The show started with a recap of the Cena vs. Orton title match at Summerslam last night. After the recap video aired, Randy Orton walked out to start the show. Orton slowly paced the ring while Ross talked about Orton being so close to winning the belt many times last night. His music stopped and he was showered with boos. Orton said he spent the entire day in church because he is convinced that he witnessed a miracle when John Cena walked out of Summerslam still WWE champion. He announced that to even louder boos. So, they don’t like Orton and they don’t like Cena as champion. Orton said that while he was on his knees in church, he had an epiphany that he should be WWE champion. He said Cena was lucky last night and he’s demanding a re-match for the WWE Title. Orton said Cena has two choices: accept the challenge or… Cena’s music cut him off before we could hear the second option. Cena came out to a huge pop mixed with a few sprinkles of boos. Cena approached his dad on the front row for a greeting in his home state.
Cena wanted to know what the second option was. He asked if the second option is listening to Orton whine about last night despite not getting the job done. Cena said all of Orton’s talk about killing legends meant nothing at Summerslam when everything was on the line and Orton still failed to get the job done. Cena said his statement tonight is: the champ is here. Cena said Orton might get another title shot, but Orton moves down the ladder. He said one gentleman made his triumphant return last night, but he doesn’t have power to make matches. Cena went on a bunny trail for the hometown pop before asking a GM to make Cena vs. Triple H tonight. William Regal then walked out and Cena told him to make it happen. Regal said Cena won’t be facing Hunter tonight. He said Orton wouldn’t be facing Cena either. Regal then said a man of majestic power approached him earlier today to get a match against Cena: King Booker. The crowd groaned as Booker walked out with Sharmell. Ross called it royal collusion. Suddenly, Orton tried to surprise Cena with the RKO, but Cena shoved him away and Orton rolled to the outside. Orton slapped himself around as he backed up the entrance ramp. They managed to raise expectations, only to lower them in one segment.
Ross and Lawler plugged Carlito’s Cabana with Mr. McMahon tonight. Also tonight, Hunter returns to Raw.
Ross and Lawler plugged Punk vs. Miz vs. Boogeyman vs. Big Daddy V in a four-way match on ECW TV tomorrow night. Winner receives a title match at some point.
Mr. Kennedy came out and battled the ceiling microphone. He joked about meaning to fool around with it. He then announced himself. And there’s Jeff Hardy’s music. The kids screamed as Jeff came out for his unannounced return. There was something different to Jeff tonight. Maybe a little more sun or shorter hair.
1 — MR. KENNEDY vs. JEFF HARDY
They danced around the ring before locking up and Kennedy settled for a side headlock. Kennedy then kicked Jeff in the gut and Jeff recovered in the corner as the fans rallied behind him. Jeff then sent Kennedy to the seat of his pants in the corner before they locked up again. Jeff pounded Kennedy back to the corner before kicking him off the apron to the floor. Jeff followed with a baseball slide dropkick and cross body splash before they cut to a break.
Kennedy had Jeff in a vice-like grip on the mat out of the break. Kennedy continued to work on Jeff before Jeff fired back with kicks to the gut, only to have Kennedy cut him off with a knee to
Jeff suddenly came back with the Whisper in the Wind and grazed Kennedy before landing a Russian legsweep for a nearfall. Jeff continued the attack before going up top for the Swanton Bomb, only to have Kennedy get his knees up in time and send Jeff flying to the ropes. Kennedy then tried to make a cover, but Umaga was going to have none of it, as he walked out to the ring. Umaga sent Kennedy scurrying, then he turned heel again by giving Jeff a standing sidekick for a DQ. Umaga then went back to the vicious heel by pounding Jeff into the corner. He measured Jeff for the running splash and creamed Jeff in the face. Umaga then landed the Samoan Spike and screamed in Jeff’s face. Kennedy backed away from the scene as Umaga held the IC Title belt in Jeff’s face.
WINNER: Jeff Hardy via DQ in 13:00. Jeff was off at times in his return match, showing some rust. Kennedy was along for the ride, but he continues to idle in big-match opportunities rather than taking his game to the next level. The Umaga heel turn is so much better for his character than trying to be a pseudo-face. Now they can pick up the money feud between Jeff and Umaga that was put on hold before Summerslam. (*1/2)
Ross tried to plug Cena vs. Booker up tonight, but his mic wasn’t working. Live TV. Lawler then talked about Hunter’s return, segueing to a video package on Hunter beating Booker last night.
Backstage, Coach and Vince talked about Vince’s big announcement during Carlito’s Cabana tonight. Vince said he would find out with everyone else. Mr. Kennedy then approached Vince, who congratulated him on hard work out there. Vince asked Kennedy if he realizes his middle name is Kennedy. Kennedy said he does. Kennedy then walked off with a half-limp, half-strut. Vince called him a nice kid with a funny walk. Vince then strutted off for a few laughs.
