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WWE Raw Report
CALDWELL'S WWE RAW RESULTS 4/25: Complete "virtual time" coverage of live Raw - 2011 WWE Draft, Extreme Rules PPV hype

Apr 25, 2011 - 10:09:26 PM
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WWE Raw Results
April 25, 2011 - Episode #934
Live in Raleigh, N.C.
Aired on USA Network
Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor


This week's live WWE Raw started with the 20-man battle royal between Raw and Smackdown already underway, not wasting anytime. Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler were on the call with Josh Mathews.

1 -- RAW vs. SMACKDOWN BATTLE ROYAL

As red and blue-shirted bodies battled in the ring, Mathews noted the winning brand member will obtain two Draft picks for his brand. The announcers played up the fake brand alliance bit that WWE only plays up during the Draft and Bragging Rights PPV. Smackdown lost Kane over the top rope, then Khali and Big Show battled. Team Smackdown proceeded to gang up on Khali to drop him over the top rope. Then, they ran into the predicament where Bourne saved Sheamus from elimination despite Sheamus beating up Bourne recently. Quite the mess.

Henry and Brodus eliminated each other simultaneously. Big Show was the last giant left in the battle royal as he worked on Sheamus, who looked like Ronald McDonald with the bright red t-shirt on. Mason Ryan then tried to get a piece of Big Show, who headbutted him away. The announcers reminisced about past Draft moments while the wrestlers teased some eliminations. They cut to break only seven minutes into the match with the battle royal down to seven or eight men.

[Commercial Break]

Back from break, Lawler was mid-sentence as the same number of men were still in the ring. Four from Raw and four from Smackdown. McIntyre was out next from Smackdown. Show then comically stopped The Cobra to eliminate him. Some rapid-fire eliminations ensued to arrive at a Final Four of Show and Kofi from Smackdown vs. Mason and Bourne from Raw. Bourne and Kofi paired off while Show and Ryan paired off. Bourne and Kofi delivered strong athleticism teasing eliminations before they were both saved. Show then caught Bourne in mid-air and dropped him over the top rope.

Ryan was the last man for Raw. He stumbled around the ring, not looking very good in the process. Show then hand-planted Ryan over the top rope, giving Show and Kofi the win. The crowd, which doesn't care about the artificial Raw vs. Smackdown split, cheered for Show and Kofi. Show and Kofi celebrated leading to the Draft Picks.

WINNER: Show & Kingston (Smackdown) at 13:05. Above-average battle royal for TV with the crowd hot for the action. (*1/2)

Cue up the random generator to deliver the first pick...

Draft Pick #1: John Cena going to Smackdown.

Backstage, they showed everyone stunned. Well, the Raw side was stunned. Smackdown was celebrating. Why? From a storyline perspective, suddenly, there's a new competitor for top spots on Smackdown. The whole Draft process and line of thinking is a mess. Out came John Cena on-stage as Cole ranted and raved about this turn of events. Cena put on a Smackdown t-shirt as Cole noted Cena has been part of Raw for six years. Cole was way over-the-top shouting about how big of a shocker this was.

[Q2]

[Commercial Break. Tough Enough plug: Rey Mysterio guest-stars next week.]

Backstage: Todd Grisham brought in John Cena to get his thoughts on being the newest member of Smackdown. Cena said he's shocked, surprised, awed, etc. He said the Syfy Network is partying like it's 1999. Cena talked up Syfy programming as Cena noted the date and place: April 25, 2011 in Raleigh, N.C. where he's going back to Smackdown. Cena said it's like Dennis Rodman going from a man...to a woman...and back to a man. He vowed to walk into Extreme Rules and take the WWE Title to Smackdown. In walked WWE champion The Miz. He said it's too bad Cena's last match on Raw is when he beats him at Extreme Rules. Miz did a You Can't See Me joke in front of Cena, who got serious.

