The SmarK RAW Rant – 10.22.12
Live from East Rutherford, NJ
Your hosts are Michael Cole & Jim Ross
Tag team tournament finals: Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara v. The Rhodes Scholars
The JR of old briefly emerges as he reels off the long list of people that Rey has held tag titles with, including RVD. The luchadors double-team Rhodes with some nice stuff, but Sandow runs Rey into the corner. Rey sets up for the 619 and the heels bail, allowing the masked men to hit their dives. You’d think we’d take a commercial break here, but NO. Instead, Rey brings Sandow back into the ring and allows Cara to hit a moonsault for two. Bodypress misses and Sandow gets two, however, as Sin Cara is YOUR faceless-in-peril. The Scholars beat him down in the corner, but Cara fights out with an enzuigiri, and NOW we take a break. Back with the heat segment continuing, as Rhodes drops a knee and Sandow drops his ELBOW OF DISDAIN for two. That one’s gonna get over, I bet. Rhodes puts him on top, but Cara gets a tornado DDT and it’s hot tag Rey. He runs wild on Rhodes and gets a sloppy moonsault for two. Both heels take the 619 and Rey drops the dime for two, but Sandow breaks up the count. Sin Cara gets rid of Sandow, and CROSSROADS finishes Rey at 12:30. Yeah, they’ve gotta put the tag belts on these two. ***1/4
Kofi Kingston v. Michael McGillicutty
Kind of amazing that Perfect Jr. has managed to work his way back to the main roster again. MM pounds on Kofi in the corner and follows with a backbreaker for two. Chinlock follows, but Kofi hits the big kick out of nowhere to finish at 2:15. Well that was abrupt. *
John Cena, without goofy elbow tape this time, joins us to his usual chorus of boos. And now he’s fully on the Ryback train for some reason and leads the crowd in a pandering “Feed me more” chant. CM Punk interrupts all this excitement and stresses again that Cena can’t beat him. Cena is now claiming that he’s medically cleared and only out of the PPV because he wasn’t given a chance (wow, what a babyface), but Punk backs away from the fight. So on one hand, Cena thinks Ryback is the best choice for the title shot and he hopes that he wins, but on the other Cena was screwed out of the shot and Punk is somehow still ducking him. And they wonder why people still boo him.
Antonio Cesaro v. Justin Gabriel
Gabriel interrupts a promo with a dive, but Cesaro lays him out and hits a gut wrench and double stomp. Cesaro controls with a neck vice, but Gabriel fights out and goes up, only to get crotched. They slug it out on top and Gabriel puts him down with a head kick, and the 450 finishes at 4:40. I’m assuming that sets up a US title match for the PPV, although certainly I wouldn’t be beating Cesaro at this point, especially when he’s just starting to get some momentum as a heel. Crowd wasn’t loving this one. *1/2
Meanwhile, Vince and AJ arrive, and head out to the ring after a break. And finally AJ quits as GM after months of doing a shit job. And then we get the story of her life, literally, as she establishes that she’s from Jersey before Paul Heyman interrupts. He wants the job, which Vince quickly shoots down, and instead names Vickie Guerrero as “Managing Supervisor” of the show. Oh JOY, another heel GM. This trainwreck continues as Vickie upholds the Cell match at the PPV, and makes tonight’s main event a lumberjack match between Sheamus and CM Punk. Nice of them to finally give us a main event an HOUR into the show. Vickie alleges that AJ had an affair with someone backstage, and they get into a brawl. Why would you suddenly do this kind of storyline on the show before the PPV? Just terrible. Oh, and are we forgetting that AJ was going to MARRY DANIEL BRYAN on the very show where she got the fucking job in the first place? Isn’t that “fraternizing”? And isn’t Vickie dating Dolph Ziggler? This show is far too long for me to be angry about it for three hours.
Ryback v. The Miz
The crowd brutally turns on Ryback with the “Goldberg” chants right away, as Ryback tosses Miz out of the ring. Miz slugs back, but walks into a big boot. Miz dodges the lariat, but Ryback powers him down and casually no-sells a bodypress attempt. Another lariat hits and the Shellshock finishes at 2:42. That crowd was not buying into Ryback, even with the complete squash of Miz. ½*
Meanwhile, Kaitlyn and Eve bitch at each other backstage, which leads to a brawl. It involves someone taking pictures of an Ipad and a blonde wig or some other stuff that no one gives a shit about.
Meanwhile, wacky and happy Sheamus talks with Josh Matthews about the lumberjack match tonight. Big Show interrupts. I fast forward.
