WWE Raw Report CALDWELL'S WWE RAW RESULTS 11/15: Complete "virtual time" coverage of three-hour Old School Raw is Ross
Nov 15, 2010 - 10:20:38 PM
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WWE Raw Results
November 15, 2010 - Episode #911
Live in Hershey, Pa.
Aired on USA Network
Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor
Tonight's WWE Raw #911 episode started with the old WWF logo with "Federation" crossed out and replaced with "Entertainment." Live in the arena, the classic Raw siren went off and the audio was out on Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler's mics. Cole was popping his Ps as he introduced the show, claiming to be Vince McMahon and Lawler was Jesse Ventura. The siren kept blaring in the background. Cole then sent it to the ring.
In-ring: The siren was still blaring and Justin Roberts was sporting a giant toupee and powder blue jacket to introduce "Mean" Gene Okerlund. Okerlund went to the old-school platform stage at the back of the arena. Okerlund brought out Cowboy Bob Orton as the first Legend out. I would have guessed 105 people before Bob Orton as the first Legend out tonight. Gene wanted to bring out WWE champion Randy Orton, but Bob said Orton is an hour late because he didn't know Raw was starting early tonight. Bob then cut a promo on John Cena, which drew boos from the crowd.
Suddenly, Nexus's music hit and Wade Barrett walked out through the giant R-A-W letters on the stage. Barrett walked up the platform stage and told Bob that Randy's chances of retaining the WWE Title are as fake as Bob's cast. Barrett said the Legends didn't pave the way for him because he got to WWE on account of his own hard work. He said the only reason why he didn't bring Nexus out was because he wants Bob fully conscious on Sunday to see what he does to Orton at the PPV.
Suddenly, The Miz's music interrupted and Miz slowly strolled out to the platform with Alex Riley, who looked like a walking tool modeling the new Old School line of WWE merchandise. Miz said he sent a message to Randy that he's changing the landscape of things on Raw. He could also change the landscape of WWE by cashing in his Money in the Bank briefcase. Maybe he'll do it tonight when Randy arrives in the building. Miz offered a scenario that he could ruin Barrett's title match and make sure Cena stays in Nexus forever.
Suddenly, John Cena appeared on the Titantron and said he's making sure Miz cashes in nothing tonight. Cena said he's going to protect Barrett tonight, but for his own reasons. Cena then challenged Miz to a match "right here, tonight." He said he knows the normal Miz is looking to his personal assistant to whine and complain, but if he's as awesome as he says he is, simply accept. Riley whispered in Miz's ear, then Miz shouted that he accepts. Cena smiled and Miz stomped off. Okerlund was left on stage with Orton and Barrett before the old Raw theme hit to send it to commercial.
In-ring: The music hit for Intercontinental champion Dolph Ziggler, which brought out IC champion Ziggler and Vickie Guerrero. Roberts announced an interpromotional match here. Interesting. They cut to an old-school inset promo from Ziggler saying he's returned to Raw as the greatest WWE couple since Randy Savage and Liz. Referee Charles Robinson was sporting the old blue shirt and bowtie. Cue up "Sexual Chocolate" Mark Henry's theme music...since they're in Hershey. They even had Henry's old video intro. Cole gave a PG recap of Henry's old character as Henry slowly (and perhaps seductively) walked to the ring. Cole complained about having to sit on these old steel chairs for three hours.
1 -- IC champion DOLPH ZIGGLER (w/Vickie Guerrero) vs. MARK HENRY -- non-title match
Cole said Ziggler reminds him of "Ravishing" Rick Rude from the past. Henry dominated early on, then Ziggler rolled to the outside. Henry made advances toward Guerrero, prompting a Mae Young reference from the announcers. Back in the ring, Ziggler cut off Henry at the knees and went to work on him. Henry made a comeback and landed a powerslam, but Ziggler put his foot on the bottom rope to break a three count.
Henry measured Ziggler for a big splash, but Ziggler rolled out of the way in time. Ziggler then followed with a finisher attempt, but Henry kicked out in time. Ziggler followed with the Zig-Zag, but Henry kicked out again. Ziggler, frustrated, slapped on a sleeper hold. Is this where Roddy Piper shows up? Henry faded out in Ziggler's grasp and the referee called for the bell to give Ziggler the win.
WINNER: Ziggler at 4:27. Nice showcase for Ziggler, although they're really watering down the brand split with an unadvertised appearance by a second tier champion on Raw. As if the watering-down of the brand split is news. (*1/4)
Backstage: Tyson Kidd and D.H. Smith were backstage sporting the Old School line merchandise. Smith said his dad and Dynamite Kid didn't always see eye to eye. Kidd vowed to work it out, then Tony Atlas interrupted in the hallway and shared a story about having arguments with Rocky Johnson when they were tag champions. Atlas said sometimes he wanted to do curls and Rocky wanted to do the bench press. Atlas talked 100 MPH before pulling out a can of WD-40 to keep talking. HD finally bolted and left Atlas to keep talking.
