Championship’s roll call: WWE Champion: CM Punk… World Champion: Sheamus… Intercontinental Champion: The Miz… United States Champion: Antonio Cesaro… Tag Team Champions: Kofi Kingston & R-Truth… NXT Champion: Seth Rollins… Diva’s Champion: Layla
Justin Gabriel vs. Tensai (w/Sakamoto): I think we may be reaching the end of the line for Tensai here; this is the same guy who BEAT John Cena in his third or fourth match. Gabriel tries kicks but Tensai no-sells; Gabriel tries the top but has to leap over Tensai. He runs the ropes but gets caught; he wriggles himself free but gets shoulderblocked down. Tensai hits a Locomotive splash in the corner and then a short clothesline and an elbow drop. Tensai viciously head-butts him and mauls him in the corner. He hits the delayed vertical suplex, for two. Looks like Tensai brought back the Trapezius hold from Japan with him. Gabriel fires back with a Hardy jawbreaker and avoids a charge in the corner and almost gets the same upset his tag partner, Tyson Kidd, did with a schoolboy. Gabriel hits a wicked roundhouse kick and I thought he had three. I felt like Vince McMahon there with a “he got ‘em! He got ‘em! No, no he didn’t!” Gabriel tries a tornado DDT but Tensai deposits him onto the apron; Justin manages to keep the advantage with a pendulum kick and top rope Lionsault… for two. The fans are salivating for a Gabriel victory here. Tensai turns the match around immediately and plants him with the Baldo Bomb and running senton to get three. 3.5/10 Not sure where we go now for Tensai… Gabriel actually controlled most of the match but still loses. The fans booed Tensai not because he is over or anything; they just don’t like him. I also think people like Gabriel as well so there is residual heel heat just for being his opponent.
Here is your winner… Tensai @ about 7:45 via senton splash pinfall.
Santino Marella vs. Jinder Mahal: I may be one of the few but I like Mahal. He calls himself the “modern day maharaja”, I like that nickname. I’m sure he’s jobbing here. Marella starts off with fisticuffs and knocks Jinder down; Mahal comes back with a shove. Santino tries to reciprocate but Mahal sidesteps it causing poor Marella to completely whiff. He then freaks Jinder out with the Cobra a few times. Santino scores with a judo toss, which pisses Mahal off. Jinder wants a test of strength… and they actually go through with it. It goes as 80% of all test of strengths go; the heel leads, the babyface comes back, and the heel kicks him in the gut and takes control. Mahal whips Santino off the ropes but he no-sells it and starts the powerwalk. Jinder gets mad again so Santino jackknife cradles him for two; Mahal charges into an armdrag. Santino tries a dropkick but Mahal avoids it; not sure how that huts Santino any more as if he hit the move, he still lands the same way. Jinder drops some knees and applies a chinlock. Santino frees himself and Mahal telegraphs a backdrop. In a spot that I don’t think I’ve seen before, Jinder avoids the kick and puts Santino down for two. He chokes Santino in the ropes and drops a knee and makes fun of the Cobra; he hits a swinging neckbreaker and applies a quick chinlock. He tosses Santino into the corner; Marella tries a float over but Jinder stops short and hits a Russian leg sweep and then another chinlock. Santino frees himself with a back suplex. Santino begins the comeback with the split-legged hiptoss and a second-rope Salute head-butt. The Cobra sock makes an appearance for the pinfall. 4.5/10 This felt like just another match; not bad but nothing over-special either. Santino wins again.
Here is your winner… Santino Marella @ about 8:20 via Cobra strike pinfall.
Alicia Fox vs. Natalya: Nattie is treated like a huge babyface here. They lock up and Fox shoves her. She works the arm and Nattie mimics her uncle and escapes into a side headlock. Alicia uses her long legs for a head scissors. She frees herself and armdrags Fox. She charges in the corner but Fox avoids and tries a sunset; Nattie rolls through and tries for the Sharpshooter but Alicia makes the ropes. Alicia tries to use fancy footwork and leapfrogs over Nattie then tries a handstand head scissors but Nattie shoves her on her face. Nattie tries the Sharpshooter again but Alicia counters; she kicks Fox in the head and monkey flips her. Alicia wants a time out and offers a handshake. Natalya grabs the hand and stomps on it and slaps her. Alicia slips to the floor and steals Nattie’s entrance gear and throws it at her. She manages to nail Nattie with a kick and SLAPS her in the face. She applies a body scissors for a while; Nattie powers her up into a bearhug but loses her footing and almost gets pinned. Fox tries the axe kick but Nattie catches her and slaps on the Sharpshooter for the submission. 4/10 Nattie won a match! This is one of the reasons I shit on the divas division; there is no rhyme or reason as to who is a babyface or heel. Alicia has been a face for months but on Raw she was on the heel team for a six diva tag match with no explanation why she all of a sudden would team with Nattie or Beth Phoenix, but here, she’s a smiling babyface again. Nattie jumps from face to heel every so often with no explanation either. I long for the days of Trish Stratus, Lita, Mickie James and Victoria when the divas were more like hot wrestlers as opposed to just models.
Here is your winner… Natalya @ about 7:00 via Sharpshooter submission.
We recap the excellent promo that concluded Raw this past week involving Bret Hart, John Cena and CM Punk. For my full review of Raw click here.
Zack Ryder vs. Cody Rhodes: Ryder opens smacking Cody’s face and he acts like he broke his nose. Cody then outwrestles Zack on the mat and gets an elbow to the point of his face causing Rhodes to yell at the referee regarding it. He finally reenters the ring so Zack tosses him back over the top; Cody skins-the-cat but turns right into a flapjack. Rhodes tries a hiptoss but gets clotheslined; Ryder then avoids a tip-over in the corner and armdrags him into an armbar. He maintains it for a surprisingly long time until Rhodes plants him with a Russian leg sweep. Cody takes over with a series of kick in the corner; he charges but gets sidestepped and almost nailed with a Broski Boot. Cody retreats to the floor and tries to crotch Ryder on the ringpost but he plus his legs up and Rhodes eats the steel. Ryder then pescados out onto him; he tosses him back in the ring, where Ryder gets two as we head to break. We return with Rhodes reversing a whip and avoiding a high crossbody and Ryder sails into the ropes and falls to the floor. He just makes it back in at nine and Rhodes unloads on him with stomps and release gourdbuster. Cody goes into his short kneelifts but Ryder reverses one and schoolboys him for two. Cody pops right back up and levels him with a clothesline. Rhodes pounds away and hooks a armtrap chinlock. Ryder frees himself but gets hammer-tossed chest first into the corner; Cody reapplies a body scissors chinlock. Ryder frees himself again but they collide head to head. Ryder begins the comeback with diving clotheslines and a faceplant; Ryder connects with the Broski Boot for a nearfall. Cody surprises him with a Goldust uppercut and a Hollycost; Ryder avoids the Alabama Slam with a sunset for two. He hits a neckbreaker for two more. Rhodes counters the Rough Ryder with a stacked powerbomb for two. Cody charges in the corner but meets knees and a stiff clothesline. Ryder avoids the Beautiful Disaster and tries an enziguri but Cody ducks it and snags him with Cross Rhodes and gets three. 7/10 Good main event to make up for an otherwise crappy show. Cody continues to have really good matches with anyone and at least has a storyline (unmasking Luchadores) to keep him relevant until he (hopefully) gets another title run.
Here is your winner… Cody Rhodes @ about 12:10 (broadcast) via Cross Rhodes pinfall.
OVERALL 4/10 Not the best show in the world but not awful; the main event really left a good taste though.
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