Are you ready? There are only 20 days until WrestleMania, so stop questioning your heart and join me because it’s time for Monday Night RAW!!!
Jerry Lawler is in the ring. He announces that tonight will be the first ever “Rock & Rap” concert on RAW. He puts over the history between The Rock and John Cena. Tonight each man will have the opportunity to express themselves with their own words and in their own way. So, let’s get things started with some Thuganomics!
Basik Thuganomics blares over the speakers! The Doctor of Thuganomics, John Cena, makes his way down to the ring. He is wearing a backwards hat, Cleveland jersey, jean shorts, and a lock & chain around his neck!
Cena starts by comparing The Rock to Lebron James. He mocks Rock for his movies and writing his lines on his wrists. Cena says that he is going to give The Rock a Cleveland Steamer. He points out that last week the crowd was chanting Tooth Fairy. Cena keeps the old school going and pulls out a bag of nuts, saying he is going to put them in The Rock’s face! Cena heads to the back.
Excuse me! Vickie Guerrero comes out to a chorus of boos. She introduces the hash tag heel, Dolph Ziggler.
Dolph Ziggler v. Sheamus
They lock up, and Sheamus throws Dolph to the mat. Sheamus takes him down hard to the side and locks on a modified headlock. Charles Robinson (my favorite referee) is officiating this match.
Sheamus sets up Ziggler on the apron. He looks for his patented clubbing blows, but Ziggler slips to the outside to catch his breath.
Back from the break, both men are in the ring. Sheamus floors Ziggler with a clothesline. Dolph gets to his feet, and leapfrogs Sheamus. Ziggler looks for the upper hand, but instead gets tossed to the outside! Ziggler gets up on the apron, and throws Sheamus out of the ring! Sheamus crashed hard into the announce table. Both men make their way back into the ring. Ziggler tries for a quick cover, but Sheamus kicks out. Ziggler tries again, but again no luck. Ziggler locks on a rear choke.
Josh Mathews is in a skybox with Daniel Bryan & AJ Lee. He asks Bryan about telling AJ to shut up last week. Bryan tells him not to judge their relationship. AJ says that it wasn’t rude, once prompted. Bryan says that they love each other.
Back in the ring, Sheamus is making his way back to his feet. Sheamus finally gets to his feet and connects with a couple of axe handles. Ziggler is scooped up onto Sheamus’ shoulder and slammed down hard to the mat. Cover, but Ziggler kicks out. Sheamus sets him up on the apron, but once again Ziggler counters and scurries away. Ziggler heads to the top rope and leaps. Sheamus catches him on his shoulders. Ziggler turns it into a cover, but Sheamus lifts Ziggler into the air as he gets back to his feet, and then chucks him to the mat. Ziggler kicks out of the cover. Sheamus charges at Ziggler, but lands shoulder first on the steel post. Dolph catches his bearings and flies out of the corner with a leg drop. Cover, but Sheamus kicks out at the last second! Sheamus hits the Brogue Kick out of nowhere! This match is over.
Winner via Brogue Kick: Sheamus
Mixed Tag Match
Santino & Aksana v. David Otunga & ?
John Laurinaitis is on commentary for this match. David Otunga is announced as the captain of Team Laurinaitis for the WrestleMania match against Team Long. Otunga takes time during his entrance to pose and show off his physique. Laurinaitis grabs a microphone and says that he changed his mind. Instead of having a mixed tag match, it will now be a handicap match.
Santino v. David Otunga & Mark Henry
Teddy Long charges down to ringside as the bell is rung. He helps Aksana down from the apron. Long then heads over to argue with Laurinaitis. They get into a shoving match, and John ends up on the floor.
In the ring, Otunga starts off against Santino. Otunga is met with a hip toss, and Santino reaches for the Cobra. Henry is in off of a quick tag, and hits the World’s Strongest Slam. This match is over.
Winners: David Otunga & Mark Henry
After the match, Henry holds back Santino as Otunga dresses him down. Kofi runs down to the ring for the save! Otunga and Henry quickly brush off the attack, and Henry hits another Slam. R-Truth runs down to the ring, right into the double team. Truth is also quickly laid out. Henry gives him a running splash for his troubles.
Laurinaitis is in his ring, and introduces Mark Henry as the newest member of his WrestleMania team.
