WWE Raw Report CALDWELL'S WWE RAW RESULTS 4/11: Complete "virtual time" coverage of live Raw - Gauntlet match, Edge "retirement" tease, Ross back on TV
Apr 11, 2011 - 10:07:39 PM
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WWE Raw Results
April 11, 2011 - Episode #932
Live from Bridgeport, Conn.
Aired on USA Network
Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor
Arena: Justin Roberts did a dramatic introduction for Michael Cole, who came out to the ring parading around his Slammy award. Jerry Lawler was shown sternly watching Cole come to ringside. Lawler removed his headset to threaten Cole, who quickly stepped into his Cole Mine. It's a bit of an awkward transition going from Tough Enough right into the arena setting for WWE Raw.
John Cena's music interrupted Cole's ranting & raving and he stormed the ring to talk about chaos, excitement, and energy in WWE. Cena said an announcement was made last week that turned WWE upside down. The crowd chanted Rock's name and Cena reiterated the match-up at WrestleMania 28. He said it will be the biggest spectacle in sports entertainment. "John Cena goes one-on-one with The Rock," he said, which drew a strong reaction. Josh Mathews interjected that Miami will never be the same.
Cena surveyed the arena before saying the main event of WrestleMania 28 - Cena vs. Rock for the WWE Title. He said if it's the biggest thing ever, it has to be for the richest prize in sports entertainment. Which leads him to tonight. He said the guy that fights every week has to capture the WWE Title before Mania next year. Cena said he wants a WrestleMania Moment here tonight.
Suddenly, Randy Orton's music interrupted and out walked Orton sporting an over-sized t-shirt covering his torso. Cena sold disbelief at the interruption from Orton, who entered the ring with something to say about the WWE Title situation. Orton told Cena that with all due respect, he thinks any business that Cena had at WrestleMania has already been settled. He said Cena can blame The Rock and make matches for Mania next year, but the fact is...Cena lost. Orton said he thinks Cena should step aside and let someone like him, who actually won at WrestleMania, have an opportunity.
Cena began to reply, but John Morrison's music interrupted. Morrison, in street clothes, marched to the ring with some business of his own to attend to. Morrison shot them a smile before addressing the situation. He said he's seen this show before with Cena and Orton arguing over the #1 contender. Morrison said if there's going to be a discussion about who's next in line for the WWE Title, this discussion has to involve him.
Next with the interruption was Vickie Guerrero, who brought Dolph Ziggler to the ring with her. Vickie said someone new should have a title opportunity, but not Morrison. Vickie reminded Morrison she pinned him in a match a couple of weeks ago. She said the person who should be next in line should be...her. "Okay, okay, if it's not me, then it should be Dolph Ziggler," she said. Dolph said he didn't come to Raw to waste time with Snooki and it's obvious he's the most talented in the ring. More importantly, he's never faced Miz for the title, so the line starts with him. Ziggler told them that once he gets a title shot, they'll all get a shot.
Next to interrupt was R-Truth, who hasn't been on TV in a few weeks. Cole heeled on Truth, who made his way to the ring as Orton did some knee-bends to keep himself loose in the ring. Truth had to think about what city he was in before asking Bridgeport what's up. Truth said the gospel truth is that he has never, never gotten a one-on-one WWE Title match. "Well, there's a reason why," Ziggler said under his breath. Mock bickering began, then the Raw GM buzzed in.
Cole stood up to announce an email he received from the GM on his iPad. He said everyone has made a compelling argument, so to end all of this, he's going to give all five of them a chance to earn it. Please not Beat the Clock. Cole said the GM has come up with a new concept playing up the gauntlet. Two men start. This continues until all five have been in the match. The last man standing faces Miz for the WWE Title at Extreme Rules. The wrestlers in the ring resumed talking trash before Cole noted Lawler has a match against Swagger tonight. And Jim Ross will be here in Lawler's corner. Also still to come: is Edge's career over? PYB (3) talk time: 11:10.
Segment Reax: A formula segment to set up a formula match, but this was fine setting the stage for Cena's journey to become WWE champion before Mania 28 and also attempt to re-establish some value to the WWE Title.
