Staples Center – Los Angeles, CA – Sunday, August 15, 2010
Michael Cole, Hall of Famer Jerry “The King” Lawler, and Matt Striker are on commentary.
MATCH #1: Intercontinental Title Match – Dolph Ziggler vs. Kofi Kingston
Ziggler has been the Champion since 8.6.10, and this is his first defense. Former Champion Kingston goes right after Ziggler and quickly sends him to the floor. Kingston goes for a suicide dive but misses and falls right on his face. Back in the ring Ziggler pounds away and keeps Kingston grounded. After a few minutes Kingston avoids a Stinger Splash and starts to build some momentum. Kingston hits the Boom Drop and signals for Trouble in Paradise. Ziggler avoids it so Kingston tries a cross body block and Ziggler rolls through that for a two-count. Kingston gets an inside cradle for two. Ziggler pops up and hits a Fame-Ass-Er for a two-count. Kingston avoids another charge in the corner and hits a Tatanka chop from the top rope. He signals for Trouble in Paradise again but Ziggler ducks and locks on the Sleeper! For some reason the Nexus seven all run out and attack both men, resulting in a no-contest at about 7:07 (no closing bell). The match was going along as well as most matches between these two do, and while the crowd poped for the finish the Nexus basically did this several times on RAW the week before, so I don’t see much reason to do it again on pay-per-view.
MATCH #2: Divas Title Match – Alicia Fox vs. Melina
Fox has been the Champion since 6.20.10, and this is her third defense. They lock up with intensity, and the Champion works a headlock. Melina fights back and uses her unique offense to wear Fox down. When she does a float over she appears to re-injure her surgically repaired knee. They take the fight to the apron and Fox pulls Melina into the ring post. Back in the ring Fox goes to work on the arm, making me wonder why they did the knee spot in the first place. Melina makes the comeback in short order and hits the Snap Mare Driver to get the abrupt pinfall and win the title at 5:23. BEST MATCH EVAR.
Rating: ***** (but really just **)
MATCH #3: Handicap Match – Big Show vs. The Straight Edge Society
CM Punk, Luke Gallows, and Joseph Mercury are accompanied by Serena. Mercury and Gallows try to attack but Show easily handles both of them. Punk tries to take matters into his own hands but Show beats him down too. They take it to the floor and Show goes for a big chop but Punk avoids it and Show’s previously broken hand hits the ring steps. Now the Straight Edge Society swarms and begins the beat down. Back in the ring the beating continues, as I guess no tags are needed for the SES. Show fights back and throws everyone around. He tries the Chokeslam on Punk but Punk counters with a kick to the head. Punk hits three running knees to the face in the corner and then he and Mercury hit a double bulldog from the second rope. That only gets two. Show fights back again and sends Punk to the floor. Punk has had enough and he bails along with Serena. Show takes Gallows down and then Chokeslams Mercury right on top of him. Show puts a hand on Mercury and pins them at 6:48. I’m not sure why they had to sacrifice three men to Big Show, who wasn’t really even getting a main event push or anything at the time. The match was fine enough I guess, I just don’t see the point.
