Monday Night Raw
Date: March 21, 2011
Location: CONSOL Energy Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Commentators: Michael Cole, Josh Matthews, Jerry Lawler
With less than two weeks to go before Wrestlemania it’s pretty clear that the card is set. That being said, it now means that the TV is probably going to get dull as all we have is padding for the upcoming PPV. I’m not looking for a lot on the next two weeks and next week in particular. Nothing that I can think of is announced for tonight, so let’s get to it.
We open with Good Old…..Michael Cole in a fat suit with his ankle taped and a bottle of barbecue sauce. It took the crowd a bit to get the idea but they finally boo the heck out of him. Cole has cotton in his mouth to simulate Ross’ voice issues. Funny stuff.
HHH opens us up properly. His entrances might take longer than Undertaker’s if that’s possible. HHH talks about how this is the biggest match of his career and how people are finally talking about the match with the signs like 19-0 and 18-1. He actually says the Streak is bigger than any championship. I’m kind of surprised to hear that. HHH wants Undertaker to be here next week for a staredown. He talks about Taker’s song and that once the Streak is over, Taker is done and that at Mania Undertaker will rest in peace. Weak promo indeed.
HHH starts to leave but here’s…..Ted DiBiase? As in Junior. What the heck does he think he’s doing here? He talks about how last year he was a rising star and now he’s just another guy. What would happen if he took out HHH right now on live TV? Well at least he knows he means nothing. DiBiase gets in a few shots but winds up getting beaten down to the shock of no one. HHH beats on DiBiase with a chair and I guess this is to show how ruthless he is. Pedigree through the announce table and DiBiase is dead.
Cena will be here via satellite tonight. Oh there are a ton of jokes there.
Miz will be rewriting “Miz-Tory” tonight. Ok then.
Evan Bourne vs. Sheamus
This is non-title I think and is happening due to Bourne getting that quick win a few weeks back. Total Sheamus dominance to start us off here but Bourne gets a kick to put Sheamus down. Since almost the only move he has is the Shooting Star he tries that and misses. Brogue Kick ends this in 1:24.
Sheamus says he’s the new US Champion and is awesome. Bryan comes out and wants his rematch at Mania. Sheamus kicks him in the head and leaves him laying. Gee remember a few weeks ago when so many people said Sheamus got buried and I said you were wrong and it wasn’t a burial? Care to say that you all ran your mouths now and have no idea what you’re talking about? Go ahead. Anytime now.
It’s Wrestlemania Rewind tonight with Orton vs. Mysterio vs. the invisible and unnamed Kurt Angle apparently.
Back with Orton getting off a bus and having some interviewer asking him how he’s doing. Orton talks about being on the bus and liking having his family with him and that he loves watching the video of him punting Nexus over and over again. All we really get out of this is that he has a bus. And I’m sure Punk isn’t going to do anything to that bus later. Not a thing.
Maryse vs. Eve Torres
Non title again as I guess Maryse is heel on Raw and face on NXT. She gets slapped down as this is about as riveting as you would expect it to be. After nothing of note is going on, Cole AGAIN interrupts them on the mic and says he has something else to announce tonight that is special and we need to get this match over with. Standing moonsault to Maryse gets knees but she hits a spinning neckbreaker to end it at 2:20. Eve goes after Cole and his security takes her out.
Back with Corre in the ring as the tag champions are on Raw for once. We get a clip from Smackdown of Corre beating the tar out of Kane and Big Show which was nowhere near as epic as they were trying to make it out to be.
Justin Gabriel/Heath Slater vs. Santino Marella/Vladimir Kozlov
It’s not a good sign that I had the non-champions names written in before their music hit because they’re the Raw face tag team. Gabriel vs. Santino to start and Santino wants the Cobra. He gets his head kicked off instead and it’s off to Slater for the chinlock. Off to Kozlov as Barrett gets involved. Slater gets a reverse DDT and the 450 ends this at 1:47. Total squash.
Show and Kane come down for the save post match. They clean house and leave Corre laying, including Jackson after a double chokeslam. I’m guessing this will be at Mania somehow as all four faces stand mostly tall.
Cena’s interview is up next.
Back and we recap Miz destroying Cena to end last week and the last few weeks’ worth of shows.
Cena says that he’s injured and it’s because of Miz. Miz is impressive and deserves to be champion. This is serious Cena here and it’s rather short with one major thing being said: Rock and Cena in the same ring next week. They had to do it sooner or later, but I would have waited until Wrestlemania. Give the fans something very important to see.
Cole’s announcement is up next.
Back with Cole and Swagger running around the ring. Swagger goes out in front of the announce table (which has been repaired after HHH broke it) and Cole talks about last week with Brian being here, which we get a clip of. Apparently Brian Christopher sent Cole a gift: the Lawler Family Photo Album.
We get some pictures of Lawler’s father with Cole saying what Lawler’s father is thinking. Naturally they’re all insults. Cole says he went to Memphis this week and found out that Lawler and Lawler’s father are very similar: they’re both bullies that back down when someone puts them in their place, like Cole is going to do at Mania. Lawler has Swagger two feet in front of him which is why he hasn’t charged the ring yet.
Cole calls the Lawler family a bunch of losers and Lawler snaps. He beats up Swagger a bit and goes after Cole but Swagger gets up and beats him down. Cole hides in the box and Swagger shoves Lawler’s face into the box while Swagger keeps insulting him. Ankle lock goes on as does the AnCole Lock (and no I’m not making that name up) which Lawler taps to. Mad heat on Cole and Swagger as we go to a break. The build for this has been awesome to say the least.
