Monday, March 07, 2011

WWE Raw Report

Date: 03/07/11 from Dallas, TX.

The Big News: Michael Cole was set to make JBL the special guest referee for his WrestleMania match with Jerry Lawler, but “Stone Cold” Steve Austin had other ideas.

Show Analysis:

Undertaker came out to start the show. He said that at WrestleMania two legends will collide and there can only be one last outlaw. He claimed people think this will be the year the streak ends and HHH brings Undertaker down. I’m not sure about that one. Undertaker brought up Shawn Michaels twice trying to end the streak unsuccessfully and referred to Michaels as perhaps the best of all time. He announced that the match at Mania will be a no holds barred match with no count outs or disqualifications. Undertaker said that HHH is right and he will either kill Taker and the streak or die trying.

Nexus jumped Randall Orton backstage. CM Punk said they will send Orton to a place a lot worse than where Orton sent McGillicutty. Well, it shouldn’t be that hard to find a worse place to Florida. Punk gave Orton the GTS and told David Otunga and Mason Ryan to drag Orton to the ring.

Randy Orton beat David Otunga. In the ring, Nexus beat up Orton some more. Orton got up to his feet and the referee allowed the match to start. Otunga went back to work with punches, kicks, a body slam and a spine buster. However, Orton then caught him with the RKO for the win.

After the match, Ryan ran in but was caught with another RKO. They’ve protected Ryan up to this point and there was no need to do that, so that may be a signal Ryan is out of favor. Orton punted Otunga after the match. It’s a shame they’ve dismantled Nexus since I really liked Punk in his role as leader.

Christian beat Brodus Clay. They acted like it was going to be a match between Christian and Alberto Del Rio but Del Rio came out without his usual car and with Clay. Del Rio said that if Christian wants him, Christian has to beat Clay first. Clay hit a shoulder block and elbow drops but missed a splash. Christian hit two dropkicks off the ropes and finished Clay with a tornado DDT. Del Rio jumped Christian after the match. Hopefully this was just a one-time angle because Clay definitely doesn’t add to Del Rio’s act. I assume that’s the case.

They aired a video package of Sin Cara doing some spots. They then announced the next Hall of Fame induction. They had a graphic that Bob Armstrong is going in but didn’t air the video for him. They announced Sunny will go into the Hall of Fame. It was striking watching a short video package just how much charisma she had. She was on a completely different level than just about every woman they have now.

Eve Torres beat Nikki Bella. Gail Kim was at ringside to counteract Brie Bella. Eve threw around Nikki by the hair and did what seemed like an Anderson Silva inspired front kick. As Nikki gained control, Michael Cole stood up on the announce table and began yelling over a house microphone that the match should end already. Usually I’d be against burying the talent this badly but the women are a lost cause. The Bellas tried to do a switch right in front of the referee and were caught. Eve then hit the swinging neck breaker for the pin.

This really could be inserted anywhere, but they need to calm down with the WrestleMania sign shots. Somebody points at it every segment and WWE concluded that wasn’t enough because now they have the camera people shoot the sign in the middle of matches multiple times every segment too. WWE has issues in general with subtlety and when you overdo things they tend to come across as forced and are less effective. They announced Snooki as a guest star on Raw next week.

Next up was the highlight of the show. Michael Cole said that he decided to choose an impartial referee so Jerry Lawler has a fighting chance. They cut to a sign in the crowd that read “Autsin.” Yeah. So, Cole announced the referee would be a Texan and former WWE champion. He was of course teasing Steve Austin but then delivered JBL instead. JBL came out in his limousine. This made a ton of sense as Cole and JBL were old broadcast partners and JBL made for a nice added surprise.

JBL said that Michael Cole’s match is the main event of WrestleMania and nobody has debuted in a Mania main event until now. What about Lawrence Taylor? L.T. was a mighty good man. He probably has more in common with Lawler than Cole, though.

JBL called Jerry Lawler a bully and said he hates bullies. He said he was proud of Michael Cole standing up to the bully and called Cole a world class athlete. JBL proclaimed himself an unbiased referee who can’t be bought and a man of integrity. He then announced his intention to immediately sign the contract to referee at Mania. Note to all you future wrestlers: never say you’re about to do something. It spells trouble.

Steve Austin’s music hit and he charged to the ring. He got a monster pop from the crowd. JBL and Cole began yelling at Austin. Austin of course gave JBL the stunner. He drank beer while Cole freaked out. Austin saw the contract, thought about it, and then signed it as a blubbering Michael Cole had an emotional breakdown. Austin came to the announce table. He wished Cole luck and poured two beers over Cole’s head. Back in the ring, JBL finally got back up. Austin offered him a beer but as he went to drink it Austin of course gave him another stunner. This was such a fun segment. Everyone played their roles perfectly.

Backstage, Jack Swagger told Michael Cole to focus on Lawler and that he will take out Austin. Cole had been commentating with Josh Mathews up to this point and with Cole’s exit, Lawler came out to commentate the rest of the show. They probably should just have the GM announce that Lawler and Cole each get to commentate half the show rather than doing an angle each week where one happens to be taken out and the other happens to be around backstage waiting for something like that to happen.

