Monday, March 28, 2011

WWE Raw Report

Date: 03/28/11 from Chicago, IL.

The Big News: Rock made his presence known on Raw, giving Miz the people’s elbow before receiving the FU from John Cena.

Show Analysis:

The show started with CM Punk in the ring. CM Punk chants started. Punk said he doesn’t expect the people in Atlanta to receive him like his people in Chicago. Punk said that the members of Nexus were also his people and he watched Randy Orton take them out. Then he switched and said he doesn’t care what happens to them because he can always get more sheep to do what he wants. Now why on Earth would a clever, manipulative character ever in a million years say that, other than to get cheap heat for one night? Punk said that what he did last week cost Orton the respect of his family and he is just getting started. He concluded that the chapter closes at WrestleMania.

Randy Orton walked to the ring selling his leg from last week. He gave Orton a European uppercut and draping DDT. Then he went to punt Punk and miraculously his leg gave out at just that moment. Punk kicked Orton’s leg and gave him go 2 sleep as the crowd chanted for Punk.

Edge and Christian arrived. Edge said that Teddy Long decried he could fight Alberto Del Rio on Raw despite not being able to do so on Smackdown. Edge basically pointed out this makes no sense and it doesn’t.

Edge and Christian beat Alberto Del Rio and Brodus Clay. Edge and Christian double teamed Clay early. They threw him over the top. Christian went for a pescado. Clay caught him but Edge knocked down Clay with a baseball slide. The heels worked over Christian. Edge tagged in and went for the spear but Del Rio tripped him. Clay missed a corner avalanche and Edge hit the spear on Clay for the win. Meanwhile, on the floor, Del Rio put Christian in the armbar. Edge chased Del Rio to the back. However, when he returned to Christian, Del Rio jumped him from behind and put him in the armbar. This was a good match and a very well laid out segment.

Santino Marella beat Justin Gabriel. Big Show, Kane, Vladimir Kozlov, Wade Barrett, Heath Slater and Ezekiel Jackson brawled on the floor and interfered in the match. Santino then caught Gabriel with the cobra for the win.

Undertaker came out to the ring. HHH then came out and got into another staredown with Undertaker. That led to the surprise appearance of Shawn Michaels. Michaels put both men over and then asked HHH what makes him think he can do what Shawn couldn’t. HHH said Michaels got soft. He added that Michaels realized he didn’t have to win to be the showstopper, but HHH has to win.

HHH said that when he entered the WWF locker room it was filled with big stars but one stood tall over the rest. Undertaker represented everything WWE is and should be. HHH grew to respect Undertaker more every day and there’s only one guy he respects as much as Undertaker: Shawn Michaels.

HHH said that a few years ago he decided with Michaels that if either could no longer go, the other would let them know. And if the guy who couldn’t go wouldn’t accept it, the other would end it for them. HHH said he came back for one reason, to tell Undertaker it’s his time. HHH said that Undertaker will always be a legend and an icon and HHH will always respect him. However, in six days he will no longer be undefeated at WrestleMania. HHH will be the 1 in 18-1. Undertaker and the streak will rest in peace.

Undertaker replied that if there comes a time where he needs to be put down, he would want it to be HHH. However, now isn’t that time. Undertaker said the streak will live on and so will he. Undertaker said Michaels gave him his best matches at Mania and came close to beating him, but didn’t get it done. Undertaker said now he looks at Michaels and sees a man who doesn’t have the same confidence and arrogance. Undertaker said he has humbled Michaels and Michaels will go into the Hall of Fame with regrets. He noted that he ended Michaels’ career and shoved the microphone into Michaels’ chest.

Michaels went for sweet chin music but Undertaker caught it and grabbed him by the throat. HHH separated them. HHH told Michaels to tell Undertaker why HHH will beat him at Mania. Michaels just left the ring and mouthed, “I’m sorry. You can’t win.” Undertaker smirked, tipped his hat to HHH and left. This was a really good segment and I think they have peaked this angle as well as they possibly could going into the big event.

Jack Swagger beat Jerry Lawler via DQ. The GM announced this earlier in the show via an IPad in the Cole Mine. Swagger worked over Lawler and hit him with a Vader bomb. He threw him into the area with the ring announcer. Lawler then grabbed a chair and hit Swagger with it a number of times for the DQ. Lawler went after Cole but Cole ran into the Cole Mine. Lawler climbed the glass and Cole threw a drink in his face.

