Triple H Attacked Ted DiBiase
We had essentially heard it all from both HHH and The Undertaker at this point in the build-up to their bout at WrestleMania 27, so his promo here was hardly anything new. I would have been fine with him leaving it at that, but apparently he felt the need to bury DiBiase because, well, just because. DiBiase referred to himself as an "afterthought" before getting his ass handed to him by The Game and put through a table, so needless to say, his stock was not exactly at an all-time high at this time.
United States Champion Sheamus def. Evan Bourne (Non-title)
Bourne previously beat Sheamus upon his return to the ring one month earlier, but instead of running with that boost of momentum for Bourne, WWE opted to do nothing with him. Thus, his decisive loss to Sheamus on this show wasn't a surprise in the slightest. It was a fine little match that gave Sheamus another victory coming off his United States Championship win the week before. Afterward, Daniel Bryan announced he'd be invoking his rematch for the title at WrestleMania, but of course, that would ultimately be bumped from the WrestleMania card.
Divas Champion Eve Torres def. Maryse (Non-title)
I laugh whenever fans whine about the women of WWE getting no respect or the time they deserve nowadays, yet they forget that it was way worse for the women back in 2011. Eve and Maryse weren't even given the chance to have a half-decent match without Michael Cole crapping all over it in his stupid Cole Mine. Neither of these ladies were a part of WrestleMania 27, by the way, so the sole purpose this served was to get more heat on Cole.
WWE Tag Team Champions The Corre def. Santino Marella and Vladimir Kozlov (Non-title)
The Corre had what felt like a million matches against Marella and Kozlov early on in 2011, and none of those matches were ever anything special. Needless to say, this was more of the same. It was short, thankfully, yet a total waste of time. The heels won as they should have, but the babyfaces (including Big Show and Kane) proceeded to outshine them afterward by taking them out, setting up the eight-man tag team matchup for WrestleMania in the process.
John Cena Addressed WWE Champion The Miz
It should be noted that we were told Cena was at his "home" when this interview took place, and that he was coming in "live via satellite." Yes, the background set looked fake as hell and he wasn't actually home, but that would come into play later on during the main event segment. It was merely his way of taking a shot at The Rock, who couldn't be bothered to show up on the road to WrestleMania except for once or twice. What Cena said here about Miz, though, was good.
Michael Cole and Jack Swagger Attacked Jerry Lawler
The segment from the week prior with Cole bringing out Lawler's legitimate son Brian Christopher (a.k.a. Grand Master Sexay) was well done for the most part, but this was a carbon copy of that segment, just without Christopher. Cole ran down Lawler for a few minutes, Lawler got pissed and attempted to go after him, and then Swagger aided Cole in an assault on Lawler. It made fans want to see Lawler get his hands on Cole at 'Mania that much more, but still, Cole should not have been the biggest heel on Raw.
Dolph Ziggler, LayCool and Vickie Guerrero def. John Morrison and Trish Stratus in a 4-on-2 Handicap Match
This was originally Morrison vs. Ziggler before being restarted and changed to an intergender tag team Handicap mach also involving the women. It was all downhill from there. We were told at the beginning of the bout that the men can only fight the men and the same went for the women. Despite that, those rules were thrown out the window at the end when Vickie pinned Morrison, making him look extremely weak in the process. I realize this was designed to put heat on the heels, but I thought that was stupendously stupid.
Randy Orton vs. Rey Mysterio Ended in a No Contest
It was hilarious how WWE billed this as a "WrestleMania Rewind" match and completely ignored how Kurt Angle was also involved in that World Heavyweight Championship matchup at WrestleMania 22. Nonetheless, this was fun while it lasted. The crowd didn't have an incentive to cheer for one guy over the other, but it was a nice trip down memory lane for those that remembered their matches from 2006. Meanwhile, the CM Punk angle where he lured Orton over to his bus before ambushing him was well done. Punk desperately needed some heat in their feud, so this angle accomplished that.
John Cena Attacked WWE Champion The Miz and Alex Riley
Before recently, I would argue Miz's best mic work in WWE came during his reign as WWE Champion, and especially in the lead-up to WrestleMania. He was firing on all cylinders and this was a tremendous promo from him, talking up how big of a deal he is and taking aim at The Rock. He then revealed a "new" WWE Championship belt, which wasn't different at all aside from the WWE logo in the middle being turned upside down to look like an "M". Cena then said WWE was his home, emerged from the back, and choked out Alex Riley (who was fired and then brought back like it never even happened) to close the show. I'm not sure how this was supposed to make people more excited for their encounter at WrestleMania, but whatever.
Watching back these editions of Raw from 2011 has reminded me just how dull the program was back then. People can complain all they'd like about the current three-hour format and how they'd kill to have two hours back, but there was nothing redeemable about this show whatsoever. Orton vs. Mysterio was well-wrestled, but that was about it. There were a ton of questionable booking decisions and not a whole lot else to build anticipation for WrestleMania.
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