Monday Night Raw
Date: March 28, 2011
Location: Allstate Arena, Chicago, Illinois
Commentators: Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, Josh Matthews
This is the final show before Wrestlemania. That being said there probably won’t be a lot of in ring action tonight as WWE is afraid of having any injuries before the biggest night of the year. The main story tonight though is that the Rock will be live in the arena tonight for the first time in almost a month. The staredown with Rock and Cena should be awesome. Let’s get to it.
We open with Punk sitting in the ring and being cheered loudly. He says he’s going to miss the Mania sign when he gets to Atlanta. Punk lives in reality while Orton lives in a fantasy world. He doesn’t care what happens to the people or to New Nexus. This causes a Randy chant as Punk gets the smark crowd against him with one sentence. Not bad. It’s not his fault that they got punted in the head. Punk talks about how Orton built up a psychological advantage which meant nothing.
We get a clip of the bus attack last week which is still rather weak. Punk claims that Orton cost him a title and now Punk has cost Orton his respect. This chapter closes at Wrestlemania. Cue Orton with a big bandage on his knee. After a very slow walk he gets into the ring but gets beaten down by Punk.
And never mind as a single uppercut turns the tide and Orton gets the elevated DDT. Orton sets for the Punt but the knee gives out. There are dueling chants here as Punk gets back in the ring. He gets a shot to the knee and Orton is in trouble. GTS leaves Orton laying.
Christian stops to get Edge as apparently they’re up next. Apparently the Raw GM has allowed Edge to fight Alberto tonight.
Edge/Christian vs. Brodus Clay/Alberto Del Rio
Edge vs. Brodus to start us off here and it’s off to Christian quickly. Christian knocks Clay to the floor and dives on him, only to get caught. Edge gets a baseball slide into the back of Christian to send Brodus down and we take a break. Back with Del Rio working on the arm of Christian. Off to Clay who gets two as Lawler and Cole argue about hair. Del Rio gets a middle rope elbow for two.
Tornado DDT out of the corner puts Del Rio down and here comes both Edge and Clay. Nice pop for the tag to Edge. Cross body fails for Edge but he avoids a powerslam to get an Edge-O-Matic for two. Del Rio breaks up the spear and Christian breaks up Del Rio. Brodus misses a charge and the spear ends him at 5:42 shown of 8:12.
Rating: C+. Pretty decent tag match here with them having a nice way to get everyone in the ring at once. Christian and Clay have been nice additions to this feud as we’ve been able to avoid the stupid staredowns and debates and various other things like that. Not a bad match here and it keeps there from being any real contact between Edge and Del Rio before the PPV.
Both Edge and Christian get stuck in the cross armbreaker as Del Rip and Clay leave them laying.
Apparently Trish and Snooki are in a bar in Jersey. This was taped last week and Snooki was three hours late based on various reports. Not a good sign.
Sin Cara is coming.
Miz and Riley are setting up a WWE logo to be the M version from last week. The title looks like that now as well.
There’s an E-Mail and Cole has a computer in his box. He has an Ipad now. The GM needs to know if Lawler is ready for Wrestlemania after what Cole did to him last week. Swagger vs. Lawler tonight.
We get a video about HHH vs. Undertaker which is set to a song about outrunning the devil and numbers. We also get highlight videos of both guys’ careers and their matches at Mania. HHH says if he can’t end the Streak, he’ll die trying.
Back with the Corre in the ring. Apparently Justin Gabriel is in action….so here are Show and Kane? And Kozlov and Santino. Santino is the opponent. Ok then.
Santino Marella vs. Justin Gabriel
The long talked about 8 man tag of Santino/Kozlov/Big Show/Kane vs. Corre is announced. Gabriel gets an incredibly fast kick for two and locks on a modified chicken wing. Santino comes back and sets for the Cobra but Slater distracts him. Kane takes him out and it’s a big brawl on the floor. Here comes the Corba and we’re done at 1:49. Just a quick match to set up the 8 man on Sunday.
Post match everyone does Santino’s trombone thing, even Kane. There’s a meme waiting to happen.
Some R&B singer is singing America the Beautiful. That means….no Justin Bieber? This Mania just got AWESOME!
HHH and Taker have their showdown next.
Here comes the Deadman and that Johnny Cash theme is rapidly growing on me. Here comes HHH and as he sets to do the water spit, the gong goes off and the lights go out. They come back on…and everything is just as it was. They stare each other down, and here’s Shawn Michaels! He does belong in a WWE ring for Mania week. Huge HBK chant starts up.
Shawn says there was no way he was going to miss this. Taker and HHH have barely stopped staring each other down. Taker is either looking at Shawn or his eyes are rolled back in his head. It’s at Shawn. You could only see the whites of his eyes and with him you never can tell. Shawn talks about how great both of them are and how huge this is.
