Monday Night Raw
Date: April 4, 2011
Location: Phillips Arena, Atlanta, Georgia
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler
We’re finally on the other side of Wrestlemania and not a ton has changed on Raw.The Miz is still champion, Cole can still run his mouth (I still don’t get that one) and Rock vs. Cena is still going on.Tonight we begin the build up to Extreme Rules and also have the debut of Sin Cara which is something a lot of people have been looking forward to.Let’s get to it.
Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler are on commentary to open us up.Whoa.
John Cena will call out the Rock tonight.
HHH opens us up wearing sunglasses for some reason, possibly a black eye.He talks about being incredibly nervous last night and even mentions wrestling him at Wrestlemania before but it was nothing like this.Big bruise on the left hand (his left) side of the Game’s forehead.HHH says he hit Taker as hard as he’s ever hit anyone and they left it all in the ring last night, but for him it wasn’t good enough.
No one has ever taken the pain like Taker has and HHH doesn’t know what to do.The crowd looks HUGE here and the Cole Mine is at ringside with caution tape over it.It was a man that was carted off last night and a lot of people are saying he’s done now.He wants to say one thing.He takes off the glasses and there’s tape on his nose.HHH says thank you to the Undertaker for giving him the fight of his life last night.Undertaker will be back and HHH will be waiting.The fans give him a standing ovation as he leaves.
Apparently Cole is going to invite Lawler out for a match, which is why Lawler has some pads on.
Austin is here tonight and will introduce the cast of Tough Enough.
Jerry is talking to JR about his match last night when Cole comes out in his gear.Jerry doesn’t seem incredibly bothered by the outcome last night.With Shawn now in the Hall of Fame and Cole at 1-0, he‘s the new Mr. Wrestlemania.Jerry says that Cole needs to shut up because a computer beat him.Lawler says he had Cole screaming like a little girl.Cole says how about a rematch (Cole never says with him) and Jerry says let’s do it right now.Cole says not with him, but with Swagger.
Jerry Lawler vs. Jack Swagger
They slug it out a bit and Swagger takes over.A charge into the corner misses and Lawler hammers away but can’t get anywhere.The fans are hot for Jerry.That didn’t sound right.Slam by Swagger but he misses a leg drop.Vader Bomb misses and the Titantron seems to be flickering.Lawler hammers away and gets a dropkick.King goes for the middle rope punch but Cole comes in.Jerry goes after him, only to get locked in the ankle lock for the tap out at 3:55.Swagger won’t let go though and the decision is reversed.
Rating: D+. Nothing special but then again this was just to further the feud between Lawler and Cole.We’ll ignore the fact that the blowoff should have come last night but at the same time, who cares about logic?Anyway this was just ok with Swagger never being in any real danger.Also it’s good that they had him lose on a technicality as he can’t afford many more losses.
Post match Cole goes into the Cole Mine and finds JR’s Barbecue Sauce.He gets ticked off and sprays it on JR who chases him to the back.So now we have no commentary.
Punk/Rhodes vs. Mysterio/Orton next.
Back with Cole ranting about JR.He’s on commentary now with Booker and Josh.
CM Punk/Cody Rhodes vs. Rey Mysterio/CM Punk
Orton and Rhodes give us a Legacy reunion to start us off.Rey comes in and gets a shot to the face, sending Cody to the floor as we take a break.Back with Orton vs. Rhodes again as Randy drops the knee of him for two.Off to Rey who gets beaten down.Cody gets caught in a small package and it’s off to Orton again.
Punk tries to wrap the bad leg around the post but gets sent into the barricade.Chop block by Cody and Randy is in trouble.Punk sets for the GTS but like any good villain, waits too long and Orton escapes.RKO doesn’t work and it’s back to the leg as we take a second break.When do you ever see that anymore?
Back with Orton in a leg drop but he almost immediately gets a hot tag to Rey who comes in with a seated senton to Punk.He sets for the 619 but Rhodes gets the Beautiful Disaster to take Rey’s head off on the way for two.Back off to Cody who hammers away on Rey even more.Punk works on the arm a bit more as we hit the 15:00 mark for the first time in forever on Raw.
