Welcome to our first WrestlingINC.com Live RAW Viewing Party. We will be providing live ongoing coverage of tonight's RAW, while you all can chime in on your thoughts throughout the show. If we get a good response tonight, we will start doing this every week.
Clips were shown from 9/11 of President George Bush addressing the country, and Vince McMahon attending fans in Houston, TX at a SmackDown! taping days later.
RAW opened with Lilian Garcia singing the national anthem. Garcia, as always, nailed it out of the park, it gave me goosebumps. Huge pop for Lilian and loud "USA" chant as we head to the intro.
The Rock's music hits and he comes out looking emotional on the stage. Rock headed to the ring teary eyed and posed for a bit before taking the mic. Insanely loud "Rocky" chants. "Finally... The Rock has come back... HOME!!" He opened up by saying, "We got him!" Rock thanked the armed services, and noted that his family was a part of the military and said he was damn proud to be an American. He led the crowd in the pledge of allegiance and another loud "USA" chant broke out.
Rock started talking up growing up and showed a funny old high school pic of himself, but said that you can laugh, but he got more pie in one night than King Kong Bundy at a polish bakery. Rock said he had enough of the yapping and it was time to start partying, and the RAW GM chimed in.
Before Michael Cole could read the email, Rock cut him off and asked Cole to read the message in the ring. Cole declined, and tried to read the email again. Rock cut him off again, saying Cole won at 'Mania and last night, and asked Cole to read the message to the Rock's face. Cole said that he is now a man, and is a winner. He took off his jacket and watch, and then proceeded to take off his shirt to reveal a Celtics jersey for some cheap heat.
Cole finally relented to deliver the message face to face and went into the ring. Cole said the RAW GM demands an apology for embarrassing him at 'Mania. If Rock doesn't apologize, then the party will be shut down. Cole wants an apology as well, for all the embarrassment he's been put through over the years. Rock says he did disrespect the GM at WM, and Cole over the years. Rock has one thing to say to Cole: "I'm sorry." Rock extends his hand, says that they're live and says that he'll either accept his apology, or he won't. You know what's coming. Cole shakes Rock's hand and thanks him for apologizing. Rock keeps holding Cole's hand, says "Thank you... and Go Heat b---h!" and delivers a rock bottom and the people's elbow.
The Rock's music hits, and Rock asks him to cut it off. Rock then welcomes Pitbull. Pitbull wished Rock a "happy birthday," and sang for a bit on the stage. The Miami Heat cheerleaders come on stage and dance while Pitbull performed. Pitbull left, and John Morrison vs. R-Truth is up next.
Lebron James had a taped message for the Rock, wishing him a happy birthday. We're 30 minutes in and heading to our first commercial.
JR is introduced at ringside, replacing Michael Cole.
R-Truth vs. John Morrison
John Morrison's music hits and he heads to the ring. Before he can get far, R-Truth ambushes him and delivers a beating on the ring floor before the match could ever start. Truth heads to the back with a crazy look in his eye. Officials help Morrison to the back, who is selling his right shoulder. Before he could get to the back, he is attacked by Truth again and driven onto the steel stage by Truth's finisher. Short segment, but effective and we are off to another commercial.
R-Truth vs. John Morrison was a no contest.
Jimmy Kimmell wishes Rock a happy birthday in a taped message.
Maryse heads to the ring. Kelly Kelly's music hits and we're off to our next match.
Maryse vs. Kelly Kelly
Before the match could really get going, Kharma's music hits and she makes her way to the ring. Kharma quickly hit her old TNA finisher on Maryse as Kelly Kelly watched on in horror. Kharma spared Kelly in the corner and left the ring.
Maryse and Kelly Kelly was a no-contest.
Miz is unhappy backstage. Alex Riley approached Miz, and Miz was upset that Riley wasn't there for when he lost his title. Riley noted he was drafted, and Miz said that doesn't matter since he has a contract with Miz. He told Riley that he will be at ringside for his match with Cena, and no one will be talking about Rock's birthday after tonight, but rather about him regaining the WWE title.
Another taped happy birthday wish, this time from his Fast Five co-star Paul Walker. Walker also took a jab at Cena, calling him "Fruity Pebbles."
Back from commercial and we have a taped birthday message from Samuel L. Jackson.
Rock is backstage recalling singing Happy Birthday to Mrs. Obama to the divas at a party backstage. Teddy Long then shakes Rock's hand. Some bad comedy with Kozlov and Santino Marella, who is dressed like Rock's character from Fast Five.
Hornswoggle is dressed like the Scorpion King and has a tooth ache, prompting The Great Khali to come out, dressed like the Tooth Fairy. Disturbing. Rock says he has the perfect person for the title of this masterpiece. Cue Ron Simmons, and you know the rest.
