May 2, 2011
RAW: Happy Birthday Rock
By DALE PLUMMER -- SLAM! Wrestling
There aren’t many things that could overshadow The Rock’s birthday bash, but sometimes the real world does encroach on the WWE Universe. Not only did Miami host Monday Night RAW, but also an impromptu show of American patriotism after the downfall of the most wanted terrorist in the world.
Being the patriotic company they are, WWE started off with a tribute to the troops, and then flashed all the way back to September 13, 2001. This was the first major event to be held after the attacks on September 11th. The montage ended with Lillian Garcia singing an emotional rendition of the Nation Anthem.
After the video, Lillian is standing in the ring in Miami, she belts out another National Anthem and looks excited to be back, even if only for one night.
Don’t expect the flag waving to end here, as The Rock kicks off the show, sporting a U.S. flag-inspired Brahma Bull shirt. The Rock has one thing to say, “We got him!” and the crowd breaks into a U-S-A chant. The Rock also thanks the men and women fighting for the U.S. Rock says there is only one way they are starting off tonight, with the Pledge of Allegiance.
The Rock says it’s good to be home and regales us with his personal history. The Anonymous RAW General Manager interrupts The Rock, so the Rock cuts off Michael Cole, telling him to come into the ring and read it to Rock’s face. Cole refuses, so The Rock calls him scared, but points out he has won both his PPV matches. Cole says he is a man, now, and he is a winner. Cole takes off his shirt to reveal a Boston Celtics Kevin Garnett jersey. The Miami crowd breaks into a “Let’s go Heat!” chant. Cole finally enters the ring, telling Rock that the RAW GM wants an apology for embarrassing him at Wrestlemania. And Cole also wants an apology for all the times Rock has humiliated him over the years.
Rock says Cole is right; he has disrespected the GM and Cole over the years, and says he is sorry. Rock and Cole shake hands, but Rock doesn’t let go. Rock delivers a Rock Bottom to Cole and finishes him off with the People’s Elbow.
Rock has a present for the Miami fans, recording artist, Pitbull. The Miami Heat dancers back him as he performs. (I’m having flashback to the WCW Nitro Girls.)
Match #1 – John Morrison vs. R-Truth
Morrison is jumped by R-Truth on the ramp before he can even get to the ring. Truth dishes out punishment on the ramp and leaves Morrison in a heap in front of the ring. Truth strikes again as WWE officials try to help Morrison to the back. Truth slams him on the stage, before getting sent off to the back.
Match #2 – Maryse vs. Kelly Kelly
Lost in the patriotism and The Rock’s birthday is the debut of the newly drafted RAW superstars, Kelly Kelly being one of them.
Seconds into the match, Kharma interrupts it. She debuted last night at Extreme Rules, taking out Michelle McCool. Kharma grabs Maryse and delivers and double-underhook face buster. Kelly is frozen in the corner, but Kharma lets her be.
Alex Riley tries to make small talk with The Miz, but the former champion wants to know where he was last night. Riley says he was drafted to Smackdown, but Miz says his personal services contract takes precedent over that. Miz tells Riley he'd better be at ringside for his rematch.
The Rock is partying with the Divas and WWE Superstars. Santino, Hornswoggle and The Great Khali are dressed up as characters from Rock’s various movies. Ron Simmons on seeing Khali dress as the Tooth Fairy; I think you all know where this is going.
Match #3 – The Miz (challenger) w/ Alex Riley vs. John Cena (champion) – WWE Title Match
Miz applies a head lock. Cena shoots off the ropes and hits a hip toss. Cena knocks down Miz with a right and then knocks Riley off the apron. This allows Miz to hit a clothesline. Cena rolls to the floor, and Riley nails him with a cheap shot. Miz tosses Cena in to the ring steps and rolls him into the ring. Miz covers, but only gets a two count. Miz catches Cena with a clothesline in the corner, and then a double axe handle from the top turnbuckle. We go to commercial.
