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The SmarK RAW Rant–07.29.13

The SmarK RAW Rant – 07.29.13

Much like this week’s show, my rant is also tape-delayed.

Taped from Laredo, TX.

Your hosts are Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler.

Mr. McMahon and new bootlick Brad Maddox (along with a bunch of annoying crowd sweetening) are out to start this week. I think I’ve ranted before about this, but in the HD era where I watch on a nice big TV with a 5.1 sound system, it’s ridiculous that they’re using technology from the 80s to “enhance” their crowd noise. It sounds even more fake now than it did in the heyday of syndicated TV. Anyway, Maddox apologizes for letting Cena pick Bryan, and that brings out Mr. Brie Bella to confront Vince. He accuses Vince of not giving him respect, but Vince counters that CENA is the one who has been giving disrespect, and furthermore Bryan winning would be the biggest embarrassment in company history. So Vince does some Jesse Baker booking and hopes that both guys spontaneously combust when the match starts. This was some REALLY fun interaction, as they were goofing on each other to further the “Vince hates Bryan” story.

The Shield v. Mark Henry & The Usos

Henry tosses Ambrose around, so Reigns gives it a try and gets nowhere. The Usos beat him down in the corner and Jey gets two. He gets trapped in the Shield corner, but escapes and makes a hot tag to Jimmy. He cleans up on Ambrose, but Henry comes in and misses an elbow, allowing the Shield to double-team him a bit, but that just makes him MAD. Everyone gets dumped and we take a break. Back with Jimmy getting worked over by Reigns. Or maybe it’s Jey, Cole seems as confused as me. Anyway, Ambrose controls one of them with an armbar until he escapes with a jawbreaker and brings Henry in for the hot tag. Powerslam for Ambrose, but he walks into a spear from Reigns. Ambrose finishes an Uso with the bulldog driver at 12:48. *** Fun stuff. Henry v. Ambrose would be a good US title program, I think.

Meanwhile, Ryback bullies some geeks at the catering table.

Fandango v. Rob Van Dam

The dubbed boos are particularly obnoxious during Fandango’s entrance. Rob takes him down with kicks, so Fandango bails, and Rob follows with a moonsault. Back in with a cheapshot, Fandango drops a leg for two. Enzuigiri gets two, but a knee from the middle rope misses and RVD makes the comeback. Rolling Thunder and a monkey flip set up the springboard kick, and Fandango bails again and does the stupid walkout finish at 4:00. *1/2

Meanwhile, AJ unleashes the crazy on Big E, who stands there and takes it with remarkable patience.

Kaitlyn v. AJ Lee

Kaitlyn slugs her down, but AJ goes after the arm with a hammerlock on the mat. Kaitlyn comes back with a rollup, but AJ levels her with a shining wizard for two. Kaitlyn comes back with clotheslines and sets up for the spear, but walks into a knee and AJ gets two. They slug it out on the mat and AJ gets two. Kaitlyn comes back with a spear and finishes at 4:55. And the fake crowd goes wild! This was way better than the MITB match, actually, with a fast pace and worked like a real match instead of a Divas filler. **1/2 AJ throws a tantrum, but that brings out Dolph Ziggler with an IMPROMPTU CHALLENGE.

Dolph Ziggler v. Big E Langston

Finally, someone coming out and challenging another guy without having to run it through three levels of fake management! Just like a real wrestling show! Big E pounds away to start and gets a belly to belly and ULTIMATE WARRIOR SPLASH for two. He really needed to shake the ropes for maximum impact on that one. Big E with the bearhug and some backbreakers for two. Ziggler fights out of a chinlock, so Big E chokes him out in the corner before missing a blind charge. Dolph makes the comeback with a dropkick and puts Langston on the floor, but AJ runs in for the DQ at 5:22. This was kind of missing the whole Ziggler comeback section, but it was fine otherwise. **

Meanwhile, John Cena has a heart-to-heart with Daniel Bryan.

