Monday, February 7, 2011

WWE Raw thoughts - February 7, 2011

We're on the Road to WrestleMania, WWE.com is hyping the return of Vince McMahon and we're just two weeks away from 2.21.11, so we could have a big night on our hands. Refresh your page for ongoing coverage of tonight's show, and feel free to follow me on Twitter for random absurdity. Trying to get to 900 followers tonight and 1000 by WrestleMania, because I like being liked!

Oh here we go, we're starting things off with Vince McMahon himself! Michael Cole says it's been "almost a year," which it hasn't, we saw him in October, but I guess since that was all a dream, it doesn't count? Anyway, Vince says that next week, they will announce a special guest host for WrestleMania and calls him the only man that could host an event in front of 70,000 people.

Well, as far as Vince McMahon announcements go, it's not the most disappointing, but I hesitate at the idea of a "host" for WrestleMania. Even with it being a four hour show, WrestleMania 26 didn't have nearly enough time for all its matches, I don't know if the show needs to constantly cut to a "host" hyping up the crowd. However, celebrity involvement is nothing new for WrestleMania, so I doubt it'll be anything too distracting, and the reaction when Vince announces "WrestleMania host: Justin Bieber" should be hilarious.

Speaking of disappointments, Randy Orton immediately storms the ring after Vince's announcement and tells us how he's just getting started with CM Punk. Speaking of the Nexus leader, Punk doesn't take long to answer Orton and he gives us a little history lesson, going waaaaaaaaaaaaaay back to Unforgiven 2008 where Orton punted CM Punk and made him forfeit the World Heavyweight Championship before the Championship Scramble. Punk is on fire here, talking about how he's waited patiently for this, and I'm amazed that WWE's showing this kind of continuity.

Nexus joins the party and we get a nice beat down on Orton, even though Orton manages to fight back and legitimately break CM Punk's nose. GROSS! Punk hits a sweet GTS in retaliation though and didn't even throw a temper tantrum in the process! Great opening segment, and anytime WWE goes back 2+ years to hype a feud, I'm impressed.

Mason Ryan is in his singles debut for our opening contest, all members of the New Nexus must face participants in the Elimination Chamber tonight, culminating with Punk vs. Cena. I dig it, but I'd still really like to see Punk vs. Cena on a big PPV. Anyhoo, Mason Ryan's opponent is R-Truth, who gets booed because he accidentally calls Milwaukee "Green Bay." C'mon R-Truth, it's an old Indian word, meaning "The Good Land!" Ryan practically destroys R-Truth after Truth tweaks his knee, and forces him to tap out to THE BROCK LOCK! Calling it now: Brock Lesnar & Justin Bieber: WrestleMania co-hosts! Ryan continues the assault after the match, resulting in the referee reversing his decision, which is so old school I can't help but love it.

Backstage, CM Punk congratulates Mason Ryan on demolishing R-Truth and encourages the rest of Nexus to do the same tonight. His bloody wrist tape makes him even more bad ass.

Six-Diva tag action next with Eve, Gail Kim & Tamina vs. Melina & The Bella Twins, who apparently evil now. Good news is the fact that Natalya, who's on commentary, gets her rematch next week. Good gals pick up the win in a match that wouldn't have been that bad if Michael Cole weren't on commentary.

New 2.21.11 video is extra creepy, but closes with Johnny Cash's "Ain't No Grave," yeah, it's The Undertaker. Expect a flurry of 14-year old boys screaming "DAMN YOU WWE!" on YouTube any moment now. Should make voting in the latest Kick-Out!! poll easier though!

Cool hype video for Elimination Chamber, we'll be seeing a lot of that one in the next few weeks.

John Morrison vs. Michael McGillicutty is up next and it's nice of The G?M to basically give Morrison the night off. Sorry McGillibuddies, no chance Morrison was losing this match, and all it took was the Flying Chuck and Starship Pain. After the match though, CM Punk was waiting at the entrance and sprayed Morrison in the eyes with something in an aerosol can. Punk was just trying to clean his keyboard, not his fault Morrison got in the way!

