Date: November 23, 2012
Location: Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids, Michigan
Commentators: Josh Matthews, John Bradshaw Layfield
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
It's the night after Thanksgiving and we're just after Survivor Series. Big Show is still champion and it looks like we're getting Show vs. Sheamus III in a chairs match at TLC. Other than that it's hard to say what we're going to get at that show, but I have a feeling it'll be a lot of rematches. Let's get to it.
It's the voiceover deal to start, recapping Raw with the Cena/AJ stuff. You know, in case seeing it five times on Raw wasn't enough for you. We also see the ending with Ryback getting beaten down again.
We open with MizTV. The guest tonight? John Cena. Well you can't say they're being weak with the guests on this one. Cena sits on a couch and says this is awesome. Miz talks about how Cena is more famous for his in ring stuff but lately it's been like a TMZ story. To prove it, we see the Cena/AJ kiss for the second time in five minutes. Miz asks how the kiss was and how Cena's knee is after the attack by Ziggler. Apparently Cena has a tweeked knee but it's nothing serious.
Well that's enough about wrestling, so let's talk about AJ some more. Miz wants to know if Cena and AJ are more than just friends, but Cena is tired of hearing that question. Cena does admit that AJ is a good kisser though. Riveting stuff here people. Miz again asks if they're more than just friends and here's AJ before Cena can answer. AJ says Cena was just doing that to prove a point to Vickie but Cena seems to dispute this. Miz makes fun of them for being in love, but Cena calls Miz an idiot.
This brings out Ziggler because this segment needs to keep going for some reason. Ziggler says that it's AJ's fault that Cena hurt his knee because she burst into the men's locker room. Pay no attention to the fact that Cena hurt his knee jumping out of the ring after Ziggler which we already saw a video of today I guess. This of course leads to ANOTHER video from Raw with AJ going into the locker room and yelling at Ziggler, leading to a brawl between Dolph and Cena.
Since we haven't covered this entire storyline yet, here's Vickie to run her mouth a bit more. Vickie says Dolph kisses real woman which Cena calls a lie because there's no proof Vickie is an actual woman. Guerrero insists their relationship is just professional and Dolph says he'd bring the woman out of AJ. Cena says Vickie is nuts and Dolph is still looking for his. The segment finally ends with nothing at all new being added.
Ryback vs. Darren Young
Young comes out second which is kind of odd. Titus sits in on commentary. Young pounds away to start but Ryback casually shoves him down. Young gets his head slammed into the mat and Titus blows the whistle at him. Ryback takes Young's head off with a clothesline on the floor and we head back in. Titus: “Somebody get that boy some medication. Something's wrong with him.” Meat Hook and Shell Shock end this in 2:03. I'm sure Young will in a title match soon after this and WWE will be confused when no one buys him as a title contender.
Titus yells at Ryback post match and gets a Shell Shock too.
R-Truth vs. Antonio Cesaro
This is non-title and is happening because Cesaro has only beaten Truth clean once so far, which means absolutely nothing in the modern WWE. Cesaro insults Thanksgiving before the match as you would expect him to do. Cesaro immediately hits the gutwrench suplex followed by a double stomp and a body vice. Truth comes back with punches and a side kick before countering the Neutralizer with a backdrop. Little Jimmy hits for the clean pin at 1:33.
Just to recap: Cesaro pinned Truth 100% clean at Survivor Series, then Truth gets another match with him and pins him in under two minutes. I SO want to see another match between them now and this certainly doesn't hurt Cesaro's credibility at all. My goodness they bring so many problems on themselves it's unreal. Have Truth beat ANYONE else to earn another shot and this problem does not exist. Is it any surprise that Cesaro is a total afterthought at this point?
Sheamus arrives and Booker stops him from going to the locker room. Due to the attack at Survivor Series, Sheamus can't compete tonight. Instead Booker gives him a chairs match for the title at TLC. Sheamus gets to go to Booker's personal suite and watch the show. Big Show has a handicap match later against HELL NO.
Sin Cara vs. Alberto Del Rio
The lights are back. JBL says Del Rio is a former AAA champion but I can find no record of that anywhere. Cara immediately knocks him to the floor and hits a big dive on Del Rio and Rodriguez for two back inside. A big running kick misses Del Rio and a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker gets two for Alberto. Cara's right shoulder goes into the post and we take a break.
