Tuesday, February 22, 2011

WWE Raw Report

Date: 02/21/11 from Fresno, CA.

The Big News: WWE shot a series of major angles for the top matches at WrestleMania.

Show Analysis:

The show started with a graphic for 2-21-11. Throughout the first hour of the show they did further teases including a countdown at a couple of points.

John Cena came out to a mixed reaction with some chants of “Rocky.” He did his usual routine of starting with jokes that completely undermine the serious section of the promo. He said that he should be happy about winning the Chamber and getting Miz for the title at WrestleMania but all he is hearing about is what Rock said. Cena made funny faces and then said he needed to answer back.

Cena proceeded to do a rap where he called Rock gay and told Rock to blow him, polish his balls and kiss his ass. It was basically in those words, so clearly they are for the time being moving away from PG. The rap itself was a good serious response to Rock but it was taken down a few notches by the goofy lead up to it.

CM Punk beat John Morrison in a quick match. Punk was selling his leg and they showed a graphic shot of it bleeding from last night. Morrison attacked with punches but Punk took over in a hurry. He went after Morrison’s knee and hit the GTS for the clean pin. I like the fact they’ve been doing more in the way of clean as a sheet finishes lately.

After the match, Punk said he decided to give Nexus the night off. He said that Orton doesn’t deserve to wrestle at WrestleMania and either he will not wrestle there because Punk hurts him badly next week or he won’t wrestle there because Orton voluntarily walks away for his own physical safety. Orton attacked but Punk avoided the RKO and bailed to the floor. Nexus came out to back up Punk.

I’m not sure if the idea was Punk was saying he would give Nexus the night off next week for a confrontation with Orton or if he was saying he had given Nexus the night off this week and was lying about it. It seemed like the latter, but if that’s the case it’s weird they came out just a few minutes later and didn’t even get physically involved. Punk was off his game here on the promo. His delivery was good but the content was kind of cluttered.

Alberto Del Rio made his entrance when Kofi Kingston attacked him from behind. Ricardo Rodriguez hit Kingston with a microphone to stop his attack. Del Rio then threw Kingston’s arm into the steps, into the post, and applied the armbar. Kingston sold huge like he was in agony so this would appear to be an injury angle.

Miz came out for a promo. Miz said that the people embarrassed themselves fawning over the Rock. Miz mocked Rock for just saying that Miz sucks when he should have been able to come up with better material. Miz said that while Rock is hosting WrestleMania he will be retaining his title in the main event. He added that he doesn’t care if the people don’t like him. The GM popped up to announce that Miz and Cena would challenge for the tag titles in the main event.

The Bella Twins defeated Gail Kim and Eve Torres. The Bellas got heat on Gail for 30 seconds or so. She got the tag to Eve. Eve came in with a crossbody, kicks, a clothesline and a standing moonsault. She went for a rollup but they did the Bella switch for the win.

The final countdown ticked down and the Undertaker came out to the ring. Then HHH’s music hit and HHH came out himself. The crowd seemed more into HHH than Undertaker and there were chants for HHH. HHH looked at the WrestleMania logo. Undertaker then looked at the logo. Undertaker smirked and started to leave but then he came back and made the throat slashing motion. HHH answered with a crotch chop. I guess we’ll see if this adds interest in WrestleMania. I’m afraid HHH vs. Undertaker does nothing for me in 2011.

Mark Henry beat Sheamus. Henry threw Sheamus over the top with a belly-to-belly. Sheamus took over with a chop block, ax handle, knees, punches and a diving shoulder block from the apron into the ring. Henry hit a clothesline but missed a splash and Sheamus kicked him in the head. Sheamus then undid the turnbuckle pad but Henry hit him with an avalanche into the unprotected corner and used the world’s strongest slam for the win. This isn’t exactly breaking news, but Sheamus’ stock has plummeted.

Backstage, Daniel Bryan was joking with Gail Kim. Sheamus came in angry and got in Bryan’s face before leaving. They then announced Hacksaw Jim Duggan for the Hall of Fame. He’ll be inducted by Ted DiBiase Sr. interestingly, since that would seem to put a focus on his Mid South days.

