Birmingham, Alabama
June 1, 2009

results thanks to pwtorch.com

After the general WWE intro, the show started cold in the arena with a steel cage looming. Inside were WWE champion Randy Orton, Ted DiBiase, Jr., and Cody Rhodes. Orton held his WWE Title belt high in the air before beginning his promo about defending his title against Batista in a cage at Extreme Rules on Sunday. He said he can do whatever he wants to do on Sunday against Batista - throw him into the cage, rake his forehead against the cage, etc.

Orton said Vickie Guerrero allowed him to book a cage match for Batista. He pulled out a coin. Heads is Rhodes. Tails is DiBiase. Winner gets Batista tonight. Orton flipped, but the camera didn't zoom in tight. Orton simply walked over to Cody and told him congratulations. Night off? Orton told Cody what to do. Cody said he knows exactly what to do. Cage matches are in his blood and he has no problem giving Big Dave a preview of this Sunday. Orton gave his own preview: him walking out of the cage door and still WWE champion.

Suddenly, Ric Flair's music interrupted and Flair strutted out on stage in a suit. He flung his suit jacket away and Whoo'ed! to all sides of the arena before strutting like a peacock. Flair said he's out here to tell Orton what he's going to do to him tonight. Orton said Flair doesn't get it that he can't compete anymore and he's irrelevant. Flair cut him off that Orton is a punk and he can't compete, but he's going to come out here every week and call him out until he grows a set and accepts his challenge.

Orton asked Flair what part he doesn't understand about being retired. Flair asked him...whoo...what part he doesn't understand about being punked. Flair called him out to a parking lot fight. A Fight Without Honor...oops... too soon... a Fight to The Finish. "Punk, Punk, Punk, Punk, Punk!" Flair shouted. Orton accepted and Flair excitedly threw down his mic. Orton with a parting shot that it will be a night to remember, but too bad Flair won't be able to remember it. Orton sneered toward the stage after Flair ran off to the parking lot. PYB (3): 8:05.

[Commercial Break]

In-ring: Cody Rhodes was inside the cage back from break after winning the toin coss. After a pause, Batista came out to a big reaction to get some of Cody. Cody paced around the cage before the bell sounded to get it started.


1 -- BATISTA vs. CODY RHODES -- steel cage match

Batista pounded Cody left and right to start things off, so Cody tried to climb the wall to get out, but Batista yanked him back down to the mat. He landed a spear at 2:00, then Orton slowly made his way down to ringside as the kiddos near the arena mic screamed in horror at the sight of Orton ringside. Cody tried to take advantage of Orton's distraction to escape by climbing out, but Batista grabbed him and delivered a Batistabomb out of the corner. Batista made the cover for the pin and the win. He then paraded around the ring before staring down at Orton to give him a warning message.

WINNER: Batista at 3:15. Dominating victory for Batista to set up the Extreme Rules title match. Cody seems to be in that role of being presented with the main eventers, but simply to bump around for them. DiBiase is being protected considerably more right now. (*)

Backstage: Vickie and Chavo were talking to Big Show about teaming with The Miz against John Cena and a partner to be named. Show said he doesn't like the idea of any of this. (a) He doesn't like Miz. (b) He doesn't like Miz talking about his fake winning streak. Show tried to get some understanding from Chavo, who then pulled out a magic bag. (Could have continued NBA theme with Draft Lottery balls.) He told Show to draw from the hat. Show drew Chavo's name so he's teaming with Cena. Vickie and Chavo had a few giggles, then Show threatened Chavo that he would beat him up too along with Cena. Chavo and Vickie lost their smiles.

[Commercial Break]



Typical back-and-forth exchanges in this one. Beth and Mickie brawled to the floor, leaving Maryse and Kelly. Maryse nailed a DDT with an extra whip (to match her trademark hair whip) on Kelly for the pin and the win. Maryse celebrated post-match.

WINNER: Maryse & Beth at 2:50. Your basic three-minute Divas match.