Alberto Del Rio v. Christian

ADR takes him down with a headlock and gets a snap suplex for two. Christian backdrops him to the floor, but misses a charge and hits the stairs as we take a break. Back with ADR hitting a senton from the middle rope for two. He hangs him in the Tree of Woe and stomps away, but Christian fights him off with elbows and gets a tornado DDT for two. They slug it out and Christian goes up with a missile dropkick for two. Christian with a sunset flip for two. Del Rio clotheslines him down again and pounds away with headbutts and tosses him, but Christian hangs on. He pulls himself back in, but walks into a backbreaker that gets two. ADR goes up again, but misses the senton this time and Christian makes the comeback. Del Rio dodges the spear and hits the superkick for two. The crowd gets weirdly into ADR as he sets up for another one, but the enzuigiri misses and Christian goes for the finish. Del Rio counters to the armbreaker, but Christian rolls him up for the pin at 14:10. That was a pretty slick finish and a damn fine match. ***1/4 This whole “Christian wins a bunch of matches against name guys and then goes for the title” thing is totally against everything I’ve been trained to expect from a push these days.

Wade Barrett v. Cody Rhodes

Barrett pounds away and hits the chinlock, but Cody slugs back and goes up with a moonsault press. The fake heat here is really obvious. Cody puts him down with a knee for two, but the disaster kick misses. Barrett tries a pumphandle, but Cody counters into Crossroads to finish at 4:22. Pretty dull stuff. * Damien Sandow comes out to protest the loss of his briefcase on Smackdown, but doesn’t blame Cody because he comes from a family of clowns and so it’s not his fault. Also, Sandow travelled the world educating the masses, and Cody grew a mustache. Touché.

Daniel Bryan v. Kane

Bryan goes after the leg to start, but Kane overpowers him and gets a suplex for two. Kane with the neck vice and that goes on for a while, but Bryan slugs back before landing in a chokeslam. He counters out of that and takes Kane to the floor for the running knee, and we take a break. Back with Kane missing a charge, as Bryan gets a missile dropkick, but Kane gets a sideslam for two. To the top for the flying clothesline, but Bryan tries to power him down for the Yes-Lock. Kane fights out, so Bryan pounds him with kicks and counters another chokeslam into the SMALL PACKAGE OF DOOM for the pin at 12:10. They’re so totally building that move up for him to win the belt with it. Strange lack of chemistry from two guys who should know each other much better. **1/4 Kane’s post-match tantrum is interrupted by the arrival of the Wyatt Family, and we get another beatdown.

Brie Bella v. Natalya

Brie works on Nattie’s back, setting up a lengthy chinlock. Nat reverses into an abdominal stretch, but Brie slams her for two. And back to the chinlock, but Nat comes back with a clothesline for two. And it’s the old distraction-rollup finish at 4:18 while Nikki makes duck noises. Because Natalya is the ugly duckling, you see. Glad that Nikki clarified that for us.

Curtis Axel v. R-Truth

Axel uses the devastating clubbing blows to put Truth down and follows with the McGillicutter, but CM Punk comes in for the Sportz Entertainment Finish at 2:00.

Meanwhile, Vince clarifies to HHH who he wants as his champion: Someone just like HHH, but 20 or 23 years younger. Stephanie suggests giving Bryan a corporate makeover.

Tables match: John Cena v. Ryback

Slugfest in the corner and they fight outside, where Ryback sends Cena into the post before shattering an innocent table. We take a break and return with Ryback continuing the beating on the floor, whipping Cena into the stairs. So we get a bunch of teased table spots as Ryback beats on him and beats on him and beats on him, and they have a Mexican standoff with stairs. OK, come on, we’re already over three hours, just wrap this up and call it a night already. They slug it out and Cena suplexes him onto the stairs, but Ryback gets his jawbreaker to come back. He goes for the finish in the corner, but Cena puts him through the table with the FU to win at 16:36. Way too long. ** Daniel Bryan comes out and threatens shenanigans, but then presents Cena with his belt after all.

The Pulse

I was really entertained by the first hour or so because it was just an old-style wrestling show with wrestlers wrestling in wrestling matches and stuff, but GOD this show dragged by the third hour of that, plus the Greatest Hits Album of Shit Finishes didn’t help. Fandango walks out for some reason! Someone gets distracted and rolled up like an idiot for some reason! The match just ends for some reason! They didn’t want to book someone to lose so someone else just runs in for a DQ for some reason! Only 99 cents each on iTunes!

There’s a reason why those sorts of shows are typically only two hours at most, and this was a perfect demonstration of it. Plus the crowd was completely burned out and we were treated to the fakest fake reactions. I think Vince would have just digitally erased the crowd and CGI’d a new one in if he could justify it to the investors.

