The John Report: The WWE Raw Deal for 04/25/11 (Draft)

The WWE Raw Deal for 04/25/11 (Draft)
By John Canton
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I wrote this live exclusively at this evening. Live from Raleigh, North Carolina this is the Raw Deal…

The show started with the battle royal. The announcers are Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler and Josh Mathews. The Raw guys are wearing red Raw t-shirts while the Smackdown guys are wearing blue t-shirts. The announcers are trying to put over how important the draft is even though for the past few months they have ignored all things related to the roster split.

Raw vs. Smackdown Battle Royal
I’m not even sure how many men started this match. They’ve had some big moments with big guys getting eliminated like Khali, Kozlov and Ezekiel Jackson. Big Show is still in there. Cole talks about himself being a first round draft pick. What? It’s not a choice. It’s supposed to be random. They don’t even know how to put over the randomness of this thing. Call it a lottery, not a draft. There was a big double elimination with Mark Henry and Brodus Clay going out at the same time. Smackdown’s got four guys left while Raw has five. There’s some interaction between Sheamus and Drew McIntyre although neither guy gets eliminated. They went to a commercial with something like eight guys left.


We’re back on Raw. It’s four on four now. The Raw guy that got eliminated before the break was Sheamus. Evan Bourne eliminates Drew McIntyre. Kofi completely misses Mason Ryan on a double axe. Mason still tries to sell it. Santino goes for the Cobra on Show, but instead Show punches him in the face and Santino is out. Mason Ryan throws out Rhodes and Kofi eliminates Bryan with his feet. Final four are Show & Kofi vs. Mason Ryan & Evan Bourne. The big guys pair off while Bourne & Kingston work together. Nice near elimination by them showing some awesome athleticism. Bourne jumps off the top, Show catches him and tosses him over the top rather easily. Kofi & Show team up, which leads to Show shoving Ryan over the top.
Winners: Team Smackdown

Analysis: *1/2 Pretty good for a battle royal. The end was fun.

To Smackdown: John Cena. Wow. That’s very shocking. I’m assuming that this is going to lead to a trade or something. It’s certainly an attention grabber. Cole is freaking out about it, saying Cena’s an institution of Raw. “What a shocker! Oh my!” He put on a Smackdown shirt as they went to break.


Backstage, Todd Grisham interviews John Cena. He says this is the biggest move in WWE history. He goes on some promo talking about how SyFy is all excited. He says we’d all remember the day that John Cena goes back to Smackdown. He says he’d walk into Extreme Rules as a member of Smackdown and he will “bring the WWE Championship back to the Smack.” The Miz walked in. He says after this Sunday when it comes to Raw “you’re right, I can’t see you.”

Michael Cole plugged the “main event” of the show: Michael Cole vs. Jim Ross. Please let it be short.

They went to a video package covering R-Truth’s heel turn from last week.

Justin Roberts introduced R-Truth. He came out to no music and stood on the stage to cut a promo. He told the crowd to shut up. They did loud “WHAT?” chants, to which Truth reacted saying “y’all gonna stop with that what!” They didn’t stop and he let it get to him. He told the crowd they were pissing him the hell off and the bleep missed the curse word. He blames the fans for him accepting Morrison’s challenge and also for losing. Says that we have pissed him off. He said he tried his whole career rapping & dancing for us. We need to get some rhythm apparently. He mocks “little Jimmy” singing the What’s Up song with him and now he mocks “little Jimmy” by looking down and says that him singing didn’t put any titles around his waist. “So you can wipe your nose and shut up.” He said for ten years he chose the fans. The “WHAT?” chant is affecting him again. He says he’s giving us the boot. Peace out. “Don’t boo me – you should be booing yourselves.” His facial expressions while reacting to the “WHAT?” chants are hilarious. He said he felt marvelous having a smoke and that for the first time the truth has set him free.

John Morrison came out to attack Truth. He attacked him in the aisle way, but the refs came out to break it up. The crowd reacted favorably to that of course.

That was a long promo. He did well, though. The crowd is really hot and were really booing him. He fed off them well too. I think he’s got a good future as a heel if they allow him to cut promos like this again.

They are hyping next week’s Raw as the “Biggest Birthday Party” for The Rock live in his hometown of Miami.


They aired another promo for Awesome Kong. She crushed a blonde doll in her hands. The camera panned up to show her face as she laughed at it. Then the screen showed her name: Kharma. I’m ready for her to crush the Bellas.

