Home > WWE > RAW Reaction 25/04/11(The Draft)

RAW Reaction 25/04/11(The Draft)


Live from Ragleigh, North Carolina, RAW presents the WWE Draft 2011.

The show opens with a battle royal already underway.

Team SmackDown! Vs. Team RAW – Winning Team Gets First Draft Pick

Standard battle royal stuff, with the commentators putting over how big a threat all the big guys are, even though they always get eliminated. After a while it came down to two a piece, with Mason Ryan and Evan Bourne representing SmackDown! with Big Show and Kofi Kingston repping RAW. It picked up with some great action between Bourne and Kingston on the apron. Bourne tried his flying knee attack on Show, who pushed him to the outside, before quickly getting rid of the very green Ryan.

(*) – It was an okay battle royal, but they’re never great.

The first SmackDown! pick is…John Cena! Huge crowd reaction from this, and the RAW/SmackDown! guys looked shocked. I doubt it’ll last, it’s Cena.

Cena comes out to a big pop, proudly donning a blue SmackDown! shirt. He’s interviewed backstage and cuts a good promo referencing both The Empire Strikes Back and Back to the Future, two of my favourite movies of all time. It still didn’t excite me much though, his delivery is clear, confident and passionate..but I’m not quite sure I understood the meaning of it..they’re more excited than when Han Solo was frozen in carbonite? He was the biggest hero of the series..okay. Miz turns up and says after Extreme Rules, Cena’s right, he won’t be able to “see him.”

The commentators continue to act like the Draft is a big deal and the Brand Extension still matters, and ‘Sir’ Michael Cole interrupts, revealing he’d be facing J.R in a match tonight. The Cole Mine is decked out in Royal garb and next to his throne is a cutout of Kate Middleton and Prince William. Really?

Next, a super serious recap promo of the John Morrison/R-Truth match and heel turn from last week. This package really hams it up, like it was the biggest heel turn in WWE history. Truth comes out and goes super heel, telling the crowd to shut up. He came out to no music and on the stage he runs the people down, telling them they should boo themselves. It was a really good promo, suprisingly. At one point he bent over and had a mock conversation with ‘little Jimmy’ who loved his ‘What’s Up?’ gimmick so much. He went on about how he pandered to the fans with ‘What’s Up?’ and it got him nowhere. There was a lot of crowd interaction with the ‘What?’s and so on, and Truth also said ‘you’re really pissing me the hell off!’ twice, and the sound cutout too late both times. Oops. Really cool promo and I look forward to his heel run a lot more now. It got a lot of time too and Morrison beat him down from behind, a textbook brawl, nothing special.

Hey Little Jimmy

Another video package, for next weeks RAW. The Rock’s birthday, as RAW takes place in Miami. Should be a fun show, I’d love a Rock N’ Sock reunion but it won’t happen. Then another video package, the 3rd hype video for Awesome Kong, now revealing her new name Kharma. It works, looking forward to how she’ll be used.

Eve Vs. Layla

They show a clip from SmackDown!(wow, really?) where Layla and Michelle McCool are having trouble in couples therapy. Snore. After about 30 seconds Cole walks out of the Cole Mine and cuts a promo about himself as Layla and McCool arge, causing Eve to catch Layla with a rollup. Cole talks about how unlike the Divas, he’s a real athlete. Ugh.

(n/a) – It was funny the first time Cole had a go at the Divas, now it’s just annoying. Good promo by Cole, but I just DON’T CARE about this angle. God.

LayCool fight on the outside and Layla cries “I’m sick of this!” yet continues to beat up Michelle. This was bad.

RAW’s first pick(or random draw..which basically means it’s not a DRAFT, right? Nevermind…) is…Rey Mysterio! That’s cool, I love Rey, he can still go, despite people acting like he can’t for some reason?

Backstage J.R is really going for it warming up for his match. I love J.R, I wish they wouldn’t continue to use him in angles that make him look bad. This was cool though, I like the concept of J.R beating the shit out of Cole, I just don’t like all the guffing around leading up to it.

