The SmarK RAW Rant – 04.15.13

The SmarK RAW Rant – 04.15.13

Good thoughts and condolences to everyone in Boston.  Hopefully the cowards who did it are caught and dealt with appropriately.

Live from somewhere apparently too minor to mention.

Your hosts are Michael Cole, JBL & Jerry Lawler

Randy Orton & Sheamus v. Big Show

This hardly seems fair for the Big Show.  Sheamus tries a headlock and gets suplexed, but comes back with a necksnap and flying shoulderblock for two.  Show blocks the kick and dumps Sheamus, but Orton’s power of positive thinking gets him back into the ring.  Show with the Final Cut for two, but Orton saves.  And these guys are supposed to be the babyfaces?  Show with a sideslam for two and he goes up, but Sheamus brings him down with an electric chair.   That’s pretty impressive for a guy Show’s size and age.  Hot tag Orton and he puts Show down with a dropkick and somehow gets him in position for the draping DDT, but Show blocks the RKO.  Sheamus comes back in with the Brogue Kick and the RKO finishes Show at 6:11.  Wow, two top level babyfaces beat one guy in a handicap match, my heroes.  Pretty entertaining little match with hard work from Show, though.  **3/4

3MB comes out to call out the Shield, but Brock Lesnar answers instead and, uh, well, that doesn’t end up so well for the rockers.  Heyman says that Brock still wants HHH, and does the old “HHH, you’re a hell of a man and I respect you for knocking out Lesnar” just like he was cutting a promo on Dusty Rhodes in 1985 or something.  So for Extreme Rules, we’re apparently getting ANOTHER match between them, this time in a cage.  OMG SO EXTREEEEEEEEEME!  No buys.  Really, HHH already put up his career and won, what more do we need out of this feud?  Does HHH literally have to rip off Brock’s head and shit down his throat so we understand what a fluke Brock’s Summerslam win was?

US title:  Antonio Cesaro v. Kofi Kingston

So yeah, Cesaro yodels now.  This is a real thing.  They trade near-falls to start, and Kofi misses a charge and gets laid out by a forearm.  Gutwrench gets two.  Kofi comes back with the boomdrop, but the big kick misses and Cesaro lays him out with SWISS DEATH for two.  And we take a break.  Back with Cesaro headbutting him down for two.  SOS gets two for Kofi, and the Trouble in Paradise puts Cesaro on the floor.  Back in, that gets two.  Kofi goes up with a bodypress, but Cesaro catches him with a backbreaker for two.  Cesaro misses a charge and Kofi gets a sunset flip for two.  Rollup gets two, and Trouble in Paradise gives Kofi the US title again at 9:55.  And the treadmill continues for him, but apparently he’s happy in that role, so good for him.  ***1/4  So that’s the payoff for Cesaro – lose and lose and lose and lose and lose, miss Wrestlemania, then job the title on RAW to another midcarder.

Last week:  Let’s watch Dolph cash in the briefcase again, because it’s still awesome.  Might have been my favorite one, in fact, because they made us WANT it and delivered at the best possible time.  That crowd was SO HAPPY to see it happen.

Dolph Ziggler and his new belt are out for the victory speech, and this crowd is not as happy to see him as champion.  Del Rio comes out and he wants his rematch, so Vickie makes the match right now.  Jack Swagger also interrupts and attacks Del Rio, injuring the leg again because apparently they haven’t milked every dollar out of this awesome feud quite yet.  I was being sarcastic, in case you couldn’t tell.

Kane & Daniel Bryan v. The Primetime Players

This should be a total squash considering the champs are being positioned with Undertaker next week.  Bryan throws kicks in the corner, but gets caught in the heel corner and slammed by Titus.  Titus suplexes Young onto Bryan for two, and we hit the chinlock.  Bryan quickly makes the hot tag to Kane, and he gets a sideslam for two.  Chokeslam and flying headbutt finish at 3:30.  *1/2

Ryback cuts his heel promo via videotape, complaining about living in Cena’s shadow, and going all the way with his bitter turn.  He blames Cena for not helping him with the Shield, basically.  I don’t know why they felt the need to turn Ryback, but this was fine.  Glad they went pre-taped, though, because it would have been a disaster having him cut this promo live.

