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April 19, 2011

WWE Raw: John Morrison learns that The Truth hurts

When R-Truth earned a spot in the main event of the Extreme Rules pay-per-view on Raw last week, I wrote that I had a feeling his sudden elevation was a means to turning him heel.

I didn’t necessarily expect it to happen on the very next episode, but R-Truth did indeed embrace his bad side on Raw Monday night.

The angle that turned him got off to an inauspicious start, but it ended on a high note.

He opened the show with a promo in which he was being so over-the-top giddy about getting the WWE title shot at Extreme Rules that it was obvious that a heel turn was imminent.

John Morrison then came out and challenged R-Truth to put his spot in the title bout on the line against him. He basically tricked R-Truth into agreeing to it.

The verbal exchange between Morrison and R-Truth was clunky to say the least, and the segment was dying a slow death in front of the live crowd in London. I was begging for John Cena, or The Miz or anybody to come out and save it.

Things picked up considerably, however, after Morrison defeated R-Truth to take his spot in the pay-per-view match (so now it will be Miz versus Cena versus Morrison).

Morrison celebrated at first, but then tempered his enthusiasm after realizing that his good fortune came at the expense of his friend. R-Truth stewed about it for a few moments and then snapped.

He delivered a stern beatdown to Morrison that included two running knees to the head. Appearing to be conflicted over his actions, R-Truth helped Morrison up but then threw him back down and continued the assault.

At one point, R-Truth lit up a cigarette and blew smoke over the fallen Morrison’s body. That was a nice touch. Earlier in the segment, Morrison had kidded him about being an athlete who smokes.

I’m looking forward to see where things go from here with R-Truth, who has shown in the past in other promotions that he can be an effective heel.

Other thoughts on Monday’s show:

It was announced that the draft will take place on next week’s show. ...

The Randy Orton-CM Punk main event was good and the crowd was really hot for it. There were some great near falls, including one sequence in which Orton went for the draping DDT, Punk countered with a GTS attempt, Orton went for an RKO attempt and Punk landed a roundhouse kick. I did think the finish was a bit anti-climactic, though, as Orton ducked one of Punk’s kicks and simply rolled him up for the pin. ...

I’m not sure what to make of the Orton-Punk post-match angle. After The Nexus attacked Orton, Mason Ryan wanted to punt Orton in the head, but Punk stopped him. Then when Punk went to deliver the kick, Orton sprang up and hit the RKO on him. ...

The bit with a Queen Elizabeth lookalike knighting Michael Cole and then Jim Ross being forced to kiss Cole’s foot probably sounded good on paper, but I thought it fell a little flat. ...

I was surprised to see Cole and Jack Swagger back on good terms already. I figured WWE would stretch that story line out for a couple more weeks. ...

Sin Cara got a nice rub by being in a tag team match with the likes of Cena and The Miz. Cara looked a little tentative at times but still had a decent showing overall, as he and Cena defeated Miz and Alex Riley. I liked that Cara scored the winning pin instead of Cena. ...

I’m not sure changing Dolph Ziggler’s look is a great idea. With his new generic haircut, he looks like he should be back in the Spirit Squad. Perhaps I’m just partial to bleached-blond hair. ...

It appears that Ziggler’s new ’do is part of a reboot for him, as he was introduced by Vickie Guerrero as “new and improved.” Ziggler Version 2.0 got off to a good start, as he defeated Evan Bourne in about two minutes. ...

Nearly all of Awesome Kong’s face was visible in this week’s vignette. The speculation is that she will go by the name Kharma. ...

Brie Bella told Eve that she may never get her rematch for the WWE Divas title if she gets drafted to Smackdown. Huh? I thought the Divas champ defended the title on both shows.

Posted by Kevin Eck at 9:25 PM | | Comments (26)


R-Truth turning heel means he will be drafted to Smackdown along with Kofi. They'll join Ezekiel Jackson and JTG to form the new Nation of Domination. But, the new leader will be Shelton Benjamin!!

