By: Todd Martin
Date: 05/09/11 from Knoxville, TN.
The Big News: John Cena and Miz will wrestle in an I quit match for the WWE title at the upcoming Over the Limit pay-per-view.
Alberto Del Rio came out to start the show. He said that last week rather than wasting all that time on the Rock they should have celebrated the Raw arrival of Alberto Del Rio. He said he should face John Cena for the WWE title. Rey Mysterio came out and challenged Del Rio to a number one contender match. That brought out the Miz and Alex Riley. I’m baffled why they drafted Riley to Smackdown. The only purpose it seems to serve is to point out the silliness of the concept of the draft and brand separation.
Miz asserted that Raw is his show and he would still be champion were it not for the incompetence of Riley. Del Rio told Miz that he had his chance and now he needs to go to the back of the line. Miz replied that he pinned Cena, had no prior knowledge of what Riley would do, and instinctively used the belt on Cena before Cena used it on him. Miz said he should face Cena for the title.
R. Truth was the final man out. He said that he sent John Morrison to the hospital and surgery, and that he would have no problem sending any of the others to the hospital with Morrison. Truth said he’s not waiting for opportunities any longer and if you kick his dog, he’ll kick your cat. Let that be a lesson to you, Alvarez.
The GM announced a triple threat match for the title shot with Miz vs. Del Rio vs. Mysterio. An angry Truth got in Mysterio’s face and then left. Miz called Mysterio and Del Rio day laborers and was going to say he’s the next title challenger when Ricardo Rodriguez interrupted by saying “Alberto Del Rio.”
Alex Riley smacked Del Rio. Rodriguez then gave Riley a dropkick. A brawl broke out with Mysterio coming out on top. I really liked that they didn’t just give everyone who wanted a shot the opportunity like usual. It makes sense Truth is currently less deserving and they can play that into the storyline with Truth going forward, so that whole thing was well executed. This was a fun opening.
Kelly Kelly and Eve Torres beat Nikki and Brie Bella. The Bellas worked over Kelly. Kelly then made her own comeback and won with a small package. The Bellas looked terrible on offense but Kelly was fine when she was on offense. After the match, Kharma came out. The Bellas ran away. Kelly then bailed herself, which was kind of weird for a face. Eve attacked Kharma but was laid out with a clothesline. Kharma went after Kelly but Kelly ran away, so Kharma got back in the ring and gave Eve the implant buster.
Kane beat Mason Ryan via DQ. This was, of course, really bad. CM Punk interfered so Big Show knocked him out with a punch. Michael McGillicutty and David Otunga then ran in for the DQ. Show and Kane took them out this week and gave Ryan a double choke slam. If we’re going to do programs where guys just run in place, couldn’t we at least do it with entertaining matches?
Dolph Ziggler beat Santino Marella. Ziggler hit some punches and kicks. Santino went for the cobra but was caught with a dropkick to the face and the zig zag for the pin. Backstage, R. Truth said that fans didn’t take him seriously because of the rapping and dancing but he will change that. Elsewhere, John Cena and Zack Ryder did fist pumps together for about five seconds. The Ryder Revolution has begun!
John Cena beat Alex Riley. This started with Alex Riley telling Miz backstage that last week wasn’t his fault. Miz called Riley stupid for raising his hand that had the title. Riley said he would make it up to Miz and went out to the ring and challenged Cena to a match. He got a little offense with a clothesline and chinlock before Cena took over. Cena hit the Cena slam, five knuckle, 2 FUs and applied the STF in front of Miz (who had come to ringside) for the submission.
Michael Cole got into the ring and said that he has accomplished everything he can so he is retiring from in ring competition undefeated. Cole said that when he goes into the WWE Hall of Fame he wants to go in as a dual wrestler/commentator. Jerry Lawler entered the ring and told Cole that if Cole can beat him in another match Lawler will personally induct Cole into the Hall of Fame and give Cole Lawler’s Hall of Fame ring.
Cole responded by running down Lawler, bringing up Mother’s Day and then sarcastically acted like he forgot Lawler’s mother passed away. This was such a low class, trashy way to heat up an angle that’s already dead anyway. Lawler went after Cole until Jack Swagger jumped Lawler from behind.
Kofi Kingston beat Jack Swagger. Swagger worked over Kingston’s leg and ankle for most of the match. He applied the ankle lock at one point in the ropes. Then, Lawler came back out to distract Swagger and Kingston hit trouble in paradise for the win. I despise those distraction finishes, but to WWE’s credit they haven’t been using them as much of late.
After the match, Lawler threw Swagger over the barricade and yanked Michael Cole’s tie through one of the holes in the Cole Mine. He used the tie to smash Cole’s face against the glass. Swagger grabbed a microphone and said Lawler would be fired for touching Cole. Lawler said that he didn’t touch Cole and only touched his tie. Swagger then accepted the match with Lawler on behalf of Cole. Cole was not happy about that.
Miz beat Alberto Del Rio and Rey Mysterio to earn the title shot. This was a very fast paced and exciting match. They mostly repeated the typical pattern of two guys working in the ring and then the third guy would come in when one of the other two gained an advantage. Mysterio hit a huracanrana off the top on Miz. Del Rio used an armbreaker on Mysterio and then applied the armbar. Mysterio just sat in the extended armbar forever, which looked idiotic. Miz eventually ran in to break it up but was rolled up by Del Rio for two. Miz then gave Del Rio a DDT for two.
Miz went for the skull crushing finale on Mysterio, but Mysterio escaped. Alex Riley came out to encourage Miz to get up. Mysterio sent Del Rio into Riley and hit the 619 on Del Rio. He kicked Miz out of the way and hit the top rope splash on Del Rio. Riley then pulled Del Rio out of the ring to break up the pin literally right in front of referee Mike Chioda with the referee starring right at him.
I assume this was some sort of screw-up, because it looked beyond ridiculous that the same referee who last week called for a disqualification based on a deduction about the location of a belt the very next week did absolutely nothing about overt interference right in front of him breaking up a pin.
Cena then came out and said his match with Miz at the pay-per-view would be an I quit match. Wasn’t last month’s pay-per-view filled with random stipulations up and down the card? Truth came out and attacked Mysterio to close the show.
This was another mixed bag Raw. It feels like most of this year there’s enough good and enough bad on any Raw to neither praise it too highly nor condemn it too harshly.