Carlito’s music hit, then they cut to a break.
Carlito was in the ring for the Cabana, then he welcomed out the Big Papi of the WWE, Vince McMahon. Carlito welcomed Vince to the set, then Vince shouted out the name of the segment. Carlito offered belated birthday wishes, as Vince said he’s only 50 years old now. He said his grapefruits have been growing, and that’s because of the embarrassment with the bastard son thing. Vince said he can’t be intimidated; he has to intimidate others. Carlito said he’s intimidated right now! Vince then said he most intimidate the woman who gave birth to his bastard son, and he’s going to sue her if she doesn’t reveal the name of his bastard son in two weeks time. Vince and Carlito cried out in unison that everyone answers to Vince. Suddenly, Triple H’s music hit and Hunter walked out in jeans and a t-shirt. Oh dear. Hunter did his elaborate entrance, then his music stopped and he surveyed the crowd for a favorable response.
Vince screamed for them to shut up, which only made them cheer louder. He screamed at Hunter that he answers to him. Hunter then asked this is the reception he gets after his long return? He said Vince is out here celebrating his 75th birthday and he can’t figure out whether to change his bed sheet or if he’s going senile. Hunter said he had seven or eight months of down time to do extensive research on the potential mother of Vince’s illegitimate child. He said he brought all four to the show tonight as potential candidates. Hunter then brought out a woman from WrestleMania III when Vince thought she was Aretha Franklin, when she was only a baggage checker at the hotel. Woman number one was one-eyed Wendy: a short, stout woman with an eye patch. Carlito said he misses a target once or twice. Vince said it was an accident that he poked her in the eye. Hunter apologized for embarrassing him. He said the next one is pretty embarrassing too: Carlito’s sister. Out walked a woman with a giant fro licking an apple. Vince said he thought Carlito was asleep and he wanted to apologize. Hunter said there’s nothing to be ashamed of: everyone’s been with Carlito’s sister. Hunter was done embarrassing Vince, so he brought out Frank, who Vince thought was Francis. Out walked a cross-dresser straight from West Hollywood. Hunter then asked all four if they’ve had had intimate relations with Vince. All four raised their hands. Frank wouldn’t raise his/her hand on whether he/she had Vince’s child. Vince then screamed at every one of them to leave his stage.
Vince told Hunter that he’s not going to accept this kind of embarrassment. Hunter said Vince should be grateful for the help he’s extending, especially with the new problems today. He said it’s all over the news. Hunter said they know Vince is running an illegal rooster-fighting ring. Vince denied it. Hunter said there are people outside of the building with signs protesting against Vince. Gee, I wonder where this is going. Hunter got Vince to say I love dogs, cats, horses, roosters, and coc—oops. Vince paused as Hunter stared at him. Vince then looked at Hunter and said he wishes he never came back. "I hate you," Vince said before leaving. Hunter watched Vince leave, then Carlito screamed at Hunter that he should put him on the shelf again. Hunter wasn’t impressed. He then said he understands that Carlito’s sucked a few grapefruits from what he’s heard. Carlito then took a bite of apple and chewed it before spitting it in Hunter’s face. Hunter let the camera get a good shot of his apple-covered face before smiling. Hunter then landed a right hand blow before hitting a spinebuster. He ripped off his t-shirt, then measured Carlito for the Pedigree and connected. Hunter then sat down in a lounge chair and took a sip of a cool drink before staring down Carlito. And the juvenile penis-joke hour is back. Some people never leave fifth grade.
2 — SHELTON BENJAMIN & CHARLIE HAAS & DAIVARI vs. CODY RHODES & PAUL LONDON & BRIAN KENDRICK
Shelton dyed his hair white. The Sisqo look went out of style years ago. Meanwhile, Haas changed up his facial hair. Yeah, that must be it – the look was wrong with WGGT! In any event, the heels started working on Kendrick to open the match. Cody then took a tag and worked on Daivari. Cody landed a powerslam for a nearfall, then the match broke down. Kendrick and London knocked out the heels on the floor. Back in the ring, Rhodes caught Daivari with a back elbow smash before hitting a top rope cross body splash for a nearfall.
WINNERS: Rhodes & London & Kendrick in 3:00. Too short for the match to stand out. Good to get them on TV, but not enough time to develop a memorable story in the ring. (1/2*)
Back from break, Daivari was in the ring yelling in his native tongue. Cryme Tyme then interrupted and asked Daivari what he’s saying. JTG said no one understands the ying-yang Daivari is spinning. Cryme Tyme then serenaded Daivari with a chant of money money, yeah yeah. JTG then ripped off the abaya from Daivari’s head and sold it to a fan in the front row for $5. This is why the rest of the world hates the U.S. Cade & Murdoch then interrupted and Cryme Tyme took Cade’s straw hat. They bailed to the top of the stands and gave the hat away. And the awkward men in the audience danced with Cryme Tyme.
