The SmarK RAW Rant – 09.17.12
Live from Bridgeport, CT
Your hosts are Jim Ross, Michael Cole & JBL
Paul Heyman, now using Punk’s music, starts us out. “Cult of Personality” actually works even better for him than it does for Punk, in fact. So apparently the finish of last night’s match was embroiled in controversy (really?), and Heyman calls out referee Chad Patton to defend his actions. We get various footage showing both shoulders down, thus proving that Punk is still the champion. John Cena and his pink ribbons interrupt, and he’s got no beef with the ref, he just wanted the match to go on longer. But in fact Cena STILL doesn’t want to give Punk respect, because he didn’t BEAT Cena, he merely retained the title. And now we get Alberto Del Rio complaining about not getting a rematch. And of course AJ is here to make the predictable Del Rio & Punk v. Cena & Sheamus tag match for tonight. Man, if you had told me a year ago that we’d still be seeing Cena feuding with Punk and Del Rio a year later…well, I probably wouldn’t have been that surprised, actually.
Sin Cara & Rey Mysterio v. Epico & Primo
Cara quickly takes Primo down with the flying armdrag and Rey gets a corner splash for two. Double kick gets two and we take a break. Back with Sin Cara getting worked over, but he comes back with a tornado DDT on Primo and makes the hot tag. So we missed the entire heat segment in the commercial. Rey runs wild on Epico and puts him in the corner with a rana, then both guys get put in 619 position. Cara finishes Epico with a swanton at 7:23. Match was fine, although there wasn’t much actually shown around the break. ** Wait, weren’t Primo and Epico babyfaces last time we saw them? Not that anyone cares anyway. The Primetime Players come in for the beatdown afterwards, still bitter about losing their #1 contendership. They’re taking stuff now, apparently. The booking path with the masked men is pretty easy to map out, but the question is whether they can hold it off until Wrestlemania.
Eve v. Beth Phoenix
Color commentator Layla casts aspersions on the moral fiber of Eve, who gets a rollup for the pin at 1:10.
Brodus Clay v. Heath Slater
Clay proceeds to squashing Slater, but Antonio Cesaro provides some distraction and Slater gets two. Brodus finishes him with the splash at 1:40 anyway.
The Miz debuts his new segment (I hate when they call it a “talk show” like it’s some sort of separately scheduled program) and interviews Booker T, trying to find out why Booker is such a bad GM. The crowd chants “boring” at this, and Booker makes Miz v. Ryback for right now. Ryback destroys the perfectly innocent furniture for some reason, and I guess we’re not actually getting that match.
Dolph Ziggler v. Santino
Santino gets a rollup for two, but Ziggler hits a neckbreaker to take over and drops an elbow for two while the crowd starts to openly chant for him. Ziggler stops to disrespect the sock puppet, and shrugs off Santino’s comeback attempt. Santino gets a second comeback, but can’t find his cobra sock, and the Zig Zag finishes at 4:02. Very extended squash for Ziggler. Thank god they didn’t job Ziggler to Santino as well. *
Wade Barrett v. Justin Gabriel
I like the beard on Barrett, actually. Gabriel uses some quick kicks, but Barrett tosses him and back in for a backbreaker that gets two. Barrett pounds on the ribs until Gabriel makes the comeback, and the fans chant “we want wrestling”, which the announcers interpret as “we want Nexus”. Gabriel comes back with a lionsault for two, but Barrett lays him out with an elbow to the head for the pin at 4:00. So what was the point of the ribs for the whole match? *
Meanwhile, Jared from Subway shills subs.
WWE Tag team titles: Kane & Daniel Bryan v. Kofi Kingston & R-Truth
You know, for as much shit as I give them about not pulling the trigger at the right time, they put those belts on Team Friendship at EXACTLY the right time, because they had a hot act and they needed the belts to keep it going to the next level. The challengers work on Bryan’s arm to start, but Bryan doesn’ want to tag out to Kane. Kofi gets a bodypress for two as a result, and now Kane gets tagged in. Kane beats on Kofi in the corner, but charges and hits the floor. Man, this crowd is just dead outside of Bryan’s stuff. Bryan and Kane get into another argument and we take a break. Back with Kane holding a bearhug on Truth, but a missile dropkick allows Kofi to tag back in. Kofi hammers away in the corner and gets a flying bodypress for two, and the Boomdrop follows. Kane blocks the wacky kick, so Daniel tags himself back in and another argument ensues. Truth runs wild on Bryan and gets a front suplex for two. Truth slams Kofi on Bryan for two, and Kofi gets a dropkick for two. Double kneedrops get two for Truth. So is Bryan the face in peril or what’s the deal here? Kane finally gets a tag and hits Truth with the flying clothesline for two. Sideslam and Bryan tries to tag in again, but this time Kane won’t let him and Truth hits the Little Jimmy for two. Kane chokeslams Truth and Bryan tags himself in and finishes with the No-Lock at 14:00. This was just all over the place and the crowd was dead for most of it. *1/2 This of course all leads to the one spot that the crowd DOES care about, as the tag champions hug it out.
Randy Orton v. Tensai
Orton slugs away to start, but Tensai uses the POWER OF THE HEAD to take over and gets a powerslam for two. And now the bearhug. Is this show over YET? Tensai works on the back and then goes to the dreaded nerve pinch and now the crowd is turning on this match hardcore. Hearing Jim Ross having to parrot “creating separation” and “building momentum” ad nauseum is sad and disheartening. Orton finally comes back with the draping DDT off the pink rope, and the RKO finishes at 6:07. I fail to see how it’s an “RKO out of nowhere” when he stands there setting the move up for 30 seconds. ½*
Damien Sandow is out to kill the ratings and give us a vocabulary lesson, but Zack Ryder interrupts and they’re having a match.
Damien Sandow v. Zack Ryder
We’re joined in progress after the break with Ryder backdropping Sandow and hitting a dive that gets two. Sandow drops a knee for two, bows, and gets another two. Sandow with a chinlock and elbowdrop for two as the announcers ignore the match and have a ridiculous argument about what constitutes a big word. Ryder gets a small package, which Sandow reverses for two, but Ryder comes back with the Broski boot. Sandow bails to escape, but another try hits and gets two. Sandow finishes with the neckbreaker at 5:22. This just kept going. *
Sheamus & John Cena v. Alberto Del Rio & CM Punk
Del Rio goes after Cena to start, but Cena backdrops him for two. Sheamus gets a Regal Roll for two, and Punk comes in and immediately gets bulldogged. Punk bails for advice from Heyman, and it appears to work as he takes over on Cena in the ring. The heels work Cena over in the corner, but Sheamus gets the tag and clotheslines Punk for two. Del Rio comes in with an impressive superkick, but Sheamus gives him the forearms and White Noise, but Del Rio comes back with a backstabber for two. Punk wraps him up with a surfboard, but Sheamus reverses out for two. Del Rio comes in with a chinlock and stomps Sheamus down for two. Sheamus gets a backbreaker and it’s hot tag to Cena, however. STF is broken up by Del Rio, but Sheamus hits him with the brogue kick. Cena finishes Punk with the FU at 9:45, despite Punk’s foot clearly being on the ropes. **3/4
Eh, just a show. Nothing particularly offensive, and I can live with a bunch of squashes as long as it’s building to a PPV and gets people over. At least it means there’s a midcard again.