Last week, Tough Enough ended, so WWE decided that instead of giving back the 8-9 pm EST time slot to USA Network, they’d take one more week of having three straight hours of new programming… and add an hour onto the front end of RAW!

For what purpose? Is there a draft? Is one of the Big Four pay per views coming up?

In my opinion, they’re doing it to squeeze more blood from the stone that is Steve Austin, given that with last week’s TE finale, WWE audiences will be without The Rattlesnake for the foreseeable future… that is, of course, unless he gets into a feud with someone starting tonight which moves into SummerSlam.

If you pay attention to Twitter at all, or the way WWE markets certain things, it’s highly possible that the person Austin could be butting heads with is none other than the Straight-Edge Superstar himself, leader of the New Nexus, CM Punk.

But that’s just conjecture on my part.

Either way, Austin is the General Manager For The Evening, stemming from the head-scratching finale of last week’s RAW which saw him given the position as punishment, for some reason, and this is the last stop for the Flagship program prior to the CAPITOL PUNISHMENT pay per view.

What do they have in store? Who knows, but I’m betting they start out the night with a cruiserweight match! (If you got that joke, let me know)

All-Star Night is upon us, and if this show starts out with anything other than the glass breaking and Austin making his presence known from the jump, I’d be almost shocked. There’s always the potential that they’re going to let someone else have the first words.

Before we even get the first bit of entertainment, we find out that later tonight, CM Punk will be taking on John Cena in the main event.

Looks like I lost a bunch of money to the people I bet about Austin being the first guy to show up, because The Miz is first up on the mic this evening. Should I give odds on whether or not he mentions the fact that he thinks he’s awesome?

Oh look, we get a recap of what happened last week involving The Miz getting an unwaranted victory due to referee malfeasance, and the infamous moment which GuysNation’s own Squared-Circle Jerk thought was crossing the boundaries for TV-PG.

Apparently The Miz thinks that Austin owes him an apology, and that saying “WHAT” stopped being cool in 2001, and… oh yeah, he doesn’t get to say much else, because Austin steps right up and heads to the ring.

Any chance this segment goes another 3 minutes without The Miz getting a Stone Cold Stunner? The clock is ticking.

Austin thinks the suit, tie, handkerchief and haircut The Miz is sporting is stupid, and while he credits The Miz for being a good talker, Austin considers the Upside-Down Logo Guy to be a coward who doesn’t back it up when the going gets tough.

Looks like I’m losing some more money, since Austin said he’s going to be judicious in doling out Stunners, so The Miz isn’t getting one right this second.

The compliments keep rolling, and Austin says Alex Riley is showing him some things, and Riley might be a bigger star than The Miz someday.

The Miz doesn’t like the games Austin plays for a moment and he makes the mistake of mocking Austin, and in the process, Stone Cold grabs him by the tie and lets him know that he’s going to be in the ring later tonight, along with Alex Riley, in an edition of PIPER’S PIT WITH RODDY PIPER!

Austin gives The Miz fair warning to get out of the ring, and five minutes passed without The Miz getting a Stunner… which means Austin has a fair bit of self restraint….

Maybe I spoke too soon. Austin was trying to wrap up the segment, but he’s then interrupted by Alberto Del Rio, who’s driving a FINE 2009 Porsche.

Alberto Del Rio, shockingly, wants to talk a bit about his destiny, and Austin, shockingly, says that ADR’s “destiny” is to get an ass whupping… and the shocking part is that it’s not going to be from Austin, but he has setup a match with a guy who’s been looking forward to getting an opportunity to kick ADR’s ass for weeks… and the match is happening now.

Match – Alberto Del Rio vs Kane

Look how much Kane has changed! Back in the day, if he wanted to kick someone’s ass, he would’ve just shown up and did it. Hell, on occasion he just showed up and kicked the asses of random people just to prove a point. Now he’s waiting for someone to allow him to have a match with the person he hates? Monster no more. Big Red Tape Respecting Monster is more like it.

For the first time in a while that I can recall, someone gets disqualified for not letting go of a submission hold after the five count.

Outcome – Kane wins by DQ when ADR won’t release the Cross Arm Breaker

After the match, Big Show runs out and attacks Alberto Del Rio, who squeaks out of the ring and runs off, with Big Show staying to attack Ricardo Rodgriguez (ADR’s special ring announcer). In an interesting and surprising moment, it actually takes Kane to choke Big Show from behind to get him to stop punching the hell out of RR’s head… and even then, Big Show looks like he’d love to kill Kane… but in something I wouldn’t have expected five years ago, Kane RATIONALIZES with someone and gets them to calm down.

