Monday, March 14, 2011

WWE RAW 3/14/11 --- Boomer Sooner Baby

WWE RAW 3/14/11
March 14th, 2011
Scottrade Center, St. Louis, Missouri
Attendance: 21,000+/-?

We open the show with The Rock talking on a cell phone from some undisclosed location, apparently to the President about John Cena’s promo last week. Before he can get much further Cena’s music hits and The Rock teases a confrontation with him, but instead what we get is an eight year old boy dressed up in Cena gear. Crowd gets a kick out of that. Kid even kicks his own little mini-Cena freestyle. The Rock sits him down and has a talk with him about Cena’s success after he left and congratulates him on the 2-5 year olds demographic he’s conquered before asking him why he’ll never be as good as The Rock, to which the kid replies “because I’m not that talented”. Eventually the mini-Cena starts crying while The Rock takes shot at Cena’s movies. The kid blows his nose on a Cena shirt (which The Rock then spits on) and then The Rock pulls out a box of Fruity Pebbles cereal for the kid. Finally the kid leaves and The Rock addresses The Miz with his serious face. We even get some moody background music while The Rock cuts a promo on The Miz, with Rocky promising to deliver the single biggest ass-whooping of a lifetime on both Miz and Cena. He does the “If you smell” bit and that wraps it up.

Your hosts are Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, and Josh Matthews

We open with a shot backstage of Trish Stratus and Snooki from the Jersey Shore TV show fiddling around with their cell phones. Back at ringside we hear Michael Cole’s voice as he’s got his own announcer’s table setup next to the usual one with a big plastic box around him, like on the Pope mobile. That is fucking brilliant. Cole is finally going to go full heel here it seems, thankfully. He calls the box the “Cole Mine”.

The Miz’s music hits and he makes his way down to the ring as Michael Cole talks him up like a seventh grader with a crush. The Miz grabs a mic and accuses The Rock of being a has-been. Big “You suck!” chant starts up, been awhile since I’ve seen this kind of heat for a main event heel. The Miz promises to make The Rock scream and cry like a little girl inside the ring, and then claims to “own” John Cena. Miz finishes up, telling us he’s awesome, etc, until the lights flicker and we have an e-mail from the anonymous general manager. Cole comes out of his box to read it, but Jerry cuts him off and does it himself. The e-mail says that tonight John Cena will face Alberto Del Rio, while The Miz will face The Great Khali. Damnit I was hoping Khali had gotten into another Indian gun fight in a nightclub, rats.

The Miz vs. The Great Khali

So this should be bizarre. Khali quickly overpowers Miz, striking him several times with big chops. He puts The Miz in that weird head-crushing submission of his until the fired Alex Riley hops in the ring and attacks Khali for the DQ at 1:11. Riley gets slammed by Khali after the match and The Miz starts attacking Khali with a steel chair. He actually takes Khali down to the mat, beating the hell out of him with that steel chair maniacally and giving him a DDT. That should help Miz’s credibility a bit. Match itself was, obviously, nothing. ¼*

After the match Cole claims that tonight he’s going to expose Jerry Lawler’s past with a shocking guest tonight. That doesn’t help, it could be any female from the Memphis area over the last 30 years that he’s boned/screwed/married/divorced/raped/molested/whatever. We also get an announcement for a Randy Orton vs. Mason Ryan match tonight, because you know that was one the world was just dying to see.

Triple H video package.

Backstage John Morrison is talking to Snooki until Vickie Guerrero and Dolph Ziggler come up to bust their bubble. Vickie claims she doesn’t care that Snooki was on the cover of Rolling Stone (which is something I’m just finding out about now and have begun weeping silently inside) because she was offered the cover of Playboy. Snooki makes a fat joke, then SLAPS THE SHIT out of Vickie. No, seriously, she REALLY stiffed Vickie there and I definitely laughed.

