Monday Night Raw
Date: April 11, 2011
Location: Webster Bank Arena at Harbor Yard, Bridgeport, Connecticut
Commentators: Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, Josh Matthews
Tonight we’ll likely begin the build to Extreme Rules. We didn’t have much time last week as the focus was on Mania fallout and of course next year’s Wrestlemania main event being set up. It should be interesting to see what Cena does to fill the next 50+ weeks. No matches on the Raw side have been announced for the PPV so we should get something tonight. Let’s get to it.
On Tough Enough there was a teaser that Edge says his career might be over. That came out of left field.
Cole gets a special introduction as the only undefeated superstar in the WWE. “What’s up Jerry?”
Here’s Cena to open the show properly. He talks about how this is a great time to be in the WWE Universe because last week there was an announcement made that turned WWE upside down. Cena talks about the announcement that was so big it takes a year to digest. The match can’t just be a match though, so that match needs to be for the WWE Championship. Therefore Cena needs to win the WWE Championship, so he issues a challenge for right now.
Instead he gets Randy Orton. Orton says that Cena may want a title shot but he had his already and lost. Orton says Cena should step aside and let someone that won their match at Wrestlemania get a shot. Cena gets ready to reply but here’s John Morrison. He says we’ve seen this show (referring to Cena vs. Orton) before but now it’s better because John Morrison is involved.
Before that though here come Vickie and Dolph. Vickie says she should get the shot because she pinned Morrison. But if not her then Dolph. Ziggler says he isn’t here on Raw to waste his time on Cena. He’s never faced Miz for the title so the line starts with him. Don’t worry though because everyone will get title shots when he’s champion.
We’re not done yet because here’s R-Truth. He says that the gospel truth is that he’s never had a WWE Championship match. I think there’s a reason for that Truth. An e-mail says that there’s a new cobncept match. It’s a 5 man gauntlet match. Tonight (presumably) there will be two starting and another enters at a preset interval. You can’t get a win until all five are in and the winner meets Miz at Extreme Rules. I think those are the rules at least. It was a bit hard to keep track of.
Lawler vs. Swagger later. If Lawler wins he gets a rematch with Cole.
There’s a video of a baby doll with its head taken off. You can see the person holding it, clearly the soon to be debuting Awesome Kong. She laughs crazily.
Divas Title: Eve Torres vs. Brie Bella
Brie allegedly won a Divas battle royal to win this shot. Wasn’t that weeks ago and she got the shot already? Eve brings a marker to have an X put on Nikki’s hand so we know she’s on the floor. That’s rather intelligent. Brie takes her down to start but Eve makes her comeback with a dropkick and the standing moonsault for two. Eve gets her in the Tree of Woe and when she’s being taken off there’s a switch. While Nikki is being taken out Brie sneaks up on her and an X-Factor gives Brie the title at 2:20. Weak match but all the girls looked good from a looks perspective at least.
Sin Cara debuts next.
Back with Eve being all upset about losing and Gail comes in to say she knows how it feels. Eve says all the Divas are the same. Natalya gets the same response. Tamina walks up to get something and just keeps walking. Ok then.
Sin Cara vs. Primo
The fans cheer for Sin Cara as Primo hammers away. He tries to toss Cara into the air so Sin Cara lands on his shoulders and backflips off. Out to the floor and a slingshot rana sends Primo flying. Primo is thrown back in but gets a baseball slide to send Cara back out. We hit a modified chinlock as Primo is getting way too much offense in here.
Cara chops away and gets another rana to get the crowd going a bit more. Powerbomb is countered into a very fast and hard sunset flip. Primo goes up but gets kicked in the head. They stand on the top rope and Primo falls, sending Cara to the floor. A C4 2000 (Downward Spiral with a backflip off the top) ends Primo at 4:30.
Rating: D+. I haven’t seen this big of a blown debut in a long time. Primo controlled the majority of the match and whenever Cara got something going, Primo would hit something to slow him down. You couple that with the botch at the end and this was a glorified train wreck. At least the ending was good.
We get a clip from the end of Raw last week with Corre running in. During the live chat on NXT last week Howard Finkel said that was very stupid of them to do. When the Fink comes down on someone, that’s not a good sign.
Corre is in the ring and Barrett says he used to see them as equals, but if they can’t hold up their end of the bargain then there’s no point in continuing. Gabriel takes offense to it and says the 450 has taken out more people and he’s a 3 time tag champion. Slater says WE are three time tag champions. Jackson says he made Corre legit. He gets cut off by Santino’s music though.
Here are Santino, Henry, Bryan and Bourne. Santino says if they’re the Corre then they’re the A.P.P.L.E.: Allied People Powered (by) Loathing Everything (you stand for). This fight is for Kozlov so APPLE POWERS UNITE! And yes Santino really said that.
