The SmarK RAW Rant – 07.22.13
Live from Austin, TX
Your hosts are Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler & JBL
Long time/First time… I think.
Last Friday on SD, ADR (a champ) has to job clean to MITB winner Randy Orton. Is it at all possible we are seeing something being set up for Orton/ADR at SummerSlam where Orton takes the World Heavyweight title while still holding the contract for the WWE title setting up a champion vs champion down the road that actually means something instead of having it done for free on TV? Unification even?”
I think that, much like everything else, they’re just putting shit on the shows to fill time and nothing means anything. Nice thought, though.
Brad Maddox starts us out with the contract signing for Cena v. Bryan. Maddox asks Cena the hard questions about Daniel Bryan and his many flaws (Crowd: “Boo.” Cena: “Let him talk, this is Monday Night RAW.” Me: “I love shoot comment that aren’t supposed to be shoot comments.”) This is hard for me to say, so I’m just gonna come right out with it: The new WWE title belt is pretty awesome. There, I said it. Anyway, Daniel Bryan comes out to defend himself, and after Cena cuts his promo, Maddox cuts off Bryan’s response because he’s BIASED. And then he books Bryan in multiple matches tonight, which has Cena looking disappointed.
Alberto Del Rio v. Sheamus
Sheamus is sporting a NASTY bruise on his leg, and thankfully ADR goes right for it because he’s not a moron. Sheamus pounds him in the corner and gets a neckbreaker for two, but Del Rio puts him down with a cheapshot. Sheamus suplexes him for two, but Del Rio tries a hanging armbar off the top before getting knocked to the floor as we take a break. Back with Del Rio continuing on the leg, but Sheamus comes back with a kneelift for two. Del Rio with a backstabber for two. He chokes away, but misses a charge and Sheamus comes back with the forearms. Backbreaker gets two, but he goes up and Del Rio brings him down with an enzuigiri for two. Brogue Kick misses and Del Rio goes after the leg again, but Sheamus goes for White Noise and Del Rio hits the leg and pins him at 14:00. This was just as dull as every other match they had last year. **1/2
Meanwhile, Booker T and Teddy Long get into an argument and Teddy storms off.
Titus O’Neil v. Christian
Titus throws Christian around and tosses him for some abuse by Young, then tosses him back in for two. Legdrop gets two. Titus stomps away in the corner while blowing his whistle, which is kind of a weird spot. Christian comes back with a missile dropkick for two and stops to get rid of Young, but walks into a big boot from Titus that gets two. Killswitch finishes at 4:35, however. *1/2
Mark Henry, proud Texan, would like the Shield to know he’s right here. So they oblige with another beatdown, but this time the Usos make the save. So that’s fine.
Dolph Ziggler v. Darren Young
Ziggler gets a dropkick for two, but Young puts him down with a clothesline for two and hits the chinlock. Young hits his finish for two, but stops to argue and Dolph Zig Zags him to finish at 4:20. * This brings out Big E for another attack, but Dolph runs away this time.
MizTV features the cast of Total Divas. Oh, is that the fast forward button? I think it is.
Meanwhile, HHH puts Daniel Bryan over (now there’s a sentence I thought I’d never type) and lets Maddox know which team he should be siding with.
Fandango v. Cody Rhodes
Fandango does some dancing and walks into a dropkick, and Cody follows with a knee to the head for two. Fandango comes back with a clothesline from the apron and gets two. Back elbow gets two. Fandango holds a chinlock, but Cody goes up with a moonsault that looked like it crushed Fandango’s face. That was not good. Sandow gets involved and Cody finishes Fandango with the crossroads at 4:14. *1/2
CM Punk joins us to give WWE.com their headline: “I Am Not Afraid of Brock Lesnar”. I feel like that one needs Leslie Knope to come up with an alternate subheading. Punk then offers a heading for Summerslam: The Best v. The Beast. I like it! Print it! Paul Heyman shows live via satellite and that’s got Punk upset. Heyman really rubs it in by calling Brock his BEST FRIEND IN THE WHOLE WORLD, and that’s the end of it.
Rob Van Dam v. Wade Barrett
Rob puts him down with a spinkick, but gets hauled to the floor as Barrett quickly takes over. He throws knees on the ropes, that gets two. Chinlock time, but RVD fights back with a kick out of the corner and finishes with the frog splash at 4:13. This finally woke up the crowd. *1/2
Daniel Bryan v. Jack Swagger
Swagger attacks and puts Bryan down, but Bryan dropkicks him out and follows with the dive, which Swagger blocks. Back in, the Swaggerbomb hits, but Bryan catches him with the Yes-Lock to finish at 2:52.
Daniel Bryan v. Antonio Cesaro
We’re joined in progress after a break, as Bryan comes back with kicks before missing a charge and getting run into the corner. Cesaro goes to the chinlock, but Bryan takes him down for a surfboard, which Cesaro reverses out of. Suplex gets two, and an elbowdrop gets two. Cesaro goes to another chinlock, but Bryan fights back and goes up. Swagger shoves him off into a forearm in a slick spot, and that gets two as we take another break. Back with Bryan fighting back again, but Cesaro gets two with a backbreaker. Bryan comes back with kicks and gets two. Bryan to the top, but Cesaro hits another forearm to block him. He tries a superplex, but Bryan hangs him in the Tree of Woe and dropkicks him. He follows with a superplex, but Cesaro reverses it for two. They slug it out with forearms and Cesaro just murders him, then hits a short clothesline to give us the Jannetty Sell from Bryan. That only gets two. The Neutralizer seems to be academic, but Bryan fights back again, and this time he’s the one doing the forearms. IRONY! Cesaro gets tossed and hit with the dive, and back in Bryan counters SWISS DEATH into the SMALL PACKAGE OF DOOM to finish at 17:38. Holy crap that turned into an awesome match. ****1/4
Daniel Bryan v. Ryback
Bryan is throwing kicks again, but walks into a big boot. Ryback tosses him by the beard and stomps away, then whips him into the corner. Suplex gets two. Ryback pounds away, but charges and hits knee. Bryan comes back with more knees, but walks into a clothesline that gets two. Ryback gets a table at ringside, but Bryan hits a dive and comes back with kicks in the ring. Sunset flip gets two. Ryback blocks the Yes-Lock, so Bryan takes him into the corner and goes up with a missile dropkick for two. Another Yes-Lock, but Ryback powers himself to the ropes and bails. Bryan dives off the apron and gets powerbombed through the table, and that’s a DQ at 9:09. So he goes 3-0 on the gauntlet, which is not bad. And this turned into a hell of a match, too! ***1/4 Cena runs out to exact his revenge on Ryback, and challenges Ryback to a tables match NEXT WEEK (tomorrow night, actually).
First two hours kind sucked but they went by fast, but that last hour featured two awesome matches and redeemed the entire show. I’m thinking this show bombs in the ratings, but we’ll see. Daniel Bryan wrestling in a bunch of wrestling matches makes me happy.
Tags: Antonio Cesaro, cm punk, Daniel Bryan, john cena, Paul Heyman, Raw, ryback, SmarK Rants, Summerslam