The SmarK RAW Rant – 10.08.12
Rough day to work in creative, apparently. With Vince desperate and ratings falling, the trainwreck can only be GLORIOUS.
Live from Sacramento, CA
Your hosts are Michael Cole, JBL & Jim Ross
John Cena and his pink outfit are booed out of the building to start. He talks about missing a WHOLE WEEK and makes stupid jokes about all the stuff that has been happening. Like really, Antonio Cesaro has giant nipples? This is the guy on top of the promotion? He promises to fight for the championship even with one arm, and notes that Punk isn’t a man unless he defends against Cena in the Cell. Wow, what a scintillating segment that was.
Ryback v. Epico & Primo
Way to continue building up the tag division. The Colons manage to double-team Ryback and pound him down, and Primo gets two. Primo tries a sleeper, but Ryback clotheslines them to come back and finishes with his double move at 2:33. I really wish they’d figure out what they want to do with this guy. ½*
Brodus Clay v. R-Truth
Apparently Little Jimmy is going through puberty, so Truth calls off the match and they all dance instead. Vince interrupts and kicks them out of the ring.
Vince McMahon is out for his State of the WWE address, but CM Punk interrupts before he can deliver it. Vince is disrespecting him! Vince clarifies that he respects the length of the title reign, but he’s “not a CM Punk guy”. Punk thinks that if he doesn’t get more appreciation, he’ll take the belt and leave the company, again. Vince says that he only listens to the WWE fans, and they all think Punk needs to shut his mouth. I would disagree with that assessment. Punk continues the Steve Austin trash-talking, saying that Austin ran away from fights and beat up a clueless millionaire to get to the top. So Punk hauls off and slaps Vince, which prompts a challenge for a match tonight.
Sin Cara & Rey Mysterio v. The Primetime Players
Cara hits a rana on Young and the luchadors dump him and follow with a pair of dives. We take a break and return with Titus pounding on Sin Cara, but he comes back with a tornado DDT out of the corner. Cole reads idiotic tweets from fans as Rey gets the hot tag and boots Young down for two. Young hits his finisher on Cara, but falls victim to the 619 and flying splash at 6:49 to send the masked men into the finals. Did Titus fall into a chasm or something? He just disappeared after the hot tag. **
Meanwhile, Heyman has concerns about Punk’s impending match against Vince. Even if Punk wins, Vince will make their lives miserable, and feels like Punk should throw the match.
Sheamus v. Wade Barrett
This goes about 10 seconds before Big Show interrupts. So they stop and gawk at him, and then Barrett attacks to restart it. Sheamus works on a headlock and slingshots into the ring with a shoulderblock before going back to the headlock. Barrett slugs out, but Sheamus gets a suplex for two. Barrett goes to the apron and Sheamus kneelifts him to the floor, but Barrett clips the knee and pulls him out of the ring as we take a break. Back with them fighting to the floor again, and Barrett kicks the stairs into Sheamus’s knee, and back in for two. Barrett goes to the rear chinlock and chokes him out on the ropes, then boots him down for two. Barrett goes up and misses an elbow, allowing Sheamus to make the comeback. He dumps Barrett and gets the forearms, but Tensai runs in for the DQ at 13:43. That was a very long match for that terrible finish. Dunno why they’d give this one away when it could be a PPV main down the line, but it was looking pretty good at the end. ** The beatdown appears imminent, but Sheamus lays out Tensai with the Brogue kick and gets rid of Barrett. Show comes in and blocks the kick, but Sheamus, as usual, is standing tall at the end.
