Hello, Bleachers of Bleacher Report. My name is Eric Kanes and can we just skip straight to the end tonight? Haha I'll do the usual review but I might not go in depth on everything else.
Live from Anaheim, California this is the RAW Review.
John Cena opens the show coming out to do his usual comedy routine. He says that there is no proof that Michael Cole is a man and he makes fun of the "love triangle" between Miz, Riley and Cole. He then turns serious and does that thing where he talks quietly AND THEN RAISES HIS VOICE. He says that he needs this moment and he needs to win the Elimination Chamber match to headline WrestleMania.
Cue CM Punk who lets us know that he is a good person and that he will win their match because good things happen to good people in Anaheim.
CM Punk d. John Cena (**1/2)
This was a pretty good 11-minute opener. However, this is what, the third time in four weeks that these two are facing off? I'm all for quality matches like this on free TV but they need to keep things fresh. Nobody's going to care when this turns out to be the main event of Over the Limit or Money in the Bank in two months, just like the Cena/Orton match has already lost its appeal.
Anyway, the match ended when Cena was about to hit the AA on Punk, but Punk bailed to the floor. An arm with a Nexus armband gave him a chair from under the ring. Punk threw the chair at the referee, which caused a distraction allowing Punk to nail Cena with a wrench. Punk then hit the GTS for the win.
So I assume that this leads to Cena "overcoming the odds" yet again and last eliminating Punk at Elimination Chamber, after the announcers play up the fact that Punk has already beaten him three times. It's what they always do; the guy who loses before the PPV usually wins on PPV.
Rather than airing a SmackDown Rebound, it is the weekly SmackDown segment with Alberto Del Rio coming out to say that it his destiny to win the world title at WrestleMania. OK, he just sounds like a robot programmed to say the same thing over and over now. Is he ever going to talk about anything else?
As I said in last week's "Smack Talk", this could get old really fast. Edge comes out and says that it is his destiny to beat down Del Rio. He does just that as he ends the segment with a spear.
Cue Vickie Guerrero who says Edge will hand the world title over to Dolph Ziggler this Friday as he used an illegal spear in his 9,082th match with Dolph Ziggler this past Friday. She also says that Edge is going to lose his job as she has proof that he took out Teddy Long. I guess Teddy Long returns this Friday.
Eve d. Natalya (*1/4)
This was a Lumberjill match with the Diva's title on the line. Not much to say here. It ended with Eve winning with a roll-up.
After the break, there was a catfight between the Bella Twins and Gail Kim as the other divas tried to break it up.
Mark Henry came out in his signature Kool-Aid attire, but he was attacked by Sheamus who brogue kicked him twice. Sheamus said that this is what he would do in the Chamber and what he would do to Orton later on. Nobody really reacted because everyone knows he's not winning.
The Miz and Alex Riley are walking to the ring and Miz shoves a random dude into a pile of boxes. At least he had the decency to not hang up the guy's phone like John Cena did a few weeks ago. That jerk... Michael Tarver was also standing around. We still don't know what he does.
The Miz d. Daniel Bryan (***1/4)
Wow, this was fantastic especially for a 12-minute match. These guys worked their asses off and had great chemistry as always. Why couldn't this have been the PPV match instead of the nonsense with Lawler? Also, why can't Daniel Bryan be booked like this every week? It took five years to learn with Morrison; hopefully WWE can learn faster with Bryan. The match ended with The Miz hitting Daniel Bryan with a Skull Crushing Finale and getting the clean win. Was that really so hard?
John Morrison & R-Truth d. David Otunga & Michael McGillicutty (3/4*)
This was changed to a tag match at the last second when it was originally supposed to be Morrison versus Truth. They did the same thing last year. As a close friend of Truth, I heard that he was supposed to wrestle Morrison last year, but Vince apparently wanted it to be a longer match when it happened for the first time so he told Morrison to injure his ankle. The longer match never happened. This match just reminded me of that story. Back to RAW.
David Otunga got to showcase his technical grappling abilities and put on a clinic as always. Ric Flair's got nothing on this in ring beast! Seriously though, Otunga's horrible. Everything he does just looks so...awkward. McGillicutty's not that much better either so this obviously wasn't that good.
Morrison, who had makeup on in an attempt to sell last week's injury, got the hot tag and cleaned house about four minutes in. He then pinned McGillicutty after a running knee. The story was that CM Punk's attack drove Morrison to be more aggresive.
The chick from Triple H's movie, "The Chaperone", appeared to host The Khali Kiss Cam even though Khali would not be kissing anyone. So why was Khali there? Why did they have this thing at all? Why do they think that this is a good way to promote Triple H's movie? Why do I even care? This was a pointless segment that showed people from the crowd kissing with the only highlight being William Regal kissing Zack Ryder on the cheek. That was awkward but hilarious. Hornswoggle came out for some reason as well. What the hell was this?
