Welcome to Hulk Hogan’s 61st Birthday Celebration. This was one heck of a great way to kick off SummerSlam Week.
The stage was packed with red and yellow gift boxes.
Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman came out to spoil the mood. Brock has modified his shirt to “Eat Sleep Conquer…John Cena”. While I’m not the biggest Cena fan, I sure hope he wipes up the mat with Lesnar, on Sunday. The fans were ultra-hostile towards the men in the ring. Paul is now calling Lesnar “The Conqueror”. Heyman said he was there to sell the beating that Cena was going to endure. He was also there to sell SummerSlam to the CeNation. Heyman threw out all kinds of philosophical statements which led to stills of Lesnar beating The Undertaker, at Wrestlemania. Heyman got very long-winded with his history lesson about Lesnar’s career. Heyman said SummerSlam would be the last time that the fans would see John Cena. Paul made excuses for why Brock lost to Cena in 2012. He told everyone that Lesnar was twice as good as he was, 2 years ago. Paul rapped to the fans and did pretty well.
Lesnar told Heyman to explain to the fans that this ring was His ring. “This is Brock’s House” were the words from Heyman. Heyman said Brock would return to his home, right after going out to dinner.
Birthday Greetings came to Hulk from” Flo Rida and “Weird” Al Yankovic.
Roman Reigns was ready to face an unknown, hand-picked, opponent…next.
Roman Reigns made his way through the crowd for his match. The unmasked Corporate Kane came out to reveal the identity of Roman’s opponent. Kane is back to being Director of Operations. Kane decided to have Roman face two men. Kane flubbed his lines…
Roman Reigns vs RybAxle (Curtis Axel and Ryback)
2-on-1 Handicap Match
Axel started against Roman. Axel danced around as Roman took his time. Roman pushed Axel away. Collar and Elbow and Roman took a Side Headlock. Push Off but Roman decked Axel. Axel called Roman a “punk kid” and a “coward”. Roman blasted the 3rd generation star.
Ryback demanded the tag and got it. “Playtime’s over” were the words out of Ryback’s arrogant mouth. Collar and Elbow and Roman took the Side Headlock. Push Off and the two collided. Neither man moved an inch. Ryback told Roman to do it again. Roman changed his mind and rocked Ryback with a huge Clothesline. Ryback and Roman traded punches and Whips. Roman with a huge Clothesline. Axel distracted Roman and Ryback took advantage. Roman blocked a Suplex and sent Ryback over. Shoulder Thrusts and an Uppercut by Roman sent Ryback to the corner. Roman knocked Axel off the apron. Ryback planted Roman with an evil-looking Powerbomb. Raw went to break.
Ryback had Roman in a Rear Chin Lock. Roman fought free and blasted both opponents. A High Elbow and Big Boot sent Ryback to the floor. Ryback ran Roman into the ring post. Axel did too. A third run into the corner, by both men, drew the disqualification.
Your Winner (by disqualification): Roman Reigns
Raw Ranking: 2.0 out of a possible 5
Roman came back to attack both men. Samoan Drop to Axel. La Bandera Clothesline to Ryback. Perfect Leg Flip to Axel. Rising Son Dropkick to Axel’s jaw. Roman ran Ryback into the ring post. He rolled Big Hungry into the ring and cocked and unloaded the Superman Punch…to both men. Roman grinned as the fans chanted for “Spear!” he took out Ryback and then Axel with Spears.
Renee Young talked with Roman Reigns. She asked if he was mentally prepared for Randy Orton. Roman thought about it for a moment as the fans chanted for him. He then asked the crowd if he looked ready. They said he definitely was. Roman said he didn’t steal anything from Randy but he would take it all from The Viper, on Sunday. Roman wondered what a Viper was when you knock it’s fangs down its throat…a useless little worm. Believe dat.
Randy talked to Kane, backstage. Randy prodded Kane for not being able to defeat Roman Reigns. Kane stopped Randy as he started to leave. Kane explained that Randy needed to prove he was ready. Randy was put in a match against Sheamus. Kane grinned as Orton walked away.
Seth Rollins vs Rob Van Dam
(Due to an emergency broadcast about a Severe Thunderstorm Warning, this match was interrupted. Therefore…)
RVD with a Boot to Seth’s head. Seth hit the corner and Rob planted Seth. Rolling Thunder, modified. 2 count. Superkick by RVD. Split Legged Moonsault but it only brought a 2 for RVD. Back Roll but Seth with a hard kick. RVD reversed a Whip but Seth blocked the Monkey Flip. Curb Stomp!