Vignette: In a dark setting, a blonde doll was focused on as nursery rhyme music played in the background. They showed the mystery figure, who appeared to be Awesome Kong, grabbing the doll before flicking its head off. Kong was heard cackling off-camera. Back live, Lawler asked what that was all about.
1 -- Divas champion EVE vs. BRIE BELLA (w/Nikki Bella) -- Divas Title match
Back from break, the Bellas were already in the ring for a random match. It was announced as a Divas Title match. Eve pulled out a marker and demanded the legal Bella Twin be marked so they couldn't do the switcheroo. The Bellas still tried it, which served as a distraction to give Brie an opening to smash Eve with a facebuster for the pin. And there's a new Divas champion.
WINNER: Brie at 2:15 to capture the Divas Title. The title change came out of nowhere, but WWE has been featuring the Bellas for a while now, so it makes sense.
Still to come: Five Raw stars attempt to run the gauntlet tonight.
Backstage: They showed Sin Cara's lower body before he placed his mask on. He's making his in-ring debut next, the announcers said as he made his way down the hallway. Not a lot of hype for Sin Cara's in-ring WWE TV debut.
Backstage: Eve was shown sitting in a chair upset about the loss. Wow, follow-up on a match decision. Gail Kim followed in and tried to console Eve, who was upset with everyone looking out for themselves only. Natalya tried to console her, but Eve said all the Divas are the same: just out for themselves. Tamina then walked in and shot them looks. Gail and Natalya were dumbfounded.
In-ring: Sin Cara stormed the ring and did his trampoline jump into the ring, where Primo awaited him. Cole heeled on Sin Cara for his attack on Jack Swagger on Smackdown. The announcers read some sponsor ads while Sin Cara waited and waited and waited in the ring.
2 -- SIN CARA vs. PRIMO
Cole noted Sin Cara has a huge international following. Mathews offered the eighth pronunciation of his name before Sin Cara knocked Primo to the ring apron. The crowd responded with a "Sin Cara" chant before Primo ate a monkey flip into the ring ropes. Sin Cara knocked Primo to the floor, then came flying over the top rope with a huracanrana to the floor. The crowd popped as Cole wondered how he does that.
[Q3] Sin Cara threw Primo into the ring, but Primo responded with a dropkick to take control of the match. Primo then ripped off a hard chop to the chest before missing with a corner splash. Sin Cara answered with a series of chops to the chest that drew Ric Flair "whoos." Sin Cara then snapped off a flying head scissors followed by another one. Primo cut him off, though, and went for a powerbomb, but Sin Cara countered with a sunset flip powerbomb for a two count. Nice. Primo tried a top-rope response, but Sin Cara smashed him with an enziguiri. Sin Cara tried a top-rope move, but Primo slipped and Sin Cara fell to the floor. Oops. Primo re-sold on the top turnbuckle and Sin Cara re-entered the ring to smash him with an enziguiri. Sin Cara reset the finishing move: a backflip facebuster suplex. Cara with the pin for the win as the announcers sold the "wow" factor. A few replays were shown before Sin Cara was shown celebrating on the stage.
WINNER: Sin Cara at 4:31. WWE certainly tapped into Sin Cara's strengths with this offering working with a lesser opponent to get over his high-flying moves. The top-rope slip wasn't good, but they recovered fine. Thumbs up in-ring debut as WWE introduces him to the audience before he starts an actual storyline/feud. (*1/2)
Still to come: Lawler vs. Swagger. If Lawler wins, then he gets a return match against Cole at Extreme Rules. If Swagger wins, Lawler never gets another shot at Cole. Plus, Edge with a "retirement" announcement?
Raw Replay: Corre interrupted Cena and Rock's "moment" last week on Raw, then were quickly handed an easy pounding. ... Back in the ring, Wade Barrett was with the other three members of the group. They were not pleased. Barrett said last week, Cena and Rock made history. Okay, get to the point. Corre said they were going to attack them last week, but to no avail. Barrett stood up to say it was through no fault of his own. He said he used to see them as equals, but if the others can't hold up their end of the bargain, he doesn't see why they should continue.
