Monday Night Raw
Date: February 28, 2011
Location: HSBC Arena, Buffalo, New York
Commentators: Josh Matthews, Jerry Lawler, Michael Cole
We have five Raws to go before Wrestlemania and the card is starting to have a lot more shape to it. With the highest rating the show has had in over a year and a half from last week and a record high rating for Smackdown on Syfy this past week, things are looking good on paper at the moment. Tonight we’ll likely see more of Cena vs. Rock to build up to some showdown in Atlanta or possibly even next year in Miami. Let’s get to it.
HHH opens the show and it’s confirmed that he has Taker at Wrestlemania as he’s on his way to the ring. Josh sounds a bit off tonight, like his voice isn’t working properly. The graphic shown for their match lists Undertaker as The Last Outlaw. Sounds like a weak cowboy heel gimmick in the 80s. HHH chant starts up before he talks. Josh hasn’t talked in awhile while Lawler has so maybe he’s sick or something.
HHH says the real test is the test of time and there is nothing he hasn’t done in WWE. He’s defined the Elimination Chamber, he’s defined Hell in a Cell, he’s a 13 time world champion, he started DX and Evolution. He’s been hated and loved, he’s defeated icons legends and immortals and has been here 16 years. HHH says he’s outlasted everyone except for one person.
He says Undertaker is now known as the Last Outlaw, but that’s not true. The two of them are more alike than Undertaker realizes. There are no more challenges for either of them but Taker has the Streak which is all that keeps him going. HHH claims to be the only true challenge Undertaker has left. I guess we’re ignoring HHH being victim #9 in the Streak. HHH’s only remaining challenge is ending the Streak, which will happen at Wrestlemania 27. When the Streak dies, Undertaker dies with it and if he can’t end the Streak then he’ll die trying. Good and emotional promo here from the Game.
As he’s about to leave, here’s Sheamus. Sheamus steps into the ring and gets a stiff kick to his Irish balls. No Pedigree but rather Sheamus is thrown to the floor where his beating continues. He throws Sheamus into the time keeper’s area and launches the chair out of there too. Pedigree onto the announce table kills Sheamus dead. That table collapsed very well too as it looked like it exploded. And before everyone says it, no that wasn’t a burial.
Shawn Michaels is going to give his opinion on the HHH vs. Undertaker match later.
Cole is going to answer King’s challenge tonight.
Rock (via satellite) will answer Cena as well.
Back and Sheamus is just now being helped out of the arena. There’s an E-Mail which Lawler answers. He starts saying the May I Have Your Attention Please but stops and says nah. The E-Mail says that Sheamus was supposed to have a match and will still have that match, against this man who is returning to Raw.
Sheamus vs. Evan Bourne
Bourne fires away with kicks and hits (read as he missed by three inches) with a spin kick. That sets up the Shooting Star Press to end this in 37 seconds.
Rating: B-. The first 12 seconds were pretty good, the next 8 dragged it down but the final seventeen more than made up for it. Solid TV match.
With Bourne still in the ring, Justin Roberts introduces Michael Cole. He says he’ll tell us what his plans are for Wrestlemania in just a few moments and we take a break.
Undertaker will be on Smackdown. There will also be a contract signing for Edge vs. Del Rio.
After a quick video of Cole insulting Jerry and his mother last week, Cole calls Lawler into the ring. Apparently only Lawler can get fired for striking Cole and not the other way around. Cole stumbles over his words here. Cole claims to have the most guts in the company and that he never backs down from a fight. His answer to the challenge is no. Cole’s face is so smug here that it’s great.
Cole says he’ll accept under two conditions. First off his trainer has to be in his corner at Wrestlemania and he gets to pick a special guest referee for the match. Lawler says he doesn’t care if Cole has the Dark Knight, King Kong, Saba Simba and Superman with him, it’s on. Cole is WAY too happy about this, even dancing a little over it.
He introduces his trainer: Jack Swagger. Odd choice but it gives Swagger something to do I guess. Lawler stares up at Swagger and Cole slaps him. Jerry goes after Cole but gets caught in an ankle lock while Cole laughs at him. The referee isn’t announced here.
Austin will be here next week.
Cole wipes off Lawler’s headset to take over on commentary.
