By Jason Powell
WWE Raw on the USA Network
Live from San Antonio, Tex.
[Q1] Josh Mathews introduced the show on commentary and hyped WWE Over the Limit... John Cena made his entrance. He looked into the camera and said, "Welcome to The Alamo." Jerry Lawler checked in on commentary to tell viewers, "The Champ is here." Mathews hyped the "I Quit" match for Sunday's pay-per-view.
Cena paused to soak up the mixture of cheers and boos. As he was about to speak, Alex Riley interrupted him from the stage. Riley instructed Cena to watch the big screen. A video played and featured various shots of The Miz getting the better of Cena during their past encounters.
Riley introduced The Miz as "the most must see champion in WWE history." The Miz walked onto the stage as his entrance music played. Miz and Riley, both wearing suits, headed to the ring as Michael Cole stood and applauded them from inside The Cole Mine structure.
Once in the ring, Riley told the fans that they've underestimated The Miz from the very beginning. "Well, you people also said the Spurs (NBA team) were also going to make it out of the first round and we all know what happened with that," Riley said for some cheap heat. It worked, as a "You suck" chant broke out.
Cena ran through some thing that Miz would never say. "The Miz would never say, 'I'm The Miz and I have testicles,'" Cena said. "And that's a shame because you're going to need a set." Cena recalled stating that he respected The Miz. Cena said the reason he chose the "I Quit" rules is because when he looks into The Miz's eyes, he sees fear.
Cena looked Miz in the eyes and said he sees the fear now. He said Cena is wondering how badly he'll get hurt. Cena said Miz won't be saying he's The Miz and he's awesome after Sunday. "You'll be saying, 'I'm The Miz and I quit.'"
The anonymous general manager chime sounded. Michael Cole stood up and did his usual bit from inside the Cole Mine. The general manager ruled that since he allowed Cena to pick the match stipulation for the pay-per-view, Miz was allowed to name Cena's opponent and match stipulation for Raw. The only catch was that Miz and Riley couldn't be involved.
Miz said he didn't know the name of Cena's opponent or the stipulation yet. "But there's one thing for sure, it's going to be awesome," Miz said. Miz and Riley left the ring laughing over the general manager's ruling... [C]
Powell's POV: The video seemed to be the production crew's way of making The Miz look strong, but Cena didn't help the cause with his promo by talking about how he saw fear in the eyes of The Miz. WWE really needs to do something tonight to make it seem like Cena is vulnerable going into the match, as the low Smackdown ratings show that the company can't rely on the Randy Orton vs. Christian match to sell the pay-per-view to the masses.
[Q2] 1. C.M. Punk beat Kofi Kingston in a non-title match in 4:00. Punk came out with the rest of New Nexus. He told them to remain onstage during the match. Late in the match, Kofi charged toward Punk in the corner and leapt at him. Punk moved and Kofi took an awkward bump. Punk followed up with the GTS and scored the clean pin.
Afterward, Punk joined New Nexus on the stage. He sat down in front of them and said what the fans saw was leadership by example. "No more Mr. Nice Punk," Punk said. He said he's doing things his way from now on, and he won't stop until New Nexus is the most dominant force WWE has ever seen...
Powell's POV: It looks like they're building up the heel faction again. Let the speculation begin that Punk has re-signed. Maybe he has, but it's wise to keep him strong even if he is leaving so that it means something if he loses to Kofi or someone else on his way out the door. I wonder if Punk's win here will lead to a rematch at the pay-per-view on Sunday.
Cole hyped that he and Lawler will have a contract signing for their Over The Limit match... An ad hyped Sunday's pay-per-view and focussed on the Randy Orton vs. Christian match... [C]
Highlights aired of Kharma's attack on Eve during last week's Raw. Cole said one of the most frightening moments of his career was being eye-to-eye with Kharma during Friday's Smackdown...
[Q3] 2. Kelly Kelly beat Brie Bella (w/Nikki Bella) in a non-title match in 1:55. The announcers hyped that Money in the Bank pay-per-view tickets go on sale on Saturday. The crowd got into the match after Kelly slapped Brie on the ass and followed it up with some of her signature offense. Kelly awkwardly used her feet to roll over Brie into a pin for the win.
