likes and respects Randy and he wanted to leave a lasting impression for his first night on Raw. Swagger takes off and Orton is through two stages of the gauntlet.

8) Randy Orton vs. Mark Henry in a non title match
And the final combatant is Mark Henry. He hits the ring and grabs a mic. He has also always liked Randy and has a lot of respect for him. So, just like Jack Swagger, he came here to make a good impression on his first night. And it looks like his idea of an impression is different than Jack’s. The bell rings and Henry just shoves Orton to the mat. But, he then hops out on the apron and also accepts a countout. Or not, as Henry smiles to the fans and steps back in before Chioda hits ten. Orton drops to his knees to ask for mercy but Henry just shakes his head and advances. He grabs Orton by the throat and beals him across the ring. Henry clubs Orton and follows with a splash in the corner. Orton smacks Henry in the face but Henry grabs him and sends him down with a huge headbutt. The crowd is starting to dig Henry. He blocks an RKO and crushes Orton with the World’s Strongest Slam for the win! Henry d. Orton with the World’s Strongest Slam; Grade: .5

- Henry celebrates his huge win as Batista comes out on the ramp and smiles. Henry nods at him as Cole and King pump up next week’s NOC Tournament finals. The celebration continues as we fade out.

Final Grade: C

MVP: Guest GM Concept
Runner Up: Miz & Mark Henry
Non MVP: MVP
Runner Up: Colons

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