Welcome to Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Tonight was all about Bret Hart. Well, there is this little Pay Per View called Payback that needed a little more defining.
Happy Memorial Day to one and all. As I do each year, this column is dedicated to two great men that helped shape my life. My grandfather, Cots, and my step-father, Jim. Grandpa was an Army man who served in World War II. Jim was in the Navy during Vietnam. They are both gone to the next world.
Raw opened with a nice Memorial Day montage. The show was dedicated to those that have lost their lives while defending this great country of ours.
Michael Cole opened with a look at the collapse of HHH, during his match with Curtis Axel. There is scheduled to be an update on Triple H’s health, tonight. From there, the video moved to John Cena vs Ryback. Ryback wants an Ambulance Match at Payback. John Cena will answer the challenge, tonight.
John Cena’s music hit and the WWE Champ arrived in Calgary. Cena had switched to his yellow Never Give Up shirt. Cole talked about how much Cena supports the US troops. Cena absorbed all the negative energy from the Canadian crowd. Cena acknowledged the unrest, anxiety and anger in the building. Cena said the Extreme Rules match ended in controversy, since no one could answer the 10 count. “We Want Bret!” began to build as a chant. Cena went silent. He then threw out a shout out to Bret Hart. Cena knew the Calgarians wanted to pay tribute to Bret. Cena then went right back into bashing Ryback. Yawn. Cena wanted to fight Ryback in a Three Stages of Hell match! Cena then explained what the Three Stages in this match would be:
1. Lumberjack Match
2. Tables Match
3. Ambulance Match
That should be off the charts. Cena said even if he wins the first two matches, he was still going to put Ryback’s big carcass in the ambulance and send him for medical treatment.
Ryback came out and the “Goldberg” chants started. Ryback agreed that “Payback should be Hell”. Ryback bragged about putting Cena through the LED Wall at Extreme Rules. Ryback said he was going to take Cena to Hell and introduce him to…Ryback.
Paul Heyman then waddled his way from the back. Heyman wanted to introduce Cena to “the future”. Heyman bragged about how badly Curtis Axel destroyed HHH. The music was different, this week. I liked the “Kid Perfect” theme from last week. Heyman called Cena a fighting champion. Heyman had a challenge for Can. Heyman wanted Cena to fight Axel, tonight. Cena said Axel had guts. Cena warned Axel to stay away from Heyman, who is full of more crap than the stables after the Stampede. Axel said he was ready to fight Cena. Cena told Axel that the kid got lucky, last week. This week, Axel was going to get pushed to the limit against John Cena. Excellent.
Alberto Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez were on deck for another match against Big E Langston. That led to a highlight of last week’s match. A.J. helped Big E win. They met again on Main Event. Del Rio won that little battle.
The trailer for the new Randy Orton movie ran. 12 Round 2 comes out next week.
Alberto Del Rio vs Big E Langston
Collar and Elbow and Big E with Shoulder Thrusts, in the corner. Del Rio with the Low Bridge to send Big E to the outside. Suicide Dive by Del Rio. Big E with a Fireman’s Carry into a dro on the ring steps. They got back in the ring and Big E got a two count. Bear Hug by Big E. Del Rio fought free and flew off the ropes. Backbreakers by Big E. 2 count, yet again. Big E charged and struck the ring post. Del Rio with Clotheslines to drop the big man. Back Stabber to get Del Rio a two count. Enziguri for another 2 count for Del Rio. Big E countered the Cross Armbreaker into a Belly to Belly Suplex. Big E dropped the traps and Del Rio dropped the arm. A.J. took off the turnbuckle pad. Del Rio slapped on the Cross Armbreaker, in the middle of the ring. Big E lifted Del Rio. Del Rio pushed Big E into the exposed turnbuckle and then rolled up the muscle man for the win.
Your Winner: Alberto Del Rio
Raw Ranking: 3.0
A.J. and Big E had a slight meltdown, after the match. A.J. said she was trying to help him. Big E just walked off. IS Big E about to become the next Diesel?
Kane was backstage and he looked even more unhappy than usual. Daniel Bryan paced back and forth. Kane yelled at Daniel to quit with the “Weak Link” crap. Kane said Daniel would have to pull himself together if they were going to succeed in getting back the titles. Bret Hart walked up and said Team Hell No was better then this. Daniel asked Bret if he was thought of as the weak link of the Hart Foundation. Bret said that size isn’t the thing that determines greatness. Daniel seriously praised Bret Hart. Daniel put Kane way below Bret by saying Kane was “Just Kane”. Bret Hart Appreciation Night will be shown, AFTER RAW, on the WWE App. That sucks.
