WWE RAW Review 14/11/2011 - The Rock & Mick Foley Return

Mick Foley returned and fell victim to a rock bottom after a this is your life segment with John Cena.

The Big News: Mick Foley returned and fell victim to a rock bottom after a this is your life segment with John Cena. In the main event, Cena and Rock both took out Miz and Truth after a verbal confrontation but there was still dissent in the ranks as the pair insulted one another beforehand and Rock disrupted Cena's attempt to plant Miz with his finisher. Meanwhile Del Rio earnt a pinfall over Punk in a world champions vs challengers tag match before locking him in the crossarmbar straight afterwards and the members of Team Orton and Team Barrett got involved in a mass scrap following a singles match between the Survivor Series team captains. In a nutshell: Whilst Raw was rocked, the crediblity of Miz and Truth hit rock bottom Report Live from TD Garden Arena, Boston The Michael Cole Challenge began the show. Cole explained that there were three separate challenges and that if JR prevailed in all three then he would win back his old job at the announce desk forcing Cole to leave the company. After losing an arm wrestle and a dance contest Cole farcically revealed that the third challenge would be a weight contest with JR obviously proving to be the heavier of the two and thus losing the challenge. Cole started to celebrate but Punk came out and quickly wiped the grin of his face calling Cole an embarrassment and putting over JR as the better announcer. He then asked Cole to leave which brought out John Laurenitis who said that his 38,000, twitter followers didn't want to see the Cole-Ross confrontation end (he must have paid them to tweet that.) Punk told Laurenitis to screw himself and his twitter followers before Laurenitis booked him into a tag match for later on in the show where he would team up with the Big Show to take on Mark Henry and Alberto Del Rio. Cole then demanded an apology from Punk but Punk instead locked him in the anaconda vice whilst screaming sorry in a mocking fashion. A limo arriving backstage teased the first appearance of The Rock but out came Mick Foley instead who told Matt Striker that he wouldn't miss The Rock's return for anything. Tag Match: Cody Rhodes and Hunico defeated Sin Cara and Kofi Kingston Cara and Hunico started proceedings with a superb, botch free hurrancana/arm drag exchange with Cara getting the upper hand before tagging in Kofi. Kofi executed a monkey springboard on Hunico and a dropkick on Rhodes before both faces cleared house and took out the heels with a couple of body presses from the top rope to the outside. Back from the break Cara took the beat-down from Rhodes and Hunico before making the hot tag to Kofi who took out Rhodes with a body press and then had his pin interrupted by Hunico. Cara then got involved and took Hunico to the outside and jumped out at him from the ropes whilst Rhodes reversed Kofi's kick into a cross rhodes for the pinfall. ** ½ Exciting match involving four of the ten participants from the ten man traditional survivor series tag match. Also refreshing to see Rhodes without the mask and a likely gimmick change on the horizon. Backstage Santino was playing wwe 12 as The Rock against John Cena when he was interrupted by Zak Ryder who wanted Santino to sign his petition to get a shot at the United States championship. They both argued about who was better out of Rock and Cena before Santino signed his name after they agreed that both men would be a force in the same team. Dolph Ziggler announced himself as the replacement for the injured Christian in the ten man survivor series match-up. He said that he had the looks, the skills, and the girls before saying that he was scheduled to compete against the cyborg with the two first names Mason Ryan. Mason Ryan defeated Dolph Ziggler via pinfall Ryan dominated, Vickie distracted and slapped him and Dolph lost the match via DQ. DUD Post-match Dolph tried to scamper but Morrison threw him back in the ring where he succumbed to Ryan's half nelson slam. Backstage Ryder got Mick Foley to sign his petition before teaching him how to fist pump whilst uttering the woo woo catchphrase. Mick Foley arranged a this is your life segment for John Cena. He said that he didn't appreciate the lack of respect that the fans had for a man who he saw as one of the all time great superstars and wanted to be the man who brought Cena and Rock closer together like back when himself and The Rock had formed the Rock n sock connection. First of all Foley played a video package of Cena which combined footage of the boy and the man that he became. It would have been fine if not for the horrendous ballad that played over it which Cena commented on himself. Next Foley brought out Cena's old little league coach who talked about the time when Cena struck out in the important conclusion of a baseball game. Then out came Bull Buchanan who masqueraded for a while as Cena's old rap partner B Square. Buchanan first of all said that teaming with Cena was one of the greatest moments of his life but then changed tact to comment that ever since they split he had found himself fired, divorced, out of money and had contracted rabies from his dog which had killed his wrestling career. Finally he wanted Cena to know that he had effectively ruined his life. Things then got worse for an embarrassed Cena as Foley bought out his own father who tried to stop the fans from booing his son. Cena told Foley that whilst he appreciated what he was trying to do, he said he didn't care about what the people thought and that the only life he knew was in the ring he was standing in. An undeterred Foley however began to announce his next desk before Rock emerged and shut him up with a Rock bottom before quickly leaving with his music still blaring in the background. Sheamus defeated Jack Swagger via pinfall This match was more even and