The SmarK RAW Rant – 11.25.13
Live from Long Island, NY
Your hosts are Michael Cole, JBL & Jerry Lawler
So my pre-show rant for the day: I feel like this company has fallen into living out The Bridge on the River Kwai with this Authority deal. They’re all about “telling stories”, but they have literally ONE (1) story they’re telling, which is “HHH and Stephanie are bad people and Vince returns to get revenge at Wrestlemania.” Except Vince was never betrayed or wronged by them on TV, he just kind of disappeared. And they don’t actually know what match is being built to. And they don’t know how they’re getting to that match. And they don’t know when Vince is coming back or why. But BY GOD, the storyline that people have craved for a year is FUCKING VINCE MCMAHON V. COO HHH and if fans chant for Daniel Bryan it just means we’re in “bizarroworld” or it’s a smark-heavy city or the football game was big competition or it’s a holiday show and we just don’t understand how important it is to have 5 (five) authority figures running RAW every week to build to the incredibly important, once-in-a-lifetime HHH v. Vince showdown that we already saw twice in 1999. And now that we’ve burned through all the possible World title contenders (Ziggler, Bryan, Big Show, Kane, Del Rio, Punk, Ryback, Henry) and there’s literally nothing left to fill time until YOU WILL GET HHH V. VINCE AND FUCKING LIKE IT, now we get a “title v. title” ladder match between Orton and Cena after four straight months of screwjob finishes in PPV main events, because there’s no one else left to main event. And even then they can’t call it a unification match, because they’re compelled to screwjob that up as well because it doesn’t matter until we get to HHH v. Vince, which you will FUCKING LIKE OR FUCK YOU, which is the most importantest thing in the history of sports entertainment. For some reason.
But maybe that’s just me.
Randy Orton joins us to start, and oh boy, there’s gonna be some talking. So Orton brings out HHH & Steph, and they couldn’t be more proud. Orton, as usual, is annoyed with them, because that’s his character motivation given to him on a napkin before the show started this week. The fans chant “Daniel Bryan” and turn on the segment before it even gets going. Orton goes on and on about how great he is, but John Cena interrupts because that’s exactly what this show needed. Do they even realize what a self-parody they’ve become? People complaining about the same guys getting pushed all the time, so we get Cena and Orton both carrying belts around and fighting each other. Cena’s theory about why fans chant for Bryan: They’re sick of “administrative BS”. Alternative theory: They want to see Bryan. So anyway, HHH makes Orton v. Cena for TLC in a TLC match with both titles on the line. With three weeks of buildup. On the December PPV. And of course, once that match has been made between the two biggest champions in wrestling to supposedly unify the belts, it’s HHH’s music that plays to end the segment. HOLY SHIT could they make me any more pissed off to start this show?
The Shield v. Cody Rhodes, Goldust & Rey Mysterio
Goldust quickly gets cut off and worked over in the heel corner, but he catapults Ambrose over the top, only to fall victim to a series of increasingly cartoonish hard luck frustrations while trying to tag. Some days you just can’t get rid of a bomb. And we take a break. Back with poor Dustin FINALLY getting the hot tag to Rey. Rollins escapes the 619, but Cody comes in and hits Ambrose with the whiplash slam for two. Reigns destroys both Goldust and Rey with spears, leaving Ambrose to finish Cody with the bulldog driver at 9:49. I like how they’re dispensing with pretense and just having Goldust go out and start getting the heat right away. **1/2
MizTV, with Titus O’Neil dressed up as Michael Strahan even though he’s supposed to be a babyface now, which goes off the cliff really quickly. This brings out the real Strahan, and he’s here to make a crappy tag match for the main event tonight. Because god knows we didn’t already have enough people making matches on this show. Wow! Take four guys in a program and randomly stick them together! Props to the crowd for booing ALL FOUR GUYS. Truly a slow clap is deserved for that one. And then this somehow gets WORSE, as Strahan bickers with Miz over who can do a hiptoss, and then they do some hiptosses on each other, and everyone dances together to end the horrible segment because they’re having FUN and WWE is so much FUN and stuff. Holy god this was bad. I don’t even know if Miz is supposed to be a face or a heel at this point.