Dean Ambrose vs Kofi Kingston
United States Title Match
The two talked a bit of trash and then hooked up. Kofi with a shove. Rolling Pin by Kofi for a two. Deep Arm Drag for a two. Dean with hard fists to Kofi’s face. Jumping Spin Kick by Kofi. Universal into Kofi missing a Clothesline and Trouble in Paradise. Dean bailed out to the floor. Kofi faked a Suicide Dive. Break time.
Dean with the Cross Tie Clutch on Kofi. Kofi got to his feet but fell victim to a Short Arm Clothesline. Dean dropped Kofi and then strolled around his fallen foe. Kofi with a Double Leg Clutch into a Corner Slingshot. 2 count. Kofi with Controlled Frenzy. Dean sent Kofi intot he corner but Kofi flew off and got another two count. Boom Drop was blocked by Dean getting out of the way. Series of near falls by both men. SOS by Kofi for a 2 plus. Kofi kicked Dean off the apron. Kofi with a Springboard Clothesline but he only managed to get a two count. The two went to the floor and Kofi was sent into the ring steps. Dean with Justice Served!
Your Winner: Dean Ambrose
Raw Ranking: 3.0
Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns joined their partner in the ring. Kane and Daniel Bryan then rushed out, ready to fight. It was a 2-on-3 battle but The Shield bailed out. The tag title match was up next.
Kane and Daniel Bryan vs Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins
Tag Team Title Match
Seth with a Steam Roller on Daniel, after a Double Team. Kitchen Sink by Daniel into wild kicks to Seth’s chest. The ref had to pull Daniel off. Kane made the tag and told Daniel to calm down. This was the First Hour Turner match. Kane with a Powerslam on Seth for two. Daniel tagged back in and hit a modified Hart Attack on Seth. Daniel drove his elbow into Seth’s shoulder. “Let’s Go Bryan” chant rang out. 1 count only. Butterfly Lock by Daniel. Kane with the tag and an Uppercut. Seth with a Back Elbow. Goozle into a Chokeslam attempt. Jumping Enziguri by Seth. Roman took the tag and began to unload on Kane’s head and upper body. Seth got a cheap shot in on Kane. Kane kicked out, quickly. Tag to Seth.
Seth punished Kane with hard punches, in the corner. He added a series of kicks. Seth went for a Suplex but Kane blocked it and hit a Stall Suplex. Roman got the tag and went for a pin. He only got two. Rear Chin Lock by Roman. Kane worked to his feet and started to punch free. Uppercut by Kane but Roman with a Scoop Slam for two. Seth tagged back in and kicked Kane in the chest. Seth with a Rear Chin Lock. Seth flipped out of a Back Drop Suplex but got nailed with a big Clothesline.
Daniel got the tag and took out Roman with a Running Dropkick. Ultra Wicked German Suplex into a Running Dropkick to Seth. 2 count. Damn, that was just awesome. Daniel with brutal kicks to Seth’s chest and head. 2 plus on that count. Daniel went to the top turnbuckle but Seth tripped him. Seth went for the Superplex but Daniel slid through and put Seth in the Sullivan Tree of Woe. Hesitation Dropkick by Daniel! Daniel went up top and connected with a Back Drop Superplex! Raw picked that exact moment to got to break. Seriously?
Daniel was still taking the fight to The Shield. He was rocking Roman with European Uppercuts. Roman reversed an Irish Whip. Roman took down Daniel with a shot to the throat. Tag to Seth. Seth pounded on Daniel. Seth went for the Surfboard and tortured Daniel with the one. Daniel fought out of the move and kicked away. Seth tripped Daniel and dropped an elbow to the back of Daniel’s neck. Wishbone of Daniel’s legs. Roman stomped away. Roman kicked at Daniel and choked him with the boot. Roman slammed Daniel’s face into the mat and then flipped him over with a Shoulder Tackle. Tag to Seth. Thrust Kick by Seth. Seth talked serious trash and then nailed a Headbutt. Seth with straight punches to the face. Daniel punched his way out of the corner. Seth with a Clutch Drop into the corner. 2 count.
