The WWE Raw Deal for 01/31/11 (Raw Rumble)
By John Canton
Follow me on Twitter @johnreport

Here’s my recap of the 2011 Royal Rumble in case you missed it. Live from Providence, Rhode Island this is the Raw Deal…

The show started with Royal Rumble winner Alberto Del Rio coming out in a $150,000 Mercedes that Cole said he just bought. They did a great job of dong an over-the-top, heel celebration. He came out with a Mariachi band and said tonight would be his night. He mentioned how he would announce his WrestleMania opponent. The Miz came out. He told a bunch of lies to get Del Rio to pick Edge because I guess Miz thinks if Del Rio doesn’t pick him he’ll get some easier opponent? Riley called Del Rio a second rate JBL-Tito Santana rip-off. And what’s Riley? Chris Nowinski? Miz made up a story, Del Rio asked him if he was lying and he said he would never lie, which drew boos.

Edge came out. He said he didn’t like Miz and would never talk behind somebody’s back. He went to Del Rio’s face to tell him he would beat him at WrestleMania if he chooses him. He rolled his R’s in his speech to mock Del Rio. Alberto said it’s his destiny to be champion (just like it was to win the Rumble) and he selected Edge as his WrestleMania opponent…if Edge is still champ at WrestleMania. Edge hit him in the face, and then Del Rio jumped him from behind, hit him with a guitar shot over the shoulder and applied the Cross Armbreaker to lay Edge out.

I thought it was a good segment. It did a good job of playing up Del Rio’s victory and he has a lot of credibility because he was saying how he was going to win. The champs did okay too. It’s good to see Del Rio’s been elevated so much. Love that guy. Doesn’t mean I wear a scarf in the winter. I rock the toque, though. And I look dashing doing it.

Back from a break the GM buzzed to announce a couple of matches. Later in the show we’d get a 7 man Raw Rumble with Cena, Orton, Punk, Morrison, R-Truth, Sheamus and Jerry Lawler. The winner of that match gets to face Miz at Elimination Chamber. The losers of that match get to wrestle in the Elimination Chamber with the winner of that getting the WrestleMania match. As soon as the announcement happened I thought either Lawler or Morrison was winning. And you know Cena’s winning the EC match.

WWE Tag Titles: Santino & Kozlov d. Harris & McGillicutty (*1/4)
I thought they’d do the title switch since the Nexus guys destroyed them last week. They worked over Santino for much of it, he got the hot tag to Kozlov, he cleaned house, Santino came back in with The Cobra and got the win on Harris. They got about 8 minutes, which was 3 or 4 more minutes longer than I was expecting.

Post match, Randy Orton came out and hit RKO’s on Harris and McGillicutty to HUGE pops. The crowd was going nuts. That’s how you do it because it’s such a great move when it’s spur of moment like that. CM Punk and Nexus cost Orton the match at the Rumble, so this was his revenge. Harris was crouched down in the corner as Orton thought about the punt. CM Punk came out with Otunga and Ryan. They stood on the stage as Punk tried to reason with Orton. He didn’t get closer because he’s a chickenshit heel I guess. He told Orton not to do it, but Randy smiled and did it anyway. I really liked how Orton took his time to do it. His facial expressions were great. They really milked it well. It was a nice punting. Punk, Ryan and Otunga ran down to the ring, so Orton bailed through the crowd. A very well done segment. I’m fine with Punk versus Orton because I think Punk’s a better opponent for Randy than anybody else on the roster. I think we can pencil that in as a WrestleMania match.

It should be noted on wwe.com they have a post about Husky Harris being out indefinitely. I’m guessing that means they want him to lose some weight and this is their way of writing him out of storylines for a few months. Maybe they bring Skip Sheffield back into the group soon or they roll with four guys.

Ted Dibiase came out with Maryse to say he wanted Lawler’s spot in the Raw Rumble. Cole interrupted and it seemed like he would praise Lawler, but he called him a show stealer. Lawler said he’s not giving up his spot. Ted egged him on, Lawler went after him and he was about to hit him. Instead, Ted put Maryse in front of him. She was pissed off, so she slapped him. She walked away. Is that the end of that unproductive duo? Lawler decked Ted with a punch to end the segment. It was good, but I’d rather see them invest time in wrestlers that aren’t in their 60s.

