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Raw: Finally, The Rock has returned to WWE
By MATT BISHOP - SLAM! Wrestling


Tonight on Monday Night Raw: For the first time in nearly seven years, The Rock has returned live to Monday Night Raw. "The People's Champion" is the guest host for WrestleMania XXVII and once again electrified the wrestling world with a near 20-minute promo where he targeted The Miz, Michael Cole and, most noteworthy of all, John Cena, to cap the show. Should be a good one!

And we are LIVE! from Anaheim, Calif. Michael Cole and Josh Mathews are our hosts. This show is presented in WWEHD (TV-PG, V)

John Cena is out to start the show. He makes some usual Cena jokes, mostly regarding Valentine's Day. He talks about the WrestleMania guest host. Parts of the crowd chant "Rocky." He says it could be Michael Cole and makes fun of him. Then he moves on to talking about Nexus. Then finally CM Punk interrupts and he's got a mic. He says he's 2-0 against Cena and he doesn't need the people like Cena does because he's a good person.

Match #1 - John Cena (West Newbury, Mass.) vs. CM Punk (Chicago, Ill.)

Cena goes flying into the ringpost early and falls to the outside. He comes off the apron with a clothesline and Cena is reeling early.

(Ads)

We're back and Punk still is in control. Suplex and then he works the arm. Then he works a body scissors. Cena fires up with punches, though. Two shoulder tackles and a side slam connect for Cena. He follows that with the Five-Knuckle Shuffle. He picks Punk up for the Attitude Adjustment but Punk slips out and kicks Cena. Now Punk locks in a modified triangle choke but Cena escapes and hits a gutwrech suplex. He misses the guillotine legdrop. Punk follows with the running knee but Cena pushes off of the bulldog. Neckbreaker for Punk for two.

He lifts Cena up for the GTS but Cena slips out and rolls Punk up for two. They trade and Punk kicks Cena in the head for two. "Cena" chant. Punk to the top now. He looks for a crossbody but Cena catches him, rolls through and lifts him up for the AA but Punk grabs the ropes and slides to the outside.

From under the ring, an arm with a Nexus armband hands Punk a chair. He throws it into the ring. While the referee is taking care of the disposal of that, the arm hands Punk a wrench and Punk wallops Cena with it. He heads back into the ring and delivers the GTS and pins Cena.

Winner via pinfall: CM Punk

At the desk, Cole and Mathews acknowledge Jerry Lawler's absence from the show, noting his mother died Sunday following a long illness. They say he will be at the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view on Sunday.

(Ads)

Justin Roberts brings in Ricardo Rodriguez and he welcomes in the No. 1 contender for the World Heavyweight Championship, Alberto Del Rio. He speaks about his destiny when he is interrupted by Edge. Edge says he has a destiny, too. Then he attacks Del Rio. Edge lines up for the spear but is distracted by Rodriguez. He dispatches of him and Del Rio rolls to the floor. He tries to attack Edge but Edge spears him off the apron.

The celebration is short-lived when acting Smackdown GM Vickie Guerrero excuses herself. She then welcomes out the "new World Heavyweight Champion" Dolph Ziggler. We get a video package documenting on how Edge used the banned spear last week on Smackdown. Guerrero says this Friday on Smackdown, they will have the official coronation of Ziggler as the World Heavywight Champion. Guerrero says Edge lost his title Friday and now he's about to lose his job. She says he has proof Edge was involved in the assault. She then laughs manically.

(Ads)

Match #2 - Lumberjill Match for the WWE Divas Championship - (c) Eve Torres (Denver, Colo.) vs. Natalya (Calgary, Alberta)

Natalya with a surfboard but Eve counters. Then Eve sends Natalya to the outside, bringing all the lumberjills into action. Then Eve flies off the apron into all of them. Both back in the ring and Natalya goes for a roll-up but Eve counters and gets the pin. This was bad.

Winner via pinfall and STILL WWE Divas Champion: Eve Torres

(Ads)

Mark Henry is on his way to the ring for a match when he is attacked from behind by Sheamus. A Brogue Kick later and Henry is down. He says wait and see what he does to Randy Orton tonight. As the referees help Henry up, Sheamus delivers another Brogue Kick to the kneeling Henry.

