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WWE Raw Report
CALDWELL'S WWE RAW RESULTS 2/14: Complete "virtual time" coverage of live Raw - big WrestleMania 27 announcement, Cena vs. Punk, final Chamber hype

Feb 14, 2011 - 10:20:24 PM
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WWE Raw Results
February 14, 2011 - Episode #924
Live from Anaheim, Calif.
Aired on USA Network
Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor


Raw leading to the Elimination Chamber PPV went right into the arena where pyro shot off. After crowd shots, Michael Cole and Josh Mathews introduced the show. Mathews said rumors are swirling on who will be the WrestleMania 27 guest host. Mathews name-dropped Justin Timberlake and Will Smith. Smith would have to be next year in Miami. Cole then plugged the three big Elimination Chamber preview matches tonight and they're starting right off with John Cena vs. C.M. Punk.

In-ring: John Cena's music hit and Cena saluted a hot crowd before entering the ring. Cole said it's electric tonight, hinting at there being more energy than usual for a Raw lately. They went to a video package from last Monday's Raw when Cena intentionally DQ'ed himself vs. Punk, then Cena fought off New Nexus to close the show.

Cena took the mic in the ring. He said he sees some guys smiling and some guys sweating, which means Valentine's Day. Cena said nothing quite says Valentine's Day like two tickets to World Wrestling Entertainment. Cena then plugged WrestleMania 27 and said they will find out tonight who's hosting WrestleMania. Mixed crowd reaction followed by a "Rocky, Rocky" chant. Cena nodded along, then made a Lady GaGa at the Grammys reference. Cena got mock serious and said his theory is rock solid. He said it must be...Michael Cole. Boos. Cole shot him an eyebrow. Cena said he's equally as upset. Cena said McMahon said "last night" - he meant "last week" - that McMahon said it's a special attraction, something special. Cena cracked some jokes and kinda stumbled over himself. He said they have never actually confirmed Cole is a man. Cole said that's going too far.

Cena then transitioned into hyping the Elimination Chamber to find out who's going to WrestleMania. Cena said he needs this WrestleMania moment, which drew boos. He said at one point during the year, he was a slave working for a group of radicals. He said New Nexus put him through all kinds of craziness, but the good thing about the Chamber match is only one Nexus member will be allowed in. Cue up C.M. Punk for an interruption to save Cena here.

Punk stood on-stage and said he does need to listen to this anymore, just like he doesn't need the members of New Nexus to defeat him. Punk said the last two times they met, the record book states C.M. Punk 2, John Cena 0. Punk said he won't sit here and let Cena run down a "good Samaritan" like Michael Cole and he doesn't need the people here in Anaheim because he is a good person. Punk said good things happen to good people. Punk made his way into the ring and the bell sounded. PYB (3) talk time: 5:45.

1 -- C.M. PUNK vs. JOHN CENA -- There must be a winner

Cole said Nexus has been banned from ringside and all three of the one-on-one matches tonight will have the other Chamber members banned from ringside. If anyone gets involved in another wrestler's match, he will be kicked out of the Chamber. Punk quickly knocked Cena to the floor, then took him down with a running clothesline. They cut to break 58 seconds into the match.

[Commercial Break]

Back from break at 3:45, Punk was dominating Cena in the match. Mathews recapped that if anyone from Nexus or anyone else in the Chamber interferes, Punk or the interfering individual will be kicked out of the Chamber, respectively. Cole heeled on Cena for insulting him and said he thought Cena sounded desperate picking on him. Punk locked in a body scissors as Cole recapped Cena "needing WrestleMania" and needing to headline WrestleMania. Cena countered the body scissors into an attempted STF, but Punk easily thwarted the counter and went back to working on Cena's back. Cena then made a trademark comeback and dropped the Five Knuckle Shuffle. Cena teased the Attitude Adjustment, but Punk slipped out and leg-whipped Cena in the face for a nearfall.