Back with Alberto pulling on the mask before shifting over to a chokehold. Del Rio fires off kicks to the back as JBL continues to amuse me. Josh talks about how he and JBL watched the 2/3 falls match earlier today, but JBL makes sure to point out that they were in separate rooms so people don't think they're friends. Back to the chinlock by Alberto but Cara comes back with a rana for two. Del Rio hits a kick to the side of the head, drawing a big gasp from the crowd but only getting two.
Things slow down a bit as JBL rips into Mil Mascaras a bit more. Alberto slams Cara down as the announcers stay in their argument. At least this one is entertaining though, unlike Titus and Jerry's debate about washcloths on Raw. Back to the chinlock for a bit but Cara speeds things up and hits an armdrag and cross body for two. The Tajiri Elbow looks to set up the Swanton but Del Rio arm drags Cara off the top and the Cross Armbreaker gets the tap at 6:21 shown of 9:51.
Rating: C. The commentary was more entertaining than the match here but the match wasn't bad. Seeing Del Rio ground Cara and work the arm over was another example of the solid psychology that Alberto has, which is one of the things that makes him so fun to watch. Pretty decent little TV match here.
Bryan tells Kane to stay out of his way tonight because he can beat Big Show in 45 seconds. Kane asks Bryan if he thinks that's going to happen again. Guess what Bryan says. Kane says he and Show used to be tag champions and thinks Bryan and Show could be a team called No Show. Bryan: “Is this because I didn't invite you to my house for Thanksgiving?” Kane: “.......maybe.” Bryan says it was great because they had vegan turkey. Kane wants to know what the point is. If they win tonight, Kane gets to come over for Christmas and beat up Santa Claus. These two are still hilarious.
Big Show vs. HELL NO
The champs (as in the tag champs) have to tag here and Bryan starts with Big Show. Bryan's trunks are partially black tonight which is a new look for him. Bryan fires off kicks to the leg but Show shoves him down with ease to take over. Show sends him shoulder first into the buckle and works over the arm a bit which isn't usually his custom. Show lifts him up in the air by the beard as JBL kind of rips into Josh for calling Bryan a goat face.
Bryan comes back with more kicks but Show casually shoves him back down. Back to the arm as Show drops a knee on it and shouts at Kane a bit. Do all the shouting you want as long as we don't have to sit through another Show vs. Kane match. Show misses a middle rope elbow as Regal and Sheamus are watching from the sky box. Bryan has a chance to tag but shouts NO instead and fires off kicks to Show.
A big kick to the head puts Show down but Show LAUNCHES Bryan off of the cover at two. The chokeslam is countered into a guillotine choke but Show (who is supposed to have a knee injury isn't he?) throws him off. It's a sleeper now from Bryan which lasts for over a minute without Show going down at all. There's the hot tag to Kane who dropkicks Show's knee out and hits a top rope flying body attack (it was supposed to be the clothesline) but the chokeslam is broken up. A DDT puts Show down but Bryan tags himself in. Bryan tries the NO Lock and Kane walks. The hold is broken and the chokeslam ends Bryan at 10:02.
Rating: C. Not bad here but did this need to be against the tag champions? That's the problem with the way they've set up the roster: there are only a handful of teams that could challenge Big Show, but Show has been booked so strong that no one can give him a legit fight. Also you don't want Show vs. Kane again as that might be considered torturing the audience. At the end of the day, there wasn't much they could do here but job the champions. Again.
HELL NO beats up Big Show post match, because we need to make sure everyone stays strong. I know the idea of DON'T HAVE THEM FIGHT IN THE FIRST PLACE is hard to grasp, but it might be a better way to go.
Show yells at Sheamus, saying that he'll have a chair too. Sheamus is all BRING IT ON!
Barrett comes out for commentary for the next match.
Intercontinental Title: Kofi Kingston vs. Damien Sandow
Damien hits a quick suplex for two but Kofi rolls out of a belly to back suplex and sends Sandow to the outside. Kofi gets sent into the buckle and to the floor as well as we take a break. Back with Damien holding a kind of crossface chickenwing before hitting a knee to the ribs to keep control. Apparently Barrett has earned an IC Title shot from his win on Monday. What exactly did Damien do to get this show?