After the match, the Bellas attacked Kelly. Kharma's entrance theme stopped them in their tracks. With Kelly lying on the mat in the corner of the ring, Kharma headed to the ring. Lawler questioned whether Kharma grew over the last week. Kharma walked toward the fallen Kelly only to have one of the Bellas punch her from behind.
Kharma shoved the Bella down, and then caught the other Bella jumping off the top rope. Kharma hit the Implant Buster (still hasn't been given a WWE name) on Nikki as Brie headed to the back. Kharma walked over, grabbed Kelly by the face, and got her back to her feet. Kharma used her middle finger to flick Kelly on the forehead. She laughed and then left the ring...
A shot aired of Big Show talking with The Miz backstage. Cole said he couldn't imagine what Miz was offering to bribe Big Show into taking a match against John Cena... [C]
Powell's POV: The weekly Kharma beatdowns continue to be entertaining, and the ongoing bit with Kelly not taking a beating is interesting. It would be a lot of fun if WWE surprised us with a big name such as Batista returning to face Cena in the main event, but I'm not getting my hopes up.
A video for "That's What I Am" was shown...
Rey Mysterio made his entrance and highlights aired of R-Truth attacking him at the end of last week's Raw.
[Q5] Mysterio stood in the ring and cut a promo about R-Truth attacking him from behind. Mysterio said he's been passed over before and he knows how it feels, but he never lost it like that. He said he's not the type of person who blames his friends for his problems or that flips out when he doesn't get his way. Mysterio called out R-Truth and said he wanted to handle his business like a man... [C]
Powell's POV: There is breaking news on the main page, as WWE has scrapped another pay-per-view theme and replaced it with a new pay-per-view name.
Mysterio was waiting for R-Truth after the break. However, Alberto Del Rio's music played instead. Del Rio drove into the building in a car while Ricardo Rodriguez introduced him from the stage. Del Rio spoke about being a full blooded Mexican unlike the people of San Antonio, which scored some serious heat.
Del Rio entered the ring and said the United States begged him to come. Mysterio took offense to Del Rio talking smack about his people, and they set up a match...
3. Rey Mysterio beat Alberto Del Rio (w/Ricardo Rodriguez) by DQ in 9:25. Del Rio performed an armbreaker off the second rope and then dropkicked the fallen Rey a minute into the match as the show went to break. [C] Del Rio continued to control the offense after the break and as the show went into hour number two.
[Q5] Mysterio made his comeback. He avoided a running Del Rio, who jumped through the ropes and landed at ringside. R-Truth called out over the house mic. He was standing in a luxury box. Truth said people should call the cops because Mysterio is a thief who stole his spot.
Del Rio tried to attack Mysterio, who avoided it and scored a near fall. Rey had Del Rio set up for the 619, but Ricardo jumped up and took the 619 for Del Rio. The referee called for the DQ. Mysterio fought off Del Rio, but Truth eventually attacked Rey from behind in the ring.
Del Rio headed to the back while Truth roughed up Mysterio and yelled about him stealing his spot. Truth hit his finisher on Mysterio and the crowd booed. Truth got a mic from ringside. He knelt down next to Mysterio and spoke to him.
"What are you doing, Rey?" Truth asked. "Who do you think you are? Challenging me? No one challenges The Truth. I make the challenges, Rey." Truth said Mysterio "is going to get got" on Sunday at the pay-per-view. Truth punched Mysterio a few more times. He backed into the corner, but then jumped up and kicked Mysterio. Lawler pointed out that Truth isn't right in the head because he seemed to show remorse one second and then snap the next...
Powell's POV: It's not every day that you see a guy DQ'd because his sidekick willingly took a kick to the head. Truth was very good here. They definitely need to show him in regular clothing more often as he looks much better and more intimidating than he does in his usual ring gear.