Backstage: Atlas was still talking to himself. Now he was joined by Yoshi Tatsu in a green old-school WWF t-shirt. Yoshi had enough and mock committed suicide via harry carey. Not exactly PG.
In-ring: WWE tag champions Nexus were in the ring before Hart Dynasty came out to face the tag champs. Cole referenced Dynamite Kid and shared a few stories before the bell sounded to begin a non-title match.
2 -- WWE tag champions NEXUS (HEATH SLATER & JUSTIN GABRIEL) vs. HART DYNASTY (TYSON KIDD & D.H. SMITH) -- non-title match
Smith worked on Gabriel early on, then Slater broke up a pin attempt. Slater tagged in, so Smith dropped him with a powerslam for a two count. Smith followed with a big clothesline in the corner, but Gabriel provided a distraction to give Slater an opening to take control. The crowd picked up a brief "Nexus sucks" chant as Cole noted Kidd has yet to enter the match. Smith eventually walked over to the corner for a tag, but Kidd moved his hand and popped Smith with an enziguri kick. Kidd then smiled and hopped off the ring apron as Gabriel went up top. Gabriel hit the 450 Splash on Smith for the pin and the win. After a replay of Kidd turning on Smith, they went to back and forth shots of Kidd smirking and Smith selling disgust in the ring to close the segment.
WINNERS: Nexus at 3:07. This is where not having a straight-forward announcer really, really hurt. Kidd turning on Smith should have been treated like a big deal, but the announcers completely undersold it in that make-or-break moment. Another example of Cole's delusional character on Raw being a mistake. (*)
Backstage: Okerlund was in front of the old WWF blue and yellow interview set. He brought in WWE champion Randy Orton and Bob. R-Truth then interrupted and told Orton he needs to be proactive about John Cena before Survivor Series. Orton said there is one way for him to make sure Cena doesn't screw him over at Survivor Series...if he punts him in the head tonight. Bob and Randy walked off, leaving Truth to contemplate matters.
Update Center: Okerlund was in the old WWE TV studio setting to plug WWE merchandise with the Old School theme. Old Royal Rumble, King of the Ring (subtle plug for two weeks from now) Summerslam, Survivor Series, and WrestleMania logo t-shirts are available.
Arena: Justin Roberts welcomed out Howard Finkel, who was already in the ring. Cole was nonplussed. Fink said it is his distinct honor to introduce one of the greatest stars to ever step inside the ring. Accompanied by Harvey Whippleman...the Brooklyn Brawler. Out came Brawler in his torn-up Yankees t-shirt accompanied by ol' Whippleman. Cole took a shot at the "Red Rooster" (TNA VP Terry Taylor) and the announcers made chicken noises for a while.
In the ring, Brawler asked the crowd why they don't respect old-school. He wants a standing ovation right now and after his match. Whippleman said the "King of Old School" wants to challenge anyone from the New School. Steve Corino's here? Brawler waited for the challenge to be answered while Cole had an inside note that Brawler has a pre-tape to do. Ezekiel Jackson's music hit to bring out Old School Ahmed Johnson for this match-up.
2 -- BROOKYLN BRAWLER (w/Harvey Whippleman) vs. EZEKIEL JACKSON
Cole said he never thought he would see Brawler in a match again in 2011. It's not next year yet. Jackson dominated, then hit the Pearl River Plunging dominator for the pin and the win. Cole with another inside reference that Brooklyn Brawler has struck out. Cole got serious and said Jackson has been on a tear since returning to Raw.
WINNER: Jackson at 0:50. Effective squash continuing to build up Jackson. It's best to "limit his touches" in the ring until they're ready to push him in a more important program. (n/a)
Tonight: An old school graphic let us know John Cena vs. The Miz is happening tonight.
Torch Absurdity specialist Shane McKinley checks in: "So far, Raw is an infomercial for the Old School merch."
Tomorrow night: the Old School Diva Search offers the next elimination of NXT Season 3.
Backstage: Nexus members were assembled in the Nexus locker room. David Otunga claimed he stepped up on Smackdown to avoid being cut from the group. He said they need to send R-Truth a message. Wade Barrett interrupted Otunga upon him saying he's "the leader." Otunga said he said he's "a leader." Barrett talked down to Otunga, who talked tough. Suddenly, the Raw GM buzzed. Cole stepped to the not-old school podium and read that Otunga will be in a "special match" later tonight. R-Truth, on the other hand, will have Barrett tonight. Otunga smirked. Cole read that Barrett can prove he is truly WWE championship material.
