Credit: Mike Johnson and Pwinsider.com
WWE returned to Madison Square Garden on 3/18 with a Raw house show. The crowd was way up from the last several house shows in the venue, but was not a sellout.
The show opened with WWE champion The Miz coming out and cutting a promo demanding his match against Randy Orton start right now because he's the Miz and he's awesome. Orton came out for a hot opening. Miz controlled early but Orton made a comeback. Orton set up Miz for the RKO but CM Punk hit the ring and laid out Orton, putting the boots to him and mocking him. Punk went for the GTS but Orton slipped out. Punk scampered from the ring. Miz tried to attack Orton but was thrown out of the ring. DQ city.
The Raw General Manager emailed and said that due to Punk's actions, he was letting the fans decide the main event tonight: Miz vs. Orton or Orton & Cena vs. Punk & Miz. The fans picked the latter.
Evan Bourne, Vladimir Kozlov and Santino Marella defeated Zack Ryder, Primo and Tyson Kidd when Santino nailed the Cobra followed by a Bourne shooting star press. OK match with Kidd getting a lot of heat on Bourne.
Alex Riley cut a promo saying he may be fired but he's here. He said he's asked the GM for a match on Raw and if he wins he's back working for The Miz. The GM emails and says Riley can prove himself tonight in the world's most famous arena. Out comes Great Khali.
Great Khali pinned Alex Riley in 30 seconds with a chokeslam. Khali was all taped up selling the injuries from Raw. Thanks for coming Alex!
Kelly Kelly and Eve defeated The Bellas. Sunny was a surprise as the special referee and called it down the middle. The Bellas tried twin magic but Sunny caught it. Eve nailed a sunset flip into the ring for the pin. The Bellas attacked Kelly and Eve. Sunny got involved and worked over one of the Bellas. Sunny got a nice reaction. I wouldn't say it was a huge Superstar response but it was a really nice, respectful one.
John Morrison pinned Dolph Ziggler. They did a false finish where Morrison missed Starship Pain and Ziggler pinned him with his feet on the ropes. The referees came out and restarted the match. Vickie tried to trip Morrison and ended up thrown out. Morrison finally nailed Starship Pain for the pin. Very good match.
R Truth came through the crowd rapping his theme song. He ran a contest for 4 tickets to the Survivor Series. The Raw GM emailed in and made a dance contest. Two of the contestants were from New Jersey and were booed unmercifully from the crowd. The winner was an older man from the Bronx that the crowd loved. The dancing was terrible.
Sheamus attacked Bryan and laid him out. He cut a promo saying he ended a four month undefeated streak (oops!) by winning the United States championship. He says Triple H put him through a table but tonight he will end Triple H's career in a New York City Streetfight.
Triple H pinned Sheamus in a NYC Street Fight. Triple H used a belt on Sheamus. They brawled into the crowd and up into an aisle. Sheamus was backdropped over the rail into the ringside area. Sheamus nailed him with a Singapore Cane. He tossed HHH into the ring and beat him with the Cane. Sheamus nailed an over the knee backbreaker for a two count. He beat HHH with a series of clobbering blows to the chest. He cinched in a rear chinlock but HHH made a comeback. Sheamus took him out with a clothesline. Sheamus brought a set of the ring steps into the ring but HHH hit a droptoehold and Sheamus ate the stairs. HHH grabbed a chair under the ring and nailed Sheamus in the gut and over the back for a two count. They battled back and forth with punches. HHH finally got the better of it and went for the Pedigree. Sheamus backdropped him and nailed the Pump Kick but HHH kicked out. Sheamus called for the High Cross. He picked up HHH but HHH slipped out. Sheamus crotched himself missing a kick and ended up tied up in the ropes. HHH grabbed the cane and beat Sheamus who was hanging upside down. HHH nailed the Pedigree and scored the pin. Triple H looked heavier than he did during his last run. The match was OK but nothing really memorable.
John Cena and Randy Orton defeated CM Punk and WWE champion The Miz. Usual mixed response for Cena. Huge response for Orton, who absolutely received the biggest reaction of the night. Punk and Cena started the tag bout. Cena bulldogged Punk and tagged Orton. Punk ran for the corner and tagged Miz. Miz got the better of Orton early and tagged in Punk. Now that Orton was down, Punk was willing to get in the ring with him. He locked in a rear chinlock. Fans were chanting for Fruity Pebbles. Punk drilled Orton with a series of kicks. Orton came back with a back suplex. He tagged Cena who nailed a slam and mocked Miz before nailing the Five Knuckle Shuffle. Punk and Cena clunked heads. Miz tagged in and stomped away on Cena. Cena rolled out onto the apron. Punk yanked him off and Cena bumped to the floor. Miz covered Cena for a two count. Miz locked in a rear chinlock as Cena struggled to the ropes. Cena finally breaks it and gets to his feet but Miz nails a neckbreaker. Punk and Miz take turns working on Cena. Punk kept beating on Cena and nailed a hangman's neckbreaker. Punk used body scissors to wear Cena down. Cena fought back on Punk and Miz but was overtaken again. Punk and Miz continued the beating. Cena finally made a comeback with a back suplex but Miz tagged in and prevented the hot tag. Cena fired back but was caught with a sitdown slam. Miz mocked The Rock and did the People's Elbow. Punk tagged in and stomped away at Cena. Punk missed a charge in the corner. Cena and Punk clotheslined each other in the center of the ring. Hot tag to Orton. He nailed Miz with the hanging DDT and teased the RKO but Miz slipped out and nailed the Skull Crushing Finale for a two count. Miz went to the top but Orton cut him off and nailed a superplex. Punk tagged in and mocked Orton then went for the GTS. Orton slipped out and sent Punk into the referee. Orton nailed the RKO but no ref. Orton went for the Punt but Miz clotheslined him. Cena went after Miz but Punk caught him with a clothesline. The heels grabbed chairs but missed. Cena and Orton nailed their finishers and scored the pins. Fun main event!
Notes: They were selling signed copies of the John Cena Experience DVD...Although they mentioned the Survivor Series would be the next card here, they never plugged the date, instead pushing tomorrow's house show at the Prudential Center and the June Raw taping....Betty Skaaland, the widow of Arnold Skaaland, was sitting in the front row. Both Triple H and John Cena embraced her when they saw her....Names advertised that did not appear were The Usos....Orton vs. Miz was advertised for months as a Best of Three Falls match. Obviously, that did not happen....Overall, a solid house show.
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