Up later: Deck stacked against Cena in the tag match...ya know, because Chavo is dead weight. They showed a graphic of Orton and Flair for the parking lot brawl. Actually had a photo of a parking garage in the background. Looked pretty cheap by WWE standards.

[Commercial Break]

3 -- Unified tag champions CARLITO & PRIMO COLON vs. WILLIAM REGAL & MATT HARDY

Hardy still sporting the cast over the broken hand. Cole said he's still hearing questions in the locker room that Hardy is milking the injury and he's not really injured. To make this match seem somewhat important, Cole said that if Regal & Hardy win, they receive a future tag title shot. Hardy started off against Primo, then Hardy and Regal double-teamed him while exchanging a few choice words for each other. Carlito finally took a much-needed hot tag to liven this up. Hardy then accidentally blasted Regal with the cast allowing Carlito to nail Regal from behind with the backstabber for the pin and the win. Afterward, Regal and Hardy jawed at each other and teased coming to blows, but no contact.

WINNERS: Primo & Carlito at 4:20. Really slow paced tag match as Primo took a beating for a while. Just a chance to get the tag champs on TV for another win and to build tension between Hardy and Regal for whatever purpose that will serve down the road. (3/4*)

Tonight: MVP vs. Kofi for the U.S. Title.

[Commercial Break]


Parking lot: Flair was looking around looking for Orton, but Big Dave walked in with a towel around his neck to calm Flair down. Flair said he doesn't want to hear Batista's nice words because he goes to sleep every night thinking about wanting to be in the ring one more time. Batista tried to quietly talk to him about everyone knowing he's The Man, but Flair cut him off and said he's going to vomit if he hears that one more time. Flair said he's going to get his licks in on Orton to soften him up for Sunday, so he just needs Batista to support him and be there for him. Batista breathed a deep breath, then hugged it out. *tear*

Backstage: Hardy and Regal were in Vickie's office blaming each other for the loss. She wanted to know why they should receive another chance. Regal said they have a plan. Hardy said tonight, Vickie is going one-on-one against Santino. Regal said they all know Vickie is going to beat Santina in the Hog Pen on Sunday, so she could get a warm-up tonight by beating Santino. Hardy whispered a plan to Vickie, who liked it and showed so much pleasure for the plan by snorting and laughing.

Backstage: John Cena was shown walking down the hallway for the tag match, but he was stopped short by Chavo Guerrero. Cena sneered in his direction, then kept walking. Chavo said "We're going to win, man! I got your back." Cena was having none of it.

In-ring: The Miz came out first for the tag match. Miz said he is 6-0 against the corporate, sell-out, brown-noser John Cena. He said Cena has captured the hearts of 9-year-old kids...pause for nine year olds to cheer... but he'll never capture his self-respect. Miz congratulated Cena on being in the same category as the Jonas Brothers, Spongebob, and Hannah Montana. Miz told everyone in the arena to look to the person on their left and right because standing in the ring is what a winner looks like. Miz said he plans on going 7-0 because he's the Miz...and he's awesome. Match up next.

[Commercial Break]

ECW promo: They showed a video package on the Hart Dynasty. Included clips of British Bulldog, Jim Niedhart, and Stu Hart in the Dungeon. Haven't seen Bulldog on WWE TV in forever.

In-ring: Miz's music was still playing before Big Show came out to the ring for the top-of-the-hour TV main event. Miz stood confidently in his corner before backing down a bit to let Show pace around in the ring. Chavo came out first for the default babyface team, then they did a lengthy pause before John Cena's music hit. Huge reaction for Cena, although the audio has been "sweetened" throughout the entire show. With all four men in the ring, Miz said he wanted to face Cena to start, but Big Show slowed his roll and not-so-nicely told Miz to stand on the apron and get out of his way.