Back to Barrett, who said the GM raises a good point. Husky Harris stepped up and said they have his back tonight. Barrett thanked him and looked down at Otunga again. Barrett said he's going to prove he can beat anyone on the Raw roster on his own. Suddenly, someone walked into the room. It was Cena. Cena wanted to make sure Barrett has a grasp on his meltdown. Barrett told Husky and Hennig to follow Cena to the ring to make sure nothing happens. Cena intentionally botched Husky and Hennig's names before telling Barrett he has this under control. If Orton wants some, he can find some. They cut to break.
Survivor Series plug: Kane vs. Edge for the World Title.
Smackdown plug: How far will Edge go in pursuit of the World Title?
In-ring: After a pause, John Cena's music hit to bring out Cena through the big red R-A-W letters on the stage. Of note, Cena isn't wearing anything Old School tonight. Apparently selling the purple and gold Cena merchandise is more important. Cole said this could be the final night for Cena on Raw if Barrett doesn't win the WWE Title at Survivor Series. Cena smiled for the crowd and played around with Roberts and ref Chioda before Miz's music hit. Miz walked out on stage with Riley with mic in hand. They replayed the five-on-five match on Raw last week when Miz turned on Orton and Cena counted a pinfall for Barrett on Orton.
After a replay of the main event last week, Miz stood on stage with Riley and said Cena always thinks he's one step ahead of time. Miz talked through Cena's apparent strategy, but said Cena is forgetting one thing that the GM never officially sanctioned this match. So, if the GM doesn't have a problem, he would like to make a substitution. Cole said he hasn't received anything from the GM. Apparently silence means acceptance, as Miz said he will change it to Riley facing Cena tonight.
[Q5 -- second hour / first regular hour]
3 -- JOHN CENA vs. ALEX RILEY (w/The Miz)
Cole corrected himself from the Jackson match that he misspoke about the current year they're in, noting it's 2010, not 2011. Cole said he wants to be like Vin Scully calling this show by himself in the future. Miz distracted the referee early on, giving Riley an opening to tackle and attack Cena. Cena made a comeback at 3:00 while Lawler noted Cena's jovial mode despite being in a position to be fired at Survivor Series. Cena dropped the Shuffle on Riley, who rolled to his feet and walked into the Attitude Adjustment. Cena dropped Riley, then slapped on the STF and stared right in Miz's face with the hold locked in. Riley tapped and Cena smiled while Cole said Cena was able to "be himself" for perhaps the final time on Raw.
WINNER: Cena via submission at 3:44. Another "feel good" match for WWE's PG audience. The post-match took precedent over the in-ring here...
Post-match: Orton stormed the ring and cleared Miz, then Husky and Hennig stormed the ring and tried to attack Orton, who fought them off. Orton then stared down Cena before ripping off his t-shirt. Orton and Cena came face-to-face as the crowd roared in anticipation of something going down. Cena then shrugged and landed a right hand blow. Orton came back with rights before referees stormed the ring and tried to separate the two men. Agents even spilled into the ring for an old-school pullapart brawl. The crowd chanted, "Let them fight."
Suddenly, the Raw GM buzzed and Cole stepped to the podium. Cole said it's obvious Cena and Orton have issues they need to work out before Survivor Series. Since it's old school night, he read that Cena and Orton will be guests tonight on Piper's Pit. Lawler excitedly plugged Roddy Piper appearing on the show tonight.
Reset: They reset the show coming back from break with the dramatic introduction of the WWF logo, old Raw intro, and the siren blaring again. Cole and Lawler were back ringside to recap the first hour of the show. Lawler said they're going to see Piper's Pit later tonight while a sign reading: "Camel Clutch Make U Humble" was visible over their shoulders.
In-ring: On cue, Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff were in the ring. Fink introduced Volkoff singing the Soviet National Anthem. This had about 99 percent less heat than in the 1980s. Suddenly, Santino's music interrupted. Santino and Kozlov walked out and Santino excitedly pointed out to Kozlov that Volkoff's in the ring. Santino apologized for interrupting before pointing out Kozlov would like to sing the Russian National Anthem with Volkoff. Suddenly, the crowd chanted, "U-S-A" to interrupt. Kozlov and Volkoff began signing while Santino bit his thumb nervously because of how horrible it sounded. Santino interrupted and said that was eh, how do you say?, terrible. Santino had a better song for them. He then introduced the Dr. of Style, Slick.