After Morrison won the match with R-Truth, one of the announcers (Lawler? Cole?) said that it really changed the complexion of the upcoming title match at Extreme Rules. One wonders if they meant that it would now have three white guys, rather than two white guys and an African-American. Maybe it was just an unfortunate choice of words.

Found it amusing that the broadcast crew had never seen someone have a drink of water during a match. I don't think I have either, but I remember seeing Sandman having a smoke during a match. He even gave it to the ref to hold while he finished off his opponent. No one chanted "That's illegal!"

And a word of advice to "Sir" Michael Cole. One does not touch "Her Majesty", even if one is a newly minted knight.

Truth's heal turn was great, if a little long. He got some good heat from the crowd especially with the "that's illegal" chant when he lit up. Let's hope he can keep it up because I never thought he was going anywhere before now.

This was a real weak RAW. The opening promo was actually painful to watch. My God is Morrison boring. Seems like a nice guy and a great athlete but I just don't see how he could ever be champ. R-truth's behavior the whole time was......bizarre. The whole time I watched that fiasco I was thinking "is this really WWE I'm watching?" I'm sorry but Morrison and R-truth are mid carders and, as we saw, can't carry extended promos or segments by themselves.

As far as the rest of the show, really forced feeling. I don't know what it was but everything seemed "off" on this RAW.

Oh, this Cole thing is getting old fast. That fine line I think is being crossed with him. WWE needs to end this Cole thing sooner rather than later or have a serious scale back. Actually, the more I think about it.......and as sad as this is.....Cole is actually carrying a lot of RAW himself. Maybe that's why they just keep doing it.

Hopefully I'll be at next week's RAW in Raleigh so I really hope that show is better.

I have to tell you that it seems to me as if RAW could be just a few steps away from floundering big time. Take away Cena/Punk/Orton and RAW would be in big trouble. Smackdown is actually the loaded brand it seems now. VKM must be realizing this. Great draft timing.

This was not a good time to lose Edge.

If WWE keeps turning in shows like this RAW..........TNA may actually have a shot. at #1. Can't believe I'm saying that.

The t-shirts worn by Miz and Alex Riley made them look like co-captains of the nerd squad.

R-Truth's use of the cigarette was a nice touch. I suspect if this was any other promotion, R-Truth might have actually put out the cigarette on Morrison's chest.

I didn't see most of the post match beat down by Truth on Morrison (my feed crapped out), but it's almost difficult for me to imagine that he's the one that's a heel now rather then Morrison. In wrestling logic, Morrison seems like the jerk here, having goaded his friend into giving up his shot at the title. I've got a feeling we'll be seeing a third match between them this week, and either both or neither will be in the actual title match at the PPV.

how was it obvious that a heel turn was imminent when Truth was cutting his giddy promo??

anyway. i'm interested to see where his heel character goes.
if itll be strong

What is it with WWE wanting to get these generic short haircuts? Ziggler goes from looking like a star to looking like an everyday guy. Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but every time he ran his hands through his hair he seemed genuinely pissed.

So Kevvy, partial to bleached blondes, eh??? I'm real tempted to say something that I'm sure would offend GLAAD.......

Is there any truth that a draft was not going to happen until Edge had to retire? I mean they had no promos for it and it is only two hours instead of three. Obviously they have to have someone big go to Smackdown.

I can't remember the last time I had wanted to change the channel during an opening segment of RAW before. This was awful! Neither Truth nor Morrison should ever have a mic in their hands, let alone be asked to carry a lengthy promo. I thought it was never going to end. If this is the future of the company, they are in trouble.

That's weird, we never saw the cigarette being blown or even lit up on tv in the uk, on what was supposed to be a live broadcast (i'm aware it was recorded earlier, but we usually just have a live feed from the states, meaning we have to put up with your insane number of ad breaks). i'd just thought he'd asked for one and got booed. As for Sin Cara's performance, you really have to say it was sub-par. He botched several moves there, including the finish. truth be told, i was a little surprised that they didn't redo the finish as it was a recorded show. I went to the london show of raw a couple years back and i remember that there was a kane cm punk match which had had a botched finish, so they just re-did the end sequence and told us to cheer all the same.

