Monday Night Raw turned 900 this week and it's starting to show it's age. To be fair things started off somewhat promising; Bret Hart opens it up and seems settled into his role as ambassador for the 90's era and even acknowledges this and calls the Undertaker down to the ring as the only other member on the roster who was there for the first Raw. Predictably Kane comes down instead and what could have been an interesting promo seems like it's on the short road to nowhere, but wait. Kane cuts a good promo at Bret and then goes on the attack, but the lights go out and there is the Undertaker standing in between them. Kane backs down and there you have it. Attack thwarted, see you Friday Kane. But no the phantom GM chimes in with a main event matchup: Bret vs. The Undertaker.
Now, I know Bret hung in there at Summer Slam, but it's fairly understood that Bret's ring days are over sans maybe a haymaker here or a Sharpshooter there. Why would you even tease this match when there's no chance of it actually happening? But fine. My interest in piqued I'll hang around and see how they play that out.
Next up the Miz. I'm not big on the Miz but I accept he's going to be wearing a World Title soon. He and his NXT Rookie Alex Riley are in a triple threat tag match. Miz and Riley win, Daniel Bryan gets a few shots on Riley but eventually laid out by the Miz and his briefcase. Laycool vs Eve and Melina follow and again there is more time on the mic than in the ring but they get a short little match off and announce their match for Night of Champions. All of this is fine and pretty standard fare for a recent episode of Raw except for the fact that Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler have said "WWE Universe" at least 500 times and insist on mentioning every show that's ever been on television and how many fewer episodes it has than Raw. When that ceases to be fun they decide to start adding shows together. ALL OF THE STAR TREKS combined have had less episodes than Raw. The Simpsons and Gunsmoke combined have had less episodes than RAW. You would think the blanket statement made at the beginning of this and almost every show for the last three years "welcome to the longest running episodic program in television history" would cover all of these little tid-bits, but these two seem compelled to really drive it home.
The obligatory Nexus promo in the back. They lost Sheffield but they're stronger than ever and they're going to prove it by doing something big. I can't imagine what that might be. Jericho cuts a promo and decides that if he doesn't win at Night of Champions he will leave WWE. I find this especially disturbing because his contract is up, and having been at the house show on Sunday saw him declare for "one night Y2J is back" and then do a little wave to the crowd after his match was over.
I forge ahead.
Morrison & R-Truth are doing their Odd Couple thing against Cody Rhodes and Drew McIntyre? I guess it has been a while since I watched Smackdown. The winner will get a shot at the Hart Dynasty and their shiny new Tag Team Title belts. I wanted to see this match. It had potential. Bell rings, I can't even remember why I turned away from the screen for a moment but by the time I got back to the match was over. Double DQ what must have been 14 seconds in. These guys apparently just don't like each other. The carnage spills out onto the floor. For a bunch of guys on different shows there was some real heat here. So nothing gets settled and the tag team division remains lame. At least the Uso's are around to challenge the Harts instead of being dragged into some comedy angle with Santino.....oh wait.
Here comes Bret Hart and Undertaker. And wait no- Wade Barret comes out and says this match is not going to happen. Wade and I are on the same page here. The Undertaker dumps him with a clothesline over the top. Lights go out. Kane appears. Undertaker gets the upper hand. Lights go out. Kane is gone. Entire Nexus comes down to attack. Undertaker cleans house. Lights go out. Barrett has Undertaker on his back and hits the Wasteland, Justin Gabriel hits the 450, Kane laughs as the Undertaker tries to sit up but can't. As far as I know the lights did not go out again. Not sure what happened to Bret. Maybe he was working the light switch.
Jack Swagger comes down and cuts a nice little heel promo on Boston. Evan Bourne is his opponent but hold on Alberto Del Rio is coming to the ring in his Bently and being introduced announced in Spanish by his own private announcer. The screen splits the match with Del Rio smirking his way to the ring. Wasn't Swagger just a World Champion like five minutes ago? Now he's splitting tv time with a newcomer? Swagger wins with an Angle Lock and takes off. Del Rio cuts a promo on Rey and decides to attack Bourne but Mark Henry makes the save. I'd say right now, although it completely ruined what was probably the best match or the best potential for a match of the night, Del Rio has been the highlight.
Video package of WWE in China making children's dreams come true set to inspirational rock music.
Heavily edited video clip of Mankind doing "This Is Your Life" to the Rock. Oh how it used to be.
Ahh finally. CM Punk has come to save this episode but it might be too late. Punk cuts a long promo using examples of old Raw clips explaining why they are beneath him. It was a pretty great promo and even though this episode may be beyond salvation Punk and later on the Big Show make a worthy effort here. The confrontation is anti-climatic, but it was nice to see two pros come and cut the best promos of the night by far.
Then there was the final match of the night. i dont' know how I feel about this one. The Nexus have come off pretty strong since Summer Slam and since it was the 900th episode, at least I think it was they didn't really mention it, I figured Cena or Orton or "Team WWE" would stand tall. They didn't. Edge and Jericho continue to tease face turns and then pull back. There was an audible Y2J chant before Jericho bailed out of the ring, and Edge seemed to have the crowd on his side when he interupted the Sheamus promo. Sheamus, who just cut a promo on how unfair the 6-Pack Challenge was to him decided not to abandon the match and he did most of the work getting pinned by Heath Slater who seems to be the other member of Nexus destined to get over. Cena got his spots in and laid down for Gabriel's finisher, before the crowd went ballistic for Orton, who is hurt and wound up being the final elimination to Barrett who stood victorious until the fade out.
So I guess in moving the angle along the main event made sense I had no real problem with it aside from the fact that, that was it. No old timers, no suprises no nothing really. Maybe they're saving it for the 1000th episode.