[Q6] Out came Slick doing a rap on the way to the ring. Sheik, with a live mic, suddenly began cutting a promo on Hulk Hogan. He was cut off, then Slick stopped dancing. Sheik then cut the regularly scheduled promo on Hulk Hogan before telling the crowd to shut up. That was unintentionally hilarious. Sheik spit into the mic, then the Usos interrupted. Out came Jimmy & Jey with Tamina. Fink announced a #1 contender match for the tag titles as the Usos stood on the stage before Fink introduced Tamina's father, "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka. Out came Snuka dressed in a very flashy animal-skin jacket and pants. Jimmy and Tamina embraced a bit before Tamina resumed her business-like demeanor walking the Usos to the ring. A #1 contender match is up next.
4 -- USOS (JIMMY & JEY w/Tamina and Snuka) vs. SANTINO & KOZLOV (w/Sheik and Volkoff) -- #1 contender match to WWE Tag Titles
The match was joined in progress as Cole referenced the Usos being the sons of Rikishi. Kozlov manhandled one of the Usos as Snuka and Tamina tried to shout encouragement. Kozlov then tagged in Santino, whose head was used a battering ram. Cole noted Jake Roberts had his snake and Santino has his cobra. Cole talked about Snuka being one of the "original high-flyers" as the only sound heard in the arena was Santino screaming at Kozlov for a tag. The Usos then bumped Santino off the ring apron, allowing the Usos to continue working on Kozlov. Kozlov eventually broke free and tagged in Santino, who landed left hand jabs. He then went until Ultimate Warrior mode raising the roof and landing a big splash for a two count. Santino then called for the Cobra and delivered the strike on Jey for the pin and the win.
WINNERS: Santino & Kozlov at 5:31. And now Nexus will be opposed by...Santino and Kozlov. They're trying to legitimize Santino as more than just a comedy act, but that would require undoing three years worth of Raw Comedy. (*)
Post-match: Santino bailed as he saw Sheamus storming the ring from behind. Kozlov took a Brogue Kick, then an Uso took a Brogue Kick. Sheamus had Santino cornered, but John Morrison stormed the ring to loud cheers. Morrison cleared Sheamus out of the ring, then hit an enziguiri when Sheamus tried to re-enter on the ring apron. Morrison took the mic and said he doesn't like bullies. One thing he learned about bullies is they turn and walk away when threatened. Morrison told Sheamus he's right here ready to fight. Sheamus ripped off his t-shirt, but backed away. Morrison shook his head and his music played as Sheamus disappeared to the back. Santino thanked Morrison for his help and offered a handshake.
Still to come: Roddy Piper asks the tough questions with Cena and Orton tonight.
[Commercial Break. Checking fantasy football stats, am I reading a correct 35-0 score in the second quarter of the Monday Night Football game? That could bode well for Raw ratings unless the "train wreck" factor plays into the audience staying tuned to ESPN.]
In-ring: David Otunga was in the ring for his "special match." Otunga flexed as Justin Roberts introduced him. Kofi Kingston, from Smackdown, then came out as his opponent. The graphic under Kingston's name simply read "Superstar." Kingston was sporting a King of the Ring t-shirt for another subtle plug for two weeks. They cut to an old school inset promo from Kingston saying he'll be like Koko B. Ware flying around the ring tonight. Boom Boom Boom.
5 -- KOFI KINGSTON vs. DAVID OTUNGA
Otunga dominated things early on as the crowd chanted for Kofi. Otunga landed an emphatic elbow smash for a two count before applying a submission hold driving Kofi into the mat. Kofi made a comeback and landed successive corner strikes before landing a big flying dropkick. This was followed by a double knock down as they collided mid-ring. Suddenly, George "The Animal" Steele showed up ringside with his green tongue on display. Ol' George just walked right into the ring and approached the turnbuckle pad. The ref reprimanded him from attempting to eat the turnbuckle. So, he walked to the other turnbuckle and ripped it apart. Steele chucked the turnbuckle stuffing at the ref while Otunga wondered what was going on. Kingston was still KO'ed, but then woke up and rammed Otunga head-first into the exposed steel. Kingston followed with the Trouble in Paradise for the pin and the win. They replayed Steele's involvement and Cole said he feels like he's back at MSG.
WINNER: Kingston at 4:50. Fine match as Otunga continues to progress from Level 1. The Steele run-in was a bit random and a distraction, but what you would expect to give Otunga more to complain about to Barrett. (*1/4)
Backstage: Gerald Brisco and Double A were talking up John Morrison. Morrison said he's tired of Sheamus picking on folks. Sheamus then barged in and dropped Morrison with a Brogue Kick. Anderson told Sheamus to back off, and Sheamus told Arn to convey a message to Morrison that he accepts his challenge for a match at Survivor Series. Was it about three months ago Arn and Sheamus had a backstage exchange? Arn muttered under his breath and said they should get some help for Morrison.
