Hello, ladies and gentlemen, my name is Eric Kanes and live from Fresno, California this is the RAW Review.
The show starts off with the "2-21-11" video package. We could see The Undertaker through the window in the house. I wonder if Michelle McCool approves of her house being filmed at night. Now that I think of it, USA should totally make a reality show following the Undertaker/Michelle household. They should call it "Keeping Up With The McTakers." And they both have to be in character the whole time. I would so watch that.
Anyway, the timer goes up to 59:13 as we cut to the arena so that means that the "2-21-11" thing will be revealed at the top of the second hour. John Cena opens the show and he is in happy mode tonight. Cena talks about winning the Elimination Chamber and how he will face The Miz at WrestleMania but he says that the one thing that's he's been hearing about ever since last Monday is The Rock. The crowd breaks out a loud "Rocky" chant. Cena imitates the people that have been asking him about Rock and we get a video package showing the promo from last week.
Back to Cena and he says that if he calls somebody out, he can only do it in one way, and he lets us know that he still has a degree in Thuganomics. He then starts rapping and words do not do this promo justice. I could type all of it out but I highly recommend that all of you see it. The best lines were "It's because I wasn't talking trash, Rock, I was talking truth, you left us hanging high and dry to play a fairy with a tooth." "The Fruity Pebble that you're dealing with, I'm not your average jabroni, I'm like a big purple pinwheel, Rock, so go ahead and blow me." Ha, that line was fantastic. "And you'll see me at WrestleMania, well then I'll make sure not to miss it, but you ain't gonna whip my candy ass, dude, I'll make sure you kiss it." That was another classic line.
He ended the rap with, "That’s called a first round knockout, now you know that I'm not playing. Run your mouth all you want dude, it doesn’t matter what you’re saying." There were also at least three gay jokes in there. Wow! People are going to be talking about The Rock's promo for weeks but you have to give Cena credit here too. This was brilliant and it gave Cena's character that edge that made us love him in the first place. The one thing I was wondering about throughout this whole thing is why we can't get this John Cena every week. See, this is the John Cena that will get you ratings. This is the John Cena that people will pay to see. Kudos to Cena for cutting a fantastic promo, though; this raised the interest in the Cena/Miz/Rock program by that much.
CM Punk d. John Morrison (*1/4)
This was a quick match with both men selling their injuries from the Elimination Chamber. John Morrison was selling the knee injury (although he overdid it a bit) and CM Punk legitimately skinned his leg, which we could see. The story was that Morrison's knee was hurt so he couldn't do his Parkour stunts and that allowed Punk to capitalize and hit the GTS for the win. As much as I would love to see a longer match between these two down the road, this served its purpose in making CM Punk look smart.
"RANDALL!" CM Punk grabs a mic and calls out "Randall Keith Orton." He says that he gave the rest of the Nexus the night off. He says that "Randall" made the choice to kick him in the head at Unforgiven 2008 and because of that choice, the bright lights of WrestleMania are not in Orton's future. He tells Orton to just walk away because if he shows up at RAW next week, he will get hurt. The crowd pops as Orton runs in through the crowd and attacks Punk right away. Punk bails to the outside as the rest of the Nexus runs out. Orton is going crazy in the ring so Punk holds the Nexus back.
Nice. This was a really well-done segment and the crowd was really behind Orton with a loud "Randy" chant. This could lead to a fantastic match between these two if this kind of build-up continues for the next five weeks.
Alberto Del Rio is out next in a silver Lamborghini which looks fantastic. He comes out for whatever reason and Kofi runs out to attack him from behind. I guess there's no destiny speech tonight. Thank you, Kofi. Ricardo Rodriguez throws his microphone at Kofi which allows Del Rio to start beating up his injured arm. He then slams his arm into the ring post and follows it up by locking in the cross arm breaker. He then smiles to major heat. As Kofi gets up, Del Rio slams his arm into the ring post again and then winks.
Booking Del Rio like this and making him look like a rich badass is how it should be done. It took WWE a while to realize that not every heel needs to be a coward. However, if he's going to talk, drop the destiny stuff. He's been doing it for 9 weeks and it's at the point where I'm dreading it. Hopefully, WWE can come up with some new material for him & Edge now that Christian is involved in their feud.
