WWE Raw Report CALDWELL'S WWE RAW RESULTS 2/21: Complete "virtual time" coverage of live Raw - 2/21/11 reveal, Chamber PPV fall-out, WrestleMania hype in full swing
Feb 21, 2011 - 10:08:53 PM
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WWE Raw Results
February 21, 2011 - Episode #925
Live from Fresno, Calif.
Aired on USA Network
Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor
WWE announced just before the start of Raw that John Cena will start the show following his #1 contender victory at the Elimination Chamber PPV...
Raw following the Elimination Chamber PPV started with 2/21/11 flashing on the screen as the live crowd reacted. A countdown clock indicated the reveal would be around the top of the hour. A portion of the third vignette from last week's Raw played in the background.
Arena: Full pyro shot off inside the Save Mart Center as Michael Cole introduced the show, 41 days away from WrestleMania 27, from Northern California. My college roommate from Fresno would take offense to that inaccuracy. John Cena's music then hit to start the show and Cena hit the ring. Cole and Josh Mathews were shown on-commentary sans Jerry Lawler, who lost to The Miz at the PPV last night.
Once Cena's music stopped, Cena was greeted by a strong mixed reaction and a few "Rocky, Rocky" chants. Cena waited out the initial reactions before the vocal males resumed the Rocky chant. Cena set the stage that he won Elimination Chamber and he's going on to WrestleMania to face The Miz. He said it should be a momentous event with him going to WrestleMania, but this isn't a normal situation. Ever since last Monday, he hasn't been hearing about Miz or Chamber. Pause for "Rocky, Rocky" chant. He said he's been hearing about some alleged comments...(low voice) made by The Rock. Cena said he walked into a gas station and people were asking him what he's going to do about it. He said he doesn't know what to say. "I was going to let it slide...he's The Rock," Cena said. Cena said they should review the footage, then decide what to say.
Cue up footage from Raw last Monday with Rock saying WWE has gone from Austin 3:16 to the dominant and iconic Can You Smell What The Rock Is Cooking all the way to...(squeaky voice) You Can't See Me. The clip included Rock saying Cena looks like a "big, fat bowl of Fruity Pebbles," before concluding with Rock saying he'll see Cena at WrestleMania.
Back live, the crowd made some noise as Cena noted Rock was pretty much making fun of him. He said he should probably say something, right? Wait, wait. If he goes there, there's only one way he knows how to do it. He said he hasn't done it in a long time, but he still does have a degree in Thuganomics. Some boos mixed with tentative cheers. Cena said he needs to send a message and if he doesn't end this tonight, all he will hear about is Rocky until WrestleMania. "Rocky, Rocky" chant. Cena warmed himself up and said he has his Fresno State of mind to do this.
Cena pulled out the dog tags. He said Rock left the fans hanging high and dry to play a fairy with a tooth? Then, Rock walks into the ring and tells the fans he's lame? He rocked a skirt and lipstick for Gameplan. Cena said he's like a big pinwheel, so "go ahead and blow me." He said Rock is electrifying, but Rock has to tell his family he got schooled by Barney's turd. Cena told Rock not to go racing on Witch Mountain because his mountain is brokeback. This was followed by a bowling ball reference.
Cena asked if it's Rock or Dwayne. He said he'd stick with Rock because Dwayne doesn't have a John, son. He told Rock to know his role as WrestleMania guest host. Cena said Rock tells the people he loves them, but he's here every week showing it. Cena looked into the camera and said that's a first round knockout. Cena dropped the mic and stomped out of the ring as Cole said there's "only one" John Cena. PYB (3) talk time: 10:20.
Reax: The material wasn't nearly as "risqué" as his Smackdown rap days, but he certainly stepped over the PG boundaries. He also dipped back into the lame, hackneyed jokebook from high school. There were some good one-liners in there, but overall more miss than hit. At the end of the day, though, Rock is still the master on promos. It certainly sets the stage for interesting build to Mania depending on how often Rock will be on TV.
Announcers: Cole said he will have an interview with Jerry Lawler later tonight about his WWE Title match last night at the Chamber. They went to a photo of Morrison hanging atop the Chamber Dome as Mathews plugged Morrison vs. C.M. Punk up first and next with them both feeling the effects of the Chamber match.
