WWE Raw Review: February 14, 2011: The Rock Returns
You’ll have to forgive me for not getting to Raw last week, a Super Bowl hangover along with travel time left me in slightly less than a positive mood so I decided to take a personal day…you understand, I imagine.
So rumors are flying about who the guest host of Raw will be. I just hope said host will know their role.
So we have six days to pump the living hell out of a sluggish selling Elimination Chamber...does Vinnie Mac have it in him? Let’s see.
LIVE! from Anaheim, CA (home of Coach Bombay).
Do you like cheesy comedy routines and Michael Cole jokes? Then you probably loved John Cena’s opening promo. Thank God for Punk’s theme music.
John Cena vs. CM Punk
This is another “there MUST be a winner” match, since that seems to be the phrase creative is using for all their main event bookings these days. Maybe you’re leaning on it because people are picking up on your BS finishes? Nah. Cena hits the post early and Punk hits a clothesline off the apron, so we take an early break to skip some of the heat segment.
We return with Punk hitting a suplex for two, adding a kick to a face for another near fall. Cena is looking extra veiny tonight; it must be close to WrestleMania. Submission hold stalemate leads to an STF attempt, but Punk kicks out of it and uses strikes to put Cena down. Cena makes his random SOS comeback and tries to finish but gets caught with a leg lariat for two. Cena fights back with a gutwrench for two, but he takes too long heading up top for the legdrop and Punk brings him down with a kick. Neckbreaker hits for the Nexus leader and he kicks away for another two. Cena is Superman, I tell you, Superman.
Punk goes up for a high cross body but Cena rolls through and powers Punk up for an Attitude Adjustment but ends up dumping him to ringside. While the referee is busy with Cena, a Nexus-clad arm hands Punk a wrench from underneath the ring. Punk bops Cena on the head with it and the GTS makes the pin academic.
Winner: CM Punk
Apparently, the Mystery GM doesn’t watch his own show because wouldn’t that be a pretty clear cut reason to kick Punk out of the Chamber match? No? OK. Match was typical Raw fare **.
Thankfully, Alberto Del Rio is out to rile the crowd up a bit and draw out Edge for some verbal sparring. Edge, however, does not want to speak and attacks Del Rio along with his personal ring announcer…that fiend. This brings out Vickie Guerrero, who announces Dolph Ziggler as world champion because of the shenanigans on Smackdown. Sorry, I just can’t give a flying monkey turd about Dolph Ziggler. Guerrero also says Edge will be fired because he’s the one who assaulted Teddy Long. Vickie’s evil laugh REALLY needs work.
Guess WWE got sick of people talking about the 2-21-11 promo, because they just came out and showed Taker. Sting probably made the right decision, I don’t think jobbing to the Undertaker as an 51 year old is on his agenda.
Lumberjill Match for the Divas Title
Eve vs. Natalya
The silicone! It’s too much for my TV to handle! What the hell happened to Alicia Fox’s hair? She looks like Raggedy Ann. They do a REALLY basic wrestling sequence to absolutely zero reaction until Natalya locks in a surfboard to wake them up momentarily. More back-and-forth stuff leads to a flipping legdrop from Eve for two. Tornado punch by Natalya, but she gets dumped to the outside and attacked by the Bellas (see, they are EVIL because they are wearing BLACK now…this isn’t Shakespeare). Eve takes out the heels with a dive from the apron and they clunk heads in a REALLY bad spot back inside. Wow. La Magistral is locked in by Natalya but Eve shifts her weight and gets the pin. Thank God.
Winner and STILL Champion: Eve
Whew, talk about choreographed. Apparently “flips equals workrate” is the motto at Divas HQ, because that’s about all this match had. Token contrived and bad women’s match.
After a break, the Bellas (who are getting more and more unattractive as the days go on) brawl with Eve and the usual gang of referees break it up. SMELL THE MONEY!
Mark Henry vs. ????
Well, we never find out because Sheamus takes out the World’s Fattest Man with a pump kick. If it saves me having to watch a Mark Henry match, then I’m all for it.
The Miz vs. Daniel Bryan
Nothing like jobbing an up-and-coming midcarder to try and put over a floundering world champion, huh? Same old WWE Main Event Style match beginning until Bryan hits a dropkick, but makes the mistake of running into a big boot. Miz uses his bland-as-hell heel offense until Dragon hooks a sleep for a false comeback, as Miz hits an elbow for two. The announcers entertain themselves with Miz jokes during a resthold until Bryan hits a dropkick in the corner and dumps Miz to the floor.
