The SmarK RAW Rant – 05.27.13
Live from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, which is an odd place for a Memorial Day show given that it’s not a holiday up here. In fact, because Canada is Bizarroworld, it’s legal to kick a veteran on May 27 anywhere in Canada.
Your hosts are Michael Cole, JBL and Jerry Lawler
John Cena starts us out and talks about the CONTROVERSY coming out of Extreme Rules. The crowd is so into the storyline that they start a “We Want Bret” chant. So for some reason at the PPV, the ambulance match is now a Three Stages of Hell match, with a lumberjack match (EXTREME!!!!), a tables match and then the ambulance match. This brings out Ryback, who is apparently now Satan. Even the Lord of Darkness would be doing 50/50 jobs in this company. And then we get Paul Heyman and future Hall of Famer Curtis Axel. Heyman wants Cena v. Axel tonight.
Alberto Del Rio v. Big E Langston
We get our first TABER CORN sign of the night. The stakes are high here: According to Cole, the winner here could go a long way towards determining who is in the spot of #1 contender sometime in the future. Better call your friends and neighbors! Del Rio hits a suicide dive, but Big E drops him on the stairs and goes to bearhug. Three backbreakers get two. Langston misses the blind charge and hits the post, allowing Del Rio to come back with a superkick for two. Cole notes how it’s interesting that Canadians are chanting “Si”, but it just means that someone asked the crowd a negatively phrased question that requires a positive response in French. That could happen at this show. Del Rio goes for the armbar and can’t hook it, so AJ tries for the distraction and that results in Del Rio rolling up Big E for the pin at 4:18. My favorite finish, I see. This was OK, but obviously they’re treading water until Dolph can come back. *1/2
Meanwhile, Kane thinks Bryan is a little obsessed with the weak link thing. However, Bret Hart is there to broker a peace and put Bryan over. Bryan acts like a little kid meeting his hero, which probably isn’t far from the truth.
US title: Dean Ambrose v. Kofi Kingston
Kofi gets a couple of rollups and tries the kick off a criss-cross, but Ambrose bails to escape. That was a great sequence. Ambrose bails and we take ANOTHER break, after already taking one before Kofi’s intro. Back with Ambrose holding a chinlock and dropping an elbow on Kofi for two. Kofi gets a rollup out of the corner for two and a bodypress for two. Kofi comes back with a sunset flip for two, which leads to an SOS for two. Kofi springboards in with a clothesline for two, but Ambrose trips him on the apron and takes him into the stairs. Back in, the BULLDOG DRIVER finishes at 9:34. Good, but now Ambrose needs to move onto guys who matter. *** And then this leads right into…
WWE tag titles: The Shield v. Daniel Bryan & Kane
But of course, a commercial break first. Because even anarchy has to fit within the rigidly formatted TV show. So we’re joined in progress with Bryan kicking Rollins down before Kane tags himself in as the voice of reason. Powerslam gets two, and they pull out a HART ATTACK on Rollins for two. This only gets Bryan over as an even bigger babyface in Calgary. Rollins escapes a chokeslam and hits an enzuigiri on Kane, which brings Reigns in for two. Kane reverses a suplex on Rollins, but Reigns comes in with a chinlock and a powerslam for two. Kane escapes another chinlock and makes the hot tag to Bryan, and he DESTROYS Rollins with a german suplex and dropkick for two. The kicks gets two. To the top, but Rollins brings him down, so Bryan hangs Rollins in the Tree of Woe and kicks the shit out of him again. Into a top rope backdrop suplex, and we take a break. Back with Bryan throwing kicks on Reigns, but he walks into a clothesline for two. So yeah, we’re doing Extended Rock N Roll Express Formula tonight. Rollins comes in with a suplex for two that sets up a surfboard hold, but Bryan powers out of it I a unique counter, forcing Rollins to beat him down again. Reigns comes in with a shoulderblock for two. Rollins comes in and notes that they’re the champions now, not Bryan. Well, his smack talk isn’t factually inaccurate. Rollins then takes Bryan into the corner with a downward spiral for two. That’s pretty awesome. Bryan fights back on Reigns and finally it’s hot tag Kane, who hits Rollins with a pair of corner clotheslines and a backdrop. Sideslam gets two. Bryan comes in with missile dropkick to put Reigns on the floor, and he follows with a suicide dive. Kane boots Rollins down and goes up, but stops to bitch at Bryan. Hey, Bryan is dealing with Reigns, cut him some slack! And while Kane whines, Rollins comes in with the flying knee to retain at 19:02. I’m with Bryan on that one, he had the Shield split up and Kane should have finished Rollins while it was one-on-one. But this was pretty awesome, and I’m like Joey with a big jar of jam if you give me a good long tag match to watch. ***1/2
Wade Barrett v. Fandango
Via the app, MIz gets to be guest referee. Fandango throws chops and kicks him down for two, but Barrett pounds away in the ropes, forcing Miz to step in with the Skull Crushing Finale and count the pin for Fandango at 1:45. Yeah. DUD Note to future WWE Superstars: If someone offers you the Intercontinental title, JUST SAY NO.
