KELLER'S WWE RAW LIVE BLOG 5/2: Ongoing thoughts on Rock's birthday party, Extreme Rules fallout, The Miz's rematch against Cena
BY WADE KELLER, PWTORCH EDITOR
-Clips aired of the WWE Smackdown episode from Sept. 13, 2001, just two days after the attacks on 9/11. At the time, WWE took pride in being the first live entertainment event to resume "business as usual."
-Lilian Garcia did a great job singing "The Star Spangled Banner."
-The Rock put in a big-time performance. Michael Cole got a Moment by being Rock Bottomed and People's Elbowed. Cole was excellent here. You wonder where this Cole character will go in coming weeks and months, though.
-Getting Lebron James and Dwayne Wade to wish Rock a Happy Birthday on Raw is a good get, for sure, especially sandwiched between Celtic-Heat playoff games.
-Good to see Jim Ross is back for the duration of the show now that Cole is out of the picture thanks to Rock. WWE is giving the impression that they just have announcers hanging out backstage on standby in case one of the other announcers gets hurt.
-After R-Truth attacked Morrison from behind, I was waiting for Booker to kill the heel heat by praising Truth for not being a wimp and taking the initiation to make a bold statement, as he did on Friday's Smackdown when Sheamus attacked Kofi Kingston from behind.
-Who didn't see the Khama run-in coming when Kelly Kelly vs. Maryse started. Lawler told Kelly to run from the ring. Yes, run! Why is she lying there as if she's paralyzed or trapped or tied down?!?! Ross and Matthews covered for her, saying she was "frozen in the gaze of Kharma" and "frozen in fear."
-More good "gets" with Samuel L. Jackson, Paul Walker, and Steve Carell.
-Time for Miz's rematch. I'm curious where they go with Miz now.
-That "Duh Winning" sign in the crowd feels as dated as a Wayne's World reference right now. It's like when that California governor's personal life was the political story of the summer before 9/11, and then everyone just felt foolish obsessing about something so relatively petty. Sheen feels like that after the Osama bin Laden death.
-Good match, with Miz appearing to regain the belt, only to have the ref reverse the decision due to use of the title belt as a weapon. They threw a lot of swerves into that match. Ref bumps and interference and foreign object shots lose their drama if overused, but WWE is relatively disciplined about it, so it worked here. Ross's commentary made the match a notch better, too.
-Josh Mathews pointed out that Rey Mysterio & Kofi Kingston vs. Jack Swagger & Drew McIntyre featured four wrestlers drafted from Smackdown to Raw. He then said immediately next that Alberto Del Rio was at ringside to scout his "new competition." Josh does realize that Del Rio was also on Smackdown so it's not exactly "new competition" for him, but rather familiar company.
-As part of the video package on the "B A Star" anti-bullying campaign, Triple H looked at the camera and said, "Show tolerance and respect"
-WWE Fact: Two days after 9/11, WWE Smackdown live from Houston was the first public assembly in the United States."
-Good brief segment between Rock and John Cena. Well played, with Cena saying his gift for Rock is his winning the WWE Title and then keeping it until WrestleMania 28 so their "biggest match ever" at WM28 is even bigger now.
-Looks like Mason Ryan is in for a big push. At least they're portraying someone as being in the league of Big Show and Kane in terms of power.
-By the end of the show, I was beginning to wonder if Rock led the Navy Seals and Special Ops in Pakistan last night. It was a bit much. Don't get me wrong, Rock was entertaining and likable, but it still seemed to get excessive. He puts his pants on one leg at a time just like everyone else.
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