Monday Night Raw
Date: April 18, 2011
Location: O2 Arena, London, England
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler, Michael Cole
We’re in England tonight as you can see by the location of the show. This show was taped which might explain some differences in the look and feel of the show. We’re apparently a week away from the 2011 WWE Draft which means this might be the last night a lot of Raw stars are well….Raw stars. We also will likely get some more matches added to the Extreme Rules card. Let’s get to it.
Nickelback opens us up. Awesome. Yes I like them. Go ahead and make your jokes.
Here’s R-Truth to open the show in the arena. Cole cuts Lawler and King off almost immediately and says it’s not 12 years ago. Lawler says he likes listening to R-Truth rap. Why do I have a problem believing that? Truth says he’s going to preach the gospel. He’s been down a long road of trials, tribulations and demons. His problem now is that he’s in line to become WWE Champion. Cena’s name is booed. For the WWE Universe he’s fighting everybody anywhere anytime. And that is the truth.
Cue John Morrison who says he’s happy but would be happier if it was him. Morrison says Truth got lucky last week. Truth says he’s in the best shape of his life. We get a clip from last week where during a commercial a referee handed Truth some water as Cena came in. Morrison says Truth is in good shape for someone who smokes.
Truth: “All you’re trying to do is get me to challenge you to a match for my spot at Extreme Rules.” Morrison: “All right I accept.” Morrison points out that Truth said he’d fight anybody and the people seem to like the idea. Truth says he’ll do it on two conditions. First up a bottle of water and a cigarette. Morrison says he’ll need some luck too. Crowd had no response at all to those three final things.
John Morrison vs. R-Truth
This is for the spot at Extreme Rules apparently. Morrison takes over early and Truth hits the floor. The fans aren’t thrilled as he gets some water and we take a break. Back with Truth holding a headlock and then grabbing some pinning combinations for two. Back to the headlock again as I guess Truth was tired again? Morrison makes a small comeback with clotheslines but is takes down by a spinning kick by Truth.
Truth works on the arm for a bit and hits that suplex into a Stunner move of him for two. Axe kick misses as does Morrison’s kick off the middle rope. Morrison blocks the jumping downward spiral (which I think is called What’s Up but I’m not sure), putting Truth in perfect position for Starship Pain to end this in 7:08 (counting commercial). Morrison is now in the PPV main event.
Rating: C. Just an ok match here but the water angle was kind of interesting for a nice twist. The reaction to the change in the triple threat is kind of surprising though as they acted like it was no big deal at all. Not a terrible match but just kind of there. The best word I can think of for this match is basic. It wasn’t anything great but it wasn’t bad either. Average grade sounds right.
Truth goes off on Morrison post match, apparently turning heel. He throws in a running knee to Morrison’s head, driving it into the railing. Then he kind of hougs Morrison and says it’s all right before throwing him down on the floor. He steals Jerry’s water and blasts Morrison in the head with it. Truth says John did this and hits What’s Up on the floor. He gets a cigarette from a fan and actually lights up. Never thought I’d see that on WWE programming. He blows smoke on Morrison and throws the lit cigarette at him before leaving. Long segment here but not too bad.
Evan Bourne vs. Dolph Ziggler
No entrance for Bourne here other than a faint trace of his music. Vickie does the regular entrance for Ziggler, who she claims is new and improved. He has a haircut and dark hair now. Well he doesn’t look like Curt Hennig anymore. Ziggler takes over quickly but is caught in a hurricanrana. Bourne tries to come off the ropes but gets caught by a dropkick for two.
We hit the mat and Ziggler looks like he’s unsure what he wants to do before settling on a bow and arrow kind of hold for a bit. Bourne keeps trying to fight back with some strikes but Ziggler takes him down with ease. A nice little string of offense by Evan ends with a spin kick for two. He goes up for Air Bourne but Ziggler moves. Bourne LANDS ON HIM FEET but is caught in a Zig Zag to end it at 2:10. That landing by Bourne was amazing.
