The SmarK RAW Rant – 11.26.12
Live from Lafayette, LA
Your hosts are Michael Cole & Jerry Lawler
Ryback v. Titus O’Neil
Titus gets some elbows in the corner, but Ryback slugs away, so Titus clotheslines him and pounds away. Ryback no-sells it and faceplants him, so Titus bails and Ryback beats him up on the floor. Back in, Titus catches him with the powerbomb, but Ryback no-sells it and finishes with the usual at 3:16. This is WWE, where a guy gets himself over on commentary one week and everyone backstage raves about him, so his reward is getting squashed by Ryback the very next week. Afterwards, Ryback declares that he’s staying in the ring until he gets what he wants, and we take a break. Sure enough, he’s still there, and he wants Punk at TLC in the TLC match, or HE WON’T EVER LEAVE THE RING. Vickie comes out and immediately caves to this lame threat.
Meanwhile, Alberto Del Rio stands up for Rosa’s honor against the midget.
Alberto Del Rio v. The Great Khali
We’re joined in progress after a break, with Khali chopping away until Del Rio works on the knee. Khali gets the CHOP OF DOOM, but Ricardo distracts him and ADR finishes with the armbar at 3:40. That felt like it was 10 hours long even at that length. DUD
Meanwhile, Michael Cole interviews THE SHIELD, and as you’d expect Dean Ambrose comes off as a star as soon as he talks. They’re here to defend us from injustice.
Tamina Snuka (Daughter of Hall of Famer Jimmy Snuka) v. Alicia Fox
Tamina squashes the shit out of Alicia with the same stuff she’s been doing all along and finishes with the superfly splash to a quiet crowd at 2:00. Cole makes three mentions of her dad, which might be a new record. DUD
John Cena joins us to talk about the kissing last week, but Vickie quickly interrupts. She gives Cena matching bath robes, and then AJ comes out and puts the moves on him. This brings out Dolph Ziggler, who thinks that AJ was thinking of him when she was kissing Cena, and that all leads to Vickie making Cena v. Ziggler tonight. What is this feud even ABOUT?
Kofi Kingston v.Tensai
Tensai pounds away and goes to a neck vice, then takes him down with an armbar and works on that. Michael Cole tries to stir up trouble between Kofi and commentator Wade Barrett by pointing out that Kofi was ranked higher on the WWE.com “50 Most Beautiful People” list. Is this really a thing? Kofi comes back with the boomdrop and wacky kick, but Tensai blocks it and cuts him off with an elbow in the corner for two. Kofi bails and hits the kick from the floor, and finishes with a springboard bodypress at 3:30. Once again I don’t get it – if the champion is going over, why not make it a title match? Kofi never defends that thing. This was a major style clash. *1/2
Meanwhile, we learn that Kane has won the Twitter poll and will face CM Punk tonight. I’m calling bullshit on that one. We get a very strained “red state/blue state” gag out of it.
Rey Mysterio v. Daniel Bryan
I still don’t get if Bryan is supposed to be a heel or a babyface. Rey goes for the arm and they tumble to the floor, where Rey misses a dive and Bryan follows with a flying knee from the apron. Back in, Bryan works the arm, but Rey takes him into the corner and Bryan rebounds out with a clothesline. Neither guy can hit a dive and we take a break. Back with Bryan missing a charge, but recovering to knock Rey off the top. He goes to work on the arm and holds an armbar, but Rey comes back with the flying senton and low kick for two. Rey misses the 619 and Bryan tries the No-Lock, but Rey makes the ropes. He tries again, but Rey slingshots him into the corner and hits the 619, then finishes with the splash at 13:20. So yeah, Bryan loses AGAIN. There wasn’t really much of a match here, as it was a lot of Bryan yelling at the fans and not much meat to the match. I’m probably underrating it but this show isn’t exactly winning me over in the first place. **1/2
Dolph Ziggler v John Cena
Cena controls with a headlock, but runs into an elbow in the corner. And we take a break. Back with Ziggler doing situps and dropping elbows. Cena comes back with the backdrop powerbomb, but Ziggler catches him with a leaping DDT for two. Ziggler misses a charge and recovers with a sleeper, but Cena reverses into the STF until Ziggler makes the ropes. A dropkick puts Cena down again and Ziggler goes up, but Cena rolls through a bodypress into the FU, which Ziggler reverses into the Zig Zag for two. That was nice. They slug it out and Ziggler rolls him up for two, but Cena comes back with the Five Knuckle Shuffle, which apparently tweaks his knee and makes him roll out of the ring in pain. This brings out AJ and Vickie for an argument, and Cena hits the FU for the pin at 12:41. So that’s pretty much the end of that feud, isn’t it? Like, they couldn’t even hold it off until the PPV to blow it off? I figured on a goofy finish to set up a ladder match for the briefcase at TLC where Dolph could win, but no, Cena just won. Good chemistry from them, though. ***
Sheamus v. Antonio Cesaro
Sheamus controls with a headlock and they brawl to the floor as we take a break. Back with Cesaro firing away with the uppercuts and a lariat for two. He tosses Sheamus with a gutwrench for two, and they trade knees on the apron before Sheamus gets the forearms. Man, they’re laying in the leather tonight, as JR would say. Back in the ring, Sheamus with the backbreaker for two. Sheamus tries White Noise, but Sheamus wiggles out, so he hits a powerslam for two instead. Cesaro then comes back with a crazy torture rack into a backbreaker for two. They just gotta keep pushing through with Cesaro and letting him toss big guys around. Sheamus goes up for the shoulderblock, but gets PWNED with a forearm on the way down. Sheamus escapes the NEUTRALIZER and hits the Brogue Kick to put him on the floor for the countout win at 13:10. Hmm, they even protected Cesaro there a little bit while jobbing him. This was a fun “tough guys beating the hell out of each other” match. ***1/4
Damien Sandow v. Zack Ryder
Nothing squash for Sandow with a bunch of chinlocks leading to the usual hopeless comeback from Ryder and the Terminus to finish for Sandow at 4:46. This would be setting up Sandow’s job to Cena on The Main Event. *
CM Punk v. Kane
Kane fires away to start and we of course take a break as soon as someone hits the floor. Back with Punk tossing Kane and following with a suicide dive. Back in, Punk with the running knees, but Kane catches him with a punch and comes back with a sideslam for two. Kane goes up with a flying clothesline, but Punk gets the neckbreaker for two. Kane comes back with the chokeslam and goes for the tombstone, but THE SHIELD runs in from the crowd, allowing Punk to finish with the GTS at 11:04. ** And then Kane takes the beatdown from the Bossman squad, as does Daniel Bryan. Ryback makes the save, but now Punk attacks Ryback from behind and they finish the job on him. Man, they are letting these guys get a TON of heat on them. And I like that there’s actually stuff HAPPENING with this storyline, which gives the crowd a reason to get behind Ryback, even if the finish at TLC can be seen coming a mile away.
A fairly dull show but with two good matches, so that’s fine. The booking continues to be ridiculous, though, and the PPV literally has nothing I want to see. But hey, no Miz this week!