WWE Raw Review: March 7, 2011: Steve Austin Returns
-So the “text-heavy” reviews were a big hit, so we’ll continue those this week. Feel free to contact me with any suggestions, questions or complaints that I won’t address.
-LIVE! from Dallas, Texas (home of Choke Artist Tony Romo)
-So Undertaker (who is now apparently the Last Outlaw) kicks us off and reminds us that he beat Shawn Michaels at the last two WrestleManias. Somewhere, Akeem the African Dream is screaming “I DID TOO!” at his television. He also announces that the HHH match is now a No Holds Barred match, which is definitely a good move because Taker looked AWFUL against Kane in his last few matches.
-Meanwhile, Randy Orton gets beat down by Nexus and dragged to the ring for his match against David Otunga.
Randy Orton vs. David Otunga
Of course, if Otunga loses, he is banned from ringside and has to wrestle for the FCW title. OK, I made that last part up. Otunga beats on him for some sympathy heat and gets a few two counts. Spinebuster also gets two but Orton hits an RKO out of nowhere for the win.
Winner: Randy Orton
-See, Otunga is such a loser that even a beatdown by an entire STABLE isn’t enough to overcome his jobber-ness. Not much here 3/4*.
-Mason Ryan, still on loan from Vivid Video, makes his assault but also falls victim to the Stone Cold Stun…I mean, the RKO. Orton adds the PUNT OF CERTAIN DEATH to Otunga to send him back to wherever. Fine, do your worst, if the promotion isn’t going to care about Nexus then I’m not either.
-Cole informs us that Miz is boycotting Raw because he’s not appreciated. Don’t worry, I replayed his promo from last week on YouTube and it’s just like he was here tonight.
Christian vs. Alberto Del Rio
Christian saved Edge from a Del Rio assault on Smackdown to set this up. Del Rio has his NXT Rookie, Brodus Clay, with him for some added muscle. Del Rio doesn’t have time to deal with Christian tonight, so we get…
Christian vs. Brodus Clay
So Husky Harris gets thrown back to development because he’s too fat but Clay is just a physical specimen, right? Clay dominates to start but misses the FAT SPLASH and gets hit with a pair of missile dropkicks for two. Christian wiggles out of a slam and gets a tornado DDT for the win.
-Clay moves verrrrrrrrry slowly, so Christian didn’t have much to work with here 1/2*.
-Of course, Del Rio attacks immediately afterwards and locks on the cross-armbreaker because he’s EVIL.
-Promo for Sin Cara. Shame he’ll be on Smackdown so I’ll never see him.
-YOUR next induction to the Hall of Fame is….Sunny. Longtime fans of mine will know EXACTLY what I think of Miss Tammy Lynn Sytch and that is WOWIE WOW WOW.
Eve vs. Nikki Bella
Wow, I can’t wait for this. Eve handles her with a hair toss and misses by a MILE with a kick but it still gets two….good Lord. The Bella comes back with a hair toss of her own for two and then stands on her hair. Michael Cole, in the ONLY instance where I will agree with him, grabs the mic and demands that we end this joke of a match right now. PREACH ON, MY BROTHER, PREACH ON!! There should be a standing ovation right now. Anyways, Eve hits a kick and the Bellas try to switch but the referee catches her and Eve hits a neck-breaker for the win.
Winner and STILL Champion: Eve
-When Michael Cole is the highlight of your match, it’s been a rough night 1/2*. Maybe Eve can miss some more kicks next time and I’ll give it a higher rating.
-Apparently a little troll named Snooki is hosting Raw next week. Do they really need to one-up TNA in Jersey Shore too?
Michael Cole’s Main Event
Those are his words, not mine. Cole holds a blank contract, saying whoever signs it will be the special guest referee. OK, all those who can’t see what’s coming here, please leave the room because you’ve failed Smark 101.
After much teasing about it being Steve Austin, Cole introduces John Bradshaw Layfield as the referee. Oh my God, no wonder Alberto Del Rio didn’t get his car ring entrance tonight, JBL must have pulled a political power move. That sly dog.
