The SmarK RAW Supershow Rant – 05.28.12
by Scott Keith on May 29, 2012

The SmarK RAW Supershow Rant – 05.28.12

So 16 years ago today, Scott Hall debuted in WCW and kicked off the New World Order.  Man, don’t we all feel old now.

Live from New Orleans, LA

Your hosts are Michael Cole & Jerry Lawler

Corporate Big Show joins us to start, as Michael Cole notes that many people called his turn “one of the darkest days in WWE history.”  I dunno, I’d say that Owen Hart dying in the ring or Chris Benoit murdering his family were pretty dark, but I suppose Big Show turning for the 16th time was pretty bad.  I’d say you could order it 1, 2, 3.  Maybe one of the wrestlers dying of painkiller addictions at number 4.  So we’ll say Owen Hart first, Chris Benoit second, Big Show joining with Johnny Ace third, and Eddie Guerrero’s heart exploding fourth.  Oh, hell, let’s just go ahead and move Big Show up to #2.   So anyway, Show is now full on heel, talking about how no one is in his league and he’s a giant and not an entertainer.  And it pisses him off that Brodus Clay was dancing mere MINUTES after he was begging for his job.  They should have stopped the show!  Or least that’s what I wished would have happened.  Show is also angry at John Cena for being a huge clown instead of standing up for his friend.  I appreciate them trying to tie together all the ridiculous plot elements here, actually.  So yeah, Show is gonna knock Cena out at the PPV.

Santino Marella v. Alberto Del Rio

Del Rio attacks, but Santino quickly evades and gets the Cobra out, only to fall victim to the armbar at 0:48.  What is the point of squashing your US champion in less than a minute like that?  Del Rio’s got no interest in the title, and if they need a jobber there’s tons of them on NXT.

Meanwhile, Big Show takes out his bad mood on Alex Riley.

WWE tag titles:  Kofi Kingston & R-Truth v. Jack Swagger & Dolph Ziggler

The champs double-team Swagger in the corner and Truth gets two.  The champs clean house and we take a break.  Back with Kofi playing face-in-peril, but he quickly the hot tag to Truth, who goes wild on Swagger with a rollup for two.  Kofi with a high cross on Ziggler, but Swagger rolls up Truth for two.  Truth with the downward spiral to retain at 5:50.  Dolph, tired of losing all the time, walks out on the team afterwards.  Smart man.  Fun little match.  **

Meanwhile, Brodus Clay saves Santino from a Big Show beating, and that gives him a match with Big Show later tonight.

Big Johnny, with scooter and entourage of flunkies, is out for some announcements.  Big Show v. John Cena is now a steel cage match, and he’s the most popular WWE superstar in history.  Apparently he’s on the cover of WWE ’13, and has the poster to prove it.   It’ll be bigger than Pac-Man!  Sadly, CM Punk interrupts his celebration and unveils the actual cover, featuring him.

CM Punk v. Daniel Bryan

So this is now a match for Bryan to “perhaps put himself back in contention” for the title.  Wasn’t that match already announced for the PPV in some form?  They trade wristlock reversals and Punk gets an atomic drop and drops knees on Bryan for two.  He goes to a bow-and-arrow, but Bryan falls on top for two.  They fight for a bridge and Punk gets a backbreaker for two.  Bryan takes over on the arm and dumps Punk, but misses a baseball slide and Punk gets the springboard crossbody to the floor.  AJ joins us at ringside as we take a break.  Back with Punk missing a bodypress, as Bryan goes back to the arm.  That goes on for a while, but Punk makes the comeback with kicks and a neckbreaker for two. Punk with the knee into the corner into a rollup for two.  Springboard clothesline gets two.  Punk goes up for the elbow, but Bryan brings him down with the superplex for two.  Bryan removes a turnbuckle as AJ distracts the ref, but Punk gets a high kick for two.  He charges, however, and Bryan hotshots him onto the EXPOSED STEEL for the pin at 16:29.  Good TV match, albeit a bit slow around the break, but the finish was pretty flat.  ***1/4  And that brings out Kane for another destruction of both guys, but Punk chases him off with a chair.  Why do we need Kane in this feud?

Christian v. The Miz

Christian gets a sunset flip, but Miz rolls out and kicks him down for two.  Corner clothesline and Miz hits the chinlock, and a neckbreaker gets two.  Back to the chinlock, but Christian comes back with a missile dropkick for two and sets up for the spear, but Miz boots him down for two.  Christian goes up with a back elbow, but gets distracted by Cody Rhodes, and Miz rolls him up for two.  Christian finishes with the Killswitch and frog splash at 4:10.  Sucks to be Miz.  **

Meanwhile, Big Johnny chews out his flunkies, because he might retire in 10 or 20 years and he needs people he can COUNT on!