They showed the "2-21-11" video and they actually showed The Undertaker this time and played the "Ain't No Grave" song that was associated with him last year. This should clear up all the Sting rumors.
Randy Orton d. Sheamus (*1/2)
This was a fast-paced five-minute match that I actually enjoyed more than their longer matches which were just punches, kicks, and the RKO. The ending was pretty cool as Sheamus hit a superplex which dazed both men and that allowed Orton to get the RKO for the win. After the match, the Nexus guys and Chamber guys ran out while Cena just stormed out like a maniac. Way to sell the beating from just an hour ago. Cena & Orton cleaned house and had their staredown of the month. The crowd was actually pretty hot for this.
A car pulled up backstage and a woman stepped out. We could only see her high heels. I assume that this was just a curveball to make people think that the WrestleMania guest host is a woman.
The Rock Is Announced As the WrestleMania Guest Host
The lights went out and different parts of the arena went out. After some dramatic music, we finally heard, "IF YOU SMEELLL WHAT THE ROCK IS COOKING" as The Rock came out. Wow, this was surreal. The crowd popped and nearly blew the roof off the building (I swear, I can't remember the last time a crowd was this hot for something). I was marking out like crazy.
“After seven long years FINALLY…FINALLY…FINALLY The Rock has come back to Anaheim. Which means FINALLY The Rock has come back to Monday Night Raw. Which means FINALLY...The Rock has come back…home.”
“I need to tell you something as Dwayne. It’s been a long time since I’ve been back. Seven years to be exact. I want to take this moment in the middle of this ring to tell you why I’m back. It’s not because of the money, it’s not to promote a movie—I am back in the middle of this ring because of you.
"When I left the WWE seven years ago I dreamed big, you dreamed big with me and you helped me accomplish my dreams because you never left my side. I want to tell this moment to tell you all here and millions watching around the world I want to tell you thank you, love you and it is because of you that I am back in ring. And it is because of you that I am never ever going away."
He went on for about 20 minutes and these were the best 20 minutes of WWE programming in years. The general manager buzzed in and The Rock the owned Michael Cole with the "It doesn't matter what you think!" line, threatened to stick the laptop straight up Michael Cole's candy ass, and delivered the line of the night when he said, "Sit your ass down, you look like a drunk hobbit." I laughed my ass off at that.
The Rock ripping on Cena was hilarious as well. "So let me get this straight...the WWE has gone from the powerful Austin 3:16 to the dominant and iconic 'Can you smell what The Rock is cooking?' all the way to you can't see me. You can't see...what are you playing peekaboo? Believe me, we all can see you!" Calling Cena "Fruity Pebbles" because of the bright colors he wears and saying that Cena looks like he fell out of Barney's anus was fantastic. To end the promo with the "Millions AND MILLIONS" part, he just had crowd on the palm of his hand. Words cannot do this promo justice. I highly recommend that you watch it on YouTube if you have not already seen it.
I have to say that this promo restored A LOT of my interest in WWE. I cannot wait to see where this goes. This gave me goosebumps and the moment was just surreal. Moments like that are why we watch.
Three Stars of the Show
1. The Rock—"The picture you're gonna get is The Rock shining [the laptop] up real nice, turning that sonofabitch sideways, and sticking it right up Michael Cole's candy ass!"
2. The Rock—For saying that John Cena looks like he fell out of Barney's anus.
3. The Rock—For saying "ass" six times and not getting bleeped out.
Worst Moment of the Week
The Great Khali's Kiss Cam which didn't even involve The Great Khali. What the hell was that?
Question/Discussion of the Week
So now that The Rock is guest hosting WrestleMania, what do you want to see him do? Do you want to see him on commentary for the entire night? Do you want him to see him cut sporadic promos throughout the night and layeth the SmackDown on everybody's candy asses? Or do you want to see him face John Cena in what would be a dream match for most? Let me know in the comment section below.
As for this show, it gets a 9/10 rating. This was the best RAW of the year by far. The wrestling was solid in the Miz/Bryan, Cena/Punk and even Sheamus/Orton matches. The Rock's promo was a classic moment that will probably be remembered years from now. The Khali Kiss Cam segment was brutal but what can you do? At least it only went a few minutes and the "comedy" didn't drag on.
One minor problem that I have with the show is the way it was booked compared to last week. Last week, you saw CM Punk & The New Nexus take out every participant in the Elimination Chamber match (with the exception of John Cena, of course).
This week, Randy Orton, R-Truth and Sheamus all no-sold their beatings that supposedly injured them, John Cena hopped out an hour after getting hit with a wrench, and Morrison will be fine once he washes the makeup off. So it would have probably been better to have the Nexus guys injure the Chamber participants this week to make Punk look like a serious threat to win. Other than that, RAW was almost flawless.
Ladies and gentlemen, I will be right back here this Friday with my review of SmackDown entitled "Smack Talk" but until then I am out.