got a lot more time than I expected with Swagger using his superior mat skills to take the Irishman down and Sheamus using his superior power to tire his opponent. Finishing sequence saw Sheamus worm his way out an ankle lock and hit Swagger with the Irish curse backbreaker followed up by the Brogue Kick for the win. ** ½ Backstage the Bella Twins were busy signing Ryder's petition when Del Rio interrupted to flirt with them both saying that after Survivor Series they could join him in the big party that he will throw after defending his title. Ryder said that they could all come to his party in Long Island to which everyone responded to by slowly walking away with disgusted looks on their faces. Kelly Kelly defeated Natalya via pinfall Natalya went for the sharpshooter early but Kelly reversed it into a roll up for the sneaky pinfall. And here I thought that Eve and Beth Phoenix were supposed to be fighting this weekend at Survivor Series. DUD Backstage John Laurenitis was on the phone to Brodus Clay and told him that he didn't want to debut him on tonight€™s Raw because he would be overshadowed by The Rock. He was then greeted by Alberto Del Rio who proudly told the interim general manager that he was on the current cover of Hombre magazine. Laurenitis told him that he was impartial but that Punk could cause a lot more problems as wwe champion. Del Rio said he needn't worry as he planned to be champion for longer than Laurenitis was in charge. A frustrated Miz and Truth refused to answer any of Matt Striker's questions about Cena and The Rock and simply walked off looking angry. On route to his match, Punk was attacked by Del Rio who threw him headfirst into a production truck and gave him some stomps before a couple of referees intervened. Alberto Del Rio and Mark Henry defeated CM Punk and The Big Show via pinfall Show treated Del Rio to a slap and slam combo to start before tagging in Punk who got revenge for his pre-match attack by beating Del Rio to a pulp in the corner. Punk then tagged in Show and Del Rio scampered to make a tag to Henry as the two big men locked up in a test of strength. Following the ring explosion there is a real aura surrounding these two giants and it meant that the crowd were really into Big Show trying to take Henry to the mat, a feat which he eventually accomplished only for Henry to fall on top of him when he attempted an ambitious bodyslam. Henry grounded Show for a while before Show fought back to his feet with some hard firsts of his own before gearing up for the knockout punch. Henry then got out of dodge to tag a furious Del Rio as both heels engaged in a hilarious shouting contest on the outside. Match continued to entertain towards a frenetic finish wherein Punk's springboard attempt on Del Rio saw him land instead into the arms of Mark Henry who took him out with the worlds strongest slam. Show then got rid of Henry but Del Rio recovered to pin an unconscious punk. *** Post-match Del Rio made Punk scream in pain as he locked him in his crossarmbreaker. Santino came out and said that it was this ring in Boston where he nearly won the Royal Rumble and vowed that next time he came here it would be as wwe champion (you'll know Vince Russo has returned if that transpires.) Santino was interrupted by Nash who said that he was a fan and got him to do the trombone before taking him out with a boot to the face. Nash also talked about the past Royal Rumble and how he had received the ovation of the night only for Hunter to leave him in the dark. He said that now though he was here and Triple H was not before pummelling Santino with the jackknife powerbomb. Randy Orton defeated Wade Barrett via DQ Both Orton and Barrett's team members were on the outside and soon enough found themselves involved in the action with Rhodes interfering to attack Orton whilst the ref was distracted. This led to chaos and pandemonium with all the faces clearing the ring of the heels leaving Hunico to eat an RKO before being press slammed out of the ring by Mason Ryan. The Rock came out for his promo. He went through his day talking about how he woke up real early to eat breakfast and hit the gym, before being on set for GI Joe and then finally coming back to Boston! He apologised to Mick Foley and said that he loved him but just couldn€™t let him treat the fans to his garbage all night long. He then put over twitter and how all these phrases that he were coming up with were trending worldwide as he spoke. He even got the crowd to passionately chant €œBoots to Asses€ which is a hell of an achievement for such a lame phrase. He said that he came all the way here to rock Boston and that he didn't want to wait until Survivor Series to whoop Miz and R-Truth. This brought out Miz and Truth. Miz said that he didn't care about how The Rock spent his day or what he said on twitter, all that he was concerned with was beating him up and leaving him a quivering mess. Truth got off his jacket to fight but Miz stopped him and said that they would let Rock have his moment for now and wait for their chance to make history at the biggest survivor series of all time. At this point Cena emerged. Cena and Rock insulted one another whilst squaring up to Miz and Truth before Miz interrupted them and said that he was sick of the Rock and Cena show and that when himself and Truth are done with the pair of them it would never be forgotten. Rock responded to the boots to asses chants and said that as long as they were on Raw they could fight right now. Rock then took out Truth with a Rock bottom whilst Cena set up Miz for the AA. Rock cleared Miz off his back however and took him out with another Rock Bottom and left the ring leaving Cena a little peeved. At the top of the ramp Rock smiled before mocking the you can't see me hand movement. Analysis The Good: There was finally some decent world title booking on display as the champions took on their respective challengers