Monday, April 27, 2009

WWE Raw Report

Date: 04/27/09 from Bridgeport, CT.

The Big News: Batista earned a shot at Randy Orton’s title with help from John Cena.

Show Analysis:

Vickie Guerrero started the show. She said she is proud that Edge won the Smackdown title and happy to introduce Randy Orton as the new Raw champion. Orton said the McMahons are in mourning because their protector and champion has fallen. He noted that he took out HHH just like he said he would. Vickie announced Orton will defend the title on the next PPV against the winner of a Batista vs. Big Show bout later in the show. MVP then came out to antagonize Orton and Vickie made that match as well for Raw.

Kofi Kingston beat The Brian Kendrick. Kendrick hit a top rope dropkick. Kingston responded with the high double leg drop, springboard crossbody and trouble in paradise for the pin. This was a good match, although I wish they hadn’t slotted Kendrick so low in week 1. They announced that John Cena will be out for a long time. Vickie congratulated Big Show for that backstage, but said that their relationship will now be strictly professional.

Santina Marella, Mickie James, Kelly Kelly and Brie Bella beat Beth Phoenix, Maryse, Rosa Mendes and Jillian Hall. Beth chopped Santina, who shrieked and tagged Brie. Brie went under the ring and came out with Nikki and Hornswoggle. Idiotic “comedy” ensued. God I hate Hornswoggle. Santina rolled up Jillian for the win.

Matt Hardy beat Goldust. Hardy was wearing a cast and talked about his broken hand. He called Jeff a heartless barbarian and said that he isn’t a quitter. Goldust then came out for the match. Matt backed off repeatedly until Goldust turned his back. Matt then hit Goldust with the cast for the pin. They are apparently going to do the old Bob Orton Jr. angle with Matt.

Randy Orton beat MVP via disqualification. MVP worked over Orton for much of the match. He hit a yakuza kick, while Orton nailed a neck breaker. MVP took over with an overhead belly to belly, face buster and balling. The balling spot didn’t get nearly the same reaction it does on Smackdown, illustrating the difference in Raw and Smackdown viewership numbers. MVP missed the yakuza kick, Orton dumped him over the top rope, and then Shane McMahon attacked Orton for the DQ.

Shane attacked Orton with a Singapore cane and hit en elbow off the top. He then ran into the crowd. Shane looks in much better shape now than when he first came back, and it makes him much more credible in this role. Vickie announced Shane vs. Orton for next week, and hopefully that’s the blow off of that for now. As for MVP/Orton, they gave MVP a ton of offense and tried to establish him at a high level.

Miz came out and challenged John Cena. The announcers made it clear Cena was injured and unavailable. “I’m tired of the same guys in main events every week in Raw,” said the Miz. Preach on! The man spits nothing but the truth. Like Beanie Sigel. Or Julius Smokes. “That’s why the Miz is going to grab the brass ring,” he continued. Whoa, whoa, whoa. Hold up there, Sparky. Perhaps you should just stick with the idea of new main eventers in theory, because I’m not digging the specifics of your plan. Anyway, Miz announced himself the winner over Cena via forfeit.

Carlito and Primo Colon beat Chavo Guerrero and Jamie Noble. The Colons were in control early, but the heels briefly worked over Primo. He tagged Carlito, who came in with a back drop, sit down power bomb and double jump somersault senton. Primo took out Chavo with a tope and Carlito hit the back cracker on Noble for the pin.

Batista beat Big Show via count out. This was an awful, plodding, deadly boring retread of a match complete with a horrendous finish and setting up a bout nobody wants to see. Show worked over Batista seemingly forever. Batista came back with a spine buster, but Show hit a choke slam. At that point, John Cena came out on the ramp and Show was counted out.

Final Thoughts:

This was another not-so-great edition of Raw. Between the cutting down on brand mixing, the absence of HHH, and the slight role of Cena, the show was a lot lighter on star power.