Video Package: The Miz on Psych Preview
Video Package: The Bella Twins & Alicia Fox on “Extra”
Eve Torres is shown walking in the back. Zack comes out of his locker-room. He says that last week he was confused when she kissed him. It’s like she is trying to play him. Eve lightly caresses his arm and says that she isn’t playing him, he is playing himself. She says they should just be friends, friends with benefits. Eve asks him to dinner after the show. Beth Phoenix charges into the shot. She is furious about not being included on Extra. She says that she is going to pay the set and Maria Menounos a visit! Beth also says that she admires the way Eve has Zack wrapped around her finger. She says that she could do the same, and asks if Eve would mind. Eve says that she would, and walks away in a huff.
In Laurinaitis’ office, Miz walks in to interrupt a phone call. He has James Roday (!) in tow. Laurinaitis says that he just got off the phone with the Board of Directors. If Miz can win his match tonight, then he will be on the WrestleMania card. His opponent? The WWE Champion, CM Punk! The Miz walks away as James tells him to go oil up. Laurinaitis asks if James will be a special guest ring announcer tonight. He accepts!
The Funkasarus is introduced, and dances his way down to the ring.
Brodus Clay v. Jinder Mahal
Jinder attacks as Clay is still getting ready. Brodus responds with a hard shoulder block and a Sheeplex. Clay hits a running splash, and this match is over!
Winner via Double the Funk, Double the Splash: Brodus Clay
After the match, the funky dance party continues.
“Invincible”, one of the theme songs for WrestleMania, is blasted over the speakers as its artist, Machine Gun Kelly, is shown in the crowd.
I’m just a Sexy Boy! Shawn Michaels makes his way down to the ring for his confrontation with The Undertaker. Shawn takes his time to soak up the crowd. He grabs a microphone and reminds everyone that he is the special guest referee for the HHH/Taker match. Shawn then shows a clip of HHH saying that Shawn is a failure. Apparently, that is the rational for HHH accepting the match at ‘mania. HBK says that no one in the locker room has called him a failure. He then calls out Taker in order to settle this dispute.
The Undertaker’s music hits, and he slowly makes his way down to the ring. Shawn says that if Taker is saying things behind his back, then he should at least have the guts to say it to his face. Taker asks what he wants him to say – that Shawn is a failure? A loser? That he couldn’t get the job done? Taker tells him to stop and think, is he repeating Taker’s words, or just the words chosen for him by HHH? Whatever the case may be, Shawn needs to let go of his insecurities.
Shawn counters by pointing out that Taker is the one who begged for this match against HHH. The reason is that HHH almost beat him last year, so Taker needs the validation of winning the match this year. Taker says that win or lose at WrestleMania, he is prepared to accept the outcome. What he is not prepared to accept is Michaels sticking his ego into this match. Taker says that WrestleMania is about destiny and an end to an era. What can’t happen is for the outcome to not be pure. If the outcome isn’t pure, Taker promises that there will be hell to pay. Michaels says that Taker may call all of this destiny, but it is really irony. It’s ironic that the guy whose career Taker ended, could be the guy that can turn Taker into a loser and a failure. Taker says that if Shawn doesn’t do the right thing, then he will end him.
Michaels gives him a pat on the arm, and then walks out of the ring. At the top of the ramp, Michaels is greeted by HHH. The Game smiles, gives a crotch chop, and then heads to the back.
James Roday is introduced as the special guest ring announcer. He comes out with a Road Dogg style crotch chop. He gets in the ring, and soaks up the crowd. He introduces the competitors for the next match. If Miz wins, he will be on the WrestleMania card.
The Miz v. CM Punk
They square off and Punk connects with a couple of kicks. He charges, but Miz hits him in the gut with a knee.
Back from the break, Punk springboards into the ring with a clothesline. He follows with a swinging neckbreaker. Punk slams Miz down to the side, and calls for the GTS. Miz tries to get in some offense, but Punk goes for a cover. Miz kicks out, and then plants Punk with a DDT. Miz is furious, and pounds on Punk’s head. Miz takes to the top rope, and then takes flight. Punk moves out of the way and tries for the GTS. Miz counters into a Skull Crushing Finale attempt. Punk drops down to the mat and rolls into the Anaconda Vice. Miz taps!