I know, weird, right?

With no members of The Corre left to stand by him, Wade Barrett actually gets two tag team partners to form an awesome trio.

Match – Ezekiel Jackson, Sin Cara & Daniel Bryan vs Cody Rhodes, Ted DiBiase & Wade Barrett

I hope people who don’t usually watch Smackdown are paying attention to this match, because there are three or four guys in this match who you’re missing out on seeing if you don’t watch the Friday show.

Fun comment by Jerry Lawler about Michael Cole being a “two bagger”, and although Lawler was talking about bags over the head, it took me a minute to figure out what he was talking about because I had always heard “double bagging” to be something completely different. There’s no chance Kelly Kelly would refer to Michael Cole in terms of birth control.

After basically taking out everyone, Zeke Jackson tags in Sin Cara to let HIM do a springboard cross body to get the pinfall. I guess he’s confident in his chances on Sunday night for the Intercontinental Championship, because otherwise Zeke might’ve wanted to lock in that Torture Rack to weaken Wade even more.

Outcome – Sin Cara picks up the pinfall for his team against Wade Barrett

Inside the ring, Hornswoggle is just minding his own business, shooting free tshirts into the crowd, when along comes R-Truth, talking about how entertaining the fans is over-rated, and what does R-Truth do? He shoots a tshirt at R-Truth.

Seriously? Was the little guy looking to get kicked in the head? Why IN THE WORLD would he shoot a shirt at Truth?

R-Truth starts trying to convince Hornswoggle that the two of them are cool with one another, but then a boot to the head is exactly what Truth gives little man.

Austin doesn’t like it (I guess he missed the tshirt cannon part), and he tells Truth to pick on someone his own size… and tonight is the night for unscheduled returns, as John Morrison is making a comeback and he’s got a match for tonight with R-Truth.

Glad to see WWE isn’t wasting heated matches in throw-away spots on meaningless episodes of RAW.

That reminds me… if this is an All-Star episode of RAW, why aren’t we getting ANY RAW v SMACKDOWN matches? Isn’t that usually the concept of All-Star competitions?

So it looks like I spoke too soon… or just late enough, rather.

Match – Santino Marella vs Sheamus

As the announcers point out, this is a RAW v Smackdown match, but really, is Santino actually on a show? He’s not really a part of the show on any given week, which means he MUST be on RAW… but he might as well be on Smackdown.

Sheamus can’t hit his powerbomb, he misses his rushing kick, the Cobra is in effective… how do these guys keep their jobs?! Talk about ineptitude!

For the first time that I can recall, Sheamus uses a Celtic Cloverleaf submission hold (for those unfamiliar with Dean Malenko, think about the Sharpshooter, only instead of wrapping around a leg, Sheamus wraps the other person’s legs around his arms.

Mid-commercial break, we find out that Randy Orton is in attendance. Glad I didn’t fast forward through that.

Someone forgot to tell Randy Orton that this is RAW… and this is Live… oh, wait, I guess he had a dead microphone… What is it with RAW and their damn technical difficulties?

Randy Orton calls out Christian, and aside from calling Long Islanders idiots and disregarding their “poll vote”, Christian’s method at getting over as a heel with the fans? Calling Orton out about having a silver spoon that basically guaranteed him a job because his father was at the first Wrestlemania.

Is it just me, or is Christian’s new shirt one of the WORST shirts produced by WWE? Seriously, the blue-gray color, the over-sized switch logo, and a phrase that Christian doesn’t use… rather something just partially related to Christian’s finishing move.

Christian shows up and starts coming to the ring… and then he retreats. Orton tries to get after Christian, but security stops him and before the segment ends, the Anonymous GM speaks up, taking away a bit of Austin’s power… but he simply speaks up just to tell Randy that he’s gotta back down or else he could be stripped of his championship. Something tells me that Christian is about to get booked in a match anyway…

Austin shows up on the Titan Tron… and it’s going to be Rey Mysterio vs Christian in a match up next.

Why does Christian look so surprised? He’s wearing his ring attire… wasn’t he expecting to be booked?

