WWE Raw Report CALDWELL'S WWE RAW RESULTS 5/2: Complete "virtual time" coverage of live Raw - WWE Title match, Rock's birthday party, Extreme Rules fall-out
May 2, 2011 - 10:18:15 PM
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WWE Raw Results
May 2, 2011 - Episode #935
Live in Miami, Fla.
Aired on USA Network
Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor
This week's live WWE Raw started with a video package flashing back to September 11, 2001 and former president George W. Bush's message to American people establishing resolve in the face of tragedy. Next was a look at September 13, 2001 from Houston when WWE went live on Smackdown. Vince McMahon was shown addressing the fans and wrestlers. They showed clips of the roster at the time and Lilian singing the National Anthem. A lone U.S. flag hung in the air.
Live from Miami, the building was adorned in red, white, and blue. Appropriately, Lilian Garcia was center-ring for her WWE TV return to sing the National Anthem ten years later. Justin Roberts introduced her to a big reaction. Lilian sang the Anthem as the camera captured fan reactions inside the building. Thunderous "U-S-A" chant followed the Anthem. Cue up the standard Raw intro.
Announcers: Michael Cole formally introduced the show and noted it's The Rock's birthday and it will be new WWE champion John Cena vs. The Miz tonight. After a long pause, Rock's music hit to a huge reaction. The birthday boy came out on-stage in his hometown and soaked in the crowd response. Rock was wearing a black tank top with his Brahma Bull logo colored with the U.S. flag. Rock continued to stand on-stage staring into the crowd before he threw up the Miami Hurricanes signal and marched to the ring.
Rock entered the ring to pose for the crowd as Cole noted Rock has joined them live in Miami for his birthday celebration. Lawler said this is the biggest birthday bash in TV history. He said he thinks Rock has goose bumps. Josh Mathews said it's deafening at the AAA for Rock. Rock's music eventually stopped and he stood center-ring for a loud "Rocky, Rocky" chant. Rock surveyed the appreciative crowd before flashing a big smile. Deep breaths. Re-survey the crowd.
Rock eventually leaned over to begin. "Finally...The Rock has come back...(pause)...Home!" Rock shook out his nervous energy while waiting out a "Rocky, Rocky" chant. He said that before they get started, he has one thing to say. "We Got Him," noting President Obama's declaration after getting Osama bin Laden on Sunday. Loud "U-S-A" chant. Rock gave a shout-out to the military and said he is "damn proud to be an American." He said there's only way to start this night off. Rock told Miami and America to join him in the Pledge of Allegiance. The crowd roared again after completing the Pledge. Another "U-S-A" chant. There has to be a Duggan cameo this week, right?
[Q2] Rock paced the ring again before shouting, "Good Lord Almighty, it feels good to be home." He said he burst right out of the womb right here in Miami. The doctors and nurses said this baby is damn sure named Johnson. Then, Rock went to high school. He had an afro and a moustache. Cue up a high school photo of Rock. He said they can all laugh, but he devoured more pie in one night than King Kong Bundy in a Polish bakery. "Rocky, Rocky" chant.
Rock said he then went on to college. Loud "U" chants. #94 on the field, #1 in your hearts. He electrified the Orange Bowl and brought the National Title to Miami. Rock skipped ahead to joining WWE and rhymed about being ready to party all over South Beach. "If you smellll..." suddenly, the Raw GM buzzed in. Here we go again.
Cole stood up inside the tool box and asked for their attention. He just received an email from the Raw GM on his iPad. Cole started to read, but Rock cut him off. He said he can't hear Cole. He then invited Cole to enter the ring and read the message to The Rock's face. Cole declined and tried to read the message again, but Rock cut him off again. Rock said he knows Cole won at WrestleMania and won at Extreme Rules, so Cole must think of himself as some sort of tough guy. So, Cole can be a tough guy or be the Voice of WWE and read the message to Rock's face. In other words, be a man or sit in the glass box looking like a drunk hobbit bitch.