Winner via Anaconda Vice: CM Punk
Jericho appears on the Titantron, and says that he has a deep dark secret about Punk to reveal. Everyone knows that Punk is straight edge, but he’s never told the WWE Universe the reason that he Punk is straight edge. Punk’s father was an alcoholic that let him down. Punk is straight edge because he doesn’t want to become like his father. Jericho asks if the pain of wanting to drink is so bad that the pain of the tattoo needle is the only way to replace that desire. Jericho is going to make him drink. He is going to take away his title and all of his bravado. It’s going to make Punk want to drink. Jericho will leave WrestleMania as a Champion. Punk will be left like his father – a pathetic, damn, drunk. Punk looks absolutely stunned as he picks up his Title and heads to the back.
Jack Swagger v. Randy Orton
Swagger takes down Orton and rakes his arm. Orton hits fireman’s carry and then a stomp across the arm. Orton hits a standing dropkick and then throws Swagger out of the ring. Orton follows after and slams Swagger’s head against the announce table. Orton slides him back into the ring as we go to commercial.
Back from the break, Swagger goes for a cover. Orton kicks out. Swagger is working on the legs of Orton and tries for the Ankle Lock. Orton is able to get to his feet and sets up Swagger on the turnbuckle. Orton takes Swagger all the way up to the top rope for a HUGE Superplex! Swagger gets to his feet and his caught with a snap scoop slam. Orton hits the suspended DDT, and then begins to pound on the mat. Orton hits the RKO! This match is over.
Winner via RKO: Randy Orton
Kane’s pyro erupts from the ring posts as Orton is celebrating his victory. Orton looks around on all sides trying to find Kane. The Big Red Machine doesn’t appear.
“If you Smelllllllllllll”! The Rock makes his way down to the ring with his trusty guitar.
Finally The Rock has come back to Cleveland! The Rock says that John Cena looks like a cross between Vanilla Ice & a Teletubby. Rock says that tonight isn’t about a two minute rap, because everyone knows that Cleveland Rocks. The first song is set to “Jailhouse Rock” by Elvis Presley. He throws in lines about Rock being a fruity pebble and needing a rectal exam. Rock also points out that Cena may have made out with Eve, but he has a wife. It must have slipped his mind, while he was slipping her his tongue. Rock says that Cena has lady parts, and then takes a break to get a drink of water. The crowd applauds his song.
The Rock asks if there are any grown men in the audience who are actually John Cena fans. He sees a couple, and asks the crowd if he should go after them. They roar their approval. He begins to sing again and says that they’ll never taste pie, and refers to them as 42 year old virgins. Rock then sings a song to the ladies in the audience. He makes a joke about getting with Cena’s mom, and then wraps up with the fans shouting “Cleveland Rocks”.
Rock sets down the guitar and says that there is only one way to end the concert, and this song is for the people. It’s for the millions of The Rock’s fans who stand side by side and support him. An accompaniment track plays, “We Will Rock You” by Queen. The Rock’s lyrics are actually on the Titantron for this one. Rock gets up on the turnbuckle and closes the show with a big, “If you smell – what The Rock is cooking”. RAW goes off the air as Brian May’s iconic guitar solo blasts through the arena.
Cena’s rap was pretty short tonight, but I think it got the point across. I wasn’t expecting it so early in the show, and it seemed to catch the crowd a bit off guard. It was a nice nostalgic take on the old character of Cena. I watched a handful of Cena raps before the show tonight, and this one was certainly in the same vein. Cena received a couple of decent pops, in particular for the bag of peanuts. By the way, I’m a bit surprised that the let him say “Cleveland Steamer”, but I suppose the young fans won’t get the reference anyway. Either that, or the innocence of thousands of children has been lost as they feverishly Google the term to find out what it means. Poor kids.
Dolph Ziggler looked really good in his match against Sheamus tonight. It was nice to see him get in decent offense against the #1 Contender for the World Title. Dolph looked like he got destroyed by that Brogue Kick.
The skybox segments always seem so hooky. It draws away from the action in the ring, and the crowd is completely unaware of what is happening. The lack of reaction just makes it all the more awkward. You have to wonder if it’s one of those things that looks good on paper, but in practice is just not, well, practical. I’d be hard pressed to believe that AJ refuting that Bryan was rude, and Bryan confirming his love for AJ, actually added anything to the Sheamus/Bryan storyline. While I feel that Punk/Jericho is getting overshadowed by Rock/Cena & The Undertaker/HHH – Bryan/Sheamus is just downright forgettable.