Big E Langston & Mark Henry v. Ryback & Curtis Axel
Big E gets worked over in the Not-Heyman corner, but fights out of a Ryback chinlock and makes the hot tag to Henry, who is now a smiling babyface again after failing to destroy Cena. He finishes Axel quickly with a JYD tribute and Strongest Slam at 2:28.
Hamptons Hardcore Match: Damien Sandow v. Dolph Ziggler
Why are these two even feuding? So they brawl around ringside doing silly garbage wrestling while the announcers are like “Oh man, this is just like the Attitude era, all you stupid jaded fans who keep wanting it back!” We take a break and return with literal garbage brawling, until Dolph turns the tide with the faithful fire extinguisher spray to the face. Fameasser gets two as this drags on and on going nowhere. The crowd takes the opportunity to turn on the show again, chanting for Randy Savage and then booing security for harassing the guy DRESSED as Randy Savage. And this is the match THEY LEFT IN THE SHOW!! Much like the crowd I stopped paying attention to the match two or three chants ago. Sandow mercifully ends it with Uncle Slam onto a garbage can at 12:32. Time to read the writing on the wall, Dolph. Do like Morrison and go pursue your acting dreams for a while, or whatever Zack Ryder did once he left WWE. ½*
Daniel Bryan & CM Punk join us for some meta-humor (“Is it completely weird that we all have our own microphones and Renee Young isn’t asking us any questions?”) and we get Colt Cabana’s name dropped IN THIS VERY RING. Nice to see SOMEONE having fun tonight. Is it too much to hope that Renee becomes the Elizabeth for the IndyPowers before they explode? Because she’d be awesome at it.
Daniel Bryan & CM Punk v. The Wyatt Family
Harper gets caught in the babyface corner and worked over, but Bryan gets nailed by Bray and beat up. Over to Punk, who dumps Rowan and hits him with the knee into the railing. Back in for the Macho Elbow, which gets two. Sadly, he stops to gloat and gets tossed out of the ring and, say it with me, we take a break. Back with Punk getting worked over in a lengthy heat segment, and after the hot tag to Bryan we get one of my all-time least favorite finishes, with the referee calling for the bell due to the heels kicking too much ass at 15:00. Match was fine, but the finish was lazy and stupid. **1/4 Bryan gets kidnapped by the Wyatts, and then Punk is randomly speared by Reigns and powerbombed by the Shield. And so our heroes go their separate ways, I guess? Talk about throwing shit at a wall.
Meanwhile, Cena jokes around with Strahan while the Wyatts KIDNAP HIS FUTURE BROTHER-IN-LAW. What an ass.
John Cena & Big Show v. Randy Orton & Alberto Del Rio
I bet Show feels stupid for dropping that lawsuit now. Show dominates Orton and chokes him out on the ropes as we take a break. OH MY GOD could this show get any more cookie cutter? Back from a break and I don’t even give a shit anymore while I’m told I’m supposed to get excited about watching the 14-time World champion face the 11-time World champion to determine who will get to hold all the World titles at the same time. Oh, and now Big Show has a concussion or something. Hopefully it’ll be one of those HHH concussions where he just shakes it off by the next week, rather than a Ziggler concussion where they blame him for it and destroy all his momentum before turning him into a jobber. Speaking of which, Cena taps Del Rio with the STF at 18:00 to end this. The doctor, meanwhile, is checking on Show for possible career-threatening head injury, but Cena has to keep going and win the match himself anyway. Orton lays him out and holds up both belts, which Cole notes “is symbolic of what might happen.” YOU THINK? THANKS FOR EXPLAINING THAT DEEP SYMBOLISM FOR ME! Because apparently I’m stupid.
THIS WAS WHAT THEY DIDN’T CUT OUT OF THE SHOW THIS WEEK!