WWE Raw Review: March 21, 2011: A New Title Belt for the Miz

Mike Shannon@@DLman91Featured ColumnistMarch 22, 2011

So, according to the complaint WWE filed with TVWeek.com, WWE is not a “wrestling” company, it is an “entertainment” company. The promotion was offended when the magazine referred to the WWE Hall of Fame “pro wrestling hall of fame”. I’m surprised Vince didn’t also say that his pants fell down because he forgot to wear his championship this morning.

Oh yeah, we are LIVE from PITTSBURGH, PA (home of everything great, except tickets for your author).

I actually heard the Miz on 93.7 The Fan this morning (a local sports talk radio station that anyone with an IQ over 30 HATES) and he came off as very charismatic and likable. If they would let him talk in his natural voice instead of those scripted promos, he would be an even better promo guy.

Jim Ross’s music kicks us off but it’s a SWERVE because it’s really Michael Cole in a pretty funny costume. It loses points though because it reminds me Ed Ferrara’s AWFUL Oklahoma character that set the business back about 20 years. I have a feeling there’s going to be an EPIC asskicking waiting for Cole at WrestleMania.

HHH gets us started for real and puts over Taker’s streak huge. He promises to win at Mania and gives his usual stuff until Ted DiBiase Jr. interrupts…why is he out here? The ring is already set up. Ted challenges Hunter for tonight but immediately gets his ass kicked. HHH pulverizes Ted with a steel chair and adds a Pedigree through the announce table (Fan: “Put him in a body bag, YEEEEAH!” Perfect). DiBiase might want to start looking at the classifieds.

Sheamus vs. Evan Bourne
Good to see they waited a few weeks after his return before turning Bourne into total cannon fodder once again. Sheamus beats his ass to star but misses a blind charge and gives Bourne a hope spot for Air Bourne. Of course, it misses and the pump kick finishes things early.
Winner: Sheamus

Total squash DUD. I like Sheamus and I think he has potential but I still don’t get the point of the losing streak gimmick before all this.

Daniel Bryan stands up for little guys everywhere and challenges Sheamus to a rematch at Mania, earning himself a Brogue kick to the face, which I guess is a yes.

Maryse vs. Eve
Googling Maryse’s Playboy pictures for the 400th time passes the time while they stall and hair pulling commences. Maryse misses whatever against the ropes and Michael Cole immediately calls for the match to end, earning a 50/50 face pop initially. Eve kicks away but hits knees on a standing moonsault. She still manages to recover though and hits the spinning neckbreaker for the win.
Winner: Eve

Typical Raw women’s match 1/2*. Cole talks trash to Eve and hides behind his security guard for some more heat.

Recap of the Corre destroying Big Show and Kane on Smackdown.

Heath Slater & Justin Gabriel vs. Vladimir Kozlov & Santino Marella
Sign of the night: The Miz fears Matt Cooke. Santino goes for the Cobra early but walks into a kick from Gabriel for two and Santino plays your jobber-in-peril. Santino fights out of a chinlock and gets the cold tag to Kozlov, who kicks ass. He gets distracted by Wade Barrett though a Slater hits an inverted DDT. Gabriel comes in with the 450 splash and that’s all she wrote.
Winners: Heath Slater & Justin Gabriel

Another squash 1/4*. Lawler claims the Corre just won without no help from team members even though Barrett’s distraction was the catalyst for the win. Big Show and Kane attack for RETRIBUTION and clean house on the heels. There couldn’t be an 8-man tag coming, could there? Nah.

Now it’s Cena’s turn to be “live via satellite” and he promises an epic confrontation with the Rock next week. The Steel City crowd is not very appreciative of John Cena tonight.

Someone IS here live though and it’s Michael Cole. We flashback to Brian Christopher’s “long awaited” return last week. I’ll flashback too…

Anyway, Michael Cole gets the Lawler family album and makes fun of his father. After Lawler takes all that he can, King temporarily breaks through bodyguard Swagger and tries to get at Cole but Jack recovers with a clothesline for another heel beatdown. It’s perfect booking because Cole has no heat if ANYONE is allowed to touch him. I still wonder why no one comes out of the locker room to save WWE Legend Jerry Lawler. Cole’s ankle lock still needs a bit of work I’d say but he’s an announcer so who cares?

Hey, remember when the Intercontinental title match was the second most anticipated match on the WrestleMania card? No reason for this tidbit, just saying.

You know, Jersey Shore is exactly like pro wrestling: They are all roided out of their minds, play outrageous characters that you know aren’t true, and start feuds with the people around them. All they need now is The Situation to start sleeping with Sammi so he and Ronnie can have a cage match.