[Q2] The two men paused for a bit, then Cena reapplied a body scissors looking to wear down Cena, who suddenly rolled onto his stomach and showed off his power lifting with an attempted electric chair. Punk blocked, but Cena came back with a gut wrench suplex for a two count. Cena went up top, but Punk hopped to his feet and kicked Cena off the top rope. Punk then went into his signature offense, hit a swinging neckbreaker, but only scored a two count

At 9:00, Punk went for the G2S, but Cena rolled through into a small package for a two count. Punk instantly cut off Cena with kick strikes before nailing a blow to the head for a Punk nearfall. Punk then went up top for a cross body-block, but Cena rolled through and power-lifted into AA position. Punk escaped, though, by grabbing the top rope and found himself on the floor. Someone with a Nexus armband then handed Punk a chair from under the ring. What if the match ended before this point? There's always that gaping logic hole. Punk slid the chair into the ring, the ref was distracted, then the Nexus Hand gave Punk a wrench to blast Cena in the face. Punk slid back into the ring and hit the G2S on Cena for the pin and the win. Cole said Punk is 3-0 against Cena, while Mathews said Punk proved he can't beat Cena without Nexus's help.

WINNER: Punk at 10:36. Good TV match involving the audience and creating some drama before the heel-cheating-to-win finish setting up the audience to want to see Punk to get his in the Elimination Chamber on Sunday. Punk escaping Cena's signature offense and comebacks was effective to heighten the drama and help stretch out the match. (**1/4)

Announcers: Cole and Mathews were shown on-camera. Cole said he's joined by Mathews, who is replacing Jerry Lawler, who lost his mother after an illness. Cole talked firmly about the situation before confirming to the audience that Lawler will be at the Elimination Chamber on Sunday. Cole then went into his high-pitched voice exchanging names with Mathews on who the WM27 guest host might be. Ryan Seacrest? Johnny Depp? Mr. McMahon himself? They cut to commercial.

Smackdown plug: 600th episode with the big 12-man tag pitting all of the Elimination Chamber wrestlers against each other.

[Commercial Break]

Two Weeks Ago on Raw: Alberto Del Rio vowed to become new World Hvt. champion at WrestleMania after winning the Royal Rumble. Edge then popped Del Rio in the face to set up their potential WrestleMania match if Edge is still champion.

In-ring: Justin Roberts welcomed Del Rio's personal ring announcer, Ricardo Rodriguez, to introduce Del Rio for his now-weekly cameo from Smackdown. Cole said he had the chance to preview Del Rio's ride before the show and noted to Mathews it's worth more than what he makes in five years. Ricardo did the elaborate ring intro for Del Rio before the announcers plugged Smackdown's Chamber match, ignoring the storyline from the end of Smackdown on who the World champ is - Edge or Ziggler?

[Q3] Once in the ring, Del Rio waited out crowd boos before introducing himself in his standard fashion. Del Rio said he doesn't care who wins the Smackdown Chamber match because it's desssssstiny to become World Hvt. champion at WrestleMania. Conveniently, Edge also booked himself for a cameo on Raw and interrupted Del Rio's promo. Edge still had the World Title belt, so he's still champ for now. Cole said he shouldn't be champion, though.

Edge, standing on the outside, rolled around Del Rio's name comically before noting that Del Rio attacked him with a guitar two weeks ago. Del Rio strummed an invisible guitar, then Edge entered the ring and said he, too, has a destiny. Edge then tackled Del Rio and landed right hands to the head before removing his jacket. Edge got that crazy look and measured Del Rio for the Spear, but Ricardo hopped on the ring apron to take a blow from Edge. Del Rio rolled to the outside, then punched Edge from the ring apron. Edge recovered and speared Del Rio off the ring apron into the barricade.

Suddenly, Vickie Guerrero interrupted in the classic heat transfer from a strong babyface reaction for Edge to huge heat on Vickie. She said they will have the Chamber match this Sunday, but she is here to introduce the new...Excuse me! Vickie introduced the new World Hvt. champion, Dolph Ziggler. Cole asked if he heard that right, then Ziggler walked out on-stage as Cole recapped the controversy in-play. They went to Smackdown on Friday when Vickie physically got involved trying to spear Edge before Edge landed the banned spear on Ziggler. Clay Mathews was then shown coming out and counting Edge's victory as Cole and Mathews debated the merits of Vickie as special referee.

Vickie said she warned Edge about his actions, so this Friday on Smackdown, they will have the official coronation for Dolph Ziggler as World Hvt. champion. Vickie said not only will Edge lose his World Title belt, but his job as well because she has proof that Edge is the one who assaulted Teddy Long. Vickie cackled to herself like a witch as Edge shot her a quizzical look no-selling her proclamation. Mathews said there is no proof of what Vickie said is true while Cole declared he knew it was Edge all along. PYB (3) talk time: 6:45.