The Miz is still bitching in the ring, but Randy Orton comes out and gives him the RKO.  Back in the territory days, this would be the point when you’d leave for somewhere else to freshen up the character, because obviously Orton has got nothing going on.  Miz would probably go somewhere else under a mask at this point.

Sheamus v. David Otunga

Otunga gets a cheapshot on the apron to take control and gets a shoulderblock for two.  Once again he stops to pose, and Sheamus destroys him with the White Noise and brogue kick at 2:42.  Just a squash.

Brodus Clay v. Big Show

I want to also point out that having Clay introduce his own valets is really stupid.  So suddenly they’re playing up Clay’s 22-0 record after never mentioning it, so he’s jobbing here.  Nope, instead it’s no match, as Show Tells It Like It Is and talks about what a talentless clown Clay is turning into, then spears him on the floor and beats the hell out of him.  And Kofi & Truth try to save, so Show beats the hell out of them, too.  I normally approve of this sort of thing, but I just have no interest in seeing Big Show getting the push.

The Pulse

Not a terrible outing, but as noted it’s just building to a match that I have zero interest in seeing in any form.  And it’s a match that we’re getting for the next few months, I’d bet.

UFC was a hell of a show on Saturday, though.  I’d recommend ordering the replay instead of watching this.

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The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW - 01.22.96

Scott Keith

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  • SKeith

    Scooter Keith is unnecessarily negative, Sure, nobody could say this was the greatest RAW ever, but it wasn’t bad at all. Just a perfectly alright-to-good show. You need to eat more roughage, Scooter my boy.

  • Battlebowl

    they need Kane in there because you can’t expect a feud to get over without involving the longtime company men … that’s how the Crockett’s made their millions in the 80s, and Bischoff/Hogan in the 90s

  • Law

    I may be giving them too much credit, but I think putting Kane in there signals a subtle shift towards moving the feud in the direction of the mainstream WWE audience.

    Sure, everyone who knows the Bryan/Punk background was anticipating their match, but it wasn’t really for any conflict that had developed between them within WWE. Even throughout the match at OTL, the commentary putting it over as a dream match for some, not for all. Yes, individually they’d both got over in WWE and yes, the WWE audience recognises their respective abilities. But there wasn’t really a lot there in terms of direct conflict.

    And, fair play to WWE, at OTL they gave us that dream match. They let them have time, on a PPV, in what was the show’s in-ring main event, if not technically the last match on the card.

    Now they’ve given them that, they want to create some WWE history between the two of them, and they’re doing that by involving people outside the bubble, namely Kane and AJ. And so far, even that’s been done quite subtly, which is unlike them- Kane has gone from being just the guy who happened to be the opponent when they were one-upping each other to a key part of the feud.

    And, frankly, Kane is a good choice, despite his slightly dodgy mini-push earlier this year. He’s extremely identifiable as a WWE guy, he’s a solid upper midcarder, and he’s pretty decent at moulding himself to fit his opponent’s abilities in the ring. Punk and Bryan might not drag him to a main event level, as Cena didn’t, but as someone with a specific role in the feud and match, he’s very capable of doing that very well.

    AJ is a slightly different kettle of fish- rather than full-blown crazy, they were emphasising that she was “strange” on Raw, and seem to be deliberately keeping her slightly restrained. “Strange” strikes me as pretty weak in terms of defining character traits and a rather tough sell, but given that it’s Punk she’s interacting with, the jury’s still out.

  • Michael L

    This reminds me of early 1998 when Benoit & DDP had a very good match, but they shifted to DDP v. Benoit v. Raven, then DDP v. Raven, leaving Benoit in the cold. I’m guessing we’ll see something similar here, as Punk ends up feuding with Kane while they try to find something else for Bryan to do without making it look too obvious that they’re burying him.

  • Garrett E

    No, Keith pretty much is spot on. You can’t take a guy who has been around for as long as Big Show has been and all of a sudden he becomes a violent, unstoppable force? It just doesn’t work. Nobody buys into it unless you are new to WWE (ie. a young kid). Young kids don’t purchase PPVs. I started watching WWF in the mid 1980s well before the Attitude Era. What kept me interested? Colorful characters. Well-defined and plot-twisting story lines. These two tenets of rasslin’ are few and far between in today’s WWE. The “entertainers” are pretty much one-dimensional and the story lines only develop until the next PPV (of which are too frequent themselves, but I digress) Cena can only keep young kids’ interest for so long and they are on to something else. The WWE doesn’t necessarily need to return to Attitude-esque programming, but something has to change or this type of stagnant brand will only further the WWE’s decline.

