Monday Night Raw Report Card 03.21.2011 (John Cena, Miz, Randy Orton)

Raw opened with what appeared to be Jim Ross coming out, but it was really Ed Ferreira… errr Michael Cole dressed up as Jim Ross. Cole did a pretty good impersonation of JR and it added more fuel to the fire for the Lawler-Cole match and it also teased Jim Ross calling most of Wrestlemania (something what we want to see). This segment would have been better if the Miz did not impersonate the Rock last week.

Grade: C

Triple H came out and cut a promo on none other than the Undertaker. The promo was pretty good and HHH made the match mean more when he said it’s going to be the biggest match of his career ever. Ted DiBiase came out and said he was an after thought for Wrestlemania this year, but he was going to make a statement tonight. In their brawl, DiBiase got more offense in than I expected. Of course, HHH killed him after that. I wonder if WWE picked DiBiase for this segment because it was rumored on the internet that he might break Undertaker’s streak.

Grade: B-

Sheamus defeated Evan Bourne via pinfall in a match that was actually shorter than Jeff Hardy vs. Sting clocking in at  81 seconds. The match was used to get Sheamus over and establish that his losing streak is over.  After the match, Daniel Bryan came out and told Sheamus that at Wrestlemania he was invoking his rematch clause. Sheamus then hit Daniel Bryan with the mic.

I like the fact that Sheamus is calling himself the United States of  Champion of America because it’s a smart way to piss of American nationalist. I know it’s not that big of a deal anymore to be on a Wrestlemania card, but I bet Daniel Bryan is very thrilled to be on the card and so am I. Needless to say but when Bryan Danielson was hired by the WWE, I thought there was no way he would be more than a jobber, yet he has already accomplished more than a lot of wrestlers in the WWE have.

It is hard to rate this segment, though. Nothing great happened, but nothing bad happened. Let’s call it a C.

 

Divas Championship Eve defeated Maryse 2:23.

Nothing more than your usual diva match.

Grade: D

 

WWE Tag Team Champions, The Corre defeated Santino and Kozlov in 90 seconds. The wrestlers didn’t have much to work with since it was so short. After the match, Big Show and Kane came out to get their revenge from the beatdown the Coree gave them on Smackdown. Santino and Kozlov helped beat up The Coree too. It seems like this is building up an 8-man tag-match at Wrestlemania.

For some reason, I like Big Show and Kane as a tag-team. Hopefully that miserable date in May does not break them up again. It would be a shame.

Cena was live via satellite talking about going face-to-face with the Rock next week. Lawler asked Cena if the Rock was a distraction. Cena replied by saying yes, he was. Cena then talked about how nobody should doubt the Miz and about the Miz’s stunt he pulled on Cena (pretending to be the Rock) last week. Cena closed off by saying the “Miz-story” would be as equally historic and then promised to beat the Miz at Wrestlemania.

It enhanced the story and, actually, gave Miz some credibility that he desperately needs right now.

Grade: B-

Cole made fun of Jerry Lawler some more and showed pictures of Lawler’s family. He called the entire Lawler family a bunch of losers. Jack Swagger stood over Jerry Lawler to stop Lawler from attacking Cole. Lawler eventually got to the point where he could not take it anymore. Swagger tried stopping Lawler in his tracks when he punched him in the face, but Lawler fought back with punches of his own and then knocked Swagger down to the ground. Lawler got into the ring, but Cole ran away. Lawler chased Cole, but ended up running right into a clothesline from Swagger, who then put the ankle lock on Lawler. Cole then put an ankle lock on Lawler too.

Another heat-worthy segment that made Cole looked even more like a dick and Lawler more sympathetic. It is funny that this match has the most realistic heat than any match on the WM card; it truly feels like they do not like each other.

Grade: B

Ziggler and Morrison wrestled for about three minutes, but the GM changed the match to Laycool, Vickie and Dolph Ziggler vs. Trish and John Morrison. The match wasn’t bad when Ziggler and Morrison wrestled, but the women’s’ stuff sucked. Vickie pinned John Morrison in 4 minutes. I guess this means Morrison and Trish need Snooki in order to beat Laycool, Vickie and Ziggler: sigh:.

Grade: D

A hype-video for Undertaker and HHH  was shown with current wrestlers, past wrestlers and Jim Ross talking about how epic this match is going to be. I said in my article this week that Undertaker and HHH’s build was missing something that I could not put my finger on and something like this video was what the feud was missing. This video made the match feel like an epic UFC fight. I also liked how the wrestlers on the WM card said that they are going to watch this match, because, even though they have a match at Mania to get ready for, the message was clear that this match is worth seeing no matter what.

Grade: A

Rey Mysterio and Randy Orton went to a no contest because CM Punk was invading Orton’s bus which had Orton’s wife in it. Orton ran to the bus and CM Punk attack him from behind with a wrench. Orton’s wife oversold the entire segment.

I really did not like this segment at all. The entire thing felt forced and Mrs. Orton’s acting was terrible. Everything about this reminded me of that horrid segment with HHH breaking into Orton’s house. Just poor booking and bad delivery all around.

Rating: D

Miz came out and delivered, as usual, a very good promo. He talked about how he was better than everyone else in the past, including Ali at boxing, Jordan at basketball, The Rock, Andre, and John Cena. He then debuted his new title, which was the W on the WWE title backwards, making it an M, which stood for Miz. Cena interrupted Miz’s promo and poked fun of the M for Miz title. Playtime was over when Cena said that Miz made him angry last week. Cena then swerved us all when he revealed he was in the building. He came out and attacked Riley and Miz. Miz eventually bailed, leaving Riley all on his own. Cena put in the STF while Miz looked on.

The Miz’s delivery was great. He is starting to establish himself as one of the best talkers in the business right now. The stuff at the end really added much needed intensity to their Wrestlemania match..

Rating: B

 

Overall, this was a pretty good Raw. Where it lacked in wrestling, it made up by elevating feuds (minus Orton-Punk). While this show did not exactly make me feel like paying 75 dollars, it did however make me want to see Wrestlemania more than I did before.

Final Rating:  B

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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