WWE Raw Report
By: Todd Martin
Date: 10/17/11 from Mexico City, Mexico.
The Big News: Jim Ross returned to Raw, albeit in a non-commentating capacity.
The show started with John Laurinaitis. Laurinaitis is a bad speaker and many in the audience not understanding what he said didn’t help matters. He said that the show would mark the return of Rey Mysterio, and then paused and said he meant to San Diego to see his doctor. That didn’t get much heat because of the language issue and the crowd just started loudly chanting rather than listening to Laurinaitis.
Laurinaitis said it was a mistake to let go of Jim Ross and brought Ross out. Ross returned to the announce table but Laurinaitis instead directed him into the ring. Laurinaitis hugged Ross and said he owed Ross an apology. He then said Ross wasn’t back to commentate but rather to team with John Cena in a tag team match against Alberto Del Rio and Michael Cole. Cole returned to super obnoxious mode frequently throughout the show. I just don’t get how anyone couldn’t have figured out how counterproductive that is by now.
Mark Henry, Christian and Cody Rhodes defeated Randy Orton, Sheamus and John Morrison. Orton went after Rhodes a lot early and ended up chasing him to the back. That left just a tag match. The two remaining heels worked over Morrison. Morrison finally was about to get the tag when Christian pulled Sheamus off the apron. Sheamus and Christian brawled into the crowd, leaving only Henry and Morrison. Of course, Henry gave Morrison the world’s strongest slam moments later for the pin. Hopefully they keep pushing Henry strong. It helps make the title feel more important.
John Laurinaitis was on the phone backstage when the Bellas came in to remind Laurinaitis that they exist. They kissed him and left. Then Alberto Del Rio came in and was annoyed with the main event tag match. Laurinaitis said the winner of the match would get to pick the stipulation for the Del Rio-Cena match Sunday. I totally didn’t realize Vengeance was Sunday. I don’t foresee monster business.
Eve Torres beat Natalya with a moonsault. Kelly Kelly and Beth Phoenix were in the corners.
CM Punk beat Miz. Miz before the match said he and Truth did what Punk couldn’t, removing HHH from Raw. Truth and HHH were in the corners initially. Miz worked over Punk. Jerry Lawler quoted a Taylor Swift song and Michael Cole responded that she is in Lawler’s age bracket. Well, her fans, anyway. Truth hit Punk with a bottle of water on the outside and HHH went after Truth. At that point Laurinaitis came out and said there was an immigration problem with HHH. HHH was escorted from ringside.
Punk made his comeback with a neck breaker, high knee and top rope elbow. Punk went for the GTS but Miz got out. Truth was up on the apron so Punk threw Miz into Truth and rolled up Miz for the pin. Miz and Truth jumped Punk after the match. They teased leaving but then came back and beat him up some more.
Zack Ryder beat Jack Swagger. Swagger, Vickie Guerrero and Dolph Ziggler all cut promos in the ring prior to the match. They basically just ran down Mexico. Ziggler told a joke about how Affliction shirts will never go back in style and Titus O’Neill will never get over. Swagger started to sing the Star Spangled Banner when Ryder interrupted. Ryder was not over at all, unfortunately. He won quickly with double knees and the Rough Rider. Afterwards, Swagger and Ziggler looked for the double team but Mason Ryan made the save.
Dolph Ziggler beat Mason Ryan via DQ. Vickie slapped Ryan and Ryan proceeded to go crazy on Ziggler. He was disqualified for beating up Ziggler too much in the corner.
Backstage, Jim Ross told John Cena he doesn’t need to be wrestling and didn’t want to screw things up for Cena. Cena said Ross is a Hall of Famer and the greatest voice WWE ever had, and that he has the right partner. Cena told Ross to stand in the corner and let Cena do his thing. Ross said he would like to get his hands on Cole and Cena said he’d do him that favor. Cena felt much more genuine and likeable in this segment without a bunch of added showmanship.
John Cena and Jim Ross beat Alberto Del Rio and Michael Cole. John Cena interestingly got what seemed to be a really positive reaction coming out, much more so than in the US of late. However, the crowd over time turned on him, chanted Mexico and by the end he was heavily booed. I almost wonder if this whole scenario was booked to try to get Jim Ross booed.
Cole wanted Ross at the start. Ross slapped hard so Cole tagged Del Rio. Ross tagged in Cena. Del Rio worked over Cena for a while and then missed a senton off the ropes. Cena made his comebacks with shoulderblocks, the Cena slam and the five knuckle. Del Rio in desperation tagged Cole. Cena gave him the FU and was thinking STF but instead he tagged Ross back in. Ross applied the ankle lock and Cole tapped. Cena gave Del Rio the FU on the floor. He counted Del Rio out for a count of 10 and announced they would have a last man standing match.
This Raw was much better than last week’s show. I know, some standard. It’s hard to even judge if this was good or bad in general terms because last week lowered the bar so low. I will say it was weird to build a show in Mexico so heavily around promos in English and the English broadcast team.