Backstage: On a split-screen, they showed Divas champion Eve and Natalya walking to the ring for their Divas Title match. It's now a lumberjill match.

Raw Vignette Week 3: They went back to the empty cabin to show rotten steps as thunder clapped. A glimpse of Undertaker was visible in the window. The camera then focused on Undertaker's chest as candles were blown out. Cue up Johnny Cash. 2/21/11 flashed on the screen again.

[Commercial Break]

Still to come tonight: Back from break, they plugged WWE champion The Miz vs. U.S. champion Daniel Bryan, who they're calling the "Ladies Man," later in the show.

2 -- Divas champion EVE vs. NATALYA -- Divas Title match -- lumberjill match

Natalya was already in the ring for the Divas Title match. Surrounding the ring as lumberjills were the Bellas, Maryse, Alicia Fox, Gail Kim, Melina, and Tamina. Eve then came out to defend the title. Early on, Natalya executed a unique surfboard stretch, then Eve stood up in the hold and went into a forward roll for a nearfall. Natalya then found herself on the outside and all heck broke loose ringside. Back in the ring, there were a few awkward exchanges before Eve kinda trapped Natalya's shoulders to the mat for a pin. Afterward, Natalya sold frustration with not being able to regain her title as Eve shrugged her shoulders that she won.

WINNER: Eve at 3:38 to retain the Divas Title. Off match. They didn't seem to be on the same page throughout and the ringside distraction via the pointless stipulation didn't help. For one week of actual build for a Divas Title match, you'd like to see them at least get five minutes. (3/4*)

[Q4] Smackdown plug: Six wrestlers will enter the Elimination Chamber, but only one will survive.

[Commercial Break]

Ringside: Rev Theory were ringside for an on-camera. ... They cut backstage where the Bellas were giving Eve an earful. They threatened to choke her out, then beat her down until Gail Kim made the save. Natalya also helped out until referees intervened. ... Announcers: Cole and Mathews fed to another trailer for "The Chaperone."

In-ring: Mark Henry came out for a match, but Sheamus jumped him from behind, then gave him the Brogue Kick on the entranceway. Cole accused Mathews of starting something between them last week. Mathews said he didn't start this and many people are speculating it was C.M. Punk playing mind games. Well, then, did Punk play mind games with Mathews to have him deliver a message to Sheamus? Anyways, Sheamus took the mic and said this is an example of what he's going to do to Randy Orton later tonight and to everyone else in the Chamber. Sheamus then blasted Henry with another Brogue Kick. Cole made a big leap to conclude that Sheamus is ready to main-event WrestleMania.

Backstage: Miz and Riley were shown walking down the hallway. Miz comically shoved a PA down into a box, then kept walking with Riley. Michael Tarver is back. They walked past Tarver, who looked up from his phone while standing in the background. Riley looked back, but kept smiling. Miz vs. Bryan is next.

[Commercial Break]

In-ring: Just before the top of the hour, Miz's music hit to bring out the WWE champion in a new t-shirt. Cole was shown standing on his feet applauding Miz before saying he cannot wait for Sunday to see Miz embarrass Jerry Lawler. Cole heeled on Lawler, then he was suddenly cut off. "Hey, what are you doing to my man?" someone's voice asked Josh. Mathews plugged a sponsor, then Alex Riley was shown joining them on commentary. U.S. champion Daniel Bryan was out alone to face Miz and Mathews noted Bryan defeated Miz to become U.S. champion.

[Q5 -- second hour]

3 -- WWE champion THE MIZ (w/Alex Riley) vs. U.S. champion DANIEL BRYAN -- Champion vs. Champion non-title match

Miz ran over Bryan with a shoulder tackle, then talked trash to Bryan, who showed grit that he would make a comeback. Mathews played up Bryan as an underdog, like Arcade Fire at the Grammys, before Bryan landed a flying dropkick on Miz. Miz then cut off Bryan and tried to wear him down with a neck vice. Bryan then countered with almost a rear naked choke and Miz showed fear that he might tap before reaching the bottom rope for a break. Miz came back with an aggressive back elbow smash before settling into a reverse chinlock. The crowd came to life with a "Daniel Bryan" chant as Cole over-sold Miz's historical WWE champion standing. Miz name-dropped Triple H and Shawn Michaels in the process. Even a Crusher reference.

