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Monday Night RAW October 31, 2011

by Scrooge McSuck

- It's the finale of the 1st Annual DWS Halloween Havok, and it happens to be an episode of Monday Night Raw. Featuring the Muppets. That is NOT a typo.

RAW is Kermie!

- Live from Atlanta, GA

- The Rock cuts a pre-taped promo. Apparently, John Cena wants to team with the Rock at the Survivor Series. The Rock says from the bottom of his heart: hell no. Okay. The Rock mentions "team Bring It" and "the Fruit Loop Troop." The people want the Miz and R-Truth to get their asses kicked at Survivor Series (not PG Rock!), so Rock WILL team with Cena, after all. You just said HELL NO, you jerk. This kind of just turns into a rambling segment, I don't like pre-taped Rock promos, he seems too scripted/all over the place, without the entertainment of the live crowd to respond to his every move.

C.M. Punk vs. Mark Henry

Is Punk using "Cult of Personality" as his entrance music? Awesome... Mark Henry is the reigning World Heavyweight Champion... that seemed so improbable from 1996-2010, but I guess they built him up, decently. We get clips of Vengeance, where they recycled the Lesnar/Show super-plex spot that broke the ring. Only difference is Mark has about 100+ pounds on Lesnar, making it that much more impactful. John Laurinaitis comes out (Johnny Ace is the GM of Raw? WHAT?!) and says CM Punk will challenge for the WWE Championship (held by Alberto Del Rio) at Survivor Series if he defeats Mark Henry, right here, on Raw. Punk attacks, but Henry clubs him down. Punk battles back and hops on the back of Henry, but Henry throws him up onto his shoulders and connects with a powerslam for a two count. Punk kicks away at the tree stump legs of Henry, but gets tossed over the top rope for it. Punk hangs on, and springboards back in, with a clothesline. Punk to the top rope, and he hits an elbow drop, but it only gets a two count. Suddenly, Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez come to ringside, and Rodriguez attacks Henry, in a lame attempt to try and cause a DQ... and that's what we get, after three minutes. Punk attacks afterwards, then sends Rodriguez into the arms of Henry, who connects with the World's Strongest Slam. I don't mind that finish at all, since it makes sense for Del Rio to chicken-shit out of a possible title defense by screwing Punk over.

- Kermit and Piggy show up. It takes like 5-seconds for Vicki Guerrero and Jack Swagger come out and argue with stuffed socks. Swagger threatens to make frog legs out of Kermit, a bit that Charles Durning already used 32 years ago. Santino Marella comes out to interrupt things too, and comes to the defense of the Muppets, and has a match set with Swagger for tonight. He also informs us of Dolph Ziggler taking on Zack Ryder. Then Kelly Kelly comes out, kisses Kermit (pissing off Piggy), and heads to the ring for... a commercial break.

Divas Battle Royale

Oh Lord, I don't know any of these women. Eve is dressed as Robin, some chick as Morticia Addams, someone's Kitana from Mortal Kombat, someone is a Sailor, the Twins are Mario and Luigi, another is an Egyptian godess, and Beth Phoenix joins the broadcast posititon for this. I don't know one of these women from the other... it's the WWE Masquerade Maul! It's the same, sucky, women's battle royale held on the Halloween episode of WWE programming we've seen every year since the beginning of time. Beth Phoenix running down all the Divas lack of wrestling ability is awesome because it's true. Is Natalia dressed as Mickie James, with the big boots and mini-skirt ring attire? Eve ends up winning the thing for a shot at Beth's Championship at Whenever PPV. Exciting this wasn't.

- Dr. Bunson Honeydew and Beeker are hanging around in Muppet Labs, making a special potion for Santino to help him in his match with Jack Swagger. Beeker takes it as the courier, but bumps into Christian, who picks on the poor little bugger until Sheamus shows up. It's revealed Sheamus and Beaker are related, but Sheamus can't make the family reunion. Ohhh...

Evan Bourne & Kofi Kingston vs. Cody Rhodes & Wade Barrett:

Bourne and Kingston are Tag Campions, but this is a Non-Title Match. Rhodes is the reigning Intercontinental Champion. Rhodes works the arm of Bourne but takes a knee to the chest, and Kingston comes in with a springboard clothesline for a two count. Whip to the corner, and Kofi boots Rhodes coming in. Barrett nails Kofi from the apron, allowing Rhodes to take control. Barrett tags in, and plants Kingston with a sidewalk slam before applying a modified abdominal stretch. Rhodes tags back in, stomping away on Kingstong, then slaps on a chinlock. Kingston fights free, but gets tripped up, and Barrett comes back in to dish out more punishment. This match is boring, meaning I listen to Michael Cole more, referencing Jim Ross as a Muppet, comparing him to the two old guys (Statler and Waldorf). Bourne gets the hot tag and plants Barrett with a DDT for a two count. Kingston comes in and gets tossed by Rhodes, while Barrett plants Bourne with the Wasteland, and Barrett picks up the three count at around the 6-minute mark. This was whatever. Suddenly, Christian hits the ring and attacks Kingston, while Barrett and Rhodes continue pounding Kingston. Suddenly Sheamus hits the ring to clean house. He is SO white.

