Are you ready for 2.21.11? Then stop questioning your heart and join me because it is time for Monday Night Raw!!!
The 2.21.11 numbers appear on the screen along with an hour long countdown. Hopefully, this video isn’t going to be the entire first hour of Raw because that could get boring. Oh, we go into the video hype package for Raw, so it looks like the mystery man will be revealed at the start of the second hour! Phew.
The pyro blasts off in the arena as we are only six weeks away from the 27th edition of Wrestlemania. Cena’s music lights up the audio dial, and the #1 Contender for the WWE Championship makes his way down to the ring. Cena says, “what a day,” and nearly the entire crowd begins to boo him. Cena responds by saying, “what a crowd”. Cena is playing into the crowd, and they are eating out of his hand with a chorus of boos. Cena brags that he won the Elimination Chamber match, and will be going to Wrestlemania. Cena says that this should be a joyous occasion, but this isn’t a normal situation. Ever since last Monday, Cena hasn’t been hearing about the Miz or the Elimination Chamber. He has been hearing about some alleged comments made by The Rock. Cena doesn’t know what to say in response to The Rock. Cena says that honestly, he was going to let him slide because he is The Rock. Cena says that we should take a look at the footage one more time, and then he’ll figure out what to say.
-Video highlight reel of Rock’s comments about Cena from last Monday’s Raw
Cena says that initially he was excited to see Rocky back, but on second thought, it seems as though rock was making fun of him. Cena says that if he is going to call someone out, there is only one way that he knows how to do it. He hasn’t done it in a long time, but Cena reminds the audience that he has a degree in Thuganomics! Cena says that if he doesn’t air it out tonight, he’ll never hear the end of the Rocky stuff. Cena says that this is a onetime deal for the crowd tonight.
Cena has his Fresno state of mind, and is ready. Cena cuts an old school rap promo which included highlights such as: “I’m like a big purple pin wheel Rock, so go ahead and blow me” and “You ain’t gonna kick my candy ass dude, I’m gonna make you kiss it”. Cena sets the microphone on the ground and walks to the back.
46 minutes until 2.21.11 is revealed!
John Morrison v. CM Punk
Both men are limping heavily on their way to the ring. The match starts with Punk sliding to the outside of the ring and grabbing the leg of Morrison. Punk slides back into the ring, and kicks Morrison down into the corner. Punk connects with a couple of kicks to the gut, and then throws Morrison into the middle of the ring. Punk mounts Morrison and unloads with a series of punches. Punk then transfers his energy to the knee of Morrison and locks in a submission. Morrison escapes, and tries to battle back with a slew of forearms. Morrison mounts Punk and goes for the punches. Morrison sets up for the running knee, but Punk counters. Morrison is dazed as Punk lifts him up into the air for the GTS. Punk connects, and this match is over!
Winner via GTS: CM Punk
After the match, CM Punk has a microphone. He calls out, “Randall Keith Orton”. Punk asks him where he is at, because he has decided to give the New Nexus a night off. He promises Orton that this is not a setup. Punk reflects on the fateful night in 2008 when Orton punted him in the skull. Punk says that the bright lights of Wrestlemania are not in Orton’s future, he tells him to just walk away. Punk claims that Orton doesn’t deserve to wrestle at ‘mania. However, it’s up to Orton to decide why. Either it will be because he will be too crippled thanks to Punk to compete, or he won’t be going because he’ll cherish his health over the risk of injury. Punk says that if Orton shows up on Raw next week, he will destroy him. The crowd starts to get riled up as Orton sneaks into the ring. He tackles Punk and goes for the RKO. Punk manages to counter and scurry out of the ring. The New Nexus runs down to help, but Punk is true to his word and keeps them from attacking.
Ricardo Rodriguez does the honors of introducing Alberto Del Rio. Kofi runs up from behind and begins to assault Del Rio. Kingston’s advantage is brief as Del Rio goes right to work on Kofi’s injured arm. The arm is chucked into steel posts, the barricade, and eventually into the cross arm bar on the outside of the ring. A referee separates the two, and tells Del Rio to go to the back. Instead of heading to the back, Del Rio confers with Rodriguez and then charges back at Kingston, shoving the injured arm into the corner post once again.