Double tag brings in Orton to use his vast array of clotheslines on Rhodes.The fans are wide awake now after being a bit quiet earlier.Elevated DDT to Rhodes and Randy goes into his zone.HUGE pop for the possibility of the RKO too.Punk distracts so Orton settles for the Angle Slam, likely resulting in that mean old hacker going after the completely innocent Kurt’s Twitter again.619 sets up the RKO to end it at 16:32.
Rating: B-. I liked this here but for some reason Punk wasn’t in there that much for the first half.It’s nice to see a long match that has the time to build into something decent and this did.These four work pretty well together and they did here.Good stuff overall and a nice little surprise on Raw.
Austin is heading to the ring and runs into HHH.They shake hands and Austin says it was a heck of a match and wants to be there if it happens again.These moments between the big three are pretty awesome.
Sin Cara is coming.Still.
Here’s Austin to talk about Tough Enough.He brings out the kids to his ring.There are 14 of them.The trainers are Bill DeMott, Trish Stratus and Booker T.There’s only going to be one winner.They all get to introduce themselves and Austin gets annoyed when one guy talks too long.I won’t go through all of them as there’s not much to say.One looks almost exactly like Alicia Fox.Miss USA gets a nice ovation looks rather good.One girl is Latina and speaks Spanish.One is named Eric Watts but thankfully it’s not the more famous version.
They get done and the fans chant “stun them all”.Apparently that girl that looks like Fox does so for a reason: it’s her sister.Austin talks a bit more and here are Miz and Riley (in a tux).Austin says no one is ever going to tell him about being tough or having valor again.We see a clip of Miz getting speared to the floor last night and apparently getting a concussion.I wouldn’t doubt it for a second after his head bounced off that concrete.
Miz heads to the ring and tells the rookies to take a long look at them.He offers Austin a chance to hold his belt.He says Austin thinks he has one more run in him.The fans chant one more match and Miz challenges him to one more match right now.Austin says clear the ring and Miz jumps him.He runs off and it’s down to Austin and Riley.
Riley hammers away but Austin remembers that he’s Austin and beats the tar out of him with the Thesz Press and FU elbow.Big old Stunner sends Riley to the floor.He tosses beers to the Tough Enough kids and the fans aren’t thrilled.Austin walks over to Cole and pours some beer in the Cole Mine.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Evan Bourne
No car tonight.Cole talks about how Austin pouring beer on him was him showing how impressed Austin was and initiating him into the brotherhood.Points to Cole for trying as hard as he can here.Alberto controls early but gets caught by a spin kick.That’s about the extent of Bourne’s offense there though as down he goes.Out to the floor and it’s all Del Rio.Chinlock by Alberto and Bourne starts his comeback with various strikes and rollups that get him nowhere.Bourne goes up but the enziguri sets up the Cross Armbreaker to end it at 2:42.Just a squash.
We get a video on Axxess from the previous week.These are cool things to do and it makes WWE look good which is always a good thing.
Cole talks about giving Lawler a rematch next year in the art show but is interrupted by Vickie.She blames Laycool for the loss last night and is in tights.Ziggler wants a mixed tag RIGHT NOW.They head to the ring and we take a break.
Dolph Ziggler/Vickie Guerrero vs. John Morrison/Trish Stratus
Obviously the match is accepted and the guys start us off.Off to the girls after some basic stuff and Vickie actually beats trish up a bit.Something resembling a leg drop misses and it’s back to Morrison.Ziggler gets a big clothesline to turn Morroison inside out and Trish has to save.Dolph gets in his face so she drills him.Moonlight Drive KILLS Ziggler and Starship Pain ends this clean at 3:27.
Rating: C+. A lot of that is for the kick.That thing looked and sounded great.Ziggler selling the heck out of it helps too as Ziggler looked like he got hit by a train.Nice little tag match here and it’s good to see Trish sticking around past Mania.I want to see more of the guys fighting too as they seem to have good chemistry together.