He keeps talking before turning to HHH and asking why in the world would you think you can do what I couldn’t. HHH says Shawn got soft somewhere along the way and that Shawn realized he didn’t have to win to be Mr. Wrestlemania. HHH says that he has to win and he will. The Game turns to Taker and says that when he got here he saw one guy that held everything together. He lists off a lot of injuries Taker has worked through and how HHH has looked up to Undertaker his entire career and molded himself after Undertaker.
The only person that HHH admires and respects in wrestling as much as the Undertaker is Shawn. Years ago Shawn and HHH made a pact that if either of them could ever not do it anymore they would tell the other so. If the other couldn’t accept it, they would force it on them. HHH looks at Undertaker and says that it’s time for Undertaker to stop. He’ll always respect Undertaker, but in six days the Streak is over. HHH says he’s the one, as in 18-1. Good line. Taker hasn’t said a word yet. The Streak rests in peace on Sunday.
Undertaker grabs the mic from HHH and says that if the time ever comes for someone to put him down, he wants it to be HHH. But it’s not his time. HHH is going to kill himself trying but the Streak will still be alive and so will Undertaker. Wait, Undertaker is alive? I thought he was a zombie. Taker says that if HHH doesn’t want to take Taker’s word for it, ask Shawn.
Shawn walks around being the man that gave Undertaker the best Mania matches of his career and he came that close to beating it. Shawn seems bothered by this. Taker says he looks at Shawn and sees a man that he humbled. Shawn is a man that is going into the Hall of Fame as a man full of regrets and as a man whose career Undertaker ended.
Shawn grabs the mic and tries a superkick but gets caught in an attempted chokeslam. HHH breaks it up and they stare each other down again. HHH tells Shawn to tell Taker why HHH will win at Mania. Shawn doesn’t move and HHH turns to look at him. Both guys look at Shawn as the people chant one more match. Shawn leaves and HHH shouts at him but Shawn says something we can’t hear. The camera shifts so we can see Shawn say I’m sorry and something that looked like “I can’t do it.” Shawn leaves with that.
HHH and Undertaker look at each other, Taker laughs and tips his hat and Johnny Cash plays him out. Long segment that I have a feeling is going to get a very mixed reception. Good stuff, but not good enough to make this match as epic as they were shooting for.
Jerry Lawler vs. Jack Swagger
Lawler has different music here. Cole pops up on the apron and gets down just before Lawler hits him. Swagger takes over and a Vader Bomb crushes him. Out to the floor and Jerry is thrown into the time keeper’s area. Lawler gets a right hand in and pops Swagger with a chair for the DQ at 1:20. That’s really the only ending they could go with here. Lawler goes after Cole but the security holds him back as Jerry tries to get in through the top of the box. Cole throws his drink at him and Jerry backs off.
We recap the mixed tag from last week and here’s Vickie with sunglasses ala Morrison. She does his pose with his music and pyro behind her. We even get slow motion. She says that she has a message for Snooki. After the match Sunday, Snooki will be passed out and unconscious as always. Vickie’s evil laugh is pretty awesome.
Dolph Ziggler/Sheamsu vs. Daniel Bryan/John Morrison
Nice pop for Morrison. Sheamus vs. Morrison to start Flash Kick doesn’t work as Morrison jumps into the Irish Curse for two as we take a break. Back with the same pairing as before the break as Sheamus locks on a bow and arrow hold. Morrison fights out of it with a dropkick and it’s a double tag.
Bryan comes in and cleans house as he locks in the LeBell Lock to Ziggler. Sheamus makes the save as Morrison kicks Ziggler in the head. Apparently Sheamus is legal now. I don’t remember a tag but ok then. Morrison and Ziggler hit the floor and the LeBell Lock doesn’t work. Sheamus hits the High Cross which Cole calls Pale Justice. It’s a Razor’s Edge either way and it ends it at 2:44 shown of 6:14.
Rating: C-. Not really enough to grade but this is a quick way to get some build in for both matches. Always been a fan of that as it’s a very good way to kill two birds with one stone. I’d love to see these four get more time in the ring as it could be something rather good. This wasn’t much from a wrestling standpoint but it wasn’t terrible I guess.
Orton is having his knee iced down and says that he’ll make it to Mania. He has anger management issues and has hurt people he didn’t know just because he could. He’s never despised anyone until now so the question isn’t can he make it to Mania but rather can Punk make it out of Mania.
Time for the Hall of Fame inductee of the night. It’s the LEGION OF DOOM!!!!! It’s about freaking time! We get a nice video package on them and apparently Paul Ellering is going in with them. That makes the class LOD, Ellering, Shawn Michaels, Sunny, Bullet Bob Armstrong, Abdullah the Butcher and Jim Duggan. I leave out Drew Carey for reasons of idiocy.
