WWE RAW 3/7/11
March 7th, 2011
American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas
March 7th, 2011
American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas
We're continuing down the road to Wrestlemania 27 tonight as none other than the Rattlesnake himself, Stone Cold Steve Austin will be in the house tonight to help promote the upcoming return of Tough Enough. How will John Cena react to The Rock's pre-taped response last week? What happens to Alex Riley and The Miz tonight? These questions and more should (hopefully) be answered tonight, so let's get to it!
Your hosts are Michael Cole and Josh Matthews
We open the show with the Undertaker's new music (Johnny Cash's "Ain't No Grave") hitting and the Deadman himself walking out to the ring. Seriously, why do we even have the brand split anymore when you can just show up on any show you feel like for any reason ever? Anyways, 'Taker grabs a mic and says there can only be one "Last Outlaw". He says the word on the street is that Triple H is the ony guy who has what it takes to end the streak. He reminds everyone what happened to the last man who tried to end the streak and we get a nifty little video package of Undertaker destroying HBK at the last two 'Manias. 'Taker then announces that the Triple H-Undertaker match at 'Mania will be a NO HOLDS BARRED match! That should make things more interesting.
After the promo we cut backstage to where Randy Orton is trying to fight off the members of Nexus, eventually being beaten down and allowing CM Punk to slap him around a bit and then give him the GTS right there backstage. That's weird to see that move out of the ring. Nexus begins dragging Orton to the ring as we cut to commercial.
When we return Nexus is beating down Orton in the ring. Eventually some referees come out to break it up, but David Otunga gets back in the ring and wants his match with Randy Orton to take place right now...leading us into our first match of the night.
Randy Orton vs. David Otunga
Orton is in bad shape to start as Otunga lays in shots on him in the corner. Big Randy chant starts up as Otunga hits an elbow drop for a quick two count. Scoop slam gets Otunga another near fall. Big spinebuster from Otunga, but again Orton kicks out at two. Otunga goes to pick Orton up, but out of nowhere Orton hits the RKO and gets the pin at 1:59. After the match Mason Ryan comes out and takes Orton out with a big boot, but then gets punted by Randy anyways. I'm struggling to understand the logic in making your heel faction look like shit each week leading up to 'Mania. If the Nexus never wins a damn match why the hell should we care about the match come Wrestlemania? It's like they're booking in bizarro world or something. As for the match itself, I've seen worse quickies. ½*
When we return from the commercial break we get a graphic of something The Miz posted on Twitter earlier in the day, saying he's boycotting Raw for not getting the attention he deserves tonight. Kay.
Suddenly...Christian's music hits? What the heck? That's random. Apparently he's facing Alberto Del Rio? Who is accompanied to the ring by Brodus Clay? What the hell is going on right now? I'm baffled. Del Rio cuts his usual condescending promo and says he and Christian are going to fight...but not tonight. Tonight instead he has to wrestle Brodus Clay. Sure, why not.
Christian vs. Brodus Clay
Quick lock-up to start and Brodus overpowers Christian. Christian hits him with a right hand but Clay comes back with a big shoulder-block and a few elbow drops while Michael Cole yaps away, switching back and forth from heel to PBP man and completely draining all interest out of this match because of it. Huge overhead belly-to-belly from Brodus. He tries for a splash but Christian evades and hits a pair of missile dropkicks off the top, but can only get a one count. Clay goes for a running powerslam but Christian escapes and then hits a big tornado DDT off the top and that's enough to put Clay away at 2:42. After the match Del Rio attacks Christian. Pretty energetic for such a short little match, Clay looked decent and (thank God) Christian still went over. *
Before we return from the break we get an awesome little hype promo for Mistico, or as he wll be known now, Sin Cara. Epic promo stuff that pretty much guarantees he's going to be a huge deal when he debuts in the WWE. Can't wait.