Announcers: Josh Mathews and Jerry Lawler hyped the three-way WWE Title match and noted it's in a steel cage. Wasn't the battle royal for two Draft picks? Or, does Cena going to Smackdown count as two picks? Cole, dressed to wrestle, then interrupted from inside his tool box about facing Jim Ross later tonight in the main event. Mathews and Lawler then took back the broadcast to discuss R-Truth's heel turn after Morrison took the WWE Title spot from him on Raw last week. A long video package aired.

In-ring: Justin Roberts did a dramatic introduction for R-Truth, who came out to no music and pointed around to the crowd. Truth, on-stage, gave a shout-out to Raleigh, N.C. before saying, "Shut up!" Truth said the crowd thinks it's all about them. Last week, John Morrison, his friend (what?), his pal (what?)...pause for Truth to tell the crowd to stop with the "what." Truth resumed his speech and recapped what the video just recapped. "Ya'll pissing me the hell off," Truth said in response to the what's. He said Morrison challenged him to his spot because of the fans and he accepted because the fans wanted him to. "I lost because of you," he said to boos.

Truth said he spent his entire career trying to be what the fans wanted him to be. He said he comes out here rapping and dancing just so the fans can dance and rap with him. He said he would like to add they need to get some rhythm. "Oh, look at little Jimmy, he's so cute, he's singing 'What's up' with the Truth," Truth said mockingly. Truth mocked his imaginary "little Jimmy" off to the side and engaged him in a conversation. Truth said little Jimmy singing What's Up isn't putting any titles around his waist. "So, you can wipe your mouth and shut up!" Truth said.

[Q3] Truth said he spent the last ten years choosing the fans, but now, he's officially giving every last one of the fans The Boot. He told them all good-bye and peace-out. The crowd booed as Truth told them not to boo him, but boo themselves. He told four-eyes in the crowd to sit down. Truth then addressed his ten years of frustration and disappointing while pausing to stare down the "what" chants. Truth said when he let go of all that, it felt marvelous. "For the first time...in my life...the Truth has set me free," he said.

Suddenly, John Morrison jumped Truth from behind on the stage. What took him so long? Morrison pounded on Truth with right hand blows before referees separated them. Morrison teased calming down once he was on the stage, but blew past the referees to tackle Truth again. Morrison continued to go after Truth, who eventually rolled down the entrance ramp to avoid Truth. PYB (3) talk time: 7:30.

Segment Reax: Heck of a heel promo from Truth finally getting to the money line that doing his kids-friendly routine didn't put any titles around his waist. In the near-term, though, WWE isn't selling Truth vs. Morrison at the PPV on Sunday, so they haven't captured why anyone should be interested in seeing Morrison go after the WWE Title at the PPV.

Next Monday: The Rock is back live from Miami for his birthday party celebration.

[Commercial Break]

Vignette: Awesome Kong Week 3. This time, a blonde doll was in front of the camera. Kong reached up to squeeze the doll before popping its head off. Kong chuckled as she looked at the remaining portion of the doll in her hands. The camera showed her full face this time. "HARM" flashed on the screen before turning to "KHARMA." Back live, Mathews noted things will change when Kharma debuts.

2 -- EVE vs. LAYLA

The winning brand gets one Draft pick. Cole sarcastically noted he's so thankful Eve is representing Raw. After Layla came to the ring, Michelle McCool stomped out selling disdain for Layla. They cued up a clip from Smackdown showing McCool attacking Layla from behind during couple's therapy. McCool distracted Layla as Cole got on the mic and heeled on the match. Eve then rolled up Layla for a quick pin as Cole continued to cut a promo. He noted he's going to make an example of Jim Ross tonight. Cole said, "Mr. WrestleMania has left ringside." Lawler said Raw just won a Draft pick and all they're hearing is Cole run his mouth. Ringside, Layla attacked McCool and ran her into the barricade. Layla then threw over the announce table and both of them cried over the end of their relationship.

WINNER: Eve at 0:35.

Draft Pick #2: Rey Mysterio is coming back to Raw.