Bryan built a head of steam ducking clotheslines before hitting a flying dropkick in the corner for a nearfall. Miz started to beg off, then he caught Bryan with a kick to the mid-section. Bryan then ducked a clothesline and dumped Miz over the top rope to the floor. Bryan measured Miz for a flying smash, but Miz ran away. Bryan then regrouped and ran off the ring apron with a flying knee smash, crushing the ring barricade.

Back in the ring, Bryan measured Miz for a top-rope missile dropkick and connected. Bryan made a cover, but Miz kicked out in time as Riley freaked out on commentary. Miz then responded with a jawbreaker, but Bryan teased the LeBell Lock, and Miz grabbed the bottom rope for a break. Miz and Bryan found themselves on the ring apron and Miz awkwardly dropped Bryan on the back of his head across the ring apron with a neckbreaker. That looked nasty. Bryan sold on the floor and Miz did his intense look as they cut to break at 6:30.

[Commercial Break]

Back from break at 9:20, Miz was stalking Bryan in the corner. Miz hoisted Bryan up top for a high-impact move, but Bryan blocked and executed a big sunset flip powerbomb for a close nearfall that made Riley sweat again. The crowd popped, then Bryan fired off a rapid-fire series of kick strikes to Miz's chest. Bryan tried a final kick strike, but Miz ducked and Miz scored a nearfall on a roll-up attempt. Miz then wanted the Reality Check, but Bryan countered into an overhead suplex.

Miz came up wobbly and Bryan absolutely tattooed him with a kick strike for another nearfall. A collective "oooh" from the crowd before they replayed Bryan's kick to the head. Cole said he loves Bryan taking it to Miz tonight get Miz ready for the PVP. Bryan then tried a forward roll, but Bryan blocked and face-planted Bryan. Miz then followed up with the Skullcrushing Finale and scored a three count for the win. Cole and Riley sold that they were suddenly oh so confident in Miz after he escaped with victory. Mathews narrated replay clips before Cole interjected that taking the SCF will be Lawler's fate on Sunday.

WINNER: Miz at 11:55. Excellent second-half to the TV match getting the audience to really buy into the nearfalls and tell a good underdog story for Bryan while the heels (Cole and Riley) looked foolish selling for Bryan, who they knocked in the first-half of the match. Bryan delivering trademark kick-ass offense was refreshing after WWE opted not to utilize what he brings to the table the past several weeks. (**3/4)

[Q6] Post-match: Miz waited for his music to stop, then he cut a promo asking the crowd if they just saw what he did to the U.S. champion Daniel Bryan. Miz said there's one person that didn't see what he did. Jerry Lawler. Miz said they all know Lawler isn't here tonight because his mother passed away. Silence. Miz paused and said he would like to offer his sincere condolences at this time. He was on the edge of being insincere, but didn't over play it to be insensitive. He paused again, then said he hopes Lawler does not use this as an excuse for when he loses at the Elimination Chamber. Miz said because he is The Miz and he's Awesome. Riley ran off from the announce table and hugged Miz, who remained stoic as the top champion. Mathews fed to break saying rumors are running rampant on the WM27 guest host - everyone from Russell Brand to "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. He said they'll find out tonight.

[Commercial Break]

In-ring: Back from break, David Otunga and Michael McGillicutty were randomly in the ring. Mason Ryan, also from Nexus, was ringside. Cole said they would explain next. John Morrison's music then hit. He was randomly joined by R-Truth, who he was supposed to face tonight. Cole noted that the Raw GM changed this into a tag match because of Punk spraying Morrison in the face last Monday on Raw. Truth was taken apart by Mason Ryan last week, but apparently Punk's spraycan to Morrison's face was a bigger deal.

4 -- JOHN MORRISON & R-TRUTH vs. NEW NEXUS (DAVID OTUNGA & MICHAEL MCGILLICUTTY w/Mason Ryan)

Truth started things off as the camera focused on Morrison selling the effects of the spraycan with a big red mark around his eye. Truth found himself on the floor early on and Ryan waited for the ref to distract himself before attacking Truth ringside. Back in the ring, Mike with a cover for a nearfall. The announcers argued about the Punk vs. Cena finish in the opening match and Mathews speculated that Mike handed Punk the wrench from under the ring. Morrison then tagged in and, with limited vision, blasted Mike over and over.

