Monday, March 21, 2011

WWE Raw Report

Date: 03/21/11 from Pittsburgh, PA.

The Big News: Randy Orton’s wife stole the show this week from another strong Lawler-Cole segment.

Show Analysis:

Jim Ross was announced to start the show and they played his music. Of course, Michael Cole came out instead. Cole had BBQ sauce, a pillow for a stomach and a bandage on his ankle. Cole antagonized Jerry Lawler and fled to the Cole Mine.

HHH was out next. He said that he has been in the business a long time and wondered if this could be the last time he worked in Pittsburgh. He called the match with Undertaker a defining moment for both their careers. He added that the streak is bigger than titles. He then invited Undertaker to come to Raw next week so HHH can tell Taker what’s going to happen at Mania. He reiterated the line about the streak and Undertaker will die or HHH will die trying. He said Undertaker will be 18-1 and rest in peace.

Neither HHH nor Undertaker has had anything new to say for weeks, so this felt boring and redundant. Still, sometimes it’s better to just stick with the basic issue rather than throwing in additional confrontations and angles each week.

After HHH finished, Ted DiBiase came out. He said that last year he was a rising star and now he is an afterthought. Okay, you’ve correctly identified the problem, Ted. He continued that he will make his own opportunity by taking out HHH. Danger! Danger! Abort mission! DiBiase got in a surprising 15 seconds or so of offense, but then HHH destroyed him. He threw DiBiase into the steps repeatedly, hit him a bunch of times with a chair and then gave him the pedigree on the announce table.

Sheamus beat Evan Bourne. Sheamus hit a few punches. He missed a dive into the corner. Bourne hit a kick but missed the shooting star press and Sheamus used the Brogue kick for the win. This was way too short, which was a trend on this evening. After the match, Daniel Bryan came out and said he wanted to invoke his rematch clause for WrestleMania. Sheamus kicked him in the head.

Randy Orton arrived in his tour bus. He put over the tour bus and how it is a home away from home that allows him to bring his family on the road. Angle alert. Orton noted that he has taken out the rest of Nexus and said that CM Punk has no idea what sick and twisted is.

Eve Torres beat Maryse in a typically short, sloppy and pointless match. They should have just cut this segment and given the time to another match. Maryse was working over Eve when Michael Cole got on the announce table to bury the match. Eve went for a standing moonsault but landed on Maryse’s knees. Maryse went for a neck breaker but Eve countered with a neck breaker of her own for the pin. After the match, Eve went after Cole while Cole badmouthed her on the microphone from the Cole Mine.

Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater beat Santino Marella and Vladimir Kozlov in another short match. Santino immediately went for the cobra but was distracted by Slater and caught with a Gabriel kick. The heels worked over Santino for a few seconds and then Kozlov came in with terrible looking kicks until Slater caught him with a scorpion death drop. Gabriel then hit the 450 for the pin. After the match, Big Show and Kane came out to beat up the Corrrrrre. They gave Ezekiel Jackson a double choke slam.

They announced Rock will be live on Raw next week. John Cena appeared “via satellite” and said next week will be serious with no jokes as he goes face to face with Rock. Cena said that if they have a problem it will get settled. He added that he underestimated Miz and that caused problems. Cena said that if people doubt Miz, Cena sitting at home is proof that Miz deserves to be champion. There were loud Cena sucks chants in the building. Cena said he plans on making history at WrestleMania.

Michael Cole spoke in the ring with Jack Swagger guarding him from Jerry Lawler. Cole showed some pictures of Lawler’s family. He made fun of Lawler’s father in particular and family in general. Lawler threw down his headset and went after Cole. Swagger punched him but he recovered and got the best of Swagger.

Lawler chased after Cole until Swagger cut him off with a clothesline. Swagger pressed Lawler against the glass of Cole’s box while Cole stood on the other side running him down verbally. Swagger put Lawler in the ankle lock and then Cole put Lawler in the ankle lock. This was another really good segment from Lawler and Cole and I give WWE a lot of credit for integrating Swagger into the story in a way that makes him look good and doesn’t detract from Lawler and Cole at all.

Dolph Ziggler, Vickie Guerrero and Lay Cool defeated John Morrison and Trish Stratus. This started as a quick singles match between Morrison and Ziggler. After Lay Cool and Trish got involved, the GM made it a tag match. Trish beat down Layla early and used the Stratusphere and chops. Trish looked good. Lay Cool took over on Trish until Vickie came in and missed a leg drop. Trish got the tag to Morrison.

Morrison hit a springboard kick but was distracted by Layla going after Trish. He missed starship pain and Ziggler gave him the zig zag. Vickie then tagged in and covered Morrison for the pin. I didn’t get that at all, because at the beginning of the match they made it a big point to note that Morrison had to leave the ring when Layla tagged in then at the end of the match they made it a big point to say the men and women could be in together. It seemed so illogical and contradictory I was left wondering whether I missed something. They then aired a video package with a bunch of wrestlers talking about the Undertaker vs. HHH match.