US Title: Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan
Bryan has the ring jacket back and Sheamus now wears red, white and blue.Sheamus throws him around to start and takes his head off with a double axe handle.Cole talks about how awesome he is again and Sheamus hammers away on Bryan even more.Bryan rolls out of a chinlock but gets caught in a tilt-a-while backbreaker which is now called the Irish Curse by Cole.
Bryan starts his comeback with some clotheslines and a running knee strike for two.Sheamus kicks him in the knee and tries the real Irish Curse which is countered into the LeBell Lock which can’t go all the way on.Brogue Kick ends this at 3:59.Not much here and Bryan was never in any real sense of control.
Rating: C. Just a match here without anything to it for the most part.Sheamus has dominated Bryan in almost every match they’ve had save one.Still a good little match though to set up what’s coming next, which I’ll get to now.
With Sheamus posing the lights go out and it’s SIN CARA!He points at Sheamus and charges the ring, diving over the rop rope and hitting all kinds of high spots, sending Sheamus to the floor and hitting a HUGE dive from the top to the floor, taking out Sheamus.This is like Rey Mysterio back in 96 which if you’re familiar with him is a huge compliment.
Here’s Cena to more insane booing.He says that there was a guy who said he was coming to Wrestlemania to whip some people and Cena is glad he did because otherwise the ending of Wrestlemania would have been a draw.That’s a good point actually.Cena congratulates Miz on coming into and leaving Wrestlemania as the champion.He says that Miz has earned the people’s respect.
That brings him back to that certain someone.That someone doesn’t like Cena that much but he’s here tonight.He was supposed to be the guest host of Wrestlemania but very quickly got into some business.That would be Cena’s business, meaning they have business to settle right now.
Cue Rock to an eruption.The fans chant Fruity Pebbles.Rock says that of course he got involved.Just because Rock has been away that doesn’t mean he doesn’t know about Cena.Cena lives and breathes WWE and Rock says that he is one of the best WWE Champions and superstars of all time.However, Rock just doesn’t like him.
Rock says they’re very different but they both want to be the best.Well other than where they shop as Rock goes to department stores (I guess they sell sleeveless Brahma Bull shirts and workout pants at department stores now) and Cena shops at Baby Gap.Cena: “Oh great.Fashion advice from the Tooth Fairy.”
Cena says Rock is the man of the people and the people want to see one match.Never else can you see a match like this so does Rock want to talk or does Rock want to bring it.Cena takes the hat and shirt off and Rock says he has no idea what he just asked for. Rock says he’ll bring it, but let’s bring it on the grandest stage of them all. Rock vs. Cena, Wrestlemania 28. Rock sticks out his hand and Cena shakes it, ending the show. Wow are they really going to wait that long?
The music looks to end it and…..here’s THE CORRE??? Rock and Cena fight them off and it’s a People’s Elbow for Barrett followed by an FU for Slater. Cena’s music plays but Rock hits a Rock Bottom on Gabriel. They stare each other down again and Rock says he’ll see him at Wrestlemania. They shake hands again and Cena leaves, ending the show.
Overall Rating: A-. As hit and miss as Wrestlemania was last night, this show hit very well.We got continuations of storylines, the debut of a new character, development in Rock vs. Cena and some decent wrestling to boot.I’m not sure where they’re going with Miz or Bryan and various other characters but there was definitely an energy to this show that is carrying over from last night.It wasn’t quite perfect, namely due to Cole getting annoying on multiple occasions but the good certainly outweighs the bad here, making for a great first show post Mania.
Jerry Lawler b. Jack Swagger via DQ when Swagger wouldn’t break the ankle lock
Randy Orton/Rey Mysterio b. CM Punk/Cody Rhodes – RKO to Rhodes
Alberto Del Rio b. Evan Bourne – Cross Armbreaker
Trish Stratus/John Morrison b. Dolph Ziggler/Vickie Guerrero – Starship Pain to Ziggler
Sheamus b. Daniel Bryan – Brogue Kick