Running knee from the apron sends Miz against the ring barricade in a spot that wasn’t shot very well by WWE’s usual top-notch camera crew. Back in, Byran hits a high missile dropkick for two and tries for the LaBell Lock but Miz gets to the ropes. In an ugly spot, Miz hits a neckbreaker from the apron and Bryan’s head slams against the side of the ring…ouch. We take a break after that one…
We return with Miz trying for a superplex but takes a sweet sunset powerbomb for two. Bryan is busting his ass to carry Miz to the best match possible here. Bryan fires away with kicks, but tries one too many, and gets rolled up for two. Bryan reverses Miz’s backbreaker-neckbreaker combo into a German suplex and kicks the hell out of Miz for two. Victory roll attempt by Bryan but Miz slams him on his face and the Skull Crushing Finale ends things.
Winner: The Miz
Bryan did everything outside of parting the Red Sea to try and make this match watchable and he definitely succeeded ***. The scary part is that Miz is totally lost in the ring when he’s on offense and can’t built heat during a match if his life depended on it. Just because a guy is awesome on the mic and gets good reactions during promos doesn’t mean he can bring it in the ring. Oh, by the way, the World Champion is fighting a color commentator this Sunday on PPV…thrilling.
Do these 5-Hour Energy commercials make anyone else want to smash their TV and toss it into a river?
Mike McGillicutty & David Otunga vs. John Morrison & R-Truth
Whatever happened to Truth’s heelish actions? Mason Ryan (on loan from Vivid Video) is at ringside. Truth takes it to McGillicutty with hiptosses but gets distracted by the aforementioned Ryan and dumped to the outside. Truth takes some abuse at ringside and McGillicutty gets two back inside. Otunga comes in with a suplex for two, as I wonder how hairspray made the areas outside Morrison’s eyes red. Truth puts Otunga down with a back suplex and it’s hot tag Morrison, who kicks Otunga’s ass and has a bit left for McGillicutty as well. Morrison takes out Mason Ryan by using R-Truth as a lawn dart and then adds a knee to McGillicutty’s face to get the pin.
Winners: John Morrison & R-Truth
Standard Raw tag match *3/4. Do you know much of a pain in the ass it is to type “McGillicutty” over and over again? Can’t we just call the kid “Hennig” to make it easier on me?
The girl from Modern Family and HHH’s co-star from The Chaperone intros the Khali Kiss Cam. If they pulled this crap in 1999, it would have gotten booed out of the building. This is total “waste time during a commercial” stuff.
Randy Orton vs. Sheamus
They job around, pretty much doing nothing but punching until Orton hits his backbreaker and a kneedrop for two. Sheamus comes back with his usual offense, consisting of striking and yelling, until a slingshot shoulderblock gets two. Orton fights out of a resthold and gets a powerslam (I’m totally ignoring Cole’s “scoop slam” BS from now on) but he walks into the Irish Curse for two. Superplex puts both men down and Orton gets the RKO out of nowhere for the win.
Winner: Randy Orton
Odd booking here with Sheamus doing the 100 percent clean job in like four minutes. I guess he better find a tag partner *1/2. Nexus attacks and the faces clear out the locker room to wage the righteous fight and clean the ring.
Main Event Interview
So, this is the real reason everyone has stuck with this show so far. Who will guest host WrestleMania?
THE ROCK hits the ring to a monster pop that is bigger than the entire roster combined and FINALLY the Rock has come back. Can’t believe it’s been seven years; it feels like an eternity. It’s been forever since wrestling had a superstar like Dwayne Johnson.
Anyways, after thanks to all the fans, Rocky launches into his usual awesome spiel, promising to kick some ass at WrestleMania. The Mystery Raw GM tries to interrupt but the Rock verbally abuses Michael Cole like only the Rock can.
Rocky then turns his attention to John Cena and the TV-PG censors have just given up on the bleep button at this point. He instantly turns the crowd against Cena in an awesome promo and just verbally castrates the tweener favorite. He sneaks a “how’d I do on time?” question at the end of the promo but it doesn’t matter. NOBODY captivates a crowd like the Rock.
Well, the first hour and 50 minutes was totally forgettable, but the Rock made it totally worth it at the end. If I sound like a mark right now, it’s because I am. It has been absolutely forever since I could mark out for someone on a consistent basis. I’m not expecting the Rock to make a full-time return obviously but I would seriously pay $40 to watch him mock and make fun of the current roster for two hours.
Who cares about the show? FINALLY…the Rock has come back to professional wrestling.
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