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WWE Raw Report
CALDWELL'S WWE RAW RESULTS 5/16: Complete "virtual time" coverage of live Raw - final Over the Limit hype, Lawler-Cole contract signing, Cena vs. Miz's opponent

May 16, 2011 - 10:08:46 PM
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WWE Raw Results
May 16, 2011 - Episode #937
Live in San Antonio, Tex.
Aired on USA Network
Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor


This week's live WWE Raw started with Josh Mathews introducing the show live from San Antonio. After the Cena Pause, John Cena's music hit to a huge reaction. Out came Cena on-stage, where he told the cameraman, "Welcome to the Alamo." Cena stormed the ring as Jerry Lawler and Michael Cole got in their talking points on Over the Limit.

Before Cena could even begin his promo, Alex Riley interrupted on-stage. Riley told Cena to save it. He sarcastically recapped what Cena would say in this situation before introducing a video package, which showed Miz's past attacks against Cena to make it seem like Miz has a chance of beating Cena in an I Quit match on Sunday. Back live, Cena was shown glaring toward the stage. Riley welcomed the most must-see champion in WWE history, The Miz.

Cue up Miz's theme music to bring out the #1 contender to the WWE Title on-stage. Miz and Riley then walked to the ring to confront Cena as Cole stood up in his tool box applauding Miz. Cole asked whether Miz can do the unthinkable: make Cena say, "I quit." Cole said he believes Miz will do it. In the ring, Riley continued to talk. He said people have underestimated Miz during his entire career. Mark it down 6:00 into the show for the first Spurs Choked in the Playoffs reference, which drew boos and a "You Suck" chant from the San Antonio crowd.

Riley then got in Cena's face and said Miz will never, ever utter the words "I quit." Cena simply called Riley by name, which drew a loud reaction from the kids for Cena just talking. Cena said Riley is just as stupid as he is useless. Cena proceeded to talk down to Miz about his manhood before noting Miz needs testicles to make him say I Quit. Cena said there's a reason why he chose this match for Sunday. Pause for consideration. Pause for a "Cena, Cena" chant. He said he chose this match because when he looks past the fancy suits and loud-mouth bravado, he can see fear in Miz's eyes. Cena said he's been in these matches and he looks into Miz's eyes, where Miz is wondering how bad it gets before he gets hurt. Cena said Miz's new catchphrase after the PPV will be: "I'm The Miz...and I quit."

Cue up the Raw GM with an interruption. Cole stood up to read from his iPad. He said that since Cena was allowed to pick the stip for Over the Limit, it's only fair Miz picks the match and opponent for Cena here tonight. Miz had a good laugh before pretending to think aloud. He said he doesn't know who Cena's opponent is yet, nor the stip yet, but there is one thing for sure. "It's going to be awesome!" Miz gleefully said in Cena's face. Cena sold concern as Miz and Riley had a big laugh leaving the ring. PYB (3) talk time: 8:48.

Segment Reax: Effective ten-minute opening segment trying to create some interest for a predictable PPV main event, while also stacking the deck for Cena to appeal to the PG audience.

[Commercial Break]

[Q2] In-ring: Kofi Kingston's music hit to bring out the U.S. champion for the opening match of the show. Mathews randomly started talking about Kofi's background and history, then C.M. Punk's music hit to bring out Punk, flanked by the other Nexus members. Punk turned around to tell Mike, Mason Ryan, and Otunga to stay on the stage during his match.

1 -- U.S. champion KOFI KINGSTON vs. C.M. PUNK -- non-title match

Kofi knocked Punk to the floor 35 seconds into the match, then Nexus started walking toward the ring, but Punk told them to back up and stay put. Kofi waited for Punk to turn around and delivered a dropkick through the ropes. Punk then cut off Kofi back in the ring and started working on Kofi's upper body with mat holds and strikes. Cole re-visited the "faith" talking about Punk's Nexus leadership, then Kofi dropkicked Punk off the top rope. Kofi followed with a high cross-body splash on Punk for a two count before hitting the Boom Drop. Kofi then set up for Trouble in Paradise, but Punk ducked. Kofi then got himself hung up in the top turnbuckle, allowing Punk to set up for the G2S and connect. Punk made the cover and scored the win.

