The SmarK RAW Rant – 07.15.13

The SmarK RAW Rant – 07.15.13

Live from Brooklyn, NY, which I guess is a big enough market to where they’ll admit to coming from there.

Your hosts are Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler and JBL

Brad Maddox joins us to start the Brad Maddox Era, but is quickly interrupted by John Cena.  Maddox announces that Cena will get to choose who gets the title shot at Summerslam, which gives us some Cena comedy.  Randy Orton and his briefcase interrupt, but he doesn’t want a title shot until Cena least expects it.  Fandango joins us next, crazy over as a babyface for some reason, but Orton attacks him to set up…

Randy Orton v. Fandango

We’re joined in progress after a break, as they brawl on the floor and Orton suplexes him onto the railing.  Back in, Fandango takes over with a neck vice while the crowd amuses themselves with various chants while Orton escapes and pounds away in the corner.  They brawl outside again and Fandango sends him into the stairs as we take another break.  Back with Fandango holding that neck vice again, but Orton fights out again and they end up on top for a superplex while the crowd does the wave.  Fandango goes up as you’d think they’d just go home already and take the hint.  Orton finally hits the draping DDT and finishes with the RKO at 13:13.  This was ridiculously long, but the crowd messing with Orton was pretty fun.  *1/2

Meanwhile, Dolph Ziggler breaks up with AJ.

Mark Henry joins us in another sharp suit, and the crowd gives him shit for tapping out.  Henry agrees with them, but he wants to get the shot at Summerslam regardless.  The Shield interrupts him and then beats the shit out of him for whatever perceived slight against them that occurred, and although Henry holds his own he succumbs to the triple powerbomb, which is pretty awesome.  So there you go, Mark Henry’s babyface turn.

Meanwhile, Chris Jericho meets up with GM Brad (“What is that shirt, an extra-Medium?”) and gets booked against RVD.

Alberto Del Rio v. Dolph Ziggler

Ziggler with a dropkick for two, and a neckbreaker gets two.  Ziggler drops the 10 elbows and the crowd is hip to the deal right away.  That’s good solid babyface spot to get him over.  Del Rio gets a cheapshot and takes over with an inverted superplex for two.  Del Rio chokes him out, but the crowd rallies Ziggler back and he hits a clothesline before charging and landing on the floor.  We take a break and return with Del Rio in control with a backdrop suplex.  The superkick misses, but he still faceplants Ziggler before getting caught with a tornado DDT that gets two. They slug it out and Del Rio wins that one, but misses a charge and both guys are down.  Del Rio recovers first with a german suplex for two.  He tries the armbar, but Ziggler reverses to a neckbreaker for two.  Ziggler is still hurt, so Del Rio hits an enzuigiri for two.  He hangs Ziggler in the Tree of Woe and pounds away, but Dolph bridges up to escape a charge and hits the fameasser for two…and AJ rings the bell.  Dolph is distracted by this, so Del Rio superkicks and pins him at 14:38.  I sense that dumping the crazy chick may have been a bad idea.  In my experience, you’re best to do the cold and distant passive aggression thing until she breaks up with you because she’s sick of your bullshit, and that way you don’t have blood on your hands and she thinks it’s her idea.  Anyway, Big E hits the ring and destroys Dolph, which is a much more interesting program anyway.  Call this ***, just like last night.

R-Truth is out for a match that’s never decided, as the Wyatt Family joins us for a beatdown and Bray preaches the gospel.  Truth returns with a chair and Bray gives him a chance at a free shot and then they beat the shit out of him again.  I don’t know what it meant, but I LIKED IT.

