The SmarK RAW Rant – 12.24.12
Taped from Pittsburgh, PA
Your hosts are Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler
Santa Claus comes out to be guest host, but hands out toys by the entrance ramp and soon runs afoul of Alberto Del Rio’s car, which runs him over. I’m guessing that’s it for Del Rio’s face turn. ADR at least appears concerned about committing Santa-cide, but after getting strapped to the backboard and stretcher, Santa appears to be OK. Whew.
Meanwhile, John Cena is of course the guy to stand up for St. Nick, but ADR points out that TECHNICALLY it’s not his fault. However, from his deathbed, Santa booked Del Rio v. Cena in a street fight as the main event. RISE ABOVE ATTEMPTED VEHICULAR MANSLAUGHTER!
Kane v. Cody Rhodes
Hopefully we can all move past the tragedy that started the show and focus instead on Cody’s mustache. Oddly enough, the other day at work I actually had someone ask me for mustache wax, and I had to strongly resist the urge to tell her that it’s located in 1940. Old people are kind of weird. Anyway, Cody works on the arm and hits a missile dropkick for two. Cody pounds him in the corner and stays on the arm with a single-arm DDT and wristlock. Kane fights out and comes back with a pair of clotheslines and a sideslam for two. To the top with the flying clothesline, but Cody goes to the arm to escape the chokeslam. Disaster kick allows Cody to untie a turnbuckle, but irony proves to be ironic as Cody gets sent into it and chokeslammed at 5:58. Nothing terribly exciting. **
Eve Torres, Tamina Snuka, Aksana & Rosa Mendes v. Layla, Natalya, Kaitlyn & Alicia Fox
This is basically the entire Divas division now. Everyone is dressed like PG-sexy Santas. Alicia quickly gets trapped in the heel corner and beaten up by Tamina while the obviously overdubbed crowd reacts to every bump. Layla rolls up Tamina for two and dances, because that’s apparently her one character trait now. Tamina comes back with a samoan drop (Fake crowd: “OOOOOOOOOH!”) for two and Rosa uses a ridiculous looking resthold. Eve with an elbow (Fake crowd: “OOOOOOOOOH!”), but a second one misses and it’s hot tag Kaitlyn. The fake crowd is going wild! They all do their finishers while the exact same crowd noise is replayed multiple times, before Kaitlyn finishes Eve with the Ratings Drop at 5:35. * for the match, with another ½* overdubbed in post.
Meanwhile, Dolph Ziggler and AJ cuddle by the fireplace and replay Ziggler’s TLC win. What a romantic heel turn!
Christmas Pun lumberjack match: Big Show v. Sheamus
Sheamus with a headlock, but Show pounds him in the corner. I’m wondering what the point of changing the belt to Show was in the first place? All he’s done is wrestle Sheamus in rematches since winning it, so it’s not like changing the title is leading to fresh programs or anything. Sheamus quickly tries the Brogue kick, but Show rolls out of the ring to escape as we take a break. Back with Show in control with a wristlock while singing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, which obviously will get edited into something more generic if this is ever released on DVD. Show tosses him for a beatdown from 3MB, but the lumberjacks get into the requisite brawl, completely ignoring the spirit of the season. Sheamus fights back, but Show suplexes him and goes up for the pump splash. Sheamus brings him down with an electric chair in an impressive spot, but Show gets the chokeslam for two. Sheamus fights back, but Show gets the Final Cut legdrop for two. Show cuts him off again with a bearhug, but Sheamus gets White Noise and everyone brawls outside again. Back in, Show sets up for the KO punch, but the kick finishes for Sheamus at 15:00. I am very over this feud. **1/4 So I guess that’s yet another title shot for Sheamus at the Rumble.
David Otunga v. Zack Ryder
Otunga is pro-running over Santa, just so we know he’s the heel. Otunga pounds away with a clothesline in the corner and neckbreaker for two. Complete with the same overdubbed OOOOOOOOOOH from the Divas match. Zack fights out of a chinlock, but Otunga shoulerblocks him for two. Otunga with another chinlock, but Zack fights out and comes back with a missile dropkick and Broski boot for two. Roughrider finishes at 4:32. ZACK WINS! ZACK WINS! ZACK WINS! So that’s like 1-200 for 2012. *
Meanwhile, Brad Maddox meets with Booker T, who offers him ONE MORE MATCH to win a contract.
