4/25 Powell's WWE Raw Live Coverage: 2011 WWE Draft, battle royal, final hype for the WWE Extreme Rules pay-per-view
By Jason Powell
WWE Raw on the USA Network
Live from Raleigh, N.C.
[Q1] The show opened with the battle royal already in progress. Michael Cole, Josh Mathews, and Jerry Lawler were on commentary. No one had been eliminated. Cole stressed that there were ten men from each brand...
1. Big Show and Kofi Kingston won a 20-man battle royal to earn the first pick in the draft for Smackdown. Kane was the first man out and then it took some time before the next elimination. The Great Khali was the next man eliminated. Vladimir Kozlov was dumped, as was Heath Slater. Chris Masters appeared to slip and eliminate himself, but it was hard to say. Wade Barrett was next as the rapid fire eliminations continued.
Ted DiBiase was out. Mark Henry eliminated Brodus Clay and himself in the process. Drew McIntyre eliminated Sheamus. The show went to break with McIntyre, Big Show, Mason Ryan, Cody Rhodes, Santino Marella, Evan Bourne, Kofi Kingston, and Daniel Bryan remaining in the ring. [C]
Bourne eliminated McIntyre, so Smackdown had a four to three advantage. Santino went for The Cobra, but Big Show eliminated him. Ryan eliminated Rhodes, so it came down to Show and Kofi on the Smackdown side vs. Ryan and Bourne on the Raw side. In the end, Big Show and Kofi Kingston got the win for their team...
Powell's POV: Whatever happened to The Nexus being out to destroy WWE or whatever the hell their deal was? Now they're fighting to help Raw get draft picks? What a difference a year makes.
The first pick in the draft featured John Cena being drafted to Smackdown.
The Smackdown wrestlers were celebrating in the back and the Raw wrestlers looked shocked. Cena made his entrance onto the stage. He put a blue Smackdown shirt on and played to the crowd. Cole said Cena has been an institution on Monday night for six years. "What a shocker!" Cole yelled...
Powell's POV: The battle royal was pretty lame even though it was fun to see them open the show with the match in progress. The early eliminations with some big men being eliminated were solid, but you just had to know Big Show would be among the winners. It was nice to see Kofi stick around, but the finish was more about Show. The big surprise of Cena being drafted to Smackdown was huge, but we'll see if it sticks. At the very least, it's a big hook for the remainder of the show.
[Q2] [C] Backstage, Todd Grisham interviewed John Cena, who said the Syfy Network is partying like it's 1999. He threw out a bunch of sci-fi lines in rapid fire order. He said the biggest change will occur on Sunday when he leaves Extreme Rules as the WWE Championship.
"John Cena will bring the WWE Championship back to the smack," Cena said. The Miz walked onto the set and that the best part is that after he beats Cena at Extreme Rules, Cena will be right. "I can't see you," The Miz said with a laugh...
Mathews and Lawler spoke at ringside about the Cena shocker, but they were interrupted by Michael Cole, who was inside his Cole Mine. He hyped his own match against Jim Ross. Mathews and Lawler set up a video package that recapped the John Morrison and R-Truth drama from last week. The video included footage of Truth smoking and blowing smoke at Morrison...
Powell's POV: Damn, who gave Cena the Red Bull? He delivered those comments in warp speed. I guess WWE is blowing off the complaints about the cigarette smoking.
R-Truth was introduced by Justin Roberts. Truth stood on the stage and started to address what happened with Morrison. The crowd gave Truth the lame ass "What?" treatment. He made the mistake of acknowledging it, which only made the "What?" chants louder. "Ya' all pissing me the hell off," Truth said.
He used the pissed off line again and blamed the fans for encouraging him to put his WWE Championship match on the line last week. He said he sings and dances for the fans every week. He said a lot of the fans need to get some rhythm. Funny. He mocked a young fan singing his "What's Up?" song. He said the kid could wipe his nose and shut up.
[Q3] Truth said he is officially giving the fans the boot. "Don't boo me," Truth said. "You should be booing yourselves." He said he feels marvelous and for the first time in his life the truth has set him free. John Morrison ran out and attacked Truth from behind. A couple of referees ran out and pulled Morrison off.
"People aren't allowed to speak their mind?" Cole asked. Morrison broke free and attacked Truth again. Rinse and repeat with the refs pulling Morrison off only to have him break free again... [C] An ad aired for The Rock's birthday party taking place on Raw next week...
Powell's POV: The censors tried to cut the piss part twice, but they were too late. Lighten up, Francis. Yeah, I know, it's a PG show. So piss isn't PG, but cigarette smoking is. I assume Truth is getting an earful right now. The good thing is that he scored some really good heat in between the "What?" crap.