Comments

  1. When Ryback dropped the stairs through the table, he should have lost.

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  2. They just shouldn't have table matches at all.


    Ever.

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  3. davidbonzaisaldanamontgomeryJuly 31, 2013 at 12:25 AM

    Waldorf: "You know, I really dislike John Cena!"


    Statler: "Amazing, what an incredibly original thought! With that kind of hard-hitting opinion, you'd fit right at home in the IWC! What is it about John Cena that riles you up, anyway? His bland personality?"


    Waldorf: "No."


    Statler: "His stale moveset?"


    Waldorf: "No."


    Statler: "His unfortunate fashion taste with the jorts?"


    Waldorf: "False advertising!"


    Statler: "What?"


    Waldorf: "He's a liar!"


    Statler: "How so?"


    Waldorf: "Well, every week he says, "You can't see me!", yet the very next week, we keep seeing him!"


    DOHOHOHOHO!

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  4. I ran out of upvotes before I ran out of smiles. kudos sir. kudos.

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  5. In light of the fact that there's nothing of note to discuss on Raw, I'll be covering Van Halen's 'Jamie's Cryin'', except it'll be 'Daniel Bryan'.

    Also coming up, John Cena haikus.

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  6. Or Viagra on a pole. Man, what a way to kill a heel and faces heat

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  7. Amsterdam_Adam_CurryJuly 31, 2013 at 12:51 AM

    Eh, the one at RR2000 was pretty sweet, even though pretty much everyone it sucks.

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  8. Apologies for the threadjack, but have you guys seen this? Randy Orton gets smashed in the nuts by some fan in South Africa:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zL_sM2KF8Ac

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  9. So......

    What are the odds of them having Bryan turn heel as the "corporate champion" (complete with the loss of his beard and them recasting his craziness as spoiled brat behavior) so they can continue pushing Cena and punish Bryan for being more popular than Cena?

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  10. Was it the Dudleys who made going through a table popular in WWE? Or someone before that who I'm forgetting?

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  11. Cody Rhodes' music sounds like something they rejected as a Smackdown intro theme.

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  12. Dude's clearly selling what he thinks is a fake/weak nutshot until he sees it's a fan, then he springs to his feet so he can get a shot in. That guy is lucky security got to him first.

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  13. Not enough Cena torture. You're going soft, bro.

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  14. You know, I think every Ryback match should be a Viagra on a Pole Match. Then he'd have an excuse for working stiff.

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  15. Amsterdam_Adam_CurryJuly 31, 2013 at 1:14 AM

    It looks to me like that idiot kind of missed the nut-shot, and maybe it was intentional. He did it just like Ric Flair does, maybe he just wanted to be part of the show but not actually hurt him.


    And as usual, TMZ is blowing it all out of proportion, calling it a "violent attack".

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  16. Amsterdam_Adam_CurryJuly 31, 2013 at 1:15 AM

    I'd say Foley. Remember that match he had with HBK?

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  17. davidbonzaisaldanamontgomeryJuly 31, 2013 at 1:29 AM

    WHOOOOOOAAAAA-OHHHHHHHHH

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  18. Hey there John Cena
    Remember when you were good?
    Nope, neither do I

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  19. The World's Strongest Man
    Splitting wigs rules, though he looks
    Like fat predator

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  20. That wasn't a RAW.


    That was a three-hour Smackdown.


    Wait a minute...

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  21. I guess if he truly wanted to hurt Randy then he would've started wailing away on the guy on the floor.

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  22. Is it just me that thinks they're building up Bryan's use of the small package so he can win the belt, but bah gawd he's not allowed to make Cena tap?

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  23. Bret took that nasty table bump against Diesel at Survivor Series 95.

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  24. Amsterdam_Adam_CurryJuly 31, 2013 at 2:29 AM

    From that video it just looked like some moron mark who had a little too much of the sort of antifreeze that comes in 6 and 12 packs, and decided to try and get his 15 minutes of fame. Fucking amateurs need to learn how to hold their booze.

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  25. Amsterdam_Adam_CurryJuly 31, 2013 at 2:32 AM

    Come to think of it, that might have been the first one in WWF/E. And yeah, that bump was pretty ill. I'm not a Bret fan, but I will say his bumping is top notch.

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  26. Others had done it before. But the Dudleyz popularised it.