What was with the weird finish in the Santino match?

It looked like he was out on his feet (legit).
I thought I saw someone do the "X" signal.

Waz up morrison was not a good suggestion and the cigarete lol.

I enjoyed the R-Truth heel turn overall, but you could see it coming a mile away and I think it dragged out a little long. The cigarette bit was nice though - I didn't think he was actually going to light up on a PG program. Kind of gave Truth a little edginess which was cool to see. Maybe now he'll drop the "What's up!" gimmick.

Regarding Ziggler's new do, I think he needs to grow a beard or do something to make him stand out a little more. The generic haircut along with having no tattoos or any other distinguishing characteristics reminds me of a default "create a wrestler" from one of the Smackdown vs. Raw videogames.

The smoking bit was not shown on Sky Sports in the UK. Too far and not required. Surely there will be fines for this if Taker and HHH get fined for a chair shot

If anyone is still questioning why the Miz is WWE Champion and Morrison is not...just watch the first 10 minutes of RAW and you will get your answer.

It did not help him that R-Truth was a part of the talking portion of this snore fest. If Morrison was going to be in the middle of the ring talking trash he needs to do it with someone who will elevate him not someone who is equally horrible on the mic.

I don't understand why someone with such athletic gifts is allowed to shoot himself in the foot. Both Truth and Morrison are guys who should be giving taped promos that they can do over and over until they get they get one that is good enough to show a TV audience. This was common practice even in the Attitude Era. There are only a few HBK's, Rock's, Jericho's and Stone Cold's. Those guys could shoot from the hip and deliver. Nowadays promos seem forced like they are trying to say the bullet points that they are supposed to remember. Not everyone has the gift of gab.

WWE should know better and change their protocol of having every promo in the middle of the ring in front of a live audience. Morrison and Truth are some of the best wrestlers the WWE has but they need to help these guys hide their weakness.

They ruined Ziggler. His look was unique and now he looks just like any other guy. not a good move. But who knows, maybe it will grow on me...

I watched the promo between Truth and Morrison and I noticed a couple things. First I kind of enjoyed Truth being so hyper. Just a couple weeks ago how many people were predicting his time was up in the WWE and now he just wrestled a great match, came out looking strong and was supposed to be a number one contender for the title. I'd be freaking giddy too.

The second thing is that I think Morrison's problem in the promo is that he was trying too hard to reconcile the fact that he knew he was supposed to be complete face here but he also had to pull a complete jerk move on his friend. He seemed to pause a lot and flash a big smile as if he was trying to convince himself as much as the fans that he wasn't being a douche. Really he was but it was necessary for Truth to go heel.

It may not have been great tv but I think it was partly that Morrison wasn't entirely comfortable with his role in the promo. Then again, one could argue the mark of a great wrestler would be the ability to run with a promo no matter how it makes him look.

I kinda liked Ziggler's new look but I can see why there are detractors.

Also, I'm a little sad that the new Nexus didn't get more opportunities to kick Orton's head.

I absolutely loved R-Truth's heel turn !
I was so happy they gave him the time and the space to really develop that
turn. It reminded me of the 80's.
It just seems like they give guys less and less time . . . or they force it on us with writing. Like Wade Barrett or Alberto Del Rio.

R-Truth's story line came on gradual.
Being John Cena's sidekick. Then finally getting a title shot. The having it taken away.

I didn't like John Cena getting involved in the Sin Cara match.
I thought they could have pushed Sin Cara further . . . if they would have had him overcome some outside interference to pick up the win.
Instead it became a "John Cena" match.
The Rock should do a shoot promo next week and talk about how John Cena is jealous of all the attention Sin Cara is getting and how he just couldn't let it be.

Otherwise it just comes off as Sin Cara playing 5th fiddle to John Cena, The Miz, Alex Riley and Michael Cole.
As it stands I think Sin Cara lost a whole lot of momentum.
He looked like Aldo Montoya teaming up with Hulk Hogan to face Paul Orndorff and Paul Roma and in that match.