[Q5 -- second hour]


Cena and Show faced off center-ring to start things off, but the ref never called for the opening bell. So, apparently it's an unsanctioned match. In any event, Show pounded Cena down to the mat to start things off. He stalked Cena for a submission hold, but Cena squirmed underneath Show and went for the STF. Cena couldn't apply it, though, and Show flung him to the outside. Show stalled the ref, then Miz punched Cena on the floor. Show didn't want any help, so he ran after Miz and told him not to touch Cena. Cena slowly made his way back into the ring, then he tried to counter a splash with a scoop slam, but Show fell on top of Cena for a two count. Miz then blind-tagged himself into the match as Show bounced off the ropes, which certainly didn't please Show. Miz tried to sneak in a pin, but Cena kicked out. Miz then landed his trademark clothesline in the corner before stomping a mudhole in Cena for another two count.

Cena fought back at 3:30 with right hands, then he set up the ol' Cena comeback combo leading to the Five Knuckle Shuffle on Miz. Cena wanted the FU, but Show blind-tagged himself into the match. Ref didn't see the blind tag, though, and disallowed Show's involvement. Show simply re-set the action for Miz to tag him in, but Miz wanted no part of a tag. Miz turned around and Show blasted him with the Big Punch from the apron. Miz was KO'ed, then Chavo blind-tagged himself in for his first involvement in the match and covered Miz for the pin and the win.

Post-match: Chavo jumped up and down celebrating, then Cena gave him the FU in the corner. Show licked his lips eager to go after Cena and he gave Cena the Big Punch to KO Cena. Kids and women screamed as Show stalked Cena for a submission hold. Show put Cena's lifeless body in the Camel Clutch and locked it in for a good while before releasing the hold.

WINNERS: Chavo & Cena at 4:53 unofficial time. Unique tag match to set up Show vs. Cena at Extreme Rules in the Submission match. Certainly stacked the deck against Cena for Sunday with him appearing to have no chance of slapping on a submission on Show, or avoiding Show's Big Punch and Camel Clutch. Not sure if it's going to convince anyone to spend $40, but by-the-book WWE PPV build. Miz kinda-sorta benefited by getting over his personality, but he was more of a bystander for this. (*1/2)

[Commercial Break]


Backstage: Josh Mathews brought in Kofi Kingston and MVP to talk about the U.S. Title match coming up. MVP spoke for Kofi that he earned his title shot and he did it honorably, so he's looking forward to the match-up. Kofi said he's winning, though. MVP did a Jamaican accent saying he's been drinking too much Red Stripe, mon. Mathews threw out the question, "So, who's really going to win?" They both said: "I am!" at the same time. Nervous laughter. Babyface tension.

5 -- U.S. champion MVP vs. KOFI KINGSTON -- United States Title match

Kofi came out, then MVP second as the announcers talked up the Prom deal with MVP and Sherri Shepherd. "I never got to go the prom," Cole said. That's just too easy. I'm moving along. Bell sounded and the babyfaces did their feeling out process with big smiles trying to test each other out. Slow build, then Kofi pulled out a series of pin attempts for nearfalls. Kofi then executed a leaping dropkick and told MVP he's "that close" to winning. Cut to break with Kofi confident.

[Commercial Break]

Back from break, MVP was in control. Kofi nailed a leaping elbow smash to comeback, then he jumped on MVP's shoulders in the corner to execute a rolling huracanrana for a two count. MVP then popped up and nailed a big boot to the face for a two count of his own. MVP followed with the Ballin' elbow drop for another nearfall. Kofi blocked a corner splash with a pendulum kick, then he went up top, but MVP crotched him and executed a big superplex. Both men crashed down hard with MVP taking a blow to the back of the head on impact. MVP and Kofi then had a classic rolling pin attempt exchange on the mat with neither man able to secure a pin. Double clothesline and both men fell to the mat to recover.


They came to their feet at 10:00 and started exchanging blows. Kofi rebounded off the ring ropes into MVP, who nailed a German Suplex with a bridge pin, but Kofi kicked out. Kofi then came back with a sick rolling frontslam, but MVP kicked out. MVP tried to come back with the Playmaker, but Kofi escaped and tried to hit the buzzsaw kick, but MVP ducked. Kofi then hopped on MVP's shoulders for a reverse huracanrana, but MVP tried to roll him up, only to have Kofi roll through and pin his shoulders for a three count.