Backstage, Vince told Coach that he was humiliated. Coach apologized for what Hunter put Vince through out there. Randy Orton then stormed into the office and stared down Vince. Orton said Vince has the power to make a re-match with Cena. He told him to give it to him. Vince matched his stare and told him to hang on. Vince built up Orton, but said right now, Orton doesn’t deserve another title shot. Orton huffed and puffed, then Vince told him to show him that he deserves another title shot. Vince told him to show him really down deep that he wants the shot, and until then, it’s a No. Orton stopped breathing hard, then stormed off after slamming the office door behind him.
Backstage, Maria was prepping for a match against Beth Phoenix.
3 — MARIA vs. BETH PHOENIX
Before Maria could even enter the ring, Beth jumped Maria. No bell sounded, but Beth continued to pound on Maria. Beth then whipped Maria into the corner as Ross explained that the ref hasn’t started the match because of the unfair nature in which Beth jumped Maria. Beth then landed a brainbuster suplex before the ref reprimanded her and told her to scram. The ref checked on Maria while Beth slowly backed away from the ring. Crowd was silent.
WINNER: No match. They’re trying to do Victoria’s scary assassin gimmick with Beth, but it didn’t get over here. There’s only one diva on the roster who can pull that off and she’s on Smackdown. (n/a)
They plugged the four-way freak match on ECW tomorrow night to see who faces Morrison for the ECW Title.
Backstage, Todd Grisham welcomed Candice Michelle to the interview set. He asked Candice about Beth Phoenix. Candice said she’s not intimidated by Beth and she would take on any challenge. Suddenly, Snitsky walked into the shot shouting, "challenge". He said it’s a challenge for him to know when to stop causing pain because pain is his pleasure. Eeesh.
Backstage, Vince and Coach continued to talk. Vince said he’s not going to wait two weeks to find out who his son is; maybe tomorrow or this weekend or next week on Raw. "Finally, this damn thing will be over," he said. We can all agree to that. William Regal then interrupted and said he doesn’t feel he can tell Vince something serious in front of Coach. Instead, Regal told everyone on TV that Vince’s his entire family is showing up next week…with attorneys…to confront Vince. All three men stood and stared at each other. Awkward silence for an awkward storyline.
Booker and Sharmell were walking backstage toward the ring.
King Booker and Sharmell made the slow entrance before John Cena’s music hit to another huge pop. Ross said Cena’s reception would rival Larry Bird or Yaz’s. Lawler went contemporary with David Ortiz.
4 — JOHN CENA vs. KING BOOKER (w/Sharmell) — non-title match
Booker started things off with hard knees before Cena ducked a kick and nailed right hand blows. The fans booed that. Cena then hit a flying bulldog for a nearfall. He followed with a fisherman suplex for a nearfall. Cena suddenly slapped on the STFU at 3:00 while Cena’s dad cheered on. Booker reached the bottom rope, though, and Booker bailed to the outside to recover.
They returned with Booker in control on Cena. Booker put Cena on the mat with an arm lock, but Cena powered to his feet, only to accept a knee to the gut. Booker then landed a forearm and punch combo before walking into a modified spinebuster off the ropes for a nearfall. Cena then ran into a big boot off the ropes, leading to a sidewalk slam from Booker for a nearfall. Booker settled into a hammerlock at 10:00 to slow the pace down. Cena powered up and teased the FU before taking a standing kick to the head for a nearfall. Booker then waited for Cena to get up for the scissor kick, but Cena moved and went into his offensive attack. Suddenly, Randy Orton stormed the ring and pounded away on Cena.
After the match, Booker and Orton double-teamed Cena before Orton landed an inverted backbreaker on Cena. Booker followed with a scissor kick on Cena before Orton stood over Cena’s fallen body. Booker then turned Cena over to Orton and left the ring. Orton stalked Cena, who slowly came up to his knees. He then started to charge Cena for a punt to the head, but he stopped short. Ross and Lawler thought Orton came to his senses, but he quickly rolled out of the ring and flung Cena’s dad over the railing to the floor. He then measured Cena’s dad and popped him square in the head with a kick. The crowd gasped. This one looked the most real out of any of the punts from Orton so far. Cena then scurried to his dad’s aid while medics spilled to the outside. They closed with Orton staring at his work from the top of the stands while Cena checked on his dad, who remained face down on the floor to cover his face.
WINNER: Cena via DQ in 11:00.