Cole sneered and said he doesn't even know what Rock just said, but he's not scared of anything. He said he's not the same person Rock used to pick on. He's grown into a man. He said he's a winner. And he associates with winners. Like, for example. Cole took off his jacket, unbuttoned his dress shirt, and flashed a KG Boston Celtics jersey. Huge heat with the Celtics and Heat in the middle of a Playoffs series. Cole stood up in his tool box proud of himself. Cole soaked in the boos before talking up the Celtics. He said he will deliver the message to "Dwayne" face-to-face because he's so confident now.
Cole glided into the ring and said the Raw GM demands an apology tonight because Rock embarrassed the GM at WrestleMania. And if Rock doesn't apologize, the Raw GM will shut down the birthday party before it gets started. Cole noted he wants an apology, too, for all of the humiliation he put him through over the years. Rock cocked his head to consider this offer. Rock reapproached Cole and told him he's right. He did disrespect the GM at WrestleMania...and he has disrespected Cole over the years... So, Rock has one thing to say to Cole. "I'm sorry," he said. Cole wasn't buying it. Rock extended a hand, but Cole smirked at him.
Rock said they're live in Miami right now. He said he's apologizing to him like a man right now. Cole wiped his hand, shrugged his shoulders, approached Rock, and accepted the handshake. "Thank you," Cole said. Rock maintained the grip before cocking his head. Cole said the Celtics jersey's just a goof. Rock thanked Cole before telling him, "Go Heat, (bleep)." Rock then dropped Cole with an emphatic Rock Bottom center-ring. Rock threw up the Hurricanes signal before dropping the People's Elbow straight to the heart.
Rock's music hit and Cole rolled out of the ring, but Rock asked for the music to be cut. Rock said this is the biggest birthday celebration in TV history. He then gave a shout-out to Pitbull, who came out on-stage. Pitbull hyped the crowd before dropping a tune. Miami Heat dancers came out next and danced on the stage. Pitbull gave a shout-out to The Rock before the Raw theme hit. PYB (3) talk time: 17:35.
Up next: John Morrison vs. R-Truth. Lawler said Rock's party is just getting started. Leading into break was a pre-taped clip from Dwayne Wade and LeBron James giving a shout-out to Rock on his birthday. I can finally put Wade & James in a TV Report. They cut to break 29 minutes into the show.
Announcers: Boomer Sooner was playing in the background, which could only mean Jim Ross on commentary along with Mathews and Lawler.
In-ring: John Morrison came out to the ring to face Truth in a grudge match, then Truth absolutely blasted Morrison from behind on the way to the ring. Truth continued to beat down Morrison as Ross noted Truth arguably cost Morrison the WWE Title last night. Referees came to ringside and sent Truth to the back as Morrison continued to sell ringside. Ross noted Truth has a crazed look in his eyes. They went to a replay of Truth dropping Morrison with a single-arm DDT on the floor. The announcers focused on a potential storyline-driven neck/shoulder injury. Refs continued to check on Morrison, who was helped up the entrance ramp. Mathews did a serious voice as Morrison was helped to the stage.
Truth suddenly re-emerged and drilled Morrison into the platform with another single-arm DDT. Morrison writhed in pain as the refs held Truth back. They went to another replay of Truth dropping Morrison on the stage. Truth was eventually guided to the back as Morrison was checked on again. They faded to commercial. Another really strong segment involving Truth. This is Truth's time to shine.
Announcers: Ross voiced-over an exterior shot of Miami as the announcers plugged a birthday message feature on Twitter for Rock. ... They cut to a pre-taped video clip of Jimmy Kimmel giving Rock a birthday message. He noted he's a candyass...and pulled out a bag of candy from underneath his seat.
In-ring: Maryse came out for a Divas match as the first official match of the show. Kelly Kelly, fresh off her trade to Raw, was out next to face Maryse.
1 -- MARYSE vs. KELLY KELLY
Less than 30 seconds in, Kharma's music played and Kelly freaked out. Kharma slowly made her way to the ring as Kelly cowered in the corner. Ross noted Kharma's TV debut last night at Extreme Rules taking out McCool. Kharma stared down Kelly, but targeted Maryse for her implant buster finisher. Kharma laughed maniacally, stared down Kelly, and left the ring.