Countdown clock: 45 minutes until 2/21/11 reveal.
In-ring: After a video package on Punk spraying Morrison in the face two weeks ago on Raw, John Morrison limped out on-stage selling the effects of the Chamber match last night. Very good to see the first man out selling the Chamber. Check that, Cena is Superman, so he wasn't selling the Chamber. Morrison gingerly entered the ring before C.M. Punk's music hit. Punk also limped out before mocking Morrison's eye situation from Raw two weeks ago. This could be quite an interesting match with both men selling leg injuries.
1 -- C.M. PUNK vs. JOHN MORRISON
The bell sounded and the two men danced around the ring tentative to lock up. Morrison landed right hand strikes, then limped out of the corner. Morrison landed an uppercut, but Punk pulled down Morrison from the outside and rammed Morrison's knee across the ring apron. The 2/21/11 countdown clock flashed starting from 38:38. Punk continued to work on Morrison's injured knee from the Chamber match and scored successive nearfalls.
Morrison fired back with right hand strikes moments later, but hopped up to his feet selling the knee injury. Punk then kicked Morrison in the injured knee and capitalized with the G2S. It was good for the win. Punk was slow to his feet still selling the effects of the match as the announcers tried to cover for Morrison's loss, not being 100 percent for the match.
WINNER: Punk at 2:53. Morrison and Punk were really limited on what they could do selling the effects of the PPV, which they should have been doing, so that was good. The decision to make this match was odd, though, when WWE could have booked this match next week where Morrison could still look strong in defeat. This spot could have been a showcase opportunity for non-Chamber match wrestlers while the Chamber match participants were kept completely out of the ring to sell the ramifications via promos. (*)
Post-match: Punk asked for a mic and demanded Randall Keith Orton come find him in the ring. He said he has decided to give New Nexus the night off. "I promise you," he said. "This is not a set-up." Punk took a knee, still selling the effects. He said these people decided to buy a ticket...to see him. Boos. September 7, 2008, Orton decided to punt him in the skull. Cheers. Punk said that leads them to today. He said Orton has the most important decision of his life to make. Punk pointed to the WrestleMania logo and said the bright lights of Mania are not in Orton's future because he doesn't deserve to be at Mania. Either because Orton is too crippled to compete because he's going to finish things or because Orton actually cares about his physical well-being because he's going to hurt Orton if he shows up to Raw next week. Punk vowed to turn Orton upside down.
The crowd, which was quiet, suddenly came to life as Orton snuck into the ring. Orton nearly hit the RKO, but Punk slipped out and bailed to the outside. The other Nexus members showed up, proving Punk lied about them having the night off. Of course, neither of the announcers pointed this out, as they completely missed a big story element. Punk sold that he was holding back Nexus from storming the ring as Orton stared down at Punk, wanting a piece of him.
[Q3] [Commercial Break]
In-ring: Ricardo Rodriguez was in the ring for Alberto Del Rio's now-weekly Smackdown cameo. Del Rio pulled up in spaceship-looking Lamborghini that Mathews said cost $250,000. Ricardo gave the big intro for Del Rio, who played to the crowd. Cole noted Del Rio beat Kofi Kingston at the Chamber, then was attacked by Christian. The camera stayed on Del Rio forever on the ring entrance, leading to Kofi Kingston storming down the ramp and blasting Del Rio from behind. Kingston's left arm was heavily bandaged to sell the cross arm-breaker. Ricardo then popped Kofi to help Del Rio fight off Kingston and inflict more damage to Kofi's left arm. Cole asked when Kofi is going to learn. Del Rio slapped on the cross arm-breaker on the floor and the assigned referee for the next match eventually pulled Del Rio off Kofi. Mathews said Kofi was looking for a measure of revenge about Del Rio tried to end his career last night. Del Rio then ran back down the ramp and shoved Kofi's exposed arm/elbow into the ringpost. Kofi sold like a maniac and
Backstage: WWE champion The Miz scared off a production assistant. Miz and Alex Riley then walked down the hallway. No Tarver this time. Miz has a promo up next.