WWE US Title Match
Daniel Bryan © vs. Sheamus

These two got into it backstage a few weeks back so it appears this will be the program both men will work for Wrestlemania. Apparently Sheamus was on the cover of Muscle & Fitness magazine this week, riveting. Sheamus said last week that if he doesn’t win the title tonight, he’s going to quit the WWE, and Justin Roberts announces the stipulation to make it official. Bryan comes out with Gail Kim, looking mighty fine as always. Big takedown from Sheamus to start. Shoulderblock gets him a quick one count. Bryan flips out of an irish whip and tries for an armbar, but Sheamus goes outside for a breather. No luck though as Bryan follows him out immediately with the tope suicida to the floor! Back inside he hits a missile dropkick for another two count. Quick commercial break and when we return Sheamus has Bryan in a reverse chinlock. Sheamus hangs Bryan up in the ropes and starts laying in big forearms to the chest. He hits him with a knee-lift and gets a two count. Bryan reverses a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for a near fall and then back-body drops Sheamus out of the ring to the floor, where Sheamus hits his ankle, the same one that was injured last week and caused him to be counted out. Sheamus tries for the big boot but Bryan evades and then locks on the La Belle lock! Sheamus just barely gets a ropebreak. Sheamus tries for a powerbomb but Bryan conuters into a sunset flip, 1-2---NOO! Sheamus kicks out. They begin trading forearms now, with Bryan laying in precision kicks to Sheamus’ chest and head. Bryan tries for another missile dropkick but Sheamus gives him the huge big boot in mid-air! That’s enough for the pin and Sheamus is your new United States champion at 5:47 (shown). This was just awesome, Bryan can have a good match with anyone and his fast paced offense played off of Sheamus’ power perfectly. Excellent television match. ***¼

After the match Cole gets on the mic and once again says he’s going to expose The King tonight, live, and next. After a quick commercial break we return to Cole in the ring now with a mic, guaranteeing that Stone Cold will have a “minimal effect” on his match with The King at Wrestlemania. Cole brings out none other than the biological son of Jerry Lawler….BRIAN CHRISTOPHER! OH MY LORD! Grandmaster Sexay as you may have known him is back, and holy shit he looks awful. He has grey hair? He does the old Too Cool dance down the ramp but this audience clearly has no idea what they’re seeing. Well fuck you, I’m marking out for that little dance. Never in my life did I think I would mark out for Brian flippin’ Christopher. This is such an awesome addition to the feud though from the WWE, because those two have a ton of history together (obviously). Cole asks Christopher why he was never billed as “Brian Lawler”, to which Brian responds by saying he never felt like he had a father growing up. Brian says Jerry never even wanted a child, and that he was neglected. This is some crazy stuff because you have to imagine a lot of the things Brian is saying he probably actually felt at one point in time. King grabs a mic finally and says to Brian that he’s a bigger screw-up than Charlie Sheen! Which, honestly, is actually true to real-life considering Brian’s many troubles with the law and drugs. Brian asks him how it feels to know that he competed at Wrestlemania before Jerry did. He gets in his dad’s face and even pushes him, trying to instigate a fight. Brian says he never used the Lawler name because he’s ashamed of Jerry. Cole calls King a pathetic coward, loser, etc and suddenly we hear BOOMER SOONER! FUCK YEAR! Jim Ross is in the building! HUGE pop for JR, as always. JR tries to reason with Cole, but Cole just tells him to go away. He says this is “his” show now and “he’s” the voice of the WWE now, not Jim Ross. Tons of boos for that of course. JR says the “voices” of the WWE are those of the fans, not him. JR says King has been carrying Cole like a kangaroo in it’s pouch. He calls Cole a “rat bastard” and gets another big pop. Awesome stuff here. Cole insults him and JR takes off his hat and his jacket. Oh shit, it’s FIGHTIN’ TIME for JR! Cole takes his jacket off as well and it appears we’re going to have a fight as a huge “JR!” chant starts up. Suddenly Jack Swagger jumps The King at the commentary table. Swagger gets in the ring beats down JR to a ton of heat, giving him the ankle lock. This isn’t right, it’s Oklahoman on Oklahoman violence! King tries to make the save but Swagger just gives him the ankle lock as well. Cole then gives JR the ankle lock! You can here JR scream “God almighty!” and Cole and Swagger might need security on their way out because of the nuclear heat they’re getting at this point. This was an incredibly entertaining segment that added a ton of heat to the already blazing hot Jerry Lawler-Michael Cole feud.

