WWE Raw Review: February 28, 2011: The Rock Responds

Mike Shannon@@DLman91Featured ColumnistMarch 1, 2011

So one of my wonderful readers, dlman91@hotmail.com, asked me to try a more “review-heavy” style instead of focusing on play-by-play. I’m completely fine with that because it lets me be a bigger smart-ass and allows me to focus on bad jokes instead of funny pictures.

-As a quick aside: Al Snow had a great quote about so-called “smarks” last week. He said when asked what the best match at WrestleMania III was, most smarks will say Savage-Steamboat. Of course, they are wrong.The best match at WM III was Hogan-Andre because they sold out the Pontiac Silverdome. The best match isn’t the highest star-wise, but rather the one that draws the money. That’s why Rock, Austin, Hogan, HHH and Flair will always be better than Cena or Orton.

-LIVE! from Buffalo, NY (where losing Super Bowls is a way of life)

-HHH kicks us off and King proclaims the Undertaker’s streak has NEVER been in this much jeopardy. Ummm…what about at WrestleMania 17 when it was Undertaker vs. HHH? That one doesn’t count? Hunter runs through all his accomplishments, promises to beat Taker, blah blah blah. Not exactly exciting stuff.

Sheamus comes out to pay off his storyline of putting HHH out of action but immediately gets kicked in the balls and gets his ass kicked all around the ring. Okay, seriously, who did Sheamus piss off?

This is a Jericho-level burial job. He punctuates it by hitting a Pedigree through the announce table and leaving Sheamus for dead. That’s pretty decisive right there. Wait, what’s that? Oh, it’s Sheamus’ heat…floating out the window….aw, it’s gone.

-After a break, Vince McM…I mean, the Raw General Manager tells Sheamus to man up because he has a match right now.

Sheamus vs. Evan Bourne
Geez, they are just cranking out the returns in the past few weeks, aren’t they? Bourne attacks right away with kicks and immediately hits Air Bourne for the win.
Winner: Evan Bourne

-Wow, this victory would have meant a lot more when Sheamus was beating everyone in the promotion, but on his current 3,887,273 match losing streak, this doesn’t really help Bourne DUD.

-Michael Cole gets in the ring and calls in Lawler for a tweak in the storyline. See, now LAWLER is the only one who isn’t allowed to hit anyone. That creative team, always on the ball. Cole only agrees to the WM match if he’s allowed to have a “trainer” in his corner and can pick a special guest referee. Lawler agrees, of course, right after referencing Saba Simba (poor Tony Atlas). Cole introduces Jack Swagger as his trainer, immediately reducing the heat of the match by 36 percent from my calculations. Swagger attacks Lawler and applies the Ankle Lock as we get the first appearance of Josh Matthews’ “quiet, serious voice.”

-Steve Austin returns NEXT WEEK to Raw. Guess if you’re trying to pop a buyrate, you might as well go all out.

-Cole replaces Lawler at the announce table, ensuring me at least 10 annoying moments for the rest of the night.

-Randy Orton and CM Punk argue the merits of U.S. intervention in Libya with Punk taking a diplomatic stance while Orton argues for more aggressive action. Actually, they just promise to kill one another.

-The Mystery GM books Punk vs. Orton for ‘Mania but what about the wacky stipulations? Well, Orton has to face a Nexus member each week leading up the event and, if Orton wins, the member is banned from ringside. If the Nexus guy wins, however, he can be in Punk’s corner legally.

-By the way, Chris Jericho on “Dancing with the Stars”? That whirring sound you hear is Lou Thesz spinning in his grave.

Randy Orton vs. Mike McGillicutty
Orton dominates to start, clotheslining McGillicutty to the floor and allowing Raw to take a much need commercial break. We return the McGillicutty in control with strikes and he comes off the second rope with a Mr. Perfect (*wink wink*) neck-snap for two. Orton comes back with his usual stuff and the Hangman’s DDT sets up an RKO for the easy win.
Winner: Randy Orton

-Cole calls this a “big win”…when’s the last time the Nexus goons won ANYTHING? Basically an extended squash.

-Then, to REALLY drive home the point that Nexus is a joke, Randy Orton hits the PUNT OF CERTAIN DEATH to McGillicutty to send him packing along with Husky Harris. Do we really need the total sacrifice of the “young stars” of Nexus to the Almighty Orton? Punting jobbers in the head isn’t going to get you any more over, Randall.

-Mistico…I mean, Sin Cara, gets a press junket-type promo. Hey, how about you show his matches? No? Okay.