WINNER: No Decision. Apparently Kharma's mission is to eradicate the heel Divas and play psychological mind games with the babyface Divas. Strong official TV debut. (n/a)
Backstage, Miz was shown nervously rubbing his hands together. Alex Riley, who was drafted to Smackdown, showed up in Miz's locker room. Miz wanted to know what Riley's excuse was for not helping him to retain the WWE Title at Extreme Rules. Riley noted he was drafted to Smackdown. Miz said his personal services contract exceeds any Draft rules. Miz said after tonight, no one will be talking about The Rock's birthday, but him becoming WWE champion.
Announcers: Ross then plugged Cena vs. Miz tonight for the title. Also, Rock's birthday continues. In the next pre-tape, Paul Walker from "Fast Five" gave a shout-out to Rock and did some weak John Cena references. That was odd.
Birthday pre-tape: Samuel Jackson talked up The Rock and told him he's a Superstar.
Backstage: Rock was talking to the Divas about singing a tune to Mrs. Obama. He said the president even has his own eyebrow. Rock walked to the other side of the "party room" and greeted Teddy Long while Ryder, Bourne, Bryan, and Masters stood awkwardly in the background away from the Divas. Rock greeted Kozlov, who brought in Santino, who was playing a character from Fast Five. Hornswoggle then barged in as mini-Scorpion King. Next, Great Khali entered dressed as a giant fairy. "You can't handle the tooth," Khali Fairy said. Rock asked Hornswoggle if he speaks. Horny grunted. Rock said he had the perfect person for this moment. The camera shot to the left to reveal Ron Simmons sporting his "D-A-M-N" t-shirt. Rock pointed to Khali Fairy and Simmons shouted, "Damn!"
Backstage: John Cena and The Miz were shown on a split-screen ahead of their WWE Title match, which is apparently next.
[Commercial Break. "Thor" sneak peek.]
Birthday Message: Steve Carell. Yes! Carell comically deadpanned that he doesn't like Dwayne Johnson and he's worked with him, which has made him like him even less. Carell said he was told there would be money involved, but that is apparently not the case. "I am doing this against my will...and against my better judgment," he said. Carell exited character mode and thanked Johnson for being kind and wonderful person.
[Q5 -- second hour]
In-ring: Former champion The Miz walked out for the WWE Title match as Ross noted Miz hopes to be WWE champion when they return to Miami for WrestleMania 28 next April. Miz posed in the ring as Alex Riley stood ringside pumping up Miz. After a pause, John Cena's music hit to bring out the new WWE champion to a very strong mixed reaction. On-stage, Cena surveyed the crowd, held up the WWE Title belt, saluted the crowd, and stormed the ring. The champ and challenger went to neutral corners and Justin Roberts handled formal ring intros. Another very loud mixed reaction for Cena. It's so refreshing to hear Ross calling a big match again.
2 -- WWE champion JOHN CENA vs. THE MIZ (w/Alex Riley) -- WWE Title match
Quick start with Cena scoring with a hip-toss and dropkick for an early nearfall. Miz then kicked Cena in the gut to mount an offensive attack. Cena fought back with right hands before Riley hopped on the apron. Cena punched him off the apron, then Miz clotheslined Cena to land multiple right hands. Miz knocked Cena to the floor and Riley proceeded to clothesline Cena while Miz had the referee occupied. On the floor, Miz ran Cena into the ring steps before rolling him back into the ring for a nearfall. Miz followed with a big running clothesline as the fans were engaged in a loud dueling chant of Let's Go Cena / Cena Sucks. Miz landed a double axehandle smash from the second rope for a nearfall, then Mathews sent the show to break.
There was a sense of urgency in Ross's voice as they returned from break with Miz scoring a close nearfall. Ross noted he was surprised Miz cashed in his re-match clause tonight after losing the title last night. Mathews said Miz's ego drives him to where he must be WWE champion. Nice, intelligent, refreshing announcer exchange. Cena suddenly made his comeback and set up for the Shuffle, which he connected with. Miz popped to his feet and walked into the AA at the AAA, but Miz slipped out and booted Cena in the head. Miz paused to collect himself, then walked right into the STF. Riley shouted at Miz to get the rope, and Miz did so just in time.
Cena collected himself on the other side of the ring, then walked into a boot to the knee and DDT for a two count. Lots of chatter between Cena, Miz, and the ref here calling some spots. Miz then removed a top turnbuckle pad, which the ref blindly didn't see. Miz tried a turnbuckle shot, but Cena ducked. Miz then ducked a clothesline and hit the Reality Check for a close two count. The crowd was living and dying on every exchange here.