Justin Gabriel grabbed the mic and said he has taken out more people on this roster with his 450 splash than anyone else. He said he's the most talented wrestler in the ring. Heath Slater stepped in, but Zeke took the mic and stood in Barrett's face to talk himself up. Suddenly, Santino's music interrupted to bring out Santino flanked by Mark Henry, Evan Bourne, and Daniel Bryan. Santino stood on the stage and introduced...The Apple. The video screen read: Allied People Powered Loathing Everything. Santino added..."that you stand for." He said that in the name of Kozlov, they challenge them to a fight. Bourne and Bryan joined their team celebration before Henry reluctantly agreed. APPLE made their way to the ring before they cut to a break. So, this is WWE's way of addressing their mid-card roster issues? Yikes.
3 -- THE APPLE (SANTINO & DANIEL BRYAN & EVAN BOURNE & MARK HENRY) vs. THE CORRE (IC champion WADE BARRETT & EZEKIEL JACKSON & WWE tag champions HEATH SLATER & JUSTIN GABRIEL) -- eight-man tag match
The match was joined in progress with Corre working over Bryan as the announcers made eight-year-old comments about the apple facing the core. The heels continued to work over Bryan with frequent tags as Cole continued to crack jokes. Bryan finally broke free with a running kick strike on the weakest link, Slater. Bryan then made the tag to Santino, who entered with left hand jabs for Slater. Santino knocked Gabriel off the apron, ducked a clothesline, hip-tossed Slater, and delivered the sailor's salute fist drop. The action suddenly broke down, then Bryan went flying through the ropes with a suicide dive on Barrett. Santino wanted the Cobra on Slater, but Gabriel smashed Santino from behind from the floor. Slater then dropped a stunned Santino for the pin and the win. Corre regrouped in the ring following the victory, but then continued to argue. Zeke just stood off to the side.
WINNERS: Corre at 3:32. Weird. Just weird. At least Corre didn't look pathetic like they usually do when they have a cameo on Raw. APPLE seemed like a one-week team, but we'll see if they continue another week. (*)
Post-match: The announcers were shown on-camera and Cole resumed his bickering with Lawler. Jim Ross's music then hit to bring out Ross to be in Lawler's corner. Cole then cut off Ross's OU theme music and did some fat jokes on Ross, who approached the Cole Mine. Cole asked Ross how the BBQ sauce is doing. Ross walked around to the Cole Mine door and tried to get in before shaking the Cole Mine back and forth. Cole tried to fight back, then Jack Swagger suddenly came to ringside. Swagger and Lawler scrapped before Ross was restrained by a referee. It looked like ref Justin King shot on Ross a bit. The entire roster of referees stormed ringside to separate the combustible elements. Ross tried to get at Cole as they cut to break.
Smackdown plug: Alberto Del Rio has regained his edge...is time running out on World Hvt. champion Edge?
4 -- JERRY LAWLER (w/Jim Ross) vs. JACK SWAGGER (w/Michael Cole)
Cole could be heard bickering at Ross and encouraging Swagger while Ross gave instructions to Lawler. Lawler punched Swagger in the face before doing a mock version of Swagger and Cole's victory lap. The ringside participants were heavily mic'ed for this one. No Josh Mathews on the call. Cole kept shouting at Ross while Swagger put Lawler in a headlock. Lawler powered out, but Swagger grabbed his ankle. Lawler grabbed the bottom rope to avoid tapping out to the anklelock, then Swagger resumed his work on the ankle. Cole continued to rant and rave ringside as Swagger went back to work on Lawler with a wristlock. Swagger taunted Lawler, who started to no-sell a bit. Then again. Lawler felt the power and turned around to face Swagger. Right hand. Then another. Then another. Swagger stumbled around the ring, then took a dropkick to the back. Lawler caught his breath as Cole teased getting involved. "Jerry, Jerry" chant as Cole got on the ring apron to distract Lawler. Lawler took the bait and teased hitting Cole, then Swagger popped Lawler from behind. Cole continued to stand on the ring apron, so Ross came around to yank Cole off the apron. Cole collapsed to the ground, then Lawler rolled up Swagger from behind. Small package led to a three count, shocking Swagger. Lawler gets his re-match with Cole, who held his head selling disbelief.
WINNER: Lawler at 5:13. Lawler does so much with his facial expressions and mannerisms to tell a story. This was good raising the anticipation for Cole finally getting his comeuppance.