Countdown Clock: 23:20 until 2/21/11. They finished the third vignette with the ghost-like Undertaker image flashing past the screen in the background.
In-ring: The Miz's music hit to bring out WWE champion The Miz, flanked by Alex Riley. Miz stopped on the stage and held up his WWE Title belt for the audience to get a look at. Miz waited out boos and said the people embarrassed themselves last week. He said he watched grown men jumping up and down for The Rock. Miz said back in 1999, he remembers watching The Rock electrify and rip up his opponents verbally. So, he was excited when Rock mentioned his name last night. Then, he said it. "The Miz absolutely, unquestionably, undoubtedly, 100 percent completely sucks," Miz repeated. "Really?! That's the best The Rock could do?" Miz said. He asked the crowd if they think he sucks. They cheered. Well, now he's a little hurt. He said he'll check his tears in the reflection of his title gold. Miz said while Rock is hosting WrestleMania, he will be main-eventing and beating John Cena.
Miz said Rock and Cena are different in a lot of ways, but they're the same in being cultural icons the people care about. But, he doesn't care what they think of him. Miz said he'll take it one step further. "It doesn't matter what you people think," Miz said in his best attempt at a Rock voice before mocking Cena's "You can't see me." Miz then repeated Rock's line on Miz and finished with "awesome" instead of "sucks."
Suddenly, the Raw GM buzzed. Cole stepped to the podium and read from the email. The GM will deal with Rock when he/she is good and ready. The GM referenced the Rock 'n Sock Connection (paging Mick Foley on Twitter) and said they were once a formidable tag team. So, tonight, it will be Miz and his tag partner challenging for the Tag Titles. And his partner will be...John Cena. Miz continued to act smug, acting like he wasn't affected by the news.
Still to come: Cole will interview Jerry Lawler tonight.
[Q4] [Commercial Break]
Announcers: Cole introduced a THQ video promoting the new All-Stars video game. In honor of President's Day, they showed George Washington vs. Abe Lincoln. Mathews said Jim Ross does the commentary on the video game, then he forced out a quip about Ross actually being there when Abe was around. Cole said he thinks Lawler battled both men back in the day. They yukked it up before WWE cut to the ring where Divas were in the ring for a tag match.
2 -- Divas champion EVE & GAIL KIM vs. BELLA TWINS
The match quickly spilled to the outside, getting over the animosity in-play between the two sides. For the finish, the Bellas pulled the Switcheroo behind the ref's back and Eve was rolled up for a quick three count. Afterward, Eve was furious as the Bellas quickly hurried away, content with the victory. They did the belt-around-the-waist motion to show they want the Divas Title.
WINNERS: Bellas at 2:28. Fine to get over the Bellas's more aggressive personalities and give Eve a new heel challenger(s).
2/21/11 Countdown Clock: five minutes and counting.
Countdown Clock: 25 seconds. 21. 20. 19. 18. The empty cabin flashed in the background. 12. 11. 10. The crowd counted down in the background as the vignettes continued to flash. The door swung open and an Undertaker-like figure was shown. Taker was then dramatically shown looking up at the camera and the crowd popped.
They suddenly flashed into the arena where Undertaker stood on the stage as Johnny Cash's "Ain't No Grave" played in the background. Pause. Undertaker's classic theme hit and Taker began walking to the ring. He appears to have lost a significant amount of weight. Taker entered the ring at the top of the hour as his classic Taker logo hung above the ring.
[Q5 -- second hour] Taker surveyed the arena, then lowered his head and dramatically removed his hat before doing his evil eyes for the camera. Suddenly, Triple H's music hit. The crowd popped huge and Hunter walked out on-stage in a leather jacket and shades with his shoulders hunched up to make himself look intimidating. Hunter slowly removed his glasses as Taker glared back onto the stage. Hunter removed his jacket, then made his way to the ring with something on his mind. It's John Wayne vs. Clint Eastwood here.
