North Carolina State University played host to the last edition of Monday Night Raw before Night of Champions July 26. Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Billy Gibbons and Dusty Hill of ZZ Top served as the guest hosts for the evening.
Big Show, Jerry Lawler Make big Statements during first Hour
In a preview of the United States title match at Night of Champions, The Big Show, Jack Swagger, and Carlito joined forces to face off with U.S. Champion Kofi Kingston, Primo, and MVP in six-man tag action. While Kingston's side scored the win, The Big Show made a major statement that he was the man to beat heading into Sunday night's 6 Pack Challenge for the U.S. Title by absolutely destroying all 5 men and leaving the ring cluttered with bodies!
The Brian Kendrick would then attempt to state his case as to why he should be picked by Chris Jericho as the replacement half of the Unified WWE Tag Team Champions, but one offhand remark by Kendrick to Hall of Famer Jerry Lawer led to an impromptu match between the two! While Kendrick utilized his speed, the legendary King of Memphis would take the three-count following a vintage fist drop from the middle rope.
ZZ Top Deliver Chris Jericho and Chavo Guerrero a Comeuppance
Chris Jericho probably left Raw a bit less a fan of ZZ Top than when he came in, after learning that his opponent for the evening would be the resurgent "World's Strongest Man," Mark Henry. As one could expect, Jericho just could not answer the size and strength advantage, and Henry would leave with the winner's share of the purse.
In a throwback to classic WWE, Gibbons and Hill booked Chavo Guerrero to face Hornswoggle in a "Sharp Dressed Man," essentially their branding of an old-school tuxedo match. Equally classic was the comic angle where Guerrero's pants legs were sown together, making a victory for his trial-sized opponent quick and humorous, as Chavo wound up displaying his chile pepper Joe Boxers to a delighted house!
Kelly Kelly and Gail Kim Highlight Divas Action
The Divas would present a tag team match tonight, as Kelly Kelly and Gail Kim teamed to test the pairing of Rosa Mendes and Alicia Fox. Hey, three Divas and an actual wrestler (although Kelly Kelly has shown marked improvement in recent months). A brief but solid beer match as Alicia Fox pins Kelly Kelly to take the victory.
Legacy Comes up short in Quest to Weaken WWE Champion's Opponents
In the much-hyped main event, Triple H and John Cena teamed up to battle Legacy in a 3-on-2 handicap match! WWE Champion Randy Orton had added himself to the match, joining his Legacy proteges Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase to try and soften up his triple threat title defense opponents in advance of Night of Champions, and was definitely planning to make this more successful than last week's main event.
In a solid, but slightly pedestrian match-up, Cena and HHH would use the crowd advantage to overwhelm Legacy early, but once the power trio gained the advantage, they wrestled to their pedigrees, cutting the ring in half, and using quick tags to relentlessly batter Triple H and put his effectiveness in doubt for the championship main event at Night of Champions. Gaining the tag, Cena quickly turned the tide, and after order broke down and all five men were involved, Cena timed his shot just right, rolling up Orton for the pin, and a personal measure of momentum as he pursues the WWE Championship.