This is it! BoredWrestlingFan’s WrestleMania week is in full swing, which kicked off with the WrestleMania 29 prediction podcast. My contribution to WrestleMania week this year will be reviews of the first six WrestleMania events, which started Monday with 1985′s WrestleMania, and ends today with a review of WrestleMania VI. And don’t forget to tune in to BoredWrestlingFan Radio this Sunday at 2PM Eastern as I will be reporting LIVE from Met Life Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ, the site of WrestleMania XXIX!
I don’t remember a damned thing about this show, other than the Hogan/Warrior main event. Considering how much I remembered about WrestleMania V, and that I thought the show sucked when I reviewed it yesterday, my expectations are low going in. Well, let’s roll.
Click to continue reading “WrestleMania VI: The Ultimate Challenge”
Tonight! I will once again attempt to cover tonight’s WWE RAW broadcast in real time for you, the BWF faithful.
This is the last RAW before Wrestle-Mania this weekend, and WWE’s last chance to sell us on the Big Show. (Not the one in the six-man, although technically…) No, I mean the ENTIRE EVENT! Will they convince us to shell out $60-70 bucks in our respective areas this year?
Personally, I doubt it.
From WWE.com; ”The Undertaker, Brock Lesnar, WWE Champion The Rock, John Cena, Triple H and CM Punk will all be at tonight’s Raw in Washington. What will unfold with Wrestle-Mania just days away?”
We’re getting a rundown of what to expect at Mania and what to look forward to tonight. Shawn Michaels will be here tonight for Triple H. John Cena responds to the Rock’s shot last week. Punk, Taker, Lesnar and… more stuff.
Cena’s out first and this is NOT a Cena crowd, here in DC. Jerry Lawler doesn’t even bother selling it as a “mixed” reaction. Lawler has Michael Cole and JBL with him at ringside.
“I stand in the middle of a house divided.” – John Cena
Rytman Remark: No you don’t John. They hate you.
John refers to everyone here tonight as “Cena-crats” and “Rock-publicans.” He gives Rock credit for conquering everything in his path and even goes so far as to call him the greatest WWE champion of all time. He talks about the pain of his loss last year and how the Rock will lose his custom-made WWE title in his first defense (of that specific belt.) He will happily keep the new belt just so the Rock will have to live with knowing every time someone brings up WWE, he’ll have to live with knowing someone else is defending that belt every night.
Cole asks us who we think will win Rock/Cena 2 and invites us all to “Tout” about it on line. He talks Jerry into posting a “Tout” about who he thinks will win Rock/Cena 2. Lawler goes with history and chooses Rock.
3MB is in the ring as Randy Orton, Sheamus, and the Big Show make their entrances. We get a look at last week’s Smackdown where they were able to fight off an attack by the Shield.
RANDY ORTON/SHEAMUS/BIG SHOW VS. 3MB (HEATH SLATER/JINDER MAHAL/DREW MCINTYRE)
Match starts with the faces bouncing around Slater. McIntyre tags in and takes over with a missile drop-kick. Sheamus gets triple-teamed for a few moments but the match ends just the way you expected. RKO, Brogue-Kick, and Big K.O. on Mahal for the three-count.
After the match, the Shield comes out, cutting a promo from the crowd. The Shield congratulates our three heroes on their huge win, and convincing themselves they’re a team. But the Shield knows the truth; they are phonies and at Mania, everyone will believe in the Shield.
We come back to the announcement of Zeb Coulter getting in the ring tonight against World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio. We go to Zeb Coulter and Jack Swagger cutting a promo in front of our Nation’s Capital. Our country is broken because we all are weak. If we don’t like Swagger as World Heavyweight Champion, then we don’t deserve to be Americans.
Current WHC Alberto Del Rio responds in an interview segment. One of the great things about America is freedom of speech, and if Del Rio doesn’t like what Zeb says, he can do something about it. He will tonight, in the ring.
WWE TAG TEAM CHAMPION DANIEL BRYAN (W/KANE) VS. DOLPH ZIGGLER (W/AJ & BIG E.)
This is a fast-paced back/forth with Ziggler on the defensive. AJ skips around Kane, setting him up for a charge from Big E. Bryan takes the E down with a flying kick to the head and Ziggler gets the three-count on Bryan w/a handfull of tights. Big E. nails Bryan and Kane tries to make the save. Big E. powers out of the choke-slam and lays out Kane with his drop across the shoulder.
Back from break, we get a look back at last August when Brock Lesnar took out Shawn Michaels.
Mr. Wrestle-Mania, HOFamer, and the Heart-Break Kid, SHAWN MICHAELS is here. He hits the ring as we get a look back at the Lesnar/Triple H feud of last year, with Lesnar breaking Trip’s arm in April, and winning their match at Summer-Slam.
“You didn’t think we’d have Wrestle-Mania without MR. Wrestle-Mania did you?” – Shawn Michaels
Shawn is out here to talk about Mania. He runs down the card, bringing our attention to one particular match, because he and his arm are part of the history in that match. Triple H comes out to reassure Shawn he knows what he’s doing, and he understands that Shawn was in the same spot Trips was in when Shawn retired. Shawn says their perdicaments couldn’t be more different. When Shawn lost his career-match, his opponent was just as heartbroken as him, because they had respect for each other. Brock Lesnar respects nothing. Triple H asks Shawn if he’s trying to talk him out of it. Shawn tells him he’d better kick Lesnar’s ass. Shawn will be in Triple H’s corner to make sure he does. They get ready to give the crowd the “suck it,” chant, when Lesnar comes out w/Heyman. Heyman lays it on the line. Triple H had better get used to dissapointment. At Mania, he will disapoint the fans, his best friend, his father-in-law, the board of directors and his wife…
“…But she’s probably used to that.” – Paul Heyman
Shawn and Hunter make the mistake of fighting from emotion, and that’s why Shawn had to retire, and that’s why Triple H will lose at Mania.
WWE INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPION WADE BARRETT VS. ZACK RYDER
Miz joins the announce team at ringside. Ryder starts off strong, but Barrett takes control and beats him down. On the outside, Barrett jaw-jacks w/Miz, giving Ryder an opening. Ryder hits the “brosky-boot” for two, but Barrett takes over and ends this with the Bell-Hammer Elbow.
Rytman Remark: Announce team spent the whole match trying to hard sell Miz as a threat to Barrett. Came off pretty desperate. Maybe Barrett might retain.
Backstage: RAW Managing Supervisor Vicki Gurerro and her assistant Brad Maddox are talking when Santino Morella walks in, telling them Vince McMahon is here tonight and he’s P-O’d about them. “Bricki” get freaked, until Santino reveals it was just an “April Fools” joke. Vicki orders Santino into the ring, as Maddox says we’ll see who the fool is.
SANTINO MORELLA VS. MARK HENRY AND DO I EVEN HAVE TO BOTHER TYPING ANYTHING?
We get a look at last week’s Smackdown when Henry attacked Ryback during their weight-lifting challenge. Cole tells us this did not violate their “no-contact” clause because Henry never touched Ryback, he just tried to shove a set of weights into his throat.
Rytman Remark: Are you fucking kidding me?
Mark grabs Santino. Santino threatens to bring out the Cobr-World’s Strongest Slam, three-count.
“FEED ME MORE!”
Ryback is out and in the ring. Henry reminds him of the no-contact clause, and walks off with a smile. Ryback responds by picking up Santino AND RAMMING HIM INTO HENRY. He checks if Santino is okay, THEN HOISTS HIM UP AND GORILLA PRESS-SLAMS HIM ON TO HENRY. BECAUSE THIS IS WHAT THE “GOOD GUY” DOES!
We go to break with Jack Swagger giving Zeb a pep-talk before his match with Del Rio
We come back to Matt Striker asking C.M. Punk if he’s disrespecting Paul Bearer’s memory…
“A better question is DO I GIVE A DAMN?” – C.M. Punk
Rytman Remark: I’ve been asking myself the same question.
Punk actually shocks me for a second with a remark about Paul Bearer’s streak of waking up every morning, which has been broken. He warns Taker that if he loses his temper, Punk will win by DQ. If he takes his eyes off the prise, he just might get choked out. If he loses focus, he just might be down one second too long. Punk makes it clear all he wants is to win, and he will spit in faces and walk on graves to do it, so that whenever anyone thinks of Wrestle-Mania, the grandest stage of all, they will think of C.M. Punk.
WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION ALBERTO DEL RIO VS. ZEB COULTER
Before the break, we saw Swagger breaking the ankle of Ricardo Rodriguez, making this personal. Ricardo intros ADR and Del Rio sends him to the back to be safe. Just as the match is starting, Ricardo comes back out, refusing to leave. Zeb hangs back, close to the ropes as Swagger stalks Ricardo. Ricardo raises a crutch, but Zeb swipes it. Swagger goes after the bad ankle, Del Rio kicks him down and saves Ricardo. Zeb wails on Del Rio with the Crutch when Del Rio rolls back in. Ref calls for the DQ as Swagger and Zeb beat down ADR with Ricardo’s crutches. Ricardo tries to get involved but Swagger swats him down.
Back from break, IF YOU SMELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL……
The Rock is out to make his big speech to the DC crowd. Rock’s new movie, G.I. JOE: RETALLIATION is no.1 in the wold this week. We’re reminded to “Tout” our opinions on who will win at Mania.
Rock’s connection with the people is the only reason he’s standing in the middle of the ring right now. This Sunday isn’t about redemption, it’s about the will of the people, specifically the will of the people to see John Cena get curb-stomped. The will of the people can change the world, and maybe if the people will it, the Rock would have to live in this town, in the big white house up the road, and maybe…
“We go from President Barack to President Rock!” – The Rock
Rytman Remark: If that happens, I’m surrendering to China.
The Rock makes it very clear that the only way Cena will get the Rock’s title, is if the Rock rolls it up into a ball, lights it on fire, and shoves it up Cena’s candy ass.
Back from break, we get another look at Fandango attacking Jericho last week.
BREAK THE WALLS DOWN!
U.S. CHAMPION ANTONIO CESARO VS. CHRIS JERICHO
Seriously, you can tell they’re just going throught the motions until Fandango comes out. It’s a basic back and forth with Jericho taking over with a hurra-con-rana off the top rope. Cue Fandango and partner comming out. The match comes to a dead stop as we go to break.
Apparently, during the break, Fandango actually gave Jericho a “two” with a score-card. Cesaro takes conrtol and spends a lot of time working the neck. Cesaro dominates Jericho with brute force, but Jericho’s agility turns the tide. Fandango walks to the ring, giving Jericho a “three.” Cesaro counters Jericho into the gut wrench, but Jericho comes back with high flying offense and takes out Fandango with a flying kick. Jericho wins this with the “Walls Of Jericho” but Fandango attacks from behind. He finishes Jericho off with the flying leg drop and gives us all the proper pronounciation of his name.
“FAHN-DAHN-GOH!” – Fandango
Jericho is left laying as Fandango and partner dance off.
Up next is OUR MAIN EVENT…
From THE UNDERTAKER!
We come back to Touts.
Rytman Remark: That’s pretty much all I have to say about it.
The Funkadactyls are out w/Brodus and “Sweet T” for a Divas tag team match. They do the entrance and go to break.
Rytman Remark: You couldn’t just finish the commercials then start the match?
THE FUNKADACTYLS (w/BRODUS/TENSAI) VS. THE BELLA
TWINS SISTERS (w/TEAM RHODES SCHOLLARS)
And yes, we will get an eight-person mixed tag at Mania, Brodus, Sweet T, and the Funkadactyls vs. Team Rhodes Schollars and the Bellas.
Naomi is the star of this match, carrying the workrate and spending most of it getting double-teamed. The match is not as bad as it should be, but the Bellas are showing the ring rust. The match consists of botched-spots and really should’ve been booked quicker. Cameron tags in and comes off as the most capable of the girls. The Bellas take it with a reversed roll-up as we go to break.
The Undertaker is out. Punk’s WWE title reign lasted over 400 days, but the pain he’s facing will last for eternity. Taker realizes the streak may come to an end, but Punk won’t live to talk about it. Suddenly, a group of torch-bearing, chanting druids enter. Taker looks on in confusion.
PAUL HEYMAN STANDS ON TOP OF THE STAGE DRESSED AS PAUL BEARER!
An enraged Undertaker goes after Heyman, then stops, realizing he’s been lead into a trap. Taker unloads on the druids, but gets taken down from behind by the one he was looking for, C.M. Punk. Punk beats down the Taker. Taker reaches for the urn, but Punk has it, and uses it to beat the deadman down.
Punk stands over the Taker, holding the urn. He opens the urn… and pours the ashes inside all over the Taker. He lets them spill through his fingers and throws them in Takers face. RAW ends with C.M. Punk mocking the Undertakers classic pose, as the Taker lies beaten on the ramp.
Rytman Remarks: Wow, I mean wow. I was going to say this RAW was another auto-pilot show coasting into Mania until the end.
Now look, I know those weren’t Paul Bearer’s actual ashes. I know it was part of the act. It’s just… I think it was too much. It just took me somewhere really uncomfortable.
To be fair, they HAD to do something to get this show some momentum, but still, it just seems desperate.
I really do hope it pays off.
We open the show w/a montage of the Shield beating down people, until last week when Cena, Sheamus & Ryback led the charge against them. Also, the Rock is here tonight.
Paul Heyman is in the ring, announcing that tonight is the last night we will ever see Paul Heyman. He talks about his passions and his sacrifices, and all the things he gave up – including his parents fortune - to bring us ECW, and Brock Lesnar. He talks of C.M. Punk being the man to carry WWE into the long-term future.
“You don’t have to be Nostradamus to see into the future. And I can see into the future, and I can tell you ladies and gentlemen, something bad is going to happen here. And that Sword Of Damocles is hanging straight over my head, and it is going to come down not just on me, but every single person around me, and that means it’s going to come down on C.M. Punk.” – Paul Heyman
Heyman goes on to tender his resignation, saying essentially that the McMahon’s obsession with him and his dealings make him an obstacle to Punk winning back the title, and with that, he says goodbye.
C.M. Punks’ music hits and Punk comes out. Punk asks Heyman why he’s doing this. Heyman replies that in the land of the McMahon’s, perception is reality. Vince McMahon’s perception is that Heyman was behind Brad Maddox and the Shield, and whatever happens to Heyman will happen to C.M. Punk. He claims Vince is planing to screw them over big at Elimination Chamber and Wrestlemania. Punk argues that he is a “Paul Heyman guy,” and that there are a lot of “Heyman guys” out there. Punk insists that he will resume his historic title reign as WWE champion at Elimination Chamber and that Heyman will be in his corner. Paul is so moved by this show of support, that he renounces his resignation. Punk/Heyman embrace, while ringside commentators Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler make derogatory comments comparing this to the Pope’s resignation and “the most ridiculous love-fest” Cole’s ever been a part of.
The World’s Strongest Man, Mark Henry, makes his way to the ring as we go to break…
We come back to Khali dancing in the ring w/Natalia & Hornswoggle. The dancing stops as Henry makes his way to the ring. We get a recap of Henry squashing Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara last week, and his win over Randy Orton on last Friday’s Smackdown, which qualified him for the Elimination Chamber.
MARK HENRY VS THE GREAT KHALI
This match BARELY goes five minutes, maybe less. Khali pummles Henry into the corner, and hits big slaps to the cest and head-butts. Henry fights back with kicks and gets Khali in the corner, but runs into an elbow, and a big boot to the face. Khali side-steps Henry into the corner and goes back to the big chest-slap and head butt. Henry blocks a shot, hits a few big right-hands, and gives Khali a short-splash into the corner. Henry hits a big clothes-line, then ends it with the world’s stongest slam for three.
WINNER: MARK HENRY
After the match, Henry gets back in the ring, catches Hornswoggle from behind, and crushes him w/the world’s strongest slam.
“That’s What I Do!” – Mark Henry
This Friday on Smackdown, Orton gets Henry in a re-match.
Later tonight, Cena, Sheamus & Ryback vs #MB…
We come back to Teddy Lond and Smackdown GM Booker T discussing how impressive Mark Henry is, when Chris Jericho steps up to request a spot in the Chamber. Teddy is readdy to put him in right now. Booker says “Hold up dawg,” and says Jerico has to impress him. Teddy whispers a suggestion to Booker.
“Teddy, that idea sucks.” – Booker T.
Booker suggests that Jericho earn a spot by beating someone already in the match, Daniel Bryan. Jericho agrees to face Daniel “Beard-on” and get back into the chamber and go one step closer to becoming a “seven-time, seven-time, seven-time Heavyweight Champion of the World.”
“NOW CAN YOU DIG THAT, SUKAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!?” – Chris Jericho.
Jericho walks off, leaving Booker wide-eyed in disbelief.