Backstage, Zack Ryder was shown on-camera pumping his fist while seated next to Randy Orton for reaction to the Draft pick. Rey then walked out on stage and clapped for the audience. They cut back to the locker room where Raw was shown clapping while Cena pretended to cut a promo on the Raw side. Back on stage, Rey put on a Raw t-shirt and posed on the stage.

Backstage: Jim Ross was shown warming himself up in a Sooners jersey. Ross put on his Cowboy hat as Lawler told him not to get too worn out.

Extreme Rules plug: Miz vs. Cena vs. Morrison in a steel cage for the WWE Title.

[Q4]

[Commercial Break]

Backstage: Cody Rhodes was shown covering his head with his giant hooded jacket. Grisham asked Rhodes for his thoughts on Rey Mysterio being drafted to Raw. Cody slowly talked about giving Rey a nice going-away present at Extreme Rules. Cody removed his hood and said he's going to give Rey a new mask. He said he's going to put Rey in a hospital where he can give someone a 619 into the emergency room. Cody sneered and told Rey it's bye-bye-bye.

In-ring: Kofi Kingston's music hit to bring out Kingston for a one-on-one match after winning the battle royal. It's Smackdown vs. Raw worth one Draft pick. Sheamus then came out to face Kingston.

3 -- U.S. champion SHEAMUS vs. KOFI KINGSTON -- non-title match

Sheamus went after Kingston early on with aggressive offense. They're already bringing the two brands together next week, as the announcers noted everyone (Raw, Smackdown, fans) are invited to The Rock's birthday celebration next week on Raw. Kingston scored a close nearfall with a top rope cross-body block, but Sheamus came back with a hard lariat. Sheamus then teased the High Cross, then the Brogue Kick, but Kingston avoided both. Kingston followed with Trouble in Paradise and it was good for the win. Backstage, the Smackdown brand did Kofi's boom-boom hand clap to celebrate.

WINNER: Kingston at 2:23. There goes Sheamus's momentum with a quick loss. Good action for a short match. (*1/4)

Draft Pick #3: Randy Orton to Smackdown.

Backstage, Cena jumped up and down celebrating as the Raw brand bowed their heads in disdain. Orton walked out on-camera and smiled to the crowd. Someone tossed him a Smackdown t-shirt and Orton played up his big move. WWE really is trying to "protect" the Draft by having three big names change brands.

Up Next: Jim Ross vs. "Sir" Michael Cole.

[Commercial Break. Tough Enough plug: the contestants will be pushed to the limit again. Next Monday, Rey on the show, the trainers lose their cool, and another contestant is cut.]

[Q5 -- second hour] In-ring: Back from break just before the top of the hour, Jack Swagger's music hit to bring out Michael Cole and Swagger. Booker T was on commentary with Mathews and Lawler. They flashed back to last week's Raw when Cole was "knighted." Next was a clip of Cole and Swagger taking it to Ross and Lawler, including Ross being forced to kiss Cole's feet. Cole and Lawler did a victory lap before Ross strolled out to the ring. Lawler said Ross isn't a WWE Superstar, but Ross is a man and he'll fight. Mathews plugged Ross & Lawler vs. Cole & Swagger at Extreme Rules. Lawler then joined Ross ringside to be in his corner.

4 -- "SIR" MICHAEL COLE (w/Jack Swagger) vs. JIM ROSS (w/Jerry Lawler)

It was like NXT with Swagger on the apron and Lawler on the opposite apron. Cole mockingly said he wanted a sumo match, playing up his fat joke routine. Cole then smacked his belly like he was playing the drums and went back to pacing the ring. Cole talked strategy with Swagger before playing with Ross's mid-section. Ross swung at Cole and missed. Cole then slipped out of the ring and asked for Ross's cowboy hat. Cole put the hat on and paraded around the ring happy with himself. Ross shook his head before Cole re-entered the ring and stomped on Ross's hat. Ross no-sold and paced around the ring some more. Swagger then toweled off Cole before Cole did a push-up.

