-I am without internet due to unidentified circumstances, so I am literally phoning this in (via LG Ally) to Eric. The reviews may be short, but I’m game to try anything.
-Cheap plug: I mock those who remain indebted to the Attitude era with this mean-spirited satire. Enjoy! http://bit.ly/xAUkIB
-Live from (Eric, insert location here, then make witty joke if you prefer – Corpus Christi, Texas)
Opening Segment: Kane
The show begins with Kane making his way to the ring, moments after a highlight package of last week’s cartoony attempt to drag Zack Ryder to Hell (God, don’t remind me of that wretched movie). Its such a disappointment when Kane removes his Rocketeer mask for that crab leather thingy. Kane says he hears the fans asking why he embraces hate. He claims the fans are in denial about their hatred. I dunno, has Kane ever read flame wars on the IWC? Kane claims the fans live their lives filled with hate, but don’t embrace it. He says the fans fill their lives with delusions of hate, like John Cena. To see Cena is to see one’s own failures, says our crab-masked philosopher. Kane believes the fans take out their life’s failures on a success like Cena. Kane continues to indict the crowd, who boo the mention of Zack Ryder’s name. Oof. Kane says Cena is delaying Ryder’s appointment in Hell. This brings Cena out, and he’s here to fight. Cena gets the upper hand in a slugfest and clotheslines Kane to the floor. The fight spills toward the stage, and then through a staff exit. Kane mauls some poor actors (security guards) backstage as we go all 1999 Hardcore Title match. Outside both men go and Cena is sent into some conveniently placed pipes. After Cena is knocked into some trash, Kane disappears, leaving Cena to search.
Segment Rating: 6/10. At least there was action to go with the yap yap yap.
Sheamus’ Great White moniker is nothing compared to when Mark Henry was ‘The Silverback’ in 2008. Be a star, WWE. This match looks like the final four of an ancient Survivor Series. Fun fact: I once meditated to Mahal’s music on loop. Its relaxing! Marella and Mahal begin, and Jinder lands a nice high knee. Cole tells a story of Mahal’s turban to try and show liberal voters that WWE cares. Sure, show them the Hassan-Undertaker angle! Barrett works a chinlock on Marella as Santino makes for the face in peril. Slow match so far, but it’s just building to the Sheamus house-clean tag. Marella escapes Mahal’s clutches, and Sheamus is in to sledge Mahal down. Powerslam on Mahal, shot to knock Barrett off the apron, and then a Brogue Kick for Jinder. And just to sell some wares, Marella is tagged in to hit his gloved Cobra to win.
Winners: Sheamus and Santino Marella via Cobra
Rating: 4/10. Short and inoffensive, but a waste of Barrett’s surge of momentum.
-Meanwhile, Miz complains to Johnny Ace about R-Truth’s sneak attacks. Ace PROMISES Brodus Clay competes tonight. We’ll see. Ace: “I’m not Little Jimmy. I’m Big Johnny!” Good stuff. Anyway, Miz is looking for protection.
-The Hall of Fame’s first inductee is…..Edge. Wow, way to overlook Savage yet again. And really, WWE is just milking the fact that he’s still fresh in the crowd’s minds. I mean, I like Edge, and the Hall of Fame of WWE is a skewed proposition anyway, but still. We want Macho!
-The Miz tries to recruit a much more deroided Mason Ryan, to no avail.
-Eve tries to console Zack Ryder after the Kane attack, but Zack talks big to her. Zack asks for a date, and Eve accepts. Randy/Liz for the new generation? Eh, not quite. Meanwhile, Kane stalks Zack. Think Eve gets kidnapped?
Match 2: Kofi Kingston vs. Daniel Bryan (Non Title)
Story here: Kofi questioned Bryan’s ethics in retaining the World Title on Friday. Kofi’s such an easy going and honorable babyface; I declare him to be the modern day Tito Santana. Funny, Bryan’s blood from Friday was shown explicitly in the replay. The two shake hands to start, and Kofi catches him with a pendulum kick and cross body for 2. TIP misses and the two exchange cradles for 2. Bryan catches Kofi’s next crossbody with the Lebell Lock for the quick submission win. That should take some of the sting off of Friday.
Winner: Daniel Bryan via Lebell Lock
Rating: 4/10. Short but spirited.
-Big Show makes his way out afterward, disrupting Bryan’s overblown celebration. Bryan tries to act like he didn’t want the title match to end that way, and declares himself a fighting champion. He gives Show the opportunity for a rematch, and Show says Long has already agreed to make the rematch: this Friday on Smackdown. Oh, and it’s no DQ, no countout. Building to TV, a novel concept!
Match 3: Brodus Clay vs. Curt Hawkins
Brodus is here and……he is apparently Mecha Flash Funk, complete with dancers and faux-pimp attire. He even gets Ernest Miller’s old theme! Clay then pulls off his tearaway pants to some ewws from the crowd. Clay’s apparently a face, cabbage patching and headbutting Hawkins before hitting a throwaway t-bone suplex. Avalanche follows by the weighted crossbody for the win.
Winner: Brodus Clay via weighted crossbody.
Rating: 3/10. A fun squash with a good midcard character. Flash Funk, Akeem, and Rikishi combined.
-Meanwhile, Ryder brushes his teeth and Kane is apparently near. Brushing teeth, Kane, oh I get it!
-Primo, Epico, and Rosa blow off Miz, and CM Punk is amused.