A shot aired of The Miz talking with C.M. Punk and Mason Ryan... The announcers hyped Cena vs. the man chosen by Miz with stipulations selected by Miz, and the contract signing between Cole and Lawler. The King said he's seen some strange things happened during contract signings, so viewers should be prepared... [C]
[Q6] The contract signing set was set up in the ring. Michael Cole sat back in his chair with his feet on the table as Jack Swagger stood behind him. Cole had Lawler, who was standing on the opposite side of the table, state that he would give up his WWE Hall of Fame ring and eventually induct Cole into the WWE Hall of Fame if he lost the match.
After both men signed, Cole told Lawler that he didn't read the fine print. Cole announced that their pay-per-view match will be a "Kiss My Foot" match. Cole noted that Jim Ross had to kiss his foot, and also kissed Vince McMahon's ass. He aired footage of Lawler losing a "Kiss My Foot" match to Bret Hart.
Cole took off his shoe to show his ridiculously made up foot. Lawler said Cole is not Bret Hart. He said he's not even Jack Swagger. Cole got cocky and spoke about how "some people" said Swagger was only at WrestleMania 27 because of him. Swagger took offense. Cole didn't hold the mic properly, so Swagger's comments were hard to here, but it was implied that he wished Cole luck on Sunday and said he wouldn't be in his corner.
Cole begged Swagger to come back, but Swagger walked backstage. "Jerry, my pal," Cole said to Lawler. He said they've worked together for 14 years. Cole said he respects everything Lawler has done. "I'm not a wrestler, Jerry," Cole said. Lawler told him to shut up. He grabbed him by the tie and pulled him onto the table. Lawler said Cole has been sticking his foot in his mouth. Lawler said he's going to stick his foot in Cole's mouth and close it...
The Miz was shown talking with Big Show and Kane backstage. They walked off, and Miz appeared frustrated... The latest "Be A Star" anti-bullying video was shown...
Powell's POV: Whatever comedy value there was in Cole's ridiculously made up foot the first time was gone this time around. I really hope this is the end of the road for the Cole vs. Lawler feud. They've both done a good job, but it's just overstayed its welcome. I really wish there was a stipulation involved that would require Cole to give up his spot as a commentator on Raw, because I think the viewers could use a break from his heel antics.
Cole announced that Big Show and Kane will face C.M. Punk and Mason Ryan for the WWE Tag Titles on Sunday at the pay-per-view...
4. David Otunga and Michael McGillicutty (w/C.M. Punk, Mason Ryan) defeated Big Show and Kane in a non-title match in 4:50. Cole continued his attempt to weasel out of his match with Lawler by apologizing on commentary. The heels worked over Big Show.
[Q7] Big Show came back and made the tag to Kane, who performed his signature spots on McGillicutty. Kane was going for the chokeslam, but Punk stood on the ring apron and hit him with a kick to the back of the head while the ref was distracted. McGillicutty made the cover and got the pin...
Powell's POV: Punk pins the United States Champion and comes away with a WWE Tag Title match instead? I wonder if McGillicutty and Otunga will get a shot at Kofi Kingston and the United States Title in a Triple Threat match since they beat the tag champions. Okay, not really, but I am a bit confused by the logic.
Backstage, The Miz was shown speaking with R-Truth. The announcers reminded viewers that Cena will face an opponent of Miz's choosing in a match that will feature a stipulation of Miz's choosing... [C] The announcers hyped the WWE All Stars video game, and a shot aired of the River Walk in San Antonio...
At ringside, Lawler gloated about facing Cole in the Kiss My Foot match. Cole said he was sorry again. The announcers ran through the pay-per-view lineup and confirmed the R-Truth vs. Rey Mysterio match...
Backstage, Scott Stanford interviewed Kane and Big Show. Kane said Sunday will not be C.M. Punk's redemption. Rather, he said it will be New Nexus's annihilation... Backstage, John Cena bumped fists with Zack Ryder, and took a Ryder t-shirt... [C]
Powell's POV: Is WWE messing with the online fans by giving Ryder airtime on Raw, yet only showing him with John Cena the last two weeks?