[Q5 -- second hour] Post-match: Cole walked away from ringside as Mathews noted Lawler gets to choose the stipulation for his re-match with Cole at Extreme Rules. Lawler returned to the broadcast position before Cole entered the ring to blame Swagger for losing. Cole said now he has to face Lawler at Extreme Rules. Cole put his finger on Swagger and asked if he's an idiot. "What is the matter with you?!" Cole screamed at Swagger. Cole then slapped Swagger, who took a few steps toward Cole. Cole ran out of the ring, now with no allies. Cole backed up the ramp to leave before Lawler took the mic.
Lawler said they should talk about Extreme Rules. He said he gets to decide the match and stipulation. First off, he has a good idea for the match. He wanted a tag match: Lawler and Ross against...Cole and his former friend, Jack Swagger. Lawler told Swagger his partner is the guy who just slapped the taste out of his mouth. Lawler's music played. So, what's the match stipulation? Cole began pleading with Swagger from a distance since now he has to team with him in three weeks.
Announcers: In the immediate aftermath of that announcement, Mathews was shown on-camera hyping Undertaker vs. Triple H from WrestleMania. Mathews fed to a video package from Mania highlighting the match, with WWE wrestlers commenting on the two wrestlers. Christian, Steve Austin, Big Show, and C.M. Punk talked. Edge and Randy Orton talked about Taker kicking out of Hunter's Tombstone. Pat Patterson also discussed it. Punk, Austin, and Edge talked about Hunter having people thinking he could win. Show said he knew it was over when Taker locked in Hell's Gate. Cena talked about Taker doing everything in his power to win "on that day." The Rock joined the conversation. Hunter's promo from Raw was heard, with Hunter hinting at a re-match when Taker returns.
Backstage: Cena was shown shaking hands with Edge, who walked down the hallway. Edge had concern and deep thoughts written on his face. What is he saying? It's next.
In-ring: Justin Roberts announced the World Hvt. champion, Edge, who bounced out on-stage sporting sunglasses and wearing the World Title belt over his shoulder. Edge took a deep breath and slowly made his way to the ring as Lawler talked him up as one of the most popular WWE Superstar in history. Lawler said he hopes the rumors of his retirement isn't true. Lawler, Mathews, and Ross were on commentary now.
Edge's music stopped and he smiled to the crowd before slowly pacing around. Edge said he's probably going to ramble a bit here. He said a lot of people think what they do in WWE doesn't hurt, but anyone in the locker room or has ever wrestled knows what they do hurts. Edge said eight years ago, he broke his neck, prompting spinal surgery. Because of that, he knew he was wrestling on borrowed time. Edge said for the last while, he's been in a lot of pain and losing feeling in his arms. He passed strength tests and made it through Mania, but WWE wanted him to get more tests. He said the MRI showed he has to retire. The crowd shrieked. Edge said the doctors told him he has no choice, but it's a good thing since he won't end up in a wheelchair now.
[Q6] Edge teared up as the crowd applauded. The cheers grew louder as Edge paced the ring. Edge stroked his hair before pausing for a "Thank you, Edge," chant. Edge laughed and said this has been an emotional rollercoaster of a week for him. He said that until he talked to Christian, his best friend for 27 years, he was angry at himself and his body. Edge said he felt like he was letting everyone down and he wasn't ending this on his terms. But, he wrestled his entire career on his terms. Edge said he is a huge fan of WWE. Every month, Christian and he would watch their favorites at Maple Leaf Gardens. He name-dropped LOD, Demolition, and Hulk Hogan. Then, he watched Hogan vs. Warrior at WrestleMania 6. Fast-forward to facing Undertaker at WrestleMania. Edge said he's won more titles than anyone in the history of WWE. Edge said that retiring as World Hvt. champion after having his final match at WrestleMania couldn't be better.
Edge said he's been doing this for 19 years and 14 years with WWE. He said he grew up and made mistakes in front of the audience. He became a man in front of the audience. Edge said he went from a guy running around in a trench coat to a member of The Brood, then Edge & Christian, then one of the most despised guys in WWE, then a Live Sex celebration with Lita and thankfully not Vickie Guerrero, and hopefully he's earned the respect of everyone in the locker room.