The announcers focused on Morrison selling aggression, then Morrison blasted Ryan off the ring apron with a strike. Morrison then hip-tossed Truth over the top rope onto Ryan. Morrison sent a message to Punk, then creamed Mike with a running knee strike to the face for the pin. Morrison got up selling intensity, then Ryan tried to jump him from behind. Ryan awkwardly stumbled backward and Morrison showed no fear. Morrison and Truth then cleared Ryan from the ring. they went to back-and-forth shots of Nexus recovering ringside while Morrison sold intensity staring back at them.

WINNERS: Morrison & Truth at 4:18. Good focus on Morrison with him showing that intensity and fire that is finally starting to come together. Nexus continues to look like a merry band of helpless henchmen, but the money's on Morrison becoming a top-flight babyface. Back-to-back segments strongly focusing on future babyface stars Bryan and Morrison was a nice use of TV time. (*)

Jericho book plug: With a graphic on the screen, Cole and Mathews plugged Chris Jericho's "Undisputed" book and noted it's available on Wednesday... They went to an exterior shot of the Honda Center and Cole plugged the WM27 guest host still to be revealed, plus Orton vs. Sheamus still to come tonight.

[Q7]

[Commercial Break]

In-ring: Justin Roberts was randomly in the ring with Ariel Winter, who co-stars with Triple H in "The Chaperone." Ariel plugged the movie and noted her father is played by none other than Triple H. She said that not only is today's Valentine's Day, but the night for the Khali Kiss Cam. Cole groaned. Cue up Great Khali's music to bring out Khali, who nearly tripped over himself, and Ranjin Singh for the obligatory "variety hour" buffer segment. Everyone danced in the ring as Cole sarcastically said this is great. Khali was then handed a mic. "Happy Valentine's Day," Khali said (I think). Singh "translated" and said they're going to do something a bit different tonight. That's because the Kiss Cam is going to be live in the arena and backstage.

Up first was a fan couple. Then another fan couple. Then, Santino and Tamina backstage pretending to be caught off-guard. Then, Vickie Guerrero smooching Dolph Ziggler. A fan couple. Then, DiBiase and Maryse arguing backstage. Maryse gave DiBiase the hand instead of a kiss, then Maryse kissed Yoshi Tatsu. Suddenly, Ryder and William Regal backstage. Ryder was talking, then Regal quieted him with a kiss on the cheek. Another fan couple. Hornswoggle then slid into the ring and Ariel pretended not to see him. She then turned around and accepted a gift from Hornswoggle, who accepted a kiss on the cheek. Hornswoggle spilled some chocolate as Cole said he can only hope that's the first and last time ever for that segment.

Garage: They went to a shot of the parking garage area to indicate the guest host of WrestleMania 27 could be arriving at any moment.

Backstage: Back in the arena, Randy Orton was shown slowly, methodically, deliberately walking down the hallway. He's up vs. Sheamus next.

[Commercial Break]

Raw Vignette III: Back to the empty cabin and thunder clapping. They focused on the steps, then showed Undertaker walking through the cabin like a ghost. The camera zoomed up Taker's chest before showing him or (a separate man) standing outside in the trench coat. 2/21/11 flashed on the screen. There have to be two men in this vignette.

In-ring: The announcers continued to no-sell the 2/21/11 videos. Sheamus then came out in his King of the Ring garb as the announcers plugged the Raw brand's Elimination Chamber match. Cole said he thinks Sheamus is the front-runner to win the Chamber match. Another big leap for Cole strongly endorsing Sheamus after weeks of nearing irrelevancy. After a pause, Randy Orton's music hit to a very strong reaction. Orton checked behind him to make sure no one was going to jump him before entering the ring and posing for the crowd. The announcers plugged the Chamber PPV and structure itself before the bell sounded.

[Q8]

5 -- RANDY ORTON vs. SHEAMUS

Orton and Sheamus locked up and pulled themselves down in the corner. The ref forced Orton to break his grip on Sheamus before Sheamus came back with a boot to the gut. Orton then Thesz Pressed Sheamus before landing a boot to the head. Sheamus fired back with right hands from a mount position before Orton came back with a knock-down right hand. Orton followed with a leaping knee drop for a nearfall. Good back-and-forth early on. Cole noted Hunter has been in six Chamber matches and won four. The build toward Hunter's return continues.