Cole is going to be knighted later apparently.
The Raw Rewind is all three of Sin Cara’s appearances.
Video of Edge’s two appearances last week, set to 3 Doors Down’s When You’re Young. Del Rio is going to have a farewell party for Edge on Smackdown apparently.
Here’s Miz in a new shirt, along with Riley. It looks like a baseball jersey and says Awesome. Miz complains about being in a triple threat match and having it changed on him. The match is going to be in a cage also where you can win by pinfall, submission or escape. He wants a chair because he’s going to protest this change as we take a break.
Back with Miz running his mouth as we come back in mid sentence. He’s talking about how it doesn’t matter who does something because at Extreme Rules he’s going to still be champion at the end of the match. He sets for the catchphrase and Sin (Scene according to JR) Cara’s music cuts him off.
Sin Cara vs. Alex Riley
BIG height on the trampoline this week as he easily clears the top rope. Loud Sin Cara chant starts and here’s Cena at a full sprint to clear the ring. Well you can’t say Cara isn’t getting a good rub right of the bat. The GM sends an e-mail to make it a tag match. Works for me.
Alex Riley/The Miz vs. John Cena/Sin Cara
Riley and Cena start with the fans booing Cena out of the building. Bulldog takes Alex down and he bails to the floor as we take another break. Back with Cena taking it to Miz FU is blocked and Miz gets a Side Effect to send Cena into the corner. The announcers talk about the Draft and Jerry wants to know if Cole is drafted off Raw. My guess would be very little would change as he already does Smackdown but what do I know?
Riley and Miz hammer on Cena a bit more until Cena gets that sitout powerslam kind of move he hit last week. That’s enough for the hot tag as Cara comes in by kind of jumping into Miz. Things speed way up and Cara hits all kinds of dives and springboard moves to take down both opponents. He sets for what looked like a springboard splash of some sort but Riley made the save, pulling him to the floor.
Miz rams him into the apron and takes over as they’re now the legal men. The dueling Cena chants begin as Riley gets a clothesline for two. Back off to the champion who can’t get his running clothesline in the corner. Double tags bring in Riley and Cena and John initiates his ending sequence. Before 5 Knuckle Shuffle he takes out Miz. The champ picks up his title to leave as Cena hits the FU on Riley. Tag brings in Sin Cara who TOTALLY misses a springboard moonsault which is enough to end this at 10:30.
Rating: C+. Not a terrible match but Cara still looks really shaky out there and can’t hit some very basic spots. If not for the sake of a quick camera edit that ending would have looked completely unrealistic and even with it the move looked bad. Cara is trying but he looks like he’s about to go flying to the floor any second. Not a good sign to be sure.
Nikki Bella vs. Eve Torres
Brie says that she wants a rematch but Eve might get drafted to Smackdown. Not really any kind of a threat or anything but just kind of a statement of fact. Eve misses a baseball slide to Nikki as she’s in a Tree of Woe to let Nikki take over. Brie I think tries to slam Eve’s knee into the apron but the contact doesn’t seem to be there. Nikki misses a double knee drop and Eve gets a rollup to end it at 1:48.
Eve poses after her win and Cole cuts it off. He’s going to be knighted next.
Back with Cole in the ring and he calls out Swagger. Jack comes out in a suit holding what looks like a robe over his arm. Swagger doesn’t look mad at him after last week. They hug so I guess everything is ok. Swagger pulls out a scroll and botches saying “Hear Ye” by saying “Hear He”. Tonight we add a new item to his hall of fame career as he becomes Sir Michael Cole.
Swagger brings out a woman that is called Queen Elizabeth. The fans boo loudly as she reads whatever proclamation she has and taps him on the shoulders with the sword. Cole kisses the queen and tries to start a Sir Michael Cole chant. The fans reply by chanting sucks. Cole says to show respect because they’re all his peasants. And speaking of peasants, he turns his attention to JR and the King. Isn’t a King ahead of a knight?