Sheamus and Dolph Ziggler beat Daniel Bryan and John Morrison. Prior to the match, Vickie Guerrero said that Lay Cool will do to Snooki what Vickie did to Morrison. She added that Snooki will find herself in a familiar place. That’s almost always a set up for “flat on your back,” but here she said passed out and unconscious.

The heels worked over Morrison. Bryan got the tag and put Ziggler in the LeBell lock but Sheamus broke it up. Sheamus tagged in and gave Bryan the ax handle. Morrison broke up the pin attempt. Bryan went for the LeBell lock on Sheamus but Sheamus escaped. Bryan missed a dropkick and Sheamus used the razor’s edge for the win.

Randy Orton was asked backstage if he will make it to Mania. Orton said he has serious anger management issues and he has never been as angry at someone as he is at Punk. Thus, the question is not if he will make it to Mania but if Punk will make it out. This was pretty much a perfect short promo.

They announced the Road Warriors for the Hall of Fame. They then interviewed Trish Stratus and Snooki from a bar. Some guy was coming on to them so Snooki slapped and shoved him. They then cut back to the bar and Lay Cool arrived. Snooki threw a drink at them and there was a big brawl. Everything about this was terrible and Snooki in particular was a thoroughly grating presence.

Rock came out for the final segment of the show. The crowd went nuts. Rock said Chicago is a special place to him because it’s where he had his first WrestleMania match. Rock admitted he was nervous but decided to bring it and that was the birth of Team Bring It. He said Team Bring It goes after its dreams and recently he had a dream of his own. Rock dreamed that he came to the ring and called out Cena. The crowd began loudly chanting Cena sucks. Cena came out looking like a homeless Power Ranger and Rock stuck his boot up Cena’s ass. Then Rock woke up and the dream was over. Rock said now it’s reality and he is here.

Cena came out smirking, grinning and playing to the crowd. The crowd chanted Rocky. Cena said he wanted Rock to come back because of the power Rock has over the people. Cena said he listened to what Rock had to say about him and it has merit. Cena sucks chants started up again. Cena said that Rock has a problem with his colors, the way he talks and his kids’ audience.

Cena said he is proud of the kids’ audience. Cena said that if Rock has a gripe about him not working hard to bring it up. Otherwise, he asked Rock who he is to judge him. Cena said he is himself and some people like it while others don’t. Cena said he will be judged but not by Rock. Rock said the good lord will judge but that he can’t save Cena from getting his ass whipped all over Chicago by the Rock. Cena said that if Rock wants a fight to bring it.

That brought out Miz. Miz said Cena will lose at Mania but at least he will go down swinging, unlike the Rock. Miz said that the Rock’s movies have grossed over a billion dollars and he is not going to risk getting beat up and embarrassed. Miz told Rock he won’t do anything to Miz. Rock responded that it doesn’t matter what Miz thinks. Miz and Riley attacked Rock. Rock beat up Riley and threw him out of the ring. He gave Miz a DDT and the people’s elbow. He threw Miz out but Cena then came in the ring and gave Rock the FU.

Final Thoughts:

This was overall a good go home for Mania. Cena’s promo at the end seemed designed to get the crowd back behind him and to refocus on Miz as the real antagonist in the angle. It will be interesting to see if that has any effect on the crowd reactions Sunday. I think at this point if Rock and Cena make up at the end it won’t be well received, but I do expect that to be the basic conclusion.

It will be interesting to see how Mania does on PPV. Rock/Cena is an intriguing feud, but it’s kind of weird in that it’s not clear what you’re supposed to want. Are you supposed to want Cena to beat up Rock? Are you supposed to want Rock to beat up Cena? Are you supposed to want Cena and Rock to make up and beat up Miz? I think it’s easier to sell a match like Lawler vs. Cole where everyone is tuning to see one guy beat up the other.


Anonymous zillabeast said...

How did you feel about the few moves The Rock did put on tonight? He looked bad, really bad. Slow, sluggish, uncertain.

Once upon a time you could argue he was the most athletic Pro Wrestler on the planet. What a huge difference 7 years makes.

10:23 PM  
Blogger Todd Martin said...

I disagree. I thought he was a little off on the nip up and DDT but I don't think he looked really bad. He hasn't wrestled in ages so there is going to be rust. Maybe you're right that he isn't capable of performing now like he once was, but I wouldn't conclude that on the basis of what happened tonight.

10:26 PM  
Anonymous mean dean said...