Do you smell that? It smells like AWESOME! The most must-see WWE Champion in history, The Miz is here, and he wants to have a little chat with Jerry "Stupid" Lawler. The Miz was pulling for Lawler last week, but not because he's the easy win, they'd all be easy wins! The Miz, however, considers himself a "modern day Jerry Lawler," a lightning rod of controversy that's getting everyone talking and not just in the wrestling world. To really sell this, Miz should finish Lawler with a piledriver at Elimination Chamber, that would be the ultimate insult, it's just too bad the PPV isn't in Memphis.

Jerry Lawler is fantastic here as well, proving once again that when he wants to be, he's still one of the best talkers in the industry and can get a crowd behind him (or against him) with relative ease. I cannot stress how excellent this feud is and how excited I am for their match at Elimination Chamber. Naturally, this devolves into a full blown brawl, with Lawler getting the upper hand, but Ted DiBiase rushes to Miz's aid after Lawler's FALCON PUNCH! last week, but then Daniel Bryan hits the ring to even the score, and we've got a tag match on our hands!

Daniel Bryan & Jerry Lawler vs. The Miz & Ted DiBiase is our 10pm main event, and once again, WWE showing a tremendous amount of continuity here. I love intersecting stories, and while Bryan and DiBiase have been feuding, we can't forget that he has more history with The Miz than anyone in WWE. And this is the only time Michael Cole's obnoxious commentary works since he's Miz's boy and loathes the US Champion, it's perfect.

Match is tons of fun and the crowd is way into it, I'm way into it, even with no one out there to balance Cole and Riley, I love this friggin feud! Bryan hits the suicide dive on The Miz, Lawler on the second rope, STRAP IS DOWN, flying fist on DiBiase (that's appropriate) and Lawler picks up the win! As I mentioned in last week's Kick-Out!! Radio, this is one of the best stories WWE has told in years. Easily the best since Chris Jericho vs. Shawn Michaels or Shawn Michaels vs. Undertaker.

Okay, so Sheamus is on his way out to face David Otunga, but is stopped in the aisle by Josh Mathews, who asks him about some comments made by Mark Henry, who supposedly said Sheamus doesn't deserve to be in the Chamber. Sheamus talks some trash, Otunga makes his entrance, but then Mark Henry comes down and beats up Sheamus then David Otunga stands over the 2010 King of the Ring? What the hell was that? Way to make the King of the Ring and one of the contenders in the Chamber look like a complete doofus. Sheamus needs Triple H to come back sooner than later, so he doesn't get saddled with garbage like this.

At least Alberto Del Rio is here, but apparently just for a match with Santino Marella. I was hoping he was coming out to help Sheamus and officially form a tag team. But hey, more logical storytelling here, Santino has a legitimate gripe with Del Rio, and even though the Rumble winner has a mini feud with Kofi going on over on Smackdown, he should be on Raw every week to get the audience more familiar with him. Decent match too, obviously Del Rio picks up the win with the Cross Armbreaker, but put him in there with Kozlov next week and keep this going.

Hooray, Vickie Guerrero & Dolph Ziggler are here! I'm not sure why Vickie's dressed like the Crocodile Hunter, but hey, she makes it work because she's a fabulous lady. The boos are deafening though, I can barely hear her over this raucous Green Bay Milwaukee crowd. But things get even louder with the arrival of John Cena, who hopefully isn't here to call Vickie fat for 20 minutes.

Thankfully, there are no fat jokes, John Cena is here to cover for R-Truth's screw-up, and talk about his hot makeout session with Vickie the last time they were in the ring together. Even better, Michael Cole has FINALLY turned on Cena as well, which has been my #1 gripe with him as a bad guy. You can't be the most obnoxious jerk on commentary since Lawler in 93 and still cheer for the top good guy. Cena's on fire here, getting the crowd to mercilessly boo Dolph and Vickie to the point that they have to leave, despite the fact that Vickie had "something to say."