(Ads)

Match #3 - The Miz (Cleveland, Ohio) vs. Daniel Bryan (Aberdeen, Wash.)

Crowd chants "Daniel Bryan" early. Bryan ends up locking in a rear-naked choke but Miz gets to the rope. Miz gets up and drills Bryan with a back elbow as Cole compares The Miz to Lou Thesz, Bob Backlund and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. Tremendous.

Bryan fires out and the two trade punches. Bryan flips out of the corner and hits a jumping forearm and a corner dropkick for two. Bryan dumps The Miz to the floor and then goes for the suicide dive but Miz bails. Bryan stops, goes to the apron and comes flying off with a knee that sends Miz crashing into the barricade near the timekeeper's area. Bryan throws him back in the ring and comes off the top with a missile dropkick for two. Bryan goes for the LeBelle Lock but Miz gets to the bottom rope. Miz rolls to the apron and Bryan looks to put a shoulder into him but Miz moves and hits a knee. As Bryan lay on the second rope, Miz hits a neckbreaker where Bryan's head hits the apron and then he falls to the floor. Wow.

(Ads)

Miz in control and he's going for a superplex but Bryan punches him and hits a sunset flip off the top for two. The crowd going nuts for the near fall. Kicks from Bryan now. He's going nuts. He goes for a running kick but Miz ducks and rolls him up for two. Immediate small package attempt for Miz for two. Miz hits the front part of the backbreaker/neckbreaker combo but Bryan counters the neckbreaker and hits a German suplex and then hits the running kick to the head but Miz kicks out at two.

Bryan goes for the LeBell Lock but Miz escapes. He tries for an Oklahoma Roll but Miz counters and hits an electric chair that has Bryan on dream street. He follows it up with the Skull-Crushing Finale and that's it.

Winner via pinfall: The Miz

Tremendous television match.

The Miz has a mic. He wants to make sure everyone saw what he did to Daniel Bryan. He says he knows Jerry Lawler isn't here because of his mother passing away and wants to offer his sincere condolences, but wants to make sure Lawler doesn't use it as an excuse when he loses Sunday at Elimination Chamber. Because he's The Miz and he's awesome.

(Ads)

Match #4 - Michael McGuillicutty (Champlin, Minn.) & David Otunga (Hollywood, Calif.) vs. John Morrison (Los Angeles, Calif.) & R-Truth (Charlotte, NC)

Mason Ryan grabs R-Truth's leg allowing McGuillicutty to send him to the outside where Ryan delivers a kick to Truth's midsection. Nice double team kicks by McGuillicutty and Otunga. Otunga with a chinlock but Truth fires up and hits a back suplex and gets the tag to Morrison. Two double leg takedowns for Morrison. He is mad. McGuillicutty in now. He puts the boots to McGuillicutty and has to be pulled off of Otunga by the referee. He kicks Ryan off the apron and then hip tosses R-Truth on top of him. Then he hits the running knee on McGuillicutty for the win.

Winners via pinfall: John Morrison & R-Truth

(Ads)

Well, it's time for the Khali Kiss Cam with Ariel Winter from "The Chaperone." A bunch of fans and some people backstage are show kissing. Maryse blows off Ted DiBiase for Yoshi Tatsu. Ziggler and Guerrero go at it and William Regal has to give Zack Ryder a little peck on the cheek. This was funny. It ends with Hornswaggle coming from under the ring

(Ads)

Match #5 - Sheamus (Dublin, Ireland) vs. Randy Orton (St. Louis, Mo.)

Orton attacks Sheamus right off the bat and runs wild but Sheamus takes over and clubs Orton across the chest and hits a running knee to the skull. Armbar for Sheamus. Orton gets out and hits a series of clotheslines and a scoop slam but Sheamus is able to stop Orton with the Irish Curse backbreaker for two. Now a superplex connects for Sheamus and both men are slow getting up.

Sheamus up first and he goes to grab Orton only to eat an RKO. Fin.

Winner via pinfall: Randy Orton

The Nexus quickly comes out and attacks Orton only to see John Morrison, R-Truth and then John Cena make the save. Morrison and Truth end up on the outside and Orton and Cena clean house, culminating in an Attitude Adjustment to Punk.

