Don’t be bored AJ! Its time for Smarked for Death!
Its a new year and a new era of wrestling reviews. Okay, so it will probably be a lot like the last year of reviews. I’ll stay up far too late, write as much as I can for all of you to read, and hopefully some great sports entertainment takes place to make this all worth it. Lets see.
Hey, I have a feeling that the Rock might come back tonight. I know I know. Its an out there thought. But maybe, just maybe, something unexpected and unplanned will happen tonight.
Well, this doesn’t mean that WWE will do new things in the new year. The show begins with John Cena coming out. Quick review of the events of last week, and I’m now realizing I never watched anything from last week. How have I gone over a week without a wrestling fix? This must be remedied.
John hypes up Punk, Ryback, the Rock and every one else but himself really. Oh here we go finally he tries to do something with himself. Cena will be in the Rumble. Which we knew last week. Before he can say anything else Team A to Z comes out. AJ, Dolph Ziggler and Big E Langston. AJ makes a small dick joke, which barely passed the PG test. Cena even calls out AJ for her “wiener joke” Then he tires to pull off the dirty limerick This must be the Rock’s left over jokes.
Dolph’s goal is to make sure John doesn’t win the Rumble. Well, maybe he should try to win it and get the title match at WrestleMania. Hell, even keep the briefcase and if you lose the ‘Mania match kick the shit out of your opponent and cash in afterwards. Double the opportunity!
Some more bad jokes and Big E cuts a promo. Which Cena then ignores and still calls out Dolph. It takes far too long for anyone to make a move so lets just go to commercial.
John Cena vs. Dolph Ziggler (with AJ and Big E Langston).
A match we’ve seen quite a bit lately. Can there be anything new? Oh sure, for some reason we cant hear any announcers. Even though it appears that both Cole and Lawler are right there at ringside.
It has that horrible match that doesn’t matter feel to it. Dolph looks good, as he has for months and I’ve already said many times he deserves better. Cena is hitting all his classic moves but nothing new tonight.
Why on Earth are the fans chanting Cena Cena to hype him up when he is in control of the match. He has Dolph in a headlock, there is no need to chant extra support for him.
Big E jumps up and gets a cheap shot in on Cena but he still kicks out. Also, still no announcers. Which might be taking me out of the match more than I realize.
Back from commercial and we have some sound! ’Bout time!
Now when John is down in a headlock, no chants. Dolph shows off and its a great twist on a classic move. But Cena powers out, he brushes off a kick, AJ distracts and Dolph hits a beautiful dropkick and still Cena kicks out. AJ slaps Cena and he sells for that more than he did the dropkick. The referee tosses AJ and Big E out from ringside. Well, at least Cena wont beat 3 people with ease now. He’s still far too Super-Cena tonight for any fans of Ziggler.
I thought for a second I would be wrong. For a moment Dolph hits a great axe kick and it looks like he will get the much needed and necessary win. But no. Super Cena. 5 Moves of Doom and Dolph sneaks out of it. Still for only a two count.
It shouldn’t be so hard to explain. If someone looks undefeatable and almost always is, then the fans wont get emotionally invested in the matches.
Cena gets to do his catch and roll through move. Dolph still fights back and still gets only a two count. They start trading punches and at least Cena knows how to sell these. Dolph jumps on his back and locks on the sleeper hold. And its a great one and still Cena fights out of it. But this time the referee gets knocked down. Cena locks on the STF and the referee is still down. Big E runs down, takes out Cena and drags Dolph on top. John Cena is literally knocked out of his shoes. Another referee runs down and Cena still kicks out!
John Cena pops right up and hits an AA for the pin. Fuckin A. This is some horrible booking. There is no way to feel any drama in a Cena match. No build up for Dolph who has been losing each and every week (with very few exceptions). I like Cena I do. A lot. But if the hero isn’t knocked down then no one cares when he comes back.
At least he doesn’t have the title.
Eve Torres (Divas champion) vs. Kaitlyn.
Again! Alright, to be fair Kaitlyn has gotten a LOT better in 2012. Eve has had her moments. Lets see if anything new happens here.
Eve works Kaitlyn’s leg. Kaitlyn powers out and then the referee tries to pause the match. .. so Kaitlyn can tie her shoes? Alright I guess. Oh, its just an attempt for cheap heel heat! Haven’t seen that one in awhile.
Mae Young jokes? And the hand thing again?
Kaitlyn hits a very big and strong side slam but only gets a two count out of it. She hits a second one that’s even stronger and still only a two.
Eve grabs her title and runs off. So we have a countout win for Kaitlyn. Well, I’m pretty sure there will be a PPV rematch then. Kaitlyn better win it. Four months of story for no title change? Its about time to switch this one up.
