After the long awaited Hell In A Cell pay per view event, we have a new champion on RAW and unexpectedly we have the same champion atop the Blue Show.

Alberto Del Rio regained the WWE Championship, and now he’ll likely be defending against John Cena, ensuring things won’t be super fresh in the main event scene on RAW.  We’ll find out tonight whether John Cena remains the championship chaser.

What we may or may not find out tonight is whether or not Randy Orton will continue to chase Mark Henry after failing to grab the strap last night.

And what of The Miz and R-Truth? What’s their involvement going to be?

Will either Sin Cara show up on RAW?

Might Big Show show up?

RAW hits tonight, and there are more than two weeks before the next pay per view, so things MIGHT not move as quickly between now and… whatever the upcoming non-free event is called…

Let’s get at it!

The show starts out with a match, and it’s Randy Orton bringing his services from Smackdown over to the Super Show to face a guy who rarely ends up on the show at all.

Match – Randy Orton vs Drew McIntyre

What exactly did Drew McIntyre do to go from being The Chosen One to being the guy who hasn’t been in the ring in a while and hasn’t had an actual feud in months?

Randy Orton, a guy who is willing to punt someone in the head to put them on the shelf indefinitely, is also the type of competitor to stop hitting his opponent in the head just because the fans counted up to 10? The referee wasn’t even trying to stop him…

The announcers hype up McIntyre as being a guy who has a bright upside and has “all the potential in the world”… isn’t it basically ALL potential when you haven’t had the chance to do anything productive in months?

Not that this match was actually an opportunity…

Outcome – Randy Orton gets a victory in one of the most obvious match outcomes in a few weeks

With the lack of involvement over the past few months, and the way he was summarily dismissed in this match, what are the odds that Drew McIntyre is going to be wished well on his future endeavors before Smackdown hits the air on Friday?

Mark Henry decides he wants to flaunt the fact that he’s still Heavyweight Champion, so he comes to ringside and a brawl ensue. Security gets involved, holding the two back, for a moment, and then while John Laurinitis tries to control the chaos, things devolve again.

Best way to end a brawl like this? Go to commercial. That seems to solve everything!

With all the hyping they’re doing about what happened between Big Show and Mark Henry, does that correctly lead me to believe that Big Show is going to be the one to show up to end these Hall Of Pain inductions? Apparently the big man is going to be coming back for Smackdown.

Oh look, it’s John Morrison, who has just about as much chance of beating Mark Henry in this match as he did last night of beating Cody Rhodes in the impromptu Intercontinental Championship match.

Note that I said “beat” Mark Henry. I didn’t say that it couldn’t end by disqualification.

Match – Mark Henry vs John Morrison

John Morrison gets in a little less offense than Drew McIntyre in the prior match, and Mark Henry otherwise makes short work of Morrison.

Outcome – John Morrison is the someone who gets they ass kicked

After the match, Mark Henry says he’s done with Randy Orton, and then says he’s looking forward to locking up with Big Show so he can retire him this time instead of just putting him on the shelf.

Backstage the heels are all gathered up with David Otunga and Vickie Guerrero, talking to John Laurinitis in a room with random articles of clothing all over the wall, and they mention that The Miz & R-Truth filed a lawsuit today, and then they let us know that they’re all going to the ring to “present their case to the public”.

Grade for the first half-hour: B-

Reasoning: Sure, there were two matches, with the non-Super show getting some love on Monday nights, but both matches were WAY predictable and not very exciting. The segment helped keep this from being a C+, as did the interesting offense which John Morrison got in… despite it being very limited offense.

Is it just me, or do these heels in the ring sound like they’re considering the formation of a wrestler’s union? Not surprised WWE would cast that concept in such a negative light.

COO-HHH essentially say the heels aren’t “men” because they’re complaining about things not being fair.

Tag Match – Beth Phoenix & Natalya vs Kelly Kelly & Eve Torres

Feels like we’ve seen this match a bunch of times already… now that Beth Phoenix is the Diva’s champion, will she and Natalya finally score a victory? Thus far the only win by the hardcore Diva’s in this feud that I can recall happened at Hell In A Cell.

Before I can finish questioning how this match will transpire, Kelly Kelly goes apeshit and tries to tear apart Beth Phoenix outside the ring, and this crazy flip-out domination by Kelly Kelly did more to hurt the credibility of Beth Phoenix than any one of the dozen losses Beth Phoenix suffered to WWE Barbie over the past month.

Backstage, John Laurinitis approaches COO-HHH and shows that he clearly doesn’t know what the former World Champion is all about, as he tells The Game that he needs to go to the locker room and ask for a Vote Of Confidence later in the show. Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like COO-HHH has told us a few times already that he doesn’t care what the wrestlers think about his job performance.

Jinder Mahal, the guy who WWE doesn’t seem to care enough about to properly end the feud with The Great Khali, gets a mic in the ring and starts ranting in his native tongue before a newly returned Santino Marella comes to the ring with his pet Cobra sleeve on his arm… and then he verbally spars with Jinder Mahal, apparently in a different language, and it results in the two agreeing to compete against one another in a match.

Match – Santino Marella vs Jinder Mahal

For about ten seconds Mahal dominates Santino, then misses a flying knee into the corner, which allows Santino to hit The Cobra, leading directly to victory in a match which was shorter than any of the three short contests which happened earlier in the evening.

