Monday Night Raw
Date: April 25, 2011
Location: RBC Center, Raleigh, North Carolina
Commentators: Michael Cole, Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler
Tonight is the Draft and also the go home show before Extreme Rules. The changes tonight don’t go into effect until after the PPV so the matches there are set in stone. What it does mean though is that we could see a changing of some of the shows various titles are on which could help spice things up a bit. This is usually fun and is being moved to this date due to Edge’s retirement, which is definitely a good thing as Smackdown is very low on star power right now. Let’s get to it.
During Tough Enough we saw the Raw midcard coming into the ring for a 20 man battle royal with the winning brand getting the first pick.
This is in progress as we start. More or less imagine anyone in the midcard or upper midcard on either show and they’re in this. There are 20 men in this with guys like Kane, Show, Bourne, Sheamus, Corre, DiBiase, Tatsu, Clay, Henry etc. Three or four guys put Kane out. Show fights Khali for a bit to a nice reaction. These matches are always hard to call and this is no exception. A bunch of Smackdown guys put out Khali.
Sheamus tries to dump Barrett but can’t get him. Clay is walking around looking like he wants lunch. Only two eliminations so far that I can tell. Drew almost gets Bryan out but DiBiase saves. If I understand this right any amount of people can win for a team, as in if there are three Smackdown guys left in the end the match ends. Kozlov is out. Show beats down Sheamus as Henry puts Big Zeke out. The team dynamic here is kind of cool.
Slater is gone as is Masters. Raw has a slight advantage now. Barrett is gone as Raw takes over. Did Ted DiBiase just put Barrett out? Wow indeed. There goes DiBiase. Henry and Clay go out at the same time. It looks like it’s 6-4 with Raw ahead but Tatsu goes out to make it 5-4. Sheamus can’t put Rhodes out. For Raw it’s Sheamus, Bourne, Daniel Bryan, Mason Ryan and Santino. For the blue guys it’s Rhodes, Kofi, Drew and Show. Drew puts Sheamus out as we take a break.
Back with no changes. Bryan gets crushed by Show as Bourne puts McIntyre out. Kofi comes off the top on Ryan but misses completely. Santino goes to the apron and tries the Cobra on Show. Show casually grabs it and hits Santino with his own move. Bryan and Rhodes go out as we’re down to Mason Ryan and Evan Bourne vs. Kofi Kingston and Big Show. Size vs. size and speed vs. speed. Kofi goes to the apron and we get an awesome sequence with Bourne hanging off the apron and sliding back in while Kofi jumps back in.
Bourne is put on the top but jumps at Show, only to be thrown out with ease. The double teaming begins and a pendulum kick sends Ryan into Show who tosses him to earn the blue show the first pick at 13:40 since the show came on the air. Best time guess I can give you there guys.
Rating: C-. Battle royals are hard to grade but this was just ok. The ending sequence with Kofi and Evan was awesome and the right team won. I’d bet on this being the big star pick that they need or they’ll save it until the end. Either way not bad here but just a battle royal which isn’t something that is very good most of the time.
To Smackdown: JOHN CENA!!! Cena comes out on the stage in the blue shirt as I’m stunned. Raw belongs to Orton I guess.
We get the recap video of Morrison and Truth which is made out to be something Biblical almost.
Here’s Truth to no music and he says Raleigh, North Carolina…..SHUT UP! Tonight is all about you, meaning the fans. They do the WHAT chant and Truth gets annoyed. He blames the fans for his failure because they goaded him into it and says the fans haven’t gotten him anywhere over the years.
Truth says the fans need rhythm and to get in tune for his singing and dancing. He talks to an imaginary fan named Little Jimmy who he apparently made happy by singing What’s Up. The kid singing doesn’t make him a champion either so Little Jimmy can SHUT UP. He’s giving the fans the boot tonight and is done with them. When he let go all of the frustration and anger if felt MARVELOUS (he screamed it, not me)! For the first time the Truth has set him free.
Morrison jumps Truth and the referees come out for the pull apart. Morrison breaks free and charges Truth who he leaves laying as we take a break.
Rock is here next week which is his birthday.
Another video of what will be Awesome Kong and we see her face. The world Kharma pops up on the screen.
Eve Torres vs. Layla
Well the people in this one look better than they did in the first match. Michelle comes out after Layla and is pretty ticked off here. Eve gets a very quick Downward Spiral for two. Layla comes over to Michelle and swings at her as Cole interrupts again. Eve wins with a rollup at 40 seconds.
Cole is talking about his training regimen and says that Mr. Wrestlemania has left ringside.
Layla DESTROYS Michelle post match and cries, shouting that she’s sick of this. Michelle goes onto the announce table as Layla is bawling.
To Raw: Rey Mysterio. Well that’s a change of pace for him.
JR is warming up. Trish wishes she jiggled that much.
Cody Rhodes talks
about giving Rey a new mask, as in the kind that you get in a hospital. This is another of those creepy Cody promos that get better and better every time.
Kofi Kingston vs. Sheamus
Sheamus takes over early and hits a slingshot shoulder block for two. After that chickenwing Sheamus uses he gets sent into the post to shift momentum. Top rope cross body gets two. Next week will be Raw and Smackdown combined again apparently. High Cross misses as does the Brogue Kick but a pair of Trouble in Paradises ends this at 2:34. Quick match and nothing to rate at all.
To Smackdown: Randy Orton. My jaw literally dropped on that one.
Michael Cole vs. Jim Ross
Booker T is on commentary now which I believe is the 9th consecutive week that the announce team has changed during the show. Lawler gets up to be in JR’s corner. Ross is in dress pants and an Oklahoma football jersey. The seconds are on the apron instead of the floor. Cole makes fun or Ross’ weight and they circle each other a lot. A minute in and we’ve had no contact.