Also, huge amounts of credit to the moves Kaitlyn was pulling off. Just how strong is she?
Santino Marella talks to Ricky Steamboat. The Cobra and the Dragon. Both former Intercontinental champions, which brings in the current champ – Wade Barrett. Good heel promo and I think we’re going to see Santino get his ass kicked tonight.
Matt Striker interviews Randy Orton. Orton will be in the Royal Rumble. Well, he’s not doing much else right now. Turn him heel! Get it over with! 3MB interrupts and gets in Randy’s face. Also, all three will be in the Rumble as well. Goofy Drew McIntyre is one of my favorite things in WWE right now. Does he realize how hysterical he is?
Party…. Party…. We’re gonna have a gangsta party….
Team Hell No (WWE Tag Team Champions) vs. Team Rhodes Scholars.
There is some fantastic facial hair in this match. In fact, it would be hard to find a better batch of follicles in any other match in pro wrestling possibly all year.
Michael Cole tries to get over Daniel Bryan’s The Dazzler gimmick. I predict this to be just as successful as the Wildcat.
Some damn good wrestling on here. And oh look I feel drama because either team could win. Rhodes Scholars will have it at some point to be sure. Kane and Bryan may have had it long enough by now.
Damien drops the Elbow of Disdain. This will be the best elbow you see all night. Yes, yes I know who’s coming out later in the night. I still stand by that statement.
Unfortunately that might be the only one standing. Some great work from everyone but Kane, who has yet to be in the match. Daniel drops with a running knee to the floor and it looks like Hell No has this under control. Bryan comes off the top and pulls something in his knee. He can barely stand and cant fight back at all. Cody and Damien take advantage. They kick Kane down. Cody hits Cross Rhodes for the win and the betting pool has been reassessed to put these two at the top of the list of next champions.
Randy Orton vs. Heath Slater (with Jinder Mahal and Drew McIntyre).
The story is barely this match, and more about Randy taking offense to Sheamus’s comments. Alright, Randy vs. Sheamus and we’ll have an Orton heel turn. Where he belongs.
Heath is doing a good job, but there is just no doubt about this match’s outcome. Orton easily fights off Slater, he knocks down the other two bandmates. An RKO seals it but damn was there anyone besides possibly Slater’s mom that thought he had a chance?
3MB tries to jump Orton but he hits two more RKOs and that’s it. Super Cena and Super Orton tonight. Raw is becoming Challenge of the Super Friends.
Santino Marella (with Ricky the Dragon Stemboat) vs. Wade Barrett (Intercontinental champion).
Maybe this will be the start of Ricky coming to the ring with any challenger to Wade. Could be interesting. Act as a mentor or a manager.
Wade controls the start of the match but Santino gets in one good move and starts to build up some momentum. Great comedy act that he is, we often forget that Santino is a fine wrestler as well. He could turn serious and get it done in there. Not tonight though. Wade avoids the Cobra and brings out the Bull Hammer. That’s all it takes for Barrett to keep the title.
Barrett teases bringing the Bull Hammer down on Steamboat but the Dragon bows up and doesn’t back down. Hmmmm, maybe this is going somewhere.
Matt Striker interviews Sheamus. 3MB walk past the interview and we have tonight’s next match all set up. If Sheamus destroys all three men as well then he and Orton are no doubt on a collision course. Starting off with a rousing rendition of anything you can do I can do better.
Antonio Cesaro (US Champion) vs. The Great Khali (with Natalya and Hornswoggle).
The Miz joins for commentary and is apparently setting up a feud with Antonio. Natalya is now nicknamed the Punjabi Princess. Because why would you have a Hart wrestle?
Antonio is doing a great job of taking down Khali. Its rare for Cesaro to be the smaller man, but here we are. He’s chopping down the tree and fighting a well thought out match.
Damn that was good. There is no way. No!
Antonio picks up Khali for the Neutralizer! Holy crap! And someone’s career was just made.
Sure he’s a heel but he’s never done anything heel actions. He’s just an asshole on the mic and a star in the ring. The fans are going to remember that move for years and years to come.
Paul Heyman is on the phone. Some things never change. Brad Maddox shows up and the two have a bit of a disagreement of ideas. Brad gets the brush off and its a harsh one. When the heels don’t want you, what sort of low creature are you?
Sheamus vs. Jinder Mahal.
Alright, I’ll predict Sheamus controls most of the match. 3MB will try to turn the match to their favor but fail. Sheamus gets a very decisive win. Then he hits Brogue Kicks on Slater and Drew just for fun.
Eh, for the most part I’m right. Close enough anyways. Sheamus won if you couldn’t guess.
I like these 3MB matches but two in a row like this, both against former champions, just seemed a bit too much like the same thing twice. And that same thing was a glorified squash match.
