Last Man Standing: Randy Orton vs. CM Punk
Orton entered the ring first, alone. Punk was flanked by David Otunga, Michael McGuillicuty and Mason Ryan. As he made his way to the ring, the Raw General Manager emailed and announced that Orton and Punk must resolve their issues tonight, so all members of the Nexus were banned from ringside.
An obviously annoyed Punk came to the ring alone, ripping a turnbuckle off of one of the corners before the bell rang. Punk nailed Orton but Orton fired back with a series of punches and drilled him with a clothesline. Orton kicked Punk, who rolled through the ropes to the floor.
Orton whipped Punk into the ringside barricade and nailed him on the floor, slamming Punk’s face into the ring steps. Orton continued working over Punk on the floor. Punk rolled back into the ring, where he begged off from Orton, then used that to kick Orton in the stomach. Punk nailed Orton with several kicks. He tried to run Orton into the exposed turnbuckle but Orton saved himself. He tried to nail Punk with the exposed buckle but Punk escaped as well.
Punk nailed a snapmare and a kneedrop. Orton came back with a leaping kneedrop of his own. Punk rolled out to the floor. Orton followed but Punk pulled a kendo stick out from under the ring and nailed Orton with it in the stomach, then measure and nailed him across the back.
Orton was tossed back in the ring. Punk grabbed another kendo stick and drilled it over Orton’s chest, then posed like a warrior brandishing a sword. Orton came back but was cut off with a back kick from Punk. Orton drilled Punk over the shoulder with the kendo stick. Punk nailed a back suplex and told the referee to start counting. The referee made it up to five. Orton made it to his feet. Punk had climbed the ropes and tried to come off with a springboard clothesline but Orton had grabbed a kendo stick and lit up Punk with it several times.
Orton followed up with several clotheslines. He went for the hanging DDT but Punk slipped out and nailed a catapult into the exposed turnbuckle. Punk wedged a chair between the turnbuckles in the opposite corner. Punk charged and nailed a knee in Orton’s face. Punk went to charge Orton into the chair but Orton slipped out. Punk put on the brakes. Orton went for the RKO but Punk grabbed him for a GTS. Orton slipped out and sent Punk into the chair. Punk wiped out the chair and fell to the outside, where the referee counted seven before Punk broke the count.
On the outside, Orton beat Punk into the barrier and the ring apron, then clotheslined him on the floor. Punk escaped the count at nine this time. Orton began ripping apart the announcing table. He approached Punk but was nailed hard by a roundhouse kick to the head. Orton made his way to his feet at the eight count. He and Punk fought on the outside. Orton nailed a back suplex onto the barricade on Punk. The referee began to count him out but Orton grabbed Punk and threw him into the ring.
Orton began signaling for the RKO but Punk drilled him. Punk nailed the GTS. Orton made his way to his feet at nine but then stumbled into the corner, not able to stand. Punk argued that Orton never made it to his feet. Punk nailed him again and Orton fell to a sitting position. Punk grabbed a chair and nailed a Russian legsweep onto it. Orton made it to his feet, using the ropes for leverage.
Punk set up a chair in a sitting position but out of nowhere, Orton drilled him with the RKO. Punk made it to his feet at nine, then stumbled through the ropes on the floor. Orton followed and clotheslined him over the barricade into the crowd. Orton tried to use the hanging DDT but Punk pulled his legs down and charged Orton, slamming him backward into the ringpost. Punk grabbed a chair and placed it over Orton’s head, then ran it into the ringpost. Orton pulled himself up to his feet at nine.
Punk worked over Orton with punches and dragged him over to the announcing table. He picked up Orton for the GTS but Orton slipped out and nailed the RKO on the table, which didn’t budge. Ouch! Punk pulled himself up to his feet at the nine count and then collapsed again. The referee started counting again. Orton teased punting Punk on the floor. He charged Punk, who saw him coming and grabbed him in a Fireman’s Carry, nailing a GTS onto the ring steps. Pretty creative.
Orton pulled himself up to his feet as Punk grabbed a kendo stick. Punk was noticeably hurting as he climbed up to the top rope. Orton cut him off and beat the hell out of Punk’s back with the stick. Punk was out and hanging off the ropes. Orton set up Punk and nailed an RKO off the top rope. The referee began counting both men down. Orton returned to his feet at nine and Punk was counted out.
Your winner, Randy Orton!
A fine opening match. They worked really hard and there was some nice drama to the counts and some unique offense. The final sequence with Orton beating the hell out of a trapped Punk was great and brutal. Punk looked to be limping after the RKO on the table, so hopefully that isn’t a sign he aggravated his hip injury from last year. Overall, A nice ending to their feud.
They promoted tomorrow’s Rock birthday Raw.
Jerry Lawler headed to the back to prepare for his match.
Josh Mathews and Booker T ran down some of the major names that moved to new brands courtesy of the 2011 WWE Draft. They noted that Sheamus was scheduled to face Kofi Kingston on Smackdown but he attacked Kingston and laid him out. They aired footage from the beating. Booker said it made Sheamus one of his favorite five guys.
Backstage, Sheamus told Teddy Long he didn’t like this. Long said that he was giving the WWE fans a bonus match, as Sheamus will be defending his title against Kofi Kingston in a Tables Match. Sheamus said that wasn’t it. He said he was the U.S. champion and he was defending against someone who wasn’t from the United States. He demanded to see Kofi’s birth certificate. OK, that was pretty funny. Long told him not to worry about it since after tonight he might not be the champion anymore.
They showed John Morrison preparing for his WWE title match.
Tables Match: Kofi Kingston vs. WWE United States champion Sheamus
Kingston watched to make sure Sheamus wasn’t lurking to attack him before he posed for his pyro. Nice attention to detail!