In the back, Miz is seen walking with Alex Riley
23 minutes until 2.21.11 is revealed
Miz and Riley come out onto the ramp. Miz says that he was excited when The Rock said his name. He was eagerly anticipating a great Rock catchphrase, but the best that Rock could apparently come up with was that he sucked. Miz says that he has heard kindergartners with better lines. Miz says that while Rock may be hosting the show, Miz will be main eventing and beating John Cena. Miz says that Cena and Rock have something in common. They are beloved pop icons by the fans. On the other hand, Miz doesn’t care about what the fans thinking. It doesn’t matter, because he is awesome.
and I quote…
Enough about The Rock, I’ll deal with him when I’m ready. However, the Rock and Sock connection was a formidable tag team. So, tonight the Tag Team Belts will be defended against The Miz and his partner – John Cena
Gail Kim & Eve Torres v. The Bella Twins
Gail and one of the Bellas start the match off. The action initially spills to the outside of the ring, but Gail brings the action back to the inside. With the referee distracted, the other Bella pulls Gail Kim down off of the apron. Bella sets up for a leg drop, but misses with the move. Eve gets the tag, and whips Bella into the ropes. A dropkick from Eve is followed by a high cross body. Cover attempt, but Bella kicks out. Eve connects with a couple of clotheslines, and then hits a standing moonsault. The not-in-the-ring Bella distracts Eve, which breaks the cover. Kim angrily tries to enter the ring which turns the attention of the referee. Eve slides in with a roll up, but Twin magic takes over and the roll up is reversed with a new twin. This match is over.
Winners via Twin Magic: The Bella Twins
3 minutes until 2.21.11 is revealed.
The countdown creeps down to zero. The Undertaker’s music plays, and the Phenom has returned! The lights are out in the arena as Taker walks onto the entrance ramp. As the bell tolls, he begins to make his way down to the ring amidst galloons and galloons of smoke. After an eternity, Taker finally makes it into the ring. A giant crucifix symbol has been lowered from the ceiling to accentuate his entrance.
The Game’s music hits! HHH has returned and saunters his way down to the ring. Once inside, he stares down Taker. The Undertaker does not look happy that HHH has come down and interrupted his grand return. After all, that giant light up crucifix symbol wasn’t cheap and HHH ruined any good use for it.
With all music stopped, the stare down continues in the middle of the ring. The take a gander at the Wrestlemania sign, and then look back at each other. Undertaker scoffs, and then puts his hat back on and looks to head out of the ring. Taker decides to re-square himself to HHH. The Game responds by holding his two arms up high in the air, and then connecting with a DX chop!
There was absolute silence from the commentators during this segment.
King Sheamus v. Mark Henry
Henry lifts Sheamus up into the air with a bear hug, and chucks him to the outside! Henry follows after and rolls him back into the ring. Sheamus is pleading for a reprieve, fella. Henry doesn’t oblige, but Sheamus is able to get back to his feet and connect with a couple of punches followed by a double axe handle. Cover attempt, but Henry kicks out.
Sheamus puts Henry’s neck on the second rope, and presses down with his leg. Sheamus then pulls Henry in between two of the ropes and clobbers his chest. Sheamus kicks Henry from on the apron, and then slingshots himself back into the ring. Sheamus settles in with a chin lock. Henry uses his pure strength to lift Sheamus into the air, and back him into the corner. Henry starts to build momentum with a couple of punches, but Sheamus halts the production with a kick to the gut.
Henry shakes off the kick, and goes for a running splash. Sheamus rolls out of the way, and then kicks Henry in the skull. Sheamus is looking to finish off Henry with a Brogue Kick, but noticing that the referee is distracted, he tears off one of the turnbuckles. Before Sheamus can capitalize, Henry splashes into the corner, which sends Sheamus into the exposed turnbuckle! Henry hits the World’s Strongest Slam, and this match is over!
Winner via World’s Strongest Slam: Mark Henry
Daniel Bryan is in the back with Gail Kim. They are chuckling and talking to each other. Sheamus comes up looking pretty angry. He asks what they are laughing about. Bryan says it had nothing to do with him, but Sheamus threatens to beat both Bryan and Gail Kim up. Sheamus then trots away.
-Hacksaw Jim Duggan is announced as a Hall of Fame Inductee for this year. He will be inducted by Ted Dibiase!
Michael Cole enters the ring, and says that he will be interviewing Michael Cole. The interview is up next!
Lawler makes his way down to the ring. Cole asks him what he was feeling going into the title match at the Elimination Chamber PPV. Cole continues the taunting by asking how he felt when he knew that his dreams were about to be shattered. When he knew that he was about to lose to The Miz and not go to Wrestlemania. Cole asks if Lawler at all thought that maybe it was time to retire after last night. Lawler has thus far refused to respond to any line of questioning. Cole then asks what he was feeling as he was staring up at the lights into the heavens and realizing that his deceased mother had the best seat in the house. When she had the best seat to realize her son was failing. How was Lawler feeling when he realized that he let his mother down?