Daniel Bryan beat Sheamus via count out. They explicitly referred to Sheamus being on a losing streak. The match went no time at all. Bryan gave Sheamus a dropkick off the apron. Sheamus sold his ankle huge upon landing and was counted out. This seemed like an angle but Sheamus sold it well enough to create doubt. Sheamus said his losing streak will end because next week he will win the US title. Sheamus vowed to quit if he doesn’t beat Bryan for the title. Bryan accepted.

CM Punk beat R. Truth. Punk posted Truth and worked him over briefly. Truth came back briefly with a couple kicks but Punk snapped his arm over the ropes, hit a uranage and applied the anaconda vise (as opposed to the Koji clutch) for the tap. Mason Ryan gave Truth a shoulder breaker after the match.

Dolph Ziggler beat John Morrison. Prior to the match, Vickie Guerrero announced Ziggler as the newest member of Raw. Oh shit, he’s not going to ROH or TNA? Vickie on commentary said that she has a business relationship with Ziggler now. Vickie was badmouthing Snooki on commentary so they may interact next week. Ziggler was in control for a while. Morrison came back with kicks, knees and a neck breaker but Ziggler got his foot on the ropes. Ziggler then raked Morrison’s face and hit the zig zag for the win.

After the match, the GM had an announcement. Once again they cut to a perfect shot of Lawler reading off a sheet of paper placed on the keyboard. The GM said that Ziggler was hired but that Vickie wasn’t. The GM said that Vickie can have a job on Raw if she beats Trish Stratus next week. Security then escorted Vickie out of the ring. Dolph was granted the privilege of waiting to leave until the commercial break.

John Cena came out to a mixed reaction. He claimed to be amused by Rock making fun of him and said that he finds that funny. But then he said something that got Rock angry. Cena said this time he would address Rock in hip hop form rather than rap form. He proceeded to deliver some of the lamest material you’re ever going to hear. It was amazingly terrible. He basically mocked Rock for not appearing live and had a t-shirt that read “I bring it via satellite.” The material was bottom of the barrel and Cena didn’t redeem it one iota.

Miz then attacked Cena and hit Cena twice with the belt. He did a one line rap saying he’s better than a bunch of legends including Randy Savage. He then got right up in the camera and cut an intense promo. He told Rock that he’s the star and Rock is just the host at WrestleMania so Rock should know his role and be the best Ryan Seacrest he can be. He threatened Rock with violence if Rock gets in Miz’s way. He then gave Cena the skull crushing finale and did the people’s elbow on Cena. Miz was really good here.

Final Thoughts:

This was a good show highlighted by a great Cole/JBL/Austin segment. John Cena was once again a lowlight of the show. It’s amazing how a guy with such tremendous natural talent can deliver such horrendous performances during one of the biggest programs of his career.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


You left out that the Miz was Awesome!

Nice way to put an end to what sounds like a hissy fit between the current WWE prima donna and a former WWE prima donna.

8:33 AM  
Anonymous Bob said...

Cena is horrible. I don't know why I always feel the need to point that out, but I do.

Has the show's rating changed? I said last time that Cena in his rap said some apparently lewd things but I thought he made it ambiguous enough to slide by. This time, though, the "pearl necklace" line seemed very lewd for the current PG WWE, even with an actual necklace as a prop supposedly being what he's referring to.

Apparently in this country anyone that's articulate and part African American is going to be accused of only being able to read from a teleprompter. I went back and looked, and while the Rock had a bright reflection in his glasses, it looked nothing like a teleprompter (I think it was a lighting rig).

9:50 AM  
Blogger hobbyfan said...

I don't care who the head writer is for Raw these days, be it Brian Geekwitz or Uneasy Ed Koskey, they need to just stop feeding Cena such lame material. 1999 called, guys. It's time to pack it in.

Brodus Clay looks like something out of a comic book. That's all I need to say.

Miz claimed he was boycotting, but of course he was lying in wait for an ambush. How predictable and juvenile.

Very surprised to see J-Me-L return after 2 years away, and nothing has changed. I think we'll have dueling broadcast teams next, with J-Me-L paired with Coleslaw to offset Josh & the King.

No Triple H means he'll be on Smackdown. I'd almost bet money on it.

Vickie Guerrero is desperate to stick around. Sorry, but your days were numbered a long time ago. Dolph needs to get a clue and send you packing.

I smell a title change next week, with Sheamus ending his losing streak and winning the US title.

10:09 AM  
Anonymous charlie kane said...

Todd, that reference to Taylor and Lawler made me howl with laughter. I'm not sure how many readers got it, but I did.
Cena really was terrible. Is it possible he just doesn't give a shit at all?

5:30 PM  
Blogger The Original Donald said...

bob, at least the Rock hasn't caused the WWE's deficit to be 50% more than when he came in

3:39 PM  

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