We shift to Vicki Guerrero in her office, on the phone. Heyman walks in, demanding her time. He requests that Vicki add a stipulation to the WWE title match at Elimination Chamber. If the Rock is counted out/disqualified, Punk will be awarded the title. Vicki refuses, then her phone rings. It’s Vince McMahon. Heyman tries to brown-nose Vinny Mac, but Vince cuts him off and demands to know what stipulation he wants. Heyman makes a sheepish request for the count-out/dq stip, and Vince agrees. Heyman thanks Vince for the stip and goes on to call him a “father figure.” Vince hangs up on him. Heyman says Vicki has a lousy phone, and Vicki laughs.
Daniel Bryan makes his way to the ring as we go to break…
We come back to a promo for “FANDANGO” coming soon, followed by Jericho making his way to the ring.
WWE TAG TEAM CHAMPION DANIEL BRYAN VS CHRIS JERICHO
The bell rings. Jericho scores two schoolboy roll-ups, two arm-drags, and an ARMBAR! Bryan reverses it into a wrist-lock and a hammer-lock. Booker T and Teddy Long watch a monitor from backstage. Jericho elbows Bryan’s face and hits the ropes. Bryan leap-frogs Jericho, drops down, Jericho goes over, and Bryan hits a knee to Jericho. Bryan kicks Jericho in the chest, the back, hits a snap-mare, a knee-drop, he gets two, and goes to work on Jericho’s arm. Bryan wrist-locks Jericho, works the arm over his shoulder, Jericho reverses the wrist-lock and scores a chop. Jericho puts the boot to him and backs Bryan into the corner with a forearm smash. Bryan reverses a whip into the ropes, Jericho hits a kick to the face, but Bryan sends him up, over, and out to the floor. Bryan tosses Jericho back in. Jericho hits a shoulder-block, but misses a second-rope ricochet body-press and lands on the floor. Bryan hits a flying tackle through the ropes, and both men are hurting as we go to break…
As we come back, Bryan slides out of a suplex attempt, and rolls Jericho up for two. Jericho kicks out and hits a clothes-line. Jericho chokes Bryan in the corner, whips him across the ring, charges into a boot, and Bryan hits the charging drop-kick in the corner on Jericho. Jericho reverses a whip, Bryan goes up the corner ropes and over Jericho, Jericho hits two shoulder-blocks, and Bryan sends him over the ropes. Jericho lands on his feet, goes up-top, misses a flying fore-arm, and Bryan hits a clothes-line. Bryan charges Jericho, Jericho catches the legs and goes for the Walls Of Jericho. Bryan flips him off but runs into an elbow. Jericho goes for a Lion-sault but hits the knees of Bryan. Bryan goes up-top but Jericho cuts him off and crotches him on the top corner. Jericho hits a chop and goes for a super-plex, but Bryan shoves him off and scores a flying head-butt for two. Bryan hits a few knees to the face, but Jericho catches a leg and hooks the Walls Of Jericho! Bryan holds on and powers out of it, twisting it into a “No-Lock” attempt, but can’t lock his hands. Jericho reverses it into another WOJ attempt, but Bryan flips him off and hits a vicious kick to the head for two. Bryan gets the crowd going “Yes!” by going “No!” and sets in with shin kicks to Jericho. Jericho tries another roll-up, Bryan kicks out, and Jericho hits the Code-breaker for a three-count.
WINNER: CHRIS JERICHO
Jericho is now in the Elimination Chamber. Later tonight, the Shield will address us. Up next, John Cena, Sheamus and Ryback face the Three Man Band.
We come back to a recap of last week, when Cena and friends ran off the Shield.
JOHN CENA, SHEAMUS, AND RYBACK VS 3MB (HEATH SLATER, JINDER MAHAL & DREW MACINTYRE)
Apparently, Jerry Lawler has taken exception to Heath Slater making comments about singing, and dancing better than Elvis Presley…
“I told him [Slater] I wish you’d go to the bathroom like Elvis Presley.” – Jerry Lawler
Slater starts off with Ryback. He shoots off his mouth, plays air guitar, takes a boot to the stomach, and gets press-slamed. Ryback tags in Sheamus, who brutalizes Drew MacIntyre. Cena tags in and faces off with Jinder Mahal. Match breaks down into a brawl and ends with the Cena-friends each hitting a finisher on a band member. (AA, Shell-shock, and White Noise.)
WINNERS: TEAM CENA
After the match, Cena and co. each take a turn calling out the Shield. We go to a recap of Alberto Del Rio sabotaging Big Show’s bus and dropping paint all over him.
We go to earlier today, with Yoshi Tatsu and Alex Riley both joking about the Show’s misfortune. It ends with Show clocking them both out.
And we go to break…
We come back to Big Show making his way to the ring for an interview. Matt Striker gets KO’d before he’s halfway through a sentence. Show grabs the mike and spends several minutes trying to say something. However he’s too angry and just drops the mike, and walks off.
We get another look at the tribute video for Bruno Samartino’s Hall Of Fame induction and we’re told there is an exclusive interview w/Bruno and Hunter Hearst Helmsley about Bruno accepting the nodd this year. We’re also reminded that the Rock will be here tonight.
JACK SWAGGER VS ZACK RYDER
Ryder’s in the ring and Swagger makes his way to the ring with a man referred to as “Jebadiah Coulter,” (who I believe might be Dutch Mantel.) Ryder gets in some offense, but Swagger wrestles more viciously then ever, and after bouncing Ryder’s head and back off the turn-buckles, he ends this with the “Patriot Act.” (Ankle Lock Submission.)
WINNER: JACK SWAGGER
After the match, Jeb Coulter is given the mike and delivers a vaguely racist diatribe about “getting rid of” people who aren’t “real Americans.”
Backstage, Booket and Teddy are discussing Swagger and Jeb, when Dolph Ziggler steps in w/AJ and Big E. Angered that Jericho is back with a spot in the Elimination Chamber match, he demands a chance at the last spot. Booker agrees, and puts him in a qualifying match… with Kane.
We get a recap of Brock Lesnar destroying Miz TV and the Miz last week.
Miz makes his entrance as we go to Break. He faces Cody Rhodes next.
THE MIZ VS CODY RHODES
U.S. Champion Antonio Cesaro is at ringside, making refrences to his brawl with Miz last week. Cesaro says he caries the American Flag to “rub it in everybody’s face,” how much better he is than us. Match is a by-the-numbers back-and-forth until it goes to the outside. Cesaro gets up in Miz’s face, Miz boots him down and goes to work on Cody, until Cesaro shoves him into the ringpost. Cesaro swings Miz into the guardrail as officals try to break it up.
WINNER BY DQ: THE MIZ
We then get a feature about the WWE Wrestlemania Reading Challenge, where WWE talent go to schools to talk about the importance of reading and children are rewarded for good literacy w/a chance to go to Wrestlemania.
Later tonight, we hear from the Rock and The Shield.
We go to break…
We come back to Rosa Mendes shakin’ her thing in the ring, with Epico and Primo. Brodus Clay makes his entrance w/Tesai and the Pom-Pom waving Funkadactyls.
BRODUS CLAY/TENSAI VS PRIMO/EPICO
Team Mo/Co are straight up jobbed out to the Funkasaurus and the “hip-hop-hippo.” Tensai wins it w/a splash.
WINNERS: TENSAI/BRODUS CLAY
After the match, Rosa gets up in Tensai’s face, but is sent packing by some nifty double-teaming by Naomi/Cameron.
And we go to break…
After the break, the Shield make their way to the ring. They answer the challenge of Cena, Sheamus, and Ryback by calling them out. They cut a promo about Cena failing everyday and how Cena will fail again at Elimination Chamber. Their problem is “The John Cena Problem.” He lives in a bubble with no consequences. That’s not the real world. And he’s laid the groundwork for an entire generation of superstars to be just like him. The Shield will undo a decade of injustice, and invite their opponents to “breath as much fresh air as possible.” They stand around in defiance for a few moments… then the lights go out. When they come back on, Cena and company are each fighting a member of the Shield. After a wild brawl, the Shield take a powder, and Cena’s team smile and slap hands w/the fans.
We get a recap of Heyman’s resignation and Punk talking him out of it. The Rock will be here later tonight, and Alberto Del Rio makes his way to ringside w/Ricardo Rodriguez.
WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION ALBERTO DEL RIO VS DAMIEN SANDOW
Sandow comes out to berate Nashville (the sight of tonight’s show) for listening to Country Music. Ricardo introduces ADR with the full support of the crowd. Sandow starts off strong with kicks, knees, and a Russian leg-sweep/”elbow of disdain” combo, but misses a charge and Del Rio takes over with clothes-lines, a tilt-a-whirl back-breaker, and a thrust-kick for two. Del Rio gets the “Si” chant going and ens this surprisingly quickly w/the arm-breaker.
WINNER: ALBERTO DEL RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRIO!
Alberto cuts a promo, inviting Big Show to pack up his bus and go to Mexico, while he goes to Wrestlemania after their match at Elimination Chamber.
WWE Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett makes his way to the ring for a match w/Kofi Kingston, but is jumped from behind by Bo Dallas. Barrett is down as we go to break.
WWE INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPION WADE BARRETT VS KOFI KINGSTON
The match is basically Kofi’s speed and striking ability vs Wade’s muscle and brawling tactics. Recurring theme in the match is both men ducking each others high-spots. Kofi dives after Wade. Wade catches Kofi’s head in the ring apron and gets the three with the bull-hammer elbow.
WINNER: WADE BARRETT
WWE TAG TEAM CHAMPION KANE VS DOLPH ZIGGLER
Kane starts off in control with big right hands and tossing Ziggler around as we go to break…
We come back and Kane in still in control, until it spills outside. Big E distracts Kane and Ziggler sends him into the guardrail. Kane beats the ten count. The match quickly goes back/forth with each man hitting one big spot after another, until Kane goes up top. AJ jumps on the ring to get a distraction, Kane misses the clothesline, Ziggler sends AJ into Big E’s arms, and his distraction allows Kane to hit the choke-slam for three and the last spot in the Chamber.
When we come back, our main event… a promo by The Rock.
We’re back with a look at the Elimination Chamber match itself and…FINALLY, THE ROCK HAS COME OUT TO DO A PROMO!
Story Time! The Rock regales us all with a story about how, when he was 15, his family moved to Tennessee. He was already 6’4′ and 220 lbs. and not getting any action because girls thought he was a undercover cop. One night, he’s in a bar, and buys a car from a crackhead for $40. After driving for a while, he finds a second crackhead in the car and kicks him out, then abandons the car in a Burger King parking lot at 2 a.m. because he suspected it was stolen. The moral of the story…
1. Don’t buy a car from a crackhead.
2. Don’t be like the Rock at 15, doing all the stuff you shouldn’t.
Rock then talks about being 25 and wrestling at used car dealerships for $40 a night, and dreaming of someday being WWE champion, just like he will be, after Elimination Chamber.
Punk’s music hits, and he’s out with Paul Heyman. Rock compares them to characters form “Twilight,” (Fat werewolf/Homeless Vampire,) and challenges Punk to “just bring it.” Punk strolls down to the ring, fakes changing his mind, and storms the ring. Punk actually had Rock on the defensive, until Rock hit the “Smackdown” (Spine-buster) on him. Rock goes for the “Peoples’ Elbow,” but Heyman trips him up. Punk hits the GTS on Rock, and leaves with the belt.
“Whenever you Bring it, Because it’s mine, I’ll just take it.” – C.M. Punk
One day after we gave out our own awards for the year in wrestling, the WWE copies us by giving out their annual Slammy Awards. I, for one, think the BWF Awards are more prestigious. After all, you can’t buy a BWF Award. Anyway, let’s get started so I can finish this by 3AM.
I watch 30 minutes of RAW. I leave for work. I obtain a copy of RAW when I get to work. And since I don’t have the foresight to start my review while I’m watching the first half hour, I have to sit through it again. That’s how ThinkSoJoE’s RAW reviews work.
Click to continue reading “WWE RAW 12/17/12: The Slammy Awards”
RYBACK DEF. TITUS O’NEIL – Total domination by Ryback, until Darien Young interfered by grabbing Ryback’s ankle. O’Neil hit one inverted Power Bomb for a brief one-count. Still, the match ended the same way all Ryback matches end; power-bomb, shell-shock, three-count.
After the match, Ryback refused to leave the ring until he got his hands on WWE Heavyweight Champion C.M. Punk, Paul Heyman, or the three men who jumped him two days in a row. A line of security guards come-out, but Ryback tossed the biggest one first, and the rest scattered.
RAW Supervisor Vicki Guerro came out to order him out of the ring, Ryback told her to shut up (which won him a ton of new fans,) and demanded revenge. Vicki gave him a match against Punk at TLC. Ryback demanded that it be made a TLC match (Tables, Ladders, and Chairs.) Vicki agreed, and Ryback left the ring.
ALBERTO DEL RIO DEF. THE GREAT KAHLI – This match was set up with a pre-recorded backstage segment, where Rosa Mendes demanded an apology from Hornswoggle, for squirting water in her face, with trick flowers last week. Hornswoggle called her conceited, and Alberto Del Rio stepped in, offering to beat him up. Kahli stepped in to scare him off. Kahli actually dominates most of the match, but a distraction by Roberto Rodriguez (Del Rio’s personal ring announcer,) sets up Kahli for an attack from behind. Del Rio hits the arm-bar for a win by submission.
TAMINA DEF. ALICIA FOX – Basically, Tamina slaps Alicia around and ends this with a splash of the top, for a three-count.
INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPION KOFI KINGSTON DEF. TENSAI – Wade Barrett, Kofi’s next challenger, Wade Barrett joins the commentary team at ringside. Tensai’s size advantage gives him an edge for a good amount of time, but Kofi hits a big kick and a flying body press for the three-count.
After the match, Barrett walked into the ring, gave Kofi the title belt, and then walked off without incident.
REY MYSTERIO DEF. WWE TAG-TEAM CHAMPION DANIEL BRYAN – One of the best matches on TV this year. Both men relied on their agility and quick last-second escapes and counters to keep the tide turning back and forth. Bryan focused on beat-downs and wearing down the arm, Mysterio countered with bursts of fast-paced offense. Match ends with a 619/Dropping a Dime combo by Mysterio for a pin on Bryan.
JOHN CENA DEF. DOLPH ZIGGLER – This match was set up after a segment with Vicki Guerro offering Cena and AJ matching bathrobes (see below.) People, who criticize Cena for his “five moves of doom,” need to acknowledge Ziggler does the same thing (if not everybody in WWE,). That said, this was a good, solid match. One point of contention is Cena NO-SELLING the “bad knee,” until a specific spot at the end. Going for the “five knuckle shuffle,” Cena stumbles out of the ring, the ref and another WWE official check to see if he can continue, while Ziggler exposes a turnbuckle. AJ runs out to stop him and Vicki runs out to pull AJ off the ring. The ladies have a stare-down while Ziggler goes after Cena with his MiTB briefcase. Cena ducks Ziggler’s swing and hooks the “AA,” for a three-count. Cena celebrates with AJ, FORGETTING ALL ABOUT THE BAD KNEE.
SHEAMUS DEF. U.S. CHAMPION ANTONIO CESARO – This was a straight up brawl between two big workhorses. Highlight of the match is Cesaro catching Sheamus and hoisting him up, and dropping him hard. Picture a combo of Lex Luger’s “torture rack” and Ryback’s “Shell-Shock.” Match ends with Sheamus escaping the “neutralizer” with a back-drop and a Brogue-kick to Cesaro. Cesaro goes out to the floor and gets counted out.
World Heavyweight Champion Big Show comes out with a chair. Sheamus grabs the mike and tells Big Show he will be happy to retire him at TLC, and just how barbaric he can be. Show responds by destroying the chair with his bare hands.
DAMIEN SANDOW DEF. ZACK RYDER – Not much more than filler. Ryder had a decent showing here, but the match ends with Sandow using his neck-breaker variant to get the three-count.
Side Note: Ring announcer Justin Roberts waited for Zack Ryder to get in the ring before announcing him, Michael Cole slipped back into “heel” mode to give him grief about it.
WWE HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION C.M. PUNK DEF. KANE – Our Main Event for the evening. And yes, this did take the show over three hours, again. There is a weird spot in the match when Punk slides to the outside, and starts favoring his right knee. Kane was as close to Punk as THESEWORDSARETOEACHOTHER but did NOTHING to him. Kane let Punk slide back in and pull him neck first into the top rope. Now here’s the weird thing, the announcers (Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler,) never acknowledged ANY of this, even though Punk was right in front of the camera, limping and acting like he was hurt for real the whole time. It’s weird because this is, to my understanding, standard procedure when someone gets legit hurt during a match, gloss over it, don’t call it, and keep the show going. So, I have to wonder if Punk really was hurt. The match ended when the three NXT talents, Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Reigns (now called “The Shield”) came out to distract Kane. Punk hit the GTS and got the three.
