-So yeah, Eric gets this novel idea that, if Camel Clutch Blog posts an immediate review of wrestling’s major television shows as soon as they conclude, his website might get more hits. Crazy, right? I’m the first one out of the gate, volunteering to do Monday Night Raw until I get bored, or he realizes I’m a hack and asks Jeff Peck to do it in exchange for a brick of Wisconsin sharp cheddar. Feel free to take bets at home on what happens first.
-Live from the Nassau Coliseum in Long Island
-This is the only week I will acknowledge Nickelback. Can we get someone more bad ass, like…..I don’t know, My Chemical Romance?
–The Miz kicks off for the Sports Entertainment Rant Session (aka SERS, which isn’t as deadly as SARS but is just as aggravating), and he’s not happy with Stone Cold for his biased officiating. Nope, he’s pretty steamed in fact. Miz immediately sells the “All Star” aspect of the show by declaring himself a true “All Star”. Maybe it’s like the NFL Pro Bowl where Miz was a sixth alternate that replaced Darwin Walker. But he’s here to call out Stone Cold, because heels have a great track record for surviving that. Miz demands AN APOLOGY. I’ll bet this is the one time where Austin takes a step back, ponders the error of his ways, and follows through on said apology.
-So Austin comes out to a somewhat lukewarm pop (then again, Long Island’s about as quiet as Jon Stewart on the Anthony Weiner subject). Chorus of “WHATS” accompany Austin’s 2002-style rancor, with Austin praising Miz for his verbal jousting, but chastises him for running off last week. Austin, 1998-hipster that he is, drops some “ass” and “bitches” just for fun. What PG?
-The meat of the segment is Steve Austin telling Miz that Alex Riley might be a bigger star than Miz one day, which prompts disbelief from Miz. Then Austin grabs his tie (careful, that got Daniel Bryan fired!) and informs Miz that he and Alex Riley will be on “Piper’s Pit” tonight. Austin then warns Miz to leave or get Stunned, and Miz backs away slowly, giving Austin the skunk eye the whole way. I hope they pull the trigger on Austin-Miz at SummerSlam.
RATING: 6/10. Decent start to the show, as Austin and Miz played off each other believably enough. I wish they factored in their segment from the post-WrestleMania Raw, but maybe they can tie it in down the line.
-But just as Miz leaves, the opening segment continues, with Alberto Del Rio rolling out in his ride. Can anyone smell Stunner? I sure can’t, but I’m naïve so…..yeah. Del Rio goes into “Austin Opponent 101” by getting into Austin’s face, demanding Austin’s endorsement, but instead gets Kane as an opponent. Isn’t it Teddy Long’s job to dole out Kane/Undertaker matches?
MATCH ONE: KANE VS. ALBERTO DEL RIO (w/ Ricardo Rodriguez)
-Funny moment, as Cole talks about how Big Show being hit by ADR’s car caused $23,000 worth of damage to the car. That needed a Heenan-esque delivery, but it’ll suffice. Crowd isn’t really into the match early, as Kane gets his usual offense in with little deviation. Del Rio gets the Cross Armbreaker out of nowhere early and Kane makes the ropes, but ADR doesn’t break on five, prompting the disqualification. ALL-STAR NIGHT!
-But Big Show hits the ring to get his revenge, drawing as good as pop as he can get. Ricardo sacrifices himself to let Del Rio escape, and Show mauls Ricardo into a pulp. Kane has to pry Show off, as Ricardo is as dead as the Krusty-Burglar. Check his medical alert bracelet!
-But WAIT. Austin’s back, and he makes Del Rio-Show for Capitol Punishment. Alrighty then.
WINNER: Kane by disqualification (refusal to break the ropes)
RATING: 4/10. Bad match, but at least it advanced the Show/Del Rio angle. Not sure who wins Sunday
-Does every USA show have one semi-attainable hot chick with a brain?
-Back from break, a recap of Show running to the ring. Show was running. Actually, yeah, that’s worth a recap.
