The SmarK RAW Rant – 10.29.12
Live from Charlotte, North Carolina
Your hosts are Michael Cole & Jim Ross
CM Punk and belt-handler are out to start, and the announcers are aghast at the highway robbery that transpired last night. A wrestling referee who is BIASED? This is a wholly unprecedented turn of events! Punk claims that he had nothing to do with it and he was as surprised as anyone else. They’ve all tried to erase from the history books, but he’s in-erasable, like a crossword done in pen! OK, I added the last part. Mick Foley interrupts this going-nowhere promo, and he’s mad because Punk FAILED to live up to the tradition of the Cell match. He won the damn match! But Punk is all about tradition, so he challenges Mick to a Survivor Series elimination match. Where the fuck did this come from?
Ryback v. JTG
Ryback with a couple of slams and a Thesz Press of all things, and the lariat and Shellshocked finish at 1:56. And then we get a RYBACK PROMO, as he’s still hungry for Punk.
Randy Orton v. Wade Barrett
Two years ago this was the main event of Survivor Series, and now they’re both just hanging around the midcard again. That’s why I miss the territory days – it used to be that guys would go to the main event, get burned out there, and then go somewhere else to keep making money. They brawl to the floor right away and Orton has his way with him, and it’s back in for the Garvin Stomp. Wade slugs back, but gets dumped again and we take a break. We’re back in suddenly no longer in HD for some reason. That’s pretty weird. Wonder if that was just The Score or if USA also switched to 4×3? Barrett works on the arm and gets two. The Score confirms that the hurricane is messing up the HD feed, which is good because it’s driving me crazy. Orton comes back with the powerslam and draping DDT, but Barrett counters the RKO with the Bossman slam for two. Another RKO finishes at 10:00. The 50/50 booking continues, but this was fine. **1/2
Meanwhile, AJ and Vickie discuss the allegations and AJ is basically forced to beg for her job.
Daniel Bryan & Kane v. The Primetime Players4
This would be non-title, I presume. The champs take turns on Darren Young in the corner, but Bryan refuses to tag Kane back in. This costs him when Titus comes in and takes over, and Young goes to a chinlock. Bryan comes back and brings Kane in for a sideslam that gets two. Kane with the flying clothesline on Young and the chokeslam, but Bryan tags himself in for the No!Lock at 4:24. Just a match. *1/2
We recap the Brad Maddox storyline from two months ago, AFTER the match where remembering it in advance would have actually made the finish sensible.
John Cena joins us to confront Vickie about the proof of his affair. He claims he was joking about the date, and was just comforting AJ last week, and the dinner was just a business dinner. However, Vickie also has video of Cena and AJ flirting in the hallway and then going into an elevator together. The crowd chants “You are busted” after that one. Cena digs the hole deeper before Dolph Ziggler interrupts. Cena actually gets serious for once and shoves Ziggler off before storming away. Surprisingly effective, actually.
Kofi Kingston v. Antonio Cesaro
And HD is back! Yay! Cesaro attacks, but walks into a forearm and the corner kick. Kofi goes up and Cesaro slams him off. Double stomp and Cesaro goes to the top wristlock, but Kofi dropkicks him to the floor and springs off the stairs with a forearm. Kofi gets into an altercation with color commentator Miz, and it’s a DQ at 2:40. The heels do the beatdown, but R-Truth makes the save. This was nothing. *
Meanwhile, Vickie continues antagonizing AJ, who still claims that nothing happened.
3MB has an AWESOME vignette, including Jinder Mahal ripping off The Simpsons to great effect with “Yeah, I’m known as the fun one”. Also: “We’re not Lenscrafters! We can’t churn out smash hits in one hour or less!” Who knew friggin’ Jinder Mahal could be hilarious? If they keep giving them this kind of promo, they’ll get over as a cult babyface pretty quickly.
3MB v. Zack Ryder & Santino
Ryder quickly gets the Broski Boot on Mahal, but he bails and necksnaps Zack to take over. Over to Slater for a quick beatdown in the corner and a flying forearm for two. Mahal with a high knee for two. Slater works a chinlock, but misses a charge and it’s hot tag Santino. It’s BONZO GONZO and Santino preps the cobra, but as usual he gets distracted and Slater finishes with the neckbreaker at 3:45. *1/2
AJ Lee v. Beth Phoenix
AJ tries to unleash the crazy, but Beth lays her out and tosses her. Back in, she gets two. AJ comes back with a small package for the pin at 2:00. Oh man, the cradle, it’s Beth’s kryptonite! Vickie comes out to restart the match, however, and Beth quickly beats her with the Glam Slam. This 50/50 booking is getting out of control.
