Red's Pro-Wrestling Digest #24: 2011 WWE in Review Pt. 1 (Jan + Feb)

Digest

Hey, ladies, gentlemen, and nonbinaries. I'm back for another edition of the Pro-Wrestling Digest. Rejoice if you'd like. Maybe a little dance? Anyway, you might remember reading previously that my internet sucks where I currently am. I decided to do something a bit different for the next few entries, as a result.

So, note now that this is the first in a series of four that will look at a collection of content from WWE's 2011 catalog. I am utilizing two DVD sets for this ongoing review.

  • Best of Raw and SmackDown 2011
  • Best Pay-Per-View Matches 2011

Up first, we have Miz and Morrison in a falls count anywhere match with the WWE Championship on the line. It's that period where the belt looked like a child's toy. I am quickly reminded that this was also when the anonymous GM thing was happening. 

Remember that shit show?

Miz was also in a program with Jerry at the same time, so Raw was certainly awful more often than not just like it usually has been.

They advertised this as being the first match of the year and I do give props to both competitors. Alex Riley (remember that piece of crap?) was with Mizzy, making this kind of a handicap match. Riley was largely a nonfactor, though.

They put in for a car crash, circus act clash that WWE does decent at historically and the hard work of Miz and Morrison elevated this to a legit fantastic match. They overdelivered for sure!

I managed to get the internet to work well enough to grab the YouTube video's link so that I could embed it above, by the way. Maybe you'll also enjoy it. The sports entertainment stuff might be a bit too much for some of y'all here, though.

Just a warning.

Next, we had Dolph dropping the IC belt to Kofi. I was torn on whether or not I should include the match restart as a separate entity below in the ratings roundup but ultimately decided it should count as being part of the initial contest instead. 

I'm overthinking it. It doesn't deserve that much attention.

A good contest that was a bit circus act, too. Vickie was with Dolph at the time so I'm not shocked by the way it all played out.

Edge faced Dolph next for the World Heavyweight Championship. Edge wasn't allowed to use the spear with the penalty being a title change and a mark in the l column.

He used the spear.

There was a Kelly Kelly run-in and a ref bump. I appreciated the dramatic nearfalls and the slow burn pace, but it was all a bit too much around the edges for me to rate it as high as most of the in-ring work deserved.

Great, but it could've been even better with the fat trimmed off.

Miz and Bryan were up next. The WWE Champion and Bryan had a good builder, starting like some of the better kinds of things you'd see on old WCW episodes before the Nitro days and burning upward nicely enough. 

Commentary was bullying The American Dragon throughout and Alex Riley was sitting at the booth. 

Sigh.

Anyway, good shit. Miz is a decent sports entertainment style worker and he had a decent month here.

I watched The Rock's return next. He had been gone for seven years, said he'd never leave again, buried the WWE Champion, Miz, and made some iffy comments about Cena.

Next, I saw Cena respond in a throwback kind of way. Lots of homophobic stuff in this one.

That reminds me, but I couldn't help but to laugh when Dwayne gave into pressure and promoted cancel culture stuff recently considering the shit he's said over the years.

A championship coronation followed. The DVD sets make no effort to explain how Dolph won the strap and I don't remember what happened. I remember it was soap opera shit and I have no interest in looking any of this up. I've already typed too much about this.

Anyway, Teddy interrupted and called out Vickie, blaming her on an attack that had taken out the GM. She blamed Dolph. Edge was rehired, because apparently Vickie had fired him. We then had a title match that saw Edge win. Dolph was fired. Que up the Bananarama.

Simple, but honestly entertaining content even with the cringe interactions between Teddy and Guerrero. Kind of good overall.

We close this one with an Elimination Chamber match with the World Heavyweight Championship on the line. Drew McIntyre was so fucking young looking here. The Corre was a thing. Remember that? How about Nexus? Cena really fucked up with that one, didn't he!?

Back to The Corre, though. Can we examine that for a moment?

Punk took over the downed Nexus and Barrett went to SD to form a b-team, taking Gabriel and Heath with him. Ezekiel Jackson aligned with the faction to round things out. They were all equals and the unit had no leader. They had a program with Big Show during this period. They had a push, with the Tag and IC straps appearing within the group, but ultimately couldn't even make it six-months.

Why did I just type all of that? Perhaps it was to remind you of the group with info that you'll also quickly forget. Perhaps it's instead because life is chaos and sometimes we should just lean into it.

Maybe we should just move on and leave a bit of mystery behind?

Big Show replaced Dolph in the chamber match, for the record.

Everyone involved got in some spots, giving this match a nice balance. I'm always for situations that see everyone getting some shine. Kane was a monster throughout, even getting in a late hit. Rey was a resilient luchador, sticking with in until the last second. Drew got some good shit in, too. Big Show was Big Show. Oh, and Edge looked like a strong champ top to bottom.

Barrett was also there.

A lot of meat on the bones and truly fantastic quality in all.

A shitty sex pest that I was trying to avoid appeared in the post to sour things. Christian ran out for the save. Edge hit an extra spear and then celebrated as Christian's music echoed on.

In all, I'd say that the two months featured a handful of good content and some of it was even recommendation levels.

Miz and Edge were doing good shit as the top dogs on their respective shows. Dolph was tied up into a bag angle but was doing the best he could with it, as he tends to do. Kofi even won gold. There were loads of flaws, even with this collection of narrowed down content, but I'd ultimately say they were at least seemingly trying in some aspects. That or the talent was pulling a Dolph in general.

If you're interested in watching WWE content from eleven years ago, there are three matches that you'll see below that are above the 3.5 line. Feel free to take a look at them if you want to see them again (or for the first time or whatever). 

The rest can be skipped. Part two up as soon as possible.

Matches Reviewed

1.WWE Title, Falls Count Anywhere: Miz(c) vs Morrison ****

2.WWE Intercontinental Title: Dolph(c) vs Kofi ***1/4

3.World Heavyweight Title: Edge(c) vs Dolph ***3/4

4.Miz vs Bryan ***1/4

5.World Heavyweight Title: Dolph(c) vs Edge **3/4

6.World Heavyweight Title, Elimination Chamber: Edge(c) vs Mysterio vs McIntyre vs Big Show vs Kane vs Barrett ****1/4