in a well worked tag bout. Del Rio got some good heat with a pinfall on Punk and a pre and post-match attack whilst the fans were into the exchanges between Henry and Show, a rivalry which appears to have earnt peoples confidence since their show stealing match-up at Vengeance. The show also gave time to all ten men scheduled to compete in the traditional survivor series match-up with a series of tag and singles bouts culminating in a Orton vs team Barrett captains clash that concluded with all team members getting involved in an archaic gang battle following a dq finish. The faces brought good energy and the heels good aggression in a final angle which made me a lot more excited about this match-up with Dolph Ziggler being the perfect replacement for the usually irreplaceable Christian. From an entertainment standpoint, I thought that Mick Foley's This is your life segment with John Cena was very funny with Foley's optimism contrasting beautifully with Cena's growing embarrassment at the various guests. Bull Buchanan's hilarious speech in which he at first spoke admiringly of teaming with Cena before running down all the ways his life had gone downhill since they split and John Cena Snr. telling everyone to stop booing his poor, hard working son were both fantastic. It also served a purpose as Cena reaffirmed his sense of character by telling Foley that wasn't his life as his life consists only of what he does inside the ring and that people can respond to that as they wish. The Rock cut another typically electrifying promo where he had the crowd in the palm of his hands and once again displayed that unique sense of timing and aura which makes everything that he says seem like an event as opposed to just a man with a microphone in his hands. Punk might have his pipebomb but no-one verbally interacts with the crowd quite like Dwayne who possesses the remarkable ability to be humorous without losing any of his intensity in the process. There was also some perfect booking as Kevin Nash took out comic jobber Santino to keep himself in the headlines in anticipation of his likely TLC match with Hunter in a months time. The Bad: As Miz said commented on in the main event segment both himself and Truth have been exposed as complete afterthoughts in this feud with The Rock and Cena. A shame because Mick Foley's friendship with both men presented the perfect opportunity for Miz and Truth to give the harcore legend a show stealing beatdown (which Foley would have taken greater pleasure in taking) in a move that would have united Cena and Rock together with the common goal of avenging their fallen companion and also perhaps acted as an important inciting incident for a Miz / Foley feud further down the line. This is booking that pretty much writes itself yet instead Miz and Truth were made to look like utter buffoons as Rock and Cena tore them down with ease. So instead of giving the rivalry some real venom and attitude they have decided just to focus on the appeal of Rock returning to the ring whilst planting some more seeds for the big wrestlemania match. Great but why not add some layers to that sell and actually help four men get a rub instead of just two. Dolph Ziggler has now suffered three straight losses as United States Champion and in spite of his cracking pre-match promo before taking on Mason Ryan he is slowly but surely just becoming any other guy in the wwe when he has the talent to be so much more. It is clear as day to anyone but Vince McMahon that no-one cares about Ryan who is just going to become yet another big man in the same vein of Khali, Mabel and Kozlov who they'll waste vast amounts of energy in pushing instead of focusing time on the midcarders who have actually previously shown glimpses of main event potential. The Ugly: The Michael Cole challenge served no purpose other than to embarrass JR by making him perform a silly dance and having his weight exposed on national television. In the end it backfired because JR is a part of the wwe furniture and the fans would still cheer him even if he was made to participate in a Divas costume battle royal. This whole deal was just twenty minutes dedicated to two men who are not wrestlers, who no-one wants to see wrestle and who took up valuable air time that should have spent with either one of them commenting on wrestlers who we might actually want to see wrestle if we didn't have to put up with this sort of irrelevant nonsense every other week. This twitter phenomenon has got to stop. It's one thing to occasionally announce that something is trending on twitter but when it starts to play a role in main event promos and dominates the commentary it just screams of desperation and takes down the show in the process. Verdict Whilst this go-home show did a sound job promoting a few of its key Survivor Series matches, the horrible treatment of Miz and Truth and the Michael Cole challenge started and ended the broadcast on a rather sour note in spite of some of the promising stuff in between.

rating: 3

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"Growing up, Laurent was such an ardent fan of wrestling superstar Stone Cold Steve Austin that he actually attempted to send the Texas Rattlesnake a letter demanding that he defeat arch-nemesis The Rock at Wrestlemania 15. Oh hell yeah, it was all still very real to him back then dammit. As an aspiring writer of multiple genres and platforms, he has also recently co-authored a non-fiction movie e-book entitled 'Egos, Cliches, Flops and Lost Films: Examining the powerful madness of the movies' which is written in a similarly light hearted and informative style to his wrestling articles and which can be browsed and purchased by following the link below - http://www.amazon.com/Egos-Cliches-Flops-Films-ebook/dp/B0088YNTBC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1339093928&sr=8-1"

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