Your Winner: Seth Rollins
Raw Ranking: 2.75
Seth will face Dean Ambrose, in a Lumberjack Match, on Sunday. Seth stopped to look at some of the presents. He considered opening a huge box but thought better of it. Was Dean in the big box? Yeppers! He broke free and started beating the stuffing out of Seth. Seth took off through the crowd. Dean slid in the ring with a microphone. “Run, Seth, while you still can!” He told Seth that his (Seth’s) backside belonged to him. Dean gets the bonus check for pushing the “9.99” catchphrase. Smile.
Stephanie was on her way to the ring to make a “confession” to her opponent, Brie Bella.
Michael Cole sent it to a preview of Slam City. It’s a cute series of adventures.
Stephanie McMahon strolled out for this huge surprise. Stephanie was there to do what was “Best for Business”. Stephanie had information that might negatively affect a superstars’ life. Stephanie introduced Megan Miller, Daniel Bryan’s physical therapist. They showed pictures of Megan and Daniel. Stephanie brought Megan into the ring. The girl admitted to having an affair with Daniel Bryan. The B.S. Meter just went off the charts.
Brie stormed the ring and got up in Megan’s face. Stephanie told Brie that the wife was always the last to know. Stephanie called Brie “a piece of trash’. Stephanie stirred the pot by saying that Daniel told Megan that Brie was a “Dead Fish”. Brie slapped the taste out of Megan’s mouth and then attacked Stephanie. Yes Lock to Stephanie! All kinds of officials hit the ring to get Brie out. Stephanie challenged Brie to fight her…tonight! The fans exploded with the “Yes!” chant.
Jack Swagger vs Cesaro
Raw looked back at how Rusev assaulted Jack, last week. Lana called off Rusev before he attacked Zeb Colter.
Back to this week, Zeb was the Guardian of Old Glory. Jack went right after Cesaro, his former partner. Front Face Lock but Cesaro reversed it. Push Off into a Cesaro Shoulder Tackle. He missed the Double Stomp. Jack had taped ribs from last week’s attack by Rusev and the flagpole. Push Off into a Swagger Shoulder Tackle. Universal stopped as Jack unloaded with a Powerslam. Whip by Jack but he missed a Corner Charge. Cesaro with a Gut Wrench Suplex. Cesaro punched at the ribs and hit a Running European Uppercut. Whip by Cesaro led to the Abdominal Stretch by the Swiss Superman.
Cesaro popped the ribs. Backbreaker by Cesaro. Arm Bar by Cesaro as Zeb urged his man (Jack) on. Jack rushed Cesaro to the corner. Shoulder Thrusts but Cesaro with a kick and Ax Bomber. Jack hit a Belly to Belly as Cesaro went for another Ax Bomber. Short Arm Clothesline by Jack. Knee Strike and then Cesaro dropped Jack over the top rope. Cesaro sent Jack flying off the apron. Raw needed another break.
Cesaro had another Abdominal Stretch on Jack. Cesaro exposed the ribs and pounded away. Cesaro tried to bit the tape off Jack’s ribs. Jack powered up into a Side Slam. Jack with a wild Clothesline and Big Boot. Swagger Bomb but Jack was hurt by the move. Small Package by Cesaro but he couldn’t hold down Jack. Jack with wild punches, but they were only about half strength. Double Thrusts by Cesaro that brought a two count.
Backspash Senton, off the ropes, by Cesaro. 1-2-no. Jack moved to the ropes. Cesaro ran Jack into the corner, from the apron. Cesaro wanted the Superplex but Jack lifted Cesaro and put him on the apron. La Bandera Clothesline back into the ring. Lift Knee Strike by Cesaro, which led to a Slider European Uppercut. 2 count.
Cesaro slapped Jack in the face and screamed at him. Cesaro went to Double Stomp the ribs but Jack got the Patriot Lock. Cesaro reached the ropes. Cesaro with the Patriot Lock, off the top rope. Jack pulled Cesaro to mid-ring and Cesaro tapped out.
Your Winner (by Submission): Jack Swagger
Raw Ranking: 3.0
Zeb did a promo about the “Kremlin Gremlin” (Rusev) and Lana. It was all about the 50 stars and 13 bars. They started to do “We the People” chant but Rusev’s music hit and the huge Russian flag descended from the roof. For once, Lana remained silent.
Raw looked back at last week’s interaction between Bray Wyatt and Chris Jericho. Y2J was fighting Luke Harper but Erick Rowan and Bray got involved. Jericho took out Rowan and Harper with Code Breakers. Bray laid out Jericho with Sister Abigail.
