Monday, February 28, 2011

WWE RAW 2/28/11

WWE RAW 2/28/11
February 28th, 2011
HSBC Arena, Buffalo, New York
Attendance: 14,000 +/-

We're continuing down the road to Wrestlemania tonight, live from the sold out (or so they claim, though I believe the arena holds another 3-4000 in reality) HSBC Arena in Buffalo. Tonight we'll hear from Triple H about his confrontation with the Undertaker last week, as well as a response from none other than The Rock about Cena's remarks last week on this program. Everybody's excited for the show tonight, so let's jump right into it.

Your hosts are Jerry "The King" Lawler and Josh Matthews

We open with Triple H's music hitting and The Game makes his way to the ring and grabs a mic. Big "Triple H" chant starts up and he tells the fans it's good to see them too. He says he's done everything there is you can do in this business. He says he's outlasted everybody in this business except for one...the Undertaker. Triple H says he and the Undertaker will define an era at Wrestlemania. He says he's going to end the streak, or die trying. Triple H goes to leave the ring when suddenly Sheamus' music hits! He makes his way down to the ring but before he can say a word Triple H attacks him. He easily disposes of Sheamus out to ringside and then gives Sheamus the pedigree right through the announcer's table! Well that's a hell of a way to start the show.

After a quick commercial break we return to see Sheamus being helped out of the ringside area by officials. The lights flicker and the anonymous GM has sent us another e-mail, which The King reads. The e-mail says that tonight Sheamus still has to wrestle, and it's against none other than a returning...Evan Bourne! Nice little pop for Bourne, and we jump right into our first match of the night...

Evan Bourne vs. Sheamus

Bourne immediately attacks with a dropkick as soon as the bell rings and we're off. Bourne is fired up to start, hitting Sheamus with a big spin kick and then coming off the top with the Air Bourne! That's enough to put Sheamus away at 0:35. Wow, so Sheamus just got totally buried in the span of five minutes. I'm not complaining though because this was a GREAT way to put Bourne over for his return and hopefully will lead to a continued push in the near future. ¼*

After the match Michael Cole makes his way to ringside and tells the King he's going to let everyone know what his answer is the the King's challenge coming up next, after a quick commercial break. When we return Cole tells King that if he strikes him, he's fired per the anonymous GM's ruling. He dares the King to hit him. Cole says he never backs down from a fight...but then tells the King that his answer to his Wrestlemania challenge is "No", unless the King accepts two conditions. One, if Cole's trainer can be in his corner, and Two, if Cole can choose a special guest referee for the match. King says he doesn't care if he's got King Kong, Superman, and Saba Simba in his corner (obscure Wrestlecrap references!), he accepts. Cole takes the chance to immediately introduce who's going to train him for Wrestlemania, and that's none other than the All-American American, Jack Swagger! Really? From World champion to a bit part in the Cole/King feud? It's like they just want him to fail. Swagger hits the ring and slaps the ankle lock on Lawler while Cole trash talks him.

When we return from the commercial break we get a promo announcing that Steve Austin will be on Raw next week in Texas. Michael Cole comes to ringside, where the announcer's table has magically been put back together since Sheamus went through it (huh?) and takes King's place at the commentator's table.

Randy Orton's music hits and he makes his way to the ring. He grabs a mic and says that last week CM Punk was right about Orton making the biggest mistake of his career when he punted Punk at Unforgiven two years ago. The mistake he made, of course, is that he should have kicked him harder. Punk and the New Nexus come out to confront Orton but the lights flicker and we've got another e-mail from the anonymous GM. Josh Matthews reads the e-mail, which says that the only way for Orton and Punk to settle things is in a match at Wrestlemania. Over the next coming weeks, Orton is going to face members of the Nexus and if those Nexus members win, they're allowed to accompany Punk to ringside at Wrestlemania, but if they lose they are barred from ringside. This leads us right into our next match, the first in this series...

Randy Orton vs. Michael McGillicutty

Collar and elbow lock-up to start us off. Orton starts laying in shots into the corner and then shoots out, clotheslining McGillicutty. He misses a kneedrop and McGillicutty tries to go to work, only to be clotheslined over the top rope and to the floor. After a quick commercial break we return to see McGillicutty hit a big leg lariat for a two count on Randy. McGillicutty somersaults off the second rope with a snap jawbreaker, which looks pretty nifty and then slaps a chinlock on Orton. Randy counters with a back suplex. Orton hits the snap powerslam and he starts getting into his zone, hitting the over-the-shoulder backbreaker on McGillicutty and then following it with the hesitation DDT from the second-rope. Orton goes into his Viper routine, pounding away on the mat, stalking McGillicutty and then delivering the RKO to finish him off at 4:05 (shown). You know no one is ever going to be able to take the Nexus members seriously if you never, ever put them over guys. Standard Orton squash really, McGillicutty hit a few big moves and then Orton did his usual routine for the finish. *

After the match Orton teases punting McGillicutty but Punk gets on the mic and tells him not to do it, so of course Orton does exactly that and the crowd pops big for it. Punk and the Nexus run to make the save and Orton hops the rail and exits through the crowd.

