The Undertaker Addressed Triple H
I remember not caring too much about the build to Undertaker vs. Triple H at WrestleMania 27 because outside of their initial face-to-face confrontation and the segment with Shawn Michaels on the go-home show before the event, all they did was talk, talk and talk some more. It got old fairly quickly in my opinion, but least this was a very good promo from 'Taker discussing how when The Streak dies, so does he (which didn't end up being accurate, by the way). It was smart to kick off the show with such star power as well.
Randy Orton def. David Otunga
I liked how The New Nexus attempted to get an advantage over Orton by attacking him backstage beforehand. Of course, it didn't matter anyway because Orton beat him with ease. Otunga was atrocious in the ring, so keeping this as short and sweet as possible was definitely for the best. Afterward, Orton punted Otunga in the head, leaving CM Punk and Mason Ryan as the only remaining members of the group.
Christian def. Brodus Clay
Christian had just returned to SmackDown three days earlier, so why waste this match on Raw when it could have easily been saved for Friday night? The Brand Split was all but dead by this point, so I can't say I was surprised, but it was unnecessary. I was very high on Clay at the time and thought he held his own against Christian here, even though this was too brief to be anything noteworthy.
Divas Champion Eve Torres def. Nikki Bella
I completely forgot Eve was feuding with The Bella Twins at the time. That's how inconsequential the division had become. The match itself was fine, but what made matters worse was how Michael Cole stood up from the commentary table and basically told people not to care and that his announcement was more important. Wow. There really isn't anything else I can say about the bout because Cole served as a major distraction throughout.
Stone Cold Steve Austin Appointed himself the Special Guest Referee for JErry LAwler vs. Michael Cole at WrestleMania 27
JBL originally returned to be the special guest ref for Lawler vs. Cole at WrestleMania before Austin (who was already advertised for this show) emerged and laid out JBL with two Stunners and put himself in the match as the ref. It was a simple and straightforward segment that the crowd ate up and was super hot for, at least when Austin came out. Austin pouring beer on Cole's head as he sulked up the ramp was also a tremendous visual.
United States Champion Daniel Bryan def. King Sheamus by Count-out (Non-title)
Sheamus had been on a lengthy losing streak for many months, which was finally acknowledged here. Unfortunately, this was less of a match and more of an angle, as it was over in the matter of a minute with Sheamus getting "hurt" and causing himself to get counted out. It lead to a rematch the following week, though, with Sheamus putting his own career on the line as long as Bryan put his title up for grabs in return.
CM Punk def. R-Truth
The Orton vs. Punk feud was furthered earlier in the evening with the aforementioned Orton vs. Otunga match, so I'm not exactly sure what purpose this bout served other than to give Punk a bit of momentum. There wasn't anything technically wrong with it, mind you, but it wasn't memorable enough to the point where it had to happen. If nothing else, Mason Ryan roughed up Truth afterward, and I assume that was designed to make him look strong ahead of his match with Orton the next week on Raw.
Dolph Ziggler def. John Morrison
Then-SmackDown General Manager Teddy Long fired Ziggler and Vickie Guerrero from SmackDwon the month prior after it was revealed they conspired to get rid of Long, and of course, that storyline didn't last long at all. Firings in WWE never do, but at least they were brought back to Raw so it made some sense. The match with Morrison could have been so much better with more time, but for what this was, it was enjoyable.
WWE Champion The Miz Attacked John Cena
This was advertised as Cena responding to The Rock dissing him the week prior, and Miz had nothing to do with it. In fact, the commentators noted at the start of the show that Miz was "boycotting" Raw, to make it more of a shocker when he did show up. Cena's rebuttal to Rock was, to be honest, horrendous and way worse than his "rap" a few weeks earlier. Thankfully, Miz didn't look completely weak coming out of this because he laid out Cena to end the episode, but he still felt like the third wheel in this feud between Rock and Cena, nevertheless, and that was an issue given he was the WWE Champion after all.
Despite this edition of Raw being so star-studded between Cena, Undertaker, Punk, Orton, Austin and the returning Ziggler appearing, this was a standard show all things considered. Austin's comeback was probably the highlight of the night with everything else being decent at best. Check out that segment for sure, but feel free to skip the rest. The hype for the following week's episode was effective, though, so there was that.
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