The WWE is very sensitive when it comes to criticism of their Wellness Policy. Yet their actions regarding the suspension of R-Truth will do them no favors in defending their policy. Getting a false test back the day after Survivor Series was incredible luck or a big sign of company inconsistency.
In case you haven’t heard, Ron Killings aka: R-Truth is suspended for 30 days due to a Wellness Policy violation by the WWE. The suspension was announced Tuesday morning, two days after the WWE Survivor Series, and a day after RAW. The timing of this announcement has raised a lot of eye brows to say the least.
The biggest irony here is that the WWE suspended tag team champion Evan Bourne a few weeks ago for a Wellness Policy violation. While the WWE does not announce the specific drug that tested positive, it is believed that Bourne tested positive for synthetic marijuana. The hit to Bourne was huge as he missed a very lucrative European tour and a huge payday at Survivor Series. Maybe that is why Bourne didn’t go away for 30 days quietly.
Dave Meltzer reported that the controversy arose when it was discovered that Bourne was at a party with other WWE wrestlers using this particular drug. According to Meltzer, some of these wrestlers were guys higher on the card (who isn’t these days) of the tag team champion. Take a wild guess at who that guy was?
It would appear that Ron Killings would be that guy. Dave had speculated on his podcast before this suspension even took place that another guy from the Survivor Series main event was with Bourne that night, smoking the same stuff. Jeff Peck and I even had a fun time with that news on our podcast, “guessing” as to who that guy could be. It appears it was Killings.
The WWE can play with this all that they want, but this stinks to the highest levels of WWE conspiracies. By all rights, the WWE can book a guy before he starts his suspension in order to write him out of television. However, Bourne was suspended three weeks ago. That means that the WWE continued to book Killings on TV, the European tour, and the pay per view, probably giving him his highest payday of his career, all because he was in the main-event. That is hardly what I’d call a consistent Wellness Policy.
Here is the deal. Either suspend guys or don’t suspend them. I personally could care less whether someone gets popped for synthetic marijuana or not. However, it is not fair to take a guy off the shows for it, while continuing to promote your headliners for the same infraction. I can’t imagine the WWE locker room feeling that happy with this latest turn of events.
The other thing I don’t get it here, is why was Ron Killings that important? Couldn’t they have taken someone else and put him in his spot? Nobody cared about who The Rock was wrestling, they just wanted to see him wrestle. It just seems like a pointless consolation by Vince McMahon, especially with the can of worms it will and likely has opened up. Believe me, I don’t think one person who was buying the Survivor Series would have changed their plans because R-Truth wasn’t on the show.
The kicker in all of this is that not only did Truth stick around to collect those paydays while the WWE continued cashing in on him as a main-eventer, but he’ll come back an even bigger star! The injury angle will make him a bigger star and a top babyface.
-If I may have the freedom to rant here, back when someone like Stone Cold Steve Austin or The Rock won the WWE Title, it was something that you and your buddies talked about at work or school the next day. Last night, CM Punk, the current WWE Merchandise Champion, was given a healthy win over Alberto Del Rio in Survivor Series’ semi-main, and became WWE Champion for the second time. Of course, the moment was forgotten within minutes, as all of the focus was now on The Rock and John Cena, the former in a cameo role, the latter as a good talent whose interminable push has jaded more than half of the fanbase, despite being marketed as the Hogan/Austin/Rock archetype. While the fans assiduously spent the summer clamoring for Punk to get Vince McMahon’s eye, the boss seems content to try and shatter buyrate records with Cena/Rock, which it might possibly. But while Vince is focused on one event, he’s ignoring the buttress of talent and booking underneath that are needed to sustain longterm growth. If he’s wondering why Raw can’t do ratings over a 4.0 anymore, maybe he should take a gander at something other than the main event scene, and Twitter, and work to build a stronger total brand. Relegating Punk’s big moment at MSG as an afterthought, one that lacked the chatter of an Austin or Rock moment from over a decade ago, just isn’t smart business. Maybe tonight they can make the win mean more, but based on recent patterns, I won’t hold my breath.
-Live from Hershey, PA, the land of chocolate.
Opening Segment: CM Punk – New WWE Champion
Punk regales us with the story of “first grader” Phil Brooks, who proclaimed he wanted to be a professional wrestler when he grew up. He notes that he didn’t say “sports entertainer”, so that insider ship hasn’t sailed yet, apparently. Punk has also promised that the game of “Hot Potato” for the WWE title is over with, and that the championship is his to keep. Punk declares himself the “New Face of WWE”, whether or not the office likes it. Punk also promises to be an ‘agent of change’ for WWE as Champion, demanding his ice cream bars, but more important: he wants Johnny Ace fired. This brings Ace out, not understanding what the champ’s issue is with him. Punk compares Ace to Lumberg from Office Space, making me smile. Ace books Del Rio-Punk for next week, which Punk shrugs off, asking if he can have it now. Ace says tonight, instead, Punk will face Dolph Ziggler, champ vs. champ. Punk lambasts Ace for that call, saying the fans don’t want to see that. Fans chant “WE WANT RYDER”, so Punk demands that Ziggler defend his US Title against Ryder. Ace says Ryder is facing Del Rio instead. Punk nonchalantly declares that he’s going to beat Ziggler, then beat Del Rio then, one day….someone is going to beat Ace. I wonder who? SEGMENT RATING: 8/10. I like it. My earlier rant may come in handy if they drop the ball, but for now, it makes Punk look like the undisputed face of the show, and it gives him room to work with it.
Match 1: Alberto Del Rio vs. Zack Ryder
Nice touch with Ryder decking Ricardo during the introductions just to get a WWWYKI in. Ryder plays plucky underdog early on, with Del Rio working the arm. Booker takes up for “Z-Ryde” by bringing up his US Title petition being one of the most signed in “internet history”. How could they know that? Ryder misses a Ruff Ryder, and takes an enzuigiri and cross armbreaker for the quick loss. WINNER: Alberto Del Rio via Cross Armbreaker RATING: 4/10. I realize Del Rio had to look strong, but it too short to reward fan interest in Ryder.
Match 2: Sheamus vs. Jack Swagger
Their match was fun last week, and they had an issue from last night (Sheamus DQed for ignoring a count, so he took Swagger out with the Brogue Kick out of anger), so hey….CONTINUITY! Sheamus dominates with strikes in the early going, and the camera work makes me think Sheamus is going to attempt a plancha. Perish the thought. Match slows down unexpectedly, and Swagger works submissions while Vickie shrieks a lot. I can only imagine her screams when she saw just how much Botox her daughter put into her forehead. Match drags a bit in Swagger’s double tiger armlock, but Sheamus powers out and mounts the standard big man comeback. Crowd is sadly dying after such a hot opening. Bust out the plancha, Sheamus! Counter of moves leads to an ankle lock for Swagger, bringing the crowd to life. Sheamus escapes, and the Brogue Kick kills Swagger dead. Crowd loved it. WINNER: Sheamus via Brogue Kick RATING: 5/10. Picked up near the end. Down from last week’s effort, but it served the purpose of keeping the Sheamus train rolling.
NOTE: WWE ’12 has “predator technology”. I can’t wait to shapeshift in the jungle in kill Jesse Ventura.
Talk Segment: Kevin Nash
Nash admits he watched Survivor Series, after much stumbling over his words. Seriously, just ditch the scripts and let the talent talk naturally. Nash reminisces about his history at MSG (Beating Backlund, Curtain Call), and talks about how Triple H changed. Nash is now yelling, which is putting his patella tendons at risk. Nash ends the short speech by saying he was the real survivor of the Kliq. Okay. SEGMENT RATING: 2/10. Nash gets two puts for not having a spinal stroke and blowing out both knees trying to steady the mic. Sometimes it’s good to reward small things.
Match 3: Cody Rhodes vs. Santino Marella (non title match)
Rhodes begins with a speech about how losing the mask has unbound his confidence, and he adds that wonderful devilish laugh to punctuate it. If any of you could get me that Santino gi-shirt for Christmas, I’d greatly appreciate it. Cross Rhodes finishes quick. WINNER: Cody Rhodes via Cross Rhodes RATING: 2/10. A noble squash, but the show’s beginning to lose steam.
Afterward, Rhodes tells off Booker T at ringside and attacks him with a beverage, before Rhodes leaves without further incident. Rhodes and Booker? I’m down. Especially if it reunites Book-Dust.
Match 4: CM Punk vs. Dolph Ziggler (non title)
If this match goes twenty-five minutes, the show gets an automatic thumbs up. Ziggler now has a remixed version of his Downstait theme, which still sounds awesome. It’s like Saliva without a disgusting fat guy singing. Match begins with a mat sequence and feeling out process while the crowd chants for Punk. Sequence ends with something resembling a stand-off as Ziggler bails. Different from a typical World Title match on Raw, at least. Ziggler takes control and the crowd chants for Punk some more. Ziggler works a chinlock, and Punk escapes, but takes a shot to the gut for 2. Punk countered a neckbreaker with a backslide for 2. Ziggler then applies a Crippler Crossface, but Punk manages to escape. Vickie blows a kiss at Punk to try and distract him. Punk has none of it, but ends up going knee first into the corner. Ziggler does a headstand to show off as we go to commercial. Back from break, Ziggler works another chinlock, and the crowd buzzes for Punk. Punk escapes, and deals a wicked back kick to the gut (“AWWWWWWW” says the crowd). Ziggler counters a GTS into a sleeperhold. Punk escapes, but Ziggler gets a sunset roll for 2 when the ref sees him using the ropes. Punk adds a cradle for 2. Zig Zag blocked, and Punk gets the knee/bulldog combo for 2. Ziggler rolls away before Punk can attempt the Savage elbow, and catches a pursuant Punk with a SICK dropkick for a close 2. To the top rope, where Ziggler looks for a superplex, but Punk resists with punches and knocks Dolph off. Savage elbow follows for 2, and the crowd was BUYING that as the pin. Ziggler manages an inverter powerslam for 2, and the crowd is hanging on every big move. Ziggler gets frustrated and angrily stomps away, but a mistake leads to the GTS and the pin. WINNER: CM Punk via Go to Sleep RATING: 10/10. A damn good match, about ****-****1/4 if you ask the nerdtastic side of me. Punk and Ziggler are to 2011 what Bret and Perfect are to 1991. They are the heart and soul of WWE.
Talk Segment: Big Show
Unless Show sings “Cara Mia” out of his rectum, he’s not topping Punk and Ziggler. Unless he reenacts the top rope elbow, of course. Show brags about Henry being carted out with the busted ankle, but says that Henry may not have a broken ankle after all. If that’s the case, Show has the WMD waiting for him. SEGMENT RATING: 5/10. Enjoyable and to the point. You know, I approve of this new method of cutting promos. It’s like the old style of “stand-up studio promos” from WWF Challenge, but on the stage in front of the crowd. They’re effective.
Match 5: Wade Barrett vs. Kofi Kingston
I also love the insert promos, as well as the way Barrett says “Berritt Barr-odge”. Barrett and Kingston have an early exchange and Wade gets the upper hand, attempting Wasteland before Randy Orton makes his way out as a distraction. Barrett becomes apprehensive as we hit the commercial. Back to action and Barrett’s wearing Kingston down, despite Orton’s looming presence. Barrett manages to hit a beautiful twisting sidewalk slam, similar the Black Hole Slam, for 2. Kingston’s taking a lengthy beating, so it’d be kind of cheap if he won, especially if Barrett winds up just being fodder for Orton to pummel. Match slows to a near crawl, as the crowd is merely waiting for Orton to somehow screw Barrett over. Barrett is floored by a low bridge, and Kofi compounds it with a head first suicide dive, sparking things a bit. Back inside, Barrett attempts a top rope Wasteland, but gets shoved off and Kofi lands a cross body for 2. Boom Drop connects. Barrett lands Wasteland after Kofi awkwardly falls off the ropes and….gets the win? Hey, color me surprised. Barrett and Orton share a staredown, which is better than the usual “50/50” booking I was anticipating. Barrett rubs his victory in Orton’s face afterward, and the crowd chants for Orton to get in there and attack. Instead, Orton glares at him and makes a small lunge, but nothing more, before leaving. WINNER: Wade Barrett via Wasteland RATING: 6/10. A good TV match despite the slow spots. I think the Orton/Barrett payoff will be better than their matches from a year ago.
