WWE Raw Review (11/14/11): The Rock Returns to Raw, Final Survivor Series Build

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WWE Raw Review (11/14/11): The Rock Returns to Raw, Final Survivor Series Build

LIVE! from Boston, Mass. (home of the most annoying, unwashed fans in the history of modern sports)

Michael Cole kicks us off (oh joy) and brings out Jim Ross for the "much anticipated" Cole Challenge. I guess they are going to drag this out to three separate challenges to see if Ross gets his job back. Right, I wouldn't want this thing finished too QUICKLY.

 

Arm Wrestling

At least the crowd is hanging with them somewhat and the referee is mic'ed up for whatever reason. Cole stalls because they have THREE hours to waste tonight instead of the regular two. Of course, JR wins immediately and Cole claims he threw the match.

 

Dance Contest

I'll give Cole credit; he is willing to make an ass out of himself to get his heel character heat. He dances like a moron and then JR actually SLAPS HIS OWN ASS during his quasi-robot dancing. OK, I'll admit it...I laughed a little bit. Cole actually admits defeat pretty quickly, which means I smell a screw job coming up in the next one.

 

Weight Competition

Hey, another fat joke...haven't heard one of those in awhile. This competition is who weighs less and Cole weighs in at exactly 200 lbs. JR steps on and weighs 239 lbs., meaning Cole is the winning of the challenge.

But wait...

CM Punk (like all of us) has seen enough and calls his whole thing a waste of time...except JR dancing, of course. In so many words, he also calls Cole boring and this show unbearable.

Speaking of unbearable, here is Johnny Ace to book CM Punk and Big Show against Del Rio and Mark Henry. Wait...you mean a tag match featuring PPV opponents? I've never heard of that booking strategy before! Where do they get ideas like this?

Of course, Cole takes things one step too far and demands an apology, earning himself an Anaconda Vise.

Meanwhile, Mick Foley makes his return to Raw in a limo and promises to enjoy the Rock's return. Seeing Mick always brings a smile to my face...good for him.

 

Sin Cara and Kofi Kingston vs. Cody Rhodes and Hunico

Rhodes is now sans mask thanks to Randy Orton, and JR is on commentary while Cole receives medical attention in the back. Cara flips around with Hunico and hits a flying headscissors, then manages to get a hip toss off a handspring from the ropes. Kofi checks in and gets a monkey flip from the corner, then dropkicks Cody to the outside with his partner. The faces hit stereo splashes from the top, and we take a commercial break for the heels to gather themselves.

We return with Sin Cara playing Ricky Morton and getting his ass kicked in the heel corner by Hunico. Tilt-a-whirl backbreaker puts Cara down while Lawler spews the company line on Twitter. By the way, trending on Twitter doesn't get you more PPV buys, more tickets bought to your house show and no higher ratings for your TV...just for the record.

Sin Cara hooks a sloppy looking hurricanrana for a two count, but Hunico puts him down and brings in Cody. That proves to be a mistake, as Cara hits flying headscissors and gets the hot tag to Kofi, who cleans house like every hot tag since 1958. High cross body gets two, and it triggers a brawl as Hunico hits the floor and Cara takes him out with a plancha. Cody takes advantage of the confusion to hit Cross Rhodes and get the pin for his team.
 

Winners: Cody Rhodes and Hunico

Total formula tag match here, but that's not exactly a bad thing. Kofi is kind of just there since his partner was stupid and got suspended, so this loss isn't exactly going to hurt him **.

Meanwhile, THE ROCK is here.

Backstage, Santino and Zack Ryder pimp the new WWE '12 video game....that's pretty much it.

Vickie Guerrero hits the entrance ramp to announce that Christian has an ankle injury and is out of Survivor Series. She is about to announce his replacement on Team Barrett, but Dolph Ziggler interrupts and declares himself the replacement member. Oh, and he's going to face the useless lump known as Mason Ryan next.

 

Dolph Ziggler vs. Mason Ryan

Johnny Ace brings Cole back to replace JR on commentary because the announcing was making too much damn sense and we needed someone to put Twitter over some more. Ziggler tries to run away but gets flattened by a clothesline and a big boot. Gorilla press puts Dolph down, so Vickie jumps on the apron and smacks Ryan to earn the DQ...really?
 

Winner by DQ: Mason Ryan

Say it with me....that sucked DUD. Job Morrison tosses Dolph Ziggler back in to Ryan and he takes the full nelson bomb. Yeah, no one cares.

Meanwhile, Mick Foley meets Zack Ryder and signs his petition...there's a match made in comedy heaven.

Mick Foley makes his way to the ring and tells the crowd "there's no place like home." He puts over the PPV this Sunday and names them the Rock N Cena Connection....nah, just doesn't have a ring to it. He doesn't like that the people (well, males aged 18-35) boo John Cena, so he's going to bring him to the ring to straighten things out.

Cena hits the ring and says he doesn't need to be friends with the Rock to be victories. Mick cuts him off and says he just wants people to respect Cena for all his great matches. Mick reveals he has sewn together a Rock and John Cena t-shirt to form one....that Mick, always the deep thinker.