Mania hype video which is pretty good. Hard to believe it’s only 13 days away.
Cole apologizes for no apparent reason at all.
That transitions us to talking about…..Snooki. DAng it. It’s a recap plus all the media talking about this match and trying to use wrestling lingo while sounding like imbeciles.
Dolph Ziggler vs. John Morrison
Laycool and Vickie are with Dolph and Trish is with Morrison. Ziggler takes him down to start but Morrison goes all angry. That gets him caught in a neckbreaker for two to take him down. Morrison gets going and hits a dropkick. Michelle stops him from diving over the top and Trish fights off Laycool. Trish winds up in the ring and it’s E-Mail time. It’s now a 4-2 handicap match with Laycool/Vickie/Ziggler vs. Trish/Morrison which starts after the break.
Dolph Ziggler/Laycool/Vickie Guerrero vs. Trish Stratus/John Morrison
Back with the guys going at it. Off to Trish and Layla who both look great. Michelle kicks Trish in the back to shift the momentum and bring in the tall blonde. I think she got tagged twice but whatever. Knee to Trish’s head as Trish’s pants seem to be falling a bit. Back off to Layla as Trish plays Ricky Morton for awhile. Off to Vickie who misses a drop and it’s off to the men again. The girls fight elsewhere while Morrison misses Starship Pain. He gets sent into the post and Ziggler adds a Zig Zag. Vickie gets the pin at 4:00 shown.
Rating: C. With the girls looking that good out there it’s really hard to say this wasn’t good. They’re trying to build up Snooki as the X factor here which is what she probably should do at the end of the day. Nothing too bad here but nothing great, so average sounds like a good grade for it. The ending was fine and no, Morrison isn’t being buried.
Sin Cara video. I was a bit underwhelmed the first time I saw this but the more I see it the more I want to see him.
Various stars and legends talk about HHH vs. Undertaker. The weakest name in there is probably Morrison so they’re having a lot of big names in there. Guys like Race, Ross, Lawler, Cena, Arn Anderson and Austin talk about it. Shawn says nothing lasts forever. Arn says it’s like winning 18 Super Bowls in a row. Not really but we’ll go with that.
Rey Mysterio vs. Randy Orton
Mysterio’s entrance is after the break. Back and we see the Orton bus clip from earlier but the audio is messed up. Rey is in the black and yellow for the Steelers color scheme. He takes Orton down to his knees but the equally tall from there Orton gets a European uppercut to take Rey down. Orton does an evil look and throws Rey to the floor.
Back in and Orton’s knee drop gets two. Rey fights back and gets the seated senton for two. Orton might have had a chance to block it if he hadn’t been falling down before the move hit. Orton tries the elevated DDT but Rey counters with something like a slingshot through Orton’s legs which is one of the only counters that I’ve ever seen that was somewhat realistic. Orton blocks the 619 and hits the DDT.
Orton preps for the RKO but Punk pops up on the screen. He’s in front of the tour bus from earlier and says he can’t wait to meet Orton’s wife. Orton sprints to the back (we’ll say the match ended there, meaning it ended at 3:45) and gets jumped by Punk who hits Randy in the knee with a wrench. Punk says Orton won’t be punting anyone at Mania. “Now ain’t that a kick in the head.”
HHH and Undertaker will be face to face next week.
Rock will be live next week.
Alex Riley is in the ring which has a red carpet now. Apparently he’s been rehired (presumably by Miz) as Vice President of Corporate Communications. He introduces Miz who apparently was the best man at Riley’s wedding. Miz talks about how people used to come from miles around to see Muhammad Ali and Michael Jordan perform and now people come to see Miz.
It’s his time now and while there have been Rock imitators over the years, his impression was the best. He has more charisma than Shawn Michaels, is more dominant than Andre the Giant and is more intelligent than Rock and Cena combined. He says that tonight he rewrites “Miztory” and he takes the mic cube off. He holds it up and turns it upside down, making an M.
Behind him is a table with a sheet over it. He and Riley pull it off to reveal the WWE Title with the W flipped upside down to make an M. That’s the new title design apparently. He hits the catchphrase and Cena pops up on the screen. He points out that that’s kind of lame, which it is. Cena says that the WWE Universe knows he’s not invincible and that they also know you shouldn’t make him mad.
Cena has a surprise for them. Some people in Pittsburgh Penguins shirts pop up and take apart his walls, revealing that he’s really in the arena. He didn’t lie when he said he was at home, because his home is here with the fans, just like he’s been for 9 years. Points for being creative there at least. Miz and Riley beat him down for awhile but Cena fights back. Miz runs and Riley gets caught in the STF a few times. Miz comes back but doesn’t come to the ring. Cena’s music plays us out.
Overall Rating: D+. Yes this was a show based on building for the PPV but it was still pretty boring. There was an extreme lack of wrestling which is understandable but it doesn’t make it any more interesting. Not a horrible show but not a good one to say the least. Rock is going to help next week but I can’t imagine it being anything great.
Sheamus b. Evan Bourne – Brogue Kick
Eve Torres b. Maryse – Spinning Neckbreaker
Justin Gabriel/Heath Slater b. Santino Marella/Vladimir Kozlov – 450 to Kozlov
John Morrison vs. Dolph Ziggler went to a no contest when Laycool and Trish Stratus interfered
Dolph Ziggler/Vickie Guerrero/Laycool b. John Morrison/Trish Stratus – Guerrero pinned Morrison after a Zig Zag from Ziggler
Randy Orton vs. Rey Mysterio went to a no contest when Orton left the ring