Match – Rey Mysterio vs Christian

Wow, how close was Christian to becoming the next Mick Foley simply because of Mysterio’s botched head-scissors?

So despite having a huge opportunity later in the show against John Cena, CM Punk decides to show up and attack Rey Mysterio? Why not JUST send New Nexus to do the bidding by themselves? Isn’t that what random goons are for?

If Christian is going to have that shirt, why not at least yell out “HIT THE SWITCH” when he’s guaranteed to hit the move and “brand” it like HBK did with the Sweet Chin Music?

Outcome – Christian hits the Killswitch… though somewhere in there the match ended by disqualification (probably when Mason Ryan slammed Rey’s back into the turnbuckle, though there was no official signaling by the time keeper)

Vickie Guerrero doesn’t want to wait for Austin to finish with a phone call before interrupting his evening and his phone call… and even though Vickie is rude enough to yell at Steve while he’s on the phone, he grants Dolph Ziggler the United States Championship match at CAPITOL PUNISHMENT against Kofi Kingston, with one condition:

Ziggler drops Vickie Guerrero as his manager.

Actually, Austin made the match earlier today (maybe a little before that segment was pre-taped?), so Dolph doesn’t HAVE to drop Vickie as his manager. Nice wedge-driving concept by WWE Creative.

Match – John Morrison vs R-Truth

Nice to see they actually recapped what happened several weeks ago between R-Truth and John Morrison, reminding people WHY John Morrison wants this match so badly.

Morrison’s music plays twice, and John still doesn’t show up. I was expecting him to show up through the crowd somewhere, and if he were going to use this as a chance to attack him through the crowd, but instead, he’s nowhere to be seen or heard from, so R-Truth heads backstage to find him.

As it turns out, John Morrison is laid out backstage, being attended to by Nunzio, the former F.B.I. member who apparently moonlights as an EMT as well as being a referee.

R-Truth’s new catchphrase now that he’s not asking “What’s up?” It’s almost as “good”… “You got GOT”

Truth heats things up by ramming a production crate into John Morrison, and it seems here won’t be a backstage fight afterall.

Tag Match – Dolph Ziggler & Jack Swagger vs Evan Bourne & Kofi Kingston

With all the matches they’ve had between Jack Swagger and Evan Bourne as of late, was anyone else just waiting to hear Stone Cold make a match between the two of them for CAPITOL PUNISHMENT? With Evan Bourne getting the leg up on Swagger every time they meet in the ring, you’d have to think Swagger would get the win at the pay per view.

The high flying squad gets the victory, and Dolph Ziggler is barely involved.

Outcome – After getting hit with a TROUBLE IN PARADISE Kick from Kofi, Jack Swagger falls to the mat and is then pinned by Evan Bourne after the AIR BOURNE

Time for Piper’s Pit, and the Bagpipes play, signaling the entrance of the Hot Rod!

How great was it to hear him commemorate the fact that he dropped Mr T in that arena 25 years ago?

Now, I respect Roddy Piper, but The Miz is right about the fact that Piper’s never been World Champion and actually won in a main event at Wrestlemania. I think when people say The Miz is the next Roddy Piper, it’s because they expect him to be wearing skirts when he’s over 50.

Without too much ado, Alex Riley makes his entrance, and he actually gets a decent chant from the crowd.

Another great point by The Miz about Roddy Piper back in the day treating Bob Orton as poorly as The Miz treated Alex Riley for the past year or so.

Interesting wager here, The Miz is putting up $1000 that says Roddy Piper couldn’t beat him up. Roddy Piper hems and haws… then makes it $5000 on the line.

Austin speaks up, makes Piper think he’s having a near death experience, and he makes it official… with Alex Riley as the referee.

I still find it ironic that the WWE does Anti-Bullying campaigns, claiming that no one likes a bully and yet, their history of making money from Steve Austin, The Rock and Triple H speaks directly in opposition to that “B A star” initiative.

$5K Challenge – Roddy Piper vs The Miz

Anyone else love how Alex Riley yells at The Miz for punching and kicking Piper in the corner, when moments before Piper had an illegal sleeperhold locked in?

The first chance Alex Riley gets, he makes a quick three-count as Piper rolls-up The Miz, and really, it doesn’t matter that he did the fast count, since he could’ve easily disqualified The Miz for putting his hands on a referee.