MATCH #4: WWE Championship Match – Sheamus vs. Randy Orton
Sheamus has been the Champion since 6.20.10, and this is his third defense. He backs Orton into the corner and celebrates about it, so Orton fires up and stomps him down in another corner. It’s all Orton in the opening minutes here, as he blocks everything Sheamus tries and clotheslines him to the floor. The fight spills into the crowd briefly and then Orton brings it back to the ring. Orton continues to dominate the Champion both in and out of the ring. Sheamus is able to reverse a whip and send Orton into the steel steps. Back in the ring Sheamus unloads on the challenger with heavy strikes. Orton tries to come back with the Rope-hung DDT but Sheamus backdrops him to the floor. Sheamus controls for several more minutes until Orton escapes a chinlock with a back suplex. Orton hits the Inverted headlock backbreaker for two. They slug it out and Orton wins that battle. Orton hits the snap scoop powerslam, and then avoids a charge in the corner sending Sheamus’ shoulder into the ring post. That gives Orton the chance to hit a Bob Orton superplex for a near-fall. Sheamus catches Orton with the Irish Curse for two. He goes for the Brogue Kick but Orton ducks and Sheamus crashes to the floor. Orton brings Sheamus back in with the Rope-hung DDT. He goes for the RKO but Sheamus pushes off and gets a near-fall. A series of reversals ends with Sheamus finally landing the Brogue Kick but Orton kicks out! Sheamus goes out and grabs a steel chair, and when the referee tries to stop him from using it Sheamus throws him to the floor for the disqualification at 18:55. Almost 20 minutes for THAT finish? Sheamus tries to hit Orton with the chair but Orton avoids it and kicks Sheamus in the nuts. Orton brings Sheamus outside and hits an RKO on the announce table, which doesn’t break. These two always had boring matches, and this was another one. It also had an extremely lame finish that made the Champion look exceptionally weak.
MATCH #5: World Heavyweight Title Match – Kane vs. Rey Mysterio
Kane has been the Champion since 7.18.10, and this is his first defense. He has a casket with him to intimidate his challenger. Kane uses his power and Mysterio counters with his speed and agility in the early going. Mysterio gets a little bit of offense in during the first few minutes, but Kane quickly takes over and begins the domination. Kane works Mysterio over and keeps him down both in and out of the ring. Mysterio makes several comeback attempts but each one is thwarted by the Big Red Champion. After a brief spell on the floor Mysterio comes back in the ring with a missile headbutt from the top rope (awesome move) for a two-count. Kane quickly cuts him off with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. He continues on the advantage and goes up top but he misses a big clothesline. Mysterio is able teo hit a tilt-a-whirl slop drop for a two-count. Kane tries a powerslam but Mysterio counters with a tilt-a-whirl DDT for two. Mysterio hits a springboard legdrop to the back of the head for another near-fall. A straight kick right to the face gets another two-count for the challenger. Mysterio goes up top and Kane cuts him out of the air with a big right hand. That gets two. The plucky Mysterio recovers and goes for the 619 but Kane catches him and drops him in the casket! Mysterio doesn’t stay in there very long, and fights through to finally hit Kane with the 619. Kane floors Mysterio with a Big Boot and then hits the Chokeslam to get the pin at 13:33. That was decent enough for what these two can do together, it just didn’t feel like a World Title caliber match. The last couple minutes actually were pretty hot and that helped a great deal.
Kane goes to put Mysterio in the casket but Mysterio kicks him in the head. For some reason Kane slams the casket lid and then hits two devastating Chokeslams. Kane delivers a Tombstone Piledriver, and then re-opens the casket and the Undertaker is inside! Undertaker threatens Mysterio, but then turns his attention to his brother! He puts on a choke hold, and Kane responds with one of his own. Mysterio just slips away. Kane wins the battle and hits a Tombstone Piledriver and then lights the ring posts on fire.
MATCH #6: Elimination Match – Team WWE vs. The Nexus
The Nexus is made up of leader Wade Barrett, Justin Gabriel, Heath Slater, Skip Sheffield, David Otunga, Darren Young, and Michael Tarver. Team WWE is captain John Cena, Hall of Famer Bret Hart, Chris Jericho, Edge, John Morrison, R-Truth, and one mystery partner. Earlier in the night, United States Champion The Miz said he would be the seventh man, but when he makes his entrance John Cena tells him they didn’t want to rely on someone who would make his decision at the last minute, so they already found a seventh man! Cena announces the seventh man is Daniel Bryan! Team WWE charges the ring and the brawl is on! No bell rings but Team WWE runs the Nexus to the floor to regroup.