Taker was not amused as Hunter entered the ring and walked by him on the way to a corner turnbuckle to pose for the crowd. Taker continued to look straight ahead as Hunter posed on the turnbuckle behind him. Hunter posed on another turnbuckle and Taker looked up to glare at him. Hunter slowly turned his head back to lock eyes with Taker. Hunter then stood still in the ring as his music continued to play. His music eventually stopped and the crowd cheered as the two men stood opposite each other. "Triple H" was the chant. Hunter then walked up to Taker and stared him in the eyes. No movement. Both men then turned and looked at the WrestleMania banner hanging in the arena.
Taker slightly shook his head, then smirked at Hunter, who was in a t-shirt and his stomach was protruding. He put his hat back on, then started to leave, but stopped. An "HBK" chant could be heard. Taker then turned and dramatically re-approached Hunter to do the throat-slash gesture in his face. Hunter then raised his arms in the air and did the DX crotch chop in Taker's face. Taker's eyes opened wide and he glared at Hunter. They were inches away from each other and the camera slowly faded to black, then to commercial.
Reax: That's how you tell a story without words. The message was clear: Taker laughs at the idea of giving Hunter a shot at the Streak, but he's not happy with Hunter for interrupting his return, and Hunter wants Taker in the ring to avenge Shawn Michaels's retirement loss last year.
WM27 video: This year's standard WrestleMania video aired continuing to hype WrestleMania coming up in 41 days.
Moments Ago: Cole said it's indeed WrestleMania season. He said two of the most iconic figures in WWE history were just in the ring for two of the most anticipated returns in WWE history. We can anticipate plenty of histrionics from Cole over the next month. At the end of the video recap, Cole basically said the match is signed, wondering aloud about the fate of each man in six weeks.
In-ring: King Sheamus came to the ring not selling the effects of the Chamber match as they cut to a shot of the announcers. Cole said he will talk to Lawler later tonight and Sheamus will be in action right now against Mark Henry.
3 -- SHEAMUS vs. MARK HENRY
Henry grappled Sheamus and tossed him over the top rope. It's odd to transition from that big Taker-Hunter moment into the rest of the show. It seemed like an end-of-the-show segment to fade into next week's Raw. Sheamus and Henry traded power offense early, then Henry went for a big splash, but Sheamus rolled out of the way. Sheamus landed a kick to the head, then decided to remove a top turnbuckle pad for some reason. It back-fired, as Henry smashed Sheamus into the corner steel. Henry then hit the World's Strongest Slam for the win. The announcers said Sheamus apparently became frustrated after losing in the Chamber last night and he went for a shortcut against Henry.
WINNER: Henry at 3:48. It could be interesting to see where both men are heading on the way to WrestleMania. Sheamus being the first man out following Triple H's big return was pretty interesting considering that could have been Sheamus's WrestleMania opponent. (*)
Mathews said it's a "huge, monumental, mega-main event" still to come with Miz and Cena vs. two guys holding tag titles. Mathews wondered aloud if the two men could prove to be bigger stars than The Rock. Before going to break, they went to a Big Show DVD plug. USA Network then aired a quick sneak-peek on Nicolas Cage's "Drive Angry 3D" movie.
Tough Enough plug: Miss USA Rima Fakih will be one of the contestants on "Tough Enough."
Backstage: Daniel Bryan, in a suit, was trying to cheer up Gail Kim after her tag loss. Sheamus interrupted and asked what was so funny. He said he thinks it would be hilarious if he ripped off Bryan's head in front of his girlfriend. Bryan stood in front of Gail to protect her before asking what his problem is. Sheamus huffed & puffed, then walked off.
Announcers: Cole noted Shawn Michaels is the main event Hall of Fame inductee this year. Mathews then fed to a video on the second inductee. The video started with multiple "U-S-A" chants, so that could only mean...Hacksaw Jim Duggan. Cue up a lengthy video on Duggan being a "great American" with classic voices Jim Ross, Gorilla Monsoon, Vince McMahon, and Lord Alfred Hayes providing the backdrop. The video noted Duggan won the first-ever Royal Rumble match. Back live, Mathews said "Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase will be inducting Duggan. Michael Cole's voice suddenly interrupted Mathews.