The Miz & Kofi Kingston v. Antonio Cesaro & Wade Barrett
Poor Kofi’s pyro has been downsized, which leaves him looking a bit silly during his entrance. Miz exchanges takedowns with Cesaro and gets two off a low kick as the obnoxious overdubbed crowd noise continues. The babyfaces work over Barrett, who bails to escape the wacky kick, and surprisingly we do not take a break. Back with Cesaro hitting the uppercut on Kofi and the crowd is in FAKE HORROR at every devastating shot. The worst is Cesaro hitting a simple uppercut and heat machine reacting like it was a gunshot to the head. This is getting beyond ridiculous. Cesaro with the gutwrench throw for two, but Kofi dives for the hot tag to Miz and even the fake crowd won’t cheer for this guy. Miz with a double axehandle on Barrett, but Cesaro stops the finisher. Kofi hits Wade with a kick from the outside and Miz finishes with the Finale at 7:01. And the fake crowd goes wild! You’d think they’d want to keep Wade stronger than this after doing the job for Kofi at TLC, but no one’s watching this show anyway. **
Brad Maddox v. The Great Khali
Maddox manages to work over the knee, but goes up and lands on a chop, leading to Khali finishing with a tree slam at 3:10. DUD
CM Punk and his crutches join us for what I’m sure will be another interview about how he’s been champion for over a year and no one respects him. So yeah, the Ryback title shot is a gross injustice, he’s not working with the Shield, he’s been champion for 400 days, fans are all stupid, you know the drill. This brings out Ryback, who challenges Punk to the TLC match they never got, for January 7. That’s a terrific idea for a guy who just had knee surgery.
Daniel Bryan v. Damien Sandow
Sandow bails to escape the No-Lock, but Bryan comes back with a shoulderblock and fires away with kicks to take over. Sandow runs him into the post and gets two, and a suplex gets two. Legsweep and ELBOW OF DISDAIN follow, but Bryan blocks a superplex and follows with the diving headbutt, which misses. Sandow goes to finish, but Bryan reverses into the No-Lock to finish at 5:38. **
The Usos, Santino, Brodus Clay, Tyson Kidd & Justin Gabriel v. The Primetime Players, 3MB & Tensai
Really? This is how we’re filling time to stretch this boring show into three hours? Usual car wreck match with everyone hitting their stuff, leading to an Uso splashing Slater for the pin at 6:13. This was fine. **
Meanwhile, Kane gives Daniel Bryan the best present ever: A SLAMMY. Bryan reciprocates with a puppy (one of Kane’s in real life I believe), and Kane is starving so he’s really happy about it.
Miracle On 34th Street Fight: John Cena v. Alberto Del Rio
Cena gets sent into the stairs while Del Rio protests his innocence, but Cena gives the primal scream for Santa and hits ADR with the mic, Magnum TA syle. He unwraps a chair at ringside and beats ADR with it for two, but Ricardo pulls out the ref to save. This allows Del Rio to jump Cena, and he unwraps a pie, which promptly goes into Ricardo’s face. Cena comes back with the bulldog and they head outside, where Cena unwraps another gift and finds a monitor. That’s a gift for a very specific subset of WWE employees. We take a break and return with Del Rio unwrapping a giant box and finding a teddy bear, which he launches at Cena with a war cry. Cena of course no-sells it and beats on Ricardo with a wreath, but Del Rio brings him back to ringside and they continue the fight there. Cena takes the crowd’s suggestion to use the tree and puts Del Rio down with that, then unwraps a bowling ball, which gets sent into Del Rio’s chestnuts. Hopefully that was gimmicked. Next gift: A fire extinguisher, which allows the announcers to make more puns until Ricardo runs in with a sleeper. Thankfully, Santa Claus runs in to make the save, having miraculously recovered. Poor Ricardo gets beat up again, and Del Rio takes a Mandible Claus from Santa Foley and the FU from Cena to finish at 12:39. Tremendous fun! ***1/4
A goofy, inoffensive Christmas show that no one was watching anyway.