WWF Did You Know: WWWF was founded by Vincent J. McMahon, Vincent Kennedy McMahon's father.
Backstage: Aksana was walking around with the Million Dollar Title belt, then Hacksaw Jim Duggan interrupted to accuse her of stealing his bit. Her mom was here. Aksana approached "her mom" and it turned out to be Dusty Rhodes. Kelly Kelly dropped a net on Catwoman and Goldust walked in. He retrieved the Million Dollar belt and handed it over to Ted DiBiase, Sr., who was accompanied by I.R.S. Schyster said he could find a good tax shelter. DiBiase, Jr. then walked in and turned down the belt. Jr. told Sr. he doesn't want a hand-me-down. He walked off as the "waaaah waaaah" noise should have played. Cody Rhodes then walked past Ted, Jr. for a brief Legacy reunion before talking to Goldust. He wanted a grooming tip, but Cody told him his breath stinks. Cody walked off, then Dusty (still wearing a big wig) said he raised some weird kids. Tatanka suddenly entered and started dancing. Duggan walked in next. Aksana was still dancing under the net. Kelly Kelly was randomly inserted into this. Ron Simmons then walked in sporting his "Damn" t-shirt. The music stopped and everyone kept dancing anyways. "Damn" from Simmons was good for a cut.
Announcers: Cole just shook his head as Lawler chuckled. Cole asked Lawler if they really danced in the locker room back in the day. Cole tried to get serious selling the importance of Cena and Orton's confrontation impacting Survivor Series. Too late for that.
Backstage: Truth was shown walking backstage with Eve. They were in 1980s style rip-away Old School shirts laughing with each other on the way to the ring.
A voice that was meant to sound like Lord Alfred Hayes voice-overed some promotional consideration plugs for Buffalo Wild Wings and Snickers. Lawler quipped that there is life after death.
In-ring: Truth and Eve rapped and danced, respectively, to the ring as they cut to various crowd shots of audience members engaged in the activity. Cole mocked the song interjecting his own lyrics, "It's junk...that stunk." Truth gave a shout-out to Hershey before asking what's up. Cue up Nexus's music to bring out Wade Barrett alone. Cole said they could be looking at the new WWE champion at Survivor Series.
6 -- R-TRUTH (w/Eve) vs. WADE BARRETT
Truth took control early on and clotheslined Barrett over the top rope to the floor. Truth then nailed a flip dive onto Barrett, sending Barrett crashing to the floor beyond the bright blue ringside padding. Back in the ring, Barrett caught Truth off the ropes with a modified Black Hole Slam for a two count. Cole said he's uncomfortable in his bright jacket like the one Vince McMahon used to wear. He wondered aloud if Lawler has been visiting McMahon in the hospital. He said he couldn't even imagine working with McMahon on the air.
Meanwhile, Barrett landed a big elbow drop from the second rope followed by a sidewalk slam. Cole noted no presence of Nexus ringside, like at Survivor Series where Nexus is banned from ringside. They cut to a split screen of Cena and Orton watching the match from separate locations on monitors backstage. Truth teased a comeback on Barrett, then made a full comeback with rapid-fire clotheslines. He tried a victory roll, but Barrett kicked out in time. Truth then landed a facebuster suplex for another nearfall. Truth to follow with the Lie Detector, but Barrett ducked and smashed Truth with a boot to the face.
[Q9 -- third hour / second regular hour] At the top of the hour, Barrett scooped up Truth and dropped him with the Wasteland slam. The announcers noted it appeared Barrett's nose was injured. Barrett made the pin for the win as the camera zoomed in on Barrett's face, where his nose looked quite damaged. After a replay of the match highlights, Barrett managed a smile as the announcers noted his quest for the WWE Title at Survivor Series.
WINNER: Barrett at 5:20. Good, tough win for Barrett ahead of Survivor Series. WWE still has to overcome the dilemma that the issue between Barrett and Orton for Survivor Series is #3 in importance behind Cena-Barrett and Cena-Orton. They have an hour to focus on Cena's issues being most important to see how they're resolved at the PPV. (*1/2)
Re-intro: Back from break, they reset the show again with the dramatic flashing of the WWE letters before the old school Raw intro played again. Back ringside, Cole and Lawler reintroduced the show as the siren blared again. Cole did his best McMahon imitation puffing out his chest. Lawler said it was the worst McMahon imitation ever.