In-ring: Cole walked into the ring and said he will be interviewing Jerry Lawler up next. Cole said the Raw GM has ruled that both men could be fired if they strike each other. Cole said he is the voice of WWE and, besides McMahon in his early days, he's better than Gordon Solie, Gorilla Monsoon, Jim Ross, and definitely Jerry Lawler. Cole said he is going to put his journalist skills on-stage to interview Jerry Lawler. He asked the audience for their attention. Please. Cole nodded to the camera as a graphic reading "Next" flashed on the screen.
[Commercial Break - Of note, "Sheamus" and "Mark Henry" are currently Trending worldwide on Twitter. A video preview for UFC on Versus March 3 aired.]
Back live, the crowd was chanting, "you suck." Cole then introduced Jerry Lawler. Cole did a dramatic slow clap as fans in the arena applauded Lawler. Mathews said Lawler put up a valiant effort against Miz last night and was half-a-second away from becoming WWE champion. The fans chanted, "Jerry, Jerry" as he entered the ring. Cole got right to the point. He wanted to know what it was like for Lawler to get ready for his title match. Butterflies? Sick to his stomach? "Jerry, how did you feel?" Lawler stone-faced him, not reacting. Cole shifted the tone and asked Lawler what it was like realizing his dreams would be shattered. He asked if Lawler thought Cole was right that it's time for him to hang up his boots for good. No answer.
Cole asked Lawler what he was thinking when Miz covered him for the one...two...three and Lawler was looking up at the lights. And staring into the heavens. And he realized his deceased mother - no disrespect - that his mother had the best seat in the house. How did he feel when he let his mother down? Lawler grabbed Cole by the collar and told Cole that if he ever mentions his mother again, it will be the last thing he ever says. He said he's sat out here for weeks listening to Cole. He said Cole is wrong about him not making it to WrestleMania because he has a way. Lawler then threw out a challenge to Cole for a one-on-one match. Cole continued to look at him with bug eyes. "I'll - I'll - I'll tell you - I'll tell you!" Cole stammered. "You're a senile old man," Cole shouted back. He vowed to never get in the ring with Lawler.
Cole ran over to the announce table and Lawler followed him out of the ring. Lawler told Cole to be a man and show everyone what he's got. Will he be a man or just a gutless, yellow coward? Cole unbuttoned his jacket and threw it down before pointing his finger at Lawler. Cole then chucked his beverage into Lawler's face before hightailing it over the guardrail by the timekeeper. Cole jogged past the production area on the hard-camera side and disappeared to the back. The crowd chanted, "Jerry, Jerry" as Lawler stood by the announce table.
Backstage: Corre members were shown walking backstage in anticipation of coming to the ring. It would have been great if Cole ran past them in a hurry. The Tag Title match is up next.
Tough Enough plug: A standard USA Network commercial plugged the debut of a "new reality series" - 14 contestants. 1 dream. "Stone Cold" Steve Austin hosts.
Moments Ago: Mathews recapped Cole throwing water in Lawler's face before Cole scampered away like a coward. "This is the type of guy Michael Cole truly is," Mathews said. Back live, Lawler was now on commentary. He said he's going to wait here until Cole comes back.
In-ring: Corre's music hit to bring out the new tag champions Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel, flanked by Ezekiel Jackson and Wade Barrett. The Miz's music hit and the champ walked out with Alex Riley. Mathews said it must be tough for Lawler since he was so close to holding the title at the Chamber PPV last night. Lawler took a breath and said some of the things Cole said hit home because he feels like he did let people down. Cena came out last and Mathews tried to give a 20-second version of Cena being part of Barrett's Nexus in 2010. Lawler noted the situation with Cena teaming with his WrestleMania opponent here tonight. Mathews said the bottom line is Cena is a competitor, which flies in the face of Cena kicking Punk in the groin to DQ himself two weeks ago. But, anyways...