Cody Rhodes is interviewed, talking about Rey moving to RAW and their Falls Count Anywhere match at Extreme Rules(that’ll be awesome). He cuts a great promo about giving Rey a goodbye present, Cody is on fire right now, his character is really working for him and the confidence he exudes in it really works.

Kofi Kingston Vs. Sheamus

Some solid action between these two, ending with a cool spot as Kingston rolled out of the way of the Brogue Kick and hit Trouble in Paradise, sending Sheamus staggering back, coming off the ropes and eating a 2nd, allowing Kofi the pinfall win.

(*1/2) – A decent short TV match.

SmackDown! gets…Randy Orton! Big names so far and this seems like a legit move unlike Cena, interesting move.

Sir Michael Cole w/ Jack Swagger Vs. Jim Ross

Swagger and Cole dancing around the ring is still funny. Lawler gets up onto the apron to support JR, with Swagger staying in the corner for Cole. For what feels like an age, Cole taunts J.R. This is interminable. He puts on the cowboy hat, tapping his belly, which ironically is a bit fat anyway. J.R grabs Cole by his horrible orange wrestling singlet and shoves him down. Cole calls for time out and gets a stool, Swagger giving him water and patting his head with a towel. It’s great heat for the live crowd, but just dragging it out on TV. Lots of boos. Cole tries to slam J.R and the weight is too much, Ross falling on top of Cole and punching him. Cole tries making a run for it and Lawler throws him back into the ring. Ross actually busted Cole’s mouth! He’s legitimately punching Coe out on the mat, that’s pretty cool. Swagger interrupts for the DQ ending.

(*) – Good heat for the match and worked well enough for the crowd, bored me a bit though. At least it was shortish.

Swagger takes out Lawler and Swagger puts Ross in the ankle lock again in the ring, as Cole whips J.R with his own belt. This is harsh, I really don’t like this. J.R is just getting embarassed all the time. Lawler throws Swagger out and gets the belt, whipping Cole, but not as much. I guess it’s all fair game, Cole got his mouth bust open, but man I felt really sorry for J.R there. The RAW GM makes the tag match at Extreme Rules between J.R/Lawler and Swagger/Cole a Country Whipping Match. J.R’s hand is actually covered in a bit of blood, hardcore.

Whaddaya think Cole??

The Miz is interviewed, and Riley turns the WWE logo on the mic upside down. Miz talks about The Rock’s birthday. “Really?” He says that noone will be talking about The Rock next week, they’ll be talking about him winning his cage match at Extreme Rules. He gaurantees the USA network will cancel RAW within a month if Miz gets drafted to SmackDown! That was funny. He did his catchphrase and looked a bit retarded.

Randy Orton Vs. Dolph Ziggler w/ Vickie Guerrero

I still don’t like Dolph with short black hair, he looks like everyone else, apparently he didn’t want to do it but was forced to fit in. Dunno how legit that report is. Orton’s unshaven, it looks quite strange. New look for SmackDown? After a few minutes Orton fires up after being thrown into the crowd, and hits an awesome snap powerslam, following it up with an Angle Slam. Ziggler gets a two count from a rollup after Orton is distracted by Vickie and walks straight into a great RKO.

(*1/2) – Solid TV match, good stuff.

The next draft pick is…hold up! Says CM Punk as he comes out and says the draft pick can wait. He talks to Orton, and hypes up their Last Man Standing, reminding him a simple RKO “out of nowhere” won’t suffice in a LMS match. He tells Orton he’ll send him packing to SmackDown! a former shell of himself. Orton bit back with some words of his own, it was one of his better moments on the mic, nice intensity from both, really looking forward to their match at Extreme Rules.

SmackDown! gets…Mark Henry…!…? Oh. Oh well. Shame? Or something.

SmackDown! also gets…Sin Cara! Not much of a surprise, weird that they’d keep Mysterio and Cara apart, though not that weird. I guess the eventual matchup between the two is being held off, wise move. SmackDown! seems like a more natural fit for Sin Cara anyway, good move.