The latest Awesome Kong video aired with her popping the head off another wannabe Barbie Doll. She laughed and then the camera showed her face. The word "HARM" appeared on the screen, and then the extra letters spelled "KHARMA," which is her new name. The announcers said things would change when Kharma arrives on the scene...
Powell's POV: Awesome introductory vignettes and I love the "harm" turning into "Kharma." Cool stuff.
2. Eve beat Layla (w/Michelle McCool) in 0:35. Footage aired of the LayCool issues from Smackdown. Cole stood up and cut a promo as Eve was rolling up Layla, who had been talking with McCool, for the win. Cole cut a promo about his match with Ross and then headed backstage.
Lawler said Raw won a draft pick because of Layla's win. Layla and McCool fought at ringside after the match. The crowd actually showed some interest as Layla rammed McCool's head into the guardrail twice and then slammed it into the ring apron. Layla, who acted like she was crying, threw McCool over the announcers' table...
The second pick in the draft resulted in Rey Mysterio being drafted to WWE Raw. Mysterio came out and played to the crowd. The Raw wrestlers cheered while the Smackdown wrestlers looked frustrated.
Powell's POV: I'm guessing this is the prelude to Sin Cara being drafted to Smackdown where they can use the pre-taped aspect of the show to clean up any blown spots. Mysterio struggled during his last run on Monday night, as creative didn't come up with much for him. Here's hoping things go better this time around. Fun show so far. Regardless of whether it sticks, the Cena move is definitely an attention grabber.
A shot aired of Jim Ross warming up backstage. He was wearing a Sooners No. 7 jersey...
[Q4] [C] Backstage, Grisham interviewed Cody Rhodes, who said he's going to give Mysterio a new mask - the type that an anesthesiologist puts on a person's face before surgery...
3. Kofi Kingston defeated Sheamus to earn a draft pick for his brand in 2:25. Both wrestlers worked the match in their respective brand t-shirts. Kingston scored the clean pin following Trouble in Paradise. The wrestlers were shown reacting to the finish backstage...
The third pick in the draft was Randy Orton to WWE Smackdown. Lawler acted shocked. Orton came out with a little more than a five o'clock shadow (new look in the making?), smiled, and put on a Smackdown t-shirt.
Powell's POV: Wow, I really expected that pick to result in Sheamus being drafted to Smackdown to begin a feud with Kingston. There's just no way the Cena and Orton picks both stick. Again, though, it's making for some good television.
Michael Cole made his entrance to Jack Swagger's entrance music...
[Q5] Booker T joined Lawler and Mathews on commentary... Highlights aired of the Cole and Jim Ross angle from last week...
4. Jim Ross (w/Jerry Lawler) defeated Michael Cole (w/Jack Swagger) in 4:45. Booker and Mathews handled the match call while Lawler went to Ross's corner. Cole mocked Ross by slapping his belly in Kamala style. Cole danced around and mocked Ross, then headed to ringside and put Ross's hat on his head. Cole did a one-armed pushup in the corner.
Ross finally grabbed Cole and shoved him down after roughly three minutes of stalling. "He's an animal," Cole said. Swagger brought a stool inside the ring and wiped Cole down in the corner with a towel. Cole tried to slam Ross, but Ross fell onto him. Ross threw a few punches at Cole, who fled to ringside with a bloody mouth.
Lawler threw Cole back inside the ring. Swagger attacked Lawler from behind and rammed him into the ring post. Swagger entered the ring and attacked Ross for the DQ. Cole's mouth was bleeding. He pointed to it and yelled, "Look what you did to me." Cole took off Ross's belt and whipped him with it until Lawler recovered and made the save.
Lawler cleared Swagger from the ring. The crowd came to life when Lawler held up the belt and looked at Cole. He got a couple of lashes in before Cole escaped the ring and headed backstage. The anonymous general manager chime sounded. Mathews stood up and announced for the GM that the Ross and Lawler vs. Cole and Swagger match will now be a Country Whipping match at the pay-per-view...
Powell's POV: Ross had some blood on his cheek, but it was hard to tell whether it was a cut or if it came from Cole's mouth. Ross has been roughed up by Triple H and both Cole and Swagger in the past, so I don't think anyone can bitch at him about hitting Cole with a stiff shot. Why can't WWE just call it a damn strap match?
Backstage, Scott Stanford interviewed The Miz and Alex Riley. Miz spoke about The Rock's birthday party next week, and then said USA Network executives should be praying that he's not drafted to Smackdown. Miz said that if he is drafted, Raw will be cancelled within one month...
[Q6] 5. Randy Orton defeated Dolph Ziggler (w/Vickie Guerrero) in 3:25. Orton hit an Angle Slam at one point and then finished the match with an RKO. After the match, the draft lottery graphic started its procession, but C.M. Punk came out and interrupted it so that he could cut a promo on Orton.