4 -- WWE tag champions CORRE (HEATH SLATER & JUSTIN GABRIEL w/Jackson and Barrett) vs. WWE champion THE MIZ & JOHN CENA -- WWE Tag Title match
Mathews said Miz and Cena are teaming together for the first-time ever. Miz and Slater started things off and Lawler dropped "wrestling" into the broadcast, saying Miz was trying to give Slater a "wrestling clinic." Gabriel tagged in and Miz taunted Cena while landing punches on Gabriel. Cena casually extended his hand and accepted a tag from Miz to knock Gabriel around a bit. Cena executed a fisherman suplex on Gabriel, then Miz smirked at him and asked for a tag. Cena obliged and Lawler said the two men are trying to one-up the other. Miz hit the corner clothesline on Gabriel and Cena mock applauded him. Miz then casually dropped Gabriel with the Skullcrushing Finale. One, two, three and there are new tag champs.
WINNERS: Cena & Miz at 3:12 to capture the Tag Titles. Um, that was anticlimactic.
Post-match: Cena acted dumbfounded as Miz accepted a Tag Title belt. Cena, still on the apron, accepted the other Tag Title belt. Cena then shrugged his shoulders and walked across the ring to celebrate in an opposite corner, having fun with the situation. Wade Barrett then took the mic and demanded a re-match for the Tag Titles right now. Santino & Kozlov are still owed a Tag Title shot somewhere in this. Suddenly, the Raw GM buzzed. Mathews took Cole's place and stepped to the podium to read from the laptop. Mathews said the GM says, "Ring the bell." The bell sounded and Corre huddled ringside as the tag belts were held up for the hard camera. They cut to break with the arena completely silent for these proceedings.
[Commercial Break. Smackdown plug - the first one of the night posing the question of who is World Hvt. champion after the Chamber PPV.]
5 -- WWE tag champions JOHN CENA & WWE champion THE MIZ vs. CORRE (HEATH SLATER & JUSTIN GABRIEL w/Barrett and Jackson) -- WWE Tag Title match
Back live, Gabriel and Slater were assigned for the re-match. Why not mix up the team after the quick loss in the first match-up? Jackson and Gabriel? Barrett and Gabriel? Miz was knocked to the floor early on and the other Corre members kept Alex Riley away from Miz, who took a boot to the head from Gabriel. Back in the ring, Gabriel scored a nearfall on Miz. Miz teased a comeback (to some cheers), then Corre isolated Miz in their corner. From the outside, Barrett landed a cheap shot for good measure, but it was only good for a two count. Miz hit the Reality Check at 7:25 and the crowd cheered for Miz to tag in John Cena, but Slater cut off Miz before a tag could be made.
[Q9 -- over-run] Cena continued to extend his hand for a tag as Mathews reset the show and noted Cena & Miz are indeed the new tag champions. Cena curiously surveyed the crowd as they cheered for a tag. Miz teased it, but Gabriel pulled him back to center-ring for a reverse chinlock. Gabriel wanted a top-rope move, but Miz blocked with a boot to the head. Cena then asked the crowd to will on Miz, who crawled across the desert and hot-tagged Cena, who came in hot. The usual comeback routine ensued before Cena dropped Slater with the Five Knuckle Shuffle. Suddenly, Miz snuck in from behind on Cena and dropped him with the Skullcrushing Finale. Gabriel covered Cena and it was good for the pin.
WINNERS: Corre at 11:08 to re-capture the WWE Tag Titles. What we learned: Miz can't be trusted, Miz could get over as a top face way down the road after this test-run, Cena can be gullible, and the tag champions have zero credibility. (*1/2)
Post-match: Miz and Riley scampered up the ramp and Miz shot a heelish look back into the ring. In the ring, Cena sat up looking perplexed by the turn of events. Lawler said Miz is a snake you never can trust. From the stage, Miz held up his WWE Title belt as Mathews said Miz scored the first blow on the Road to WrestleMania. No immediate re-re-match, as they signed off four minutes past the top of the hour.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Interesting show. The paths to WrestleMania are pretty clear on the Raw side with Miz-Cena, Cole-Lawler, Punk-Orton, and Hunter-Undertaker. I think the most interesting aspect of the show was the placement of Taker, then Hunter's big returns at the top of the second hour rather than giving them The Rock's slot at the end of the show for the dramatic sign-off into next week. It sent a Week 1 message that Miz-Cena (the present & future) will apparently be presented as a bigger deal than the special attraction of Taker-Hunter.
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