The Wind-Up Elbow gets two for Sandow followed by the running hip attack to the back of Kofi while he's in 619 position (you come up with a name for it) for two. Off to a chinlock which doesn't last long. A quick slugout goes to Sandow because of Kofi's bad eye and Kofi's back gets rammed into the apron.
Sandow stomps away but Kofi gets up top for the cross body for two. Damien sends him into the middle buckle for a rollup for two, followed by the SOS for the same result for the champion. Kingston speeds things up and fires off chops and a dropkick to put Sandow down. There's the Boom Drop and Trouble in Paradise for the pin at 5:57 shown of 9:27.
Rating: C+. As usual, the midcard champion is in need of a win to get any kind of momentum back. You know, because we had to have him lose on Monday to Barrett. The better idea would have been to have Barrett win by referee's stoppage, making it so that Kofi didn't get pinned but acknowledging that he's in danger against Barrett. But instead let's just have him get pinned and have him lose some credibility because, you know, who cares about stuff like that. The match was fine.
Barrett says he's coming for the title.
According to my watch, we've gone a whole twenty minutes since we talked about something on Raw, so here's a recap of the end of the show with the Championship Celebration and Ryback getting beaten down again.
Reigns, Rollins and Ambrose will speak on Raw.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Randy Orton
Main event time here. Orton pounds away to start and Ziggler hides in the corner. Ziggler takes him to the mat before pounding away on Randy's head in the corner. Orton comes back with his dropkick for two and a slingshot suplex for the same. They head to the outside with Ziggler trying to hide in the crowd, but it's kind of hard for a large man with blonde hair and pink trunks to hide, even in a mass of people.
Ziggler gets knocked down on the concrete as we take a break. Back with Dolph breaking out of a chinlock before Orton suplexes him right back down for two. With Ziggler laying on the apron, Orton stomps away and hits a slingshot to send Dolph throat first into the bottom rope and out to the floor. Ziggler throws Orton into the announce table and dropkicks him down, but Dolph might have injured his own knee in the process.
Back in and Ziggler erupts on Randy, pounding away on him with kicks and punches. The jumping elbow gets two and it's off to a chinlock. Ziggler's knee seems to be fine. Orton fights up and gets that rolling cradle out of the corner for two. We get a dueling chant from the crowd as the chinlock goes on again, this time resulting in Orton punching his way out of it. Ziggler stops the comeback dead with a DDT for a close two. This is starting to get better.
Dolph goes up top and is immediately superplexed right back down. It's cool to see Orton expanding his moveset with stuff like the superplex and the slingshot suplex he used earlier. There's the powerslam followed by the Elevated DDT but the RKO is countered into a rollup with trunks for the surprise pin at 9:37 shown of 13:07.
Rating: B-. Solid TV main event here but it's a match we've seen several times before. It's nice to see Dolph win here and a little bit of cheating never huts a good heel. Orton is one of those guys who isn't going to be hurt badly by a loss so there's no problem on his end. Dolph seems to be getting a push lately, which is nice to see as it seems that he'll be cashing in his case soon. Then again it's felt like that for months now.
Post match Ricardo and Alberto try to run in but Orton hits the RKO on Ricardo and Alberto stops on the apron. WHY IS THIS STILL GOING??? Cena comes out and puts Ziggler in the STF on the stage to end the show.
Overall Rating: D+. Did I miss something or did almost nothing happen on this show? It felt like a supplement to Raw, and while it usually feels like one of those, this was even worse than usual. There was just nothing going on here at all and the booking made limited sense at best. The main event stuff seems to be pointing to a tag match which is fine, but other than that I'm not sure what the point of this show was. Nothing to see here at all.
Ryback b. Darren Young – Shell Shock
R-Truth b. Antonio Cesaro – Little Jimmy
Alberto Del Rio b. Sin Cara – Cross Armbreaker
Big Show b. HELL NO – Chokeslam to Bryan
Kofi Kingston b. Damien Sandow – Trouble in Paradise
Dolph Ziggler b. Randy Orton – Rollup with a handful of trunks
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