Edge said that no matter what, he tried to give the audience as much of what he had every single night. And, in turn, the fans gave it right back. Edge said he's going to miss all of this, like the reaction when his music hits. He said he doesn't have to wear tights tomorrow and he's going to eat a whole lot of ice cream tonight. Whether he would do this all over again - starting with getting hired by JR - he would do it in a heartbeat. "So, thank you. Thank you very much," Edge said before dropping the mic. The crowd was shown standing on their feet applauding Edge, who looked into the crowd to soak in the moment. Edge slipped out of the ring, then high-fived some fans ringside. Edge eventually made it up the rampway and posed one more time as his music played. They faded to commercial. PYB (3) talk time: 10:05.
Segment Reax: Wow. You're expecting a run-in during this because it doesn't seem real.
Still to come: Back live, Jim Ross hyped the five-man gauntlet match to determine the #1 contender to the WWE Title. Ross then fed to a clip from "moments ago" during the commercial.
Moments Ago: Edge was greeted by the roster at Gorilla. Goldust, in a suit, greeted Edge on the way out. Edge hugged and embraced everyone on the way, stopping for the Canadians Kidd, Gail, and Natalya. Edge made his way out.
Announcers: On-camera, Lawler talked about the show of respect from the roster for Edge. Ross said he's shocked. He said it was the last thing he expected when he came to Raw tonight. Mathews called it a surreal moment here in WWE. The Miz's music then interrupted to bring out the WWE champion and Alex Riley for a closer look at the main event gauntlet match. Randy Orton was the first man out. Mathews noted Orton has to survive four other men to become #1 contender. Dolph Ziggler, flanked by Vickie Guerrero, was out next.
5a -- RANDY ORTON vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER (w/Vickie Guerrero) -- #1 Contender Five-man Gauntlet match
Miz had plenty of talking time on the four-man commentary booth while Mathews mainly handled play-by-play. Orton absorbed Ziggler's early offense, then spiked Ziggler with his trademark DDT from the second rope. Orton pounded the mat looking for the RKO, but New Nexus members Davie Otunga and McGillicutty stormed the ring apron to distract Orton. Ziggler then rolled up Orton from behind to score a pin. Post-match: Mason Ryan joined Otunga and Mike in the ring. Ryan blasted Orton with an emphatic powerbomb before Nexus stood over Orton. Miz smiled. They faded to commercial with Nexus standing tall over Ziggler.
WINNER: Ziggler at 2:37. Too short to be a full-fledged match before Nexus resurfaced. Apparently it's Refocus On Factions Night.
5b -- DOLPH ZIGGLER (w/Vickie Guerrero) vs. R-TRUTH -- #1 Contender Five-man Gauntlet match
Back from break, R-Truth was in the ring to face Ziggler in the next phase of this match. Miz wanted to know which R-Truth they would get: the kids-friendly wrestler or someone to be reckoned with. Ziggler worked over Truth as Miz continued to talk non-stop. Ziggler and Truth were moving in slow-motion here. Lawler then stopped Miz in his tracks when Miz said he's not a talker. Ross was sitting in-between Miz and Lawler otherwise they teased coming to blows. Truth finally showed some life with a faceplant suplex on Ziggler for a nearfall. Vickie had to catch her breath as Ziggler rebounded with a neckbreaker on Truth. Truth then suddenly pulled out a finishing move and eliminated Ziggler.
John Morrison was the next man out and Truth was shown spitting ringside. Morrison took his time coming to the ring as they cut to break.
WINNER: Truth at 3:58 (11:12 total). Bland, boring, drab match. Truth showed hardly any life here. (1/2*)
5c -- R-TRUTH vs. JOHN MORRISON -- #1 Contender Five-man Gauntlet match
Truth finally showed some life exchanging rapid-fire nearfalls with Morrison coming back from break. Miz mock applauded their effort. Morrison then pancaked Truth and played to the crowd before making a cover for a nearfall. Miz said the fancy, high-flying always gets Morrison in trouble. Morrison grounded Truth as Miz mocked Cena always having the advantage being Super Cena, like being the last man in this gauntlet match. Ross stressed the importance of the WWE Title as Truth went back to sleep in the ring. Morrison clotheslined Truth to the floor, then both men knocked each other down with a double clothesline. The ref applied a ten count, but both men made it back in at nine.
