Monday Night Raw
Date: May 2, 2011
Location: American Airlines Arena, Miami, Florida
Commentators: Michael Cole, Josh Matthews, Jerry Lawler
It’s the Rock’s birthday tonight and the Great One is on Raw. We also have a new WWE Champion as Cena ended Miz’s title reign last night at Extreme Rules. With just three weeks before Over the Limit they’re kind of in a hurry to get to the buildup for the next PPV. Also tonight is a dual branded show so the Smackdown crew is here, including the new World Heavyweight Champion, Christian. Also given the news with Osama bin Laden last night you can almost guarantee some patriotic themed stuff. Let’s get to it.
The show opens with a video about 9/11 and how bin Laden is dead. That just makes you smile a little bit. We get a clip of the 9/13 show which is still pretty awesome. Lillian Garcia is here to sing the National Anthem. Still incredible.
Here’s your theme song as performed by a Canadian band.
Miz vs. Cena for the title tonight.
Screw that though: here’s Rock to open the show, naturally in the flag Brahma Bull shirt. Talk about being on top of the world: his movie DESTROYED everyone else at the box office this week and the bin Laden capture, his birthday, and he’s currently penciled in for a world title shot at Wrestlemania. Not bad. He looks rather happy to be here and emotional at the same time.
After a very lengthy entrance it’s time to talk. Finally he’s back home. Before he gets started though, he has one thing to say: WE GOT HIM! He thanks the troops and leads the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance. Rock talks about growing up in Miami and being in school here, including a picture of him with a mustache and small afro. “Laugh at it all you want but that face devoured more pie than King Kong Bundy in a Polish bakery.”
Now it’s time for college, where he was a Hurricane for The U (his words). He talks about how awesome the university was and back in the day, that place was the best football school on the planet. Awesome academic school also. Rock says story time is over and it’s time to party. There’s an e-mail but Rock cuts Cole off, saying if you have a message for the Rock, say it to his face.
Various insults follow and Cole says he’s a man now. He’s a winner and says he associates himself with winners. Cole takes his jacket and shirt off, revealing a Boston Celtics jersey, which is the team the Miami Heat are playing in the playoffs. The ironic part of this is Miami is up 1-0 so Garnett isn’t even a winner at the moment. Cole says he’ll deliver the message to Dwayne’s face.
The GM wants an apology due to Rock embarrassing the GM at Mania or the party is shut down. Cole wants one also for all of the embarrassments over the years. Rock agrees, and apologizes, somehow managing to draw boos from this crowd. Rock’s handshake is very slowly accepted but Rock isn’t pleased with the jersey. Rock says Go Heat and it’s a Rock Bottom for Cole. With the U hand signal here’s the People’s Elbow.
Rock’s music starts but he cuts it off. He brings out someone named Pitbull who is apparently a rapper from Miami. The fans seem to be into him. He performs a song and the Miami Heat dancers come out to perform with him.
Morrison vs. Truth up next.
LeBron James and Dwayne Wade say happy birthday Rock. Ok that’s kind of a big deal.
John Morrison vs. R-Truth
JR has replaced Cole (ten weeks of a rotating commentary team in a row) on commentary. Truth jumps Morrison during his entrance and sends him head first into the floor. Morrison has allegedly injured his neck as referees carry him out. He walks out but is going very slowly. No match. Truth jumps him again and gives him another Downward Spiral with Morrison’s head coming nowhere near the stage on the impact.
Jimmy Kimmel wishes Rock a happy birthday and we get an oily men in underwear reference. Also there’s candy in his pants. You figure the joke out yourself.
Kelly Kelly vs. Maryse
Kelly looking GOOD tonight. And never mind as Kharma comes out after about 10 seconds. Kelly had taken Maryse down already and then just sat there for like 40 seconds as Kharma came down. She deserves to die them. Implant Buster to Maryse as Kharma just leaves Kelly alone. No match again.
Miz yells at Riley for not being there last night. He’s late tonight due to the crowd of people for Rock’s birthday. Riley better be there tonight.
Paul Walker says happy birthday to the Rock and makes some bad Cena references. He does call him Fruity Pebbles though.
Samuel L. Jackson says happy birthday and says Rock is from another planet. Planet 51 perhaps? He would run through a lion’s den with steak underwear on. Wow indeed.
Rock is with the Divas and talks about singing happy birthday to Michelle Obama. There’s a bit party going on in the back and various people make cameos. Kozlov has a movie script for him and Santino comes up as….oh ok it’s Rock’s character from Fast 5. Horny runs in as the Scorpion King. He has a tooth ache apparently, so……oh sweet merciful goodness here’s Khali in a pink tooth fairy dress with wings and a tiara. He says you can’t handle the tooth. Ron Simmons pops up and there’s only one thing to say. Cute comedy segment but that dress is going to haunt my nightmares.
Cena vs. Miz next.
Steve Carrell wishes Rock a forced (literally) happy birthday. He says this is against his will and he doesn’t like Dwayne. He was promised money and has received none. This is against his will and he doesn’t endorse Johnson.
Raw World Title: John Cena vs. The Miz
We get big match intros for this as I can’t believe we’re over halfway done with the show. Miz grabs a headlock to start and that gets him nowhere. Cena fights back and gets a dropkick for one. Almost all Cena here and he takes down Riley also. Miz hammers away and the referee pulls him off, allowing Riley to get a shot in. A shot into the steps gets two.
Corner clothesline hits by the former champ as the fans are split. Double axe off the top hits for two as we take a break. Back with Miz in control, getting a neckbreaker for two. Cena comes back with his usual stuff and the Shuffle gets two. Miz fights out of the AA and is holding his shoulder. Big boot puts Cena down but a second attempt is countered into the STF. Rope is grabbed though and Miz gets a low DDT for two.