I really hated the main event on a number of levels. As noted already, the match itself was awful. But the booking beyond that I thought was also really bad.

First, the idea of a title is that it signifies the best wrestler. WWE PPVs have collapsed in large part because they have killed off the idea that their titles mean anything. Thus, nobody cares to see wrestlers fight for them. And the last two days are yet another example of the crappy booking that has led to that situation. A cheap interference finish in a title match is okay if used very sparingly, but otherwise it just makes the titles feel pointless.

Edge beat Cena last night solely because Big Show interfered. Then 24 hours later they do the same exact diminution of the other title, by having Batista earn a title shot solely because Cena interfered. What are these title matches for, when neither champions nor challengers establish themselves as even negligibly better than the other members of WWE’s established main eventer club? It’s the same group, everyone stays at the same level regardless of whether they win or lose, and the wins or losses rarely come because one is better than the other. What’s the point? It’s just a prolonged exercise in preserving the status quo.

Second, and speaking of the status quo, Batista is challenging for the title again? Really? I swear this guy has unsuccessfully challenged for a title on pay-per-view 25 times in the past three years. Would it kill them to give someone else a push for once? I have nothing against Batista as a performer, but Batista as a face challenger was tired years ago. It’s almost to the point of farce now. He always challenges the heel champion. He never wins. He never truly loses. And the next month he challenges again. Give someone else a shot, for Christ’s sake.

Third, if Cena was going to show up at the end of the show, why did they do the angle earlier with the Miz? I’ve seen the angle tons of times over the years where the heel challenges a face knowing that the face isn’t there. I didn’t know it was possible for a promotion to be so stupid as to fuck this up by having it come out later that the face is in fact there. Are fans supposed to think Cena is a coward who won’t respond to a challenge from the Miz of all people? Or are they just assumed to be so stupid as to not remember what they saw two segments ago?

Much of this show wasn’t that bad. But the big picture stuff was.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

What on Earth Does Sean Avery Have to Do to Be Suspended?

I don't think I've ever seen such a dirty player in any sport.

Monday, April 20, 2009

WWE Raw Report

Date: 04/20/09 from London, England.

The Big News: Shhhhh. HHH and Orton are wrestling.

Show Analysis:

Chris Jericho came out to start the show. Yes, he was drafted to Smackdown last week. The announcers half-heartedly tried to explain this, with Michael Cole at one point saying, “Remember the draft takes full effect next week after Backlash.” There was no explanation for why this was the case. So, Raw wrestlers going to Smackdown still participated here. So too did Smackdown wrestlers drafted to Raw. And for that matter, so too did Smackdown wrestlers who weren’t on Raw before and haven’t been drafted to Raw for the future. Don’t worry about it. WWE will get to enforcing this whole split brand concept eventually.

Jericho was happy that this would be his “last and final appearance on Raw forever.” I would say the odds of Jericho never wrestling again on Raw are about the same as Big Boss Man wrestling again on Raw. Jericho said that without him Raw will change for the worse and fans will be begging him to come back.

Ricky Steamboat came out and thanked Jericho for giving him the passion to perform again. Jericho said Steamboat was trying to get in the spotlight again, and that he needs to put Steamboat out of his misery. Jericho called for a singles match at Backlash on Sunday. I don’t know about doing that with a one week build. They probably should have thought about the Backlash lineup in previous weeks. Don’t you think that sounds like a good idea?

John Cena came out, but Jericho said he didn’t care what Cena had to say. He said his last act on Raw would be to walk out. As he did, Steamboat accepted the match for Backlash. Then Cena said that Vickie Guerrero wasn’t there but that she made Jericho vs. Cena for later in the show.

Batista beat Chavo Guerrero. Chavo said that he would prove that not only can he push around Vickie’s wheelchair, but he can also push around anyone on the Raw roster. That brought out Batista who immediately hit the Batista bomb for the pin. As Batista was leaving, Chavo grabbed the microphone, apologized to Vickie, and said he wasn’t ready. Batista came back to the ring. A fearful Chavo said that he was ready, but got another Batista bomb anyway. This was a funny segment.