They sent it to a long, drawn-out One-on-One between Wyatt and Jericho. Bray dismissed Michael Cole and started rambling on about dreams and such. This was a very boring verbal altercation between two of the (normally) best talkers in the business. Bray told Chris how his dreams were all nightmares. Bray said he only lived to help people that couldn’t help themselves. Bray felt no sorrow or remorse for his actions. Bray even admitted that he hated himself. Bray laughed at Jericho’s claim to being a savior.
Jericho corrected him that he was no savior. Jericho stated he was a survivor. He warned Bray that there were many different sides to Jericho and Bray wouldn’t know which one he would get. Jericho promised to leave Bray speechless. Cut.
A.J. Lee vs Eva Marie
Eva Marie worked over the arm but Lee reversed it into a Side Headlock Takeover. Suddenly, Paige came out onto the stage and skipped down to the ring. Lee with a Whip into a Double Sledge. Paige kept skipping around the ring. School Girl, by Eva Marie, for a 3.
Your Winner: Eva Marie
Raw Ranking: .5
Paige got on the stick and said she knew Lee was going to be mad about the attack on Smackdown. Paige read a weird poem.
A.J. went out to the floor and attacked Eva Marie. A.J. then skipped her way to the back, clutching her Divas title belt.
John Cena came out to counter Paul Heyman’s earlier comments. Looks like the crayon box has been shuffled, again. Cena has moved from green to red shirt/hat combo. John worked the crowd like a maestro as he got them to chant several different things. John Cena mocked Heyman’s “Ladies and Gentlemen, my name is…” catchphrase. Cena repeated what Paul promised, as it relates to being beaten. Cena was certain that Brock would not win. Cena screamed that he would not lay down for Lesnar. Cena said Lesnar was not worthy to hold the title. Cena admitted that he didn’t like Lesanr.
Cena brought up the topic of turning heel. Cena said he was bringing a new, necessary John Cena to SummerSlam. Cena told the fans that the ring was the Fans’ House, not Lesnar’s. Cena said there was a stranger standing in his living room (Cena in the ring). Cena challenged Brock to come kick him out of the house. Cena ripped off the crimson shirt and stood ready. Lesnar, of course, had left to go to dinner. Cena made fun of Lesnar’s former health issues. Cena talked about having too many fingers, so he decided to give Brock the middle one. The crowd turned almost completely to supporting Cena. Cena swore he would conquer the conqueror.
After a look back at the Brie/Megan/Stephanie situation, we saw Brie walking on her way to the ring. The match was set to go, next…
More birthday wishes for Hogan. This time, they came from Larry King and Florida Georgia Line.
Brie Bella vs Stephanie McMahon
The match never happened as Stephanie came out and explained that Megan had pressed charges, against Brie, for assault (for the slap during the boring confrontation). Another arrest? Seriously? Oh, Come On.
Your Winner: No Match
Raw Ranking: -10 (for recycling a stupid idea, again)
The Miz was out to watch the next match.
Dolph Ziggler vs Heath Slater
Dolph came out in one of Miz’s old “Haters Wanted” shirts. Miz was not happy with Michael Cole’s interview with Dolph, from WWE.com. Dolph threw the shirt at Miz as the bell rang.
Collar and Elbow. Standing Switch. Heath with a Back Elbow and a hard punch. Whip into a Back Elbow by Heath. 2 count. Rear Chin Lock by Heath. JBL unplugged Miz’s microphone and just became the greatest announcer in wrestling. Dropkick by Dolph. Dolph kept yelling at Miz. Heath almost got the win. Scoop Slam by Dolph. Jumping Elbow Drop by the Show Off. Heath came back and got a two count. Miz talked about the people that fans think about when they think of Cleveland (he forgot WWE Hall of Famer, Drew Carey).
Rear Chin Lock by Heath but Dolph punched free. Heath dropped Dolph and got a two count. Heath went back to the Rear Chin Lock. Dolph with a Jawbreaker. Flying Clothesline by Dolph. Dolph with the Zig Zag. Miz jumped on the apron and Dolph chased after Miz. He threw Miz into the barricade. Dolph ripped the ice cream jacket off Miz. Dolph forgot about the count and Heath Slater Wins!
Your Winner (by count out): Heath Slater
Raw Ranking: 2.0
The New Streak is off and running!
Dolph got in the ring to congratulate Heath. Heath tried to kick Dolph. Bad move, skippy. Zig Zag!