There goes a turnbuckle pad as the referee is apparently blind. Cena blocks the shot into it but can’t get the AA again. Reality Check gets two. This is better than it sounds as they’re not making Miz look like a joke. The Finale is blocked and Miz is knocked into the referee. STF goes on and Miz taps. Riley comes in with the briefcase and it goes into Cena’s ribs. Finale hits for a VERY close two. Crowd is into this big time.
Miz walks into the AA and THAT gets two. I would have bet money on that one. Ok probably not but you get the idea. Riley distracts again and a belt shot by Miz GETS THE PIN! What just happened? Miz has the title behind his back and the referee is confused. The fall came at 12:15 if you’re curious. The referee waves the fall off because he sees the belt. CHEAP! Not only that, Miz LOSES by DQ because there was a belt in the ring. I hate how WWE changes rules every five minutes like this. Drives me crazy.
Rating: B. Very good match here and far better than their Mania match. The false finishes were great and it was the STUPID ending that held it back from being even better. Miz looks completely equal to main event stars and that’s the best thing you could say about him. Good match, terribly stupid ending.
Cena beats them both up post match.
Ellen Degeneres fails to come up with a good catchphrase but says happy birthday.
Tyler Perry wishes Rock happy birthday. He does some Madea also.
We get a clip from after the PPV went off the air last night with Cena making the announcement that Osama had been killed. He said compromised to a permanent end instead of killed/assassinated though.
Ricardo does the full entrance for Alberto but he’s in a suit (and a Rolls Royce). He’s doing commentary for the following tag match.
Rey Mysterio/Kofi Kingston vs. Jack Swagger/Drew McIntyre
Swagger and McIntyre have a pose in the aisle which looked uh……how do I put this…….think of Billy and Chuck. Swagger vs. Rey to start us off and it’s off to Kofi quickly. Big boot takes Kofi down and we take a break. Back with Swagger having a crossface chickenwing broken up as he tags in Drew. Kofi rolls him up for two and McIntyre does the same.
Swagger takes over again as Alberto says Rey isn’t a real Mexican. Off to Rey who cleans house and gets two on McIntyre. Trouble in Paradise to McIntyre sets up the 619. Alberto gets up and Rey glares at the villain, but instead just goes with a top rope splash (called a senton by JR) to end it at 8:40.
Rating: C. Not a great match but it’s ok at least and they let the new draft picks get on TV and have some stuff develop. Alberto vs. Rey looks to be happening….again and I guess we’ll get Swagger vs. Kofi….again, but that one at least didn’t have a blowoff before so that helps a bit. Just a tag match really though.
WWE had an anti-bullying rally and started an organization in Washington DC. Yes, we get it: bullying is bad.
Ludacris wishes Rock happy birthday.
Dan Marino says the basics.
Rock congratulates the new World Heavyweight Champion, Christian. That’s his cameo I guess. Vickie comes in with Dolph and they have a present for him. It’s a cake that’s about five feet tall. He loves pie so they pull it back and there’s Mae Young who looks….well she looks like Mae Young. They laugh and Rock says shut up. Rock says Vickie can lose all the weight she wants and she’ll never be as beautiful as Mae Young. Rock kisses Mae full on the lips and says he gets more pie in one night than Dolph gets in a lifetime.
Rock turns around and sees John Cena. The Divas aren’t even paying attention. Cena has a gift for Rock which he can only get from Cena. It’s the WWE Championship, which he’s going to keep until Wrestlemania. If Rock wants it, he has to go through Cena. Rock says just bring it. Cool moment as always with these two.
Kane vs. Mason Ryan next.
George Lopez has some coupons for Rock for his birthday. Ok then.
Mason Ryan vs. Kane
Kane gets shoved to the floor to start and a clothesline puts Kane down. After Kane gets beaten down with slams and various other power stuff, Punk comes in for the DQ at 1:38. Nexus runs out for the beatdown and Kane fights them off. Ryan casually breaks a chokeslam which was impressive. Show comes down and Ryan spears him down with ease.
Ryan leaves without Nexus who look at him and aren’t happy.
Rock’s party is up next. It’s 11:00 and we’re going to a commercial.
Regis and Kelly say happy birthday.
Craig Ferguson says happy birthday.
Everyone in the front row has birthday hats on now. Rock says he’s happy to be a son of Miami and a proud Hurricane. Rock’s family is in the front row. He promises that Wrestlemania will be the biggest of all time. Here’s Vince of all people. He talks about a day a long time ago when Rock said he could make WWE reach new levels and Rock has done it.
Vince wants to thank Rock for being the Rock and for coming home. There’s a present for him and it’s a video about his career and life, set to I’m Coming Home by Diddy Dirty Money. There are some awesome old school videos from him as a football player and with various people such as Andre the Giant and Muhammad Ali as a kid.
Back in the arena Maya is here to sing Happy Birthday to Rock. The catchphrase finally takes us out as streamers and confetti fall.
Overall Rating: B-. And yes I know there wasn’t a ton of wrestling. That wasn’t the point to this show yet I’m sure people will complain about it anyway. This show was about a celebration for Rock and to draw fans in by having him there. There’s nothing wrong with putting a show into coast mode which is what is usually done the first week after a PPV. We had a good show here and some stuff was set up for Over the Limit. Not bad here at all and definitely entertaining overall.
John Morrison vs. R-Truth went to a no contest when R-Truth jumped Morrison
Kelly Kelly vs. Maryse went to a no contest when Kharma interfered
John Cena b. The Miz via DQ when Miz hit Cena with the WWE Championship
Kofi Kingston/Rey Mysterio b. Drew McIntyre/Jack Swagger – Mysterio pinned McIntyre after a top rope splash
Kane b. Mason Ryan via DQ when CM Punk interfered