Match 4: CM Punk vs. Jack Swagger (non title)
Vickie looks decent in those leather pants. Shocking lack of pop for Punk. Ace makes his way out, and he declares that if Punk wins tonight, he will ban Swagger and Vickie from ringside at the Rumble. Oh, and Ziggler will face Cena tonight. Punk chants finally kick up as Swagger goes for the leg early. Wrestling sequence leads to a stalemate. Punk gains control with a headlock, but Swagger uses his wrestling smarts to take over, complete with amateur roll. Punk kicks away and slams Swagger down, but Swagger rolls away before Punk can try the Savage Elbow. After a reset, Swagger clubs away on Punk, but Punk gets a springboard crossbody for 2. It should be noted that Cole and Lawler are doing a fine job calling the action. Swagger can’t get the ankle lock, but he bowls over Punk with his shoulder. Swagger gets an underhook stretch as the fans rally behind Punk. Swagger counters Punk’s escape with a rollup for 2. Punk gets dumped to the floor, and Ace prevents Dolph from interfering. Swagger is then clotheslined out, and Punk follows for the suicide dive as we hit commercial.
We return with Swagger holding Punk down with a chancery, and Punk stomps Swagger’s boot to escape. Swagger maintains control with forearm strikes as Lawler notes Ace’s presence at ringside still. Punk mounts a muay thai comeback, and adds a neckbreaker. Corner knee connects, but Swagger throws off the bulldog, then follows with the pump splash for 2. Swagger screams for Punk to stay down, and Punk boots out of a second pump splash. Punk springboards, but Swagger gets a waterwheel powerslam for 2. Punk escapes the gutwrench, Swagger escapes the GTS, and Swagger gets a belly to belly for 2. Swagger attempts a superplex, but Punk hammers out, and lands the Savage Elbow for 2…..err, 3! Swagger was late on the kickout, as Punk and Dolph seem confused about how to handle the postmatch activity. Ace insincerely claps. It appeared Swagger DID beat the count, but Jack Doan tried to improvise. Cole and Lawler waste time with debating the replay as they scramble to fill in for whatever was supposed to happen.
Winner: CM Punk via Savage Elbow
Rating: 8/10. Great TV match until the blown finish. Still enjoyable.
-Ryder and Cena have a heart to heart and Cena instills his faith in him, but Ryder is still paranoid about Kane.
-The Miz recruits Ricardo Rodriguez (who wears his tux everywhere) to call out R-Truth by threat. The Bellas sure look good tonight. Well, its worth noting.
-The second Hall of Fame inductee: The Four Horsemen! Woah, is Flair going to get out of his contract for this? You need Ric, Arn, Tully, Ole, Barry, and JJ for this. That is, if Barry and Ole are healthy. No mention of Ole for that matter. That’s what he gets for not joining Vince in 1984.
-Meanwhile, Ricardo calls out R-Truth with forced insults. “You smell like a wet donkey” should be trending on Twitter in five minutes. Anywho, this brings Truth out, who takes offense to the olfactorious insults. Truth chews the scenery with his charming dementia. The fans want Ricardo to die, so Truth takes their appeal under advisement. Ricardo pleads for Miz to get out here as Truth wants Ricardo to sing for him. Indeed, Ricardo sings ‘La Cucaracha’ with feeling, increasing his passion as he goes on, even remixing it. Applause for Ricardo. Truth: ‘ONE MO GIN!’ But Ricardo knocks Truth’s mic over and gets the Moment of Truth for it. Miz jumps the rail in a hoodie and attacks, but Truth goes to the eyes and the fight breaks down. Miz exits over the rail, and Truth mutters angrily.
Segment Rating: 6/10. Just for Ricardo singing.
In Ring Segment: Chris Jericho
Some half-assed intro by Justin Roberts. Lights dim, and Jericho returns with the glowy jacket. Crowd’s a bit lukewarm and skeptical. Jericho does his exaggerated rallying and pandering yet again. Then he plays the ‘which side’s the loudest’ game before taking the mic. Music stops, and Jericho grins. And grins. Sure enough, the pandering continues with him actually speaking. But then his grin starts to slowly fade, and Jericho looks downright distraught. Then he begins crying like a menopausal housewife. The crowd begins to boo him, despite his tears, so he drops the mic and just leaves.
Segment Rating: N/A. Waiting to see the entire puzzle before I judge.
No match, as Eve comes out first and Kane’s music hits. Ryder hits the ring and rescues Eve. They exit the arena, but Ryder has a flat tire. Ignoring all horror movie logic, he stops to fix it. And….we cut away before we get a payoff. Okay.
Back from break and Zack is still changing the tire. Bah, Ralphie Parker’s dad would have been done by now. My, Eve is useless.
Main Event: John Cena vs. Dolph Ziggler (non title)
Ziggler takes control early as I await Kane. Ziggler has Cena down and works a chinlock with a bridge (nice!). Dolph adds a headstand (double nice!). Cena escapes with a back suplex. Dolph soon regains the advantage with elbows and he follows with situps. Vickie’s lusty expression is a hoot. Cena then mounts the comeback with shoulders and the spinout powerbomb. Sure enough, Kane jumps Ryder outside and Ziggler uses the distraction to get Cena into a sleeper. Kane chokeslams Ryder off the loading dock as Cena tries to save, but Dolph reapplies the sleeper on the floor. Cena breaks against the steps and goes running after Kane. Cena makes it outside and Kane attacks with the asphyxiator. Ryder, meanwhile, lays dead in a broken pallet. Cena is left for dead as Kane stands tall.
Winner: No decision rendered
Rating: 7/10. I miss these kinds of angles, campy as they are.
Overall: my thumbs are dead from texting this whole show, but it was fun. The Jericho saga is weirdly fun, Kane as a monster again is one up from last week’s cartoon finish, and Punk/Swagger was a damn good match. Call this week a winner.
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.