The SmarK RAW Supershow Rant – 12.19.11
Live from Philadelphia, PA.
Your hosts are Michael Cole & Jerry Lawler
CM Punk does his own introduction, letting us all know that he’s still the champion and Johnny Ace is still a clown. He continues the awards show format, introducing Zack Ryder as the winner of the US title and bringing him out for some fist bumps. And finally, new World champion Daniel Bryan to complete Philly’s nerdgasm. After their celebration speeches (and Michael Cole bitching about Bryan again), the heel trio of Ziggler, Del Rio and Miz come out and sucker Ryder into an attack. This brings out Executive VP of Clown Shoes Johnny Ace to restore order and make a six-man main event tonight. At least that means they can’t take the US title off Ryder tonight. I was seriously concerned they’d finally debut Brodus Clay by squashing Ryder.
Randy Orton v. Wade Barrett
Ah yes, the TNA model of having the gimmick match to start on PPV, and then doing the regular singles match on TV right afterwards. Barrett hammers away in the corner to start, but Orton blasts out with a clothesline and gets the dropkick for two. Barrett takes a powder and they brawl on the floor as a result, which leads to Orton hitting the post so that Barrett can take over. And we take a break. Back with Barrett throwing knees on the ropes and putting Orton on the floor with a big boot. Back in, that gets two. We hit the chinlock, but Orton fights out and gets the powerslam…which Cole actually calls a POWERSLAM! Holy cow, progress. Orton sets up for the draping DDT, but Barrett reverses into a Wasteland attempt, and Orton reverses out of that into a backbreaker. Now the draping DDT hits and it’s time for the interpretive dance, but Barrett thumbs him in the eye for a DQ at 7:01. A THUMB TO THE EYE!?! They actually PAID someone to come up with that finish? Barrett is so pissed off about the shitty booking that he puts Orton through a table afterwards. Match was going along decently until that ending. **1/2
Kevin Nash gets written out of the show by the announcers, as they tell us he’ll be out for at least six weeks, if not forever. One can only hope.
Beth Phoenix v. Alicia Fox
Well at least it’s not one of the same four chicks we’ve had for months now. Fox throws hih kicks to start, but walks into a sideslam. Beth tries a slingshot suplex, but Fox reverses out and finishes with an inverted DDT and legdrop at 0:46. ½*
Sheamus v. Jinder Mahal
This again? Mahal goes on the attack to start, but Sheamus shrugs him off, so Jinder dropkicks the knee and follows with a high knee for two. Sheamus quickly comes back and pounds him down, but goes up and misses the shoulderblock. He hits the backbreaker instead and finishes the squash with the Celtic Cross at 1:52. This was fine. *
John Cena is out to talk about Kane (you’ll know him because he has issues with dentists, ho ho) and once again reminds us that he’s facing The Rock at Wrestlemania, but Mark Henry interrupts. He’s walking around like he’s in a house of pain himself. He suggests that Cena should perhaps vacate the ring lest there be an issue, but Kane also interrupts. Cena lets him get the Rocketeer helmet off and then attacks him, but that goes badly for him. Interesting how putting the mask back on Kane kind of restores an air of danger about him that he’d lost. Kane smothers Cena on the announce table and rips his shirt off, leaving Cena quivering in fear for once instead of cracking jokes. That is at least a positive step in helping Cena be less of a superman.
Primo & Epico v. The Usos
The Usos have a cool new Samoan wardance entrance, like Samoa Joe was doing in TNA before they stopped caring about him. Usos double-team Primo right away with a Decapitation, but the Colons catch Jey in the corner and work him over. Epico slingshots in with a splash for two. He hits the chinlock as the director is more interested in Rosa Mendes shaking it at ringside. Jimmy gets the hot tag (I guess) and hits Epico with a full nelson bomb for two, into a running butt splash for two. Epico steals it with a backstabber at 2:54, however. The heels need more distinguishing looks (as do the Usos) because the crowd didn’t seem to care about any of them. Wonder why they’d take the time to give the Usos a cool new entrance and then have them do the job in a quickie TV match? **
Cody Rhodes v. Santino
The pre-match vignette with Santino giving Cody a Cobra for Christmas was actual funny comedy for once, as is usual for Santino. Cody pounds away in the corner to start and gets a legsweep, but Santino quickly makes the comeback and sets up for the Cobra. Cody blocks that with the Alabama Slam for the pin at 1:20. ½*
Tribute To The Troops recap. I find it kind of annoying that they treat the military shows like it’s charity work or something.
Meanwhile, The Bella Twins give Johnny Ace a double kiss, but Vickie Guerrero barges in and has to kiss Hornswoggle under the mistletoe. The announcers laugh uproariously at this, so it must be hilarious.
Big Show talks to Josh Matthews about having his 9-year quest to regain the World title CRUSHED by Daniel Bryan. Josh rubs in the fact that Show is the shortest-reigning World champion ever, and that seems to spell trouble for someone upcoming, as Show leaves in a huff. I bet it’s Daniel Bryan.
The Miz, Dolph Ziggler & Alberto Del Rio v. Zack Ryder, Daniel Bryan & CM Punk
The mystery video interrupts ADR’s entrance, and this time the theme is “Prophetless”. The babyfaces enter through the crowd to fit with the “men of the people” motif. Punk controls Miz to start, and Bryan comes in with a dropkick for two. Ziggler comes in and gets caught with a bow-and-arrow, and Ryder adds the double-team hiptoss, setting up a ring-clearing spot. With the heels on the floor, the babyfaces fire off the dives for the big trainwreck spot and we take a break. Back with Miz getting the DDT on Bryan for two, and Del Rio gets the seated dropkick for two. Ziggler hits the chinlock and the heels trap Bryan in the corner, but he fights back on ADR. Alberto pounds the arm with kicks in the corner and adds a backbreaker for two. Ziggler pounds away in the corner, but misses a blind charge and it’s hot tag Ryder. He faceplants Ziggler and adds the Broski Boot for two, but Ziggler dropkicks him for two. Miz comes in with a kneelift for two and Ryder is your Broski-in-peril. Miz cuts off the ring in classic fashion, and ADR comes in and quickly gets backdropped over the top. Nice bump there. The crowd desperately wants Punk, and he gets the hot tag. Punk with the bulldog on Miz and he goes up with the flying elbow for two. He turns that cover into the Anaconda Vice, but Ziggler breaks that up. Over to ADR and Bryan, and Daniel gets the missile dropkick. Punk with the GTS on Miz to get rid of him, but ADR dumps Punk. Del Rio sends Bryan into the post to set up the armbreaker, but Bryan reverses to the LeBell Lock to finish at 13:30. And the babyfaces celebrate to end the show. ***1/2
This was a really fun show that built to nothing but it’s own main event, and that’s just fine. I don’t mind the occasional squash match to make someone look better, and they certainly have a bunch of time to build to Royal Rumble anyway. This was a breath of fresh air after weeks of overproduced nonsense. I’m out of town for Christmas so I’m not sure if I’ll be back in time for next week’s show, but Merry Christmas to all in case I’m not.
Tags: alberto del rio, cm punk, Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler, monday night raw, Raw, SmarK Rant, The Miz, WWE, zack ryder