Edge actually commented that the Raw GM, not Teddy, said that he could touch Del Rio on Raw. He even made a cute little comment that, except for the sound effect, "I always liked that guy," which I thought was pretty funny.

I thought the Taker/HHH/Shawn segment was absolutely phenomenal. It obviously helped that it had three of the best talkers in the business but you just don't see promos like that any more. It had that perfect combination of two guys having a reason to fight each other (as opposed to fighting just because they're booked to have a match) and believability from all three parties. I was pretty lukewarm for HHH/Taker but that one segment piqued my interest, even if I'm 99.999% sure that Taker is winning. Fantastic stuff.

10:53 PM  
Anonymous Ryan Rosenthal said...

Great report, as usual, Todd.

I in particular loved the facials Michaels had during the Taker/Triple H segment. His participation during this final week did more for me than either man did in all of the weeks prior. Shawn selling his fear of Taker after he caught his superkick was outstanding. Of course, I question the value in selling your audience on the idea that Taker is unbeatable during the go-home of a show where you'd like to have some belief that he may lose, but I digress.

Punk continues to be gold and shows what a real, well-rounded performer he has become and continues to excel at or above the level they put him at. I did hate his cheap-heat comment about being able to drum up more mindless sheep. I don't see why WWE can't just let a heel be cheered in their respective home town. The heel doesn't have to play up to them, but he shouldn't perpetually bury them in such an insincere and contrived way. People still cheered Punk throughout the segment, so it didn't serve it's purpose anyway. I always hate it when they try to manufacture heat in such a bland and unbelievable way.

Despite RAW being an interesting shows on several levels, I'm not compelled to order Mania on Sunday. Rather, if it's said to be good I'll just order the blu-ray. Ultimately, there's not one match on that show that I'm truly interested in bell-to-bell. It's more just a series of fleeting angles they're selling and while entertaining for free...I ain't buying.

~Ryan Rosenthal

11:09 PM  
Blogger s1rweeze said...

Todd, just wanted to say thanks for your accurate recap of the HHH/UT/HBK segment. I wasn't able to watch last night and tried reading what happened elsewhere but the whole thing sounded vague and pointless. You managed to clear up any confusion so thanks.

9:21 AM  
Blogger s1rweeze said...

I also just want to comment about the role the Miz is playing in this whole Rock/Cena thing. It reminds me of how people describe Amare Stoudemire for the Knicks - people say he's perfect for NYC because while he may not be the best player, he may not be the biggest star, HE thinks he is. He's completely convinced he's one of the best, if not the best player in the NBA.

I feel the same way about Miz and how he fits in with Rock and Cena. Watching as a casual fan, someone who watches a Raw once every few months or so, Miz to me at first was no different than Sheamus, John Morrison, or whatever newer guy they kind of half-heartedly get behind for a while. But it's clear that Miz really does think he's a huge star, and that he's right there with Rock and Cena. Obviously I sound like a mark saying that, I don't mean his character. I mean it's the sheer amount of confidence and swagger that comes across in his delivery that's right on the same level. He belongs. I didn't think he would, but he does.

10:24 AM  
Blogger hobbyfan said...

From top to bottom:

Edge & Christian vs. Clay & Del Rio was a return from a recent Smackdown. Same result, different finish. Brodus jobs again, making him this year's Alex Riley, even though A-Ri and his preppy-gangster wardrobe are still around....

Apparently, the pundits forgot about Santino & Kozlov, otherwise they'd easily do what the creative team did, and plug them into the 8-man tag. At least the faces will have the advantage of having Tamina in their corner. We think.

The NJ segments were taped 5 days prior, and yet they want us to think it was live? Get a clue, guys! It was brutal. B. R. Utal, and badly edited.

CM Punk still had people chanting for him once Orton went down. It's a matter of time before Punk turns face, IMPO.

Sheamus isn't losing the US title right away, but he needs still to be rebuilt into a contender for the WWE title, so he had to go over in the tag match. Wish it could've gone longer.

Miz is not----and I mean not--leaving Atlanta as the WWE champ. The clock is ticking on him as well as Michael Cole. If there is more than one sure thing on Sunday, it is Cole getting killed, and Miz not only tapping away the WWE title, but eating a RockBottom as well, so Rock can show him how it's done.

4 weeks ago, Shawn Michaels talked about how he felt Triple H could beat Undertaker, and Hunter obviously listened, but now HBK is singing a different tune. I think UT will go over, and the streak will reach 20 next year, health willing, of course, before UT decides to hang them up.

10:40 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home