The Smarked for Death Wrestling Review of WWE Monday Night Raw 9/17/12.

 

Yes its Thursday and I am only just now getting to Raw.  Busiest couple months of my life.  Very educational, great learning experience and it is all great things.  But wow is there a lot to do.

You know who else has a lot to do?  The writers of Raw.  Seriously.  A three hour PPV and then 24 hours later a 3 hour Raw?!  That is an insane schedule.  Lets see how they pull this one off.

As always, the times for segments and matches are provided by the one and only Solace Winter.  I then re-evaluate what I have watched based on the length.  That may have come out a little wrong.

CM Punk’s music played and in one of the more surreal moments I’ve ever seen in wrestling, Paul Heyman comes out instead.  Also, I really don’t think @HeymanHustle is WWE PG approved.  Hustle Booty temp tats time!

Heyman calls out the referee for last night’s main event, Chad Patton.  They review the PPV video and some fan video.  Yeah, no doubt that WWE pulled that one off of YouTube real fast.  Punk and Cena both have their shoulders down.  No arguing there, Punk keeps the belt in a draw.  I do hate when the person who executed the move takes the pin.  The surfboard shouldn’t lead to a two count.  Anyways, of course this brings out John Cena and he agrees with the decision.  Yes it was a draw.  OK, so now what?

John wants a rematch.  Paul says stuff it.  Del Rio comes out and he wants a rematch too.  You’re not involved in this!  AJ skips down and she makes the super main event for tonight.  Good segment.  I’m excited for the main event and excited to go back and finally watch Night of Champions.  So much wrestling every week!

Heyman/Cena/Patton/Del Rio/Rodriguez/AJ Segment – 14:45

I’m actually alright with this being a 15 minute segment.  It sets up not only the rest of Raw, but also Smackdown.  Not only for this week but for the next few leading up to the PPV.  Plus all of the men out here (and woman) are great and deserving of some talk time.

I love Michael Cole’s Long Live the King shirt.  That is fantastic.  I have to assume WWE is taking care of all the hospital bills.  We all complain a lot about wrestling but last Monday we all felt like an incredibly supportive family.  Enough with the bullshit and the rants, we bonded and yes, long live the King!

JBL is back as the replacement announcer.  Not a bad pick at all.  He can piss me right off sometimes, and has.  But there is no denying he is one of the most decorated Superstars of all time and when he is good on the set, he is amazing.  Oh and Jim Ross too!  Well that is one hell of a three man booth.  But the real question is, will Cole have to now get his own cowboy hat?

Rosa Mendes does not dance in a PG appropriate way.  I am very very fine with that.  I really wish WWE was still a little trashy.  I loved those Raw magazine photoshoots and I would buy multiple copies of the same thing done with today’s Divas.

Epico and Primo (with Rosa Mendes) vs. Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara.

JR tells us that Rey is mentoring Sin Cara.  About time someone does!  When their careers are over I cant wait for the Prime Time Players shoot interview when they discuss this tag team taking away their inevitable tag title run.  Not a doubt in my mind that it will occur.

Did JBL just mention CMLL?  JBL non WWE wrestling reference #1.

Puerto Rico’s WWC.  There’s two.

You know, these guys could call the spots very loudly and most of the fans wouldn’t pick up on it as long as they did so in Spanish.

Fantastic match too.  Fast paced, great chemistry.  If these four guys were given permission to not hold anything back I think there’s match of the night or week potential here.  Its the best I’ve seen Sin Cara.  Epico and Primo looked fantastic as well.  Granted, they look great in a loss but its a loss to a pretty spectacular team.

How the hell does JBL know so much about these teams?  Is JBL a bigger wrestling fan than I thought?

The Prime Time Players attack Sin Cara and Rey Mysterio.  YES!  I was worried the focus would be on the Lucha team now but its great to see Titus and Darren out there kicking some ass.  I am all for any match between these two.  PTP are much larger, and more experienced as a team.  But there aren’t many wrestlers in the world with more experience than Rey.

Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara Entrances – 2:02

Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara vs. Primo & Epico – 3:08

After match recaps and attack – 2:21

Rosa danced, then Rey and Sin Cara still have individual entrances.  I would complain about entrances being near the same length of time as the match but I’m all for more Rosa dances.  That was a great post match attack and promo to fit into two minutes.  Nearly eight minutes and three tag teams getting attention?  That’s a good time frame.  So far I’m very happy with Raw.

Plus a tag title rematch tonight?!  The mid 80s with the Hart Foundation, Demolition, etc was a great time for tag teams.  The TLC era.  And now is getting damn close to just as good.

Really curious if WWE will go for other charities after the Komen one is over.  There are so many causes that deserve extra attention I’d love to see WWE use its immense power even more.

Beth Phoenix vs. Eve Torres (Divas champ).

Layla joins for commentary.  Eve won last night after Kaitlyn was taken out.  Very strange.  Although, it looks like the Divas title now has a story line going and it involves three women.  Very interesting.

Jesse Ventura reference.  Is that 3?

When did Beth Phoenix become the William Regal of the Divas division?  Look you’re good and all, actually you’re better than anyone else we have, but you don’t have the look we want so make these other people look good.

Eve fights out of the Glam Slam and keeps playing defense.  She is able to roll up Beth out of the corner and luck into a pin.  JBL mentions Eve has had 5 years in the Gracie camp (#4) but I didn’t see any of that on display.  I may have spent 5 years in the library but if I cant read what does it matter?

Good feud going on with the Divas but I really wanted more from the match.

Phoenix Non-Entrance/Eve Entrance – 0:56

Beth Phoenix vs. Eve – 1:39

This match was under two minutes?  That isn’t enough time to tell a match or build drama.  Its very obvious that the Divas division does not matter in current WWE.  I suppose I should just be satisfied with what little I get and seek out quality elsewhere.

Brodus Clay and not one but two of his dancers!  She is dancing with intoxication!  I’m not sure that joke worked.  Oh hey, Antonio and Aksana are with the announcers for this match.  So a man I stood next to two years ago in my hometown is now on Raw with a title.  Wrestling is weird.

Brodus Clay vs. Heath Slater.

Antonio is running down Brodus so I’m guessing we know his next feud.  Not expecting Heath to win here.  Aksana looks stunning, but that’s not anything new is it?  Heath gets in a few moves, but not enough.  He really is a great hand in the ring but will he ever reach that next level?  Is it too soon to compare him to a young Bobby Eaton?

Antonio tries to distract Brodus but its not enough to cost him the match.  Clay fights back.  Heath misses a move.  Brodus gets the pin. JBL does a great job of putting Brodus over as a young talent with tons of potential.  I know its September, but is it possible we have a last minute contender for announcer of the year?

Clay Entrance – 1:31

Brodus Clay vs. Heath Slater – 2:00

I suppose two minutes is more than enough time for anything with Brodus.  However, if he is going into a feud with Antonio that man gets better the longer the match goes.  I’ve watched him stall for time and keep the crowd captivated.  I don’t see Clay playing the long game though.

MIZ TV debuts.  Miz is great on the mic, but the Intercontinental champion should not be feuding with the older general manager.  There must be something more happening here.  Booker already had his battle with Cody Rhodes, and that wont be revisited so soon.  Whoever is writing this one is definitely setting up something good.  A good guy to battle the Miz?  Although, what face would I pick to go against the Miz?  Rey and Sin Cara are now a tag team.  Justin and Tyson seem too far down the ladder right now to immediately be pushed up to title contention.  Who is there?  Oh.  FEEDMEMORE?!

