-My oh my, was Destination X a bowl of chicken soup for my aching soul. If you’re not watching TNA, you need to start right now, because they’re actually putting on a must-see product, and not just booking some tedious matches around a two-hour socio-political campaign. Austin Aries vs. Robert Roode may well be your match of the year, and TNA went and made a new star without any kind of screwjob or hang-up otherwise. And for those of you who miss blood, check out AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels committing dual attempted murder in the Last Man Standing match as well. Overall, it’s a thumbs up show, and reading my review may be better than the one I’m writing now, because the Destination X one was written by a happy Justin. http://camelclutchblog.com/tna-wrestling-destination-x-2012-results-aries-wins-the-tna-championship/
-While I’ve bashed WWE quite a bit in recent times, deservedly so I feel, Money in the Bank looks pretty good, except for the implication that Cena has to stop Big Show from claiming the briefcase, because Punk apparently can’t beat Show on his own. But Cena can. You know, the guy who Punk cleanly beat twice in World Title matches a year ago. Who’s fact-checking this, Drew Barrymore in 50 First Dates?
-WWE Monday Night Raw is live from Denver, where a neck that’s had four surgeries won’t deter a football team from giving that man a boatload of cash up front to play.
AJ’s in daisy dukes, so the show can’t possibly suck yet. AJ is overwhelmed by the responsibility of being the referee Sunday, and she flashes a lot of conflicted faces. Then she introduces CM Punk, who seems a smidge bewildered. He doesn’t even know why AJ brought him out here. Ratings, duh. AJ assures Punk that she’s sane. Well, she doesn’t have a stamp on her hand like Homer did, at least. Then she breaks down and admits no one has ever showed compassion for her as Punk has. Then she gushes about Punk’s looks as the crowd turns on the segment. But they come back around when she admits Punk turns her on. So AJ takes a knee and asks Punk to marry her. D-Bry runs out to object with a barrage of no’s. This is so over-the-top that I can’t turn away. Bryan tries to kiss up to AJ, and Punk rebukes him. Bryan dares him to accept her proposal, just to prove he cares about AJ. Punk says nothing, so Bryan proposes to AJ, and Punk puts a stop to it, calling Bryan a liar. Punk tries to talk sense into AJ, and the bickering leads to….the return of the anonymous GM! Cole serves as medium and makes Punk/AJ vs. Bryan/Eve. Bryan angrily objects. AJ says that “everything happens for a reason”, and thinks she’s leaving with her future husband tonight.
Segment Rating: 7/10. Fun as that was, part of me thinks Punk is thinking “if I campaign for Linda’s opponent, maybe I can get fired and be facing Aries in about ninety days….”
Match 1: Sheamus vs. Jack Swagger (non title match)
Hey, Sheamus isn’t smiling. I like him more already. Swagger gets a quick takedown, but Sheamus catches the pump splash, hits White Noise, and Brogues the hell out of Swags for the quick finish.
WINNER: Sheamus via Brogue Kick
Rating: 3/10. I do enjoy a not-screwin’-‘round squash.
-Del Rio taunts Sheamus from his car in the back, so Sheamus Brogue Kicks Swagger again. I’m sure Del Rio feels for Swagger.
-Santino congratulates Ryder on winning the battle royal on Smackdown, and apparently the Anonymous GM is here tonight. Sherlock Santino is on the case. Oh lord.
-The Rock will be at the 1000th Raw to announce his World Title plans. Jobbing to Punk? Works for me.
Match 2: Tensai/Dolph Ziggler vs. Tyson Kidd/Christian
Hey, who turned off this intros on this real life WWE 12 exhibition match? Kidd gets taken out, but tags Christian, who holds his own with Ziggler. Tensai avoids the Killswitch, but Christian drops him with a missle dropkick. Sakamoto provides a distraction, and Ziggler and Tensai take Christian out, allowing Tensai to steal the pin.
WINNERS: Dolph Ziggler/Tensai via running senton
Rating: 2/10. Why was it so short? They’re not Divas.
-Tensai makes up for the lack of action by powerbombing Kidd on the edge of the apron afterward. At least I got to hear Tensai’s song twice. It’s catchy.
-Lawler and Cole argue over who the GM should be, and Cole gets mad at Lawler’s choices and douses him with a beverage. The GM chimes in, and Cole refuses to read it. Lawler relates the message: Cole vs. Lawler tonight. Is it Thursday yet? A second GM update polls the fans on the match, and they do. They cheered for Tim Tebow, of course they’re not going to make rational decisions.
Match 3: Brodus Clay vs. Drew McIntyre
I’m at the point where only AJ and Naomi are bringing me joy. Who knew NXT Season 3 was my Godsend? Drew on Clay: “It’s the same song and dance every week!” Or he could be talking about Raw’s booking. McIntyre dives into a Clay headbutt, and the splash finishes.
WINNER: Brodus Clay via big splash
Rating: 2/10. Is it Thursday yet?
-Santino accuses Jericho of being the Anonymous GM, and Jericho accuses Santino of creating a ruse, which Santino can’t disprove. Then Jeri-Show reunites. Jericho wants to talk strategy, but Show warns him to back off.
-Raw Moment: Stephanie gets another go at it, picking the wedding vow renewal with HHH that went awry.