Post-match: Nexus celebrated on-stage as Punk had his hand raised. Cole continued to uncomfortably equate Punk to Jesus, complete with a Doubting Thomas reference about the other Nexus members not showing faith. Punk was then shown sitting on the stage. He took the mic and said that was an example of leadership by example. Punk said he's heard all the rumors about Nexus not being formidable. He said he's doing things his way from now on. Punk said he won't stop until each member of Nexus is the most dominant force the WWE Universe has ever seen.

WINNER: Punk at 3:53. A typical WWE television match using a wrestling match as the means to advance or reinforce a storyline typically found in a drama series. The result could set up Kofi vs. Punk in a re-match for the U.S. Title at Over the Limit to help fill out the undercard. (*1/2)

Backstage: In a faraway shot, Vickie Guerrero was shown standing in-between two men. One was Miz. The other looked like a stagehand. Actually, it was Dolph Ziggler. The announcers said Miz is looking for opponents for Cena. (Wade Keller had a very accurate description of Ziggler looking like a real-estate agent in his Raw blog at WadeKeller.com.)

Still to come: Cole-Lawler contract signing.

[Commercial Break]

Video: A replay of Kharma destroying Eve last week brought the show back from break... Back live in the arena, Cole said he was eye-to-eye with Kharma on Smackdown, which was one of the most frightening moments of his life. Kelly Kelly came out for a Divas match, followed by her opponent, Divas champion Brie Bella. Another non-title match, apparently. Meanwhile, Josh Mathews plugged tickets going on-sale this Saturday for the Money in the Bank PPV.

[Q3]

2 -- KELLY KELLY vs. Divas champion BRIE BELLA (w/Nikki Bella) -- non-title match

After some basic back-and-forth, Kelly awkwardly trapped Brie with a leg scissors for a quick pin in under two minutes. Post-match: Kharma's music interrupted and she slowly entered the ring to evaluate her options. Kharma eventually selected Brie, causing Nikki to freak out and run away. Kharma delivered the implant buster while Nikki ran away. Kharma then stalked Kelly, who backed away in the corner. Kharma sized her up, flicked her forehead, and walked off doing her maniacal laugh, leaving Kelly breathless from fear.

WINNER: Kelly at 1:52. Basic Divas match as a means to the post-match, which continued Kharma's dual quest to apparently get the Divas Title and play mind games with the blonde Divas. (n/a)

Backstage: Miz was shown talking to Big Show in a faraway shot. Show was having none of Miz's sales pitch to face Cena tonight. The announcers plugged Cena in action tonight against the mystery silhouette before they cut to break.

[Commercial Break]

Exterior shot: Mathews plugged The Alamo before introduced a video package on "That's What I Am," which is due out on DVD Tuesday. They showed some behind-the-scenes clips of Randy Orton doing his scenes. The kids in the movie talked about sharing their first kiss. That was so weird included on Raw.

In-ring: Rey Mysterio's music hit back live in the arena. Mysterio did his full ring intro before the announcers came back live on the air to talk about Rey's connection to the kids. Mathews said it's been a tough week for Rey, who lost in the triple threat match last week before he was attacked by R-Truth to conclude Raw. Cole chimed in that Truth felt disrespected and he believes there's a conspiracy in WWE, starting with the GM.

[Q4] In the ring, Rey took the mic and addressed San Antone in Spanish, which drew a reaction. Rey said he came out here to speak the truth. He said Truth jumped him from behind last week (boos) and he knows what it's like to be passed over, but he's never lost it like that. Rey said he doesn't blame others for his problems and he doesn't flip out of he doesn't get his way. Instead, he'd like to call out the guy who jumped him and handle his business like a man. Surprisingly strong reaction for a Rey promo. Rey told Truth to come on down and face him in the ring. No sign of Truth as the announcers talked over themselves. The show abruptly cut to break as Cole said Truth will be here.

[Commercial Break. TNA's new "Wrestling Matters" commercial aired, like on Smackdown this past Friday. Robert Roode had the faux "wrestling" vs. "entertainment" soundbyte that shows TNA doesn't get it.]

