Are you ready to embark on the Road to Wrestlemania? Then stop questioning your heart and join me because it is time for Monday Night RAW!!!
Justin Roberts introduces Alberto Del Rio’s personal ring announcer, Ricardo Rodriguez. He leads a mariachi band down to the ring. The 2011 Royal Rumble winner drives himself next to the entrance ramp, and then heads down to the ring.
“My name is Alberto Del Rio, but you already know that”. Del Rio claims that the problem of the crowd is that they never listen, he told them he would win, but they didn’t listen. Tonight is a celebration for the man who will be headlining Wrestlemania. As the winner of the Royal Rumble, he chooses which Champion he will face. He is going to announce his decision right now. He starts to speak in Spanish, and The Miz’s music hits.
The Miz says that winning the Royal Rumble is almost as impressive as winning Money in the Bank and beating Orton three times to remain the WWE Champion. The Miz says that last night after the Rumble, Edge was celebrating. He mocked his accent, and said that real Champions don’t wear cute Eddie Bauer scarves. Edge even claimed that the expensive cars Del Rio drives into the arenas are rentals. Riley claims Edge called Del Rio a cheap JBL and Tito Santana knock off.
Del Rio considers that this may be a ploy by the Miz to get him to choose Edge as his opponent. The Miz is flabbergasted that Del Rio would think he was lying.
Edge’s music hits and he makes his way down to the ring. Edge says that he wouldn’t say those things behind Del Rio’s back, he would come out here and say it to his face. Edge says that if Rio chooses him, he will go on and defeat him at ‘mania, because he is the “Rated R Superstar” (which he says in Del Rio’s accent).
Del Rio says that at Wrestlemania he will be the NEW… World Heavyweight Champion! Edge says congratulations, take this with you – as he punches him in the face. Edge turns to his opponent for tonight, The Miz, who scurries out of the ring with Alex Riley. Del Rio slides back into the ring with one of the mariachi guitars. He cracks it over the skull of Edge a la The Honky Tonk Man. Del Rio cinches in the arm bar. Edge is writhing in pain as Del Rio heads up the entrance ramp with Ricardo Rodriguez.
Up Next: WWE Tag Team Championship Match
and I quote…
There will be a RAW Rumble match tonight with the winner going on to face The Miz for the Title at the Elimination Chamber PPV. Randy Orton, CM Punk, John Morrison, R-Truth, Sheamus, Jerry “The King” Lawler & John Cena.
WWE Tag Team Championship
Santino & Vladimir Kozlov w/ Tamina v. Husky Harris & Michael McGillicutty
Santino and Michael start things off. Santino presses him to the ground and goes for a side headlock. Michael backs him into the corner and breaks with the ref count. Michael begins to unload with a series of closed fists until he is pulled off by the ref. Kozlov gets the tag and charges into the corner with Michael. McGillicutty absorbs the shoulder thrusts and tags in Harris. Husky is caught with a takedown and is placed into a front headlock. Santino gets the tag.
Santino bounces off the ropes but is swatted to the mat. Santino is whipped into the ropes again and goes for a crossbody, but Harris stands his ground and Santino hits the mat. McGillicutty gets the tag and connects with a shoulder block. Cover attempt, but Santino kicks out. Michael throws Santino out of the ring as we head to commercial.
Santino and McGillicutty tag in their partners. Kozlov attempts a pin on Harris, and then tags in Santino. McGillicutty charges back into the ring, but Santino pulls down on the top rope sending him crashing to the floor. Santino senses an opening, and pumps up the Cobra! Santino goes for the cover, and this match is over!
Winners & STILL Tag Team Champions: Santino & Kozlov
After the match, Randy Orton runs down into the ring. Seeking revenge from last night, he hits RKOs on both Harris & McGillicutty. While McGillicutty rolls out of the ring, Harris is passed out on the mat. Orton backs up and is preparing for the punt. CM Punk appears at the entrance ramp with the rest of New Nexus. Punk tells Orton not to do it. He tells Orton that this isn’t something that he wants to take part of, and it’s certainly something that Punk wouldn’t do. Punk asks if he needs to say please.