Post-match: Kofi celebrated the title victory and MVP grabbed the U.S. Title belt. He handed it to Kofi, who accepted with a big smile. MVP was shown smirking on the floor like he couldn't believe Kofi beat him tonight. Kofi did the boom-boom handclap to celebrate as Cole called him the future of Raw.

WINNER: Kofi at 11:18 to capture the U.S. Title. Excellent title match. Probably hit 85 percent of the "medium-to-hard" spots they were going for and pulled off a very good match. Crowd was quiet for the most part, but that's been the case throughout the show. Interesting to see the title switch, as WWE is so "hot and cold" with Kofi's push. We'll see how this is followed up. (***)

Backstage: Ted DiBiase asked Orton why he's doing this. DiBiase said this is a Fight to the finish in a parking lot. Anything goes, bro. DiBiase said Flair is desperate for the spotlight and hates himself for being retired, so he will do everything and risk everything. Orton said he will be in complete control. No worries, son. Orton told DiBiase it will be a preview for what Batista has to go through on Sunday. DiBiase shot him a line: "That's exactly what Cody said." Whoa. DiBiase walked off, then Orton stared down at the ground.

In-ring: Vickie Guerrero came to the ring with a bucket of slop to preview the Hog Pen match on Sunday.

[Commercial Break]

In-ring: Vickie was waving to the crowd sporting her Miss WrestleMania sash. Santino came out to the ring as Lawler narrated clips of previous Hog Pen matches in WWE history. Just focused on the pigs in the slop. No shots of the Godwins or Triple H. Perhaps a match Hunter doesn't want his likeness associated with.


Santino picked up a bucket of slop and threatened to hit Vickie with it. Crowd screamed as William Regal and Matt Hardy stormed the ring. Santino spun around and "accidentally" flung the slop everywhere, landing on Regal, the cameraman, and the announcers. Regal sold it for a while so the crowd could get a good laugh, then Hardy and Regal beat up Santino. Hardy landed a Cast Shot on Santino before Regal and Hardy put Santino in position to accept more slop on the mat. Vickie cackled as she grabbed another bucket of slop and teased Santino's lifeless body with more punishment. She slowly dropped some slop on Santino's scrotumus region before slowly pouring it out on Santino's face, neck, and eyes. She covered Santino's torso with slop while cackling. Lawler said every pig has its day, like every dog has its day. Vickie put her foot on Santino's chest to close the segment.

WINNER: Bell never sounded. Ref was as useful for this segment as an incompetently-booked TNA ref. Just a mid-ring "filler attempt at comedy" segment to promote the slop fest on Sunday.

Backstage: Flair was readying himself for the parking lot brawl.

DVD promo: Well, well, well, a Randy Savage DVD promo for the release next Tuesday. Macho Madness. No context to the DVD plug, though. We'll see if they add any color to the DVD release on next week's Raw the day before the official release when they don't have a PPV to focus on.


[Commercial Break]

In-ring: Cole and Lawler stood center ring to plug the Extreme Rules PPV card. I like the change from breaking down the line-up from the announce desk. The cage lowered down for Cole and Lawler to promote the Orton vs. Batista cage match on Sunday.

Backstage: They showed Randy Orton walking down the hallway in anticipation of the parking lot brawl.

[Commercial Break]

ECW plug: Christian vs. Tyson Kidd before Christian's three-way title match at Extreme Rules.

Parking Lot: Randy Orton was slowly walking around looking for Flair. There was some noise in the background as Orton paced around. He hopped over a guardrail near a row of cars. Wish they were in a circle like Eddie vs. Cena from six years ago. Flair then snuck up behind Orton and lightly pushed him into a metal garage door. Flair landed a chop or two and kicked Orton before ripping open his t-shirt to blast him some more. Orton came back with a kick, but Flair with a chop. Flair then put Orton on a portable trunk with wheels and wheeled Orton into a wall. Flair with another chop as they moved closer to the Gorilla position.