CM Punk beat Kane in a complete waste of time. Kane went for a choke slam but Punk got out with some horribly botched thing and pinned Kane. This was another perfect example of a match that accomplishes nothing other than burying the significance of matches in general. Moreover, they only had one move to do, and they couldn’t have screwed that up any more horribly.

Santino called out Santina to apologize to her for getting her into the Great Khali kiss situation. Santino said that the people who think they are the same person are crazy. Santina appeared on the screen and said she had a blister on her lip that would prevent her from kissing Khali on Smackdown. The video started fast forwarding, and a nervous Santino tried to explain that Santina had too much Red Bull (as opposed to this being a pre-recorded video).

Santino began reading a poem for no reason, other than apparently the writers think poetry is a great addition to a pro wrestling show. Or maybe they were big fans of Lanny Poffo. Who knows? I will say this much. He was the world’s smartest man and Beefcake was double dumb. Beth Phoenix came out and said she was sorry to hear about the blister, but that she talked to Vickie and they set aside time for a Santina/Khali kiss at Backlash instead.

Melina beat Beth Phoenix to retain the women’s title. Michael Cole explained during this match that Raw could end up with the world and WWE titles, as well as the women’s and divas titles. What exactly is the take home point from that observation other than that there are way too many duplicate titles and they mean absolutely nothing? Why would you possibly bring attention to the fact that you have created both a “divas championship” and a “women’s championship”? Anyway, Melina won with a springboard elbow, bulldog off the top and the last call after Beth accidentally ran into Rosa Mendes. This was sloppy.

John Cena beat Chris Jericho via DQ. They traded punches early, with the crowd mostly behind Jericho. Cena hit the Cena slam and five knuckle but Jericho escaped the FU and hit a DDT. Jericho sent Cena into the steps and hit an electric chair. Jericho then reversed an FU attempt into the code breaker for two. Cena then hit the FU for two.

Jericho caught Cena in the Walls. Cena escaped but Jericho hit an enzuigiri. Cena went for a superplex but Edge pushed him off for the DQ. This was overall a pretty good match, but they botched a lot of spots and it was decidedly on the lower end of their previous matches. Edge hit a one man concerto on Cena after the match, and counted to 10 for the last man standing gimmick.

Big Show beat Rey Mysterio. Show threw Mysterio around. Rey came back with a bunch of flying moves until Show kind of caught him when he went for the 619 and then delivered the knockout punch for the pin.

Randy Orton beat HHH in a no DQ match. HHH sent Orton into the announce table, and Orton returned the favor. Orton hit HHH with a garbage can and with the steps. Orton went for a DDT on the steps but HHH escaped. Orton hit HHH with a chair and gave him a DDT on the chair. HHH hit Orton in the leg with a chair and worked over the leg.

Legacy eventually ran in. Shane and Batista tried to make the save, but of course the idiots bungled things up again. Batista accidentally speared Shane and HHH was distracted by all this and hit with an RKO for the pin. The match itself was good, but the crowd was once again shockingly silent for HHH and Orton. If HHH weren’t involved, I’m sure WWE would take this as a serious warning sign that something is very wrong. They’ve done a series of extremely heavy angles and presented this as the company’s top feud, and very hot crowds don’t seem remotely interested in it for whatever reason.

Final Thoughts:

This was another bad show. The wrestling was sub-par pretty much across the board, Sunday’s Backlash feels completely superfluous, and there was a staggering lack of attention to detail.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

WWE Raw Report

Date: 04/13/09 from Atlanta, GA.

The Big News: WWE had its annual draft show, with the matches on the show dictating who would switch shows.