Miz and John Cena are heading to the ring, and their match is next. We still haven't had a "real" match yet, but it's been a fun episode so far. I'm sensing a screwjob with this match as well.
Steve Carrell gives a taped happy birthday message "against his will."
John Cena (c) vs. The Miz
Miz's music hits and we are set for Miz vs. John Cena. After several minutes of action, Miz has the advantage as we head to a commercial.
The end of the match saw Cena lock in the STF, but the ref is out as Miz taps. Alex Riley interferes and Miz then hits the SCF. The ref comes to, but only counts two. Miz is upset and Cena hits the AA, but Miz kicks out at two! Riley places the belt in the corner and distracts the ref. Miz nails Cena with the belt. The ref turns around and counts 1-2-3 and calls the match for Miz. After the match, the ref sees the belt and reverses his decision, so Cena wins the match by DQ. Really good match. After the match, Miz is irate with Riley and shoves him. Cena proceeds to beat the holy hell out of both Miz and Riley, then celebrates with the belt.
John Cena (c) defeated the Miz to retain the WWE Championship.
Ellen Degeneres wished the Rock a happy birthday in a taped message.
Back from commercial, and the star power for the Rock's birthday continued as Tyler Perry wished The Rock a happy birthday in a taped message.
They show John Cena announcing that Osama Bin Laden has been killed after Extreme Rules.
Ricardo Rodriguez introduces Alberto Del Rio, who is doing commentary for the next match.
The heels put the beatdown on Kofi for most of the match. Rey finally made the hot tag and delivered his high octane offense on McIntrye. Rey covered McIntyre, but Swagger broke up the count. Kofi was send out of the ring by Swagger. Mysterio hit a flying headbutt on McIntrye to get the win for his team.
Rey Mysterio and Kofi Kingston defeated Jack Swagger and Drew McIntyre after Mysterio pinned McIntyre.
A promo for WWE's anti-bullying campaign aired.
Ludacris delivered a happy birthday message to the Rock.
Back from commercial, and Dan Marino delivered a happy birthday message to the Rock.
Christian and The Rock are talking backstage, and Rock congratulated Christian for winning the World Heavyweight Championship. Vickie Guerrero and Dolph Ziggler came by and said that they knew the Rock liked pie, and they brought out Mae Young. Rock told them that he was happy to see Mae on his birthday, and said Vickie can lose all the weight she wants, she will never look as good as Mae. Rock thanked her for coming and then planted a big kiss on Mae, and told Dolph that he gets more pie in one night than Dolph gets in a lifetime. Rock turns around to see Cena. Cena says he has a gift and holds up the WWE belt. He says he'll keep it until 'Mania, and if Rock wants it, he has to go through him. Rock said "Just bring it," Cena said "Happy Birthday" and walked off.
Kane vs. Mason Ryan is up next.
Back from commercial, and George Lopez has a taped birthday message for The Rock.
CM Punk's music and he comes to the ring with Ryan.
Kane vs. Mason Ryan
Ryan and Kane locked up, and Ryan shoves Kane a couple of times, driving Kane to the outside of the ring on his second attempt. Ryan continued to dominate the opening moments of the match. Kane started to mount a comeback, and Punk interfered, prompting a DQ. Nexus headed to the ring. Kane got Ryan in position for a chokeslam, but Ryan pried Kane's hand off of his throat. Nexus then started beating down Kane, and the Big Show's music hit. Big Show started cleaning house until Ryan charged at Show, taking him down with a spear. Obviously the start of a big push for Ryan. Ryan then left the ring on his own as Nexus looked on bewildered.
Regis Philbin and Kelly Rippa wished Rock a happy birthday.
The Rock's birthday celebration is next after the break.
Back from commercial, and Craig Ferguson wishes the Rock a happy birthday.
The Rock's music hits and he heads to the ring. Rock thanks the fans for coming out and making it one of the greatest nights of his life. Rock thanked his family at ringside, his family at home, and the WWE. The Rock gives his word that next year's WrestleMania will be the biggest of all time. Vince McMahon's music hits and he comes to the stage. Rock smiles as Vince comes out.
Vince wishes the Rock a happy birthday and thanks Rock for having his birthday celebration tonight. He also thanked Rock for coming to him and asking to be given an opportunity. He continued to thank Rock for his respect, passion and humanity. He then thanked him for being "The Rock." He said they put together a birthday present for him, and a teary eyed Vince said thank you for coming home. A great video of Rock was shown, from childhood to current day as one of the biggest stars in the history of the business. Great video package. Pop star Mya was introduced to sing happy birthday. She led the crowd into singing happy birthday to the Rock. Rock then thanked everyone, "if you smell what the Rock was cooking." Streamers, balloons and confetti started coming down as the show went off the air. Classy segment, paying tribute to "The Great One" with no gimmicks. It's clear that Vince appreciates everything Rock has done and still coming back after becoming such a big star in Hollywood.
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