Back live, Rey was exactly where he was before the break. Instead of R-Truth, Alberto Del Rio's music hit. Ricardo Rodriguez walked out on-stage to introduce Del Rio, who came out ringside in a Rolls. Apparently Del Rio has a song on iTunes now, per a graphic that flashed on the screen. Del Rio took the mic on-stage and introduced himself, much to Cole's delight. Del Rio reminded Rey he got beat up last week and Rey is the reason why he is not facing Cena for the WWE Title. Del Rio said Rey doesn't deserve to be on the same show as he is because he's pure Latino...unlike these people from San Antonio.

Del Rio stepped into the ring to big boos and a "You suck" chant. Del Rio smirked and told Rey & the people that this country begged him to come here. Del Rio said they gave him everything to come here. He said Rey's people came to this country like rats. Rey said he won't stand here and let Del Rio disrespect his people, his raza. Rey said he's proud to be a Chicano. And he's proud to be an American as well. A referee was in the ring at this point. Rey told Del Rio he has no problem shutting his mouth right now.

3 -- ALBERTO DEL RIO vs. REY MYSTERIO

Rey scored with an early head scissors followed by a kick strike to the chest. Del Rio missed with a corner attack, but rebounded to catch Rey with a fallaway single arm DDT targeting the shoulder. Mathews sent the show to break, but they stayed with Del Rio scoring a dropkick to Rey's shoulder. Now the break squeezed in before the top of the hour.

[Commercial Break. Smackdown plug: Orton-Christian final hype.]

Back from break, Del Rio was still working over Rey's shoulder. Rey built some steam looking for a comeback, but Del Rio cut him off with a boot to the head for a two count. Del Rio then reapplied a neck vice targeting the shoulder as they hit the top of the hour.

[Q5 -- second hour] The crowd chanted, "619, 619," as Del Rio continued to wear down Rey. Mathews, who continues to play a spineless announcer drifting back and forth between heel and face, talked up Del Rio's wealth, which drew an annoyed, "What?" response from Lawler. Rey then popped Del Rio in the mouth, then Del Rio went flying through the ropes attempting a dropkick. Ricardo came flying around ringside to check on Del Rio, then R-Truth's voice suddenly interrupted. Truth was way up in the skyboxes accusing Rey of being a thief...a thief for stealing his spot. Truth told someone to call the cops. "Is he crazy?" Lawler asked under his breath.

Meanwhile, Del Rio slipped back into the ring and Rey landed a flying cross-body for a close two count. Rey then climbed up top and landed a seated sentaun into a head scissors. Rey had Del Rio set up for the 619, but Ricardo got in the way to intercept Rey, drawing a DQ. Post-match: Del Rio rammed Rey into the ringpost as Rey was announced as the winner. Del Rio then came off the top with a dive to Rey's injured shoulder. Del Rio flashed a big smile before leaving the ring.

As Rey recovered, the crowd then tried to warn Rey, who was attacked from behind by R-Truth. Truth verbally and physically beat down Rey before landing Paydirt center-ring. Truth was serenaded with boos before he leaned out for a mic. Truth asked Rey what he's doing. "Who do you think you are?" he asked. "Challenging me? No one challenges the Truth. I make the challenges, Rey. Just like I showed you tonight - look at me! - this Sunday, you gonna get got." Truth then popped Rey in the head with rapid-fire fist shots to send a message ahead of the PPV. Lawler noted he's not right in the head. Truth then slowly left the ring to boos while muttering under his breath about Rey taking his spot.

WINNER: Rey via DQ at 9:26. Basic match between Rey and Del Rio setting up the post-match with Truth, who is so great in his role. As for the pre-match discussion between Rey and Del Rio, WWE is clearly targeting the Hispanic audience, with WWE trying to heavily promote Mysterio as the babyface to rally behind. The promo dipped close to the lowest common denominator level typical with TNA's Mexican America faction, but the overall segment was effective setting up Rey for revenge against Truth on Sunday and Del Rio down the road. (*1/2)

Backstage: Miz was shown talking to Punk and Mason Ryan. Punk was trying to negotiate his own terms as Ryan actually looked...normal...standing in the middle of the shot not grunting or being over-the-top with his facials.

Still to come: Cole-Lawler contract signing.

