The SmarK RAW Rant – 05.20.13
Happy Victoria Day! Hope everyone spent the day contemplating what Queen Victoria meant to them on a personal level, much like I did. That and playing God of War III.
Live from Kansas City, MO
Your hosts are Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler & JBL
The Ryback arrives in an ambulance to start, and we get EXCLUSIVE footage of John Cena rising above neck braces last night. So Ryback challenges Cena to an Ambulance Match for Payback, but first he makes sure to call everyone in the audience fat and weak, unlike himself. This was a HELL of a promo for Ryback, as he sounded very natural and easy for once.
Fandango & Wade Barrett v. The Miz & Chris Jericho
Barrett has yet ANOTHER entrance music and video. Perhaps letting him win a match would be a more effective way to get him over. Just a thought. Jericho throws chops on Barrett, but Fandango comes in with the attack from behind and blocks a blind charge with a boot to the face. The heels have some personality conflict as we take a break. Back with Miz working Barrett over, but he gets distracted by Fandango saying his name and dancing. This has Barrett further upset, and Jericho hits him with the Lionsault and Codebreaker. Miz finishes with the figure-four at 8:35. Barely even a match, as the camera was focused on Fandango dancing outside for the last half. * Fandango abandons Summer at ringside and sprints into the crowd, knocking some poor guy over in the process, and Jericho dances with the lady and then dumps her to the curb.
Vickie Guerrero is out to announce that Jack Swagger will face one of Great Khali, R-Truth or Randy Orton, depending on who wins an app poll. Gee, I wonder who wins that one?
Sheamus v. Titus O’Neil
Sheamus quickly dominates and gets the forearms on the apron, but gets distracted by Black Cena and Titus lays him out. Back in, Titus hits the chinlock and pounds away, and gets a weird pumphandle slam for two. Sheamus fights out of an armbar and makes the comeback, but Titus fights out of White Noise. Young trips Sheamus up and Titus gets two. Sheamus gets White Noise this time, however, and finishes with the Brogue Kick at 6:28. It was a match, it was fine. **
Paul Heyman is out to celebrate Brock’s victory, and introduce the new Paul Heyman Guy…Michael McGuillicutty, who is now Curtis Axel, complete with a rockin’ new mix of Exodus. Heyman explains that “Curt” comes from his dad, and “Axel” comes from his grandfather. Why not just “Joe Hennig”? This is going nowhere, so HHH interrupts. He immediately buries Axel and wants a match with him tonight. They didn’t even mention that he was tag champions a couple of times.
Big E Langston v. Alberto Del Rio
ADR immediately takes him down with the armbar, but Big E is in the ropes. Del Rio hangs on, so Langston pulls him out of the ring and tosses him down to break. Back in, Langston with the backbreaker, but he walks into a Del Rio boot in the corner and takes a tornado DDT. Backstabber and superkick gets two. Langston’s got really great facials while selling, which is why it’s so weird that he’s a heel. His “What did I just get hit with?” look would be perfect for a babyface. AJ tosses the bucket into the ring to provide distraction, and THE BIG ENDING finishes at 4:42. Well that’s pretty unexpected. They had some pretty good chemistry, actually. **1/4
Layla v. AJ Lee
Well, they’re dragging out the AJ title win even further, apparently. She gets a quick neckbreaker for two, but Layla puts her down with kicks. AJ comes out of the corner with her wacky octopus stretch thing for the submission at 1:45. ½*
Cody Rhodes v. Zack Ryder
Joined in progress with no entrance for either guy. Apparently if you download the WWE app, you can watch Ryback standing there watching the match on another monitor! RIGHT NOW! LIVE! Cody gets a hammerlock, but Zack comes back with a missile dropkick. Is calling him “The Woo Woo Kid” supposed to make him sound like anything but the world’s biggest jobber? Cody hits the disaster kick for the pin at 2:00. Well that’s longer than Zack usually gets. * Ryback comes out and beats him up some more. Why they didn’t just book that as the match, I don’t know. Poor Zack takes a ride in the ambulance that’s been sitting there since the beginning of the show.