Orton is foaming at the mouth. Punk says he won’t beg Orton, but for once in his life, he needs to refrain from acting. Punk says that if Orton kicks Harris in the skull right now, there will be serious consequences and repercussions. Orton looks like he is having second thoughts as he glances towards Punk. He puts his head down, but is still pondering his options. Orton looks at the crowd, and they roar in support. Orton turns his attention back to Harris, and charges! Orton connects with a devastating punt! The rest of New Nexus charges down to the ring. Orton flees through the crowd.
Ted Dibiase makes his way down to the ring with Maryse. He has a microphone and cuts a promo on Lawler. He says that Lawler’s career is over, and it is time to step aside for the future. Dibiase asks Lawler to give up his spot in tonight’s Rumble.
Cole grabs the mic from Lawler and says that he’ll handle the situation. Cole asks how anyone could be so inconsiderate. Lawler is a Hall of Famer, a true legend in the industry. There is no way that his ego would allow him to give up the spot. Lawler grabs the mic. He says that he is not giving his spot up to anyone. After 18 years in the WWE, he has never competed at Wrestlemania. His road to Wrestlemania has always been under construction. Tonight, he is going to win and start on that road. Dibiase slaps Lawler in the face. Dibiase begins to lead with Maryse, but Lawler charges after him. Dibiase pulls Maryse in front of him as a shield. Maryse doesn’t appreciate this, and slaps Ted!! Lawler follows right after with an awesome punch to the face.
After the scuffle, Lawler and Cole begin a verbal argument at the booth. Cole is livid that Lawler would lay his hands on a competitor.
Daniel Bryan w/ Gail Kim v. Tyson Kidd
The Bella Twins are on commentary for the match.
Bryan and Kidd square off and exchange a series of kicks. Bryan hits an HBK kick up, but gets caught with a side headlock. Bryan frees himself and sets up Kidd against the ropes. Kidd is looking for the Sharpshooter, but Bryan counters into the LeBelle lock! This match is over!
Winner via LeBelle Lock: Daniel Bryan
After the match, the Bella Twins enter the ring. A scuffle breaks out between the girls which is broken up by Bryan and several referees.
Edge v. The Miz w/ Alex Riley
This interbrand match kicks off with a fast exchange of blows. Edge is still struggling from the guitar shot that he took from Del Rio earlier in the evening. Miz goes for a cover, but Edge kicks out. Miz then begins to work on the arm of Edge. He has a standing arm bar, which combined with the guitar shot to the head will work to set up the Skull Crushing Finale. Edge escapes by throwing Miz into the ropes. Miz is only dazed for a moment, and locks a hold back onto the arm and shoulder region. Edge is struggling to get to the ropes.
Edge escapes, but immediately is pinned by Miz. Edge kicks out. Miz goes back to an arm wrench. Edge and Miz exchange a series of near falls which ends with Miz clutching to the second rope in disbelief. Lawler and Cole are still arguing on commentary about the Rumble main event for tonight’s RAW.
Miz heads to the top rope and leaps at Edge. Miz is caught in midair, and hit with a DDT. Edge sees Miz on the ground, and is setting up for the spear. He leaps, but Miz moves out of the way which sends Edge into the turnbuckle. John Cena’s voice is heard over the speakers. He is standing up in the press box, and says that he is having a party. Cena says that the entire crowd is cheering for Miz. He starts a “Miz is Awful” chant. Edge connects with a spear on the distracted Miz, and this match is over!
Winner via John Cena’s trickery: Edge
After the match, Cole heads over to help the Miz. He demands that Alex Riley somehow deal with Cena.