Wade Barrett v. R-Truth

Barrett gets a cheapshot out of the corner and drops an elbow for two, but Truth comes back with a front suplex for two.  Axe kick misses and Barrett boots him down.  Truth reverses the bossman slam into…something…DDTish…and gets the pin at 3:10.  Good to see Barrett back to losing again after last week’s flirtation with looking like a threat.  This was a yawn.  *

The Rhodes Scholars v. The Great Khali & Santino

Sandow finally reveals that we’re in South Carolina.  Figures, they have this weird thing where they don’t give the city if it’s not somewhere they’re proud to be running.  Santino gets worked over by the heels and Sandow drops the ELBOW OF DISDAIN, but Santino and Hornswaggle both use the Cobra, with the midget version being less effective.  Sandow rolls up Santino to end this trainwreck at 3:18.  Thank god.  DUD

Jerry Lawler brings out Fandango, as we get a compilation of the “viral” sensation that WWE paid a lot of money to generate.  Once they took it away from the fans and made it a WWE-branded endeavour, it basically killed the coolness right out of the gate.  Like really, a bunch of cheerleaders just happen to know the song and actually care enough to perform it?  Fandango tries to teach the crowd how to say his name, unsuccessfully, and everyone still dances.  I have no idea what this was supposed to be.  You’d think since the guy was heating up, you’d have him squash some geek (like a secondary title holder) or do an interesting angle or something.  Instead they’ve already beaten the organic rise into the ground via SOCIAL MEDIA and have no idea what to do with him now.

Step 1:  FANDANGO-ING

Step 2:  ???

Step 3: PROFIT!

 

Dolph Ziggler v. Jack Swagger

So this comes about due to the continuing labyrinthine GM relationships, with Teddy Long making a match behind Vickie’s back and over Booker’s head.  Apparently if Swagger wins he’s “in the title hunt”, so look for Ziggler to job yet again here so we can get a shitty three-way at the PPV.  Swagger pounds away in the corner and gets a short clothesline, but misses a blind charge.  Dolph bails to the apron and gets a necksnap, but Swagger drops him on the top rope and clotheslines him to the floor as we take a break.  Back with Swagger hitting the post on a charge, and Dolph comes back with a small package for two.  Swagger with a belly to belly suplex for two.  Swagger bomb hits boot and Ziggler makes the comeback with a DDT for two.  Swagger blocks the fameasser with a stungun for the pin at 10:34.  Because of course he does.  Crowd did not care about this in the least, but we’re getting more Swagger like it or not.  **  I really find the whole “lose a bunch of matches and then beat the champion to earn another title shot” booking pattern to be particularly insufferable.  They’ve got the alignments totally wrong here, as people want to cheer Ziggler and boo Del Rio and we’re getting force-fed the opposite.

Meanwhile, Mark Henry attacks Sheamus for some reason.

Main Event Interview: CM Punk joins us to talk about his quest to end the Undertaker’s streak, which leads to the crowd doing a giant duelling chant for both guys.  Punk gets so emotional over this that he leaves.  OK then.

Meanwhile, the Smackdown GMs continue their ongoing argument, as Booker makes the obvious three-way match for the PPV.

Kaitlyn v. Nikki Bella

More talk of the famed “title hunt” here, as apparently Nikki winning will also put her in said hunt.  Do they literally have NO other booking tricks?  Constantly jobbing your champions makes the eventual title win mean NOTHING.  The Bellas argue on the floor, allowing Kaitlyn to baseball slide them, but Nikki runs her into the apron to take over as the crowd somehow gets deader.  Science has found a new level of boredom and it’s this match.  Nikki with the devastating hairpull for two.   A series of chinlocks follows, and the Bellas make the switch to allow Brie to get the pin with the world’s most devastating trip onto the middle rope at 5:11.  Yeah, this happened.  DUD

Main Event Interview #2:  John Cena is out with his promised bright yellow t-shirt, and he’s calling out the Ryback.  You’d think Cena would have other things on his mind today, but whatever.  He’s MAD for Ryback saying those mean things about him, even though Ryback presented him with video evidence and actually made a pretty solid case for himself.  Ryback engages in a staring contest, but then walks away from it in a true heel move.  So, in your WCW move for the evening, the director accidentally cut to the Shield getting into position backstage earlier in the interview, and then we’re supposed to be surprised when they come out here.  So they beat on Cena and Ryback is just watching and Cole is like “WHY IS RYBACK JUST STANDING THERE WATCHING?” even though Ryback explained in EXCRUTIATING detail exactly the reasons why he might take this course of action should the occasion ironically present itself, not two hours ago.  Jesus, I barely can pay attention to these stupid storylines at the best of times and even I didn’t need that one explained to me.

The Pulse

Yay, another heel turn that no one asked for.  First hour was good, but the rest of show certainly failed to live up to the awesome bar set by last week’s show.  Which is putting it diplomatically.  To put it another way, this show can go Fandango itself.

 

 

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