Bryan and Young start the match officially. Young gets cocky and Bryan takes him down and delivers a series of kicks. Bryan puts on a guillotine choke and then turns it into the LeBell Lock and Young taps out in just 0:44! The crowd pops huge and Bryan is fired up. Gabriel and Jericho tag in and I get the feeling this one is going to be hard to keep up with. More tags are made as Team WWE continues to set the pace and control the match. Morrison and Tarver end up in the ring, and Morrison hits the springboard spin kick and the Starship Pain to score the second elimination at 3:37! Nexus is now at a 7-on-5 disadvantage. Barrett rallies the troops on the floor and sends Sheffield into the ring to try and stop the bleeding. That proves wise, as Sheffield puts a beating on Morrison. Gabriel takes a cheap shot from the floor and Sheffield floors Morrison with a Meat Hook clothesline to score the first Nexus elimination at 7:34. R-Truth comes in and he quickly eats a Meat Hook as well and he’s gone at 8:01. We’re all even now thanks to Sheffield. Jericho comes in but Sheffield stays in control and the Nexus is looking more confident now. Jericho fights back and Bret Hart tags in! Bret takes it to Slater with a series of punches. He keeps Slater down and locks on the Sharpshooter! One of the Nexus throws a chair in the ring and Bret uses it before it can be used against him and gets disqualified at 12:03. Now the Nexus has their first advantage, but Jericho quickly hits Sheffield with a Codebreaker and Edge adds a Spear to eliminate him at 13:15. We’re all even now and the Nexus takes control on Edge. After several minutes of getting beaten up, Edge is able to make the hot tag to Jericho, who goes to work on Otunga. Jericho puts Otunga in the Walls of Jericho and Otunga taps out at 19:16! That gives Team WWE the advantage and Jericho is amped up to keep it that way. Unfortunately, Jericho accidentally knocks Cena off the apron and Slater takes advantage with a move the camera misses to eliminate Jericho at 20:07. Edge and Cena argue while Bryan tries to keep the peace. Cena concedes to Edge for the good of the team, but Slater takes advantage by shoving Edge into Cena, and then rolling Edge up for another elimination at 20:41! Edge and Jericho take cheap shots at Cena on their way out, and things are looking grim for Team WWE. Nexus is up 3-2, and they isolate Cena in their half of the ring. After a long time getting worn down, Cena is able to make a hot tag and Bryan unloads on Slater with a flurry of offense. Bryan sends Slater to the floor and follows him out with a suicide dive. He comes back in with a missile dropkick, and knocks the other two Nexus members off the apron. That clears the way for Bryan to eliminate Slater with the LeBell Lock at 29:03! Slater distracts the referee and The Miz sneaks in and hits Bryan with his Money in the Bank briefcase and Barrett scores the pin at 29:35. We’re down to Barrett and Gabriel versus Cena now. Cena tries to fight up but he’s at quite a disadvantage. Barrett and Gabriel beat up Cena on the floor, and then they bring him back in the ring for a Gabriel 450 Splash. Cena moves out of the way and scores a quick pin at 34:52 to even the odds. Barrett is incredulous so he falls easy prey to the STF and #LOLCENAWINS at 35:20. That was a lot of fun and gave a lot of different people a chance to shine. Watching Jericho and Edge as babyfaces right up until they got eliminated was great, and Bryan, Sheffield, and Slater all came out of this looking good. I love elimination matches like this because the action stays so fast it never gets boring, and the crowd was red hot. The structure of the eliminations was perfect, and they even incorporated Miz into the match in a way that made sense. Great stuff all around here.
Monday Night RAW: ARCO Arena – Sacramento, CA – Monday, August 9, 2010
Michael Cole and Hall of Famer Jerry “The King” Lawler are on commentary.
MATCH #1: Non-Title Match – Evan Bourne vs. The Miz
Miz is the current United States Champion and Mr. Money in the Bank. He takes the early control and keeps Bourne on the mat. Every time Bourne tries to fight up Miz knocks him back down and stays in control. Finally Bourne is able to land a series of kicks to build some momentum. Bourne goes to the second rope backwards and leaps back with a rana into a cradle for a near-fall. Miz responds with a huge clothesline to take Bourne back off his feet. He follows with the Skull-Crushing Finale to get the pin at 4:00. They did what they could with four minutes and popped the crowd a couple of times, so this was pretty alright.