Cole, in his orange singlet, dances around a lot as Ross throws right hands. Cole hits the floor as we’ve had no serious contact after two minutes. Cole puts JR’s hat on then takes it off and stomps on it. Cole has a lot of tattoos. Swagger towels Cole off and he does some pushups. We’ve now reached the length of Sheamus vs. Kofi with no contact yet. Ross finally grabs Cole and shoves him down.
Cole calls for timeout and Swagger puts a stool in the corner. There’s a spit bucket and water. Cole actually tries to slam him so Ross hammers on him with some ground and…..with some ground and……no I just can’t say it. Cole tries to run and Lawler throws him back in. Swagger takes down Cole and then comes in for the DQ at 4:35.
Rating: F-. Oh just…..no. We get it: Cole is a jerk that everyone hates. This needs to END. It’s played beyond belief and I have a bad feeling that it’s going to keep going after Extreme Rules.
Cole shouts about what Ross did to him as he has a bloody lip. He gets a belt off JR I think and whips Ross with it. Lawler comes in for the save and the heels run. An E-Mail makes the match on Sunday a country whipping (strap) match. Someone got busted legit in that as there’s a bunch of blood on Ross’ cheek.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Randy Orton
This is for two picks. Orton takes over for a bit until Ziggler comes back with a crossface chickenwing as the Backlundmania is spreading. Orton fights back as they seem to botch something with Ziggler going to the floor. Dropkick sends Orton into the front row and it’s not a countout of course. Orton’s new beard won’t let that happen. Randy comes back in and hits what is supposed to be a Thesz Press and hammers away. Angle Slam gets two. He loads up the RKO and despite Vickie interfering we’re done at 3:20 to send two more people to Fridays. Good grief that’s a ton.
Rating: C+. This was short but they fit a lot in there. It was a pretty good job of getting a very quick match that made sense which is hard to do with just over three minutes. The ending was pretty obvious when Ziggler got no entrance at all and now looks like Evan Bourne’s cousin. Not bad but WAY too short.
We start the Draft wheel again but Punk cuts it off. He talks about beating Orton in the last man standing match this Sunday. Orton says he’ll be glad to be gone from Raw so he won’t have to deal with Punk anymore. This Sunday he’ll be the last man standing. Now for the picks. Ok never mind as they’re after the break.
To Smackdown: Mark Henry and Sin Cara. Henry still has a job? Cara is good because they can edit his matches to make them a bit less sloppy which will help him a lot I think.
Wade Barrett vs. Rey Mysterio
Barrett gets kicked in the leg to start but a Boss Man Slam gets two. Off to a bow and arrow as Rey is in trouble early on. Rey gets a springboard cross body for two. Into the corner as I love that evil smile Barrett has. Rey knocks him down and gets a headscissors to set up the 619 and top rope splash to end this at 2:30. Just like the previous match: short but they got some stuff in there.
To Raw: Big Show and Alberto Del Rio. Show is pointless as he can go from show to show with his tag title. Alberto changes the whole world title picture though. In the back Alberto is mad and Clay wants to know what happens to him but is sent away.
After we run down the card, Teddy introduces the main event which is for the final draft pick.
CM Punk/Alberto Del Rio/The Miz vs. John Cena/Mark Henry/Christian
The match starts after the break. There’s going to be a supplemental draft tomorrow at noon. That’s always fun. Josh says this is the final time for Cena on Raw. Assuming that draft picks stays, that’s absolutely laughable since they said next week is going to have guys from Raw and Smackdown on it already. Christian vs. Miz to start us off. Off to Cena and Miz runs off. We actually take ANOTHER break as this is ridiculous. Vince must need a new plane with this many commercials tonight.
Back with Cena cleaning house with a dropkick to Punk and it’s off to Henry. After he stands on Punk a bit Christian comes in but the clapping gets him in trouble. Avoid the clap dude. Punk gets a big kick to take him down and it’s off to Del Rio. He works on the shoulder a bit and it’s off to Miz. Lots of tagging in this match so far. More arm work follows including a Codebreaker to the arm for two.
After Christian plays Ricky Morton for a bit (does that make Edge Robert Gibson somehow?) he manages to pull off a tornado DDT to Del Rio and it’s hot tag to Cena. Miz comes in also and Cena hammers on the champion. Protoplex puts him down but Henry takes Cena down with a shoulder block. He picks Christian up in a press slam and throws him into the steps and the Skull Crushing Finale ends Cena.
Rating: C. Just a main event tag match here with nothing of note to it. I think we all knew Raw would win here as they more or less had no other option. Henry turning isn’t anything of note at all as he’s boring beyond belief for the most part anymore. Not much here but a decent ending I guess.
To Raw: John Cena. Yeah we knew it was coming.
Cena cleans house to end the show.
Overall Rating: D+. Well for overall shock value this certainly worked. Cena and Orton both going had my jaw dropping. The wrestling itself though….not so much. The Cole/Ross thing was just annoying as it has been for weeks now. The total focus on the main event save for a few picks is rather annoying stuff but that’s par for the course here. Pretty weak Draft but it gave Smackdown more than the boost it needed, which is the point of the show. The ending was a bit predictable but that’s fine as the initial shock was great. Not the worst show but nothing great at all.
Team Smackdown won a battle royal – Big Show last eliminated Mason Ryan
Eve Torres b. Layla – Rollup
Kofi Kingston b. Sheamus – Trouble in Paradise
Jim Ross b. Michael Cole via DQ when Jack Swagger interfered
Randy Orton b. Dolph Ziggler – RKO
Rey Mysterio b. Wade Barrett – Top rope splash
The Miz/Alberto Del Rio/CM Punk b. John Cena/Mark Henry/Christian – Skull Crushing Finale to Cena