In-ring: Ricardo Rodriguez was in the ring to introduce Alberto Del Rio, but Tito Santana interrupted for the next Legends cameo. Santana walked out on stage and said this is how it's done. He introduced Alberto Del Rio, who was driven to the ring by Chavo Classic. Del Rio walked out of his expensive car and slowly approached Classic for a hug. Cole randomly threw out a plug that Del Rio will captain a team at Survivor Series. But, more on that later. Del Rio walked out to the ring exuding greatness. He slowly entered the ring and did his little mannerisms that are so money.
Del Rio took the mic and thanked Tito and Chavo. Del Rio introduced himself and gave a shout-out to Hershey, the "home of Chocolate." He did the house show promo calling the audience fat Americans. Del Rio said he is in the heart of the nation - a heart that will soon by stuffed by cholesterol and obesity. He moved on to saying the other Legends should follow Tito and Chavo's examples by paying respect to him.
Suddenly, Sgt. Slaughter's music interrupted. Sarge stomped out to the ring and slowly entered the ring to tell Del Rio to shut his hole. Cole popped for the one-liner. Sarge said Del Rio wants respect, but he needs to earn it by facing him right here, right now. He told Del Rio he's slime, scum, and a maggot. Loud "U-S-A" chant. Del Rio did his "easy there, fella" smile and told Sarge to bring it. Del Rio asked for a referee right now. Chioda was conveniently positioned ringside as the referee.
7 -- ALBERTO DEL RIO vs. SGT. SLAUGHTER
Del Rio kicked Sarge in the gut before landing a knee to the gut. Sarge then teased the Cobra Clutch, but Del Rio reached the ropes for a break. Del Rio got that look in his eyes and landed a big clothesline for a two count. Del Rio then slapped on a snug reverse chinlock as the crowd rallied behind Slaughter. Del Rio smashed Sarge with a kick to the knee, but Sarge ducked a right and slapped on the Cobra Clutch again. Del Rio broke free, though, and landed a big step-up enziguiri kick in the corner for the three count.
Post-match: Del Rio slapped on the cross armbreaker as Cole noted he's injured Christian and Rey Mysterio with the hold. MVP suddenly stormed the ring and Del Rio bailed out of the ring. MVP told Del Rio to get back in the ring and fight him. Del Rio just laughed at this request before winking at him. The crowd was hot with an "MVP" chant.
WINNER: Del Rio at 1:52. Del Rio's greatness cannot be over-stated. It was good to see Sarge work a competitive match after his health problems earlier this year. A nice feud is brewing between Del Rio and MVP. (*)
Update Center: Okerlund plugged the Old School line of merchandise again.
Announcers: Cole and Lawler were shown on-camera to plug the old metal barriers behind them. Cole plugged the old WWF Ice Cream bars as the siren blared in the background again. Cole then fed to a video on the WrestleMania 27 tickets going on-sale this weekend.
WM27 video: Georgia Dome hosting WM27 in Atlanta. Various WWE fans were shown lined up for tickets on Friday and Saturday. Kasim Reed, the mayor of Atlanta, said this is the next big thing for Atlanta.
Old School stage: Okerlund brought in Mae Young, who was accompanied by the Bella Twins. The Bellas held up Mae as she walked on stage to talk to Okerlund. Mae said she'll be wrestling when she's 80. Cole lost his mind cackling as Okerlund fed to a video on Mae's career. Back live, Okerlund laughed and said that must be thrilling. Suddenly, Lay-Cool interrupted. McCool wanted to show some love to the woman old enough to be Betty White's grandmother. Mae said she wants a match with "these sluts," which drew one of the biggest pops of the night. Mae then dropped her ring jacket and Okerlund translated that she wanted a No DQ match. Lay-Cool laughed, then a brawl broke out on stage leading to the babyface Raw Divas coming out to make the save for Mae Young. They knocked down Lay-Cool and celebrated as the camera focused on Natalya, who has Lay-Cool in a Divas Title match on Sunday.
In-ring: Fink introduced a special guest commentator for the next match, WWE Hall of Famer... Jim Ross. Cole: "What?!" Yes, Ross emerged from backstage and walked back on Raw for the first time in a few years. Lawler said he brought an extra chair for Ross. Cole complained as Ross walked to ringside to applause. Ross shook hands ringside before shaking hands with Lawler and joining the ringside table. Ross no-sold Cole before shaking his hand and turning to Lawler. Cole asked Ross who invited him here. He no-sold again and turned to Lawler. Cue up Daniel Bryan's music with Ross calling a Bryan match. Ross no-sold Cole's anti-Bryan rhetoric and anti-Ross rhetoric while praising Bryan's pedigree. Jack Swagger came out and Cole sarcastically told Ross to start praising his OU background. Ross just had a conversation with Lawler while Cole rolled his eyes.