Eve vs. Layla
Before the match, they aired their Couples Therapy session. The acting in these segments isn’t very good. After hugging, McCool shoved her down. Michelle’s at ringside for this match. Eve hits a sloppy move on Layla. Michael Cole went on the microphone cutting a promo saying he didn’t care about the match. Then she rolls up Layla for the win. What the hell was that? Match ended in about 30 seconds.
Winner: Eve

Post match, Cole walked up the ramp cutting a promo about how he was going to beat Jim Ross. “Mr. WrestleMania has left ringside” is what he says to end the segment.

With Cole now backstage, Laycool continued to fight. This time Layla got the upper hand, tackling Michelle and whipping her into the barricade. Then she starts crying, saying she is sick of this. Then she whips McCool into the announcers sitting at ringside. Back to the draft.

To Raw: Rey Mysterio. That’s a bit surprising to me because he’s been such a staple on Smackdown and when he was on Raw before it didn’t go well. Maybe this means Sin Cara goes to Smackdown because I think they’ll want to keep Rey & Sin Cara separate. During the picks, they show the roster sitting backstage watching the goings on with the Raw crew separated from the Smackdown crew.

Backstage, Jim Ross was warming up. “Oh no he’s winded,” says King.


They plugged some draft game.

Backstage, Todd Grisham interviewed Cody Rhodes with his mask. He says he’s going to put Mysterio in a new mask at Extreme Rules in their Falls Count Anywhere match. It will be the mask you put on before surgery. “Booyaka Booyaka bye bye bye.” That was a good ending of the promo. I’m a big fan of the Cody Rhodes character. I think he might be a Money in the Bank winner this year. He’s on the rise. Take notice of him.

Kofi Kingston vs. Sheamus
They are wearing the t-shirts of their respective brands. Sheamus dominates early. All of the Superstars will be in Miami for Raw next week for Rock’s birthday. So if everybody is going to be on Raw next week they are already devaluing the exclusive nature of being drafted to Raw & Smackdown. Sheamus misses his Brogue Kick, so Kofi hits the Trouble in Paradise kick two times in a row. He pins Sheamus in 3 minutes.
Winner: Kofi Kingston

Analysis: *1/4 Too short to do anything. I don’t think this is going to be the show for quality matches. That’s okay.

All the Smackdown guys are doing the Kofi Kingston “boom boom boom” celebration.

To Smackdown: Randy Orton. The announcers sold shock. I think a lot of us predicted this move. It’s surprising to see it after Cena has already been picked for Smackdown. Like I said earlier I don’t expect the Cena thing to last. I think Orton is more likely to be on Smackdown.

Up next is Cole vs. Ross.


Booker T. has come out to the announce desk to join Mathews and Lawler. Cole comes out to Swagger’s music. They do pushups together on their way to the ring. How cute. They recapped the segment from last week when Cole got “knighted” by the fake queen. King called it the most embarrassing moment of JR’s life. Yeah, if you forget all the other times Vince has humiliated him.

For you Zack Ryder fans out there, I can see a “Woo Woo Woo” sign on screen for much of the show.

Michael Cole vs. Jim Ross
This is not for a draft pick obviously. Cole makes fun of JR’s weight to stall. The one minute of stalling is already double in length of the divas match. Cole leaves the ring to put JR’s hat on. You know Vince McMahon is loving this right now. He thinks it’s the best thing ever. Cole stomps on the hat. Total stalling has been about three minutes. JR grabs him and shoves him down as Cole calls timeout to sit on a stool. Swagger gives him water. You know what would be nice? If they developed a wrestler as a personality the way they have Cole. Cole goes to slam JR, but he can’t do it and JR hits him with right hands to the face. Swagger attacks Lawler on the floor. Then he breaks up the attack in the ring for the DQ. Cole is bleeding from the mouth. That almost makes this segment worth it.
Winner by DQ: Jim Ross

Post match, Swagger put Ross in the ankle lock. Cole attacks Ross with a belt, whipping him in the back. Lawler comes back to knock Swagger out of the ring. He picks up the belt to a huge pop from the crowd. He whips Cole with the belt. He hightails it with Swagger.

The anonymous GM sends an email. Josh reads it to say that the tag match at Extreme Rules will now be a “Country Whipping Match.” Booker says that is right up JR’s alley. That entire segment ran about ten minutes.