The two men finally locked up and Ross shoved Cole to the mat. Cole demanded a time-out as Swagger pulled out a stool for Cole to sit down and take a breather. Swagger was done toweling off Cole and stepped out of the ring to loud boos. Cole and Ross locked up again and Cole went for a scoop slam, but Ross fell on top of Cole and landed big right hand blows. Huge pop for Ross landing right hand blows. Cole then escaped and slipped to the outside to check his mouth. He didn't get too far away, as Lawler rolled Cole back into the ring. Ross landed some more right hand blows as Swagger rammed Lawler into the ringpost on the floor. Swagger then scampered into the ring and attacked Ross to draw a DQ.

Post-match: Swagger wore down Ross as Cole noted his bloody lip and mouth. Swagger proceeded to remove Ross's belt from his pants. Cole then screamed at Ross to look at what he did to him. Swagger then applied the anklelock as Cole whipped Ross across the back. Lawler then ran back into the ring and cleared Swagger, leaving Cole in the ring. Cole's mouth was smeared with blood as Lawler stalked him with the belt. Cole tried to run, but Lawler grabbed his foot. Lawler got in a few belt whips before Cole slipped out of the ring. Huge pop for Lawler and Ross as they stood tall in the ring.

Suddenly, the Raw GM buzzed in. Mathews read an email that at Extreme Rules, Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler vs. Cole and Swagger will be a tag team country whipping match. Ross nodded his approval at that. Lawler then clutched the belt as Ross made a fist to show he's ready to take it to Cole and Swagger. Ross wiped some blood off his cheek while flashing his knuckles to Lawler.

WINNER: Ross via DQ at 4:33. WWE gave away a lot of physicality and part of the pay-off seeing Cole get whipped before the PPV, but they also showed Ross is physically capable of holding up his end of the bargain in the ring. The crowd being hot for the segment helped out. (n/a)

Backstage: Scott Stanford was with The Miz and Alex Riley, who was in an over-sized Raw t-shirt. Miz said he gets it that the big story is R-Truth vs. John Morrison, no, no, The Rock's birthday. "Really?" Miz said next week, no one will be talking about Rock's birthday because there will be something even bigger to celebrate when he finds a way to win the WWE Title match at Extreme Rules. Miz said Cena will go to Smackdown a loser and Morrison will always be a loser. Miz said every Raw fan and every USA Network exec should be praying he isn't drafted to Smackdown. Otherwise, Raw - within one month - will be canceled. "And that is a guarantee because I'm The Miz...and I'm awesome," he said.

[Commercial Break]

[Q6]

In-ring: Randy Orton, with a scraggly beard, was already in the ring back from break. I couldn't even tell who his opponent was in the ring until they flashed Dolph Ziggler across the screen. This is shaping up to be an awful decision removing Ziggler's unique look.

5 -- RANDY ORTON vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER (w/Vickie Guerrero)

Mathews noted this match is worth two draft picks. Lawler noted Ross busted open his knuckles, then tried selling the tag match at the PPV. The match quickly moved to the outside where Ziggler landed a dropkick sending Orton over the barricade to the front row. They teased a count-out as Orton slid back into the ring just before ten. Orton came in hot on Ziggler with right hand blows, then hit the Angle Slam for a two count. Orton proceeded to enter RKO mindset as the crowd exploded wanting the RKO. Ziggler escaped via a distraction from Vickie, then walked right into the RKO. Orton with the pin for the win. Smackdown gets two more picks.

WINNER: Orton at 3:24. Decisive win for Orton that easily could have been obtained without throwing Ziggler out there to take the loss. With Smackdown getting another set of picks, it makes you wonder if they're going to flip the revised rosters. (*)

Time for the random generator to deliver the next two Draft picks. Before the picks could be revealed, C.M. Punk walked out on-stage to interrupt. He said the picks can wait. Punk said he doesn't see how the "Rules" in Sunday's PPV should apply to their match on Sunday. Punk said the only rule is not answering a ten count. Punk vowed to beat Orton with so many weapons and his own right hands to win on Sunday. He said a simple RKO out of nowhere on Sunday will not get him the win. Punk vowed to send Orton to Smackdown as a former shell of what he used to be.