Main Event Interview: John Cena
Cena gets a nice smattering of cheers with the usual boos tonight. Cena puts over Punk and Ryder, which seems a tad bit condescending, or even like he’s trolling for love. But with that said, Cena gets to the main topic: he and The Rock. Yada yada yada Survivor Series ends with a Rock Bottom. Cena goes to hype WrestleMania, and The Awesome Truth interrupt. Miz and Truth waste no time mocking Cena for the fans rallying behind Rock over him. “You say you can’t see me; last night: NOBODY wanted to see you” – Miz. Cena seems to be taking more exception than usual to Miz and Truth’s mockery of him, and comes back with some rather catty insults. Cena then says that nobody cares about Miz and Truth, and goes to shoot each man’s ego into the toilet with a reality check. In a weird ending, Cena serves them both and “reveals” what Miz and Truth REALLY think of each other before leaving, allowing Miz and Truth to argue it out in the ring. Miz shoves Truth, and Truth shoves Miz down. Miz tries to reason with Truth that Cena’s playing them against each other, and they rush backstage to get Cena, but on the way up the ramp, Miz spikes Truth with the Skull Crushing Finale.
SEGMENT RATING: 6/10. Enjoyable, but would mean more if Miz and Truth hadn’t been partners for a scant three months. Also, there’s no payoff for the angle where Ace kept letting them back into the building. It feels like a few months worth of TV has been flushed away.
OVERALL: Almost no dull spots tonight, and a hell of a Punk-Ziggler match to boot. I’m looking forward to the two title matches next week, as well as the Orton/Barrett feud, and seeing where they take the Awesome Truth split from here. It’s wrestling, not rocket science, and WWE has delivered for two straight nights. Let’s try and keep it this way.
-Apologies for skipping out last week. Eric didn’t want to accept my hybrid Eagles game/Raw rant review, so I just missed Raw entirely and got to watch my Eagles blow another fourth quarter lead. Lesson learned: spurning Eric Gargiulo has dire consequences. Ask Jimmy Hoffa. Oh yeah, I went there.
-Also, with Raw in Boston tonight, there is an “Occupy WWE” movement taking place outside the TD Garden, and I’m speaking with the ringleader via Twitter. It may seem a bit silly, but it’s certainly more topical and less stare than some of the hackneyed bile that Vince McMahon and Kevin Dunn have been regurgitating. The movement can be found here (http://occupywwe.tumblr.com/) and their Twitter here (http://twitter.com/OccupyWWE). If anything timely happens in tonight’s demonstration, I’ll insert it in the rant. Until then, give the folks a follow. They seem earnest enough.
-Live from Boston, former home of Jonathan Papelbon.
Opening Segment: Michael Cole Challenge
Finally, we get the payoff for this inanity. Hopefully, this ends Vince McMahon’s raging hard-on for embarrassing Jim Ross, but I won’t count my chickens. The first challenge is arm wrestling, which should be for Jesse Ventura’s trophy. After mucho stalling by Cole, Ross firmly slams his hand down in a millisecond. The next contest is a dance competition, and Cole….well, he dances better than Vince. Then again, comatose homing pigeons can dance better than Vince. Jim Ross decides to get low to amusement of no one (well, maybe it was KINDA humorous….) and the crowd easily votes him the winner. The last contest is a “Who Weighs Less” contest, since Cole is the heel, stacking the contest and all. Cole weighs in at 200 lbs, whereas JR weighs 239. Cole declares himself the winner, but CM Punk (the new Stone Cold, I called it) makes his way out. Punk says that Cole was just going to stack the contest and waste everyone’s time, because everyone knows that JR is a better announcer than Cole. Punk says he wants Cole gone, because Raw is getting unbearable. As Punk continues the dress-down, Johnny Ace makes his way out to chastise Punk, and Punk offers a hearty “screw you”. Ace makes Punk and Big Show vs. Del Rio and Mark Henry for tonight. I wonder if they remember that Punk and Show were enemies last year. Cole wants an apology from Punk, and gets an Anaconda Vice instead. I guess this means we get JR. SEGMENT RATING: 7/10. Hey, it showcased Cole at his snarky finest, and it was better than the usual Cena talk segments. Different can be good.
Oh, and Mick Foley is back. So much for those interviews he did in 2008 saying he didn’t need WWE, the Hall of Fame, etc.
Match 1: Sin Cara/Kofi Kingston vs. Cody Rhodes/Hunico
It’s like Survivor Series Showdown from 1990, except not. I dig Hunico’s “Konnan in 1997” look, but hopefully he has an actual work ethic. Dual planchas from “Sinful Paradise” takes us into commercial. Back from break and Cody is in control on Cara. We learn that “MICK FOLEY” is trending on Twitter. Then again, so is “GOT AIDS”. What can I infer from this? Cara finally manages the hot tag, and Kingston and Rhodes go at it, with Kofi hitting the sky high cross body. Give these two a few months to feud over the IC title and you can REALLY resurrect the belt. Rhodes steals the match with the Cross Rhodes. WINNERS: Cody Rhodes and Hunico via Cross Rhodes RATING: 5/10. Just hype for Survivor Series and nothing more.
Match 2: Dolph Ziggler vs. Mason Ryan (non title match)
In a perfect world, Ziggler beats Ryan in 14 seconds when Mason tears both quads while sneezing. Also, Johnny Ace throws JR out and allows Cole his seat back, just so the fans have less to enjoy. Ryan overpowers Ziggler to Vince McMahon’s faptastic joy, but certainly not the crowd’s. Vickie slaps Ryan and draws the cheap DQ. At least Ziggler wasn’t pinned. John Morrison heaves Dolph Ziggler back into the ring, and Ryan nearly blows a full nelson slam, almost breaking Ziggler’s neck. Send that clown back for more training. WINNER: Mason Ryan via DQ RATING: 1/10. Mason Ryan is as useless as an umbrella in a fiery apocalypse.
In Ring Segment: Mick Foley’s Return
Hey, that guy who swore off WWE in 2008 and promised to help TNA reach the promised land came back without an ounce of reprisal from people calling him out on his hypocrisy! That NEVER happens! Foley hypes up The Rock and John Cena (who gets booed in his hometown), and basically panders to try and get the crowd to cheer for Cena. Wonder if he misses hanging around Curry Man and Shark Boy yet. Anywho, Cena makes his way out. Cena says that Rock isn’t his friend, but Foley seems hellbent on trying to get them to mend fences. Foley goes as far as to list off Cena’s backstage acumen of respect, and the crowd is still lukewarm on cheering him. Foley: “I think you’re one of the very best to ever step inside this ring”. Crowd: “BOOOOOOOOO!” Anyway, it turns into John Cena’s “This Is Your Life” and I don’t forsee the 8.1 rating that the Rock one from 1999 got being matched. This montage of Cena childhood footage is making me sleepy. Voice #1 comes from Cena’s old little league coach, and I have no patience right now. The punchline: Cena struck out in a crucial situation. Can we call him C-Rod? Voice #2: BULL “BLING BLING” BUCHANAN! I TAKE IT BACK! SEGMENT OF THE YEAR! Bull calls Cena his best partner ever. I don’t know, you also teamed with Stevie Richards AND Sniper. Anyway, Bull’s life apparently went down the hopper, and it ended when his dog gave him rabies. Man, that’s tough luck! Voice #3 is John Cena Sr, who sounds eerily just like him. Cena Sr chastises the fans for chanting “Cena Sucks” and points out his boy’s work ethic. Cena Jr, however, downplays the crowd hate, as he usually does in his typical “aw shucks” fashion. Finally, The Rock comes out, drops Foley, and simply leaves. Uhh…..that’s the payoff? SEGMENT RATING: 5/10. Had some comedy value until the pointless ending. That was twenty five minutes of wasted time, except for Bull’s funny downfall and Cena Sr’s spirited speech.
Match 3: Sheamus vs. Jack Swagger
Now THIS could be fun if they give it time. Even if it’s short, give me “spirited”. Power match to begin, with Sheamus getting the upper hand. After the throwback fun of Crimson and Matt Morgan at Turning Point last night, I wouldn’t mind some more “hoss brawls” to spice things up, as long as the talent is there. Swagger comes back after the commercial with some vicious shoulderblocks, and then tries to wear down Sheamus with submissions. Sheamus comes back and mauls Swagger with a corner attack and powerslam for 2. Swagger escapes the Celtic Cross and gets the pump splash, followed by the ankle lock, but Sheamus kicks his way out. Irish Curse backbreaker, followed by the Brogue Kick for the decisive win. WINNER: Sheamus via Brogue Kick RATING: 7/10. Give these two a longer match. As I said, a power brawl with the right people is usually fun to watch. This was a nice teaser.
Match 4: Natalya vs. Kelly Kelly
Kelly Kelly is so over with the crowd, which is why she has to wear a Tom Brady cutoff jersey. Because she’s so over, you know. Natalya tries the Sharpshooter, Kelly cradles her and pins her in under a minute. Yeah. WINNER: Kelly Kelly via cradle RATING: 0/10. At least I have Velvet Sky, Gail Kim, Winter, and Mickie James on Thursdays
Match 5: Alberto Del Rio & Mark Henry vs. CM Punk & Big Show
Del Rio attacked Punk in the locker room before the match to try and derail him before Survivor Series. If they’re serious about pushing Punk, he’ll just shake it off like Cena does with every beatdown he’s received since 2006. Punk comes out holding the arm, but no else worse for wear. Fair enough. Huge CM Punk chant, the most the crowd has been alive in an hour. Show and Del Rio kick it off, and Show simply dominates. Punk comes in and maims Del Rio. Kinda question having this match for free so early. Double tags bring in the other World Title participants. Slower hoss fight ensues. Show throws Henry down to a sizeable cheer. Match slows down as Show becomes monster-in-peril. Show manages to fight Henry off and tries for the WMD, but Henry tags Del Rio, who refuses to enter as we hit a commercial. Back from break and Henry is tagged in to stomp Punk, who obviously was beaten down during the adverts. Punk ends up taking a nasty tilt a whirl backbreaker from Del Rio. Punk and Show go all Gumblel to Gumbel on the heels, but Henry catches Punk with the WSS. Show fights Henry away, and Del Rio steals the pin. Guess Punk’s winning Sunday then? *sigh* another quick change? Del Rio adds the Cross Armbreaker afterward to further injure the shoulder. WINNERS: Alberto Del Rio and Mark Henry via World’s Strongest Slam RATING: 6/10. Formula, but decent.
In Ring Segment: Santino Marella
Great, MORE talking. I do dig Marella’s modified gi t-shirt, though. Marella talks about how close he was to winning the Royal Rumble in this city earlier in the year. As he vows to avenge his Rumble loss, Kevin Nash makes his way out. Great. Nash requests a trombone and punks Marella out as he attempts one. Great, the crowd’s cheering Nash. When he’s holding the title, you can blame Boston. He complains about not getting hired, despite the crowd loving him in Boston, and he Jackknifes Marella. Well worth the time! SEGMENT RATING: 2/10. I think my watch is broken, like both of Nash’s kneecaps.
Main Event (I Guess): Wade Barrett vs. Randy Orton.
Barrett brings out Rhodes, Swagger, Ziggler, and Hunico, while Orton has Sheamus, Sin Cara, Kingston, and Ryan. I wish we could go back to the all Survivor format one year, but this match has potential. 3 to 1 odds Ryan and/or Sheamus get DQed. Glad to see Orton, Kingston, and Sheamus are all friends now. Barrett dominates early, but we’re just stalling until we get to Rock’s segment at the end, so look for a schmozz. Sure enough, Orton takes over and gets the elevated DDT, followed by his spastic viper taunt. Everyone hits the ring for the schmozz DQ, clearly. Faces clean house, just to build to Survivor Series. WINNER: No contest RATING: 4/10. Sheer build and nothing more.
Actual Main Event: The Rock Talks
Justin Roberts gives The Rock the worst possible intro ever. We get it, Kevin Dunn likes Roberts’ cheekbones and peppiness. Rock smiles, because he knows he’s catching a flight back to Inglewood in forty-five minutes. Rock highlights his day for everyone interested, and panders more than he usually does. Rock hits the Cena insults while the fans chant “THANK YOU ROCK”, and then he coerces a “BOOTS TO ASSES” chant. I’m noticing a difference in eras here, in terms of how much freedom performers had thirteen years ago to work the crowds. Rock calls out Awesome Truth, and Miz immediately hits him with the “Reallys”. Truth calls tonight’s Raw a joke, thus making him my temporary hero. Miz threatens Rock with a beating, but balks on doing it now, preferring to do it at Survivor Series. Cena arrives for the High Noon moment, finally putting all four in the ring together. Cena trashes Rock for his ‘via satellite’ messages, and Rock fires back by mocking Cena’s young fanbase, then threatens an ass-whooping. Cena brings it around to them having to team up, and if Rock gets out of line, Cena promises to bitch slap. Miz interjects, having enough of Rock and Cena hogging the limelight. A fight ensues, and R-Truth eats a Rock Bottom, as does Miz, which totally makes me want to order Survivor Series. Rock and Cena have a staredown to end it.
SEGMENT RATING: 6/10. Some lines were funny, but it’s quite counterproductive. We get it, more people will order to see Rock wrestle than to see a competitive match, but can’t WWE just lie a little and give the heels the benefit of the doubt?