Roman tagged back in and stomped the ribs. Reverse Bear Hug by Roman. Roman put Daniel in the corner and clubbed the neck. Daniel with a Flying Leg Lariat. Kane urged his partner to tag out. Kane and Seth both got tags. Kane laid out Seth with Uppercuts. Corner Whips and Clotheslines. Seth avoided the Side Slam but a Back Body Drop led to the Sidewalk Slam. Roman made the save. Missile Dropkick and Suicide Dive by Daniel took out Roman. Big Boot by Kane to Seth. Daniel tore up Roman with hard kicks. Kane went up top and hit the Kane Klothesline. Daniel got on the apron but Kane stopped to talk to him. Daniel flew off the apron and got nailed with a Spear. Seth took out Kane with a Springboard Knee Strike!
Your Winners; Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns
Raw Ranking: 4.0
Raw flashed back to the opening segment.
The WWE Rewind focused on the Triple H vs Curtis Axel match. HHH fell apart at the end of the match. The announcers said HHH was still dealing with the aftermath of the sledge hammer to the face at Extreme Rules. There was no additional damage from HHH’s in-ring performance, last week. He should be cleared to come back, next week.
The Miz made his way out to the ring. Raw looked at Fandango’s dance thing, last week, during the tag match. Miz has a new shirt. I like the old one better. Miz was be out to watch Wade Barrett battle Fandango. Miz will be either a Guest Ring Announcer, Guest Commentator or Guest Ref.
Wade Barrett vs Fandango
Miz – Guest Referee (85% of the vote)
Fanny gets my vote for coolest ring gear. The fans were singing along with Fandango’s music. Fanny’s little light bright thing didn’t light up. Collar and Elbow. Intoa Hammerlock by Fanny. Wade got to the ropes but Miz didn’t make the break. Fanny with hard shots and a Whip. 1 count only off the Clothesline. Wade started pounding down Fanny and hit the Short Arm Clothesline. Miz checked on Fanny in the ropes. Big Boot to Fandango after pushing Miz. Skull Crushing Finale by Miz into a 3 count.
Your Winner: Fandango
Raw Ranking: 1.5
After the match, Miz kicked Fandango in the face as he danced with Summer Rae. Summer Rae fell into Fandango and Miz counted the pin.
Your Winner: Summer Rae
Raw Ranking: 5.0 (just kidding)
A very bearded Shawn Michaels tried to talk sense to John Cena about getting into a fight with Curtis Axel. Cena said he was a lot like Shawn Michaels.
Tons of Funk, Great Khali, The Funkadactyls, Hornswoggle and Natalya danced.
Brodus Clay, Sweet T and Great Khali vs Heath Slater, Jindar Mahal and Drew McIntyre
3MB interrupted a birthday party, backstage. Khali with a Open Hand Slaps on Drew’s chest. Sweet T tagged in and hit the Cannonball Roll into the corner. Drew with a Flying Leg Lariat. Tag to Jindar. Double Side Russian Legsweep for a one count. Heath with the tag. T started to punch out of the corner. Leg Lariat off the Jawbreaker by Heath. 2 count. Heath with wild puncheds but T with an Uppercut. Clay with a tag and Clotheslines. Trapped Leg T-Bone Suplex. Corner Splash by Clay. Powerslam by Clay but 3MB made the save. It broke down into a mosh pit. Khali Khop into Call My Momma Jurassic Splash.
Your Winners; Brodus Clay, Sweet T (ensai) and Great Khali
Raw Ranking: 1.5
Clay said tonight was Natalya’s birthday. Khali was there to lead the Happy Birthday song for her. She is perhaps one of the prettiest ladies in the business. They all danced away in the ring.
John Cena did the voice over for another nice Memorial Day military video.
Chris Jericho’s Highlight Reel
Special Guest: Paul Heyman
The announcers got in a passing reference to Jericho’s time in ECW (Heyman still owes him money). The fans were electric for Jericho. Jericho got in a few jabs and then brought out Heyman.
Jericho talked about all the names that Heyman has been called “Genius” to “Walrus”. That got a “Walrus” chant started. Jericho said Heyman always had the knack to align himself with great talent. Heyman said he discovered and developed great talent, including Jericho. Heyman said he gave Jericho his first big break. Jericho agreed and said Heyman still owed him omoney. Heyman rambled on about starting to mold Curtis Axel into a future champion. Jericho said Axel had great potential. Jericho wanted to talk about someone else. Heyman immediately jumped into bragging about Brock Lesnar. Jericho explained that he wanted to talk about C.M. Punk. Heyman didn’t look too comfortable talking about Punk. Jericho sent it to a video of Punk’s last appearance on Raw. Punk stopped short and walked out of the interview.