Show Analysis:

The show opened with an odd scene. They panned to the different announce tables where the Raw, Smackdown and ECW teams introduced the show. Well, they cut to Josh Mathews, commentating live for one of his first shows, and he immediately developed a nose bleed like a nervous teenager. “I feel your pain, brother,” Fred Ottman remarked somewhere.

Next up was a promo segment. Batista came out and said he wanted retribution for Randy Orton taking him out. Shane McMahon then joined him and said he wants retribution just as badly. HHH then came out to say he would be the one to get retribution since Orton was coming after him all along. Vickie Guerrero then came out and announced Shane, HHH and Batista vs. Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase, with one of them getting a match against Orton if they win.

This was the worst show-opening talk segment in years. They are almost always entertaining and helpful in advancing the key storylines, but this one felt completely pointless, dull and poorly delivered. Guys, you’re getting Orton in a six man tag. All three of you can get your revenge. You look like self-centered morons arguing about it.

Rey Mysterio beat Evan Bourne. Rey used a drop toe hold to send Bourne into the barricade. Bourne hit a standing moonsault and went to the top but Rey cut him off with a top rope huracanrana. Rey then finished Bourne with the 619 and top rope splash. This was good, but it was tremendously disappointing that they had a three hour show and gave these guys less than five minutes.

MVP was the first draft pick to Raw. I think that’s a good move. MVP has been on Smackdown forever and moving to Raw may be able to establish him at a higher level. It’s imperative to keep him strong at first.

As a minor point, the announcers kept talking about how there would be “random” picks in this draft. Given everyone with a brain can figure out that the top stars are drafted on Raw and the lesser stars are drafted on the supplemental draft, why not just acknowledge that next year? Just say that the brands will receive picks from the top stars of each brand. It’s true, and it doesn’t feel like you’re insulting anyone’s intelligence.

Kane beat The Brian Kendrick. Kane nailed Ezekiel with a big boot. Kendrick missed sliced bread #2 and Kane beat him with the choke slam. Big Show was then drafted to Raw in a move that doesn’t matter one way or another.

Orton complained to Vickie Guerrero backstage about the handicap match. In response, Vickie said that if Rhodes or DiBiase won, the person they beat would have to face all three members of Legacy in a handicap match next week. Jack Swagger and John Cena had a confrontation backstage. Swagger said that he is the future of the company and that when he beat Cena WWE would have a new poster boy. Cena responded by making fun of Swagger for calling himself the All American American. Cena’s right, you know.

Michelle McCool, Maryse and Natalya beat Kelly Kelly, Mickie James and Melina. They went a minute or so in another one of those matches that just make matches feel pointless. They really need to reverse that trend if they want to sell PPVs, and I think as a result it’s about time to put the kibosh on matches shorter than four minutes or so. They do more harm than good just about every single time. Mickie came off the ropes and was caught with a Michelle boot to the face for the pin. Melina was drafted to Smackdown.

John Cena beat Jack Swagger. Swagger hit a clothesline and applied a full nelson which Cena powered out of. Cena hit shoulder blocks, the Cena slam and the five knuckle shuffle. Cena went for the FU but Swagger grabbed the ropes. Swagger hit a yakuza kick and botched a DDT really badly. He followed with a knee lift and power slam but was caught coming off the ropes with the FU. Cena then applied the STF for the tap out.

I’d avoid having Swagger do jobs in general, but on rare occasions against a Cena level star I think it’s fine. The match, however, was not good at all. The picks to Raw were HHH and Matt Hardy. HHH is basically a Raw guy already. I am curious what they are going to do with the titles, given Cena and HHH are both on Raw. The most obvious thing is Cena losing the title to Edge, but they may feel that is too obvious.

As for Hardy, I don’t really understand what they’re doing with him. It seems they want to continue his feud with Jeff Hardy, so either Jeff is getting drafted in the supplemental draft or they’re going to undermine the split brand premise right after the draft, which would be quite dumb. After they announced the draft choices, Edge jumped Cena from behind but Cena fought Edge off.