-If the tag titles really meant anything in WWE, Legacy vs. Cara/Bryan would rock my world, and yours too. Bryan plays vanilla midcarder-in-peril to the heel trio’s offense, including a nice pumphandle slam from Barrett. Zeke takes over on Barrett with his ANGRY OFFENSE, followed by the wringer-of-slams. Zeke backdrops both Legacy members out, because he’s strong. The Zeke presses Bryan onto Legacy, because he’s strong. Cara, surprisingly, pins Barrett with a springboard cross body.
WINNERS: Sin Cara, Ezekiel Jackson, and Daniel Bryan via pinfall (springboard cross body)
RATING: 5/10. It was short, but served a minor purpose. Not sure why Cara would pin the Intercontinental Champion and not Zeke, but minor quibbles I suppose.
-Buy the WrestleMania DVD! Watch as Rock leading a chanting contest is more important than Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan!
-Hornswoggle’s shooting t-shirts into the crowd, and apparently Lawler and Cole missed their production cue. Oooops. Betcha they blame Sin Cara.
-DA TRUTH! SHALL SET CHU FREE!!!
-R-Truth is here to make me happy with his abject dementia, and even adds “Little Jennies” to “Little Jimmies”. Truth wants the t-shirt gun, which stands a chance at topping his “Confederate Crackhead” routine from last week. Truth promises to beat John Cena, which actually gets New York fans to boo. R-Truth just got Cena over as a face? IT’S A MIRACLE!
-Horny shoots Truth with the t-shirt gun, which Truth no sells. He grabs Swoggle, hugs him for some reason, and then kicks him in the face. Can we elect this guy to some high papal position? He’s seriously making this show worthwhile right about now.
-Austin then sets up an R-Truth match with…..the returning John Morrison. Well, if they give them time, I’m game. R-Truth then stomps Hornswoggle, because he likes me.
-Truth then stomps Hornswoggle. Because he likes me.
RATING: 5/10. Not as funny as last week’s R-Truth shenanigans, but it involved Hornswoggle being brutalized, so yay.
MATCH THREE: SANTINO MARELLA VS. SHEAMUS
-No intros, no story reason, no problem. I don’t see this lasting long. Santino tries to no-sell Sheamus’ brutality, but a hard clothesline leads to Pale Justice attempt, which Santino counters. Brogue kick misses, and Santino gets the Cobra for 2?! Upset in the making?
-Nope, Brogue kick, followed by a Texas Cloverleaf (Dublin Fourleaf?) for the win.
WINNER: Sheamus via submission (Texas Cloverleaf)
RATING: 4/10. Short, but inoffensive.
-Preview for the new USA series “Suits”. Good timing. This iced tea is bloating me.
–Randy Orton is WALKING! Lawler wants to know if Orton’s going to address what Christian did to him on Smackdown. I dunno, King, check your production notes…..
-Christian/Orton history package, detailing Christian’s heel turn. For this to work, Grandma Edna has to snub Christian again and side with Orton. It’s only right.
-Randy Orton and his uneven beard are here to go through the babyface motions, err, responds to Christian’s heinous deeds (or, rather, acts of heinousity). Orton drops the bombshell that Christian is IN. THIS. BUILDING. I’m as shocked as you are. Just as shocking, Orton calls Christian out. THE HELL YOU SAY!
-Christian and his mega-lame “HIT THE SWITCH” shirt rebut from backstage, and points out how things are handed to Orton, whereas Christian has had to fight for everything he’s earned. Would explain why Orton was the only man from the Signature Pharmacy list not suspended in 2007.
-Then Orton, incorrectly, points out that Edge has been carrying Christian for 17 years, just to get Christian’s goat. I dunno, Christian kinda had to fend for himself for those three years in “exile” a few years ago. But Christian’s headed out anyway.
-But wait! Christian stops in the aisle and backs off, because he’s now a heel. In fact, Christian calls in a number of local indy workers pretending to be security guards to keep Orton at bay.
-BADA DING! BADA DING! BADA DING!
-The anonymous GM, via Michael Cole, tells Orton to let it go and not let his Christian-induced concussion worsen. Failure to comply will result in Orton being stripped of the WHC. But that belt’s NEVER been vacant before! Except for those 20 other times. Orton is ushered away, but Steve Austin shows up on the Titan Tron, because Austin has to abuse the heels. Stone Cold makes a match with Christian vs. Rey Mysterio for after the break, which is fine with me. Sadly, no “CLB” reference from Austin.