Natalya & Eve Torres v. LayCool
Natalya and McCool start the match off. Natalya hits a scoop slam, and McCool decides that she has had enough. Layla gets the tag. As soon as she enters the ring, she drops down to the mat in the fetal position. Natalya picks her up into the air. Layla manages to escape and jumps onto Michelle for protection. Natalya laughs at the absurdity of what is occurring. Layla eventually comes down, and Natalya goes for a pin. Layla kicks out. Eve gets the tag. Eve hits a standing moonsault, and tries for the cover. Layla kicks free. Eve heads over to the corner with Layla, and Michelle kicks Eve in the skull. Layla hits the Facelift (an inverted Sliced Bread #2 of sorts) and this match is over!
Winners via Facelift: LayCool
Josh Mathews has joined commentary for the rest of the evening as Jerry Lawler prepares for the RAW Rumble.
The Great Khali & Mark Henry w/ Ranjin Singh v. The Usos
and I quote…
As I see The Usos stand across the ring from The Great Khali & The World’s Strongest Man, let’s be honest, they don’t have a chance. So instead, in order to give The Usos a better chance, they will be competing in a dance off. Gentlemen, let’s boogie-woogie-woogie.
I’m not recapping this. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you feel like complaining.
After the dancing, The Usos try and attack their opponents. It doesn’t work out, as they are caught and met with slams.
Winner Not Announced
A Commercial airs which shows a dark figure walking in the rain towards a one story house. Clad all in black, the screen fades as the date 2-21-11 appears on the screen. Eerily similar to Sting’s 1997 Starrcade video package. That being said, my money is The Undertaker.
Extended Trailer for The Chaperon airs
John Morrison v. Sheamus v. John Cena v. CM Punk v. R-Truth v. Jerry “The King Lawler v. Randy Orton
Sheamus and Morrison are the first entrants. The match is already underway as the show returns from commercial. They exchange a series of blows and bide their time until the next entrant. Sheamus hits the Irish Curse Backbreaker as Cena’s music hits.
Entrant #3 John Cena
Cena takes it to Sheamus and connects with a bulldog. Cena follows with a snap suplex and then takes off his shirt to play to the crowd. Cena lifts up Morrison for the Attitude Adjustment, but Morrison lands on his feet.
Entrant #4 CM Punk
After initial sparring, Punk focuses on Morrison as Sheamus focuses on Cena.
Entrant #5 R-Truth
Truth and Morrison both almost spill to the outside of the ring, but skin the cat to stay in the match.
Entrant #6 Jerry “The King” Lawler
Sheamus attempts to eliminate Lawler, but Jerry clings to the ropes for survival. CM Punk scurries outside of the ring, underneath the bottom rope.
Entrant #7 CM Punk
Orton is not happy that Punk has tried to evade him. Orton looks under the ring, until he is able to find him. Orton pounds on him, then clotheslines him out of the ring.
CM Punk has been eliminated
R-Truth sees his opportunity and pushes Orton out of the ring.
Randy Orton has been eliminated
No one has been eliminated during the break.
R-Truth has been eliminated
Cena, Sheamus & Morrison are all teetering on the apron. Somehow, they all manage to stay in the match. Morrison goes for a Starship Pain, but completely whiffs. Lawler tries to throw him out of the match, but Morrison manages to wheelbarrow himself back into the ring – NO Sheamus Brogue kicks him to the outside!
John Morrison has been eliminated
Cena is on the apron, as Sheamus connects with right hand after right hand. Lawler charges, and eliminates Cena!
John Cena has been eliminated
Sheamus turns to Lawler, and gets clotheslined to the outside!
Sheamus has been eliminated
This match is over!
Winner & #1 Contender for WWE Championship at Elimination Chamber: Jerry “The King” Lawler
I have a lot of respect for Daniel Bryan, don’t get me wrong, but I feel bad for the Bella Twins. I’ve been scorned in love, who hasn’t? Yes, the situation was already pretty screwed up because the Bellas were competing with each other for the same guy, but to find out that Bryan had been dating another girl is crushing. The Bellas have obviously had troubles in the love-game for quite some time. They relegated themselves to escorting the RAW guest hosts in a bid for affection. Unfortunately, they only found themselves used up each week as the host would go back to Hollywood, sans The Bellas. Daniel Bryan seemed to be the innocent solution to their struggles. Sure, they were desperate, but that doesn’t give Bryan the right to treat the Bellas with such disrespect. As much as I respect Bryan in the ring, his character has come into question. How can you treat people like that Bryan? Is it is so hard to be honest? I’m shocked by your actions, and you should be ashamed of yourself.