OVERALL: These three hour shows need to stop. You could have fit most of the better stuff into two hours just fine, without the This is Your Life segment, or some of the matches involving those in the elimination match. For something hyped as a special Raw, it sure didn’t feel special.
RAW kicked off with the face of the WWE, John Cena, out to a surprisingly negative reaction. I guess the Liverpool fans are anti Cena unlike the fans back home in the states. Unsurprisingly, Cena discusses the WrestleMania 28 ticket sales and the absence of Survivor Series tag team partner, The Rock. Cena states that Rock will be on RAW live next week in Boston, Massachusetts.
We’re promoting next week’s RAW at the start of this show?
Cena discusses the “importance” of the first RAW in Liverpool and intends on creating some magic. Cena then mentions Awesome Truth and his mystery partner he penned as a future hall of famer. Awesome Truth interrupts with Miz cutting his typical promo. Mizanin mentions Awesome Truth’s recent attacks on Cena and their matchup at WrestleMania 27. Man, was this guy stumbling in this promo.
Miz wants to leave a lasting impression while Truth discusses the Little Jimmies while informing Cena that he’s going to get got at Survivor Series.
They argue with Cena putting over his mystery partner like a million bucks. As Awesome Truth is preparing to attack Cena, Zack Ryder intervenes. A short brawl ensued with Truth getting a Rough Ryder.
Yeah, who’s surprised that it was Ryder? However, it makes sense considering Awesome Truth destroyed Ryder two weeks ago.
Dolph Ziggler and Vickie Guerrero make their way towards the squared circle in what would undoubtedly be the match of the night. To my surprise, John Morrison is introduced as Ziggler’s opponent.
Dolph Ziggler vs. John Morrison
Initially, Ziggler and Morrison chain, with both competitors using a string of submissions. Ziggler dominates Morrison for the majority of the match while JoMo is showing signs of his ECW wrestling style. Morrison, who has been labeled a spot monkey on occasion, was grounded through its entirety. Ziggler came off as a star as usual but I’m surprised that the crowd was split.
The commentators spent most of this match discussing twitter, Zack Ryder, and Morrison’s losing streak.
Shockingly, Morrison picks up the win after a crucifix.
Winner: John Morrison
I’m surprised Morrison picked up the win with the numerous stories of his departure making waves on the dirt sheets. It’s great that the WWE is digging this guy of the hole they put him in. On the other hand, Dolph came off as a star yet again but I don’t think we can classify his loss as a losing streak yet. I expect Morrison to be inserted into the Ryder/Ziggler match at Survivor Series for the U.S. Championship.
They formally announce Team Barrett vs. Team Orton for Survivor Series. I’m confused as to why it’s Team Barrett instead of Rhodes or Christian. Wasn’t Orton feuding with Rhodes?
Mason Ryan vs. JTG
This was a typical squash match with Mason Ryan decimating JTG with a string of power moves before finishing him off with a full nelson slam.
Winner: Mason Ryan
There isn’t much to say about this matchup. I guess the WWE wanted to make Mason Ryan look strong by defeating someone who hasn’t appeared on RAW since being drafted there earlier this year.
We get a random Zack Ryder/Bella’s segment backstage with Ryder mentioning his main event tag team match with John Cena. The Bella’s join Ryder in a “woo woo woo” before we cut to commercial.
Michael Cole informs the audience that Jim Ross wasn’t allowed to travel with his BBQ sauce and the Michael Cole Challenge will take place next week. Yeah, I’m pretty sure fans care about that.
Alberto Del Rio makes his entrance and is facing Kofi Kingston for the tenth time this year.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Kofi Kingston
Kofi administers a small amount of offense but is eventually weakened by a missed suicide dive. Kofi is selling an arm injury with Del Rio focusing on it throughout the remainder of the matchup. Kofi battles back, utilizing his signature top rope cross body but misses a TIP attempt. Del Rio targets Kofi’s arm again before submitting Kingston with a botched cross arm breaker.
Winner: Alberto Del Rio
I can’t say I’m surprised Del Rio squashed Kingston. For one, Kingston is probably in hot water because of Evan Bourne’s wellness violation. Besides that, WWE is doing its best to draw heel heat for Del Rio but its not working.
Unsurprisingly, Del Rio commences his post match beat down, applying the cross arm breaker to Kingston again.
The Voice of the Voiceless, CM Punk, makes his way to the squared circle to a huge pop from the live audience.
Punk gives Del Rio a verbal thrashing with Del Rio complaining about the events of last week. Del Rio asks Punk to cancel the WWE Title match because Johnny Ace and David Otunga said he could. Punk reminds Del Rio that it was Kevin Nash’s actions that cost him the WWE Championship in the first place.
Del Rio commands respect because he’s the WWE Champion before Punk commends Del Rio as a great competitor but tells him that he’s one dimensional on the mic. He mentions Del Rio’s destinies while informing the WWE Champion that no one cares about him or what he says.
Del Rio says he doesn’t care before asking Punk to cancel the match. Berto attacks Punk after he declines but Punk fights him off before he can apply the cross arm breaker. Ricardo Rodriguez intervenes but taste another Go 2 Sleep.
This was a pretty good segment with Punk doing Del Rio on the microphone. You know, Del Rio tries so hard to pass himself off as the WWE Champion but I still feel he’s a glorified mid carder who should’ve spent more time in the mid card before rushed to the main event.
After a commercial break, WWE airs some footage of last week’s RAW. Swagger still has sour grapes due to his loss to lifetime jobber, Santino Marella.
Jack Swagger vs. Santino Marella
This was a joke match with both men administering a decent amount of offense. I guess JoMo wasn’t the only one watching ECW tape as Swagger pulled out his first finisher, the Blue Thunder Bomb. Santino fights back with his signature jabs and split before Swagger sends him flying into the ring post shoulder first.
Swagger applies the Ankle lock and Marella taps.
Winner: Jack Swagger
Why was this match on RAW? Couldn’t Swagger have taken on someone from the opposing Survivor Series team?
Anyway, Kelly Kelly is apparently on her way to the ring as we cut to a commercial.
Jerry Lawler introduces Kelly as the cover girl for the next issue of Maxim. Kelly discusses her time in the WWE and her determination to become a better WWE Diva. The Divas of Doom interrupt Kelly, referring to her as a Barbie doll. Kelly fires back, stating that she wouldn’t interrupt the DOD if they were on the cover on National Geographic.
Beth says that Kelly gives fans a false impression of what a WWE Diva is and informs Kelly that is crying time. The DOD evacuate as Alicia Fox (who apparently has gone through a Mr. Anderson turn) and Eve Torres intervene.
Alicia questions the DOD’s decision to leave as they’ll miss the unveiling. Eve and Alicia unveil the cover as we cut to a commercial.
This segment was unneeded and I felt I could’ve gone without it. This constant bullying of Kelly Kelly is forcing me to question the WWE’s decision to sponsor the Be A Star campaign.
John Laurinaitis introduces his latest signee in Kevin Nash as Big Daddy Cool thanks Funkman for bringing him back. Nash says that he doesn’t own anyone but Triple H an explanation for his actions. He discusses his history with Triple H and felt that he should’ve buried him back then. He says that HBK changed his opinion of Triple H and they allowed him to join the Kliq.
He talks about Hunter’s wedding, his return at the Rumble, and his proposition to bring back the Kliq to Triple H. Nash claims that Triple H ignored and betrayed him before claiming that the Game would be nothing without him.
If the promo wasn’t already a complete disaster, Nash continues his confused tirade. Big Daddy Cool mentions his contract, the attack on Triple H, and the fact that he could be Champion on any given night.
Kevin Nash apparently showed Triple H how to play the game.
I can’t speak for others but I felt this promo was absolutely dreadful. Nash seemed confused and discombobulated for the most part while failing to remain on one clearly subject. I often criticize the WWE for scripted promos but incidents like this call for them.
Finally, it’s time for the debut of Brodus Clay as another vignette airs.
David Otunga and John Laurinaitis are discussing Clay’s debut before Ace informs him that Brodus is special and he refuses to waste him in Liverpool.
CM Punk insults Ace, claiming he was ignorant to what the crowd wants. Punk mentions John’s plan with Alberto to cancel the WWE Title match before turning his attention to Otunga. Otunga tells Punk that the WWE Champion shouldn’t look like a guy that works at a gas station. Punk attacks Otunga but is quickly thwarted by Del Rio.
A brawl ensues with Punk being sent through the catering table. Del Rio hammers Punk until officials pull the Mexican Aristocrat away from the Chicago native.
I don’t have a problem with this segment. It explains the absence of Brodus Clay and gives Alberto a little momentum going in Survivor Series. I’d be lying if I said he didn’t need it as Punk has been dominating him physically and verbally since this feud started. David Otunga appearing backstage and not in the ring, he’s okay in my book.
Honestly, I would’ve rather watched Brodus destroy some random jobber instead of listening to Nash’s promo.
Awesome Truth vs. John Cena and Zack Ryder
This was a typical tag team matchup. Awesome Truth controlled a major portion of this match with Ryder and Cena getting in a significant amount of offense. The finish saw Cena hoist Miz up for the Attitude Adjustment only to have Miz counter it while Truth held Cena’s legs down for the win.
If Awesome Truth can’t beat Cena and Zack Ryder cleanly, what is the point of Survivor Series? The show does revolve around this one match.
Overall/Random thoughts: Though better than last week’s RAW, this episode was mediocre. Most of the matches featured were randomly thrown together while only two were produced to further storylines. I know the SD crew was touring elsewhere but the WWE could’ve swapped superstars for this edition. John Morrison vs. Dolph Ziggler was undoubtedly the match of the night. If you’re looking for something positive in terms of match quality, I recommend it (especially Morrison fans). I still feel Jack Swagger could’ve been used better tonight to further the impending 5 on 5 traditional Survivor Series matchup. Kofi Kingston shouldn’t be punished for the actions of his partner. The WWE should also address the tag team title situation as it would be foolish to ignore the division for thirty days. Zack Ryder in the main event is great considering he put himself in the position.
Since next week’s RAW is three hours and the go home show for Survivor Series, they should pull out every asset they have. Remember, this is one of the big four pay per views.
Be sure to check out my person blog here for articles on John Morrison, John Cena, CM Punk, Dolph Ziggler etc. You can also follow me on Twitter @HEELRiZE
-If I never say it in any other medium, I’ll say it here: Halloween 4, in which Michael Myers chases his niece and her adoptive family, is better than any of the Jamie Lee Curtis Halloween movies. The soundtrack is eerier, the kills are realistic yet disturbing, and the tension is top notch. There will be no debating this.
-Live from Atlanta, home of Sherman’s triumphant footprints.
Opening Segment: The Rock is…..Taped!
Rock discusses John Cena’s offer for partnership, and turns him down flat. Rock makes it clear that he’d rather slap Cena’s face than slap his hand. I have to admit, I never thought I’d hear the phrase, “The Rock’s Twitter”. But then Rock goes back on his words, and admits that he hates The Miz and R-Truth. So with that said, Rock comes around to accepting Cena’s challenge, strictly for “The People”. Crowd is rather silent for this momentous accepting, but Rock starts to win them over with jokes about Cena’s younger fanbase. But above all, Rock wants Cena to “witness” what he brings to the table, as an intimidation move. Then we hit the catchphrase, with a rather silent recitation from the Atlanta crowd. Maybe they remember how Rock got Sheamus and Daniel Bryan bumped from WrestleMania. Segment Rating: 5/10. Did what it was supposed to do, but geez, couldn’t he have filmed it at night to give the illusion that it was live? You’re better off just having a cardboard standup of Rock with piped in soundbytes.
Match 1: CM Punk vs. Mark Henry (non title match)
This seems like it’d be a marquee match, and now it’s a throwaway opener. Ahh, but here comes James Laurinaitis’ uncle, fresh after James and his cohorts dismantled the Saints for their first win. He says if Punk beats Henry, he gets his shot against Alberto Del Rio at Survivor Series. SCREWJOB FORTHCOMING. Crowd rallies behind Punk as he cuts Henry down with kicks and an aerial assault, complete with Savage elbow for two. Alberto and Ricardo make their way to ringside, and Ricardo slides in to attack Henry, thus getting Punk DQed. Well, at least they went a different route with the screwjob. Punk hits an angry tope onto Del Rio to vent his Pepsi-fueled frustration. Punk sends Ricardo into the ring, and Henry flattens Ricardo with the World’s Strongest Slam. Oh jeez, PLEASE don’t turn Henry face. Punk chases Del Rio off. Rating: 5/10. Was going alright until the screwy finish. I never thought I’d say this, but save us Kermit!
Segment: Kermit and Miss Piggy.