Backstage, Scott Sanford interviewed Miz & Riley. Riley fixed the microphone by turning it around to make it a “M” instead of a “W.” Miz said all anybody cares about is Cena to Smackdown and Rock’s birthday. He says that he’ll find a way to leave Extreme Rules as WWE Champ because that’s what always happens. He says USA Network executives better pray that he’s not drafted to Smackdown because if that happens then Monday Night Raw would be canceled.

I guess that means he’ll get drafted to Smackdown later on? I doubt it.


Randy Orton vs. Dolph Ziggler
This is for two draft picks apparently. Before the show they said on twitter that the battle royal was for two picks. I guess they change and then the Angle Slam that they never call with an actual name. Vickie distracts Orton, Dolph gets a two count, Orton powers out and hits a RKO for the win. Match was about three minutes.
Winner: Randy Orton

Analysis: * Nobody’s going to remember it, but Ziggler wasn’t made to look very good here.

The draft thing was going on the screen as CM Punk said it can wait because he had something to say. He mentions that he’s going to beat Orton with everything and that he won’t be able to answer the ten count. It’s a Last Man Standing match. Orton says he’ll miss things on Raw, but he won’t miss having to hear Punk ramble on and on and on. He says after this Sunday he won’t be talking, walking, drinking or moving – all you will be is sleeping…unconscious…sleeping. He says he’ll be the Last Man Standing. That was a really good promo from both guys. Orton showed great intensity.

We’ll find out the two draft picks for Smackdown after the commercial.


To Smackdown: Mark Henry. Oh no. I’m crying into a tall glass of Kool-Aid right now. I need a moment or two.

To Smackdown: Sin Cara. I told ya he won’t be on the same show on Mysterio. They want to keep them apart. It’s not like he was a huge part of Raw.

Rey Mysterio vs. Wade Barrett
This is for two draft picks. Rey is now representing Raw and if you didn’t know the t-shirts would tell you. Barrett overpowers him early, but Rey comes back with the quickness. The announcers keep talking about how decimated Raw is right now. Rey hits a hurricanrana off the top that sends Barrett into the ropes. Rey hits the 619 and a splash off the top rope to get the win. Match was maybe 3 minutes.
Winner: Rey Mysterio

Analysis: *1/2 Decent TV match. The IC title has never mattered less. Barrett’s done nothing to impress as champion.

To Raw: Big Show. How many times has he switched shows over the years? It seems like a yearly occurrence.

To Raw: Alberto Del Rio. I am surprised by this one. He’s backstage talking to Ricardo Rodriguez. I guess he’s not happy about it. We never really hear him say anything in English. I thought he’d be on the same show as Cena because that’s a feud they are likely to do this year. I guess the scenario of getting Cena back on Raw is more likely now. It’s just a matter of how they do it.


They show a wide shot of the arena. Cole’s back in the Cole Mine. He’s got a fat lip and a black eye. He says JR is getting his hand checked because Cole’s face broke it.

Extreme Rules rundown:
Orton vs. Punk Last Man Standing – It should be Punk. It will probably be Orton.
Country Whipping Match: Ross/Lawler vs. Cole/Swagger – It’s got to be Ross & Lawler.
World Title Ladder Match: Christian vs. Alberto Del Rio – I think it’s going to be Christian now.
WWE Title Cage Match: The Miz vs. John Cena vs. John Morrison – I’m not sure. It depends on the Cena angle. Miz probably keeps it.

Teddy Long comes out to announce the main event: The Miz, CM Punk & Alberto Del Rio from Raw vs. Christian, Mark Henry & John Cena from Smackdown. Five of the six belong. Mark Henry does not. The winning team gets the last draft pick of the show.


They announced that the draft would continue tomorrow at starting at 12pmET. Should I write about it live on Yes I will.

The Miz was in the ring first with Alex Riley. CM Punk came out next. Then Ricardo Rodriguez introduced Del Rio as Cole said it would be an honor to hear this great introduction every week. We’ve heard it for months on Raw. The babyface Smackdown team was next with Christian coming out first. Mark Henry followed to almost no pop at all. Why him? Because somebody has to take the pinfall loss. John Cena is out last. “The final time for John Cena on Monday Night Raw.” They already said everybody would be on next week for Rock’s birthday.