Randy Orton vs. Mason Ryan

Oh boy, this has been a great show so far but this match doesn’t exactly scream “mat classic” on paper. Ryan has actually been billed as “Batista 2” in the Mexican press, I’m not making that up. His resemblance to Dave is pretty uncanny, and it’s literally the only reason he’s not still in Florida, learning how to actually work. Lockup to start us off and Orton starts laying in right hands in the corner. Ryan hits a big boot and then a huge backbreaker for a quick two count. Ryan gets a chance to look impressive here, giving Orton several backbreakers, displaying his strength. He works a flippin’ bear hug of all things, something I haven’t seen in a WWE match not involving Mark Henry in a long time. Orton hits a big clothesline but then gets side-slammed for a very close two count. Ryan tries for another sideslam, but Orton counters with the RKO and that’s enough to put Batista 2 away at 2:59. After the match Orton and Punk face off on the ramp, but Orton hits the punt kick on Mason Ryan instead! Both Orton and Punk face off in the “viper position” in the ring until Punk slithers out. Not nearly as bad as I thought it would be, Mason looked impressive before Orton hit the RKO out of nowhere, so both men come out of it looking decent and it did it’s job of continuing the Punk-Orton feud.

After a quick commercial break we get our latest Hall of Fame induction, this one into the “celebrity wing”, being none other than…Drew Carey? Huh? I’m actually a Drew Carey fan, I used to love his show when it was still on and his performance in the 2001 Royal Rumble was pretty memorable and funny. Wow it’s weird seeing the highlights of that Rumble with the old hall of fame old-school voice-over job and everything, I remember watching that PPV live with some friends like it was yesterday. As for his Hall of Fame induction…eh. I mean, if William Perry is in there, sure, why not Drew. No big deal I guess.

Backstage we see Snooki and Trish walking when Zach Ryder confronts Snooki! Yes! /wooo/ has just exploded I’m sure. Snooki apparently approves of Ryder’s abs. Give that man a title push!

After a quick commercial break Justin Roberts introduces Snooki, who gets a strange reaction of indifference, love, and hate all at the same time. She almost looks attractive for a second, and then I whip myself out of that devilish trance like Nelson Van Alden abusing himself in Boardwalk Empire. Crowd actually reacts pretty nicely at first to Snooki, though you can hear some boos. Snooki is here to see Trish Stratus shut Vickie Guerrero’s mouth apparently, and out comes Vickie.

No DQ Match
Trish Stratus vs. Vickie Guerrero

So this is for Vickie’s “career” on Monday Night Raw, and was set up last week I think. Honestly I forgot all about this, but hey, I’m down for some Stratusfaction. Vickie accuses Snooki of stealing her spotlight. Vickie accuses Snooki of stealing her cover pose for Rolling Stone, and we get a humorously photoshopped picture of Vickie on the cover of Rolling Stone. Trish still looks great. Vickie wants to warm up first but Trish is having none of that and just rolls her up for a quick one count. You know I’d like to see Trish actually work a match with a capable opponent again if she’s down for it, she really improved over the years. Trish chases Vickie around the ring for a bit and Vickie tries to fight her with her shoe like it’s a sword. Pure comedy stuff here and there’s nothing wrong with that. Trish spanks her with the shoe and suddenly Dolph Ziggler hits the ring. Just as he does though, here comes John Morrison! Oh please tell me this is leading to Ziggler vs. Morrison at ‘Mania. LayCool run in all of a sudden and lay out Trish and Vickie gets the cheap pin at 2:28. Wrestling-wise, this was DUD city but it was actually amusing in it’s own way, so I won’t be too harsh. ¼*