Back to tonight’s show and there was a huge “C.M. Punk” chant. Jericho wondered if Heyman was shocked and surprised by Punk’s action. Heyman kissed up to Jericho a bit to get a little respect. That started the “Walrus” chant, again. Heyman stumbled as he talked about Punk’s disappearance. Heyman drew incredible heat by mocking Bret Hart’s catch phrase. Jericho cut Heyman short and mocked Heyman’s rambling. Jericho demanded to know where C.M. Punk was. Heyman said there would be an announcement about Punk’s return, in the next few weeks. Jericho refused to accept that. Heyman got a bit uppity with Jericho. Jericho talked to Punk. Jericho said Payback was in Chicago, where Punk lives. Jericho told Punk that he was out of his straight-edged, bald headed mind if he still thought he could sit home and call himself the Best in the World. “Y2J” chant broke out. Jericho taunted the catch phrase of being the “Best in the World”. Jericho invited Punk to come and face him at Payback. Heyman chuckled at Jericho’s attempt to negotiate this match. Heyman said Jericho didn’t get to make deals. Jericho then sad he was “The Best in the World at What I Do!”. The crowd chanted along. “Y2J” then broke out, yet again. Heyman said Jericho tried to pull the “Punk Card”. Heyman confirmed that Jericho wanted the match and then accepted, on behalf of C.M. Punk. The two shook hands and Jericho drew Heyman in close. Jericho told Heyman to tell C.M. Punk that, after Payback, he would never, ever be the same again.
The Rock has a new game show called The Hero. It’s over on TNT. Kind of a Survivor-on-the-Mean Streets kind of show.
Raw saw Fast 6 was a huge success. Congrats to him. Personally I went to see Star Trek Into Darkness on Saturday with my brother-in-law, David. That was an awesome film.
Natalya and Kaitlyn vs Bella Twins
Kaitlyn started the match. Go Behind by one of the Bellas. I have a heck of a time telling the twins apart. Kaitlyn with an Uppercut on what turned out to be Nikki. Nikki went to the floor and then attacked Kaitlyn, when the Diva champ hit the floor. Back in the ring, Nikki tried for a pun. Mikki used her butt to push Kaitlyn’s neck into the middle rope. Brie with a tag and Flying Clothesline. Rear Chin Lock by Brie. Kaitlyn got up and punched away. Brie threw Kaitlyn down and got a two count. Brie with another Rear Chin Lock. Kaitlyn got to her feet but ended up whipped into the corner. Nattie got a tag and hit a Snap Suplex. Discus Clotheslien by Nattie. Sharpshooter! Brie crawled to her corner but didn’t quite make it. Nikki came in and slapped Nattie. Spear by Kaitlyn. Brie threw Kaitlyn out. Kaitlyn accidentally Speared Natalya. Brie knocked Natalya off the apron and pinned the Birthday Girl. That sucked.
Your Winner: Bella Twins
Raw Ranking: 1.0
The Bellas sang Happy Birthday to “Dear Loser”. Nattie cried as the twins went up the ramp.
In the locker room, Bret Hart came up to talk with Curtis Axel. They talked about Curtis’ dad, Curt Hennig. Bret said Curtis should dump that bum, Paul Heyman. Curtis said no one knew who he was, except Paul Heyman. Curtis was confident that he could defeat John Cena.
The Celtic Vipers (Randy Orton and Sheamus) vs (The Rhodes Scholars) Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes
A weird video promo ran for a new bizarre tag team that is about to debut. They didn’t give their name but the two guys have been tearing things up in NXT. They are going to be called The Wyatt Family. The one guy looks like the offspring of Bushwacker Butch and Bruiser Brody.
Randy and Cody to open the match. Collar and Elbow into a Side Headlock. Cody with the Push Off led to the Universal. Shoulder Tackle by Randy. Wrist Lock by Cody moved them to the corner. Cody with Kneelifts. Randy reversed an Irish Whip. Shoulder Tackle by Randy. 1 count. Randy wan the laces and then tagged in. Springboard Battering Ram by Sheamus, off the tag. Damien got the tag and punched and kicked away. Sheamus blocked a Hip Toss and hit the Powerslam. Corner Mount Punches by Orton, once he tagged back in. Standing Dropkick by Randy for at two count. Damien with a nasty Forearm and tag to Cody. Cody with measured punches. Randy exploded out of the corner with a vicious Clothesline. Suplex by Orton into a tag by Sheamus. Crossfaces by Sheamus. The announcers talked about how Sheamus ran Mark Henry out of the WWE. Sheamus with a Hammer Throw. Funk Neckbreaker by Sheamus. Lawler joked about Cody’s tan. Damien with a tag into a Snap Mare. Flying Kneedrop by Damien. Sheamus went for a Whip but Damien reversed it. Shamus with the Irish Plunge. Damien pulled Sheamus off the top rope. Break time.
