Due to the events of the last 24 hours, it's a "patriotic" Raw tonight. Hope you brought your gear, Sarge! Good things happened on Smackdown with Christian picking up first World Championship, but I'm less than thrilled about The Miz no longer being WWE Champion. He is invoking his rematch clause tonight though, so maybe The Rock will celebrate his birthday by costing John Cena the title? Hey, a boy can dream. Refresh your page for ongoing coverage of tonight's show, and of course, check out Twitter for the ongoing absurdity.
And we open tonight with a video package showing footage of 9/11 and WWE's live Smackdown just two days later. And hey, Lilian Garcia is here to sing the National Anthem! Say what you will about WWE, but there's something about it that has always struck me as fundamentally American. It's not perfect, even quite silly at times but dammit, it sure is entertaining and I love being a part of it.
USA! USA! USA!
And we're kicking things off with the birthday boy himself, The Rock! Although tonight, he probably should've arrived as his alter-ego, THEROCK OBAMA! He is Miami, Florida's very own, the man who will face John Cena in the main event of WrestleMania 28 in this very city, so I expect this crowd to SPLODE~! tonight. The Rock starts off with a simple "WE GOT HIM" and the crowd goes absolutely insane. Rock proceeds to lead the crowd in recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance, like he's a first grade teacher and then seamlessly transitions into a joke about how big his penis is. That's gotta be a first for television.
Rock tells us about his Miami cred, the crowd chants "U!!!!" for the University of Miami, they weren't booing higher education. Or maybe they were saying "boo-urns." The G?M chimes in here and Michael Cole tries to read, but The Rock doesn't take kindly to being interrupted on his birthday. Little war of words between The Rock and The Pebble here and Cole goes the cheap heat route by unveiling his Kevin Garnett jersey. I don't think Cole has any Boston cred though. Pebble has grown a set though and steps into the ring, claiming the G?M is demanding an apology for being disrespected at WrestleMania and so is Michael Cole. Rock extends his hand with a sincere apology and I think we all know where this is going...
ROCK BOTTOM! ROCK BOTTOM! ROCK BOTTOM!
MOST ELECTRIFYING MOVE IN SPORTS ENTERTAINMENT TODAY... PEOPLE'S ELBOW!
The Rock just gave us all a birthday present there. The Rock continues his celebration by bringing out Pitbull, who I only know because he has a song on Dance Central and then the Miami Heat cheerleaders. Okay then. I think I just experienced sensory overload. That performance was like one of those Japanese cartoons that causes seizures.
JR is on commentary!
R-Truth vs. John Morrison was scheduled to be our opening contest, but Truth returned the favor from last week and attacked Morrison from behind during his entrance. I wonder if that's because they're saving it for the next PPV or because they haven't figured out what to do for Truth's entrance now that he can't rap on his way to the ring? The referees helped Morrison up the ramp, then Truth attacked him again! Evil Truth is great.
Kelly Kelly vs. Maryse is our for realz opening contest of the evening... okay, not really, because KHARMA has arrived! The referee was smart enough to get the hell out of the ring, but the Divas are doomed. Kharma hits Maryse with the Implant Buster while Kelly cowers in the corner, and K2 winds up getting spared... for now. That's how vicious Kharma is, she could've taken them both out, but instead, she is making Kelly think about the horror that is to come. There's nothing worse than a countdown clock to your doom.
Fun bit backstage with The Rock celebrating his birthday with Santino dressed as Rock's character from Fast Five, Hornswoggle as the Scorpion King and Great Khali as, you guessed it, The Tooth Fairy. A Ron Simmons cameo was the only way to get out of this one. DAMN!
Our 10pm main event and first real match of the evening (hopefully) is The Miz vs. John Cena and the WWE Championship is on the line! Hope you enjoyed your cup of coffee, Johnny because that title is going back where it belongs with Team Awesome! Enjoy this live blog while it lasts, because tonight I am putting my crusade against smarkitude aside and joining the fight against John Cena! LET'S GO MIZ/CENA SUCKS!
High drama here with lots of back and forth action and dare I say, it's way better and way more fun than their Mania encounter thanks to the red hot Miami crowd. Miz escapes the STF, ref bump, Cena kicks out of the Skullcrushing finale, Miz kicks out of the AA(!!), but A-Ri provides the distraction, Miz blasts Cena with the title: 1-2-3! WE'VE GOT A NEW WWE CHAMPION! YES! YES! YES!
But no... no no no, Chioda sees the belt and reverses his decision!? CHIODA YOU SON OF A BITCH! How dare you?! The Miz was only 14 championships away from tying The Nature Boy! I refuse to accept this, John Cena is a paper champion!
Ellen Degeneres has a pretty funny birthday wish for The Rock, but after that last match, I'm dead inside and unable to laugh.
Tag team action next with Rey Mysterio & Kofi Kingston vs. Jack Swagger & Drew McIntyre and Alberto Del Rio is on commentary. All these guys were just drafted from Smackdown, but I like the idea of both teams becoming semi-regular, especially Jack and Drew. "JackIntyre," already my new favorite tag team!
Very fun tag match that's getting a decent amount of time, which is nice since there wasn't a full match in the first hour. Of course, since it's a "Welcome To Raw" match, there's no chance the good guys are losing this one. Trouble In Paradise -> 619 -> Big Splash -> YAY! They tease rekindling the Rey/Del Rio feud, which I'm not particularly thrilled about, it hasn't been that long since they last battled, but it's not like these two are going to have a bad match.
The Rock loves 3.14159265358979323846264338327950288419716939937510
John Cena's gift to The Rock? A WWE Title match at WrestleMania 28. Puhlease, only if The Miz gets added to the match, he'll have his Championship back by then!
Kane vs. Mason Ryan up next and if I'm not mistaken, this is going to be our final match of the evening. I haven't been this emotionally invested in a main event since Melina vs. Alicia Fox. CM Punk causes the DQ, New Nexus rushes the ring, but Kane fights them all off... most dangerous group ever! Ryan manages to get the upper hand though, but Big Show makes the save. Or not, Ryan takes him down too. Alright then, I guess they're going to get serious about this guy? Or they're just setting up Nexus to get Corre'd... which is funny because The Corre got Nexus'd.
The Rock's birthday is our proper main event of the evening and a special guest is here to say thanks, Vince McMahon! Pretty sweet and touching speech from Vince, even with the numbnuts in the audience chanting "WHAT!?" and we get a pretty cool video package for the People's Champ as well. Then Mya, yeah, that Mya sings Happy Birthday to The Rock. "IF YA SMELL" next and that's pretty much it.
Weird Raw. No actual matches until an hour in, but that match with Cena and Miz was freaking awesome. Tag match was fun too, and the crowd was red hot all night, but the show just wasn't that good. I bet the live crowd had a blast and the party atmosphere actually came across rather well, but outside of the two real matches we had, there wasn't much going on. A very nice thing to do for The Rock, no doubt about it, but that's about it. Oh, and Mike Chioda is a dick.