I never thought I would EVER type that in my life. Vickie Guerrero interrupts, along with Jack Swagger. Swagger threatens to eat both Muppets, Kermit refers to Vickie as Jack’s mother, she argues with Piggy, and then Santino comes out. My head hurts. Swagger assaulting Kermit while arguing with Santino is kinda funny. Santino announces that Dolph Ziggler is facing Zack Ryder, while Swagger will get him. Kermit and Piggy hitting the “WWWYKI” phrase will surely appease the hipster quotient. Segment Rating: 6/10. I have a feeling it’ll get old fast, though. Let the record show that Kermit sells better than Mason Ryan, and Miss Piggy has better verbal cadence than Eve Torres.
Match 2: WWE Divas Costume Battle Royal
Because being a woman in WWE is DIGNIFIED! AJ as Kitana = hawt. Bellas as Mario and Luigi is a nice touch, as is the fact that more than 3 woman are going for the title. Various divas get eliminated in succession. Beth Phoenix on commentary talking about diva match strategy = trying to find spiritual meaning in an episode of Real Housewives of NJ. Final four are Alicia, Kelly, Eve, and Natalya. And Alicia goes, then Kelly, then Natalya, making Eve the winner. Beth and Natalya tease dissension. WINNER: Eve Torres RATING: 2/10. Errr….I liked AJ’s costume.
Meanwhile, Beaker runs into Christian. I feel compelled to review this for some reason. Christian pouring out Bunsen’s concoction probably saved somebody from failing a Wellness Test. Yay Christian! Sheamus and Beaker have a family moment. Awwww.
Match 3: Air Boom vs. Cody Rhodes/Wade Barrett (non title)
Alright, I dig this. Cole: “It’s High Energy time!” Does that mean Kofi’s going to sing Piledriver while Evan’s wife holds a grudge? Kingston gets some early acrobatics on both opponents, but Rhodes floors him out of a double team. Barrett lands a sweet Black Hole Slam on Kingston for 2. Kingston plays the unlikely face in peril while Rhodes works him over in the corner. I have to say, they at least seem committed to presenting the tag team champions as much as possible. Heat segment extends, but Bourne is tagged in, which is largely ignored while Cole makes Muppet jokes. Bourne gets a sweet DDT out of Barrett’s Wasteland for 2. Barrett manages a second Wasteland after a Rhodes distraction to win. Christian runs in for some reason, and Sheamus runs in as well. Rhodes eats a Brogue Kick. WINNERS: Abbey Rhodes via Wasteland RATING: 6/10. No frills wrestling. Alrighty then.
Statler and Waldorf give us their usual antics in the skybox.
Match 4: Alberto Del Rio vs. Big Show (non title match)
Ricardo being injured and thus unable to introduce ADR only compounds a rough night thus far. I haven’t seen an Atlanta crowd this dead since the fingerpoke. Or have I? Who knows. Slow, plodding match is a hell of a way to start hour two. Crowd cares not for Show’s clotheslines and chokes. Del Rio forces Show to his knees with a sleeper, and the crowd FINALLY comes to life to chant for Show. Show somehow survives two minutes being strangled. Wrestling and physics have never been friends of any kind. The brawl goes to the floor, where Del Rio gains the edge. Back inside, kicks to the head can’t keep Show down. Del Rio works another lengthy sleeper, but Show escapes with a Samoan drop type break. Match is still slowing down, and we go to commercial. Just what we needed. We’re back in time to see Del Rio with a kneebar on Show. Kill me. Eric, just kill me. Show escapes and the match starts to pick up a smidge. Show finally ends with the Big Punch. CM Punk comes out, and he can’t even get the crowd to rejuvenate by merely showing up. Bad sign. He revives Del Rio with water, and then threatens him with the Anaconda Vise until he agrees to the Survivor Series match. Del Rio agrees under duress, and Punk finally pops the crowd. The mic is dead, so Punk takes another and reveals ADR’s concession. WINNER: Big Show via Big Punch RATING: 3/10. One point was for Punk saving the day.
Fozzy and Gonzo are backstage, and are commiserating with Vickie and Jack Dolph. Gonzo gets stretched for insinuating that he could be a champion. There’d have been more crying if Stu Hart was involved.
Match 5: Jack Swagger vs. Santino Marella
Animal is special timekeeper. There needs to be an “ANIMAL SCREWED BRET” meme. Swagger does some push-ups on Santino that I’d mock, but instead, I’m going to “be a star”. Crowd chants for Ryder. Take your fingers out of your ears, Vince. Marella escapes an ankle lock, takes Beaker’s concoction, spits it in Swagger’s eyes, and rolls him up for the pin. WINNER: Santino Marella via roll-up RATING: 2/10. Santino Marella (Anthony Carelli) has been suspended ninety days for failure of WWE’s Wellness Policy
Match 6: Zack Ryder vs. Dolph Ziggler (non title match)
I posted the Santino Wellness violation on a Facebook wrestling forum, and you wouldn’t believe how many fans bought it as fact. Ehh, ignorance is bliss. Ryder mounts a comeback after Ziggler’s early flurry and lands a nice missle dropkick, followed by a plancha as we go to commercial. We return with Ziggler trying to make Ryder submit. “LET’S GO RYDER / WOO WOO WOO” chant ensues. Fist pump olay kick by Ryder gets the crowd into it. PUSH HIM HARDER, VINCE! Ziggler’s attempt at a Stinger splash and Ryder double kicks him on the leap for 3, but Ziggler’s foot on the rope. Crowd BOOS the ref’s revelation. Ryder’s over, ya’ll. Zig Zag fails after Vickie’s interference, and Ryder gets the Ruff Ryder to win. WINNER: Zack Ryder via Ruff Ryder RATING: 7/10. Match of the night. I’m serious. Ziggler is the best overall wrestler in the company next to Punk and Christian, and Ryder is way over. Make this a centerpiece feud.
Michael Cole/Jim Ross challenge is postponed until next week, likely until time constraints. Damn it, that’s the ONE thing that could have saved the show! *sarcasm*. Statler and Waldorf yawning is unintentionally funny. Miss Piggy flirts with John Morrison, and he pawns her off onto Hornswoggle. Cody Rhodes bags Kermit, just because.
Main Event: The Miz vs. John Cena
I don’t foresee a twenty minute classic to save the show. Cena getting booed is never old, thankfully. Stall to start, and it’s 10:59. I’m just waiting for the R-Truth DQ run-in. Miz with the early beatdown as Cena gets the standard dual-chant. Miz a chinlock three minutes in, so yeah, we’re certainly pressed for time. Cena gets the spinout bomb and 5KS. AA countered into a reverse DDT for two. Miz then counters an STF with a kickoff, and signals for the Skull Crushing Finale, but Cena counters, nearly breaking Miz’s neck with a clothesline (well, Miz took a bad bump). Cena gets a flying slice leg drop for 2. Cena and Miz go to the floor, but soon spill back into the ring after a man in a Scream outfit hit Cena, and Cena wins clean with the STF anyway. It was R-Truth in the disguise, in case you couldn’t figure it out. WINNER: John Cena via STF RATING: 5/10. Cena beats one guy clean, shakes off the interference of the other and takes him out, and I’m supposed to want to order Survivor Series when Cena has additional help? Really?
Welcome to the 10/28/11 edition of WWE Friday Night SmackDown! The show starts off with highlights from the Big Show/Mark Henry match at Vengeance that saw the ring collapse of a superplex by Henry. If you missed the PPV but saw the match where Brock Lesnar and Big Show did the exact same spot a few years ago, you know exactly what this looks like.
In the arena, SmackDown! GM Teddy Long is in the ring. He tells us that the states of Mark Henry, The Big Show and the World Championship itself are all in doubt. Despite injuries, both Henry and Show are here tonight, and Long promises that the future of the title will be addressed tonight.
Christian’s music hits and he makes his way down to the ring. Christian says the future of the title will be addressed right now. There’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that what happened at Vengeance was historic, and by history, Christian means that it is now history. As far as he’s concerned, Show had his opportunity and blew it, which leaves a huge void in the championship situation. That void will be filled by the man that has dominated the brand for the past five months, and that man is…before Christian can finish, Long says that Christian, who has supposedly been dominant, is the same man who had his head kicked in by Sheamus last Sunday. Christian calls himself resilient, and that’s what a champion is. He begs Long to find someone who deserves the belt more than him.
All of a sudden, CM Punk’s music hits. Punk comes out to a major pop, and rightfully so. Have I mentioned that Punk is the best all-around performer in the WWE right now? Christian says that he deserves one more match, and with that being said, why is Punk here and why he’s interrupting Christian. Long says that, since SmackDown! wrestlers have been working RAW lately, RAW stars will be here tonight for a “Super SmackDown!”
Punk thanks Long for having him, and it’s nice to be on a show with competent leadership for once. Christian laughs at this and says Punk obviously has never met Teddy Long before. Can’t argue there. Punk says Christian obviously hasn’t spent any time with Johnny Laurinaitis, and Johnny makes Long look like FDR. He tells Christian, “I’m a huge fan of yours, Rusty Bird”. He points to a sign in the crowd that says ‘1 more match’. Punk says he wants to see it. Christian asks if Punk is going to lecture him and throw stones. Punk simply says “yes”. Christian asks him if he’s the same man that hijacked the WWE title this past summer and basically held the company hostage. Christian says it was a complete joke and it’s an even bigger joke Johnny Ace is considering Punk for a title match with Alberto Del Rio. Punk says that maybe that’s why Johnny’s so bad at his job. Maybe Johnny is trying to set Punk up, maybe he’s considering the title match, because unlike Christian, he doesn’t waste time bitching and moaning and bitching and bitching and bitching, etc. Christian doesn’t care if Punk was invited here or not. As the leader of SmackDown! and the most respected man on the brand, he’s not going to tolerate Punk. He tells Punk to take his pipe bomb and go back to RAW because nobody wants him here. Punk agrees to do so with a sad face. Oh, wait, 10,000 people in Houston want Punk here. He’d bet money the people of Houston would like to see him in a match tonight with Christian. He asks if that can get done, playa. Long agrees to the match. As Punk leaves, Christian gets in Long’s face and begins berating him.
Up next, Air Boom will take on Awesome Truth in a tag team match.
MATCH 1: Awesome Truth (The Miz and R-Truth) vs. WWE Tag Team Champions Air Boom (Evan Bourne and Kofi Kingston) (non-title)
Awesome Truth’s entrance pose is really awful. Miz and Kingston start off. Miz with some punches and knees. Miz with a running knee lift. Truth tags in and gets a kick to the gut. More punches as Truth beats Kingston down to the mat. Uppercut in the corner by Truth. Kingston gets his feet up on a corner charge and tags in Bourne. They hit a double kick to the legs and a double bulldog for 2. Bourne with a running hurricanrana and a corner dropkick. Truth back drops off a corner charge. Bourne lands on his feet and hits a kick. He goes up for Airbourne, but Miz distracts him. Truth knocks Bourne to the floor and Miz hits a clothesline. Truth goes to the floor and hits an uppercut as we go to commercial.
“Ghost Hunters” is one of the stupidest shows on telelvision, I don’t care what anyone says.
Back from the break, Bourne elbows and kicks out of a headlock by Miz, but Miz side steps a jumping knee. Truth tags back in and Awesome Truth hit a pair of boots for 2. Truth with a front chancery on Bourne. Bourne knees and kicks his way out of it and hits an enziguri. Miz and Kingston tag in. Kingston hits a jumping clothesline, a back chop, a clothesline and another jumping clothesline. Kingston goes for the Boom Drop, but Miz rolls out of the way. Kingston comes back with a high cross body from the middle rope for 2. Bourne knocks an interfering Truth to the floor, but Truth side steps a cross body, sending Bourne to the floor. Truth tags in Miz behind Kingston’s back. Awesome Truth hits the Little Jimmy Finale (worst name for a finisher EVER) and Truth gets the 3.
WINNERS: Awesome Truth. I’m expecting them to be the tag team champions in short order.
After the match, Truth tells the crowd they should be booing themselves. For those keeping count, they just beat the Tag Team Champions. This past Sunday at Vengeance, they beat CM Punk and Triple H, and on RAW, they beat the hell out of Zack Ryder and knocked the wheels off of John Cena. Miz grabs the mic and reminds us that Cena will be teaming up with The Rock to face them at Survivor Series. Truth says he thinks Cena must have suffered some brain damage because Cena picked the only man on Earth who likes him less than they do. Miz says that’s fine and dandy because if the Rock accepts Cena’s offer and they don’t destroy each other beforehand, Awesome Truth will finish the job at Survivor Series.