Antonio Cesaro v. Tyson Kidd
Cole scoffing at JBL’s mountain-climbing is kind of a funny running gag. Cesaro takes Kidd down and does bad things to his arm, but Kidd flips out of it and gets a rollup for two. Cesaro pounds him into Swiss cheese in the corner and adds a double-stomp on the apron. Back in for a neck vice, but Kidd escapes to the floor and adds a baseball slide. Back in for a rollup that gets two and a guillotine legdrop, but a springboard elbow misses. Cesaro MURDERS him with a press into an uppercut, and finishes with the NEUTRALIZER at 3:55. Oh man, that uppercut was EPIC. Kidd continues his thankless role in making others look awesome. **1/2
Team Hell No v. Dolph Ziggler & Alberto Del Rio
What a thoroughly random pairing. The champs continue to tread water despite getting some of the biggest reactions in the company. Bryan gets a kneelift on Ziggler and gets ADR’s arm, and that brings Kane in. He controls the arm as well and then beats on Ziggler and tosses him. Bryan comes in with a running knee off the apron, and surprise, we take a break. Back with the champs controlling Ziggler and Bryan gets a top rope rana, which is reversed into a sunset flip for two. Del Rio stomps him down for two. Superkick and it’s over to Ziggler. Elbow gets two. Del Rio with a snap suplex for two. Bryan fights back in the corner and misses a blind charge, and Ziggler gets two. He misses his own blind charge, but manages to cut off the tag so that Del Rio can issue a further beatdown. Del Rio with a backdrop suplex for two as this thing just DRAGS on. Del Rio with a backbreaker for two. This heat segment literally started in the second hour and has continued into the third hour unabated. Del Rio finally charges and hits the post, and it’s hot tag Kane. Ziggler gets a blind tag, and Kane tries to chokeslam both of them, but the fameasser gets two. Kane blocks the Zig Zag and goes up, but Bryan tags himself in with a missile dropkick for two. Kane and ADR fight to the floor, and Ziggler rolls up Bryan for two, but Kane tags himself back in and finishes with the chokeslam at 17:22. So long. So very long. **1/2 And really, what did it accomplish in exchange for that ungodly chunk of TV time? They still don’t get along, Ziggler jobs again and isn’t booked on the PPV, and ADR has a vague issue with Randy Orton that wasn’t addressed by this.
Meanwhile, Jim Ross thinks Vince is making a mistake tonight.
Larry King has a talk show segment, and the Miz is his guest for some reason. Miz demands that everyone sing Happy Birthday to him, but the production people would probably dub it over with a cheaper song if that happened. Larry is already bored with Miz, so he brings out Kofi Kingston instead. This greatly offends Miz, who cuts a funny promo on King, and gets into a brawl with Kofi. Hey, it’s a new feud over the title with an actual story to it! I approve! Not of this segment in general, fuck no, but Kofi v. Miz is at least a decent feud.
Santino & Zack Ryder v. The Rhodes Scholars
Ryder gains control of Cody in the corner, but Sandow gets a cheapshot from the apron and a clothesline for two. The Scholars double-team and Sandow hits the ELBOW OF DISDAIN for two. Hot tag to Santino, and he gets his usual comeback, but the disaster kick finishes him at 3:00. Heath Slater and his jobbers run out and beat on Santino afterwards. I agree with the person who suggested they just start calling them the nWo to mess with people. Why not? They own the name and likenesses anyway.
Divas title: Eve Torres v. Kaitlyn
Is this division still a thing? Haven’t they all quit yet? Kaitlyn quickly gets a TORTURE RACK, so bad that Lex Luger is rolling over in his grave (is he dead? He’s gotta be dead, right?) but hurts her knee on a backbreaker. Or ankle. Whatever. Eve goes after it and uses a Gracie-like submission on her at 2:48. By Gracie, I meant Gracie Allen of course. Layla is extraordinarily whiny on commentary, claiming that she should get the rematch and making excuses for losing. ½*
Meanwhile, Kane and Daniel Bryan torment Larry King in a funny bit (“You look like someone slapped you in the face with a Fruit Roll-Up!”).
CM Punk v. Vince McMahon
Punk kicks Vince’s ass and even busts him open hardway, but can’t quite GTS him onto the table. Vince sends him into the post and makes the comeback, beating him up behind the announce table, then grabs a kendo stick. Punk gets his own and it’s KENDO DUEL, but Punk loses that battle and begs off. Thankfully, he was just waiting for a chance to hit Vince in the nuts, which as always raises the match an extra star. GTS is threatened, but Ryback heads out and wants to be fed more. Punk escapes the Shellshock and runs away into the crowd, which prompts Vince to offer him a choice: Face Cena or Ryback at the PPV. I’m thinking that ends up a three way. A quick check of the DVR reveals that Punk hauled off and punched some dude right in the face while standing in the crowd, and that’s probably not gonna end up well for anyone.
I was pretty bored with most of the show, although thanks to the power of DVR I could skip through the ENDLESS recaps of the Punk-Vince segment, but at least SOMETHING happened to end it. The Ryback thing was a super-hot finish, and Vince is now the biggest babyface in the company again. Gotta show these kids how to draw ratings and bleed himself, I guess. It would be nice to get a PPV main event announced at some point, but that’s the nitpicker in me, I suppose.