The SmarK RAW Rant – 08.20.12
Live from Fresno, CA
Your hosts are Michael Cole & Jerry Lawler
Brock Lesnar joins us to start, as they burn through another date. Paul Heyman points out that HHH is the toughest person he’s ever seen in his life, but Brock made him quit like a quitting quitter. So with that out of the way, Heyman calls out referee Scott Armstrong, and you know this isn’t gonna go well for him. However, Brock only has two words for him: “Good job.” That’s like $20,000 a word that Brock is making there. Heyman declares that HHH is gone for good, and Brock is now the King of Kings, lord of the Brocktagon. This would seem to be setting up HHH getting his win back at Survivor Series, but that’s OK, because that’s telling a story: HHH gets his arm broken and taps out to the conquering monster, and he has to come back and figure out how to beat him. That’s the important step they skipped with John Cena.
Kofi Kingston, R-Truth & Sin Cara v. Cody Rhodes & The Primetime Players
Yes, the loser program MUST CONTINUE. I’m digging Kofi’s Superman color scheme tonight, actually. Kofi grabs a headlock on Young to start and practically reads his laundry list on camera, and an elbow gets two. The babyfaces quickly clean house and we take a break. Back with Kofi making a hot tag to Truth, and he hits Young with the ax kick for two. Cody gets a cheapshot and hits a legsweep for two, and Titus goes to a neck vice as they work him over in the heel corner. Titus suplexes Young onto Truth for two, and Young goes to the chinlock. Then back to Titus for another chinlock as they streeeeeeetch it out. Not that I have a problem with nice long tag matches, but this is pretty pedestrian stuff. Finally it’s hot tag Sin Cara, and he hits Cody with a bodypress for two. Truth sends Kofi out onto the Players and Sin Cara rolls up Cody for the pin at 10:00. **1/2
Meanwhile, David Otunga returns, clean-shaven and looking for a job from AJ. However, much like everyone else, he says the wrong thing and gets punished with a match. And CM Punk can choose anyone he wants to face at the PPV tonight.
Meanwhile, tonight’s Social Media Ambassador is Khloe Kardashian. Remember that episode of the Simpsons where they go to Australia and Lisa sees “Yahoo Serious Festival” and doesn’t understand how those words go together or what they mean? I feel like that first sentence is gonna be that way for me if I go back and read this in 10 years.
Ryback v. Two Jobbers Without Funny Names
Jesus, a couple of month of treading water against the D-level midcard guys, and now it’s back to squashing job guys again? Usual from Ryback, but Jinder Mahal runs in for the DQ at 1:30. Jinder puts him in the camel clutch, but Ryback fights out and Mahal runs away. Ryback finishes squashing the geeks anyway just to make a point. That’s kind of funny.
Meanwhile, Dolph Ziggler finds Jericho and congratulates him on “winning the big one” (what, winning the opening match at a B PPV against a guy who never wins?), but AJ skips in and makes the rematch for tonight, with Ziggler’s briefcase against Jericho’s career.
Alberto Del Rio joins us, and he wants Sheamus RIGHT NOW. And it’s MORE AJ in response, as she books him against Randy Orton instead. Get ready for a screwy finish to set up a three-way next month.
Randy Orton v. Alberto Del Rio
Orton attacks and gets a slingshot suplex for two, and it’s the Garvin Stomp. Smiling goofball car thief Sheamus is on commentary being all smiling and goofy as they forget everything that got him over in the first place. Orton pounds away in the corner, but ADR puts him down with a head kick for two and hits the chinlock. Orton cradles for two out of the corner, but Del Rio kicks him back down for two. Double stomp gets two and ADR goes up, but Orton brings him down and gets a superplex for two. They slug it out and Orton mounts the comeback, but ADR hits an enzuigiri to block the draping DDT. He goes for the armbar, but Orton reverses into a neckbreaker for two. They fight to the top again and this time Orton gets the draping DDT out of the corner, and sure enough Ricardo gets involved. Del Rio hits Orton with a backstabber for two, but Sheamus puts Orton’s foot on the ropes and the RKO finishes at 8:35. Hey, now the boring Sheamus-Del Rio feud can add the boring Orton to it for a boring three-way! **
Last night, Antonio Cesaro wins the US title from Santino, THANK GOD. Now they just need to rename it to the European title and then put it out of its misery once and for all.