Back from the commercial, we see Daniel Bryan, Santino Marella, Justin Gabriel, Alex Riley, Johnny Curtis, Curt Hawkins and the Usos watching a TV monitor. Gabriel asks Bryan about training with Shawn Michaels. Bryan says he trained with Michaels for a year in San Antonio. As Bryan is talking about HBK, Tyson Kidd walks in and talks about Shawn Michaels crying on the new Bret/Shawn DVD. Bryan says Bret Hart did his share of crying on the DVD, too. They trade some more barbs. Kidd says Bret was better than Shawn. Bryan says the opposite. They do this a few times until Marella steps in. He says they should fight like mens in the ring. Kidd says that’s a great idea, and hopes Bryan doesn’t cry from the Sharpshooter.
We see Hornswoggle dressed up as Zack Ryder, with Teddy Long standing next to him. I hate Hornswoggle so very, very much. Long says Zack would appreciate that. Vickie Guerrero, Jack Swagger and US Champion Dolph Ziggler walk in. Vicki says Long’s assistant (Ryder) deserved what he got after Long made Ziggler compete twice at Vengeance. Ziggler says that, despite Long’s best efforts, he’s still champion, so the next time Long wants to mess with him, he’ll need to step up his game. Long says he didn’t put Ziggler in that match to mess with him, nor is the match tonight. Ziggler takes on Randy Orton tonight. Swagger says “We got this”. Long says “No, we don’t”, because Jack is banned from ringside. Aksana’s dumb ass walks and her stupid porn music plays. Long says he missed her. She says the same thing, then says something intelligible about groups. Long excuses Hornswoggle and says why doesn’t he and Aksana walk to his office and talk about this.
We get highlights of the Nash/Triple H feud from this past Monday night. Michael Cole says Triple H suffered a fractured vertebrae, and will be out of action for at least six weeks.
MATCH 2: Wade Barrett vs. Trent Barreta
Before the match starts, we get another promo video that Barrett shot earlier today. Barrett says last week was just the beginning. When he steps in the ring, it becomes his trench, the arena becomes his battlefield, and opponent becomes a casualty of war. The devastation of the “Barrett Barrage” continues tonight. Barrett kicks Barreta a couple times in the leg. Barreta comes back with a hurricanrana, but runs right into a scrapbuster for 2. Barrett with a modified surfboard stretch. Barreta gets to his feet and fights out, but runs into a kitchen sink. Barrett ties Barreta up in the ropes, knees him in the face and hits a running boot that sends Barreta to the floor. Barrett goes outside and nails a clothesline. Back in the ring, Barrett gets another 2. Barreta with a chop, a forearm and another chop, but Barrett lands a mule kick to the gut. Barrett with a knee in the corner and a corner whip. Barreta gets his feet up on a charge and goes for another hurricanrana, but Barrett turns it into Wasteland in one fluid motion, and this match is over.
WINNER: Wade Barrett. It’s about damn time Barrett got booked as a wrecking machine.
Up next, Orton needlessly defeats Ziggler.
MATCH 3: Randy Orton vs. WWE United States Champion Dolph Ziggler (w/Vicki Guerrero) (non-title)
I love how Rhodes and Orton both basically have the same finisher, yet no one save Cena can kick out of the RKO while Orton can kick out of Cross Rhodes effortlessly and totally no-sells it a minute or so later. Speaking of Rhodes, before the match starts, here comes the IC Champion with his teabaggers. Apparently, he’s coming down for color dysentery (RIP Hawk). Match starts with a tie-up. A long tie-up. Orton pushes Ziggler off. Another tie-up, and Orton gets a side headlock and a shoulder block off the ropes before going into a chinlock. Ziggler with an arm wringer. They crisscross, with Ziggler eventually coming up with a hip throw into a side headlock. Orton with a pair of shoulder blocks for 2. Ziggler with a boot to the gut and the left knee before going back to the hip throw/side headlock combo. Orton reverses into an armbar. He goes for the 3.0, but Ziggler reverses into a schoolboy for 2. Ziggler goes for a neckbreaker, but Orton reverses into a schoolboy for 2 of his own. Orton with the Garvin Stomp and the jumping knee drop for 2. Orton goes back to the armbar. Ziggler is being made to look like a complete tool in this match. Ziggler boots off a corner charge for 2. Ziggler goes into an armbar/chinlock combo. Orton punches out, but Ziggler comes back with a punch. Orton no-sells, chases Ziggler out of the ring, leapfrogs over Vicki and hits Ziggler with a clothesline on the floor. Commercial.
Back from the break, Orton whips Ziggler into the corner. Ziggler elbows out and hits a dropkick for 2. Ziggler with stomps in the corner. Orton comes back with punches, but runs into a knee lift from Ziggler for 2. Ziggler locks on a modified Rings of Saturn. Orton gets up to his feet and carries Ziggler over his shoulders, but Ziggler slides out and hits a DDT for 2. Ziggler goes for a modified camel clutch, but Orton headbutts his way out. Ziggler comes back with a neckbreaker for 2. Ziggler goes up to the top rope, but of course Orton knocks him down. Orton with a punch and a superplex from the top. This gets 2 for Orton. They trade some punches. Orton with a kick, European uppercut, another kick and a clothesline. Another clothesline and a powerslam. God, Orton matches are formulaic. Orton with the suspended DDT. Orton sets up for the RKO. Ziggler pushes him off and hits the superkick for 2. Ziggler goes for the Zig Zag, but Orton holds onto the top rope. RKO and the 3.
WINNER: Randy Orton. You know, for Ziggler supposedly being a favorite among the creative team lately, Orton completely dominated this match. Oh, wait. It’s Orton. That’s every one of his matches.
We see video from last week when Sin Cara Negro was unmasked. Cue to the back, Matt Striker is standing with the former Sin Cara Negro. Striker says some are saying Negro was disrespected and embarrassed, and wants to know how he feels. Negro asks Striker how he thinks it makes him feel. Sin Cara Azul stole his identiy. The only one with a face (?). Azul took something away from him, and it’s payback time. There was Spanish interspersed in here, but I don’t speak the language, so I don’t really know what was said.
We get another video for Brodus Clay’s impending debut on either RAW or SmackDown! (it’ll be RAW). I’m looking forward to this, as Clay is a really decent big man, and can actually cut a solid promo.
MATCH 4: Daniel Bryan vs. Tyson Kidd
Kidd’s entrance wasn’t aired. Guess who’s winning here? They start by arguing. Kidd shoves Bryan. Bryan shoves back. Bryan with a waistlock. Kidd reverses. Series of reversals with Bryan ending up with an arm drag. Kidd gets into the ropes and Irish whips Bryan. Kidd goes for a leapfrog, but Bryan catches him and turns it into an armbar. Kidd shoves Bryan off into the corner and boots him in the gut before coming off the ropes with a seated dropkick for 2. Kidd locks in a dragon sleeper. Bryan backflips out of a corner whip and comes back with a running clothesline. Bryan with a corner dropkick for 2. Bryan hoists Kidd onto the top rope and connects with a super hurricanrana, but Kidd holds on for a sunset flip for 2. Bryan turns this into a LeBell Lock attempt, but Kidd rolls through into a jackknife for 2. Bryan reverses into a sunset flip for another 2. Kidd rolls through and goes for the Sharpshooter. Bryan breaks free and goes into the LeBell lock. After holding of for about 30 seconds, Kidd finally taps.
WINNER: Daniel Bryan. The losing streak is over. Well, at least this one. Great match, despite being far too short. If Kidd and Bryan wrestled each other every week, I’d be happy. These two are so good, it makes me sick nothing is being done with either. I really hope Bryan successfully cashes in MITB at Wrestlemania next year. I know someone will eventually cash in unsuccessfully, but I really, REALLY hope it’s not him.
RAW Rebound time.
Back from the break, and Michael Cole is on top of the announce desk. He says it’s time to end the silliness with Jim Ross. He’s issued a challenge to Ross, and Ross has reportedly accepted. Ross has apparently been tweeting about how he’s training for this “event”. Cole says he’s actually tanning, which leads to a photoshop job of Jim Ross posing with a dog a la the old Coppertone ads. More stupid photoshops. I’m not recapping each one. Cole says he will explain the rules for this challenge on Monday night, and if Ross can beat him in the challenge, Ross gets his seat back on Monday Night RAW, and Michael Cole will quit.
Big Show makes his way to the ring in a suit. For being so injured from Sunday, he’s walking just fine here. Commercial.
Back from the break. Big Show says “Oops. I did it again.” He’s been in wrestling for 16 years and has fought everyone. Right now, he’s hurting in places he didn’t even know he had places. Mark Henry was an out-of-control monster at Vengeance. He doesn’t think he’s ever had a fight like that with someone that powerful ever. Mark Henry gave him a good fight. Surprisingly, this gets some cheers. After going through all that carnage, you’d think he’d stop, but we know he’s not right in the head, so Show says they should reinforce the ring and do it again. He knows he can defeated Mark Henry for the World title. He spent most of today in conference with Teddy Long, and Long has assured him there will be a rematch between Show and Henry in the near future. Cue Mark Henry.
Henry comes out with the World Championship, so I’m going to assume that the status of the title is that it’s still Henry’s, as it should be. Henry says he doesn’t care who Show talked to; he’s not going to get a rematch. He went into Vengeance as champion, and left that way. He’s handled his business, and now he’s done with Show. Henry says he’s sore and beaten from the ring caving in. Show’s sore because Henry made him that. Obviously, Henry didn’t do a good enough job because Show is out here still running his mouth. Maybe if Henry puts his foot in it, Show will shut up. Show is ready for a fight. Henry starts to climb in the ring, but decides against it and walks back down the ring steps and up the ramp. That certainly accomplished nothing.
Punk/Christian is up next.
MATCH 5: CM Punk vs. Christian
If anyone was wondering what Punk yells on the stage during his entrance, he yells “It’s clobberin’ time!”, which is the catchphrase of Thing from ‘Fantastic Four’ (the comic books, not the sucktacular movies). Tie-up to start. Punk turns it into an arm wringer, then a hammerlock. Christian reverses into a side headlock and a shoulder block off the ropes. Punk with a side headlock. Crisscross leads to Punk knocking down Christian with a shoulder block before doing a Lex Luger-esque double biceps pose. Christian with a gut kick and an uppercut, but runs right into a jumping side kick from Punk. Punk grabs Christian’s arm and hits a series of shoulder blocks. Punk puts Christian in a hammerlock, throws him shoulder-first into the turnbuckle, snapmares him and hits a basement dropkick for 2. Back to the hammerlock. Christian elbows out. Punk reverses a corner whip, but Christian gets his feet up on the charge before hitting a middle rope European uppercut. Haven’t seen him do that in a while. Christian goes up top but misses the headbutt. Punk goes for the GTS as Alberto Del Rio’s music hits. As WWE Champion Alberto Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez make their way down to the ring, Christian slides out off the distraction and hits an implant DDT for 2. Commercial.
Back from the break, Christian’s got Punk in a modified sleeper. Punk manages to throw him off, but misses a running legdrop. Christian comes back with a kick, some stomps and some mounted punches. Christian picks Punk up and drops him back down with a falling inverted DDT for 2. Christian goes after the eyes, but breaks before the 5-count. Christian throws Punk to the floor by the announcer’s table. Christian goes to the floor and slams Punk’s head into the table. Back in the ring for a 2-count. Christian turns the kick out into a cobra clutch. Punk fights out with some slaps, a backhand and a roundhouse kick. Punk with a punch and a roundhouse mule kick before giving Christian a back body drop, a clothesline and a swinging neckbreaker for 2. Punk misse the running knee in the corner, but fights out of a Killswitch attempt. Punk goes for the GTS, but Christian fights out and catches the twisting sunset flip off the middle rope. Punk rolls through and just kicks Christian in the face for another 2. Punk misses a roundhouse kick, which allows Christian to do his uppercut from the floor. Christian goes for a top rope cross body, but Punk catches him and rolls through for 2. Punk goes for the springboard clothesline, but Christian catches him with a powerslam for a 2. Christian looks for the Killswitch, but Punk mule kicks him and goes for the GTS. Christian slides out and goes for the Killswitch again, but Punk pushes him off into the corner, hits the knee strike/bulldog combo, and is now calling for the GTS once again. He starts to go for it, but Rodriguez jumps on the apron. Punk chases him off and gets back in the ring, where he shoulders Christian in the gut and hits a springboard clothesline for 2. Punk goes up top again, looking for the Macho Man elbow, but Rodriguez jumps on the apron again to distract the referee. This allows ADR to trip Punk up, sending him to the mat. Christian sets up for the spear, but gets distracted as Sheamus’ music hits. Sheamus scares Rodriguez off, and the momentary distraction allows Punk to pick Christian up, connect with GTS and get the 3.
WINNER: CM Punk. I guess ADR was also chased off by Sheamus, as I don’t see him anywhere. Anyway, this was easily the best match of the night.
End of show.
We got at least 2 good matches tonight. Despite the outside interference, Christian/Punk stole the show. Tons of counters, false finishes and finisher reversals. Punk and Christian work well together. I’d love to see them feud down the road.