After the match, the Shield teased going for Punk, but pilled on Kane. Daniel Bryan tried to make the save, but got beat down. Ryback charged down and took over on the Shield. Punk took a cheap shot at Ryback, but Ryback caught him. Ryback went for a power-bomb, but Reigns took him down with a spear. Monday Night RAW ends with C.M. Punk holding his belt in the air; and his foot on Ryback’s chest; for the second time in a week.
ANGLES AND SEGMENTS
1.) RYBACK/VICKI – Our first interview segment would have to be Vicki Guerro trying to talk Ryback out of the ring after his match (setting up his match w/Punk at TLC.) Not a shining moment for either one of them. Huge gaps between the dialogue and you could tell they didn’t talk over each other when they were supposed to. Seriously, don’t give Ryback more lines than he needs.
2.) Backstage: Hornswoggle, Rosa, Del Rio, and KHALI – Basic segment just to set up their match, seemed pretty damn elaborate for a match that wasn’t anything special.
3.) GM’S OFFICE: VICKI, HEYMAN, PUNK – Punk came in to complain about having to face Ryback, Heyman suggested Vicki was trying to compensate for her bias against Cena and AJ, and Vicki flat out accused Punk of calling in the “Shield” to cover his ass. Vicki sets up a match between Punk and the winner of a RAW-active Twitter Poll, #WWEKane or #WWEBryan (see above.) Interesting to see Punk get the shaft from a “fellow” heel; it gives Vicki an extra character dimension, and it makes you wonder what it is EVERYBODY hates about Punk.
4.) THE SHEILD SPEAKS – We see a pre-recorded interview with Michael Cole and the three NXT talents who’ve taken it on themselves to attack Ryback twice, (Ambrose, Rollin, and Reigns.) They deny any affiliation with C.M. Punk, and claim they were acting against injustice. They accused WWE of being an elaborate popularity contest, and stated that C.M. Punk had every right to celebrate his One Year anniversary as champion, arguing they would’ve done the same thing if Ryback or Cena had been champion and Punk tried to disrupt them. They declared themselves The Shield and cut the interview short. Interesting aspect; as the Shield’s mission statement seems to have themes in common with the IWC’s constant complaints about WWE.
5.) VICKI, CENA, AJ, AND ZIGGLER – Basically, Cena comes out to address the “kiss” from last week. Vicki comes out to trash AJ and present Cena with a “gift,” of matching bathrobes and to warn Cena about the inevitable implosion. She points out AJ’s relationship drama with Punk/Bryan and Kane. AJ comes out to tell off Vicki and blatantly shoves her attraction to Cena in everyone’s face. Ziggler comes out to remind everyone that he took out Cena last week in the locker room, and Cena jumped him from behind on Smackdown. Cena tries to go after him, but Vicki orders him to stop and makes a match between Ziggler and Cena later that night. The match ends with Cena getting the win. CAN WE END THIS NOW!? I am PRAYING that this is the end of the AJ “scandal,” and I will spend the rest of my life wondering WTF this was supposed to accomplish.
On paper, this was a good RAW, with a lot more actual wrestling and a lot of solid match-ups, however the angle segments really weighted down the show.
Last night’s RAW was for me, a mixed bag. There were low-points, painful ones at that, but there were one or two points where I could see a glimmer of hope.
RYBACK DEF TENSAI – Ryback in the ring, cuts a decent promo demanding WWE champ C.M. Punk and the three NXT talents who jumped him at Survivor Series come out to face him or he tears the place down. Vicki Guerro, RAW Supervising Manager, came out to berate Ryback for blowing two title shots and warn him not to cause trouble or he would face a fine/suspension. She sends out Tensai to see “just how big” his appetite is. Match ends just how you’d expect it. Ryback puts Tensai down with the Shell-Shock for a pin.
WADE BARRETT DEF WWE INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPION KOFI KINGSTON – Before the match, we see Wade Barrett cutting a backstage promo from last night’s survivor series, saying how he’s beaten Kofi for the Intercontinental title before and Kofi holding the title was a disgrace to WWE. Barrett dominates the match with a combo of holds and brawling, as well as focusing on an eye injury to Kofi. Kofi gets in a big flurry of offense but Barrett rakes his eye on the rope and ends it with the “Bull-Hammer Elbow.”
KAITLYN DEF AKSANA – Aksana actually tries actual “wrestling” for once. She starts by faking a walk-out to lure Kaitlyn into a clothesline and working over the left arm. Sloppy, but it’s an “improvement.” Kaitlyn gorilla-presses her and drops her stomach first into her knee for a three-count.
U.S. CHAMPION ANTONIO CESARO DEF BRODUS CLAY – Despite R-Truth on commentary and the Funkadactyls at ringside, Cesaro gets the pin with the “Neutralizer.”
RANDY ORTON DEF ALBERTO DEL RIO (2 FALLS OUT OF 3) – The first fall starts out as a basic “back and forth,” until Orton forces Del Rio outside. Del Rio pulls Orton, shoulder first into the ring-rope, then into the corner post. When he refuses to let up the assault on the arm, Orton gets the win by DQ. The second fall has Orton making the comeback while favoring the left arm, but Del Rio locks in the arm-bar and Orton has to tap out. Third fall has Del Rio attacking the bad arm, while Orton tries to fight back. Ricardo Rodriguez (Del Rio’s personal ring announcer,) gets ejected for grabbing Orton’s ankle, and after missing an inziguri, Orton gets the pin with an RKO out of nowhere.
GREAT KAHLI DEF PRIMO/EPICO w/ROSA MENDES – Hornswoggle comes out to squirt Rosa in the face with water from a trick bouquet of flowers while Kahli destroys Mo/Co. I put more effort into that sentence than anybody put into that match.
THE MIZ DEF DAVID OTUNGA – Very basic, by-the-numbers match; Otunga gets to look good here, dominating Miz with clotheslines and chin-locks, but Miz gets in the “Skull-Crushing-Finale,” for the inevitable three-count.
SHEAMUS DEF DAMIAN SANDOW – Sheamus comes out with chair in hand. He cuts a promo recapping his feud with World Heavyweight Champion the Big Show and makes note that he is “not smiling anymore.” Big Show comes out, and they start shouting over each other. Show calls Sheamus a “barbarian,” and Sandow makes his entrance. Match builds from a slow pace, starting out with Sandow trying to avoid Sheamus for the first few minutes. First high-spot is Sheamus tossing Sandow out by the beard. Sandow actually dominates the match from that point on, beating Sheamus down and trying to wear him out. Sandow takes too long setting up the “elbow of distain” and Sheamus hooks in a side-back-breaker. Sheamus hits a flying shoulder block, the “White Noise,” and the Brogue-kick for a three-count.
WWE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS HELL NO (DANIEL BRYAN AND KANE) VS SINSTERIO (SIN CARA/REY MYSTERIO: NO CONTEST – The real story here is the absolute TRAIN WRECK of the Prime Time Players (Titus O’Neal/Darren Young) doing commentary with Cole/Lawler. Eventually they all give up and settle for entertaining each other with jokes and one-liners. Ironically, the PTP’s come off as funny and charismatic (which is bad because they’re heels.) Match ends when the PTP’s rush the ring, and get beat down by both other teams.
1. THE AJ “SCANDAL” – So this nonsense begins with Vicki bringing out two people to the ring, one a waitress claiming AJ and Cena were getting “friendly” with each other in a restaurant, and the other was a dude implying he had pics of them “doing it” in the back of a car. AJ came out to confront her, followed by John Cena, who accused Vicki of harassing people just to get attention. He decided to show her how it’s done and planted a kiss on AJ. He turned to Vicki but AJ grabbed him and JUMPED HIM LIKE A FACE HUGGER IN ALIENS! The kiss went well over a minute while Vicki threw a tantrum. (Why?) Ziggler runs out and jumps Cena. Cena tries to give Ziggler the “Attitude Adjustment,” Ziggler escapes, and Cena goes after him, twisting his left knee in the process.
We see Cena get his knee taped up backstage.
AJ goes to Vicki, asking what she plans to do about it. Vicki, flanked by Tamina Snuka, says nothing. AJ says she will.