After the match LayCool and Vickie celebrate in the ring until McCool wants to confront Snooki. We actually get a damn “Snooki” chant, and for a moment I’m actually ashamed to be a wrestling fan. A brief one, albeit. McCool shoves Snooki but Snooki gets in her face and then gives a Lou Thesz press to Layla in the ring while Trish takes it to McCool! Look at that! Snooki actually performed more wrestling moves here than her co-star Angelina did on TNA iMPACT! last week. Vickie grabs a mic and challenges Morrison, Trish…and Snooki to a six-man match at Wrestlemania against LayCool and Dolph Ziggler. Snooki wrestling at ‘Mania? I cannot imagine the reaction she’s going to get there. This is actually pretty smart from a publicity standpoint as Jersey Shore, trash or not, is the number one TV show in the country right now, so her wrestling a match at Wrestlemania should give the WWE tons of media coverage in the coming weeks. I really, REALLY wish that Ziggler and Morrison could just have their own singles match, but alas, I guess they didn’t want to put more effort into it. Oh well.

John Cena vs. Alberto Del Rio

Del Rio is accompanied by his former NXT rookie Brodus Clay, who has become Del Rio’s muscle over the last week. We’re already past two hours at this point so I don’t expect this to go very long. Lock-up to start things off and Del Rio tries to work a side-headlock. We cut to a quick commercial while Michael Cole tells us that apparently The Rock is in St. Louis tonight. When we return Del Rio hits Cena with a big dropkick for a quick two count. Cena counters a headlock with a backdrop suplex and both men are slow to get to their feet, only to both clothesline eachother. Cena starts getting fired up though and hits a few sideslams before giving him the Five Knuckle Shuffle. He goes for the Attitude Adjustment but Clay comes in the ring and attacks Cena for the DQ at 3:56 (shown). Not much of a main event obviously, but it didn’t really need to be given how little time was left. ½*

After the match the beatdown continues when suddenly The Rock’s music hits! The arena explodes…and it’s The Miz, with a baldcap on and a Rock T-shirt! Oh that was quite the bait and switch and the crowd totally bought that. Miz gets in the ring and helps the beatdown by giving Cena a Rock Bottom. That’s two weeks in a row now The Miz has stolen one of The Rock’s finishers, so you’ve got to expect retribution at some point. Del Rio hits a big enziguri on Cena as well. Miz takes the beatdown all the way up the ramp but Cena fights back and tries for the Attitude Adjustment only to be given a DDT on the stage. He throws Cena into the big WWE logo stagepiece as well. We close out the show two weeks in a row now with The Miz standing tall above a wounded John Cena.

Bottom Line: This show was fantastic, simply put. From a wrestling standpoint we had an excellent US title match for television, and from an angle standpoint all of the major feuds were progressed in some way and had time given to them. Throw in the cameos of Jim Ross and Brian Christopher alongside another great Rock promo and this was a perfect hype show for Wrestlemania. Really not a wasted moment to be found on this entire broadcast, one of the best RAW’s of the year so far I’d say, though not quite on par as the 2/14 edition where The Rock initially returned. Still, great show and an easy Thumbs Up.

Score: 9/10


Nate said...

Solid review, I agree with just about everything. BTW, mad props for the Boardwalk Empire reference.

Brian Rokitka said...

Loved the review. The Rock/John Cena feud has been gold. They couldn't just double the money to convince Rock to strap up the boots again? That payoff would've been classic and it'd solve the Miz problem of being forced into this.
The Cole Mine idea was gold, and the Miz promo certainly wasn't bad, but I still don't see where all the praise is coming from over his mic skills. And I continuously get distracted by the 50 ridiculously faces Miz makes everytime he talks.
I love the slow build-up of the HHH-Taker match. An occasional promo, and tonight just a video package, is a great change of pace from all the usual confrontations (See: Orton-Punk) that take place in a feud.
I have no problem with Snooki involved in Wrestlemania. It's great to see Trish back, and everyone knows we'll be getting a shit divas match on the card anyway. If this mixed-tag match takes the place of having to watch Eve against whoever then I'm all for it. By the way, Snooki was great tonight. I don't really get the whole 'Jersey Shore' thing, but my girlfriend is in love with the show. I'd say something to her about it, but then again I watch wrestling..
Sorry to post such a long ass comment on your blog, just felt the need to discuss a great episode.

Cruz said...

Solid review, I agree with just about everything. BTW, mad props for the Boardwalk Empire reference.

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