Lawler grabs Cole by the neck and says that if he ever talks about his mother again, it will be the last thing that he ever says! Cole may be saying that Lawler will not be going to Wrestlemania, but Lawler claims he has a way in, even if it costs him his job. Lawler says that he is issuing a Wrestlemania challenge – versus MICHAEL COLE! Lawler asks what Cole has to say about that. Cole says that Lawler is a senile old man, and there is no way that he’ll ever get him in the ring. Cole exits the ring and heads back to the commentator booth. Lawler follows after and tells Cole to be a man, and not just hide behind his words like a gutless yellow coward. Cole takes off his suit jacket, and throws a cup of water into the face of Lawler. Michael Cole flees up into the crowd!
Jerry Lawler has retaken his seat on commentary with the absence of Michael Cole.
WWE Tag Team Championship
Heath Slater & Justin Gabriel w/ The Corre v. John Cena & The Miz w/ Alex Riley
Miz and Slater are the first to start things off. Miz is caught off guard at the offset, and Gabriel gets the tag. Miz hits a nice crossbody drop and then grabs the arm of Gabriel. He drags him to the corner and then tags in Cena, after trash talking him. Gabriel is set up in the corner, and Miz runs full force from the opposite side of the ring for his signature splash. Miz connects with the Skull Crushing Finale, and Heath Slater does not come into the ring to make the save? This match is over.
Winners & NEW Tag Team Champions: John Cena & The Miz
After the match, Wade Barrett grabs a mic. He says that The Corre wants to utilize their rematch clause, and they want to utilize it right now.
Josh Mathews gets up to read the alert in lieu of the cowardly Michael Cole
Ring the Bell!!
Back from the break, it is John Cena in the ring with Heath Slater. Cena hits a huge crossbody and goes for a cover. Slater kicks out. Miz gets the tag. Set up in the corner, Miz connects with a chop, and then bounces off the ropes and kicks Slater under the chin. Jackson trips up Miz from the outside. Miz is slid out of the ring, and The Corre prevents Alex Riley from coming to the rescue. Gabriel takes the chance to hit a couple cheap shots.
When all things are settled, Gabriel is tagged into the match and goes for a cover. Miz kicks out. Slater is tagged in again, and goes for the cover. Slater chokes Miz with his boot, and Wade gets in a cheap shot. Cover attempt, but Miz kicks out. Slater drills his knee into the back of Miz, and then cinches on a chin lock. Miz escapes, but only to get caught with a neckbreaker. Cover attempt, but Miz kicks out.
Gabriel gets the tag, and immediately begins with his leg strikes. Miz escapes via a neckbreaker variant of his own, and tries to get to his corner. Gabriel makes it to Slater first, and Slater halts The Miz’s progress. Heath has on a headlock, and then slams Miz into the corner. Gabriel gets the tag. Cover attempt, but Miz kicks out. Miz is struggling to get to the corner, but again he is dragged back just inches from bringing Cena into the match. Miz is fighting to escape a side headlock, but gets jammed back first into a corner. Gabriel looks for a splash, but Miz counters. Gabriel follows with a crossbody, but Miz kicks him in the mouth!
Both competitors are flat on their backs, and the crowd is going insane. Cena gets the tag and arena absolutely erupts! Slater is in as well and gets met with two huge shoulder blocks and a side slam! The 5 Knuckle Shuffle connects! Cena lifts Slater up into the air for the Attitude Adjustment, but Miz runs into the ring and hits the Skull Crushing Finale on Cena! Slater rolls onto Cena and picks up the victory. This match is over.
Winners & NEW WWE Tag Team Champions: Justin Gabriel & Heath Slater
That was a hell of a Raw!
Raw kicked off with a nostalgically awesome segment. John Cena rapping brought back some crazy memories from his early days on Smackdown. There were a couple pretty solid lines mixed in, but that’s not what was important about that segment. What you might not realize, is the fact that the rapping promo effectively turned Cena back babyface. His reaction was fairly negative during his entrance, yet by the end of his rap, the fans were going crazy. This promo answered the question of how Cena could retain his character’s position after Rock’s rant last week. Creative and effective.
Punk v. Morrison was very quick. But, both men are “injured” so it makes sense that they wouldn’t be able to last long in the ring.
Orton’s attack on Punk may have been more effective if held off until next week, but if you are Orton and you see an injured competitor in the ring, it makes perfect sense to attack. I’ll just accept this one at face value.
I have been kind of tolerating the Smackdown stars on Raw because they didn’t bother me all that much up until tonight. There is absolutely no reason that I can understand for why the Kingston/Del Rio angle played out on Raw and not Smackdown. I suppose the rational is to get him over with the fans even more than Smackdown exposure would allow.