Match 4: John Cena/Kane vs. Jeri-Show
Cena wastes time with a pre-match promo that’s longer than the first three matches combined, or at least came damn close to outlasting them. Cena and Jericho start, and they pace it frenetically, with Cena hitting a bulldog before Jericho tags Show. Cena slugs away to little avail, avoids a chokeslam, and tags Kane. Show overpowers him quickly, but misses a corner strike and Kane wails away. Show comes back with a hard corner clothesline. Kane is dumped outside and Jericho gives him a kick for good measure. Back inside, Kane continues to be dominated, making him the face-in, err, heel-in, errr…..monster-in-peril. Jericho tags in and immediately gets throat thrusted. This brings in Cena, who gets the double leg suplex for 2. Jericho wisely distracts the ref on a whip, and Show clobbers Cena as we go to commercial. Show pummels Cena when we come back, getting the overhand chop in the corner. A second misses and Cena tries a slam, but Show crushes him for 2. Show gets the Andre bear hug, and Hulk Cena breaks out, back suplexing him. Kane gets the tag and goes ape-caca on Show, culminating with his running DDT for 2. Show comes back with a big spear for 2. Jericho gets the tag, and drops the double axe handle, and a series of stomps. Kane’s in trouble as we get a second commercial. This gets 2 commercials. The first three matches could have fit into one commercial break together.Back, and Jericho has a chinlock on Kane, which the monster piggybacks out of. Jericho gets planted with a sideslam. Hot tag Cena, who takes Jericho down, slugs Show, and AA’s Jericho. He gets only 2 as Show pulls him out, and the ref calls for the bell. Two commercials for THAT finish? I hope one of the McMahons gets charged with misappropriating campaign funds.
WINNER: John Cena/Kane via DQ
Rating: 5/10. It was a match. A long one. Not a great one.
-Show kills everyone with ladders. The dead are the lucky ones. Cena gets the last laugh by knocking Show over the top with a ladder.
-I love that Cole is interacting with Lawler professionally, when he’s minutes away from getting killed by him. Cole: “You don’t WANT me in matches, disgracing this great sport!” For once, Michael, I agree wholeheartedly.
-Punk warms up, and interacts with Eve, who veers on reality and points out how Punk is overshadowed by a lot of the part-timers, and now AJ. She’s got a point.
-Sherlock Santino’s search continues, and he thinks he’s found the culprit: Khali. But the trail is false. COMEDY.
Match 5: Sin Cara vs. Heath Slater (Money in the Bank Qualifier)
Wow, Sin Cara is now considered a Raw legend! Slater dominates with a scoop slam and a chinlock, but Cara comes back with the springboard armdrag, apron enzuigiri, crossbody, and La Mistica to win.
WINNER: Sin Cara via La Mistica
Rating: 2/10. Barely a match, but at least nothing was blown.
-Slater throws a tantrum, and this brings out Mr. Bob Backlund, in tights, and looks pretty good for almost being 63. Backlund milks the crowd, and Slater cheap shots him. Backlund comes back with the chicken wing, and Slater taps despite it not being a match.
-The poll for Lawler/Cole is revealed, and it’s 75/25 in favor of a match. Cole gets pissy as we take a break.
Match 6: Jerry Lawler vs. Michael Cole
Mathews and Booker take over on commentary. Cole runs away, but Booker throws him back in, because all babyfaces are in it together. Cole offers a truce, so Lawler gives him an Airplane spin. Cole plays dead and Lawler pins him off of it. Then the GM chimes in, and Mathews announces that Cole wins by DQ, since Booker interfered. This brings out Sherlock Santino, to further harm my soul. He reveals that the GM is under the ring. Mathews, via the GM, says “No I’m not”. Then somebody drags Santino under and it’s…..Hornswoggle. Kill me.
Winner: F—k this s—t
Rating: You heard me.
Save me, gang. Punk and Bryan pummel each other, and Punk gets the upper hand with kicks and a backdrop. Bryan takes over with a knee and kicks in the corner. Punk halts the charge with a leg lariat, and AJ tags in, so Eve must as well. AJ gets a tackle and hammers away, before Eve cuts her off with a pump kick. AJ counters an Eve flip splash, and gets a layout basement dropkick, followed by a standing roundhouse for 2. AJ prevents Eve from tagging, but Eve kicks off, and Bryan jumps off the apron. AJ rolls up Eve to win.
WINNERS: CM Punk/AJ via roll-up
Rating: 4/10. Almost match of the night honors.
-Afterward, Bryan tries to say that he gave AJ the win because he loves her. Bryan offers her marriage, and Punk tells her that he won’t try to use her like Bryan is. Punk turns down marriage, on principle’s sake. But at least he told her the truth. AJ approaches with tears in her eyes, and smacks him. Bryan enjoys it, and offers his arms, and she smacks him as well. She reverts to the crazed laugh, and does the Yes thing. What an odd, but lovely, girl.
OVERALL: If AJ wasn’t so darn loveable, Raw would have less value than gargling corpse drainage. If this was meant to sell PPVs, and this was Vince McMahon’s doing, then maybe Hunter and Stephanie should learn into the whole retirement-castle thing for Pops.
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 Wrestlechat.net 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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