[Commercial Break. Returning to Houston on June 26: Raw house show line-up has John Cena vs. The Miz and Rey Mysterio vs. C.M. Punk. Radican checks in: Orton vs. Christian announced for June 14 Smackdown TV taping.]

In-ring: Back live, the contract signing was set up in the ring. Cole had his feet propped up on the contract table with Jack Swagger standing behind him. Cole said he will only sign the contract for Over the Limit if Lawler repeats the stipulation to the world. Lawler told Cole he has never beat him legitimately. But, if Cole does beat him at the PPV, he will give Cole his Hall of Fame ring...and personally induct Cole into the WWE Hall of Fame. Cole said that's good enough for him and he enthusiastically signed the contract. Lawler then signed the contract.

[Q6] Cole said Lawler is like the rest of the Texans in attendance shooting first, then asking questions later. Cole said the stipulation in the fine print of the contract is the match will now be a Kiss My Foot match. He said he's going to do exactly what he did to Jim Ross last week. Cole asked for the foot...age to be rolled. Cue up Raw in the U.K. last month when Swagger made Ross kiss Cole's feet. Back live, Cole had a good laugh at Lawler and Ross's expense. Cole said Ross is the first man ever to kiss Mr. McMahon's rear end and Michael Cole's foot.

Cole continued to lean back in his chair happy with himself. He said Lawler has experience in this type of match. Cue up footage from 1995 when Lawler had to kiss Bret Hart's foot. Mathews said it was the culmination of the rivalry between Lawler and Hart. Back live, Cole had a good laugh wondering what that smelled like. Cole told Lawler to feast his eyes on Cole's nasty-looking foot. He told Lawler he's going to kiss his athlete's foot, then shove it right down Lawler's throat.

Lawler interrupted, telling Cole to shut up. Lawler said Cole needs to realize that's Bret Hart and Cole is no Bret Hart. He told Cole he's not even a Jack Swagger. Lawler said he doesn't like Swagger, but he can respect what Swagger brings to the ring as a former World champ. Lawler told Cole he's taken a former World champ and taken him into a lowly sidekick. Cole shot back that no one even remembers Swagger being a World champ. Big "ooh" from the crowd. Cole then said some people say Swagger was only in WrestleMania this year because of him. Swagger then bumped into Cole, which stopped Cole's ranting and raving. Swagger inaudibly told Cole something, then said, "Good luck on Sunday." Swagger left the ring as Cole tried to tell him it was merely a figure of speech.

Swagger disappeared to the back, leaving Cole alone in the ring. Cole hung his head, then turned around to face Lawler. Cole tried to play nice-guy, saying it was all a joke. "It was funny, right?!" Cole said he's known Lawler for 14 years and he respects everything he's done in the ring. Lawler told Cole to stuff it already. "It's too late for that," he said. Lawler then yanked Cole down by his tie and said on Sunday, he's going to stick his foot in Cole's mouth and close it. Lawler knocked Cole and the table over, leaving Cole face-down on the mat. "Jerry, Jerry" chant as Lawler looked down at Cole, who was crying about his bad luck. Mathews asked Cole how he's going to get out of this one on Sunday. PYB (3) talk time: 9:02.

Segment Reax: Boy, WWE has a chance to turn Swagger into a big babyface star if they can transfer the heel heat on Cole to Swagger if he helps Lawler end Heel Cole. Fine segment making it seem like Cole will finally get his comeuppance Karen Jarrett-style on Sunday.

Backstage: Miz was talking to Kane in a faraway shot. Suddenly, Big Show's huge shadow emerged. Kane walked off, then Show walked off with Kane. Mathews said Kane & Show are in action next vs. New Nexus.

[Commercial Break]

Announcers: Lawler said he's feeling pretty good. Cole was back in the tool box trying to downplay what just happened out there. Cole tried to back down, saying he's not really an athlete. Lawler said his feet are, prompting Cole to slouch in his seat and stare off into the distance.

In-ring: On this Night of Non-Title Championship Matches, Kane and Big Show came out to face Nexus. Cole then introduced some "breaking news" for Over the Limit that Kane & Show will defend the Tag Titles against Punk & Mason Ryan at the PPV. So much for Kofi vs. Punk. Out came Mike and Otunga to face Show and Kane.