Miz paused again, then stalked Cena from behind. He wanted the Skullcrushing Finale, but Cena ducked and bumped the ref to the outside. Cena then applied the STF and Miz tapped, but the ref was on the floor. Cena stood up to celebrate, which set him up to take a briefcase shot and Skullcrushing Finale form Miz. Riley then slid the ref back into the ring and made a slow count, but Super Cena kicked out, which popped the pro-Cena crowd.
Miz paused again to collect himself, showing frustration with his inability to put away Cena. Miz took too long to collect himself and walked right into the AA. It looked like the end in classic Cena fashion, but Miz kicked out just before three. The ref began a ten count as Riley ran interference again. Miz landed a belt shot behind the ref's back, then made a cover. The ref made the count and there's a new WWE champion.
[Q6] Post-match: Suddenly, the ref recognized that Miz already had the belt in the ring to celebrate. He then waved off the victory and told Justin Roberts it's a reverse decision. Miz flipped out, screaming at the ref that he can't do that. Miz then argued with Riley before actually shoving Riley. Cena put an end to the discussion with an AA for both Riley and Miz. Cena gave out a primal scream celebrating the win before posing in the ring as Ross noted Cena is in hostile territory in Rock's hometown of Miami. Cena continued to celebrate as they cut to break.
WINNER: Cena via reverse decision at 12:10 to retain the WWE Title. Excellent made-for-TV title match, although the interference was a bit over-done. At least there was some referee competence, but considering it was on behalf of Cena, it will only fuel the anti-Cena sentiment from vocal males with Cena getting "another break" retaining the title. It will be interesting to see where they go from here with the title picture, especially with a PPV in three weeks. The title match outcome certainly didn't "remove" Miz from the discussion despite the loss. (**1/2)
Birthday pre-tape: Ellen DeGeneres gave a shout-out to Rock and said she's working on some of her own catchphrases that drew laughter from her studio audience in the background.
[Commercial Break. DX DVD plug.]
Birthday pre-tape: Tyler Perry and his character, "Madea," sent a message to Rock.
Announcers: Mathews, Ross, and Lawler were shown on-camera resetting the show. Mathews noted Cena just retained the WWE Title one night after he captured the WWE Title at Extreme Rules. He fed to Cena's post-Extreme Rules message to the live audience.
10:55 p.m. EST Sunday night: Cena's post-PPV message to the crowd in Tampa was shown where he announced Osama Bin Laden's death. Cena was shown doing a victory lap before saluting the crowd on-stage.
In-ring: Back live on Raw, Justin Roberts introduced Alberto Del Rio's personal ring announcer, Ricardo Rodriguez. Mathews said this tag match will feature wrestlers drafted from Smackdown to Raw. Out first was Alberto Del Rio, who was not dressed to wrestle in a white suit and blue dress shirt. Rey Mysterio's music hit next to bring out the first participant in the actual match. Meanwhile, Del Rio sat down at the announce table as Ross noted Del Rio failed to become World Hvt. champion last night. Rey entered the ring and pointed at Del Rio, then new U.S. champion Kofi Kingston came out as Rey's partner. Out for the heels were Jack Swagger and Chris Masters. Swagger did some push-ups as McIntyre stood over him. McIntyre was flashing a cocky smile in a complete break from his ultra-serious personality.
3 -- REY MYSTERIO & U.S. champion KOFI KINGSTON vs. JACK SWAGGER & DREW MCINTYRE
Swagger and Rey started things off and Del Rio resumed his anti-Rey narrative from their Smackdown days. Kofi then tagged in and ran off Rey's back for a big corner splash on Swagger. Del Rio then noted he should be World champion right now. Mathews asked him if it's still his destiny and Del Rio was silent as the show cut to break.
[Commercial Break. "Thor" sneak peek II.]