Randy Orton's starting to remind me of a lot of great wrestlers in their prime.
Involved in semi-entertaining feuds, instead of going after or wearing the championship belt.

Cm Punk = Kevin Sullivan.

And finely . . . I like Michael Cole. But he's walking a fine line . . . He needs to be more creative.
That guys needs to be awake 24/7 thinking of new material.

The Queen bit was boring.
But I think a good Ol' Fashioned getting thrown off the Balcony ECW style into some tables would be an awesome turn for Michael Cole.

I'm still having trouble taking the draft seriously. When Matthews asked Cole what would he do if he drafted to Smackdown, I wondered "does it matter?" Cole has been on both shows for a while.

Kev, what are your thoughts on the "Zack Ryder=Ratings" sign being confiscated by WWE during the show?

RESPONSE FROM KE: I didn't know about that. I don't see why WWE would care about a sign like that.

What is the point of next Monday's draft Lottery? Most, if not all of the Smackdown Superstars have been on Raw for the past few months nearly every week anyways. If wrestlers were only on one brand, then it would actually mean something.

When Lawler said that it really changed the "complexion" of the upcoming title match at Extreme Rules it got me thinking. Just how many black guys have been wwf/e world champion?

I'm pretty sure the word "wrestle" was uttered a couple of times during the show. Morrison and Cole specifically

Great article and I gave Raw a 10. I just love Cole's heel gimmick and all the sideline drama he's bringing to commentary's desk. I'm sorry but commentary was boring before he became an antagonist. Also, anyone else take note of how lackluster American audiences are in comparison to audiences from European countries? Adding "Sucks" for every time Cole chanted "Sir Michael Cole" was among the brilliance from that London crowd.

They were also part of the reason the opening was so intense, handing out cigarettes. lol! Never thought I'd be hot for a John Morrison/R-Truth feud but after that segment, I am. They got a very entertaining and impassioned crowd response but the WWE is returning to America audiences next week so that may not last. I've never even been intrigued by R-Truth's character that much up until this past Monday's RAW.

And I couldn't agree more about the dominant opinion that the promo abilities of both are sour. And Morrison is, in my opinion anyway, thee best high risk wrestler in the history of the WWE since I've been watching in 1995, it hurts to see him screw that all up with his atrocious promo skills. If I were Morrison, I would completely junk the wise guy gimmick and figure out what works best for me. He's just not good at it. That came naturally for DX because they were funny. Morrison isn't! He also doesn't have a dynamic voice (you know like Shawn Michaels, Vince McMahon, Stone Cole Steve Austin) so that hurts him as well. I just don't know how to help I'm liking this Sin Cara. I would encourage R-Truth to stop trying to be a funny man because it comes out "Lady Luck. I'm married. I ain't got no lady." Ummmm o...............k!

I'm really liking Sin Cara. There's an element of gimmickiness to him what with the mystery: you have the music & entrance, the whole mask feature, doesn't speak, etc. These days it's hard to bring an element of mystery to your character because of the popularity of the World Wide Web and such. Back in the 90s, it was much easier to combine an element of mystery to your gimmick because the Web wasn't nearly as popular. Sin Cara and the mask is the closest you'll come to legitimately dark and mysterious these days though. (Or maybe everyone already knows Sin Cara by face and I am just out of the loop. lol). I am growing tired of everyone being the average joe. Maybe a nice mixture would do: 50% gimmick and 50% average Joe traits.

I also think it's going to help Sin Cara a lot because of the manner in which they're pushing him: you've got the reintroduction of squash matches and making a nice rewind video of what he's done up until now. I also like that they put him in a tag match with John Cena and allowed him to score the pin, showing that he's a new talent they're taking very seriously for the purposes of main event material. It was a creative of accomplishing that message.

Sin Cara certainly did have a few botched spots in his last showing on RAW which made me take some points away from him but not enough to lose interest. I'd be lying to you if I said I didn't wish to see Undertaker in his prime take on Sin Cara. I'd be reminded of one of my favorite matches:

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About Kevin Eck
The Baltimore Sun's Kevin Eck blogs about professional wrestling.
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