Michael Cole interviewed Jerry Lawler in the ring. Cole said he would be a bigger man and conduct a professional interview because he is the voice of the WWE. He proclaimed himself better than Gordon Solie, Gorilla Monsoon, Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler. Cole asked Lawler how he felt going into the title match. Lawler didn’t answer so Cole asked what it was like when Lawler realized he wasn’t going to win. Lawler just stared at him.

Cole upped the ante from there. He asked what it was like for Lawler to let down his mother by not winning the title. At that point a livid Lawler grabbed Cole and said that if Cole ever mentioned his mother again that will be the last thing he ever says. Lawler said he has his way to get into WrestleMania and he doesn’t care if it gets him fired. He challenged Cole to a match. Cole refused. Lawler told Cole to be a man and called Cole a coward. Cole threw a drink in Lawler’s face and ran away. This was a tremendous segment. Both Cole and Lawler were great.

John Cena and Miz beat Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel in a completely one sided match to win the tag titles. Miz and Cena took turns getting the best of the champions. Miz hit the skull crushing finale on Gabriel for the win. Gabriel and Slater were treated like utter jobbers here. Wade Barrett after the match said they wanted to invoke their rematch clause immediately and the GM agreed.

Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel beat John Cena and Miz to regain the tag titles. This match went longer and was competitive. Slater and Gabriel worked over Miz for a while. Cena got the tag and came in with shoulder blocks and the five knuckle on Slater. He went for the FU but Miz hit the skull crushing finale on Cena for the win. It was rather illogical for Miz to win the titles himself and then screw himself out of them just to hit Cena with one move. Cena seemed more incredulous than upset as well. Plus, this was about as strong of a burial of any title on a WWE telecast in ages. And think of the ground that covers.

Final Thoughts:

This was a good show. The WrestleMania lineup certainly doesn’t blow you away but they’ve gotten over enough different programs that it’s starting to feel special.


Anonymous The Masterbater said...

Yeah I agree with you here the HHH vs. Undertaker match does not appeal to me as well. I was excited when I heard the Rock was going to host for Wrestlemania and was considering buying it but now eeh. It doesn't really give me that desire to watch it. A Sting vs. Undertaker match would gave me more of an appeal to get Wrestlemania but now I will just wait for the results online. Unless they can change the card to make it more appealing.

8:55 AM  
Anonymous Bob said...

So...Triple H and Undertaker are feuding because they both tried to do their return entrance routines at the same time and got mad at each other?

It was done well if you accepted the premise they were going to go out there and initiate a feud without talking or touching. If you didn't -- and, really, why would you? -- then it was kind of lame.

Tag title match was a disgrace. Just drop the division already. It's a complete joke, and it will be two less belts around in a company that's still teeming with them even after several rounds of reductions.

I think they're still trying to be PG. Everything Cena said was done in such a way that the official interpretation was non-crude. He even pulled out a pinwheel so we wouldn't misunderstand what "blow me" meant.

Overall I thought it was a pretty bad, bland show.

9:43 AM  
Blogger hobbyfan said...

The silence in the HHH/Undertaker segment spoke volumes. Not a word needed to be said---yet.

The tag title was buried. First, the defending titlists, who just won the straps at the PPV were squashed like a couple of bugs, then needed a pep talk from their team captain before an instant rematch to regain the titles. Miz came off, again, as the jerk he always is presented to be, and again flushed the cred he earned at the PPV.

Looks like Sheamus will get the next shot at the US title, a step down considering that at this time last year he was coming off his first WWE title reign. Did he piss off Hunter by saying something about Steph and/or the kids?

Cena pwned Miz when it came to promos on Rock. Good to see the return of the freestyle raps, but it shouldn't be a 1-shot deal. This is what brought Cena to the dance in the first place.

9:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hacksaw Jim Duggan Hall of Fame? Where is Randy Savage, Rick Rude, Vader, I mean really? He won no belts in the WWE. He won that King thing and thats all I can think of. Then again if they gave it to Koko they might as well give it to Duggan.

11:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am guessing that the hook for the HHH/Undertaker match will be the fact that UT "retired" HBK.

- Pete

4:13 PM  

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