Kingston attacked Sheamus immediately. Sheamus tried to kick him off but was nailed with a double leg takedown. Kingston mounted him and rained down with the punches. He went to the floor for a table but Sheamus attacked him and sent him into the barricade. Sheamus kicked him while Kingston was down. He pulled out a table but Kingston leapt and nailed a flying punch.
Kingston set up a table on the floor, then continued beating Sheamus with punches and uppercuts. He set up Sheamus on the table but the champion rolled off before Kingston could leap off the apron, They battled on the floor with Sheamus getting the better of the exchange. Sheamus set up a table and went for the High Cross on the floor. Kingston slipped out but was nailed several times and tossed back into the ring.
Kingston shoulderblocked Sheamus several times from the inside, nearly sending Sheamus off the apron through the table. He rebounded off the ropes but Sheamus nailed a slingshot shoulderblock into the ring. Nice sequence. Sheamus went to the floor for another table but Kofi grabbed him and pulled him up to the apron. Sheamus slammed him into the buckles. He grabbed the table and shoved it into Kingston’s chest. He placed the table across Kofi’s prone body and stomped it, then stood atop the table and Kofi.
Sheamus slammed Kingston into the table, which was placed into the corner. He picked up Kofi to drive him into it but Kingston slipped over with a sunset flip attempt. Kingston punted him in the chest, setting up Sheamus near the table. Kingston dove at him but Sheamus moved. Kingston landed on the ropes. Sheamus went for the High Cross into the table but Kingston slipped out. Sheamus went for the Brogue Kick but Sheamus got caught up on the ropes. He was supposed to crotch himself but didn’t catch the ropes right. He started selling his hamstring, which was smart.
Sheamus avoided Kofi and nailed the pump kick on Kofi, who was on the apron. Kingston leapt to avoid a table set up on the outside. Back in the ring, Sheamus went for an over the shoulder powerslam off the ropes through a table but Kingston fought his way out. Sheamus nailed him with a big kick to cut him off again. Sheamus tried to suplex Kingston out of the ring through a table on the floor but Kofi broke free and nailed Trouble with Paradise. Sheamus bumped onto the apron and rolled onto the floor. He pulled himself up using the table, where Kingston came off the top rope with the Boom Drop to put Sheamus through the table.
Your winner and new United States champion, Kofi Kingston!
The U.S. title will return to Raw.
Decent match. They both worked hard but the crowd didn’t seem to be too into the match and while they did a decent job, it never felt like they were out of the early gears. They did some nice teasing spots with the tables before the Boom Drop at the end. Good but not great.
Todd Grisham interviewed R Truth. He asked Truth how he felt knowing he was once part of the main event. Truth asked him how he would feel but before Grisham could answer, he told Todd to shut up. Truth says that not only is he not in the main event, but he’s not on the entire show. He asked how long the show is and then said he smelled a conspiracy. He said that conspiracies are as bad as John Morrison’s breath. He said that he knows for a fact that Miz and Cena don’t want him in that match and neither does Morrison. He said Morrison stole his opportunity and if there’s one thing he can’t stand, it’s a thief. Good, intense promo from Truth.
Country Whipping Match: Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler vs. Jack Swagger & Michael Cole
Cole came out covered in bubble wrap. That made me laugh. Cole cut a promo saying that everyone keeps asking him if he’s afraid of the country whipping match. Cole said he was an award winning journalist that covered Waco and the civil war in a Yugoslavia, so if anyone thinks he is scared of a couple of hicks, they are mistaken. He said they were going to whip Ross and Lawler like a pair of government mules. He said their opponents, like the rest of Florida, are old, useless, incontinent, retirees.
Ross’ hand was bandaged. They noted that as reported on Twitter, Ross had broken his hand on Raw.
Swagger and Lawler started. Ross lashed Swagger from the outside. Swagger sold it like a champ. Lawler lashed the hell out of Swagger, who tagged into Cole. Cole was lashed and acted like it didn’t faze him because of the wrap. Cole mouthed off, so Lawler punched him in the mouth and started ripping off the wrap. He went to lash Cole, who scampered out and tagged Swagger.
Swagger nailed Lawler in the corner and lashed the WWE Hall of Famer. He tied Lawler to the ropes with the whip and kicked the hell out of him. Swagger then began lashing Lawler. He tagged in Cole, who began lashing away at the trapped Lawler, then mocked Ross.
Swagger tagged back in and worked over Lawler some more. He whipped Lawler into the turnbuckles, then dragged him to the center of the ring. Swagger went for the Vader Bomb out of the corner but Lawler rolled out of the way. Lawler nailed a series of rights. Cole came in from behind and nailed Lawler. Lawler grabbed Cole by the throat but Swagger nailed a chop block from behind and cinched in an ankle lock. Ross distracted Swagger, allowing Lawler to fight out.
Lawler tagged in Ross, who began lashing Swagger, then locked in an anklelock of his own. Kurt Angle’s Twitter is being hacked as we speak. Swagger slipped out and tagged Cole. Cole didn’t want in. Ross nailed him and dragged Cole in. Ross slammed him head first into the buckles. It looked awful but they aren’t wrestlers, so what else would it looks like. Ross fired himself up and clotheslined Cole. Ross began whipping Cole and lashed at Swagger on the apron.
Ross locked in an anklelock but Swagger grabbed him. Ross lowblowed Swagger and began lashing him. Cole rolled up Ross from behind and scored the pin.
Your winners, Michael Cole and Jack Swagger!
The match was about as good as you could expect. They smartly kept the hurt Ross out as much as possible.
They aired a pretty funny promo to push the Over the Limit PPV on 5/22.