Meanwhile, Shawn Michaels and his giant beard try to offer advice to John Cena, but he’s not listening.
Tensai, Brodus Clay & Great Khali v. 3MB
The band takes a beating from Khali, but Tensai comes in and gets booted down by Drew. It’s quickly hot tag Clay and he tosses Slater around and powerslams him for two. Khali chops Slater down and Clay splashes him for the pin at 3:00. So yeah, this happened. DUD And then we get Great Khali singing Happy Birthday to Nattie. This also happened.
Highlight Reel: Chris Jericho brings out Paul Heyman, and Heyman takes credit for discovering and developing Jericho, but Jericho wants to talk about CM Punk instead. Heyman deflects the conversation to his suit and goes off on a rant, managing to slip in a shot at Bret to be an even bigger heel. An announcement will forthcoming in the next few weeks, as Heyman goes right back into weasel sports agent mode, but Jericho issues a challenge to Punk for Payback and threatens to call himself the Best in the World, and Heyman is freaking about that. Finally Jericho goads Heyman into accepting the match on his behalf. Jericho and Heyman should just have a 30 minute segment every week to do whatever they want.
The Bella Twins v. Kaitlyn & Natalya
Kaitlyn now wearing a more standard set of Divas gear, perhaps in an attempt to better highlight her boobs. If so, I approve. Kaitlyn gets double-teamed in the Bella corner, but quickly brings Nat in for a Sharpshooter on Brie. Nikki comes in to break it up, but Kaitlyn accidentally spears Nattie and Brie pins her at 3:42. So yes, Natalya does the job, in her hometown, on her BIRTHDAY. DUD
BRAY WYATT is coming. Fuck yeah he is! This guy is gonna be MONEY. Like, they should have had him on the main roster months ago.
Sheamus & Randy Orton v. The Rhodes Scholars
Orton overpowers Cody and gets two, and Sheamus slingshots in with a shoulder for two. Powerslam gets two on Sandow, and Orton slugs away in the corner. This thing grinds to a boring halt as the announcers are so bored that they’re making fun of Cody’s fake tan while Sheamus gets the “heat”. And we take a break and return with Rhodes chinlocking Sheamus to really amp things up. No wonder I tune out of these shows by this point. Hot tag Orton and he destroys Sandow with the usual, but gets run into the post outside. Back in, that gets two for Sandow and yes, THIS MATCH IS STILL GOING. If you ever need an argument for cutting this show back to two hours, this is it. So now Orton gets beat up by the heels until he collides with Rhodes for the double KO, and it’s hot tag Sheamus. He walks into a disaster kick, however, and Sandow gets two. Orton gets rid of Cody and Sheamus hits Sandow with White Noise and finishes with the Brogue at 16:06. This did NOT need that long, to say the least. **
John Cena v. Curtis Axel
Cena hiptosses Axel and he bails for advice from Heyman as we take a break. Back with Axel sending Cena into the stairs and whipping him into the corner. Snap suplex gets two as a fight breaks out to distract the crowd. Axel goes to an extended armbar while the guy gets carted off, and I mean EXTENDED. Cena makes his comeback, but Axel escapes the FU and dropkicks him for two. Axel goes to the middle and misses an elbow, and Cena slams him for two. Axel with a necksnap for two. The AXELPLEX gets two. He misses a blind charge and this brings out Ryback in an ambulance. Cena just walks away from the match at 12:48, because he’s so worried about Ryback. Wow, that really puts Axel over as a major player, forgotten while Cena and Ryback die a million deaths with this feud. Why even bother with the match if that’s the finish you wanted? *1/2
Not a bad show, but just a bunch of stuff and random rematches that meant absolutely nothing, thrown out there literally to fill three hours and put me to sleep.
Tags: Bray Wyatt, Curtis Axel, Daniel Bryan, john cena, monday night raw, SmarK Rants, The Shield