I don’t understand why John Cena’s mic was turned on during the Miz and Edge match. I understand that he is well liked by the ring crew, and let’s be honest he probably brings in larger gates which ensures the fact that they have jobs, but I still expect more integrity from an employee. Whoever was responsible for enabling Cena’s antics tonight acted unprofessionally, and should be dealt with by the WWE.
RAW kicked off with an interesting decision by Alberto Del Rio. One has to wonder why he would choose to have Edge as his opponent instead of The Miz. The decision is twofold. Not only is Del Rio able to choose which Championship to compete for, he also gets to choose his brand for the next two months. I find it hard to imagine that anyone would choose to stay over on Smackdown. RAW pulls in a larger audience, and has the live atmosphere, while Smackdown does not. As a wrestler, it would always be my goal to be on the flagship show of the WWE. However, I’m willing to give Del Rio the benefit of the doubt that he wants to choose the option which would give him the best chance at winning the Title. Let’s be honest, it’s good to go to ‘mania, but it’s great to win the belt at ‘mania!
The Miz would seem like the easier opponent. He has been in the business for a much shorter time than Edge, and hasn’t really proven himself battle ready. Since winning the belt he has retained through almost entirely nefarious means. Del Rio is aware of that fact, and is probably also wary of distractions such as Michael Cole and Alex Riley. Edge does not have that factor at the moment. Del Rio is choosing what he believes his best chance at winning the belt, over the option of exposure.
I’ll admit that I was surprised to see Santino and Kozlov retain the belt tonight. However, it does make sense. After all, they have more experience in the business than their New Nexus opponents. Husky and McGillicutty are young and they just lost their composure for a moment. Had Michael stayed in his corner and not charged to the other side of the ring, he may have been able to break the pinfall. Santino may seem like a ridiculous opponent, but his style is so unorthodox that it becomes unnerving.
Daniel Bryan and Tyson Kidd had a nice little match. Bryan is a difficult wrestler to face because he has an extreme endurance potential mixed with quick submissions. Kidd lost this match because he went for the Sharpshooter without properly working the legs of Bryan. This allowed Bryan to have leverage for the counter, and close the LeBelle lock.
LayCool is a very deceptive tag team. You’d think that Layla was scared to be in the ring tonight, but it was all part of a clever ploy to catch the opposing team off guard. Michelle capitalized, which is what makes them such an effective duo. I have to give props to Natalya. I wouldn’t be so willing to tag with Eve a day after she took away my Title.
I was pleasantly surprised by tonight’s main event. I wouldn’t have predicted Lawler to come out on top, but that just shows the value of heart and determination. Lawler’s victory has quite possibly set him on the road to Wrestlemania for the first time in his 18 year career working for McMahon. I’d argue that Michael Cole & Ted Dibiase Jr. deserve a lot of credit for this victory tonight. Before you scoff at the notion, think about the motivation that you get from others doubting your ability. Lawler’s rage was building up all night as he stewed from the Dibiase slap and the constant vitriolic rhetoric of Cole. At the moment that Lawler eliminated Sheamus from the Rumble, I expect that he was seeing Cole’s face on Sheamus’ pasty white body. Will Lawler be able to overcome the odds and defeat Miz at Elimination Chamber? I don’t know, but for tonight, let’s appreciate the fact that for the first time in his career, Jerry Lawler may be heading to Wrestlemania. Not only that, but for another first, he may be heading to Wrestlemania with the WWE Championship!
The last Monday of the month is “kayfabe” night in my RAW Recaps. Wrestling is supposed to be fun, so relax and enjoy
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– David Stephens
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