The SmarK RAW Rant – 06.24.13
Live from Charleston, SC
Your hosts are Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler & JBL
Quick DVD review to start, as Sony sent me The Call due to my love and admiration for the previous WWE Studios releases, I guess. Now of course I’ve previously torn them a new one for pieces of garbage like The Marine and more recently 12 Rounds, but as much as I hate to say it…this was a pretty great movie. Even though I had seen the trailer (which basically gives away the entire plot), it was still a super-tense and well-paced thriller with a clever premise. If you haven’t seen the million trailers on RAW, Halle Berry is a 911 operator named Jordan who accidentally causes the kidnapping and eventual death of a woman during a home invasion, and feels so guilty about it that she retires to become a teacher. However, the same dude strikes again, and she happens to be there to step back into the headset one more time and talk another girl through a kidnapping. Now, clearly you have to accept some caveats here, like the LAPD apparently being completely incompetent and somehow not being able to track a disposable cell phone or find a car on the freeway. Whereas with something like 12 Rounds the writing was so insulting that I couldn’t suspend my disbelief, The Call ratchets up the tension by throwing every obstacle in the way of the victim (and the poor kidnapper, who has EVERYTHING go wrong for him) and then going with the good old Saw leftover killing floor set for the final act. Yeah, it’s bunch of pieces of better movies sewn together, but Berry is a real actress doing real acting instead of a wrestler shooting on weekends between PPVs, and it shows. I never felt like the movie was insulting my intelligence, and the ending is pretty damn dark for this sort of thing. Normally you’d expect the cop boyfriend to swoop in and shoot the bad guy to save the day for the helpless ladies, but no, they go another way completely. I also appreciated that it wasn’t trying to be overly smart or tricky by doing the “Saw twist” with dramatic reveal at the end or anything. Just a straightforward “bad guy kidnaps girl, good guys try to catch him” movie, and for what it was I enjoyed the hell out of it. Plus Michael Imperioli is in it, and isn’t playing either a cop or a mobster. So it’s got that going on as well. Big thumbs up!
Daniel Bryan v. Randy Orton
Bryan gets PROMO TIME before the match, and Orton attacks and tosses him quickly. They quickly brawl and it’s a no-contest at 1:23.
Meanwhile, Daniel Bryan is pissed off and either wants another match with Orton tonight or one with Maddox. So Vickie grants that, but Vince steps in and may or may not be against the idea.
The Rhodes Scholars v. Sheamus & Christian
Christian puts Cody down with a pair of shoulderblocks and goes after Sandow, but he’s a man of PEACE. So he lets Cody blindside Christian instead. Back in, the heels work Christian over while Lawler reminisces about Jackie Fargo. Sandow with the ELBOW OF DISDAIN for two. Hot tag Sheamus and he dumps Sandow for the forearms and then finishes Cody with the Brogue at 4:39. The crowd was just MOLTEN for this one. **1/2
Meanwhile, Vickie wants to put CM Punk in a match tonight, but he basically tells her to fuck off.
Aksana v. Kaitlyn
Kaitlyn quickly dumps Aksana, but her own music plays and AJ comes out dressed in a muscle suit. This is distracting enough for Aksana to get two, but the spear finishes for Kaitlyn at 1:25 anyway. This was all just fodder for the Divas show anyway, I’m sure.
Alberto Del Rio v. Chris Jericho
Jericho with a dropkick and he throws chops in the corner, and a suplex gets two. Del Rio pounds away in the corner and hits a running kick, but Jericho comes back with a missile dropkick for two. Del Rio bails, and Jericho misses a dive and hits the floor as we take a break. Back with Jericho hitting a knee to the gut and an enzuigiri for two. He goes up and Del Rio hits his own enzuigiri to put Jericho on the floor, as “kicking the other guy in the head” is becoming a theme for this match. Back in, Del Rio with a suplex for two and he hits the chinlock. They slug it out and Del Rio wins that and stomps him down for two. Back to the chinlock and Del Rio sends him into the corner for some trashtalking by Ricardo, but Jericho fights to the top and gets a crossbody for two. Jericho with a northern lights suplex for two. Del Rio charges and hits the post, but he blocks the codebreaker, so Jericho tries the Walls instead. Del Rio fights THAT off, too, and superkicks him for two. Jericho reverses the armbar into a bulldog, but the Lionsault hits knee, and the armbar looks to finish…but Jericho makes the ropes! And he reverses into the Walls, so Ricardo runs in for the DQ at 15:05. Holy crap that was a great match before the bad finish. ***1/2 Dolph Ziggler saves Jericho from a beatdown…and then turns on him with a Zig Zag. Not quite a babyface yet, I guess. I’m sensing a three-way in Philly.