Cue Orton to a ROAR. Great pop for him there. This is a match but Orton has something to say to Punk first he. Last week CM was right about something. Two and a half years ago when Orton punted him it was the biggest mistake of Orton’s career. He should have kicked harder. Faith can’t protect Punk from punting him again. Orton talks about putting Punk in a rehabilitation home and the only thing Punk will have left is the faith that failed him.
Cue New Nexus led by Punk who has the microphone. Could we get to a match anytime soon? Punk says he’ll take care of Orton and here they come. An E-Mail stops them, which says that Orton will face Punk at Mania. Until then Orton gets singles matches against members of the New Nexus. If they beat Orton, that member can be in Punk’s corner at the PPV but if they lose, that member is barred. If any member interferes, the team is disbanded.
Randy Orton vs. Michael McGillicutty
Orton takes over quickly as you would expect. The knee drop misses and here comes McGillicutty. A clothesline by Orton sends him to the floor and we take a break. Back with McGillicutty hitting a dropkick for two. He adds the Mr. Perfect neck snap from the middle rope in a cool looking move. There’s the chinlock from McGillicutty on the master of the chinlock. Orton fights back and gets the powerslam and backbreaker. Elevated DDT has McGillicutty reeling. RKO ends it at 7:15 with about 4 minutes shown.
Rating: D. Not impressed here as it was just a step ahead of a squash. Did anyone think McGillicutty had a chance here at all? Either way, it would be nice to have a 1-1 match at Mania rather than having to worry about the interference. This also gives Orton something to do between now and Mania so that helps a bit.
Post match Orton sets for the punt and Punk comes out to talk him out of it. This fails of course and McGillicutty’s head is somewhere in the 4th row. McGiilicutty’s face on the replay is great as his eyes are bugged out and his mouth is wide open.
We get a clip of Sin Cara aka Mistico signing with WWE. The name Mistico is mentioned as well which is surprising.
Here are Miz and Riley. Miz says Rock is responding to Cena tonight and not to Miz. Why isn’t he doing that? Because Rock knows his time has passed and Miz is now the top star in WWE. Everyone wants him and wants to talk to him. He talks about Cena, saying that Miz won the titles last week, not the two of them. Cena should be worried about Miz, not Rock. Miz says he’ll beat Cena and then everyone will talk about him as the greatest superstar of all time.
Cue Cena who says he has very important news. He can’t listen to anything else Miz says because Miz isn’t well. Cena pulls out a Doctor’s Note (construction paper with Doctor’s Note written on it and a Red Cross) and says Miz is obsessive compulsive. He’s obsessed with being awesome despite being average. Cena lists off various things that Miz does, none of which are funny.
Riley says that toilet bowls are called Johns, because just like Cena, they’re full of crap. Even Cole makes fun of Riley for that one. Cena asks Miz if he gets it now why no one takes him seriously as champion. Cena makes something resembling a gay joke by asking if Miz wants to know if he wants his legacy to be shared with another man. He says Miz should fire Riley tonight to make Mania one on one.
Miz tries to come back at Cena by making fun of the jean shorts so Cena makes more gay jokes. He says be a man tonight and wants a match with Riley. If Cena wins, Riley doesn’t work for Miz anymore. Miz accepts for Riley, on one condition. Miz won’t interfere, but if Riley wins, Cena has to say Miz is the greatest superstar of all time, because he’s the Miz and he’s awesome. Cena lists off all the things he’s been put through in the past year and twists his arm around saying ok you’re on.
We get an E-Mail (and the third person answering it in the form of Cole) which says the match tonight will be in a cage. Good thing they had one above the ring. You can only win by escape. Really a weak segment that doesn’t make me want to see them fight any more than I did before.
Divas Battle Royal
Back with this randomly starting. Eve is on commentary and the winner is #1 contender. About four people are gone in maybe a minute. You can go through the ropes to be eliminated. Within maybe a minute we have a Bella, Maryse and Gail. Gail sends Maryse out with a handful of tights and then the Bellas switch. One is thrown out and the other switches. Eve says she’s had enough and whichever Bella that is (Cole doesn’t know either for the most part) but apparently it’s Brie who wins in 2:00. Basically all the Raw Divas were in this.
We go to Rock at his home in a Cena hat and with a chain around his neck. He makes fun of the rapping thing from last week and then “takes this crap off.” He goes on a big rant against Cena, saying he’s electrifying Buffalo like only Rock can. He looks like he’s in front of a green screen (I know he’s not but it looks like it for some reason).