JBL cuts a pretty good heel promo until Steve Austin interrupts in a predictable but awesome piece of business. The Texan crowd goes wild, as you would expect. Austin gets in JBL’s face and, one Stunner later, Austin parties like it’s 1999.
Annnnnnnnnnnnd, just like I said, he also grabs the blank Special Guest Referee Contract and signs his name. Cole whines at the announce table so Austin gives him a beer bath.
Finally, JBL wakes up from the most powerful Stunner ever and reveals he is the stupidest person in the history of wrestling by agreeing to a beer toast with Austin. It does not end well for Mr. Bradshaw. Good segment that really woke up the crowd.
-After a break, Jack Swagger promises to handle Steve Austin….I’m sure that will go well.
Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus
Why give away a match that you’re trying to promote for PPV? Sheamus dominates to start but gets dropkicked to the floor and hurts his knee (kayfabe). Sheamus is unable to beat the count and…that’s it?
Winner by Count Out: Daniel Bryan
-I’ll ask it again, who the hell did Sheamus piss off? And also, when has a “losing streak” angle EVER worked at getting someone over? Sheamus promises to quit WWE if he doesn’t win the US title next week.
-Watch bikini models and guys with abs pretend to be wrestlers while the real indy guys sit at home! Watch Tough Enough!
R-Truth vs. CM Punk
Punk should wipe the floor with this clown fairly quickly to keep him equal with Orton. Punk takes Truth on a tour around the ring and introduces him to each ring post before wisely working the shoulder. Truth makes his babyface comeback and gets a stiff leg lariat for two, but Punk goes to the shoulder and adds a Rock Bottom. One Anaconda Vise later, Truth has no choice but to tap.
Winner: CM Punk
-Pretty much what I expected: Squash City, USA *1/4. Mason Ryan adds a shoulder-breaker and flexes alot.
-Shawn Michaels adds some more thoughts on HHH-Undertaker…nothing really of note here.
-Vickie Guerrero hits the ring to announce Dolph Ziggler has been signed to Raw…and they wonder why NO ONE buys firing/retirement angles anymore?
Dolph Ziggler vs. John Morrison
Opens with a cool spot as Dolph dropkicks Morrison low on a leap frog attempt and we take a break. We return with Morrison fighting out of a resthold and dodging a splash to make his comeback. Why cut out all of Dolph’s heel offense? Morrison looks to have won with a flipping neckbreaker but Ziggler gets his foot on the ropes, sneaks up behind John, and hits the Zig Zag for the win.
Winner: Dolph Ziggler
-Wow, we’re not very work rate-heavy tonight, are we? *
-Mr. Mystery GM Man chimes in after the match and announces he only hired Dolph, not Vickie. The only way Vickie gets a job is if she beats Trish Stratus next week on Raw. I give her all the credit in the world for playing his unlikeable, unsympathetic, embarrassing character for so long.
-John Cena hits the ring to address the Rock’s comments from last week…in hip hop. Oh, scary. The one this week was actually MUCH better than two weeks ago, with a few more innuendos slipped in.
The Miz appears out of nowhere, boycott apparently lasting all of 2 hours and 7 minutes, and cracks Cena with the world title belt (Vince: “No, DAMMIT! NO!”) Sorry, sorry, sorry…I mean the world championship. Miz then gives the best promos he’s had in months because it was kept short and he hit all his points immediately. Miz delivers a pretty good People’s Elbow to Cena to stick it to the Rock.
If you like the in-ring product, this was not the show for you. Very angle heavy and an Austin return which was fun but short. Here’s the problem with shows like this: There’s no real actual need to see them. Sure, there’s storyline advancement and all that but there are no “must see” moments that cause people to tune in.
If you were to read the recap of this, here’s what you would see: Orton punted Otunga, Sunny is in the HOF, there were a few squashes, JBL came back and got stunned by Austin, and Dolph Ziggler is now on Raw. That’s pretty much the show in a sentence, which doesn’t mean people ABSOLUTELY have to tune in to see what will happen next.
Some people like shows like this. I’m not one of them.
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