8 -- U.S. champion DANIEL BRYAN vs. JACK SWAGGER -- non-title match
Cole continued to roll his eyes as Lawler and Ross had their own conversation. Ross said Bryan was "trying to negotiate" the arm of Jack Swagger with submissions. They cut back to Cole trying to get in Ross's face to tell him he's now the voice of WWE. Ross called Swagger scoring a nearfall before listing Swagger's accolades. Cole then did his anti-Bryan spiel as Ross no-sold and called Bryan landing a big dropkick for a two count. Bryan scored with successive kick strikes as they showed Cole continuing to roll his eyes. Swagger landed a boot to the head clearing Bryan to the head as Cole thanked his lucky stars they were going to commercial. He said hopefully the match will be over and Ross will be on his way back to Oklahoma when they're back.
Back from break, Ross reintroduced the show while Cole had his head down on his desk selling a slumber. Swagger scored a nearfall in the ring as Ross had a conversation with Lawler talking up Bryan. Swagger then rolled Bryan to the outside in front of the announce table. Swagger posed in front of the table while Cole sold boredom. Cole also noted his voice is in the WWE open now. Back in the ring, Bryan landed a boot to the jaw while Cole mocked Ross's catchphrases. Bryan then smashed Swagger with a baseball slide kick through the ropes followed by a running knee smash off the ring apron. Cole said they're only missing The Genius tonight.
[Q12] Back in the ring, Bryan went up top and landed a big missile dropkick for a two count. Cole wanted the match ended and cursed his bad luck when Swagger kicked out. Bryan then landed kick strikes to the chest, but Swagger came back with an Anklelock attempt, only to have Bryan escape and airballed a big flying kick in the corner. Swagger followed with a running Vader Bomb, but Bryan kicked out. Cole begged for the match to end before asking Ross if he has an OU game to be at. Ross plugged jrsbarbq.com while Swagger landed another running Vader Bomb. Swagger wanted the gut wrench powerbomb, but Bryan blocked. He tried the LeBell Lock, but Swagger escaped and landed a backbreaker. He wanted the gutwrench again, but Bryan slipped out and nailed a big enziguiri kick. Bryan scored a pinfall for the win.
WINNER: Bryan at 10:45. What's that Hulk Hogan line about breathing fresh air again? It was great to hear Ross back on the air trying to sell the product with a straight face vs. Cole's delusional heelish presentation. Bryan vs. Swagger was good, but it was difficult to invest in the match as a viewer trying to ignore the ringside banter from Cole. Apparently WWE's only money match right now is Ross vs. Cole. (**1/2)
Post-match: Ted DiBiase stormed the ring and attacked Bryan from behind, showing renewed intensity in his Old School t-shirt. DiBiase, with a scraggly heel beard, dropped Bryan with the Dream Street finisher. DiBiase then retrieved the U.S. Title belt, which Cole slipped on and said "belt" instead of "championship." DiBiase held up the title belt and draped it over Bryan's fallen body as Maryse suddenly walked out. Maryse smiled and greeted DiBiase ringside while Cole sarcastically thanked Ross for showing up.
Announcers: Ross no-sold Cole and shook hands with Lawler as the announcers plugged the Survivor Series line-up. They announced a new Smackdown match of Del Rio, Cody Rhodes, Tyler Reks, Jack Swagger, and Drew McIntyre vs. Rey Mysterio, Kofi Kingston, MVP, Chris Masters, and Big Show.
Ringside: Roberts asked for a final applause for Ross, who stood up and took off his Cowboy hat before whipping Cole with it twice. Lawler cackled as Ross walked off. Cole said that's real professional. Lawler mocked Cole's comeback as Cole said he's a visionary and he runs this place.
Backstage: Cena and Orton were shown on a split screen walking around ahead of their confrontation in Piper's Pit.
Promotional consideration with Lord Alfred Hayes.
In-ring: Justin Roberts introduced the full line-up of Legends assembled on stage. Snuka, Bob Orton, I.R.S., Tito, Sarge, Duggan (who ended up with his flag on his face), Brawler, Chavo Classic, Okerlund, The Fink, Mae Young, Gerald Brisco, DiBiase, Slick, Tatanka, Tony Atlas, Arn Anderson, Ron Simmons, Dusty Rhodes, George Steele, Jim Ross, Iron Sheik, and Volkoff. They went to a wide shot of the stage to show the Legends one more time. Roberts then welcomed out Roddy Piper.
[Q13 -- over-run] Piper walked out on stage with his hair slicked back as he saluted Okerlund on stage. Piper made it to the ring and stood on the apron looking into the crowd before saying how cool the audience looks. Piper paused for a "Rowdy, Rowdy" chant. Piper said they're here to make some history old school. To him, it's not about nostalgia or a happy feeling, but a time when you had to man up. He said an example was him smashing Cpt. Lou Albano when he was accepting an award. Jimmy Snuka became a hot shot, so he hit him in the head with a coconut. Piper said it was a time that when you have a problem, you do something about it. Now, to get down to business.