Orton then took the mic. He said he will miss many things from Raw, but he won't miss listening to Punk ramble on and on. Orton said Punk won't be talking after Sunday, he won't be walking, eating, drinking, or moving. All he'll be is sleeping. Orton leaned down and said, "Unconscious sleeping." Orton said he will be the Last...Man...Standing. Orton's music played as Punk confidently told him to bring it on.

Back to the random generator...and the picks will be revealed after the commercial.

Smackdown plug: As Edge's career comes to close, Alberto Del Rio's destiny is on the edge of fulfillment. But, there's Christian standing in the way. They plugged Del Rio vs. Christian at Extreme Rules in a ladder match.

[Commercial Break]

Announcers: Back live, Mathews plugged two more picks for Smackdown coming up now.

Draft Pick #4: Mark Henry to Smackdown.

Draft Pick #5: Sin Cara to Smackdown.

In-ring: Justin Roberts announced another Smackdown vs. Raw match worth two Draft picks. Mathews said it's almost a must-win situation for Raw. IC champion Wade Barrett stomped out to the latest Corre re-mix. Barrett sneered at an indifferent crowd. Rey Mysterio then came out representing Raw.

[Q7]

6 -- Intercontinental champion WADE BARRETT vs. REY MYSTERIO -- non-title match

The announcers stressed the pressure on Rey to pick up the win for Raw. Why should he feel any loyalty to the Raw brand? It's the oddest thing trying to artificially create "brand loyalty." Barrett worked over Rey early in the match, driving a knee to his back. It's also backwards how the announcers are saying the Raw wrestlers are unhappy with their roster being decimated. Shouldn't they be excited because there are fewer competitors for spots and they could rise up the ladder? Barrett walked into the 619, then Rey hit a springboard splash to score a three count on the IC champ.

WINNER: Mysterio at 2:31. Another mid-card champion pinned clean in less than three minutes. (*)

Draft Pick #6: Big Show back to Raw.

Backstage, the Raw brand was shown celebrating Big Show coming over to their brand. Show took a t-shirt from someone off-stage and posed for the crowd.

Draft Pick #7: Alberto Del Rio to Raw.

Backstage, the Raw brand babyfaces were shown celebrating the top heel on Smackdown coming over to Raw. This is such a mess. Backstage, Del Rio told a crestfallen Ricardo Rodriguez that it's his destiny. Brodus Clay demanded to know what happens to him and Del Rio ignored him. Ricardo then forced a smile as Del Rio cut a promo going to break.

Next week: Rock on Raw for a birthday celebration.

[Commercial Break]

(Keller Report: Follow PWTorch editor Wade Keller's real-time coverage of Raw at WadeKeller.com.)

Exterior shot: They're live at N.C. State University at the RBC Center. Back inside the building, Mathews, Lawler, and Booker were shown on-camera. Michael Cole's injured voice was heard off-camera back in the tool box. Cole talked through his injured jaw as Lawler laughed at him. Mathews then ran down the PPV line-up for Sunday, noting the Draft changes will not affect the PPV matches.

On-stage: Smackdown GM Teddy Long walked out on-stage as Mathews said it's been a great night for his show. Long announced the main event tonight will be a six-man tag match. It will be the final 2011 WWE Draft pick. From Team Raw, it will be Punk & Del Rio & WWE champion The Miz vs. Team Smackdown's Christian & Mark Henry & John Cena.

Out first was WWE champion The Miz. Cole, sounding like he had a huge cotton ball in his mouth after getting a tooth removed, tried talking up Miz's guts, courage, and charisma as Miz and Riley made their way to the ring. Mathews tried to talk over Cole plugging the main event up next as they cut to break.

[Commercial Break. Randy Orton movie plug.]

[Q8]

In-ring: Miz and Riley were talking to each other in the ring. The announcers then plugged the Supplemental Draft tomorrow at noon EST on WWE's website. C.M. Punk came out as the second heel in the Raw trio. Ricardo Rodriguez was introduced as Cole noted they get to hear a classy man like Ricardo every week on Raw now. He's been heard for the past four months anyways via Del Rio's weekly cameos.