By the way, Snooki gets about $25,000 for just appearing at a bar so you can imagine what they are playing her to be at WrestleMania. That whirring sound you’re hearing is Lou Thesz spinning in his grave.

Dolph Ziggler vs. John Morrison
Isn’t it a shame when Trish looks better than every single woman on the WWE roster?

Dolph hammers away to start but gets driven into the corner and resorts to a neckbreaker for two. We hit the chinlock for a face spot and Morrison responds with a dropkick and a clothesline to the floor. Michelle McCool blocks a pescado attempt, triggering a brawl between the women. The Mystery GM has seen enough and orders the match to be a handicap mixed tag after a break.

John Morrison & Trish Stratus vs. Dolph Ziggler, LayCool, & Vickie Guerrero
We return with Morrison fighting out of yet another chinlock and Ziggler tags in Layla, forcing Trish to come in. Trish stomps away and hits her handstand hurricanrana from the corner before serving up the chops. I didn’t know silicone would give like that. McCool gets a cheapshot to turn the tide and takes over on Trish in the heel corner while screaming at her in her VERY manly voice.

Trish comes back with a swinging headscissors but she gets cut off and more heel shenanigans result. Vickie finally tags in and misses her first move, allowing a tag to Morrison and an ass-kicking for Ziggler. Flash kick (sold well by Dolph) sets up a Starship Pain attempt but it misses because he was distracted by Trish’s thong (swear to God). Dolph capitalizes with the Zig Zag and Vickie Guerrero tags in to get the win.
Winners: Dolph Ziggler, LayCool, & Vickie Guerrero

Match was pretty good and the booking was spot-on to continue the feud, so huzzah **1/4.

Am I the only one who thinks the music playing in the background of The Chaperone trailer is TOTALLY out of place?

Another hype deal for HHH vs. Undertaker. This time we get Arn Anderson and Harley Race’s thoughts on the whole thing. You know, rumors persist that Double A was asked to go in the Hall of Fame this year but, of course, only one guy can induct him…and he’s in TNA.

Anderson does mention that 18-0 is like winning 18 Super Bowls in a row. I wouldn’t go THAT far because beating the Giant Gonzalez has to be the equivalent of beating the Carolina Panthers.

In all their endless hyping for Tough Enough, why not mention that their color commentator (Josh Matthews) and John Morrison came from the show? Does that make too much sense?

Randy Orton vs. Rey Mysterio
They battle to a stalemate to start until Rey kicks away and goes low with a dropkick. Orton stops him with a European uppercut and he tosses Mysterio the floor in very Rey-like fashion. Kneedrop gets two and we hit the chinlock for a chance to pimp the latest DVD releases. We head up top but Mysterio holds him off and gets a seated senton for what looks to be a comeback but he runs into a powerslam. Orton’s Hangman’s DDT is countered to a 619 attempt but Orton catches the legs and hits the Hangman’s….very nice sequence.

Orton looks to finish but CM Punk appears on the TitanTron. Turns out, Punk has found Randy Orton’s tour bus where his wife is staying during the show. It’s all a ruse of course because, when Orton runs out for the save, Punk nails him in the knee with a monkey wrench. Punk is such an AWESOME heel, it’s not even funny (Punk: “AHH AHHH…Shut up!”). Punk puts over the fact that he took away Orton’s PUNT OF CERTAIN DEATH and blows a creepy kiss to Orton’s wife to close us out.
No Contest

Match was just a setup for the angle, so that gets *1/2 but the angle was very cool.

After a break, Alex Riley is in the ring, apparently rehired and ignoring stipulations again. Miz hits the ring as well for a promo where he does his usual over-the-top hyping of himself. Without further ado, Miz reveals and he has flipped the spinner’s belt WWE logo upside down to make the letter M. You know, this morning on that morning show I was talking about, the hosts tried to make the belt spin but Miz stopped them saying the belt doesn’t do that anymore. How about that? The things you learn from the radio at 7:00 AM.

John Cena, via the TitanTron, interrupts and reveals….AH!….he’s is NOT via satellite but sitting backstage next to the Ronnie Franchise poster (much respect, Ron). Nice touch on the Penguins uniforms, guys. Cena attacks and Miz heads for the heels, leaving Riley suffer the STF. Wait…is that blood? QUICK! Someone pull back! Pull back, I say!

Final Word
You know, the wrestling wasn’t anything special tonight but I was entertained by the show. The Cole stuff was good as usual, there were a couple squashes to put over the WrestleMania players, and the CM Punk stuff was gold. Got one final push before the Granddaddy of Them All…can they maintain their momentum? We’ll see.

Let’s go Pens.


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