Sheamus comes out to concede that Big Show was the better man at the PPV. But he didn’t come here to always win! Could have fooled me. Anyway, the war continues, he loves to fight, loves to smile, blah blah blah. This brings out Big Show, who wants to knock the smile off Sheamus’ face because Sheamus knows that he can never beat Show. Sheamus gives him the White Noise in response. Two guys engaging in hatred over the World title is a good thing, even if the feud bores me to tears.
Meanwhile, Beth thanks Vickie for her assistance, but Vickie fires her. And so ends the Beth Phoenix farewell tour.
The Rhodes Scholars v. Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara
Rey’s got the Grim Fandango look going tonight in honor of Halloween. The masked men frustrate the heels to start and double-team Cody, but Rey takes a beating for a bit before Sin Cara tags in and runs wild on them. A pair of dives follow and we take a break. I’m surprised we didn’t get yet another self-aggrandizing promo or recap of Punk-Foley during the break, because they’ve been doing both all night. Back with Cara getting the heat, but he gets a sunset flip on Cody for two. Hot tag Rey and he lands on his feet after getting tossed by Cody, but Sandow hits him with a cheapshot from behind. And now the heels get the heat on Rey, with Sandow dropping the ELBOW OF DISDAIN for two. Choking in the corner, but Rey cradles Sandow for two. Cody stomps him down for two as this is clearly just filling time. Finally Rey manages a double DDT and makes the tag to Sin Cara, who gets an enzuigiri on Sandow for two. The heels switch off and bail, but Cara hits Cody with a corkscrew dive. Back in, he goes up and misses a senton on Sandow, allowing him to finish with the Terminus at 15:30. Went too long, but the Rhodes Scholars continue to look strong. **1/2 With the tag division actually deep for once, they should go old-school and do a 10-team Survivor Series match this year. Luchadors/Kidd & Gabrel/Kane & Bryan/Santino & Ryder/Usos v. Primetime Players/Rhodes Scholars/3MB/Camacho & Hunico/The Ascension?
John Cena gives a big cheque to cancer survivors after another 10 minutes of videos about how great WWE is for doing it. Just before an election, too! How about that. But then what’s another $1,000,000 donation when you’ve already burned $100 million on both campaigns to date? Like was this REALLY something they couldn’t have just stuck on the website instead of burning 15 minutes on the show with it?
Alberto Del Rio v. Justin Gabriel
ADR kills him quickly and gets a NASTY looking snap of the arm on the ropes. I don’t know how they worked that one, because Gabriel’s elbow went in a bad direction. ADR works on the arm while the words CHAEL SONNEN are spoken on WWE TV for the first time ever. That hurricane might be a signal for the end of times. ADR works a very long armbar and stomps Gabriel down for two. Gabriel gets a brief comeback, but Del Rio finishes with the inevitable armbreaker at 5:18. WAY too long for the extended squash it was. Much like everything else tonight. ½*
For those keeping track, that makes Del Rio v. Gabriel your main event of the evening.
CM Punk joins us at the 3-hour mark and we’ve still got a 20 minute interview segment to go here. Paul Heyman announces Team Punk: CM Punk, The Miz, Cody Rhodes, Damien Sandow & Alberto Del Rio. Mick Foley presents Team Foley: Kofi Kingston, Kane, Daniel Bryan, Randy Orton & Ryback. Wow, this is quite the conflagration of midcarders. And then they do the big go-home brawl right here as Punk leaves. Geez, building up the reveal of the team members for a couple of weeks is the easiest hook there is and they just threw it out there in the same show as they announced the match!
This was yet another show where I had to keep stopping the show and going to do other stuff because I was bored out of my mind the whole way. I even watched last week’s episode of Dexter after the first hour before slogging back into it again. Also, basically no followup on EVIL REFEREE Brad Maddox, but a whole lot of AJ and Vickie. This doesn’t fill me with anticipation for Survivor Series.