Sheamus placed Orton inside the top and middle rope before blasting him with forearms to the chest. Sheamus followed with a running knee strike. Cole with a nice piece of commentary noting the referees have been allowing a lot of aggression tonight because the wrestler's emotions are high on the eve of the Chamber PPV and WrestleMania past that. Orton came back on Sheamus with a knock-down clothesline, then a snap powerslam. Orton started to enter that place and he landed a kick to the chest, but walked into the Irish Curse backbreaker from Sheamus for a two count. Sheamus then took Orton up top and executed a superplex that took their effect on both men. Sheamus was slow to follow up and Orton came absolutely out of nowhere with an RKO for the pin and the win.

WINNER: Orton at 5:03. Good, aggressive five-minute match doing exactly what it needed to do: sell the aggression and intensity of the Chamber match. (*1/2)

Post-match: Orton posed momentarily, then C.M. Punk and New Nexus attacked him from behind. John Morrison then charged the ring and tackled Punk. R-Truth then evened things out a bit. John Cena suddenly stormed the ring and tackled Mason Ryan in the corner. Kicks. Stomps. Chaos. Otunga ate an RKO from Orton. Punk then spun Orton around, but Orton dropped him with an RKO. Orton then pounded on Ryan and both Cena and Orton clotheslined Ryan over the top rope. Cena then dropped Punk with the Attitude Adjustment and the two men left in the ring were Cena and Orton. Cena's music played as both men stood their ground selling they were ready for a fight on Sunday. They didn't look at each other, but the tension was in the ring to sell intensity before the Chamber.

Reax: Nice final sales pitch for the Chamber PPV trying to convince the audience that Cena winning the Chamber match isn't a foregone conclusion with Orton looking strong.

Garage: A limo pulled up and out walked...heels and a woman's leg. First, a hand with a wrench from under the ring and now an ankle? Cole was taken aback. "Who is she?" he asked. The camera stayed on the ankles as they cut to break.

[Commercial Break]

Smackdown plug: 600 episodes and a 12-man tag match with the Chamber faces vs. the Chamber heels from both the Raw and Smackdown matches.

In-ring: Justin Roberts welcomed out the host of WrestleMania 27...pause...some strange audio sounded. Like malfunctioning pyro. The screen flashed white. Suddenly, the lights turned out. The WM27 banner turned out. The arena went pitch dark. Some lightning flashed on the Titantron. The camera zoomed in tight on the screen, but the arena went dark again. Pause... If Ya Smell What The Rock Is Cooking. The arena erupted and The Rock walked out on-stage. Rock paced the stage surveying the crowd and soaking in the moment, then marched to the ring and posed in the ring.

[Q9 -- over-run] Rock did his classic pose on the ring apron before entering the ring to pose in the corner turnbuckles. The camera focused on the WM27 banner hanging above Rock as he stood stoically in the corner. Rock's music continued to play as he paced the ring, then his music stopped and the crowd chanted, "Rocky, Rocky, Rocky." Rock assumed the position, but the crowd was too loud and he backed off to begin pacing again. Rock smiled, then slowed down his pacing and re-assumed the position. Cock the mic. Slow approach to the lips. Pause. "After seven long years...pause for crowd pop...Finally, Finally, (shake it out), Finally The Rock has come back to Anaheim." Rock said that means that finally Rock has come back to Monday Night Raw. Which means The Rock has finally come back...home. One kid in the crowd appeared to be crying overwhelmed by the whole scene.

Rock paced the ring again before entering promo time. Rock said that for those of you who don't know, The Rock has many nicknames. The Great One. The Most Electrifying Man In All Of Entertainment. The People's Champion. But, he needs to take this moment to tell people something as Dwayne. He removed the shades. He said it's been a long time since he's been back. But, he wants to explain why he's back. Rock said it's not because of the money or to promote a movie, but because of you (the fans). Crowd pop. Rock said when he left WWE seven years ago, he dreamed big. The fans helped him accomplish his dreams because they never left his side and he wants to tell the audience live here, "Thank you, I love you...pause...and it's because of you that - and I give you my word - that I am never, ever going away."