[Q8] The Miz and Alex Riley walked onto the stage to introduce the main event. Miz said the match would be a no holds barred match. He called for Cena to come out. John Cena walked onto the stage as his entrance music played and he was very leery of Miz and Riley, but Miz motioned for him to walk past.
Suddenly, Jack Swagger ran out and attacked Cena from behind. "Oh, and allow me to introduce you to your opponent tonight, Jack Swagger," Miz said. Miz called for the bell to ring to start the match. The timekeeper complied...
5. John Cena beat Jack Swagger in a No Holds Barred match in 11:25. Lawler said he thought Miz or Riley would have taken the match themselves. Josh jumped in, but rather than point out that the general manager's stipulation was that Miz and Riley couldn't be involved in the match, he just reminded viewers that it was a No Holds Barred match.
As Swagger continued to attack Cena in the ring, Cole complained that Swagger walked out on him to make a name for himself by going after the WWE Championship. He said Swagger would have been nothing without him, and that Miz recruited him because of the way Cole built him up. The show went to commercial with Swagger dominating the offense. [C]
A generic ad for Smackdown focussed on Randy Orton...
Powell's POV: One would think that WWE would be going out of their way to promote the Smackdown television show on Raw given that Friday's show scored the worst rating of 2011.
Swagger continued to dominate Cena. He placed a chair on Cena's chest and then performed a Vader Bomb for a near fall. Swagger placed a chair between the top and middle turnbuckle in one of the corners. Cena fought back, but Swagger quickly cut him off and applied the ankle lock. Cena came back and applied the STF for the win.
The announcers spoke about the toll the match took on Cena heading into the pay-per-view match on Sunday. The Miz applauded Cena from the stage and said his win was very impressive. Miz told Cena to enjoy it because he's going to be feeling regret and disappointing on Sunday.
Miz said there are many ways to make a person say "I quit." Miz said he could throw Cena off the stage so that he crashes face first into the concrete. He walked over to a camera set up on a crane and whipped it into the side of the stage twice, saying he could do that to Cena.
Miz walked toward the ring and said he could repeatedly ram the steel steps into Cena. He said he could look underneath the ring. He told Riley to go under the ring and look for something useful. Riley pulled out a pipe. Miz said he could use the pipe or any of the other things he showed earlier.
Miz said those are obvious things and he's not going to use them. "There's a millions ways to beat you, Cena," Miz said. "A million ways that you haven't even thought about that I already have. I am more intelligent, conniving, and ruthless than anyone you have faced in your entire life.
"And I've found a way, John. I've found a way that you have never even seen before. And come this Sunday, I guarantee you, I guarantee all of you, that after our match on Sunday at Over The Limit, I will be declared the new WWE Champion." Miz said Cena was looking at him as if he didn't believe a word he was saying.
Miz said he wouldn't use the pipe on Sunday, but he has no problem using it tonight. Cena stopped Riley from attacking him, but Miz caught him with a pipe shot. Miz went for another shot, but Cena caught him with a kick and took the pipe. Cena ended up clearing Miz and Riley from the ring.
Cena took a mic and told Miz that he better bring all one million of the ways he has to bring them and he better bring a million more. A fired up Cena said Miz has a hurting coming to him. He said that The Miz will say "I quit" on Sunday...
Powell's POV: A strong final segment with the confident Miz essentially teasing a clever finish for Sunday that results in him going over. I'm not sure whether it was enough to sell the show to the masses, but it left me more interested in that match than I was going into the show. Cena showed good fire in his response, but I'm not sure why they felt the need to have Cena rough up the underdog challenger to close the go-home show.
Dot Net Members will hear my exclusive audio review of the show later tonight, and will also hear the WWE Over The Limit audio review that Chris Shore and I will be doing together on Sunday night. You can join us on the ad-free version of the site right now via the Dot Net Members' Signup Page.
5/16 Powell's WWE Raw Live Coverage: The go-home show for the WWE Over The Limit pay-per-view, final hype for John Cena vs. The Miz in an "I Quit" match
May 16, 2011 - 08:00 PM
May 16, 2011 - 08:00 PM
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