Wade Barrett Vs. Rey Mysterio

These two went back and forth for a few minutes, but Rey overcame Barrett with a springboard crossbody, a top rope hurricanrana and a 619.

(*) – Ok match, good stuff from Rey, just short, again. It’s not going to be a great RAW for wrestling time.

RAW gets…Big Show! No way! He moves every year it seems, and he’s one of the guys who always jumps from each show without much explanation anyway. Meh.

RAW also gets…Alberto Del Rrrrrrrrrrrio!

He doesn’t come out, and is seen backstage angrily talking in Spanish with his ring announcer Rodriguez. Brodus Clay asks Del Rio what will happen to him, and Del Rio smirks him off, continuing to talk to Rodriguez.

Cole is back in the Cole Mine, saying J.R is backstage getting his broken hand fixed after he hit J.R’s hand with his head. That was funny, even Lawler laughed. They run down the Extreme Rules lineup, which has been a sleeper, looking at it I’m looking forward to the show. It’s a great card that might very easily disappoint but I’m keeping positive.

Theodore Long comes out and announces the main event, two teams against each other, the winner getting the final two picks of the WWE Draft..untill the Draft continues on WWE.com. Crowd pops huge at the mention of John Cena.

The Miz, Alberto Del Rio and CM Punk Vs. Christian, Mark Henry and John Cena

Typically the match goes to commerical within a minute, The Miz rolling out of the ring to avoid Cena. Back from the break Cena is cleaning house, even hitting a dropkick. I’ve just noticed the arena is bathed in a blue and red light, highlighting the colours in different parts of the arena. That’s cool. And pointless for me to point out. Del Ri takes it to Christian and I suddenly miss Edge. Team RAW continue to beat down Christian. Del Rio pinned Christian and literally let go and got up as Christian kicked out at 2, I HATE it when wrestlers do that. It was so blatantly let go by Del Rio, bad move man. His offense towards Christian’s arm is good however, even hitting an enziguri on his arm. Christian fights back with a huge tornado DDT from the turnbuckle. Cena gets the hot tag the same time as Miz, hitting all his signatures on The Miz. Mark Henry, now also of SmackDown! along with Cena, clotheslines him down. The crowd boos and he then press slams Christian onto the ring steps on the outside. Miz hits the Skull Crushing Finale on Cena for the win(Miz needs a new finish).

Jarrett ain't got nothing on me!

(**) – A decent six man tag, good work from most, the crowd were into it, good stuff.

So what was that, a Mark Henry heel turn? Fuck off. Noone cares.

RAW gets…John Cena. Ha.

Cena takes out team RAW, firing up on them all. He rips off his SmackDown! t-shirt and hits Miz with his fist drop. He then throws him to the outside onto the heels. It wasn’t great. A RAW t-shirt is thrown to Cena and he puts it on proudly. Lawler says “noone will ever forget the WWE Draft 2011!” Hmmm. Sure. Cena is loving it in the ring bragging that he was the “first and last!” as the show ends.

6/10 – I think it was very predictable, and a bit of a waste. Just done for shock value and ultimately led nowhere. Big surprise WWE. Oh well. Some interesting choices all around but ultimately does the brand extension even matter? I don’t think it does these days. As for the overall show, it was good actually. Some decent promos all around, matches were built up to, we had some good short TV matches. Next week should be better by default just by the inclusion of The Rock, I wonder what will be done for the Rock/Cena feud. Will it be left due to the long time between now and Wrestlemania 28? Or will it be added to? There’s not loads more that can be done, not that springs to my mind anyway. Looking forward to how it pans out. The rest of the WWE Draft took place on WWE.com and all I’ll say is Daniel Bryan got drafted to SmackDown! and I’m very happy with that. Hopefully he’ll get some airtime and some proper matches. I’ll put up a list of the full draft on the next Highlight of the Night column tomorrow or Friday. No star of the night this week, a lot of people did really well but nothing showstopping.


Thanks for reading, as always, Luke

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