AJ heads for the locker room with Layla trying to talk her out of it. AJ blows her off and goes in to confront Ziggler. Ziggler gives her a verbal dressing down (VERBAL you pervs,) and AJ goes off on him. Cena pulls her off and Ziggler jumps him. The two men go crashing into a toilet stall, and Ziggler wails away on Cena until Titus pulls him off. Ziggler gets in one last shot to Cena’s bad knee.
1. Why would Vicki and Ziggler be upset about this? Didn’t Cena and AJ CONFIRM everything they were being accused of? And let’s say they did…
2. SO PHKING WHAT!? What does this prove? Two single, consenting adults have decided to date, WHAT HAS VICKI “WON?”
Here’s the thing, when Vicki started this crap, it made SOME sense. AJ was RAW GM; Vicki wanted her out and wanted her job. AJ QUIT trying to protect John. VICKI GOT THE JOB (sort off.) WHY IS THIS STILL A THING? Vicki has won. There is no reason, story-line, OR OTHERWISE for Vicki to keep this up.
Now before you argue “she wants to drive AJ out of WWE,” let me remind you, AJ WAS ON HER WAY OUT WHEN THIS STARTED! VICKI HIRED HER BACK! Vicki could’ve been free of AJ weeks ago. You could say Vicki is jealous of AJ, and wants to torture her, AND YOU WOULD BE GIVING HER AN ACTUAL MOTIVE! SOMETHING WWE DID NOT DO!
Side Note: I don’t know if Cena is legit hurt or it’s just an angle, but it looks like in either scenario, he’s out of the title picture.
2. THE CELEBRATION OF C.M. PUNK – The storyline with the least attention had the best payoff. We begin with Heyman at the top of the show holding up a poster of Punk and planning a big celebration for the champ. Punk comes out to hear his praises. Matt Stryker tries to get an interview and Punk threatens him. Heyman tries to smooth things over saying tonight is a celebration and everyone is invited, including Ryback.
We get short backstage segments featuring Heyman abusing crew members while planning the party, including one where Heyman demands “BALLOONS” manically, and one where he assures Punk nothing will ruin their celebration.
The final segment of the evening has Heyman in the ring. He calls the audience on the hypocrisy of chanting “ECW” when they see him, and booing him for his joke at Lawler’s expense last week. They say they want the Attitude era back, but get all upset when they get a taste of it. Punk comes out and points out to us that he did something Brett Hart, Shawn Michaels, Triple H, The Undertaker, and The Rock couldn’t do, hold the WWE title for one calendar year. We get a video package of Punk’s year-long reign, followed by Heyman and Punk running down all the great stars that couldn’t beat Punk and congratulating each other.
Ryback comes out, but gets jumped by NXT talents Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, and Roman Reins. Ryback tries to fight them off, but they end up putting him through an announce table, just like at Survivor Series. RAW ends with the champ, cautiously, standing with one foot on Ryback and his title in the air.
Okay, LOVING IT! This is the first RAW this year that ends with Punk standing tall over a fallen enemy. I’m hoping this leads to a Punk-led stable of young talent rallying to their hero’s side and becoming a major force in WWE. (Of course, WWE will most likely push this as a bunch of punks trying to get attention and Punk will get written into a feud with Hornswoggle.) Nonetheless, this is the first time in months that WWE has tried to make Punk look “relatively” good on television. It is a welcome change.
Overall, if this RAW had dropped the AJ scandal B.S. it would’ve been the strongest RAW in a long time. We got a LOT of actual wrestling where most people looked strong even in defeat.
So, while I’m not in LOVE with the product right now, this has been a step in the right direction.
DOLPH ZIGGLER (w/VICKI) DEF KOFI KINGSTON (w/R-TRUTH and LITTLE JIMMY) – Before the match begins; R-Truth and “little jimmy” get into an argument with Vicki at ringside. Vicki takes a drink in the face and the referee sends her, Truth and “Jimmy” to the back. The match is a high-flying spot-fest with both men taking huge bumps back and forth. Ziggler sends Kofi head-first into the corner, and gets the three-count with the Zig-Zag.
PRIME TIME PLAYAS DEF RYDER/SANTINO – This is a quick and simple tag match. Titus O’Neal gets a blind tag while Santino sets up the “Cobra” for Darren Young. O’Neal gets the three-count with a spine-buster.
RYBACK DEF THE MIZ – Miz doesn’t get squashed in the true sense, but the end is a foregone conclusion with Ryback crushing him with the “meat hook.” During the match, a fan tries to run in but is taken out fast by security.
WADE BARRETT DEF TYSON KIDD – Little more than a squash. Barrett wins with the “souvenir.”
SHEAMUS, SIN CARA, REY MYSTERIO DEF ALBERTO DEL RIO, DAVID OTUNGA, RICARDO RODRIGUEZ – RAW GM AJ Lee made this match during a backstage segment, explaining to Del Rio and co. that this was their chance to get payback on Sheamus for injuring each of them with the “Brogue Kick.” Match ends with Ricardo taking a 619 and a Swanton from Sin Cara after Sheamus cleans house. Sheamus puts the period on this with a Brogue Kick to Ricardo.
Side Note: At one point, it looked like Sin Cara tagged Sheamus, but Rey was allowed to come in.
Was this a botch perhaps?
EVE/BETH PHEONIX DEF LAYLA/ALICIA FOX – A throwaway tag, with Beth doing most of the work, Eve stealing the win with a neck-breaker, and Layla doing nothing but taking a shot to the face. After the match, Kaitlin comes out, on a crutch with a taped ankle. She says she got a hold of the security camera footage from NOC, and it shows her attacker. You can’t see her face, but you can tell she had blond hair. Eve points the finger at Beth and lays her out with the neck-breaker.
BRODUS CLAY VS TENSAI – NO CONTEST – This match isn’t much more than trading head-butts and missing splashes until THE BIG SHOW makes his return to RAW. He walks down to the ring, clocks both men with the WMD, and just stands there until they play his music.
The show opens with Punk and Heyman in the ring, holding the show hostage. Punk sits while Heyman calls last week’s main event a great injustice, showing us footage of Cena getting the three-count on Punk while his foot was clearly on the ropes. Heyman calls out the referee from last week, referee Maddox. He demands an apology and that Maddox resigns on the spot. Maddox is happy to apologize but will not resign. Punk goes off on him.
“HOW DO YOU WALK DOWN HERE AND PRETEND TO BE A MAN?”-C.M. Punk
Punk calls him an inexperienced scab, and Heyman offers him a blindfold bearing both the NFL and WWE logos. During his rant, Punk calls AJ Lee an “idiot.”
AJ Lee skips down to ringside. In the ring, she sends Maddox to the back. Paul assumes she is here to reverse last week’s decision.
“When you assume, you make an ass out of you and me… but mostly you.” AJ Lee.
AJ Lee tries to shut Punk down, but Punk responds with a demand for respect and a recap of AJ proposing to him last summer. If she agrees to forget about the match last week, he’ll forget about her sending him dirty texts and voice mails, and dares her to tell the audience about their torrid affair.
“I’m the reason there’s a spring in your step!” – C.M. Punk
Heyman steps in here with a MARRAGE PROPOSAL! He offers to make AJ the most powerful woman in WWE. He’ll come up with ideas and she can take the credit. AJ responds with a slap to his face.
I gotta say, I was impressed with AJ here. She was sharing mike time w/two of the best in this business and more than held her own. She came off clever and strong, despite having the least dialogue.
Backstage: Maddox thanks AJ for sticking up for him and apologizes to her as well. She makes it quite clear that if he messes up like that again he will NEVER work in this industry again. She goes into “evil mode” and accuses him of embarrassing her.
After recapping the Kane/Bryan-Rhodes/Sandow issue on Smackdown, we go to a restaurant where Daniel Bryan is with his anger management therapist Dr. Shelby. The doc has arranged a role-play tonight where Kane is “Gerald” and he will be Daniel’s waiter for tonight. Kane goes into a monologue about pulling the beard off the cook’s face and deep frying it, sprinkling a little bit of it on every dish he’s served. After the bit, we’re told we can choose the official name for their tag team as part of RAW-active later tonight.
At this point, I’m declaring this bit dead. They’ve dragged it out as long as they possibly can.
Promo for the Susan Komen foundation and breast cancer awareness month
Mick Foley is tonight’s special guest! He comes out to address the C.M. Punk issue. The C.M. Punk issue comes down to address Foley. In one of the best promo-duels I’ve ever heard, Foley tells Punk that he needs to disregard Heymans’s advice and think for himself, and he needs to face Cena in a Hell in the Cell match to cement his legacy. Punk takes a shot at the crowd and runs down his list of wins over Cena. He says the WWE universe turned on him, and he doesn’t need to risk his health/body/career for them. He’s held the title for over 300 days and will hold it longer. Foley held the title three times for a total of 29 days. Statistics don’t matter, it’s the moments that we show what we’re made of that counts.