-RATING 7/10. It actually felt like a big-time issue was being taken seriously, so that’s a cut above the handling of many other TV angles this year.
-Wait….how can the GM of Raw strip the Smackdown champion of his belt? Zuh?
-Another Obama alert. Obama’s confident that the American people want Cena and Orton. Given the approval ratings during his Obamacare push, this isn’t surprising.
-Booker T is here to commentate, and I know there’s little chance he’s going to call Lawler out for those prison jokes in 2003. In my mind, lifetime continuity is a pipe dream worth pursuing.
MATCH FOUR: REY MYSTERIO VS. CHRISTIAN
-Christian took an abrasive bump into the bottom rope off of a headscissors, and Lawler and Booker reference how a rope can take off an ear. Booker says he’s seen it before. Who could they be referring to? Hmmm…
-Christian slows it down early with a rest hold, because this is TV, and then flings Rey to the floor just to spice things up. Then we go to commercial, because we can’t have too much excitement at once. That’s why WWE doesn’t let us have colored pencils. OVERSTIMULATION.
-Back from break, Christian’s in another rest hold. Let’s hope they’re planning one hell of a finishing sequence. Wait…..Christian was just disqualified for not breaking a rope choke. It’s night of 1000 disqualification finishes! Where’s Honky Tonk Man’s match!
WINNER: Rey Mysterio via disqualification (refusal to rope break)
-Afterward, the two fight on the top turnbuckle, and Christian is backdropped off the top rope. CM Punk tries to intervene and gets dove on by Rey. Rey fights off Nexus next, and tries to 619 Christian, only to get ravaged by Mason Ryan. Christian cleans up the spill with a Killswitch, to try and keep his heat after that…..ending.
RATING: 3/10. Bad ending that did nothing for Christian, who is suddenly a cowardly jerk after being built up as a brave hero the previous few months. I know that’s how turns work, but it was counterproductive to the previous segment with Orton in terms of building the PPV match.
-Backstage, Austin books Dolph Ziggler vs. Kofi Kingston for the US Title at Capitol Punishment, on the condition that Ziggler drop Vickie Guerrero as his baggage. After goading from Austin, Ziggler agrees to drop Vickie, which makes her hysterical. Austin then reveals he made the match anyway earlier in the day, so no sweat. Vickie shrieks. Alright, that was cute.
-Did you know that WWE has more Twitter followers than McDonalds? What the hell is McDonalds going to tweet that would make me say “I better follow them!”? Besides “That bitch who spilled coffee on herself finally died. O glorious day!”.
MATCH FIVE: JOHN MORRISON VS. R-TRUTH
-Morrison does not emerge from the entrance way, prompting confusion from all. The song plays a second time, with still no appearance. Truth gets pissed and yells some of that glorious Truth gibberish into the mic. I’m all for mic time for Truth. Can he have a half hour of Raw to himself?
-Truth goes up the ramp to find Morrison, as the search begins. Not quite the Sapphire search from Summerslam 1990, but it’s pretty riveting. Ahh, but it’s revealed that Truth attacked Morrison before the match and left him laying with another neck injury. It’s a good way to bury Morrison further with a bait and switch. Then Truth crushes Morrison with a production creeper, and Truth’s facials and his “TAKE THAT LITTLE JIMMY!” prompt laughs from the crowd.
WINNER: No match
RATING: 8/10. Really, is anyone in wrestling even half as entertaining as R-Truth right now? Great segment to emphasize Truth’s insanity, as well as his dangerously clever side. He’s a complete character, and that’s rare in WWE nowadays.
-WWE.com promotes their top 25 managers list. If there’s no Uncle Cletus, I riot.
-Hey, two singles feuds forged into a tag team match. That NEVER happens!
-Match is typical tag team fare until Kingston counters a Swagger pump splash by getting his feet up from off camera. Always nice to see Kofi got beyond the call of duty.