We get a quick look at the WWE introducing the famous Mistico in Mexico as the newest WWE signing, unveiling his new look and name "Sin Cara". The fact that they've been hyping his signing so much really gives me hope that they're going to actually use Mistico correctly and give him a big push, which I think we'd all love to see.

When we return from the commercial break The Miz and Alex Riley make their way out to the ring. He grabs a mic and says he knows why The Rock is responding to Cena but not The Miz tonight, and that's because the Miz is now the biggest star in the WWE. He says what happened last week in the main event with John Cena is exactly what he wanted, and that John should be worrying about him and not The Rock. This prompts John Cena to make his way out to the ring now and grabs a mic. He has a big goofy envelope entitled "Doctor's Note" and says that Miz has obsessive compulsive disorder. He accuses Miz of having over 200 cats, a 1000 pairs of Dockers, and peeing in milk jugs until finally hiding in his closet and eating toilet paper. That whole series of images is pretty amusing/disturbing. Riley makes a TERRIBLE joke about toilets being referred to as "Johns" and even Michael Cole thinks that was awful. Cena makes a few gay jokes about The Miz and Riley which are mostly juvenile, but he does get in a funny line about them going home at night and relaxing with a nice bottle of Pinot noir and a copy of the Notebook on DVD. Cena makes a challenge to Riley for tonight, saying if he beats him that Miz has to fire Alex. Miz accepts but says if Cena loses, Cena has to say in front of the world that The Miz is awesome. Suddenly the lights flicker and Cole gets up to read the next e-mail from our anonymous GM. "And I quote...", to ensure there's no outside interference tonight, the Cena-Riley match will take place inside of a steel cage! (So that's why that cage is up there). The only way to win tonight is to escape the cage, so no pinfalls or submissions will count tonight.

Diva's Battle Royal
(Featuring Maryse, Alicia Fox, Melina, Natalya, Gail Kim, the Bella Twins, and Tamina)

We return to see the Diva's champion Eve at the commentary table to commentate on this impromptu battle royal, which I believe will determine the next contender for Eve's title. Not that anyone cares or anything. Eve talks away while Alicia Fox and Tamina are quickly eliminated. Melina and Natalya fight on the ring apron and then Maryse knocks them both off. We're down to just Maryse, Gail Kim, and one of the Bella's. Kim tries fighting them both off, hitting a neckbreaker on one of the Bellas. Gail Kim eliminates Maryse and we're down to the final two. Kim eliminates the remaining Bella twin, only for the other Bella twin to sneak into the ring and eliminate Gail Kim, apparently winning through the old switch-a-roo at 2:04. After the match Eve tries to tell the ref what happened and she gets attacked by the Bellas. The usual piss-break divas stuff here and it looks like they're going forward with the Bellas as heels despite never being even the slightest bit over. I've seen worse Battle Royals I guess. ¼*

After a quick commercial break we return and it's time for The Rock's response to John Cena's words from last week, which we quickly recap. We go live now via satellite to The Rock at his home. The Rock is dressed up like rapper Cena and mocks Cena with a little freestyle of his own before throwing off Cena's merchandise. The Rock says he made his electrifying return to Raw and said exactly how he felt about Cena like a man, and John in response raps to him? Rocky acts like this is the biggest insult he's ever received, and he continues to mock Cena's hustle/loyalty/respect shtick. He says he wants to remind the whole world how this started, with Cena publicly insulting the Rock a few years back, accusing him of being a liar about his love for this business, which gets Cena some nice heat. The Rock reminds us that he was born in the WWE, grew up in the WWE, and his blood is the WWE, reminding us about his grandfather and father, both WWE Hall of Famers. This is great here as The Rock is basically calling out every single upset fan and internet smark that's been calling The Rock a traitor for many years, and putting every one of them in their place. The Rock says with his Hollywood career he opened the door for both the WWE and John Cena himself. Suddenly the lights in the arena all go out as The Rock does his "Millions and millions" bit, with the lights turning on each time he and the entire crowd chants "MILLIONS!". The Rock says he's back to take care of business, so John should "enjoy your Fruity Pebbles, you Yabba-Dabba-BITCH!" He finishes up with the usual, saying Cena will smell what The Rock is cooking, and that finishes up the promo. Good stuff, of course we'd prefer him to be there in person, but that was nearly as good. Up next Shawn Michaels will sound off on his thoughts about the Triple H-Undertaker match at Wrestlemania!