The 2.21.11 video aired. Here it is in case you missed it:

I’m already getting bombarded asking if I know what it is. I have no idea. The date is in 3 weeks, the night after the Elimination Chamber. I think it’s either Undertaker coming back, Awesome Kong or Sting. I’d imagine that if it’s Sting they want to keep it really quiet. It would be a good time to debut him on the road to WrestleMania. It also makes sense for Undertaker because it’ll allow them to hype his return for WrestleMania. I really don’t know as I write this. I’ve heard and read all the rumors, but until it’s concrete they should be considered rumors. Let’s throw up a poll.

I’ll post the poll results in a week. Maybe we’ll know who it is by then. It’s the internet. WE MUST KNOW EVERYTHING. (Shout out to my boy JCITY because I typed in all caps right there.)

Daniel Bryan d. Tyson Kidd (*)
A match I wanted to see and all they get is 2 minutes. That’s brutal especially considering some of the crap that was on this show. Post match, the Bellas fought with Gail because I guess that’s more important than booking the US Champion in an actual feud. Are The Bellas the one that bring in Awesome Kong to get Gail? Could happen. Ugh, I can’t believe they are ruining Bryan by involving him in a feud with the freaking Bella Twins. Let him wrestle! Geez! Not hard.

Edge vs. The Miz (**)
We get this match for the second straight week and they get about 9 minutes this time. We don’t even see their entrances, but we did see them in the show open. I guess that’s fine. Just like the week before it did not have the special feel that a champion vs. champion match should have. As expected the finish wasn’t clean. The whole flow of the match stopped as John Cena’s voice was heard over the arena and he was in a private box distracting Miz. He starts a “Miz is Awful” chant with the crowd. Miz turned around to face him. Then he turned back to Edge, gave him a spear and that was it. The announcers were painful during this match, by the way. It’s not like a good Gorilla Monsoon-Bobby Heenan bickering. It’s bad for the product. Now that Miz is feuding with Cena does this mean Cole can hate Cena? That might make him popular with some people! I don’t know how I feel about that.

If it wasn’t for Jack Swagger’s terrible run last year I’d say Miz was one of the worst booked champions in the last five years, which means since Rey Mysterio’s terribly booked run. Why do they think it’s wise to book your champion like such an idiot? He could have lost the match in other ones. Instead you have Cena laughing at him like an idiot. The fans aren’t going to pay money to watch an idiot lose. They would pay to see a champ that looks strong and faces a strong challenger. The “he can lose anytime” thing doesn’t work as well. Miz went over Morrison clean. That’s it. One clean win. Lame.

By the way, shouldn’t Cena have been more mad with one his I AM VERY ANGRY THAT YOU COST ME THE ROYAL RUMBLE MATCH promos towards The Miz? I guess the “Miz is Awful” chant and jovial behavior was his way of revenge? What a tough guy.

They plugged Tough Enough with Steve Austin. I approve. And I care more about it than I did before, so that’s nice. I bet they are paying him big money because USA Network really pushed for Tough Enough.

You can read my Royal Rumble recaps of every Rumble match in WWE history. That was a long process, but it was a lot of fun during the month of January. Check them out if you want some quality reading. In the month of January I wrote about 4 Raws, a TNA PPV, the Rumble preview, the Rumble recap and 23 Rumbles. That’s 31 times in 31 days. Granted 3 of the Rumbles were ones I did live and I just pasted in, but there is some new content to them! And I worked 35-40 hours a week. I maintained a decent social life too considering the ridiculously cold weather. I wish I slept more, though! In February I’ll cut back compared to that. For my sanity. Thanks for all the support through January. It was by far the most successful month in the history of thejohnreport.net. Great way to start the year.

Vickie Guerrero came out to plug a big match for Smackdown this week. Well, it’s nice that they actually plugged Smackdown for once. That’s rare.

Layla & Michelle d. Eve & Natalya (1/2*)
Very bland match, just like Eve. I don’t understand why she’s the champ unless they are setting her up to lose to Awesome Kong, who could then feud with Natalya or Beth. Eve’s not that good, at least to me. Layla pinned her with a Diamond Dust type move that they called the Facelift. Crowd did not care. Neither do I.

