Monday, January 31, 2011

WWE Raw thoughts - January 31, 2011

And we are officially on the Road to WrestleMania! We've got PPV fallout to deal with, new feuds on the horizon and surely an appearance from the Rumble winner himself, Alberto Del Rio! This is WWE's strongest period every year and after a strong show like last night, I'm incredibly excited for tonight's Raw. Refresh your page for ongoing coverage!

And naturally, we're starting things off with Ricardo Rodriguez, a Mariachi band, and YOUR 2011 Royal Rumble winner, Alberto Del Rio! His name... his name is ALBERTO DEL RIO! He told the peasants that it was his destiny, but you just didn't listen! Hilarious line with Del Rio saying his band only plays for him and Mexican president Felipe Calderon, and if he wins the big one at WrestleMania, Mexico just might put him in charge. Want to put a stop to those drug cartels once and for all? They all get Cross Armbreakers! Del Rio teases announcing the title he's going after at WrestleMania, but things get AWESOME!

The Miz & Alex Riley arrive to tell ADR that they heard Edge talking all sorts of trash about the Rumble winner, claiming his cars are rentals and that he's a JBL/Tito Santana knock-off. Del Rio doesn't trust The Miz, which is a shame since he's such an honest, upstanding individual, unlike that cowardly Randy Orton that just assaults people for no reason. But of course, talk about Edge and you shall receive Edge. The World Champ insists that he'd beat Del Rio, and it looks like the Rumble winner is going to take that bet, because Alberto Del Rio will be challenging for the World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania 27! Edge clocks his challenger, but Del Rio gets the upper hand, EL KABONGS with a mariachi guitar and locks in the Cross Armbreaker. Superb opening, anyone who still doubted Del Rio's main event qualities have been instantly silenced.

COLE'S GOT MAIL! The G?M announces the "Raw Rumble" tonight featuring seven guys: Randy Orton, CM Punk, John Morrison, R-Truth, Sheamus, Jerry Lawler (??), and John Cena. The winner faces The Miz at Elimination Chamber and the other six are in the actual Chamber match; I like it, I hate the champ being forced to defend the belt in the Chamber before Mania, it makes much more sense when at least one Chamber is a #1 contender's match.

Santino Marella (so close!) & Vladimir Kozlov vs. Husky Harris & Mike McGillicutty is up next and the WWE Tag Team Titles are on the line! The "most dangerous group in WWE history" falls victim to the COBRA~! and the champs retain in a much better match than their previous encounter. Afterward, Randy Orton storms the ring (look at the excitement on my face) and RKOs Husky and McGillicutty, and then threatens to punt poor old Husky, who is still reeling from the effects of the Cobra. CM Punk and the rest of Nexus try to warn Orton against punting Husky, Punk even says please, but of course Orton does it anyway because he's an awful person, and then he ran away like a coward!

And things just go from bad to worse with the arrival of Ted DiBiase, who is demanding that Jerry "The King" Lawler hand over his spot in the Raw Rumble. Michael Cole says Lawler is too selfish to just give up his spot, and Jerry tells them both off, insisting that this is going to be his year to FINALLY compete in a match at WrestleMania. DiBiase gets in a cheap shot, then tries to use Maryse as a human shield, she slaps him and Lawler tags him with a stiff right hand. FALCON PUUUUUUNCH! Good for Lawler, he deserves to get a match at WrestleMania after all he's done!

A dark, shadowy figure in a trench coat is shown walking into a creepy house in the rain... all we get is a 2.21.11 at the end of the vignette, which is three weeks from tonight. LOVE THIS! WWE hasn't done anything mysterious like this since Chris Jericho's "Code." Is it The Undertaker... someone new... something we once thought impossible? Hmmm...

And while I'm trying to decipher that vignette, Daniel Bryan makes Tyson Kidd tap out. C'mon WWE, give Bryan some time to work with, the Bellas/Gail Kim stuff should've ended last week.