Back from break, Swagger and Kingston were battling center-ring in a "Welcome to Raw tag team special attraction," as Ross described it. Del Rio wanted to know why Rey is here on Raw. Lawler said because he was drafted. Del Rio said "they" told him he would be the only Mexican on Raw. Well, that would be true in a comparison to Rey since Rey is American. In any event, Ross told Del Rio not to always trust "they." Del Rio then noted his new destiny to become new WWE champion. Ross quizzed Del Rio on whether he's jealous of Rey and Del Rio snapped that Rey is a Chicano and not a real Mexican. The heels continued to wear down Kingston as Ross equated McIntyre to a high NFL Draft pick you're waiting for to become a Pro Bowler.
Rey finally took a hot tag at 7:40 and cleaned house on McIntyre. Rey scored a nearfall when Swagger broke up a pin, then Kingston entered the action. After Jack was cleared to the outside, Kingston delivered Trouble in Paradise to McIntyre. Rey then hit the 619 on McIntyre and spotted Del Rio standing ringside. Rey pointed to him, then hit a springboard splash on McIntyre for the win. Suddenly, the Washington, D.C. monument flashed on the screen. They cut back to Del Rio and Rey trading glares back and forth. Mathews then fed to a video package.
WINNERS: Rey & Kofi at 8:38. Fine two-segment match, although another installment of Del Rio vs. Rey seems over-done. Since WWE believes there are two different audiences who watch Raw and Smackdown, they're probably thinking it will be fresh on Raw. McIntyre didn't look comfortable at all with his new heel persona. (*1/2)
BA Star video package from D.C.: Triple H, Stephanie McMahon, David Arquette, Ariel Winter, Jeremy Piven, Jason Biggs, Omar Epps, and other celebrities were shown at the press conference promoting WWE's new campaign. Hunter talked about Randy Orton's movie fitting their anti-bullying message.
Rock Birthday pre-tape: Ludacris gave a shout-out to Rock. He said he won't mention the segment in "Fast Five" where he whooped Rock.
Rock Birthday pre-tape: Dan Marino.
Backstage Party: Rock congratulated new World Hvt. champion Christian on becoming champ. He then shook hands with Evan Bourne before Dolph Ziggler and Vickie Guerrero interrupted with a birthday present: Mae Young. Rock told Vickie she can lose all the weight she wants, but she will never look as good as Mae Young. Rock then planted a big kiss on Mae and smiled toward Ziggler. Rock told Dolph he gets more pie in one night than Ziggler gets in a lifetime. Suddenly, Rock turned around to come face-to-face with WWE champ John Cena. Cena held up the WWE Title belt and told him it's a gift he can only get from him. Cena vowed to keep the title until WrestleMania 28, which means he got him the biggest gift of WrestleMania 28 being even bigger. Rock slowly said, "Just...bring it." Cena replied, "Happy birthday." Rock stared down Cena off-camera.
Backstage: One-half of the tag champs, Kane, was randomly shown walking down the hallway. He faces Mason Ryan next.
[Commercial Break. Tough Enough plug: an elimination you won't believe. Plus, John Morrison guest stars.]
Birthday pre-tape: George Lopez. His presents were a coupon for a free back massage and a challenge if he has the cajones. Lopez then drew a giant eyebrow over his eye to do the People's Elbow.
In-ring: C.M. Punk's music hit to bring out Mason Ryan, who was flanked by C.M. Punk. Punk was sporting a long sleeve t-shirt underneath his Nexus t-shirt. The camera focused on Mason pretty much all the way to the ring, virtually ignoring Punk. Kane then came out to face Ryan.
4 -- WWE tag champion KANE vs. MASON RYAN (w/C.M. Punk)
Before the bell sounded, Ross noted this one won't be a classic wrestling match. Ryan quickly shoved Kane through the ropes, then knocked down Kane in the ring. Ryan followed with a big spinning scoop slam, then Irish whips in opposite corners. Kane mounted a comeback, then Punk interfered, causing a DQ. The other Nexus members charged the ring to little reaction. Kane fought them off, then wanted a chokeslam on Ryan, but Ryan released himself from the grip, freaking out Kane. Ryan then hit a uranage. Nexus beat down Kane for a bit before the other half of the tag champs, Big Show, stormed the ring. Show quickly cleared the ring of Nexus before he ate a big spear from Ryan. Ryan surveyed the damage in the ring before leaving while Punk called out to him. After a replay of Ryan's dominance, they cut to a shot of the other Nexus members selling disbelief with Ryan.