Punk hyped his Extreme Rules match with Orton, who said Punk will be unconscious at the end of the match while vowing to be the Last Man Standing. The draft graphic started up again. Lawler said we'd find out who the fourth pick is after the break... [C]
Powell's POV: Dolph's new look must have confused creative into thinking he was Ted DiBiase given how quickly and decisively he lost the match. I wonder if Kurt Angle will claim that Randy Orton's beard is also gimmick infringement given that Kurt had one a while back. I like they way they're trying to working pay-per-view hype. It's not easy with the draft taking place, but it's not like the pay-per-view has been completely lost in the shuffle.
The fourth pick in the WWE Draft was Mark Henry to Smackdown.
The fifth pick in the WWE Draft was Sin Cara to Smackdown.
Powell's POV: Mark Henry and Michael Hayes are reunited and it feels so good. Those picks were treated like afterthoughts, which doesn't bode well for either wrestler. That said, Sin Cara going to Smackdown is logical given that he's had some blown spots on live television. I like the way they're keeping him and Mysterio apart, presumably to set up an eventual showdown match.
[Q7] 6. Rey Mysterio defeated Wade Barrett for two draft picks. Lawler was back on commentary with Mathews and Booker. Mysterio ended up scoring a clean pin on Barrett to earn two picks for his new brand...
The sixth pick in the WWE Draft was Big Show to Raw.
The seventh pick in the WWE Draft was Alberto Del Rio to Raw.
Big Show came out and put on a Raw shirt. Del Rio didn't come out. Rather, he was shown talking with Ricardo Rodriguez in Spanish backstage. Brodus Clay asked what was up with him. Del Rio laughed and blew him off before resuming his conversation with Ricardo... An ad aired for The Rock's birthday party...
Powell's POV: Barrett wearing the Smackdown shirt is just wrong given his Nexus past and current status with The Corre. It's even more odd to see him lose so quickly. What happened to this guy's career? Del Rio moving to Raw was expected, but that's before Cena and Orton were both moved to Smackdown. Again, though, I just don't think both of those picks will stick. Here's hoping Brodus gets a nice push now that he apparently won't be doing all of the setup work for Del Rio.
The announcers thanked Rev Theory for "Justice" being the Extreme Rules theme song... Cole was back in the Cole Mine, meaning there were four freaking announcers at ringside. They all ran through the Extreme Rules pay-per-view lineup...
Teddy Long walked onto the stage as his music played. He didn't receive much of a reaction. He announced that the main event would be Raw wrestlers C.M Punk, Alberto Del Rio, and The Miz vs. Smackdown wrestlers Christian, Mark Henry, and John Cena. The winning team would earn the final draft pick for their brand... The Miz made his entrance...
Powell's POV: They usually have something big planned for the final pick. There aren't many big names remaining who haven't been moved already, so it could be Undertaker going to Raw. It would piss people off, but I'd get a kick out of them going the Mr. Irrelevant route by going with one of the heroes of WWE Superstars.
[Q8] [C] The announcers hyped that the WWE Draft will continue on Tuesday at noon ET via the WWE website...
Powell's POV: They're not calling it the "supplemental draft" this time around. I guess they realized that the fans have figured out that "supplemental" is a replacement word for "undercard wrestler" (and that's being nice) in the WWE dictionary. Wait, the word wrestler isn't in the WWE dictionary. Oh hell, you know what I mean.
7. The Miz, Alberto Del Rio, and C.M. Punk defeated John Cena, Christian, and Mark Henry in a six-man tag match in 11:30 to earn the final draft pick. The babyface team represented Smackdown, while the heels represented Raw. They cut to a break early in the match. [C] The heels worked over Christian after the break and leading into the overrun.
[Overrun] Christian fought back. John Cena eventually checked in and roughed up The Miz. Cena was going for his signature offense when Mark Henry clotheslined him out of nowhere. Henry left the ring, pressed Christian over his head, and dropped him on the ring steps. Back inside the ring, The Miz pinned Cena to win the match for his team and to earn a pick for Raw...
The eighth pick in the draft resulted in John Cena being drafted to WWE Raw.
Cena attacked the heels and whipped off the Smackdown shirt. He hoisted Miz up and threw him onto Del Rio, Punk, and Ricardo at ringside. Cena put a Raw t-shirt on and played to the crowd to close the show...
Powell's POV: Wow, that's the best they could come up with to explain Cena sticking with the Raw brand? Weak. Again, I like the excitement the Cena move created early in the show, I just thought they would come up with something more creative to explain him remaining on Raw. This wasn't a wise decision, as now viewers will just assume that drafted big names will be redrafted by the end of the show during future drafts. Overall, though, the show was entertaining, and the shakeup gives viewers something to talk about going forward.
Dot Net Members will be listening to my exclusive audio review of the WWE Draft later tonight. You can join us on the ad-free version of the website and access all the perks of membership by signing up now via the Dot Net Members' Signup Page.
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