The Shield v. Kofi Kingston, Daniel Bryan & Kane
Kofi gets a quick rollup on Ambrose to start and Bryan comes in for the kicks and a kneedrop for two. Over to Rollins, and Bryan dominates him with kicks as well before Kane adds a dropkick for two. Kofi with a hammerlock and a back elbow for two. He gets caught in the Shield corner, however, and Reigns pounds away on him. Over to Ambrose, who stretches him on the mat and adds the dropkick on the ropes for two. Rollins chokes away in the corner and takes him into the turnbuckle for two. He stops to get cocky, though, and Kofi takes him down and makes the hot tag to Bryan. Daniel is running WILD with kicks that get two, as Rollins bumps all over for him. He goes up and gets crotched, but gets a missile dropkick on Ambrose for two. No-Lock, but Ambrose slithers into the ropes, and the Shield all retreats as we take a break. Back with the faces now working Reigns over in the corner, and Kofi fires away, but Bryan comes in again and gets caught, as we’re getting EXTENDED ROCK N ROLL EXPRESS FORMULA! So Bryan takes a beating now, with a Rollins corner powerbomb that gets two. Reigns comes in with a clothesline, and Ambrose works Bryan over and cuts off a comeback. Ambrose talks some trash, but Bryan lays him out with the high kick and it’s hot tag Kane. Corner clothesline for Reigns and a sideslam gets two. It’s BONZO GONZO and we get stereo dives from Kofi & Bryan, leaving Reigns v. Kane. DDT gets two for Kane. The Shield puts the babyfaces down outside, however, and they all storm the ring, allowing Rollins to hit Kane with the flying knee and Reigns to finish with the spear at 23:44. Excellent TV match. ****
Meanwhile, Kaitlyn and Natalya steal Cody’s phone to try to corner him as a suspect, but it’s apparently not him.
Jack Swagger v. Randy Orton
Not surprisingly, Orton wins with 72%. They fight over a wristlock and Orton dropkicks him down, then they head outside where Orton drops him on the railing. Back in, that gets two. Orton pounds away in the corner and a suplex gets two. Swagger comes back with knees in the corner, but Orton gets the Thesz Press, until Swagger takes out the knee. Swagger pounds on him until Orton backdrops him to the floor to escape. Swagger runs him into the railing and gets two off that. Orton mounts a brief comeback, but goes up and gets sent to the floor again as we take a break. Back with Swagger still working on the knee, but Orton comes back with a superplex for two. Swagger with a belly to belly for two. Swagger tries the anklelock, but Orton escapes and goes for the RKO, which Swagger turns into the anklelock for real. Orton keeps fighting and makes the ropes, and then finishes with the RKO at 17:05. Well the voters got their money’s worth with that one. *** I really liked this too because it was something DIFFERENT, and I kind of wish they had done a non-finish to build a new program off it, because the fans were buying into Swagger here.
HHH v. Curtis Axel
Yes, this is your main event, beginning at the 3 hour mark. HHH immediately beats the hell out of Axel, but gets stomped down in the corner. Axel with a dropkick for two and he drops an elbow for two. Chinlock, but HHH escapes and puts him down with a knee. Spinebuster follows and he puts Axel on the floor while selling some sort of concussion angle. He stops for a bottle of water at ringside and collapses, and that’s apparently the match. Too bad they already sent that ambulance away.
Oh no, HHH’s career might be in jeopardy! Again. They cannot be building to Brock v. HHH for a FOURTH time, can they?
Stupid ending aside, this was a really different and enjoyable show, featuring guys that aren’t usually featured like that and two awesome TV matches back to back.
Next week’s show is in Calgary, although I’m working and unable to attend, before anyone asks.