Awww shit its Ryback.  Yes its gimmicky but I don’t care, its a gimmick I love.  Ryback vs. Miz is money.  The hungry beast starts tearing apart everything in front of him.  He is a one man moving crew!  The former Skip doesn’t need to cut any long promo he’s getting his point across quite succinctly.  Ryback destroys the Miz TV set.  But its brand new!  He hasn’t even taken the tags off!  That’s mahogany!!

Miz Chat – 8:20

This amount of time spent to set up an exciting and new match up for the Intercontinental title is absolutely worth it.  Well done.

A reminder that Jerry Lawler is doing better and is back home.  Cant wait to hear him next week.  Please don’t turn this into an angle.  Yet.  A year from now or so, totally cool.  But not yet.

Josh Matthews talks to CM Punk.  Josh makes a mental note to get Punk some respect for Christmas.  Its sooner than you think!

Santino Marella vs. Dolph Ziggler (with Vickie Guerrero)

Dolph is the winningest wrestler in Kent history. #5.  Dolph also shouldn’t have lost last night.  Vickie’s top makes it look like she is only wearing a bra.  Little too similar to flesh color.  Junior Canadian national champion?  Is that what JBL said?  #6.  The comments and the action are too fast to keep up with.  Dolph is out wrestling Santino and Marella is actually rather good, so that’s saying something.  Its a bit too much of a comedy match for the man who will soon wear the world title.

Santino actually builds up some momentum and it looks like a win could be imminent but Vickie steals the Cobra.  I would love this match with another opponent.  But Dolph just deserves better.  Now that Santino is distracted Dolph drops him with not one but two Zig Zags.  Now that is how he should look!  Well done.

Santino/Ziggler Entrances – 2:00

Santino vs. Dolph Ziggler – 4:09

Its not a bad match length for what it was, but it still bothers me that Dolph didn’t whoop Santino in two minutes tops.  Dolph has been booked so inconsistently lately I’m not sure if the fans will accept him as a champion.

Wade Barrett wants to kick someone’s ass tonight.  Good!  I want to see him kick some ass.  Lets build Wade back up to that main event level he was just about to break through before his injury.

Wade Barrett vs. Justin Gabriel.

Oh good, they do bring up Nexus.  Damn that idea should have been even bigger than it was.  Both men look a lot different than they did back then too.  I love seeing characters evolve.  Looks like beards are in this fall.  Wow this is fast based.  Much much faster than expected.  Wade with a boot and that brings Justin to a stop but he gets right on his opponent.

Jim Ross says Wade is a very intelligent man.  Yeah.  But does he read one to two books a month?!  Read Me More!

Wow.  The fans are chanting “We want Nexus.”  I am shocked.  I loved the group too but I never expected a huge chant for its return.  This will be interesting.

Springboard splash onto Wade and I really thought Justin was about to win.  Now that is a sign of a good match.  When the guy that definitely isn’t winning looks like he’s about to win.  Well done Gabriel.  Not well done enough though.  Wade with a knockout punch and Justin is down.  Hmmm… will Wade be feuding with Big Show in the future for the battle of the knockouts?  (There’s a TNA joke in there somewhere.)

Wade Barrett Recap – 0:34

Barrett/Gabriel Entrances – 1:14

Wade Barrett vs. Justin Gabriel – 4:10

I would see these two men go for two or three times as long.  Great length that helped Justin look like a contender and Wade look like a champion.  For fun alone, maybe my favorite match of the night.

Jared from Subway has a birthday party with R-Truth and Kofi Kingston.  Lil Jimmy gets a 5 dollar footlong as well.  The former tag champs were alright but Damien was hysterical.  I would totally eat the sandwich he suggested.  Then Zack Ryder comes in, and he probably could come up with a great name for a sub.  The Brogie?  Holy shit.  Sorry, I lost it as soon as Ryback showed up.  We all knew what was coming, but we wanted to hear it anyways.  Feed Me More!  HA!  And he takes two!  I wonder if I could eat two subs in one sitting.  Who has 10 dollars?  I have a goal for today!