-Recap of the BRUTAL booking of the Tag Team main event last week. Look, everyone knows the tag team titles are a joke but can’t the creative team PRETEND they mean anything?

-The Miz hits the ring for one of his this-is-starting-to-get-really-boring promos that never say anything aside from “I’m great.” That’s all well and good for a heel but it gets REALLY old when you say the EXACT same things for three months straight. Didn’t that 10 minutes with the Rock two weeks ago teach you ANYTHING?

Anyways, John Cena finally interrupts and does another goofy promo to lead up to the “main event” of WrestleMania. You know, there’s a time to be serious, Johnny Boy. Did he just say “poop?” Is “crap” too far over the line? The extremely unfunny banter continues until Cena challenges Alex Riley to a match with Riley’s job as Miz’s assistant on the line. If Riley wins, then Cena has to proclaim Miz as awesome Mr. Mystery GM books the match in a steel cage (remember when THAT meant something too?) but the rules are escape only. FEEL THE DRAMA!

Divas Battle Royal
The Usual Gang of Skanks are in the ring until Tamina and Alicia Fox get tossed. Eve is on commentary and is just THRILLING. That charisma just oozes through my television. Natalya and Melina are both thrown out by Maryse, leaving her with Gail Kim and one of the Bellas. Gail tosses Maryse after she tries her DDT and tosses Nikki Bella as well. Brie, however, climbs back in the ring while the referee is distracted and chucks Gail for the win.
Winner: Brie Bella….I guess

-I guess this makes the Bellas the number one contenders for the title but I really could care less. This was as terrible as you would expect 1/2*. The crowd was absolutely, 100 percent silent throughout the entire thing but that doesn’t matter because Vince LOVES untalented women pretending to wrestle.

-Recap of John Cena’s rap last week….meh, it was alright.

-So the Rock is here….on tape, whoops, sorry that’s “via satellite.” Doesn’t stop WWE from playing his theme music like he’s actually there, though. Usual great, coked-up Rocky promo that shows Cena yes, you can be funny AND serious or intense. The Rock helpfully recaps the origins of the feud for people who weren’t aware and delivers the second best promo on Raw in the last month. I gotta say too, Rocky is looking jacked.

-Shawn Michaels gives his comments on the HHH-Taker match….on tape. I’m kidding, I definitely didn’t expect Shawn to be there. As expected, HBK puts both guys over and serves his purpose.

-Daniel Bryan comes out for whatever but gets attacked by the Miz during his entrance. Miz kicks his ass for some unknown reason and delivers a Skull Crushing Finale on the floor. Cole explains the silence for the greatest World Champion of all-time as being “in shock.” By the way, “in shock” is carny for “crowd doesn’t give a flying rat’s ass about whoever is on screen.” Miz says he did that because he CAN. Boo?

John Cena vs. Alex Riley

Escape is the only way to win this one, ensuring that the finish will be controversial and not clean in any way, shape or form. Is it a requirement for every young wrestler to have at least one awful tattoo? Cena dominates to start with a suplex and a gutwrench before trying for the door but Miz closes the cage on Cena’s head.

Miz decides to take a picture of Cena’s beating for Twitter in a funny moment, but Cena sends Riley into the cage for a double KO. Miz slides his Blackberry into Riley and he clocks Cena over the head with it…..but still sells the double KO? Odd.

Riley makes an escape attempt with an assist from the Miz but CENA HAS THE POWER OF 10 MEN and drags A-Ri back in for an STF. Cena tries to escape over the top but Miz holds him off with a chair and Riley hits an electric chair drop to take us to commercial break. We return with Cena making the SOS Comeback as Michael Cole does his bizarre shift back to neutral announcer for about four seconds. It’s so stupid.

Both guys fight to the top rope and Cena falls. But Riley climbs slower than any human being EVER and Cena brings him back in. Facebuster off the top (not a bulldog, Cole) hurts Riley and the Attitude Adjustment allows Cena to grab Miz’s Blackberry and take a picture…cute. Cena uses his RAW POWER to force the cage door open against Miz’s wishes and crashes to the floor for the win.

Winner: John Cena

-It’s not like Alex Riley was accomplishing anything as Miz’s lackey, so who cares about that. Miz hits a Skull Crushing Finale on Cena in yet another desperate effort to get heat on him before WrestleMania. Match was all interference from the Miz and not much else **.

Final Word
Well, the wrestling absolutely sucked but that’s nothing new. You honestly could have just watched the Rock promo and skipped the rest. Even HHH’s role was kept surprisingly short in favor of the “Please Boo the Miz” booking style. Ah well.


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