PromoMania continues as The Miz comes out to talk. He mentions how Rock said that he unquestionably, undoubtedly sucks and Miz does the "Really?" routine. The Miz says that a kindergardner could have come up with a better line. He says that while The Rock is hosting WrestleMania; he will be main eventing and beating John Cena. He said that The Rock & John Cena are alike because they are both cultural icons that everybody loves which led him to say, "It doesn't matter what you people think!" He ended it by saying that he's awesome. This promo was predictable but it turned out great because it was a great crowd and Miz really played off of them. You can pretty much guaran-damn-tee that The Rock will be involved in the Miz/Cena match in one way or another. Mark it down.
The GM buzzes in and says that "The Rock N Sock Connection" was a formidable tag team so tonight, The Corre will defend their tag team titles against John Cena & The Miz. For the record, this is the fourth time that they are doing this scenario with Cena.
The Bella Twins d. Eve & Gail Kim (3/4*)
The "2-21-11" clock is at 9 minutes now. This was another RAW three minute special with The Bella Twins switching and the illegal Bella rolling up Eve. Oh, those Bellas are so evil.
Back from commercial and we are 30 seconds away from finding out the mystery behind "2-21-11" as the video plays again. As we get to 0, the door opens and out comes The Undertaker. We then cut to backstage where the Undertaker is standing so I guess we're supposed to assume that he teleported. He comes out to his usual entrance and enters the ring as Triple H's music plays from out of nowhere and out comes The Game to a loud pop. The announcers are silent through all of this, though. Triple H enters the ring and stares down the Undertaker. Triple H stares at the WrestleMania sign and Undertaker shakes his head as if to say "no." He then does the throat slash and Triple H does the crotch chop. We then go to commercial. Wait, Undertaker isn't going to do the "Flawless" taunt in honor of his wife? Jerk!
Seriously though, this was just awkward. There were no words for 10 minutes and 7 of those minutes were two dudes in their 40's just staring at each other. With all the build-up and all the video packages hyping "2-21-11", surely they could've come up with a better segment than this? They still have five weeks to build their program up verbally but this turned out to be a major disappointment.
We come back from the commercial and the announcers are allowed to talk now. They call it one of the most earth shattering confrontations and that is the last time that it is mentioned on the show. This was just awkward and not how you'd expect two of the biggest stars to return.
Mark Henry d. Sheamus (*1/4)
Are we allowed to remember that Sheamus was the one who took out Triple H last spring? They way they've been booking him recently is mind boggling.
Mark Henry was rocking his POISON KOOL-AID outfit tonight. Sheamus continued his losing streak as Mark Henry tossed him out of the ring rather easily in the first minute and this was basically a squash match from that point on. Towards the end, Sheamus took off a turnbuckle pad but Henry rammed him into it and then followed it up with the World's Strongest Slam for the win. So Sheamus has gone from being WWE Champion to dressing like Batman and getting squashed by Mark Henry in five minutes. The lesson? Don't f*ck with KOOL-AID.
Daniel Bryan was backstage laughing with Gail Kim as Sheamus walked by asking him what he was laughing at. Daniel Bryan said that he wasn't laughing at him and Sheamus walked away. So Triple H & Undertaker get 10 minutes to stare at each other but Daniel Bryan doesn't even get a match? Come on! This is just sloppy booking.
The next Hall of Fame inductee is "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan who will be inducted by Ted DiBiase Sr. We've got Bob Uecker in the Hall of Fame so why the hell not? I approve.
Before we move on, make sure to check out and subscribe to my new YouTube account, http://youtube.com/ProWrestlingFanpage. Some of you may remember my old account, WWEUltimateFanpage, as I had several videos with R-Truth, who is good friend of mine, and nearly one million total video views. There will be a podcast talking about wrestling up about every 2 weeks. Definitely make sure to check it out as it will be a lot like my columns here on Bleacher Report.