Great Khali beat Santino in a squash. Beth Phoenix told Santino that if Khali won, he would get to kiss Santina next week. Khali won with a chop. CM Punk was then drafted to Smackdown. I think that will work well. He can eventually torment the champion Edge.

Kofi Kingston beat the Miz via DQ. Miz hit a baseball slide and dropped Kofi on the ring apron. Kofi came back with a frog crossbody but Miz rolled through for two. Kofi hit the side Ghanan leg sweep and high double leg drop. Kofi missed trouble in paradise but Miz couldn’t capitalize. Kofi got up on the second rope. Morrison tried to push him off but the referee saw it for the DQ.

Miz was drafted to Raw. Miz attacked Morrison and gave him a swinging neck breaker. I think splitting up Miz and Morrison is a good move. Yes, they work well as a tag team. But tag teams mean absolutely nothing in WWE in 2009. It’s just brands the guys as midcarders, when Morrison is one of the few guys on the entire roster who could be elevated to a much higher position and help freshen things up.

The execution of this, however, was weird. It was like Miz was the star. He is the one going to the A show, and he is the one who was focused on here. Morrison, on the other hand, is stuck in nothing happening ECW. I don’t really understand this segment if it was intended as the beginning of a big push for Morrison as a single.

Edge won a three brand battle royal over MVP, Cryme Tyme, Mike Knox, Big Show, Finlay, Tyson Kidd, Paul Burchill, Mark Henry, Ricky Ortiz, the Colons, R. Truth and Chavo Guerrero. The story was that Big Show and Mark Henry were eliminating everyone. Show dumped Ortiz, Burchill, Chavo, Primo, Kidd and Carlito. Henry threw out Knox, Shad, Truth, JTG and MVP.

Edge eliminated Finlay. That left Edge, Henry and Show. Show lifted Henry over the top rope to the apron and eliminated him with the knockout punch. Show then charged Edge like an idiot and Edge pulled down the ropes for the final elimination.

The draft picks to Smackdown were Kane and Chris Jericho. Kane is pretty inconsequential, as he basically flips places with Show. Jericho as a selection I really like. He’s kind of been lost in the shuffle on Raw, and with Smackdown a little thinner it should provide Jericho the opportunity to really shine.

Christian beat Shelton Benjamin to earn ECW its only draft pick. Christian went to the top but Shelton leaped up and hurled him off with a release superplex. Christian went for the kill switch but Benjamin reversed into a back breaker. Benjamin missed the stinger splash and Christian hit the kill switch for the pin. As they got ready for the ECW pick to be revealed, Matt Striker said he hoped it would be John Cena. That was funny. It turned out to be Vladimir Kozlov, which isn’t the most inspiring of additions.

Matt Hardy beat CM Punk via DQ. Matt used an abdominal stretch and hit the side effect, but Jeff ran in and attacked Matt for the DQ. Jeff set up for the swanton, but Matt escaped. Maryse was drafted to Raw, presumably to feud with Beth Phoenix when Beth fully turns face.

This was the fourth champion to switch brands on this show, with a fifth to come. I don’t harp on this point because I know WWE doesn’t think in sports terms, but I always hate this brand switching of champions. The idea of a championship is that it symbolizes you are the best at something. People care about a title fight because it will decide who the best fighter in a certain weight class is.

WWE has completely undermined this notion by having so many belts and not protecting the champions, which is a big part of their PPV decline and inability to elevate new stars. But when they have five champions move away from the place that they won and defended their titles, why even bother with having the titles? You’re just beating people over the head with the fact that the titles are just gold props for certain wrestlers to carry around. Nobody cares about two people fighting over an inanimate object. They care about the symbolism of that object, symbolism that has been completely and utterly lost.

