Alright, its Monday Night and its time for Raw.
No, wait, what?! Its Friday (alright, its past midnight so technically Saturday). I have had too much soda so its time to watch Smackdown!
For those of you who may have skipped the Raw reviews, I also take numbers from the one and only Solace Winter and then comment on match times, segment lengths, etc.
WWE: Last Tuesday, Tonight, In Two Weeks.
Review of the tag team champions disagreeing and wrestling last week. Which is slightly different than their Raw story. If you hadn’t watched last week’s Smackdown (you know, like me) then Team Rhodes Scholars attack on Raw seems to have come out of no where. Anyways, review of last week.
The announcers tell us about the main event, which makes the next segment seem pointless. Big Show comes out and he wants to be number one. So does Randy Orton. And then so does Alberto Del Rio, because he has no gimmick other than the quest for titles. We already know that Show and Orton are wrestling later tonight though. Del Rio just lost to the World champion. I’m willing to bet this upcoming match will help to decide the next challenger. Far too routine a segment.
Opening Segment – 7:34
Well, that’s still half the time of a similar Raw segment. Still though, not a whole lot was accomplished here. A match was set up, which was already set up. If they’re all going to talk, make it interesting.
Antonio Cesaro (US Champion) vs. Santino Marella.
Aksana is now gone. Which is fine. What was she doing anyways? Keeping Sara Del Rey’s seat warm. Antonio is fantastic. Look at that headlock. You know how wonderful that headlock is? I watched him lock it on numerous and numerous times way back when at a CZW Best of the Best show. Such a simple move, but no one does it better. Then there’s Santino. Too much comedy. Sure, its puts over Cesaro and good for that. Its just getting silly to suspend the disbelief that a grown man and multiple champion loses all focus when his Cobra arm sock is missing. He deserves to lose.
Santino has a couple of nice comebacks though. Shows a lot of what he is capable of. I wonder if Santino would ever be repackaged as a more serious wrestler. Anyways, the two men battle for supremacy of the top rope. Antonio falls off and its looks like Santino might sneak a win but Cesaro comes back. One Neutralizer is all it takes for the pin. I could watch this guy for hours and I really hope WWE gives him plenty of opportunities to shine.
Cesaro/Santino Entrances – 1:43
Antonio Cesaro vs. Santino – 4:11
Yeah! More Antonio kicking ass segments! If WWE ever gets sick of booking the Ryback squashes I’d love to see some Cesaro ones.
Raw replays. Is it alright with everyone if I skip over these and don’t watch them again? I loved the diner segments but I’ve already watched them dozens of times.
Beth Phoenix vs. Natalya.
Yes! Lets get some good womens wrestling on WWE TV! Oh, remember, Eve says a blonde girl attacked Kaitlyn. And both these ladies are blonde! Oh noes! Anyways, lets get to some action. Wrist lock. Flip through. Fireman’s thrown. leg lock Head lock. Reversal, into wrist lock. Reversal into arm bar. Step up, reversal, into arm lock. Back into the corner, break, head lock, take down. Damn those are some crazy arms. Leapfrog attempt, catch, oh and this is heating up. Both women are driven to succeed and they have no problem stepping over a friend to raise that little bit more.
Listen to that hometown pop! Best crowd reaction to a Divas match in some time. Beth comes off the ropes, Natalya catches her and changes it up into a Sharp Shooter. Beth finally gets a rope break and another crowd pop for it. Elbow to Beth’s face, Natalya tries to flip her over but Beth catches her. Glam Slam!
And that’s not the pin?! You have got to be kidding me! WWE womens match of the year. Victory Roll! Pin attempt! Reversal! Beth gets the win! Beth is very emotional after this win. A little too emotional.
Eve comes out and announces that as part of the investigation into who attacked Kaitlyn (I predict it was Eve herself), Beth is indefinitely suspended. Hmmm….
Beth is very emotional after that win. She gets story line suspended. There are rumors flying that Beth is leaving WWE. I think more happened here than we the fans are aware of.
Phoenix/Natalya/Eve – 0:33
Beth Phoenix vs. Natalya – 4:15
Suspension! – 1:33
You have to be kidding me! That was only 4 minutes? Its amazing what the great wrestlers can fit into a short amount of time. So far, this is Divas match of the year for me. The suspension announcement is just about the right length of time for such information to get out.
Beth Phoenix complains to Booker T about the suspension. Booker reverses it. Eve plots Booker against Teddy. Groan. I cant picture myself ever being a fan of Eve.
Booker T/Teddy Long/Eve/Beth Segment – 1:59
Only two minutes would be great if that was it for this story. But it very much isn’t. Eve is going to pit Teddy against Booker, maybe run Smackdown herself. Should I try to keep an open mind here? I worry the minute 59 is the extent of patience I can muster for Eve.
Zack Ryder vs. Wade Barrett.
Oh I do not see this going well for Zack. Not at all.