-Kofi takes Swagger out with Trouble in Paradise on the apron, and Bourne lands Air Bourne to end it in a hurry.
WINNERS: Kofi Kingston and Evan Bourne via pinfall (Air Bourne)
RATING: 5/10. It was there. It was fun, but it was there.
-WWE acknowledges Rock winning “Best Ass Kicker” at the Guys Choice Awards, but don’t say what channel it was on. Well, now that’s just petty.
-Onto Piper’s Pit, where I have my click counter handy to keep track of Piper’s botched names, words, and accidental swears that will be muted. Piper’s walking a little gimpy, but looks okay otherwise, I suppose. Piper mentions his boxing match with Mr. T in this arena 25 years ago, which only serves to show just how old Piper really is.
-Miz comes out, and he’s unhappy about being compared to Piper, and Piper corrects him, saying there’ll NEVER be another Roddy Piper. The applause he got there gave me pause. Then Miz agrees, saying he’s actually won a World Title and won a WrestleMania main event, then he insults They Live.
-Well, at least Piper got Alex Riley’s name right. Could be a sink or swim promo for A-Ri. HUGE “Let’s Go Riley” chant. Riley begins by accusing Miz of using him to retain his title, when, in fact, he’s capable of beating Miz. Miz lambasts Piper for talking about self-respect when he used Bob Orton as a lackey. Piper then rambles about Andre the Giant and a well just to confuse Miz, showing that he still changes the questions. Hot segment so far.
-Miz then offers a wager to Piper on Sunday’s match, and then Riley chimes in by saying Piper could beat Miz right now. Miz bets a grand on himself, and Piper, after hemming and hawing, wagers five grand. Austin endorses that bet and makes the match, with ten grand hanging in the balance. Oh, and the referee? Alex Riley. Gotta say, WWE’s getting A-Ri’s push perfect so far.
MATCH SEVEN: THE MIZ VS. ROWDY RODDY PIPER (Guest referee: Alex Riley)
-Whew, Piper’s keeping his shirt on. This IS PG, after all.
-Wild slugfest develops and Piper immediately gets his Sleeper on Miz, but a corner crush breaks. A-Ri keeps Miz from savaging Piper in the corner, so Miz strikes the ref. Before we get our third DQ of the night, Riley strikes Miz back, Piper rolls Miz up, and a fast count ends it.
WINNER: Roddy Piper via pinfall (roll up)
RATING: 9/10. The whole sequence served the purpose: Riley remained strong and over, Miz got humiliated with room for revenge, and Piper moderated well. Great stuff.
-Hey, a Price is Right ad with Kelly Kelly and the Bella Twins. This is important, because WWE Hall of Famer Drew Carey is involved.
MATCH EIGHT: BELLA TWINS/MELINA/MARYSE/ALICIA FOX/TAMINA/ROSA MENDES VS. KELLY KELLY/GAIL KIM/BETH PHOENIX/AJ/KAITLYN/NATALYA/EVE TORRES
-Betcha it’s short. My eyes are only partially alert after over two hours of this. I think WWE budgeted Tough Enough for an extra week, and ran short, so they booked this “three hour Raw” as compensation with USA. Please, stick to two hours?
–Kelly Kelly stinkface on Rosa. THE SMELL OF FLOUNDER, IT WAFTS!
-14 divas brawl and Kelly gets her crappy K2 move to win.
WINNERS: The face divas via pinfall (K2)
-Afterward, Eve announces the winning team will be doing a Broadway tribute to the Tony’s, and it’s a Rockette’s kickline. What was Paul Heyman’s famous line about going to DC to see Bush?
RATING: 3/10. That’s just for Kaitlyn kicking high.
–Tough Enough finale footage of Andy Leavine getting beaten up. Now to present day, Austin and Andy are backstage, and they toast out of respect. CM Punk interrupts, and Austin offers him a beer. IRONY! “Can you say the alphabet backwards?” “I can whip your ass backwards”. Awesome. Austin bans Nexus for the main event, and then says he has an announcement to make. Oh, intrigue!
-Austin’s back, and the crowd reaction is dying off. Even the ATV entrance is lukewarmly received. TWO HOURS! TWO HOURS, DAMN IT!