Chris Jericho beat Tommy Dreamer. Dreamer went for a DDT which Jericho reversed into a Walls attempt, but Dreamer avoided that. Dreamer hit a sit down power bomb and went to the top but was crotched. Dreamer came off the ropes anyway, but was caught with the code breaker for the pin. Rey Mysterio was then drafted to Smackdown. That’s clearly the wise move and one of the most obvious moves going in, as hopefully Rey can help regain some of the Hispanic fans that Smackdown has lost.

The highlight (well, lowlight really) of this match was Todd Grisham making a complete jackass of himself. Matt Striker put over Tommy Dreamer as an ECW legend. Grisham responded smugly that if Dreamer is a legend so too is the Brooklyn Brawler. What a dipshit. Now, granted, Dreamer hasn’t exactly headlined Madison Square Garden and he’s enhancement talent now, but he is absolutely one of the biggest stars in ECW history. Why even keep the ECW name if its biggest historical stars are akin to WWF jobbers?

And what possible good comes from a play-by-play announcer burying a face like that? You’re just disrespecting a guy who has worked really hard and sacrificed so much in this business for 15 years, and that clown Grisham hasn’t even seen more than clips of what Dreamer did in the original ECW anyway. Well, Todd Grisham, you’re as much of a pro wrestling announcing legend as Art Donovan.

HHH, Batista and Shane McMahon beat Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase. The faces here were TNA level annoying and unsympathetic. The story is that they are so selfish and stupid that they will fight amongst themselves so they can get Randy Orton first, rather than just waiting for a six man tag in a mere two weeks where they can all get their revenge on him. And if this is the story, why didn’t Shane just jump HHH the week before Mania so he could get his hands on Orton instead?

Anyway, the faces broke up each other’s pin attempts. Batista hit a spine buster and Batista bomb on DiBiase but Shane broke up the pin. Batista shoved Shane, and Shane speared Batista. In the midst of this HHH tagged himself in and hit the pedigree on DiBiase for the pin.

Final Thoughts:

I didn’t care for this show at all. It kept my interest and curiosity, but they did so many things that drove me nuts up and down the card. Ultimately, I’m not even sure why they had a draft right now. It felt like very little changed. They switched up their big men and women’s champions and midcard champions and midcard heels, but it wasn’t like they did a lot to set up big new feuds or to elevate fresher talent. I’m not terribly optimistic about summer 2009 in WWE.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

WWE Raw Report

Date: 04/06/09 from Houston, TX.

The Big News: Where to start? Batista made his return. The draft is next week. Vickie Guerrero is the new permanent Raw GM. And Ricky Steamboat is still great.

Show Analysis:

Randy Orton came out to start the show. He said that the sledgehammer use at WrestleMania was illegal, but that was the last we heard about that. Orton said HHH can’t beat him on his own and that he’ll take the title in a rematch. There were RKO chants. He threatened Linda and the McMahon grandchildren. Vince McMahon came out, and Orton for some reason bailed. Vince announced Legacy vs. Vince, Shane and HHH for Backlash. Vince said Orton is scared to fight without Rhodes and DiBiase and without them he is a failure. Orton challenged Vince to a match and Vince accepted.

Carlito and Primo Colon beat Miz and John Morrison in a lumberjack match to retain the unified tag titles. Primo dropkicked Morrison outside early, and the face lumberjacks attacked him rather than throwing him back in. Usually that’s a heel spot. Miz and Morrison worked over Primo briefly, but he tagged Carlito. Carlito came in with a knee lift and the roll of the dice on Miz.

They went for a superplex spot but both men fell off the top rope in different directions. Morrison then did a 450 press to the floor. Someone may be looking for a singles push. Carlito went for the back cracker but Miz slipped out and covered for two. Miz then got Carlito in electric chair position but Carlito slipped out into the back cracker for the pin. This was sloppy but they worked very hard for a TV match.

They talked up next week’s draft a ton early in the show. It’s a very hard sell as something monumental when the major stars have been working all the shows pretty much every week for months. Really, it’s kind of insulting to act like fans can’t figure that out.