Subway and WWE just became the modern day version of Hostess Fruit Pies and Marvel Comics.

Subway Segment – 2:09

That was a lot of comedy to fit into two minutes of time.  Credit to everyone now that I know how short this was.  Multiple wrestlers having to be in the right spot at the right time.  Many lines.  Jared having to keep switching his focus and attention.  All in one take with one camera.  I think I’m going to go rewatch this segment now.

John Cena and Sheamus talk about their upcoming match.  Little weird to hear Sheamus, who has the World title, talking about having his back against the wall.  But, um, you’re the champ.  However, he probably does want Cena to win because then Del Rio loses and wouldn’t be number one contender.  There is logic.  Oh its must be backstage segment time because Kane and Daniel Bryan alternate who is the tag team champions.  Too funny.  I cannot believe how over Bryan is.  Talent wise he’s one of the top in the world but where did all of this personality come from?  I need to go back and watch some ROH.

Kofi Kingston and R-Truth vs. Daniel Bryan and Kane (WWE Tag Team Champions).

Excellent ring work.  Daniel is the workhorse, KAne waits for the hot tag.  Daniel shuts down a tag attempt.  Kofi and Truth get going a little too fast and now Bryan takes the tag.  Kane looks like a beast and I’m really enjoying him more in tag work than I have in singles.  Another guy that maybe I should take a new look at some of his past work.

Kane and Bryan both go over the top rope and that completely ruins their game plan.  After this Kane is the one that gets the beat down in the ring.  Plus, Kofi and Truth are definitely faces so does that mean we’re waiting for a hot tag from the heel team?  Wow this follows no rules of wrestling.  Kane uses his size to great advantage and knocks Kofi on his ass with one move.  Bryan forces a tag and Team Friendship argues.  That’s all it takes for Kofi to get out and for Truth to come in with the strength of a hundred little Jimmys.  Jimmies? Anyways.

Kane and Bryan continue to be reluctant partners and there is some amazing chemistry.  Kane goes for Daniel, Bryan fights back and Kane almost loses the match.  Kane comes back, hits a chokeslam and then D-Bryan yet again tags himself in to set up the No Lock.  Oh this team is amazing.  Bryan celebrates and then they duel over who is the tag team champion.  What a great gimmick to hype the crowd too.  I would absolutely by an I Am the Tag Team Champions t-shirt.

“I’m the Tag Team Champions!” – 0:25

Kingston/Truth/Friendship Entrances – 4:03

R-Truth & Kofi Kingston vs. Team Friendship – 9:50

After match segment – 2:56

Well now I want to see a ratings breakdown.  Nearly twenty minutes, probably over twenty with the commercials, of TV time for the tag champs?  There must be some money in these two.  Real good match and a great story arc.

Be a Star.

Randy Orton vs. Tensai (with Sakamoto).

Alright, the two ring rat chippies in the front row need to stop appearing on camera.  Unless they are going to start wrestling, make out or suck a dick on camera enough.  So, back to wrestling!

JBL mentions New Japan.  What’s that?  #7?  Tensai needs to get built up again.  He is damn sure big enough and can work well enough to hold any title.  IWGP reference for #8.  I wish the crowd could hear JBL.  He is getting Tensai over better than any one else in WWE has done since his return.  Credit to Orton too.  This is the best I’ve seen Tensai look.   There’s a lot of little things that look great.  Orton fights back but Tensai shoots two quick jabs into the kidneys.  Randy stuns us all with his trademark spin slam on the larger Tensai.  That’s Randy’s comeback and he sets up the rope DDT.  Yup, he hit it.  Damn.  I was really hoping to see Tensai win and get built back up.  Orton forgoes the cover attempt and drops down for the RKO.  Tensai fights ba… no he doesn’t.  He avoided the first but takes the second.  Excellent match but I was really hoping for something new here.  Hard to call an over 300 pound man the underdog, and yet here we are.