In the ring, Morrison built momentum with rapid-fire clotheslines that couldn't put Truth away. Five kids in the crowd randomly shouted, "We love you, John," over the silent crowd. Truth then hit a jawbreaker on Morrison for a nearfall. Morrison came back with the flying chuck, but didn't make a cover, which Miz noted. Morrison wanted the Starship Pain, but Truth moved and Morrison ate the mat. Truth then hit the Lie Detector and scored a pinfall to no reaction. Truth advances to the finals.
WINNER: Truth at 4:48 of what aired (19:56 total). Truth appeared to be prepared to run one-fourth of a 10k tonight. (*)
After that portion of the match, the crowd remained silent until Cena's music hit to bring out Cena for the final portion of the match against Truth. They cut to break.
Smackdown plug: Edge remained World Hvt. champion at WrestleMania. Now, this Friday, Edge surrenders the World Title.
5d -- R-TRUTH vs. JOHN CENA -- #1 Contender Five-man Gauntlet match
Back live, the crowd was alive with a dueling chant of "Let's Go Cena" vs. "Cena sucks." Miz talked about the "people with brains" chanting Cena sucks. Cena scored an early nearfall before landing a suplex for another two count. Cena shot Truth a look, selling what Ross has been playing up that it could be Truth's night. Cena continued to score nearfalls before scratching his chin to survey his next move. It's so rare to see Cena on sustained offense prior to his comeback routine. Cena then lifted Truth in the air for a big overhead suplex for another two count. Ross noted Cena is tapping into his trademark brute power. Truth then pounded the mat, selling some life. Cena smirked and stalked Truth for another suplex. And another two count.
[Q9 -- over-run] At the top of the hour, Cena decided to take his offense up top. Cena wanted the guillotine leg smash and he glanced Truth with it. Truth sold like he took it in full and Cena made a cover for a close nearfall. Cena smiled again before throwing out his arms asking what he has to do win this. Suddenly, Truth smashed Cena with a right hand and Cena fell over like a tree in the woods. Both men sold on the mat as the crowd resumed a very loud dueling chant.
Cena and Truth came to their feet and Truth showed some life with a hip toss followed by the Lie Detector. Truth made the cover, but Cena kicked out. Ross said it's anyone's ballgame at this point. Truth stalked Cena for Pay Dirt, but Cena moved and entered Comeback Routine. Cena then posed for the hard camera and called for the Five Knuckle Shuffle, but not before indicating to Miz he can't see him. Cena then lifted up Truth for the Attitude Adjustment, but Miz and Riley stormed the ring to attack Cena. The ref threw out the match and Roberts announced a double DQ. Lawler said he doesn't agree with that decision.
WINNER: Double DQ at 5:32 of what aired (30:47 total). Fine final portion of the match with a little different take on a Cena singles match with Cena in control for the majority of the match. Truth at least showed more life in match #3. WWE has to be happy with a rejuvenated crowd response for a Cena match after a few dead-crowd responses recently. (*1/2)
Post-match: Miz took the mic and said this means both Cena and Truth are losers. Which means they can both head to the end of the line. Miz had a good laugh, then the GM buzzed in. Lawler stepped to the podium and said the GM has deemed there is no #1 contender to the WWE Title. Hang on. That's because there are two #1 contenders. The GM has booked a triple threat match for the WWE Title at Extreme Rules - Miz vs. Truth vs. Cena.
Cena and Truth then put the boots to Riley and Miz. Cena put an exclamation point on the matter with an AA for Riley. Cena and Truth then came together in the ring and sold tension. Cena extended his hand and Truth shook it. They hit each other on the back playfully, which turned into some harder shoving. Cena then shoved Truth clear across the ring and prepared to fight. Truth smiled and said he gets it. Ross said it's every man for himself at Extreme Rules. Mathews said he liked Truth's competitive nature on Raw tonight. Cena and Truth pointed back and forth at each other as Mathews tried to sign them off seven minutes past the top of the hour.
FINAL THOUGHTS: R-Truth included in the WWE Title picture certainly puts some new blood in the title picture, but why Truth? From a storyline perspective, Truth wasn't even on TV going into or out of Mania, so why would he be in consideration for a title shot? In any event, anything that happened on this show was overshadowed by Edge's retirement announcement.
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