Ryder mounts a small comeback but it is not for long. What a fun match. Wade looks great. He’s taking the methodical take apart your opponent style and speeding it up just a tad. Like to 1.5. But its enough. Enough to know what he’s doing, for it to be familiar, yet original too. I see a DVD set in this man’s future.
Wade loads up the Souvenir. Be sure to put it in some bubble wrap so you don’t break the souvenir.
Ryder/Barrett Entrances – 1:02
Wade Barrett vs. Zack Ryder – 3:18
Gotta love the squash matches. Three minutes is definitely enough time to get Wade over. And it looks like Ryder gets in the tag title tournament here soon. Maybe good things are ahead! Speaking of ahead, give us more than 3 minute matches with Wade. Oh. You know what would be great? Wade vs. Antonio. Yeah. Now that the thought is in your head, you think so too don’t you?
Its an all new Miz TV! Miz has evolved so much. Shades of Jericho, and HBK, but also very much himself too. I look forward to seeing him grow over the next 10 years or so. Unfortunately, tonight’s episode of his show is not about him. Sheamus comes out and he thinks he’s awesome. Dolph Ziggler comes out and he will win that world title soon. Usual grandstanding. Sheamus takes out Miz first then double legs Dolph. Sheamus fights off Miz but Dolph might be too much. Or just enough. Nope, never mind, Sheamus cleared the ring. That’s how we make the heels look strong! Wrestling booking 101 at its finest.
Miz TV – 11:33
Mother fucking twelve minutes for that? For nothing. Miz and Dolph both looked weak. Sheamus has no feud with either. Can we have some heels do heelish things and not just be booed because they’re assholes? At least something would happen in 12 minutes! A bit too much talking heads tonight.
A #1 Contenders tag team tournament? Alright.
Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes vs. The Usos.
Alright, who is getting pushed more? The Usos put up a good fight but we all know what’s coming. The Scholars divide and conquer. Once the Usos are broken up by Damien its very easy for Cody to pick up the win. Fast match, the winner was known when the match started, but still a nice build up for the new team.
Usos/Rhodes Scholars Entrances – 1:24
The Usos vs. Rhodes Scholars – 1:57
Here I was thinking 3 minutes was a squash. But 2?! Good way to build up the Rhodes Scholars though. I would like to see more from the Usos though. Lets reboot the 3 Minute Warning gimmick!
Ryback vs. Tensai.
Wow, well the former IWGP champion can say goodbye to any push he had upon his return. Tensai needs to be rebooted. He does well and shows some strength but nothing will stop the Ryback this year. Tensai even tries to overwhelm him with size and puts the Ryback down with a slam. That will only get you a two. Ryback bounces back with a clothesline and what now? He deadlifts Tensai up across his shoulders and then drops him down for the pin. He lifted Tensai himself. We all know how a suplex is done. The arm assists. Nope, not here. That was all the Ryback. Well color me impressed.
Tensai/Ryback Entrances – 1:09
Tensai vs. Ryback – 2:07
The squashes just keep on… squashing! This has to be it for Tensai. Losing in two minutes? Find out where Jack Swagger went and see if they have two for one deals on new gimmicks.
HA! Randy Orton is shown backstage, heading out for his match, when Alberto Del Rio attacks him! Oh its a real good attack too. Haven’t seen one of those in awhile.
Del Rio has won me over the last few weeks, but I still have issues with Orton.
Big Show comes out for the match. Del Rio says Orton wont be here and wants the shot. Randy Orton comes out and attacks Del Rio. The fans chant and will Randy to the ring.
Big Show is dominating this match. Orton will try to fight back and that only makes Show fight back even harder. Big Show doesn’t want to beat Orton he wants Randy to beg for mercy. Its looking like we know two of the big matches for Hell in a Cell.
Show wrestled smart here. I didn’t even realize what was going on until it was too late. The Big Show worked over Randy’s ribs and arms the entire match. When Orton went for his signature moves, the rope DDT, the RKO, he couldn’t complete them because the arm and connected areas were in too much pain. Well done Show. Big Show even kicks out of an RKO. Randy becomes so desperate for a winning move he tries to pull out the Punt.
Randy is lucky enough to kick out of one choke slam. But no one living has ever kicked out of two. Show gets the win and Randy continues to stay in this weird character spot that he’s currently stuck in.
Show leaves but then comes back because Randy’s face was missing some punch. The Big Show then lets Sheamus know what’s up for Hell in a Cell.
Big Show/Orton Entrances – 2:39
Randy Orton vs. Big Show – 8:56
Punching it out – 1:56
Has Orton ever lost in under 9 minutes? Its like he and the World title are opposing magnets. Try to slam them together as much as you want but all they’ll do is shoot away from each other. I suppose we can expect to see Del Rio vs. Orton at Hell in a Cell. Big Show looks great after a little bit of time off. Maybe that’s how he should always have been booked. Memphis style. On for 6, off for 6.
Hell in a Cell hasn’t been bought yet, but its looking very likely so far. Still time to sway me either way.