WWE Raw Review: May 2, 2011: Vince McMahon Returns for Rock's Birthday
-So Osama bin Laden is dead, John Cena is world champion again, it's the Rock's and my dad's birthday...let's just say it's been an interesting day.
-Caught a bit of Extreme Rules last night and I gotta say, it looked pretty good. I heard Morrison looked like he belonged in the main event and that's nothing but good news for someone who has been in the dog house for so long.
-Naturally, we get a very cool USA tribute at the very beginning. Vince always delivers when it comes to patriotism. Bringing Lilian back to sing the anthem was a nice touch.
-Finally...we are LIVE from Miami, Florida.
-Naturally, the Rock kicks us off and goes all 1993 Lex Luger on us by leading the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance. We then move to the wrestling portion of tonight's event and Rocky gives us a brief synopsis of his life so far...couldn't we just read the tattoo in his armpit?
The Anonymous GM attempts to chime in and that gives the Rock a chance to mock Michael Cole again. I'm usually with the Rock but what the hell is a "jackbag"? Also, is there any cheaper form of heel heat than wearing the rival sports jersey? Of course not.
Cole gets in the ring and demands an apology for the abuse over the years and that goes about as well as you would expect it to. Rocky brings out some guy named Pitbull and I have no idea who he is but the crowd seems to dig it, so whatever. The Miami Heat dancers make an appearance as well...the poles in Miami must be empty tonight.
John Morrison vs. R-Truth
JR replaces Cole on commentary and automatically makes the show 5x better. Truth jumps Morrison during his entrance and delivers a reverse STO on the floor. Yep, this isn't gonna happen.
-Obviously just an angle but Truth is doing a good job with this new heel character. Truth even goes a step further and hits Morrison with another STO on the stage while he's being carried out by the referees. Now that's a heel.
-Hey, there's a camera here that means LeBron James is nearby.
Maryse vs. Kelly Kelly
I am a huuuuuuuge fan of Kelly Kelly, just not of her wrestling. UGLY bulldog starts us off but Kharma's music immediately hits and Kelly acts like she's seen a ghost...awesome. Poor Maryse has to lay there and sell a bulldog for like 5 minutes while Kharma makes her entrance. Kharma hits her double underhook facebuster on Maryse but spares Kelly for another day.
-I absolutely hate divas matches but Kharma is being booked to look like a monster and that's never a bad thing.
-Meanwhile, Miz and Alex Riley have a lover's spat.
-Hey, remember when Paul Walker was the "next big thing"?
-Backstage, the Rock hits on the women and entertains at his party backstage before meeting the Usual Gang of Idiots and Ron Simmons.
John Cena vs. The Miz
Standard sequence starts us off until Cena gets a dropkick for two then adds a bulldog for another near fall. A slugfest erupts and Riley distracts Cena, allowing Miz to take over and send Cena into the steps on the floor.
Miz's facial expressions when he's trying to be all intense bother me for some reason. It looks like he's really constipated. Miz hits an old-school double ax handle for two and we head to break.
We return with Miz in control with a neckbreaker and he stomps away in the corner. A blind charge misses however and Cena makes the babyface SOS comeback. The champ looks to finish and Miz counters the Attitude Adjustment but runs into the STF. He fights to the ropes and surprises Cena with a snap DDT for two and removes the turnbuckle pad...BUT WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN?!?
Cena recovers and goes for the AA yet again but Miz turns it into a neckbreaker for two. I don't think a neckbreaker has pinned someone since 1990. Skull Crushing Finale is countered and the referee gets bumped to the floor so there's no one to see Miz tap to the STF.
Miz takes advantage and hits Cena with the briefcase along with the Skull Crushing Finale...for two. Good false finish there. Both guys recover and Cena pops up with an Attitude Adjustment again...also for two. Another good spot there.
Miz gets desperate and smacks Cena with the title belt while Riley runs interference and...gets the pin? Wow, that was kind of surprising. However, the referee sees the title belt in the ring and reverses his decision, declaring Cena the winner.
Winner by DQ: John Cena
-Oh come on, you're telling me pro wrestling now has INTELLIGENT referees? How can you reverse your decision based on something you didn't see? It goes against everything fans have been taught about referees over the years. Just have the Rock show the referee a replay or something, that would make more sense than the ref seeing a belt on the mat and assuming Miz used it as a weapon.
Anyways, it was a fairly standard worked match but it had a couple good spots at the end. I was not a fan of the finish though **1/4.
Rey Mysterio & Kofi Kingston vs. Jack Swagger & Drew McIntyre
Alberto Del Rio is on commentary to add a touch of class to the proceedings. Swagger hammers away on Mysterio but runs into a headscissors and takes a bronco buster. Kofi tags in for some strikes but a cheap shot from McIntyre turns the tide and we head to break.
We return with Kofi playing Ricky Morton in the heel corner while Del Rio sets the stage for a feud with Mysterio. Shame that they didn't pull the trigger on him and that the Edge retirement kind of derailed his main event push.
More heel shenanigans keep Kofi at bay but he finally flips out of a McIntyre suplex attempt and gets the hot tag to Mysterio. Rey Rey cleans house on McIntyre and gets two, saved by Swagger. Kofi gets rid of Jack and Trouble in Paradise leads to a 619 for the win.
Winners: Rey Mysterio & Kofi Kingston
-Formulaic tag match that always gets a live crowd going **1/4. Swagger and McIntyre did some good work here as well, Mysterio was just there to get the pin.
-Meanwhile, Rocky meets Dolph Ziggler, who presents him with Mae Young as a present but things get serious when John Cena shows up.
-Has George Lopez ever been funny? Short answer: No. Long answer: Hell no.
Kane vs. Mason Ryan
A main event in ANY ARENA IN THE COUNTRY BABY! Ryan overpowers Kane to start and clotheslines him down as the announcers freak out over Kane getting dominated. Blind charge misses though and Kane slugs away but CM Punk runs in and the ref calls for the bell....lame.
-1/4* Post-match, Kane tries a chokeslam on Ryan but Mason overpowers him and hits the House of Pain. Nexus attacks until Big Show makes the save but Ryan takes him out with a spear. I guess we know who's going to be getting the megapush, huh? I bet Skip Sheffield is REALLY pissed that he got injured when he did.
-So it's already 11:05 and we're still at commercial...what an oddly booked show.
Main Event Interview
So Rocky comes out to thank everyone for attending his birthday party...but WAIT because Vince McMahon is returning and has something to say. He's also rocking a badass pink shirt and tie combo that only a billionaire could pull off. He introduces a video tribute package to the Rock and, yet again, WWE proves it has the best production team around.
Maya also sings happy birthday to our favorite People's Champion and I gotta admit, the birthday hats being passed out to the audience was a nice touch. Rocky says thanks and we fade to black on another episode.
Holy hell, that's a lot of confetti. I liked all the angles that were showcased tonight and the matches were good enough to keep me from changing the channel. There were, however, a fair amount of dead spots in the show for whatever reason, seemed like the pacing was screwed up or something.
All in all though, it was a good waste of two hours. Now, all they have to do is get the Rock to appear more often and maybe the show's won't seem so empty without him.
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