After the break, Miz hits a neck breaker, but cannot get the pin. Miz beats Cena down in the corner. Miz misses on the clothesline, allowing Cena to hit the sidewalk slam and set up the five knuckle shuffle. Cena connects on it, and picks Miz up for the AA. Miz floats over, and kicks Cena in the head. The champ is down. Cena avoids another kick, countering with the STF. Miz is able to grab the rope to break the hold. Miz hits a DDT from out of nowhere, but Cena kicks out. Miz exposes the turnbuckle, as the ref deals with Riley. Cena blocks the turnbuckle strike, as the Miz escapes another AA. Miz looks to finish Cena, but the champ blocks it. Miz is knocked into the ref, who is knocked from the ring. Cena locks in the STF, and Miz taps. Cena thinks he has won, but with no ref, the match goes on. Riley jumps in the ring, and Cena picks him up. Miz drills Cena in the midsection with a steel briefcase, and delivers the Skull Crushing Finale. Riley rolls the ref into the ring, but Cena kicks out at two.
Cena finally hits the Attitude Adjustment, but Miz kicks out. Riley once again distracts the ref, allowing Miz to grab the title belt. Miz smashes Cena in the face and covers. The ref makes the three count, and Miz is your new WWE Champion.
Miz is still holding onto the belt and the ref wants to know how it got there. The ref reverses his decision and disqualifies The Miz.
Winner via DQ: John Cena
Miz and Riley argue with each other, and they don’t see Cena get up. The champ takes them out with clothesline and then Attitude Adjustments.
Match #4 – Rey Mysterio and Kofi Kingston vs. Jack Swagger and Drew McIntyre
Alberto Del Rio joins the announce team and all four men in this match were drafted to RAW last week.
Swagger takes down Rey with a waist lock. Rey knocks Swagger into the corner and tags in Kofi. Kingston springboards off Rey and crashes into Swagger. We go to commercial.
After the break, Swagger forces Kofi into the corner, and tags in Drew. McIntyre poses, allowing Kofi to get a near fall with a roll up. Del Rio talks about how it is his destiny to win the WWE Title.
Mysterio gets the hot tag and takes it to McIntyre. Swagger breaks up the pin. Kofi hits Trouble in Paradise on McIntyre and Rey follows with the 619. Mysterio hits the senton bomb and covers to get the win.
Winner via pinfall: Rey Mysterio and Kofi Kingston
After the match, Del Rio unsuccessfully goes after Mysterio.
The Rock congratulates Christian on his World Heavyweight Title win. Vicki Guerrero got Rock a present, Mae Young in a swimsuit. The Rock tells Vicki she will never look as good as Mae. The Rock then plants a big kiss on her. John Cena crashes the party with a gift of his own, the WWE title. Cena says he will keep it until Wrestlemania 28 so they can make their match the biggest ever.
Match #5 – Kane vs. Mason Ryan
Ryan tosses Kane from the ring. The Big Red Machine re-enters the ring, and Ryan clotheslines him to the mat. Ryan follows with a body slam and whips him into the corner. Ryan runs into a big boot, and follows with an uppercut. CM Punk tries to intervene, and gets Mason disqualified.
Winner via DQ: Kane
The rest of Nexus hits the ring, but Kane fights them off. He grabs Ryan by the throat, but Ryan pulls Kane’s hand off and slams him to the mat. The rest of Nexus attacks. Big Show makes the save, but is taken down by a hit from Mason Ryan.
The Rock heads to the ring one more time to celebrate his birthday, and everyone in the crowd has birthday hats. Rocky thanks the fans, his family, and the WWE for this night. Rock gives his word that next year’s Wrestlemania will be the greatest of all time. Vince McMahon walks out on stage and wishes Rock a happy birthday. Vince thanks Rock for his respect, passion, humanity, and for being The Rock. Vince has a present; it’s a video tribute to The Rock that includes family videos and tape from his college football career. Mya then comes out to sing Happy Birthday to the Rock with the entire arena. The Rock finishes with a big thank you.
Dale Plummer has been writing for SLAM! Wrestling since 2003. Follow Dale on Twitter @DPlummer627