Cole says they should kiss his feet. Cole takes his shoe and sock off, revealing a disgusting looking foot that looks like it’s dirty and infected or something. Swagger takes Lawler out and then grabs Ross. JR of course refuses so the ankle lock goes on and down goes Ross onto the foot. Cole and Swagger stand tall.
Punk vs. Orton later tonight.
Santino Marella vs. Sheamus
Cole and Matthews on commentary now as this is what, the 7th or 8th week in a row that the same team doesn’t finish commentary? Sheamus says this might be his last chance to embarrass Santino due to the draft. The Champion sends Santino into the corner and takes over with ease. Powerslam is reversed and that’s about it for this sequence by Santino.
Off to that crossface chickenwing on the mat but Marella fights back up. An elbow drop leads to a similar version of the same hold. Total dominance for the first few minutes until Santino dodges a charge in the corner. He loads up the Cobra but falls down in the process. Brogue Kick ends this clean at 3:28.
Rating: D+. Just a squash here and a way to get Sheamus on the show. Santino is a rare breed of jobber where he can lose time after time but keep his credibility based solely on his comedy. Not much of a match but at the same time it wasn’t supposed to be. Kind of surprised that Santino got in literally no offense.
CM Punk vs. Randy Orton
Punk grabs a headlock to start and the fans chant in a dueling fashion. Orton stomps Punk down in the corner which doesn’t last long at all. Punk fires off some knees to the head and a running one puts the Viper down. Orton comes back and gets his powerslam to set up the RKO. Punk shoves him off and we take a break.
Back with Punk slamming Orton and dropping a knee. Off to a front facelock and Orton can’t seem to reverse it. We get a GTS/RKO chant as Punk keeps up his offense. We go out to the floor for a bit as Punk wants to know if he can get a pin out there. Back in and it’s off to a modified triangle choke. Orton bites the fingers to escape. Punk tries a bulldog which is reversed into a belly to back suplex as we’re back to about even.
The bulldog hits this time and it gets two. Punk is all frustrated since getting bitten on the hand. He fires off some kicks but walks into the Orton backbreaks and an Angle Slam for two. Punk clotheslines him on the top rope as we get another dueling chant. Springboard clothesline gets two. Punk goes up, only to get caught by a superplex for a long two. Punk rolls to the apron which is a bad idea against Orton. Elevated DDT is reversed into a GTS attempt. That is countered into an RKO attempt but Punk gets a kick to the head. Another GTS attempt is countered into a rollup for the pin at 15:44.
Rating: B-. Not a terrible match here but it certainly wasn’t enough to save the show. They were trying and gave us a pretty good match but it wasn’t as good as their Mania match. This was the standard long match to end a TV show and send the fans home happy which is fine, but I’d like to see Punk get one win over Orton in this feud. Not bad, but nothing classic.
Post match the New Nexus hits the ring for the big beatdown. Batista’s Welsh son hits his Rock Bottom/Side Effect finisher to leave Orton laying. McGillicutty and Otunga want to do something of their own but Ryan says Orton is his. Ryan sets for a punt but Punk wants the honor. After taking forever, Punk charges into an RKO to end the show. Nice ending.
Overall Rating: D. This didn’t do it for me at all. I know it’s a show over in London so things are a bit different, but at the same time a lot of this felt like it was completely lacking. There wasn’t a main point to most of tonight other than I guess you could say Truth’s turn. Cole’s segment didn’t really do anything other than make him look like a bad guy which we’ve known for a long time now. Nothing of note here and I wasn’t impressed at all.
John Morrison b. R-Truth – Starship Pain
Dolph Ziggler b. Evan Bourne – Zig Zag
Sin Cara/John Cena b. The Miz/Alex Riley – Springboard moonsault to Riley
Eve Torres b. Nikki Bella – Rollup
Randy Orton b. CM Punk – Rollup