Cena turns his attention to Punk and Nexus, vowing to not fall victim to their tactics like the other Chamber contestants and goes into full Reverend Cena mode. That's the John Cena I'm a fan of, more of this, less of the fat jokes and stealing a guy's cell phone.

Main Event (& Clobberin') Time! John Cena vs. CM Punk, and with the tear Punk's been on tonight, I don't like Cena's chances of avoiding shenanigans. Oh wait, Cena avoids shenanigans by punching CM Punk in dong! Well that's not nice. Cena gets disqualified for the blatant low blow and manages to fend of Nexus with a steel chair provided by Jerry Lawler. At the very least, they're not giving too much away with yet another Punk vs. Cena match... save it for SummerSlam.

I loved, loved, LOVED this episode of Raw. Anticlimactic finish, sure, and the Sheamus/Henry stuff was stupid, but for the most part, everything else was perfect. We had a arching story that took place throughout the entire show, intersecting feuds, logical and coherent story advancement, and continuity going all the way back to 2008! Okay, so Sting isn't coming to WWE and the WrestleMania host thing may be a bit worrisome, but The Undertaker's coming back, Lawler vs. Miz is brilliant and CM Punk is just plain terrifying. I know WWE cranks it up for WrestleMania, so I shouldn't be surprised, but this Raw was so much fun.

The John Cena ExperienceWWE RAW: The Best of 2010WWE Bloodbath - The Most Incredible Cage Matches

14 comments:

  1. Dude... what if Chris Jericho ends up as the host of WM? That would make those conflicting interviews make sense, wouldn't it?

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  2. R Truth botches 2 weeks in a row! Not good! lol

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  3. MC, I think you might be onto something.

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  4. Tamina doesn't look so hot this week, but she's standing with Gail ... so ... I guess i know why.

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  5. Johnny Cash, ain't no grave ... hmmm, from WM26 HBK vs UTaker, it means ... 21-2-11 is undertaker. Not sting :)

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  6. Well, it is Occam's Razor... the simplest use of the available evidence once again proves to be correct.

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  7. Yeah, it's The Undertaker, but hey, at least we're getting Bieber!

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  8. Watching this on DVR and just got up to the R-Truth match. Yes, Truth screwed up it serves as our weekly reminder as to how badly they need to get rid of Cole

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  9. that makes it all better razor

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  10. Razor, I am a wee bit confused. I know it's no real horserace, but why do you feel "Lawler vs. Miz is easily WWE's best told story since Jericho vs. HBK" ?

    Tom

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  11. Tom, I went into a lengthy explanation about this on my Tumblr page last week:

    http://kickoutblog.tumblr.com/post/3064230040/we-watch-wrestling-kickoutblog

    And I talked about it on Kick-Out!! Radio too.

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  12. I guess I better listen to the KO Radio again .. and ... i should really start looking at your other pages ... coz ... I really only look at Kick-Out blog. So, (coz it's almost 4am UK time), I will go back and listen to your KO radio again :) tomorrow ;)

    I bet tonite you heard "elimination chamber" being used as an euphemism as "ass" was a first, right???? ... I can see it as "anus" but anyway
    i will check KO radio again . . . believe it or not, I have listened to it every single episode!

    cheers

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  13. Don't you love the sites that talk about how "it almost HAS to be Sting at this point, just to avoid all the disappointment...."

    Up until I heard that Johnny Cash clip in the video yesterday I was holding out hope for Stinger, but now, I just want to applaud WWE for bringing in Undertaker with something a lot cooler and more elaborate than the usual "BONG!LIGHTS OUT"... Plus, I love the use of the "ain't no grave gonna keep me down" as a secondary fight song for The Undertaker...if you hear Johnny Cash playing you know you're about to get dropped.

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  14. The same people insisting that it's still Sting and they're just using the obvious Undertaker imagery as a "swerve" are the same people who thought Daniel Bryan's release was a work. Once they get an idea in their head, they cling to it.

    While I can't see them messing with Taker's entrance, I'd love for him to use "Ain't No Grave" occasionally, kinda like how Triple H uses "King of Kings." It's just so fitting and so bad ass, and could work if they're going for a more "Western" version of the character.

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