Khali and Mark Henry came out to have a dance-off with the Usos because the GM buzzed in to say that we all know who would win. This was fucking awful. One of the worst segments I’ve ever seen. What a waste of fucking time. You can’t give more time to Bryan-Kidd, but you can waste five minutes of my life with this shit that wasn’t even funny? Brutal.

They showed the 2.21.11 video again. It’s for the Raw after Elimination Chamber. Again, I assume it’s Undertaker returning, but for all we know it could be Sting too. Wait and see.

They didn’t even mention the video as they went to Cole & Mathews. They played the trailer of Triple H’s movie The Chaperone. He filmed this last year while he was out “injured” by Sheamus, which he still is I guess. His return can be any day now. I’d guess it comes at the Elimination Chamber PPV. I thought it would be at the Rumble, though. Anyway, the movie looks terrible. Really bad. I didn’t even laugh at any of the jokes. Meanwhile, they cut back to the announcers and Michael Cole LOVED it. Of course he did. And you wonder why he’s the voice of WWE? Right there, folks.

Jerry Lawler won the Raw Rumble (***1/4)
It’s the same rules as the Royal Rumble with somebody coming out every 90 seconds. I really enjoyed the match. It was a good idea. Morrison was #1 with Sheamus at #2. Morrison was a star in the Rumble match and I’m hoping it leads to a bigger push with him. They are finally realizing that you have to push his athleticism, not his promos. I guess it’ll take them five years to realize Daniel Bryan should be pushed for his in-ring talent. Cena was #3 with CM Punk at #4. It already seems like that feud is over and it barely went a month. That’s a shame. The #5 spot was R-Truth, who really didn’t belong. I wish Bryan was in this spot and that he was in the EC match to carry it. It was funny when Morrison and Truth were doing the double skin the cat, but Truth couldn’t do it right. He ended up going through the middle rope. Oops! It’s not like it’s an easy thing to do. It’s just weird to see somebody mess it up. Lawler was #6. Orton was in last at #7 and ran after Punk, who bailed under the ring. He quickly eliminated CM Punk and then R-Truth of all people eliminated Orton. Randy was pissed at him, but seemed happy with getting rid of Punk.

Back from a commercial, five guys were left. Truth and Morrison were the next to go. That disappointed me because I thought Morrison should have last until the very end. Sheamus was trying to get Cena out, Lawler came running in and accidentally dumped Cena out. Everybody was shocked. Cena didn’t seem to care because he, like everybody else, knows he’s winning Elimination Chamber anyway. He can’t sell moves or frustration, apparently. Sheamus went for his kick, Lawler moved about as quickly as a 61 year old part time wrestler can move and Sheamus eliminated himself. Lawler wins.

This means they are doing Lawler challenging Miz at the PPV. I’d rather see Morrison vs. Miz one more time than Miz vs. Lawler one more time. I sure hope Miz goes over Lawler clean because if he has to cheat to beat the announcer then it’s only going to hurt Miz vs. Cena at WrestleMania. Sadly, I think Michael Cole is going to interfere again. That’s going to be a damn shame. Book your champ stronger!

Three Stars of the Show
1. Edge
2. John Morrison
3. Randy Orton

Sometimes people get on me about the three stars. Honestly I don’t see it as a big deal. I’m pretty random about them. Nobody really stood out to me this week, but I thought I’d honor those three for being excellent in the roles they were given on the show.

6.5 out of 10
Last week: 5
2011 High Score: 9 (Jan. 3)
2011 Low Score: 4 (Jan. 10)
2011 Average: 6.2

I thought the wrestling was mostly strong and they did a good job planting seeds for top WrestleMania matches like Cena-Miz, Punk-Orton, Edge-Del Rio and what, Lawler-Cole? I am cringing at that thought already.

Let’s summarize the recent history of Randy Orton. He lost to Miz at the Rumble. Then he lost in the Rumble to get a shot at the title. Then he lost in the Raw Rumble to get another shot at the title. But don’t worry because he gets ANOTHER shot in the Elimination Chamber. The same goes for Cena, who lost in the Rumble and the Raw Rumble and will likely win the Elimination Chamber. The message, kids? Losing is okay because you always get another shot if you’re a babyface in today’s WWE where Orton & Cena never have to put anybody over.

Last thing. Whoever thought that the dance off was a good use of TV time should be fired. That is all.

Thanks for reading.

John Canton – john@thejohnreport.net
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