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  27. It can be a good idea it just needs a good in ring story, I think it works better as a tag team match due to the extra dimension of adding double team over and split second saves to the equation.

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  28. Caliber_Winfield_The_3rdJuly 31, 2013 at 4:46 AM

    Wait a minute...this didn't end with Cena losing in the WM Main Event to Bo Dallas in negative time, with The Rock coming out and revealing he's been behind every bad guy move for the last 30 years. This man is an imposter.

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  29. Good point on the small package. I was starting to get annoyed that Bryan kept winning with it since I think it looks weaker then a normal finish. However, if he wins the belt with it he can use it as his new finisher for all I care.

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  30. Needs more gay rape.

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  31. The matches just seemed boring and dull on this show. Also, it's funny that Natalya's Spear looks more devastating than Edge's.

    Is Barrett now going through that thing where they de-push the guy HARD for several months so that he doesn't get egotistical (or as a test to see his character)?

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  32. Last year AJ was a main eventer. Today, she is a supporting actress in Driving Miss Daisy.

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  33. In Aberdeen, Washington, all the ladies called him MISTER Small Package.

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  34. And WWE already has it all over their website. THIS, is a work.

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  35. Harley Race had been through a table against Hogan.

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  36. YankeesHoganTripleHFanJuly 31, 2013 at 6:25 AM

    Am I the only one who thinks that Big E is coming across as the face is this feud?

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  37. Clearly, Christian spent all that time off perfecting his backstage handshake.

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  38. It's a good job the nutshot was on Randy and not Dolph Ziggler or he'd of shot off into the stratosphere.

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  39. Oh that would've been so brutal. Dolph would be the guy to get hit with a flying soda cup from behind and sell like he just took a Stan Hansen Lariat.

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  40. Lanny Poffo approves your haiku

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  41. Statler-I really liked this show tonight

    Waldorf-At these prices who's gonna complain?

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  42. Not enough someone paying Kane to do their dirty work.

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  43. Randy Savage piledrove Ricky Morton through a table in Memphis in the early 80's.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKDFVsGeOqg

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  44. Guy chasing after and trying to impress a girl that's too crazy for his own good but hot enough to ignore that anyway...what guy can't relate to that?

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  45. Orton's cashing in at some point and he will be Vince's champion.

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  46. The Christian vs adr finish was fantastic and really stood out in night full of lousy ones (although I'm cool with db getting over the small package)

    I'll just wait for the smackdown thread to resume my Christian vs ziggler point but Christian is in a match with Orton and rvd that sounds really interesting

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  47. Barrett has been depushed for a loooong time now

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  48. Still waiting for a pole on a pole match.

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  49. Worst_in_the_WorldJuly 31, 2013 at 8:03 AM

    Maybe this is just what Wade Barret is? He's this generation's Dino Bravo.

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  50. So what if they do?

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  51. I see Big E has gone to the Mark Henry school of in ring trash talking lately

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  52. Your_Favourite_AssholeJuly 31, 2013 at 9:26 AM

    i read somewhere that it was reported that vinces promo was 'really really bad'


    i didnt think it was that bad... the only thing that stood out as 'zuh?!" was the spontaneous combustion stuff

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  53. Your_Favourite_AssholeJuly 31, 2013 at 9:28 AM

    'Damien Sandow comes out to protest the loss of his briefcase on Smackdown,'


    ...but this raw was taped the day before sd. thats old school right there

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  54. Your_Favourite_AssholeJuly 31, 2013 at 9:31 AM

    hes chasing after aj?

    ive taken it that hes just tolerating her out of loyalty and eventually will kick her to the curb

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  55. Your_Favourite_AssholeJuly 31, 2013 at 9:32 AM

    haku, however, does not

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  56. Your_Favourite_AssholeJuly 31, 2013 at 9:32 AM

    remember when scott hall got hit with a cup of soda and he sold it by slicking back his hair?

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  57. I think they are missing the boat on an interesting angle with Cena. Vince should LOVE Cena. The guy has been his biggest cash cow the past decade. They wanna keep Cena face? Fine. Let Cena be all about giving guys a fair shot, but Vince wants him to stay champion and defending against suitable (read big) opponents.


    But the "someone like HHH only younger" thing is pretty obviously gonna be Orton whether we like it or not.

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  58. The way they spent all night telegraphing the Orton cash-in makes me think something is up.