-Austin’s drunk. Just saying.
-Ooops, the anonymous GM interrupts, and Cole is apprehensive about cutting Austin off to read the message. The AGM announces he is returning next week, just to rain on Austin’s parade. And he announces another three hour show.
-And it’s basically Cyber Sunday and Taboo Tuesday, except it’s…..Microchip Monday? Fans have the power. I vote to have Chris Benoit’s matches restored. What, it’s not an option? Anywho, the GM bell keeps going off, and Austin gets pissed and chases Cole off. After that, it’s smashy smashy for the laptop, after a beer christening, followed by an ATV driveover.
-Another Obama dream ad. Christian, Cody Rhodes, Sheamus, Great Khali, and Hornswoggle star. Sheamus stole the ad, but he can’t be from Cleveland. He’s won a couple World Titles, ya know.
-Limping to the end. Staggering. Almost there….
-Did you know…..Tough Enough and Raw were on last night? Actually, I didn’t!
MATCH NINE: JOHN CENA VS. CM PUNK (NON TITLE MATCH)
-CM Punk: “IT’S CLOBBERING TIME!” It’s gonna suck if he leaves in September.
-Cena makes his first appearance of the night. Forget about what I said about R-Truth turning Cena face. Huge mixed reaction from a restless crowd. Three hour shows are death. Three hour shows are death.
-Dueling chant to begin. Loud Cena chants, surprising for 10:48 at night. Those cheering for Punk, congratulations, Punk wants to murder each and every one of you. I hope it involves an auger. Anywho, AA and GTS attempts are reversed, as both men end up in a stand off. Could be the makings of a classic. Punk takes control as we roll into commercial.
-Back from break, Punk locks in an abdominal stretch. I defy Gorilla Monsoon to come back and find fault with it. Punk even adds ear twisting and headbutts to accentuate the hold. Cena gets knocked to the floor, and Punk adds a plancha. Well, he’s still motivated, at least. Punk adds a top rope dive, complete with Randy Savage point. Punk – Savage :: Rey – Eddie?
-Into the rest segment as the dueling chants continue. Cena counters into the STF but Punk makes the ropes. Good match thus far.
-Punk get the knee into the corner, but Cena throws Punk off on the bulldog. Cena misses a shoulder block and coasts to the floor, however. The comeback segment is on delay.
WINNER: CM Punk via pinfall (Go To Sleep)
-In ring, Truth, with the kid’s Cena’s hat, smashes the water bottle on Cena’s head, and follows with the Moment of Truth to set up Sunday. Then to cap it off, Truth takes the belt and guarantees victory to close out Raw’s go-home show.
RATING: 9/10. Great TV match with a good out for an ending, followed by Truth getting the upper hand to build to Sunday.
OVERALL: The show dragged, but it hit on every angle heading into Capitol Punishment. Some feuds, like Cena/Truth, Orton/Christian, and Miz/Riley, seem less cut and paste than others, which gives the show a unique feel. Hopefully, they can improve upon that lousy Over the Limit buyrate a smidge.
Full 6/13 RAW results…
Kane defeated Alberto Del Rio by disqualification
Sin Cara, Ezekiel Jackson, and Daniel Bryan defeated Legacy and Wade Barrett
Sheamus defeated Santino Marella
Rey Mysterio defeated Christian by disqualification
John Morris vs. R-Truth ended in a no-contest
Kofi Kingston and Evan Bourne defeated Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger
Roddy Piper defeated The Miz with special guest referee Alex Riley
Kelly Kelly, Gail Kim, Beth Phoenix Kaitlyn, Natalya, and Eve Torres defeated Rosa Mendes, Alicia Fox, Maryse, Melina, and the Bellas
CM Punk defeated John Cena in a non-title match
Justin Henry is a freelance writer whose work appears on many websites. He provides wrestling, NFL, and other sports/pop culture columns for CamelClutchBlog.com, as well as several wrestling columns a week for WrestlingNewsSource.com and WrestleCrap.com. Justin can be found here on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/notoriousjrh and Twitter- http://www.twitter.com/cynicjrh.
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