4 -- WWE tag champions BIG SHOW & KANE vs. NEXUS (MICHAEL MCGILLICUTTY & DAVID OTUNGA w/Mason Ryan and C.M. Punk) -- non-title match

Kane blasted Mike with an early uppercut, followed by a scoop slam and running boot to the head for a nearfall. Show then tagged in and landed a big slap to Mike's chest. Mike then responded with a boot in the corner, followed by a chopblock to the back of the knee.

[Q7] Otunga tagged into the match to continue targeting Show's left knee. Otunga wasted a lot of movement dancing around Show before tagging Mike back in. Meanwhile, Cole continued to try to place nice with Lawler on commentary. Nexus's B-Team maintained control of Show's left knee, then Otunga decided he would try to target the right knee. Show fought him off, then executed a desperation belly-to-back side suplex.

Kane hot-tagged into the match and dropped Mike, who also tagged in, with a sidewalk slam for a nearfall. Kane then came off the top rope with a clothesline before giving Otunga a big boot. Nexus ran interference, which allowed Punk to smash Kane from behind. Mike followed with a blow to the head and it was good for the win. Post-match: Mike and Otunga celebrated in the ring as Punk tried to get everyone together to leave before Kane and Show woke up. Punk then taunted the tag champs from the entrance ramp ahead of their tag title match on Sunday.

WINNERS: Nexus at 4:48. Well, this week, WWE is trying to revive Nexus, but whether it's just a one-week gig to set up the Tag Title match remains to be seen. The whole faction just seems so last week after all the damage done to Nexus over the past six months since the TLC PPV in December.

Backstage: Miz was shown talking to Truth about taking out Cena. Truth was way too calm there kicking back against the wall. Who will face Cena tonight? It's still to come.

[Commercial Break]

Announcers: Mathews plugged John Cena vs. The Rock on the THQ All-Stars video game. They're giving away WrestleMania! Exterior shot: A shot of San Antonio's beautiful Riverwalk was shown. The announcers then broke down the Over the Limit PPV line-up, which now has six matches with two more matches added tonight.

Backstage: Scott Stanford was with Big Show and Kane, who were not in a good mood. Show said everyone can have a good night, and Nexus had a good win tonight, but they are the beginning & end of the Tag Title division. Show said Nexus is just a bump in the road. Kane, nursing his neck, said Punk was in all his glory tonight, but Nexus will be annihilated on Sunday.

Segment Reax: Wow. Did WWE just present a beautifully effective, rarely-done babyface revenge promo after a heel attack? Oh, the money left on the table over the years by not featuring these.

Backstage: John Cena was shown walking down the hallway with the WWE Title belt dangling around his waist. Cena stopped to greet Zack Ryder, who was wearing a flashy new jacket and was apparently editing this week's YouTube episode. Cena accepted one of Ryder's t-shirts, then kept on walking. I'm sure this makes absolutely zero sense to the casual audience that isn't aware of Ryder and/or Ryder's YouTube show, but it's absurdly great.

[Commercial Break. Next week's Tough Enough: Austin finds his Final Three and The Rock guest stars.]

[Q8] In-ring: Back from break, The Miz's music hit to bring out Miz and Riley in their suits. Miz stood on-stage and selected the dreaded No Holds Barred match as the stipulation for Cena's match. Suddenly, Jack Swagger jumped Cena from behind. Well, nevermind on that Cole-Lawler business. Miz introduced Cena to his opponent, who rolled Cena into the ring to start the match.

5 -- WWE champion JOHN CENA vs. JACK SWAGGER -- non-title No Holds Barred match

As Swagger beat down Cena to start the match, Cole heeled on Swagger that he would be nothing without him. The crowd engaged in a loud dueling chant of "Let's go Cena" vs. "Cena sucks" from the usual groups of fans. Swagger landed a Vader Bomb as the broadcast randomly cut to a camera swinging through the crowd to a shot of Miz and Riley standing on-stage. They cut to break with Swagger in control.

[Commercial Break. This Friday on Smackdown: Randy Orton. Randy Orton. And more Randy Orton.]