Michael Cole comes to the ring to interview Jerry Lawler. He says that they will not fight because they will get fired if they do. He says that he is better than every announcer in history except Vince McMahon. OK, now we know for sure that Vince is talking into his ear. He says that he's an award winning announcer and he asks for our attention, please.
Back from the break and out comes Jerry Lawler. Cole asks him how it felt preparing for his match with The Miz at Elimination Chamber. Jerry Lawler just stares at him. He took notes on Triple H's promo, I guess. Cole asks him how it felt losing to The Miz at Elimination Chamber. Lawler still does not respond. Cole then asks him how it felt looking up to the heavens as he was pinned and knowing that he let his deceased mother down. Cole gets some major heat here as Lawler grabs him by the collar and says that if he ever mentions his mother again it will be the last thing that he says. He then says that he doesn't care if he gets fired; he wants Cole at WrestleMania. Cole says that Lawler is a senile, old man and that he'll never get him at WrestleMania. Cole throws his drink at Lawler and runs away through the crowd as they chant "Jerry."
This stable really got the fans on Lawler's side. I know that a lot of people will question Cole bringing up Lawler's deceased mother, but I assume that Lawler approved of it before it happened so I'm not going to make a big deal out of it. You can pencil in Cole/Lawler for WrestleMania in what will simply be a "feel good" moment for the fans with Jerry triumphing over Cole and getting his "WrestleMania moment."
The Miz & John Cena d. Heath Slater & Justin Gabriel (*1/2)
Justin Gabriel quickly tags in and the story is that Cena & Miz are trying to outdo each other by working over him. Cena takes Gabriel down with his signature sequence of moves only for Miz to tag in and hit the running clothesline and Skull Crushing Finale for the win. It was kind of awkward that Heath Slater didn't even break up the pin as he was clearly shown just standing there.
They celebrate with the tag titles as Barrett tells them to hold on a second. He says that The Corre is invoking their rematch clause right now. The GM buzzes in and says "ring the bell." I thought that they'd do something where Jackson & Barrett would enter the match but I guess not.
Heath Slater & Justin Gabriel d. The Miz & John Cena (**)
This was a decent tag match with The Corre working over The Miz for about eight minutes. The crowd was really into it as they were cheering for Miz to get the hot tag to Cena. Cena eventually got the hot tag and cleaned house. He hit the five knuckle shuffle on Wendy and was about to finish him off with the AA, when Miz came in and hit the Skull Crushing Finale from behind allowing Slater to get the pin and regain the titles. RAW ended with The Miz raising his WWE title on the stage.
Not a fan of how this was booked. All it did was give us Reason #9035 why the tag titles are worthless and it didn't make anyone look too good. What they should've done is have just one 20 minute tag match with The Corre working over Cena. Cena is about to get the hot tag but Barrett grabs The Miz's leg or something. This causes the referee distraction, allowing Jackson to come in and hit the clothesline on Cena. Have Slater and Gabriel go over that way and after the match, have Miz hit the Skull Crushing Finale out of frustration. This is a minor tweak as The Miz would look strong either way but this scenario would allow The Corre to come out looking strong as well.
Three Stars of the Show
1. John Cena - Say what you want about the guy but his rap tonight was fantastic. One of his best segments in years.
2. The Miz - The crowd was hot for his promo and he had them in the palm of his hand towards the end.
3. CM Punk - Played his role perfectly as always.
Worst Moment of the Week
The 10 minute Undertaker/Triple H staredown. That was the most climactic finish that WWE could come up with after all the hype?
So yeah, overall this RAW gets a 6/10 from me. Other than the diva's match, the first half was fantastic with great segments involving John Cena, The Miz, CM Punk, & Alberto Del Rio. The rest of the show was brutal though. There was only about 20 total minutes of wrestling on the show and the "2-21-11" thing completely bombed so it was pretty average and gets a rating accordingly. That is all for tonight, folks. Make sure to subscribe to http://youtube.com/ProWrestlingFanpage and make sure to tune in this Friday, on 2-25-11, as I will be writing my weekly review of SmackDown entitled "Smack Talk." Don't tell Triple H, though. He might interrupt and stare at me. Thanks for reading, fellas. Until next time, I am out.