The latest inductee to the WWE Hall of Fame is announced, and it's Sunny. Man has there EVER been a hotter valet in wrestling history? I don't think so. Too bad they spent the next decade trying to copy her success with brainless bimbos who didn't care about the business. Glad she's being inducted though.
WWE Diva's Title Match
Eve (C) vs. Nikki Bella
The Bellas did the old twin-switcheroo in a battle royal last week, so one of them gets to face Eve tonight for the Diva's title. Clearly this is a match for the ages. Gail Kim is with Eve at ringside for no discernible reason. So I guess Nikki gets the match. This Bellas heel turn has gone over like a fart in a library. Lockup/hair-pulling to start. Eve dominates with some weak forearms and hair-tosses while Cole yaps away about his feud with Lawler. Even the announcers don't give a shit about this match and how can you blame them? More hair-pulling. Suddenly Cole gets on a mic and starts saying "Can we PLEASE get this over with?", saying what every single person watching this match is thinking. Bravo Cole. Hair-Pulling Fest 2011 continues in the ring while the crowd gives Cole some nice heat. Eve hits a nice little kick on Nikki and then Brie tries to do the twin switch, but the ref catches her. Eve hits a twisting neckbreaker and gets the win at 3:07. This was absolutely terrible in every way. Literally 99% of this match was hair-pulling. This shit makes me long for the days of Bertha Faye. DUD
After a quick commercial break we return with a promo hyping Snooki from Jersey Shore being at Raw next week. Whoever thought this was a good idea needs to be fired, immediately.
Michael Cole gets in the ring and says he's going to announce the special guest ref for his match with The King at Wrestlemania, which he claims is going to be the main event. Wow I really hope not. Cole drops a bunch of hints that it's going to be Austin, but he's just messing with them and instead introduces...JBL?! Well hey, that works. I pray this perhaps means a return to the commentary table for JBL? He was gold. JBL comes out with the traditional limo entrance and gets in the ring and cuts a promo, shitting on Texas and getting great heat. This is excellent stuff from JBL as he's getting more heat with this promo than 90% of the WWE roster has been able to garner in months.
Suddenly we hear the infamous sound of shattering glass, and AUSTIN IS IN THE BUILDING! As someone who idolized this man as God growing up in the 90s, I can't help but revert to a childhood mark everytime he shows up. JBL gets in his face in the ring as Cole hides behind him and Austin gives him the stunner! Huge pop for the stunner as Austin gets a few of his traditional beers thrown in and does the old-fashioned Austin beer-drinking corner celebration. Austin grabs the contract that JBL was going to sign and signs it himself as Cole cries like a little girl. Awesome, so Austin is the special guest ref at Wrestlemania, perhaps we'll get an Austin-Rock confrontation? Hey, a guy can dream. Austin dumps two full beers on Michael Cole and wishes him luck, and the crowd loves it. Cole played that whole segment perfectly. Austin grabs another couple of beers and offers a toast to JBL, but OF COURSE he just gives him another stunner, which JBL sells like he was The Rock in mid 1999, flopping allover the place as Cole throws a hissy fit on stage with Jack Swagger.
When we return from the commercial break Jack Swagger tries to calm Michael Cole down and threatens to break Austin's ankle. Yeah, good luck with that Swaggy. Afterwards Jerry Lawler's music hits and he comes out to take Cole's place at the commentary table.
Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus
Last week Sheamus and Bryan got in each other's face backstage, so that sets this up and what I'm assuming will be a feud for Wrestlemania for both men. Quick lock-up to start and Sheamus overpowers Bryan. Bryan hits a big dropkick and then dropkicks Sheamus again right off of the ring apron. Sheamus appears to have injured his ankle during the fall, and he gets counted out at 1:12. Well that makes sense as it sets up a rematch down the line. After the match Sheamus gets on the mic and promises to become the new US Champion next week, going so far as to promise to quit if he loses. It was still better than the Diva's match atleast. ¼*
CM Punk vs. R-Truth
We return from the commercial break to see Punk in the ring, ready for action. R-Truth gets a quick roll-up to start and then takes Punk down with a drop toehold. He tries for his suplex-stunner combo but Punk evades and shoves him shoulder-first into all four steel posts. Punk quickly goes for the GTS, but Truth evades and hits a big leg lariat for a quick two count. Punk hits a big side-slam and then starts laying in shots on Truth's shoulder. He locks in the Anaconda Vice and Truth has no choice but to submit at 2:31. Just the kind of wins Punk needs to build up to 'Mania. Short contest, but quite spirited while it lasted. *¼
After the match we get another short pre-taped interview with Shawn Michaels about the big Triple H/Undertaker match. Shouldn't he be like...caring about his Hall of Fame induction? After the promo Vickie Guerrero of all people makes her way down to the ring as we cut to commercial.
When we return Vickie is in the ring with the mic. She introduces Raw's newest acquisition...Dolph Ziggler! Well right on, hopefully this means big things for Dolph's future as he proved himself able to hang in the main event with Edge back at the Rumble. This leads us right into our next match...
Dolph Ziggler vs. John Morrison
Now here we go, this is more like it! PLEASE give these guys more than five minutes? Pretty please? Collar and elbow lock-up to start, and Ziggler tries working a side headlock. Morrison goes for a leapfrog but Ziggler sees it coming and dropkicks him out of the ring as we take a commercial break. When we return Ziggler has a chinlock on Morrison on the mat, grinding him down. Morrison counters with a hip-toss and then evades a big flying forearm from Ziggler in the corner. Clothesline and then a leg lariat from Morrison who's getting fired up now. He hits a jumping neckbreaker and goes for the pin, but Ziggler gets his foot on the bottom rope at 2. Ziggler pokes Morrison in te eye and suddenly out of nowhere hits the Zig-Zag for the clean pin on Morrison at 2:21 (shown). Decent for the very short time it got and this is an impressive RAW debut for Ziggler, but I question jobbing out Morrison here. If anyone should be getting the big main event push, Morrison should be first in line. *¼
After the match we get an e-mail from the anonymous GM which says that he did hire Ziggler to Raw, but not Vickie. She can win her job next week though if she wins a match against...Trish Stratus! Security escorts her out of the arena afterwards.
We get another replay of highlights of The Rock's promo to Cena last week, setting us up for Cena's latest response, which I assume will be closing out the show tonight.
Cena's music hits and he gets his usual mixed reaction. He grabs a mic and says he kind of likes it when The Rock bags on him, even mocking The Rock's Cena impression. Cena says the Rock got very angry at him though for addressing him in a rap, so Cena will address him in hip-hop instead tonight. It's Cena rap time again and as usual it's fairly entertaining stuff, if not quite up to the par of Cena's rap from two weeks ago. Still, it's great to see John cut back and just have fun with a promo for once. Cena offers to give the Rock a pearl necklace, which most of the fans don't seem to understand but cracks me up. Cena pulls out the new Rock "I Bring It" shirt, only with the words "Via Satellite" underneath the words "Bring It". Nice touch. And just as Cena finishes his promo, out of nowhere The Miz attacks him from behind with the WWE title! He grabs the mic and says that both Cena and The Rock has disrespected him for the last time and he calls out The Rock. He rips off a few of Rock's catchphrases and even gives Cena a bastardized version of the People's Elbow. We go off the air with The Miz raising the WWE title proudly over a fallen John Cena.
Bottom Line: Not a bad show tonight, but at the same time it wasn't a great one either. Again there was almost no wrestling to speak of tonight, which I never am a fan of, but they pushed most of the major programs for Wrestlemania and the whole Austin/JBL/Cole segment was great stuff. Cena's closing promo was good as well, so I really can't bag on this show much. I'll give the show the same grade I did last week, a Thumbs in the Middle.