CM Punk (WWE Champion, with Paul Heyman) vs. Ryback.
Sure, we all expect CM Punk to win. That’s part of the whole reason the Rock is there tonight. But how this plays out and what Punk will do intrigues me. It intrigues all fans. He has an anything can happen aura around him. This is the difference between Punk and Cena.
This is just good ole’ fashioned wrestling fun here. Punk has all the best heel qualities. You hate that he can wrestle. He’s cheating his way out of things. Taking every advantage. Then there is the Ryback. Just a frickin’ beast. It seems so simple to suplex your opponent on a ladder during a TLC match, yet the amount of time and the impact of these simple moves make them that much bigger.
Punk and Ryback are just destroying the ringside area. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a match like this on Raw. Its aggressive, its important, there’s tons of plunder. The announcers so often say that its the biggest main event in Raw history, but this one just may be. One of the biggest for sure.
Ryback almost loses an ankle, but moves in time. Unfortunately this causes Punk to injure the just healed knee and the fans shift. What was a match now becomes a possible title change. You can hear the fans gasps. Maybe something will happen tonight.
Ryback goes through a table on the outside and Punk hopes to climb the ladder before Ryback comes to.
Punk almost has the belt but Ryback climbs the other side. Ryback knocks Punk down then knocks the ladder down. If that’s not enough, Ryback press slams Punk onto the ladder and bends it! The ladder cant stand up straight anymore. Its only connecting to the mat with 3 legs, and one of those barely counts.
Ryback is in the corner and Punk goes for the trademark bulldog, buy Ryback tosses him over the ropes and through the table everyone forgot about! Oh I really do love when they set up a table and then don’t come back to it until much later in the match.
Ryback starts to climb and its looking like a new champion will be crowned. He has one hand on the belt when the lights go off. What the hell? Oh, we all should have expected this one. The lights come back on and the Shield is in the ring. Ryback can fight them off for a bit but the numbers prove to be too much. The Shield swarms and takes Ryback off the ladder all the way down to the floor.
The Shield puts Ryback trough a table and into the ring steps. Punk still isn’t up but I don’t see Ryback getting back up any time soon.
Punk struggles to climb the ladder but about half way up he realizes that there is no way Ryback is getting up. If you’re ever asked to show how someone can climb a ladder in a cocky arrogant style look no further than this man and this moment. Really one of his more asshole-ish poses in his career. And of course I love it.
Matt Striker interviews CM Punk after his hard fought victory. CM Punk promises another pipe bomb tonight.
Daniel Bryan and Kane argue. Vickie Guerrero interrupts and lets them know Doctor Shelby will be back next week to check up on their anger management issues. That could be interesting. What about Scorpio Sky? Will he return as well?
Big Show (World champion) vs. Kofi Kingston.
Another match after that main event and before the Rock? That seems weird. Oh. Big Show just punched Kofi about ten seconds into the match and has already pinned him. So that was the point. Alright, not too bad. Lets see where this goes with Del Rio too.
No one has held the WWE title longer than CM Punk during the entire history of Raw. Now that is a different spin on this reign that I think makes it even more impressive.
CM Punk comes out before the Rock is even introduced and even through the TV we can feel the tension. Punk reminds us of the Pipe Bomb. He is still true to the spirit of that night, but with the heel slant to it as well. I’m already sold on this as a good promo. But will it be as good as that memorable first one? Lets see.
Holy shit this is good. Saying guys like Daniel Bryan and Brodus Clay are being burdened with their goofy face gimmicks is true. I did not expect the Lil Jimmy burial and subsequent shout out for Tyson Kidd.
He veers off a bit too much into heel land. Punk being told they need to go to commercial break seems a bit forced. Yet, it happens. So far there was a great opening line and hopefully some great banter will be ahead from Punk vs. Rock.
Punk continues to put down the fans and finally the Rock comes out. I mean, I don’t care that he’s out but finally I get to see this happen.
“Cookie Puss”. Fuckin A. Poor Punk. But he took it and owned it right away. And I will give credit to the Rock for that one.
Punk Eye the sailor man.
“It doesn’t matter if you matter”.
There are some great lines from Rock, I’ll admit it. But its the craft of it. Rock is one liners but Punk is a story teller. And I appreciate the story method better.
“Your arms are just too short to box with God.” Holy fuck that was a good line. Punk was losing me with all the baseball references. I was going to give this to Rock but wow that was a fantastic line.
This ended how it had to. Rock going over and a Rock Bottom to close it out. After Punk hit the GTS last time you know it had to be this way. Some damn good promos are ahead. We all know Rock will win the title and go on to WrestleMania. But I’m excited to see how they get there.