Back at the restaurant, Kane and Bryan agree they can never be friends, but they sure did like beating down men with chairs last Friday on Smackdown. Kane slams the table repeatedly to bring back the feeling. Bryan responds with a growing “YES!” chant. Once the reach the… conclusion, we cut to MAE YOUNG!
“I’ll definitely have what they’re having.” – Mae Young.
The next segment is the Jerry Lawler interview with Michael Cole. He is recuperating just fine but doesn’t even remember the match he wrestled last week. He woke up in the hospital thinking he was in Aruba with his girlfriend. He is leaving his return date up to the doctors.
Back at the restaurant, Dr. Shelby has convinced Kane to try a salad, and Bryan to try a meatball, as part of an “understanding” exercise. Kane tries some lettuce and responds with a huge belch. Bryan seems to like the meatball at first, but soon winds up barfing in Dr. Shelby’s lap.
We are given our choices for naming the team.
#Team Hell No
After the break, Kane and Bryan are in the ring waiting the official selection…
#Team Hell No
While Bryan/Kane fight their confusion, Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow attack. They leave the champs lying and introduce themselves as “Team Rhodes-Scholars.”
Recap: Heyman proposal to AJ
Our Main Event of the evening; a John Cena Promo!
Cena comes out to thank the WWE universe for their support of the Susan G. Komen foundation and Breast Cancer Awareness month. He apologizes for C.M. Punk’s lies and misrepresentations. Punk comes out to call Cena a lying politician. He gives Cena a choice; five seconds to leave the ring, or get hurt badly. Five seconds later, Cena nails Punk in the stomach with a lead pipe.
Backstage, Punk staggers along the hall, passing Mick Foley. Punk walks back to kick him in the groin, and starts to walk off. He turns to give Foley a piece of his mind, and meets the stare of Ryback.
All in all, pretty basic RAW, with the tease of a Ryback/Punk match up being the only “big” surprise.
First, I want to apologize for the lateness of this article. There was a death in my family this week, and it took precedent over anything else.
REY MYSTERIO AND SIN CARA DEF EPICO AND PRIMO – After the match, Rey-Cara were ambushed by the Prime Time Players, who said they were the rightful number one contenders to the tag title and wouldn’t let anyone take anything from them ever again.
EVE TORRES (DIVAS CHAMPION) DEF BETH PHEONIX – The broadcast team spent this match speculating over whether or not Eve got her title match by injuring Kaitlin, the scheduled opponent for then champ Layla, who joined the team at ringside. Layla tried to take up the debate, but faltered.
BRODUS CLAY DEF HEATH SLATER – U.S. Champion Antonio Cesaro joined the broadcast team to set up a potential feud with Brodus.
DOLPH ZIGGLER DEF SANTINO MARELLA – Marella got distracted trying to get his “Cobra” back from Vicki Guerro at ringside, leaving him vulnerable to two “Zigzags.”
WADE BARRETT DEF JUSTIN GABRIEL – Little more than a squash to build up Barrett.
TEAM FRIENDSHIP DEF KINGSTON/R-TRUTH – Kane and Bryan constantly arguing left them vulnerable to double-teaming and high-impact spots, however Bryan brought the belts home with the “no” lock.
RANDY ORTON DEF TENSAI – This was the basic “face takes a beating but keeps coming back,” routine. Orton wins with the RKO.
DAMIEN SANDOW DEF ZACK RYDER – Ryder actually looked good here, even getting a close two-count with the “broski boot,” but in the end it was another win for Sandow. Prior to this match, Sandow came out to remind us that this was back-to-school season, and attempted to give the crowd a “vocabulary lesson,” by running them down with terms like “ignoramuses,” and “miscreants.” This leads to a (heated) debate by the announcers over what counts as a “big word.”
SHEAMUS AND JOHN CENA DEF C.M. PUNK AND ALBERTO DEL RIO – We got a fast-paced back and forth, with everyone getting a piece of everyone else. Match ends with Cena getting an AA on Punk for the three-count despite Punk having a foot clearly on the ropes. Punk actually badgers the ref all the way to the back about the decision.
Highlights of the night included both Jim Ross and John Bradshaw Layfield joining Cole on commentary, and a repeated update on Jerry Lawler. He is home in Memphis, recuperating and will be on RAW next week for a special interview.
Overall, a solid, if uneventful RAW; at least till the end
RYBACK DEF. JACK SWAGGER – Swagger looks strong for about 30 seconds, but winds up just more meat on the plate. The turning point is Swagger landing ugly, face first.
LAYLA (DIVAS CHAMPION) DEF. NATTIE NIEDHART – Before the match gets going, Vicki comes out to demand this match wrap up quickly so she can make an announcement. She actually spends the whole match on the ring apron, looking bored and rolling her eyes, great way to sell a match. One high spot is Nattie and Layla doing the old Hardy spot where the face (Layla) tries a baseball slide kick, and the heel (Nattie) traps her in the ring apron. Layla ends this with a simple kick to the head. Vick dismisses Layla in a condescending manner and Layla just goes.
Vicki demands that the board of directors take action against the “mentally unstable” child and put Raw in the hands of an adult, like her. AJ Lee responds by skipping out to the ring, and cracking Vicki in the face. (And the Reason Layla couldn’t do that?) Vicki high-tails it out of there while AJ Lee smiles.
JOHN CENA DEF. THE MIZ (I-C CHAMPION) – Josh Mathews joins us at ringside. The match is slow, dull, and by the numbers. Miz focuses on striking John in the head/face with strikes and kicks, Cena makes his superman comebacks. The match ends when Cena hits four out of five moves of doom and gets the three.
SANTINO DEF. HEATH SLATER – Heath Slater gets the upper hand with a cheap shot after an “air guitar” duel, and then goes all out with punching, stomping, knees, and choking. Slater goes up on the ropes, Santino rolls away. Slater goes to the other corner, Santino rolls out again. Slater gets caught in a cradle for a two-count, and Santino takes over. Santino sets the Cobra, but the sax music hits and Aksana is out to distract the cobra. Not Santino, just the cobra. The cobra breaks his trance long enough to strike Slater and Santino gets a three-count, while the cobra stares at Aksana. Yes I did just write that.
BRODUS CLAY/SIN CARA DEF. DAMIAN SANDOW/CODY RHODES – Sin Cara comes out to NO reaction. Cody takes control by pulling Sin Cara down hard off the ropes. The heels take turns stomping on Sin Cara until he hits the head scissors and makes the tag to Brodus, who squashes Cody until Sandow makes the save. Sandow goes after Cara but goes over and out. Cara hits a flying body-press while Cody goes sternum first into Clay’s cranium. Clay hits the splash and gets a three-count. Match ends in a dance party with the kids at ringside.
R-TRUTH DEF. DANIEL BRYAN BY COUNT-OUT – The crowd starts in with the “goat-face” chants and Bryan responds with deep breathing. Highlight of the match is Bryan giving “little jimmy” a fist bump. Match ends when Truth tricks Bryan into a round of “dueling crazy” outside the ring. Truth gets the crowd going with the “yes” chant and Bryan gets counted out while going “no” up in some fans’ face.
SHEAMUS/RANDY ORTON DEF. DOLPH ZIGGLER/ALBERTO DEL RIO – Faces start out strong, but it’s soon Del Rio and Ziggler pounding on Orton. Orton finally tags Sheamus who goes all out on Ziggler. While the ref is distracted, Roberto Rodriguez – Del Rio’s personal announcer – tosses Ziggler his MiTB briefcase. Orton catches him with the chin-lock backbreaker and Sheamus hits the Brogue Kick for the win.
ZACK RYDER DEF. DAVID OTUNGA – The highlight here is Kane coming out to ringside and Josh Mathews running for his life. Cole gives Kane plenty of room as Kane takes a seat at the table. Otunga actually dominates this match with clubbing forearms and neck-locks, but it ends when Ryder ducks a clothesline and hits the Rough-Ryder for the three-count. Kane rushes the ring and grabs Ryder by the neck, then lets him go. He decides to choke-slam Otunga instead.