The Real Americans v. The Usos

Jesus, my plasma screen is having burn-in issues as it is, and the Usos’ neon green tights are NOT gonna help matters.  An Uso gets caught in the corner as Cesaro hits the gutwrench and double-stomp, but it’s over to the other Uso with a bodypress for two.  Cesaro gets another throw, but the Uso reverses into a rollup for the pin at 2:20.  Nothing here.  *

Damien Sandow v. Christian

Sandow runs away and manages to shove Christian to the floor, which gets two for him.  He pounds away in the corner, but Christian gets a tornado DDT for two.  He goes up with a high cross for two and then a back elbow off the middle rope, but Sandow blocks the Killswitch and tries the Elbow of Disdain, which Christian reverses for the pin at 3:10.  And HEEEEEERE’S Cody for the sneak attack to cement his turn.  Not sure why Sandow goes right back to losing, but it was quick and fine.  **

Naomi v. Brie Bella

Brie gets some kicks, but Naomi dumps her, only to fall victim to Bella cheating.  Brie tosses her around and goes to a chinlock that goes on FOREVER before Naomi makes the comeback and bored fans amuse themselves again.  Naomi finishes with a high cross at 4:09 of awful.  DUD

CM Punk is out to open the third hour and hopefully get this ship straightened out again.  And he’s calling out BROCK LESNAR.  Paul Heyman answers instead, and gives Punk the tough love answer:  He failed Paul when he couldn’t beat Undertaker, and even worse he thought of himself as better than PAUL HEYMAN.  He gets personal by pointing out that Punk has no real family and craves affection from the crowd to make up for that.  And really, he can’t beat Lesnar, so Heyman dumped him.  This makes Punk good and pissed off, and he’s gonna get EVERYONE associated with Heyman and kill them real good.  Heyman seems nervous about this threat, but then Brock comes out and it’s gonna be clobbering time.  Punk, however, is not in the mood to be clobbered and fights back, until taking an F5 on the table.  This is the pedigree of pro wrestling of which I am a fan.  Fantastic stuff.  Punk and Heyman had personal issues with each other which can only be settled by men fighting like men in a wrestling ring because THEY FUCKING HATE EACH OTHER.

Meanwhile, The McMahon-Helmsley Regime harass Brad Maddox about letting Cena pick his own opponent, specifically if Cena picks the guy everyone thinks he’ll pick.

Rob Van Dam v. Chris Jericho

Rob wins a brief battle and stops to POINT! TO! SELF!, which has the crowd declaring that he’s still got it.  That’s what convinced them?  Spinkick puts Jericho down and he follows with a monkey flip and a standing moonsault for two.  Jericho catches him with an enzuigiri to take over as we take a break.  Back with Jericho catapulting RVD for two.  What bump was Rob supposed to be taking there?  Baseball slide puts Rob on the floor, and they fight over a suplex on the apron.  Rob wins that battle and gets two off a spinkick.  They do some awkward mat wrestling and Jericho powerbombs him for two.  Jericho misses a dropkick and Rob tries Rolling Thunder, but Jericho bails to escape.  So RVD hits him with a moonsault off the apron and we take ANOTHER break.  Back with Van Dam putting him down with a spinkick in the corner, but Jericho comes back and misses the Lionsault.  Rolling Thunder gets two for RVD.  Jericho with a DDT for two.  Jericho tries the Walls, but Rob escapes and superkicks him.  Jericho tries a bulldog and gets sent into the corner, but the moonsault misses and Jericho hits the Lionsault for two.  Rob puts him down again and goes up, but Jericho brings him down and fights for a superplex.  Rob wins that one and hits a flying senton for two.  Rob tries a rana, which is reversed to the Walls, but Rob’s all good and bloody now and mans up to make the ropes.  They slug it out and RVD puts him down with another kick and goes up, finishing with the frog splash at 23:23.  This was something pretty special to top off a pretty great show.  ****1/4

John Cena is here to make his choice of challenger, which has the entire roster at the entrance waiting to hear.  So Cena asks the fans what match they’d like to see, and the crowd is already hip to the room before he even gets to the punchline as they chant for Daniel Bryan. So Cena names guys before finally leading up to Daniel Bryan as his choice.  So there’s your main event, and they actually manipulated it so that the fans feel empowered and get to rocket push “their guy”.  That’s pretty great.  Hopefully they don’t fuck it up.

The Pulse

Wow, I was joking around when I said Punk might save things in the third hour, and in fact we got one of the most incredible hours of RAW in history out of it.  What a great weekend to be a wrestling fan this was.



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