  • Kyle Fitta

    You have it a little messed up. Benoit and Raven actually were feuding at first and then DDP wanted to get into the mix of things so asked his good buddy Eric Bischoff if he could be apart of the angle. Bischoff added him, setting up the triple threat and then Benoit was eventually an afterthought in the feud. Don’t get me wrong, I’m actually a big fan of DDP so I’m not saying anything bad about him. I’m just telling it how it is.

    Hopefully, they’re using Kane in this feud as someone to just take the pin at No Way Out. That way Bryan and Punk can have a rubber match at Money in the Bank. Of course, I much rather they had a submission match at No Way Out due to Daniel Bryan gloating that he made Punk tap. But sometimes WWE doesn’t believe in logical booking.

  • Battlebowl

    Law, sounds like Dusty Rhodes has taught you the ins and outs of the business

    … Punk and Bryan are arguably the two most popular guys in the company in terms of crowd heat (and two small fortunes being created in merchandise sales) … the idea that Kane (of all guys) is needed in 2012 main events for Punk and Bryan to create “WWE history” is almost as ridiculous as the company actually watching the best match they’ve had in years and deciding they needed to add Kane and his chokeslam, bodyslams, and clotheslines to really draw money… same logic that bankrupted a national wrestling company in the 1980s (crockett) and another in the 1990s (wcw)

    your post brings back a lot of memories (to many of us i’m sure) of the ‘net defending WCW’s booking in the late 90s, and especially Kevin Nash’s time proving his mind for the business in ’99

    … “in what was the show’s in-ring main event, if not technically the last match on the card.”
    i loved that line… you know who else was in a “main event” that wasn’t “technically” the last match on the card? WCW’s Kiss Demon

  • Averyscratch

    So we use Oewen, Eddie, and Benoit as punchlines now? If WWE dared making a joke about any of those athletes you would rip them to shreds. You’re better than that, dude, and you just lost a reader.

  • SKeith

    “You can’t take a guy who has been around for as long as…and all of a sudden he becomes a violent, unstoppable force” And yet, when they did that with MARK HENRY, who was around for nearly twice as long as Big Show, all the fanboys said it was such a wonderful idea. Or when they took some guy who’d been one-half of a slightly above average tag team and strapped a rocket to his ass, then same fanboys considered it beatoff material.

    Clearly, your problems aren’t with the concept of pushing a guy a certain way, you still have that “Big Guys Suck!” IWC mentality that was common in the 90’s, when people thought knowing someone’s real name and wearing an “ECFNW” t-shirt made them part of McMahon’s inner circle.

    As far as things go now, Big Show is one of the few legitimate draws they have left. Most of the new guys are prepackaged assembly-line WWE Brand generics. Big Show and John Cena are two of a very small group that can sell out arenas based on their name, rather than being part of WWE. Has it been done before? Yes. But can it still sell? Yes.

  • Law

    Whoa, whoa, don’t confuse my personal opinions on what they should do with my assessment of the company’s thought process. I didn’t say they needed to create WWE history between Punk and Bryan, and, really, I don’t believe they do. I said that they, as a company, wanted to- it is in their interest to move the feud to make it more WWE-centric. If that’s their goal, then there are certainly far worse ways of doing it than the one they are following.

    The Punk/Jericho feud is as good a recent comparison as any. They didn’t need to go into all the family BS in the build to the WM match, but doing so achieved the same goal- it brought the feud off of Twitter, giving them an on-screen reason to have an issue, so that fans who only watched the shows got their sledgehammer of plot. Could the same have been achieved just by the two of them trying to prove they were the “best in the world”? Sure. Has that been the WWE way of doing things, especially in recent years? No.

    Kane’s not gonna draw a dime, but that’s not why he’s in the match. He probably won’t be a part of the feud after the PPV, regardless of the result of it. But his presence for now is building an in-house reason for Punk and Bryan to have an issue that’s more than “I won at OTL” “No, I did”. Either man can pin Kane, letting the other say they didn’t lose. Hell, Kane could pin Bryan, and Punk could make the same argument- Punk/Bryan just becomes a non-title feud. Or Kane could pin Punk, and you’ve then got Punk blaming Bryan for losing the belt. All of those options allow the feud to continue, post-PPV, without Kane involved.

    Alright, the “main event” line was a bit silly, granted. But you know what I mean- I struggle to believe that anybody bought the PPV thinking they were going to see an actual competitive bout between Cena and Ace.

  • James A

    An excellent riposte, Law. Well played.

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