Corre vs. Apple
This is joined in progress as we come back. The Apple name is hilarious if nothing else. Corre is in control hammering away on Daniel Bryan. I wonder if he regrets leaving being the king of the indies yet. Gabriel gets a hilo for two. After a nice long beating it’s the hot tag to Santino who cleans house. Cole makes apple jokes the whole time. Everything breaks down and Bryan throws out a suicide dive to take out Barrett. Cobra is loaded up and a reverse DDT ends Santino at 3:37.
Rating: D+. Nothing special at all here other than to show that Corre is mostly united at least. Bryan sells very well so the match was about as good as it was going to get given what they had to work with. Not a terrible match but all things considered it was just ok. At least the right team won.
We talk about Lawler vs. Swagger and here’s JR to be in Lawler’s corner. Cole makes fun of Ross so JR tries to break into the Cole Mine. When that fails he hits Cole with his hat. Jerry gets up to take out Swagger and we go to a break.
Jerry Lawler vs. Jack Swagger
If Lawler wins he gets a rematch with Cole at Extreme Rules and gets to pick the stipulations. If Swagger wins then Cole never has to face Lawler again. Cole and Ross are at ringside and are on microphones. Swagger controls with basic stuff to start, namely hammering on Jerry. Cole keeps talking trash as Jerry makes a brief comeback, including taking a brief victory lap around the ring.
Headlock by Swagger is reversed by a belly to back suplex. Ankle lock goes on and Jerry does as Ross says by getting to the ropes. Cole shouts MOMMY at Jerry during the hold. Josh isn’t talking during the match. Swagger grabs an armbar and cranks on it a bit. Ross: “Your guy had you in an ankle lock and now has a wrist lock. Show’s how stupid he is!”
Cole calls Swagger Jackie as he rams Jerry into the buckle. Lawler Lawlers Up and hammers away. Cole keeps running his mouth so JR finally blasts him. The distraction allows Jerry to grab a rollup for the pin at 5:18. Swagger’s face after it is one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen.
Rating: C-. A lot of that is for the commentary/talking alone. JR’s line is one of the most obvious yet brilliant lines I’ve heard in a long time and shows the basic lack of psychology that is present in wrestling today. Not a great match or anything but given who was in there, this was solid. And no, I’m not saying this was better than the previous two matches. They’re not on the same scale and shouldn’t be.
Cole rips into Swagger post match, blaming him for everything and saying he paid good money for his help. It was all Swagger’s fault that he lost. Then he slaps Swagger and runs. Jerry grabs the mic and says we need to talk about Extreme Rules. He picks the obvious tag match: JR/Lawler vs. Swagger/Cole. Smart thinking actually. Jerry reminds Swagger that Cole just slapped him in the face. Cole panics as Swagger looks like he’s about to eat him.
We get a video package of wrestlers both past and present talking about how great Undertaker vs. HHH was.
Edge is talking to Cena and will be heading to the ring next.
Here’s Edge as JR, King and Matthews are doing commentary now. Please, I beg of you, pick a team and stick with it. This rotating lineup in the middle of the show is getting annoying. Anyway Edge says he’s going to ramble a lot in this. He says a lot of people thinks WWE doesn’t hurt and he wishes that wasn’t true. 8 years ago he had a neck injury and had spinal fusion surgery to correct it.
He knew he was wrestling on borrowed time but recently he’s been losing the feeling in his arms. He’s taken some tests and managed to make it through Wrestlemania, but the tests tell him he has to retire. The doctors have said he has no choice but thankfully they’ve found out now and he’s not going to be in a wheelchair.
Edge breaks down into tears as I’m thinking this isn’t a storyline at all. The fans chant thank you Edge and he says thank you guys. Edge talked to Christian who has been his best friend for 27 years. Edge was mad at himself but he’s still a fan of the WWE. He talks about going to Maple Leaf Gardens with Christian and seeing guys like Demolition, the LOD and Hogan.
Then he went to Wrestlemania 6 and saw Hulk Hogan vs. the Ultimate Warrior and said he’d be doing that. Fast forward 18 years and it was him in there against the Undertaker. Now he’s won more titles than anyone in WWE history and had his last match in a main event at Wrestlemania and gets to retire as World Heavyweight Champion.
Edge has been in this business for 19 years and he grew up in front of these people. He runs through his career from running through the streets of New York to doing posing for the benefits of those with flash photography to a live sex celebration (“luckily with Lita and not Vickie Guerrero”) and he hopes that he’s earned the fans’ respect.
He’s going to miss this and tomorrow he doesn’t have to wear tights and now he gets to eat ice cream. He says he’d do it again, even getting hired by JR. He drops the mic and gets a standing ovation. No Alberto, no interruptions, nothing else. If this was a work, give this man an Emmy right now. He does his pose on the stage and his music plays him out. Heavy stuff man.