The Miz, CM Punk & Alberto Del Rio vs. Christian, Mark Henry & John Cena
CM Punk and Christian started. That’s a feud I’d like to see. Christian tagged in Cena, all the heels bailed and they went to commercial less than a minute in. The intros took about five minutes, so I guess they had to do that.


We’re back at 10:59pmET, so we have less than ten minutes on the show. Christian hits a back elbow off Punk. On commentary, Cole mentions that he’s on both shows anyway. So why is he one of the options on screen when they show the people that might get drafted? I know, I know, I shouldn’t ask intelligent questions. Del Rio gets the tag and puts down Christian with a really nice seated dropkick. Miz tags in to work over Christian. He prevents a hot tag and Punk gets the tag to work over Christian. Miz got back in and hit his clothesline corner for a two count. Del Rio works on Christian’s arm as the announcers put over his intelligence. He puts Christian on the top rope, Captain Charisma fights him off and hits an awesome DDT off the top rope to put Del Rio down. Cena gets the hot tag at the same time as The Miz. Then out of nowhere Mark Henry clotheslines John Cena. “What the hell?” yells Booker. Mark walks out of the ring and drops Christian headfirst on the ring steps. There’s a heel turn by the Kool-Aid man. He’s mad that he’s not wearing the Cherry Red Kool-Aid color now. Poor guy. Miz hits the Skull Crushing Finale to win for Team Raw at the 10 minute mark.
Winners: Team Raw

Analysis: ** A basic 10 minute tag match. Mark Henry’s heel turn was noteworthy.

To Raw: John Cena. I called it. People on my Twitter called it. People on my Facebook called it. People on called it. Everybody called it.

To end the show Super Cena cleaned house. He just got pinned, but he’s impervious to pain and smiling to end the show just like he always does.

The draft continues Tuesday at 12pmET on I will cover it live at, so just visit my site and hit refresh throughout the day.

Three Stars of the Show
1. Jim Ross – He bloodied Michael Cole in the mouth. That’s an automatic first star.
2. R-Truth – His first heel promo and he did a great job. WHAT?
3. CM Punk/Randy Orton – I liked their promo.

5 out of 10
Last week: 5
2011 High Score: 9.1 (March 28)
2011 Low Score: 4 (Jan. 10)
2011 Average: 6.04

Rate the 4/25 Raw on the 1-10 scale…survey software

I’m giving it a 5 just like last week. A very average show. It was a bad week for in-ring action and a lot of overreaction from the announcers, as well as logic holes throughout the show that I tried to touch on throughout my live coverage.

To summarize the moves, Raw gets Rey Mysterio, Big Show & Alberto Del Rio while Smackdown gets Randy Orton, Mark Henry & Sin Cara. John Cena stays where he is. I think a lot of us thought the Orton thing would happen and it did. Del Rio to Raw is interesting because now Raw has Miz, Punk & Del Rio as top of the line heels while Smackdown is lacking in that department. Mark Henry? That’s not going to work. I think Cody Rhodes will get elevated sooner rather than later on the Smackdown brand and they could decide to pull the trigger on a Drew McIntyre push.

The promotion of the PPV was very weak. It would have been nice to see John Morrison interact with Miz & Cena in some way. He’s done absolutely nothing with either of them in the two weeks since he’s been a number one contender and you’re putting him in a WWE Title match. Does that mean they’ll blame him for a really low PPV buyrate number? I hope not.

I really hope the announcer feud is done this week. It should have ended at WrestleMania. The angle has peaked at this point.

The news that Cena got drafted to Smackdown at the start of the show only to go back to Raw later on in the show ends up being a big piece of non-news after all. It’s predictable WWE booking even though I’m sure Vince thinks he fooled some people. Maybe he fooled some 10 year old kids. Congrats grandpa Vince. You still got it!

To end the column this week, check out this awesome video of Steve Austin. He posted it on Twitter saying it was a Tough Enough surprise. Not exactly. See for yourself.

Just a reminder that if you ever order something off to do so off The John Report because my site has become an affiliate. You get your merch and you’d be helping me at the same time. Pretty cool huh? I’ll be back on Tuesday afternoon to cover the supplemental draft from exclusively at

15% off all orders of $60 or more. Use Code WWE15OFF. Exp. 4/30/11

John Canton – [email protected]
Twitter @johnreport

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