With the heel trio out, Christian was out first representing Smackdown. Cole mocked Christian half-tucking his Smackdown t-shirt into his ring trunks. Christian stared down Del Rio before Mark Henry's music played to a tepid reaction. Henry stood next to Christian before John Cena's music hit to bring out Cena in a Smackdown t-shirt as the last man in the match.

7 -- WWE champion THE MIZ (w/Alex Riley) & C.M. PUNK & ALBERTO DEL RIO vs. JOHN CENA & CHRISTIAN & MARK HENRY

Christian and Miz started things off as the four-man announce team talked over each other. Cole vowed to "get Extreme" on Ross on Sunday, then Cena tagged in and Miz high-tailed it out of the ring, not wanting anything to do with Cena. Cena smirked down at Miz, who recovered on the floor as they cut to break.

[Commercial Break. Smackdown plug - final hype for Christian vs. Del Rio at Extreme Rules.]

Back from break, Miz or Cena could be heard calling a spot as the announcers were delayed re-setting the show. Cena made a comeback on Punk, then brought Punk into the babyface Smackdown corner to punish him. Christian teased the Killswitch on Punk, but Del Rio caused a distraction, giving Punk an opening to smash Christian with a boot to the face. Del Rio took advantage of his weakened foe to tag in and wear down Christian.

[Q9 -- over-run] The heels began tagging in and out working over Christian. Orton and Ed Harris then ominously flashed on the screen as part of a graphic plugging the latest WWE Studios movie out Friday. The announcers hyped The Rock's birthday party next week on Raw as the heels continued to work over Christian. Del Rio then lost control on Christian, who nailed a textbook Tornado DDT. All four men on the apron went nuts looking for a tag. After a dramatic build, Miz and Cena took the tags. Cena set up Miz for his signature offense, but Mark Henry suddenly blasted his teammate, Cena, with a clothesline. Henry then press-slammed Christian onto the ring steps and stared at his work. Back in the ring, Miz stalked Cena from behind and dropped him with the Skullcrushing Finale. Miz with the cover and it was good for the win. Raw gets the final pick tonight.

WINNERS: Team Miz at 11:20.

Draft Pick #8: John Cena back to Raw.

Post-match: Cena went nuts on the Raw heels, including a stunned Miz. Miz was left alone in the ring as Cena threw away his Smackdown t-shirt. Cena then dropped the Five Knuckle Shuffle on Miz, who walked into an attempted AA. Miz blocked, then Cena dumped Miz over the top rope onto Del Rio, Ricardo, Punk, and Riley. Cena then took a Raw t-shirt and posed in the ring. Cena did his aww shucks look toward the camera before standing tall in the ring. The announcers plugged the Draft picks on the show tonight and wondered about Mark Henry. Cole plugged Extreme Rules on Sunday as Mathews offered a last-ditch PPV sales pitch. Cena posed in the ring one more time as Lawler finished off the sales pitch vowing to give Cole the whipping his daddy should have given him.

Raw plug: The Rock on Raw next week for his birthday party celebration from Miami. Raw signed off nine minutes past the top of the hour.

FINAL THOUGHTS: The whole idea of "brand loyalty" needs to be done away with since it has nothing to do with WWE storylines 50 weeks out of the year. The only time WWE artificially focuses on it is during Draft Week and the one week they hype the Bragging Rights PPV. As for the Draft Picks, Cena expectedly stayed on Raw, Orton expectedly moved to Smackdown, and WWE traded two big men - Henry and Big Show - and two masked high-flyers - Rey and Sin Cara. So, it ultimately was a whole lot to do about nothing. The key is follow-up and whether WWE re-focuses on creating good, compelling TV storylines trying to make some stars and get people to spend money on the product. The Extreme Rules PPV incorporated nicely into the Draft process, but they probably aren't going to sell any more PPVs than they already would have before Raw.

***

Keller Report: Follow PWTorch editor Wade Keller's real-time coverage of Raw at WadeKeller.com.

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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