Rock talks about making his big return and then Cena replies to him with a rap. Well of course he did because that’s how the guy in the purple shirt and jean shorts would do. He makes fun of Thuganomics and Hustle, Loyalty and Respect. This all started when Cena called Rock a liar when Rock said he loved WWE but never came back.
His love for WWE is endless. He was born here and it’s in his blood. There are title belts behind him which he proudly displays and that all he wanted to do was prove that he can do things outside of WWE to open the door for the locker room. But then Cena insulted the Rock. Cena opened a door of his own and on the other side is The Rock.
At Mania he’ll be hosting but he’ll be addressing Cena sooner than Cena thinks. His spirit is everywhere and he can electrify Buffalo just like this. He snaps his fingers and the lights go out in the arena. Rock says he’s never alone but is with the millions and millions of Rock’s fans. He implies he’ll be face to face with Cena very soon. He says the Rock is back to scratch an itch, so enjoy your Fruity Pebbles you Yabba-Dabba Man. Very intense and full of energy, but it’s a step down from the two previous promos by these two.
Shawn gives his thoughts on HHH vs. Undertaker. There is no higher mountain than the Streak but there is something about HHH that is intense beyond words. More or less Shawn doesn’t pick either guy.
Here’s Daniel Bryan for a match but Miz jumps him on the way to the ring. A running big boot puts Bryan down as this is an assault. Fan: “Miz you’re a big cheater!” Bryan is destroyed and takes a Skull Crushing Finale onto the floor. Even Cole gets on Miz for this. Miz grabs a mic and says he did that because he can. Welcome to the Miz Show! Now lower the cage and start the match!
Alex Riley vs. John Cena
You can win by escape only and if Cena wins, Miz has to fire Riley. Miz tweets that he’s on commentary which is kind of cool. Cena hammers away in the corner and doesn’t seem to be that worried. Release fisherman’s suplex puts Riley down. Miz is being a jerk even to Cole as he’s not happy about being forgotten for Rock and Cena. That’s a very legitimate criticism actually. Miz runs away to stop Cena from getting out of the cage and allows Riley to get in a good shot and take over.
Riley’s chest is blood red. Cena goes into the cage and Miz has Riley bring Cena over to the cage to take a picture of him for Twitter. That’s hilarious. Miz slips the phone in through the cage and Cena is clocked with it. The referee is like dang I need to upgrade. Cena makes a diving save and Miz runs up to start a tug of war with Riley. STFU goes on and Riley is in trouble. Cena tries to get out but Miz grabs a chair and holds him off for Riley to get an electric chair drop and we take a break at 11:02. Ok then.
Back with Riley hitting a dropkick but Cena is coming back with his ending sequence. Five Knuckle Shuffle hits as the crowd doesn’t seem to care. They’ve been pretty weak all night but granted with this card that’s not really something you can blame them for. FU is blocked and they fight on the top rope. Riley knocks him down and goes up but takes forever as I guess Cena wasn’t ready in time.
Cena makes the save and they fight on top of the cage. Riley goes back in and Cena does also for some reason. Back in the ring there’s the FU and Cena grabs Miz’s phone to take a picture of Riley. Miz stops him from escaping again but Cena just shoves the door open with the power of Flintstone Vitamins to win at 12:50. He winds up taking a Skull Crushing Finale on the floor to end the show.
Rating: C+. Decent match for the most part and I don’t think the ending was ever really in doubt, but the phone spots were funny as they were trying something new out there for the sake of comedy. Good stuff here but I’d really like this to become a more serious main event feud than the comedy stuff they’ve been doing so far. Also, Riley vs. Cena in a cage? Really? That’s the main event of Raw?
Overall Rating: D. Well some stuff was added to Mania, but this was a very boring show. FAR too little wrestling. Even another five minutes or so would have helped this but there was just nothing of note in the ring here. I get that they just had a big South American tour and are all spent but this was ridiculous. Cena not taking Miz seriously is getting old fast and I’m hoping the title doesn’t change at Mania. Weak show overall, but there were some decent parts.
Evan Bourne b. Sheamus – Shooting Star Press
Randy Orton b. Michael McGillicutty – RKO
Brie Bella won a Divas Battle Royal – Bella last eliminated Gail Kim to win
John Cena b. Alex Riley – Cena escaped the cage