- Speaking of Statler and Waldorf, they're sitting up in the balcony, and Statler is ripping off Steve Austin's What? while Waldorf says he was born in the Stone Age... even the Muppets are doing that stupid bit? Michael Cole makes fun of them, and says it sounds like Jerry Lawler and Jim Ross doing commentary.

Big Show vs. Alberto Del Rio:

As mentioned earlier, Del Rio is the reigning WWE Champion. If you missed it, Del Rio instructed his personal ring announcer, Ricardo Rodriguez, to interfere and get Punk DQ'ed, thus leading to a beating for Rodriguez. It's hard to believe that Big Show has been in WWE for 12 years now (on-and-off, at times, but still...) Show charges, but Del Rio gets a few shots in. Show manages to corner Del Rio and gives him a big chop. The trend continues, with Show clubberin' Del Rio. Show with a suplex and cover for a two count. Show misses a charge to the corner, but manages to hit Del Rio with a clothesline. Show meets the boot of Del Rio on another charge, and it's homage to Princess Bride time, as Del Rio hops on the back of Big Show and slaps on a sleeper hold. Show fights back to his feet and throws Del Rio off. The action spills outside, where Show pounds away on the Champion. Show charges in with a knee that made absolutely zero contact, but still is sold like death. I heard of working loose, but that was ridiculous. Show tries another charge, but meets the wall, and Del Rio adds a running enziguri to add insult to doofus-ness. Back in the ring, and Del Rio stomps away on the face of Big Show for a two count. Del Rio cranks on a front facelock, bringing the excitement level up from a Level 1 to a Level 1-2. Big Show escapes again, but both men play dead. Show slaps Del Rio across the chest, but takes another boot to the face. Del Rio with ANOTHER facelock. It's smart "strategy" for WRESTLING (they're Entertainment, by the way), but boring as hell. We return from commercial (sweet lord, this continues?) We return with a leg grapevine... I guess he decided to change his resthold up. Show fights back to his feet, but a chokeslam is countered by a Del Rio DDT, getting a two count. Show's kick-out impact sends Del Rio out of the ring. Del Rio runs into a big right, and THAT gets a three count at the 12-minute mark... the WWE Champ jobbed, clean, to a punch? Andre the Giant's sucky hip toss was more convincing of a finishing move than that!

Afterwards, C.M. Punk heads to the ring, no doubt wanting to demand a title shot at Del Rio at Survivor Series. Did I see a twitter advertisement for Punk on the bottom of the page? Damn this Entertainment program. Punk revives Del Rio with a bottle of water, and offers to torture him with the Anaconda Vice if he doesn't agree to giving Punk a title shot. Ripping off what Mick Foley did to Shane McMahon in 1999, eh? Touche, C.M. Punk. Del Rio screams instantly, making him look like a total pussy in the process.

- Fozzie Bear and Gonzo the Great are hanging around backstage, with Fozzie cracking terrible jokes. Vicki, Swagger, and Ziggler walk in as Gonzo gloats about how easy it will be to be a WWE Champion. Swagger and Ziggler stretch Gonzo's arms out, much like John Cleese did on the Muppet Show, back in the day. Gonzo enjoyed the arm stretching though, totally in touch with his character, of course.

- We get a lengthy advertisement for the new Muppets movie, coming out Thanksgiving Weekend... then we find out ANIMAL (the Muppet, not the Road Warrior) is the special guest time keeper, doing a better job than any of those WrestleMania celebrities from back in the day (I'm looking at you, Rhonda Shear!).

Santino Marella vs. Jack Swagger (w/ Vicki Guerrero)

Santino looks like such a goofball... I guess that's the point, right? Lockup, and Marella no-sells being shoved down. He does NOT no-sell being clotheslined for showing off. Swagger pounds away, then does push-ups off the body of Marella. Whip to the corner, and Swagger meets boot charging in. Marella pounds away as the crowd chants "we Want Muppets"... I hope that's what they're chanting. Muppets 2011 > Jack Swagger. Marella with a snapmare and headbutt for a two count. Swagger sweeps the leg and it's Ankle Lock time. Santino escapes, but is in too much pain to capitalize. Beeker shows up to give Santino the potion (A MUPPET RUN IN!?!?), he tries to down it, but then spits in Swagger's face, and rolls him up for the three count. I don't believe it... a Muppet did a run-in for a WWE match. It was entertaining, I will admit that.