MATCH #2: Non-Title Match – Melina vs. Alicia Fox
Fox picks Melina up and rams her into the corner, and brings her out with a hair mare. Melina makes a comeback as they roll around the mat. Back on their feet Melina does the Matrix move and then a snap mare driver. Fox takes a breather on the floor and Melina goes out after her, only to run into a clothesline. Back in the ring Fox covers for two. Fox hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for another near-fall. She puts Melina on her shoulder in a backbreaker, which Melina counters with the Last Call (sunset bomb) to get the pin at 3:38. That was perfectly competent, and the finish looked good. This is not the best match of all-time though, that would be the one coming up at SummerSlam.
MATCH #3: Six Man Tag Team Match – Alex Riley, Michael McGillicutty & Husky Harris vs. Kaval, Percy Watson & Lucky Cannon
Watson and McGillicutty start it off. They chain wrestle a bit and McGillicutty hits a dropkick for two. Riley tags in and he stomps Watson down in the corner. Watson strikes back with an enziguiri and makes the tag. Kaval comes in a house afire, taking it to Riley with his unique offense. McGillicutty enters the ring illegally so Cannon follows him and knocks him to the floor, then follows him out with a dive. Kaval does not realize that Harris made a blind tag. Harris knocks Kaval down and hits a weak senton to get the pin at 3:02. Not much happening there, but it’s nice they gave the NXT guys a little bit of time on the big show.
MATCH #4: John Morrison & R-Truth vs. William Regal & Zack Ryder
Regal and Truth start the match and Regal takes the first advantage. Ryder tags in and continues to keep control for his team. He goes for the Broski Boot but Truth moves out of the way. Morrison gets the hot tag and he unloads on Ryder. Regal comes in to break up a cover and Truth dumps him to the floor. Morrison takes Ryder down with a springboard spin kick and then goes for a Moonlight Drive to get the pin at 2:11. That was a two-minute tag team match, but at least it served a purpose towards SummerSlam.
MATCH #5: Three Way Tag Team Match – The Bella Twins vs. Gail Kim & Eve vs. Maryse & Jillian
Santino Marella is the special referee for some reason. The Divas are all wrestling in one-piece bathing suits. They all reveal more in their regular wrestling gear so I’m wondering what the point of this is. Some stuff happens and then referee Marella loses control. All six divas fight in the ring. One of the Bellas (this was before you could easily tell them apart) hits Jillian with a cross body block from the top rope to get the pin at 2:52. Let’s just move on from this.
MATCH #6: Lumberjack Match – John Cena & Bret Hart vs. Edge & Chris Jericho
The Nexus group of seven are the lumberjacks. Cena and Edge start it off and Cena takes the early advantage. Edge fights back by throwing Cena to the floor right into the waiting midst of lumberjacks, who abuse Cena a bit before throwing him back in. Jericho tags in and immediately throws Cena out to the lumberjacks. He goes to do it again but Cena reverses it and throws Jericho out! The Nexus leaves Jericho alone, allowing him to get back in the ring. Cena goes for the Attitude Adjustment but Jericho counters out and ducks a cross body that sends Cena to the floor. Cena strikes first and decks Barrett before getting back in the ring. Jericho charges and Cena moves, so Jericho knocks Barrett off the apron! Cena knocks Jericho to the floor and now the Nexus attacks! Edge comes to the rescue and gets caught in the brawl. Meanwhile Bret pulls Gabriel into the ring and decks him with a right hand. The Nexus get up on the ring apron, and Morrison and Truth come out to help Bret and Cena. Edge and Jericho bail but seem to be having second thoughts. They make their way back and they stand with Team WWE! The crowd loves this. An all-out war erupts and the Nexus bails. No closing bell, but the official result is a no-contest at about 5:00. This wasn’t much of a match per se, but it did a great job setting up the main event of SummerSlam so it was successful in that regard.