Outcome – Santino wins via Cobra & pinfall

For those of us who didn’t buy the pay per view last night, we get a glimpse of what happened following the main event, with The Miz and R-Truth getting arrested after they beatdown Cena and WWE officials inside Hell In A Cell. The entire roster came to ringside to try to get involved, The Miz and R-Truth got handcuffed, and then COO-HHH broke the law by assaulting someone who was in police custody… and yet, he doesn’t look to have faced any legal implications.

I love it when WWE distort our concept of what’s legally acceptable and not.

And… The Miz and R-Truth took to YouTube to talk about how they got themselves arrested because they wanted to make a statement… the same reason they filed a wrongful termination lawsuit.

The first hour ends…. how did they do?

Grade: C+

Reasoning: The only thing that kept it from being a regular “C” or lower was the fact that the footage from last night was kinda cool and the use of YouTube to tell the perspective of The Miz and R-Truth was better than expected. Still just slightly better than average though.

Time for the Cult Of Personality! Will WWE “Creative” allow him to reignite a spark which previously helped WWE through the past couple months, or will he go back to being a thing of the wayside like he was when the Straight Edge Society yawnfest was under-utilized?

Wow, so he’s not getting a mic, but he does have his Ice Cream Bar shirt on… which is telling that WWE is no longer pushing the “Best In The World” shirt.

Since we’re getting the 12 Man Tag Match now, seems like something big might happen during that Vote Of Confidence segment later in the show. You’ll excuse me if I don’t do much coverage of the upcoming match, which will likely involve a lot of selling by the faces and begging for hot tags and then a late rally by the “good guys”, likely with John Cena getting the final fall.

Twelve Man Tag Match

On the good guys side: CM Punk, John Cena… and a bunch of guys who don’t get introductions (Mason Ryan, Sheamus, Evan Bourne and Kofi Kingston)

Bad Guys: Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger, David Otunga, Alberto Del Rio, Christian and Cody Rhodes

All these competitors in the match, the potential for some interesting in-ring action, and Dolph Ziggler spends a large portion of it waiting outside the ring trying to “regroup”.

Anyone else seeing Sheamus vs Swagger inside the ring and thinking that if it weren’t for their vocal issues, these guys might be great feuding partners in years to come?

Jim Ross says that in all of his time on RAW, there’s never been a Vote Of Confidence… and I’m thinking there’s a reason for that.

Even though a vote of this type would be non-binding, apparently Michael Cole has a list of what happens based on the outcome of this non-binding vote… and I wonder if the announcers ever really listen to one another on this show.

Just as you knew it would, we’ve entered the “everyone find a way to do your finisher to an opponent” portion of the match, and because no one is changing loyalties, the two legal men SOMEHOW end up being the final two

Outcome – Sheamus is able to Brogue Kick Dolph Ziggler into a pinfall

And now it’s time for your main ev… Vote Of Confidence time.

Is it ironic that most of the guys showing up to surround the ring for this Main Event Vote Of Confidence are guys who haven’t 9and likely won’t) legitimately compete in a main event?

Darren Young, I’m looking at you…

And no, I don’t count the times he was involved in 7-man matches involving The Nexus.

COO-HHH says The Miz and R-Truth should be willing to stand up for what they did and accept the fact that they have to “do the time” for the “crime” they committed…

Then he goes on to talk about how he’s working for the fans and just wants to see people battle one another instead of just talking….

…and then he welcomes them to speak.

Wade Barrett gets a moment to speak, apparently with the voice of his fellow competitors represented in his comments… and Wade Barrett gets on board with the unsafe working environment argument.

Quick aside question for a friend of mine…

Nice job by WWE in picking one of the guys who would be the biggest hypocrit to talk about all of this by having Wade Barrett speak up, after what Wade did with The Nexus.

Another lame choice to speak up was Beth Phoenix, who has been terrorizing the other Diva’s more than just about anyone has over the past five years other than kHARMa.

Jerry Lawler speaks up, says things seem to be spiraling out of control… and I can’t help but think this is leading up to someone being named the General Manager… and although I think Jerry Lawler would be an interesting choice, I’d prefer it to be Mick Foley.

The conversation delves into the “conspiracy” perspective, talking about how someone is pulling the strings to force this into chaos BECAUSE they don’t want The Game as COO.

Everyone basically votes “No Confidence”… Jerry Lawler “walks out”… and he’s followed by the Bad Guys from the main event… followed by Smackdown’s “C” team… and the Divas (sans Kelly Kelly)… and then RAW’s “C” team… the referees… and then everyone else.

Funny, out of everyone who was at ringside, I don’t believe I actually saw John Cena or CM Punk around the ring, two guys who were the most vocal when COO-HHH took his current job.

Michael Cole walks out… more of the top tier faces from RAW walk out… Booker T gets word that he needs to vacate, so he’s gone… the cameramen walk out… and the last guy remaining seems to be Jim Ross at the announce table.

Mr Boomer Sooner himself stands up, looks COO-HHH in the eye and then also walks out, though I’m not entirely sure what his grievance would be.

John Laurinitis shows up atop the ramp, shakes his head at COO-HHH and gets a little “you suck” chant from the live crowd, who haven’t walked out yet.

Next week’s RAW should be interesting… but I’ll be looking forward to see how they sell this whole storyline on Smackdown – where angles from the flagship show are typically ignore, at least in part, and continuity isn’t always enforced.

Overall RAW Grade: B

Reasoning: The first half of the show was frustratingly average with a couple of minor bright points. The 12 Man Tag match was decent, and the Vote Of Confidence stuff was… intriguing though not really exciting.

Don’t forget to check out the RAW Insight article written by GuysNation Nathan for his perspective on the flagship show!

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