Snooki and Trish are at a bar and oh my goodness Snooki is drunk. Some Jersey guy is annoying them constantly. Snooki slaps him and he gets taken out. This was rather pointless and lasted maybe a minute.
We cut to Matthews and then back to the bar as Laycool is there. Big brawl breaks out and they get pulled apart, making this whole thing maybe 80 seconds.
Back and it’s time. The Rock is here on the big screen and there’s the music. HUGE Rocky chant goes up and it takes awhile to get to the talking. This is a special city to Rock as his first Wrestlemania was here. On that night, he was nervous but he brought it. That night he founded Team Bring It which everyone is a part of. On Team Bring It you don’t worry about what’s coming and you go after your dreams.
Recently Rock has had a dream of his own. In this dream he came to the ring and called out John Cena. Mad heat for the mere mention of Cena’s name. The fans chant Cena sucks. He doesn’t have a chance tonight. Rock says Cena looks like a homeless Power Ranger. Rock talks about Cena and how tonight, Rock is here with the MILLIONS.
Cue Cena who is looking rather chipper. Hokey smoke this is epic. Not total booing for Cena when he first comes out but when he starts talking it changes a bit. Cena says this is what he finally wanted: Rock back in a WWE ring. This is where Rock belongs according to Cena. The fans chant for Rocky. When Cena started talking about him years ago he was one of the millions. He didn’t understand why Rock left because Cena wanted Rock back for moments like these when Rock has the people in the palm of his hands. If Rock doesn’t believe Cena, Rock should listen to them.
If Rock still doesn’t believe him, Rock should feel the electricity. When Rock came back he was smoking and it was an honor to have Rock make fun of him. Cena takes a jab at the via satellite moments and Cena wanted to know…..something we have to wait on as the fans chant Cena Sucks a bit more. Cena wants to know what problem Rock had with him. That’s a good question actually. Cena says that he looked past all the jokes and catchphrases and found a lot of problems Rock had with him.
Who in the world is Rock to tell Cena how to dress or what to listen to or who his audience should be? If that is what it takes to be on Team Bring It then Cena wants nothing to do with it. Cena knows there are people that hate him and he’s not going to change for them or for anyone. He’ll be judged at the end of the day but it won’t be by Rock.
There were things like the colors and the way he talks. Also the music and the hustle, loyalty and respect. The one that surprises Cena though is that Rock’s audience is kids. That’s right and Cena is proud of what he is and who he’s become. Rock hasn’t taken his eyes off Cena the whole time. Cena morphs into Super Cena, saying that if Rock has a problem with Cena working as hard as he has, there’s something to talk about.
Rock says the good Lord will be the one to judge them and gets in Cena’s face. Even the good Lord can’t save Cena from Rock whipping him all over Chicago. Cena says if you want to fight there’s nothing stopping you and throws the mic down. Here’s Miz and he has a LOT to live up to. Miz says that he’s tired of being overshaddowed by the O Brothers: Overrated and Overhyped. Cena will lose at Wrestlemania, but he’ll go down fighting, unlike The Rock.
Miz says he knows a secret. Rocky isn’t going to do a thing tonight because Rock isn’t going to risk losing a movie career to get beaten up and embarrassed by Miz. That’s not a risk, but rather a guaran-darn-tee that if Rock even looks at Miz Rock will never be able to set foot in Hollywood after the beating Miz gives him. Rock can talk all he wants and it won’t matter. Rock says it doesn’t matter what Miz thinks.
Riley jumps Rock and the beating is on. Riley is knocked to the floor as Cena is gone. Rock takes down Miz with a DDT and botches the nip up. Oh Cena is on the floor. People’s Elbow to Miz who is thrown to the floor. Rock turns around and it’s an Attitude Adjustment to Rock as the booing is insane. Rock can’t see Cena as he leaves. Cena points to the Mania sign and we’re off the air.
Overall Rating: C+. Well the wrestling was very light this week but at the same time that was expected. Obviously they can’t risk an injury to Miz or Cena in a pointless match…yet the other world title match participants had a match. It’s almost as if that match means nothing in the grand scheme of things. Anyway this was a solid build up show with I think every match getting at least some camera time. That’s a good sign and much better than the previous few go home shows for Wrestlemania. I liked this for the most part but some stuff could have been changed. Good overall though.
Edge/Christian b. Alberto Del Rio/Brodus Clay – Spear to Clay
Santino Marella b. Justin Gabriel – Cobra
Jack Swagger b. Jerry Lawler via DQ when Lawler used a chair
Sheamus/Dolph Ziggler b. Daniel Bryan/John Morrison – High Cross to Bryan