Daniel Bryan v. Dolph Ziggler
Bryan’s crowd reaction for his entrance continues to be a thing of amazement. They fight over a headlock and Ziggler takes over with a cheapshot in the corner, and he follows with a dropkick and neckbreaker. I find it so obnoxious that even the heels have to wear those pink armbands. THEY’RE SUPPOSED TO BE BAD PEOPLE. Bryan takes him down and hurts the knee, but Dolph kicks out of a spinning toehold. Bryan takes him down with a figure-four, but Ziggler quickly makes the ropes. They fight to the apron and Ziggler suplexes him to the floor before Kane comes out and we take a break. Back with Ziggler working on a chinlock, but Bryan comes back with a clothesline and brutal corner dropkick for two. Bryan with the kicks and tries the No-Lock, but Ziggler reverses for two. Sleeper, but Bryan counters out, so Ziggler DDTs him for two. Dolph charges and takes an awful-looking bump into the ringpost, going over the top and splatting on the floor. Why waste those bumps on this show? Bryan follows him out with a suicide dive. Back in, Bryan goes up and Ziggler pops up with a facejam from the top for two. Bryan dropkicks the knee and follows with the head kick, as Kane leads a “Yes” chant. This of course upsets Bryan, and Dolph hits the Zig Zag to finish at 13:00. DOLPH WINS! DOLPH WINS! DOLPH WINS! He’s not booked on the PPV, but he actually won a match! And it was a heck of a match, too! *** Or maybe I’m just reaching for positives this week, I dunno. Kane protests that he was just trying to help, as the fans tell them to hug it out. However, Matt Striker interrupts, and points out that Vickie has booked them in a game show called The Newly-Tag Game next. Oh god.
The Newly-Tag Game: The trainwreck continues as Kane and Bryan introduce themselves and fight some more, and the Rhodes Scholars refuse to participate, so the tag champs win by forfeit. This was quite the waste. Matt Striker tells them off, but Big Show beats him up on the way by for some reason. Oh yeah, there’s still THIS match…
Kane v. The Big Show
We’re joined in progress after a break with Show throwing Kane around and dropping an elbow for two. And it’s BEARHUG CITY! Kane fights back with a crappy DDT for two and the flying clothesline for two. Michael Cole on Vickie: “She’s not the interim GM or the General Manager, she’s the Managing Supervisor, let’s make that clear!” Yeah, that cleared it right up. Given she’s doing all the same shit as every other GM, I don’t really see the distinction. Kane gets distracted by the Scholars and Show finishes with the knockout punch at 5:20 aired. DUD
Meanwhile, John Cena consoles AJ, but she reveals that he’s the one alleged to be canoodling with her. What is this soap opera bullshit?
Meanwhile, John Cena basically asks the same question to Vince, and Vince doesn’t even know what a “managing supervisor” is either. But apparently Vince can’t overrule the board, except for when he can. THIS STORYLINE MAKES NO FUCKING SENSE.
Alberto Del Rio v. Zack Ryder
Del Rio gets a quick suplex for two, but Ryder gets a sunset flip for two. Del Rio puts him down with a superkick that showed a foot of air thanks to a bad camera angle, and he goes to an armbar. Ryder comes back with the Broski Boot, but it misses and the armbreaker finishes at 2:45. Well that was 1:45 longer than I thought he’d last, especially since it’s close to Long Island. * Del Rio gives him an extended armbreaker afterwards, just so we know that Ryder is a super-duper-jobber.
Meanwhile, John Cena confronts Vickie about the shenanigans.
Meanwhile, Paul Heyman soothes Punk’s ego.
Lumberjack match: CM Punk v. Sheamus
Both guys have trouble with the lumberjacks early and Sheamus works on a headlock, and drops an elbow for two. The boredom drags on to a commercial break, and we return with Punk holding a headlock now. The excitement continues as Sheamus gets tossed and beaten up by the heels. Back in, Punk with a pair of double axehandles, but Sheamus fights back, so Punk slams him and goes up, then drops down to screw fans out of the elbow. And then back to a chinlock. OH MY GOD end this show. But no, this match drags on until Sheamus makes the comeback for the sleeping crowd, but he gets tossed and fights off the lumberjacks again. Back in, White Noise sets up the Brogue kick, but various geeks run in and distract him, leading to Show chokeslamming him to give Punk the win at 18:28. LONGEST MATCH EVER. *1/2 Ryback heads out before Punk can even celebrate and destroys him with a nasty powerbomb, sending Punk running away.
There’s trainwrecks and then there’s THIS freakshow, which took idiotic storyline twists to a new level entirely and yet STILL managed to bore the fuck out of me at the same time. Now that’s an incredible combination. The AJ-Cena-Vickie soap opera does nothing to sell the PPV, or sell anything for that matter, and apparently John Cena is Ryback’s manager now. For some reason.
Ratings prediction: 2.3. LET THE BLOODBATH IN STAMFORD BEGIN!