We’re back and everyone, faces and heels, is applauding Edge. Even Vickie, Dolph, Corre, everyone. Dustin Rhodes is there in a shirt and tie. Still no Alberto or Christian. No word on the title situation yet but I’d assume Christian will take his place in the ladder match for the vacant title.
Cue Miz to a nice pop actually. He’s on commentary here.
John Cena vs. Randy Orton vs. R-Truth vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. John Morrison
Two will start and then it’s a standard gauntlet match, last man standing wins. Ziggler locks on a chinlock after some back and forth stuff. Lawler asks Miz who he’d prefer to face and Miz says he can’t hear him over his awesomeness. Josh is reading something and not seeming to pay attention.
Orton fires off some offense and looks down at Miz. Ziggler hides in the ropes to avoid the RKO. He can’t avoid the elevated DDT though and Orton sets for the RKO. The Nexus returns though and distracts Orton, allowing him to be pinned at 2:43. Well I didn’t see that one coming. Orton has to fights off the Nexus but Ryan takes him out. Orton is left laying as we take a break.
Back with Truth vs. Ziggler. Miz runs down Truth, wondering which version of him would come up. Lawler asks who Miz would rather face and Miz says he’ll face either of them. Chinlock goes on by Ziggler as Miz talks about not getting respect. If Cena wanted icon vs. icon he should have challenged Miz. Miz says he’s not a talker. Lawler responds with a facepalm.
The in ring stuff is rather boring, mainly because everyone knows Truth doesn’t have a chance here of winning the whole thing. Truth hammers away with right hands and gets a sitout gordbuster for two. Ziggler comes back with a neckbreaker as the fans aren’t exactly thrilled by this. Out of nowhere Truth gets a jumping downward spiral to put eliminate Ziggler after 4:00 (all times other than the final are of the two in the ring, not overall time).
Morrison is next and will face Truth after the break. They exchange a bunch of pinfalls to start us off until Morrison hits a breakdancing legdrop and throws on a chinlock. Miz keeps bashing everyone and is sounding like a less insulting version of Mystery Science Theater. They hit the floor and a double clothesline puts both guys down. Both guys slide back in at nine and we keep going.
Morrison gets all angry and takes down Truth with some running offense, including a leg lariat. Truth reverses into a suplex/Stunner. He picks Morrison up for a suplex but shifts him to the side and catches him in a Stunner. Cool looking move. Morrison gets up and hits his kick off the middle rope but misses Starship Pain. The jumping Downward Spiral sends Truth to the final two at 4:51.
Cue Cena as it’s him vs. Truth for the shot at Miz. I didn’t see this one coming. We’re going to start this up after a break. During the break we’re told Edge will surrender the title on Friday. This looks more real every second. Back and we’re ready to go. Miz comments on the dueling chants and Cena hits a dropkick to the champ’s shock. Cena hammers away and hits a new move: a combination powerslam/side slam for two.
Release fisherman’s suplex gets two and Cena goes up top. Top rope Fameasser gets two and I have a feeling this isn’t going to be as easy as it seemed. Truth makes the comeback and “hits” (read as it misses by about 8 inches) his spinning forearm for two. The downward spiral (that needs a name) can’t hit and Cena initiates his ending sequence. Cena sets for the FU but Miz and Riley run in and hit both guys at the same time for a double DQ I guess. The last pairing ran 5:36 and overall counting commercials it ran 30:40.
Rating: C+. The grade is for the whole thing rather than any individual segment. Hard to really grade this as there isn’t much of a precedent for it and the whole match was choppy. Luckily this had a lot of time as the matches where people are eliminated in about a minute are rather annoying as they’re ridiculous any other time of the year. Not bad, but hard to grade. Ending was good though.
Miz says there’s no #1 contender and we get an E-Mail. There are now 2 #1 contenders: Cena and R-Truth, and there will be a triple threat match at the PPV. Odd choice but ok then. Cena and Truth have a weird bromance moment for a bit as they slap each other on the back rather fiercely and Truth glares at Cena as he leaves.
Overall Rating: B. Well it can’t be said nothing happened here. We have a new stable (and yes I know it’s a joke), a new #1 contender, a new champion and one of the biggest stars of all time retired. The wrestling here clearly wasn’t the point and for a show with this much going on that’s more than understandable.
Brie Bella b. Eve Torres – Sitout Facebuster
Sin Cara b. Primo – C4 2000
Corre b. Apple – Slater pinned Marella after a reverse DDT
Jerry Lawler b. Jack Swagger – Rollup
Randy Orton vs. John Cena vs. R-Truth vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. John Morrison went to a double disqualification when Alex Riley and the Miz interfered