10pm Main Event is a rematch from last week, The Miz vs. Edge and there must be a winner, so expect loads of shenanigans. Their match isn't nearly as fun as last week's and guess what? There were some shenanigans! John Cena is in the press box, heckling The Miz, just enough to cause a distraction for Edge to hit the spear and pick up the win. It's okay Miz, Edge used an illegal move and there was outside interference, it doesn't count as a loss!

Seriously though, what is up with the "good guys" constantly cheating or attacking people unprovoked? What kind of message are we sending the youth of America?!

Finally some good news, WWE TV confirms that Stone Cold is returning to host Tough Enough. Now there's a good guy that is allowed to cheat, because he's usually been drinking!

Vickie Guerrero promises history will be made on Friday Night Smackdown when Edge has to defend the World Title in a way it's never been defended before. Color me intrigued.

Diva tag action next with Natalya & Eve vs. LayCool. Still have no idea why Eve is the Diva's Champion, and also #WeWantKong. Seeing a lot of folks complaining about Natalya and Eve teaming up since Eve won the title last night, but why is that so bad? Natalya isn't a crybaby, she lost the match last night fair and square, who would dissolve a friendship after something like that? A jerkface! Speaking of faces, Eve's got broken off by Layla's NASTY~! Diamond Dust, and LayCool picks up the win. Better than what we usually get on Raw for the Divas, so I'll give this match a thumbs up.

The Great Khali & Mark Henry vs. The Usos up next; I see Mark Henry's continuing his quest to team with every person on the Raw roster. But instead of a match, The G?M chimes in to turn this into a Dance Off. Because remember, fat and awkward people dancing is funny. Sigh. Oh well, at least wigs were sufficiently split in the end.

2.2.11 again.

RAW Rumble is up next and I assume it is our main event! John Morrison & Sheamus start it off, and yeah we've seen these guys lock up a lot, but there's a reason for it, they have excellent chemistry. Morrison's fresh off an MVP performance at the Royal Rumble with his Spider-Man save on the barricade, could he win tonight and face his old tag partner at Elimination Chamber? I gotta admit, even though I was pulling for him in last night's Rumble, I don't want him to win here, I'd rather see the crazy stuff he'll do in the Chamber match.

John Cena in at #3 in the Raw Rumble and comes in hot, but his momentum quickly stalls when Morrison beautifully counters the Attitude Adjustment.

CM Punk is in at #4 and he is the proverbial "house of fire," nailing Cena with his running knee in the corner, but quickly turns his attention to Morrison. I guess we're just officially moving on from Punk & Nexus vs. Cena with no payoff?

R-Truth is #5, but c'mon, he lasted mere seconds in the Rumble last night. Shouldn't this spot go to Santino, the runner-up? According to the bottle of Jack Daniel's the WWE Rulebook, if Alberto Del Rio can't make it to WrestleMania, Santino would take his place!

Jerry Lawler is in at #6, and does The King have a new singlet?! That's his first new singlet since 1983!

That cowardly cheat, Randy Orton, is the final entrant, but I have no idea what he's done to earn a spot in this match. He's failed to beat The Miz at two consecutive PPVs, he somehow got a spot in the Rumble last night and failed again, and then tonight, he brutally assaulted Husky Harris, who never laid a finger on him. Orton should be suspended, not rewarded, and instead he comes in and has the audacity to eliminate CM Punk?

But hey, R-Truth sneaks up behind Orton and chucks his ass out! Thanks for playing Orton, you had the best number and STILL blew it!

R-Truth eliminated by Cena, John Morrison's athleticism defies all logic and the laws of physics, but unfortunately for him, the Brogue Kick defies his face. See ya in the Chamber, buddy!

Sheamus gets Cena on the apron and King inadvertantly eliminates him! But despite the last few weeks, Cena's still the boy scout and helps Lawler eliminate Sheamus to give the win to the King! It's Miz vs. Lawler at Elimination Chamber! These two had one of the best TV matches in 2010, let's see if they can step it up on PPV.