Mick decides there's only one way he can get the Rock and John Cena together, and that's John Cena...THIS IS YOUR LIFE!

-We get a very cheesy video montage before bringing out our first guest: Cena's little league coach. Coach laments John Cena striking out in the bottom of the last inning with the bases loaded and then crying like a baby. Coach then leaves without even an insult from good old Johnny boy.

Our second guest, believe it or not, is John Cena's old bodyguard from 2003 "Bling Bling" Bull Buchanan...known as B-2 or B-Squared to the cool kids. There's probably 12 people left in the crowd who remember Bull Buchanan.

Buchanan calls Cena the best tag partner he ever had...until he got fired, his wife divorced him and his dog bit him. Bling Bling does a complete 180 and screams that Cena ruined his life and storms off. (Cena: "Finally, something worse than the Shockmaster.")

Can someone please tell me what the point of all this is? Please?

Our last guest is John Cena, Sr., who goes off on the crowd for chanting "Cena sucks" and calls them all losers. Cena Jr. cuts him off an sends him backstage in yet another weird portion of this segment.

Cena goes off on one of his soliloquies about his life being in the ring and yada yada yada, but Mick promises to salvage the segment (thank you!) by bringing out the guest of honor.

But wait...

Like the rest of us, the Rock has seen enough of this, storms to the ring, delivers a Rock Bottom to Mick Foley and immediately leaves. You see that? It's stuff like that that gets the Rock cheered years after he retires.

Here's my major problem with this segment: What the in blue hell was the point? It didn't put a match over, it wasn't funny, Mick was wasted in this role and the people were bored with the parade of nobodies that Foley brought out.

Complete waste of 15 minutes.

 

Sheamus vs. Jack Swagger

Was someone seriously paid real money to come up with the nickname "The Great White" for Sheamus? I'm in the wrong business. Sheamus works a headlock and hits a clothesline, but Swagger recovers with a takedown. Sheamus catches him with his head down, though, and throws some knees before sending Swagger up and over the rope to the floor and sending us to break.

We return with Sheamus hammering away against the ropes and hitting a vertical suplex for two. Jack buys himself some time by going low with a chop block, but he immediately ignores whatever damage that would cause and hits a shoulderblock for two. Oh, just one second:

#NoOneGivesARatsAssWhatsTrendingOnTwitterYouMorons

Swagger stays in control and grabs a shoulder submission, but then decides to work on the back for a bit until Sheamus floors him with a clothesline. Sheamus makes his babyface comeback and hits a powerslam for two and he looks to finish. Razor's Edge is countered to a pump splash by Swagger, and he grabs the ankle lock, but Sheamus kicks way out and sends Swagger to ringside. Irish Curse backbreaker hits, and the pump kick makes the pin academic.
 

Winner: Sheamus

Swagger's psychology was all over the place; just pick a body part and stay there. Sheamus is over, so this win only made sense since Swagger sucks **.

Meanwhile, Alberto Del Rio blows off the Bella Sluts.

 

Natalya vs. Kelly Kelly

Wow, it's just a never-ending feud featuring women who draw absolutely nothing. You mean Kelly Kelly used to be a model? The hell you say. I thought she trained with Killer Kowalski and slummed it in the indys for years before being picked up after an exceptional **** match with a local worker. You mean she just showed her ass and got a contract? How about that.

Natalya manhandles Kelly and stomps away in the corner, but she misses a blind charge and Kelly gets a stink face. Beth distracts Kelly and Nattie tries the Sharpshooter, but gets small packaged for the pin.
 

Winner: Kelly Kelly

A total waste of time, give it -** for forcing me to sit through a Maxim promo and a useless match.

Backstage, Alberto Del Rio meets Johnny Ace and says CM Punk might not make it to Survivor Series.

Meanwhile, Striker tries to interview Awesome Truth backstage but they just stand there in silence...well, there's a good way to put heat on them for this Sunday, the silent treatment.

Still backstage, Del Rio attacks CM Punk and targets his arm.

-Oh, right; I forgot...there's always one portion on the show where they just show boring backstage segments to waste time instead of...you know, wrestling.

 

Alberto Del Rio and Mark Henry vs. CM Punk and Big Show

Show starts and chops away at Del Rio, then he brings in Punk, who is pissed as hell and hammers away. Floatover suplex gets two and Show comes back in, causing Del Rio to head for the hills and tag in Mizark. They lock up, and Henry overpowers Show twice until Big Show uses the POWER OF FAT to muscle him to the mat. However, he stupidly tries for a body slam, and Henry falls on top for the near fall.

The heels work over Del Rio as I wonder one thing: Why have Punk get jumped before this match if he comes out totally fine? I understand he was mad, but why not go handicap against Show or at least have Punk be late and taped up or something. It's the little things, kids.

Show hits Henry with a shoulderblock and looks for the KO Punch, but Henry runs away and tags out to Del Rio. Hey guys, YOU BOOKED THIS GUY AS A MONSTER; monsters don't run away.