-If WWE doesn’t have Hornswoggle walking around in a neck brace tonight, then they officially have no sense of humor. Sometimes you can do something absurd enough to distract the usual detractors from ripping on the show, status quo style.
-Live from Austin, TX
-So who’s gonna end up replacing John Morrison in the “signature” before each show when his deal eventually expires? My money’s on Mason Ryan.
Opening Segment: Triple H, Miraculous Jackknife Survivor
You know HHH is mad, because he’s not wearing his suit any more. HEAVY METAL ROADIE ATTIRE MEANS SOMEBODY’S GETTING FACIAL PENETRATION WITH THE APPENDAGE OF HIS CHOOSING! Triple H says you can either make friends or make money, which is a lesson Killer Kowalski taught him. Wonder if Killer taught Hunter, “Boinking McMahon’s daughter means permanent wealth and prestige.” HHH names his Kliq friends, and leaves out Scott Hall. I guess after the revelation that Hall killed a guy, HHH decided to “Benoit” him. So much for being BFFs. Hunter meanders into complaining about Nash trying to break his neck last night, but is more upset that Big Kev broke his heart, so HHH calls him out. But as Hunter tries to goad Nash, we get Johnny Ace instead. HHH tells him to shut up repeatedly, which makes me wish for an Ace Crusher. HHH tells Ace that he still reports to him…..wait, what? How does THAT work? Didn’t….Ace replace him a few weeks ago? HHH promises that he’s going to jail tonight and goes to look for Nash, but is distracted at the top of the ramp, and Nash runs out and butts him with the sledgehammer. As Nash is escorted away, HHH collapses backstage in his first ever “Miller Lite Unmanliest Thing You’ve Done Today” segment. It was bound to happen. Segment Rating: 4/10. Because, you know, I was looking forward to this match in 2003, back when Nash was only semi-immobile.
-KFC has added bacon to their Famous Bowls. Attempts to kill Peter King have now reached Code Red: Rasputin Level.
-Then, back from break, Nash pulls HHH off the gurney (the medics just….gave HHH up), drags the backboard vertically against the wall, and continues the assault before security runs him off. And to think, Nash left TNA because the storylines reached new levels of improbably and stupidly violent. THE JOKE’S ON YOU, SUPER SHREDDER! WELCOME TO OVERBOOKED HELL!
Match 1: Randy Orton/Sheamus vs. Christian/Cody Rhodes
Boy do I feel dumb for having watched Vengeance last night: I’m getting 25% of the event in just ONE SINGLE MATCH. Oh, and Sheamus and Orton teaming up? I guess there was no point in getting invested in any angles from 2010. Christian shows fear of Sheamus, which would mean more if Sheamus hadn’t already beaten him clean twice. Lawler and Cole spend much of the match rebuilding Sheamus’ Irish heritage with anecdotes of Celtic folklore, so that big re-push is coming. Fine with me. Cody works a chinlock as we hit the commercial. Back to action and Christian is choking Sheamus with the boot while Cole tells us what’s trending on Twitter. Yeah, because every fan is a sheep that has to like what every other fan likes. If we can get “#RawisOverbookedTrash” to trend, do you think Michael Cole would say it? The match has a second heat segment, as Orton is now being double teamed. Crap, looks like the Usos vs. Hawkins/Reks match is getting bumped. RKO lays out Christian, Orton gets dumped, and Sheamus lays out Cody with the Celtic Cross to win. WINNERS: Sheamus and Randy Orton via Celtic Cross Rating: 6/10. Crowd being dead from that horrid (read: Vince liked it) opening segment didn’t help, but the action was solid. Can’t really fault the usual good effort from all four.
Match 2: Santino Marella vs. Dolph Ziggler (non title match)
Santino + no intro = death. Ziggler’s rapidly becoming the most interesting heel in WWE next to Mark Henry, so I’m wondering why he’s taking comedy moves from Santino. Jack Swagger distracts Santino during the Cobra, so Ziggler gets the Zig Zag. Heel beatdown after leads to Blandtista making the save. Yay. If he beats Ziggler, I hope Congress reinvestigates WWE. WINNER: Dolph Ziggler via Zig Zag Rating: 3/10. I could be watching the Jaguars, Eric.
In Ring Segment: Alberto Del Rio’s Celebration
I pray this is the CM Punk rejuvenation we’ve been begging for. Del Rio says he’s going to move on to new challengers. Well, there’s about 58 people on the roster that haven’t had a shot these last five or six years. This brings out Punk who, while not new, is acceptable. Punk points out that he’s beaten Alberto a number of times, and that he never got his 1 on 1 rematch for the title after Summerslam, so he demands a shot. ADR’s response is that Punk is a loser, since he didn’t win at Vengeance, and tells him to come back when he’s earned a shot. I wonder how many times Punk’s heard this exact speech from road agents with non-Spanish accents. Punk threatens to beat up Del Rio anyway, and this brings Ace back out, to some easy heel heat. Punk correcting Ace on how to hold the mic is funny stuff. Ace promises to make Punk vs. Del Rio at Survivor Series, on the condition that Punk tells Ace that he respects him. Punk refuses, and says that WWE hasn’t changed with Ace in charge, but Ace reiterates the threat. Punk responds with “I RESPECT YOU, FUNKMAN” in Ace’s voice, but Ace isn’t buying it. Punk finally admits respect, but addends his statement with bold statements about Ace’s rise through the ranks, and Ace refuses to give him the shot based on the insubordination. So Punk beats up Del Rio anyway, and gives Ricardo the GTS. Segment Rating: 8/10. Punk’s spot-onness made it worthwhile.
Match 3: Natalya vs. Alicia Fox
More than four women in the division? WE HAVE A DIVISION! PROGRESS! Natalya works a modified Indian deathlock while Beth Phoenix, on commentary, discusses how fun women in pain can be. This isn’t very PG. Oh, and Alicia pins Natalya with a sunset flip. Errr…..ok, someone new. WINNER: Alicia Fox via sunset flip Rating: 3/10. Alicia’s sure come a long way from being Edge and Vickie’s wedding planner. She’s a real versatile threat.
Match 4: John Morrison vs. Wade Barrett
I’m writing Barrett as the winner now. Morrison gets to look quasi-athletic, and even lands a head first tope, just to prolong the inevitable. Seems like forever ago that these two main evented Summerslam 2010. Wow, a Morrison match with a commercial! It’s like a stay of execution! I kinda thought Morrison would job during the break like Rick Martel in 1993, but surprisingly, no. Morrison takes a tumble to the floor from a stiff flurry of strikes. Cole’s too busy bitching about JR to care about the young talent on display, and they wonder why the fans don’t either. Morrison manages the charging knee for 2 in a close spot, and then gets a creative cradle for another 2. Good little match developing here. Morrison aborts the Starship and Barrett tries to catch the Flying Chuck, but botches. Second attempt at the Wasteland hits for the win. WINNER: Wade Barrett via Wasteland Rating: 6/10. Good match till the botched finish. I enjoy the basics.
Match 5: John Cena/Zack Ryder vs. The Awesome Truth
Alright Ryder fans, you want Zack pushed? Get this segment a 4.5 rating. If it does anything less, you can’t complain. Ah, but wait: Miz and Truth jump Ryder backstage. HOW DARE YOU GET OVER ON YOUR OWN, ZACK! WHY CAN’T YOU BE AN UNCLEAN FREAK LIKE MASON RYAN?!? Now how is John Cena going to beat two men on his own? He’s NEVER done that before!
Real Match 5: John Cena vs. The Awesome Truth
Cena, March 2011: “I’m proud of my jorts!” Cena, October 2011: “This camo seems less likely to cast dorky aspersions on me.” Strapped for time, a quick formula of “heel dominates, Cena takes over, heel tags” is in order. I reckon a clean finish is out of the question. Sure enough, a DQ win for Cena and the crowd is annoyed. Cena takes a beating afterward. Miz and Truth grab chairs, and Ace stops them. Ace sort of turns face by ejecting Truth and Miz for some reason (isn’t he a heel?). Miz and Truth will face Cena and a partner of his choosing at Survivor Series, and it ends up being The Rock. Well hey, that poster that was designed 2 months ago makes sense now! Miz and Truth express bewilderment. I guess they don’t have the internet. WINNER: John Cena via DQ Rating: 4/10. Well, at least the show’s over.
OVERALL: That wasn’t just a half a#$ed show; that was a half-assed show from a company that doesn’t have an ass to spare. You bury crowd favorites (Ryder, JR), have a horrid segment where HHH and Nash look like clowns, and kill a crowd despite solid in-ring action throughout.
Please, TNA, build on that 1.4. I’m pleading with you.
I wouldn’t necessarily call Vengeance 2011 a bad show but I certainly wouldn’t call it a great one. By WWE pay per view standards I’d say you got a solid show but nothing that warranted your hard earned money…unless you are into watching a pro wrestling ring break.
The big star Sunday night was the WWE ring. In a moment bound to make the next WWE 50 Greatest Moments DVD, The Big Show and Mark Henry broke the ring. In a scene reminiscent of one eight years ago, replayed a number of times over the last decade, Show and Henry broke the ring ala Brock Lesnar vs. The Big Show.
Sadly, that is really all this show will be remembered for. It won’t be remembered for any blow away match or shocking angle, it will be remembered for the night the ring broke during a Show vs. Henry match. Otherwise, you may remember it as the night you took the $50 you were going to spend to watch Georges St-Pierre and bought Vengeance instead.
In the main-event, Alberto Del Rio retained the WWE championship against John Cena in a Last Man Standing Match. That would make Cena 1-4 in his last five pay per view matches. Now granted, only one of those losses was actually clean, but for a guy that rarely loses, he is definitely doing his share in 2011.
The main-event was held inside of the broken ring. The Last Man Standing stipulation did allow the guys to bail on the ring and hit the floor and brawl all over the arena for a good portion of the latter half of the match. This was a lot better of a match than I expected. I don’t know if I would call it great, but it was certainly very good and far and away the best on the show.
The finish came when Cena hit the Attitude Adjustment on Del Rio through the announcer’s table. Del Rio was down for the count, however Awesome Truth ran out and attacked Cena. They hit their finishers on Cena. Cena still beat the count to get to his feet. At that point Del Rio nailed Cena with the belt which knocked Cena down for the ten count. If not for Cena vs. Punk in Chicago, this was far and away Cena’s best match of the year and I think the best for Del Rio.
I think the WWE really dropped the ball here on match placement. I get it, the WWE championship goes on last, but in this situation I think they should have put the Henry vs. Show match on last. If the idea was to break the ring, they could have had Cena vs. Del Rio on earlier to make sure they weren’t wrestling in a broken ring. Additionally, everything just seemed so anti-climatic after seeing the ring break. I think fans would have come away from this with a much better feeling if the last thing they saw was the ring break. On top of that you had Cena lose, so why not send the fans home happy with the shocking moment?
In the WWE world heavyweight championship match, Mark Henry retained the title against The Big Show. This was your typical big man match, with a lot more bumping out of Henry than you normally see. As someone that grew up in the era of WWE/WWF giants, I kind of liked this one a lot more than you did. The finish came when Henry delivered a superplex and the ring collapsed. Show was taken out on a cart while Henry crawled to the back, ironically turning himself babyface.
The other big news story of the night was the re-re-return of Kevin Nash. Nash returned to beat up Triple H at the end of the Awesome Truth vs. CM Punk and Triple H tag team match. Nash laid him out with a jackknife powerbomb that made Ken Anderson look like the world’s safest wrestler. The Miz and R-Truth hit their finishers on Punk while this went down and pinned him for the win.
This was more like a RAW main-event than anything you’d expect to see on pay per view. I think the lack of build here really hurt as the fans really weren’t into this at all. I also think that the fans of Hunter and Punk are so polar opposite, that both became resentful of seeing the two team up. Instead of supporting their favorite wrestler, I think the groups just became apathetic to the whole story. As great of a job as the WWE did of pushing Punk this summer, they are doing an even better job of making sure he finishes the year right where he started.
As good as Cena vs. Del Rio was, this came off more like a TNA Wrestling pay per view where they use the pay per views to start angles than finish them. This was nothing more than a glorified table setting for the Survivor Series 2011. We are now likely looking at The Rock, Cena, Punk, and Triple H vs. Awesome Truth, Nash, and Del Rio in your main-event. I have no problem with that, but I didn’t need to pay $50 to see that set up. That is what RAW is for.