Piper introduced John Cena first. Cena walked out to Piper's Pit and Piper told him to hang on a second. Piper said he's a big fan of Cena's, but he has to tell him something. He has been competing for over 30 years and he's never been the WWE champion. Piper said it eats at him a little bit. He very quietly said DiBiase, Steamboat, Snuka, Mr. Perfect (pop) never became WWE champion. And if Cena is going to do what he thinks he's going to do and give that s.o.b. Wade Barrett the WWE Title without him deserving it, then what he's doing is spitting in the face of all those Legends Cena claims he respects. Piper told Cena not to spit in his face. "You've been a man from the very first day you walked in. Consequences be damned. Do the right thing," he said. Piper nailed that.
Cena: "The right thing?" Cena said he's had to hear about this for weeks and at times he doesn't know what the right thing is. Cena said it's not that easy. He said he's been working as hard as he can to do everything possible for Legends to respect him when they come here. Cena said he looked up to the Legends as a kid and they were his heroes. Some real emotion being sold here. Cena said he's been thinking about this a lot and after all the work he's done, he would be the guy who handed Wade Barrett the championship. One kid shouted, "Never give up." Cena pointed to the kid and said, "Damn right." Cena said he's calling the match right down the middle at Survivor Series.
Barrett then interrupted and sarcastically told Cena well done. Barrett said he proved tonight he can beat anyone on the Raw roster without Cena's help. He told Cena those were magnificent words, but that's the problem - they're just words. Barrett said there is a reality in place that if he doesn't get his hand raised and doesn't win the WWE Title, then Cena is done. No more WrestleMania, no Cenation. It's all over. Piper interjected, "Shut up!" Piper screamed at Barrett to look at him when he's talking to him. At the end of the day, Barrett may have the WWE Title, but he won't be a champion. "You'll just be a joke," he said.
Barrett asked Piper who he is to cast judgment on him. He said he realized something earlier today that this is Cena's final night on Raw as part of Nexus or for good. Barrett said he sets Cena free or he fires him on Sunday. He wants to do something he should have done weeks ago and he's disappointed he didn't do this before. Barrett pulled out a Nexus t-shirt and threw it over to Cena, telling him to put it on. Barrett told Cena to take off that "monstrosity" of a t-shirt or he'll fire him on the spot.
Cena slowly took off his Cena cap and t-shirt before putting on the Nexus t-shirt as Barrett's eyes got real big. Cena in a Nexus t-shirt. There's a sight. Cena said Barrett is his boss until Sunday. He vowed to turn Barrett's face into mush right after the match at Survivor Series. Barrett cut a promo back on Cena, then Randy Orton's music hit to bring out the WWE champion. Piper backed up as Orton entered the ring and stared down Cena, then Barrett.
Orton took a mic and stared down Cena. "Ever since you counted one, two, three on me last week, all I've been thinking about is how to end this by kicking you in the skull and taking you out," he said. Orton said he thought of a better option. He said he could take Cena out...or... Orton turned to Barrett and smashed him with a right hand before landing a powerslam. Orton wanted the RKO on Barrett, but Cena stood in front of Orton. Orton then stood up and dropped Cena with an RKO. Orton backed up looking to Punt Cena in the head. Barrett ran interference, though, and Orton missed with a Punt before taking the Attitude Adjustment.
The dust started to clear as Cena sold the RKO and cleared Piper's set before Barrett re-entered the ring smiling. He demanded Cena raise his hand. Cena grabbed Barrett by the hand...then suddenly hoisted him up on his shoulders to deliver the Attitude Adjustment. Cena ripped off his Nexus t-shirt and threw it down at Barrett before leaving the ring. Cena shook hands with Piper as Cole wondered aloud what will happen at Survivor Series and if this was the final time Cena would be on Raw. They ended the show 15 minutes past the top of the hour. PYB (3) talk time: 14:55.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Heck of a final segment desperately trying to sell Survivor Series on Sunday. If the buyrate comes in above expectations, Piper deserves a royalty check for setting a great tone for the final PPV sales pitch. Piper is tremendous when he's focused and involved in an angle that matters. The appearance of real emotion from Cena interacting with Piper really gave the PPV an added touch. They could have used Ross hitting those final talking points signing off the air, but Piper, Cena, Orton, and Barrett did a good job on their own. Overall, a strong final segment that halfway made up for a pretty lackluster episode before the final segment. They didn't need a third hour for this show.
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