Back live, Swagger was wearing down Cena in the ring as Miz looked-on confidently from the stage. They cut to footage from during the break of action on the floor. Swagger then introduced a chair into the proceedings, landing a shot across the back. Swagger measured Cena for another Vader Bomb, this time with the chair on Cena's chest. Swagger landed the bomb, which appeared to hurt him more than Cena, and it was only good for a two count.

Swagger then wedged a chair in-between the turnbuckles, giving Cena an opening. Cena started a comeback, but Swagger caught him in mid-air with a botched suplex that resulted in a two count. Swagger went for the Anklelock, looking to make Cena quit, but Cena flung him away. Cena hobbled to his feet and side-stepped a charging Swagger, who ate the chair in the corner. That was way too close to a self-inflicted chair shot to the head.

[Q9 -- over-run] At the top of the hour, Cena made his full comeback and waved toward Miz before dropping the Shuffle on Swagger. Cena then dropped Swagger with the Attitude Adjustment while staring down Miz. Cena followed with the STF and Swagger was forced to tap out - or "quit," as Lawler put it.

WINNER: Cena via submission at 11:22. Cole continued to heel on Swagger during the match, suggesting Swagger could still help Lawler win, but WWE sent mixed signals with Swagger tonight. The match was effective showing Cena fighting against a perceived stacked deck to preview the PPV on Sunday. (**)

Post-match: Miz paced the stage, then mock applauded Cena as Cole said Miz should be happy after the toll the match took on Cena before Sunday. Miz told Cena to cherish this thrill of victory because come Sunday, Cena will be feeling emptiness, regret, and disappointment. Miz said there are so many ways to make a human being say I Quit. Miz ran through a few scenarios, including throwing Cena off the stage. Miz began walking toward the ring. He grabbed a crane camera and proceeded to ram it into the stage to suggest crunching Cena in-between. Cena looked on from the ring, selling some concern.

Miz then approached the ring and said he could ram Cena into the steps again and again. Or, he could find something under the ring. Riley needed two tries to find a steel pipe. Miz said all of that's too obvious. He said he won't use any of that because there's a million ways to beat Cena, who sold fear to keep planting a seed of doubt about Cena's chances on Sunday. Miz said he is more conniving and ruthless than anyone Cena has faced in his entire life. Miz said he's found a way that Cena has never even seen before. Miz guaranteed Cena and the fans that after their match at Over the Limit, he will be declared the new WWE champion. Key word is "declared," not necessarily a vow to win.

Miz paused to ask Cena why he's looking at him like that. Miz said that while he won't use the pipe on Sunday, he has no problem using it tonight. Riley provided the distraction, then Miz jabbed Cena in the gut with the pipe. Miz tried another shot, but Cena blocked and stole the pipe to get in a few blows on Riley. Miz cut him off, but Cena fought off Miz, who then scampered up the ramp.

Cena grabbed the mic and screamed at Miz he better find a million more ways to beat him. Cena then yelled into the mic that Miz has a hurting coming on Sunday and Miz will say, "I Quit." Cena huffed & puffed in the ring while Miz stood upright on the stage selling some measure of concern mixed with defiance. Cole gave the final hard sell for the PPV as the camera went back and forth between Cena and Miz. Cole vowed to make Lawler kiss his foot as they signed off seven minutes past the hour.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Strong final segment trying to sell the PPV, but it could be too little, too late. WWE planted that seed of doubt they desperately needed since no one in their right mind would buy into Cena possibly saying I Quit at the PPV, but Miz was given enough and Cena gave enough to let that seed of doubt resonate with viewers. Cena then made the big comeback to show he's ready to give Miz a whooping at the PPV on Sunday, appealing to the Cena Fanbase to get those parents to open their wallets in six days so their kids can watch Cena deliver pain to that smarmy Miz. Whether the last-ditch effort turns into more buys remains to be seen. Same with Lawler positioned to seemingly give Cole what's been coming to him in a high-stakes match. Meanwhile, R-Truth continues to be Raw's refreshing bright spot on a weekly basis. WWE still has a lot of issues to sort out with the Raw brand roster, but they kicked it into high gear this week desperately trying to sell the PPV on Sunday.

We welcome your 0-10 score and comments on this show for a "Raw Reax" feature in the Torch Feedback section of PWTorch.com. To contribute your thoughts on Raw, email to pwtorch@gmail.com using our Feedback form.


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