The camera faded into an overhead shot of the arena as the crowd chanted, "Rocky, Rocky." Glasses back on. "Simply put, ladies and gentlemen, The Rock is back," he said. Rock said he wanted to do something unprecedented hosting WrestleMania. So, it happened. He called Vince McMahon and they had the conversation that only one man can captivate the world...Justin Bieber. The crowd booed loudly. Rock said he told McMahon "No, no, no." He said Bieber is cool, but there is only one man capable enough to host WrestleMania. That man is the "jabroni-beating, pie-eating, trailblazing, eyebrow-raising, always ready to whoop some (bleep), The Rock."

Rock said he is going to Mania and he's hosting. He said he will layeth the Smackdown if needed. But, to who? The crowd shouted, "John Cena!" Rock asked perhaps The Miz, which drew a reaction. Rock repeated Miz's catchphrase over and over, then said that if you have to go around shouting about how awesome you are, you undoubtedly, completely suck. Emphasis on suck. But, there's one more man. Rock said there is one more man he is going to see. And that man is...suddenly, the Raw GM buzzed.

Cole smiled at the announce desk and approached the podium as Rock sold that he was perturbed by this turn of events. Cole dragged out the Raw GM email intro, then Rock called Cole to a halt. Rock said if Cole takes one more step toward the computer, he will slap the taste of his mouth. Rock said he is LIVE on Raw and there is no way Cole is interrupting him right here, right now. Cole pleaded with Rock that he has to read the email. Rock asked Cole if that's what he thinks. Cole tried to reply, but Rock interrupted with a trademark "It doesn't matter what you think." Rock told Cole, "And I quote, you know your damn role and you shut your damn mouth." Classic Rock.

Rock said if Cole doesn't shut his mouth, he will have some pretty cool Facebook photos to post tonight. A graphic flashed on the screen with Johnson's Facebook page link. He said the picture everyone is going to get is him shining up his boot real nice, then shoving it straight up Cole's candyass. He told Cole, who he called a drunk hobbit, to sit his (unbleeped ass) down. The censors checked out after the over-run, apparently. Cole slouched down in his chair selling he was grumpy about this.

Rock said there is one man who he has to see face-to-face. Rock said it's a guy he met, he thought was a cool guy, wished him well, happy for his success, but when Rock left, he started talking trash about The Rock. Rock said you might have heard of him...John Cena. The crowd popped, then mainly booed. "Cena sucks" chant from the vocal males. Rock simply stared straight ahead before saying WWE has gone from the powerful Austin 3:16 (big pop) to the dominant and iconic "Can you smell what The Rock is Cooking?" all the way to...(little squeaky voice) "You Can't See Me?" Rock said a blind, stuck-in-the-basement Stevie Wonder can see Cena's monkeyass. Rock ran through Cena's color-coded merchandise through the years before saying Cena looks like a big, fat bowl of Fruity Pepples.

Rock got serious and said he will see John Cena at WrestleMania. Just like Rock will see The Miz and everyone at WrestleMania. And just as sure as The Rock turns WrestleMania into the most epic WrestleMania of all-time, and just as sure as everyday John Cena walks out here looking like he just got shot out of Barney's anus, he guaran-damn-tees to show the world that he is the most electrifying man in all of sports entertainment. He also guaranteed to layeth the smacketh down...he went for the finish that The Rock and the millions (and millions) - that's not good enough - that The Rock and the millions (and millions!) of Rock's fans go to WrestleMania, if ya smell what The Rock...pause...pause for "Rocky, Rocky" chant...turn the eyebrow...Is Cooking.

Cue up Rock's theme music. Rock posed in the ring as the WM27 banner hung above him. Rock went to the opposite turnbuckle and posed before Mathews plugged a live chat with The Rock right now on WWE's website. Rock left the ring, then arrived on the stage. Mathews said this is a night they will never forget. Rock posed one more time on the stage and they signed off 20 minutes past the top of the hour. PYB (3) talk time: 17:10.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Top-to-bottom one of the best Raws in a while, not just for The Rock singing the classics and giving WrestleMania the spark it desperately needed, but the strong hype for Elimination Chamber (that was pretty much an afterthought by show end, unfortunately), a sense of urgency throughout the show, good wrestling action, and intensity from the stars who needed to bring it. It's as if Rock's presence in the building forced everyone to up their game in the ring and lit a fire under some people. The problem is that when Rock's nostalgia trip is over, will WWE benefit or will the audience be left wanting and wishing for Rock again, then not accept the current product all over again? It's essentially a Hail Mary pass from WWE.

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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