I’m usually a big fan of Eve Torres, but there was something missing tonight. She seemed to almost be lacking a pep in her step. She was going through the motions and flipping into her moves, but none were connecting with any sort of believable force. Everyone has an off night.
I’m a sucker for the lightning pyro they whip out every now and then for the Undertaker. It’s awesome.
I wonder if anyone was genuinely surprised by his return? Probably not, which is why the double return featuring HHH made perfect sense. It added the extra pop that was missing from Taker’s return. I appreciated the added effect of the commentators being silent during the segment. It actually added to the “moment”.
Fun match between Sheamus and Henry. They are perfect opponents for each other, so I’m glad that this feud has some legs.
I have a confession to make, Sheamus is hands down one of my favorite wrestlers in the industry right now. He’s just so adorable!
Hacksaw Jim Duggan makes perfect sense as a Hall of Fame inductee. If you disagree, you really need to check out his work in Mid-South during the 1980s. His program with Ted Dibiase is Legendary.
I’ll admit it, I had a foam 2×4 with his insignia when I was little.
Lawler & Cole had a perfect segment with each other. Absolute perfection. Hell of a promo from Jerry Lawler. As Ron Simmons would say – Damn!
Have we ever gotten an explanation as to why “The Corre” is spelled with two r’s? Just wondering.
I can’t for the life of me figure out why Heath Slater did not run into the ring to break the cover after Gabriel was hit with the Skull Crushing Finale. I’m baffled.
GREAT match to close the show.
I want talk about Jerry “The King” Lawler for a minute. First and foremost, my deepest sympathies and prayers go to him for the loss of his mother this past week.
What I want to discuss are the absolute morons that said he had no business being in the Title match at Elimination Chamber. Miz and Lawler went out on Sunday and had an absolutely incredible match from top to bottom. It accomplished every imaginable goal, and exceeded my personal expectations. I was watching the PPV with five “kind of” wrestling fans, and they were all going insane along with every punch that Lawler drilled into the Miz. But, the reason this match made sense was not just because of his punches, as godly as they certainly are. Yes, Lawler’s punches have enough force in them to send an Apollo Rocket to the moon, but again, this is about more than just his incredibly awesome striking ability.
In so many different ways, Lawler was the perfect opponent for the Miz. To understand why, we must travel back nearly a year in build. A lot of people have strong opinions about Michael Cole, Whatever your opinion may be, this feud would not have worked so well without his involvement. When Daniel Bryan was on NXT, Cole first started to show his love for The Miz. This affection then truly blossomed in the second season once Alex Riley joined the fold, and the rest is history.
Cole became a character that few could tolerate to stand, a role that he has played and continues to play to perfection. Lawler is a fairly mild mannered guy. Well, to be fair that’s not an even slightly accurate depiction about his career as a whole, but I’m talking about his last couple of years as a commentator. Since the departure of his long time friend and colleague, Jim Ross, Lawler has remained a mainstay on Raw, but drew little attention compared to Cole. Creative brilliantly wove Lawler’s frustration with Cole as a commentator into the storyline of Miz’s Title run. Lawler became the fans one chance to have Michael Cole taken out of commission.
See this match on Sunday was not just about Lawler getting a shot at the WWE Championship, and possibly heading into Wrestlemania for the first time, as the WWE Champion for the first time. This match was not just about giving The Miz a legitimate victory for once. This match was not just about the fans getting retribution for the actions of Michael Cole. This match was about all three.
It brought together those three distinct, yet carefully mirrored storylines into one package. I’m not sure what exactly most people look for in professional wrestling, but if this match did not encapsulate everything that is great about being a fan, than perhaps you have no soul. It had build, emotion, solid action, and it told a story. This match epitomized professional wrestling in every way.
Miz and Lawler destroyed the complaints of their critics with their match. Both men deserve a lot of credit and praise for their work. To suggest that Lawler wasn’t deserving of his spot on the PPV, is just plain idiotic, and shows an ignorance for the history of how this business operates.
On a personal note, this week marks my one year anniversary of writing the Raw Recaps. I’ve worked for WrestleView for nearly three years now, and I’d like to pause for a second and thank all of my readers that come back each and every week. I walk in the footsteps of the former Raw Recappers on this site: Paul Nemer (site owner), Adam Martin (co-webmaster, Editor-in-Chief) & Hunter Golden (Managing Editor). I can’t thank them enough for having the faith to let me handle the site’s most important written piece each week. It’s been a blessing, and a great ride so far.
I do read every single e-mail you guys send, and really appreciate hearing your thoughts. Send me some e-mails, and have a safe week everyone!
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