After a quick commercial break we return to some pre-recorded comments from Shawn Michaels about the announcement of the Undertaker-Triple H match at Wrestlemania. Shawn says he'd be happy for Triple H if he wins but also a bit mad at the same time because he couldn't beat the man the last two years. Nice little segment there.

Daniel Bryan's music hits and he starts making his way to the ring for a match, but before Bryan get even make his way to the ring The Miz of all people attacks him from behind, slamming him into the barricades and giving him a big boot to the face. This crowd absolutely SUCKS as they are completely dead for all of this and barely even cared about the fucking Rock or HBK's promos. Miz says he did that because this is HIS show, and demands we start the cage match main event.

Cage Match
John Cena vs. Alex Riley

When we return The Miz joins Cole and Matthews at ringside, where Cole surprisingly shows some sympathy for the attack on Bryan moments ago.
Riley immediately tries to scurry up the cage and escape as the bell rings but Cena easily grabs him and starts tossing him around, laying in open palm chops. Snap suplex from Cena. Cena tries to walk out the door but The Miz sprints from the commentary table and blocks the door, slamming it into Cena's head despite promising not to get involved in the match earlier tonight. Miz has Riley grind Cena's face into the steel cage while The Miz takes a picture of it on his phone, which is just fucking awesome. Cole asks him to send him the picture so he can make that his wallpaper. Miz tosses the phone into the ring to Riley who then smashes it into Cena's face. Well that seems kind of stupid Miz, that's your phone bro, you've got countless steel chairs at ringside you could have thrown in instead dude. Riley tries to crawl out the cage door but Cena grabs his feet before he can. Miz tries tugging Riley out the door but Cena hangs on and locks in the STF, which sends Riley tapping immediately, but the only way to win this match is by escaping the cage. Cena tries climbing out but Miz holds him off with a steel chair. Riley has Cena in the electric chair position and just drops him back onto the mat as we take a quick commercial break. When we return Riley hits a flying forearm on Cena. Both men begin fighting on the top rope and Cena gets tossed off. Riley starts climbing and makes it up to the top of the cage, but Cena climbs up and catches up to him on top. Cena drives Riley's head off the top rope to the mat with a huge bulldog, and The Miz is speechless at ringside. Cena hits the Attitude Adjustment, but again, no pinfalls count. Cena suddenly grabs The Miz's phone and then takes a photo of his own of Riley on the mat and then tosses it aside. He heads for the door but The Miz blocks it again. Cena squeezes his arm into the door crack though and is able to over-power The Miz and fall outside to win the match at 9:31 (shown)! The Miz quickly delivers the Skull Crushing Finale to Cena afterwards. This was refreshing after a night of short squash matches, and the spots with the camera phone were really creative and cute. Riley isn't exactly on Cena's level though, so the outcome was never really in doubt. Solid, but not spectacular. **¾

Bottom Line: From a wrestling standpoint, this was a really lackluster show up until the main event. From an angle progression standpoint though, this show lived up to expectations and we saw important developments in most of our big Wrestlemania matches. Very unique main event and some nice angle progression is enough to make up for the lackluster first half of the show, so we'll go with Thumbs in the middle for tonight's Raw.

Score: 5/10


JGlass said...

Five out of ten is a pretty accurate grade. The show had a lot of promise between Rock, HBK, and Triple H, but none of them really delivered to their fullest.

Triple H was good, but I didn't dig his promo, it seemed like he kind of lost his place and had trouble recovering. Seeing him Pedigree Sheamus through the announce table was awesome, though. I wish we got a little more of Trips later in the night, though.

The Rock... you and I have already touched on this. I'm not happy, but the promo wasn't totally awful. I thought the emotion was good, and after thinking about it, it got the job done. Still, I don't think he really brought his A game. The promo got the job done and it'll help move the feud between he and Cena forward.

HBK's segment was okay... it was nice to see Shawn again... but it was forgettable. I guess I was expecting more of a call out than just seeing HBK praising everyone for 3 minutes.

The cage match was definitely the highlight of the show. It wasn't that good, but it was a riot, and it means that Alex Riley is fired! He's got promise, so hopefully he goes back to FCW and improves his in-ring ability.

bealzer3010 said...

Hey X, I just want to clarify the whole attendance thing for ya. Having been to HSBC Arena many times for various events, it holds around 18.5k for most things, with wrestling it's down because of the huge sets, so it takes out a ton of seats, so it was a legit sellout.

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