Full WWE Vengeance 2011 results…
Mark Henry wrestled The Big Show to a no contest for the World Heavyweight Championship
Alberto Del Rio defeated John Cena in a Last Man Standing Match to retain the WWE Championship
Awesome Truth defeated Triple H and CM Punk
Randy Orton defeated Cody Rhodes Non-Title Match
Beth Phoenix defeated Eve Torres to retain the WWE Divas Championship
Air Boom (Evan Bourne & Kofi Kingston) defeated Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler to retain the WWE Tag Team Championship
Dolph Ziggler defeated Zack Ryder to retain the WWE U.S. Championship
WWE returns to pay per view this Sunday with Vengeance 2011. The bad news is you have another poorly promoted show that appears to be more of a throwaway than a must-see. The good news, we are one pay per view closer to seeing the return of The Rock!
The WWE is taking a page out of their SummerSlam 2011 booking and haven’t announced a full card until a week before the show. With little time to simmer, it is real difficult to get excited for this show. That said, there are a few matches on the show that have potential to tear the house down. Unfortunately neither of those are in the main-event.
John Cena vs. Alberto Del Rio in a Last Man Standing match for the WWE championship
We are only a few days away from Vengeance and the WWE has yet to tell their television audience exactly why these guys are even wrestling. Yes I get it, Cena lost the title at Hell in a Cell and was screwed. It makes sense, which is why I find it a bit of a mystery that Cena has yet to sell to the WWE Universe.
I like Del Rio, yet I feel like he has really taken a big hit with the quick loss to Cena before regaining the belt. I think the WWE has screwed with his push too much over the last several months for fans to really buy into him as a top heel. Sadly I think the perfect time to capitalize on Del Rio has come and gone.
Cena back in the main event is just an absolute joke. I am not one of those guys that expect Cena to move aside every month and work opening matches or mid card feuds. However, this is just ridiculous. Unfortunately they have really boxed themselves into a corner by already announcing that Cena and The Rock are teaming at Survivor Series. Hence, the idea of doing a lengthy series here just isn’t going to work.
This match is a Last Man Standing Match and if it is anything like Cena’s I Quit Match with The Miz a few months back, expect Cena haters to start breaking televisions. I’d expect a lot of the same thing as The Miz match. I expect Cena to get beaten down for about 30 minutes and somehow by miracle pull out the win and recapture the WWE championship. I don’t like it, but that appears to be the blue print in these situations.
Mark Henry vs. Big Show for the WWE world heavyweight championship
Just when you thought Mark Henry was turning a corner, the WWE gives us this crap fest they call a main-event. Talk about booking against the strength of the guy you are trying to get over as the monster of the company.
I am sure The Big Show is a nice guy but if I never saw him wrestle again, it wouldn’t be too soon. The upside here is that he is probably fresh which will give you a little more Show than you are used to getting. However, again you limit his options by booking him with Henry. This one isn’t going to be pretty.
I look for Henry to retain the title. The right decision for business is to have Henry destroy Show. I just don’t see them bringing Show back with this big push only to squash him in his return match. So with that said, I look for ten minutes of boredom and a screwy finish which leaves a rematch open for Survivor Series 2011.
Triple H and CM Punk vs. The Miz and R-Truth
It only took what, a few months to bring CM Punk back down to earth and squash any momentum he had going during the summer. CM Punk is back to just being one of the guys. The whole idea of someone of Punk’s character teaming with Triple H is a big slap in the face for the rebellious fans that believed in their fearless leader.
I like Triple H, probably more than most bloggers, but I have no interest in seeing him here. On paper, he should be a guy that destroys these guys. I think you only have a handful of Triple H matches left before he hangs it up. Wasting it here isn’t exactly what I’d call productive.
But we have the match and I think it will be quite good. I am sure you will see your typical heel vs. babyface tag team match with Punk getting punished and Triple H playing the role of Robert Gibson for the save. A win for Awesome Truth would be huge here. As surprised as I’d be to see it, I can’t see them blowing their heat with a pinfall here. I like Awesome Truth in an upset.
Randy Orton vs. Cody Rhodes Non-Title Match
Here is a match that I think has some serious potential to steal the show. Unfortunately the non-title stipulation already gives the result away, thus taking steam off of what we already know is the inevitable finish.
The WWE has something here with these guys. I don’t know exactly what it is, but it appears that they have more chemistry brewing with every match. The history is obviously there and the WWE really has a chance to give Cody Rhodes the ball here and see what happens. The possibilities here are very good.
I look for a good back and forth match. Orton appears to have his working shoes on when he is in there with Cody, and I can’t imagine it’d be any different on this night. It is a shame because a win for Rhodes would be huge, but you can’t pin Orton three pay per views in a row. I like Orton, but look for this one to steal the show.
Air Boom vs. Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger for the tag team championships
I am not going to waste a lot of time here on this one. I like the Ziggler and Swagger team so hopefully this one turns out with them leaving the show with the belts. Unfortunately I smell a screw job here coming with the new team of Mason Ryan and Zack Ryder. I’ll predict Swagger and Ziggler with the win, but a quick loss immediately thereafter to Ryder and Ryan.
Full WWE Vengeance 2011 card…
Mark Henry vs. The Big Show for the World Heavyweight Championship
Alberto Del Rio vs. John Cena Last Man Standing match for the WWE Championship
Triple H and CM Punk vs. R-Truth and The Miz
Randy Orton vs. Cody Rhodes Non-Title Match
Beth Phoenix vs. Eve Torres for the WWE Divas Championship
Air Boom (Evan Bourne & Kofi Kingston) vs. Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler for the WWE Tag Team Championship
-Regarding last night’s Bound For Glory, and the fans who complained about Roode losing and saying it ruined the entire show, I got one thing to say: http://bit.ly/qfH0E5 and if you disagree, I wanna hear why.
-Taped from Distrito Federal
Opening Segment: Johnny Ace Talks
I really wanna hear Ace’s raspy monotone in Spanish. Not really, but just for the laugh. He partially obliges with a “QUE PASA” in his “Terry Funk with a mouthful of Velveeta” voice. “Mexican people have no sense of humor” says Ace. What? They gave us La Parka! Ace brings back Jim Ross, apparently because the fans demanded it. Wait, so WWE gives the fans what they ask for? Is this like some kind of opposites week? Ace hugging JR is hilarious, as is his atrocious, non-WWE-ized way of talking. He’s the perfect heel! But Ross isn’t here to commentate. Instead, Ace shows footage of Cole singing the Goodbye Song when Ross was fired last week. Awww, we missed out on Del Rio singing! So tonight (er, Saturday), it’s Ross and John Cena vs. Cole and Del Rio. Errrr….yay? This brings out Randy Orton for some ill-defined reason….oh, it’s a match. SEGMENT RATING: 6/10. Just because I liked Ace’s douchey heel act.
Match 1: Randy Orton/John Morrison/Sheamus vs. Mark Henry/Cody Rhodes/Christian
Cody Rhodes’ smarmy monotone is the best voice in wrestling next to Don West’s “orgasm in a wind tunnel” yell. Also, I hope Raw never takes place in France. I’d hate to see John Morrison wind up dead in a bathtub. Gotta say, these piped cheers are sad. Christian avoids Sheamus to further their feud, and Cody takes over. I gotta say, for someone as scrawny as Cody (compared to the roid monsters on the roster), I’m happy to see him get so much convincing offense on bigger opponents. Orton annihilates Rhodes up the ramp, and the crowd loves it as we take a break. Coming back, Morrison and Henry are going at it. Apparently, Rhodes and Orton have fought out of the arena. Maybe they can have a bathroom brawl like Kevin Sullivan and that guy who never existed. I love the bad editing on the floor as Sheamus and Christian go at it. I’m having “Episodes of WWF Challenge in 1994” flashbacks. World’s Strongest Slam finishes Morrison. Morrison jobbed? I never woulda guessed! WINNERS: The Heels via World’s Strongest Slam RATING: 6/10. Meh. It was meh. See you in TNA, John Hendrix or John Joplin or John Von Trapp or…..
Match 2: Eve Torres vs. Natalya
Oh boy, Eve vs. Beth at Vengeance. Beth gets to wrestle a broomstick (covered in spray tan, and with half the personality). Match is pretty boring until Eve actually hits a nice clothesline/STO move. Then she finishes with a moonsault. WINNER: Eve Torres via Blandsault RATING: 3/10. The modified STO was nice, so I gave it an extra point. Look, don’t cramp my system.
Match 3: CM Punk vs. The Miz
Punk says “no heat machine necessary”. I have to say, treating The Miz and R-Truth like any other guys after that awesome ending to Hell in a Cell is counterproductive. Miz and Truth remind Punk of the beatdown at Hell in a Cell, which is at least an effort to remind everyone that both men are “thugs” and not “comedic midcarders”. The diatribe brings out suit-wearing Triple H, as we head to commercial. Back to action, and Punk and Miz have a feeling out process, which hopefully means “good, long match”. Punk manages control early with a crowd pleasing tope. Is Punk at the point now where he’ll be over no matter what? Punk takes a spill to the floor and hurts his leg, which brings Truth around, but Hunter runs him off. Match slows down a bit with a plodding slugfest. Truth and Miz do illegal double teaming as we hit a rest hold, and the crowd rallies behind Punk with chants. Miz keeps control with a double axe handle and some crossface punches while we slow down just a little more. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Cole busting on Lawler after the King quoted Taylor Swift, and Cole said “Well, she’s in your age bracket…” Punk swings the momentum around, and Hunter chases Truth off before Ace comes out and demands the match be stopped. Ace and Hunter have an inaudible convo at ringside, and HHH is ejected. Hunter, because he’s so manly, slugs R-Truth on the way out. Turns out HHH had a customs issue. Trafficking steroids? Err, no, couldn’t be. Anywho, WE STILL HAVE A MATCH and Miz is working a chinlock. Is this an iron man match? Punk finally begins what should be the winning segment with a neckbreaker and his corner knee. Punk lands the flying elbow and some bizarre editing, and after sending Miz into Truth on the apron, rolls him up with a clichéd pin and win. The heels get their barely-there heat back afterward with a beatdown WINNER: CM Punk via roll-up RATING: 5/10. The worst Punk match I’ve seen this year, and probably the worst Miz match too. Then again, I’d hardly hold them accountable.
Match 4: Jack Swagger vs. Zack Ryder
The camera focuses on Vickie and her can-can girl outfit, because she’s here to sell PPVs. She cuts her typical stilted promo with “EXCUSE MES” to wake the crowd up. Anyway, Jack Dolph gets a rematch with Air Boom at Vengeance. Fine with me. Dolph Ziggler referring to himself as a “heel” will probably annoy the office, and thus I love him. Swagger tries to sing America’s National Anthem. “YOU MADE ME LOSE MY PLACE! NOW I’M GOING TO START OVER!” Okay, I laughed. Ryder finally interrupts. Swagger’s amateur style powerslam is flipping sweet. Ryder upsets early with the Ruff Ryder. Jack Dolph goes to attack, but Mason Ryan runs them off. And we get Ryan and Ziggler next. WINNER: Zack Ryder via Ruff Ryder RATING: 4/10. Extra points for Jack Dolph’s prematch promo and, hey, Ryder won, right?
Match 5: Mason Ryan vs. Dolph Ziggler (non title match)
Joined in progress (What is this, All-American Wrestling?) and Ziggler has a hard time felling Blandtista. Ryan takes over with his “I’m so strong!” offense, and I really care about none of this. Vickie slaps Ryan, and Mason goes irate on Ziggler as a result, and gets disqualified for excessive violence in the corner. Good. Cole getting giddy over Ryan’s power offense is disturbing. WINNER: Dolph Ziggler via DQ RATING: 3/10. Yeah.
Main Event: Alberto Del Rio/Michael Cole vs. John Cena/Jim Ross
You’d think Del Rio would get deafening roars, but I guess these people take their rudos seriously. If Jim Ross pulls off a tope con hilo, it would save the show. Michael Cole’s rope-twirl intro makes me happy. Ross and Cole start, just to demonstrate what fans would apparently rather see than AJ Styles vs. Christopher Daniels. Cena and Del Rio in quickly, as we could have an actual match worth watching. Rudo Cena dominates and the crowd loses their patience with him quickly. Crowd finally cheers Del Rio when he goes on offense. Early chinlock means we’re playing light tonight. Del Rio and Cena run through house show style offense, which is a good indication as to how WWE views taped Raws as compared to live ones. Really, we’re just in cruise control until JR gives Cole his comeuppance. Del Rio misses a backsplash after a long heat segment and he takes over with shoulder blocks and the five knuckle shuffle. Del Rio has enough and tags Cole, allowing Cole a chance to do some classic Bobby Heenan-style begging. Cena shakes his hand and pulls him into an AA. Ross comes in and taps Cole to an ankle lock. Del Rio takes an AA on the floor afterward. Cena makes the match for Vengeance a last man standing match, demonstrating such by counting Del Rio out himself after a brutal attack. WINNERS: John Cena and Jim via ankle lock RATING: 5/10. And yeah.
