The SmarK RAW Supershow Rant – 05.07.12
Live from Greensboro, NC
Your hosts are Michael Cole & Jerry Lawler
Big Johnny starts us out, letting us know that last week he lost his temper and went into a PATH OF DESTRUCTION that no one can stop. And no reprimand was issued by the WWE Board of Directors, because they know he’s tough but fair. Also, anyone who makes fun of his voice will SUFFER. He talks about his Japanese career and getting his voice box injured by Dr. Death, and we get pictures of All Japan. Huh. So this brings out CM Punk, and I bet he’s going to make fun of his voice. Punk DERIDES People Power, but he’s here to help, not hurt. Punk lays out the storyline for us: Johnny put all his chips on Brock Lesnar, and Brock lost to Cena, so that’s why he’s so upset with Cena. Punk calls him stupid, ugly and friendless, so it’s Punk v. Lord Tensai as a result. Punk looks forward to the challenge. Surprised he didn’t say something about Albert or A-Train.
Meanwhile, Big Show makes fun of Big Johnny on the way to the ring, and Eve is disapproving.
Intercontinental title: Cody Rhodes v. Big Show
I find it weird that they’ll talk about Big Johnny’s Japanese career, but won’t say the words “Johnny Ace” so that people know who he was. Show tosses Rhodes around, but Cody gets the disaster kick, and Show no-sells it. Cody takes a walk at 1:50. DUD Good thing they put the belt back on him. Eve comes out and demands an apology from Big Show for mocking Big Johnny, and Show meekly gives it to her. OK then, champion is a cowardly geek and your giant babyface backs down from the figurehead when challenged. So basically I as a fan shouldn’t get behind anyone, got it.
Kofi Kingston v. Dolph Ziggler
Remember when these guys wrestled a million times in a row for the I-C title and were hugely over? Kofi misses a charge and Dolph dropkicks him and controls with a headlock on the mat, while AW and his crew of jobbers watch backstage. This now includes Mason Ryan. Lucky us. Kofi comes back with the boomdrop, but goes after Swagger, then hits the SOS on Ziggler for two. To the top, but Swagger interferes again and the Zig Zag finishes at 2:38. * Why the hell do they put the tag belts on these guys and then IMMEDIATELY start jobbing them? Is it any wonder that no one ever is allowed to get over?
John Cena does an interview via satellite. The doctors recommended that he take two months off, but he’s going to compete at the PPV, dammit! And he’s the one who told the Board not to fire Big Johnny!
Layla & Kelly Kelly v. Natalya & Maxine
Layla puts Maxine down with a spinkick, but Natalya distracts her and Maxine gets a shot in. Layla finishes her with a neckbreaker at 1:00 anyway. DUD Hey, a champion actually gets to win tonight! Natalya is now once again fully evil thanks to a plot development that happened somewhere off-screen. That’s gotta be some kind of record for turning someone babyface and then back to heel without actually showing either one or even mentioning it.
Randy Orton & Sheamus v. Alberto Del Rio & Chris Jericho
Orton takes ADR down with a clothesline for two, but Jericho comes in and hammers him in the corner. Over to Sheamus for the forearms, but Jericho sends the injured shoulder into the post and Del Rio adds a cheapshot to make Sheamus YOUR face in peril. And we take a break. Back with Jericho holding a chinlock on Sheamus, but Sheamus escapes with elbows in the corner and it’s hot tag Orton. Draping DDT for ADR, but he gets distracted and that allows Del Rio to hit the enzuigiri for two. And now Orton gets the beating, but he hits Jericho with the dropkick. Jericho comes back to control as Cole talks about “creating separation” and Jericho hits an enzuigiri for two. ADR gets a shoulderbreaker, but Orton comes back with the backbreaker and it’s hot tag Sheamus. Jericho tries the Walls, but Sheamus escapes and hits the backbreaker for two. Orton in with the RKO on ADR…but Sheamus accidentally takes him out with the Brogue Kick, and Jericho pins Sheamus with the Codebreaker at 14:18. And ANOTHER champion does a job tonight. However, this seems to set up a four-way Orton v. Jericho v. ADR v. Sheamus match for the PPV, which is 150 times more interesting than Sheamus v. Del Rio. And Orton turns on Sheamus with the RKO after the heels leave, which is fine with me because he’s been wandering around the midcard aimlessly anyway and needs something new to do. Match was the usual formula stuff. **3/4
Meanwhile, all the participants in the tag match get into a brawl in Big Johnny’s office because they all want the World title. And I LOVED that Orton was so pissed off that he angrily told Sheamus that he was coming for the title, because it actually means that people WANT to compete for it. What a concept, I know. So now it’s a four-way at the PPV. Makes sense, since the Del Rio match was going to be death and I think they knew it, although sticking Orton and Jericho in there reeks of changing their mind yet again.
Brodus Clay v. The Miz
Clay quickly dumps Miz after no-selling his offense, and the Funkettes LAUGH AT HIM. Very subtle there. Back in, Miz stomps him down and gets the corner clothesline and double axehandle off the top for two. Short DDT gets two. Miz goes to a chinlock, but Clay escapes with a sideslam and makes the comeback. Miz goes up and gets caught in a suplex, and the big splash finishes clean at 4:11. Why would you book Clay to sell for 4 minutes on live TV? Poor Miz. ½*
PAUL HEYMAN returns, acting as legal representation for Brock Lesnar. Well you knew he wasn’t going to stay away for long with Brock back, and thank god they’ve got someone to do the interviews now. Brock feels BETRAYED by the fans for booing him despite all the awesome stuff he’s done. Heyman reads a letter on behalf of Brock, who is quitting and never coming back. It’s great that they’ve got Heyman out there to do the talking now, but it’s STILL the same whiny contract nonsense that didn’t work the first time. Repackaging the same issue over and over with different people trying to get the “brilliant” plotting across isn’t going to work, no matter who is delivering the crappy material.
Meanwhile, even the geeks from the USA show they’re plugging think that Show shouldn’t have apologized. Sadly, they run afoul of Eve again.
CM Punk v. Lord Tensai
Unless they’re running REALLY long tonight, this will be a short match. And before we take one last break, Johnny turns it into a handicap match.
CM Punk v. Daniel Bryan & Lord Tensai
Tensai beats Punk down, and Bryan comes in with the kicks for two. Punk rolls him up for two and they collide on a bodypress attempt, which brings Tensai in with the butterfly suplex. Cole’s description of Tensai: “A former WWE superstar who went to Japan and became a star.” Wouldn’t that be a lesser designation, then? If he was already a SUPERstar, why would he want to be a mere star? Tensai with the senton and Bryan comes in with a diving headbutt, which misses. Punk comes back with a catapult into the corner and a bulldog, but Tensai makes a blind tag. He misses a charge and Punk puts him down with a high kick, but Daniel Bryan trips him up and Tensai fucks up a tree slam. That was ridiculous. The GREEN CLAW OF DEATH finishes to dead silence at 6:54. So at the PPV, it’s two losers going against each other for the title. It’s time to give up on Tensai, it’s not working at all. There’s no real upside here in pushing him like this, he’s not getting over and you’re just hurting the babyfaces who have to put him over now. I daresay it’s the old WCW problem of un-over, where you’ve got someone who’s not over, and they would keep putting that person over other people who WERE over to try to create some kind of rub, and all that happened was that everyone got dragged down to the same level.
I suppose Santino should feel grateful that he wasn’t booked on this show. I miss champions and challengers winning matches to set up the big match against each other, not losing matches so that people doubt both guys equally. The tag match was pretty fun, but man, the rest of this show right now is just going in a direction I so do not want to be a part of.