Mickie James, Kelly Kelly, Melina, Layla and Jillian Hall beat Maryse, Maria, Gail Kim, Natalya and Eve Torres. Jerry Lawler referenced Gail Kim as a newcomer. I’m not sure if that means he forgot she used to work for the company or if we’re supposed to forget that period. The heels worked over Melina, who tagged Mickie. Natalya gave Mickie the Alabama slam, but Mickie responded with a tornado DDT for the pin.

Ricky Steamboat, John Cena, Rey Mysterio, Jeff Hardy and CM Punk beat Chris Jericho, Matt Hardy, Edge, Kane and Big Show in a fun 10 man tag. They did a spot early where Jeff tagged in and the other legal man Matt quickly ran to tag out. Steamboat came in with a chop off the top rope, a dropkick and an ax handle off the top on Kane. Kane gave him a side slam and worked him over. Steamboat eventually got the tag to Punk, but the heels quickly regained the advantage on Punk.

Kane went for a choke slam, but Punk reversed with a DDT. He then made the hot tag to Jeff. Jeff used the inverted atomic drop, dropkick and whisper in the wind on Edge. He tagged Cena, who went for the FU. Show came in to stop that and Cena tagged Rey. Rey gave Edge a springboard senton and spinning head scissors. He went for the 619, but Jericho cut him off. Rey reversed and gave both Edge and Jericho the 619. Steamboat hit a crossbody off the top on Edge and Rey hit a top rope splash on Jericho for the pin.

Vickie Guerrero came out to announce that when she became the interim general manager of Raw, she was given the option to eventually stay on as the permanent GM or to return to being full time Smackdown GM. She has elected to become permanent GM of Raw. She then announced an Edge vs. John Cena title rematch for Backlash, and that the other title will be on the line in the 6 man tag. If someone on HHH’s team wins he retains and if someone on Orton’s team wins Orton will become champion.

Vickie left but then returned a minute later to say that she made a mistake and that Edge-Cena would be last man standing. I realize this happened on the fly, but they should have just called an audible and had her announce it later rather than making her look so bad like that.

Santina Marella, who debuted last night at WrestleMania, came out to Billy and Chuck’s old music. She said that Santino’s heart was broken when he couldn’t participate in the battle royal, but now his heart can be mended because his twin sister won. An angry Beth Phoenix came out with Rosa. Santina introduced herself to Beth, but Beth said Santino was embarrassing herself. The crowd booed her for that. Beth accused Santina of throwing her out. “It’s every girl for herself, honey,” Santina replied.

Beth challenged Santina to a match. Santina said that Beth is jealous that Santina is more of a woman than Beth will ever be and accepted the match. A referee came out. Beth landed some punches and tried to spank Santina. She went for a slam but Santina fell on top for the pin. Santina was absolutely hilarious here. She’s a tremendous performer. She may even be better than Santino. It’s a shame they didn’t bring her in earlier.

Randy Orton beat Vince McMahon via DQ. Vince was in control early with punches and kicks. He rammed Orton into the announce table. Then Orton hit a clothesline and the RKO in a hurry. He set up for the punt, but Shane McMahon ran in to stop him. Legacy came out and attacked them 3 on 2. HHH joined the fray but Legacy retained control. The crowd was shockingly silent for all of this again. I think it’s just a sign that HHH and Randy Orton should switch roles. HHH as McMahon in-law is a natural heel character.

The crowd picked up, however, when Batista’s music played. Batista made his return in a nice surprise. He made the save and fought off Legacy. Cody Rhodes received the Batista bomb. The show concluded with Vince announcing that Batista will take his place in the 6 man tag at Backlash.

Final Thoughts:

This was a fun show. It had a lot more hits than misses. Hopefully next week’s draft show will focus on putting a bunch of young stars in the position to move up the card. That to me should be the top priority these days for WWE.