They made it through the curtain and the camera picked up a brief arena shot. They were in the equipment area and Orton put Flair in a headlock before taking him to the floor area near the Raw HD stage. Orton stomped on Flair's forehead before landing a round of punches. He flung Flair onto the stage and stood over Flair's prone body before starting the Orton Stomp. Orton wanted to chuck Flair off the stage, but Flair landed a mule kick and the crowd came to life Whoo'ing for Flair.

[Q9 -- over-run]

Flair started kicking and punting Orton in the gut to move him across the stage. Flair chopped him down the entranceramp before stomping on his hands. Side note: Is Orton being manhandled by 40-something Shane McMahon or 60-year-old Ric Flair worse? Anyways, Flair took Orton ringside and continued to take Orton apart piece by piece. Flair nearly chopped him over the guardrail into the front row as Orton bled from the chest from all of the chops. Of note: cage was still down around the ring after Cole and Lawler hyped the PPV. Flair cleared the announce desk before chopping Orton onto the table. Flair landed more right hand blows to the forehead, then he climbed on the desk. Flair measured Orton and stomped him right between the legs. Crazy Ric continued to beat on Orton before slapping on the figure four on the freakin' announce desk.

Suddenly, DiBiase and Rhodes jumped Flair and assaulted him ringside. They rammed Flair into the cage wall before whipping him into the guardrail. Wild action as Legacy took Flair inside the cage. Crowd chanted for Batista as Legacy beat up Flair inside the cage. They executed a double-team suplex as Orton shouted from ringside to keep pounding on Flair. Orton entered the cage and told Legacy to leave the cage and lock it up. Cody, apparently not proficient in cage-locking, struggled to lock it. Batista suddenly stormed ringside and chased off Legacy. He couldn't get in the cage, though. Batista tried ripping the lock off, but to no avail. Orton started measuring Flair for the RKO as Batista started climbing the cage. Orton nailed the RKO in center ring as Batista cried out to Ric.

Batista continued to pace around the outside of the cage as Orton stared down Batista. Batista vowed to break Flair in half. Orton lightly kicked Flair to check for life as Batista screamed out to Orton, who slowly backed away from Flair inside the cage. Batista saw what was coming and sold it with his eyes. Orton bounced and bounced around before landing The Punt on Flair. Maybe grazed Flair's forehead, as he missed him 95 percent. Orton sold it, though, and got within inches of Batista while foaming at the mouth. Batista could only grip the cage wall from the outside as Orton stared back at him with that Classic Orton Venom Look. Show ended with Batista cussing Orton, but it was bleeped. Think he called him a sick f---. Fade out to Sunday. PYB (3) time: 14:55.

Closing segment thoughts: Tough to gauge the effectiveness of selling Sunday's PPV on the merit of this segment. Orton's vicious. He had the final word after taking a pounding from Flair before his cronies helped him in typical fashion. Batista wants to rip Orton apart to avenge Flair. Fine. Good. Dandy. But, there wasn't emphasis on the WWE Title, which may or may not be a big deal since WWE was selling this on the personal issue between Orton and Batista, the cage match format, and potential for mass chaos in the ring.

A lot of elements in play and it really depends on whether the viewer (a) wants to see Batista get revenge on Orton or (b) cares so much about Flair that they want to see Orton get his comeuppance. WWE was hoping to cast a wide net to capture WWE viewers who could turn into PPV buyers on the merit of one or both points. Tough sell, though, when the casual audience perhaps doesn't have as much of an emotional connection to Flair as the centerpiece of the storyline because the overall message on Flair to the casual audience is that he's this crazy old man who's trying to take back the spotlight. But, perhaps the whole point of Flair having so much offense on Orton tonight was to make him seem more credible.

Does Flair's involvement help or hurt? That's the key. Orton is so good as a vicious heel, though, that he might have cancelled out Flair as a possible distraction to sell the PPV on seeing Orton get his comeuppance.