Raw Review – April 4, 2011
-Some quick WrestleMania thoughts before we get started:
Edge vs. Alberto Del Rio – Decent match, nothing great. I really thought Del Rio was going over here, especially given the match placement. Del Rio’s time will come, sooner or later.
Cody Rhodes vs. Rey Mysterio – Another decent match, seemed like a TV main event as opposed to a WrestleMania grudge match. I dig Cody’s new character and get more tired of Rey Rey every day.
Corre vs. Santino, Big Show, Kane & Kofi – What’s the point of having a heel stable if you’re going to squash them in 2 minutes? No one on the face side of things, aside from Kofi, means anything to WWE in the long run.
CM Punk vs. Randy Orton – A good finish but another very average match that had the predictable guy going over. Once again, what’s the point of having Nexus if they’re just going to be big losers?
Michael Cole vs. Jerry Lawler – If there was ever a time to have an overbooked mess, this was it. Unfortunately, we got a long heat segment that pissed off the live crowd and Cole probably set the business back 20 years with his outfit. WrestleMania is supposed to close storylines not continue them and now we have to sit through more of Cole’s character. That is definitely NOT what the fans wanted to see.
HHH vs. Undertaker – This was what I thought it would be: A great match between two guys who can always bring it on the big stage. Some clowns have dared to say the match was a DUD but they are just stirring crap up and trying to get page views and comments. This was a great match with an absolutely awesome story told and great psychology. Not as good as the HBK-Taker series but few things are.
Snooki and Friends vs. LayCool & Dolph Ziggler – Mercifully they kept it short but I really didn’t need to see Snooki’s gut in glorious high definition.
John Cena vs. The Miz – Talk about a disappointment. Who the hell thought that the double count out finish was a good idea? The Miz was definitely NOT ready for that kind of stage and it showed. Very rarely does the main event of WrestleMania serve as a storyline continuation and I really don’t like it.
-Anyways, we are LIVE! from Atlanta, GA yet again with, thankfully, JR back in the booth (for now).
-HHH kicks us off and FINALLY acknowledges that he had wrestled Taker at Mania before last night. Hunter puts over the match and Taker huge and promises a rematch once UT comes back.
-After a break, Michael Cole and his jailhouse tattoos are unfortunately still in that awful singlet. Cole and Lawler do the typical back and forth until Cole challenges King to a rematch right now…against Jack Swagger. Apparently Michael Cole books matches on Raw now.
Jerry Lawler vs. Jack Swagger
Swagger hammers away in the corner but Lawler fires back with his great worked punches. Swagger gets a slam and misses a legdrop but still hits a clothesline and stays in control. The pump splash misses, triggering the Lawler comeback but he decides to chase Cole instead of finish the match. Stupid move as Swagger locks in the Ankle Lock and gets the submission. However, since he won’t break the hold, the referee reverses the decision and gives the win to Lawler.
Winner by DQ: Jerry Lawler
-Post-match, Cole sprays JR with BBQ sauce and runs away. You really can’t expect King to be above * these days. They better be careful or the steam is going to run out of this Cole character and then they’ll be stuck.
-After a break, we have Cole, Booker T, and Josh Mathews on commentary…not exactly Monsoon and Heenan.
Randy Orton & Rey Mysterio vs. CM Punk & Cody Rhodes
Rhodes starts with Orton but runs into the Thesz Press and Mysterio checks in to try and rip the mask off Cody. Rhodes takes a powder and we head to break.
We return with Orton dropping a knee on Rhodes for two and Mysterio adds a springboard legdrop for another near fall. Rhodes manages to scurry over for the tag and the heels switch off on Mysterio a bit. A surprise rollup on Rhodes allows Rey to tag in Orton and he dominates Cody for a bit. A Punk distraction allows Rhodes to go to the injured knee, giving us some psychology from last night.
Punk checks in and stomps away on the knee but goes for the GTS too early and has to chop block Orton to stop a comeback. But guess what? We’re taking another commercial break.
When we return, Orton hits a back suplex and gets the hot tag to Rey Rey, who dominates Punk with his usual stuff. Punk counters an attempted kick and drives him into the heel corner, causing Orton to attack Rhodes. Mysterio looks to finish with a 619 but Rhodes intercepts him with a nicely timed springboard kick to the face for two…nice false finish.
