The SmarK RAW Rant – 01.06.14
Live from Baltimore, MD
Your hosts are Michael Cole & JBL
Xavier Woods does the Hulu intro this week, which is funny because he’s been cut out of every Hulu edition thus far.
Ric Flair joins us to start, with no real point. Randy Orton interrupts and he’s the man now blah blah blah, which Flair is a bit offended by. He thinks Orton should stop whining and just wrestle Cena already. Also he kind of thinks Orton might not be much of a man. Orton threatens something, but thankfully John Cena is there to save the 21-time World champion from having to defend himself. Orton runs away and there’s your thrilling issue for the rematch.
Last week: Daniel Bryan joins the Wyatt Family, supposedly because Vince decided on a whim to do it and no one stood up to him. But yeah, they could still be saving up the big payoff to justify the whole thing, sure…
Rey Mysterio & The Usos v. The Wyatt Family
Tag ropes! Harper slugs an Uso down, and Bryan comes in to beat on Rey with knees, which the fans are not into. Bryan gets dumped and we take a break. Back with Bryan throwing kicks in the corner on an Uso while they scroll the fake celebrity tweets, but Jey superkicks Rowan and makes the hot tag to Mysterio. 619 sets up a flying splash, but Rowan moves and brings Harper in. Jimmy quickly rolls him up for the pin at 9:00. Quite the start for Daniel Wyatt. **
Meanwhile, Libertarian Kane offers some diplomatically-phrased words of threat to Brad Maddox. What a weird character.
Meanwhile, Big E wanders the halls and runs into a variety of weirdos.
Big E Langston v. Curtis Axel
Big E gets a pair of backbreakers, but Axel pounds away in the corner and goes to a chinlock. The announcers and Ryback have a completely inane conversation. Axel gets a fluke rollup for two, but E quickly finishes him at 2:40. ½* So I guess Langston v. Ryback is the next program to not care about.
Meanwhile, Daniel Bryan wants to contribute to the family and teach them how to be tag champions, so next week he’ll team with Bray Wyatt. But I thought he was joining because he was beaten down and didn’t want to fight anymore? Maybe he’s just a big fan of Duke The Dumpster Droese.
Piper’s Pit with the Shield. Dean Ambrose is immediately hilarious, asking who gave the 112-year old man a microphone so he can ramble endlessly. Piper notes that only Punk can match him on the mic, which has Ambrose all twitched-out. Piper gets in Roman’s face, which has the beatdown imminent, but Punk and the New Age Outlaws save in a thoroughly random pairing.
The Great Khali v. Damien Sandow
Special referee tonight: Sgt. Slaughter, via app vote. Khali throws chops but gets stomped down in the corner, then comes back with the big chop to finish at 1:50. So I guess Ranjin Singh at ringside was a motivator for him. DUD Sandow of course takes the cobra clutch. Now obviously Backlund would have chicken-winged him had he won the vote, but what would Arn have done? Given him a spinebuster?
Brock Lesnar is out for his weekly declaration of awesomeness. All shall kneel before the Viking Space Lord and he’s taking the World title, and this brings out Mark Henry for another try. This goes even worse for him, as this time Brock breaks his arm with a kimura. This brings out Big Show, and Brock runs away.
Rikishi & Too Cool v. 3MB
FINALLY some legends from the Attitude era. Sexay gets a missile dropkick and bulldog out of the corner, and Scotty comes in for the double elbow. Drew misses a charge and we get the first Worm in 14 years, but McIntyre boots him down right after. 3MB works him over and Jinder gets two, but it’s hot tag Rikishi. Superkick on Jinder gets two, and he fights off 3MB, and sits on Jinder to finish at 5:24. Scotty looked like he was having the time of his life in there. See, now this is what I want to see from these shows now, not the same legends trotted out year after year. *1/2
Mean Gene joins us with a HOTLINE UPDATE, although that one kind of went over the heads of the crowd. And he introduces the New Age Outlaws, who in turn introduce CM Punk for the main event.
CM Punk v. Roman Reigns
Punk works a headlock, but gets powered down as we take a break. Back with Reigns hitting a suplex for two and dropping an elbow. Reigns goes to a bearhug for a while, but Punk fights back with kicks and a neckbreaker for two. Running knee gets two. He goes up and Reigns tries for a superplex, but Punk puts him down for a Macho elbow. The Shield disposes of the Outlaws at ringside, allowing Reigns to hit Punk with the superman punch for two. Punk dodges the spear and rolls him up for two, and then lays him out with a high kick for two. GTS is blocked, so Punk gets the running knee, only to walk into the spear at 15:49. Dull start, good finish. **3/4 The Shield goes in for the kill, but Jake Roberts returns from the dead to make the save. Punk hits Ambrose with the GTS and Jake gives him the Damian treatment (which has Ambrose smiling like a little kid even though he’s unconscious) to end the show. I was kind of hoping they’d save Jake for the Rumble, but it was good to see him looking well again.
The dead crowd killed a lot of show, but this was still a lot of fun for the most part. It kind of highlights how the promotion is going nowhere for the past few months with a third placeholder episode in a row, but hopefully the Network announcement on Wednesday will light a fire under Vince’s ass again.
Tags: cm punk, Jake Roberts, monday night raw, old school raw, SmarK Rants, SmarK WWE Network Raw Rant, The Shield