1. CM Punk v. Mark Henry (WWE Championship): 4 out of 5. THIS is the way Raw is beginning this week? I'm either extremely hopeful for the rest of the show, or this is the only part that needs to be watched tonight. The match was amazing. No DQ and no countouts meant we got a significant amount of these guys fighting outside the ring and hitting each other with chairs. Best super mark-out moment of the night was when Punk grabbed the chair from the floor outside and hopped up onto the apron. My brain immediately said, "Is he gonna fly with the chair??" And then he started to climb. "He's gonna fly with the chair!!!" And then he flew with the chair, and both Mark Henry and I were done for the night.
After the match, Jericho showed up on the screen to accuse Punk of drinking because he showed up at a pub in England, demanding to know what Punk was doing there. To which I said to the screen, "... having a sandwich?"
2. Santino Marella v. David Otunga (US Championship): 2 out of 5. This match should have been better than it was, but it was riddled with a lack of the performers being able to sync with one another. It was interesting to see Santino's split countered, but the resulting cover was so bad that even Jerry Lawler called it a botch in the replay. And then when Santino did pull off his signature split-hip toss combo, Otunga apparently didn't rotate the way he should have or something, which resulted in a very sloppy-looking maneuver. Which is just sad to me, because I imagine that that's like the first thing you have to graduate from in wrestling school: Hip Toss 101.
3. Kane v. Zack Ryder: N/A. No match ever really happened here. Kane just quickly destroyed Zack Ryder, again (hey, remember when Cena and Ryder were broskis?), and then gloated about taking out Randy Orton and his father last week. So, nothing really important happened.
4. Daniel Bryan v. Kofi Kingston: 4 out of 5. Before the match, we were treated to Bryan being a delicious asshole to Kofi for allegedly hitting on AJ. He renamed his famous submission hold the "Yes! Lock" and then chanted "YES! YES! YES!" right in Kofi's face until he just walked away. The match itself was a lot of fun. I've always enjoyed the smaller guys because they're quicker and more agile, and therefore make for a more entertaining, fast-paced match. AJ watched from the back, and smiled to herself slightly when her ex-boyfriend made Kofi tap out in the end.
5. Brodus Clay v. Dolph Ziggler: 3 out of 5. Here we have the only way to make a squash halfway entertaining: Put Dolph Ziggler in the match. Jack Swagger was looking very professional at ringside in his suit, and created a disqualification when he interfered in the match. Afterwards, Vickie screamed, kicked over one of the funkettes, laughed maniacally, ran straight into the Funkasaurus, was mesmerized by his jiggling, and then ran away while throwing a fantastic fit. I don't care what else happens, I just want Vickie to stay on my screen at this point.
6. Big Show & The Great Khali v. Primo & Epico: 1 out of 5. Why? Because you thought side-by-side choke-slams would look cool? To drive home the fact that there is no Tag Team division? The only thing that I can say about this match is that Khali genuinely looked happy, and like he was having a lot of fun in England. Which makes sense, because that was probably the biggest pop he's gotten in a long time.
7. Lord Tensai v. John Cena: 4 out of 5. Mr. Excitement strikes again! In response to John Cena's determinator speech earlier, Laurinaitis set an "extreme rules" match against a mystery opponent for the main event. I don't think anyone expected that opponent to be Lord Tensai, but we finally got to see a full match with the returning formerly-known-as Prince Albert. We were proven right that those head "tattoos" wouldn't survive more than two minutes. And we also got a surprise: Tensai has apparently adopted the famous green mist finish we've seen before, from The Great Muta and Taijiri. The mist caught Cena in the face after he dispatched an attempted assault from Otunga, and it gave Tensai the win. Wait, what? What just happened? Cena lost? Is Tensai really being built up to a true unstoppable monster? Will Cena lose his smile? Why has the wardrobe department become apparently obsessed with putting big men in shiny red vinyl/rubber/whatever the hell Tensai's gear is made of? The answers to these questions, and probably less, on the next episode of Monday Night Raw! Which happens to be a three-hour show.
Also, John Cena has a contract signing with Brock Lesnar, so that should be exactly like a big pile of cuddly puppies.