We return with CM Punk getting beat down by Henry, and the heels switch off. Punk gets a hope spot, but a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker by Del Rio quickly ends that, and Punk is once again trapped in the wrong corner. Punk starts to mount a comeback against Del Rio and wins a slugfest then hits Del Rio with a leg lariat. Henry tries to come in from behind but is met by a kick from Punk.

CM Punk comes off the top to Henry with a cross body, but gets caught with the World's Fattest Slam. Big Show comes in to try and help out, but he goes tumbling to the outside like a clumsy oaf and hits the post. Del Rio sneaks in and covers Punk, earning the pin in an odd decision before a PPV.
 

Winners: Alberto Del Rio and Mark Henry

-I don't understand this booking unless Punk is winning the title on Sunday, something I can't see happening. Don't you want your fans to think Punk is going to beat Del Rio so that they buy the PPV to see the heel get what's coming to him? No, because that's booking that's been working for 50 years...let's do the exact opposite.

Del Rio locks on the cross armbreaker after the match to further the angle that Punk has no chance this Sunday.

The match itself was pretty good because Big Show was mostly kept out of the ring **3/4.

Santino Marella hits the ring because this was the arena where he came thisclose to winning the Royal Rumble by hiding under the ring. He continues to rant, but the New World Order music hits and Kevin Nash hits the ring. Santino begs for mercy, but gets flattened by a big boot anyways.

You see, Santino made the mistake of mentioning the Royal Rumble, and that's something that gets Nash a little worked up. How about a Jackknife Powerbomb for Santino as well? Doesn't matter anyways, Santino is the King of Jobberville for life, so why not throw him out to the wolves? Short and effective.

Backstage, Randy Orton proves he can do push ups....how scary.

Wade Barrett and his Survivor Series team hit the ring to brag about beating Randy Orton last week.

 

Randy Orton vs. Wade Barrett

Orton is obviously accompanied by his team as well. Oh wait; we need to take a commercial break first.

 

Randy Orton vs. Wade Barrett

OK, now we get started for real as Orton hits a suplex and a drops a knee for two. Barrett catches him with a side slam though and sends Orton hard into the corner, where he stomps away. Barrett grabs a hold to allow the crowd to come back, and Orton suplexes out to start his comeback. He adds a powerslam and hits the draping DDT.

Orton looks to finish, but Cody Rhodes jumps him from behind, and THEY CLUBBERIN' TONY!! THEY BE CLUBBERIN'! A pier-six brawl breaks out, and the faces send the heels flying towards the locker room. Hunico is the final one left, so he takes an RKO before Mason Ryan tosses him to his team.
 

No Contest

Really not much of a match; more of a setup for the brawl at the end. Match was short and didn't have a finish, so that means *1/4.

Recap of the This is Your Life segment for 84th time.

 

Main Event Interview

So the Rock hits the ring to a very loud ovation and gives the details of his day. He was up at 3 a.m. and already hanging and banging by 5 a.m.. He has the crowd in the palm of his hand in case you hadn't already guessed that. He lets everyone know that he is definitely back here in Boston, Mass. in the way that only Rocky can.

The Rock explains that the This is Your Life segment was God-awful and that's why he ended things (Crowd: "Thank you, Rock!"...ouch).

That segment has to be one of the worst of the past couple years, and that's really saying something. I understand it was intentionally bad, but come on, make it two minutes long then.

The crowd comes right along with the Rock as he rattles off his new catchphrase: Boots to asses. Aspiring wrestlers, look at this, this man owns this crowd...every single person. Rocky doesn't want to wait until Sunday and wants to kick some ass right now.

Awesome Truth hits the ring and threatens to pummel the Rock right now, but they don't care what Rocky or the people want, so everyone has to wait until Sunday.

The heels look to leave, but John Cena has to get in that spotlight one last time before Sunday, and he joins the Rock in the ring. Cena causally mentions that the only thing Rocky's brought in the last couple months are messages "via satellite."

The Rock excuses his partner because he's not used to having the respect of people who have reached puberty. Rocky might just kick Cena right in his lady parts, which of course, causes "Cena's Lady Parts" to trend worldwide on Twitter instantly.

Cena also happens to casually mention he might bitch slap the Rock if he gets out of line, but the Miz makes the mistake of breaking up the insult-fest. Miz and Truth run through a couple of lame insults, but Rocky has heard enough and essentially takes care of the entire team himself. When Cena lifts Miz up for an Attitude Adjustment, Rocky yanks him down and delivers a Rock Bottom to punctuate his point.

Entertaining segment to be sure, but they definitely should have put some solid heat on Awesome Truth before the PPV on Sunday.

 

Final Word

A completely and totally average show through and through until the end segment simply because the Rock is that damn entertaining. Since they didn't put any heat on Awesome Truth at all, they must be completely dependent on The Rock's name to sell tickets. People certainly aren't going to be buying it to see Awesome Truth, the poorly promoted title match or the rest of the undercard that they barely mentioned.

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