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  59. Yep, like back in 1990 when Perfect won his IC tournament final the night before he won his first round match (against Jimmy Snuka, father of Tamina...).

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  60. Apt comparison.

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  61. That could have been much worse had steroids not shriveled up Randy's nuts years ago.

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  62. I'm wondering if it'll lead to a heel turn. "Screw all you fans" type thing.. it is weird to see something like that on the front page of wwe.com.

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  63. Last week they showed a clip where Big E was trying to console a furious AJ and he leaned in and tried to kiss her but she awkwardly brushed it off.

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  64. I think Barrett should have teamed with Cesaro instead of Swagger. Much better heel team of Anti-americans.

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  65. Your_Favourite_AssholeJuly 31, 2013 at 10:13 AM

    i saw that, but i saw it as him leaning in and deciding to kiss her on the forehead, and she was the one who was thinking he was gonna do it on the lips

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  66. Vince with Orton wreaks of 2007 all over again.

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  67. Memphis was so innovative. Wish they just released a huge disc set with all the classic bouts on it.

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  68. Triple H got "You Tapped Out" chants from tapping to Lesnar. You think adult WWE fans are never going to not chant that at Cena if that were to happen?

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  69. Amsterdam_Adam_CurryJuly 31, 2013 at 11:22 AM

    Really? That's way before my time.

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  70. I actually really enjoy the Big E and AJ pairing. They make me laugh, especially when AJ goes nuts and Big E just stands there quietly and takes it all in.

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  71. I wonder if Jimmy Snuka went into professional billiards instead of wrestling, would they call him Jimmy Snooker? And if his daughter followed in his footsteps...Tamina Snooker?


    These are the things I wonder.

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  72. I wish he would use different kinds of quick and inventive finishes like Bret Hart used to do. That would be cool to see and I bet he could come up with some neat stuff.

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  73. That's what has always bugged me about Cena.


    They want to portray him as this goody-two-shoes-do-gooder who always does the right thing no matter what, yet they also want to portray him as a rebel against authority.


    You can't have it both ways, you're trying to do both Austin and Hogan at the same time.

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  74. And god bless'em for it! The new Curt Hennig!

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  75. It would be the best Smackdown theme ever behind Beautiful People, that rap theme, and the original theme.

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  76. I bet Kofi Kingston gets blamed for it.

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  77. YankeesHoganTripleHFanJuly 31, 2013 at 12:43 PM

    That's what is sort of making Big E the face. AJ is a crazy birch, Zigger is mostly concerned with acting like a douche to AJ and Big E is just the quiet voice of reason that just wants to wrestle.

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  78. Dino Bravo won matches.

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  79. I've been saying that for years. They need to change that. They also need to give him more mic time because he's got a personality but the crowds are obviously not seeing it. I was hearing crickets during that match. Even with the piped in crowd noise.

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  80. hmmm if your talking about his wrestling skills you sir are an idiot.

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  81. hahahaha comment of the day!

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  82. wait, isn't that the origin of his name? I was looking at that "best ring names" thing a bit ago and the cited snuka as related to snooker.

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  83. Haha no but that's awesome. I remember Hennig getting hit with one square in the face during an nWo promo and completely no-selling it, which I thought was weird.

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  84. That's the thing about AJ - she makes a FANTASTIC heel. Every time that psycho bitch makes an appearance, I'm hoping someone will pick her up and put her through a wall.

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  85. I don't think any wrestler is bad enough to justify calling him Dino Bravo. That man excelled at NOTHING.

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  86. I have never seen that many upvotes before.. Good job!!

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  87. Scream09_HartKillerJuly 31, 2013 at 7:03 PM

    I think they're missing the boat by not having a heel who starts forest fires that John Cena has to put out.

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  88. Does the Big Bossman vs. Nailz "nightstick on a pole" match count?

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  89. Well done, sir.

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  90. This wouldn't be an issue if they'd get rid of (or severely reduce the roles of) the on-air authority figures.

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  91. The perfect guy to cast as Vince's "corporate champion" would be Jack Swagger. No tattoos, amateur wrestling background, blond and he has the size Vince keeps talking about. He's a natural for the "young Triple H" suburban douche character, his name fits the role, and the crowd was hate Swagger as champion.
    If they really want to keep pushing this "Vince's champion" thing, it wouldn't be hard to split Swagger from Zeb while keeping him a heel and have Vince take him under his wing.

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