Randy Orton/Tensai Entrances – 2:07

Randy Orton vs. Tensai – 6:12

Is this the longest one on one match Tensai has had since his return?  I don’t see what Orton gained from a win.  He seems to be in a wrestling limbo right now.  I would have loved to see Tensai get the win and honestly a longer match like this seems a good way to build him back up.  He showed everyone something here and hopefully its a start.  Hell, I’d even accept him and Jack Swagger teaming up as a dual reboot.

David Otunga and Alberto Del Rio interrupt CM Punk and Paul Heyman.  Oh this wont go well for you or your coffee, Otunga!  Dueling spokesmen!  Great banter and I love that CM Punk is very much a heel but that doesn’t mean he is suddenly best friends with all of the other heels.

Punk/Del Rio/Heyman/Otunga Segment – 1:54

My client has informed me that he thinks this entire segment was perfect.

Damien Sandow comes out and he just exudes heel heat.  Then the Woo Woo Woo comes on and the crowd pops huge for Zack Ryder.  I cant believe the chemistry they have.  The intellectual vs the party guy from the LI.

Damien Sandow vs. Zack Ryder

Ryder gets some great early energy going in this match.  JBL yet again does a great job putting over both men.  He must be 100% retired because he is damn sure not putting himself over anyone else.  Ryder is getting in way too much offense.  Either Damien’s debut push is over or he’s going to have a real quick comeback.  Speaking of, holy crap that was nice!  Damien hits a neck breaker and on the way down he flips over to get into pin position.  Wow.  That was a deceptively simple move.  Damn cool.

Sandow/Ryder – 2:59
Damien Sandow vs. Zack Ryder – 5:36

Nearly six minutes for these two?  Two world titles, two secondary, a hot tag division and we still have talents like this that are outside of all that.  If you’re a lapsed wrestling fan WWE is about to get everything lined up perfectly again.  I have never written such a positive review of Raw but everyone is hungry and all the top guys know it, so they are going just as hard as well.  Two longtime money guys here.  Two that can really be built up into franchises.

John Cena and Sheamus (World Champion) vs. Alberto Del Rio (with Ricardo Rodriguez) and CM Punk (WWE Champion, with Paul Heyman).

I love this CM Punk pose with the belt.  Soak it in.  Give me my damn respect!  Oh am I taking up your time? Fuck you!  I’m here.  Also, is JBL right?  This is Punk’s first main event since December?  That is fucking ridiculous.  Well, I know its on purpose and for the story but it really just makes me agree with everything he says.

Many times by the hour of the main event I am zoned out.  The match is average, and only used to set up the next PPV.  But this one is different.  Everyone is wrestling like they have something to prove.  CM Punk is the best in the world.  He just is.  Sheamus is stepping up as a leader and finally is getting into the mind set that he is a main event guy and thus he always needs to act like one.  Cena is Cena.  But Del Rio has shocked me the last few weeks.  He might get my most improved vote this year.

Cena tosses Punk for one of the biggest Attitude Adjustments I’ve ever seen.  Why on Earth was he thrown so far?  Because he gets pinned with his foot on the ropes!  Oh damn.  We are actually seeing an angle around referee calls and its working.  Punk was on the ropes!  There is loads of potential in where ever this goes next.

Sheamus/Cena/Punk/Del Rio Entrances – 7:09

John Cena & Sheamus vs. CM Punk & Alberto Del Rio – 10:38

Six minutes of that entrance time is Punk holding up the title.  I’m surprised it was only a ten minute match.  Felt much longer, but in a good way.

Match Length = 47:22

Nearly an hour on a 3 hour show, but minus commercials and everything else this is still a ton of wrestling.  Good wrestling too.

The new TV season has started.  Monday Night Football is on.  But WWE Raw is hotter than ever this month.

Punk chases after the referee and argues the call.  I smell an indie wrestler here.  That referee is going to take an ass kicking.  Probably next week.

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