WINNER: Kane via DQ at 1:38. WWE is obviously trying to turn Ryan into their next super-monster heel, but they'll have to get him away from the completely irrelevant Nexus group for it to work. As for Punk, it's clear they're not looking to turn him into a bigger star to entice him to stick around with his contract due. (n/a)
[Q9 -- over-run] Rock birthday pre-tape: Regis & Kelly gave a shout-out to Rock. Regis joked that Rock's age, 39, is the size of his biceps. Regis mock challenged him to a duel before he turns 40.
Smackdown plug: The WWE Draft has changed the face of Smackdown. Who will continue to make an impact this week? ... Video package: Christian has had one dream since he was young...becoming World Hvt. champion. They aired a slow-motion recap of Christian's victory at Extreme Rules. This Friday, his title reign kicks off.
Rock birthday pre-tape: Craig Ferguson delivered a message to Rock.
In-ring: Six minutes past the top of the hour, Rock's music hit for the second time on the show. Rock quickly marched to the ring as Ross plugged sales of Rock's new t-shirt going to the Wounded Warriors Project. In the ring, Rock quizzed the crowd on whether they've had a good time tonight. Rock thanked the audience for coming out tonight and helping make this one of the greatest nights of his life. Rock then pointed out his family sitting ringside. He thanked WWE and said that just as sure as tonight was the greatest birthday celebration in the history of TV, he gave Miami his word that next year's WrestleMania will be the biggest and greatest of all-time.
Suddenly, Vince McMahon's music hit. McMahon appeared on-stage and they missed the camera shot with a crane camera in the middle of the shot. After a shot of Rock smiling, they cut back to the stage where McMahon smiled it up for Rock. McMahon thanked Rock for allowing them to celebrate his birthday. He said he also thanked Rock for pulling him aside early in his career and asking for the chance to grab the brass ring and take WWE to heights it's never been before. McMahon thanked him for that. After a "Rocky, Rocky" chant, McMahon thanked Rock for all of his humanity. McMahon took ownership of the "What?" chants and thanked Rock for simply being The Rock.
McMahon said that on behalf of WWE, they put together a little birthday present for him. He said of all the thank you's, he had a heartfelt "thank you" for coming home. McMahon teared up on-stage before they slowly faded into an extended-length video package on Rock growing up, playing at Miami, his family's wrestling heritage, the "Rocky Sucks" era, Rock becoming The Rock, and coming back to host WrestleMania 27. The video went back through Johnson's life again. They paused for some Rock-Hogan and Rock-Austin clips leading to Rock-Cena.
Back live, Rock was shown smiling as the video package wrapped up. Rock slowly paced the ring as the crowd chanted, "Rocky, Rocky." Justin Roberts then announced someone is here to sing Happy Birthday to Rock. Out came Mya on-stage. Mya asked the crowd to sing along with her as she sang Happy Birthday. Various fans in the audience had party hats on. Mya thanked Rock and exited.
Another loud "Rocky, Rocky" chant as Rock paced the ring some more. Rock then cocked the mic, leaned down, and closed with a thank you for everyone watching and in the back...if you smell what The Rock is cooking. Rock's music hit and streamers and balloons came down from the arena ceiling. Mathews said it's the biggest birthday celebration in TV history. Ross said 10,000 people are celebrating Rock's birthday in Miami. Lawler said it's a night they will never forget. Pyro shot off on-stage as the ring continued to be filled with balloons and streamers. The trademark flashed on the screen as Rock continued to pose in the ring. Rock was shown walking out of the camera shot as the show officially wrapped 18 minutes past the top of the hour.
FINAL THOUGHTS: A different show this week that started off very strong and faded a bit toward the end. The focus on Rock was memorable and kept the journey to WrestleMania 28 going, which was fine. At the end of the day, it was one of those shows WWE airs once or twice a year to "break up the monotony" of being year-round. It was also a propaganda show attempting to deliver a feel-good show with "patriotic spirit" and "celebrity endorsement" of what WWE does to "build up equity" when they face future criticism. Also, an evaluation of the Draft will have to wait a week after much of the show was consumed by Rock and Cena-Miz.
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