Meanwhile, COOHHH puts in his two cents on the Bryan situation, which of course is the opposite of what Vince wants.
Team Brickie are out to introduce the cover for WWE 2K14, which sounds like a form that you have to fill out at tax time. Brad and Vickie both show their cover ideas, with Vickie sucking up to the McMahons and Brad sucking up to John Cena. Vickie also plugs an app vote for the Bryan-Orton match tonight, despite the crowd booing her non-stop. Anyway, the real cover has the Rock on it, just to squeeze every last cent out of him I guess.
Ryback v. The Great Khali
Khali pounds him in the corner and boots him down, then puts him down with a clothesline. Ryback comes back with a shot to the knee and finishes with the Shellshock at 2:14. That was almost a babyface performance by Ryback, as he took a beating and came back with a giant finisher to win. * Ryback might be a bit of a lost cause at this point, though.
John Cena comes out for his usual interview and he’s upset with Mark Henry for fooling him, and the champ is yada yada.
Brodus Clay & Tensai v. The Usos v. 3MB
Winner of this gets a tag title shot at the PPV. Boy, that’s…uh…quite the tag division they’ve got going on now. They were building up to the Usos getting the shot at the last show and then dropped it for some reason, so you’d expect them to win the shot back here. Jimmy beats on Jinder, but Tensai lays him out and 3MB gets tossed. Brodus follows with an improbable dive off the apron and Tensai splashes Jimmy for two. Jey comes back with the flying splash to finish him at 1:58, however. I don’t see them being much of a challenge for the Shield. Match was nothing. ½*
Paul Heyman and CM Punk are out to air their dirty laundry against each other, and Punk gives us a history lesson about Heyman standing up for him in 2006 ECW, and he’s gonna bring Brock Lesnar DOWN. He also thinks that Paul should tell the truth for once in his life, so Paul swears, ON HIS CHILDREN, that he didn’t know Brock would be there. And the great thing is that he’s clearly lying. Heyman claims that he kept Brock and Punk apart to prevent professional jealousy, and any problem that Brock has is Brock’s problem and Heyman is still Punk’s best friend. Punk decides to believe him and they hug it out. This was a weird and kind of meandering segment.
Darren Young v. CM Punk
Young pounds Punk in the corner, but Punk suplexes him for two. Young claims a knee injury and then hits Punk with a cheapshot and clotheslines him for two. Belly to belly suplex gets two. Young goes to a chinlock, and Punk misses a charge and hits the corner, and Young gets two. Punk suplexes out of a chinlock and goes up, but Young cuts him off AGAIN. The double knees gets two. Punk comes back with the high kick and taps him with the Anaconda Vice out of nowhere at 6:14. What a weird match. * The PTP try the beatdown, but Curtis Axel makes the save and the crowd doesn’t know what to make of any of this. This show has been dying on the vine since the ADR-Jericho match.
Stephanie McMahon is out to introduce the MITB participants this year: CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Sheamus, Randy Orton, Christian, Kane, and RVD. That’s a hell of a match right there, but could that be any more anticlimactic of an announcement?
Meanwhile, Ryback whines to Team Brickie about how he deserves yet another title match, but Jericho breaks in and we finally get the Ryback v. Jericho match that was rumored for Wrestlemania, in the battle of two guys who have nothing else going on.
Mark Henry is out to call us all puppets and idiots and such. Yeah, tell us, Mark!
Street Fight: Daniel Bryan v. Randy Orton
Take 2. Orton tosses him and they brawl on the floor, where Orton quickly knocks him silly with a chairshot as we take a break. Back with Bryan taking more of a beating before coming back with kicks in the corner, but Orton tosses a chair at him to slow that down. They fight on the apron where a table sits ominously, and Bryan tries several times to dropkick Orton through the table, before finally powerbombing him into it instead. Back in, Bryan grabs a kendo stick and beats the hell out of Orton with that, until Orton suplexes him through a table to cut him off. They engage in fisticuffs and Orton wins that one with a dropkick. Bryan comes back and goes up, but Orton catches him with a powerbomb for two. He pounds away on the mat, but Bryan wraps him up with the No Lock to counter. Orton grabs the kendo stick to break and whacks on Bryan with that to set up the draping DDT. RKO is countered into a backslide for two. Bryan goes nuts with the kendo stick and puts Orton in the No Lock again, but Orton grabs the stick again, so this time Bryan grabs the stick himself and chokes Orton out with it for the clean submission at 16:35. Orton teases a heel turn, but then shakes his hand and endorses him instead. And now the push to the top, for real this time, begins. ***1/2
Although as usual they should hack off an hour of this show and make it into the Main Event instead, two great long matches and nothing offensive makes this another good one.