Sandow nearly got the pin on Sheamus, as Raw returned. Cody took the tag and helped keep Sheamus away from tagging out. Cody with a variation of the Kokina Clutch. Sheamus came back with the Irish Curse Backbreaker. Randy got the tag and planted Damien and Cody with Snap Powerslams. Randy with the Rope Assisted DDT on Damien. Orton went into his special place. Cody pulled Damien out of the ring. Randy went to the outside and Damien pulled Randy into the ring post. Sheamus tried to come help his partner but the ref ordered him back. Cody got Orton back in the ring and stomped away. Cody with a Front Drop Suplex for two. Cody with a Rear Chin Lock. Tag to Damien.
Sandow with the Side Russian Leg Sweep into the Elbow of Distain. 2 count. Damien drove his knees into Randy’s ribs. Cody tagged back in and punched away. Corner Shoulders and kicks by Cody. Headbutts by Randy. Cody got the knees up but Randy with the Exploder Suplex.
Both men crawled for tags. Sheamus got his fist nad exploded on Cody. Sheamus with the Mr. Wrestling II Running Kneelift. Sandow tagged in and got the I-Rope Crossfaces for his entrance. Sheamus went for White Noise by Cody with the Disaster Kick. Randy took out Cody as Damien got a two count. Sheamus blocked the Termineux and nailed the White Noise. Sheamus psyched himself up and called for his finisher. Sheamus just obliterated Damien with the Brogue Kick.
Your Winners: The Celtic Vipers (Orton and Sheamus)
Raw Ranking: 3.5
The USA Network ran a promo for the new movie, The Purge. I swear Star Trek did that in the late 60s. It still looks like a good movie. Funny thing was, when I went to the movies, the new Man of Steel trailer got Booed! Go figure.
The announcers talked about the Bret Hart Appreciation thing, AFTER Raw. They then ran down the updated Payback card.
John Cena vs Curtis Axel
Cena came out in his other shirt “The Champ is Here”. It would be a cool shirt, if it wasn’t in white. Curtis Axel then came out. They played the “Kid Perfect” theme.
The two circled each other and tied up. Side Headlock by Axel. The announcers mentioned Mick Foley as one of the men that Paul Heyman turned into a superstar..
Speaking of Foley, the tickets are selling like wildfire for Foley’s comedy performance on June 22, 2013 at New England Pro Wrestling’s Fan Fest 3. For more information, you can check out www.rivalrychampionshipwrestling.com. I’m planning on being there.
Curtis Axel bailed out of the ring and Raw took a break.
Cena and Axel were fighting on the floor. Axel sent Cena into the ring steps. The ref started to count Cena. Heyman told Axel to stay in the ring. Cena slid in and Axel kicked away. Hammer Throw by Axel. Axel rubbed Cena’s face into the canvas. Snap Suplex by Axel. 2 count. Axel ripped at Cena’s face and dropped an elbow. Heyman barked orders to his charge as Axel pulled on Cena’s arm. Cena turned in to relieve the pressure on his arm. Axel drove his knee into Cena’s jaw while pulling on the Arm Bar. Cena with a Clothesline to the back of the head. Cena had ducked a regular Clothesline. Axel choked Cena with the boot. Axel with a Whip but Cena went Vintage on the kid. Axel got out of the Attitude Adjustment and nailed a great Dropkick. Ax Bomber, by Axel, off the ropes. Axel missed a second one and Cena with a Powerslam for two. Axel with a hard boot and Snap Mare. Perfect Necksnap and boot by Axel. Axel went for his dad’s PerfectPlex but Cena blocked it. Axel came back and connected with the PerfectPlex but Cena kicked out. Axel was frustrated. He missed a Corner Splash. All of a sudden, the ambulance rushed into the arena. Cena left the ring to go up to the ambulance. The ref counted Cena out.
Your Winner (by Count-Out): Curtis Axel
Raw Ranking: 3.25
Ryback with an Ambush on Cena, who was looking in the back of the ambulance. Ryback pitched Cena on the stage and sent to Spear Cena through the Light Wall. Cena dodged him and went for the Attitude Adjustment. Ryback pushed out and took off. The official announcement of Axel’s win was made.
One last thing, the Game Show Network is rerunning the TNA appearances on Family Feud. It has a lot of people that used to be on TNA, like Mick Foley, Jay Lethal, and Lacey Von Erich.