Rhodes takes over on Mysterio, who plays Ricky Morton for a bit, but manages to counter a Punk powerbomb into flying headscissors and gets another hot tag to Orton…tag formula matches ALWAYS work. Orton hits Rhodes with the hangman’s DDT and hits and Angle Slam for two, saved by Punk. Mysterio gets rid of Punk and hits the 619 on Rhodes who rebounds into an RKO. That’s obviously good enough for the win.
Winners: Randy Orton & Rey Mysterio
-Great TV match between four of the best workers in the company right now ***1/4.
-Backstage, Steve Austin meets HHH and puts over his match last night.
-Austin hits the ring and has all the Tough Enough kids introduce themselves, the crowd meanwhile entertains itself by chanting “stun them all!” The Miz makes his entrance (to quite the ovation) and runs down the Tough Enough guys before challenging Austin. Riley jumps Stone Cold from behind and that ends exactly how you think it would. Austin even busts out the Thesz Press, FU elbow and then finally adds the Stunner. All the Tough Enough people drink beer and Cole gets another beer bath. Entertaining enough.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Evan Bourne
Bourne gets the All-American Wrestling entrance to really cement his jobber status. Del Rio kicks his ass in the corner and boots Evan down after a hope spot. We head outside where Del Rio destroys Bourne some more before heading back inside. Bourne makes a quick attempt at Air Bourne but gets smacked with a springboard kick (awesome sell) and the cross armbreaker ends things.
Winner: Alberto Del Rio
-Standard squash *1/4.
Dolph Ziggler & Vickie Guerrero vs. John Morrison & Trish Stratus
Dolph controls Morrison to start but gets reversed so he tags in Vickie. Trish immediately gets a sloppy rollup and chops away. A Ziggler distraction allows Vickie to pull hair for two but an ass splash misses and Morrison comes in to clean house. Morrison misses a Flash Kick and Ziggler gets an overhead belly to back suplex for two, saved by Trish. Ziggler gets all up in Trish’s grill, so she smacks him and Morrison hits Starship Pain for the win.
Winners: John Morrison & Trish Stratus
-Sloppy and not very interesting, ah well 3/4*.
Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan
I’m sure the main event of Raw makes up for being scratched from WrestleMania. Sheamus gets an elbow for two to start and hammers away against the ropes. Kneelift on the apron puts Bryan down and we hit a rest hold. Bryan fights out but the Irish Curse gets another near fall. Bryan makes his babyface comeback and sells the beating well in the process. Leg lariat gets two and Bryan tries for the LaBell Lock but Sheamus powers out and hits a backbreaker in a good spot. Pump kick hits and that’s all she wrote.
Winner and STILL Champion: Sheamus
-Pretty decisive victory for Sheamus there, hope Bryan enjoyed his time in the midcard **. Sheamus lays in a beatdown to really get rid of Bryan.
-But wait…Sin Cara finally makes his arrival and almost Fs up his entrance. He goes right after Sheamus though and puts him to the floor before hitting a HUGE splash from the top rope. Simple and effective debut.
Main Event Interview
John Cena hits the ring and puts over the Miz. I will say again that the double count out tease was an awful idea. As advertised, the Rock is here tonight as well and definitely has the majority in the live crowd. A pretty good back-and-forth results until Cena cuts through it all challenges the Rock to a match.
Rocky thinks about it for a second and agrees…for WrestleMania 28. I will be absolutely SHOCKED if they can hold off on this match for a whole year. Can they really maintain momentum until 2012? That hasn’t been done since Sting vs. Hogan in 1997 and even that lost some of its steam by Starrcade. I’m interested but skeptical.
The Corrrrrrrre randomly attacks for no reason and get destroyed with various finishing moves. The Corre might want to start checking out the classifieds section of their local newspaper.
A great TV tag match was good enough to carry the workload here since last night was the major PPV. I am VERY skeptical about maintaining this Cena-Rock stuff for an entire year, especially with Rocky being only a part-time member of the roster. If they can pull it off though, huzzah.