Outcome – Roddy Piper wins the match and the cash by pinfall

After the commercial break, it’s a huge Diva’s match… 7 on 7 in fact… and I’m guessing that most of these women never actually get involved in the match.

Seven on Seven Diva’s Match

Should I even try to list the lovely ladies in this match? AJ, Kelly Kelly, Eve, Kaitlyn… and others…. against The Bellas, Maryse, Rosa Mendes… and others.

How much has Rosa Mendes changed since first showing up in WWE and not being involved in anything? At least she’s graduated from jumping rope backstage to being Diva match filler.

For some unknown reason, all hell just broke loose in the ring, and somehow the two legal Divas end up back in the ring just like they started, and Kelly Kelly makes short work of Rosa Mendes.

Outcome – Kelly Kelly gets the pinfall on Rosa Mendes

Apparently Eve thinks it’s a good idea for the ladies to do the Can-Can in the ring as some sort of tribute to Broadway… and thankfully that didn’t last too long.

After recapping the announcement of the winner of Tough Enough from last week, we cut backstage where Andy and Stone Cold toast Andy’s win with a couple beers.

CM Punk shows up and mocks Andy for winning Tough Enough… making the ironic statement “you won Tough Enough? you and what army?”… ironic in the sense that CM Punk hasn’t done anything without the New Nexus in months…. and the Straight Edge Society before that.

Austin, being the gracious host he is, offers Punk a beer… lending the STRAIGHT-EDGE Superstar to stand in disbelief of the Rattlesnake’s offer… giving him more WHAT?’s than Austin usually gets from the crowd as Austin acts like maybe Punk didn’t understand the offer.

Stone Cold wants to know what Punk wants… and Punk offers up a breathalyzer to the beer drinking G.M. of the evening.

Punk actually thanks Austin for booking him in a match against John Cena, and then is accepting of the fact that Austin bans Nexus from ringside. Austin doesn’t stick around long, though, as he apparently has an announcement to make.

Maybe he’s following Jim Ross’s lead, but instead of BBQ sauce, Austin’s getting into Home Brewing?

The glass breaks for a second time tonight, and this time Austin drives his 4 wheeler to ringside but stops on the wrong side of the ring and has to walk around to the other side to grab a microphone so he can make his announcement.

The Anonymous GM sends in an email, interrupting Austin, and this should be one email that Michael Cole tels someone else to read.

Apparently Stone Cold did a “good job” in the eyes of the Anonymous GM… but Austin’s time isn’t done yet, and his announcement: next week is ANOTHER 3 hour RAW… power to the people… so they become the de facto General Managers for next week.

What does the script have to say about that?

The Anonymous GM speaks up a couple times, much to the chagrin of Michael Cole, and he gets run off by an irate Steve Austin, who once again decides it’s a good idea to break a laptop.

This time he gets a little creative on it, as he pours beer ALL OVER the laptop, then drives his 4 wheeler over it… backs up and drives over it a few more times for good measure.

If Austin crashed his 4 wheeler, could he get workman’s comp, or would the alcohol in his system work against his claim?

Once again the WWE does an Obama Press Conference, only this time they use all Smackdown competitors, making this the first time RAW has shown any sort of interest in Smackdown in months.

So Jerry Lawler says that WWE Capitol Punishment might blow the Rotunda off the Capitol building… would that make WWE a terrorist organization if that’s their goal?

Lawler just got himself on a No Fly List.

Match – John Cena vs CM Punk

Why do competitors go for their signature moves so early in the match? It wasn’t two minutes into this match that both CM Punk and John Cena went for their respective finishes. I know the show’s running long with Austin speaking a lot, but come on, they had more than just 5 minutes to work with.

How crazy is it that CM Punk holds the key to R-Truth potentially becoming WWE World Champion? If Punk were to do something that could result with Cena getting injured, it’s a very real possibility that R-Truth would get the belt on Sunday.

I’d have to think WWE would do something to seriously switch up the bookings before they’d let that happen, but you never know!

In a night filled with firsts, a fan actually inadvertantly distracts John Cena and gets him kneed in the skull by the Go2Sleep!

Outcome – CM Punk beats John Cena by pinfall

What are the odds that the little Jimmy from the audience gets his hat back?

That R-Truth is always thinking! He’s building up his heel heat one kid at a time.

For what might be the first and last time, R-Truth is in the ring holding the WWE Championship… and it doesn’t look as awkward as I thought it might.

Stone Cold Steve Austin