Okay, let's be honest, there was a lot of crap on Raw tonight from Dance-offs to glorified squash matches to good guys acting like a-holes; but with all the Elimination Chamber/WrestleMania build, a cool main event, Alberto Del Rio being awesome and Randy Orton getting humiliated by R-Truth of all people, I had fun. When you look at the big picture, I gotta give this show the thumbs up.

It's Good to Be the King...SometimesUndisputed: How to Become the World Champion in 1,372 Easy StepsCross Rhodes: Goldust, Out of the Darkness (WWE)

7 comments:

  1. There seems to be a bit of sexual tension between the King and Cole.

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  2. What a great tease and a great way to bring in 'the icon'. i've got my fingures crossed. Great opening to this raw, i'm glad its Edge V Del Rio, got more of a back story to build from. So Razor whats your Wrestlemania Matches now, Its gotta be Icon V Phenom dosn't it?

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  3. *sigh* Can you please dial down the hate on Randy Orton? Pretend that CM Punk's the face and Orton's the heel leading Nexus. Had Punk run down to the ring to do away with Harris, you would've cheered his actions, not called him a jerk because Orton (in this imaginary case) asked him to stop.

    We get that you don't like him. Can you just not like him for some logical reason? Orton clearly wants to come after Punk and the Nexus for costing him the WWE title, and so him coming after the Nexus is completely logical.

    If you don't like his matches, that's fine. In this case, however, you're just hating a completely logical angle because of who's in it. I mean, it's going beyond parody at this point...it's like hating on Randy Orton is to you as being an annoying, drooling fanboy about the Miz is to Michael Cole

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  4. Randy Orton is a bad person. As a man that admires honesty and integrity, I cannot lend my support to a person who would do something as vicious, cowardly and brutal as Randy Orton did last night. The Providence Police Department should've arrested him on the spot for felonious assault, but instead he is awarded with another chance to challenge for the WWE Championship?! IS THERE NO JUSTICE IN THIS WORLD?!

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  5. On a more serious note...

    @Aran - Not getting my hopes up for anything that extravagant, my current thoughts on WrestleMania are:

    The Miz vs. John Cena - WWE Title
    Edge vs. Alberton Del Rio - World Title
    CM Punk vs. Randy Orton
    Wade Barrett vs. The Undertaker
    Sheamus vs. Triple H
    Rey Mysterio vs. Cody Rhodes
    Big Show vs. Diesel (maybe)
    Ezekiel Jackson, Heath Slater & Justin Gabriel vs. David Otunga, Mason Ryan & Michael McGillicutty
    And maybe something like John Morrison vs. Dolph Ziggler if they don't do Money In The Bank.

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  6. Truthfully, I'm a little worried about this event. None of the matchups are must see based on star power and there's nothing to attract the casuals who aren't already WWE fans. Where's the big celebrity/pop culture storyline we've come to expect from WrestleMania? It's not there yet.

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  7. There have been many WrestleManias without celebrity crossovers, but there is a lot of talk about Justin Bieber singing the National Anthem, which would surely drum up some mainstream media attention, much to the chagrin of the males in the audience.

    I hesitate to bring in celebrities just for the sake of bringing in celebrities. Sure, it may attract the mythical casual audience, but unless it's the right celebrity in the right situation, I doubt the casuals stick around after WrestleMania.

    It's definitely a rebuilding year for WWE. Shawn Michaels is gone, Batista's gone, Jericho's gone (for now, at least), Edge is rumored to be considering retirement, Triple H is shifting into a part-time schedule, Undertaker already is down to a handful of matches a year, etc.

    Cena and Orton are the closest things they have to mega stars, they really have to get serious about this "youth movement," that's been started. It might mean a "weaker" card than what we're accustomed to at Mania, but there just aren't any HUGE matches left, except Cena vs. Undertaker, which clearly isn't happening this year. I'm sure WWE has something up their sleeve, but yeah, this year's going to be a bit different.

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