Brodus Clay v. Damien Sandow
Brodus pounds away in the corner to start and backdrops him, and a belly to belly sets up an elbowdrop. Finally Sandow kicks him in the knee to take over, but Brodus no-sells it and hits a corner splash. Another misses and Sandow rolls him up for the pin at 2:35. Oh great, he gets a banana peel win after getting destroyed all match. Brodus finishes killing him afterwards. ½* This was counterproductive to everyone.
Shawn Michaels, live from San Antonio, delivers HHH’s retirement speech for him while they show still photos like he’s dead or something. Come on, really?
David Otunga v. Big Show
As expected, Show squashes the hell out of Otunga, literally giving him no offense before finishing with the KO punch at 2:03. He’s very angry in a WWE.com exclusive interview that airs afterwards. How can something be “WWE.com Exclusive” if they show it on TV the next night?
Kane & Zack Ryder v. Miz & Daniel Bryan
Well here’s a tag match that’s certainly different, I’ll give them that. And there’s worse ideas than a Kane-Zack team where Zack gets the shit kicked out of him leading to the hot tag to Kane. They can be HELLFIRE & ICED Z! Kane tosses Miz around and brings in Zack, but he quickly runs into a boot from the Miz. Head kick gets two. Bryan comes in to a GIANT reaction, which is amazing considering how dead this crowd has been tonight. Bryan throws kicks and the crowd plays right into the “no/yes” deal. That’s awesome. Back to Miz as they put the beats on Ryder, but it’s hot tag to Kane and Miz wants no part of that. Bryan also runs away and with no one else to beat up, Kane beats up Zack instead. So there’s no finish, because who cares about THOSE?
Meanwhile, Brock Lesnar quits WWE again, this time via Tout. Sure he does.
Meanwhile, CM Punk picks John Cena as his next opponent…on one condition, which he’ll reveal later.
Divas Battle Royale: Winner of this is the #1 contender. Yeah, this is what we’re reduced to in order to fill time. And DID YOU KNOW that Tamina Snuka is the daughter of Hall of Famer Jimmy Snuka? WHY DIDN’T THEY EVER TELL US THIS BEFORE?! I could be kind and call this an unmitigated disaster that was insulting to the intelligence and good taste of anyone who had the misfortune of accidentally flipping the channel to this trainwreck, but I feel like I’d be understating the case somehow. The epic finale sees Kaitlyn eliminating Eve after fucking up a clothesline on the first try. Layla has a look on her face at ringside like she just ate some bad Taco Time and accidentally shit her pants, and she’s not sure how to make a graceful exit as a result. We’ll call this -*** and move on with our lives.
Wade Barrett punches more stuff.
Briefcase v. Career: Dolph Ziggler v. Chris Jericho
Jericho gets a quick rollup for two and Ziggler bails to talk it over with Vickie. Back in, Jericho gets another rollup for two, but Ziggler takes over after a cheapshot and drops the elbow for two. Charge misses and Jericho gets a missile dropkick for two. He dropkicks Ziggler off the apron and we take a break, returning with Ziggler holding a chinlock. Jericho fights back with a double axehandle off the top and follows with a rana off the other corner, which gets two. Dolph catches him with a DDT for two. Jericho comes back and tries the Walls, but Dolph escapes, blocks the Lionsault, and hits the Zig Zag to retain his briefcase at 8:00. Good but seemed pretty short. **1/2 Jericho steals the briefcase afterwards and attacks Dolph with it because he’s apparently a big sore loser. Who does THAT help?
Main Event Interview: CM Punk wants to talk to Jerry Lawler, but John Cena interrupts. Punk once again talks about respect and lack thereof, so he agrees to give Cena yet another title shot at Night of Champions, and all Cena has to do is admit that Punk is the best in the world. Hey, Cena is all about loyalty and respect, right? So Punk IS the best in the world because he’s the champion, right. Cena gives a LENGTHY speech about how he always believes that he’s the best because that’s what winners do or something. After FIFTEEN MINUTES of that, Punk shrugs it off and now calls Jerry Lawler into the ring for that apology. He delivers it, but not good enough for Punk’s tastes, so Punk lays him out with the head kick to end the show after THREE HOURS AND FOURTEEN MINUTES.
By far the worst yet of the three hour era. The opening segment with Brock was pretty great and then the rest was just a bunch of stuff to fill three hours without any thought put into it. The Punk-Cena showdown might have been more effective on a two-hour show where I wasn’t begging for it to be over because it was so boring, but even then they had to stretch it out past the point of all sanity. This is gonna be a LONG wait for something to happen again by Royal Rumble.