We see a limo pulling up backstage containing the WrestleMania 27 guest host. The door opens and we see a pair of female legs walking out.

(Ads)

It's time to reveal the WrestleMania 27 guest host. After a large build-up with the lights going out throughout the arena and electric waves on the TitanTron, the music finally hits. "IF YA SMELLLL, WHAT THE ROCK, IS COOKIN'." The crowd collectively pees it pants so much that you can barely hear "The Rock" part of the song.

After posing to all corners, The Rock has the mic for his first live appearance on Monday Night Raw since August 2004. The crowd is going crazy.

"After seven long years, finally, finally, FINALLY, The Rock has come back to Anaheim. Which means, finally The Rock has come back to Monday Night Raw. Which means, finally, The Rock has come back... home."

WHAT YOU THINK
So, The Rock has returned to WWE. He sort of called our John Cena on Monday. What do you think could happen at WrestleMania?
He'll wrestle Cena - 42%
He'll be in someone's corner - 16%
He'll just guest host - 42%
He wants to, as Dwayne, take the time to tell the fans why he's back. "It's not because of the money, it's not to promote a movie, I am back in the middle of this ring because of you," he says pointing to the fans. The Rock says he dreamed big when he left WWE in 2004 but the fans dreamed big with him. He says it's because of the fans that he is back in the ring and it's because of them that he is never, ever going away. "Simply put, ladies and gentlemen, The Rock is back."

He says he called Vince McMahon and McMahon told him only one man could captivate the crowd and that is Justin Bieber. Rock says he told Vince there is only one man who can do it and that's The Rock.

He says he'll layeth the Smackethdown at WrestleMania, but to who? He teases The Miz. He says there's one more man The Rock wants to see, one more man The Rock's going to see but before he can finish, he is interrupted by the anonymous Raw General Manager.

Cole gets up with the smirk of all smirks on his face as he makes the announcement that he has received an e-mail from the general manager.

"Michael Cole, if you take one more step toward that computer, The Rock will get out of here and slap the taste so far out of your mouth you'll never get it back. Shut up. Michael Cole, you actually think The Rock is gonna let you walk over to that computer and interrupt him when he's live on Raw? You actually think any of us think give a damn what your general manager has to say? Michael Cole, is that what you think?

"I'll tell you what I think."

"IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT YOU THINK! What you do Michael Cole, is that you sit your ass down at that announcer booth, you take off your headset and you don't say a word. And I quote: You know your damn role and you shut your damn mouth. If you don't, The Rock is going to have some pretty cool Facebook pictures to post on his Facebook tonight. Does anybody here want to contribute to The Rock's Facebook tonight? If Michael Cole doesn't do as The Rock says, you're gonna get a beautiful picture of The Rock stepping out of this ring, going over to that computer. Some of you may know where I'm going with this. The picture you're gonna get is The Rock shinin' it up real nice, turnin' that sumbitch sideways and sticking it straight up Michael Cole's candy ass! Now sit down, you look like a drunk hobbit, sit your ass down!"

He says there's one man The Rock has to see face-to-face, a guy he thought was a cool guy but a guy who, out of the blue, started talking trash about The Rock. And we might've heard of him, his name is John Cena.

Rock says, "So the WWE has gone from the powerful Austin 3:16 to the dominant and iconic to 'Can You Smell What The Rock is Cookin'?' all the way to 'You can't see me?' What are you playing, Peek-a-boo? Oh, believe me, we all can see you. We all can see you. A blindfolded, sleeping, stuck in the basement Stevie Wonder can see your monkey ass. How in the hell do you think we can miss? You come out here with your bright ass purple shirt, before that your bright green shirt, before that your bright orange shirt. You're running around here looking like a big fat bowl of Fruity Pebbles! John Cena, The Rock will see you at WrestleMania."

The Rock says he's going to show he's the best man in entertainment, that he can, at the drop of a dime, lay the smack down and the most important thing, that The Rock and the millions (and millions) of The Rock's fans go to WrestleMania and electrify like no one else can. If ya smell what The Rock is cookin'."

Wow.

Matt Bishop can be reached at bishop20@msu.edu. Please include your name and hometown. Click here to follow Matt on Twitter. Should be a good one!.