Randy Orton vs Sheamus
Collar and Elbow to the corner. Clean break. Randy with a pair of hard kicks. . Randy Whipped Sheamus to the corner but Sheamus came back with a Clothesline. Corner Punches by Sheamus. Randy dropped Sheamus into the corner. Corner Clothesline by The Viper. Big Boot by Sheamus. Sheamus dropped Randy and went to the corner. Flying Knee Drop, off the middle ropes, by Sheamus. Sheamus drove his knee into Orton’s back. Randy rolled around to evade Sheamus. Randy went to throw Sheamus into the corner but fell to a Short Arm Clothesline. Randy fought out of the 10 Beats. Randy went to the floor as Raw went to break.
Randy had Sheamus in a Seated Side Headlock as Raw returned. Randy took control during the break. La Bandera Clothesline by Sheamus. The two fought on the floor. Randy with a Back Drop Suplex onto the announce table. Randy fixed the table after that. Randy threw Sheamus back in and got a two count. Randy went back to the Rear Chin Lock. Side Drop Slam by Sheamus. Sheamus went off on Randy with Double Sledges, a Corner Run and the Mr. Wrestling II Million Dollar Kneelift. Hard Suplex by Sheamus. Randy slithered out of the ring. Randy kicked Sheamus as the Celtic Warrior slid out of the ring. Randy went for the Rope Assisted DDT but Sheamus converted it into the 10 Beats. Sheamus used a Fireman’s Carry to put Randy into position for the Rolling Senton. Randy blocked the Irish Curse Backbreaker. Randy with a kick that led to the Twisted Sister Backbreaker. Rope Assisted DDT by Randy. Sheamus rolled out onto the apron. Sheamus with a Neck Snap and Battering Ram. Powerslam by Sheamus. Sheamus mocked Orton by Going into the Dark Place stance. Sheamus missed the Brogue Kick Sheamus rolled up the ropes and flew…into an RKO!
Your Winner: Randy Orton
Raw Ranking: 3.5
Hulk Hogan’s Birthday Party
The stage was filled with the stars of WWE. “Mean” Gene Okerlund was the master of ceremonies. Jimmy Hart was also in the ring. Gene brought out Hulk Hogan. The fans rose to their feet. Hogan cam e out in the traditional red and yellow. Raw ran a very touching tribute video. Hogan was fighting back the tears as “Forever Young” by Bob Dylan echoed off the walls.
Next, it was time to bring out the party guests:
“Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff (so great to see him, even with that wild Zeb Colter/Yosemite Sam-like mustache)
Scott Hall and Kevin nash! (Scott looked incredible, even better than when I met him in New Orleans)
Scott took the stick and went Razor with the “Hey Yo!” intro. Scott said the Outsiders were honored to be there. He thought Hogan looked sweet in the red and yellow. Scott took a survey. Who wanted red and yellow and who wanted the black and white of the n.W.o.? Hogan ripped off the Hulkamania shirt and there was an n.W.o. shirt underneath. Kevin Nash then sang “Happy Birthday” to Hogan. I love it.
The fun came to an end as Brock Lesnar came back out. Lesnar got up in Piper’s face and Shoulder Bumped him. He also got right up in Hogan’s face and told “Grandpa” that the party was over. John Cena rushed back down and Paul Heyman called off “The Beast”.
John Cena said it was time for the party to get started back up. The show ended with the party still going strong.
Post Raw Birthday Celebration
Since I have the WWE Network (for only 9.99 a month, grin), I tuned into the post-show broadcast. Titus O’Neil and Heath Slater brought out a chintzy little cake. It was a prop and Titus ended up covered in it. After that, the real cake was brought out. The candles spelled out “9.99”. Too funny. Hogan blew out the candles and the other guests left the ring. As Hogan stood in the middle of a major love fest from the fans, tons of red and yellow confetti and about 1,000 or more red and yellow balloons descended from the ceiling. Dianna, my wife, happened to be in my office as I was watching this. I grinned and said “you know, next year I turn 50. That would be an ok birthday celebration for me.” She smiled, patted me on the head and left the room. Don’t think she left to start blowing up balloons. Smile.
I want to end, this week, by sharing some positiveness with all of you. Our dear friend, Jackie, lost her husband about 2 years ago. On Saturday morning, Dianna and I were honored to be invited to her marriage to her new husband, Ted. They are two of the best people that we know. Jackie was the first person to befriend us when we moved out here to the middle of nowhere. Jackie and Ted, I wish you absolutely all the best and hope and pray that you experience many years of happiness together.