C.M. PUNK DEF. JERRY LAWLER (CAGE MATCH: AS CHOSEN BY WWE UNIVERSE VIA TWITTER POLL) – The brilliance of this match is Punk revisiting Lawler’s feud with Andy Kaufman and playing BOTH roles. As Punk enters the cage, Cole reads his Twitter feed, which has Punk quoting Kaufman’s legendary “New King of Memphis,” promo almost verbatim. Then, in a nod to the king, Punk allows Lawler the first shot. Lawler plays nervous, but eventually lets it go on Punk’s kisser. Punk sells it BIG, even cowering in the corner. However Punk takes control with kicks to Lawler’s shins, backing him into the corner, then he scores a neck-breaker. From then on, the match is mostly Punk bullying Lawler; stomping on him and literally kicking him while he’s down. Punk goes up on the ropes, but Lawler knocks his feet out from under him, and Punk takes a crotch-shot to the turn-buckle. Punk stops Lawler from escaping but Lawler sends Punk face-first into the cage. Lawler takes over with the big right hands and hits his fist-drop for a two count. Punk is bleeding, but stops Lawler from escaping the cage. Punk finishes this with a ROCK-BOTTOM into the Anaconda vice. Lawler taps out.
After the match, Punk grabs a lock and chain from under the ring and locks himself in w/Lawler and a mike, demanding Lawler call him the best in the world. Lawler refuses, and Punk pummels him with elbow shots. Cena tries to make the save, but can’t get in the cage. He yells for someone to get the cage up. When they finally do, Cena dives for Punk, who heads for higher ground, while Cena checks on Jerry.
RAW ends with Punk walking out with his belt, and Cena hunched over a battered Lawler.
The build-up for the main event started with Lawler calling out Punk and demanding an apology for last week. Punk responds by throwing Lawler’s whole career under a bus. From beating up no-names in Memphis, to a slap fight with a comedian, (Kaufman) to losing at Wrestlemania. Punk challenges Lawler to a fight later tonight. Lawler will think about it. A few segments later, Lawler agrees, saying he’s not the best in the world… and neither is Punk.
We had a series of skits with Bryan in Anger Management classes, building up to his match with R-Truth, that managed to be funnier than you would expect. In the first one, Bryan calmly states his objections to being in these classes, when a small boy in a goat mask walks in. Bryan goes off on the kid, reducing him to tears. The “doctor” running the class explains this was his son, in costume for a school play. The doc tells his son that Bryan is “a very sick man.” Some guy named “Harold” tries to console Bryan.
“Don’t touch me, Harold.” – Daniel Bryan
In the second, Bryan responds to Harold whining about his boss with a brief recap of his program with AJ and Kane – who just happens to be the late patient. (Saw THAT coming)
The last segment has Kane going over (almost) his entire back-story, briefly mentioning Katie Vick even. The shrink sends everyone home assigning them to work on an “anger collage.” Bryan chases him out, berating him the whole time. Harold thanks Kane for sharing, Kane responds by throttling him and snarling “You’re welcome.” Kane made this segment work better than it should have.
We took a look back at Triple H’s career, leading up to his big promo where he would let us know if he was going to retire or not. He managed to kill over ten minutes without confirming anything, but he was gracious to the fans…
“Thank you, for letting me, play the game.” – Triple H.
Is there a reason every other person is working a crazy gimmick? We got R-Truth with “little Jimmy,” Daniel Bryan with anger management issues, Kane…duh, and AJ going nuts anytime someone suggest she’s… going nuts. I’m sorry but this comes off as lazy. You can’t come up with anything else? Is Josh going to go nuts because he doesn’t want wrestlers to attack him? Is Cole going to explain the last year or so of douchey behavior was temporary insanity?
It seems “crazy” is the default whenever WWE can’t figure out what to do with someone. AJ was supposed to be a “manic pixie dream girl next door.” Apparently that didn’t fly, so she’s crazy. R-Truth was angry about WWE putting no faith in him and tried to imply that they didn’t want a black champion. That hit too close to home, so he went “crazy.” Daniel Bryan wants respect for what he can do in the ring? He must be crazy. Kane…
Well that worked out, still…
You know, mental illness is a serious, real problem. Some of the fans out there might have someone in their family who suffers from this. You could potentially alienate a huge percentage of the fan base, or maybe just make a whole lot of casual fans uncomfortable with your product.
So Impact opens with the TNA World Champion and X Division Champion respectably on opposing sides against the former World title holder and the X division number #1 contender.
Austin Aries/Kenny King vs Zema Ion/Bobby Roode:
This match was an awesome way to open the show and get the blood pumping. Back and forth pin attempts and Aries diving out of the ring over Ion to get to Roode was excellent of course King gets the pin when he drops Ion with the Coronation.
We get the Aces and Eights video detailing the groups attacks. I find this group interesting and hope that it heralds a return for a certain Guitar swinging co-founder. This also prompts Sting to come out and want to talk to a certain person he believes is behind the group. Storm is the man he wants to talk to and in typical cowboy fashion James points out how 9 months ago he was jumped by Angle and didn’t whine about it and came out and whooped Kurt’s butt. He doesn’t need anyone to fight his battles. Angle comes out tells Storm that he will make Storm tap out.
The Phenomenal One tweets from Australia home of displaced British people who owed money to the king. Then from that we get a recap of one of the most ridiculous stories since Eddie Guerrero’s and Rey Mysterio’s who’s your daddy angle, Claire LynchGate. A new twist to the story is that Daniels and Kazarian are throwing her a baby shower. Yeah please take this plot from C list to B list Daniels you are a god send.
Taz and Tenay announce the matches for the Hardcore Justice 2012 PPV. First we have a Ladder Match between AJ Styles vs Angle vs Daniels vs Samoa Joe. Then we have a Falls count Anywhere match where Anderson vs RVD vs The Pope vs Magnus and finally a Tables Match with Jeff Hardy vs Bully Ray vs Storm vs Robbie E. I’ll stream that.
Bully Ray comes out for his match where he announces that he never trusted Storm and will be at Ringside tonight. All this right before Robbie E and Ray have a squash match in most strict of definitions.
Bully Ray vs Robbie E:
Robbie T jumps Ray from behind and Robbie E takes advantage reminding me of the Joker during The Dark Knight always attacking when he’s down. Ray battles back and drops a neckbreaker to gain 7 points . Have to love the job squadder in this tournament.
Then we show the continuing hotness of Madison Rayne and her pull over Earl Hebner. (Yes I may not like her wrestling but well….You know.) Gail confronts the two and brings into question Hebner’s call last week. Then we get Tara and Mickie stretching in the locker room. Nuff said.
Knockouts Number#1 contenders match : Tara vs Mickie vs Madison vs Gail
And to cut it short..After another roll up pin this time Madison and Tara, Hebner grants the win to Rayne. This of course will be the Knockout Match for Hardcore Justice.
Well after a James Storm recap leads into Roode and Aries promising to bring drinks and themselves to the picnic which is the main event of Storm vs Angle.
Brooke Hogan is backstage with Sting. He wants to know about condition her father. After some “are you sure you can handle the knockouts” talk Brooke gets an envelope with Aces and Eights and promptly tears off her mic and leaves.
The Greatest Guerrero currently wrestling Chavo is shown warming up backstage for his first Impact match. Creative realizes that the KO Tag titles still exist and show ODB and EY talking about them and his new show.
Chavo/Hernandez vs Kid Kash/Gunner:
the unofficial reboot of Mexican America talking on those good ole Southern boys is sure to help reinvigorate and not irratate the tag division. After a decent match Chavo hits the three amigos (triple suplex’s) and a frog splash on Kash for the win. Now if only Daniels and Kazarian can get involved.
So not only have creative remembered the KO Tag titles but the Television title when Devon and (shudder) Garett come out to tell Angle they want a piece of the Ace’s and Eights. Angle tells them to watch his back. Oh and Wes Brisco of FCW asks Angle for a good word to get his foot in the door.
Daniels and Kazarian come to the ring to congratulate Claire with a baby shower bringing gifts and a baby doll dressed as AJ. Then the so to be chain smoking mother of one looks into the camera and tells AJ to do the right thing.
Kurt Angle vs James Storm:
A good match with many near falls, during the course of the match Garett and Devon, Bully Ray, Roode and Aries come down to the ring. After James Storm hits the Last Call for the win and 7 points, he takes the mic and calls out Aces and Eights only for Roode to counter that because he won they weren’t needed. Bully and Storm battle as Aries and Roode have at it (this is more than likely setting up a Ray vs Storm match after HJ) while Angle looks on.
I’m likely the unpredictablity of this program especially since its live so please TNA keep iMPACT LIVE!
Until next week, PNTnoir out.