Rey Mysterio beat Randy Orton via count out. This was billed as a WrestleMania rewind, which was a weird choice given they didn’t wrestle in a singles match but rather a triple threat with Kurt Angle of all people. Maybe Kurt has been erased from history now. This was another match that was way too short and ended with a non-finish just when it was getting started. Orton hit a European uppercut and powerslam. He avoided the 619 and hit a draping DDT. At that point, Punk appeared on the screen by Orton’s bus and said he couldn’t wait to meet Orton’s wife. Orton ran off.

This led to the highlight of the show. Orton arrived at his bus. Punk attacked Orton’s leg from behind. That led to the appearance of Orton’s wife (not sure if this was wife #2 or #3), and this was quite the appearance. Orton’s wife opened the bus door and began screaming in a ridiculous, comical and nearly indecipherable manner. Punk responded by mocking her screaming and telling her to shut up.

Orton’s wife immediately stopped saying anything and calmly closed the bus door. Punk kicked Orton, at which point they panned back to Orton’s wife behind the bus door. She looked concerned for a moment. Then she adjusted her hair. Then she stared blankly. Then she made an expression towards Punk. I assume she was trying to communicate fear but what I got out of it was that she was extremely horny and wanted to seduce Punk on the spot. Punk evidently picked up on this and blew her a kiss.

This segment was the best unintentional comedy on Raw in ages, a hilarious gem. And this woman seriously may have been the worst actress in the history of Raw.

Alex Riley in the ring said that he was fired by Miz but now rehired as vice president of corporate communications. I do enjoy the amusing fake VP title. He introduced Miz. Miz said that he has re-written history. He claimed to have more charisma than Shawn Michaels, more physical dominance than Andre the Giant and more intelligence than Cena and Rock combined.
Miz declared himself the greatest WWE champion in history. He turned the WWE logo on his microphone upside down and said the M stands for Miz. He then debuted a title belt with the WWE logo turned upside down. It’s kind of dumb, but it isn’t going to last long so I think it’s a fine short term gimmick to make Miz more annoying.

John Cena appeared on the screen clapping. He told a few jokes and then said Miz has targeted the wrong individual. Workers in the background pulled back the walls to reveal that he wasn’t at home but backstage in the arena. He came out to attack Miz and Riley. Miz and Riley got the best of it for a little while and when Cena gained control, Miz ran off. Cena put Riley in the STF to close the show. They’ve done this sort of angle many times over the years, and it pretty much always works well.

Final Thoughts:

This was just a basic week of WrestleMania build. They didn’t try anything big but basically just stayed the course with all the major angles. The short and low quality matches diminished the entertainment value of the show.


Anonymous joebeck said...

I actually liked it when Miz flipped the logo on the microphone....I thought it was a good visual, and the crowd seemed to buy into it. It's the sort of thing that could work for him as a face or a heel.

The belt looked ridiculous, though, and I hated how Cena murdered the whole thing. People are really starting to turn on him in mass, and it seemed like at least half the crowd was cheering for Miz.

6:23 AM  
Blogger AKFooFighter said...

I kept thinking about "The Merv Griffin Show" episode of "Seinfeld" during the HHH promo:

"NEWMAN: Lately, though, I've been, uh, - I've been buying the generic brand of waxed beans. you know.

I rip of the label. I can hardly tell the difference.

KRAMER: Well, we've officially bottomed out. Who's our next guest?

NEWMAN: We've got no one!

KRAMER: We need a new foreman. We should shut down and re-tool."

Sorry, but The Chaperone seems completely played out. Talk about having no one.

- Matt in Anchorage

7:49 AM  
Blogger hobbyfan said...

Epic fail on several levels. The matches were too short. Cole's entrance as JR was predictable and a severe case of bad creative timing, considering the Mizquerade the week before ended the show. Piggy Guerrero getting another cheap win in a match that should have been made a 4-on-4 to even the sides. Cole's smear campaign vs. Jerry Lawler is getting tiresome and thankfully it will end at Mania. The Cole Mine is not long for this world, either. Post-Mania, Cole should go away for a few months, because his broadcasting career is just about over.

If in fact HHH & Undertaker are writing their own promos for Mania, they've caught the same disease as the lame writers working both shows. Complacency ill becomes them.

8:03 AM  
Anonymous Steve Khan said...

joebeck, I think part of the crowd was definitely excited to see a new title (since most people are probably sick of that Cena belt) but what we got was pretty lame. Not only that, but Miz claimed he was going to change history because he was an original, but he just did something that Edge already did -- replace the middle piece of the spinner belt.

The Triple H promo was so boring and almost a repeat of his return promo. The video package did way more to hype the match than any promo done so far.

CM Punk mock-screaming was the highlight of the show. Punk-Cena should be the Mania title program.

10:35 PM  
Anonymous Bryan said...

I love the CM Punk/Orton angle. PUnk mocking Orton's wife was hilarious.

I'm sick of the spinner belt. I wish they would do away with the design altogether. They should unify the two titles and forget about the whole brand extension because it sucks for the most part.

The mocking of Jim Ross....wasn't that a little WCWish? How long until The Kat returns to give it to Jerry? I like this program.

7:21 AM  

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