Zack Ryder vs. Dolph Ziggler (w/ Vicki Guerrero):

I don't know Ryder's character, but he looks like a chump... I remember seeing Ziggler now and then, and I don' really care much for him. He's also the United States Champion. How many damn titles are there? Ziggler quickly grabs a headlock, then bowls through Ryder with a shoulder block. Criss-cross, and Ryder with a pair of arm drags, followed by a roll up for a two count. Ziggler regains control, but Ryder puts him down with a pair of clotheslines. Ryder to the second rope, and he connects with a missile dropkick. Ryder with a plancha on Ziggler, as we take a commercial break. We return, and Ziggler has Ryder in an armbar/chinlock. Combining two boring restholds doesn't make it not-boring. Ziggler with a neck breaker, but he's too obsessed with gloating to go for a pin attempt. Ryder recovers in time to fling Ziggler into the corner, and it's Slugfest Time™! Ryder hammers away on Ziggler in the corner and hits a running boot to the face for a two count. A lot of wrestlers use kicks as transition moves, I noticed. Ziggler tries doing something in the corner, but meets the knees of Ryder. Ryder covers, but Ziggler gets a foot on the ropes, rendering the pinfall as void. Vicki interferes, and Ziggler boots his head off. Ryder blocks something big from Ziggler and hits what looks like a weird Rocker Dropper for the REAL three count. Decent match, I guess. Not bad, not good.

- Last Monday on some show, Triple H gets taken out by Kevin Nash. To make a sucky joke, it's been years since I've watched a full episode of Raw, and Trips is still hogging TV time without actually being there, live. Okay, in all seriousness... what the hell is the point of Nash vs. Triple H, in 2011? It sucked in 2003, when Nash was really washed up and Triple H was kinda past his prime. I hope this doesn't lead to some 40-minute "epic" like (Boring as) Hell in a Cell was for Trips and Shawn Michaels. Michael Cole informs us that Triplle H's fractured vertabrae will keep him out of action for 5 WEEKS.

- Michael Cole hops on the broadcast table to rundown Jim Ross... didn't the WWE already do a tasteless bit insulting Jim Ross' very real life medical issues concerning his private area in 2005? Michael Cole whips out a diaper, and makes a terrible "depends" joke. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Statler and Waldorf have harsh words for Cole.

- Backstage, Miss Piggy is hanging around John Morrison, admiring his six-pack... I guess Piggy is a step up from Melina. Morrison has a friend for her: Hornswoggle, and he's got a Miss Piggy tattoo on his ankle. She karate chops him for kissing her, and Hornswoggle actually sells it. THANK YOU! Kermit chimes in "I thought my show was weird", as Cody Rhodes comes over and puts a bag over Kermit's face.

WrestleMania ReMatch: John Cena vs. The Miz:

Not much time left in the broadcast, what is this, WCW Nitro circa ever? Statler gets himself dizzy doing the "You Can't See Me" thing. I was hoping the Muppets would be entertaining, but I was hoping more from everything else. Cena charges the ring, and milks his entrance even more. 11:01, and the match finally starts. Lockup, and Cena takes Miz down with a headlock. Cena sends Miz to the corner, and takes him over with a loose suplex. Make it believable, please. Miz comes back with, you guessed it, a running boot, followed by stomping. That gets a two count. Crowd does a stupid dueling chant for Cena... I make fun of TNA fans for doing it, I make fun of WWE fans for doing it. I hate it, no matter what. the match sucks, but still, please stop feeding your own egos with such "cool" chants. Miz to the top rope, and he comes off with an axehandle for a two count. Stomping and a chinlock from Miz. If only Superstar Billy Graham was calling the action... Cena escapes and comes off the ropes with shoulder tackles. Cena with a slam ("Vintage Cena!"), and it's five-knuckle shuffle time. Cena goes for the F-U (or whatever it's called), but Miz counters with the Slop Drop for a two count. Cena ducks a running boot, but can't hold onto the STF(U). Miz with a backbreaker for a two count. Cena hulks-up and nails a clothesline for a two count. Cena to the top rope, but Miz fights Cena down. Cena blocks a super-plex and comes off with... a leg drop that misses, for a two count. Miz plants Cena with a DDT for a two count. I guess the FU is called the AA now, or something. Lame PG WWE... we go outside, when suddenly the dude from Scream attacks Cena. Let me guess, it's R-Truth. Cena overcomes the odds though, and makes Miz tap to the STF(not U) at the 8-minute mark. Scream mask dude comes in and gets AA'ed, and hey, no surprise, it's the Truth.

Final Thoughts: I really don't know where to start. The wrestling was painfully average at best, with everyone seemingly having the same style and moveset, and everyone looking pretty much the same, with very little definable charactertistics. I almost typed wrong names for Ziggler, Miz, Swagger, Ryder, and Barrett several times through the entire show. The stuff featuring the Muppets was cute for Nostalgia purposes, but I'm sure if I watched it again, I would be bored by it. The only non-Muppet segment I truely enjoyed was probably Punk taking advantage of the incapacitated Del Rio and getting his title shot out of the situation. First complete Raw I've watched since Old School, and I don't think I will be back for a while. Maybe if they do something dumb, like have Pee-Wee Herman guest host.

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