I’m certainly a fan of the Team Laurinaitis v. Team Long match at ‘mania. It’s a great way to get a lot of guys involved on the show. Think of it like Money in the Bank from years past; it’s a way for guys to get experience (and a nice paycheck) for appearing on the card, without being exposed past their abilities.
Santino deserves to be complimented once again for his work this week. Sure, he got demolished – but he is one of the only guys on the roster who can get that devastated and still have the sympathy and support of the crowd. His ability to still come out on top in those situations just furthers his case as an invaluable member of the roster.
Eve Torres is such a slutty bitch – and I mean that in the nicest way possible. No really, it’s a compliment. Her character work has been so fantastic over the past couple of months that I actually care about a storyline involving a diva. I honestly can’t tell you the last time that I cared about a Divas match. I’m sure Eve is a swell person in real life, but as far as portraying a slutty bitch on TV – she’s nailed it. Oh hey, just like the entire room has done to Kelly Kelly.
It’s a joke, relax.
James Roday came off better than most would have anticipated during his backstage segment with The Miz & Laurinaitis. He has a unique delivery style that might not play well to the arena, but does come off well on TV.
Somebody must have called his momma, because Brodus Clay was back on RAW! His match lasted all of about 30 seconds, but it was gratifying to see Jinder Mahal laid out. Plus we got a dance party. I call that a win.
Not much to say about the Michaels/Taker segment. It was an old school verbal exchange that inevitably played out like a pissing contest. I thought the crotch shot by HHH was unnecessary and bizarre given the storyline thus far. So I’m to believe that after Michaels supposedly went behind HHH’s back, that HHH can feel that confident that he has Michaels in his back pocket?
“Haha I’m Alicia Fox and I’m on Extra and all I’m going to say to promote WrestleMania is that I’m having trouble picking out a dress, like omg.” FIRE HER.
Let’s give some big props to James Roday for his ring announcing duties. His crotch chop was pretty awesome. It was very Attitude Era-esque in delivery. Or as Michael would say, “attitudal”. Roday’s success on RAW was no doubt thanks to the fact that he’s an unabashed fan of the product. You could tell that just walking up the stairs to the ring gave him chills. It makes a huge difference in terms of enthusiasm and delivery. I’m glad that after having the flu and not being able to guest host last time that his dream was finally realized.
I’m not sure exactly what the plan is for The Miz at WrestleMania. I’ve heard some rumblings that he could be involved in some fashion during the Cena/Rock match. While I understand he is bitter, and certainly The Rock became involved during his match last year, I’m really hoping that he doesn’t interfere during the match. I want it to be an epic. I want a pure epic of a match.
Jericho going after Punk’s father was a brutal swerve in the storyline. It was also one that was needed. Let’s face it; with Rock/Cena & Taker/HHH the WWE Championship is being heavily overshadowed. I do believe that they will have the best actual wrestling match of the night, but storyline wise it needed this extra kick in the butt. CM Drunk is storyline gold. I’m not sure how much they are going to flush it out given the time that is left, but I’m eagerly anticipating Punk’s retort.
Orton pretty much destroyed Jack Swagger. For all of the compliments I threw towards Ziggler for coming out well against a clearly dominating opponent, the same does not apply for Swagger. Ouch.
Well, there are a lot of different takes that I could go with for the “Rock” Concert which closed out the show. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the hilarity of Rock pointing out that he didn’t have his lines on his wrist this week. True Rock, the lines weren’t on your wrist… but they were on the sheets of paper on the music stand. Oh – and the freakin’ Titantron! Rock basically had Mickey Mouse bouncing a ball to give him the lyrics at the end of the show… and he STILL messed them up. That being said, he had a lot of great lines and verses throughout the night. Overall I truly believe that the segment was a resounding success. It was a cool moment to have RAW go off the air as Brian May’s guitar solo from “We Will Rock You” blasted through the arena. ‘Twas magical.
The Teacher’s Lounge (Saturday)
“The Teacher’s Lounge” is a weekly podcast archived every Saturday on the Wrestleview Radio Network featuring hosts David Stephens and “Mr. V” Anthony Valvo. The show reviews all of the news from the week, tosses out Gold Stars and Detentions, PPV previews and special guests. Past Interviews include: Colt Cabana, Hernandez, Sara Del Rey, CZW Owner DJ Hyde, Shane Douglas & more!