OVERALL: A glorified house show with minimal angle advancement, and a lousy commercial for a $50 PPV in just six days. I know WWE stacked October with two PPVs to try and steal Bound For Glory’s thunder, but no one’s going to spend any money on poorly-set events. Tonight’s show certainly didn’t help matters.
Full October 17 WWE RAW Supershow results…
Mark Henry, Cody Rhodes, and Christian defeated Randy Orton, Sheamus, and John Morrison
Eve defeated Natalya
C.M. Punk defeated The Miz
Zack Ryder over Jack Swagger
Dolph Ziggler defeated Mason Ryan by DQ
John Cena and Jim Ross defeated Alberto Del Rio and Michael Cole
This week’s WWE Friday Night SmackDown opens up with general manager Teddy Long and executive vice president of talent relations and newly appointed Raw general manager John Laurinitis announcing that this episode of SmackDown now places the show as the number longest running episodic program in television history behind only it’s Monday night counterpart Raw and as result the show will feature the largest battle royal in WWE history. The winner of the battle royal will receive a WWE title shot at a champion of their choosing in the main event of tonight’s show.
Largest battle royal in WWE history
One by one superstars from both brands make their way to the ring until the ring is full with 41 superstars!!!! Little by little superstars are eliminated as Sheamus looks to be the early favorite and is tossing wrestlers out left and right. Slowly but surely the ring begins to empty as Orton is handing out RKO after RKO and the final two superstars left are The Miz and Randy Orton. Cue controversial finish as only a good battle royal can and you have both superstars on the apron and Orton hits an RKO on Miz and both men fall off the apron. The multiple replays clearly show that Miz’s back foot landed outside of the ring just a split second before Orton’s does. Your winner of the largest battle royal in WWE history, “The Viper” Randy Orton. Orton then takes the mic and makes it known that his title shot tonight will be against current champ Mark Henry.
Kelly Kelly vs. Divas champion “Glamazon” Beth Phoenix
Next we have Kelly Kelly looking to gain back the Diva’s title from the “Glamazon” Beth Phoenix. Her attempts were short lived as Phoenix proved to be too much and retained her Divas title.
We cut to backstage where the black masked Sin Cara is attacking the original Sin Cara. The black masked Sin Cara actually removes the original Sin Cara’s mask and takes his off and wears the blue mask. He then makes his way to the ring to take on Justin Gabriel. The match was short as Gabriel takes to the top turnbuckle but Sin Cara counters by knocking him off and hits his swanton bomb finisher.
WWE Champion Alberto Del Rio vs. “The Celtic Warrior” Sheamus
We return to the action and find Alberto Del Rio personal ring announcer Ricardo Rodriguez introducing the champion Del Rio and he is set to take on “The Celtic Warrior” Sheamus. Power moves hit by both men and Sheamus takes to the top rope only to be knocked off by Christian who apparently was hiding under the ring all match long. Del Rio hits a nice running enzugiri and kick to the skull of Sheamus and picks up the win. Christian then enters the ring to prey on the fallen Sheamus and hits one spear and then leaves the ring but isn’t happy by what he sees because Sheamus is back to his feet so Christian delivers spear #2 and heads up the ramp.
Backstage we see Teddy Long talking to current tag champs “Air Boom” Kofi Kingston and Evan Bourne. Bourne is in street clothes and injured and won’t be wrestling tonight. Vicki Guerrero demands that the tag champs defend their belts against her team of Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger. Long says it isn’t happening but wait here comes Zack Ryder who wants in and tonight it will be Kingston and Ryder against Ziggler and Swagger.
Kofi Kingston & Zack Ryder vs. Dolph Ziggler & Jack Swagger
This match featured plenty of action between both teams and Ryder gets the hot tag and cleans house only to end up in Ziggler’s sleeper hold but counters nicely and throws Ziggler into the turnbuckle. Swagger interferes illegally and looks have turned the momentum but Kingston comes to and delivers his “Trouble in Paradise” kick and “Long Island Ice Z” Zack Ryder gets the pin!!!! This is two weeks in a row that Ryder has pinned the current US champion Dolph Ziggler. I really feel that Ziggler and Ryder could have an exciting feud and give a much needed shot in the arm to the US title.
Cut to Raw Recap from this week highlighting the firing of Triple H.
“The Viper” Randy Orton vs. World Heavyweight Champion Mark Henry
Time for our main event of the evening. Randy Orton vs. the champion Mark Henry. Henry hits power move after power move and doesn’t disappoint by taking the action to the outside and seems to have Orton right where he wants him. But as we saw last week the returning Big Show has his sights set on Henry and he interferes in the match and is joined by Cody Rhodes who has his own issues with Orton but it’s the Big Show who single-handily takes care of both by catching Rhodes off the top rope and choke slamming him and then choke slamming the world’s strongest man and the show closes with Orton and Show standing over the fallen Rhodes and Henry.
I think they could really do something with the Rhodes/Orton feud and I think that Show could work well with Henry. I also really like the angle with Ryder and Ziggler and would look forward to a series of matches for the US title between these two young superstars.
-Finish my Metallica top fifty, or review WWE Raw? Guess this is gonna be an all nighter. Damn you, Raw. Why must you be a two hour potential waste of my life? Your crappy enigma stifles me.
-Live from Oklahoma City. Odds of JR being embarrassed: 2-1.
Opening Segment: Triple H is so alone, SO ALONE
No commentators, no wrestlers, just Triple H wandering around to near silence. Thank God the sound technician didn’t vote ‘no confidence’. Who would have pushed play for Motorhead, if not for him? I do like that Triple H buries the roster for being a bunch of pansies. Ahh, but the dissidents are in the parking lot with their wrestling gear handy. Yep, deus ex machina is back! HHH asks the fans if he should leave, and they boo. What the hell happened to wrestling crowds? Triple H gives his version of the “I Have a Dream” speech, and buries the roster some more. John Cena’s here, because he’s a WORKING MAN, and he comes out to confront HHH. I’d laugh if Johnny Ace came out and announced that both men failed wellness tests, even if it’s not in the script. Cena says the world wants to know where he stands on the no confidence issue. DAMN IT, ERIC, I’M MISSING THE BEARS AND LIONS FOR THIS CRAP! Cena announces he’s staying and gets a mixed reaction. Well, who didn’t see THAT coming? Then Sheamus comes out, presumably to begin his colossal push toward WrestleMania. Sheamus complains about past events involving HHH. GET TO THE MOTHER F—KING POINT! I AM NOT MISSING THE LIONS ASCENT, NOR TAKING TIME FROM WRITING MY METALLICA OPUS, TO RECAP VINCE MCMAHON’S ATTEMPT TO MOCK THE OCCUPY-WALL STREET PROTESTORS! Sheamus says everyone in the parking lot is a loser. Take THAT, Evan Bourne! Sheamus is staying, and that brings out CM Punk. Punk points out that he made walking out cool. No, Raven did, but we can revise history here. Punk then tries to sell the audience on the company. You know what would sell me? WRESTLING! Punk declares his allegiance to WWE, albeit for chaotic reasons, as we all die a little inside. Tonight, we get Sheamus and John Cena, with HHH as the referee, and CM Punk gets free reign at the commentary booth. Okay, that part rules. Commercial as the match starts. SEGMENT RATING: 0/10. I would rather have Michael J Fox perform a hysterectomy on me while I’m awake and he’s blindfolded than sit through that again.
Match 1: John Cena vs. Sheamus (Guest referee: Triple H)
Back from break and Punk is CALLING THE MATCH. Forty five seconds after the break, No Chance in Hell hits, and Vince McMahon storms the ring. Vince kicks the wrestlers out, leaving just him and his son in law. Of course he does. Is it me, or does Vince look younger? Vince McMahon: “I don’t think any of us know where it’s going”. We have our out-of-context quote of the decade. Vince informs HHH that the board of directors have ousted him as COO. Vince adds that no McMahon will be running Raw, but rather John Laurinaitis is briefly taking over. Good, a villainous authority figure that will actually get booed. I’m okay with this. Fades to commercial from there. RATING: 0/10. I didn’t yield for a Volkswagen earlier and caused it to swerve to avoid me. I feel like this show is my punishment.
-The entire roster is welcomed back, looking like the freed Iranian hostages as they file in. Ace makes John Morrison vs. Christian. Is that Cyndi Lauper in a fedora? Oh, that’s Heath Slater.
Match 2: John Morrison vs. Christian
It can only go up from here. Both men are in street clothes, but it’s not a street fight. I am confused. Christian comes out with Rhodes, Swagger, and Ziggler (aka Cody Jack Dolph). Morrison manages to get the shirt-over-the-head hockey tactic, but Christian wins with a spear. WINNER: Christian via spear RATING: 2/10. Upward mobility!
Then the heels all beat Morrison up. DUMP MELINA! THIS ISN’T WORTH IT!
In Ring Segment: Mark Henry
Hey, more talking! Lengthy video to bring the Henry-Show feud up to speed for those who don’t watch Smackdown. Then Randy Orton is out for the next match. Well, it’s wrestling.
Match 2: Mark Henry vs. Randy Orton (non title match)
Back from commercial to Henry beating Orton up, but it doesn’t last. Sigh, hardly any action. After tonight’s Raw, Bruce Prichard, Dixie Carter, you’re getting my conditional loyalty for a few weeks. DON’T BLOW IT. Then Henry takes over, and my will to pay attention is shot. Rope DDT by Orton, but Cody Rhodes interferes to prevent the RKO. Orton ends up getting it anyway, and Rhodes has to save Henry on 2 for the DQ WINNER: Randy Orton by DQ RATING: 4/10. Sure, why not.
Rhodes and Henry destroy Orton afterward. Hey kids, Super Orton’s back. And Mark Henry needs help to kill him. But Cody Rhodes’ disturbing promo after bagging Orton makes it worth it for a moment
SPECIAL CODY RHODES BAG PROMO RATING: 8/10. I’m feeling better now.
Match 3: Kelly Kelly/Eve Torres vs. Rosa Mendes/Tamina
2-1 says Rosa gets buried. Screaming Kelly screams. And screams. And nobody cares. GAHHH! IT’S ONLY 10:12! QUALITY OF LIFE IS NO MORE! This match is so bad, Cole has to plug Johnny Ace’s Twitter. Oh, Tamina got pinned. That’s nice. WINNER: Kelly Kelly/Eve Torres via moonsault RATING: 1/10. F-ks. They are not given.
Then Johnny Ace is out to collect from Kelly Kelly his weekly blo—er, cut a promo. Ace makes Del Rio/Cena for Vengeance and invites JR in the ring. Yep. Ace calls JR an ingrate for walking out, and then rips him some more. Ace fires JR, because JR’s never been embarrassed in his home state before. Jim Ross can’t even bother to be upset, because this is what, the fifteenth time in the last twelve years this has happened? Yeah.
Match 4: Mason Ryan/Air Boom vs. Jack Dolph/David Otunga
Nice of Ryan to give Ziggler a concussion on a botch throw back into the ring. Ziggler seems legit pissed too. Back from break and Kofi’s the face in peril. I like the majority of these guys, but this show just sapped my energy. My apologies. Alleged hot tag to Ryan as he mauls Ziggler (while Cole and Lawler take turns blowing him, so you know the push is coming). Ryan nearly breaks Ziggler’s neck with a gun slinger uranage and pins him. WINNERS: Air Boom and Mason Ryan via gun slinger uranage RATING: 4/10. Prepare for the Mason Ryan push. Ugh.
Ricardo, Alberto, CM…..save me
Main Event: Alberto Del Rio vs. CM Punk (non title match)
We’re now in “Help me, Obi Wan” mode. Punk with shoulder blocks early, and we got a nifty little wrestling match between two professionals. Punk chops Del Rio down with kicks, and FINALLY brings this crowd to life. Then Del Rio takes over, rather aggressively, and gets a great dropkick to the back of the neck. Early chinlock usually indicates an abbreviated match. Punk ends up missing the corner charge knee and tumbles to the floor. Then Ace comes out to stop the match, and turns it into a tag team match with Punk and Del Rio now forced to team against The Awesome Truth, now reinstated. Umm….ok then, sounds fine.
Actual Main Event: Alberto Del Rio/CM Punk vs. The Awesome Truth
I’m not gonna lie, I’m done typing. I’m just waiting for the end of the show to announce the winner and any plot development. I like all four guys, but c’mon, this show is more troubled than MacKenzie Phillips doing Father’s Day shopping. Del Rio ends up taking a walk, leaving Punk alone, because Del Rio is a heel and Punk is a face. Punk absorbs a long beating in very Cena-like fashion. Punk ends up taking down both men himself. Before he can GTS Miz, he gets an extended double team that leads to a DQ. Then HHH runs in to attack both men. Punk and HHH brutalize Awesome Truth, and both men run off. Hall and Nash, they aren’t.
WINNERS: CM Punk and Alberto Del Rio via DQ
RATING: 5/10. Match of the night. Yeah.